Episode 565 – Car-to-Car Communication, Another Toyota Recall, Pagani Huayra

January 26th, 2011 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:29

A group of eight automakers are getting together to work on car-to-car communications. Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles worldwide to replace faulty parts including defective fuel systems. Italian sports-car builder Pagani revealed its latest creation and this thing is crazy looking! All that and more, plus guest host Peter De Lorenzo shares his thoughts on GM CEO Dan Akerson and his latest moves to put his “stamp” on the company.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 26, 2011. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, filling in for McElroy. Anyway, here’s what’s going on.

CAR-TO-CAR COMMUNICATION
As much as I hate to say it, autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation. Taking one step closer to this goal, The Detroit Free Press reports a group of eight automakers are getting together to work on car-to-car communications. The idea here is to get all vehicles on the road to talk to each other. Sure, each automaker could develop its own version of the technology, but if their cars can only communicate with each other what good is that? There needs to be a standard, which is what they’re studying. With funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation the OEMs will each build eight vehicles AND retrofit another 2,000 with the technology to study how well it works. The cars will warn drivers of potential dangers, especially those that are not detectable with radar or are out of their view. They also have to work on security so computer hackers can’t compromise the system. It’ll be interesting to see how well the pie-in-the-sky stuff actually works in the real world.

NEW MPG RULES ON THE WAY (subscription required)
Later this year the U.S. EPA along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will announce new fuel economy rules for 2017 through 2025. Surprisingly, California has agreed to follow suit. According to Ward’s, the agencies and the state will announce their proposals on September First. Last year the EPA said it was considering a 62 MPG requirement by 2025 which is just 3.8 liters per 100 km. That represents a 6 percent increase annually but regulators are also looking at increases of between 3 and 5 percent.

ANOTHER TOYOTA RECALL (subscription required)
From the “Not Good” file comes word of another black eye for Toyota. The automaker is recalling some 1.7 million vehicles worldwide to replace faulty parts including defective fuel systems. The lion’s share of those vehicles was sold in Japan, but it also includes some 425,000 in North America. Historically, January is turning out to be a bad month for Toyota. The Wall Street Journal reports this is its third million-plus call-back for the month in as many years. The company says no accidents or injuries have been reported because of this defect.

LEAF NAMED CAR OF THE YEAR IN EUROPE
Earlier this month the Chevy Volt was named the North American Car of the Year, but in Europe they decided to give the honor to another electric car (big surprise). According to the Detroit News, the Nissan LEAF was named the Car of the Year in Europe. Nearly 60 journalists from 23 countries picked the LEAF and the company was awarded the trophy yesterday in Paris.

SHORTER NASCAR RACES?
There are a lot of things NASCAR could do to make its races more exciting for fans, but here’s a new one. According to the AP, the chairman of Fox Sports, David Hill, says NASCAR needs to shorten its races to fit into a three-hour broadcast window because they’re too long and that’s contributed to low ratings. But he doesn’t believe he has much of a shot convincing NASCAR to make the change. This is something I’ve been advocating for years, keep the premier races at 500 or 600 miles – in the case of Charlotte – but cut the lesser races to 300 or no more than 400 miles. What do you think?

PAGANI HUAYRA
Italian sports-car builder Pagani has revealed its latest creation and it’s spelled H-u-a-y-r-a. I’m guess Hy-ra. This thing is crazy-looking! Check out that grille, those side-view mirrors and the gull-wing doors. NOBODY is going to confuse this thing with a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. Inside, things are a little tamer, but not much. Its leather-lined cockpit looks comfy and is trimmed with carbon fiber. The Huayra is powered by an AMG-built 6.0-liter V-12 engine. With twin turbochargers it delivers more than 700 horsepower! When you factor in a curb weight of less than 3,000 pounds, top speed should be nearly 230 miles an hour! Too bad it can’t outrun ugly.

After the break, a few thoughts on GM CEO Dan Akerson and his latest moves to put his “stamp” on the company.

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE
The battle for the Hearts and Minds of the media – automotive and otherwise – as well as consumers who bother to pay attention, has well and truly begun. On the one side you have GM’s PR troops, who are primed, ready and already going full-bore spinning the story that it’s Morning Again at General Motors, and that CEO Dan Akerson is the visionary who will lead the company back to the Promised Land through a laser-like focus on the customer. On the other side you have me – soon to be joined by others (as soon as they get their heads out of their you-know-whats and start burrowing through the fog of war laid down by GM’s PR troops) – who see a different Dan Akerson, one who is an ego maniacal corporate opportunist with an overwrought sense of himself who has been handed the keys to an American icon simply because he was the best alternative that the board of directors had at the moment. And who will now put his new found – and instantly accrued “wisdom” about the car business to work in remaking the company, even though that wisdom is made up more of knee-jerk reactionary pronouncements than earned understanding of what’s really going on.

No, the real story is that Lt. Dan is one who will shake the neck of GM until it falls limp in his hands so that he can then rebuild it in his image. And believe me that image is not one of a customer-focused, enlightened, tech-savvy automotive company of the future, by any means.

Instead, it will be a company stripped to the bone in the interest of delivering short-term, eyeball-popping profits for the next couple of years, but which will then be left a woefully uncompetitive, hollowed out husk of a company by 2016 because of a product development process decimated by functionaries imbued with the Akerson gospel of speed and cost cutting – product relevancy and integrity be damned.

So please spare me the hyperbole associated with Dan Akerson and how he is the latest in the long line of saviors for General Motors. Lt. Dan is a corporate blunderbuss masquerading as a switched-on visionary auto executive, except there’s nothing visionary about the shallow reservoir of knowledge that this guy brings to the table every day.

Instead, it just falls under the time-honored dictum of a little bit of knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

The Bottom Line?

It’s going to be delicious to see how all of this plays out but one thing is certain, traditional PR tactics are not going to work this time. This is a different time and a different era and there isn’t enough “spin” at the disposal of GM PR’s troops to present “Lt. Dan” as the next auto industry Messiah. He is woefully miscast in that role, and there isn’t enough “there” there.

Dan Akerson is the wrong guy, at the wrong time, at the wrong car company.

And as long as he’s at the wheel, GM’s long-term future is at risk.

That’s the High-Octane Truth for this week.

But before we go, don’t forget to join us tomorrow as we broadcast LIVE from the Washington D.C. Auto Show. John will be talking with policy makers, technology experts and corporate leaders, so be sure to tune in. That’s tomorrow at NOON on our website, AutolineDetroit.tv. And thank you to everyone that participated in our ticket giveaway. You’ve cleaned us out! Enjoy the show, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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

67 Comments to “Episode 565 – Car-to-Car Communication, Another Toyota Recall, Pagani Huayra”

  1. jim Says:

    guess Akerson won’t be appearing on Autoline After Hours any time soon!

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    But, Peter, how do you really feel about this guy? please don’t hold anything back.

  3. Ron Paris Says:

    Well don’t hold back Peter; tell us what you really think!

  4. dcars Says:

    Unfortunately GM’s management lost the trust of it’s share holders, US government, and the american public. Ford survived, GM did not. They may have got the wrong guy but they lost the privilege of making that decision.

  5. Jim Taylor Says:

    Wow, John. In all the years I’ve been watching/reading, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard you tear into somebody like you did with Akerson.

    Heaven help us if Akerson ends up being another Roger Smith, but they were both have finance backgrounds…

  6. Jim Taylor Says:

    Sorry, missed the guest host preface. My bad!

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m not a big NASCAR fan, but I follow it up to a point. From my perspective, what NASCAR needs is to remove all of the bogus stuff from their “racing.” For a start, how about the “lucky dog” thing. If you get lapped, you get lapped. Then, there are the bogus yellows to let Dale Jr. catch up with the pack, in hopes that he can move up a bit on the restart. If the pack gets spread out, so be it. It even adds to the excitement when the fast cars have to deal with the back markers in traffic.

    Then, there are the cars. They are all alike, and are not remotely like “stock” cars, except that they have 4 wheels. Carburetors and 4-speed gear boxes. It’s time to get real, if you want to call it “stock car” racing.

  8. 66GT Says:

    When will car companies focus on product again? Keep the bean counters in the accounting department. Lutz was right. Build a product customers want and the profit will come…

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know much about Akerson, but I hope he’s not as bad as you think, Peter. Somehow, GM has been able to come up with some good product, in spite of the constant management shakeups. I hope that will continue.

  10. Zieke Says:

    I’m with you on shortening NASCAR races. Many of the races are just for riding around so the track can sell hot dogs and beer. Ok if you are there and can imbibe, but only good for a nap until the real racing starts with around 50 miles to go if you are at home. This is also difficult for the announcers to keep the TV audience because of the lack of substance especially mid race.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    If the car to car communication is able to tell the jerk-off behind you to back off or lower his high beams, or to tell the guy that you almost hit you for not having his lights on at night, then I’m all for it.

  12. HtG Says:

    The thing about 500 mile races is that watching it on TV is a different product than sitting in the stands. When you drive a couple of hours to a track like Pocono, park in a field to walk 30 minutes to get to the grandstand, then take your seat, you want an afternoon’s entertainment. When a couple dozen V8s come by to shake the universe every minute or so, it’s just not the same thing at all as sitting at home in front of a 30 inch screen behind your bag of Doritos. If I watch on TV, you better believe I’m doing something else than just staring at the screen. You want to shorten the races? Cut down on the crashes, or clean them up faster.

    ps. Yes, the fans in the stands do cheer when someone crashes. And I’ve never seen so many rednecks encased in lard, smoking, piling up cans of beer between their knees, and curiously, flipping the bird to unloved drivers as they speed by at 200mph.

  13. T. Bejma Says:

    From an insider’s position, I don’t see any of the terrors that Peter mentions regarding cost cutting and lack of product relevancy and integrity. I am part of the product development process and it is truly customer focused. Even on current product, making the customer delighted is everyone’s number one goal. That hasn’t changed since the Fritz Henderson days and it’s showing in each of the fabulous products launching today and in the future.

  14. bob Says:

    Anderson is sure no Alan Mulally…LOL

    And unless if he is a masochist, Peter should not expect any dinner invitations from this clown…any time soon…

  15. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    Comment for John and Peter about a possible future Autoline After Hours topic: News of the imperial federal govenment’s latest edicts regarding MPG rules for future vehicles makes me wonder… What vehicles would we drive if the government did not dictate MPG, safety, fuel, etc. regulations? (The law of unintended consequences always prevails over laws of man.)

  16. tj Martin Says:

    Peter D ;

    Two BIG thumbs up on your GM , Akerson appraisal .

    Now please do the same with Marchionne and his insane business tactics ( dumping the 5 speed FIAT 500 on us and the Re-Badged Dodge Journey on the EU/UK )

    Its time both these egomaniacs get their due !

  17. bob Says:

    “fabulous”? Like the STUPID Volt? Was this a paid GM commercial?

  18. Tony Gray Says:

    Wow. This episode goes into the Hall of Fame.

    Car to Car. I wonder if they will make me retrofit my 66 GTO with some black box so it doesn’t interfere with all the other cars electronic nannies. I mean, come on. It takes so long to turn over the fleet it would be decades before this gets usable, and by then the earliest versions would be hopelessly out of date. A transponder from the car to the road, maybe, but direct car to car is a pipe dream.

    NASCAR. Full disclosure. I attend the Daytona 500 every year and have been to Dover every September since 1988. Dover went from a 500 mile race to a 400 miler some years back and didn’t lose a thing in my mind. They just cut out some of the snoozer laps in the middle. I think you could do the same with some of the other races as well. NASCAR has a lot of issues to deal with including some boring tracks, cookie cutter cars, and a lack of personalities outside of, say, Tony Stewart. I don’t know what the answer is, but a few more Saturday night races and shortening some of the longer Sunday ones would work for me.

  19. bob Says:

    Marchionne and especially Ferdinand Piech may also be major league Egomaniacs, but unlike clueless Anderson, they know what the hell they are talking about. And Piech in particular has been instrumental in the development of some truly AWESOME vehicles, from the Bugatti Veyron in one extreme to that 2.6 gallon, 341 mile range two seater I linked here yesterday.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    If #12 is so, then why is the public perception of Ford so much better than GM, can’t be all product related, there’s gotta be some negativity regarding the constant changes in upper management while Ford is just “steady as she goes”. ps another Toyota recall but when you ask mechanics what they prefer, it’s still Toyota.

  21. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    For Hyundai Smoke: When can we expect to see H/K in NASCAR? (Then I will know it’s really over.)

  22. tj Martin Says:

    NASCAR ;

    Back in the day , when a Stock Car Racer was based on an actual Stock Car , when drivers from F1 Can Am Indy etc regularly competed in the series and every race didn’t feel like you were watching Professional Wrestling ( scripted results ) a few extra 500 mile races weren’t such a bad thing .

    But now what with generic Cars ( with fake paint jobs to make them almost look like a Stock Car ) drivers who only focus on NASCAR and all the Soap Opera BS in between races ( the only thing worse than watching a bunch of punch drunk red necks analyzing an NFL game is watching a bunch of Beer Addled Red Necks analyzing a NASCAR race )

    Well …… 100 miles or less would be fine with me !

    Actually not seeing it at all would be even better . Are you listening SPEED ?

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t understand the Journey’s UK news item. This car has been available there since 2 yrs ago as a Dodge and because of its size and lower cost it has not done too badly. So now Fiat is gonna sell it too under their own name, re-badging at its worst

  24. tj Martin Says:

    Bugatti Veyron Awesome ???

    More like OTT more money than brains , can’t get out of its own way on a public road in even moderate traffic and by the way don’t bet on it going more than 150 miles without a major repair would be closer to the truth . Oh and did I mention watching an S5 kick a Veyrons tail on I-70 between Georgetown and Vail with the Veyrons driver working his ass off trying to keep up ?

    That was one majorly PO’d Veyron owner when he stopped . Not to mention the look of disgust on his Trophy Bimbos face . A ” You spent how much on this piece of garbage ?? ” look .

    I still laugh over that incident . Which if you read the EU/UK sites you’ll find is pretty common when it comes to Veyron spotting .

  25. dave Says:

    I WAS a NASCAR fan, but the racing SUX. NASCAR had messed up the car over and over again. The same teams/drivers win every week..the sport is a joke

  26. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ; #22

    Because the Genius Marchionne thinks he’s pulling one over on the UK/EU with the re-badged Journey .

    Sad thing is some of the FIAT Alfa Romeo hopeful are falling for it . But most think its a load of _____ .

  27. tj Martin Says:

    pedro – The Dodge Journey bombed big time in the UK . The Freemont will no doubt do the same .

  28. Dan Clemons Says:

    All you need do is put the Hyundai Sonata beside a Chevy Malibu and ask yourself which car you would rather own?

    There is no design left in Detroit.

  29. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,Oh Says:

    Outstanding “High Octane” commentary Peter!

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj if Chrysler had done a better job with the Journey, it would have sold much better, despite the bad reviews I have seen quite a few around these parts, but the majority of owners I have spoken to would not buy another one, or even another Dodge. Personally I have driven quite a bit and would not get caught dead buying one, beginning with its crappy brakes and ergonomically messed-up interior, there are much, much better choices out there.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    My Herr Winterkorn impersonation ;

    Hi . Let me sell you an Audi TT , thats really an A3 thats in fact a VW Golf that if you live in Europe or the UK can also be had as a Skoda or a SEAT . But if its performance you’d like let me sell you the TT-RS thats based on all of the above , unless you need more space in which case wait a bit and buy the upcoming RS3 instead . Same car . Different body .

    A genius ? W Badge Engineering Genius Con Artist perhaps .

    With Marchionne following Hot on Winterkorns heels .

    By the way Bob . Get up to date . Winterkorn runs the show at VW-Audi

  32. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    The Italians perfected car-to-car communication long ago – hand gestures for every occasion!

  33. tj Martin Says:

    @pedro ;

    But the fact is Chrysler didn’t do a good job on the Journey . When Dodge announced that it was discontinuing the Journey in the UK the Press and its readers cheered .

    Which may be another reason why they’re so PO’d over the FIAT badged version heading their way .

    They’re feeling just a bit conned . Can you blame them /

  34. tj Martin Says:

    @Bob in Atlanta ;

    The Italians and the New Jerseyites both have it down to a science. Hand gestures that is .

    (former NJ guy myself . and yes the old habits die very hard in spite of years away from NJ )

  35. LEX Says:

    Peter,

    I would love to see you and John interview Alan Mulally, Sergio Marchionne and Dan Akerman on an episode of After Hours. I believe the first two are moving in the right direction of globalizing there automotive products / fleets. Mr. Akerman is an unknown in the automotive industry. I would like to hear his five and ten year plans for GM. So far GM is not looking very convincing in globalizing it’s brands / fleets. GM still has too many brands and too few real car guys running the show, except Ed Welburn. Ed appears to be mainly into coups and sport cars. What has he done to improve the image of Chevy? The Cruze and Volt appear promising but not very competitive.
    The Renamed Aveo to “Sonic” is a joke. I think Chevy should have re-engaged the “Tracker” name plate for their small vehicle offerings. I suggested along time ago the tag line, “See the World Today in Your Chevrolet” as an updated version of their 50′s – 60′s Dinah Shore “See the USA is your Chevrolet” tag line. GM needs to draw on the pass when they were on top, and pull it forward side stepping those bad decades of the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s to appeal to the consumers of today.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “If #12 is so, then why is the public perception of Ford so much better than GM,”

    There are a lot of “free market purists” and Obama haters who wanted GM (and Chrysler) to die and be liquidated. Ford did a better job of “running the business,” and has better public perception than GM with that group of people.

    To me, GM has better product, especially when you compare Cadillac with Lincoln, but there are things other than product that affect public perception.

  37. HtG Says:

    True story, it happened near NJ. I was sitting in line at a light when I noticed a young woman in the right lane smiling and waving into her rear view mirror. Behind her was a male driver. Once she got his attention, she pointed her middle finger at him, still smiling. Talk about hand signals, I knew one thing for sure; if she had been a male too, there would have been blood.

    Hey tj, you know the gesture where you extend and curl your thumb and index finger, then rotate the whole hand as you reach out of the winow? Is that a nice thing?

  38. LEX Says:

    What is up with Honda Design Studio? The New Civic is just a minor face lift to the Old Civic. The front end of the 2011 Odyssey is what should appear on other Honda models, especially the CR-V and Element. The Element needs some real help to become the more masculine and sophicated version of the CR-V.
    The Accord and Accord Crosstour both need nose jobs! The CR-Z is a waste. I will have to keep and drive the wheels off my 2007 Pilot or trade it in when gas hits $5.00 a gallon for a Hyundai/Kia.

  39. dcars Says:

    I don’t have much of a problem of selling re-badged versions of a car in different regions. Marketing is a huge part of this business. Simply refining are car to different tastes make sense to me. What doesn’t makes sense is selling the same basic car in the same market with nothing more than a different grille. I think Opel has had very limited success in re-badging it’s cars in the US. The Opel versions of the Saturn 200, Astra, Vue and Chevy Venture were probably failures. It wouldn’t be very fair to call the G8 (Holden Monaro) a failure since it wasn’t given a chance to sell. GM may have found the best of both worlds with the Volt, Malibu, Cruze and Spark world designs.

  40. bob Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 26th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    “If #12 is so, then why is the public perception of Ford so much better than GM,”

    There are a lot of “free market purists” and Obama haters ”

    BULLSHIT. This is a GROSS Misrepresentation of the CORRECT, ECON LITERATE Position. GM and Chrysler went broke after DECADES of Horrendous MISMANAGEMENT by shameless, corrupt and idiotic CEOs who were in BED with the equally corrupt UAW LEADERSHIP (I am NOT talking about the rank and file).

    It has absolutely NOTHING to do with Obama, who is a clueless and irrelevant person with NO values, as we recently saw, he is now a convert (allegedly) to the side of CONSERVATIVE Government and Economic RESPONSIBILITY. LOL.

    It has also nothing to do with the decent but flawed G W BUSH, who also is NOT a real conservative, who also spent hundreds of billions bailing out the accursed banks ( a BLACKMAIL situation, he HAD to do it…unfortunately, since the entire US economy is dependent on these incompetent, corrupt crooks in the Banks and Brokerage Firms)

  41. bob Says:

    As for the resident class clown pretending to dispute my 100.00% (as ALWAYS) accurate characterization of BOTH the Bugatti Veyron AND its polar opposite, both Brainchildren of the allegedly Egomaniacal Ferdinand Piech as “AWESOME”, EVERY SINGLE ONE HONEST HUMAN BEING would call them Awesome, FOR different reasons each. In fact, the picture of the 1001 HP, Street legal, 400 KPH, $1-2 million (sour grapes, MArtin? LOL!!!) Veyron should be right next to any Dictionary definition of the word “AWESOME”.

  42. bob Says:

    ‘There are a lot of “free market purists” and Obama haters ”’

    But what can you expect from a person (Kit) who claims (I wonder if he really believes it too!) that the Most PRESTIGIOUS, Quotable newspaper of RECORD in the USA, which ALSO has the highest circulation, BY FAR, of ANY serious US newspaper, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, is some kind of “right wing extremist” publication, as he wrote a few days ago (and at that time I ignored the ludicrous false charge).

    If there is ANY newespaper in ALL of the USA that I would base my desicions on everything important to me on, it is indeed and ONLY the WSJ!

    The WSJ is read and bought by businessmen and investors, as one grad school officemate told me more than three decades ago, and these people are NOT interested in POLYANNA stories or Propaganda, their own $ is at stake!!! SO, unlike the extreme left wingers at the NY Times, they Demand 100% ACCURATE info!

  43. Michael Says:

    Wow, Peter. Tell us what you REALLY think of Dan Ackerson.

  44. bob Says:

    Thank God for Peter De Lorenzo. I fyou want to see the full details, go to autoextremist.com, a link I posted earlier today in yesterday’s forum, which fully details all the ways in which Ackerson SUCKS.

  45. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    re Car-To-Car Communication: Didn’t we all have CB radios in our vehicles at one time? It was state-of-the art for learning road/traffic conditions ahead, where the “bears” were and which “seatcovers” to check out. My wife and sons also expanded their vocabulary on our family trips. Does anybody use them now?

  46. bob Says:

    As for Obama’s demagoguery yesterday, when he asked for a MEASLY ONE million electric cars, this is even LESS than a drop int he bucket of almost 250,000,000-300,000,000 EXISTING Vehicles in the US fleet,

    and as for his rhetorical flourish to cut subsidies to OIl cos, when he mentioned that the Big Oil cos do well “on their own”, he is either ignorant or dishonest with the American People, since these MEAGER subsidies (less than 1-2% at best of what these cos make) were instituted NOT to help BIG oil but the MINOR Oil producers COMPETE AGAINST the Big Oil cos!!!!!!

  47. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    bob @ 45: I sense that you might read James Taranto’s “Best of the Web Today”. It and Autoline Daily are my weekday must-reads. The auto industry, politics and the media are inseparable.

  48. cwolf Says:

    Kit: I agree or can understand your point about perceptions. But I’m not so sure GM has better products than Ford, esp. in the truck department. I,too like the Caddy more than the lincoln,yet they are more problematic; electrical problems mostly. The MKZ may be a gussied up fusion,but there has been nar a problem with them. The Focus isn’t my cup of tea,yet those who have one seem to love’em.
    IMO, GM products are not as reliable. Ford has their own issues that I am not fond of.

    Side note: Do Bob’s rants seem familar? Think the fella’s a southern-boy; wonder if he is a Sen.Corker fan?

  49. Chuck Grenci Says:

    NASCAR has lost its mojo; with the homologation of the fleet to almost IROC style racing (basically the only differences between cars is their engine), racing has become so redundant, that quite a few of NASCAR’s core fans have been lost from the sport. With questionable caution flags and inconsistent rules enforcement credibility in the whole sanction has been jeopardized.
    I’ve been a fan since childhood (when hardly any of the races were carried on television), and if you were lucky, they would broadcast a time delayed Daytona 500 on Wide World of Sports (with Jim Mckay), yeah, I’m that old.
    NASCAR has prostituted itself to the chase of the almighty dollar (and the racing has suffered for it). And this, of course, is JMO.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    What NASCAR needs to finally jump the shark is to have red carpet, celebrity filled, pre race events like the award shows do.

  51. HtG Says:

    That’s F1 you’re talking about Pedro.

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well. then the Europeans can keep their F1 over there, any chance of bringing back “real” stock cars? Today’s are just phony imitations, just look at the Camry, ugh!!

  53. Tom L Says:

    Great job Peter. RE : NASCAR
    All races should be 100 miles long.
    In a 500 mile race you would have 5 separate 100 mile races.
    There would be a 20 minute break between races.
    Cars that were knocked out of early races because of damage, could be repaired to continue racing for the day. This way the fans would stay interested in the races

  54. XA351GT Says:

    I read that they are going to put more brand identity back into the cars for 2013. what that means exactly I’m not sure.If Fox wants to know what is hurting ratings it’s Jimmy Johnson /Hendrick Motorsports winning 5 straight championships. If they want ratings back they need to do what the fans really want which is to give Dale Jr and 2 lap head start on the rest of the field so that he can win a championshio just like his cheatin’ Daddy . You can watch the ratings fall in conjunction to Jr.s fall from competiveness .

    Nationwide races are 200-300 miles long and they are setting no ratings numbers records so shortening the cup races makes no sense.

  55. Rick Says:

    Damn Peter, I hope I never make your sh!t list ;)

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    bob says in post 39:
    “BULLSHIT. This is a GROSS Misrepresentation of the CORRECT,”

    I KNOW someone who has a positive perception of Ford for exactly the reason I stated, and who recently bought a Fusion for that reason, without even looking at a Malibu. You can rant and curse all you want, but Ford’s “halo status” compared to GM is all about the large number of people who didn’t want GM to be “bailed out.”

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    bob,
    Sure, a lot of people read the Wall Street Journal because it does a good job of tabulating data regarding stock markets, mutual funds, currency exchange, etc. In that regard, the Journal is, indeed, the “paper of record.” The Journal also has some good news coverage.

    As far as the Journal’s editorial page, even owner Rupert Murdoch would probably admit that it is very biased, and not to the “left.”

  58. C-tech Says:

    A few things: Autonomus communication (car-to-car) means the car in front of you signaling that it is slowing down, changing lanes, speeding up, and sharing traffic data. An advanced form of this will allow your car to navigate itself without your input. Nascar: A note to FOX sports, it dosen’t matter if a boring race is 500 or 400 miles. Fox only wants to avoid interruption its regular schedule with a sports event over 3 hours. Fox would shorten the arrival of Jesus to a 3 hour event. Let’s see NASCAR make teams use V-6, fuel injected, stock block motors with front wheel drive. This reduces the cost so more teams can compete (move forward to get the competition back). Run modified factory cars (safety first, a Fusion should look like a Fusion). Run heat races to qualify for the main event, 2 50 lap heats of 34 cars, top 17 from each heat gets to the main event 100 laps. Pinks All Out is more exciting than NASCAR at bargain basement prices.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    cwolf wrote:
    “The MKZ may be a gussied up fusion,but there has been nar a problem with them.”

    The closest car dealer to my condo in Florida is a Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover store. Several people here have bought cars from that dealer, mainly because of the convenience, before Mercury was dropped. Recently, two Grand Marquis have been replaced with MKZ’s. I suspect these people might have bought Milans had Mercury not been axed, or Fusions if the Ford dealer was closer. As it is, Ford came out well selling them the gussied up version, which is actually a pretty nice car, except for the price.

  60. Roger T Says:

    Pete I’ll tell ya, you’re starting to grow on me. Nice to know you’re free to say what you really think. Way to go, man.
    On NASCAR, I would focus changes on the main race attraction – the cars. We all know these cars have nothing stock in them, which to me is a big turnoff. I would watch a 500 mile race if real Camrys were racing real Fusions. Would they actually survive 500 miles floored? Ironically, there wouldn’t be enough v8 entries these days. NASCAR is outdated as is- you have a plastic cover, tubes and a crate v8. Make it the real deal!!!

  61. bob Says:

    “Bob in Atlanta Says:
    January 26th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    bob @ 45: I sense that you might read James Taranto’s “Best of the Web Today”. ”

    I know James and have heard him on TV (the weekly WSJ editorial report), but I do not read his pieces at the WSJ nor the Opinion page daily, even tho it is on my bookmarks toolbar.

  62. bob Says:

    “cwolf Says:
    January 26th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Kit: I agree or can understand your point about perceptions. But I’m not so sure GM has better products than Ford, esp. in the truck department.”

    From my own experience and over several decades, whenever I compared a GM product to a Ford of the same specs, the Ford was 1-2k more expensive, so it would be natural to expect and demand that it is a better product (more reliable, and durable, mainly, since most other attributes would be the same)

  63. joe Says:

    I can not believe the harsh criticism directed at GM’s CEO(Dan Akerson) that came from yesterday’s Autoline Daily. I’ve seem some other criticism, but none this bad. One thing about the Internet is, when someone starts a negative story, the rest of the media feeds from it like frenzy.
    I ask, what has Dan Akerson done to hurt GM so far? Some seem to think because he was a military leader that will make him a bad CEO. Give this man a chance and when he does something wrong, then come down on him.

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d like NASCAR to run cars similar to those used in the short-lived North American Touring Car series. They started out as real cars, but were highly modified for safety and performance. The dominant cars during the 1996-1997 run or the series were Honda Accord and Dodge Stratus. The actual racing cars remained front drive, and had 2 liter, 4 cylinder engines.

  65. Rope-Pusher Says:

    Peter – You can’t keep on sugar-coating your feelings like this. If you keep your true emotions bottled up inside you, the pressure will build until your head explodes. You’ve got to learn to forget about other people’s feelings and take care of yourself first.

  66. dcars Says:

    I agrees Kit, their has always been a feeling that NASCAR should have race cars with rear wheel drive. NASCAR could keep using RWD cars if they start driving Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers! but their is a problem, Toyota doesn’t sell a RWD car with RWD the Toyota name. They could use a Lexus based car, but I doubt that NASCAR fits with Lexus’s business plan.

  67. bob Says:

    I don’t follow NASCAR, never did, nor F1, and I also have stopped following any sports I used to (NBA, track& Field). I find auto industry statistics, Energy Stats and forecasts, far more real and interesting.

    I would like to not just see, but participate in auto races if they were in the Euro “Rally” format, even something like the 24 hrs of le Mans where you go round and round the same few miles, but preferably something like “Mille Miglia”, as long as they do not abuse my car (assuming the cars are all stock and you compete in appropriate categories).

    And if I stay healthy 20 years from now or more, I’d also like to break a few records in Senior Olympics or distance swimming if I can.. of the sort “oldest to do this or that”