The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Photos of my 2007 Suzuki Forenza Wagon

See photos of my 2007 Absolute White Suzuki Forenza Wagon with Convenience Package, Automatic Transmission, and several SWT ( "Suzuki Works Techno" ) accessories:

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

There haven't been many (if any) regularly updated American Suzuki news blogs out there, so go check out if you're a Suzuki fan with a need for news!

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Bob Lutz Discusses Park Avenue! "Ming" & GMInsidenews Make National TV!

Many thanks to John McElroy of Autoline Detroit!

Wow. Watch as Mr. Bob Lutz gives a great, lengthy response to my question on the Park Avenue and hints at a "Return to true Luxury" for Buick. Download the video HERE!, about 14:45 minutes in. - Ming

Quote: "We are studying the low volume import (of the Park Avenue)....and reestablish the Buick Flagship. It would return Buick truly to the Luxury Class."

Also note that the Chinese SLS is mentioned by Matt Delorenzo of Road and Track. And Bob Lutz mentions his future with GM. Bob also did not gush about the Super Buicks. He was very straightforward and didn't spin at all. It was an interview well worth the wait, I think!

According to John McElroy's opening this week, Autoline Detroit's Server crashed last week under the load of all of the people going to see the "Extra" video clip that did not end up including Bob Lutz' comments on the Park Avenue. But the guys at Blue Sky Productions more than made up for that by broadcasting the show live, mentioning GMInsideNews (and my screen-name) to anyone with the Speed TV cable channel nationwide!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Bob Lutz Replies to my Park Avenue Question on Autoline Detroit "Extra"

A couple of days ago I sent viewer mail to Autoline Detroit, a TV show that I have permanently Tivo'd on the Speed Channel. Thanks to John McElroy, my question directed to Mr. Lutz was asked during his interview!  I originally posted this at, and Autoblog later picked it up.

Reply from John McElroy of Autoline Detroit TV:

I got to ask Mr. Lutz your question, but it will be in the “Extra” section that we post on our website, not in the broadcast version.

Link to the "Extra" section (Internet Broadcast):


Question that I sent (note I tried to avoid getting a stock "we can't discuss future product" answer):

From: ****** to avoid spam mail)
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 6:10 PM
Subject: A Question to ask Mr. Lutz if you will

Mr. McElroy,

As of now there are 527 Replies and 31,801( ! ) views on the Chinese Park Avenue thread at this GM enthusiast forum:

Please ask Mr. Lutz his straight opinion (even if he can't tell us when or if it is coming to the USA) on this car that was recently shown at the Shanghai Auto Show. We just want to hear what he thinks of it, and what he thinks of the lackluster reaction to the "Super" LaCrosse and Lucerne models by comparison.


- "Ming" Staff Member of

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Suzuki Forenza Gets Thumbs Up from

Since reviews for the Suzuki Forenza are rare now that the car has been out for years without major changes, I'm always on the lookout for a review. made an unusual move of combining two different vehicles together into one review: The Forenza and the recently introduced all-wheel-drive SX4. Overall the review was positive for the Forenza, not so much for the SX4. Here are some noteworthy quotes:

"Suzukis are popular vehicles in the Hispanic market."

"The Forenza comes through with what seems like oceans of legroom. That and a surprisingly smooth ride lets the Forenza travel long distances in relative comfort."

"SX4 lack cruise control and that's good. It's not a highway cruiser. It's a city commuter with scant inside room. The driver and passenger are very cozy and the backseat offers less room."

"Like SX4, the Forenza also serves plenty of notice if it's driven too hard into curves. Yet it feels livelier in traffic than the 10.5 seconds 0-60 would indicate."

One complaint about the Forenza from the article that I agree with is the lack of ABS standard. This can be forgiven somewhat since the Forenza has disc brakes all around. But the problem is not just that it isn't standard equipment, its that the Forenza can't be ordered with ABS in conjunction with any other package, apparently. To get ABS you have to get a base Forenza, forego the cruise control and other Convenience Package & Popular Package luxuries, and get ABS as a rather pricey separate option. Its a bit bizarre - like ABS cannot coexist with some of the other options for some reason.

That said, I've driven plenty of cars without ABS and never thought a thing of it. And all of them had rear drum brakes. With the Forenza you get so much standard that something like this really stands out, perhaps more than it should. I'm thinking that it's not going to matter in the end, from the mouths of Forenza owners at who say they've never felt their Forenzas were unsafe during hard braking.

But back to the review. Anyway, its good to see the Forenza still winning kudos after having been on the market for so long. KIA and Hyundai are now offering some stiff competition, however, and aside from the still very affordable "long" wagon (as opposed to the hatchbacks some companies are passing off as "wagons" these days) the Forenza is due for an update to stay in the game.

Forenza sales were down recently after carrying Suzuki's sales for some years now, and are not setting the kinds of records they were before, and I can only think that this is due to the new product from KIA/Hyundai. Unfortunately for Suzuki, as this review shows, the SX4 while new is not a good "replacement" for the Forenza, and I fear the SX4 sedan will also be more of an Aerio replacement.

It will be interesting to see how the Forenza fares in the months and years to come, and whether or not it will get any upgrades from GM Daewoo.

Source for full article/review

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