About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show was first held in 1871 and was the first publicly-accessible auto show in the world, though it was considered a failure as the automobile had not yet been invented. The show resurfaced late in the 20th century in Bloomington, Indiana, but attendance was poor as most people expected the Chicago Auto Show to be in Illinois. The show finally moved to the Windy City in 1901, and has been held there every year except 1954, when strong winds blew it into Aurora. It is the only auto show to run year-round, with a 51-week closure between Sunday and Friday.
Highlights from the 2016 Chicago Auto Show
Kia announced their plans to launch a hybrid vehicle that featured “stunning design” that was “strong and confident with subtly sculptured surfaces offset by robust styling cues.” They described this new hybrid as “a no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design.” They then revealed the Niro. While we do not have official confirmation, we hope to see the vehicle they were talking about at the New York Auto Show.
Chrysler unveiled the new Ram 2500 Power Wagon on a set of hydraulic jacks that showed off the new truck’s axle articulation. The Power Wagon was then driven down the steps and on to the show floor, proving once and for all that a Chrysler vehicle can drive at least thirty feet without parts falling off of it.
In honor of their new Pacifica minivan, Chrysler sponsored Snack Time. Show-goers were given their choice of sweets and beverages, and were told that if they didn’t stop hitting their sister right now, Chrysler would turn this show around and take them all straight home, so help me God!
Toyota started the Don Bufamanti fan club by giving out furry ear-flap hats that said “Turd Pro”. They also showed a Tacoma in a color called “cement”, with rumors circulating that anyone criticizing the truck would end up in cement as well.
Nissan unveiled a picture of the Titan pickup truck. Customers will be able to buy their own picture of a Titan pickup truck later this year. They also showed the latest version of their full-size armoire, which goes on patrol in the US later this year.
Mercedes-Benz showed what appeared to be a large green metal building, until closer examination revealed that it had wheels. Rumor has it that the Sprinter Extreme has a four-cylinder engine; this could not be confirmed as anyone trying to examine the truck closely was killed and eaten by it. Mercedes also displayed a smaller version of the Sprinter intended as housing for workers.
Chevrolet unveiled the Camaro 1LE (pronounced “Camaro Wunnel”), which features a track-tuned suspension and blacked-out hood. The Camaro 1LE will be offered with a V6 engine for customers who want maximum performance without maximum performance.
Alson on the Chevrolet stand were Midnight Special editions of the Silverado and Colorado pickups. These trucks feature black paint, black wheels, a black bedliner and blacked-out trim, and are designed to be impossible to find in a poorly-lit parking lot at night.
After being flatly turned down for a merger by General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Fiat-Chrysler Automobili says CEO Sergio Marchionne is now looking for alternate merger partners.
“They don’t like Italian-Americans, fine, whatever,” said Marchionne, responding to Mary Barra’s reported off-the-record comments that she thinks Fiat-Chrysler is “sooooo gross” and that GM would “rather merge with a slug.”
“We don’t need GM,” Marchionne continued. “There’s plenty of other companies we can merge with, and then GM will be sorry. They’ll see us with another company, and they’ll realized what they missed, and Mary will be all like, ‘Hey, Fiat, maybe we should get together,’ and I’ll be all like, ‘Too late, GM, you had your chance.'”
Fiat-Chrysler is reportedly actively pursuing other potential merger partners, including Ford, Mercedes, Volkswagen, the Church of Scientology, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tyson Chickens, and the letter N.
Meanwhile, Ms. Barra denied that GM would reconsider a merger with Fiat.
“I just don’t think the synergies are there,” she said. “Fiat-Chrysler is a very attractive company, but it really doesn’t make that much money. Plus, well, let’s just say that Fiat has had a lot of partners in the past. You know what I mean?”
Asked about GM’s own past partnerships with Fiat, including a deal with VM that resulted in the engine for the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, Ms. Barra said, “OMG, I can NOT believe you brought that up! That was soooo embarrassing. Sergio thinks it was good for both of us, but let me tell you, GM has had lots of better partnerships than that. I mean, gawd, you let a company build you one little diesel engine, and all of a sudden it’s like they think they own you. What’s up with that? Anyway, that was a one-time mistake that will NOT happen again.”
“She said what?” Mr. Marchionne responded. “Listen, that Cruze is carrying my engine, and that means everything to me. Everything. Why, Mary? Why?”
“Sergio just needs to get it into his head that a merger is not going to happen,” Ms. Barra said. “GM is happy to be friends with Fiat-Chrysler, but in terms of a long-term relationship, we’re just not that into them.”
There was shock, surprise, and much shitting of gaudy golf pants on Sunday when it was announced that the coveted Best of Show award at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was being awarded to a 1998 Plymouth Breeze.
“We are pleased to bestow the Best of Show award on an unrestored original example of a bygone American make,” said Ree Dikuluspantz, Chief Class Judge Chief Honorary Judgechief of this year’s chief judging class committee. “The Plymouth Breeze was rare enough in its day, and to find a fourth-owner unrestored original in operating condition, and furthermore one that is still being used in the manner for which it was designed, is an honor that few concours judges will get to experience.”
Assistant Chief Judge Class Alvin Uglytrouzerz said he chose the Breeze because it represented something different from normal Pebble Beach fare.
“Frankly, if I have to look at one more Ferrari or Deusenberg or Bugatti while some blowhard in ridiculous pants tell me how the supercharger inlet valve casing bears one of Fangio’s fingerprints and the leather upholstery still has traces of blood from the night F. Scott Fitzgerald did too much coke in the passenger seat, I’m going to throw the hell up,” Uglytrouzerz told Autoblopnik.
The winning car, an Expresso [sic] model still wearing its original factory Deep Amethyst Pearlcoat paint, belongs to Vince “Dookie” Dookerwicz, 23, of Watsonville, California, an employee at one of the Concours d’Elegance’s concession stands.
“I parked my car next to the tent to unload a couple of cases of sesame buns and some Slurpee mix, and when I came back out, the car was surrounded by a bunch of old guys with funny-looking pants and clipboards,” Dookerwicz told Autoblopnik. “I got in trouble with my boss last year for bumming a cigarette off one of the ladies attending the show, so I just shut up and stayed out of the way. Next thing I knew, they were handing me a trophy.”
Dookerwicz said he was genuinely surprised at the win, and was especially pleased when a Pebble Beach representative presented him with a bottle of Dom Perignon, which Dookerwicz was confident would be regarded by his girlfriend as a reasonable substitute for foreplay.
“If had known the car was going to win Pebble, I would have taken out the baby seat and maybe tried to clean the vomit out of the floor mats,” Dookerwicz told Autoblopnik. “And I also would have worn sillier pants.”
© Autoblopnik – Hat tip to Mark Retchin’s pants
J.D. Power and Associates announced the results of their 2014 Initial Quality Study™ in which the Fiat division of the newly-formed Fiat-Chrysler Chryslermotive Corporation finished dead last, with each new Fiat experiencing an average of more than two problems.
“We are incredibly proud of our poor performance,” said Chrysler-Fiat spokesproblem Riccardo Denauissimo. “A lot of people were worried that adapting Fiat cars for the American market would take away the essential character of the brand. Our last-place finish in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study™ shows that Fiat is still very much Fiat.”
Nearly Double Industry Average
The JD Power Initial Quality Study™ measures the number of problems experienced per hundred vehicles in the first ninety days of ownership.
“Fiat’s score of 206 problems per 100 cars is nearly double the industry average,” explained J. D. Power and Associates spokespower Jefferson Davis Powaaaah™. “The ironic thing is that it would be more than double the average if their crappy cars hadn’t raised the average so high. Honestly, I wish Fiat would build their cars better, because those big numbers really screw up our bar graphs. You have to squint to see the winning scores.”
Fiat owners are showing surprising enthusiasm about Fiat’s poor quality performance.
“My 500 Abarth has been back in the shop fourteen times in the year and a half since I bought it, and I couldn’t be happier,” said Giovanni Doeissimo, president of the Fiat Owners Club of Kenosha. “When I first got my car, my father said it wasn’t a proper Fiat because the windshield didn’t leak and it would usually start on the second or third try. But now that the car is on its second air conditioning compressor and its third water pump, he’s singing a different tune. Last week I went to take Dad for a ride and the door handle came right off in his hand! We just laughed and laughed. He said it made him nostalgic for the 124 Spyder he drove in college.”
Giovanetta Smithissimo, a schoolteacher and part-time dominatrix from Greasyneck, New Jersey, says her 500 reminds her of her first new car, a 1980 Fiat Strada, which she fondly remembers could be counted on to work at least two days out of every week.
“I drove that car until the front suspension rotted right out of the body, which happened about eight months after I bought it,” she said. “Since then, I’ve owned a Renault Alliance, a Hyundai Excel, a Plymouth Volare, a Ford Aspire, a Chevy Citation, an Eagle Premiere, even a Yugo GV, but I never liked any of them as much as my Strada. I’ve had my 500 for two months, and already the doors are starting to rust and the turn signals have stopped working when it rains. I’m so happy to be driving a Fiat again!”
Another Subhead Goes Here
Dodge, Ram and Jeep owners also reported a higher-than-average number of problems, with Jeep second only to Fiat. Chrysler’s defect rate was disappointingly low, a situation that Denauissimo says the company plans to address.
“Italian brands don’t corner the market on sub-par build quality,” he told Autoblopnik. “American car companies in general, and Chrysler in particular, have a long history of building crappy cars. We’re happy that Fiat is willing to keep traditions like this alive.”
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Chrysler Fiat Fiat Chrysler Automotive held a massive press conference announcing their product plans for the next five years.
The Chrysler brand will be moved even further upmarket, starting with a refreshed 300 and a redesigned Town & Country. Chrysler will then cement its reputation as a Mercedes competitor by introducing a car designed to compete with the Toyota Corolla.
Plans for the Jeep brand include killing off the Compass and Patriot and introducing the new Renegade.
“Car-based SUVs with extremely limited off-road capability nearly ruined the Jeep brand’s reputation, so they are history,” said Jeep spokeshistorian Todd Gayer. “Eliminating these two vehicles will make way for a new car-based SUV with extremely limited off-road capability.”
After much speculation that Fhrysler Ciat would kill off the Dodge brand and move performance models over to the new SRT brand, Fchrysler shocked the assembled crowd by announcing that the SRT brand would be eliminated and absorbed by the Dodge brand.
“See what I did there?” said Dodge spokesperson Billy Crystal. “You thought I was going to get rid of Dodge, but I went the other way. Don’t get me started!”
Dodge revealed a new ad campaign indicating their continued commitment to making cars for old people. The brand also confirmed that there will be an SRT version of the Dart coming in 2016, but that no decision had been made as to whether the Dart SRT will be awesome like the Neon SRT4 or suck balls like the Caliber SRT4.
A Fiat representative, who looked quite surprised when told it was his turn to speak, said, “Well, um, we’re, uh, of course we have a five-year plan, it’s just that… er… well, our five-year plan includes, um, a… er… a 500… X! Yes, that’s it, a 500X, and it’ll look a lot like, er… like a Buick Encore with MINI Countryman headlights.”
Alfa-Romeo announced that it will continue its strategy of designing exceptionally desirable cars, promising them to the American market for months, and then building a frustratingly small number of them, all while changing their dealership strategy every seven minutes so that company employees and their friends can snatch all of them up before the general public can figure out where the hell to buy one.
The company also revealed a new sign that said “FCA” on it. The sign was quickly removed after it was revealed that “FCA”, when read out loud, is very close to way New Yorkers pronounce “fucker”.
Spokeschrysler Todd Graham concluded the press conference by telling the assembled journalists, “And by the way, we cannot comment on future product.”
Days after Chrysler showed its “American Pride” ad during the Super Bowl, iconic folk singer Bob Dylan has filed a lawsuit against the automaker for using his likeness without authorization.
“The iconic Mr. Dylan had no connection whatsoever to Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad,” said iconic folk singer Bob Dylan’s attorney, Dillon Zaterney. “Chrysler used a combination of archive footage, CGI, and a marginally-talented voice actor to create an unauthorized likeness of iconic folk singer Bob Dylan, who was not consulted with or paid for this implied endorsement.”
Chrysler issued a statement denying that the actor appearing in the commercial was meant to bear any resemblance to the iconic folk singer Bob Dylan, but instead was intended to represent “a mainstream member of American society, someone who likes playing folk music, despises combs, and buys clothing from stores that don’t have any mirrors.”
“No reasonable person would think the gentleman in our ad is iconic folk singer Bob Dylan,” Chrysler spokesinger Katherine Graham-Cracker told Autoblopnik. “The fact that you can understand every single word he says is a dead giveaway.”
Autoblopnik was granted a brief interview with iconic solk finger Bob Dylan, who told us, “Neh me zah de maah, men, zoo ba doo wah. Mah neh zaah de maah, zeh beem nyah,” then added, “Neh wah? Nyah men zaaah.”
Neither side would reveal the details of the lawsuit, but Attorney Zaterny told us that iconic folk singer Bob Dylan would consider a new 2015 Chrysler 200 in lieu of a monetary settlement, explaining that “Mr. Dylan has always loved Italian cars.”
In related news, the Volkswagen Group is reportedly contemplating a lawsuit over the same commercial, alleging that Chrysler used an unauthorized likeness of the Audi A7.
Autoblopnik.com presents more new product news you won’t find anywhere else… thank goodness.
CAMARO: The front and rear fascias have been restyled, and all Camaros now come with a prescription for anti-depressants to help owners deal with the interior, which is as dark and dreary as ever.
CORVETTE: Redesigned for 2014, now called Corvette Stingray. We recommend the “Not A Cliche Yet” edition, which will only be available for six months.
IMPALA: All-new for 2014. A check made out to Consumer Reports is standard equipment.
MALIBU: Redesigned to address the faults of the 2013 model, with updated the exterior styling, improved back seats, and revised engine, transmission and suspension calibrations. GM says this was their second choice for a fix, but supplying every new Malibu with its own crusher was prohibitively expensive.
300: Unchanged. You got a problem with that, fuckface? Because if you do, we could step outside and talk about it.
TOWN AND COUNTRY: Chrysler’s minivan will remain unchanged through the 2017 model year as punishment for all those nasty things you said about the Dodge Dart.
AVENGER: Unchanged, which should come as a huge relief to the millions of traveling executives who might otherwise be forced to rent a halfway-decent car.
CHALLENGER: Several new colors are available, including Douchebag Yellow, Ridiculously Annoyingly Obnoxiously Hideous Green, and Nobody Knows I’m Gay Purple.
DART: New Alfa Giulietta Package includes rusted-out fenders and a rain-sensing engine that won’t start when the humidity rises above 65%.
VIPER: Discontinued. By fitting stability control to the 2013 model, Chrysler inadvertently cut off the supply of rich dickheads who wreck their Vipers and come back to buy another one.
More new product news coming soon, because frankly we haven’t thought up anything really funny this week.
An official at Consumer Reports magazine said they are planning a thorough staff purge in the wake of a pickup comparison that named the 2013 RAM 1500 pickup as both the winner and a “recommended buy”.
“Obviously, this was a major mix-up,” said Larry Bunn-Omatic, Consumer Reports‘ Vice President of Evaluating Everything As If It Were A Toaster. “Consumer Reports would never knowingly list a domestic vehicle as a Recommended Buy, and especially not a Chrysler product. Everyone knows American cars suck and Chryslers are shit.”
Bunn-Omatic blames the mix-up on the new RAM brand, which has replaced the Dodge nameplate on Chrysler’s pickup trucks.
“We’re really not car people, so we didn’t realize RAM was just a new name for Dodge trucks,” he told Autoblopnik. “We just figured it was a new brand from Toyota. I mean, look at how well these things are put together. It’s an easy mistake to make.”
Bunn-Omatic says the entire car testing division has been put on leave until the responsible parties can be identified and summarily fired. Frank Ingrown, who formerly headed up Consumer Reports‘ Camera, Coffeemaker, and Wheeled Trash Can Directorate, has been temporarily put in charge of car testing.
“We want to apologize to our readers and assure them that this sort of irresponsible behavior is not considered acceptable at Consumer Reports,” said Bunn-Omatic. “We’re eager to put this behind us and get back to doing what we do best, which is recommending Toyotas, Hondas and Maytags.”
Immediately after revealing the 2014 Jeep Cherokee at this week’s New York Auto Show, Chrysler’s public relations staff set about assuring the media that the new compact SUV isn’t as ugly as they think it is.
“We realize that at first glance, the Jeep Cherokee does appear rather ugly,” said Todd Gayer, head of Jeep communications. “But the truth is that it really isn’t as ugly as most people think it is. Is the new Cherokee an attractive vehicle? No, not by a country mile. Is it ugly? Of course it is. Very ugly. Uglier than a monkey’s armpit. Uglier than a sack of assholes. But is it as ugly everyone thinks it is? No, it most certainly is not.”
Members of the automotive media attending the New York show expressed immediate relief upon Chrysler’s assurances that the new Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.
“I thought the thing was fucking hideous,” said Jonny Liebersteinowitzenbaumowitz of Moat Trend magazine. “It looks like something you’d see on the cover of Weekly World News under the headline ‘Bat Boy Alive and Well in New Jersey!’ That’s why it felt like a tremendous weight had been taken off my shoulders when Chrysler told me personally that the Cherokee is not as ugly as I think it is.”
“I’ll admit, my first reaction was not all that positive,” said Jablopnik correspondent Matt Hadtapee, who in his article referred to the new Cherokee as “a bit like a Nissan Juke” and “the most horrifying thing I have seen since the time I walked in on my grandparents having sex.”
“I wasn’t swayed by Chrysler’s repeated insistance that the Cherokee is ‘more than its exterior styling,’ and Ralph Gilles’ comment that the Cherokee is ‘very contemporary’ just didn’t ring true. That’s why I’m so glad that Chrysler has assured my colleagues and I that the new Cherokee isn’t nearly as ugly as we all think it is. How can you argue with that?”
Jeep’s Gayer tells Autoblopnik that the next step is to assure the public that the Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is, which will be accomplished with an ad campaign entitled “Cherokee 2014: It’s Not As Ugly As You Think It Is.”
“The ad blitz will include television, radio, newspapers and popular web sites,” explained Jeep marketing chief Jim “No Not That Jim Morrison” Morrison, “and will feature real-live Chrysler employees explaining, in plain language that the average American can understand, that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.”
“We felt we needed to build a relationship with the media and our customers based on honesty,” Gayer continued. “We’re not going to pretend the Cherokee isn’t the ugliest vehicle since the Aztek, because it is. We won’t even deny that Don Doofamante tried to snap an early photo of it and turned to stone. That’s the first time we’ve needed a hand truck to kick him out of an auto show. But the honest truth is that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee isn’t as ugly as you think it is.”
“Besides,” he added, “Wait until you see the new Dodge van. That thing really is as ugly as you think it is.”
Chrysler today took the wraps off a new limited-production model of the 200 called the Real Piece of Shit Edition.
“We’ve made real strides with our products in the last couple of years, and the 200 is the last link to a decade of really crappy cars,” said Chrysler spokesman Skip Indigo, speaking on the condition that we tell people he is actually 5’10” but looks short for his height. “Our market research shows that Americans consider the 200 a real piece of shit, so we figured, why not turn this perceived weakness into a strength? The 200 Real Piece of Shit Edition is an ode to the motoring mediocrity that has been a Chrysler hallmark since the 1950s.”
The 200 Real Piece of Shit Edition features a misaligned front suspension, out-of-balance tires, and an orange-peel paint finish, and has cheaper dash plastics and switchgear than the standard 200 (“And believe me, that wasn’t easy,” comments Indigo). Buyers can choose from a selection of over thirty different assembly defects, including auto-jamming power windows, creaky dashboard panels, and a mysterious clattering noise from the right-front wheel that the dealer can never seem to fix. Convertible versions of the 200 Real Piece of Shit Edition feature faulty air conditioning and a vinyl top that starts to disintegrate as soon as the warranty runs out.
“All of these defects have been commonly available on the 200 and its predecessor, the Sebring, but this is the first time we’re offering all of them as standard equipment,” Indigo explained.
The 200 Real Piece of Shit Edition will only be available at selected Chrysler dealerships, and will be sold by specially-trained sales specialists who wear cheap suits and too much cologne. All Real Piece of Shit Edition cars will include waxy TruArmor undercoating, a worthless extended warranty, and an aftermarket alarm that goes off if a cat so much as farts within fifty feet of the car.
The Chrysler 200 Real Piece of Shit Edition will arrive in showrooms this summer as a 2013 model.