For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: RWD
Sub Model: 2-DOOR SEDAN
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
You know who you are. There's probably a few of you reading; the ones that say, "Why would I spend $27,000 on a new Mazda MX-5 when I could get a used Chevrolet Corvette with more power." Yes, we're talking to you, used car proponents. While it is a fair argument, it's not like used cars don't come with drawbacks of their own, though.
In an attempt to put this new-versus-used argument to bed once and for all, Matt Farah of the The Smoking Tire has picked up a pair of $25,000 cars - a used, but lightly modified, 2003 BMW M3 and a 2013 Ford Fiesta ST. Naturally, there's a comparison.
Farah, as he's wont to do, does get into the nitty gritty of what each car is like to drive, and discusses the merits of used and new-car shopping. But as he rightly points out while testing the M3, "So, it is a good car. But like any used car, it really does depend on the individual car."
Let's start with some history: Ford's Dearborn truck plant, part of the company's massive River Rouge complex, was the center of a strike in 1941 that led to Ford signing the first "closed shop" agreement in the industry. The agreement obliged every worker at the plant to be a dues-paying member of the United Auto Workers. In December 2012, however, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation making Michigan a right-to-work state, which outlawed closed shops. The new law gave workers the right to opt out of union membership and stop paying dues even if they were still covered by union activities like collective bargaining. For employees at the Dearborn plant, the right-to-work clauses take effect at the end of their current contract in 2015.
As a tool-and-die maker at Ford's Dearborn plant for 16 years, Todd Lemire pays dues to the UAW - about two hours' salary per month. However, he's been unhappy with the UAW's support of the Democratic party, and not wanting to wait until next year to be out of the UAW entirely he invoked his Beck Rights, which state that a non-member of a union does not have to pay dues to support non-core activities, such as political spending. But Lemire wasn't happy that Ford still subtracted the total amount of dues, with the UAW reimbursing the difference, so he filed suit with the National Labor Relations Board, feeling that the workaround violates his rights.
Lemire's case is just a week old, so it could be a while before a resolution. Yet, as September 15, 2015 draws near and the right-to-work laws take full effect for Michigan workers - and others wonder whether it could help revitalize the state's manufacturing base - a case like this adds more fuel to the discussion.
Automakers face competing interests when it comes to developing a new generation of vehicle. On the one hand, companies want to build their cars to be safer and better handling, with more equipment and maybe even larger dimensions over the model it's replacing. On the other hand, they strive to keep weight down to the benefit of both performance and fuel consumption. Usually something has to give, and in the case of the new 2015 Ford Mustang, those efforts may have resulted in a weight penalty of two or three hundred pounds.
This according to Blue Oval modifier Steeda Autosports, which states that "the 2015 Mustang ended up gaining 200-300 pounds in this remake". Despite the Mustang not being on the market yet, it would appear the leading Ford aftermarketer has been given early access to the 2015 model to help jumpstart its tuning efforts (a rather common development among trusted tuners). If Steeda's assertion is accurate, that would make the challenge of getting the new pony car up to speed for both Ford and aftermarket customizers like Steeda that much greater.
We're waiting for official word from Ford on the veracity of Steeda's claim, but if true, it's bound to be a bit of disappointing news for legions of Blue Oval performance enthusiasts. Watch this space for more.