Wednesday, 29 June 2011

License Plate - Plate of Shame

Back in March, I read about Pakistan issuing "SX" and "XX" plates and how locals were refusing to put them on their vehicles because they would be subject to shame and ridicule.

Refusing Plate issues

One man, refused the issue because the vehicle was for his daughter and "boys would make a joke of her so it is not possible for him to" accept it. Another man contended that youngsters from wealthy families "might get those serials just to attract and irritate female citizens but an ordinary person cannot use those serials".

Pakistan Excise and Taxation Officer Abbas said he did not think there was anything "strange" about the new registration numbers though.

Superstitious 13? No, Number 39

Now in Afghanistan, drivers of cars with the number plates that contain 39, are taunted and mocked. Overnight the number has become synonymous with "pimp". It is unsure why but gossipers say in neighbouring Iran, a pimp was nicknamed "39" after the registration plate of his expensive car and the number of his apartment.

Plate of Shame

Vehicle registration plates incorporating the number are seen as so undesirable that vehicles and apartments bearing the numerals are said to be virtually unsellable in the capital, Kabul.

Car dealers making a killing

Kabul traffic department told the BBC: "According to law, we have to distribute plate number 39. It is people's ignorance that they go after superstition."

He accuses car dealers of trying to benefit from the situation (buying back cars with the plate at a large rate of depreciation) but others say traffic department officials are charging more than $300 (£185) as a bribe to issue plates with a different number.

Uneducated and Illiterate

Superstition is one thing. But to let people use your superstition and benefit from it is stupidity. I understand that majority of people may be uneducated and illiterate - but they should be street-smart. Are they seriously selling back cars and taking $5,000 hits on them just to get a new plate? It's just mind-boggling that they would let people get away with devaluing merchandise they bought with their hard-earned money. Shouldn't you be happy to have use of a vehicle? This maybe harsh, but I have nothing nice to say about the people who are adding fuel to the fire(s).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Land Down Under & Road Signs

You've got to love Jim Kenzie of the Toronto Star. He posted some great road signs from the Land Down Under, Australia, on his blog in the beginning of the month. Yes, political correctness isn't top of their list of qualities. Check them out...

My Fave!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Ms. Lead-foot vs a 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback

I have spent one day with a car that isn't mine. I feel like I have been cheating! Thanks to Denys (the Menace) at Enterprise Car Rental I was driving a 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback to work for 1 day. Built on the Ford C1 platform and it uses the 2.0L inline 4 cylinder engine (and a 6-speed auto tranny).

Here is what I thought...

First Impression?

Is that a Ford? or a Volvo C30? It looks a lot like the C30 but with a Ford price tag - nice!
It is really cute - nice curves - aggressive front grill!
This car should sell well...

Who would I aim this car at?

Young, probably female driver.

What did I like the best?

Looks and options. The options were great. Heated Seats, sunglass holder, leather wrapped steering wheel, 8" touch screen.

What was it missing?


What did I like least?

Power and acceleration. I tried to merge from a 50 km/hr ramp to 80 km/hr street and found it wouldn't climb fast enough. Later I tried to merge onto the 401 (HWY) at 60-70 and climbing tried to get in front of a Chevrolet Silverado to no avail. It was a slow climb to 100-110 km/hr but when it got there it was fine (no real noise from the engine).

Would I buy this car?

Not for my lead foot. For a younger sibling? For sure, and with Ford Canada offering Employee Pricing right now, it's a great time to do it.
Volvo C30
Check out the grill on this baby!

Nice BIG wrap around lights

So cute - but it's not small!
Back-end is like other hatch's - nice wide opening for maybe a TV Box, or an exercise machine.
Hopefully this gives you a feel for the length - which is close to Wagon-length

Extra Mirror in a Mirror - which I checked does help with cars in your side blindspot.
Large, good-looking tail-lights.

Titanium edition includes: 8" touch Screen, Sony 10 speakers, Satellite Radio, Heated Seats, Puddle Lights!

Comfy fabric seats. If you have kids I recommend fabric protection.

Seats at the back drop down in a 60/40 split. Also there is a "faux" lid that hides what's in your cargo space.
Photo of the "faux" lid

Sony, baby! Not Bose but Sony is pretty good.

Heated Seats??!! And yes, there is a 12V outlet.

8" Touch Screen - fun to customize !

Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel and the controls are all in reach. The Steering Wheel is a bit on the small size and gave me a "girly" feel.

Sunglass holder in the roof! Good thing they didn't forget this small but important thing.

Nice hard plastic on the doors - will take a good beating from shoes, etc.

Sources: Ford; Volvo

Thursday, 16 June 2011

GM Camaro Plant Open House Photo Diary Part 3

Are you tired yet? Well Bridget wasn't....there are more pictures!

P.S. Any fun poked at either a GM Employee or GM in general, it was all in good fun. I appreciate the tour - Thanks again General Motors Oshawa.

Buick Baby!

Warning on the floor!

Map of the Plant Facilities

You are here !

3 guesses as to what this is!

This is the undercarriage of the Camaro


This is actually going to be inserted underneath the Camaro

Springs, Engine, all the front parts under the hood and around the wheels


Ok, these 2 are getting married (or so the GM ambassador put it)!



Almost there...


One more snap and it should be in place..

There we go...

It's in!


Using the Robotic Arm to lift it

Spin it around

And push it off!

Flying Camaro's!

Front Bumper/Skirt being put on

Back Bumper/Skirt being put on

Almost on!

Front again..

It fits!

Car is being driven to a test bay to check the rotation on the tires and to make sure the headlights are shining correctly

Checking the gauges - the HORN works!

I got to sign the THANK YOU GM! Board

There I am:  LUV YA - NISHA !

C'est Fini :)