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The Ultimate Road Trip

We have all fallen witness to the fact that road trips can be long, drawn out, and downright miserable if not executed properly. A summer vacation to Florida can go from awesome to terrible in a matter of minutes if you have to listen to your mother correct your father’s driving skills for first 100 miles of the trip. If you want to steer clear of the bad road trip, all you have to do is follow the five rules to planning an ultimate road trip.

Rule 1: Create the Ultimate Mix Tape or Playlist

When planning a road trip you need to prepare music that everyone in the vehicle will enjoy. So, before embarking, ask all the members in your party what music genres they like and what their favorite songs are. Try to make at least one CD/Tape/Playlist per person, for each day you plan on being in the vehicle. Finally, compile each with a variety of music that pleases everyone. (This rule may be more difficult than you think! So please take the time to plan this out perfectly!)

Rule 2: Add Some Fun!

Road trips can be dull, there is no denying that. The task of continuously driving is tedious, and with out proper ‘fun’ it can make your road trip stagnant. So in order to pump up your road trip’s fun level, look up some car games on the internet. Try to avoid car games that require singing because you want to avoid irritating the driver!  Be creative with this; come up with games that are yours and yours alone (this will help make future road trips more alluring because people will have something to look forward to).

Rule 3: Shotgun Rules…Very Important

A week, or so, before you leave on your road trip ask your party to list 5 to 10 shotgun calling rules. Put them together, print them out, and then distribute them to all members of the trip. The shotgun calling rules will fun, but more importantly, the rules should prevent all in car or parking lot brawls amongst your buddies.

Rule 4: Snacks, Snacks, Snacks

Choosing the right snacks is crucial when planning an ultimate road trip.  First, and foremost, make sure that you pack snacks that will not be irritating to others in the car. For example, do not pack any type of food with an obnoxious odor. If you pack chips, make you they stay between the bag and your mouth because creating a trail of crumbs throughout the car is a pain to the owner of the vehicle. Instead of potato chips try chocolate covered raisins or oatmeal bars with candies in them. Another thing to remember is: limit snacks to ones that will not cause members of your party to have to go to the bathroom a lot. Multiple ‘pit stop’ interruptions are not fun and a complete buzz kill.

Rule 5: Pay Attention to Traffic

Being stuck in a traffic jam is the worst! Make sure you print out directions (as well as an alternate route), grab a set of maps, and, if you have a GPS system, pre-program your destination. Every once in a while listen to local radio stations to check for road delays and traffic jams. If you hear about a traffic jam early enough you can check your maps and avoid sitting in hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic. Also, do not let everyone in the car attempt to be Christopher Columbus and offer his or her personal interpretation of how to get to your final landing place.  Everyone does NOT have a great sense of directions so make sure you figure out who to listen to and who to ignore in the event that you get lost.

Penske Calls off Saturn deal

Recently a news was flashed everywhere in the automobile industry that GM’S Saturn and Penske deal is off, the reason being no conditions for an agreement between the two can be found. The news was reported by David Bailey and Bernie Woodall, who writes for Reuters.

GM has asked 350 Saturn dealers to close down their dealership resulting in 13000 US job cuts, which could have been avoided under the deal of Roger Penske.

Auto magnate Roger Penske had been in negotiation with South African Automobile Renault to acquire vehicles for the brand Saturn upon the expiry of GM’s production agreement. Those negotiations were down, ruining the Saturn acquisition by Penske.

Paul Melville, Partner at Grant Thornton corporate advisory and restructuring services, commented that Roger Penske is a very clear and clever man, if the deal with Renault was pursued and was difficult to happen, then the deal was dead.

Penske Automotive lost 8% share trade aftermarket, when the deal broke off news hit the New York Stock Exchange.

Renault confirmed the news that they had been in discussion with Penske Automotive for supplying cars, parts and technology for Saturn, which had not been profitable for GM. Adding further Renault stated that the deal was off, as the conditions for an agreement could not be found.

GM said that the shutting down of production in Michigan is already commenced for the Outlook SUV and in Mexico for the Vue small SUV.

A very disappointing news; GM stated that it will wind out the Saturn business by October 2010, and had already got an agreement signed by the dealers for the approval. It is really a great disappointment for all those employees and dealers who had worked hard to make Saturn a reality.

It is believed that Saturn deal was a pilot plan by GM to give away with their niche brands and focus more on the growing brands like GMC, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick variants. The company is already in the process of giving out their stakes in the European Opel brand, Saab and Hummer brands.

Penske had been negotiating for Saturn deal, a contract which ends until 2011, where GM supplying vehicles to Penske and after the contract period expires, leaving it free to tie up with other manufacturers.

In a statement, Penske said that without an agreement, the company cannot determine the risks and uncertainties regarding the availability of future products, and limiting the movement of the company.

This sudden announcement surprised everyone, the Saturn customers as well as dealers.

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