Episode 609 – Production Delays, Chrysler Gets Vehicles Back, No Crosscabriolet for Canada

March 29th, 2011 at 12:02pm

Runtime 8:31

The news coming out of Japan isn’t getting any better.  Deutsche Bank says production will not return to normal until October!  Chrysler got back some 700 vehicles that were being held hostage by car-hauling company Allied Holdings.  Nissan of Canada has turned down the Murano Crosscabriolet and this drop-top crossover will not be offered in the country.  All that and more, plus John sits down with author and former Ford executive Anne Doyle to talk about enemies in the workplace.


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

This is Autoline Daily for March 29, 2011. And now, the news.

And the news out of Japan isn’t getting any better. Bloomberg reports that Toyota says the recovery is going to take a long time and that the impact on certain models is going to be significant. Nissan says everything will be cleaned up by the end of the first quarter, but remember, Japanese companies operate on a March 31st fiscal cycle, meaning that the end of the first quarter for Nissan isn’t until the end of June. But a report from Deutsche Bank says production will not return to normal until October. It also says Japanese automakers are going to rack up big losses in the first half of their fiscal year. And all this will ripple through the global auto industry, which will have a negative impact on global suppliers.

Now for the latest on the alleged espionage scandal involving Renault. A private investigator who Renault had hired was arrested. He’s the guy who charged the French automaker well over $400,000 for information suggesting some of its employees were selling secrets about electric cars to the Chinese. Earlier this month, a security official who worked for Renault was also arrested in connection with this fraud.

When he isn’t the chairman of Ford, Bill Ford Jr. is investing in small startup companies with an investment firm he co-founded, Fontinalis Partners. According to The Detroit News, one of those companies is Parkmobile USA, which created a free service that allows you to pay a parking meter with your smartphone. The app will also alert you to let you know if the meter is about to run out. The company is also considering using its technology to help drivers locate parking spaces or let a driver know how many spaces are available in a parking garage. The service is available in about 30 U.S. cities. Bill Ford Jr. created the firm to invest in companies that help improve the mobility and transportation infrastructure.

Last week we reported that GM and Chrysler vehicles were being held hostage by a car-hauling company. Now Bloomberg reports that Chrysler got back 700 of its vehicles from Allied Holdings. The automaker sued Allied in a Canadian court last week because the vehicles were being held in its Windsor, Ontario facility.

The Nissan Murano Crosscabriolet is one funky product.  Who would have ever thought an automaker would introduce a drop-top crossover?  Crazy talk.  I’d bet the sales volumes on this thing are going to be tiny given its weird looks and nearly $50,000 starting price.  Limiting its appeal even further, The Globe and Mail says that this open-air two-door WILL NOT be sold in Canada.  Evidently Nissan of the North – my name, not theirs – looked at it and said “no thanks.”  If this is your kind of vehicle, the Murano Crosscabriolet should start showing up at dealerships next month . . . unless you’re in Canada, of course.

Righty tighty, lefty loosy.  Keep this in mind the next time you work on anything with wheels.  One motorcycle racer may have learned this lesson the hard way.  We found this video on Autoblog but it comes courtesy of European TV network Eurosport.  Here you can see two bikes duke-ing it out during a race when suddenly the front runner’s rear hub snaps, sending the wheel and tire flying off like a 50-pound Frisbee.  Luckily the racer, Maxime Berger, doesn’t appear injured from the fall.  The motorcycle’s paint job on the other hand probably didn’t fare quite as well.  Pretty funny to watch.

Have you ever found out that you had an enemy in the workplace? Someone who is going to try to make life miserable for you? How do you deal with that? We’ll get into that, right after this.

Anne Doyle is a former executive at the Ford Motor Company and the author of the book “Powering Up.” She’s got great advice for anyone trying to guide their career through all the pitfalls you can encounter in a large corporation. She came into our studios to share some of that advice in what we’re calling “The Ah-Ha Moment.”

Anne Doyle’s book “Powering Up” is now available online.

Be sure to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday night when our guest will be Joel Piaskowski. If you want to know where Ford is headed with its future exterior design in the Americas this is your chance to ask the designer who’s in charge of all that.

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

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

13 Comments to “Episode 609 – Production Delays, Chrysler Gets Vehicles Back, No Crosscabriolet for Canada”

  1. DGI Says:

    I liked Anne Doyle’s “Ah-Ha Moment” comments. The first time I ran into someone that hated me was as a summer employee at a unionized military electronics manufacturer. The shop steward had a job aligning a tricky piece of hardware and was completing four of the units on every eight hour shift. They asked me to try the job (I was a EE student) and I made a strategic error. I got production up to eight units a shift. In one week I got 32 units out. I also got four flat tires–honked with an ice pick. They moved me to a different area in the plant.

    Later in industry I found that the higher you stuck out the more you got shot at. Sometimes the internal competition is worse than external. That’s crazy!

  2. HtG Says:

    Know what really hurts? When your hertz and the other half’s hertz have a failure to communicate. Tokyo Power’s system in the east runs at 50Hz, while the west runs at 60Hz. So power can hardly be shared to earthquake affected areas. Here’s the link,(now that’s a pun)



  3. diffrunt Says:

    I went from auto dealer mechanic on commission to airline equipment mtce . Soon got a visit from shop steward group.—”hey , what are you doing?
    you are making us look bad, we don,t work that hard around here” !

  4. dcars Says:

    I work with one now, he’s really made life miserable. It’s been nice to have this show as a diversion. I don’t know if it’s just me or it’s every body he comes in contact with. He loves to sue people.

  5. HtG Says:

    Hey John, who in your office are you trying to destroy? Is it any fun when you’re the boss? Bwaahahahha!

  6. merv Says:

    What were not getting the nissan cross cab here in Canada? One more reason to celebrate!

  7. XA351GT Says:

    Now DGI do you really think we are going to believe that union workers would be pissed because you made them work harder??? Again just enforces why most have no sympathy for any union workers. Although I’m sure that CWolf will set us straight.

  8. tj Martin Says:

    Well its official , though I’m a bit late to this news due to funerals etc over the last few weeks .

    That last of the British owned Iconoclast individual Car Makers has gone down the Tubes . I’m speaking of Bristol Cars . Classic . Quality to the Nth Degree and infinitely repairable , not to mention Discreet . Even their SuperCar the Fighter was a vision of Class that makes the likes of Bugatti’s and Ferraris look like the tarted up Pimp Mobile Pastiches that they’ve become in this Age of Style over Substance .

    I’ve said this on the UK site I was booted from ( this being one of the reasons by the way ) and now I’ll say it here .

    World Alliance Motors ( where all the manufactures are owned by a single entity ) is well on its way to becoming reality . Individuality and Creativity as well as Quality and Genuine Design are done for .

    So what’s the point of continuing on ? May as well Turn In my GearHead Membership Card and call it a day .

    Racing has gone to Hell . Manufactures are heading there quickly . As well as the Genuine GearHead becoming an extinct species .

    So I’m hanging it up Gentlemen . I’ll take pleasure in Hot Rods , Bonneville and the Classic & Custom M/C ( Cafe Racers etc not Choppers ) scene and leave the new car World to the Gerbils n’ Hamsters like HyundaiSmoke .

    What with the persistent direction of the Industry , the LACK of ability or desire for most of the Press to stand firm on much of anything and the likes of Idiots like FrankCanada being allowed to exist on sites such as this ……. its just not worth the Fight anymore .

    And I’m just too much an Individual to ever try and Conform .

    So Adios Muchachos . Adieu , Our Feet are the Same ( thats for you HtG LoL ) and Sayonara .

    The Battle is Lost . Time to lick the wounds and move on .

  9. HtG Says:

    Feeling you tj.

    Try driving in the wide open spaces of lower Westchester County. It’s sad Bristol will go. There’s still Caterham and Corvette. But I wonder why kids would care much about cars, when for a few hundred bucks they can get on the leading edge of consumer technology coolness; the iphone etc. I made the mistake of driving around during the afternoon this weekend, and came once again to the thought that I don’t want to drive anymore. And I grew up dreaming cars, learning it from my father. The only cars I feel anything towards tend to be retro themed. As for the rest, they’re white goods to me, with their in car communication and driver aids-I tried hard to find a reason to go the NY Autoshow this coming April. (But as for racing, I really enjoyed watching Sebring on the internet for the the full 12 hours. I was glued. I can’t say the same for what was happening in St Pete) But I believe I’ll stay interested for the business and technical progress in the industry.

  10. cwolf Says:

    @XA351GT: No bitch from me! I don’t think you realize that I am not a union fanatic,but have to make the most of my environment. The reason I believe unions deserve re-consideration,if you will,is because it HAD to accept change and made the considerable sacrifices when the economy took a dump. As a result, I have regained some hope and excitement for a contract that is mutually benifitial and fair. For instance, I and a large number of others welcome profit-sharing in and of itself.But to a greater degree see this condition as an oportunity to get rid of anyone/everyone who is lazy or unqualified for the job. Just the thought of this is uplifting!
    Don’t worry yourself about my work ethics. I’m goal oriented and don’t break until a certain point is reached.Have more projects,in various states of completion, than I sometimes don’t want to think about and more to plan for.
    Honestly,my work situation is most unusual for a union person. Perform various engring aspects,machine a good number of parts required for an overhaul or modification,do repairs,re-qualify machinery,submit modification changes and offer assistance to others. Learn something new ever day,enjoy working with others and feel blessed to be paid just for having fun.Don’t get any better!
    Instead of taking all these half-truths and gossup as gospel about the negotiatiopns or foreign unionization,I hope you guys will wait to see what is concluded. I think the union of tomorrow will be nothing like it once was. But be aware the union created the middle class.And the present efforts to disolve it will not be for the better of anyone but the extrordinary wealthy. So it won’t break my heart if you don’t buy union goods, but I hope you are wise enough to see that it is becoming more and more important to buy AMERICAN.
    No more union talk-it’s booring.

  11. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I still think Western Journalists woefully underestimate China.

    Here’s why:

    A. They look at Chinese cars and automatically say they arent ready for American sale. When I argue that Chinese cars are at a more ready stage to what American buyers want from a cheap basic rudimentary car than the Koreans, Japanese, or Germans from day one.

    B. They think Chinese will buy 20 Million cars a year in 10 years, but forget these factors.

    1. The growth of China’s Wild Wild West is explosive by design. The Western Devleopment projects turned Chongquing (China’s Detroit) from a Global Town of 1 Million to a Megaopolis of 34 Million in just 35 years.

    2. There will be 5 or more NEW cities in China with that many people in 10 years, and they will most likely be in the Wild Wild West.

    3. The Chinese population are getting to the point to where they would buy tons of domestic cars.

    4. People in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou who arent allowed to Drive will just move to the cities in the West to be able to drive more freely. People in China are Car Addicts, they will find a way to get a car.

    No Guys, China will sell 50 Million cars by 2025, and maybe even by 2020.

  12. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    America needs real Megaopolises with 1/2 mile tall buildings.

    La, NYC, Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, etc..

    Are NOTHING but small Hick towns on the world stage.

  13. Andrew Charles Says:

    It’s a wonder Bristol survived as long as they did—they only had one showroom and only sold cars in the UK, and they made every car by hand. Here are two ideas to keep Bristol going—Bristol has most recently used Chrysler V8s and V10s, so why not take it one step further—Fiat/Chrysler could take over the rights to the Bristol marque and build high-margin versions of the LX and Viper platforms with Bristol bodies and custom fittings to get their own back at Daimler; the first Bristols were war-reparation BMW designs—BMW could build new BMW-Bristols in the Rolls-Royce plant—expensive fast coupes and sedans slotted between BMW and Rolls.