Episode 755 – VW’s Awesome Numbers, PSA to Trim Workforce, Ford Ranger Aces Euro NCAP

October 27th, 2011 at 11:51am

Runtime: 6:55

Volkswagen posted astounding numbers in the third quarter, with a HUGE jump in revenue.  French automaker PSA is finally taking steps to reduce its workforce as part of a bid to save money next year.  The 2012 Ford Ranger just aced Euro NCAP’s battery of crash tests.  All that and more, plus a look at a pedestrian safety system from German supplier company Continental.

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This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, October 27, 2011. And have we got some eye-opening financial results to talk about.

Roll over Beethoven, Volkswagen is bringing you some news. The giant German automaker posted astounding numbers in the third quarter. Revenue jumped over 25 percent to more than 38 billion Euros. Its operating profit skyrocketed over 45 percent to 2.9 billion Euros and all of this was thanks to a 16 percent increase in vehicle sales of over 2 million units. Remember, we’re not just talking about the VW brand, we’re talking about VW AG, and all the car companies that make up that giant corporation.

Meanwhile, Daimler posted results that look puny by comparison. It saw its revenue increase by only 5 percent, to 26 billion Euros, but it’s pre-tax profit plummeted by 19 percent, and that happened even though sales of passenger cars, trucks, busses and vans increased by 11 percent to more than 525,000 units.

PSA LEARNS HOW TO DOWNSIZE (subscription required)
I’d estimate the U.S. auto industry has cut about 100,000 jobs over the last five years in a painful but necessary downsizing.  Europe has kicked, screamed and fought against doing the same thing.  But now, The Wall Street Journal reports, French automaker PSA announced it could eliminate up to 6,000 direct and non-direct workers in Europe.  The job cuts are part of a financial plan designed to save the company about $1.1 billion next year.  This is a good first step, but will European automakers be able to stomach the cuts necessary to really get things moving again? It’s like solving the Greek financial crisis, the longer the put if off, the more painful it’s going to get.

Paleontologists aren’t certain, but they estimate the American version of the Ford Ranger has been around since roughly the late Cretaceous period.  In its home market it’s remained basically unchanged, a true driving fossil.  But on other continents, over millions of years, it’s evolved into a modern and capable workhorse.  As a testament to how far this compact truck has come, the 2012 model just received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, the best score ever awarded to a pickup.  It also received the best pedestrian protection rating of ANY VEHICLE ever tested by the program.

THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY (subscription required)
Automakers love taking jabs at one another in advertisements. Last month Ford aired an ad that slammed the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Now Ward’s reports that Renault is poking fun at Opel’s quality. Its new ad is a parody of an Opel ad that talked about the “German quality” of the Corsa. Renault’s ad matches it shot for shot and ends with the tagline that translates to “Renault – quality, French version.”

And speaking of advertising, Kia just launched a new global brand campaign. The company is using TV commercials and digital ads on Facebook with tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. The Facebook campaign will be rolled out in three phases that includes a quiz, a corporate social responsibility program that highlights environmental awareness and a state-of-the-art semantic social movie. The Facebook ads start today and run until the end of January and are available in seven languages.

Safety is a big deal.  After the break we investigate a piece technology designed to help protect pedestrians in car crashes.  Stay tuned . . .

Safety features are almost always aimed at people traveling INSIDE a vehicle, but what about those on the outside?  Pedestrian protection is a big deal in Europe and it’s an issue that will likely take hold in other heavily urbanized areas around the world.  Here’s a technology German suppler Continental has developed to help with this problem.

Did you hear the noise that pylon made on impact?  He wasn’t driving that fast, but it sounded like the bumper got ripped off!

Don’t forget to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours. Joining us tonight is Charlie Vogelheim with ResponseLogix, a company that deals with buying cars over the internet. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, at Autoline.tv for the best insider information in the business.

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

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

73 Comments to “Episode 755 – VW’s Awesome Numbers, PSA to Trim Workforce, Ford Ranger Aces Euro NCAP”

  1. HtG Says:

    thanks for switching out the Bridgestone ad. (silent chest thump)

  2. HtG Says:

    Heeeere, tj, tj. Come and gittsum! An ‘exclusive’ interview with Elon Musk.

    once again, my head case has gotten too tight to have read the entire thing.

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    So what happens after the hood opens? does the fan blade sever the arm of the pedestrian, does he get scolded by the super hot radiator?, No of course not, I forget the whole engine compartment is covered up in plastic panels, how silly of me!!

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    The PSA/Renault argument is hilarious, they both stink in reliability, that is like the blind making fun of the visually impaired.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s an Opel/Renault argument.

    As far as PSA quality, so far, so good on the PSA engine in my MINI.

  6. tj Martin Says:

    VW-AG’s supposed profits ;

    Isn’t it interesting that the very week VW-AG is once again Chest Thumping over their pretense of World Domination …

    … is also the very same week Moody’s downgrades VW-AG’s stock ;


    Hmmmn . As LaughIn so often said ;

    “VEeeeelly Interesting “

  7. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    1) Saying its an ” exclusive ” Interview with Elon Musk( rat ) is like saying here’s an ‘ exclusive ‘ view of Lady Gaga’s cleavage .

    2) Have a look at the story ( especially the conclusion ) about Musk(rat ) on Jalopnik


    At first I wondered . Now I’m absolutely convinced .

    Elon Musk(rat ) is Severely Delusional . Now thinking he can take on the likes of BMW . One sick little puppy if you ask me

  8. Phoenix Mark Says:

    How expensive is it to fix the hood if it pops after hitting a cone and not a person that ends up on your hood?

  9. Brett Says:

    The current Ford Ranger sold here in the USA is a well-sorted vehicle that has the singular distinction to still be a fairly small pickup truck.

    I leased a 2001 4-door LX with the 3.0L V-6 and it was a fine vehicle. The only issues I had to address was to put about $50 worth of butyl-rubber mastic sheet on the back wall of the cab as there was no sound deadening material at all there, the rear doors should’ve been on trapezoidal mechanisms so they’d “rotate” away and back against the bedsides (it was a bitch unloading a cart full of groceries when another vehicle was parked beside you, and the 3.0 “vulcan” engine was a bit of a slug in the mountains.

    I’d buy another in a heartbeat. They should keep the current one and put the EcoBoost engine in it. Don’t need bigger trucks.

  10. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Ford should bring the new Ranger here. I know they are worried about cuting into F150 sales. While there would be some of that I think there is interest in small pick-ups. The size of the last generation Tacoma would fill alot of needs. Here in Phoenix I see them used by pool services and pest control companies. When it come time to replace my GMC Sierra (2001) with 97k miles, I will look for a small truck. The “mid-size” trucks are to big and to close to the full size ones.

  11. tj Martin Says:


    subheading PSA Engine in MINI ;

    Well it is great , as long as its not the Turbo S version , but in fact its only the most basic architecture that remains in MINI’s PSA derived motor , with the rest having been completely gone over and/or re-engineered by BMW for the MINI

    PSA themselves ?

    Sorry . They’re French . Completely living up to their age old reputation of Unreliability and High Maintenance , albeit fun somewhat sporty and sometimes cute Cars ( CAR EVO WhatCAR & AutoCar )

    There’s more reasons than economy of scale for PSA’s downsizing campaign

    ( the rest of the subscription article outlines many of PSA’s current woes as well as several other articles on PSA this week )

    Suffice it to say it takes a fair amount of BMW know how to get a PSA motor going .


  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    re the Ranger, now well does the F150 do in other countries? I’ll bet nowhere as well as here due to the cost of gas outside the US, so it makes sense for Ford to sell a modern version outside and perhaps they figure their market share will not increase over here with a new model. Just look at the outdated Escape doing so well.

  13. tj Martin Says:

    #’s 9 & 10


  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ranger is very lacking in the “refinement” people have become accustomed to, but it’s the right size for a lot of people, but they just don’t know it. We’ll see how the next generation Colorado does if it is, in fact, smallish.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding PSA, the Citroen C4 diesel I rented a couple years ago was a great little car. The displays were a little quirky, but functional, and it drove well and got great mpg. It was free of rattles, and didn’t break down during the two weeks I had it.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “but in fact its only the most basic architecture that remains in MINI’s PSA derived motor , with the rest having been completely gone over and/or re-engineered by BMW for the MINI”

    Whether the blame is with BMW or PSA, the non-turbo MINI engine shouldn’t be of the “premium fuel recommended” variety. The smaller displacement engine in the Honda Fit making the same power as the MINI engine uses regular. BMW/PSA need to work on head design, or something. The engine sounds good and runs well, though.

  17. HtG Says:

    John, you seem to have your hate on for evolution. To call the Ranger a ‘fossil’ is to get Chuck D. all backward. Survival of the fittest means that if you best suit your landscape then you win, and are perfectly evolved already. Please see Great White Shark.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    The new Colorado is already on sale in Australia badged as a Holden Colorado . Yo me looks like 3/4 scale version of the Avalanche, Not a bad looking truck. The only good reason I can see Ford not selling the new Ranger here is to maintain it’s no.1 sales position in fullsize trucks. Apparently those bragging rights mean a lot to the manufacturers. I don’t buy the size is too close argument when they sell 6 SUVs that are all realitively close in size. But why let the public decide ,right? I guess it’s better to abandon a entire market segment than to possibly pirate away F150 sales. Bean counters will never understand what the public wants.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Suffice it to say it takes a fair amount of BMW know how to get a PSA motor going .”

    Not really. The “Prince” 1.6 used in the Peugeot 308, Citroen C4, and various other cars works the same as the one BMW uses. BMW just wants to make people think it is substantially different. …not that I blame them, for the U.S. market anyway.

  20. Mike Dale Says:

    Okay, so I drive a Ranger. I could drive other things but this vehcile gets almost 30 mpg and hauls most everything I want. I’ll run it for a quarter of a million miles and then get another one if they still make them. What it didn’t do is it’s downfall. GM decided the great sin of the S-10 is that it didn’t make money as a small, 4 cyl 5 speed truck at a $15K pricepoint. They replaced it with a larger, less fuel efficient Colorado with disastrous sales results. This is all good for Ford is that they don’t have to repeat GM’s mistakes. That said, the crash video shows a Ford truck that looks far too much like a bloated Colorado/Canyon; four doors and only a vestige of a bed.

  21. tj Martin Says:

    #19 Read th articles in CAR etc on the differences between the PSA engine and BMW’s version of the same

    The ONLY PSA car that even comes close to the PSA derived BMW MINI engine is the one found in the DS3 , and even that has a fair amount of differences .

    Also the High Octane needs are due to the compression ratio needed to gain that much HP and torque from that small and engine . Which you have to admit in the New MINI series 2 is quite the little motor for its size

  22. tj Martin Says:

    RANGER revisited

    Me thinks FORD has its thinking cap up its keester if they think for a minute the Ranger would take sales away from the F150

    The fact is it would bring more sales into the FORD showrooms as right now FORD has nothing on offer for someone wanting or only needing a smaller straightforward truck .

    Same goes for the GM Colorado should they bring it here

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    from #21

    “Also the High Octane needs are due to the compression ratio needed to gain that much HP and torque from that small and engine ”

    The Fit engine make the same power from smaller displacement, thus my comment. The Honda’s power peak is at a higher RPM, though, so the MINI engine has a flatter power band.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Take a look at:


    The Prince engine was jointly developed by PSA and BMW, but the two 1.6 versions used by MINI are also used by PSA in nearly identical form.

    There is also a 1.4 version that is used by PSA, and in the MINI One sold in other parts of the world.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ranger would take sales away from Tacoma, if they’d update it a little.

  26. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,Oh Says:

    If I could figure a way to bring a Ranger from Australia I would do it. I live in an apartment with a super narrow driveway. We can’t get a F150 in it at all and I will not buy a foreign make. I live in America and want to buy American.

  27. Tony Gray Says:

    Agree with HtG on the Bridgestone ad. I can watch that beaver one over and over again. The “socially responsible” one gave me indigestion.

    And I think Ford has done a masterful job keeping the Ranger at least LOOK competitive. It remains a handsome vehicle.

  28. tj Martin Says:


    Sorry Kit but Herr Kacher ( Georg Kacher of CAR ) respectfully disagrees

    He did a five page engineering article in CAR when the Series 2 MINI was released pointing out all the differences as well as a follow up article when the DS3 was released to describe the same

    As I said , the basic architecture is the same , but BMW has done much to the engine to bring it up to their standards , with differences in the Fuel Injection , Exhaust manifold , valve timing and camshafts etc etc

    And again the only Peugeot that comes close to the MINI’s exact specifications ( which is what I’ve been saying all along ) is the DS3

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj, #28

    Well, even BMW doesn’t seem to claim that they are different. How about a link to the article you’re talking about?

  30. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG et Al *


    ( * anyone else that might have a clue on this one)

    Filed under the ” There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute ” heading

    This morning I get an email from a fairly educated ( MBA ) and I though financially astute friend inviting me to ” Work ” for this great new ” Charity ” organization thats producing a ” Product ” that will help people the World over to ” Live ” better .

    The ” Catch ” being he cannot tell me what the name of this organization is until I’ve signed an NDA ( Non Disclosure Agreement ) …… and ….. it’ll only cost me a $200 a month donation and bringing in three other friends for me to ” Profit ” from this wondrous ” Product ”

    The pitch included a list of supposed members that are pillars in the financial world etc … no names of course . One must view the ” Video ” after signing the NDA in order to get the details .

    Smell a bit like a Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme to you as well ?

    So …. the question .

    Anyone got a clue ( name etc ) what or who this Organization is ( or isn’t ) ?

    No worries , I’ve said no , but I’m curious to find out what the friend has bought into .

    Anyone ???

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #28 again,
    Hmmm. Seems the DS3 uses a less powerful version of the MINI S turbo. See:


  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is anyone named Madoff involved?

  33. HtG Says:

    First make sure you’re plugged in, tj. Which is to say, make sure your friend is really behind this email. You may merely have received a phishing attack that has hijacked your friend’s identity. Contact the friend directly, if only to warn him.

  34. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    All the article is talking about is the basic architecture so it and I are on the same page . It doesn’t give the myriad of details that differentiate the PSA and MINI variations , just the basic specs .

    Both of G. Kacher’s articles were print only ( CAR does a lot of that to keep people subscribing ) but he was very adamant about the differences and Kacher is seldom mistaken when it comes to anything even vaguely German .

    Well … except his high opinion of Audi 8)

    Also both the MINI books I own make the same claim

    So Peace already Kit . Lets drop this .

    Any clue Kit as to the scam I’ve mentioned above ? Assuming this little mess is Nationwide and not any implication that you might fall for it ( God I hope you wouldn’t . In spite of any disagreements we may have , I’d hate like ______ to see you get taken for one thin dime by a scam like this )

  35. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I called him . He’s all in and completely sold on the scam . Fact is he’s giddy with excitement

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    If its any help , from the sound of things this one is aimed at fairly affluent folks ( hmmmn Madoff’s kids perhaps ? ) that may or may not be on the edge ( the friend is currently ) of financial disaster e.g. Previously monied but verging on desperate .

    Brother though has he ever bought into this one .

    Except for the lower entry fee it does sound a lot like Bernie M doesn’t it .

  37. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    Its all in the details ( MINI vs DS3 motors )

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Any clue Kit as to the scam I’ve mentioned above ?”

    No particular clues, but it sounds mighty suspicious.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I ran into a review of a Peugeot GTi beater than had an engine with identical specs to the J. C. Works MINI. Peugeot/Citroen use a bunch of different versions of the Prince turbo engine, but all the cars I found with the non-turbo had the same ~120 hp at 6000 rpm of my car.

    I’m done searching this stuff.

  40. HtG Says:

    tj, you seem to have answered the question yourself. Here’s what the FBI has to say about protecting yourself.

    (these are indeed hard times. A few weeks ago someone dropped off sister cats on our property. Luckily, a neighbor took them in. It breaks my heart thinking about it, but we took in a siamese a decade ago and he’s still here at 22 years old!)

  41. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    I was actually looking for the name or title of this ” Philanthropic ” little scam .

    The FBI stuff I know . Hmmmn .

    Here’s my four signs you’re about to get taken by a scam organization ;

    1) Pay to play . You don’t pay to work for anybody . Ever . Period .

    2) Appealing to contradictory emotions – When someone like this scam is trying to tell you you can satiate both your greed and your need for altruism … run like ______

    3) Secrecy – If what ever they’re selling/promoting is that bloody good ( and honest ) and they’ve got the copyright/ patent on it WTH would they keep it secrete ? Answer – They wouldn’t !

    4) Lots of flowery terms and words ( this ones catch phrase is Philanthropic )

    All four of the above came into play on this one , who ever they are .

    But yes HtG the scams abound . Both the technically legal ( corporate ) and the illegal ( I’ll bet this one t be the later )

    So my fellow site mates ….. please …


    Tons of very desperate and very intelligent folks out there trying to empty your back pockets .

    @ HtG – I gotta tell you , between the Grey Phantoms video I posted yesterday , and now this today , its all starting to hit just a little too close to home ( Grey phantoms is another story)

  42. Mouhamad A. Naboulsi Says:

    The link on the news letter sent me to yesterdays video.

    Just FYI

  43. tj Martin Says:

    Anybody out there got any good or fun news to share ?

    Between yesterdays ‘ Grey Phantoms ‘ and todays Pyramid scheme run in I’m feeling a bit ‘ gray ‘ myself :(

    I could use a smile or a laugh right about now

    eeesh ………….

    pedro ?

    anybody ?

  44. tj Martin Says:

    # 42

    that seems to be happening a lot lately . IT needs to get on that little foible

  45. HtG Says:

    It’s not car related, tj, but in my world there was an announcement about the fight for the future of computing. ARM announced their program to develop 64bit architecture. Previously limited to 32bit(meaning the processors could only work with 4gig of memory), now ARM and its partners are entering Intel’s wheelhouse of PCs and servers. This will start playing out in about two years. (you know ARM because of cell phones, tablets, microcontrollers and embedded devices)


  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    So what’s the story with the NJ F1 race,is it on or not? TTAC reviews Scion IQ, thumbs down, I’m afraid, you know the more I read about all these boomboxes on wheels, the more I.m determined to hang on to the good ole Vibrolla with all its imperfections and archaic tranny.

  47. HtG Says:

    @46 If there’s been any digging by journalists into the proposed F1 race in NJ, then I’ve missed it, Pedro. Pretty much just reports on the press conference.

  48. Alex Kovnat Says:

    > Safety features are almost
    > always aimed at people traveling
    > INSIDE a vehicle, but what
    > about those on the outside?
    > Pedestrian protection is a
    > big deal in Europe and it’s
    > an issue that will likely
    > take hold in other heavily
    > urbanized areas around the world.

    Uh-oh. Another cost and weight burden we consumers will have to bear, on top of 50+ MPG fuel economy requirements and ever more stringent driver/passenger safety requirements.

  49. HtG Says:

    Here’s a column about the F1 race from the Star Ledger paper. The reporter has embedded a drive along the course.


  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    #48 see #46 part 2

  51. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Ahhh that brought a hint of a smile to my face ( #49 ) having a look at my old newspaper when I lived in NJ .

    Good Ole Star Ledger . Kind a miss that rag now and again

    @ pedro

    NJ-F1 is a GO ! Contracts signed – Tilke in process of finalizing the track facilities – Jersey Boys already talking trash about the Austin F1 – drivers starting to comment – Yep .

    The NJ-F1 is a GO …… and ……… Mrs Tj loves the idea ( stay in NYC – little face time w/my family – Broadway show ( she loves musicals ) – the race – then off for a week in Martha’s Vineyard

    As soon as the date is set ( its in June but the exact date will have to wait till Bernie announces the 2013 season ) we’ll be calling the Hotel we’ve got a big M-B discount at to make reservations and let the concierge have at the details

    And yeah pedro , all reviews of the Scion iQ are negative . i did get a kick though of TTAC saying the iQ drives a lot better than the FIAT 500 in spite of the 500′s longer wheelbase

    That 500 is a real dog IMHO

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even though I’m not in the market, I’ll “test drive” an iQ when it shows up, because I’m curious. It seems that all these journalists hate CVT’s, but compared to its closest competition in the US market, the smart, the iQ’s transmission would be wonderful. If the engine is REALLY NOISY when it revs up in the iQ, I wouldn’t like it, but from my experience with my “acts like a CVT” Prius, and the real CVT Cube I drove, I might like the iQ ok, for what it is, a very small city car.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    But what about the Jersey City mayor Healy saying no, doesn’t he have to sign off on it also?

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Unless you really live in a city, I don’t see the point of any of these microcars appealing to the masses, not for the mileage, not for safety and certainly NOT for convenience, and not for the price either

  55. tj Martin Says:


    It aint in jersey City and the Governor says yes ( along with the NY and greater NYC partners ) so nobody cares what the Jersey City mayor thinks .

    Actually if Historical precedence still rules in NJ , nobody cares about Jersey City … period !

    #52 – Yeah I’ll give it a spin as well just cause we’ve been such a Toyota loyal household for so long

    I really did have a laugh though on TTAC when they said the iQ drives so much better than the FIAT 500

    Having driven the 500 I can believe that one verbatim . Honestly our MINI’s with four flat tires ( on the run flats ) would drive better than the 500

    Toyota should play up that statement in their Ads

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree. They will be a niche product.

    In other parts of the world, where you park wherever your car will fit, the small size is good for parking, but in the US, that is generally not a factor.

  57. tj Martin Says:


    Funny thing in KC .

    Ever since M-B took over the sales of the (not so ) SMART ?

    All of a sudden I’m seeing tons of new ones all over town .

    Go figure !

  58. tj Martin Says:

    If you have even the slightest iQ and THINK about it for a NANO second , and use your head ,you’d LEAF the Micros and E/V’s on the lot do the SMART thing and buy a MINI

    Lest you wind up with a potentially reVOLTing situation

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The latest TTAC article in the iQ, by Karesh, is at:


    It isn’t terribly negative, but it certainly doesn’t say the iQ drivers better than a Fiat 500. The only reference to the 500, is that the Fiat is better buy than the iQ, especially after there are a lot of them on the lots. He ends up saying that city dweller who might consider buying an iQ for the parking ease, will probably rent cars occasionally instead.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve seen more 500′s since they started selling them than the Fiesta, I don’t think my fellow So Floridians like the latter much at all. Cruze I’ve seen all over the place but no Sonics at all, are they even out already?

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s interesting. Of course, maybe you have an exceptional MB dealer, and had a crappy smart dealer before.

    The Orlando smart dealer actually seemed pretty good, and was next door to an MB dealer with, I think, the same owner. I still think they can revive smart’s fortunes, to some extent, just by putting a manual, a CVT, or a better automatic. The transmission is what makes the smart so awful, even as a runabout for short trips in town.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sonics are out, barely, at least in central Indiana. As of a couple days ago, the local dealer had received three, two sedans and one hatch. I’m heading for Florida this weekend, so I’ll see if there are any where I live there.

  63. HtG Says:

    @60 I just saw a new Sonic at the dealer. They had it parked at the front of the lot. It’s very sharp looking, with many styling creases making it not look cheap at all. The panel gaps were all quite fine, too. It was locked so I didn’t get inside. I like it.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    Before anyone gets too excited about the Sonic, remember, it’s still a Daewoo inside.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ll reserve judgment on the Sonic, but some things I like, such as the user-friendly controls.

  66. tj Martin Says:

    @ Mr Gerhart

    TTAC article 10/27/11

    Sub heading – RIDE

    And I quote ;

    ” Though larger and heavier , a FIAT 500 rides worse ”

    So what part of that escaped your attention ?

    Why don’t you try spending a little less time being contentious as well as trying to out smart me , and a little more …….. oops ….. here comes that word again Kit …..

    READING …… what the goram articles are saying !!!

    Ya might just figure out I really do know what I’m talking about and learn a thing or two in the process . Maybe .


  67. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    So would that be Sonic Distortion / Sonic Burger / Sonic Boom or that Korean Chebbie wanna be Sonic GM is trying to pawn off as an exciting small car ?

    I’ll go with Sonic Distortion

  68. tj Martin Says:


    Oh you of little knowledge

    The Mercedes dealer has ALWAYS been the SMART dealer here . Same in your neck of the woods I’ll bet !

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Orlando, yeah. Indy, no.

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeay, I missed a sentence there, but more often, you don’t have a clue, like with the BMW/PSA engines, thinking turbos and hybrids “don’t work,” not having a clue what fuel is used to produce electricity is produced in the U.S., etc.

    Talk about being contentious. You need to look in a mirror.

    I’m out of here,

    Have a nice day, “tj Martin,” whoever the f@#$ you are.

  71. Andrew Charles Says:

    The BMW/PSA 4-cylinder is as near as identical in all three brands as it can be. It is based on the old BMW/Chrysler Tritec engine from the first New Mini, but with a lighter aluminum block (cast by PSA in France) and detail changes throughout. Key updates are BMW’s Valvetronic system eliminating the tradition butterfly valve throttle (requiring variable lift and timing on the intake valves) and either Bi-Vanos valve timing (normally aspirated) or direct injection (turbocarged engines). Toyota’s Valvematic system works in a similar way to Valvetronic, but they seem unconvinced of the value and have only used it on a few engines. Fiat’s Multi-Air produces the same effect but with hydraulically controlled valve-lift on the intake side of a SOHC system.

    PSA sends the blocks to BMW Hams Hall in England to be assembled into complete engines for Mini, and assembles its own for Peugeot and Citroen. The 2nd gen New Mini abandoned Toyota Industries’ (the company that still makes textile equipment) 1.4 L diesel for the Peugeot/Ford 1.6 L (shared with Mazda and Volvo as well). More recently BMW has developed its own 1.6 L diesel, but it doesn’t match the power or economy of the latest Peugeot Citroen 1.6 L.

  72. Andrew Charles Says:

    The Sonic has been out a couple of months now, but only in very low volumes while they build inventory for the marketing push and clear out the Korean-built Aveo. While the old Aveo was Daewoo’s evolution of the old T-body Astra (last Pontiac Lemans), the new Aveo/Sonic is 80% Opel Corsa/Fiat Punto, complete with Opel’s Family 0 and Family 1 engines (the fomer produced in Austria and the US, and latter in Hungary and Korea) and the wee Fiat-GM 4-liter diesel (nominally 1.3 L, but actually 1.248 L—GM’s new “1.0″ L 3-cylinder seems to be 3/4 of the 4-cylnder, and actually only 936 cc).

  73. Andrew Charles Says:

    #Dale, you want a South African (built for Africa and Europe) or Argentinean Ranger (built for the Americas). Australian Rangers are built in Thailand and are RHD.

    XA351GT—you can only buy the new Colorado in Thailand right now, and they’re only selling the extended-cab so far (a priority in Thailand as 2-door models get tax-breaks). Holden is still clearing out the old Colorado and the new model won’t get here till next year. I can tell you it as big as the new Ranger (a good deal longer and wider than the “new” Hilux which is really only a cosmetic refresh), but doesn’t have the Ranger’s long wheelbase. Aside from external dimensions the limited details so far include an incredible 1700 kg payload capacity—almost 1.9 (short) tons. Normally a truck of this class maxes out at around 1100 kg capacity. The US model gets different axles among other changes so don’t expect this kind of heavy-duty capability. GM will use the same platform to build a new minivan for SE Asia to battle Toyota’s Hilux-based Kijang Innova and Mitsubishi/CMC’s Philippino/Taiwanese AUVs (Asian utility vehicles). While the Colorado is important for pickup-loving Thailand, AUVs like the Innova and Chevy’s Tavera make up a major segment of the market in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.