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Episode 797 – Bajaj’s “Luxury” Rickshaw, Fiat Ups Stake In Chrysler, New Tatas in New Delhi

January 5th, 2012 at 12:07pm

Runtime: 8:32

Move over Nano, there’s a new ultra-cheap car in town!  Indian automaker Bajaj introduced a new low-priced vehicle called the RE60.  Fiat just increased its stake in Chrysler. It now controls 58.5 percent of the Auburn Hills-based automaker.  Tata had a big day at the New Delhi Auto Expo, showing off several new products and concepts.  All that and more, plus a look at December sales.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 5th. After the break we’ll get into December sales numbers, but for now, the news.

BAJAJ’S “LUXURY” RICKSHAW
Move over Nano, there’s a new ultra-cheap car in town! Yesterday, Indian automaker Bajaj introduced a new low-priced vehicle called the RE60. Notice I said “vehicle,” the company is not calling it a car, instead, referring to it as a “four wheeler.” Pretty generic, after all, shopping carts have four wheels, too. The RE60 is not aimed at everyday consumers, but instead at rickshaw drivers. It has luxury amenities not currently available on today’s tuck-tucks – things like a hard-top roof, windows and – GASP – seat belts! Bajaj did not announce a price, but rickshaws in India typically cost about $2,200 dollars. One analyst estimated the RE60 would cost about 25 percent more, which would bring the total to about $2,800.

FIAT UPS STAKE IN CHRYSLER
Some important news for Chrysler. Fiat just increased its stake in the Auburn Hills-based automaker. It now owns 58.5 percent. Surprisingly, the yet-to-be-revealed Dodge Dart is the reason for this announcement. Back in 2009 Chrysler promised the U.S. Treasury Department it would produce and sell a mass-market vehicle in the United States that delivers an unadjusted, combined fuel-economy rating of 40 miles per gallon. The Treasury said, you do that, and we’ll let you take more ownership in Chrysler. We’ll have the latest on the Dart on Monday, so stay tuned.

LOW-CARB DIET
The California Air Resources Board is looking to cut the carbon content of fuel. It wants to clean up the state’s air by pulling 10 percent of the carbon out of today’s gasoline and diesel by 2020. It also wants to boost fuel efficiency to 55 MPG by 2025. This will save drivers money at the pump, but of course, will cost them thousands of dollars up front when they purchase a new vehicle. Carmakers and oil companies are resisting with Ford leading the fight. You can bet this is a story we’ll be watching closely.

NEW DAY FOR TATA AT NEW DELHI EXPO
Tata had a big day at the New Delhi Auto Expo, showing off several new vehicles and concepts. The next-generation Safari Storme is an SUV powered by a 2.2-liter engine mated to a five-speed automatic. Tata also revealed a concept version of the Nano that can run on gasoline and CNG. Next is a diesel-hybrid concept called the Indigo Manza, which Tata claims is both a series and a parallel hybrid. A solar panel mounted to the roof helps charge the battery as well. And lastly, the company also showed a fuel-cell bus concept called the Starbus, Tata says it’s up to three times more efficient than a conventionally powered bus.

BMW’S DETROIT REVEALS
Speaking of new reveals, BMW is previewing what it will have at next week’s Detroit Auto Show. The sixth-generation 3 Series will be on display, and now it comes in three different trim levels. All of its engine feature BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology and are mated to an eight-speed automatic. Making its world premiere is BMW’s ActiveHybrid 5, which gets 40 miles per gallon city and 44 on the highway based on European test cycles. Next up is the M5, which will debut an all-new 4.4-liter V-8 with its TwinPower Turbo technology. It delivers an eye-popping 560 horsepower and 605 lb-ft. And lastly is BMW’s i concepts. The i3 is the company’s first pure-electric vehicle, which features lightweight materials and design. And the i8 is a plug-in hybrid that combines the electric drive system of the i3 with a three-cylinder engine.

Coming up next, a look at how car sales finished up in the American market last month. And the numbers are impressive.

DECEMBER SALES: A GREAT END TO 2011 (subscription required)
December was a good month for selling new vehicles in the American market. Ward’s reports that sales came in at more than 1.2 million units, up nearly 9 percent compared to a year ago. And that translates into a seasonally annualized rate of 13.5 million vehicles. And truck sales grew faster than car sales.

Indeed, some trucks posted spectacular increases. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee surpassed 17,000 units, a 36 percent increase. Ford sold over 68,000 F-Series pickups, and that’s the kind of sales number that we haven’t heard about in years. All told, trucks accounted for more than 52 percent of the market.

While car sales did not increase as much as trucks, they were up. And once again the Toyota Camry grabbed the No. 1 sales slot with nearly 33,500 units sold. Everyone else was far behind. But one area of note: sales of the Honda Accord were down 40 percent. In fact, the Accord just barely outsold the Hyundai Sonata. Honda just managed to sell 327 more Accords.

In fact, Honda was one of the few automakers to see its sales go down last month. It was down nearly 19 percent. While some individual brands saw sales go down, Honda was the only major manufacturer to lose sales and market share.

The biggest winners include Mercedes, up 49 percent; Kia, up 42 percent; Chrysler, up 37 percent; and Volkswagen, up 36 percent. Those are massive year-over-year gains.

Interestingly, Asian automakers lost 3 points of market share. The US automakers grabbed 1.7 of those points, while the Europeans grabbed 1.3.

For the industry, this was a very good month, at least as measured in the “new normal.” It gives automakers good momentum to carry into 2012, and the numbers suggest the market could grow by close to a million units this year

But it will definitely be a dog fight. The Japanese automakers will now have the production they need to fight their way back, the Koreans hope to get more volume, the Europeans believe they’re only going to grow, and the Americans say they’re only getting started. As an industry enthusiast, I can’t wait to watch the battle.

Don’t forget to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours. We’ll be going behind the scenes at the Detroit Auto Show, so join me and the Autoextremist, Peter DeLorenzo for the best insider discussion in this business. You can catch that at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time tonight at Autoline.tv.

And next week we’ll be webcasting live from the Detroit Show at noon on both days. The Chrysler Group is our signature sponsor of those shows, and we’ll be interviewing some of the top executives in the industry as we’ll as showing you the latest cars revealed at the show. You can catch all that at Autoline.tv as well.

But 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

67 Comments to “Episode 797 – Bajaj’s “Luxury” Rickshaw, Fiat Ups Stake In Chrysler, New Tatas in New Delhi”

  1. Darren Says:

    Why do we continually hear the call to reduce carbon, CO2, and all the auto emissions when we never hear any legislation to clean up homes and industrial heating? Many apartments burn cheap almost crude oils and coal while many consumers burn wood and coal. None have any emission abatement equipment at all? Id the environment only applicable to the auto business? Keep in mind cars are only driven 30 minutes a day and heating systems are used 12 to 15 hours a day.
    Are we witnessing Anti-Auto legislation?

  2. HtG Says:

    Looks like maybe Motown will have some competition next week from the strip in Vegas. Nvidia will be showing off their wares at CES, and they have processors for cars. Along with Audi work, Nvidia is making something called ’360 surround view’ technology for Tesla. The company’s boss, Jen-Hsun Huang, is a car guy I’d like to see Autoline talk to, since most tech reporters don’t focus much on cars.

    Link,http://blogs.nvidia.com/2012/01/nvidia-heading-to-ces-loaded-with-mobile-gaming-auto-goodness/

    Oh yeah, isn’t Alan ‘the big M’ Mulally going to be doing a keynote at the same time. One word John, silicon.

  3. HtG Says:

    ps I don’t have a position in Nvidia.

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    At this junction, I would not want to be the head at Honda, what on earth can they do to turn the company around? Just by introducing a new Accord, no matter how much better it is than the current one, is just not enough. I still say it’s their inability or lack of interest in making their cars quieter, whether or not it’s true, most people look to a quiet, pleasant ride when purchasing their cars and Honda lacks behind most of its competitors in this parameter, how else can you explain the fact that Camry is outselling it by such a wide margin, perhaps Honda should promote fleet sales and stop trying to be so exclusive!

  5. Autos101 Says:

    “BAJAJ’S “LUXURY” RICKSHAW”

    I hear Buckingham Palace has ordered 100 of them little buggers.

    But seriously, John McELroy, was it really a good idea to spend your entire main show today with ‘news’ like these, about which nobody cares about, and THEN go to the ALL IMPORTANT December Sales?

    WHY are you wasting our valuable time like that?

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    Making a Nano CNG is like giving a convicted pyromaniac a flame thrower for Christmas.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Those rickshaw drivers now are all gonna get fat.

  8. Autos101 Says:

    For the 1,000th time, Pedro:

    IT IS NOT THE FRIGGING NOISE that destroyed Honda sales.

    IT IS THE BUTT UGLY STYLING of ALL their ACURAS and many HONDAS, and, MOST IMPORTANT,

    it is the CHEAPENING of the brand-new civic interior.

    People who want quiet go buy BUICKS. Or Camrys, or Lexi ES350, whichever is WORST.

    Hondas were VERY SUCCESSFUL in the past, BUT EVEN THEN, THEY WERE NEVER QUIET!

  9. Autos101 Says:

    HOT OFF THE PRESS:

    (I TOLD you the VOlt was NOT Ready for Prime time!)

    “DETROIT — General Motors executives said today that they have come up with a fix to a design flaw that led some Chevrolet Volt battery packs to catch fire in days or weeks after government safety tests.

    GM will reinforce the steel surrounding the Volt’s battery pack to prevent it from being punctured during a crash. It also will add a sensor to the battery pack to monitor coolant leaks.”

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120105/OEM11/120109944#ixzz1ibgGID5l

    The fact that they were able to find the glitch and fix it so fast shows that they did NOT Take due diligence to EXHAUSTIVELY TEST POS BEFORE they asked an arm and a leg for it in the retail markets!

    INEXCUSABLE and AMATEURISH and BAD OLD GMish.

  10. HtG Says:

    didn’t Honda make a decision in 2008 to cheapen the interior of Civic? I read they were reacting to the financial crisis; they also pulled out of F1 just before their years of effort paid off with a World Championship for Jensen Button. Mr Honda does not arigato.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    So if you lose your advantage in engineering like they have, you have to adapt and build stuff people buy, why is the Camry selling despite the fact that the interior has been cheapened as well, the Jetta, the Passat, both selling well despite its cheapening and its diminished handling, but they now have more room and from every review I’ve read, they’re both now quieter than the model they replaced, why can’t you understand that to many people a quiet car is desirable, just because to you it means nothing, otherwise manufacturers would not be spending millions on R/D to provide a quieter environment and let the noise right through, my cousins 99 Accord has wind noise from the windows at highway speeds, my crappy Corolla does not, inexcusable.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    I will never forget when Mr Lutz said on Autoline that it cost GM to make significant improvements to their interiors for just under $100 per vehicle it is ludicrous that they did not do so, I am sure 99% of buyers would be happy to oblige,I can only think that they wanted consumers to move to a higher class vehicle and thus make more profit

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Honda had to resort to electronic trickery in their Acuras using the radio in order to make it appear that their cars were quieter than they actually were, seems to me like they blew it then and add to that their cartoonish front and rear end styling and they lost a ton of buyers.

  14. HtG Says:

    Check out this quote,

    ‘…automakers now compete for customer dollars not only against each other but also against iPhones and iPads, especially among younger consumers. Data collected by us illustrates the trend. In one survey, participants were asked to choose between Internet access and owning an automobile. Among U.S. 18-to-24-year-old drivers, 46 percent said they would probably select the Internet and give up their car. Among 45-to-64-year-old drivers, only 15 percent said they would be likely give up their car for Internet access.’

    Or this here,

    ‘…35 percent of U.S. vehicle owners said they would be likely to get autonomous driving features in their next new vehicle if these were an option.’

    They’re from an article about the future of computing and connected cars in TechnologyReview.

    vroom vroom, not

    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/39407/?p1=BI

  15. Discotea Says:

    I thought CARB was not allowed to raise fuel economy standards just for California anymore. What a bunch of scumbags CARB is. Might as well call them the UAW.

  16. Lex Says:

    @11 Pedro Fernandez

    I agree with you concerning the interior panel cheapened quality of some new vehichles versus a quiet ride. I believe if OEM’s can reduce the cost of the vehicles by using cheaper interior panels which allow for increased sound deadening measures, drivers are on average should be happier. It is nice to have a soft materials interior, but if the kids and family pet scratch it up whats the use! I prefer the harder plastic interiors which stand up better to wear and tear, which are easier to wipe up and keep clean looking. Unfortunately most people view there vehicle as an appliance. In today’s busy world your vehicle is some times your only place to find your own personal Fortress of Solitude. If harder interior plastic’s are quietier and allow for increased sound deadening measures and saves you money and grief in the long run then so be it.

  17. MJB Says:

    What size wheels are those on that new motorized rickshaw, 9″? I hope there are no potholes over there in India.

  18. MJB Says:

    In unrelated news…but still of great interest:
    (Johnny Mac had reported on this many months ago, but this story’s still got legs.)

    http://www.freep.com/article/20120105/BUSINESS01/201050393/1002/nletter01/High-tech-cars-could-be-hackers–prey?source=nletter-business

  19. Lex Says:

    @ 13 HtG

    I have been saying for some time that if OEM’s had as an option a center stack screen which communicated only essential vehicle information and backup camera. It would allow you to interface your iPhone, iPad, iPod, Droid or whatever electronic device with your vehicle’s display screen that option would sell like hotcakes! Let’s face it those in-car telematic systems are expensive and are really only on higher trim levels. Drivers, especially younger ones would rather sync their iPhone into their vehicle and listen to their own music or do whatever interests them.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Herman it makes perfect sense to me, among my son’s friends there are no guys interested in cars, they put their money into the latest electronic gadgets, tablets, I-phones, etc and fast internet access, seems that they take cars as just a way to get around. Period.

  21. MJB Says:

    @18 – Wow! Seriously? … Wow!

    Well, if that’s the case, Honda and Toyota have a bright future ahead with generation ‘Z’ (or whatever letter we’re on now).

    Just when you thought the average American’s tastes in automobiles (styling-wise) couldn’t get any more bland, here comes an entire generation of folk who apparently couldn’t care less about what it is they drive. Folks to whom a car is just point-A-to-point-B tool.

  22. Goatrope Says:

    Ford F-Series sales were so high because there was a huge tax incentive in effect in December, but it expired on 12/31/2011.

    Just like Cash for Clunkers, this government subsidy will just pull sales forward. Look for Q1 to be very painful for Ford – they also sold a lot of high-margin Crown Vics and Rangers in Q4; but those are gone for good, too.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    #19 As long as it is nice and clean, not a jalopy, and has all the electronic gizmos to stay connected, HP, torque, zero to 60, g-force handling, not important. MPG yes, but also not willing to give up acceptable acceleration to get a few more mpg’s. complicated youth in the modern world! among his group 3 Scions, one Camaro, one Civic, one Mazda 6 and an Accord.

  24. MJB Says:

    @20

    One Camaro? Okay then, all is not truly lost.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Former Marine,the Camaro owner got a V6, compromise, I guess! All the others are envious, however. There maybe hope for the Americans after all, one of them is looking at a Charger and mine would like a Mustang, V6 as well. Like its been said over and over again: “It’s all about the product, stupid!”

  26. MJB Says:

    Well, I suppose a V6 Mustang or Camaro is better than no muscle car at all. Albeit a neutered muscle-car.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even though I have a fairly noisy MINI, and an “average quietness” Prius, to me, quieter is better. To me, the biggest improvement they could make to the MINI would be to make it quieter. Dumping the run flat tires would help, and I may do that myself.

    Unlike the niche market where the MINI competes, the “generic front-drive sedan” segment has a lot of choose from, and it sure seems that people are choosing the quieter Camry over the noisier Accord. Both cars are very reliable. To me, the Accord looks better, but that’s subjective. Both cars are about equal in cabin space. There’s got to be a reason Accord sales are slipping so much, because not everyone wants to be “the first kid on the block” to have a new model when it comes out.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the new Accord turns out when it arrives. I wish them well.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit my point exactly, I remember the old Motorweek reviews where they would measure sound using a decibel meter at low and at highway speeds as well, now they don’t measure it but the host always comments on it. I shouldn’t talk since I got one of the noisiest cars you will ever drive, but I appreciate a car that you can hold a normal conversation and can hear the radio without playing it loud.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit how about using one of those spray inflators, I suppose the Mini doesn’t have a spare?

  30. Autos101 Says:

    Regarding all thre RIDICULOUS Over-emphasis on “noisy” Accords and whatevers:

    I will have all the quiet in the world when I am in my EFFING GRAVE, or in my possible LS460 Lexus (NO cloned Camry ES 350s for me, they are utter RIPOFFS).

    As long as I have the interest to ENJOY DRIVING, I will take the PURRING V8 of my 740iL when I drive it at low speeds and in a relaxed style around town, OR the mighty ROAR of the same V8 when I go up mountains on long and steep highways over the TOMB QUIET of the Lexus ANY TIME.

    Get real, guys. FERRARI has made a FORTUNE from the VERY MIGHTY NOISE of its engines, and many other sports cars too! BUT even a non-sporty, PERFORMANCE UEBER_SEDAN like the 740iL, the buyer would be a damned fool if he agreed to buy it and could not hear that oh so satisfying engine sound!!!!

  31. Autos101 Says:

    PS regarding the Accord’s alleged excellent reliability, have they fixed the EXHAUST problems that car had? My 1990 Accord 5-speed, a very elegant coupe (though quite underpowered at ..125 HP and 137 LBFT!) needed exhaust components every 2 years, which of course I did at MIDAS to get some of them free under warranty (but most were not!)

    The “to avoid” 740iL according to COnsumer Repoirts ridiculous and unscientific OWNER REPORTED data, NEVER EVER needed even ONE DOLLAR of repairs or replacements in its exhaustr.

    BECAUSE they are made of SUPERIOR MATERIALS and MADE TO LAST.

    BTW, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to COnsumer Reports. By FALSELY Badmouthing the 7, and violating even the most elementary principles of Statistics and Data analysis that our 18 year old freshmen even know,

    CR saved me at least $10,000 when I bought the 7 at $10,500 and the FAR INFERIOR any way you cut it Lexus LS400-430 went for TWICE that amount, for the same no of miles and years!

  32. Autos101 Says:

    BTW, both the 740 and the Accord were subjected to the same hard driving with cold starts and short distances that kill an inferior exhaustr system such as the Accord’s (and most likely the Camry’s, the Sonata’s and every other econoboxes’ too)

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #26,
    My base MINI with 16 inch wheels has a spare, so I have no idea why they used the run-flats.

    The “S” MINI does not have a spare, I think because the exhaust system goes through the area where the spare is stored in the base car, so it makes a certain amount of sense to use run-flats on the S. Still, the spray sealer/inflater would be adequate. If they did that and used non run-flats, they could offer run-flats as an option.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I guess they figure run-flats are safe in case of a high speed blow out, but that is a steep price to pay, I would rather have good, properly balanced and inflated tires and the chance of a blow out would be minimal, without all the shortcomings of runflats

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #27,
    Most people who buy generic front drive sedans want them quiet. People who buy Lexus LS400-430-460 do so because they are quiet, and reliable.

    It would seem that people who buy Ferraris are a different group than those who buy Camrys. Also, even with the big luxury sedans, the 7 is the sportiest driving one of the the group, especially compared to the LS, but most people who buy big luxury sedans, at least in the U.S., want them quiet, and to isolate them from everything. That probably has a lot to do with the LS way outselling the 7 in the U.S., even before CR gave the 7 a bad reliability rating.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    yeah, if you pay $200k for an exotic with a $100k engine that has 500hp, you don’t want a radio to hear Barry Manilow, you want to hear the engine, going thru the gears, that is why you paid such an astronomical amount of money for the damn thing, even the tuners who out in free flowing exhaust and cold air kits so they can hear their little four bangers hard at work. But most folks like a nice, peaceful driving experience.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #29,
    When I was in Indiana, I had a 5.5 mile commute, and never had exhaust system trouble, but I had friends with similar cars and very short commutes who went through mufflers in two years.

    My ’89 Dodge minivan has a stainless steel exhaust system, which probably would have done ok, even for very short commutes. I suspect that no “mainstream” cars now do that, but the expensive European cars probably do have stainless steel exhaust. It still is surprising that Chrysler used stainless exhaust systems for a few years in the 80′s, when they would have generally been making things cheaper.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve had zero exhaust issues with any of my cars going back to 1980 even the crappy Xcar Buick had none, And I lived in the North east as well and nothing; my Crapolla with all its miles still has the original system from end to end, not even a hole in the muffler.

  39. HtG Says:

    A1, is there a repair cost for the Mag7 that would sour you to the car? I ask because I ask myself the same with the Miata. People drop cars when their market value approaches repairs, and the service managers I speak to make offers to customers. I remember with a Celebrity wagon, that the techs wanted to know if it was for sale. So I wonder, are you planning for the day the Mag7 has a big hospital bill?

  40. W L Simpson Says:

    Re: Volt fire—I thought the purpose of crash testing was to immediately examine every part of the car to determine what failed & what didn’t . Must have closed for vacation before the pieces stopped falling.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG my 86 Camry died of engine infarction and I sold it to some dude there who went on to do an engine swap from a junked car, painted it and drove on payment-free for years while I started making payment on the replacement Corolla, I immediately started kicking myself in the ass for doing such a stupid thing after all, the Camry was superior in just about every way.

  42. HtG Says:

    sorry Pedro, but lol. My dear, dear sister drove her Celebrity wagon with the funny idiot oil light on, until her engine also infarcted. Oh you should have seen her crying.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG you don’t ignore an oil warning light, kow pressure or whatever, but that should be an easy fix; now a check engine light, that is another story. I’ve had mine on for the past 5 yrs and no ill effects at all. If I lived in an inspection state, then I would have to get it fixed or remove the tiny bulb

  44. HtG Says:

    let me put it this way, Pedro. She’s really bright, but she doesn’t give a hoot about cars. Point A, meet point B. Repeat.

    (though she did like the new Z4 at last year’s DC autoshow, which johnny Mac so generously provided tickets for. An investment in her boy, who loves cars.)

  45. cwolf Says:

    I gotta feel’in that the Ford Fusion will out sell the Camry this year.

  46. GPL Says:

    Most exhaust sytems are made of aluminized steel. That’s basically aluminum coated steel. Much cheaper than stainless and higher operating temp than galvanized, but once the aluminum is penetrated, it goes to hell rather quickly. A1′s service duty on cars is about as bad as you can get for exhaust parts. Start, condense, stop, repeat. The system rarely gets hot enough to vaporize the condensate from combustion, leaving water sitting in the system all the time, and in the winter, freezing inside the muffler. Like a lot of pricier equipment, more expensive vehicles will use stainless because the cost is absorbed easier.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    According to TTAC, the Fiat 500 is outselling the Mini and Scion in Canada, now I understand why 300lb Canadian snow birds think it’s ok to wear Speedos when they come down to Fla, They got no taste!!

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    #43 Well, I certainly don’t have that problem here in So Fla. it gets pretty hot almost all year long, today was an exception, what was the temp by your neck of the woods, Kit?

  49. cwolf Says:

    #14, Lex: There are no differences between hard plastic vs padded panels when it comes to sound insulation. The insulation is either applied to the inside door skin or,most often,under the door panel itself. The same goes for the package shelf and the carpet. There is a notable difference in sound deadening in the jute pad glued to the carpet as well. 40 oz. jute was once common,but 60 oz. is probably the norm today.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf in your opinion, is the jute installed under carpets good enough to insulate the cabin? I could redo my carpet and headliner and try to deaden some of the noise coming thru.

  51. tj Martin Says:

    The REAL question everyone here should be asking is ;

    The 1st Violinist is back ( ‘ Bob ‘ ) but where’s the other four members of the Sybil Quintet ?

    I cannot believe some of you tried to convince me it wasn’t ‘ Bob’

    Some friends ! :(

  52. cwolf Says:

    @ pedro: No. The jute is only good for carpets. I think a 20 oz. jute is still available that is about 1/4 in. thick. It MIGHT work on your headliner,but you would have to cut around the velcro pads that hold the liner to the roof. The stuff on the metal panels is a rubber (somewhat tar like,like a shingle maybe)with an adhesive back. You might be able to order this at a large auto upolstery shop or a NAPA store. You might consider buying a small length of self-adh. rubber membrane used on low pitched roofs. It has the same thickness of about 1/16-to 3’32 in. thk.. What is used on the fire wall has a foil backing. It is applied on the engine side with the foil exposed to reflect heat. I’ve seen it in car mag. ads. This can also be used on all other panels,but it would be costly. When I had an upolstery biz.,many hot rodders would use spray rubberized undercoating on all the panels. And for the price it may be your best option and my first recommendation. Just make sure you let it dry 100% before putting things back together.

  53. cwolf Says:

    tj: I thought you left for good, you lil’shit! Last year you said something about going to the Detroit auto show. Are you?

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks cwolf for the tip! TJ of course Lord Voldemort is back even though the minister of magic refuses to admit it.

  55. HtG Says:

    Have you seen this Leno video, Pedro? Dynamat.

    http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/dynamat/190170/

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG I have looked into Dynamat, very good, very expensive product, to line the Vibrolla with this would cost me more than the car is worth, so when it’s time to sell it, I wold have to advertise: ” $300 worth of expertly installed Dynamat, included a now quiet Corolla with close to 400,00 miles, mechanic’s special”

  57. pedro fernandez Says:

    Seriously, cwolf’s product works pretty well, I used it to line the under-hood and firewall my next step is to buy some more and install it under the jute and carpet and along the roof, then install the headliner back, I would like to do the inside of the doors but that is just too much work.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @pedro, #45,
    It got up to the low 60′s today, warmer than the last couple days. It should get up to 70+ Saturday.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #48,
    I addressed him using four of his names a day or two ago. I guess you didn’t read my posts.

  60. XA351GT Says:

    So how long until we hear how great the new Equinox is while he drives around in his old 7 series bimmer?

  61. XA351GT Says:

    Yeah I recognized the writing style too. What next the return of H/K?

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @pedro, #40,
    Did you put electrical tape over your check engine light, or have you just gotten used to it so it is not an annoyance?

  63. Autos101 Says:

    From Today’s Autoblog

    “Porsche looking to hire 300 engineers in 2012″

    IN related news, Sergio Castro-Marchionne looking to hire 300 PR clowns to convince suckers (allegedly born one a minute) to buy their POS Fiat 500!

  64. Autos101 Says:

    Just saw the pic of a Focus EV, very smooth lines all around in white, BUT GAWD, what a nose-heavy monstrosity up front! From the angble of the photo I saw, it seemed like 3/4 of the entire engine were IN FRONT of the front axle!

    What gives, Ford? WHY the TINY Wheelbase? WHY the HUGE front overhang! Except for that, the car would look GREAT! BUT now it looks like an effing FREAK!

  65. bob e K Says:

    #42 cwolf not only the Fusion but the 2013 Malibu will to !

  66. Autos101 Says:

    Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    @pedro, #40,
    Did you put electrical tape over your check engine light, or have you just gotten used to it so it is not an annoyance?

    That’s too low-rent a solution. I recommend using the tilt-wheel and adjust feature so it is covered by the steering wheel

  67. ckernzie Says:

    #44 Pedro – The numbers are there for the 500 here in Canada but I live in rental car heaven and I’ve seen a lot of 500′s with rental car plates. I think fleet sales must be the bulk of those numbers and combine that with the fact that Scion is a new brand here (last year I think), and Mini has a limited dealer network (500′s are sold through ‘selected’ Chrysler dealers), the 500 has a bit of a leg up.
    PS I thought my Speedo was quite stylish…no?