September 23rd, 2011 at 11:35am
The Chrysler-UAW talks have stalled as Sergio Machionne plays hardball with wages and benefits. Honda reveals the design of its new Honda CR-V. Ford gets a reversal in a $43-million court case. All that and more, plus a preview of Autoline This Week and a discussion about how thieves “clone” cars.
This is Autoline Daily for Friday, September 23, 2011. And now, the news.
HARD BARGAINING (subscription required)
As we reported yesterday, Chrysler and the UAW hit a snag in their labor negotiations. Today the Wall Street Journal reports that snag is all about pay for entry level workers and health care costs. Chrysler says it can’t afford to pay a $5,000 signing bonus and boost entry pay by $3 an hour. It proposed having workers pay more of their health care costs, which the union rejected. Reportedly, Sergio Marchionne says Chrysler can’t afford the same contract that GM agreed to, but the UAW insists each of the Detroit Three get roughly the same deal.
FORD WINS BIG APPEAL
Six years ago, Ford was slapped with a $43 million damage award when a Lincoln Town Car was rear-ended by another car at about 60 miles an hour. The Town Car burst into flames, killing the driver and burning his wife. She sued Ford accusing the Town Car had a defective gas tank. That’s when a jury awarded her $43 million. But under appeal the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the case, saying they never proved there was a defect in the car. I mention this story because rarely do these appeals get reported much in the media. All we get are the blaring headlines when a car company is hit with a massive damage award. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but turn they do.
HONDA CR-V CONCEPT
Honda just unveiled the 4th generation of its hot selling CR-V. Honda says the new one is more aggressively styled than the previous model and looks more like an SUV, that’s their words, not mine. The new one is also somewhat lighter and will get a more fuel efficient model, but details are sparse, so we’ll have to wait to learn more about it later this year when it goes on sale in the American market.
NO TRACKEYS FOR CALIFORNIA
Who’s the Boss? No, it’s not Tony Danza, and apparently it’s not Mustang owners, either. Autoblog reports CARB, the California Air Resources Board, is screwing with Ford’s awesome Boss 302. If you remember, this monster Mustang is supposed to come with a special TracKey. Pop this baby into the ignition and it literally alters hundreds of different parameters on the car, transforming it into a beast when driven OFF public roads. It gives owners the best of both worlds . . . except not quite. You see, it also messes with the car’s emissions-control system and the friendly folks in the Golden State have a problem with that. Right now Ford is NOT allowed to deliver any TracKeys to Boss owners. Yeah, I’d be pissed too!
VOILA, JUST SWITCH BADGES!
Remember the Diamante? Hell, do you remember Mitsubishi? Yes, they’re still around and apparently they’re thinking about dusting off this old nameplate, which was discontinued in 2004. According to Autoblog, the three-diamonds company plans to reintroduce the Diamante in Japan. It will be a rebadged version of the Nissan Fuga, better known as the Infiniti M to you and me. No news on what’s going under the hood or when it goes on sale, but you can bet your life it’s not coming to North America.
Chop shops used to be a favorite of car thieves. But now, chop shops are passé. Today, thieves prefer to clone a car, and we’ll explain what that’s all about, right after this.
On Autoline This Week we’re focusing on what the bad guys do with cars, from selling flood damaged vehicles or making what they call clip cars, to stealing and exporting them. In the following clip we talk about the practice of cloning cars, check this out.
By the way that was Michael Wilson from the American Recyclers Association. Also joining me on that show is Eric Widmer from Alliance Inspection Management. You can see that entire show right now at our website Autoline.tv.
One last thing before I sign off, check out the LIVE webcast of RoundAbout this evening. The show starts at 6:30PM Eastern time on, where else, but our website, Autoline.tv. Check it out.
And that wraps up this week’s reports. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you Monday.