More of what’s new for 2014… or at least what ought to be new for 2014.
FXX: New terms of sale: Owners pay $3.4 million to buy the car and are allowed to look at it once every three months, but only at Ferrari’s secret garage in Modena*. If they can find it.
* Modena, New Jersey.
LA FERRARI: Unchanged, to be supplemented with a significantly larger sedan called Alliance and a hatchback version called Encore.
FIESTA: Redesigned with an Aston-Martin grille (amazing how many of these they still have, even all these years after the sale) and a one-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that no one in the media is ever going to get to drive in production form. Also available in a high-performance version called the St. Fiesta.
FOCUS: Unchanged. Next year, Europe will get an all-new Focus while America will get the same basic car for the next five years, restyled to look extra stupid.
FUSION: The 1.6 liter EcoBoobs engine has been recalibrated so as not catch fire until after the warranty runs out.
F-150: Now available in a new How Do You Like Them Apples Edition, commemorating the fact that even though RAM and Chevy pickups have been completely redesigned for 2014, the five-year-old F-150 still outsells them.
TAURUS SHO: The cupholders have been enlarged to hold a 44 oz Huge Fucking Gulp soda, and the steering wheel gets flat spots for the driver to rest his Triple Bypass Bacon Cheeseburger. An “I Don’t Trust The Liberal Media” bumper sticker is now standard.
ACCORD: The Blind Spot camera will be augmented with a Driver Portrait camera, so owners can see for themselves that smug expression that makes Accord drivers so fucking annoying.
CIVIC: Redesigned once more, this time with crease-free sheetmetal, taillights shaped like Paula Abdul’s ankles, and an interior upholstered in velcro and yak fur. Note that this version has already been deemed a failure and yet another redesign is scheduled for 2015. And 2016. And 2017.
ODYSSEY: The sheet metal stamping presses have finally been repaired so they can get rid of those silly zig-zag lines in the body sides.
RIDGELINE: Unchanged, and will remain so until Honda sells out of the last batch they built in 2009. We expect this to happen shortly before the next ice age.
Just months after releasing an updated 2013 Civic to replace the critically panned 2012 Civic, Honda has announced that it plans to undo the 2013 changes for the 2014 Civic.
“We honestly felt the 2012 Civic wasn’t our best effort,” said Honda spokesmartin Martin “Chris” Chrismartin. “But we underestimated the herd mentality of Honda buyers. The sales success of the 2012 Civic was a real wake-up call for us. Sometimes you get so focused on the product that you forget your customer base is made up of mindless sheep.”
The 2012 Civic was derided by the press for its cheap interior, mediocre handling dynamics, and derivative styling. But it was a hit with consumers, with sales of the 2012 model exceeding the 2011 Civic by well over 40 percent, even in the face of tsunami-related parts shortages, fluctuations in the yen, and a tribe of psychotic dwarfs who would hide in the back seat and then pop up and smack the shit out of potential customers during their test drive.
Months before the 2012 Civic went on sale, Honda embarked on a “crash redesign” of the sedan, including new front and rear fascias, improved interior materials, and a recalibrated suspension. The Civic coupe was left unchanged because, according to Chrismartin, “We sort of forgot about it.”
Initial reviews of the 2012 Civic indicated that Honda had made the right decision, Chrismartin told Autoblopnik, but early sales numbers proved the changes were unnecessary.
“We spent a lot of money per car updating the interior, when we could have just kept feeding our buyers the same old shit we’ve been serving up since the 1980s,” he lamented.
The sales success of the 2012 Honda Civic was an embarrassment for Consumer Reports Magazine, which said the car “scored too low in our tests to be recommended.”
“I believe in that same issue we also said that Kenmore washers were made of radioactive squirrel turds and that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s brain was being controlled by robots from the planet Beyalazak,” said Consumer Reports COO Larry Bunin-Oven. “Clearly, we were having a bad month.”
Asked if Honda had any changes planed for 2015, Chrismartin insisted Honda is “done futzing with the Civic,” and added, “Frankly, we’ve got our hands full with all the stuff we fucked up on the 2013 Accord, and we’re pretty sure everyone is going to hate the Fit-based sport utility that we have coming year after next. Don’t worry, we have plenty to keep us busy.”
Despite strong retail sales and a favorable reception among loyal customers, Honda has redesigned the recently-redesigned Civic to improve its appeal to journalists.
The 2012 Civic was derided by critics for “not changing enough” and being “too similar to the 2006-2011 Civic,” which those same critics described as “the best compact sedan on the market” and “proof that Honda is at the top of the small-car game.” The harshest criticism came from long-time Honda supporter Consumer Reports, which said that the 2012 Civic “scored too low in our tests to be recommended” and called it “an ideal opportunity to prove that our lips aren’t super-glued to Honda’s ass the way everyone says.”
Changes to the updated 2013 Civic include a gaudy new grille, uglier taillights, silly wheels, and an all-black interior designed to appeal to German car enthusiasts who wouldn’t be caught dead driving a Honda. All Civics now have a backup camera as standard, despite the fact that anyone who cannot back up a car as small as the Civic does not deserve to live.
Honda has recalibrated the steering and suspension to stiffen the ride and improve the handling, a move which they say will please journalists who only have to drive it for a week, at the expense of buyers who have to live with it for ten years or more.
Asked if he was concerned that the updated 2013 Civic might alienate the existing buyer base, Honda spokesman Rosemary Marie said “Absolutely not. We know our buyers better than anyone. We could give them the shittiest shitbox this side of a Lada Riva, and as long as it says ‘Honda’ on the trunk lid, they’ll buy it.”
Former General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick granted an exclusive interview to Autoblopnik in which he said he is going to take some time to decide on his next career step, but is eager to return to the automotive industry.
“When you’ve worked as many jobs as I have in such a short time, sometimes it’s good to take a break and get some perspective,” the Wharton graduate told Autoblopnik from his office at the Boeing Aircraft company, where he was just one hour into his new job as Vice President of Marketing for the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer. In that time, Ewanick had already doubled the number of aircraft orders he generated at European rival Airbus, which had employed him as Director of Sales the previous afternoon.
“General Motors is one of the world’s great companies,” Ewanick said, breezing out of his office to accept a job as chief of marketing for Pepsi-Cola, where he increased overall market share by seven percent before being hired away for the rest of the afternoon by Johnson Wax. “Yes, it was harder to get things done than it was at Hyundai, or Nissan, or Porsche, or Home Depot, or Black & Decker, or Wal-Mart, or Pep Boys, or the State of Idaho, or even Dell, though maybe not as tough as General Dynamics or Burger King or Weyerhauser. Still, it’s cool to say you worked at General Motors, even when you’ve headed up marketing for companies like US Shoe and Dunder-Mifflin and Kroger Markets and been head of research for Corning Labs and DKNY.”
During a break for dinner, which he spent turning down positions at RJR Nabisco (“I hate smoking,” Ewanick explained) and Target (“Homophobes”) and briefly taking over as the Prime Minister of Uganda, Ewanick said he would love to work in the automotive industry again, and that he has had “productive talks” with Mazda, Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, Kia, Fisker, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, Suzuki and Audi, some or all of which he planned to work for in the next week.
“The goal is to find a company where I can settle down for a good long time,” he told us as he contemplated a job offer from NBC-Universal and designed a sneaker that lets you jump to the moon. “Like maybe a month.”
As the sun set behind the picture window of his new office at 3M, which hired him just as our interview was drawing to a close, Mr. Ewanick leaned back in his chair, invented a kind of toothpaste that doesn’t make orange juice taste terrible, and picked up a picture of wife and children.
“These guys are all that really matters,” he said, pausing to wipe away a tear and cure cancer. “The people who love you. That’s what is really important.”