Posts filed under “Retail”

Mazda RX-8 Bites The Dust

Declining sales and new emission standards forced Mazda to finally pull the plug on the RX-8, the last of its rotary engine sports cars.


Here’s Motorward:

The production of this car has been canceled back in July, and the remaining cars will be sold before the year end, and then the RX-8 will be gone forever. Currently there is no plan to make another rotary-engined car because, to put its simply, it’s not worth the hassle.

As a true successor to the amazing RX-7, the RX-8 featured a 1.3 liter rotary engine with an output of 232 hp, which is amazing for such an small size. At $28,000, the R-8 was one of the most affordable, and one of the most desirable, sportscar. Other great feature of it was the unique rear doors, which gave it the looks of a cool coupe, but practicality of a four-door car.

I had an RX8 about 5 years ago — the car was quirky, surprisingly exotic for a $30k — it didn’t start well cold, occasionally had some problems with flooding engine, and IMO, was underpowered by 50-10HP — but overall was terrific a well balanced car, with great steering and handling, good looks, and was a very tossable sport car.

Here’s what I wrote about the car in 2004

It takes a bit of experience with the Renesis engine to wring out the full power band — once you learn how, its a sheer delight. Yes, off the line the car is no match for big V8s. The torque is light at the low end — but it comes on strong once the tach swings past 5,000. From there, it kicks you back into the seat as it revs towards the 9,000 RPM red line. 0-60 in under 6 seconds is very respectable — but I’ll bet it beats many big blocks in the 30-70mph sprint.

My only complaint about the car — accurately described as a practical sports car — is the  lack of a 2 driver memory. If you build the car for practicality, as Mazda did, they should assume there will be more than one RX8 driver per household. Adjusting the side view mirrors and seats each and everytime me or the wife gets behind the wheel is a bit of a pain. Considering that the car has nearly every imaginable electronic gizmo — Navigation, heated seats, heated sideview mirrors, Xenon headlights, auto dim rear mirror, multi garage opener — it makes little sense not to offer the memory setting as an option.

By the way, if you are not taking the car from dealer stock (we got our 2004 at a year end sale), then order the  indash multi disc CD player. You’ll have less stuff lying around the door pockets.
(prior comments here and here).

There are a few 100 units left — go see if you can buy one at a deep discount…



Mazda RX-8 Bites The Dust
Motor Ward, August 23,2011

Category: Retail, Weekend

Amazon Apple Parallel Charts’s stock-market value exceeded $100 billion yesterday for the first time, and anyone looking at how closely the world’s largest online retailer has tracked Apple Inc. might have predicted as much. The chart above shows the market capitalization of the two companies during the past five years.’s value jumped ninefold in the period as…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Markets, Retail, Technical Analysis, Web/Tech

Best Buy (BBY): Amazon’s (AMZN) Showroom?

Bloomberg television ran a brief segment in which they posited that Best Buy (BBY) has effectively become Amazon’s (AMZN) biatch.  And I think there’s some truth to that.  This is no doubt one of the consequences of a population that walks around with smartphones running barcode scanning applications that allow us to see, touch, examine, try…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Markets, Retail, Technology, Web/Tech

Holidays by the Numbers

Even more holiday chart porn, via Daily Infographic: > click for ginormous infographic:

Category: Digital Media, Retail

Retail Sales Increase Most in 5 years

Leading into the holiday period, the data — and by data, I refer to actual sales numbers, and not surveys, gut feelings or instincts — was strongly suggesting that the 2010 orgy of consumerism known as the holiday shopping season was likely to be stronger than expected. The first clue I had of this was…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Psychology, Retail

By the Numbers: Online Holiday Shopping

My buddy Jeff, who worked at Yahoo during the glory days of the late 1990s and early 2000s, then was President of, sends this graphic along re: online shopping: > click for ginormous graphic > Source: A Case Of The Mondays: How Cyber And Green Mondays Rule Online Shopping December 17th, 2010

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Improving Holiday Sales Reflect Economic Recovery

The numbers are coming in, and so far, the Holiday shopping season is off to a very  respectable beginning. Mall Traffic, retail sales, even dollar volumes are all up. In some areas, improvements have been quite significant. Online sales saw very large gains. We do notice a variety of contradictions, binary conundrums and footnotes. We…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Amazon to Apple: We Got Yer Beatles Right Here!

With Apple finally landing the Beatles for the iTunes Music store, I wondered if the competition was going to do anything in response. For example, at the iTunes Music store, the full Beatles Boxed set — obviously misnamed, as it is 1. digital and b) minus the physical materials (which are terrific) — is priced…Read More

Category: Music, Retail

Anecdotal Evidence: Shoppers Out in Full Force

As much as I loathe anecdotal evidence, I was taken aback by the sheer insanity of the retailers this week before Thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday, I ran a few errands, and it was fairly insane. Black Friday is a full 7 days away, and the parking lots were nothing short of madness. All the usual caveats…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Retail

Inflation? Not According to a Billion Prices

> Those of you who regularly complain/mock/kvetch about the BLS methodology for measuring CPI prices — and I am as guilty as anyone else — should check out the “Billion Prices Project @ MIT.” The idea behind the Billion Prices Project is that we can track inflation by collecting prices from hundreds of online retailers…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Inflation, Retail