Episode 485 – Bullish on Big Three, Nissan Surpasses Toyota, Free OnStar in Used GM Cars

September 24th, 2010 at 12:09pm

Runtime 7:30

A Wall-Street analyst says that the Detroit automakers are a good investment. Nissan benefits from Toyota’s quality problems and surpasses them in the Chinese market. Did you know you could get free OnStar in any used GM vehicle? All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit with Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl.

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This is Autoline Daily for Friday, September 24, 2010. And now, the news.

BULLISH ON BIG THREE
Anyone who owned stock in the old GM and Chrysler were wiped out. Most investors in Ford saw their holdings decimated. But now one Wall-Street Analyst says buying stock in U.S. automakers and suppliers is a really good investment. At a meeting for the Society of Automotive Analysts yesterday Mike Ward, of Ward Transportation Research and Soleil Securities, predicted the U.S. automakers will hit record profitability over the next five years. Ward admits other analysts don’t agree with him, but he says that’s because they’ve never experienced an economic downturn in their careers before, so they’re skittish about forecasting a recovery. Here’s my translation: those young whipper snappers are just a bunch of greenhorns

FREE ONSTAR ON USED GM CARS
Did you know that if you buy a used GM car with OnStar that you can get free OnStar service for three months? On last night’s Autoline After Hours, Chris Preuss, the president of OnStar said that if you buy any used GM car with OnStar, you just have to push the blue button that activates it and they’ll walk you through the process of getting the service for free. Chris Preuss says this could help residuals for GM vehicles and that they’ll soon announce a program with the big-box retailers to start letting the public know about this.

SHOPPING FOR FORDS
According to Reuters, Ford has some more good news to report. In a recent survey released by CNW research, 29 percent of car shoppers looking to buy a new vehicle in the American market in the next six months have a Ford amongst their top-three choices. That’s up six points from last year and 10 compared to 2008. It’s the company’s best showing in the last decade, and it pushed Ford past Toyota.

NISSAN SURPASSES TOYOTA IN CHINA
And in another indication of how Toyota’s recalls and quality problems have hurt the brand, Gasgoo reports that Nissan is now the No. 1 Japanese brand in the Chinese market. Up to now Toyota was the best-selling Japanese brand in China. Nissan wants to capture 10 percent of the Chinese market.

VOLT RANGE “CLARIFIED”
The Detroit News reports that GM revised its range estimates for the Chevy Volt. The company has promised a battery-only capacity of 40 miles, but now they say it will vary anywhere from 25 to 50 miles. Quite a difference. You know, I don’t care what GM says now, they are backing off from the range they quoted two years ago. When the Volt was first announced they promised a 40-mile range, no matter if you drove on the highway or city AND they promised that this rating was very conservative. Now they’re adding all kinds of caveats for low temperatures, aggressive drivers and hilly terrain. I don’t blame them for doing it, but they are backing off the range they quoted before.

TALKING PAPER
Who says you need an iPad or a smart phone to enjoy digital media? Nonsense! Volkswagen is bringing the best of the web to the print world. We found this little gem on Wired.com. In a brilliant – or maybe crazy – advertisement, Vee-Dub placed a small electronic media player in copies of the Times of India.

You know, I bet more than a few people were scared to death when they opened the paper and it started talking to them. Imagine sitting down to breakfast in the morning with a hot cup of coffee in hand. Can you say second-degree burns?

Are fleet sales as bad as they’re made out to be? Is retail the only kind of sales that should really count? More on that in a matter of seconds.

On Autoline Detroit this week one of my guests is Jeremy Anwyl, the CEO of Edmunds.com. We were talking about sales in the marketplace, and he offered up these points about fleet sales versus retail

By the way, in addition to Jeremy Anwyl from Edmunds.com, I’ve also got an interview with Tony Joseph, director for McLaren cars in North America. If you want to learn more about how McLaren wants to break into the sports car segment, there’s a lot of great information in that program. And as always you can watch this entire episode of Autoline Detroit on our website this afternoon, so check it out.

One more thing before we go. I will not be here next week because I’ll be in Europe covering the Paris Motor Show. We’ll be bringing you the latest car news from the City of Light. Stay tuned, it should be a lot of fun. Anyway, that’s it for Autoline Daily this week. Thank you for watching, I will see you in TWO weeks.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

21 Comments to “Episode 485 – Bullish on Big Three, Nissan Surpasses Toyota, Free OnStar in Used GM Cars”

  1. Miss Ellie Says:

    Bon Voyagee!, we hardly knew ya.

  2. Pepe Le Piu Says:

    We await your arrival with open arms et upturned palms. Bienvenue Ami, mon ami!

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Well…….the latest news from gm concerning the volt and it’s now revealed lack of range should really boost sales for an already over priced pos.How can one company make so many bad moves right after being bailed out by us?Wow…..

  4. Roger T Says:

    I’m personally very bulish on the big three performance, hope GM stocks go through the roof to pay back my tax dollars and that Ford’s stock goes up significantly to make my money loosing stock pay me back all this time.
    Regarding the Chevy Volt, no matter the announced range, it opens doors for a wide variety of configurations and applications, unlike hybrids. This is the beginning of a transformational change in the industry, rather than incremental as hybrids or pure electric. GM is fortunate to have it, and is well positioned to do great things from the Volt on.

  5. Mike W Says:

    John -
    Will the weekly automotive trivia contest ever return? What if your viewers suggest some trivia questions, would that help? BTW, have a great trip to Paris!

  6. HtG Says:

    re the 25 mile range on Volt, I can only reason that in driving the pre-production models around for a year, the engineers found out what the real range of the car was under different conditions.

    Maybe Chris Preuss would like to volunteer to explain the number to Olberman or OReilly.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Fleet sales are a good way to get rid of extra stock but it can hurt used car values for a specific model, which ultimately affects that car’s desirability, it is indeed a very fine line to walk for the oem’s.

  8. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Humm, I have 2 words about Nissan’s Growth in China-Tea Leaves.

    As in, I told you guys months ago that Nissan will one day become the top Japanese Automaker. China is setting global trends with cars. It’s only a matter of time before that happens here in the US.

    Despite the hate many of you give to some of Nissan’s recent designs, they have more than what’s needed to get butts in seats.

    Plus they are from Japan= Assumed Superior Quality to those who dont do their research.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nissan has been infected with French Renault’s bad quality and reliability, today, even H/K’s are better than Nissans. Just wait till the Chinese gvt make their people buy Chinese brands, all thaose foreign brands will suffer.

  10. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nissans are among the worst quality cars that you can buy in this country, but nobody cares since they are Japanese.

    If Chyrsler and Hyundai had Nissans quality scores, Chrysler and Hyundai would be all over the news with Auto Journalists claming Chryslers and Hyundais are the worst built cars in America.

    At least Mr Mac Elroy is responsible enough to at least be kind of real about the true quality.

    If Toyota dropped to #2 or #3 Globally nobody would care at the slightest about Sudden Acceleration, quality troubles, etc…

    If Hyundai/KIA became number #1, a Broken lightbulb light would constitute a barrage of “Hyundai is the worst Automaker ever” statements.

    That’s why it’s good to stay humble, and that’s what John Krafcik meant in AAH #47. #3 is great 2 is ok and #1 is bad.

  11. Mohammad Rafi Says:

    HyundaiSmoke,

    I don’t know what you’re basing your findings on (your comments about Nissan’s quality), but my family and I have owned 4 Nissan and Infiniti products and they’ve all been extremely reliable. Plus, the sportier driving dynamics and the fun factor in found in Nissan’s cars and trucks is not seen in Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai/Kia (H/K cars are getting more stylish and reliable, but they are mostly soft and unsporting machines). So, it would help to base your findings on facts, rather than your biased opinion.
    Everyone else here, do a search on the Nissan Altima and you’ll soon find that the vehicle not only is one of the safest, most stylish, but it also has won numerous reliability awards that are unmatched by Kia/Hyundai.

  12. HtG Says:

    M Rafi, our Infinitis and Nissans have been great. No break downs, great quality, great driving feel.

    H/S is just a tool.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Per Consumer’s Report reliability surveys, all the Nissan trucks/suv’s built at their Canton plant have had pretty bad quality problems. Sentra is rated unreliable in that market segment. So is the Quest among minivans, Altima and most Infinity cars have been spared from the Renault curse.

  14. HtG Says:

    I just visited my local Ford Mazda dealer to get a part, and went into the showroom to check out the Mazda2 and Fiesta. Wowsa! are these cars neat, inside and out. The 2 was in grey, so the design was really exposed. Very nice. And the interior is spartan, but hardly cheap in look or feel. I wish the steering wheel also telescoped, though.

    I also sat in the Honda CRZ last weekend, and its interior is truly exciting and well done. But boy did the salesman crawl all over me. I have to figure out a way to convince them that I am truly not there to buy, just to look: which they interpret as a come on.

  15. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Wrong, guys.

    Nissan=24th place JD Power VDS. But that figures when my Versa Tester had Loose Door Handles, and a check engine light after spirited driving-I dog Small Cars.

    Only cars like VW, Mazda, MINI, Suzuki and the rest of the crap idiots and snobby people who Mistakenly think they have a product that’s better than a Hyundai due to name branding are worse.

    By the way, we race Hyundais just fine, and smoked quite a few Nissan/Infiniti/Dacia/Renault products. We will continue to do so. Or, didnt you guys remember that HKAG recently declared war with the Nissan Brands Globally?

    By the way, id say bring Nissan more upmarket to compete fully with Hyundai. Dacias are like KIAs 10 YEARS AGO, and Dacias will never become anything unless they become a true Global Brand-like a Datsun Replacement.

    Im sorry, but anybody who doesnt sell in USDM is a second rate company that shouldnt be taken truly seriously in my eyes. Yeah that goes for PSA, Renault, Chinese Cars, SEAT, Indian Cars, etc…

    Infinti’s are pretty reliable though=13th place but still not as reliable as a Hyundai.

    I am a tool. The Grassroots Hyundai fan, the guys who helped grow them in the first place is tired of the BS rhetoric, and lack of attention at times our cars get.

    These are the guys that were experimenting with Accents 10 years ago, with Turbos with over 350 FWHP, The guys who got laughed at for driving a Hyundai, the guys who have been getting evil hateful questions for years about our cars only to get curious questions now, etc….

    Im one of them, and it’s time to help Hyundai fight back.

    Just say my experience has made some converts, and the other guys experiences have made converts too.

    Yes, we’re pissed. You ragged on us for too long, and too hard.

    Pissed people do great things in the development process of a product.

  16. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    My Car God,

    I looked at a typical Boulevard, and looked at everything passing by for 2 hours today just for observation. These are some points I wanted to go over:

    1. WHY DID YOU ALLOW DETROIT TO MAKE SUCH HORRIBLE LOOKING CARS FROM 1955-2007?

    2. WHY DID YOU ALLOW JAPAN TO GAIN PROMINENCE IN AMERICA DESPITE THEIR CARS (98%) THAT LOOK LIKE ASETHETIC DIARHEA?

    3. WHY DID YOU ALLOW HYUNDAI TO MAKE SANTA FE WITH THAT NASTY GRILLE FROM 2002-2007?

    4. WHY DID YOU ALLOW DETROIT TO EVEN BUILD CARS FROM 1978-2007? IT’S GOOD YOU SAVED THEM NOW, BUT THOSE CARS WERE SO BAD LOOKING THERE IS NO WAY THEY COULD HAVE SURVIVED IF IT WASNT FOR STRONG AMERICAN CAR PATRIOTISM?

    5. WHY DID YOU ALLOW HYUNDAI TO MAKE SUCH AN UGLY 2000-2005 ACCENT?

    6. WHY DID YOU ALLOW FOR OLDSMOBILE TO LAST AS LONG AS IT DID?

    7. WHY DID YOU KILL PONTIAC-A COMPANY THAT HAD 3 OVER 30 MPG CARS, 1 RWD MONSTER, AND WAS FREQUENTED BY MANY EDUCATED FOLK WITH DECENT INCOMES who were frugal, but wanted something more= unlike Chevy?

    8. WHY DID YOU ALLOW THE POWERS THAT BE TO STILL KEEP CHEESY WELFARE CHEVY (oh Im sorry Chevrolet), while throw out Saturn-a Brand that actually started to make good looking and reliable cars before it’s demise? Cars that still look better than EVERY NEW CHEVY PRODUCT COMIGN OUT. But unlike Chevy THESE CARE WERE MADE 5 YEARS AGO!!!

    9. WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING CHEVY TO BUILD THE 2012 DISASTER (OOPS, I MEANT 2012 MALIBU)?

    SWEET MORE HYUNDAI/KIA BUYERS, YEA!!!! THANKS GM!!!

    When are you guys going to get that Americans like Foreign looking cars? LIKE SATURN USED TO SELL-BUT WERE WOEFULLY OVERPRICED KIAs!!!

    Saturn had the right formula, but their cars were overpriced. Too bad they didnt get a chance.

  17. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That Chevy Logo is Ghastly. It has to go.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Mr Anwyll, from Edmunds was a great guest, very informative and down to the point, he should be invited, back perhaps for an AAH show.

  19. HtG Says:

    oh Smoke, guess which special auto maker is going to be front and center Monday at noon.

  20. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Chevy?

    but like I said, Saturn made Sweet cars, and I really like the way that Astra looked, and Buick would be smart if they brought over their Hideo GT from China (Excelle Coupe) as a Verano Coupe/GT. You can also just call it Buick GT. AWD, DI 2.0 Turbo. It needs to get over 250 HP in the hot form, and preferably 275-300 HP. The Regular model should be a nice gas sipping hatch that can be thrown around when needed/wanted.

    Yeah, a great way to get buick in the minds of the younger buyer. Id do it, and take a risk for 5 -7 years. I think it might sell slow at first, but in the long run (3-5 years out) could turn out to be a hot little seller for Buick.

  21. Nick Stevens Says:

    There are the high-quality, very reliable Japanese brands, Hondas and TOyotas, which sell at several $1,000s premium over their corresponding Nissans and Infinitis, and then there is the rubble (Nissan, Infi, Suzuki, Mitsu and all the lesser Japanese brands, with the only exception of SUBARU, ugly but reliable 4wd).

    There is little diff between a Nissan and a domestic in either quality or reliability, and this is the reason Nissan PRICES are not far higher than the dimestics.

    I’d not be surprised if Nissan’s are worse than Hyundais in reliability and quality (and a tie woth Kia)