Episode 785 – GM Denies Battery Swap, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Battle Over E-15

December 12th, 2011 at 11:49am

Runtime: 7:29

Last week we reported that GM was going to switch battery suppliers for the Chevy Volt. But GM tells Autoline Daily that is not the case at all. BMW is following Mercedes-Benz and Audi into the four-door coupe market with the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are renewing efforts to block the use of E-15, or gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. All that and more, plus a look at the all-new Buick Regal GS.

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This is Autoline Daily for December, 12. And here is the latest of what’s going on in the automotive industry.

GM DENIES BATTERY SWAP
Last week we reported that General Motors was going to switch suppliers for the batteries in the Chevrolet Volt. But GM tells Autoline Daily that is not the case at all. Bloomberg News reported the supplier A123 was going to replace LG Chem, but GM says it is sticking with LG Chem for the Volt, while A123 will be supplying batteries for the all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark.

CHINA’S AUTOMAKERS LOSE MONEY
Despite becoming the largest automotive market in the world, the China Car News reports that collectively, China’s domestic automakers are losing money. Excluding exports, their sales are down for the year, and they are losing market share to foreign brands in China. Now, some in China are calling on the government to stop allowing foreign automakers to form joint ventures. But since China is a member of the World Trade Organization it cannot ban foreign companies from entering the market.

HONDA’S DETROIT PREVIEW
Honda has some big announcements to make at the Detroit Auto Show next month. First up, it will reveal a concept vehicle that hints at the design direction of the 2013 Accord Coupe. But all we can show you for now is what the old one looks like. Then there are three, yes, THREE Acura unveils — a redesigned version of the RDX crossover, a new compact sports-sedan concept called the ILX, PLUS a teaser for its revived NSX supercar. Honda and especially Acura have been getting clobbered lately, and both brands desperately need new product with better styling. We can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on.

BMW 6 SERIES GRAN COUPE
Well, it took a few years but it’s finally happening. BMW is following Mercedes-Benz and Audi into the four-door coupe sliver of the market. The 6 Series Gran Coupe has the CLS and A7 in its sights. I don’t know why these luxury brands persist in calling a four-door sedan a coupe. By definition a coupe has traditionally been a two door. I think they want to trick sedan buyers into thinking they’re buying a car that a younger person would buy. Younger than them, at least.

GM TEAMS UP TO DEVELOP CARBON FIBER
Earlier in the year BMW announced it was stepping up efforts to develop carbon fiber for use in its cars. Toyota is already manufacturing parts of the LFA sports car out of the material. And now General Motors is teaming up with Japanese company, Teijin, to develop carbon-fiber technology to potentially use in its cars. Teijin developed a new process to mass produce carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components in under a minute.

BATTLE OVER E-15
The fight over higher blends of ethanol in gasoline continues in Washington. According to the Detroit News, 70 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans, want to block the use of E-15, or gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. Currently there’s about 10 percent ethanol in gas. The house members say E-15 will destroy engines and further testing is needed. The EPA has already approved its use but earlier in the year the House voted to block the EPA from implementing E-15 regulations. This new effort would include the block in a spending bill to fund government operations through next year.

Thanks for that report, Andrew.

And that wraps up today’s report. Don’t forget you can get all our reports via You Tube and Streetfire. You can check us out there and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

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109 Comments to “Episode 785 – GM Denies Battery Swap, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Battle Over E-15”

  1. jesse Says:

    e15= higher gas bills,lower fuel economy and higher auto repairs when that crap starts eating away at the parts not made to accept it.What is wrong with these people who advocate this stuff??They are clearly not concerned with the best interests of the AMERICAN CONSUMER!!They simply want to pad their pockets and sell -FORCE- their inferior product ON THE PUBLIC!!

  2. Autos101 Says:

    As a longtime Honda owner who appreciates their onetime excellent designs, I hope they get it right with the new Accord, much better than with most recent Acuras (who are not only poor exterior-wise, their interiors are not up to luxury car standards and even their performance has been poor lately) and the new Civic which took 3 extra years to appear (usually civics, corollas etc have 4-yr cycles) and has been poorly received by both the enthusiast mags and CR. (the SI version, which accounts for a tiny number of Civic sales, may be OK)

  3. dcars Says:

    Your right John, a Coupe is a two door car.

  4. tj Martin Says:

    E15

    + 1 with jesse (#1)

    Having lived in Denver Co for most of the last 20 years ( not presently ) and having been subjected to E15 each and every winter to begin with and then four seasons I’ll agree with Jesse 120%

    In every vehicle I ever owned there i saw a minimum of 15% reduction in mpg the minute E15 hit the pumps .

    Add to Jesse’s complaints , Higher Corn, Milk , Beef and Poultry prices due to E15 ( and E85 ) boosting the cost of feed etc

    Like I keep saying here , when it comes to all these so called ‘ Solutions ‘ to our fuel needs ;

    THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH

    And in fact 99% of the time the COST of these so called solutions , be they financial , environmental or otherwise , usually exceed the benefits : two fold or more .

  5. Autos101 Says:

    The Volt is SUCH a huge mess, and pure EVs are even sillier, golf carts with sides and 70 mile range, very practical (NOT!) except as a sixth car in a wealthy family for the mother-in-law to drive to the mall….

    But when John mentions hybrids are only 2% of the market, he should distinguish between all but one of the hybrids, which have been failures or mediocre sellers, and the Prius, which dominates this segment, sells as many as all other hybrids combined, even toyota’s other hybrids, and nothing else comes close.

    Last Nov, the prius sold over 15,000 units (!!!) more than mainstream ‘cash cow’ cars like the Focus or even the Cruze!

    Toyota’s plan for the Prius Family (5-door hatch, the $4k cheaper coupe coming next year, which will get an estimated 64 city and 60 hwy-extrapolating from the Japanese cycle nos, which are in the 90 MPG range (!!) and adjusting), and the Wagon Prius V, which accounted for much of the Nov increase in sales, as well as the Plug-in (which I don’t think will do as well, because TOyota prices it way above the excellent regular Prius), is to exceed in sales even the CAMRY and become the US’s top selling car line.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Everyone was predicting doom and gloom when E10 came along, but my ’86 VW and my ’77 John Deere lawn tractor work fine on E10, and neither has ever had any fuel system problems. It there any reason that a little more ethanol would destroy fuel systems? Probably not.

    That said, is there really any reason to use E15? Making more ethanol for motor fuel would increase food prices around the world, and mpg would be a little bit worse than we now get.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Based on the energy content of the fuel, E10 should produce about 3% worse mpg than pure gasoline, and E15 about 4.5% worse. A few years ago, I was able to get E0 at a nearby station, and tried a few tanks in my Malibu Maxx. I couldn’t tell the difference, though, obviously, no two tanks of driving are identical, so the expected 3% improvement with the E0 would be hard to notice.

  8. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    #6

    A) Your observations are severely flawed ( as always )

    B) Science has proven POINT BLANK that yes E10 and E15 do damage to both the mechanical as well as the storage and routing ( fuel lines ) of all cars and vehicles NOT designed to use ethanol

  9. tj Martin Says:

    @ Auto101

    If you hadn’t noticed , ever since the Government handouts for buying a Prius went away Prius Sales Worldwide have been on a steady Decline

    Toyota’s ‘ New Models ‘ of the Prius are a desperate attempt on their part to revitalize what is rapidly becoming a descending market for Hybrids in general

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #8,
    My observations are NOT flawed, but your observations in post 4 are certainly flawed. Of course, you get a lot worse gas mileage in the winter, but only about 1.5% of the difference can be attributed to E15 rather than E10.

    By the way, where is documentation from any reliable source that says “science” has proven that E10 damages fuel systems? It certainly hasn’t shown up in my vehicles.

  11. tj Martin Says:

    #7

    ” Based on the energy content of the fuel, E10 should produce about 3% worse mpg than pure gasoline, and E15 about 4.5% worse.”

    Where do you dig this tripe up from Kit ?

    Oh …. let me guess . The doyen of Accurate Information …
    …… Wikipedia

  12. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    15% measured there genius !

    NOT Wikipedia estimations

    15% And that was and is the average in Denver having been reported in all the press as well as CO NPR etc

    15% !!!!!!

    And yes your observations at best ( and I’m being kind ) are flawed and baseless

  13. tj Martin Says:

    #10

    ” By the way, where is documentation from any reliable source that says “science” has proven that E10 damages fuel systems? It certainly hasn’t shown up in my vehicles ”

    Based on some of your previous ‘ observations ‘ I rather doubt you’ve the capability to notice or recognize said damage if it were to hit you over the head with a sledge hammer

  14. Autos101 Says:

    TJ:

    While I much prefer Diesels to Hybrids for the US market,

    and while I am not a fan of Toyotas (I only recommend them to women I know who want peace of mind and don’t mind driving an appliance devoid of the Joy of Driving),

    I want to stress the most important point again.

    There are ordinary (usually failures) Hybrids and then there is the Prius, which is heads and shoulders above the others, and rightly sells as many in the US market as all other 40 or 50 hybrid models combined (!).

    The coming prius coupe will, IMHO, be another Smash hit, priced $4k below the regular prius and with, as I estimated, 64/60 EPA MPG and real world one too. (Japanmese cycle inflated MPGs for it are …90s!)

    The Wagon prius V sacrifices some MPG (still a huge 42 or 44 MPG overall EPA!) but it has been long, long overdue and will have a lesser but still significant following.

    Again, where I think the Prius will not do well is the Plug-in, not because of the 13 mile range on battery alone, but primarily because Toyota has priced it 8,000 Euros above the regular Prius in Europe- and I bet $8k more than the regular in the US next year.

    I have yet to see anybody for whom the Plug-in prius will make ECON sense.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #9,
    There haven’t been any “government handouts” for buying Priuses in many years, and the sales have been climbing every year, except 2011 when there were disruptions. Prius has been the top selling car in Japan recently.

    Yes, sales of Prius are off a little in the U.S. right now, and sales of Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 are up. It is always that way in short-sighted America when gas prices stabilize or go down.

  16. Chuck Says:

    The man who serviced my Echo lawn edger advised me to find and buy marine gas (No E) for it and the other tools and lawn tractor if I didn’t want to repair/replace them frequently. He has a whole shop full of repairs due mostly to E-gas.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @tj, #11,
    There are a lot of sites that confirm the energy content of different fuels. You might want to check them out, before you make all of your uninformed comments.

  18. tj Martin Says:

    #15

    Once again Kit , those ‘ Flawed ‘ observations strike again

    Better check into the numbers Kit . Prius sales have been crawling steadily downward for the last three years

    WorldWide !

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #12,
    Yes, you GET WORSE GAS MILEAGE IN THE WINTER, NOT MATTER WHAT YOU BURN.

  20. Autos101 Says:

    Kit: “Yes, sales of Prius are off a little in the U.S. right now, and sales of Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 are up. ”

    Have you seen the latest sales numbers?

    Are you kidding me?

    The prius sold 15,208 units in Nov 2011 alone!

    Compare this to mainstream non-hybrids like (also for Nov 2011)

    Cruze 13,238
    Jetta 12,891
    Elantra 12,414

    Focus 11,735
    RAV-4 11,330
    Impala 10,851

    !!!!

  21. tj Martin Says:

    #17

    The ONLY one here ‘ Uninformed ‘ Kit is yourself !

    Get a small clue for once in your life and realize that measured FACT’s outweigh pretentious observations and guesstimates

    AND having lived in Denver off and on for the last 43 years myself , Colorado has been dealing with the detriments of E10 for longer than most of the US has even know about its existence including yourself , living in the Midwest as you have .

  22. tj Martin Says:

    #19

    Gee like i and everyone else on the planet with an ounce of engineering knowledge doesn’t know that fact

    But here’s a small clue oh clueless and uninformed one

    Denver has more 50 degree and above days than below in winter , with entire weeks even in January sometimes hitting as high as the 70′s .

    So wouldn’t you think , if in winter when E10 was forced upon CO drivers , if one measured their MPG during one of THOSE warm spells , one could make a sound and accurate judgement as to how much mpg E10 was costing , despite the weather ?

    Oh but I’m sure that line of reasoning is much too complicated for the likes of yourself .

    So ……. never mind

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would prefer NOT to have to use 15% ethanol, if there are additional wear issues, and once again it will hurt those in the lower income brackets, who can’t afford to discard their used vehicles for new ones! What is the point of having a company rep gloat about all the wonders of a new model without an actual objective review and test drive by a disinterested party. It’s the same as going to a dealership, only these media guys are better informed about a given model

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #22,
    tj, oh arrogant and clueless one

    Three per cent of the drop in mpg would be from using E10 rather than pure gasoline. Maybe driving in slush during the warm spells hurts mileage. There may be other factors too, but the E10 would only account for 3% with cars new enough to have closed-loop mixture control.

  25. Fuel System Supplier Says:

    From a production standpoint, we have pump and lines capable of meeting these standards. We’ve been sending them to Latin America for years. It hasn’t been a a requirement in NA or EU, therefore the product has been dumbed down.

    From a service standpoint, I’d love to see the E15 implemented. The ethanol in the fuel will eat away at the fuel pump gaskets and seals. I will sell a whole lot more service parts!

  26. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    #23

    And good luck in this Zeitgeist we’re presently in ever finding an

    ‘ Actual Objective Review ‘

    You sure as heck won’t get one from any of todays press , including Consumer Report

    ;-)

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and yes, I’d rather not use E15 in my older cars. The extra 5% might be too much for the elastomers. I know 10% is not a problem, though, having used E10 in them for about 20 years.

  28. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    So ….. you’re Insular as well as Uninformed and eternally clueless

    A little hint their Kt

    DENVER CO

    Altitude 5280 ft ABOVE sea level = Dry climate = Snow melts within a day most times unless its a major snow event = NO SLUSH

    15% Kit . Denver CO EPA . Denver Post . CO NPR . Rocky Mt News ( when it existed ) 5280 Magazine . As well as every Independent mechanic worth his/her salt . Face it . You’re WRONG . Period !

    Here’s another small clue Kit

    The World does not revolve , nor does it operate around you and your limited experiences paradigms

    Its a BIG LAND out there , most of which seems to have passed you by

  29. tj Martin Says:

    #26

    Nice try Kit .

    But once again

    Your Depthless Observations/Opinions vs Scientific Fact

    In that little argument Kit ….

    YOU LOSE !

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just finished my premium tank, more torque. less MPG’s I think I’ll go back to regular. Tried the no ethanol couple of months ago, felt no difference and same mpg’s and costs even more than premium. I have spoken to people who have E85 capable cars and they don’t want to bother driving out of their way or fear that it will hurt the cars, even though they’re told it won’t.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    So I’m really curious to know Kit

    Just how many , Mr ” I’m so Green and Environmentally conscious cause I own a Prius ” Cars do you own ?

    The second being ; Why ?

    In light of the fact that by your professed ‘ Snowbird ‘ behavior if we’re to believe you are who you say you are , you must be retired and an empty nester , your fleet of cars seems to be at best somewhat excessive in numbers

    I only ask because of late the numbers , models and brands seem to be growing exponentially almost weekly

  32. Autos101 Says:

    My manual sez midgrade and I almost always put midgrade (except on couple occasions where premium was equal in price to midgrade at some station). But once I had to use regular (87) and the engine did not like it much (fortunately no damage).

    I think there is a slight improvement (but not worth the extra cost) in MPG as you go higher octane.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How about some FACTS from you, other than your steady stream of undocumented OPINION. So all of the car companies are wrong about E10 being ok in there products. Even your beloved Mercedes-Benz says E10 is ok.

    Yes, the jury is out on E15.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #30,
    If you had actually been reading my posts here for the last few years, rather than just making nasty, uninformed responses, you would probably know what cars I have. You are right about my being retired, and an “empty nester.”

    Anyway, here are my cars.

    2010 Prius II
    2008 MINI Cooper, base, 6-speed
    1989 Dodge Caravan SE, 2.5 turbo, 5-speed manual
    1986 Volkswagen Cabriolet, 5-speed

    The Caravan and VW stay in Indiana, and don’t get driven much, but are in excellent condition.

    Hey, I don’t have nearly as many cars as some people I know.

  35. HtG Says:

    Holy Smokes

    Here’s a link to an EPA webpage on E15. You can’t use the stuff on cars older than model year 2001, and many other types of machines.

    It’s my usual refrain, so here goes, ethanol is made from sources like corn whose fertilizer is made from natgas feedstock . So if more ethanol is in every gallon of gas, fewer dollars get exported to pay for oil.

    Oh, and Pedro, Volt #9 on the highway today.

  36. HtG Says:

    the link, sorry

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/

    again, Holy Smokes.

  37. Autos101 Says:

    “Volt #9 on the highway today.”

    Intact, or in flames?

    I have seen a few Volts around, but I live in MI. I never saw a stupid Nissan Leaf, maybe they are not yet sold here?

    As I commented yesterday, I live in a town with lots of new and used corollas, civics, accords and camrys, but recently I have seen a whole lot of Chevy Cruzes, and very few Fiestas or new Foci (!)

    However, today Automotive News had the inventory numbers for November and all cars (maybe in anticipation of high Dec sales) have unhealthily high inventories, even the Cruze. Some are over 100 days (Impala). So are FOrd and Chrysler inventories.

    The failed Fiat 500 little clown car has… 176 days of inventory. that’s half a year of current sales, or more than a year of lower future sales.

    Only the Koreans, BMW, Merc and some Japanese have trim, healthy inventories as of Dec 1.

  38. Autos101 Says:

    Some attribute the very high Nov sales of the prius to the introduction of the Prius V, more expensive Wagon version, 42 or 44 MPG EPA average , but with 50% cargo space. A no brainer, I am curious why Toyota waited so many years to offer a wagon version. Again, since nobody noticed (or at least commented):

    “The prius sold 15,208 units in Nov 2011 alone!

    Compare this to mainstream non-hybrids like (also for Nov 2011)

    Cruze 13,238
    Jetta 12,891
    Elantra 12,414

    Focus 11,735
    RAV-4 11,330
    Impala 10,851

    !!!!

  39. Steve Kozak Says:

    Kit, my brother owns a lawnmower repair company in Houston. His repair numbers for carb “cleaning” has gone through the roof after they introduced E10 in Texas. It’s now the most frequent common repair for his small business, and he attributes it all to E10. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that E15 will put even more money in his pocket! So bring it on, because those weekend warriors have plenty of weed whackers, chainsaw’s and lawnmowers that die on the goop left over when the gas evaporates out of their carb bowls. We look at it as supporting the service industry. Because…Everyone loves it when thier backup generator won’t start, when they need it the most.

  40. Autos101 Says:

    50% more cargo space than the regular 5-door prius.

  41. HtG Says:

    #36 “Intact, or in flames?”

    last week I also saw the outlined ashes of some vehicle at the side of the highway. Must have been spectacular.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Have yet to see one single Volts “burning” the road around these parts, no Leaf either, I guess we’re not an EV-friendly area. If what you say is true Herman, what are we suppose to do with our older cars, junk them ala C4C? Mopeds, anyone?

  43. tj Martin Says:

    A VERY SPECIAL WELCOME ……..

    ……. for the Opel Ampera , to the Mobile BBQ /Spontaneous Combustion Club

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/volt-woes-spread-to-europe-affect-ampera/

    —————-

    #37

    WTH are you getting those numbers from ?

    Everyone in the financial sector is saying ;

    PRIUS Sales are DOWN ……

    ………. for the entire year .

    Worldwide I might add .

    ——–

    @HtG

    More gallons of E15 = much much higher food prices as well as lowered supplies as farmers sell more of their crop to the Oil companies , with less and less going towards the table , animal feed etc

    Anyway as John reported last week …. we’re now exporting more oil now than we’re importing …..

    So thats a moot argument there mien freunde

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #40,
    I haven’t seen any Volts or leaves around here either. In the immediate area where I am, a majority of people are in condos, and would have no place to plug them in.

    Where I am, Brevard County, the last I heard is that Hyundai is the biggest selling car brand.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #38,
    The Prius V is nice, if you need the extra room, but is significantly thirstier than the regular Prius.

    If the upcoming smaller Prius was around when I got my car, I might have considered it. That one sounds appealing. It will be a little quicker, get a little better mpg, and cost less.

  46. tj Martin Says:

    #40

    ” ….. what are we supposed to do with our older cars ….. ”

    Well ….. mi amigo

    Thats part of the plan in fact . To FORCE the likes of you and any other non- conspicuous consumer such as myself into buying a new car

    Ruin your current ride with a Fuel that once again ( no free lunch remember ) causes more harm than good .

    Aint that a nice little plan Pedro ?

    ;-)

  47. HtG Says:

    I think owners of older cars may have to lump it. My Miata is a 96, so I hope there will still be e10. But it looks to me that the US is looking for multiple avenues to reduce oil imports and thus dollar exports. Higher prices for food I have no answer for, beyond the flip one that we could stop breeding all those corn eating cows and pigs. Excess meat consumption is unhealthy.

    Does anybody know the number of watts it takes to refine oil? I don’t think it’s trivial.

  48. tj Martin Says:

    #44 should of said that I am a conspicuous consumer , having recently purchased a new car

    mea culpa

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #41,
    Yes, Prius sales are down for the year, mainly because of production disruptions from the earthquake. Wait until next year, especially if gas prices start creeping up.

  50. tj Martin Says:

    #45

    Takes quite a few watts as well as oil and gas to grow , refine and produce ethanol for use in an automobile as well

    Moot point again ! NO FREE LUNCH . Just keep repeating that Mantra and you’ll begin to understand just how absolutely and abjectly ludicrous all these so called ‘ Gas Saver ‘ strategies really are

    And don’t you dare try to step on my PETA ( People Eating Tasty Animals ) diet !

    Anyway ….. like I told Pedro in #44 its all about getting you into a brandy spankin new car whether you want or need one or not !

    You think I exaggerate ? Let me remind you who owns GM and still the majority of Chrysler at this point in time . Then let me remind you who it is thats shoving this whole E10 E15 debacle down our throats

    Hmmmmn

  51. tj Martin Says:

    # 47

    In your dreams

    But you just keep on believing that , along with the multitude of other Myths you place so much faith in .

    As I’ve said so many times

    ” What ever it takes to get you thru the day “

  52. Phoenix Mark Says:

    I have a question for you tj. Did Denver see any improvement in air quality after switching to E10 in the winter?

    I am not trying to start anything.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well I guess it’s the American way, baby! they’ll force me to go into debt where I can’t pay my bills and then file Chapter 11 or 10 or whatever the hell chapter it is, and start all over again. Once, twice, three times abankarrupto.

  54. HtG Says:

    48 The difference between electric and ethanol relative to oil is the ultimate source of the energy. We are loaded with coal and natgas. Using it keeps the benjis stateside. Everything has a cost, but who gets paid in the end?

    I also like meat, but it’s sold at subsidized prices, and diverts a huge amount of grain and water.

  55. Autos101 Says:

    It’s actually “Fallimento”

    (Italian for bankrupt)

  56. tj Martin Says:

    #45

    ” …that we could stop breeding all those corn eating cows and pigs…. ”

    Well hate to have to be the one to inform you of this , but even if everyone in the country were to stop eating meat ( May that never happen ) we’ll still need all those cows , pigs and chickens for their manure to fertilize all that corn and grain that’ll be needed to produce that much ethanol

    Once again . Repeat after me

    THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH

    Goodness Htg . Its not like you to come up with so many ‘ Moot ‘ arguments , especially in a single days time .

  57. Autos101 Says:

    The energy situation in the US today is INSANE.

    We are paying half a trillion or so a year for imported oil, when we should be EXPORTING our abundant unconventional oil and gas. And the damned fools in DC got us 15 trillion in debt!

    Whoever the Rep candidate is will win BIG IF he makes Energy the no 1 campaign issue.

    If I think selfishly, I can afford gas at practically any price (I also don’t do too many miles a year anyway), so I rather have cleaner air and all that, to live longer,

    BUT from the point of view of US Economic Recovery, a serious one, it is not possible without a huge drop in gas prices.

  58. HtG Says:

    54 cosa?

  59. tj Martin Says:

    #50

    Good question

    Excellent question in fact

    The answers according to the EPA are yes . According to several independent and university labs etc … No

    The increase in gas consumption negating any real and viable gains in lowered pollution

    Most if not all of Denver’s lower pollution has been due to the improvements made in cars , along with a fairly strict and well enforced State Emissions Inspection …. requiring any offending cars to be either repaired to satisfaction or be taken off the road

  60. tj Martin Says:

    #56

    Where else you gonna get the quality of fertilizer that can be gotten from critter poop ?

    The labs ?

    Well now speaking of watts and energy used … there’s a real gas sucking , pollution emitting industry . Chemical manufactures

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last time I was in Denver, two or three years ago, there was a paper mill or some such factory spewing lots of nasty fumes. On that day, at least, I suspect it polluted the air a lot more than the cars.

  62. tj Martin Says:

    #55

    With the likes of China , Russia , India and Brazil spewing out more pollution per annum than the US and CDN combined , what difference if any do you think any little blip we throw out there will make towards the overall situation ?

    Answer – Not a damn bit !

    Which is why in the last 24 months I’ve shifted gears as to my thinking on the subject and just went out and purchased the car that makes me happy

    All the isms in the US combined aren’t worth a hoot and a holler if the rest of the World isn’t following suit !

  63. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Thanks, tj.

    Here in Phoenix the winter brown cloud is getting less brown. The new cars and emission testing could be a bigger part than E10. Less miles driven too over the last two years. But that will change if the economy picks up.

  64. tj Martin Says:

    # 59

    In fact its no single source creating the ‘ Brown Cloud ‘ in Denver , which at several points in recent history has exceeded LA’s pollution .

    Its the geography that causes temp inversions that backs everything created on the front range up

    But ……. here’s a laugh . According to several well informed Environmental historians the pollution in Denver from 1860 – 1910 was in fact worse , due to all the coal , wood etc being burned

    ——-

    #56 Forgot to mention another aspect of pollution reduction in Denver

    the Institution and enforcement of ‘ No Burn ‘ days , residential or otherwise

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    Of course our air is cleaner, most of our great industrial north has moved to the People’s Republic of China 9even though the “people” have no rights and are constantly oppressed in their daily lives, but it is The Peoples China nevertheless

  66. Autos101 Says:

    The war on the modern, ultra-clean and ultra-fuel efficient Diesel waged by the fools at the EPA is a real outrage, and I really hope it is reversed when this clueless, corrupt and failed Administration in Wash DC joins the other 15 million US unemployed.

    It is UNbelievable that a Euro-legal modern Diesel needs anywhere from $2k to $5k in modifications to pass the EPA’s unbelievably high standards.

    As if the Euros were not green enough!!!!

  67. HtG Says:

    64 I need a Time Out on this one too, Auto101. Can’t we blame California for this somehow?

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @ Autos101, #64,

    Do you think the air in LA would be ok if half the cars on the road were current Euro spec diesels? If so, we should allow them as-is. Maybe, though, it would be ok to have them most place in the U.S., but not in some big metro areas.

  69. Autos101 Says:

    Oh PLEASE Kit!

    It was NOT Diesels, modern or ancient, that CAUSED LA’s huge smog problem. It was regular GAS powered cars, as you should know.

    CA is insane. It USED to be great for business, Boeing had 13 plants in the LA area alone. Now they are LEAVING the state in droves.

    Do we need these utter failures Pure EVs to reduce CA smog? NO, a regular prius is more than enough, and a diesel-electric Hybrid like they will have in Europe, will be much better.

    The Modern Diesel has NOTHING to do with the dirty, underpowered Diesels you drove in the late 70s and early 80s!

    AND since Oct 2006 we have Ultra-low sulfur Diesel Fuel.

    Another aspect of the war on Diesels:

    Diesel fuel is MORE expensive than gas here (INSANE!) while in Europe it is LESS, Much less expensive, to encourage FUEL EFFICIENCY.

    And as you should know, Higher MPG also means LESS, MUCH LESS pollution.

    Compare a big Merc or BMW SUV with gas and one with diesel.

    The gas version barely gets 19 MPG, the diesel got 27 average!

    Which pollutes more?

  70. Autos101 Says:

    But the priority should be:

    FIRST put the 15 million US unemployed to WORK. TRILLIONS are being wasted on them in Unempl. benefits, AND at the same time the Gov loses trillions in Tax revenues (if they worked)!

    THEN you worry about smog.

  71. Autos101 Says:

    Now even the corrupt unions are against Obama, now that he caved in to the looney greens and is “reconsidering” the Keystone pipeline, which has ALREADY been EXHAUSTIVELY STUDIED as to its enviro impacts and even the US State Dept sez it is FINE.

  72. Autos101 Says:

    $500 BILLION Every year to import oil, when the fools in DC, with their corrupt and irresponsible spending, have given us $15 TRILLION National Debt???

    When we have more than enough unconventional oil and gas????

    INSANE.

  73. cwolf Says:

    @auto101: I agree EPA regs are out of control,but I fail to understand your possition. Your for the less Euro EPA regs,but against the Keystone pipe. Sounds like something Mitt Romney would say!

  74. Jerry Says:

    Ethanol industry is alive, vibrant and currently producing large volumes
    of feed co-products. That have all most as much food value as the hole product be for distilling.

    See the link

    http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/ibc26.pdf

  75. cwolf Says:

    Jerry, I’m all for that distilling part!!

  76. Autos101 Says:

    What the hell are you talking about, CWOLF???????

    Show me WHERE i said I am against the pipeline?????????

    I am 1,000% FOR IT!!!!!

  77. Al Says:

    I have a 20 year old string trimmer that I had to refuel with E10, Turned all the rubber parts to jelly. I have a 98 F150 with 22k miles on it. I don’t want to ruin it either with E10 much less E15. Give me good old gasoline.

  78. cwolf Says:

    Auto,you said Obama is caving into the “looney greens” in the same sentence you said he was reconsidering the pipe! “Bob” is not back,is he?

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    Could Bob be back??, stay tuned for more, coming up on Autoline news.

  80. HtG Says:

    The Magnificent 7 is back on the road?

  81. cwolf Says:

    By the way AUTO,the Keystone path was to traverse a vast eco-sensitive area and an alternate route was just offered. The republican governor of that state remains against the pipeline. Must be a reason! Besides, the total cost and impact to extrude this shale oil is immense and helps none other than the Chinese buyers. In that case,Vancouver is a shorter leg. It will create jobs,but they are temporary and prolly to your dismay,”unionized!” Investing in the US infrastructure is a far better way to go,but republicans prefer to block anything that is sensible.

  82. Andrew Charles Says:

    Mechanics blaming E10 or E85 for an increase mechanical problems in all cars (even ones designed for E85) are like blaming vaccinations for autism—unfounded fear-based hokum and the desire to assign blame somewhere, anywhere. Mechanics don’t like E85 and E10 because they need to use different components and cheap aftermarket parts don’t always come with reliable compatibility details. Easier to blame E10 than admit you don’t know what to do.

  83. HtG Says:

    Here’s an essay about energy security by Daniel Yergin in the WSJ. Relevant to today’s comments.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204449804577068932026951376.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_RIGHTTopCarousel_1

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    #82, good tip, always use genuine parts when getting services performed on your vehicle, many after market ones are just not as well made or durable as the original ones, in particular when you replace seals and gaskets and such that require a lot of labor to get at but the actual part is not that expensive. It’s a case of pay me now and pay me again in a few months.

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #69,
    That was a serious question. I really doubt that even today’s Euro diesels would be clean enough for some urban areas. Even in less-than huge cities where I have been in the last few years, like Torremolinos, Spain, you smell the exhaust from the vehicles. It’s not bad, but it might be in places like LA. All I’m saying is that they are not as clean as today’s gas cars.

    I like diesel cars. I had a VW Jetta TDI wagon. Also, I rented a Citroen C4 diesel three years ago, and it worked very well.

  86. Autos101 Says:

    cwolf Says:
    December 12th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Auto,you said Obama is caving into the “looney greens” in the same sentence you said he was reconsidering the pipe!

    OK, I see why you got confused,

    YES, and I was EXACTLY RIGHT above, he is reconsidering meaning he did not just APPROVE it, but wants to DELAY it until AFTER the Election in Nov 2012!!!!

    So I am in FAVOR of the pipeline, while that clown Obama wants to DELAY and maybe REJECT it based on extra and unnecessary enviro studies!

  87. Autos101 Says:

    HTG: I Loove YERGIN. He is one of the most UNbiased Energy experts, and his books are educational for the unwashwed hundreds of millions who have NO EFFING CLUE about Energy.

    I got his book “The Quest” as a courtesy copy and read about 100 pages before other work made me drop it. Hopefully over the holidays I’ll finish it. I immensely enjoyed his Pulitzer winner “The Prize” back then. Highly Recommended.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #83,
    It’s nice there there are huge oil sands deposits in Canada, but, unfortunately, it takes huge amounts of energy to extract it. So far, mostly natural gas is used for this, but there has been talk of using nuclear reactors. We shall see.

  89. Andrew Charles Says:

    It isn’t just that China can’t ban foreign automakers under WTO rules—while “domestic” automakers like may be using money the big Chinese groups such as FAW, SAIC, Guangqi and BAIC are making money hand-over fist from their JV operations. Domestic automakers lose money because the majority were incredibly overambitious, with too many small players trying to build too many models in too many plants and investing in too much capacity. While the JVs run at 110% capacity, the “domestics” commonly run at 20% or less and still try and triple capacity before their sales support even a fraction of the capacity they already have. Take ZX Auto, which had sales of 10,000 a year, and a capacity of 200,000 which they were planning to increase. Or Zotye, which after buying three defunct automakers had sales of 40,000 units and a capacity of 200,000 units which they were planning to increase to 500,000. Sales have probably fallen at least 50% since then and they haven’t made any updates since 2008. With easy money available at low interest there was a lot of investment. Local governments with an idle plant had lots of buyers loaded with borrowed cash keen to enter the industry. R&D wasn’t a problem—there were almost as many engine and component companies desperate for sales (which most never got); independent chassis and body companies which can still provide provide complete bodies and chassis (which means that everyone can and does sell the same body and chassis variations); and plenty of money to buy obsolete tooling and plans (whether the original owner knew about it or not). Companies making everything from t-shirts to cell-phones are in the same position. It keeps prices low an draws in a flood of foreign currency, not only in export sales but also in foreclosure sales when a factory changes hands (not that investors don’t make money, just that few have realistic long-term plans supported by domestic sales or long-term contracts).

  90. cwolf Says:

    Due to the woes in Asia and in Europe,it is hard to believe US car sales will continue to grow. This is reguardless of the fact that the avg. age of US cars is 10 years old. If its not at least assembled in the US,any sales to south america is of no benifit. Hold on to myour shorts,guys,because we will soon take another dip for the worse and at least 1-2 years after the election.

  91. pedro fernandez Says:

    Read today that EU banks are starting to hit the proverbial crap in the fan, it won’t be long before it comes here as well and you can then kiss off all those lofty car sales predictions

  92. cwolf Says:

    One has to accept the fact that Europe is in a recession and its effects can be minimized. Investing in ourselves is one of the best alternatives by diversing. Investing in our intrastructure has been a proven solution and is one the US has deprived itself of for many a decades. For sure,the auto industry cannot be a crutch much longer. I believe the demand for oil will continue to lessen and ,thus, placing too much focus on becoming independant may not reap the benifits boasted. Corporations will not have a reason to let loose of their 4 trillion stockpile until the US vests in common needs, such as roads, bridges,and the el. grid. Only then,after jobs created and their money is beeing spent will corporations open their swollen purses. I haven’t a clue as to the purpose ,aim and future of the 99%’ers,but this may be their time to have an impact as to who/what rules our nation.

  93. cwolf Says:

    Most of todays comments make my head ache, so screw it. While shopping over the past two days, I saw 3 or 4 smart 4 2 ‘s on the expressway doing 75. The drivers were either old folk or women and all of’em looked like they were hanging on for dear life! God love’em!

  94. HtG Says:

    It’s two’fer monday, Pedro. I saw the second Volt of the day this evening*. That makes ten.

    *near a firehouse, granted

  95. Jon M Says:

    John, I think you’re right about the coupe label the German automakers are claiming about their cars. I believe it’s in the marketing of the car. Sedans typically have a stodgy, old family hauler stigma to them. While that may only be my association of the word, at the very least, I don’t think anyone conjures up images of sleek and fun sporty cars when they hear the word sedan. Perhaps they’re borrowing from Nissan’s old marketing playbook for the Maxima, changing it up just a bit, of course, to appease Nissan’s legal counsel. I say, if a car has got the goods, you don’t need tricks like this to entice buyers.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There used to be two door sedans, and now there are four door coupes. It’s all stuff the marketing people come up with. Maybe Dodge should call the Charger a four door coupe.

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is what the EPA has to say about E15:

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/

  98. tj Martin Says:

    http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur

    Additional commentary not needed

    ;-)

    ———
    @HtG

    Oh dear , Oh my .

    First I find myself being a ‘ Hipster ‘ due to them adapting what i’ve worn for decades as casual wear , though I go with the originals ( LL Bean Patagonia Orvis ) rather than the over priced ‘ Fashion House ‘ fragile stuff

    Then I find myself being ‘ Hip ‘ because out of the blue now its the standard MO of Young Urban professionals to drive M-B’s , with GLK sales here at least soaring

    And now according to the Sunday ‘ Times ‘ my musics got a label to boot

    ‘ Indie/Alt Classical ‘

    Damn ! Being doing that since the 70′s having no clue what to call it !

    Sheesh . Next thing you know I’ll have the press at my door again , people bugging me day and night , only this time for the right reasons ( what I want to do rather than what I have done )

    Just when I’d thought I’d perfected the fine art of Anonymity

    :(

    Heck ! Gonna have to set up some ‘ Walls ‘ again I guess

  99. tj Martin Says:

    Word Definitions in the 21st Century

    In this current Zeitgeist any and all definitions in the classical sense have been made meaningless .

    Today a word ‘ means ‘ what ever the user intends for it to mean , and to hell with any previous definitions that may have been attached said word

    And folks today wonder why in this so called ‘ Age of Connectedness ‘ communicating anything is so damn difficult

  100. HtG Says:

    I’ll stick with what Duke Ellington said when asked what kind of music he liked, “There’s only two kinds of music, good and bad.”

    Besides, just what do you call Bartok? Where’s that from?

  101. Autos101 Says:

    100? Bartok was Hungarian. His music takes getting used to but eventually makes sense.

  102. Autos101 Says:

    “There used to be two door sedans, and now there are four door coupes. ”

    Let’s try to confuse it some more, shall we?

    Language is defined by USAGE, and to 99.99% of the people in the USA,

    Sedans are 4 doors, Coupes are 2 doors

  103. Autos101 Says:

    And hatcbacks are 3 or 5 doors (as are SUVs and Crossovers)

  104. HtG Says:

    101 I was referring to the Romantic style, where common melodies are interpolated by academic, upper class forms.

  105. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #98,
    It sounds all the GLK’s are in KC. I never see them in Florida, at least where I am. The M-B’s here are mostly E-Class. I see two E’s at my condo complex, almost as many as the three Priuses.

  106. Autos101 Says:

    104 I am aware. y point was that 18-19th cent classical music is far easier to enjoy than Bartok, the same way that simple popular songs (country or rock) are far easier to ejnjoy than 18-19th cent classical.

  107. Autos101 Says:

    There are plenty of Priuses where I live, some are taxis but most private owned. I only saw one GLK going down the street, it looked different than other vehicles in this class, and also quite different than the M-class or the top line GL-class. I saw only one GL parked, and several X5s but no new X3s yet.

    I saw a new E-class coupe last summer, in white, which looked quite spectacular and unusual in white with its bold exterior lines. Or maybe it was an E-class convertible?

  108. Autos101 Says:

    yesterday I saw the most unusual car and driver combination.

    it was a MINI CLUBMAN, and the woman that came out of it looked 95 to me. Maybe she was 85, but u see the point, she was up there in years. She looked like she was already old in the 60s… or at least middle-aged…

    Quite different from the image projected by MINIS as young women’s (and sometimes young mens) cars.

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #108,
    I see a similar combination, only it’s a very old man, also in a Clubman.