Episode 750 – Nissan in Grape Danger, Prices Fall as China Cools, 2011 < 2012

October 20th, 2011 at 11:40am

Runtime: 7:33

Argentina is punishing companies that are hurting its trade balance.  Nissan is one of those companies.  Prices for iron ore, aluminum and other commodities are plummeting, and it’s all because of the Chinese economy.  Car sales in the U.S. have steadily increased throughout the year and the top economists at Ford and GM say next year will be even better.  All that and more, plus John responds to your questions and comments in the “You Said It!” segment.

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and Hyundai

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | Zune | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher

This is Autoline Daily for October 20, 2011. And here are all the changes that happened since yesterday.

Sometimes as an automaker, you just gotta do what you gotta do. Argentina is coming down heavy on companies that are hurting its trade balance. And it turns out, one of those companies is Nissan. So the Japanese automaker just agreed to export $52 million of Argentine wine. Let’s see, at wholesale prices, I’d estimate that would involve about 10.4 million bottles.

Earlier this year we reported on how raw-material prices were soaring. Well now, just the opposite is happening. Prices for iron ore are plummeting. Same goes for aluminum. And this is all because the Chinese economy, while still growing, is starting to slow down. We warned that car prices would go up as raw material prices climbed, and they did. But now with raw-material prices going down don’t look for lower car prices. That’s not how it happens.

2011 < 2012
Car sales in the U.S. have steadily increased throughout the year and the top economists at Ford and GM say next year will be even better. Ford’s senior economist, Jenny Lin, says the main reason is that the average car is over 10 and half years old. GM’s Chief Economist, Mustafa Mohatarem, says sales will be better but there won’t be huge gains. He says that based on the U.S. population, car sales should be around 16.5 million, but it won’t be until 2014 or 2015 that sales recover to that level.

CRISIS?  WHAT CRISIS? (subscription required)
Speaking of car sales, over in Germany sales are up 8 percent compared to last year. According to Ward’s, that strong growth made up for losses elsewhere in Europe. Overall, the EU saw just a 0.7 percent increase in sales last month and through September sales are down 1.1 percent for the year. I keep saying how can the economy be that bad if so many people are buying new cars? Answer: the economy isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.

NOW IT’S PERSONAL (subscription required)
A simple hatchet is enough to fell a mighty redwood.  Misappropriating company funds can have the same result in the corporate world.   As we reported earlier in the week, Ernst Lieb was fired from his lofty post as the head of Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. operations.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reports Herr Lieb was canned over allegations he used company funds for personal expenses.  As a 36-year veteran, he had been in charge of its U.S. operations since 2006.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case start a car.  Autoblog posted a neat little video showing a pair of guys getting a hatchback running with little more than a couple jack stands and a piece of rope.  They lifted one of the car’s wheels off the ground and then wrapped a line around said wheel.  A swift pull was all it took to get things moving.  Apparently the battery was too dead to crank the engine, but it had enough juice to run the coil and spark plugs.  I’ve got to ask; wouldn’t push-starting have been easier?  Maybe they were just bored . . . or wanted to make a YouTube video.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

Pedro Fernandez saw our report on how hatchbacks are making a comeback in the American market and he kinds of shakes his head in amazement. “Let’s see, Vega, Pinto, Chevette, Citation? It’s a miracle that the hatchback survived that past.”

All I can say Pedro is that probably a lot of people buying hatchbacks these days are young enough to have never heard of those cars.

Cwolf doesn’t like the executive who has been named to replace Ernst Lieb at Mercedes-Benz.  “I’m surprises no one has said a word about Lieb’s replacement! Werner is a bean counter and should never hold such a position! IMO, there goes any progress that has been made under Lieb. Making Werner head of MBUSA is like making DeLorenzo head of the UAW!”

Well, Cwolf, I don’t know Werner, but my guess is that will only be a temporary assignment.

tj Martin wants to know why so many cars are catching on fire all by themselves. “With today’s announcement that the MINI Cooper S is now amongst the ranks of Spontaneous Combusting New Cars the number of automobiles doing so is becoming STAGGERING. Isn’t it about time someone does an In Depth Investigation into this ever expanding trend?”

tj, I’d agree, if it turns out to be true that these things are catching fire all on their own. Maybe there really is a problem, but strange cases like these make me suspicious. I wonder how many of these spontaneous fires are just people trying to collect on their insurance and get out of their car payments.

Swinglow33 laments the tragic Indy Car race in Las Vegas where race drive Dan Wheldon was killed. “RIP Daniel. This race should not have ever happened. Weren’t there complaints that the track was too small for the number of cars in the race? This could have been avoided in my opinion.”

Swinglow33, I think you’re on to something here. I think Indy Car turned a blind eye to the dangers, all with idea of making the racing more “exciting.” Same goes for NASCAR. At the Superspeedways they know there’s going to be The Big One, a big wreck where all kinds of cars get smashed up. They know it’s going to happen and they do nothing about it because they know it’s good for the ratings. I think Indy Car could even be vulnerable to a law suit over the race in Las Vegas. Knowing how dangerous that track is for those cars, that race should have never been run.

And we’ll be getting deeper into this topic tonight on Autoline After Hours. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, for some of the best insider discussion in the business. We’ll also have Jack Hollis, the head of the Scion brand, as well as Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com. Check it out tonight at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time at Autoline.tv

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

78 Comments to “Episode 750 – Nissan in Grape Danger, Prices Fall as China Cools, 2011 < 2012”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe I’ll check out some of that Argentine wine and see if it’s any good. Actually, as long as it hasn’t turned to vinegar, I’d probably like it ok.

  2. HtG Says:

    2 try a malbeck, Kit

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, car prices won’t go down with the decrease in raw material prices, but they won’t go up as fast as they would have, had raw material prices continued to rise.

  4. HtG Says:

    I read the WSJ article on Ernst Lieb’s firing a little different from John. MB has had issues with corporate corruption and they’ve told the US they would be good. Here’s the quote from WSJ, and why I think Lieb got pole axed.

    “Despite the high regard for Mr. Lieb’s performance as a manager, the auto maker has become very focused in compliance issues. That’s in part because of Daimler’s $185 million settlement last year of a long-running U.S. probe into allegations that it paid, in years past, tens of millions of dollars in bribes to secure business overseas.

    As part of the settlement, in which Daimler’s German and Russian units pleaded guilty to violating antibribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Daimler entered a deferred prosecution agreement under which the Justice Department wouldn’t prosecute the auto maker if it continued to cooperate with regulators, adhere to internal controls and meet other terms.”

    It’s not just Herr Lieb that’s been a very bad boy.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks, I’ll do that.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe they had to put drum rear brakes on smart cars to pay for Herr Lieb’s raiding of the cookie jar.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sorry, but I don’t have such a rosy outlook for auto sales in the future, if folks are scared of losing their jobs, they’re gonna hesitate on any big item purchases.

  8. tj Martin Says:

    Hmmmmn . Posts with links no longer coming thru ?

    What’s up with that Ben ?

  9. HtG Says:

    one link per post seems to be the limit

  10. tj Martin Says:

    OK this is weird

    I’ve tried posting without the link ( only the show and post reference ) and still …… Poof ! Gone !

    Censorship perhaps ?

  11. tj Martin Says:

    Episode 748

    Post # 65

    Read the link . Then explain the Car Sales predictions above

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Another SAAB story:


  13. tj Martin Says:


    According to Ward’s car sales in Germany are booming

    According to CNBC this morning Car sales in Germany are flat

    According to ALD future car sales in the US are looking rosey

    According to everyone from Akerson to Ghosn its Doom and Gloom on the horizon

    Why do I get the feeling of late everyone in the Automotive Press is getting their Business News from GM’s new Sales Consultant ? e,g, Disney !

  14. tj Martin Says:

    Lets try the link for post 11 & 13 one more time ;


  15. tj Martin Says:


    More TRUTH about Fisker


  16. tj Martin Says:

    And lastly ;

    The REAL story behind SAAB’s supposed rescue ;


    (PS; Thanks for fixing the Links issue Ben )

  17. HtG Says:

    saying the German economy is OK is like saying the room is warm, just before the flash over. The only thing preventing calamity is the belief in financial markets that there will be a big, BIG bailout of the banks. We’re talking TRILLIONS. Anybody watching the Greeks rioting as austerity measures are being crammed onto them? Italy already can’t sell its sovereign debt, and must got the ECB to keep from choking. If you think free markets are working, you need to get out more.

  18. HtG Says:

    Saab. I’d like to know that the 60million dollar loan from private equity will hold as collateral. The press release doesn’t say.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also the always upbeat Sergio is very pessimistic about Fiat and Chrysler, it seems that even in reporting sale volumes, the media is biased, I personally go by man-in-the-street comments and how busy local dealers are. The happiest of those are the used car salesmen.

  20. HtG Says:

    the Fister weighs 5300lbs? Nice job sending tax dollars to Delaware, Biden. Oh, you’re from there? What a coincidence.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG, the fister?? is this a misspelling or a play on words. Inquiring minds need to know.

  22. HtG Says:


  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks for clearing it up! The SUV version should then be called the “Colonoscopy”

  24. HtG Says:


  25. pedro fernandez Says:


  26. HtG Says:

    I could keep going with this, Pedro. But think of the children.

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Ummmmm. Errrrrrrr.

    Ahhhhh. FISKER Automotive is based in Anaheim CA there mien freund .

    Coincidently the same place Disney is based .


    Magic Kingdom – Smoke & Mirrors Con Job

    Jiminy Cricket ( when you wish upon a star) – Henrik Fisker

    Yup ! That works !

  28. motorman Says:

    take away the down force on these race cars so it puts it back into the drivers hands. with all the down force all it takes is guts to hold the pedal down and steer the race car. same for NASCAR do away with the lock down front suspension so the air gets under the front of car and we will see the real drivers come to the front.

  29. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro & HtG

    Actually I was thinking more along the lines of ;


    ( look it up under medical abbreviations )

  30. tj Martin Says:

    @ #28

    Errrr. Not quite ( your description of the skill needed to drive a DF race car )

    The best drivers come to the top regardless of the technology involved in the race car

    But its still a good idea . Slow em down a bit . Make for a bit more exciting racing etc

    But ….. here’s the rub . There’s BIG $$$$$$$$$$ to be made in Aerodynamics these days .

    Whereas driver skill makes not one dime , outside the driver and perhaps his team ( depending on the drivers contract )

    So unfortunately $$$$ wins and the Aero bits will carry on .

  31. HtG Says:

    I refer to Delaware because Fister will supposedly make cars there someday in the very very very very near future. (cue Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow)

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Gotcha !



    According to all the sources , FISKER Automotive has received 500,000,00 dollars in ( urp ) loans from the US Tax Payers

    According to Obama’s recent speeches , there is some 250,000 teachers out of work right now ( can you see where this is going ? )

    If…….. Obama had dedicated that $500 Million ( which we’ll never see again ) to Teachers Salaries Nationwide

    Assuming the average teachers salary at $60,000 annually

    That $500 Million would of paid for ;

    416,666 Teachers salaries for the next TWENTY Years

    Hmmmn . Scary …. Aint it ?

  33. motorman Says:

    #30 after practice at vegas the drivers were saying they did not have to lift all the way around the track. the fastest car in practice was the go daddy car and don’t tell me that had to do with driver skill. a indy car weighs 1700# and has 3000# of down force and they say it has so much down force that it could run upside down thru a tunnel on the tunnel roof.

  34. tj Martin Says:


    Delaware – Bankrupt State in the unofficial US Rust Belt

    Fisker Automotive – Creatively & Morally Bankrupt : with a lot of Rusty Engineering ideas floating about

    Yup HtG . The Analogies works for DE as well as Anaheim CA

  35. tj Martin Says:


    If you ever raced an Aero car against other aero cars back to back with Non Aero cars against other non aero cars you’d know the skill involved is equal and the better driver still comes out on top .

    Seems a contradiction I know . But thats the way it is .

    Take ALL the techno junk off the race cars and the same drivers would still be the winners .

    Don’t take the TV /Press race commentators hyperbole too seriously . Their job is to get your attention , not convey detailed and accurate facts .

  36. Lex Says:

    IMO the Tesla Model S is far better looking than either the Fisker Karma or Surf!
    Henrik Fisker has been financing his car with taxpayer money. Atleast Elon Musk had been using his proceeds from the sale of PayPal to Ebay to keep Tesla Motors alive.

  37. HtG Says:

    Got a minute, tj? Here’s a link to NHTSA’s complaint horde about those Minis. WSJ lists the following models as under investigation,

    “The investigation includes about 36,000 Mini Cooper S, Cooper S Clubman and Cooper S convertibles from the 2007 and 2008 model years.”

    Hot hot hot!

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like I don’t need to worry about my MINI, since it’s not an S.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why is anyone surprised about the Mini’s problems, after all they’re built in jolly ole England

  40. HtG Says:

    So, hypothetically speaking, if I were to light up my non-turbo Mini, that would be a ‘no no’.

    (It’s one of those days, boys. Sorry)

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj, #32,
    You must have punched a lot of wrong buttons on your calculator. The 500 million would pay for 8333 teachers at $60K for one year, or 417 for 20 years. You must have confused million with billion.

    Not that 417 teachers wouldn’t be a better deal than Fisker subsidies…

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The MINI is built in England by a German company with a French engine. There must be some special significance there.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, Kit the British auto industry did not die off because of its world class, quality-built vehicles that they sold for years and years, exception of course, Rolls and Bentley, and if the US had not awaken from their coma, they would be in the same boat. As it is, look how many brands we’ve lost in the past few.

  44. tj Martin Says:

    @ Lex

    re; TESLA Motors ;

    Ahem !!!

    Not sure where you’re getting your Financial Information from Lex , but that facts are TESLA , aka Elon Musk(rat) has received as much if not more money from the US Government as Fisker has , along with the millions Toyota just tossed away into the company . ALONG with the fact that Musk(rat ) has been back at Obama’s door TWICE since the Toyota investment Asking For MORE . Money that is .

    Musk(rat ) stopped paying his own way two year ago my friend . and hasn’t dropped a dime of his own Fortune into the company since .

    And then there’s that issue of Musk(rats) cars bursting into flames ( 80% of those sold or tested ) along with the fact that not one single Test of the TESLA roadster has been completed so far with less than three cars needed , due to them repeatedly breaking , bursting into flames or refusing to be re-charged

    Fact of the matter is , when you look below the surface at TESLA as well as Elon Musk there’s nary a positive thing to be said about either one . The cars are junk and the man is a fraud , or at the very least utterly clueless about how to run an ACTUAL vs a VIRTUAL company to save his life or our Millions of Tax Payers Dollars

    FYI- Lex – I’m not mad at you ( capitals etc ) Its the fact of TESLA FISKER the VOLT etc WASTING Tax Payers money in this time of deep recession that gets my ire up . So apologies for the emotions . But thems the facts !

  45. tj Martin Says:

    # 42 Too many dad burned zeros . Mea Culpa . But you still get the idea

  46. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG pedro and Kit

    How much do you wanna bet the fires in the MINI Cooper S’s are directly related to the Fuel Leaks that were reported in the same over the summer ?

    @ Kit ; Errr maybe not

    500,000,000 divided by $60,000 divided by 20 = 416,666

    @ pedro – Considering the build and overall quality of the MINI along with the fact that BMW is running the show , yes this does surprise me . A lot in fact .

    But then again , at the risk of entering into another day long debate over Turbos ,as its only the S’s that are effected , some blame has to be placed on the Turbos .

    Especially when BMW has been having the same issues with all their Gasoline Turbo Models

  47. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    # 41, 45,46

    Either that or I’m misreading where the decimal is .


  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ truth be told, while the domestics were making really crappy car over here, the transplants wer making some of the most reliable and well built cars in their own plants over here also, so you really cannot blame the work force all the time, even China, the ones built by the foreign brands over there are a million times better than the home-brewed crap. According to Top Gear UK most of the British car industry, always on strike along with worker dissatisfaction made for horrific quality.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You calculaor is still broken
    500,000,000/60,000 is 8333.3
    That divided by 20 is 416.7

    I was in Scotland in the navy in 1970, and the “mainstream” British car companies were in trouble, even then. BMC, which had Austin, Morris, Wollsley, Riley, and some other name plates were still selling quite a few Morris Minors, outdated cars, even then. They had Minis, and also the “big Mini,” sold as Austin America in the U.S. All of these cars had a reputation for poor reliability, even in the UK.

    Ford was the best selling brand in the UK at the time. The were selling Cortinas, rear drive Escorts, Capris, and a bigger car that I don’t remember the name of. These were considered more reliable, and generally better, than most of the cars from British-based companies.

  50. motorman Says:

    #35 i don’t question who will win just that the racing will be safer because the speed would be less a lot less. if you have to back off or even brake going into the turns the lap times will be slower. who goes the fastest in practice had nothing to do with who wins the races. i have been involved in racing since the beach races at daytona in the 50s.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I had enlarge my “picture” to tell that your post had commas, rather than decimals.

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    Top Gear have a lot of those segments where they buy used sedans over 10 yrs old and always the stuff made by British Leyland seem to have the most crappy cars, while the German brands and Volvo seem to hang in there better.

  53. HtG Says:

    @50 Do you know if the NASCAR drivers have any driving aids like traction control? How about Indy cars? I just can’t get over a driver being helped to put down the power coming out of a turn. Isn’t control at the limit what’s so impressive about racing?

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    NASCAR doesn’t have drver aids, and I don’t think Indy cars do, but I’ll research it.

    F1 had lots of driver aids for a while, including launch control, but they were outlawed a few years ago.

  55. HtG Says:

    @46 I read some of the complaints to NHTSA. It could be the wiring at the auxiliary water pump. These cars were driven, then parked, then lit up. I wouldn’t go by these complaints though; one gal reported that the hot tailpipe burned her leg when she touched it. Life can be so cruel.

  56. W L Simpson Says:

    Nissan Is EXPORTING Argentine wine ? how’s that work?

  57. XA351GT Says:

    TJ @ #35 I agree with you . I do think though the gaps between the good and okay drivers would be a lot bigger. Thus giving more room between cars.

    The real problem in that race was putting up that $5 Million bonus . It drew drivers and cars that would not have been there otherwise and added to the car count. That wreck was triggered by guys with little experience in these cars on a super speedway. Everybody is griping about the track ,but they saw it is close to Texas Motorspeedway and they routinely have the best races of the year there. The catch is there are usually only 20-24 cars with drivers used to those speeds and close 1/4s racing.

  58. GPL Says:

    @55 Wasn’t there a recall of Mini’s a while back because the tail pipe extended too far out of the back of the car causing burns to people accessing the hatch? I wonder if hers was among the recalled but never got fixed.

  59. tj Martin Says:

    The SAAB story just got a little worse .

    In less than what ……… seven hours ?


  60. tj Martin Says:

    Less Aero on Race Cars

    Had a little talk w/my Martin Marrietta engineer friend

    He reminded me of a fact I’d forgotten about .

    Take the down force off and the top speeds will increase substantially . Mega in fact . So then you’d have cars barreling at the corners w/some 10-20% more speed slamming on the brakes to slow down in time , because there’s less down force to get them thru the corner

    Not a recipe for Safety either .

    Im not sure guys , there is a ‘ Win’ on this issue . In the MM friends words , short of making them race around in pre-defined cubes , there really is no Silver Bullet to increase the Safety Factor .

    What a mess they’ve ( racing engineers ) created .

  61. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    The 2011 complaint on the MINI Cooper S was while driving on the highway with an officer witnessing the little fellow smoking and then bursting into flames .

  62. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    The main point still being $500 Million was and is way too much for the US Government to be flushing down the Ceramic Commode that is FISKER , especially in this economic climate

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think doubling the weight of race cars would be a good solution. They wouldn’t get to as high of speed on straightaways, and they wouldn’t “fly” so easily if they get tripped up by running over something, like the back of another car.

    They would need much better brakes. They would crash harder, but the “safer barriers” designed for NASCAR should be about right for 2500 pound open wheel cars. Just a thought, though maybe not a good one.

  64. tj Martin Says:

    Well ……. at least there’s two positive things to come out of the MINI Cooper S Fire debacle . For me at least ;

    1) I didn’t buy the MINI Countryman I was seriously considering ( I do kind of miss the MINI Owners Group conviviality )

    2) No need for any guilt for the guy who got mine when I traded it in as its a MINI Cooper and not an ‘S ‘

    Phew !

  65. tj Martin Says:

    #64 should of read MINI Countryman S

    dad burned lack of editing

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:


    I agree, but it’s not nearly as bad as spending 1000 times that amount, and counting, on an ill-conceived invasion of Iraq. Sorry, that’s a topic not related to cars.

  67. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    Money wasted is money wasted ,no matter how much or what manner of stupidity its wasted on .

    e.g You’ll get zero argument on # 66 from me

    The only difference being Iraq is a left over from GWB’s watch , who was on the best of days an ignorant arrogant little addled twirp . Whereas Fisker and Tesla are on Obama’s watch , who ought to know a hell of a lot better , but from all evidence certainly does not

  68. HtG Says:

    @66 since when is an oil war not related to cars, Kit?

    aero. Two things that made me appreciate the effects of downforce were; 1 learning that when an F1 driver lifts off the gas, all the drag on the car decelerates him at about 1G, 2 That a Jaguar D-type with a straight six, was doing speeds close to today’s cars but with only about 250hp.

    My cynical solution to the danger would be to just wait until this all blows over, and maybe fans will gravitate to the sport because they now get what’s happening out there.

  69. tj Martin Says:

    Off Topic Closer for the Day ;

    GWB ; An observation

    The real problem with GWB comes down to the fact that he had grand Delusions of himself being the reincarnation of John Wayne , whereas in reality he was the perfect , real life incarnation of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman.

    ” What ? Me worry ? “

  70. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Ever read about the Speeds of the Silver Arrows ( M-B and Auto Unions ) back in the day ?

    Yikes !

  71. HtG Says:

    I’ve looked at the brakes on cars like the D, and Testarossa, and you get woozy wondering how they stopped without downforce and with all that heat fading the brakes. On the Alfa 8Cs you see brake cooling ducts, and that Testarossa scalloped fender appearance is there to move air around them trusty drums.

    But no, I haven’t read about the Silver Arrows. I have a book now called, ‘Inside the Mind of the Grand Prix Driver,’ which is a series of interviews with drivers over the last 30 years. You may like it, tj. By Christopher Hilton.

  72. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I’m not a big C. Hilton fan unfortunately , but thanks .

    You might like this though ;


    Assuming you’re an Ive’s fan like I(is)

    Look up the Silver Arrows on Wiki . Or better yet buy the book if ya gots the room :o

    Tomorrow night HtG . Tokyo String Quartet


    Playing their Strad Paganini Quartet instruments

    I’ll be interested , as the last String 4tet we went to had contemporary instruments in the same hall , to hear if I notice any difference positive or negative

  73. HtG Says:

    @72 You’ve get better ears than me, tj. I’ve never been able to figure Ives, except that phrase Hollywood uses.

    Sounds like a great program tonight in KC.

  74. tj Martin Says:

    Well gentlemen . reading the early editions of todays Automotive News , it looks like we’re in for an Elon Musk(rat) Love Fest , Film and all ( Revenge of the Electric Car )

    Yeah its taking out its revenge alright . Straight out of yours and my back pocket

    Only AW is even the slightest critical , questioning whether Musk(rat ) can get the TESLA S out in time and at the price point Elon’s claiming

    So rather than read ALD’s Love Fest pronouncements which’ll only serve to PO me even further I’ll bail for the day ( weekend as well )

    Because the long and the short of it is we’ve been sold a bill of goods , taken to the cleaners and all but screwed to the wall by a Virtual Egomaniac , a Has Been Designer as well as a long in the tooth Auto Exec ( Lutz ) who are only concerned with their own gains , and to hell with the expense to the General Public

    All those whining and complaining about the Oil Industry need to start having a closer look at these E/V Nazis .

    Fact is they’re just as bad if not worse , only they haven’t been around as long , so haven’t been able to incur as much damage

    YET !

    So let the Deluded Love Fest begin

    TJ’s left the building ( for the moment )

  75. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Charles Ives

    Start out with some of his less thorny compositions ( the above CD is a good example ) and work your way to the harder stuff . Then it all makes sense

    His Bio by Jan Swafford is well worth the read

    Listening to say ” Portraits of New England ” while on a road trip thru the area makes his music clearer as well , especially the more rural areas

    Till Monday mien freund . I’m ducking out of the coming Musk(rat) Love Fest I’ve no doubt will be coming from ALD this morning , what with theme getting their insight of late from GM’s new Sales Consultant .

    Hmmn :(

  76. tj Martin Says:


    Before I take the day off , lets have a little look see as to what the man has done to date ;

    1) Taken a huge chunk of change from Toyota , the Tax Payers as well as Deluded Investors – and is now begging at Obama’s doorstep for more

    2) Created a $110,000 plaything ( Roadster ) that was supposed to cost $79,000 – that doesn’t in fact work , breaks down if you sneeze on it and at a moments notice can morph into a Mobile BBQ

    3) Has been promising us a Reasonably Priced Family E/V since the IPO – which has yet to of seen the light of day , even in prototype form

    4) Is now announcing the ‘S ‘ Model as if its some Godsend from Heaven – that even his Cheering Squad is saying he won’t be able to produce at the price point he’s claiming , never mind will it live up to a single performance stat or range claim that Elon is claiming without once again , Breaking down or doing that E/V BBQ Party Trick

    All this for a few hundred million measly US and Toyota’s dollars , not to mention the Wall Street Investors he’s bilking out of their millions .

    Don’t this just make you so proud ?

    Reminder ; And do remember to send those Cards of Thanks to Obama and his E/V Nazis for making this all possible . Because without OUR Tax Payers $$$$ Elon would of gone the way of the Dodo a year ago .

  77. tj Martin Says:

    Oh and lets not forget the millions Elon Musk(rat) spent in his ill advised attempt to Sue the BBC and Top Gear over the fact that they had THE NERVE to be honest and tell the truth about the TESLA Roadster on International TV . Video included !

    And any guess’s where those millions came from for his MisGuided and Failed Law Suit ?

    If you said the Federal Government , give yourselves a Gold Star for the day


  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    75, 76, 77

    Remember, all new technology takes time to develop.