July 29th, 2011 at 12:15pm
To hit the proposed CAFE target of 54.5 MPG automakers would have to improve fuel economy at a rate the industry has never achieved in 100 years. Sergio Marchionne announced management changes at Fiat-Chrysler, but one industry expert says he still has too many direct reports. Toyota is readying a product blitz in the U.S. in which it will introduce 20 new models by 2013. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline about which new cars and trucks that have come out this year have a shot at winning the North American Car and Truck of the Year award.
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, July 29, 2011. And here’s the latest of what’s happening in the automotive industry.
OEMS PREPARE FOR THEIR MID-TERMS
Is the new CAFE standard really achievable? Historical data would suggest that it is not. To hit the Obama Administration’s target of 54.5 miles per gallon automakers would have to improve fuel economy at a rate of 5 percent per year for cars and 3.5 percent for trucks. But Bloomberg reports that over the last 100 years the industry has never hit that rate. Even with all the hybrids that have hit the market since 2007, the rate of improvement was 2 percent per year. On last night’s Autoline After Hours, Jay Baron, the chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, noted that there’s one ray of hope for automakers. We also had Mark Perry, the director of product planning for Nissan in the U.S. Both he and Baron agree that the CAFE standard is likely to be reduced after that mid-term review.
THEY ALL REPORT TO SERGIO (subscription required)
Sergio Marchionne announced the expected management change at Fiat-Chrysler yesterday, but Ward’s cites an industry expert who says Marchionne still has too many direct reports. There will be 21 executives reporting directly to Marchionne, four fewer than before. But Gerald Myers, a professor at the University of Michigan, and the former chairman and CEO of American Motors says that’s still way too many. He says the maximum number of direct reports any CEO should have is eight to 10, and even that is a lot. Ward’s says Marchionne is risking burning himself out.
TOYOTA’S PRODUCT BARRAGE (subscription required)
A while back we reported that Nissan is launching a product assault, with a new or redesigned vehicle coming out ever six weeks for the next six years on a global basis. But it’s not just Nissan. Toyota is readying a product blitz the likes of which the company has never seen before. It’s coming out with 20 new models by 2013 just in the U.S. market. And before the year is out the Big T will launch a new Camry, a refreshed Tacoma pickup, the Prius v station wagon, the Prius plug-in and the Scion iQ.
AUF WIEDERSEHEN MR. MARKS
The head of Bosch’s operations in North and South America, Peter Marks, announced he is leaving the company. Marks, who was recently a guest of mine on Autoline, has been with Bosch for 34 years. He is not being pushed out but is leaving for personal reasons. Marks is being replaced with Dr. Werner Struth, who has been the president of Bosch’s Chassis Systems Control division since 2005. The changes are effective at the end of the year.
Coming up next, when it comes to the North American Car of the Year, the critics are speaking out about the new Honda Civic. And what they’re saying ain’t pretty. That’s coming right up.
THIS WEEK ON AUTOLINE
This week on Autoline we’re looking at the new cars and trucks that have come out so far this year, all with an eye towards what might become the 2012 North American Car of The Year, joining me for that discussion are Eddie Alterman and Tony Swan from Car and Driver magazine, who, like me, are on the jury for the North American Car of The Year. And they have some shocking things to say about the new Honda Civic.
By the way, you can see that entire show right now on our website at AutolineDetroit.tv, and it’s a good one.
And don’t forget to tune into RoundAbout tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Tonight’s guest is Jonathan Klinger, a guy who is driving a Ford Model A everyday for a year. Should be a good show, make sure you tune in.
But that brings us to the end of this show, thanks for watching, have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday.