Episode 568 – 2010 Chrysler Earnings, Daimler Celebrates 125 Years, 2011 Lincoln MKX

January 31st, 2011 at 12:00pm

Runtime 9:37

Chrysler reported its earnings for 2010 and while the numbers are not great, they do show progress. Daimler is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and will give employees a €1,000 bonus. Starting tomorrow, Renault will introduce its own line of tires specifically designed for its older vehicles. All that and more, plus a tour of the new Lincoln MKX with chief engineer Elaine Bannon.

youtube-logo-3

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | Zune | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher

This is Autoline Daily for the last day of January, 2011. And now, the news.

2010 CHRYSLER EARNINGS
Chrysler reported its earnings for 2010, and while the company is definitely making progress, it has not progressed as far as Ford or General Motors have. Chrysler sold 1.5 million vehicles last year, which brought in almost $42 billion. Unfortunately, its expenses were more than a half a billion more than that, and it posted a net loss of $652 million. All last year CEO Sergio Marchionne complained that Chrysler’s sky-high interest rates kept it from posting a profit. Take them out of the picture for the moment and Chrysler achieved what it’s calling a “modified” operating profit of $763 million. The company finished the year with $7.3 billion in cash but it also has over $13 billion in debt. These numbers are not great, but they do show progress. This year Chrysler expects to boost revenue by another $13 billion and post a net income of between $200 million and $500 million.

DAIMLER CELEBRATES 125th ANNIVERSARY
Daimler is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. That’s right, Karl Benz first drove his Patent Motorwagen 125 years ago. The company is so over the moon about achieving this milestone that it will give all of its employees worldwide a €1,000 bonus, which converts to roughly $1,300.

RENAULT LAUNCHES OWN TIRE BRAND
Starting tomorrow Renault will introduce its own line of tires, becoming the first OEM to do so. The name of the new brand is Motrio and the tires have been specifically designed for Renault’s older vehicles. Two different tread patterns will be available, one that Renault says maximizes driving comfort for its smaller vehicles and the other offers a more dynamic focus for the rest of its lineup and its sportier models. The new tires are only available in the UK which can be bought through Renault’s dealers. Pricing for the tires starts at £36 which translates to $57. My question is, who’s really making these tires? I can’t believe for a second that Renault is actually making them itself, it has to be contracting them out.

BEIJING CITIZENS SCALP CAR REGISTRATIONS
We’ve reported that Beijing is restricting the number of new-car registrations to 240,000 for the entire year to try to reduce traffic jams. The city set up a lottery system in order to award new registrations but according to Gasgoo, enterprising citizens who have no intention of buying a car are applying to get a registration anyway. And we know what that means. They want to scalp those registrations and stuff their pockets with wads of yuan. Beijing is now looking at ways to prevent the scalpers from taking advantage of the system.

AUSTRALIA CANCELS CAR INCENTIVES (subscription required)
The Australian auto industry is a surprising victim of the devastating floods that have ravaged vast parts of the country. According to Ward’s, the government has abruptly canceled nearly a billion dollars in incentives for green cars and cash for clunkers. The money will be diverted to help clean up the state of Queensland which has been ravaged by floods for weeks. The move is expected to impact the global auto industry because many companies have development and test programs in the country. Let’s hope those flood waters start receding and they can get that mess cleaned up pronto.

FEWER CARS EQUIPPED WITH V-8s (subscription required)
This is pretty obvious but for enthusiasts it’s painful to watch. Ward’s reports V-8 engine penetration in the U.S. is at an all-time low. Last year they powered fewer than 21 percent of all North American light vehicles. That’s down from the year prior when they took nearly 23 percent of the market. Blame it on the car market. In 2010 V-8s were installed in just 5.7 percent of passenger vehicles. Trucks fared better with a nearly 34 percent penetration rate but the trend there is toward downsizing as well. Last year, 64% of all new cars were equipped with four-cylinder engines.

Coming up next, we’re going to have the chief engineer, Elaine Bannon, take us on a personal tour of the new Lincoln MKX.

LINCOLN MKX
Elaine Bannon is the Chief Engineer on the new Lincoln MKX. We asked her to take us around the vehicle, pointing out the highlights of what they changed on the new model. Here’s what she has to say about the vehicle she’s in charge of.

The timing of the redo of the MKX is pretty good. Crossovers represent the hottest segment in the American market right now. Of course, there’s some controversy about the MyLincoln Touch system, about it being complicated and distracting. That may deter some buyers, but my bet is that the MKX will do pretty well in the market.

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

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

69 Comments to “Episode 568 – 2010 Chrysler Earnings, Daimler Celebrates 125 Years, 2011 Lincoln MKX”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    So,sergio macaroni is doing creative math? Too bad he can’t be creative with quality control. If he were,he wouldn’t need to redefine profits/op costs.Build a better product,and they will buy.

  2. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,Oh Says:

    Not bad for Mercedes Benz in 125 years they went from $125.00 for a vehicle to $125,000. Hate to see what the next 125 years will bring.

  3. bob Says:

    yeah, Macaroni is doing very creative accounting. LOL.. What a snake oil salesman, and what greater fools the idiots in Wash DC that allowed this merger” to happen,. AFTER Fiat had a similar arrangement with GM where it defrauded it of $4 billion only a few years ago!

  4. bob Says:

    That Lincoln is STILL pathetic, I just could not stand this pathetic fool trying to impress us (and failing miserably) with the “improvements” in the “new” ugly whale MKS.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Speaking of Mercedes, AutoWeek just reported that Mercedes is going to start selling front drive cars in the US in three years, and also will sell the S-Class with the 6 cylinder diesel, and C-Class with a 4 cylinder diesel. I’d like a C-Class wagon with the diesel 4 and manual transmission, if they ever imported that one.

    The front drive cars to be imported are not the A-Class and B-Class that have been around for years, and sold about everywhere except the US, but will be on a new platform called MFA. They plan to sell coupe and SUV versions starting 2013 and 2014 model years.

  6. shan Says:

    The grill on the MKS screams, “gaudy American plastic chrome grill”. It needs to be revamped completely. Otherwise, this car is basically a re-badged and way over-priced ford edge. Same Ford Edge optional wheels and same available My/Ford/Touch.

  7. bob Says:

    If I was in the market for an E class BEnz, or a Jetta, I would get the Diesel eyes closed, not only for the huge savings in fuel, but more importantly because used diesel car prices can be as high as TWO TIMES the non-diesel versions (for the jetta).

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Same Ford Edge optional wheels and same available My/Ford/Touch”

    Make that MANDATORY MyFordTouch in the Lincoln version.

  9. tj Martin Says:

    Chrysler Profits ; Or the lack there of .

    Would somebody please put Chrysler out of our misery once and for all !

    They’ve been living on a Tax Payer Dollars I/V flow since the days of Iacocca . They’ve been Near Death for at least twice as long as they’ve ever shown an actual profit .

    Marchionne can’t seem to face up to the fact that he’s Clueless on how to revive Chrysler , Blame shifting on the compnaies current losses to take the attention off of himself .

    Chrysler products for the most part have been Crap for Thirty years now ( consistently the worst rating of any US manufacture )

    Guaranteed if Chrysler continues on , they’ll be sucking even more Billions out of the US Tax Payers back pocket .

    So like a Lame Castrated Race Horse , can we just shoot the thing ( Chrysler ) and be done with it ? Suffer the consequences ( job loses though in truth with so much of Chrysler’s and all of FIAT’s production going to Mexico there won’t be much ) and MOVE ON !

    ENOUGH !

  10. tj Martin Says:

    Kit Gerhart ;

    A Mercedes Benz C Class Estate ( wagon ) with a Turbo Diesel ? Maybe .

    With a manual transmission ? For the US ? Never going to happen .

    I wish M-B would bring over the GLK in diesel form myself .

    So what the matter with the US in M-B’s mind anyway ? We’re not Good Enough to warrant their A & B Class cars ?

    Oh thats right . We don’t buy premium small cars in the US . With the exception of the MINI .

  11. bob Says:

    MANUAL VS AUTO:

    it used to be (10 years ago) that manuals were far better than automatics in economy. This is no longer the case, and many models get better MPG with 8 speed and 6 speed autos than with 6 speed manuals. (for example see the BMW recent vintage 3 and 5 series)

  12. bob Says:

    (those had 5 sp autos and 6 sp manuals, but the manuals were geared for performance, last gear was 1.00, while the autos top gear was much less than 1.00)

  13. bob Says:

    The current civic, I believe, is also more MPG efficient with the auto. Honda is Ok with that, since most buyers get the auto!

  14. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well, I still can’t get past the MKX’s front end. Oh, it’s not Acura front-end ugly but it is pretty hideous in my opinion. I also find some of these ‘cool features’ (the sliding volume and fan control) to be more trouble than what they try to replace…………….how about a knob that you turn clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease. :)

    Chrysler is doing better (not dead yet); I find the call for it to be deleted, unneccesary, as the market will eventually either prove it culpable or destined to survive. There are plenty of other car companies that have one foot on bananna peel and one foot in the grave. Just for the sake of Jeep, the Minivans and even Viper and Challenger, Chrysler needs to be around.

  15. bob Says:

    Whether all Acuras are uglier than that fat whale Lincoln is debatable. Acuras are goofy, but there could be some losers Star Trek fans that actually like it.

    But th eLincoln? Only its mother (who appeared in today’s show!) and Captain Ahab would give a rat’s ass about this not only ugly but also obese, inefficient, and far from truly luxurious, $50k barge shaped like a blue whale!

    Advice to Lincoln: lose the baleens ASAP! and submit the MKS and all your other alphanumeric POS cars and delivery vans to a RUTHLESS Diet!!!

  16. Wayne Says:

    tj, etal
    I hope that you don’t have any encounters with any Chrysler employees and spout your crap at them. Most of them are dedicated to their jobs and put every effort they can into producing decent products. For you to basically threaten their livelyhood will really go over well I am sure. Every (and I mean every!) automaker has produced less than stellar products at some point and for you folks to condemn a select one or few without giving them a chance to redeam themselves is very biased and short sighted. To use your logic, Toyota, Honda and other Japanese automakers should have been gone long ago because their early efforts were absolute garbage for the North American market. If in a few years Chrysler and others return to their old ways then feel free to condemn them then but until then let’s see what happens.

  17. ckernzie Says:

    She said the ??.. grill on the MKX?? It is definitely distinctive if nothing else but I think they can do better. If Lincoln is going to have any relevance in the market they’ll have to have their own very distinct vehicles &/or platforms not warmed over Fords (save the Falcon & make it a Lincoln in N.AM. please!) They will also have to drop their MKAlphabet soup nomenclature because if seasoned ‘car guys/gals’ can’t keep track of which is which then you’ve got a problem.

  18. Tom L Says:

    Hi John. Pirelli make the tyers for Renault.
    CEO Sergio Marchionne is trying hard to make excellent cars.
    He has the unions in Italy working with him.
    All car company’s at one time or another have built crappy cars.

  19. tj Martin Says:

    @ Wayne ;

    Show me one solitary brand , in any given year that has had such an abysmal Reliability Record and Overall rating as Chrysler has consistently had for the last 40 years.

    Then show me again any other US Auto Company that has thrown away more of our Tax Payer Dollars than Chrysler has ?

    You want respect for the Company and its Workers ? Then have them start putting out a decent quality product . Until then Chrysler is just another Leach sucking the financial blood out of the American people .

  20. tj Martin Says:

    Tom L ;

    I’m not sure what news you’re reading , but all the news from the UK and Europe contradicts your ” …. He has the Unions in Italy working with him ”

    From what the Italian Press has been saying in fact is that Marchionne bullied his way with the Unions in Italy .. Threatening to move all FIAT Alfa Romeo etc production to Italy as well as to sell off Ferrari . Not exactly cooperation .

  21. tj Martin Says:

    # 20 should of read ” from Italy to Mexico “

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Seeing the Lincoln from the front, I would suspect that lady was traumatized by the film Jaws when she was just a teen. No matter how much Sergio wants to make people think Chrysler products are great now, it takes a long time and a lot of effort to make significant improvements in reliability and quality, this is mostly window dressing.

  23. Alex Zauder Says:

    Since Chrysler sold 1,5 million cars in 2010 their vehicles must have merit in the eyes of 1.5 million americans.
    Even as Chrysler had continuous quality issues they had many car lines that were quite comparable with U.S. quality standards and brought many technical innovations to market.
    As far as finance is concerned, after the acquisition by Fiat there is no indication that our government had to invest additional funds.
    And wayne, stop the extreme rhetoric, especially if you do not know the subject you spew vitriol on.

  24. mike g Says:

    Hey retard bob, the story was on the MKX not the MKS. I love it when you trip over your own arrogance (and you have plenty of it!).

  25. GPL Says:

    Anyone else notice that we haven’t heard from HyundaiSmoke since the riots started in Egypt?

  26. dcars Says:

    FYI, Chrysler’s reliably ratings and fleet economy went down under Daimler’s ownership. Fiat and US’s dollars were the only chance to save Chrysler.

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @Alex Zauder ;

    Last week the NYTimes etc. had the story that Marchionne was asking for an ” Additional ” $3 Billion in Government Subsidies down from his originally requested $8.7 Billion .

    @ GPL ; You don’t think .. do you ?

    @dcars – Chryslers reliability was in the tank well before Daimler ever stepped foot into the mess that is and was Chrysler .

  28. dcars Says:

    Healthy disagreement and statement of one’s opinion with background information is always appreciated.
    Name calling is never acceptable.

  29. dcars Says:

    Maybe not good before M&B but it did get worse after they took control.

  30. tj Martin Says:

    Anyone seen the new story today about Chryslers new ” S ” Line ?

    That should work real well . Stick on some fake carbon fiber trim , name after the existing Audi S Line ( wonder what Audi will have to say about this ) and hope the under 62 ( average Chrysler product customer age ) crowd will come marching into the Showrooms .

    Don’t try ” Fixing ” all the problems first . Just give it a new moniker with a bunch of glue ons and hope for the best .

  31. tj Martin Says:

    dcars ;

    Would you mind addressing your posts to the individual intended please . I wound up looking over every post I’d placed today to see if I’d inadvertently offended you till I realized you were addressing someone else .

    Thanks !

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would dare say that MB reliability went down after they acquired Chrysler, considering MB was much better than Chry went they “merged”. Yesterday I detailed sis’ Journey, it just screams “CHEAP’ from every single nook and cranny.

  33. dcars Says:

    Sorry, TJ. No one has offend me. Thanks for asking. A couple of times the posts included names directed at individuals/blogers. I was referring to post #24.

  34. GPL Says:

    tj, not really, but I find the coincidence entertaining.

  35. tj Martin Says:

    @dars ;

    I know this is personal experience , but I cannot remember a time when Chrysler reliability wasn’t bad .

    From my time doing the HS Drag Racing scene in the 70′s , with the MOPAR crowd having triple the problems those of us with GM and Ford products had : to the present with friends and associates that have Vipers , breaking down twice as often as even the EuroSnob bunches cars , never mind the Vettes

    @pedro ;

    I’m in complete agreement . Everything I’ve experienced and read says Chrysler brought Mercedes down a notch not visa versa . Only the Dartmouth report saying otherwise .

    Just try driving a 300C back to back yourself with the same year Mercedes its based on and see how obvious it was that something critical was ” Lost in Translation ” Better yet drive the Crossfire and its platform sharing SLK back to back . That ones even worse .

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @ dcars ; I caught on after I saw # 24 but had to make sure .

    @GPL ; Damn ! You got my hopes up for a minute :o )

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    tj, precisely, the new Jeep and Durango are based on the older MB SUV chassis and they’re both getting accolades, just like Ford did with its Mazda derived Fusion and Focus.

  38. Tom L Says:

    To: tj
    You are right about Marchionne .He did “talk” to the unions.
    He told them to build better cars or be out of work.
    The 500 could do very well in North America.
    I looked at a new Jeep. Paint was very good, interior was improved and panel gaps were uniform

  39. cwolf Says:

    I like the Lincoln cars,but have to say you guys are right on target. Now that Mercury no longer exists,there is no excuse why more money and engr./design hasn’t been invested in the Lincoln line-up to create a look(distinctive/better) of their own that screems luxury. They are really missing out on a great oportunity.Lincoln will never become competitive simply by putting jewelry on Fords and charging an extra 5 grand for a little “Bling”.
    Hey fellas! I drove past a Fiat 500 on the way home from work on the expressway. At 70 mph,with window down, it didn’t sound like a lawn mower,nor laboring at this speed. Interior looked simple. To be honest, it looked like a smooshed Rio! Even the head lights were round. If there were any trunk space,it would have to be imagined. It might be an O.K. errand car…but I’ll pass.
    I feel bad for those devistated by the Australian floods, and to those who buy one of those heaps off the used car lot in the very near future.

  40. C-tech Says:

    Another day, more stupid Chrysler critics. The financial analysis is correct. You looking at what the details of the big numbers to see where your company is going and/or where you can take it. Mopar drag racers spend more on their cars because there ís not the parts volume like Ford and Chevy. Some racers cut corners and it shows up on the track. But let their be no mistake, the top drag racers and top stock cars in the past have been Mopars for a reason. If any company deserves to be out of business it is GM. Lost market share, making vehicles more cheaply, and questionable engineering over the last 30 years. The market will speak for itself as far as Marchionne and Akerson are concerned. I wish them the best of luck, they will need it. As far as your sister’s Journey Pedro, either the tech at the dealership is yanking your chain on the brakes and really doesn’t know what he’s doing or there are some details lacking.

  41. C-tech Says:

    The decline of V-8′s in the mix of today’s cars is not a bad thing imho. The fleet today and in the future will be more fuel efficient. Future hot rods will come back around to the hopped up 4 and 6 cylinder engines as in the past. The question John, will we see more factory performance parts for those 4 and 6 cyl engines?

  42. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Who gives a shit what you old guys think. I’d rather buy a Chrysler/FIAT over a Toyota.

    Too bad the North American Car of the Year competition is TOTALLY RIGGED. They continue to treat Hyundai/KIA like second fiddles even though Hyundai/KIAs run circles around the pack.

    2009 Genesis car of the Year=NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    THE SONATA WAS BUILT SPECIFICALLY TO WIN THAT AWARD, AND WHAT THE FU-K HAPPENED? A GM WITH A TON OF BROKEN PROMISES AND AN OVERPRICED MSRP BEHIND IT WON.

    YEP THAT COMPETITION IS RIGGED.

    ANYTHING BUT A TOYOTA/LEXUS OR GM PRODUCT

    THAT’S CHANGE!!!

    Goooooo…..HKAG!!!!

  43. Wayne Says:

    Alex and tj;
    I have 2 close relatives who work for Chrysler. Both of them go to work each day and try hard to put good product out the door simply because their livelyhood depends on it. Neither of them were happy with the direction the company was headed before the bankrupcy/bailout but are now more optimistic about the future. Whether their optimism will continue is again something we will have to wait and see about.
    As for the quality of Chrysler products, from my experience of owning them for over 20 years now, I have not encountered any serious issues (a few minor ones covered under warranty, yes). 2 of them were almost 15 years old when we finally replaced them. The only disappointment was the interior in our present minivan. Admittedly cheap and way too much plastic. Thankfully it is a lease and is being returned shortly. The interiors appear to have been much improved in most cases across the product line and this trend must continue for them to remain viable. The only real lemon mechanically I have ever owned was a GM product and I had a Honda Accord that you could see through the body after 3 years. tj, if you are citing statistics from Consumer Reports I can see where your bias is coming from and won’t bother to comment further.

  44. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    If it wasnt for Audi and Bugatti, I’d add VWAG to my anything but list.

    Lambo= YAWN They should be making Minority report cars now instead of making
    VW= Rubbish
    SEAT=poop
    Skoda= Absolutely Not
    Porsche= Good Powertrains Garbage Design

    People being Mean to Hyundai only Made Hyundai better.

    People being nice to the other brands, and journalists considering the fact that people put in tons of work for those other brands only holds the other brands back.

    If people were as nice to Hyundai Auto Group as they are with VWAG or Toyota, then Hyundais still would be absolute crap.

    Automotive Journalists are still way way way way too nice to VWAG and Toyota/Lexus, while still dismissive of Hyundai/KIA.

    Outside of Buick, I still think GM cars are being judged only on look and feel as opposed to actual long term quality.

    From my intelligence the Chevy Products still arent going to be long term duralbility winners.

    It’s about your testing process.

    Figure it out.

    This is the reason why a Midsized car engine was placed in Buick Verano intead of a proper small car engine. Your new small car Powertrains have problems, and you’re keeping that a secret, but anybody who does intelligence on your product would know why.

    It’s your fault though.

    Like I said, it’s the testing process. Figure it out.

    It’s Volkswagen’s problem too.

  45. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Toyota is starting to have the same problem as well.

  46. bob Says:

    “mike g Says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Hey retard bob,”

    Hey LORD of the Village idiots, who, since you brought it up, if you only had 1% of my brains, you would be FAR smarter than what you are, A-hole,

    Big hairy deal. I commented on the ATROCITY she SHOWED on the video, but ALL Lincolns SUCK. BIG TIME, and any way you dumbasses that paid $50k to get one of these automotive atrocities, slice it.

    Now go away. Your village is needing you, you stupid PUNK!

  47. bob Says:

    “HyundaiSmoke Says:
    February 1st, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Who gives a shit what you old guys think. I’d rather buy a Chrysler/FIAT over a Toyota.”

    Of course you would. You’re a moron.

  48. bob Says:

    ”Life’s tough ……….. it’s even tougher if you’re stupid..”
    – John Wayne

    Dedicated to Hyundai Smoke and Mike G.

  49. bob Says:

    “tj Martin Says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    @ Wayne ;

    Show me one solitary brand , in any given year that has had such an abysmal Reliability Record and Overall rating as Chrysler has consistently had for the last 40 years.”

    Just for the fun if it, I’ll say Audi. (or Land Rover, they really stink, rock bottom with 400 faults per 100 vehicles for decades, when Lexuses have less than 50)

    But Audi has many other things going for it,

    1. For decades it was the only one of the German :Big 3″ high-quality carmakers (or Luxury if you prefer) that had FWD and 4WD, popular with the affluent Northeasterners,

    2. pretty exterior styling for most its models, (recently a bit boring and over the top with the yawning grilles)

    and 3. The best interiors in the Auto Business

    An A6, despite being an old model, even won the comparo with the new BMW 5 and some ugly Infiniti 37 or sumtin in C&D..

  50. bob Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/01/review-2011-hyundai-elantra/

    A thorough review. The new Elantra is a mixed bag. 40 MPG but it is no Civic, quality-wise.

  51. bob Says:

    January sales come out this afternoon, but January Production numbers are more or less known (excluding Mon Jan 31)

    The Ford Transit Connect is not even made in Mexico (but in Turkey) so the NA prod data do not include it.

    Fiesta-10,395

    Cruze-20,233!

    Equinox-19,143+7,739 for its mechanical twin the GMC Terrain

    Fiat 500 (Mexico) 1,427 (Ah… the Passion!)

    Crosstour: 914 (right, not.. 9.140!)

    Venza: 3,781 (4 to 1!)

    Rav 4: 14,000

    Corolla 18,700

    Accord: 24,468

    CR-V: 22,272

    Elantra (US) 12,808

    Sonata (US) 11,533

    Civic: about 20,850

    ALL 5 or so Mitsu models: 3,706….

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My father drove nothing but Chrysler products for most of my life, and had few serious problems with them. His last car was a ’97 Stratus. I mostly drove Chysler products before I worked for GM. The ones I had also did fine. I had a 6 cylinder Plymouth Duster which was a good car, for the time. I still have an ’89 Caravan which I bought new. It gets only occasional use, but has been very reliable. The A/C went 19 years before needing a refrigerant recharge. How many cars do that?

    The current Chysler lineup is a mixed bag, but there is some good stuff there, at least for the price. The 300 and Charger are good cars, and good values, for those convinced that there is something wrong with front drive. The minivans have always been well packaged, and they now have a conmpetitive engine. Jeep Wrangler is in a class by itself, and has a real following. It needs a different engine, but will probably get it soon.

  53. dcars Says:

    Hey bob,
    You have some very interesting posts, but you seam a bit angry. Civility when disagreeing is always appreciated. Besides its’ just cars.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Bob,
    That was a good review of the Elantra by the “serious” TTAC guy. While the Elandra has it’s strong points, it sounds like there are real shortcomings, like crappy suspension.

    The “extra mild hybrid” technique of de-clutching the alternator makes a lot of sense. It shouldn’t cost a lot to do, and you would save at least a little gas if you do most of the battery charging while slowing down.

  55. bob Says:

    # dcars Says:
    February 1st, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hey bob,
    You have some very interesting posts, but you seam a bit angry. Civility when disagreeing is always appreciated. Besides its’ just cars.

    DCARS: I always come here for serious discussions and do NOT intend to insult anybody, BUT when some village idiot like MIK G STARTS a fight, I give him what he gave me AND THEN SOME.

    You can bet that when a clueless idiot like Mike G calls me a “retard”, that I will be indignant. Is there anything wrong with that? It just proves that, unlike him, I have a PULSE as well as BRAIN ACTIVITY.

    I suggest you read the WHOLE THREAD before you complain, and direct your complaints to MIKE G, NOT ME. I did NOT call HIM names, I only commented on the STUPID LINCOLNS, that are inanimate CARS,but HE escalated it.

    SO, if you are a FAIR PERSON, you should have objected to MIKE G, NOT ME.

  56. bob Says:

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    February 1st, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Bob,
    That was a good review of the Elantra by the “serious” TTAC guy. While the Elandra has it’s (correct: its) strong points, it sounds like there are real shortcomings, like crappy suspension.”

    And don’t forget a cheap interior with hard plastics. This is not acceptable any more, not if you have to pay almost $20k to get this little POS!

    “The “extra mild hybrid” technique of de-clutching the alternator makes a lot of sense. It shouldn’t cost a lot to do, and you would save at least a little gas if you do most of the battery charging while slowing down.”

    I am not familiar with this, do you know how much cost it adds to the vehicle, or how much cheaper it is to having a Euro style start-stop system?

  57. bob Says:

    I thought the previous Elantra was a good utilitarian design too, esp. the 5-door semi-wagon -hatch version, but Mike Karesh did not think highly of it in his review of the new one. But I have not test driven any Elantras, ever, so I am not an expert on them.

  58. dcars Says:

    Hi bob,
    See post #33 and #28.

  59. bob Says:

    Dcars,

    I did go back and see what you want me to see, twice, since there was no reference in your posts to either me or, especially, Mike G who was the initial offender.

  60. bob Says:

    You may have posted them in response to mike G’s unprovoked personal attack on me, but “may” is the word here, there is no proof of that other than that your post followed his (a few posts after his, to be exact).

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “I am not familiar with this, do you know how much cost it adds to the vehicle, or how much cheaper it is to having a Euro style start-stop system?”

    The article you linked is the first I had heard of it, so I haven’t heard anything about how much it would cost.

    I’d think the most expensive thing about Euro style start-stop would be the need for a much more durable starter than for a regular car.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some start-stop cars use a combination starter/generator which turns all the time, but I just read that BMW uses a “heavy duty” conventional starter for some of its start-stop cars.

  63. Paul Richards Says:

    Is there anyway to put bob back in the cage with the other wild mangy mutts? What a complete and utter phucking moran!. Hey bob, long live LINCOLN. I happen to think the grill on the MKX is gorgeous. And it IS the MKX in case you forgot your glasses again. Now get lost and go spew your unfounded hatred elsewhere.

  64. bob Says:

    It’s a shame that current EPA MPG rules do not reward start-stop and this is why most makers do not bother to spend the $ to offer start-stop cars in the US if the official MPG rating will not change

  65. bob Says:

    The next few years should be very interwesting with all these MPG improvements, but the Q is at what price they will sell these improved cars

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    In real heavy traffic, stop start may save money, but in the long run it will cost you in extra wear and tear and replacing the starter motor. I have driven 2 Toyotas over 1/2 million miles in about 18 yrs and never had to replace one single starter, even though I turn on the car approx 12 to 15 times per day, with the stop start system, it would probably quadruple. My opinion of Chrysler is based on the opinions of many techs I have spoken to, NOT on personal experience. The same techs that tell me Honda and Toyota and Lexus are the most reliable.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Same with stick vs auto, in heavy traffic the replacement of the clutch and your left knee will kill any savings in gas and initial cost of getting a stick. I have noticed even UPS and Fedex delivery vans and trucks now come with automatic.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As far as manual trasmissions, with today’s cars, they only make sense for people who just like to drive them. For many years, big-engine cars have performed as well with automatics, and since lock-up torque converters came along, the automatics have matched, or nearly matched gas mileage of a well-driven manual.

    With small-engine cars, it has been more recently that the autos have matched, or nearly matched manuals in performance and mpg, but with torque converter-less auto boxes like VW’s DSG, any practical benefit of a manual is gone, except for the initial price difference of the car.

    Still, some of us like to drive manual transmission cars “for the fun of it,” at least part of the time. I wouldn’t want an automatic in my Mini, especially since I can drive my very automatic Prius when I don’t want to shift gears and work a clutch.

  69. Truman Lewis Says:

    The MKX is one ugly ducking — and they should show the car and send the engineer to broadcast training — show the car not the talking head.