Episode 526 – Hyundai Outsells Toyota in Europe, EVs Worry Utilities, 2011 Dodge Journey

November 22nd, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:00

Hyundai and Kia now sell more cars in Europe than Toyota and Lexus. Kia plans to start selling vehicles on eBay. Utility companies are finally admitting they’re worried that an influx of cars plugging into the grid may knock power out in some areas. All that and more, plus John shares his thoughts about the redesigned 2011 Dodge Journey.


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This is Autoline Daily for Monday, November 22, 2010. And now, the news.

In a sign of just how fast Hyundai and Kia are moving up on the world stage, Bloomberg reports that they now sell more cars in Europe than Toyota and Lexus do. Moreover, Hyundai has new models coming next year specifically tailored for the European market, so its sales lead could increase even more. Hyundai and Kia are also taking market share away from Japanese automakers in the North American market. In Europe, they have three factories, in the Czech Republic, in Turkey and in Slovakia.

And speaking of Hyundai, even though it did not show it at the LA Auto Show, the company released these drawings of a car called the Grandeur, which it sells in the U.S. market under the Azera brand name. You can see how it carries the same styling theme found on the Sonata and Elantra, with a grille that has a similar kind of surface form, and in the flowing lines that run down the side of the car and into the rear. Hyundai will not say much about this design, but you can bet it’s headed for production and will be sold worldwide.

According to Autoblog, Volkswagen plans to build a modern version of its iconic Type 2 van, but this isn’t the first time the company has flirted with reintroducing it. If you remember waaaay back to 2001, Vee-Dub planned on giving its Microbus concept the green light, but apparently it would have been too expensive to build. Fast forward to 2010, and rumor has it the project is back on. Auto Express reports VW is trying to decide how conservative or creative to make the design . . . but given how bland some recent Volkswagens have been I’d bet on boring rather than breathtaking. If this rumor is true, we’ll likely see a concept-version of the Transporter sometime in 2012.

Increasingly automakers are turning to the internet to help move metal. Whether they create a Facebook page to drum-up online support or start microblogging on Twitter, they can really reach new and younger audiences by turning to the web. Along these lines, Bloomberg reports Kia plans to start selling vehicles on eBay. Almost half of its 725 U.S. dealerships are enrolled to list their vehicle inventories on the popular auction site. GM tried something similar last year in California but let the program lapse after about eight weeks. We’ll have to see if mainstream car buyers will purchase vehicles from eBay. Speaking of social media, friend us and follow us! We’re on both Facebook AND Twitter. Just search for Autoline and you should find us.

Hertz announced it has teamed up with CODA, a California-based electric-car company, to make its vehicles available for rent at certain locations in Southern California. CODA’s cars, which are made in China, are 100 percent electric, can seat up to five passengers and have a range of up to 120 miles. The company claims that a full charge takes six hours to complete. The deal with CODA is part of a broader plan by Hertz to use its locations as a base for EVs and charging stations and will start its EV rental program next year.

And speaking of EVs, just as the first mass-market ones are getting ready for their debut, utility companies are finally admitting they’re worried that an influx of cars plugging into the grid may knock power out in some areas. According to the AP, just adding an EV or two to a neighborhood is almost the equivalent of adding another house and utilities worry about the cars stressing its equipment. Driving 10,000 miles will use around 2,500 kilowatt-hours which is 20 percent more than the average annual consumption of a home in the U.S. Plugging the EV in could also trip a circuit breaker if the circuit serves other appliances which could knock power out in other parts of the house. Until a network of charging stations is built, the utilities expect problems will occur for the next couple of years.

Dodge is coming out with a completely revamped line-up of vehicles that have undergone massive improvements. We’ll take a close look at one of them, right after this.

The Dodge Journey was always a well-sized vehicle with good packaging. The only problem was, it had a cheap-plastic interior, and a somewhat primitive powertrain. Well, for 2011, Dodge went in and fixed just about everything on the Journey that needed fixing. I recently got a chance to test drive one, and here’s what I thought about it.

The Journey is a perfectly sized vehicle for the international market and I’ve got to believe that Fiat is going to want to help Dodge sell these vehicles in a lot of global markets.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight for Open Line, the biggest party line that’s out there where you can talk about cars with all kinds of people who want to do the same thing. Call 218-936-6581. And the PIN is 2275. Join host Michelle Naranjo tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Open Line.

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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47 Comments to “Episode 526 – Hyundai Outsells Toyota in Europe, EVs Worry Utilities, 2011 Dodge Journey”

  1. David Sprowl Says:

    I said it before, I’ll say it again. This is not the time for electrics. I’ve repeatedley warned of their shortcomings. Now the utilities are coming clean (so to speak). Folks, if we change hour motor fuel from oil to coal, er electricity, more infrastructure will need to be built. The massive cost of that infrastructure will be passed on to all of us. The cost of lighting our homes and offices will go up, the cost to electrically charge your car will go up. All we will do is change from one fossil fuel to another. and we will exhaust that fuel quantum times quicker. Then what will we do?

  2. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Utilities and the grid could be a problem in some areas. But how does two EV’s equal one house when they only increase power usage by 20%? Five times 20% is 1. Most EV should be charged at night, off peak.

  3. Phoenix Mark Says:

    What is the estimate market share of EV and Plug Ins. I think Hybrids are only 2%, not anywhere close to 20%.

  4. Dale Leonard,Lakewood,Ohio Says:

    Hi John, Did the Utility Companies just wake up from a 20 year nap that all of a sudden they’re in a panic about Electric Cars and the Grid?

  5. Raynman84 Says:

    There is a simple fix for the charging issue, and the utilities are well aware of it. If it is clearly and widely advertised that people should charge at night, the problem goes away. Don’t start charging until the major a/c load is gone from buildings, (i.e. the Sun) and the grid will actually become more efficient, since the overall load profile will flatten, making it more efficient for electric plants to generate power.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Most of us on here have expressed the “electric grid” problem is real and would pose a big problem if ev’s become an everyday/everywhere type vehicle.Until that is solved,only a few will use it.As far as off peak charging goes,if ev’s are widespread and those owners are of course charging off peak,it will no longer be off peak and the poor grid problem will still remain.Miss moombeam failed to take all of that into account when she fired a broadside at us.Not to mention the INCREASED use of coal for what used to be off peak use.Good idea,bad timing.Diesel’s are what we need like yesterday.

  7. tj Martin Says:

    Well Well Well . Looks like even John’s reporting is now on board , justifying my concerns etc. about the E/V along with all the major Utility companies . And how many here gave me a pant load about this very subject in the past ?

    Apologies Accepted !

  8. tj Martin Says:

    G.A. Branigan ;

    Even the NYTimes headline from the LA Auto Show stated a ” Dirth of Diesels ” was present . What its going to take to get these US and Foreign Auto Makers to wake up and get Clean Diesels on the streets of the US is beyond me .

    Honestly even though I stumped and supported the guy , I get the feeling Obama and his administration are part of the problem He and his advisors seem to have a very Anti Diesel Bias going on .

  9. tj Martin Says:

    VW Micro Bus

    Damn It ! Do you have any idea how many folks were petitioning VW to produce the 2001 version WorldWide ? Enough that if they had , VW’s bottom line would be looking a whole lot better as well as me having one in my garage instead of the MINI .

    Make the damn thing , Funky , Retro , reasonably priced and Fun with Good MPG . Don’t over complicate the damn thing with Whizz Bang Gizmos and watch every burned out Hippy . Surfer , Snow Boarder , Skier Dude, Phish Head : as well as those such as myself that have toured the lower 48 as well as Canada and Mexico in one as a kid will be lining up in droves to buy one .

    For once in your recent existence VW . LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS . You’d be surprised how much more money you’d be making !

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    If these environmentalists had not been so against nuclear power plants, this grid problem would not exist today, talk about payback being a bitch, eh? By the way thanks, Dodge for realizing that the Journey was an inferior vehicle despite that it was design during their so-called renaiss ance. Now all the dummies who bought the earlier model in good faith are gonna be driving obsolete samples of poor design and engineering.

  11. Roger T Says:

    The power companies should be happy to be able to sell more electricity at night, I don’t get it. I also don’t buy into the idea that cars will stress the grid – it would make sense if we were also forecasting tremendous industrial growth in the same timeframe, so it seems China and the other BRIC countries should more concerned about e-cars than the US and its sagging economy… Go figure.

  12. tj Martin Says:

    @ Roger Y & Dale Leonard ;

    ConEd ( greater NYC Utility Company ) was the first to sound the Warning Bell about the untenable strain E/V’s will create on the grid should E/V’s even take 5% of the market 10 months ago !

    Sure they’d make more money from E/V’s if they had the capacity . But thats the whole point . They don’t and they’re being upfront as to the consequences of the E/V .

    So make your choice . Either power for your severely under engineered ( at present ) E/V or Electricity for your home , hospitals businesses etc.

    Cause there aint enough for both . And everyone has known this fact for years .

    So the Main Question should be ;

    Why are the Auto Makers so Hell Bent on shoving E/V’s down our throats ?

    FYI ; As strained as ConEd is in NYC: the entire grid system in California is worse .

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Roger T.:A few ev’s on the grid(most grids) will not do any damage,but when your talking thousands of vehicles in any given city,charging all night long PLUS the winter load and so on,you would severely over tax the grid system.Even the electric (power companies)have said this.Going by your comment,if power companies had to run at full load at night due to the increase of charging said ev’s,it would no longer be considered “off peak”,and they would charge the customer accordingly.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ tj Martin: We all know that diesels are a much better solution to ev’s in the here and now,but for whatever reasons we just can’t get them.I personally have no use for a car,they can’t go and do what I need.I also have no need for a 3/4 ton truck,that,for my needs is extreme overkill.Give me a respectable 4 cyl diesel in a Ranger sized truck,THAT would fit the bill perfectly.Too bad I can’t buy one here.

  15. Oollyoumn Says:


    I was about to leave you a message on the math problem with your EV story, but it looks like Phoenix Mark has already done that. Your statements should have raise a warning flag as soon as the words left your lips. This sounds like another attempt to form public opinion through fear. I had expected more from you. This is more of a Peter De Lorenzo tactic.


  16. ckernzie Says:

    I’m glad that the utilities are going public about the shortcomings of the power grid to handle EV’s, maybe some electric reality will wake up the green hoards…well maybe not. The funniest thing is that the prime market for EV’s, California also has one of the most overtaxed power grids. ‘Off peak’ charging is essentially a fantasy. If you have an EV that you drive to work in the urban environment (target demo) you are going to be plugging that sucker in as soon as you get home (peak time) so you can use it in the evening or make sure its charged & ready to go when you need it. If you are super lucky you may even charge it @ work (peak time). The result will be more infrastructure, more purchased electricity from Canada and more $$ on your bill not only to make your EV more expensive to drive but make everything in your house more expensive to operate. The coal, nuclear, hydro dam builders, heavy metal producers (transformers) & electricity companies thank you EVers!!!

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj I think it is the government that is shoving all those Ev’s down our throats, hence the tax credits. I think the oem’s are being pressured to go along with this pseudo-socialistic BS.

  18. T. Bejma Says:

    I don’t understand where the numbers are coming from for actual electric usage…

    If an EV costs about $1.50 to charge completely overnight, that equals about $45 per month in electricity cost. I know my electric bill runs anywhere from $80 to $150 per month.

    John, how can one EV use more electricity than my whole house?

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    perhaps it has to do with the 240 volt connection??

  20. Girldriver, USA Says:

    Agree with the first comment about trading oil for coal. We should talk coal every time we mention electric. Coal is plentiful. Utilities are powerful in DC.

  21. tj Martin Says:

    @ Ollyyoumn & T. Bejma

    Take just a short minute . THINK ( yes I know its hard overcoming an entrenched myth/propaganda ) about the FACT that companies such as ConEd : would have everything to gain by E/V’s proliferating our streets : if said companies had the reserves to deal with them .

    And that said Power Companies , if their MATH was off, would have everything to lose by making these comments about over taxing the grid .

    Now Breath….. And add to that the FACT that Utility Companies are in business for one thing and one thing only :


    Now tell me who’s MATH is way off and based on unsubstantiated facts and claims .

  22. tj Martin Says:

    Griddriver ;

    First . The wife is a FED and I can promise you DC’s grid though not as bad as NYC and CA is in no shape to deal with an onslaught of E/V’s either .

    Second ; Coal is plentiful ? For how long ? And at what COST both to the environment ( coal burns much dirtier than petrol ) as well as Humanity ( been missing out on all the mining accident headlines ? )

    And ahhhhh………….. Power from Electricity in the Current Grid System is at 15% efficiency : where as power derived from a current Internal combustion engine is now at about 65 – 85% efficiency .


    Get off the E/V Propaganda Band Wagon and stick your heads into a cold dose of reality .E/V’s in their current form create more problems than they can hope to solve

    @Pedro – Yeah that same bunch of Green Fiends are also responsible for tearing down all the hydroelectric dams in the last twenty years as well . Thats doing us a heck of a lot of good isn’t it .

  23. tj Martin Says:

    G.A. Branigan ;

    What I wouldn’t do right now for a simple , dependable Ranger sized SUV with a diesel along with Zero Blind Spots . But thats never going to happen either is it ?

    So we’re both stuck in a similar boat . Money to spend . Nothing to buy .

    Nobody listens to its consumers .

  24. Dave Says:

    One thing to think about is that when these EVs are charging they are drawing FULL load for the whole time while charging, hours. They are not on / off..like a TV, Frig, etc.

  25. HtG Says:

    tj, what’s the math if only 10-15% of the fleet is EV? What if a significant number of those cars are taxis and delivery trucks? Some energy is regened from their stop/go itinerary, and they won’t be burning oil. What happens when the price of oil/natgas goes Ayatollah? What would you rather be driving when we have to dip into the strategic reserve? What if the Feds can overcome the farm lobby and start importing ethanol from Brazil(I will hold my breath)and we move to E85?

    The power supply problem has more dimensions than the current grid’s ability to power all the new EVs. I think we’ll be moving into a more diverse propulsion world, hopefully with more diesels here.

    Fire away my friend.

  26. tj Martin Says:


    According to the ConEd interview and statements , 5% or more would be more than enough to create dire consequences to the greater NYC grid .

    I guess we can assume 10-15% would be an epic catastrophe . Also in that same interview ten months ago ConEd gave the figure showing how much more fragile the CA grid system is .

    So maybe 2-4% for CA ?

  27. tj Martin Says:


    What would I rather be driving ? A good and honest question , but I’ll bet you won’t like the answer very much as most of us Americans do not .

    Given my druthers and the safe infrastructure to do so ;

    Seriously ? I’d rather be riding my Bicycle . Using the car for long distance and transport only . But in my Mid West City thats almost a Death Sentence due to the lack of bikeable streets and YaHoos in Pick Ups that see Bicyclists as moving targets .

    See? Not only am I logical ,paying attention tot the facts but I’m Green as well .

  28. HtG Says:

    How many cars charging every night would cause the 5% catastrophe? Same for CA.

    Really, a 5% increased base load in the offpeak cannot be accommodated now? How many years to add gas fired mini-plants?

  29. JMann Says:

    Re EVs: And wait till they see their first electric bill. In for a big, er, shock (had to say it!). Electricity ain’t cheap – it looks to me like someone has been fudging the numbers . . . and the primary power source is still fossil fuel. Hello? In any case, I can’t make it add up – hey, it’s old technology. Same physics as when Clara Ford drove her Detroit Electric around Dearborn to do her shopping. Buy a Chevy Cruze (or similar), for Pete’s sake. But, as mentioned above, probably not a problem since they will never become a dominant part of the vehicle mix – just a few %. People looking for the “magic bullet.” Doesn’t exist.

  30. tj Martin Says:


    Find the statistics on the number of cars registered in NYC and figure out what 5% would equal number wise . Do the same for cars registered in all of California and from what I was able to gleen from the ConEd article , figure out what , lets be generous here , say 3% would come to .

  31. HtG Says:

    Is NCY a good example when so few people will charge their 40G car in their parking garage? How often will these cars really be driven? This won’t be happening in Queens or Brooklyn.

    Do you have a link to the ConEd piece? I thought the problem in NYC proper was that the trunk lines needed to cool off at night.

    But what I wonder is how many cars need to fill their batteries to reach 5% electricity demand increase? 5% of cars and 5% of electricity demand are not alike.

  32. tj Martin Says:


    ConEd is referring to the Greater NYC area that they serve. Not just the City proper . So yes folks will be driving and charging in their homes etc. As well as possibly at the work place .

    I’ll dig around in my archives to see if I kept the link to the article

    Also I should of added in my what I’d be driving given a choice , the option ( which I do not have here ) to use Trains , Subways etc. to limit my driving even further . Then car wise I could own anything that pleases me guilt free knowing its only used occasionally . Talk about Dreams though . Safe Bicycling , Good Public Transportation etc.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think our resident Hyundai guru is celebrating the headlines regarding his beloved company dethroning his arch enemy, that evil Japanese conglomerate known as Toyota.

  34. HtG Says:

    Anybody see these figures for LEAF?

    -range is 73 miles(cf. “High Anxiety”, starring Brooks, Leachman, Korman)

    -it takes 7 hours to charge it at 240V(sleeps more than I do)

    -it costs 561/year to charge

    -it emits 0 greenhouse gases(and LiLo would make a good mom)

    where do I sign?(sarcasm alert)

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    perhaps it has to do with the 240 volt connection??”


    240 is only if you want to quick (4 hour) charge (with the Volt anyway). It charges fine in 10 hours on 110.

  36. XA351GT Says:

    Well the other factor about E/Vs and the electric companies is the rate caps expire at the end of the year. They are advertising in my State (PA) that it will rise 10%. You can bet your ass that it will be at 50% of what we are paying now in 2-5 years. So to add more stress to the system only gives them even more reason to jack the prices out of site. Right now they charge (PECO) $.1527 @kwh .Just the generation charge is .0698 @kwh. This morning the news said the rate would be $ .0998@ kwh so that is already more than 10% . So 2500 KWH @ 10,000 miles may not sound bad but it will soon get out of hand I’m afraid.

  37. XA351GT Says:

    Oh and in addition, if they are saying that adding a E/V is equivalent of adding another home the KWH useage is way more than 2500 @ year. My house ( a small well insulated home without electric heat) used 687 KWH last month and that was a low bill. So if a E/V equals that it’ll cost you $110 a month at the current rate for electric. Now that averages to less than $30 a week which maybe cheap to those that fill a truck or SUV every week but my Escorts cost me 1/2 that a week and won’t cost me 30 -40 K for the car and 5 K more for the charger and install.

  38. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    LMAO@ Pedro. Americans are Europeans with Scooters, so In 10 years or so Hyundai will do the same in America.

    From what I understand about Toy/Lex in the EU is Europeans hate those cars and find the American fascination with Toyotas and other Japanese cars to be utterly fascinating, AND CRAZY. They’d rather have a French Shit box that looks good and runs for 2 minutes, than a Japanese car that runs forever and looks like Shit.

    Oh yeah, that’s reason # 3,383,999 why I became an Early Korean Adopter in the first place. They’ve always looked better than their Japanese counterparts (The Small Cars-Accent/Elantra). Now instead of a jog they are running a Marathon.

    You’ll in response say, that’s impossible, but Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Honda stopped making good looking product Circa 1995, and Toyotas were always hit and miss from day one until about 2000 when they became outright FUGLY. Nissan Tries hard, but they always never hit the mark. Lexus, Acura, and Infinti look too cheap to be Luxury Cars, BUT THEY ARENT cheap.

  39. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Hyundais look like luxury cars (just look at that spot on that beautiful Azera featured by Autoline), and are slowly but surely trying to make them feel like such, but arent priced like such. That was Lexus’s old strategy. Too bad they now cater to 66 year old retirees who cant control their pedal usage-LIKE BUICK USED TO BE.

    Please Hyundai dont sell out?

  40. M Campbell Says:

    LOL @ XA351GT “… but my Escorts cost me 1/2 that a week and won’t cost me 30 -40 K for the car and 5 K more for the charger and install.”

    No offense, but someone still tooling around in multiple Escorts (which have been out of production for 11 model years) is probably not the target demographic for this gen of EV’s.

    Maybe try a baby step into a Mercury Milan Hybrid, since it’ll be gone soon as well :)

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke: don’t understand your beef with Toyota, after all Hyundai copied their cars to a fault, including the lackluster handling that plagues Toyota, they could have really hit a homer if they had included reliability and good handling in same package.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke: why are you giving Hyundai 10 yrs to accomplish this, at the rate they’re going, it will take less time. right now they got the top midsize car and soon based on all reports they will have the top compact, the only market they will not be tops will of course be trucks and full size Suv’s.

  43. Chuck Says:

    The reason you don’t get more diesels is your friendly neighborly EPA. Somehow, our standards for diesel are much higher than Europe’s, which may not be a bad thing. My friends who have been there say the buildings are black in Italy with diesel soot. I don’t know that for a fact, that’s what they say. We legislate to protect against that. So now that “after treatments” are available to deal with the exhaust particulate problem, they may be more diesels available if the demand is there. I don’t know that the OEM’s, except VW, are hot for it, after the failed experiment in the 70′s.

    I for one, think diesels are the way to go. 60 mpg is outstanding. For most of the reasons stated above.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    just finished watching the Fiat chick interview, I may add that perhaps a nice modern lounge with free wi-fi, coffee etc may come in useful as the same folks gather there often while they wait for Tony to fix their 500 again and again. Also, Americans have gotten used to getting their car immediately or sooner once they decide to go for it. Having to wait weeks and months for their order to come, they may change their minds about their order and cancel the whole thing, just a thought.

  45. Darren Says:

    Electric vehicles and the Power grid.
    How can California forget the great electric shut down of ENRON so fast?

  46. Wayne Says:

    I for one do not care for the EV’s, but would much rather have a Diesel Powered vehicle. In my humble opinion,that’s the way to go.

  47. XA351GT Says:

    M Campbell, no offense taken, but that is some what the point. why buy a high priced over engineered car that can’t really touch the economy of what I already have. Why would I want to buy any of these cars. At some point I will buy a new car again . You can bet it won’t have a extension cord. I’ll find another highly economical gas powered car that any mechanic can service.