Episode 626 – Fiat’s Fast Track, A7 Origami from Audi, Scion FR-S Concept

April 21st, 2011 at 11:35am

Runtime 5:25

Fiat will take a controlling stake in Chrysler sooner than expected, with the company paying $1.27 billion in order to boost its stake. Scion unveiled a rear-wheel drive sports coupe concept in New York called the FR-S which will be the inspiration for a new model coming out next year. In order to get people to come check out the new A7 at the New York Show, Audi made a paper replica of the car. All that and more plus guest host Murray Feldman from Fox 2 News, Detroit wonders when or if the American taxpayer will ever make money or break even on their investments in automakers.

youtube-logo-3

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and Hyundai

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


This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, April 21, 2011. I’m Murray Feldman from Fox 2 News, Detroit. Here’s what’s going on in the global automotive industry.

FIAT’S FAST TRACK TO CONTROL CHRYSLER

It looks like Fiat will take a controlling stake in Chrysler sooner than expected. According to Bloomberg, the company will pay $1.27 Billion dollars in order to boost its stake in Chrysler to 46 percent. Later in the year, they hope to raise that to 51percent which comes from the U.S. government… after Fiat meets previously agreed to goals. Originally Fiat was going to buy the final stake in Chrysler in 2013. The company is looking to increase its stake early because with Chrysler’s improving financial numbers it would cost more to wait longer. Also, Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has repeatedly complained that the U.S. government is making him pay through the nose for those bailout loans. Chyrsler’s interest rate is as high as 12 percent.

SCION FR-S CONCEPT

Scion unveiled a rear-wheel drive sports coupe concept in New York called the FR-S. It’s equipped with a 2.0-liter boxer engine that’s naturally aspirated and can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine uses Toyota’s D4-S injection system, which utilizes both direct and port injection. The result is increased horsepower and torque without sacrificing fuel economy. Scion says the FR-S Concept will be the inspiration for a new model coming out next year.

ALL-NEW SUBARU IMPREZA

Subaru debuted the all-new Impreza at the New York show. It has more passenger and cargo room than before thanks to a longer wheelbase, a redesigned door, roof trim and front seats. Under the hood it gets a new 2.0-liter boxer engine with the choice of a five-speed manual or a CVT. And all Imprezas are standard with all-wheel drive. The new powertrain system improves fuel economy by 30 percent with a projected EPA rating of 27 MPG city and 36 on the highway. The interior is improved with higher-grade materials, new amenities and infotainment technology. The 2012 Impreza goes on sale this Fall.

LEXUS LF-Gh CONCEPT
Lexus unveiled a very different looking concept car at the New York auto show this week — what they’re calling the LF-Gh. Yes, it’s a hybrid, but that’s not what makes it significant. We caught up with Mark Templin, who’s in charge of the Lexus brand, to talk about what makes this car important.

AUDI’S AUTOMOTIVE ORIGAMI

Audi revealed the A7 at the New York show but this car’s already been shown elsewhere, in fact, it’s on sale in Europe right now. So in order to get people to come check it out, at the display stand, the company made a paper replica of the car. Even though it’s smaller than the real thing, it still looks real good, even if it just is paper. It just goes to show how far car companies will go in order to get their products noticed.

Had it been another company, they could have said, “Born from Jets.”

Coming up next, will the American taxpayer ever make money or break even on their investments in automakers? We’ll be back right after this.

Just when the U.S. auto industry is on a roll, the dark clouds come rolling in.

Auto sales are brisk. Looks like early April sales will be very strong — maybe over 11 million units this year on a monthly basis.

But investors are pulling in the reins and selling the stocks. General Motors, which was so hot when it came out in November that they had to issue more shares, is beaten down. Down 15 percent this year. Lately it’s trading about 3 to 4 dollars lower than its initial public offering price.

Wow. What’s behind this? Take your pick.

Higher oil prices, concerns about that impacting the economy; parts supply problems from the trouble in Japan.

Bottom line is that if the United States government is to break even on the 500 million shares of GM it still owns, that stock will have to jump an additional 23 bucks a share.

And amid all of this, Chrysler is reportedly now re-thinking it’s plans to go public by year’s end. Insiders indicate the powers that be at Fiat are already thinking of holding off their IPO until next year. Unless something dramatic changes for the good. If it does… good. If it doesn’t, you have to wonder when Uncle Sam and American taxpayers will make money — or at least break even — on their automotive investments.

Don’t forget to tune in tonight for Autoline After Hours. Join John McElroy and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider discussion on what’s going on behind the scenes in the automotive industry. Tonight Barb Samardzich, who heads up global vehicle programs for Ford, will be with John and Peter.

And that’s today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

72 Comments to “Episode 626 – Fiat’s Fast Track, A7 Origami from Audi, Scion FR-S Concept”

  1. tj Martin Says:

    Interesting video on nytimes.com today about the NY Auto Show . The question being asked ;

    ” Is the Auto Industry Revival real .. or just another false start ? ”

    Looking at all the On the Street Indicators ( Housing , Number of people still out of work etc. etc. ) I’ll bank on ” False Start ”

    Marchionne’s Madness ;

    Don’t you just love the guy . He read the contract . Agreed to the terms . Gleefully signed on the Bottom line . Yet he’s still insisting now that the US Government is ripping him off with the Interest Rates being charged .

    Kind of makes you wonder what FIAT has for a Legal Department as well as can Stronzetto Sergio read ? ( English or otherwise )

    Scion FR-S concept – I’m not sure which is the bigger Joke here . The Subaru or the Scion/Toyota version of what has to be one of the most irrelevant cars to come out of Japan in a Decade .

  2. tj Martin Says:

    I’ll place odds the Origami paper A7 will be much more reliable and last longer than the real one !!!

  3. paulstewart Says:

    Thor/Bob = Bigger Joke TJ Martin

  4. Phoenix Mark Says:

    The Subaru looks a lot like a smaller Mazda 6.

    @tj,
    Agree with you on the Scion FR-S Concept, not relevant….
    Toyota neglected Scion as much as GM neglected
    Saturn.

  5. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Bottom line… we (the US Government) will not break even on our “investment” in GM or Chrysler.

  6. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @tj,

    When are you going to pull the trigger on the FJ?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Subaru is going to keep their mandatory AWD a while longer, so they can maintain their lock on worst-in-class fuel economy.

  8. MJB Says:

    That new 2012 Subaru Un-Impreza doesn’t look very Subaru-ish at all.

    Pleeease, Subaru…DON’T DO IT. Don’t give in to the dark side of the force. Don’t loose your destinctive design edge. Even IF the most heralded of your fleet over the past 1 & 1/2 decades resemble toads. Don’t go the way of the Hondas and Toyotas. I see you morphing into bland nothingness. The transformation has already begun. But it’s not too late to turn back. Just admit that you have a problem… Take that first step.

    Com’n people. I feel an intervention.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    I heard this morning on the local news radio that Subaru was going to revise their drive-trains to get better mileage and appeal more to the Southern states, I assumed they would offer all wheel drive as an option, but I guess I was wrong, it must be expensive to retool their factories to make both all wheel and FWD of the same models. if they get too be like Toyota then their sales will decline.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Subaru sells FWD cars in some markets, and did so at one time in the U.S. While their mandatory AWD has kept me from considering Subaru, I guess it may be working for them overall. They have maintained sales numbers through the recent down turn better than most car companies.

  11. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark;

    Don’t know if you read a bit ago but we’re ( wife & I ) dealing with a recent death in the family , so are following our FA CPA and Bankers advice , not making any large decisions ( such as buying a car ) for at least a couple of months .

    Also the Fuel prices , Events in Japan and that damned GLK that keeps sticking in my craw has me in possible Re-Think mode . So on this rare occasion I’ll follow the advice of the folks who’ve served me well and sit on it for a bit .

    But thanks for asking .

    @Kit Gerhart – A Subaru FWD I can get my head around . Makes sense even But a RWD ??? e.g. Subaru’s version of the FR-S ? Why ???

  12. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB ;

    Well said .

  13. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @tj,

    Sorry for your loss. The GLK is a good vechicle from what I have heard. I think with a GLK you could go with a gently two or three year used one.

    @MJB

    Dido, tj

  14. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark ;

    Thanks .

    A used GLK . Definitely ! If we do go that route it’ll be a M-B CPO so extended warranty and all .

    Also its amazing how much they depreciate in a year , so why buy new ? Let someone else pay the first $10K ( average price in my area for say a 2010 w/14 – 18K miles , nicely loaded CPO , is right around $30,000)

  15. tj Martin Says:

    Hope HtG is having fun with his Driving School Day @ Skip Barber’s place .

    If you’re looking in on your iPhone HtG ;

    SHRED SOME TREAD !

    Even the most responsible of us has a need to ” Hoon ” ( look it up : its Antipodian slang ) now and again .

  16. MJB Says:

    @ #14 tj

    Yes, it is amazing how they drop. I’ve been eyeing that CLS for a while now. I’ve also noticed that Cadillacs have historically lost value with extreme quickness.

    Sorry for your loss.

  17. tj Martin Says:

    Jeeze !!!

    As if Chrysler’s choices of spokespersons wasn’t bad enough !

    Now MINI has fallen off of the Nut Wagon and is teaming up with KISS of all bands !

    KISS ??? MINI ???

    Thats it Kit Gerhart ! I’m dumping the MINI :o ) …. soon ….. maybe ….. well …….. you know ……….

  18. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @tj,

    I am seeing the same price level here too.

  19. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB – Thanks . Also you’re right about Cadillac . Seems like the Luxury segment loses value at a quicker and more drastic rate than say MINI etc. no matter what the emblem on the hood .

  20. tj Martin Says:

    NEVER ENDING SAAB STORY ;

    Will it ever end ?

    SAAB was supposed to hear today about their loans from the Swedish Government , but were put off for at least another 7-10 days on a phone call while at the NY Auto Show ( Nice timing Sweden )

    Looking at the online poop of late it seems the Swedish People , Government and Press are all down on SAAB and calling for this extended death to be brought to a very swift close .

  21. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark ;

    I assume ” here ” for you is Phoenix . I’m KC,MO way .

    Funny that the prices for an AWD would be the same in a Snow Zone ( here ) and a Snow Bird zone ( AZ ) You’d think they’d be higher here ( Snow Zone )

  22. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Yes, Phoenix, yes strange on the price. We are coming out of snow bird season. They all should be gone by the end of next month. Traffic will be better (schools out by then too).

    Visited Denver to see my son at college last year and the 2005 MkIV jetta (diesel) did fine in the March snow (10 inches over night). But, would have preferred awd something.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Mini has among the lowest depreciation rates. I’m not sure why, now that production has kept up with demand for a few years, but I hope it is still that way when I want to sell mine. I don’t plan to sell it any time soon, though, in spite of the KISS promo.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I think that it is the cult following that they have, no happy owner will likely get rid of it unless he’s got a lemon. Plus there are really not an over abundance of them. unlike the Corolla or Civic that you see all over the used car ads.

  25. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart ;

    On the MINI/KISS thing . Just had to throw a tantrum , KISS being one of my least favorite bands of all time .

    Also pedro is right about at least one of the reasons why the depreciation is so low on the MINI .

    Look at the struggle I’m having getting rid of my MINI and I’m to the point , at 6’4″ and over 50 where I really could use a bit more room , higher seating position ( so I don’t have sit down into the car ) and that ubiquitous Slush Box .

    And looking at cars like the GLK , its not like I’m stepping down Class wise either .

    But boy does that little car ( the MINI ) get under your skin .

    That MINI is the all time best SPM ( Smile per Miles ) car I’ve EVER owned bar none !!! Not even the F words I had .

  26. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart ;

    I don’t know how well the MINI dealers down your way are stocked , but mine has called and emailed me several times once they found out I was considering selling the MINI to buy it out right from me , they’re so hard up for stock .

    At a pretty fair price as well .

    So maybe MINI Oxford isn’t keeping up with demand as well as they might have us think . Which again is only to our ( yours and mine ) benefit

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark

    My main concern with the GLK ? Reliability and those inevitably high Mercedes Repair/Maintenance costs down the road .

    What has a hold on me with the GLK was renting one for ten days in CO this February . That was by far the most drama free , comfortable yet somewhat ( enough ) sporty car I’ve ever driven . Everything I’d hoped the SRX would of been , but was not . The GLK just did everything well .

  28. motorman Says:

    obama does not care if the govt bailout of the car companies costs the taxpayers money. he just wanted to insure he got the union membership votes because if GM had declared a real bankruptcy with out govt interference the union would be on the outside looking in.

  29. Tom L Says:

    @ tj
    I’ve been told that the Swedish people love SAAB and would love Saab to get back to it’s own style.They hope it lives so the rest of the world will see some GREAT cars in the future.
    P.S. I heard they had a good display in NY

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Swedish people also still love ABBA, even though just like SAAB, they belong in the past.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motorman: be careful, you will get the ire of paulstewart

  32. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @tj,

    Yes, always look at schedule maintenance and repair as well as insurance cost, although >50 helps.

  33. tj Martin Says:

    @ Tom L ;

    I’d of thought so also ( Swedish people loving SAAB ) but from the remarks made lately on saabsunited as well as several quotes from Victo Muller ….. well it just aint so !

    The Swedish Press has been ripping SAAB to shreds , the people are tired of bailing them out etc .

    Believe me I was out there at the KC SAAB Rally in the midst of winter to show my support back when GM was waffling all over the place whether to sell and to who , so I’d of loved to see SAAB make a come back .

    Problem being EVERYONE with a lick of common sense and any knowledge of Spyker knew the minute GM told C.v. Koenigsegg no and sold to Spyker : SAAB was dead in the water .

    I still stand by the opinion that C.v, Koenigsegg is the only hope SAAB has of survival , but I don’t see him stepping in to buy Spyker out : nor can I see Spyker in their arrogant Dutch Pride ever admitting they’re a losing proposition and selling to CvK even if he did make an offer .

    As to the Russian ? Give me a break . Like the rest of his kind the minute he gets even one hand on SAAB he’ll bury it into the ground ( re; TVR etc. )

    Nope ! Either Spyker sells to CvK or let the damn thing ( SAAB ) die an honorable death and be done with it .

    This prolonged Death March is getting a little old . Much as I may love SAAB’s of old .

    FYI;Had SAAB made a comeback , or shown even the slightest chance of doing so I’d be waiting for the new 9-3 Estate to tuck in my garage in place of the MINI .

  34. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark ;

    Not comprehending the ;

    ” >50 helps ”

    Probably just me being dense , but do explain .

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey we loved Pontiac, Packard, Duesenberg, Barracuda, GTO, GM rear drive midsize they’re gone forever too!

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark

    I think the denseness faded . You meant being over 50 gives me better insurance rates .

    Correct ?

    A Homer Simpson moment on my part !

  37. Tom L Says:

    @tj
    Thanks for your update.
    We will see what happens.
    If Saab dies………..What do I buy next..
    I have had great luck with SAABS..
    A friend told me to get a Sonata Turbo???

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    True,TJ as I age (and so does my car) my rates are as low as they were 30 yrs ago, as long as I’m ticket and accident free.

  39. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro ;

    With someone like CvK at the helm , bringing some genuine innovation to the company , as well as the tie in to the Koenigesegg Super/Hyper Cars ( which’d be a hell of a lot more relevant than SAAB’s Born From Jets schtick ) I think SAAB could of made a genuine comeback as well as some serious and significant contributions to the automotive world ( have a look at the innovations in the Koenigsegg Agera and Agera R )

    But alas they ( SAAB ) got stuck with the very pretentious and utterly worthless Dutch fools Spyker who’ve never made a dime of profit , succeeded at any endeavor they’ve ever attempted ( Their F1 entry was the JOKE of the paddock )

    Hence . Bye Bye SAAB . Unfortunately .

  40. tj Martin Says:

    @ Tom L;

    AHHHhhhhhhhhh ! You mentioned that H word dad burn it !!!

    Sheesh ! Buy a Chinese Volvo before buying the H word .

    ———–

    @pedro – Very few … but there are some advantages to this growing old bit , like cheaper insurance etc.

    Like you Zero Tickets Zero Accidents in the last 25 years ( I got smarter as i got older along with getting rid of the Ticket Traps i had .)

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, it is hard to get a speeding ticket driving a 3 speed Corolla with a tired old engine.

  42. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro ;

    Wanna have a real laugh ? The last Speeding Ticket I ever got ?

    Not in the Ferrari . Not in the S4 . Not in any of the rentals I’ve had including the C6 . No , not even in the MINI .

    In a red 1980′s Subaru 4WD Hatchback I had as a Winter beater car back then . Figure that one out !!!

  43. tj Martin Says:

    @ Tom L;

    re; What to buy

    If I were you , with a SAAB I loved as much as you do , I’d look real seriously into doing a bit of Resto Modding to the one you have and just keep it .

    What some of those Swedes are doing to 96′s 99′s 900′s and the newer 9 Series is just incredible ( Google Modified or Custom SAAB’s for the sites , especially if you read Swedish 0

    A 96 that one of Koenigesggs designers hopped up for his daily driver is to die for !

    So do a Pedro X 2 . Keep it ( your SAAB ) and have some fun making it your own , while keeping it practical .

    Thats my opinion .

  44. Tom L Says:

    @ tj
    Thanks for the info.

  45. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @tj,
    Yes, greater than “>”. In the banking industry (don’t hate me).

  46. Dave Says:

    Ick that new Lexus front end reminds me of Acura!

  47. XA351GT Says:

    I like that new Scion but isn’t that the FT-86? If so does that mean Toyota is on the road to badge engineering? That is the best looking car from Toyota since the Celica last appeared.

  48. C-tech Says:

    Hopefully Lexus is still refining that ugly front end

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,
    Most of the cars in stock at Mini Orlando are of the “loaded” variety, unlike my base car with 16 inch wheels as the only option.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit your observation applies to just about any new car you look at, same goes for Fiesta, hence Bob’s contention that they cost $23k, even “low price” models like Fit and Accent, I see they put just about every option into them cause that’s where the profits come from. When I got my Corolla in ’98, that was not the case, the dealer had a bunch of “base” models with just radio, a/c and auto. (frankly, I feel that is all you really need)

  51. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    So maybe that’s why my local MINI dealer is so hot for my car

    MINI Cooper ( not S ) Sports Package , Sports Suspension , Arm Rest , Floor Mats , Windshield Sunscreen

    Maybe not quite as basic as yours , but still pretty simple compared to what the Dealerships order for Stock

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When I bought my Prius, the dealer had a surprisingly good selection of base cars, but had a few expensive ones that had been there for months. That was mid-summer, though, in Indiana where I bought my car.

    Now, the nearby dealer here in Florida has none at all. I suspect the rising gas prices, along with the supply disruption from the earthquake has allowed the dealers to sell the “overloaded” Prii, along with the base cars. That’s good for the dealers, but bad for those wanting to buy a car.

  53. tj Martin Says:

    Toyota Observation

    ( pedro , you’ll love this )

    So last night we heard from the folks we’d given my wifes 92 Coralla to in VT . Damn thing is still on the road , still runs like a top . Still having only needed ( outside of normal wear & tear parts )

    Radiator Tank
    Alternator
    Inside Door Handle Bucket

    Purchased new in fall of 91 , so its approaching 20 years of almost faultless service and still running strong .

    So while contemplating GLK vs FJ the question is ;

    Reliability and Dependability as well as a good 20 year car , albeit with questionable styling and lots O’ blind spots

    Or ;

    Luxury , Comfort , Zero Blind Spots , Subtle Styling albeit with questionable reliability and will it last for 20 years ( how many 20 year old C-Class Mercedes do you see running around . Not many from my point of view )

    Kind of glad right now that ;

    A; All our Money guys are saying hold off on major decisions for the moment

    B. There are no CPO GLK’s on the dealers lot right now .

  54. tj Martin Says:

    @ Phoenix Mark ;

    How can I hate a Banker person when its our money guys ( CPA , FA & Banker ) that put me in the position I’m in ( Semi Retired in my mid 50′s ) as well as giving us some sound personal advice on occasion such as right now .

    Its the Bad Bankers I hate !

  55. tj Martin Says:

    XA351GT

    Toyota has decided to market the FT-86 as a Scion instead of a Toyota . Maybe to boost Scion’s image . Who knows ?

    But on the Scion/Subaru FR-S and the logic as to why I have a theory , but need some info to back it up

    Does anyone have the specs on the Overall length of the FR-S ?

    When I tossed my theory at a friend in TTE , you could hear the phone drop all the way across the Atlantic . He then said he couldn’t comment on it and wouldn’t give me the length of the FR-S .

    Hmmn .

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj the Merc WILL last as long, if not longer, but you will spend tons of dough to make it happen. I don’t know how third world people manage to keep those Mercs running for decades, I guess parts and service must be cheaper there.

  57. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro ;

    Plus those 3rd World Markets get the more basic versions of the Mercedes than we do ( seems almost 80% of all the reliability problems with M-B in the US are all the electronic and automatic Gee Whizz options M-B USA forces down our throats . The Drive Trains , Body , Suspensions , etc. seem pretty indestructible )

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    My point exactly, these Merc and BMW brains send the optioned out models over here to the rich American buyers while the other countries get the simpler versions, manual windows, vinyl seats no Nav just a radio and that is it. They dare not send the basic cars here because they would then lose their luxury status.

  59. tj Martin Says:

    Maybe another reason to wait a bit before deciding

    ” Mercedes GLK to come to the US with Bluetec Diesel for 2012 model ”

    ( USNews & World Report )

    Hmmn . But then I’d have to buy new adding a good $10K to the price . Thats a lot of miles and tank full’s .

  60. tj Martin Says:

    @pedro ;

    Yes for most folks I’d agree with M-B , BMW etc logic .

    But for me , if the GLK was available in a more basic form ( radio , CD , A/C , AWD , Auto ) there’d be no debate on my part .

    I’d of bought the Polar White w /16K miles on it the dealer had in February without a second thought .

    So my guess is , seeing as I don’t consider myself ( or you ) to be that unique , that the Germans are losing as many sales if not more than they’re gaining by dumping Fully Loaded models Only on the US market

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,
    The FJ is one of few Toyotas that CR doesn’t like, but I’m sure you know the reasons, visibility, on-road ride and handling, kind of crude interior, etc., and you are willing to live with those things. The power train and general reliability are very good.

    The GLK is “nicer” in the traditional sense and has much better on-road handling, but has iffy relibility. The good part of that, at least regarding CR’s surveys, is that the “trouble areas” are body hardware, power equipment, and audio system. While I’d rather not have door handles fall off and the radio die on my car, I’d take those things over, say, blown engines.
    While I don’t normally buy extended warranties, I think I’d do so if I bought a used GLK.

    Actually, while I’d buy neither, I kind of like both the FJ and the GLK, but for different reasons.

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, I guess the Germans are betting the the rich will continue to get richer, thus their market share will grow, while the disenfranchised will never ever be able to dream of getting anything new, the way the cost of new cars keeps going up. Even the used market has gone up quite a bit, more demand and less product. Remember people don’t buy based on total cost, only monthly payments.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro,
    Did you know that a $55K E-Class or 5 Series bought in the US might have vinyl seats?

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That GLK with the diesel would be nice, but will be pricey, and will probably depreciate much more slowly than the gas version.

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    Regarding all these electronics, I believe that if the screen fails., you can’t even turn on the a/c or the radio. You’re forced to repair it at a very high cost (on the Merc in particular).

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that MB and BMW figure they can make more money in the US by selling only expensive cars, and not offering what some of us here would like. I find the 1 Series 5-door and 3 Series wagon with a 4 cylinder diesel and manual transmission very appealing, along with the C-Class wagon with manual/4 cyl. diesel. These cars are sold in most world markets, but not the US and Canada.

  67. GPL Says:

    I can’t find any of Bob’s $23k Fiestas. You can build one at Ford’s website, but none of the local dealers stock any. Most are $14k-$19k. The most expensive one I could find was $20.5k. The local inventory of Cruzes, however, run $17k-$25k.

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    GPL however the Cruze is a higher class vehicle than Fiesta and around these parts, I have seen 10 Cruze for every single Fiesta, I am not exaggerating. I think people just dont see the Fiesta as a smart buy!!

  69. GPL Says:

    That’s always been my point, but Bob always compares those two vehicles’ sales figures and claims you can get a Cruze for the same price as a Fiesta.

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cruze and Fiesta both have a wide price range, and there is a lot of overlap, but comparably equipped, Fiesta is be about 2-3K cheaper.

    The cars are definitely in different classes. Cruze is longer, wider, and almost 500 pounds heavier than Fiesta. They both have their advantages. Cruze is a little roomier and has a nicer interior, but Fiesta gets better gas mileage, and a hatch is available.

  71. Andrew Charles Says:

    FYI:
    Scion xB = Toyota Corolla Rumion
    Scion XD = Toyota ist = Toyota Urban Cruiser
    Scion tC = Toyota Zelas

    Even the original AE86 (which refers just to the 2.0 version of the car) was sold as both the Corolla Levin (through Corolla dealers) and the Sprinter Trueno (through Vista dealers), and where the latter were sold in export markets, as Corolla Sprinters.

    At one time the rwd sedan exported as the Cressida was sold in three different forms with three different names in the Japanese market.

    Even the current Corolla hatch is sold under three different names — Corolla, Allion and Blade (you can bet when it comes to measuring popularity they are all counted as Corollas).

    Badge engineering is nothing new and is alive and well at Toyota.

  72. Andrew Charles Says:

    Getting my Toyotas mixed up, by Allion I meant Auris. The Allion is a Premio (Corona) twin.