Episode 727 – GM Complies with China’s Demands, Ford Expands in Indonesia, Nissan Outsourcing

September 20th, 2011 at 11:12am

Runtime: 7:10

GM submits to China’s EV demands and announces the development of a new electric architecture with its partner, SAIC. Meanwhile, Ford sees opportunity and is expanding in Indonesia. Nissan responds to the problem of a strong yen by outsourcing — up to 90 percent. All that and more, plus a drive in BMW’s 650i Coupe.

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This is Autoline Daily for September 20, 2011. And here’s what’s going on in the world of the automobile.

GM COMPLIES WITH CHINA’S EV DEMANDS
For the first time in its history, GM’s board of directors held a meeting outside of the United States. Where’d they go? Where else? To China. GM’s chairman Dan Akerson arrived at the meeting in an EN-V concept vehicle. He also announced a joint project to develop a new electric vehicle architecture in China with GM’s joint venture partner, SAIC. The EVs they develop together will be sold in China under the Shanghai GM and SAIC brands. But they will also use this architecture to build and sell EVs elsewhere in the world on their own. The Chinese government is forcing automakers to share their EV technology with their joint venture partners if they want to get government subsidies for the EVs they sell in China.

FORD EXPANDS IN INDONESIA
And while GM is expanding in China, Ford is adding dealers and more models to sell in Indonesia. The total Indonesian market is relatively small. Only 850,000 vehicles were sold there last year. And so far this year Ford has only sold around 11,000 vehicles there. But Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world after China, India and the United States, so automakers expect the market there to grow strongly.

NISSAN’S LOW-COST OUTSOURCING
Meanwhile, Japan is still reeling from the strength of the yen, which is making Japanese products very expensive. Now Nissan says it’s going to buy a lot more cheaper parts from China and South Korea. At Nissan’s Kyushu plant, which makes the Murano and Rogue, 90 percent of all the parts needed to make those cars will be imported from low-cost countries.

CHEVY CAPRICE POPULAR WITH POLICE (subscription required)
GM believes police departments in the US will buy more of its RWD Chevy Caprice once it starts offering them as patrol cars. Ward’s reports so far it’s only selling detective versions of the cars, and has delivered 400 cars with 6 liter engines. GM also plans to offer its Chevy Impala police car with a new V-6 that’s more powerful with better fuel economy. GM currently controls 25 percent of the police car segment.

SAAB DODGES ANOTHER BULLET
Just when you think Saab is on the brink of collapse, the company finds a way to stay alive. Bloomberg reports that Saab just received a $95 million bridge loan from Deutsche bank after Saab secured collateral from a Chinese investor. Also, the company is still seeking court protection from creditors which, if granted, would prevent bankruptcy and ensure Sweden covers employees’ wages.

I’m Seamus McElroy with a look at the latest in German luxury. That report is coming up next.

When you think of the California coast two words come to mind, beauty and power. And those two words also describe the BMW 6 Series. Especially the all new 650i Coupe.

It follows the convertible, which was released earlier in the year. The Coupe has a longer body, longer wheelbase and is also wider than the previous model, but that’s not all that’s new.

Customers also get two transmission choices.

A manual, just for the U.S.? We must be in the bizarro world. The Coupe moves from 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.8 seconds. And the top speed is electronically limited to 155 MPH.

Driving the car is a blast. Handling is improved thanks to front and rear axles made mostly out of aluminum. And electronically controlled shock absorbers adapt to both the road surface and the driver’s style to help improve the ride. And to make driving even more enjoyable, the driver can choose several driving modes, which alter shift characteristics, the shock absorbers, power steering boost assistance and the tuning of the throttle response.

As you would expect, the 650i Coupe is loaded with technology. BMW ConnectedDrive, which controls the infotainment system, convenience features and more, is available. As well as night vision with pedestrian recognition, lane departure and lane change warning systems and optional adaptive LED Headlights.

Thanks for that report Seamus. Look for the BMW 650i Coupe at the beginning of October with a starting price just under $84,000.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday night. Our guest is Clay Dean the head of Advanced Design at General Motors. And the latest effort out of his shop is the sensational Cadillac Ciel. Make sure to get your questions in for the show as we get Mr. Dean to talk about where he sees design headed in the future.

And that’s the top news in the global automotive industry for today, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

57 Comments to “Episode 727 – GM Complies with China’s Demands, Ford Expands in Indonesia, Nissan Outsourcing”

  1. Geelong Vic Says:

    Having been recently in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico, I observed that all new police cruisers/interceptors were Dodge Chargers. I suspect that GM will do fine with its Chevy Caprice as an alternative to the Charger, and I suspect that Ford will be in deep trouble in the Police market without a rear drive platform.

  2. Ron Paris Says:

    The 630i Coupe is drop-dead gorgeous; much nicer than the cabrio with it’s awkward rear lite. But where on earth does BMW recruit their product managers from these days? Alanna Bahri looks and talks like a recent junior college graduate with an AA in marketing! I find it hard to take someone like this seriously.

  3. W L Simpson Says:

    I have read that police mopars are very high mtce

  4. MJB Says:

    How does SAAB keep doing it?

    How do they keep finding ways to re-immerge from those near-death experiences?

    Whoever the frontman is leading negotiations and investor talks ought to be in very high demand once SAAB does hit the skids. I’ve NEVER heard of a company that is so destin to fail being able to tread water for so long after their expiration date. The negotiation and barganing skill necessary to convince investor after investor that SAAB actually has a shot at survival (when the rest of the world knows they don’t)is nothing short of phenominal!

    -

    Now onto the “optional adaptive headlights” on that new BMW 6 series. What’s up with that? On an $84,000 automobile, the only thing that should be optional is one’s choice between deerskin or ostrich skin leather trim. Adaptive headlamps should be standard. C’mon BMW!

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    From earlier reports on China’s insistence of sharing EV technology I was under the impression that it would be mandatory and required, to participate, but hearing that Chinese subsidies are dependent on sharing EV technology, this seems more fair and reasonable; at least this way it is a take it or leave it scenario.

  6. HtG Says:

    I can’t help it, I like that BMW. The back-up camera comes out of the rondelle? How trick. Did I mention I like that car?

  7. tj Martin Says:

    Dodge Chargers here ( KC ) KS and CO as well … so where the heck are all these Capricious Caprices supposedly running around in Detective guise .

    FYI – SAAB has already made its appeal to the Swedish Government for Bankruptcy protection ……… and was turned down flat in what was recorded in the Swedish Press as record time . Never a good thing when the Courts make a decision that quickly

    As well as $95 million will not even cover SAAB’s back salaries owed … never mind the near Billion they owe their suppliers .. so once again SAAB is trying to put out a 1200 acre Forest Fire with a Childs Squirt Gun .

    Not exactly ” Dodging another Bullet ” by mine or anyone else’s definition .

    GM Sucking up to China’s demands ;

    Not too bright there GM in light of the Pathetic Profit Margins you make in China , not to mention the Chinese Government placing a Cap on all Automotive Production , as well as that impending Financial Implosion everyone one BUT the Automakers knows is just down the road .

  8. MJB Says:

    @2

    I’m glad someone said it (Alanna comment)!

    If I have to sit and listen to another up-talker ever again in my life, it will be TOO – FREAKING – SOON!

    STOP UP-TALKING!!!!!!!! You sound like you are not sure about one single thing coming out of your mouth. STOP IT!

    All that was missing was a contiguous string of the word “like” being peppered throughout her sentences as a pre-preposition…as is the common practice nowadays with many women under 35 and a lot of guys under 25.

    Sorry people, but up-talking and the use of ‘like’ as a pre-preposition are the two things that just get my blood boiling.

  9. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    The BMW M6

    Yummmmmm !

    The rest of the models ?

    Ehhhhh. OK I guess . But that M6 .

    Stick this in the CD player

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQIOxYfL_tU&feature=related

    Give me a Brioni Suit and some hot little number in the passenger seat , Sobraine Black & Gold hanging out my mouth and its James Bond .. Eat your heart out with that pretentious Aston Martin

    Agent 00TJ is in town baby , and you won’t even know what hit you .

  10. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    # 8

    re; the “Like ” comment

    + 1

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    I can’t believe GM is giving these bastards all the technology needed to develop EV’s. One day it’s gonna come back and bite them in the a__. How the hell can any tech get into that BMW engine compartment unless he’s got real skinny arms? Will BMW’s now come with a flower vase like the Beetle?

  12. Chuck Grenci Says:

    @tj “Dodge Chargers here ( KC ) KS and CO as well … so where the heck are all these Capricious Caprices supposedly running around in Detective guise.”

    They’re undercover of course. :)

  13. tj Martin Says:

    @ Chuck Grenci

    #12

    LoL ! :o

  14. HtG Says:

    MJB and tj, please don’t bring that up again, ‘mkay?

  15. HtG Says:

    I can just imagine the BMW PR people trying to pry Seamus out that BMW. The rigid lad grips the wheel like grim death, the In-n-Out burgers are offered, the good lad keeps looking straight ahead at the Pacifac. Has he come home to sunny Motown yet, John? Playing a few rounds of golf with Clint, first?

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I have to agree with Seamus when he says we must be in the ‘bizarro’ world, as just about everyone knows that manuals have traditionally been offered almost everywhere else (other than in the U.S.), though to be fair, they are in California. I think I looked up, bizarro once and there was a picture of California (for reference); no offense. I’m originally from N.J. so I’m not new to the occasional ‘state’ joke(s).

  17. Lex Says:

    General Motors is Partnering Up with the Chinese Government on EV technology so that they can hopefully gain more market share in China. GM’s ultimate goal is to move the majority of automotive production to China and leave the American UAW Workers and US Taxpayers high and dry. GM will be the funnel threw which the Chinese will dump their automotive products in North America. Maybe GM should have went to the Chinese Government directly for a Bailout.

    China has a great deal of economic influence in the world, and GM wants to ride their coat tails.

  18. tj Martin Says:

    ( brand new BMW M6 , in Stealth Grey of course …. pulls up w/Danger Mouse ” Rome ” CD playing in the background . Tall man in Brioni suit , Gucci loafers and Persol 712′s steps out of the car and into the Private Club . Drop dead gorgeous women [ Carla Bruni ] by his side )

    TJ

    TJ Martin

    Stranahams with a splash of still mineral water my good man . And if you shake or stir it I’ll break your arm in 17 places , then wrap it around your neck like a cheap necklace .

  19. tj Martin Says:

    @HtG

    Like dude , what are you talkin about , not bringin up somthin like using Like in each and every sentence ?

    Like Dude thats like totally uncool . ‘Mkay ? ‘

    ( Eeesh … did I just type that ? :( )

  20. tj Martin Says:

    @ Chuck Grenci #16

    California ( according to the comedian Gallager )

    ” California is like a Bowl of Granola ………. What aint Fruits and Nuts is Flakes ”

    Having lived in LaLa land for a bit I find that description quite accurate .

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe they should build that Caprice in the Spring Hill assembly plant.

    As far as GM giving EV technology to China, what’s the big deal. Everyone who comments on this board says EV’s are a joke. If that is true, GM isn’t giving away anything of value.

  22. HtG Says:

    @ROME, I am making a cinema right now. Pacifac Coast Highway moving north, ROME playing.

    Mi piace.

  23. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    # 21

    E/V’s short term ( current technology ) are a joke ( and should not be on the market at this point in time )

    E/V’s long term are a possibility

    So giving away the steps that will hopefully someday lead to Viable E/V’s on GM’s part is less than stupid . Moronic and begging to be made Redundant being a better description of GM’s recent China decision … especially in light of China’s long standing reputation for STEALING intellectual and actual properties

    This move will without a doubt Bite GM severely on their Bum , with little or no reward coming GM’s way .

  24. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Speaking of stealing intellectual properties ( #22 ) is you stealin my movie idea or was you plannin on participating in the project with me of course as the Star ? The Bimmer playing second fiddle

    Sheeesh Ya can’t trusts anybodies these days :o

  25. HtG Says:

    I drove up the PCH from SF to the Russian River in a Focus some years ago. You can call me a flake.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In reality, the only EV technology that has serious room for improvement is batteries. Other than cost cutting, the motors and electronic controls are close to as good as they will get. If GM is “giving away” real information on technology to tripple the energy density of batteries, that is not good.

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    Areas for E/V’s to be improved ( #26) ;

    1) Infrastructure ( power grids etc )
    2) Batteries
    3) Effeciency
    4) Recharging capabilities
    5) Dumping current automotive designs in order to favor the positive aspects of the E/V
    6) Performance & Range capabilities

    etc etc etc

    Talk to any truly knowledgeable Engineer ( who’s honest with you ) and they’ll tell you in Truth E/V’s are still in their Stone Age , having barely advanced since their inception in the early part of the 20th century .

    e.g. At this point in time Kit , there isn’t a single aspect of current E/V technology that ISN’T in dire need of serious improvement .

  28. Tony Gray Says:

    That new 650i is drop dead gorgeous, even if it really does look like a larger version of my 335i coupe.

    My issue is with the price point that BMW uses with their 6′s. My loaded 3 ran in the low 50K range and to step up to a larger coupe is a HUGE 30K plus hit. I don’t have a problem with BMW having a halo car, but damn guys, make that an 8 series and at least “open the gates” and give us poor bottom feeders a CHANCE to move up to the big time.

  29. tj Martin Says:

    The Stock Market goes up

    The Stock Market goes down

    And our Heads go round and round

    Where it will end

    Nobody knows

    But in the mean time…. this really blows

    ( am I the only one , in spite of me being out of the market , thats getting a Migraine every time you look at the Stock reports ? Roller coaster is one thing , but the trends of the last six months makes the most adrenaline filled Roller Coaster look like the Bonneville Salt Flats in comparison . This keeps up I’ll be needing a case of Dramamine just to get me thru the day )

  30. tj Martin Says:

    @ Tony Gray

    Since when my fellow site mate has BMW ( or Mercedes for that matter ) given a Rats Pituty about the ” Bottom Feeders ” ?

    Nope . They don’t . So the likes of you and I will just have to be content with our loaded 3 Series and GLK’s leaving the 6 Series and the G – AMG to the big boys on the block .

    Hmmmn . But then again . Is that in reality such a bad thing ?

    Seems to me we’ve paid for as much car as can be used on the public roads these days , keeping the extra $$$$$$ not spent for something more important or that rainy day .

  31. cwolf Says:

    The EV technology shared with China may be in its infancy,but that tech was susidized using OUR money! Shouldn’t we have a say?

  32. Tony Gray Says:

    tj, you hit me with another dose of reality my friend.

    Cold, heartless reality.

    Maybe I’ll just pick up an 87 635CSi from Craigslist and live out my David Addison fantasy that way. Now, where did I put Cybill’s phone number….

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re #27,
    Today’s motors for EV’s have about 80-90% efficiency. You aren’t going to improve much on that. Today’s controls for motor operation and regenerative braking are efficient and work well. That leaves BATTERIES as the thing that limits range of EV’s.

    Increased power storage density of batteries increases range, and battery technology that allows very high charge rates would decrease charge time.

    No new technology is needed for charge infrastructure. You just have to build it, and there is currently no financial incentive to do so here. Given all the money we are sending them for our stuff at WalMart, though, China can afford to build charging infrastructure if they want to. I hope they don’t. For environmental reasons, I think oil is a better fuel for running cars than coal, even if it’s half way around the world.

  34. C-tech Says:

    Excuse me but given the distinct style of the Caprice, what police dept. can call this an “undercover” car? Perhaps an unmarked car but if you see this “police only” Chevy, then you KNOW there’s a cop around!

  35. cwolf Says:

    pedro: Spoke to a salesman at the pike pump with a 2007 Corolla. Had 292500 on the meter and he said with no mjor repairs and hates the car! Go figure that one out. Did’t see any bailing wire or duct tape so it may be a fair guess he was not from Cuba(No insult intended).

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #34, That’s what I’ve been thinking. How can it be “under cover” if all of these cars are used that way. If you see what looks kind of like a Pontiac G8 in Chevy dress, it’s a lot less “unmarked” than any Crown Vic, or now Dodge Charger could ever be.

  37. C-tech Says:

    I heard the Caprice V-8 requires prem. gas. Can anyone confirm?

  38. HtG Says:

    What about capacitors? Didn’t John recently go to Taiwan to be shown a solution that would use capacitors to get a car up to speed? A hybrid-hybrid. Stop-start technology may also make sense once the govt starts recognizing it on tests. Plus, Bob Lutz wrote recently that Volt’s battery can actually drive the thing for 80 miles, but that durability falls off; this isn’t a question of power density. (Sharp readers, somebody wake up cwolf, will recall how I posted what Lutz wrote some weeks ago)

  39. cwolf Says:

    There remains a good number of Crown Vics on the pike used by the Highwat Patrol and I will miss them dearly when they are gone. CV parking lights and rear tail lights are un-mistakable at long distances. The Chargers lights look like many others,but the tail lights are a bit easier to distinguish. Many have a reflective strip across the lower trunk lid. Unless they are in the median,their SUV’s can be a real bummer to have near. The patrols driving habits are a dead give away and my salvation. 10 yrs @286 mi./day with out a ticket; I’d say the odds are growing against me.

  40. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    I’ve nary a clue where you’re getting your E/V information from , but who ever told you todays current E/V motors are as efficient as they can get lied thru their teeth or are utterly clueless as to the realities of todays E/V’s

    Toss in aerodynamics ( the Puffer Fish being the most efficient aero/hydrodynamic shape in existence , which M-B proved with their prototype a decade ago that’d make your Prius look like a Brick in comparison ) Lighter chassis/bodies ( 1000 lbs GVW w/two adults and baggage is the ultimate ) more efficient transmission of the power to the motor ( todays systems absorb almost as much power as they transmit ) Faster and more efficient charging systems , more efficient drive lines ( once again current drive systems absorbing some 35 % of the energy received transmitting 65% or less ) Larger diameter wheels and tires ( more efficient over rough surfaces ) w/tires wide enough for safe traction etc etc etc etc etc

    And the list of NEEDED improvements to make the E/V a genuinely VIABLE alternative to the ICE goes on forever

    INFRASTRUCTURE needing no improvement ???

    Really Kit ? I thought you were more astute than that

    Our current power grids can BARELY keep up todays demands nationwide , never mind adding E/V’s to the mix .

    And FYI the EU China and Japans systems are even worse

    Seriously Kit you need to get your nose out of the propaganda and begin digging into the FACTs because your current E/V info/knowledge is reminding me of all the folks that thought Bernie Madoff’s schemes were on the up and up

    Oh yes the Promo fiends from TESLA , Nissan Fisker etc will fill your head full of Pie in the Sky dreams and Fantasies , but like good ole Bernie M. they’re in truth reaching into your back pocket as they speak

    So again , in conclusion ( beyond this last statement , believe what ever Fairy Tales you chose )

    THERE IS NO AREA OF CURRENT E/V TECHNOLOGY THAT IS NOT IN DIRE AND DESPERATE NEED OF MASSIVE AND SERIOUS IMPROVEMENT

    Anything else you’re hearing or reading is Propaganda Pure and Simple .

  41. tj Martin Says:

    Unmarked Police cars are about as undercover as an FBI /CIA Secrete Service Agent .

    Unless you’re blind , you can spot one ( even when the CO State HW Patrol had C6′s on the force ) from a Mile away .

    @ cwolf

    In MO and KS they’re gradually replacing the Crown Vic with new Chargers , but there’s still plenty of Crown Vics still in service

    Most of the Officers I’ve talked to and/or know are not looking forward to giving up their Vics for a Charger .

  42. cwolf Says:

    HTg; You have to give me a clue as to what was said. I’m making supper,started a load of work clothes and caught a cold from a co-worker(don’t even go there!),so you’ll have to refresh my memory. The only capacitor program I recall was hydraulic. And we both know they are heavy,large and require high pressures. The added pressure gained during braking. Now you’ll have me thinking about this all night! Do this to tj,not me!

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj, where did I say the infrastructure needed no improvement? I didn’t say that at all. I said the technology exists, but it takes money to implement it.

    What makes you think motors can get much more efficient? Even if they were 100% efficient, it would be only a moderate gain.

    Also, what makes you think there is 35% loss in today’s power trains? It isn’t close to that.

  44. tj Martin Says:

    OK I’ll end today with one more E/V statement .

    Placing an E/V system in todays current designe automobiles ( which is what every current E/V manufacture is doing ) makes about as much sense as building Model T’s out of Carbon Fiber and Alloys and calling it something wonderful and new .

    Semi new technology in old tech platforms reminding me of the Biblical analogy of New Wine in Old Wine Skins . With the end results being the same .

    A mess someone will have to clean up .

    Lesson Over

    Class dismissed

    Read pgs 134 – 328 for tomorrow and Pop Quiz on Friday

  45. tj Martin Says:

    #43

    No it isn’t as bad as that

    Its worse !

    100 watts going into an Electric motor designed for an E/V currently delivers 65 watts or less ( most are less ) power to the drive line . Physics of Electronic Transmission my friend plain and simple .

    Ever looked into the ratios of power in / power out at any Electrical Generating Plant ? Its even worse than that .

    And no the technology does not exist to bring up the power grids to the needed capacity , no matter how much $$$ is available . Fact is no one has a plan on deck that can even come close to meeting the needs of the next 30 years WITHOUT E/Vs never mind with .

  46. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    #43 – the last comment

    And here I though we were friend

    :o

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The police officers I’ve talked to generally like the Crown Vics better if they are “wide.” The Crown Vic has more space between the door and the thing that holds a computer. The less-wide officers generally like the Chargers better because they drive better. They handle better, and even with the old 3.5 V6 they were as quick as the CV, and with the new V6 or the V8, they are much quicker.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,
    and the over efficiency of a conventional car with a gas ICE is 20%. I guess that 65% is pretty good.

  49. HtG Says:

    Here you iz, cwolf.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um9OxKjpM6w

    the Taiwan capacitor stuff begins at 3:55.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, tj, the shape of a Prius is very aerodynamic for something that will actually carry 5 people and some cargo in a car that size. That is why no one else has anything that is better.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    A 2007 with almost 300k miles, does that guy ever get out of that car? holy crap! I got 325k but it is 13 yrs old, big difference. I don’t have any duct tape or chicken wires either but you can tell it has been around the world 13 times.

  52. Andrew Charles Says:

    GM’s EV partnership with SAIC is their way of complying with the technology sharing mandate without sharing any “proprietary” technology. The EV partnership with LG? Not included. GM’s current EV technology developed for the Volt and Equinox FCVs? Not included. Instead GM will be “sharing” a new EV platform, to be developed by the existing PATAC design and engineering partnership. GM did the same thing regarding “sharing” engine technology. SAIC gets the rights to GM’s New Small engine family, but first they actually had to pony up the money and resources to develop the engines in the first place. It helps that SAIC is the only Chinese manufacturer with both the money and technical resources to do real development work on their own.

    As to profitability in China—GM doesn’t have the high volume of high margin trucks it does in the US, but when they can sell a Buick LaCrosse for $10K more than they do in the US, without the 3.6 DI V6, you can be sure they are raking it in.

    As for moving all work to China—yeah right. This is not Wally-mart putting their customers out of work. The auto industry has learnt the hard way that to compete you need to produce and source locally. That’s why production of the Sonic has started in North America, why the Spark will be built in North America, why the Regal has shifted from Germany to the US. Why American Captivas come from Mexico rather than Korea. Why Hyundai and Kia are building cars in North America. Why even the Chinese are trying to build cars in Europe (SAIC already has a plant in the UK).

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    Started seeing a bunch of Smart ads, I guess they met their enemy, the 500, and it’s taking sales from them. Talk about a choice!!

  54. tj Martin Says:

    FIAT 500

    ( or how FIAT is bribing folks to rant about their POS )

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/fiat-to-useful-idiots-please-also-respond-with-your-pricing-for-posting-an-advertorial-like-this/#more-412028

    Seems to me all MINI had to do was get the car into a few folks hands ( no bribes ) and the wave took off like a Pacific Tsunami

    The difference between offering up a quality product versus a rebadged Econo Car I guess .

    @ KIt Gerhart – Hang it up mate , you’re fighting a losing battle . Your Prius isn’t even close to the top of the pile when it comes to aerodynamic efficiency in a FOUR seat ( yeah right dream on that you could ever stuff 5 people in that thing. Four dwarfs and a child maybe . Five adults or even four plus a child , not unless they’re Sardines . Hell Kit four are BARELY comfortable , and this I KNOW from experience . That back seat is ABYSMAL ) production automobile

    But you just keep on believing all the fantasies and falling for the propaganda they’re feeding you .

    When REALITY and facts finally smacks you over the head , crushing your delusions , you let us know .

    We’ll be here to comfort you . Thats what Site Mates are for .

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    OK tj, what 4 or 5 seat production car has a lower drag coeffient than a Prius? That’s right. There aren’t any.

    I agree that a Prius would not be comfortable for 5 200 pound people on a long trip, but not many cars are. For short trips it is fine for 5 adults, at least as comfortable as most other similar size cars.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ do you suppose Sergio came up with this?

  57. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj I think 99.9% of Prius owners are very pleased with their purchase. It has the highest satisfaction index of ANY car.