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Episode 696 – GM Back to #1 in Sales, VW Fights CAFE, Chevy Spark Coming to America

August 5th, 2011 at 11:10am

Runtime: 7:15

General Motors is back to being No. 1 in global car-sales for the first six months of the year, knocking Toyota from the top spot. Volkswagen is crying foul on the Obama administration’s proposed CAFE rules saying they favor large vehicles and pretty much ignore diesels. Chevy confirmed it will sell its small hatchback, the Spark, in the U.S. All that and more, plus a look at the fantastic paintings of one automotive artist and how he puts so much realism into his work.

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Hey, I’m back!  It’s Friday, and this is Autoline Daily. Here’s what’s happening in the news.

GM BACK TO #1 IN SALES
General Motors is back to being No. 1 in global car-sales for the first six months of the year. GM sold just over 4.5 million vehicles, nearly a 9 percent jump. And the Volkswagen Group jumps to second place with 4.1 million cars. Rounding out the top three is Toyota with 3.7 million units. Of course Toyota was knocked from the top spot because of the earthquake in Japan. Toyota says production will get back to normal in September but it’s still likely the company will trail VW in sales for the year.

GM POSTS HUGE Q2 PROFIT
And thanks to that jump in sales, GM posted a huge profit for the second quarter, $2.5 billion, an increase of nearly 90 percent. Revenue was $39.4 billion, an increase of $6.2 billion compared to last year. Each region, except for South America, reported slight increases in the second quarter.

CHINA’S DEALERS SUFFER LOSSES
China’s auto market may be growing, but car dealers aren’t reaping the benefits. According to Gasgoo, nearly a third of all domestic dealers in China suffered losses the first half of the year. With some cities in the country restricting sales of new cars, dealers are being forced to discount cars because inventories are getting too large. But it’s only the domestic dealers who are suffering, 80 percent of import dealers made a profit or broke even in the first half of 2011.

FIAT-CHRYSLER HEADQUARTER DEBATE
Where in the world is Segio Marchionne going to put the headquarters of Fiat-Chrysler? The Italians think he’ll put it in America, the Americans think he’ll put it in Italy. Marchionne is hyper critical of how Europe and Italy are treating business. Putting the headquarters in Detroit would really send them a message they need to change. But here’s my Autoline Insight. Fiat has a greater concentration of engineering and R&D in Torino than Chrysler does in Auburn Hills. And since Chrysler will rely on Fiat for technology and platforms, the real weight of the organization will still be in Italy.

VW FIGHTS CAFE (subscription required)
Volkswagen is crying foul on the Obama administration’s proposed CAFE rules. Ward’s reports VW says the standard is too heavily biased toward full-size pickups and SUVs. A company spokesman said this will encourage people to buy larger vehicles than they need, in effect defeating the purpose of the legislation. But the German automakers’ biggest concern involves diesels, which are basically ignored by the proposed CAFE law. The company is NOT on board with the new rules but it hopes an ongoing dialogue with the administration will result in some policy adjustments. Yeah, we’ll see about that.

CHEVY SPARK COMING TO AMERICA
GM’s latest B-segment car, the Chevrolet Sonic, isn’t even available in the U.S. yet, but the company plans to offer an even smaller model. According to GreenCarReports.com, the company confirmed Chevy will sell its itty-bitty Spark hatchback in America. This will give GM complete coverage of the market from the A- through E-segments. The Spark is expected to arrive in the first half of next year.

WHY IS MULALLY APPEARING ON TV?
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has hit the television talk-show circuit recently, appearing on the David Letterman show and on the Charlie Rose show. I’m told Letterman was after Mulally for the last two years. So why is Mulally suddenly appearing on national TV programs now? Here’s my Autoline Insight. Ford has been stung by UAW president Bob King calling Mulally’s pay package “immoral” and “outrageous.” So they’ve put Alan on an all-out charm offensive. And judging by the reviews and internet chatter, it’s working. People love how and what Mulally has to say. And that will take the sting out of Bob King’s comments.

Coming up next, a look at the fantastic paintings of an automotive artist, and how he puts so much realism into his work..

LAST NIGHT ON AFTER HOURS
Last night on Autoline After Hours we had an artist on, Dave Snyder, who paints classic American muscle cars, but does it in a way that evokes an era and produces a captivating realism. I asked him how he does it, and here’s what he had to say.

By the way, you can watch that entire episode on our website right now at AutolineDetroit.tv. Just look in the John’s Journal section.

And of course, don’t forget to check out the LIVE broadcast of RoundAbout tonight. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on our website, AutolineDetroit.tv.

That’s today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you Monday.

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

60 Comments to “Episode 696 – GM Back to #1 in Sales, VW Fights CAFE, Chevy Spark Coming to America”

  1. tj Martin Says:

    TGIF !

    TGJB ! ( Thank God John is back )

    Phew ! No more , everyone else in the World is better than us , give special treatment to Special Interest Groups etc whoo haa !

    Seriously John . You ! PDL ! And maybe a couple of others . Please !

  2. tj Martin Says:

    REBUILDING DETROIT

    Did anyone catch this series on Planet Green last night ?

    Here’s my reactions to the show ;

    First and foremost I was shocked to see just how bad Detroit has been allowed to deteriorate . Many views looking like the day after a battle on the losing side . Honestly Pittsburg looked better after the Mills closed than this

    Second is SHAME on every Administration from Regan on , for allowing the very Hub of American Manufacturing and Industry to come to this level of destruction . Worse for the last three Administrations for allowing this to continue on unabated

    Third is SHAME on the Big Three , for making so little effort to remain competitive in the last 40 years , as well as for moving so much of their manufacturing overseas etc

    Fourth . For all the good intentions , hard work and money so many individuals are putting into the City to improve things , i saw very little to give much hope of their success .

    Art Work , Cloths for the homeless , Galleries , Music etc is all very nice Icing , but without JOBS Good Public Schools , and a significantly repaired/improved infrastructure , all their time and effort will come to naught .

    All that Icing with no Cake ( substance ) underneath will , when the slightest ( allegorical ) heat wave or tiniest bit of weight , be crushed in an instant . I’m watching the same scenario develop here in KC in their futile attempts to revitalize Down/Mid Town , and have watched time and time again the neighborhoods in question start with so much hope only to collapse under the strain because of the lack of Jobs , good Schools , and solid infrastructure .

    Something of substance needs to be done in Detroit and NOW . Forget the Liberal mindset of Art Galleries Gardens etc . Forget the Rights lack of desire to spend a dime to help anyone else .

    Detroit is ripe for a WPA type project , getting able bodied sound of mind individuals off Welfare and Food Stamps and WORKING to get Detroit back on its feet .

    I’ll end my soapbox by saying the US is still the best place in the World to live

    But we should all be hanging our heads in shame for allowing Detroit to deteriorate to this level .

    Shame On Us All

    ( sermon over , coffee and donuts in the Narthex )

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    The answer to ALL formerly great US cities is J O B S and plainly speaking, it ain’t happening!! Look at Mullaly’s appearance on Letterman, big freaking American hero who has shipped thousands of American jobs to Mexico, great job, pat him on the back and pay him millions

  4. Phil in Burlington, Ontario Says:

    Hi John,

    On Autoline After Hours, last night you and Peter spoke about the bad review Consumer Reports gave the 2012 Honda Civic – even going so far as to no longer recommend the car. While I agree with both of your comments on the matter, I thought you missed an opportunity to say that this slap in the face to Honda may be the impetus it needs to finally get its mojo back!

    Thanks, Phil

  5. ART Says:

    you mean the car company that was to big to fail then failed! The car company that screwed the stock and bond holders, not to mention the product vendors..

    NEVER NEVER WILL BUY ANYTHING FROM GM AGAIN. THEY ARE A DISGRACE.

    The same company that produced a commercial that said “We paid back our loan” — yeah.. they just borrowed more money from another govt agency to pay back another.. Hey look over here!! Okay they are looking move the money.

    Idiots.

  6. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Mullallay’s compensation, immoral? No, outrageous? Yes (along with a long list of celebrities, athletes, other captains of industry) I don’t think it wrong (just can’t figure out how it got so out of hand).

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even though I’ve never had a four-wheeled Honda, it is sad to see them losing their way as they are. Of their recent new products, only the Odyssey seems to be a winner, and it’s not much, if any better than the old one. The Insight and CRZ are truly underwhelming, in both performance and mpg, and, as everyone here knows, I like properly done hybrids. I hope they can regain their mojo with the next Accord, when it arrives. Also, it seems there are some cool things they could do with their current products. Honda are not very good with hybrids; Insight is slower AND thirstier than the larger Prius, so why not take that low drag hatch body, and put a conventional power train in it. They could sell it cheaply, and it should get exceptional highway mpg with that slick body. Better yet would be to revive their diesel plans. The Insight body with a diesel of about 120 hp, and 1.8 liter should easily unseat Prius as the mpg champ, especially on the highway.

  8. SalvadorG. Says:

    Pedro – just to check…

    - In what year did Mulally became CEO of Ford Motors again?? and… What jobs has Alan Mulally shipped to Mexico?

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh, Fusion, Fiesta and many engines as well. Focus production was moved back here due to pressure from outsiders

  10. SalvadorG. Says:

    Pedro, is that an answer; because that’s not what I asked.

  11. tj Martin Says:

    As much as I appreciate Honda .

    Just to add insult to injury

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/honda-recalls-1-5-million-accords-cr-vs-and-elements-to-reprogram-transmission-software/?ref=automobiles

    Seems Honda is suffering from a bout of Toyotaits

    @ SalvadorG – The better question might be ;

    What jobs hasn’t Mulally shifted or tried to shift to Mexico

    Yet we keep applauding the SOB , plastering his insincere mug all over the Air Waves and justifying his Outrageous salary .

    And we wonder why cities like Detroit are such a mess . Maybe partially because we ( which includes the Media ) keep making Heros out of these Greedy , Self Centered _______ s .

    @ All

    I’m amending the post Sermon refreshments . Considering the Gravity and Depressive nature of the Sermon I’ve decided something a bit more substantial was in order .

    Coffee is still on , but with the addition of JD , Stranaham’s and a selection of Micro Brews , with cigars for those who care to partake . I don’t know about the rest of you but this has me seriously in the dumps .

  12. HtG Says:

    Detroit is depressing, and I didn’t get to watch the visuals last night, but remember that it reached it’s height in a post war world where the US was dominant. This was not a normal situation. Plus, the destruction of cities was at least helped along by GM which conspired to wreck the trolley systems across the country. Maybe urbanity is a relic, except for a few cities.

    Speaking of which, HtG will be in DC next week. So tj will be on solo H/S watch.

    ps ALMS from Mid-Ohio will be on the web tomorrow at 3:15. americanlemans.com

    pps tj, you got to stop watching the TV. It’s an emotional beating.

  13. HtG Says:

    You think you’re blue now, tj? Here’s two book reccos; Fallout, by Collins and Frantz, and Nazi Nexus by Black.

  14. Lex Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    I agree with your Comment #7. Honda products are no longer leading the industry. Did you see the photo of the New 2012 CR-V, BAD! The only bright spot for Honda was the unveiling of the New Fit EV. The one thing Honda failed to mention was the price. If the Fit EV is successful than the Insight could be moth balled. Americans love roomy vehicles with creature comforts. If Honda can deliver this at the right time with the right price with the New Fit EV, it can be a winner.

    I hope Honda has better plans for the New Element than what it is showing us whats in store for the New CR-V. Honda needs a serious infusion on MOJO. Maybe Honda should hire the guy how styled the New Elantra away from Hyundai.

  15. W L Simpson Says:

    I,m not a ford person, but if one was to read his bio ,lifetime accomplishments & personality
    descriptions, one might decide he,s one in a million. I would like to know the details of his departure ,after a lifetime, from Boeing.

  16. HtG Says:

    Time to bust Alan’s chops. GM did the global platform thing before Ford got around to it. Please see Chevy Cruze. When AM got to F he had Rick Wagoner on the phone for weeks figuring out what was what(that was nice of him, no?). When Ford collapsed and had to bring in AM, the banks were capable of lending money. When GM and Chrysler collapsed both the banks and commercial paper markets were detonating. If the govt and Fed hadn’t propped up the financial world, Ford would have lost the line of credit it’s been using for the last three years. Let’s give AM the credit he’s due, but not embarrass him with excess.

  17. SalvadorG. Says:

    @tj Martin…

    AARHH!! Man, I guess I can’t just get an answer now days, which reminds me;…

    tj M., You have no idea brother; I remember asking this guy Who! swore to me that he saw a 2011 Boss 302 beat a 458 Italia, And when I asked him for proof, PROOF!; the weasel never answer me back, the guy was full of BS.

  18. john787 Says:

    Why blame Toyota’s decline only on the the tsunami? I think it falls mainly on the lousy products they are selling with record numbers of recalls. I think we should call an ace an ace and give GM some credit.

  19. john787 Says:

    No matter how you cut, Mulally total income is excessive and greedy. I don’t care how good or lucky he’s been with Ford. I say lucky, because he put a great deal of Ford’s money in the right investments and I’m sure he did not have a crystal ball telling him the economy was going to crash.

    No automotive CEO is worth that kind of money. This guy is rolling in money while the workers have been giving up wages and benefits. The UAW will have a good bargaining tool.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Speaking of recalls, new one for the Chrysler minivans, their bread and butter vehicle but I’m sure Sergio and his crack team of Tony’s will be on the case in no time, I have been hearing of Ford’s global platform for many years, but apparently the US was not part of the globe, even though the one I have at home says yes. BTW most northern, industrial cities are in terrible decaying conditions, looking more like the former iron curtain cities than American ones. That’s what you get when govt, unions and private enterprise work harmoniously together.

  21. tj Martin Says:

    SalvadorG

    # 17 Coming from you I’ll take that as a compliment seeing as you never asked for the proof of the 458 vs 302 ( unless you did so after hours ; I’m not on this site 24/7 you know. And just how would you like me to ” Prove ” an eye witness account )

    No idea ? Really ? About what ?

    Lets see LeMans Tj- 3 … SG – 1 ( barely )
    Knowledge of Euro cars , countries , roads people
    Tj-30… SG-0
    General Automotive knowledge
    Tj ( too many to count ) SG- 0

    So remind me , just what is your area of expertise and knowledge other than contrarian BS ?

    BS ? No thats your department SG . I wouldn’t think to take your position away

    FYI ; Get a clue . Online , man to man , whatever you’d like , I’m out of your league SG . Way out of your league .

    So please do stop bringing a Pen Knife to a Nuclear War and settle down a bit would you . I for one am less than impressed

  22. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Well if you’re on break for a bit ( can DC be considered a break? ) I think I’ll do the same as of Monday .

    In all honesty that show last night still has me PO’d and the little outburst today from the Peanut Gallery hasn’t done much for my mood either .

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    What is happening to Ford is a microcosm of every thing happening, not just in US, but in the whole world, more and more millionaires and bigger salaries for top execs, seems that no matter how bad things get, these rich folk keep getting richer to the point where you see in places like Greece the working class getting riled up, isn’t that Communism started a hundred yrs ago?

  24. HtG Says:

    espn3.com is showing ALMS qualifying now, for those for whom it’s safe to watch.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I seem to be in a minority, but, to me, recalls are not a bad thing. What is a bad thing, is when a company refuses to recall vehicles when there is a known problem. A case in point was then-still-arrogant GM in the 80′s with X car brakes that would lock up, causing the car to get sideways when you weren’t expecting it. I would have liked it a lot better if they had recalled the cars, rather than hiring more lawyers. I had one of the cars, and had an “incident” with the problem in winter weather. I didn;t crash, but some were not as lucky.

  26. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro #23

    RE; FORD – Oh but not according to the all wise , all knowing SG !

    And yes it is ( the communism question )

    But pedro do you want to know the really ironic thing about our current situation ?

    What the Rich have forgotten , or failed to realize is that their wealth was built on the backs of a successful Middle Class . Take that successful Middle Class away and guess what happens to all their wealth ? Like so many before them , without that steady stream of income ( because they keep spending it ) their wealth will disintegrate into dust and mothballs in no time flat .

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit don’t get me get going on the X cars please, according to TTAC it is the single most contributing line of cars to bring down the former great GM, In should know I had one and it turned me away from US cars for decades. WE can also criticize Toyota for their silent recalls, I went through that also and only found out after I brought Camry in for brake vibration issues and then I was told there was a bulletin from the factory but I had not been notified.

  28. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit #25

    I think both are negative ;

    1)Recalls being the lesser of two evils , but still showing the company having messed up

    2) Not Recalling being the worst , for as you said , the consequences the consumer will deal with .

    Hmmmn . Number Two reminding me of my three year ordeal with Audi USA .

  29. HtG Says:

    Here’s why Alan M.’s pay doesn’t bother me(too much). The big number includes stock grants, which are cashed in not with the Ford treasurer, but with the market. If the share price were lower, the headline number would have been proportionately lower even as worker pay would not decline as much. AM was commanding Boeing when Bill F tried to woo him; how should he have lured him over? AM only makes money as the rest of the organization prospers, even as investors benefit. I’d also say the success of the company compensates workers through job security.

  30. SalvadorG. Says:

    @ tj Martin,

    1. The fact that you think yourself to be an authority on everything is what makes you Full of BS.

    2. I actually have traveled to Europe, I just don’t brag about it. My business none of yours.

    3. You still didn’t answer my question.

    and Yes, you really are full of BS.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    @ SalvadorG

    Pardon me for ;

    Being better educated
    Better Informed
    More World wise ( I lived in Europe , France/ Italy/ UK to be specific hot shot )
    Have better and more diverse connections

    And as I stated : Out of your League

    As to your question , which one would that be pray tell , or can you not read mine and pedro’s replies

    I’ll try harder in future to lower myself to your pathetic unidimensional standards , hard as it may be . Actually no I won’t .

    As to who’s full of it , I think I made my point quite well in post #21 as to who has the browner eyes between us : whereas you’ve made the accusation , but have yet to prove your point .# 3 hardly being an argument worthy of two MEN in a debate .

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ SalvadorG

    Seeing as how this could go on forever , and somehow I’m betting at some point you’ll go crying to the moderators , lets leave it at this rather than glom up the site .

    When you can disprove on solitary fact that I’ve ever posted here ( fact not opinions ) with a verifiable contrary fact . I’ll continue this discussion

    Until then might i suggest you keep silent lest you prove yourself to be the fool you’re pretending to be in this pathetic attempt at grandstanding

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Now Honda is also recalling some cars for auto transmission problems that could arise if drivers shift between P and D too fast and back and forth (rocking) like when stuck on ice, the same thing we’ve been warned for decades NOT to do

  34. HtG Says:

    @33 Amazing. 30+ years ago my Bro-in-law had a job running broken and rebuilt transmissions around Motown. What was busting ‘em back then? People shifting them between Drive and Reverse during snow storms.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    Correction: I meant to write R and D, we’ve all been guilty of that at one time or another, I guess. That is the one thing FWD is good at, I remember I would use chains and I never got stuck with a FWD car.

  36. tj Martin Says:

    Well gentlemen , the Peanut Gallery seems to have been silenced ( by the way there was a distinct lack of support from you all that would of been appreciated ) The Weekend beckons . And I think I’ll follow thru with taking a bit of a break while HtG is gone .

    I need to ignore the news ( even automotive news ) for a bit after last nights horror show .

    So see you all on the flip side ( after the 15th ) Keep the shiny side up and enjoy !

  37. tj Martin Says:

    :o

  38. Donan Iacovone Says:

    Like Woody said, “Play nice”

    Now, the cars offered today are far superior so me complaining about a recall or about the cars manufactured by GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota, or whomever is like being a spoiled child. When’s the last time anyone bought a car with crank windows and no A/C? Now, standard comforts. Also, not very often that you see cars stuck on the side of the road today. When a car has a problem, it is usually a minor one (CEL comes on). I also agree with VW about our government not really ever showing any support for diesels either. That’s my two or three cents.

  39. phil Says:

    You are paid for what you do. With out AM would those Ford worker’s have a job. I myself don’t understand why anybody needs that kind of Money. AM pay is tied to performance.

    As far as recall’s go. They buy parts from a lot of co. When a part is proven by us to fail to much, they recall and replace.

  40. Dave Says:

    I find it really interesting that everyone seems to hate Smart cars, thinks they were a mistake and will never last, but yet a number of other brands are introducing cars that seem to be about the same shape and size (ie Chevy Spark) to the market. They’re going to be around the same price point and probably have roughly the same pros and cons, so do these other auto makers know something we don’t?

    Regarding Alan, he does make way too much money, but so does every other CEO, and union boss. That car they showed off on Letterman looked kind of interesting, like an electrified Focus with some styling tweaks.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    If GM made the Spark like the Smart, they deserve to go out of business and never return. Smart has a puny 3 cyl engine and yet it’s not that good on gas, it has a horrible transmission which has been blasted by every single review I’ve read and its too expensive for what it is. I believe the Spark will be a much better car (at least on paper)and I hope GM sells a lot of them.

  42. XA351GT Says:

    Why the hell is it that everytime we get rid of one blow hard know it all more step into the fray? I don’t know about the rest of you but this I know more than you Bull Sh*t is getting old. You have your opinion so does everyone else , Half the conversations or more have absolutely nothing to do with the days broadcast . Most of the time seems like just a platform to try and prove one superiority. Give it a rest and just comment on the topics presented on the damn show.

  43. SalvadorG. Says:

    @ tj Martin,
    Your lucky I actually have a job and can’t spend all day here and please don’t make me laugh, you think your better than me! HA! better educated! HA! Your OLD and I really don’t care for all the things you think you know.

    And you still did not DID NOT ANSWER my question…

    Where is the PROOF of that BOSS 302, that you claim beat a Ferrari 458 Italia?

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #41,
    Spark will have a much better transmission than smart. How could it not? The horrible transmission is what has killed smart. I might have bought one as a “city car” in Florida, but the transmission makes the car just, plain, unpleasant to drive.

  45. Aliisdad Says:

    “…GT”, you are right on…This should be an automotive discussion… If anyone is here just to try to built up their manhood by fighting others, they should go buy one of those penis extenders that they sell in the back of automotive magazines …and don’t ruin this great forum for ALL ideas for the rest of us…That’s how we learn and sometimes actually see that someone else has a better idea that we need to consider…Agree of disagree, at least let everyone share what they think whether we think you think they are right or wrong… Of course, wrong facts should be corrected, but not someone’s opinion…PLEASE!!!

  46. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    xa351gt,

    thank you very much for your statement.

    everyone have a good weekend.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Spark will have a choice of 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions. The two engines used in most markets are a 1.0 and 1.2 liter 4 cyl. gas. The “big” 1.2 is 80 hp. A diesel is sold in India, and maybe some other markets.

    We will see in a few months, but this should be an ok city car, at least with the manual gearbox. It seems to me that engines this size should have 3 rather than 4 cylinders, thoigh, like the smaller VW group engines in Polo.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    This Spark may actually make me go back to an American brand, it looks good based on what I’ve read except for the engine. The one review I read said that the chassis “deserved a better power-train” this was of course the EU version, I suppose GM will give it a little more oomph for the US version.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From what I’ve been able to find, it looks like Spark will have the 1.2 liter, 80hp engine in the US. The car should be light, around 2000 pounds, so 80hp should do ok with the manual transmission. I suspect it would be pretty slow with the torque converter automatic. Of course, maybe they will come up with more motor by the time the car arrives in the US.

  50. cwolf Says:

    The Spark is a cute city car,but I’m not yet sold on little cars. If mpg’s are close,would’nt other choices,like the more spacious Sonic be more sensible? Heck, for that matter, go another step larger,like corolla, and use one car year round in the city and on the highway in comfort. Driving Spark sized cars on Michigan roads and in winters is more risk than I could stand. If not lost in a pot hole, the front end won’t last much beyond the warranty.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even though I like small cars, I would only want a car as small as Spark or scion iQ for city use. I don’t know what the mileage ratings will be for the Spark, but iQ has a not-very-impressive 36 or 37 highway rating. The iQ’s city rating is about the same, though, very good for a non-hybrid, even a small one.

    If I didn’t have my MINI, I would be checking out the Sonic hatch when it comes along. I suspect that car will be fun to drive, properly equipped, and get good mpg. It won’t be as sporty handling as the MINI, but should be quieter and a little quicker than a base MINI, while getting equal or better mpg.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and Sonic will be roomier than a MINI. For my use, the MINI has all the space I need, but it is basically a two seater, while Sonic will have a moderately usable back seat.

    Somehow, the MINI seems to be my lower size threshold of cars I feel comfortable driving on the super slab. I don’t think I’d really like driving a car like Spark or iQ on the intersate at 75-80, even if they perform ok at that speed.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit don’t you feel safer on the highway at less than 70 than on local streets, with distracted drivers going through stop signs and red lights?

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have seen plenty of Smarts driving on the expressway, not for long distance driving for short jaunts around the city.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit the EU Spark has 80 hp but will it be the same when the Federal standards come into play?

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro, I certainly feel safer at 70 on the highway than some places at lower speed, but with intersections, lost tourists, etc. One advantage on the highway is kind of like NASCAR, everyone on your piece of pavement is going in the same direction.

    Regarding Spark, I searched around a bit, and most of what I found indicated that it would probably arrive here with the 80hp 1.2 liter. One site, it may have been Edmunds, indicated that it might have a 1.4 liter of about 100 hp.

  57. tj Martin Says:

    @ SalvadorG

    In case you hadn’t noticed this is the US of A where the burden of proof is on the accuser . That would be you in case that slips by your level of comprehension .

    I must also assume READING in the English language is not one of your fortes as I did answer your question . Must be that inability to comprehend the subtleties of the language on your part

    I’ve given you your chance to refute any FACT that I’ve posted and all you seem to be ale to do is come back with another raft of pre adolescence pithy uneducated attempts to insult me

    So from this point on I’ll ignore your pathetic attempts at insult and critique

  58. tj Martin Says:

    @ SalvadorG

    PS; Forgot to add to the above ;

    Sorry your EuroSnob tendencies won’t allow you to enjoy the current American performance cars , such as the BOSS 302 , C6 etc .

    You have no idea what you are missing . Kind of sad actually but there you have it

  59. SalvadorG. Says:

    Still no proof on that Boss 302.

  60. David Says:

    John,
    The lack of onscreen controls such as PAUSE, FF, and RW is a real PO. If I watch on Youtube I get full control over my experience. Time to loosen the apron strings and let us view accoring to our own recipe.