The idiot's second term of motoring, every month
MG-ROVER ON E-BAY
There was surprise in the car industry last night following the discovery that Midlands-based car maker MG-Rover is for sale on e-bay. The auction for the once-popular manufacturer began earlier this week and has so far attracted just one bid of �10, far short of the �1500 reserve. According to the brief description accompanying the auction, MG-Rover comprises "range of models, workforce (6500) and factory (1) currently located in South Birmingham (buyer collects)" whilst in a refreshingly honest 'faults' listing, buyers' attention is drawn to a number of points including "some models have dated appearance, problems with unions in past (fixed c1980), buyer must be aware that developing new medium car off existing large car platform seems to take ages".
The surprising and radical sales technique will come as a shock to many industry observers but those hoping to snag a car making bargain may have their hopes dashed, as the closing section of the item description makes clear: "This item is advertised elsewhere. We reserve the right to withdraw it if the Chinese are still interested. We will not accept bids from anyone with less than 10 positive feedback or bidders based in Munich".
MG-Rover's page on e-bay, relaxing at home with friends, yesterday
ANIMAL ACCIDENT STRANGENESS
Following a Department of Transport campaign which warned motorists that, in the event of an accident, an unbelted back seat passenger could hit the driver with the force of an elephant, an automotive science expert has issued his own animal-related impact warning. Professor Ken Freeply of Nigel Havers College, Kettering claims that, whilst the government's elephantine analysis may be correct, it fails to take into account other, equally lethal objects which can fly around a car's interior in a crash. "I think the DoT has over-simplified things with their pachyderm-based guidance," Prof Freeply claims. "That's why I have produced a handy chart which will give people an instant ready reckoner for accidents. For example, I have calculated that a tissue box on the back shelf of a car would hit the driver with the same impact as a medium sized guinea pig, whilst a ladies' handbag would smash into the back of your head with a force equivalent to a King Charles spaniel or a very fat kitten." Prof Freeply is also keen to stress that it's not just the obvious items that can harm you in a crash; "Many motorists may assume that something flat and relatively light like a CD case poses no threat", he says. "My complex calculations show that in fact in a collision the driver may be hit with a force equivalent to a full grown skate or sole. Furthermore, you know those air fresheners you can stick to the vents in your car? They may seem flimsy enough, but in an impact you would experience something like having a field mouse thrown at your face."
Although the objects/animals chart is still a work in progress, Prof Freeply has dire warning for drivers who ignore his findings: "Thanks to benchmarks such as the Euro NCAP tests car buyers are well aware of the dangers posed by unyielding parts of car interiors and inadequate airbag provision, but they are blissfully ignorant to the simple fact that in a crash they will literally be bombarded with animals and fish." Prof. Freeply later denied that his findings were "rubbish".
An elephant, enjoying a drink with friends, yesterday
ANNOYINGNESS - THE NEW WAY TO SELL CARS
Being annoying is the new way to sell cars, according to a new survey. The study, conducted by the National Institute of Marketing And Generally Talking Shit, has found that annoyingness has replaced safety, speed and design as the key tactic in car adverts, led by two recent Volvo campaigns.
"Volvo really have shown the way," notes marketing expert Mark Etingexpert. "First there was the Mystery of Dalaro series to promote the new S40. They were pretty annoying. Now they have a major campaign entitled Life On Board and my God it's really annoying. In the old days Volvo used to sell all their cars on safety, which people could perceive as rather boring. Now that they've moved on to tedious and completely pointless conversations between two people in a car I think they can be happy to know that when someone says 'Volvo' the first thing to pop into people's heads will be 'annoying'"
Not to be outdone, both BMW and Audi have mounted major campaigns to fill the front of several magazines with unbelievably annoying gatefold adverts that fall out everytime you try to read anything whilst Honda's recent 'Hate Something, Change Something' TV ad for the Accord diesel has been scientifically proven to be more annoying than trying to sleep in a room full of flies.
Meanwhile, advertising sources say even Volkswagen is planning to mount a really annoying advertising campaign. "I think everyone has to get on the annoying bandwagon," said one German-based advertising executive. "Do you know how to get hold of June Sarpong?"
Some annoyingness, being annoying, yesterday
OH NO, IT'S MANSELL
As the will-they?/won't-they?/oh-just-make-up-your-mind-you-obnoxious-dwarf saga of the British Grand Prix rumbles on, sources close to the negotiating parties have revealed the latest reason for the collapse of talks was Nigel Mansell's droning voice. Motorsport fans were surprised when the former world champion, who recently breached EU hypocrisy laws by calling F1 "boring", announced his involvement with Brand Synergy, the consortium that hopes to keep the British GP at Silverstone. Now it seems his very involvement may have scuppered the deal. "Once we knew Mansell was involved that was it," said one F1 insider, standing inside F1. "We couldn't risk him turning up to one of our meetings and just droning on and on so we called the whole thing off. God he goes on a bit doesn't he?"
However, whilst F1's governing body may have escaped having to listen to the Brummie dullards monotone whine, it seems that the defunct Jaguar F1 team may not be so lucky. "Now Brand Synergy have expressed an interest in buying the team, we're frankly terrified," said one source, uncomfortably close to the factory. "What if he turns up here and just starts moaning on and on about stuff or endlessly talking about himself? Frankly going bust would seem like a blessed relief".
Sniff Petrol was going to ring Mansell for comment but we lost the will to live.
Nigel Mansell, spending time with his moustache, yesterday
� 2004. Sniff Petrol every month. Next issue 3 December
Written by Sniff Petrol, with thanks to tyresmoke.net and Poo
Our used car expert has been to the auctions. So what's been catching his eye this week?
Sniff my misses, snot outside, and that means Garys aren't sturdy. Visited the fingers at Humstable last Terry, no movement, fat ears, bummed a horse. But, did see a well turned Otter go for seven peaches. Dark stains, heavy smell, looked like his cousin. Someone got a wet one. Misty.
Same day, a smooth faced Ashtray grunted through the biscuits at a laslo under six puppies. Fancy gibbon, sparky wet head, alan wheels. Always been moist, but look at my trousers. Nicely.
Fingering was sticky that day, but I licking my face on a grunting Potato. At three Steves over a Puddle it sounded grunty, but complete sheath, easy lean, no smell of monkeys. I got a weasel! Reasonably.
Finally, punched your mum for a handsome Badger, 03 on the nifty. Touched his hair, hard skin, greasy marks, this came off in my hand. A sly one over nine, someone call me Jean. Minty.