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The Rock Net Worth
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor, producer, and professional wrestler who holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship. A huge collection of all the celebrity net worths of the world. Celebrity Net Worth provide all information about celebrities.
Posted By:  Paul Harrison  @  August 12, 2015 12:45:00 AM    Add Comment

The Rock Net Worth
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American actor, producer and professional wrestler who holds both U.S. and Canadian citizenship.
Posted By:  Paul Harrison  @  August 12, 2015 12:40:00 AM    Add Comment

Acura takes page from Subaru: All-wheel drive could anchor revival strategy
Acura has recently announced they're going to be offering all wheel drive as a centerpiece of their rvival stretegy, similar to how Subaru did in the 1990s.

In my opinion, Acura's issue is not that they haven't implemented AWD, it's that their vehicles have become milquetoast, and still sport that (somewhat toned down) hideous grill that they insist on keeping. They already have lower maintenance costs and decent reliability, especially compared to their European counterparts. I'd leverage that, get rid of the current grills, make the cars more fun to drive across the lineup, make the styling a little more exciting, and make AWD an option on all the vehicles, but not mandatory. (I agree AWD is not necessary everywhere in the country, where it will just add weight and lower mileage in warm weather climates where the take rate is low.) I recall the days in the 90s when their marketing phrase was "precision crafted performance", when they had the Integra, NSX, and the Legend/Legend coupe. THAT'S what they need to go back to. Make the cars fun to drive (and if you're going to offer a Civic clone into the lineup, at least let owners get the high end 201HP engine with an automatic, like you did with the recently departed TSX. Luxury car drivers don't like to choose between an underpowered engine with an automatic or a powerful engine in a stick). I'd offer the Accord's earth dreams 4 cylinder with 180 something HP on the low end, and the Civic Si's 201HP screamer on the high end (with an optional automatic). Full disclosure, I have a 2005 TL and love it, but would not buy that vehicle again new given what it has become since.
Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  November 14, 2014 12:09:00 PM    Add Comment View Comment

According to Suze Orman: you're financially irresponsible if your car loan is over 36 months

I just read a story by CNBC television host Suze Orman where she claimed that a long term auto loan (which she inexplicably defines as anything over 36 months) is a lousy deal, and is a sign of "financial irresponsibility". As the son of an accountant, I'm the first to agree less debt is better,and to live within one's means as a general rule, but I have to disagree with her on this.

She states the obvious when she mentions that your total interest payments are higher the longer the loan is, and that automobiles as a whole are lousy investments because they're guaranteed to lose money. She also cites a study claiming that too much existing debt is preventing people from qualifying for home loans, and that that typically could includes auto loans. Therefore, her advice is to simply buy a less expensive model, because you should want to get out of debt as soon as possible by spending the least amount possible, when making a purchase that will lose you money. She claims that if you follow her advice, you'll have more money towards the spending that "really matters", such as building an emergency savings account, adding more to your retirement savings accounts (yes, plural), and qualifying for a home mortage if desired.

Now, this is all very well as fine when one is worth $35 million, and can make their auto loans no longer than 36 months (or just pay cash!). However, it's amazingly simplistic advice to working families who are trying to make ends meet from month to month, and need a safe and reliable vehicle to get them to their job, ......

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Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  November 14, 2014 12:04:00 PM    Add Comment

Why is Hyundai competing with itself?
In a past "Finish Line" entry, I went over what would make VW want to build a car to compete with a vehicle in another of it's luxury brands, Audi.  I said I could understand if VW only had the VW brand and wanted to move it's top end upwards to capture more of the market, which is exactly what Hyundai has been doing since 2009 when it moved up to include the Genesis sedan and then the Equus sedan in 2010.  This edition of The Finish Line is about Hyundai and it's supposedly lower end sister brand, Kia.

First, a little background.  Hyundai has come a long way since it entered the U.S. market in 1986.  It started as a very entry level company back then, with one vehicle, the subcompact Excel.  It slowly branched out in the 80s and 90s with the Scoupe and Sonata, and got a boost of credibility in 1999 when it expanded both it's bumper to bumper and powertrain warranty to become the most comprehensive in the industry.  With that warranty offered, it would have to build reliable vehicles, or get overrun with warranty costs.  Sure enough, throughout the 2000s, it's mechanical reliability (measured by a national nonprofit consumer publication who's subscribers rate their vehicles in surveys) steadily improved.  However, it still had a way to go in terms of refinement and fit and finish to compete with the industry front runners. 

In 2009, Hyundai introduced the Genesis sedan, and moved things upscale an order of magnitude for the brand.  The Genesis sedan was essentially a luxury vehicle
not sold under a luxury brand, and was a leap forward in powertrains, features and refinement. This vehicle was a test to see if Hyundai had come far enough to command a vehicle selling well in the $30-$50k range.  It was.  The Genesis sold 21889 units in calendar year 2009, it's first full year.&nbs......
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Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  December 18, 2013 11:28:00 PM    Add Comment

Why the name changes for the Infiniti brand?
After spending a decade building brand equity with new models in new segments, and 23 years using the current naming system, Infiniti has decided to completely change its alphanumeric nomenclature for all it's models.  Starting with the 2014 model year, all it's cars will start with a "Q", and all it's SUVs will have a "QX", both followed by an even number divisible by 10.  The lower models in the lineup have the lowest number, and go up from there as you advance up in the hierarchy.  (i.e. Q50, Q60 Q70, QX60, QX70, ,etc..)

In a letter to it's followers/fans, the CEO of Infiniti has decided this is better for the brand, as they have trademarked rights to the Q and QX names already.  Although they have based the numbers after the letters on engine displacement up until now, they'll be abandoning that as well.  So a G37 meant it was a G-class vehicle with a 3.7 liter V6, but the new one will be called the Q50, which has no connection to engine size at all.  To further confuse people, the M37 and M56, which was an M-class vehicle with either a 3.7 liter V6 or 5.6 liter V8, will simply be called the Q70 now, regardless of which engine is in it.  

To add further confusion, the original Infiniti lineup in 1990 had a flagship sedan called the Q45, which was positioned to compete with the Lexus LS, BMW 7 series, and Mercedes S class of the time.  I've already run into one person (who is a car person) who, when seeing the new redesigned G37 sedan (now renamed Q50), was confused into thinking it was a replacement to the discontinued Q45 flagship (and thought it wasn't a befitting replacement for a flagship).  Even after I explained it was the new G37 replacement, the damage was done in his head - and he's a car person.  Imagine the confusion to those who aren't, and don't have someone to explain the change on the spot.  First impressions are key!

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Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  October 25, 2013 4:03:00 PM    Add Comment

Why is Volkswagen competing with itself?
In recent years, I've noticed a few auto manufacturers offering vehicles that are essentially luxury level cars for their non luxury brands to expand those brands upwards.  The thinking was to keep loyal customers within that brand by offering vehicles commensurate with the growing incomes and expanding tastes of their customers.

This is all well and good, except for the fact that in some cases, the non luxury brand in question also owns a luxury brand with a vehicle already in that market segment.  Case in point: Volkswagen offering the Phaeton luxury sedan, which directly competes with the Audi A8 (Audi is owned by Volkswagen).  I thought of the pros and cons for doing this when the Phaeton came out.  I figured that even if the Phaeton got good reviews and was wildly successful, it would compete not only the vehicles in the full size luxury car segment, such as the BMW 7 series, Mercedes S-Class, Lexus LS, and Jaguar XJ, but also the (VW owned) Audi A8, and potentially steal sales from it.  Plus, there was a yawning  $24k difference in price between the base Phaeton and the highest trim of Passat sedan at the time (the V8 powered 4motion variant), leaving a big gap in the lineup to move up from.  It would be like Toyota having the Camry as it's most expensive sedan, then introducing a new luxury sedan under the Toyota nameplate starting in the $60-$90k range (in 2004 dollars, which would be higher today), all the while owning Lexus and having this new Toyota sedan competing with the flagship Lexus LS as well.  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, VW did just that, and the VW Phaeton was offered in the U.S. from 2004-2006, and then discontinued from the lineup due to poor sales.  Go figure.  Another possible reason for the Phaeton's failure was that many thought the asking price for the Phaeton was too high to be sold under the Volkswagen brand (but not for the Audi bra......
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Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  October 25, 2013 4:03:00 PM    Add Comment

Is Mitsubishi next to leave the U.S. market?
"Never buy a vehicle ending in uki, ishi, or atsu". That's what an old car buddy of mine used to warn me of.  He was of course referring to Japanese auto manufacturers Suzuki, Mitsubishi, and Daihatsu. Suzuki just pulled out of the US market after 2012, Daihatsu was in the US briefly from 1988-1992, and of the original trio, only Mitsubishi remains, and a shadow of itself at that.

In order for a brand to survive in the highly competitive US market, it either needs a full lineup of vehicles to compete on all fronts so that if some vehicles aren't a sales success, there are others in the lineup that make up for it.  Alternatively, it could be a niche player for a specific segment of the market, but it's limited vehicle lineup would need to be really good at what they do.  Mitsubishi currently has neither.  It tried to be a more full line brand in the 90s and 2000s, and it was known for a few well known cars in it's lineup like the Eclipse coupe, 3000GT sports car, Galant mid size sedan, and Montero SUV.  But it's discontinued all of them, as well as it's large Diamante sedan, mid size SUV Endeavor and Montero Sport.  Of it's remaining vehicles currently for sale, it has only the compact Lancer sedan/hatch (known in "fast and the furious" street racing circles for it's Lancer derived EVO), it's compact crossover Outlander Sport, and it's somewhat larger but not mid size Outlander.  Oh, and lastly the I-MiEV micro electric car, which makes a Hyundai Accent look large by comparison.  No vehicles in it's limited remaining market segments really stand out, except for the EVO, but that alone can't carry the brand.  So it's abandoned the mid sized sedan segment, the mid sized SUV segment, the sports coupe segment, the sports car segment, the large car segment, and the larger SUV segment. And while sales are up for it's 4 vehicle......
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Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  October 25, 2013 3:45:00 PM    Add Comment

Save fuel or sleep? The "downside" of fuel savings technology....
VW has had a few good commercials in recent years, most notably with it's now infamous Darth Vader "the force" 2011 superbowl ad for the redesigned 2012 VW Passat (had over 58 million hits as of the time of this posting.  It highlighted the Passat's remote engine start feature in a very amusing manner.

As the father of an almost toddler, I wanted to highlight a very amusing "Think Blue" VW commercial showing VW's fuel saving stop/start engine technology.  It works by turning off the internal combustion engine when coming to a complete stop with your foot on the brake pedal, and starting up again when taking it off.  The idea is to save fuel whenever stopping at a stoplight or in stop-and-go traffic, to minimize the amount of time the engine is running (i.e. using gas)   It's widely used in Europe, with gas prices currently ranging from $6.06-$10.51 per gallon.  What's funny about the commercial is the side effect of the engine turning off at complete stops for the driver due to this feature (in this case a father driving his baby around at night in a desperate attempt to get him to fall asleep, which is apparently only effective when the engine is running).  The facial expressions on the father's face are priceless, and the baby is hilarious in his "stop/start" ability to wake up and fall back asleep.  Anyone who's driven their kids around to help them fall or stay asleep will relate. (my understanding from a little researching is you can disable the feature temporarily if you don't want to use it and avoid the situation the father in the commerical endured).  So you can have your fuel saving technology and sleep too!  

Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  October 25, 2013 3:44:00 PM    Add Comment

Hey Toyota,
Toyota just revealed the mid-cycle refresh of the 4Runner for the 2014 model year, which had last been totally redesigned for the 2010 model year.  Now, I know it's supposed to be a rugged body on frame vehicle with a low range gear for serious offroading, but I think they're trying a bit too hard with the new front end.  Is it just me, or is the refreshed 2014 model making you think this?  So much anger!

Let's put a smile on that face!

Just sayin.

Posted By:  Michael Rabkin   @  October 25, 2013 3:43:00 PM    Add Comment

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