blog.asurroca.com my personal blog

June 1, 2008

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (What’s In A Name?)

Filed under: business,thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 11:59 am

I was thinking about the name of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia the other day. Surely, most people don’t puzzle over corporate nomenclature, but I hardly think it’s uncommon for a consummate Volkswagen enthusiast to do. The name Karmann Ghia rolls of the tip of one’s tongue in the same way as the term fahrvergn├â┬╝gen, but thanks to the model’s fame, folks let that side. So, what’s in a name?

The makeup of the name Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is logical enough it’s almost boring. The vehicle was the combination of the expertise of three separate companies: Volkswagen provided the Beetle-based mechanicals, German coach-builder Wilhelm Karmann GmbH created the convertible top and built the vehicle, and Italian automobile design firm Carrozzeria Ghia SpA designed it. And there you have it: The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia comes from the names of each of the three companies that had a hand in creating it.

Type 34 Karmann Ghia

The way the model came to be made by three separate companies is a story of outsourcing. In fact, for such a classic vehicle, it’s almost embarrassing, and a little funny. In short: Volkswagen needed a sports car, so they outsourced its construction to Karmann, who in turn outsourced its design to Ghia, who used a design they had lying around.

The Karmann Ghia isn’t the only model Karmann built for Volkswagen. They also built all generations of the Golf-based convertible (Cabrio in the US); both of the Karmann Ghia’s successors, the Scirocco and the Corrado; and all Beetle convertibles, including the New Beetle Convertible (the convertible top itself, not the entire vehicle). The New Beetle Convertible is the only current Volkswagen/Karmann-made model.

On a last note, it’s fortunate that the nomenclature that begot the Karman Ghia name does not include OEM suppliers. I’m not sure the Volkswagen Hella Bosche Continental makes as good a vehicle name as the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

April 5, 2008

A Long View on the 2nd Bush Administration

Filed under: politics,thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 2:12 am

When George W. Bush’s presidency began, I was young enough for my complaints to be dismissed as stemming from my being young and inexperienced in life. Back then, I worried that the United States was approaching decline; that she could no longer support her people with the jobs needed to keep growing; that without immediately changing her course, we would be lost.

Some eight years ago, we were on a precipice. We chose, by a very slim margin, to back down; and then, we were pushed off. Over the years that followed, we have fallen. We have lost our security, our rights, our jobs, our financial stability, our global standing, and only God knows how much else. And I believe that we’re not going to understand the full extent of how far we’ve been pushed until years after the 2nd Bush administration has passed.

I was thinking of this as I read about a poll wherein 61% of historians polled viewed the 2nd Bush presidency as the worst in our nation’s history. Whether or not we elect the right man for the job this time around, we’re still in for an entire generation of problems. A generation of problems which we will have traced to one moment in the year 2000, when the ship of state was hijacked.

Perhaps a decade from now we will be able to take a long, sober look at this administration. Only then, when we have (hopefully) undone most of the damage it has caused, will we truly understand exactly how bad this administration has been.

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