Episode 730 – Chrysler Talks Stall, Honda CR-V Concept, Ford Wins Big Appeal

September 23rd, 2011 at 11:35am

Runtime: 7:24

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.

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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.

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 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.

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!

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.

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

38 Comments to “Episode 730 – Chrysler Talks Stall, Honda CR-V Concept, Ford Wins Big Appeal”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Reference the CARB’s TracKey prohibition.

    All I have to say is elections have consequences. If you keep electing people that put people on those boards that rule like that, well, then you get what you deserve.

    Is anybody REALLY surprised at this?

  2. HtG Says:

    Check out Scott Burgess’ report on the BOSS. It seems another reason you’re not getting the TrackKey, tj, is that the car must first be paid off in full.

    Scotty tweets today that he’s finished off yesterday’s cheeseburgers. To much information, friend.

  3. MJB Says:

    Finally. A Honda CR-V that I would actually be proud to have seen in my driveway. I like it!

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    Fla should start a campaign to entice Californians to relocate to this state. similar weather plus no taxes and more freedoms.

  5. HtG Says:

    @2 I strikes me that blaming CA for not letting people have their track Key, is in line with taking credit for not having taken the bail out. Did you guys hear it last night when John said he thought Jim Farley was deliberately going after the No Bailout demos? Why are they now blaming another state for their own problems getting those keys to owners?

    (Yes, I am now a Ford basher)

  6. tj Martin Says:

    Further Proof Fascism is Overwhelming the Land ;


    What’s next ? Getting a $500 fine for smoking a cigar on your own back deck in the middle of your 22 acres ?

    Oh wait ! VT is already doing that !

    Or receiving a property tax bill from a State 3 years after you’ve left ……… for three years before you ever lived there ?

    Ooops . VT again . Along with Ohio , CO Wyoming etc

    Take my word for it gentlemen . As Local , County and State governments ( as well as the big corporations ) get more desperate for funds these ” legal ” scams will only intensify .

    Sad thing is according to our money guys is they’re getting away with it 40 – 60% of the time , due to ignorance etc .

    But in the mean time .

    Der Fuehrer is back in town …… and looking to grab every penny it can from your back pocket .

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ here in So Fla there’s the city of Coral Gables where you’re not allowed to park your pickup truck on your drive way or in front of your house, it must be inside a garage where it can not be seen, needless to say there are not many rednecks moving there. Coincidence that fascism is here to coincide with the return of FIAT. Mmm!!

  8. tj Martin Says:

    # 4

    Watch what you wish for Pedro .

    Colorado did exactly that 20 years ago and is still paying the price of all those former CA residents , with Politically Correct and Green to an excess mentality as well as that CA Superiority Complex in tow .

    They’ve done more to screw up CO than all the transplant Texans ( who were bad enough ) combined !

    Californication is nothing to hope for ….. believe me

    Listen to the lyrics ( after the stupid commercial unfortunately )


  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, I guess you’re right, I was just thinking of beautifying the state with all those gorgeous California girls, or is it Gurls?

  10. tj Martin Says:

    Marchionne’s Madness ALD Pool

    ( no real monies involved )

    Grab your time period for when you think Marchionne will finally manage to bankrupt both FIAT & Chrysler

    I’ll take 26 months

  11. tj Martin Says:


    HUH !!!!!!

    Hey pedro y’all down Florida way got the beautiful girls thing locked up what with all those Brazilian , Latin etc beauties coming your way !

    Greedy So & So :o

  12. HtG Says:

    10 You cannot be serious tj. FIAT is so big in la patria and the states, the govt and central banks will always save it. (yet another opportunity for Ford to thump its chest)

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    “I wish they all could be California girls, California girls” by the great musician Brian Wilson.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, Tj now that every body has seen JLo driving a 500, they won’t be able to keep up with demand.

  15. C-tech Says:

    No TrackKeys, no problem. CARB just created an even larger market for the professional car tuners in CA. As for warranty repairs on the blown engines and transmissions, well that’s a dealership relations problem right? Given that situation, down the road it may make a CA. Boss 302′s more desirable USED since there a greater chance the engine and trans hasn’t been abused.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Funny how people are just willing to cope with more govt interference in our every day lives, what ever happened to govt for the people, by the people, etc?

  17. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    # 16

    The ” People ” have become a bunch of Passive Aggressive Lemmings , w/Zero Backbone , little if any motivation , and even less desire to change ………. as long as their Entertainment Jones is being fulfilled on a Daily basis .

    Read Huxley’s ” Brave New World ” A description of the 21st Century Man/Woman to a Tee.

    As to the ” California Girls ” issue . Been there (lived in LA & SF ) Done that . Got the T-shirt to prove it . And wasn’t impressed .

    @ HtG

    #1 FIAT stock has already been reduced to ” Junk ” status

    #2 The Italian Govt she’sa gotta da no Lire left to bail FIAT out any further .

    #2A – Germany sure as heck won’t do it ( FIAT failing falls right into Kaiser Winterkorn’s plans for World Domination )

    #3 FIAT sales in the US continue to disappoint

    So……… care to take your spot in the pool now my friend ?

  18. tj Martin Says:

    TJ’s #1 City for ” Beautiful Girls ”

    ( cue Van Halen song Mr Director )*

    Paris !

    By a long shot . LA , Miami NYC etc ? No comparison !

    KC you ask ? Well without making the poor moderators work overtime , lets just say PetSmart does a booming business in the greater KC /St Lois area ( e.g. Mrs Tj has nothing to worry about here )

    * (I’d put up the link for the song but I think I spent my Link penny for the day )

  19. HtG Says:

    Copenhagen wins in looks every time, tj.
    On FIAT, I hate it that you know stuff, because this is as unnerving a moment as any. This weekend should be fun beginning Sunday evening. By FIAT blowing up, I guess you mean that they will have to have some financial assistance from either the state or a Central Bank or IMF. But no way do the Euros allow something uncontrolled to happen.

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I think old sergio macaroni will cause at least Chrysler to go bk in 36 months….jmho.As for my once much loved Jeep brand,it doesn’t look like I will ever buy another.The Wrangler has to be at least 3 or more years behind in quality,and engineering.The only 6 spd auto in the RamTruck line is with the diesel option,the rest are 5 speeds.I seen that the 2011 wrangler still has the crummy 4 spd auto,and the same shitty manual trans too.The 6 spd auto in my ’11 chebby 1/2 ton is nothing short of awesome,especially on the highway where I get 24+mpg @65mph.Macaroni really needs a reality check and NOW,lol.

  21. Jon M Says:

    This week’s winners and losers.

    Winner: Alan Mulally. Ol’ Mulally probably wishes he had a depends diaper on when he heard the verdict. Needless to say, they’re probably partying it up at Ford HQ. Heck, maybe some of the guys from the Chrysler group will come over and smoke some hooch with them in celebration.

    Losers: The ambulance chasing attorney who now gets nothing for all his valiant efforts at striking it rich off of Ford. Pity that the widow is now on the hook for all those high-priced experts Mr. Shyster brought in to ensure his phenomenal damage award.

    Jacques Nasser. If only he had been so lucky when all those Firestone tires started popping!

  22. tj Martin Says:

    # 19

    #1 Paris
    #2 Reykjavic
    #3 Copenhagen

    Be honest there HtG . Paris being the only city where even the not so good looking women come out looking mighty fine . The Parisian French Art of Le Seduction creating that Jolie Laide that no one else can equal

    @ G.A, Branigan

    Have you seen the newest JEEP recall ? Now the suspension bits are separating from the frame .

    HTH can they keep screwing up such a simple elegant design time after time and to such a severe extent ? Damn them for keeping me out of my first Wrangler !

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ re the Cali girls, there is a simple explanation for it: good looking people from all over moved there trying to get into movies or TV, most failed of course, but they stayed there, married, formed families had kids who were born of two good looking parents and voila, hot chicks all over the place.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    These dummies buying 500′s don’t seem to realize that if Fiat goes the SAAB route, their cars will be worthless and unsaleable due to the parts situation.

  25. HtG Says:

    Pedro, the problem with the sunbelt babes is the sun. So many people look years older than they are. You won’t see me driving top down in the middle of the day.

  26. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    # 25 +1

    Add in the Make Up by Sherwin Williams , Outfits better suited to Halloween as well as a healthy dose of Extremely Pretentious attitude and that just about sums up them shriveled bleach blonde prunes ( CA Girls )

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    According to TTAC, incentives are back with a vengeance, leading the pack is Dodge, followed by Chevy and Ford, I guess this was done to take advantage of the low Japanese supply and take buyers away from them.

  28. tj Martin Says:

    Uh Oh !

    Looks like perhaps the McLaren MP4 12C isn’t quite living up to expectations out in the real world .


    That can’t be good !

    Don’t know about the rest of you , but I’m gutted :(

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ why are you shocked? except for Rolls and some Bentleys, when have the British ever built a reliable car?

  30. XA351GT Says:

    Jon M @#21 didn’t they determine that those tires failed due to low air pressure? If so just another example of rewarding someone for their own incompetence.
    Much akin to the woman who sued McDonalds for scalding her crotch with a hot coffee . Then sued McDonalds for her own stupidity. Gee the steam didn’t give you clue that maybe clamping that cup with your thunderthighs wasn’t the greatest idea? Well she laughed all the way to bank I heard.
    This Firestone/Explorer fiasco seemed very much the same to me. You fail to do routine maintenence and as a result have a accident and it’s the vehicle /tires fault?! I just don’t see it and find it hard to sympathize.
    Now I don’t know any of the facts of the Town car case ,but what kind of condition was the car in to begin with? was it riddled with rot? At 60MPH many vehicles would have a chance of becoming a fire ball anyway. I am sorry for her loss and injuries but instead of sueing Ford she should have sued the moron who CAUSED the accident, but I’m sure the fact that Ford has more to offer was the reason behind that choice and in that regard I don’t feel sorry for the reverse of the decision. It’s time to make individuals responsible for their own action not blame a corporation in hope they’ll settle to avoid bad press.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    @ XA351GT

    re; #30

    Welcome to the 21st century where everyone is a victim , and no one is responsible for any of their personal actions .

    Yeeech !

    No wonder this and every other country is in such a mess !

  32. tj Martin Says:


    # 29

    You’d think a company of Mclaren’s engineering status could get it right the first time

    As well as this debacle will no doubt put the damn Ferrari back on top , where in truth it does not belong .

  33. HtG Says:

    tj, you up early or late? Eight o’clock, where’s my quali?

    Found anything interesting in the Haynes manual? Two things that caught my attention were the imprecision of aero tools, and how it’s usually MW rather than SV who gives quotes on setting up the car. I wonder if MW helps the team more in development, while SV is just damn quick.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC tested the new Sonic and unlike recent GM offerings, this one falls short in the drive-train dept, sort of deja-aveou all over again. NOT as good as the competitors in the class,even though it’s the latest to come out.

  35. cwolf Says:

    I read the results of the Sonic review. And,like pedro,expected a better review. The turbo version did better,but would further increase the cost just to get something that is expected in todays cars. Maybe GM can make a few program changes that would make the engine more in sync.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    It takes more than better platforms and interiors to be at the top of the game. GM needs to now concentrate on making their engines as good as the best. And stop playing games with optional engines and transmissions.Hyundai did it in a short time, why can’t they? Another review with the turbo and bigger tires gave it a much better write up. But as cwolf says, you should not have to spend more to get the better engine in that price class. See they draw you in with a lower price but to make it competetive you need to spend more than you planned to.

  37. cwolf Says:

    This sounds like one of those cars where one of us will have to do our own compero. Writers faulted the Focus and Fiesta for clunking noise at slow speeds only to discover many of us did not find this a real issue.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC showed the BMW X4 concept, does anyone care about visibility anymore? This car like, the Land Rover Evoque, seems to challenge the driver to be able to back up without hitting anything or anyone!