Episode 672 – Saab Finds Temporary Funding, Nissan Aims for Toyota, New CAFE Proposal

June 27th, 2011 at 12:18pm

Runtime 8:55

Saab announced it will pay its employees this week after getting an infusion of $18 million from a Chinese company that ordered 582 cars. Nissan just announced a new midterm business plan called “Power 88” to pull itself out of the sales doldrums. The Obama administration is proposing a new CAFE standard of 56.2 miles per gallon. All that and more, plus a look at how Mini is letting drivers connect to their cars via their iPhones.

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This is Autoline Daily for June 27, 2011. And now, the news.

SAAB FINDS TEMPORARY FUNDING
Saab is pulling out all the stops to try and survive. The company announced it will pay its employees this week after getting an infusion of $18 million. The money comes from a Chinese company that ordered 582 cars, Bloomberg reports. But here’s my Autoline Insight. $18 million for a company like Saab is chump change. Let’s do the math. The company employs a little over 3,300 people. It’s safe to assume the total labor costs including wages and benefits is an average of $100,000 a year per employee. That means total payroll is over $334 million a year or about $28 million a month. So the latest cash infusion will only last a little over two weeks. That doesn’t include all the other expenses the company has. And that’s why this story is looking bleaker by the day.

GLOBAL AUTO SALES UP (subscription required)
Ward’s reports that global vehicles sales, while slowing down, are still running ahead of last year. Through the first five months of the year, the world’s automakers sold nearly 30 million passenger cars and light trucks. That’s up nearly 7 percent despite the production disruptions in Japan due to the devastating earthquake and the drop in sales the industry has seen in China and India. It also puts the industry on the path of selling roughly 72 million vehicles worldwide, or 78 million if you include medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as buses.

NISSAN AIMS FOR TOYOTA (subscription required)
Nissan just announced a new midterm business plan called “Power 88” to pull itself out of the sales doldrums. The Wall Street Journal reports the automaker is shooting to hit 8 percent global market share. Last year it was at 5.6 percent. It’s also gunning for an 8 percent operating profit margin within the next six years. That would be a sizable increase from last year’s score of 6.1 percent. With this strategy it sure looks like Nissan’s going after Toyota. Don’t tell me it wants to be the largest automaker in the world, too, along with Volkswagen, GM and the big T!

NEW CAFE PROPOSAL
The Obama administration is proposing a new CAFE standard of 56.2 miles per gallon. According to the Detroit News, the White House released one of its early plans, which calls for a 5 percent increase in fuel economy every year for the next eight years. It will formally propose this plan in September and finalize it in July of 2012. Of course this is going to cost drivers A LOT of money. Estimates peg the figure at anywhere from $2,100 to $2,600, but I say good luck with that. Proponents of plans like this one claim motorists will save between $5,500 and $7,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle, AND that the initial expense will be recouped in just a few years. This proposed 56.2 MPG standard sounds like a compromise between the auto industry’s number of 42 and the environmentalists that wanted 62. But I’ve got to ask, where the heck did the .2 come from? I know politics is the art of compromise, but writing 0.2 MPG into the law? What’s that about?

BMW M3 CRT
BMW just introduced a lightweight concept called the M3 CRT, which stands for Carbon Racing Technology. The body is made entirely from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP for short, and the leftover pieces from the body are reused to build other parts like the hood and the bucket seats. The M3 CRT features a V-8 with 450 horsepower and can go from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in just 4.4 seconds. BMW will only make 67 of these things, using the same production process to build its eco-friendly models, the i3 and i8, starting in 2013.

CHRYSLER’S SUPER BOWL AD WINS AWARDS
Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad that featured the 200 and rapper Eminem received a lot of attention when it debuted and now it won five awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It got Gold Lion awards for Best Direction, Best Use of Music, Best Script, and Best Automotive Commercial. It also received a “Bronze Lion” for Best Editing. Over 24,000 entries from all over the world were in the running.

Coming up next, a look at how Mini is letting drivers connect to their cars via their iPhones. But first we want to let you know about what’s coming up on Autoline After hours this week.

MINI CONNECTED
Connecting to your car is all the rage in the automotive industry these days. And now Mini is letting drivers connect to their car via their phone, or at least through their iPhone, for now.

Boy, I remember the days when all you used your phone for was making calls!

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 and WardsAuto.com

49 Comments to “Episode 672 – Saab Finds Temporary Funding, Nissan Aims for Toyota, New CAFE Proposal”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’m sick of reading about SAAB, die already. Sick about car-makers inventing more distractions and of companies aiming to be #1 in sales, just make the best products you can and the sales will come naturally. Best commercial about the worst car in its class, marvelous!

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    Well, just added to the sales figures. Got the wife a new Fusion Sport, since we spent 3 fruitless months trying to find her a Mustang in the color and options she wanted.

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    @ Tony did you try finding it online?

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    +1 to what pedro said.

    p.s. Saw “Cars 2″ last night; pretty good flick, I liked it.

  5. Ralph Kercheval Says:

    We cannot get rid of these EPA CAFE idiots soon enough.

    Every manuf. is having a terrible time making the numbers they have listed now.

    Check with any service department and you will find that they are having numerous problems trying to get vehicles to run properly due to the overly sealous restrictions on the engines now.

    It is going to take someone getting killed because the car stopped in traffic before something is done.

    OH WAIT I forgot the enviromentalist think that a few people dead are not as important as the Oregon spotted twin eared owl or some newt that no one ever heard of!!

  6. AZCarnut Says:

    Where is TJ?

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    With these new EPA numbers raising the price of new cars, it will further decrease the new car sales numbers. Brilliant, keep older, thirstier cars on the road and it will have the opposite effect of what the govt is looking for

  8. Steve Says:

    You’re assuming the government wants more efficient cars. I happen to think it’s more about control.

  9. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,Oh Says:

    Plain and simple….SOS….Save Our Saab !!!

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s more like trying to turn us into Europe West, with California being Greece.

  11. SalvadorG. Says:

    SAAB FINDS TEMPORARY FUNDING
    - I hear that, when the end of the world comes; only cockroaches and SAAB will still be around. Something to truly think about.

    NISSAN AIMS FOR TOYOTA
    -JohnMc.
    Don’t you think, Mr. Carlos G. is counting Renault as part his world No1 car maker plan??
    __

    NEW CAFE PROPOSAL But I’ve got to ask, where the heck did the .2 come from? I know politics is the art of compromise, but writing 0.2 MPG into the law? What’s that about?

    - I guess that’s for the Extra EXTREME!! part of the proposal.

  12. len simpson Says:

    Wild ideas occur because the multitude of overpaid, underutilized federal lifetimers are trying to justify their existence.I,m certain
    we spend more on pencil pushing than any other of the many forms of government waste.

  13. Donan Iacovone Says:

    I am glad to hear about the push for higher mpgs. When you find out about that .2, let us know.

  14. Dave Says:

    Where does the Gov. come up with these numbers? 50 mpgs..sure in a few cars like the Prius, etc, but come one as a avg.? SO a truck getting what, we will be nice and say 19/20 or so, the cars built by that company would have to get like 70 plus?? THe gov..sux. messes up everything they do

  15. dcars Says:

    Isn’t it interesting how when ever any one talks about being the number one car maker they talk about beating Toyota and not the current no. 1 seller GM?
    The US Gov. will back away from their high MPG requirements if it hurts car sales.

  16. HtG Says:

    56.2 I tried to see if the .2 was an artifact of a metric conversion. Nope, it’s just the gubmint, hard at work. But I did find this link for those eager to convert.
    http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/mpg.html

    SAAB My New York Insight is that whoever is loaning Saab money now is trying to get a leg up on the other vultures that will buy the good parts ‘later.’

  17. HtG Says:

    I’ve been holding onto my Civic, waiting for a high mileage replacement. Gimme a little car with an 80hp manual, and I’ll check it out. Where’s my Aygo at, Mr Toyoda?

    Of course, I don’t imagine that I speak for too many of my fellow serfs.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    HTG I also have my eyes on the Aygo but unless gas hits $5 or the EPA gets its way I don’t think we’ll ever see it here.

  19. HtG Says:

    tj, if you’re reading, don’t miss this piece in the NYT about the plot to buy F1.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/sports/autoracing/maneuvering-to-control-future-of-formula-one.html

  20. dcars Says:

    I would bet that Indy cars is on the way up and F1 is on the way down. Think of it, Indy cars will have three different manufactures involved. GM, Honda and Lotus. Originally VW had started the talk of a new formula for Indy cars but seam to have dropped out of the picture.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Those high mpg requirements would lower, not increase the price of cars. The last time I looked, a Golf TDI or Prius was a lot cheaper than a Suburban or Expedition.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @Tony Gray,
    If you’d gone to a dealer and ordered that Mustang of your dreams 3 months ago, you would have had the car 6 weeks ago. Of course, you may be glad you got the more utilitarian Fusion which should drive about as well.

  23. shan Says:

    Mini, loose the cartoonish dashboard and forget the nonsense with apps via a iPhone and just leave a hole in the dash only for a iPad. Same goes for others like Ford with the complex MyFord Touch. Less is more, get it???

    BTW, those of you wishing for the quick death of Saab, just fail to grasp the beauty of what Saab used to stand for and the Scandinavian design elements in a car. You may have become accustomed to mediocrity in domestic and blandness in Japanese imports.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    USED is the key word here, isn’t it? Pontiac USED to be great, so did Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, etc

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit what are talking about?, to get those kinds of numbers, even small cars are gonna end up costing more than today’s full sized ones. Not to mention maintaining them in tip-top shape to keep them mpg’s high, as good as new.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just look at the upcoming Yaris with stop/start, that alone will add to the price not to mention the extra repairs and replacement of starter and all the other hardware involved in this pointless invention.

  27. HtG Says:

    One way out of these higher costs is volume. Sell enough cars worldwide, and the unit cost for efficiency equipment goes down. Bad news for small automakers like Mazda, to say nothing of the soon to be dearly departed. Either that, or be a premium segment car.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was being facetious in #21, but I’ve heard that using the sytem the 56.2 came from, current Prius would probably make it.

    FWIW, I was never a fan of CAFE. I the mid 70′s, I thought gas tax should gradually be increased to where it was close to western Europe. The car industry could have adjusted, as it has in the rest of the world, and Americans cou

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Americans could have been weaned from their taste for the obscenely inefficient fleet we now have. It’s way too late to gradually increase gas tax in this way, though.

  30. cwolf Says:

    Nissans strategy for global sales sounds more like wishful thinking than capability. Merging markets,like India, may help them,yet all others have the same idea. I have,however, seen a few of Nissans new cargo vans. Thet’re rather handsome,kinda boxy,yet roomy for hauling. But it is a BIG vehicle!

    I feel for the SAAB believers that just can’t let go,but let her die with a lille dignity!

    The CAFE proposal is quite aggressive. I don’t think any of us like the feeling that EVs,hyb. and small ICEs are being shoved down our throats, yet we all also are aware of the reasoning. For me,its a hard pill to swallow and feel they would be better accepted if the demands were more gradual. At least allow the economy and employment numbers improve before digging deeper in our wallets for something many may not want.

    Tony Gray: I believe your wife will like the Fusion and prove to be as problem free as my Milan. But wanting a Mustang, then opting for a Fusion does not correlate. If mpg’s were not an issue, the Mustang would have been worth the wait!

    Keep asking for tj’s where abouts. It’s just a matter of time before he gives in. It’s only logical that in time, his curiosity to “peek in” will get the better of him. I think he likes playing the hard ass!

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    The last time they tried that was GM’s downsizing, FWD conversion disaster of the the late 70′s and 80′s. History has shown over and over again that GM self-destructed due to this foolish and poorly managed effort. They bet the farm and they lost.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think TJ and the Missus took off in their spanking-new GLK to Darwin, Ca. but I could be wrong.

  33. cwolf Says:

    I can’t believe McElroy did’nt have a plug for Hyundai today! I know!; The Chry.ad awards took all the wind out of their sails. Tomorrow or next week they will copy it too, just like they do with anything inovative.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf Hyundai pays for these ads just like Bridgestone and the other advertisers, why are you picking on poor Hyundai? they got enough problems with smokey being their spokesperson, spiritual adviser, product planner guru.

  35. John Says:

    This CAFE is a “Command and Control” Communist Cap and Trade through “Regulation” ploy.

    The Auto Industry is just a willing “tool” in this action.

    Where will the Auto Industry be when their customers say F.U. ?

    “A debate has been rumbling over whether it is possible for the EPA to establish a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions under the existing Clean Air Act.” …

    “Several U.S. states and environmental groups then challenged the EPA’s decision in federal court, ultimately resulting in a landmark 5-4 Supreme Court ruling against the EPA issued in April 2007. The Court not only held that the EPA had the authority to regulate GHGs under the CAA, but that it was unjustified in delaying its action based on policy considerations not enumerated in the CAA itself.” …

    “Next, President Obama should continue to tackle nationwide fuel economy standards. These are controlled by two federal agencies—the EPA, which sets vehicle emissions standards under Section 202 of the CAA, and the Department of Transportation-led National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new vehicles on a fleet-wide basis.” …

    “in a recent issue of Environmental Finance, can the EPA “jump-start” federal regulation of GHGs with the CAA, but it can also signal to industry that it intends to fully exploit its authority to restrict CO2 emissions using rigid “command-and-control” measures.” …

    “President Obama has therefore entered office with significant tools for prompting cap-and-trade through legislative action. Through the authority that his administration already has under the CAA, which has been affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama should be able to convert the greatest opponents of cap-and-trade (including the auto industry, the utility industry, and the coal industry) into supporters, thereby laying the groundwork for an aggressive, comprehensive federal cap-and-trade bill in the very near future. ”

    http://www.grist.org/article/Part-III-Shift-in-power

  36. julius lambert Says:

    Not one comment on that Bad ass BMW,WOW.

  37. cwolf Says:

    @Pedro: I do not credit Hyundai because they feed off the ideas,innovation and investments others have made by copying their products. Pilfering anothers technology,with the intent of cost savings ,then to use these savings to duplicate or expand upon these ideas for profit is piracy in my mind. It reminds me of “Taurus”, a Brazil gun maker. Beginning many years ago, they began cloning Smith and Wesson pistols and for some reason got away with it. They still exist,but it remains nothing but a poor mans “S&W.” Never the less Taurus’s practices existing today must effect S&W’s bottom line and it’s a Damn shame! When I was a n engring student, it became most evident that Asian’s excelled in mathmatics/calculus. But it did’nt take long to notice they had no idea as how to apply it. If you ask me,copying is a sorry alternative!

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    Then the same could be said of the Japanese, they copied our car making techniques and improved them and came up with a better product, H/K seems to be doing the same now.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember a friend’s “old” Toyota Land Cruiser that had a near-clone of a Chevy/GMC inline six for power. Today’s FJ Cruiser is a retro-modern take on that earlier Land Cruiser. Speaking of FJ Cruisers, are you out there, tj?

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Saw on a show called Car Crazy, a museum in Puerto Rico dedicated to Toyota. I would love to get my hands on one of those 70′s Land Cruisers. Before they got all big and clumsy.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj must have left us for the Daimler owner’s blogs just as I had predicted.

  42. GPL Says:

    cwolf,

    I think you meant Taurus made Beretta knock-offs not S&W. S&W owned Taurus for a short period in the 70′s, but really made their name in the US in the 80′s when they bought a Beretta factory in Brazil lock, stock, and barrels (pun intended) and continued production of the 9mm pistols that Beretta had made there, but undercut Berettas price.

  43. Brett Says:

    “Communist Cap and Trade”?? You calling the Republicans communists?? They invented the concept and when our President agreed, they switch sides so fast I was embarrassed for them.

  44. John Says:

    Read it.

    Part III: Shift in power
    The Clean Air Act is President Obama’s key to triggering cap-and-trade 1

    by Guest author

    1 Feb 2009 1:58 PM

    *

    ” The following is the third in a series of guest posts from the Constitutional Accountability Center, a progressive legal think tank that works on constitutional and environmental issues. It is written by online communications director Hannah McCrea and president Doug Kendall, who also help maintain CAC’s blog, Warming Law. (Part I, Part II)

    ——-

    A debate has been rumbling over whether it is possible for the EPA to establish a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions under the existing Clean Air Act. We’ll discuss that debate in Part IV of this series. Setting aside that debate for a moment, the Act can still serve as an important catalyst for congressional action on climate change, if used effectively by the new Obama administration. Happily, Obama’s all-star climate team seems to clearly understand this important truth.

    The history here by now qualifies as environmental lore. Back in 1999, a group of concerned organizations, led by the tiny but bold International Center for Technology Assessment, petitioned the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under the CAA, arguing that the threat to human populations posed by climate change meant each of these chemicals fell within the Act’s definition of an “air pollutant” that “endangers public health or welfare.” After several years of legal prodding, and under Bush-appointed leadership, the EPA denied the petition. EPA claimed it did not have the authority to regulate GHGs and that, even if it did, it would defer regulation until climate science and policy, including foreign policy, became better developed.

    Several U.S. states and environmental groups then challenged the EPA’s decision in federal court, ultimately resulting in a landmark 5-4 Supreme Court ruling against the EPA issued in April 2007. The Court not only held that the EPA had the authority to regulate GHGs under the CAA, but that it was unjustified in delaying its action based on policy considerations not enumerated in the CAA itself.

    The Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA [PDF] was an historic moment in the fight against climate change. With federal action at an alarming standstill, the highest court in the land informed former President Bush that his administration already had the power it needed to address GHG emissions on a national level. Specifically, the Court held that the EPA could apply its broad authority under the CAA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, and therefore did not need to wait for Congress to begin aggressively addressing climate change on a more comprehensive basis.

    The Bush administration, unsurprisingly, acted as though this ruling never occurred. It endlessly delayed making the endangerment finding necessary to regulate auto emissions under Section 202 of the Act. It also continued busily granting permits for the construction of major GHG-emitting sources, eventually leading to an important ruling in the now-famous “Bonanza” case. In Bonanza, the Sierra Club challenged EPA’s refusal to consider CO2 emissions in evaluating a proposed coal-fired power plant subject to Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit requirements, arguing that because CO2 is “subject to regulation” under the CAA’s monitoring and reporting requirements, EPA was required to impose Best Available Control Technology emissions limits for CO2 as part of the permit.

    In November 2008 the EPA’s highest administrative panel, the Environmental Appeals Board, rejected the reasoning employed by EPA for not limiting CO2 and instructed the Agency to go back and reconsider whether CO2 is “subject to regulation” under the pertinent permitting provisions. Acting with speed notably lacking in its response to Massachusetts v. EPA, Bush EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson reacted by issuing a memo designed to blow off the decision and continued issuing permits for new coal-fired power plants.

    This history illustrates how much untapped power the EPA has to regulate GHGs today. As President Barack Obama’s EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate in her confirmation hearing, these legal decisions have laid the groundwork for an aggressive strategy by the new administration to start combating climate change.

    The Obama EPA should begin this strategy by pulling Johnson’s midnight memo and instructing states that BACT for CO2 emissions should be required in permits for new coal-fired power plants in PSD areas, in compliance with the Bonanza decision. The EPA should then make the endangerment finding that formally triggers CAA regulations so that it can lay out and follow a more comprehensive schedule for reducing CO2 emissions. This includes using its authority under Section 111(b) of the Act to develop New Source Performance Standards for new major stationary sources of emissions, as well as its authority under Section 111(d) to set Standards of Performance for existing major stationary sources.

    Next, President Obama should continue to tackle nationwide fuel economy standards. These are controlled by two federal agencies—the EPA, which sets vehicle emissions standards under Section 202 of the CAA, and the Department of Transportation-led National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new vehicles on a fleet-wide basis.

    In an ideal world, this complicated arrangement would change so that only the EPA controls federal auto emission standards (which in turn, dictate fuel economy standards). However, given the President’s recent decision to order NHTSA to finalize higher fuel economy standards, the NHTSA-EPA dual system of setting federal fuel economy standards will likely stay in place. Within this framework, then, President Obama should continue to use his regulatory authority to put the maximum possible amount of upward pressure on CAFE standards for the nation’s entire fleet of vehicles.

    What Ms. Jackson could not say so blatantly in her confirmation hearing (though she certainly implied it) is that these relatively straightforward measures will force Congress’ hand on cap-and-trade. Not only, as authors Michael Northrop and David Sassoon strongly argued in a recent issue of Environmental Finance, can the EPA “jump-start” federal regulation of GHGs with the CAA, but it can also signal to industry that it intends to fully exploit its authority to restrict CO2 emissions using rigid “command-and-control” measures. In the face of this undesirable (from their perspective) regulatory environment, firms can be expected to quickly throw their weight behind a more flexible, market-based approach like cap-and-trade, which would provide them with long-term, predictable targets around which they can plan for the future.

    President Obama has therefore entered office with significant tools for prompting cap-and-trade through legislative action. Through the authority that his administration already has under the CAA, which has been affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, President Obama should be able to convert the greatest opponents of cap-and-trade (including the auto industry, the utility industry, and the coal industry) into supporters, thereby laying the groundwork for an aggressive, comprehensive federal cap-and-trade bill in the very near future. “

  45. John Says:

    RE:43
    “You calling the Republicans communists?? They invented the concept”

    From:”The Political History of Cap and Trade”

    “John Sununu, the White House chief of staff, was furious. He said the cap “was going to shut the economy down,” Boyden Gray recalls. But the in-house debate “went very, very fast. We didn’t have time to fool around with it.” President Bush not only accepted the cap, he overruled his advisers’ recommendation of an eight million-ton cut in annual acid rain emissions in favor of the ten million-ton cut advocated by environmentalists.”

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Presence-of-Mind-Blue-Sky-Thinking.html?device=other&c=y

    So, That is Bush #42 …

  46. John Says:

    The same President Bush 42 that wants the United Nations to govern the world.

    “George Bush New World Order”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc7i0wCFf8g

    I am not so sure history will view Bush 42 as a conservative Republican.

    The article from grist.org , written 1 Feb 2009 1:58 PM looks like a blueprint that President Obama is working from.

  47. John Says:

    Currection:

    Comment 45 and 46 should refer to President George H. W. Bush # 41 not 42. 42 was President Clinton.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/georgehwbush

  48. John Says:

    So, If you like Bush 41, Cap And Trade, A New World Order, CAFE, and Obama,

    You will Love Jon Huntsman for President. He looks like a copy of Bush 41.

    “Jon Huntsman officially launches 2012 bid”

    By Holly Bailey | The Ticket – Tue, Jun 21, 2011

    “The campaign disclosed yesterday C. Boyden Grey, a veteran of George H.W. Bush’s administration, will oversee policy for his campaign.”

    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/jon-huntsman-officially-launch-2012-bid-125610638.html

    Yes. C. Boyden Grey of Cap and Trade fame.

    Huntsman = RINO

  49. MJB Says:

    @ #36 – “Not one comment on that Bad ass BMW,WOW.”

    That’s because it’s not (bad-ass). It’s just another BMW. They stopped being bad-ass quite some time ago, imho.

    And the interior dash layout leaves SO much to be desired…