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Episode 804 – GM Loses Two Executives, Heavy Truck Sales Skyrocket, Carmakers Face Fines

January 16th, 2012 at 11:45am

Runtime: 8:11

General Motors lost two of its top executives. Mike Arcamone, the head of GM’s operations in South Korea left the company, as well as the head of its Powertrain Operations, Tom Stephens. Heavy-duty truck sales in the U.S. were up 41percent last year. Several automakers in Europe could be fined for not hitting emission targets. All that and more, plus Ford’s Jim Farley talks about how and why social media can start selling cars before they’re even in the showroom.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 16th, and let’s catch up with the top news of what’s going on in the automotive industry.

GM LOSES TWO EXECUTIVES
There are two executive changes at General Motors, one predictable, one completely unexpected. The unexpected one is Mike Arcamone (subscription required), 53 years old, the head of GM’s very successful operations in South Korea, who suddenly announced his departure. He’ll be going to Bombardier to run their aircraft operations. It’s very unusual to see executives suddenly quit when they’re running a successful operation. I wonder what the story behind this one is? The predictable departure is Tom Stephens, 63 years old, who for much of his career ran GM’s Powertrain Operations. Stephens spent 43 years with General Motors.

MORE TURBO SUPPLIERS (subscription required)
As droves of carmakers downsize and turbocharge their engines to deliver better fuel economy, the blower business is looking mighty attractive to more and more supplier companies. WardsAuto reports Japanese tier-one Denso is now thinking about jumping into the game. It would join new turbo suppliers like Continental and Bosch Mahle, alongside long-time turbo suppliers Honeywell, Borg-Warner and IHI. Automakers love seeing more suppliers because they know that allows them to negotiate lower prices.

3 SERIES FRONT-END EVOLVING
The face of the BMW 3 Series has been evolving for decades. In recent years the trademark kidney grille stood separate from the headlamps. For a time there many European luxury cars had grilles clearly separated from the lamps, the idea being that this put more emphasis on the trademark look of the grille, and seemed more upscale. But with the new 3 Series, BMW designers have clearly connected the headlamps to the grille. The new look definitely gives the 3 a more forceful face, it seems more purposeful. And I’ll bet that soon we’ll see the rest of the luxury segment start to follow suit.

HEAVY TRUCK SALES SKYROCKET (subscription required)
Heavy trucks had a blow-out year in 2011. Year-over-year, 2011 sales were up nearly 41 percent, topping 306,000 units in the U.S. market. Daimler’s Freightliner brand was the best-selling in the class-eight segment, which are the biggest semis. As we’ve said before, big-rig sales are an indicator of how the economy is doing, so take that recession!

CARMAKERS FACE FINES IN EUROPE (subscription required)
WardsAuto reports that several automakers in Europe are having a hard time hitting their CO2 targets. The European Environment Agency says Daimler, Honda, Nissan, General Motors, Mazda and Dacia could be fined for not hitting emission targets. Each of the automakers must reduce the average CO2 emissions of its fleets by 14 grams per kilometer over the next five years. Fines become progressively more severe for every gram of CO2 that exceeds the limit. Automakers are fined 5 Euros per car if they miss the target by 1 g/km and anything over 3 g/km is a 95 Euro per-vehicle penalty.

OPEL MOKKA TO DEBUT IN GENEVA
And staying in Europe for the moment, Opel will premiere its new compact SUV, the Mokka, at the Geneva Motor Show in March. If the Mokka looks familiar, it should. Its cousin, the Buick Encore, just debuted last week at the Detroit Auto Show. It goes on sale in Europe at the end of the year.

Coming up next, Ford’s Jim Farley talks about how and why social media can start selling cars before they’re even in the showroom.

FORD & SOCIAL MEDIA
Ford really believes in the marketing power of social and digital media. The company first started playing around in this arena when it launched the Fiesta two years ago. And now it’s going to do the same thing with the launch of the Ford Escape. In the following clip, Jim Farley, the group vice president of marketing, sales and service at Ford, talks about the lessons the company has learned from this approach.

By the way, you can see our entire coverage of the Detroit Auto Show (Day 1, Day 2) on our website atAutoline.tv right now, including the full interview I did with Jim Farley.

And don’t forget to join us on Thursday night for Autoline After Hours when our guest will be Karl Ludvigsen, a journalist, author, historian, designer and all-around car enthusiast, who worked at GM, Ford and Fiat, and who also wrote perhaps the definitive book on Porsche. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo this Thursday night for the best insider discussion of what’s going on in the industry.

But 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

82 Comments to “Episode 804 – GM Loses Two Executives, Heavy Truck Sales Skyrocket, Carmakers Face Fines”

  1. cwolf Says:

    Farley really succeeded using social and digital media to promote the Fiesta didn’t he? Just look at the terrific sales numbers- NOT!
    I suggest forgetting about offering prizes as a means to create interest and start promoting cars the ol’fashion way by believing in the product.

  2. T. Bejma Says:

    Now Mini’s are lighting up (in real life, not during a test 3 weeks later). Seems like an industry wide problem. And the number of Volt-B-Q’s during normal operation??? Still exactly ZERO! ;-)

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/01/16/mini-recalling-certain-cooper-s-and-jcw-models-over-water-pump/

  3. Autos101 Says:

    1. I’ve been saying it 100 times, the Fiesta-Siesta-FIASCO was WAY OVERPRICED.

    It is obvious from its bloated inventory numbers of 126 days (as bad as the…Fiat 500), that Ford erroneously kept believing it can sell it at these ludicrous prices.

    I wonder if MULALLY is on this.

  4. cwolf Says:

    I wonder if Mr. Arcamone’s departure has any thing to do with opel production moving from S.Korea to Europe? Or perhaps a spat with Steve Girsky,who spearheaded the move? All I can say is that if Arcamone runs Bombardier anything like the Daewoo (GM) operations,I’m giving up flying!

  5. Autos101 Says:

    T. Bejma: the fires are the least of the Volt’s avalanche of Problems. You have a few more months to sell it to private buyers, before the far superior Fusion and Prius Plug-ins roll in, some at $10,000s LESS than the VOlt

    And after they do, the only people with half a brain that will still buy the Volt will be fleets for the Government, the rental cos, and Obama’s buddy the corrupt CEO of GE Jeff Immelt.

  6. Autos101 Says:

    4. it is very surprising, to see an Auto guy move to Aerospace, the previous case was the wildly successful transfer of MULALLY from Boeing to Ford. I wonder what Bombardier was thinking!!!

  7. cwolf Says:

    Ahhh,Bejma,you’re not playing fair! The mini only applies to the S type and a fault of over heated blower bearings,not a battery. But I like a good fight,so I’ll keep watching what comes of your remark. You lil’stinker!

  8. 012345 Says:

    Mr. McElroy, why is Daimler the only major European manufacturer in that list facing a probable fine? It can’t be because of Daimler truck division, they’re not the only major car manufacturer in Europe that also makes trucks.

  9. cwolf Says:

    Auto: The Fiesta is not a fiasco,but is over priced. They are a swell little car that is fun to drive. The real problem is in Ford’s crazy thoughts that their latest successes allow them to charge more for everything they make. They might be able to get away with it on their trucks,but not any of their cars. There is just too much competition and equal rivals nipping at their tail.

  10. HtG Says:

    come on,TB, you PR people reading our musings and stylings on this board know full well that we researched the NHTSA complaints, and found it was the S models that were going to the BBQ! Drive to work, walk out to the parking lot, find the fire department hosing down your little baby. Awwwwww

    (I’m just teasing TB, I’m one of those that wants Volt to succeed)

  11. Autos101 Says:

    cwolf: The Fiesta has become a fiasco just because it was overpriced, and exactly as I predicted, see my posts here a year ago.

    It may be very cute and fun to drive, but NOT $23k cute or fun to drive!!

  12. cwolf Says:

    Auto: I think this is what I just said. The suggested starting price is about$16700 and I’m sure dealers are offering one for less,not including the $500 rebate. It still is over priced but not out of line with others,even the Elantra.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Fiesta and its cousin, the Mazda 2 are the same class of car but the Fiesta is a lot more expensive, Ford decided to go the expensive route and now they’re paying for it. Double clutch tranny, electronic gizmos galore plus the “premium” you pay nowadays to get a Ford.

  14. Autos101 Says:

    #12: The Elantra is one size larger than the Fiesta, it is a Civic-Corolla-Cruze-Focus rival.

  15. T. Bejma Says:

    #6 – I can definitely see someone moving from Automotive to Aerospace. I have a friend who came from auto and now supplies to aero and he can not believe how far behind aero is when it comes to manufacturing efficiency and process controls. Bet Bombardier will be tapping into Arcemone and his knowledge of the General Motors Manufacturing System (Americanized version of the Toyota Manufacturing System). Mullaly came from the Finance end, Arcemone is a Manufacturing guy.

  16. Autos101 Says:

    15 I am surprised you miss the point!

    It works ONE WAY, not the other!

    An Aero exec went to Ford and turned it around, showing the utter incompetence of AUTO Execs.

    WHich aero co in herr right mind would hire an AUTO exec???

  17. cwolf Says:

    I’m getting different $ costs for the Fiesta. Edmond’s quote a $13,200 start price for the Fiesta,which is a tad lower than the Elantra. And according to Edmond, the true cost to own(5yr) is actually lower for the Ford. I don’t put stock in estamates,so I say the Fiesta is on par,except in predicted sales. But what’s new!

  18. Autos101 Says:

    17 the diff costs are for very diff vehicles. If you want the cute fiesta with all the goodies, it is $23k plus tax and destination and all that. The bare-bones nobody buys is $13k

  19. HtG Says:

    TB, Alan Mulally is an aerospace engineer by training, and has a management degree from the Sloan School.

    http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=24203

  20. Autos101 Says:

    that explains it! MIT, not BS

  21. HtG Says:

    MS in aerospace from Univ of Kansas

  22. Autos101 Says:

    humble beginnings

  23. cwolf Says:

    #14 Yer correct about the size,but my point remains valid. I have a habit of lumping all these tiny cars into one.

    #18 No one buys bare-boned cars? Don’t tell pedro!

  24. Autos101 Says:

    #23: U r the only one. Consumers buy a TON of the Elantra-sized (which is not MUCH smaller than your Ford Fusion) , but very few of the small ones, even smart ones like the Honda Fit.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf the low ball price you see on the Fiesta is just a come on, when you get there, you’re in for sticker myocardial infarction, same thing with the Smart, when it came out, starting at $ blah, blah then when you go see it they added even more $ to the MSRP and some fools still bought them. BTW my car does have some skin on them there bones!

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Been doing some research on line since my Vibrolla is loosing more oil than what Iran produces so it may be time to retire it, comparable used Corolla-sized cars are going for about the same as smaller ones like Fit and Yaris, it don’t make no sense, get slightly better mpg’s and give up xtra room and comfort?? No I don’t think so! Not to mention safety.

  27. Autos101 Says:

    Pedro

    Wait a few months and get yourself a $19k Prius C. And Pray for low gas prices or the dealers will charge you an extra $5k for it!

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Fiesta is one of those cars that can be an ok buy, minimally equipped, or a bad buy if you load it up. Using the “build” section of the Ford web site, I figured the cheapest way to get a Fiesta with A/C and cruise control. It was about $17K, MSRP. That’s not too bad. A $23K Fiesta is crazy, though, when you can get a MINI for a couple thousand less, even with automatic if you want it.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    101 if used is good enough for you, then it’s more than good enough for me as well, I just don’t see the point of buying new with my amount of driving, a new car will take a humongous depreciation dump in the fist year and in about 2 yrs the warranty will expire, not to mention higher insurance rates, no Siree, new is not for me!

  30. HtG Says:

    Pedro, if you donate your Vibrolla to your local NPR station, maybe a chopshop will pay 7K for it, just to get a clean VIN. The station gets some money for acting out the news they read on the internet, you get the tax deduction, and a car is reborn. It’s win, win, win!

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, if you plan to buy used, another Corolla would be hard to beat, unless they depreciate so slowly that buying used doesn’t make sense.

  32. Autos101 Says:

    #29: Used is good enough for everybody regardless of budget. Even if you want to spend $50k on a car, a used Rolls or Bentley or even Ferrari 355 from the 90s beats the pants off any near-luxury POS new.

    BUT the big diff between you and me is that I do 10% of the miles that you do! If I was in your place, I would never drive so many miles in an unsafe, noisy, terrible MPG (you said it gets 25 HWY!? Unbelievable) vehicle that will only give you a ton of grief in repairs from now on, with 300k miles (and you already did a ton of repairs on it, that’s why you justify keeping it)

    IF i were in your place and did all these miles I would get the Prius C or the Passat Diesel or some other really efficient vehicle.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #27,
    Yeah, the time to buy a Prius is when gas is cheap. I bought mine in the summer of 2010. They even had a $1000 rebate on the Prius in Indiana where I bought it, and my ’05 Malibu Maxx was worth more than I expected in trade.

  34. Autos101 Says:

    #31 When I was looking to buy something used and cheap in 94 when my 11 year old Pontiac 2000 expired (sold for parts for $375), I looked at two toyota corollas from the mid-80s, the interiors were truly terrible, the doors were almost bare metal, and noisy to boot, and they were asking outrageous prices for them. The Accord coupe I ended up buying was just perfect for me, far superior to the Pontiac inside and out, butter-smooth 5-speed, cost new $15k to the first owner and he sold it to me for $6,500 with 68k highway miles and less than 4 years of age!

  35. cwolf Says:

    On a tangent from yesterday: If using Audi’s Traffic Jam Assist and an accident should occur,do you think the cop will still ticket you for “failing to control?”

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, I get about 28 average, but now I found out I need to replace both CV joints plus fixing the leak(s) is gonna set me back about $800 so I think I’ve reached the end of the line, I was hoping to make it to 400k miles.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    101 Used Toyos and Hondas sell for quite a premium around here, I can get a much better price on a Korean or maybe a Focus hatch, I like those a lot.

  38. HtG Says:

    35 Er, in my driver re-education camp, the commisar spoke about responsibility to the effect that, “you are in control.”

    However, if I were a lawyer suing for ‘ooh-it-hurts-it-hurts’ I’d go after the deep pockets at Audi.

  39. Autos101 Says:

    The used cars to avoid are the VW diesels, they are EXTREMELY expensive, almost twice the price of the gas versions for some years and miles. Diesel SUVs are also much more expensive used vs their gas versions.

    I’d get a used Civic myself, both fun to drive, good looks and great MPG. I’d prefer a coupe or hatch, there were EPA 44 MPG coupe HXs from 2003 o that should only cost a few grand.

    And judging from my 91 hatch, they are EFFING IMMORTAL if you drive them in the Sunbelt, as you do too.

  40. W L Simpson Says:

    lower the price, sell more cars, make more money

  41. HtG Says:

    A1 is right about Civics from my own 02 era. Nothing wrong with it, tight, but it is a stripper. However, the models from mid decade have a little issue with the engine blocks cracking, calling for a white sheet to be laid over them.

    You should buy my Civic, Pedro.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    How about an even trade HtG?

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ll throw in the Alpine with the sub and the rear window dog with the lighted eyes and bobbing head.

  44. HtG Says:

    fill it with oranges and ship it right away amigo!

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    The oranges are worth more than the car itself!

  46. Autos101 Says:

    There was a supermarket in the LA area (Long Beach) back in 2003 that had a $0.10 a lb special on damned good oranges! 1930 prices.

  47. Autos101 Says:

    Texas Grapefruit at $4.99 per 15-lb bag (used to be 18-lb..) are also a damned good deal here in my local supermarket. I have at least one every morning.

  48. Autos101 Says:

    #36 My dealer told me I had to replace the cv joints on the Accord soon after I got it, and I ignored it big time, and it never became an issue even 10-14 years later when I donated the rustbucket to charity.

  49. Autos101 Says:

    but I believe they were only $150 back then!?

  50. Autos101 Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    January 16th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    No, I get about 28 average,”

    28 average is very good. Must mean that on the highway you get over 30?

  51. GPL Says:

    $23k Fiesta? That number keeps getting thrown out there like that’s a typical price. I just searched local inventory and only found Fiestas ranging from $13,995 to $22,120. If you tick all the boxes on a Fiesta, you can definitely top $23k. Pushing the search out the all US I even found one for $27k, but if you do that for any car you’ll find astronomical prices.

    More than a Mini? Tick all the boxes on a Mini, you get into the $40k’s, and they top $30k without even ticking off S, Convertible, or JCW.

    I agree that the upper end prices of these things are ridiculous, but, as someone put it, there’s a butt for every seat, and if you are going to compare them, at least compare similarly equipped vehicles.

  52. Chuck Grenci Says:

    ‘pedro’, if you’re looking for ‘used’, CPO (certified pre-owned) might be what you are looking for; still relatively new, usually comes with an extended warranty and most of the early years depreciation has been already happened.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #51,
    A $23K Fiesta is with most, but not all available options. If I were in the market for a Fiesta, it would be an SE (mid trim level) hatch with the one package it takes to get cruise control, and would have an MSRP of about $17K.

    Yes, with all options, even a non-S MINI hatch gets over $30K, but, if you want a manual transmission, a zero option MINI is decently equipped, at about $20K. Add an autobox, and it’s $21K.

    That $17K Fiesta I mention would be equipped more-or-less like a $20K MINI.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In #28, I was saying you could get an automatic MINI for $2K less than the “loaded” Fiesta. The $23K Fiesta would certainly have more “gadgets,” though.

  55. Brett Says:

    I dunno, Pedro. If I was shopping used, I’d probably look for a loaded Versa hatchback, but I’m fond of those things for some reason, particularly in that electric blue color.

    Another terrific rig is the first generation Mitsu Outlander if you can find an FWD LS with a manual tranny (look for ones w/out a roof rack). I get 25-28 MPG all day on the interstate. Really well screwed together and the 2.4L balance-shaft four is a punchy, sweet engine. Mine is an ’06.

  56. cwolf Says:

    #55 Gee,Brett,the Versa sure would be a contender,but I’m not so sure of the Mitsu. This is prolly cuz there aren’t many around here. I always thought Mitsu made a better soup than an automobile,but who knows,those Japanese will eat anything! (just funn’in-doncha know)

  57. cwolf Says:

    pedro,just out of curiousity,isn’t the car you’re replacing used for business, allowing you deductions and write-offs? If so, why are you being so frugal even if you buy used?

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    I get 28 to 29 mpg avg mostly on surface roads, on the highway because of the awful 3 speed I get more like 24 or 25 tops, I do deduct for business use but leasing is out because of the miles I put on. I’d rather spend my $ on trips and eating out good food than on a car, I just avoid restaurants with valet for the obvious reason.

  59. tj Martin Says:

    #2

    Wishful thinking on your part T . Dig a little deeper . They’re out there VOLT Mobile BBQ’s in the general publics hands

    8)

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chevy Volt: the official tailgate party vehicle sanctioned by the NFL for the Super Bowl. Keeps the beer cold while it roasts your wieners.

  61. cwolf Says:

    #60 And if the game is near,stoke up a MINI S for a faster fire.

  62. cwolf Says:

    #61 cont. and you won’t have to be as selective when choosing one,unlike the Volt.

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    even better get a Tesla and drive real fast to the game so you can overheat and burn them batteries, and you will look cool as you roast your winnies. cwolf seriously, my Vibrola trembles when I give it gas once its going like 45 or over, then it stops when I let up on the gas and does it again when I give it more gas, I read online that it’s most likely the CV axle (joint) any ideas? BTW it does not do it when I turn slowly, but it does if I take a right handed curve, like when I accelerate around a curve and pick up merging speed.

  64. cwolf Says:

    Bad news was reported that SAAB was forced to destroy all of their cars made before filing for bankruptcy. The good news was that not one complaint was made about quality or reliability for the entire life of any of these vehicles.

  65. cwolf Says:

    Ya,it does sound as if it is the CV joint. I am no longer familiar with Toyota or know if the Corrola has a 2 piece shaft one one side with a Cv joint splined in,like the Camery. You might have a 2 piece on the passenger side,if I recall correctly. Anyway,the whole shaft is usually replaced instead of a repair. A one piece can be had for about $180 and labor is about 1.5 hr.($75-$100). I’m sure 2 piece is more, so will be labor. Tremble on a right turn and not left made me wonder for a moment. But after accounting for rotation direction,placement and balance,the feeling could come from either the left or right. It’s just vibration and that is a hard one to pin-point.

  66. XA351GT Says:

    Big Rig sales up, could this be because the companies that are buying them can no longer right off their old trucks on their taxes?? You’ll find that businesses will go on buying sprees every 5 years when they can no longer right off the values of their equipment. 20 % every year or close to it.

    Fiesta, great little car ,but to close in price and economy of it’s near look alike big brother ,the Focus. There is a 2MPG difference between the 2. a couple grand more more a equally equiped Focus ,but it’s much bigger inside.

    Stripper model cars, unless you order it that way good luck finding one on a dealer lot . They make their money on options that’s why almost all are loaded to the teeth. I saw this 1st hand with the Solstice. They advertised a sticker of under 20 K ,the lowest I ever found was 23K .

  67. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/2012-naias-a-dozen-quick-observations/

    Mike Karesh’s surprising obs. So does the new Fusion have more rear legroom than even the Passat? I doubt it has the rear headroom as well.

  68. Autos101 Says:

    The Versa can be real cheap, but it god-awful cheaply made. Steals all the fun from driving

  69. T. Bejma Says:

    #59

    Show me tj. You know as well as I do that a story like that would be all over the ‘net and especially here where everyone would like me (and a couple other non Volt haters) to eat a little crow… ;-)

    #63

    pedro – Have you ruled out an engine mount? These are usually encapsulated in rubber, which has a tendency to dry out and crack in warm, salty, Florida air… Just a thought and a LOT cheaper than a CV Joint/Halfshaft…

  70. tj Martin Says:

    Cadillac ATS R.I.P.

    Well the cars nit even in the dealers yet and already Cadillac’s PR and marketing fools have given it the Automotive Kiss Of Death that has been the downfall for everyone trying it from Alfa Romeo to Vauxhall .

    Calling it a BMW Fighter .

    It works like this ;

    First some manufacture comes out with this ridiculous claim . The customers for about six months buy into the myth . BMW stages a back to back with several Automotive magazines , where upon said ‘ BMW Fighter ‘ gets its clock cleaned . Sales die off . End of story .

    And ….. FYI Cadillac … a rebadged OPEL that at best has garnered mediocre reviews in the EU is not in any way shape or form EVER going to be a ‘ BMW Fighter ‘

    Fact is the ONLY time in 40 years of following the Automotive Industry I’ve ever seen a BMW analogy work for any manufacture was FORD ( Mercury in US ) with the Capri ( German built one ) when they called it a ‘ Poor Man’s BMW ‘ saying it wasn’t AS good but for the money pretty darned close

    —–

    T. Bejima – You need to rise above the culture you’re engrossed in and start seeing the Truth rather than the MYTH GM continues to perpetrate upon the General Public

    Re-Charging IS in fact part of an E/V’s Function and so far we’re up to five in the US as well as several Ampera’s in the EU who’s batteries have either gone the full Flame route , or began smoking with the owners catching it in time

    FYI – Read This ! Pass it on to your superiors – This is the majority of Americans opinions towards E/Vs and Fake E/V’s such as the (re)VOLT(ing)

    http://jalopnik.com/5873084/you-are-not-alone-america-hates-electric-cars

    But T…… I notice in your attempts to defend the VOLT you’ve yet to address my anger about the monies we the US Tax Payers are throwing away on the (re)VOLT(ing ) which leads to a purchaser of a VOLT currently paying for it SIX …. count em SIX times and the average Tax Payer NOT purchasing a VOLT paying for it FIVE times …

    …. all while GM loses a bundle on EACH & EVERY SALE !

  71. tj Martin Says:

    #62

    Oh yes you will cwolf . Don’t try to defend the VOLT by condemning the MINI ( FYI if’n you remember I reported the MINI turbo problems over a month ago )

  72. tj Martin Says:

    ULTIMATE SUPERBOWL TAILGATE BBQ CARS LINE UP

    Bring one of each to the party and no one will walk away hungry

    Cadillac SRX , Chevy VOLT , VW Jetta Diesel , Ferrari 458 , TESLA Roadster , MINI Cooper S , All BMW Turbos , Ford F150 , and on and on .

    Just make sure something reliable brigs the food and there’s a few buses to take the car less owners home after the game

    ——-

    @ T.Bejima – FYI Again everything in print does not make it onto the NET especially when there’s a bit of government interference filtering negative news out whenever they can on their Pet Project

  73. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/toyota-prius-conversion-by-campinn/#photo-4755472

    A Hybrid with a tumor?

    That can’t be good for the MPG

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #67,70,
    Micheal Karesh rather likes the ATS. I’m looking forward to seeing that one.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #73,
    That conversion will change a Prius from a car that gets 44mpg at 75mph, into a car that won’t even go 75mph.

  76. Autos101 Says:

    #75

    It should be retractable

  77. pedro fernandez Says:

    #69 I had the mounts replaced 2 1/2 yrs ago with crappy after market units so I would not be surprised if this is the problem as well, from the world of So Fla criminal activity and the ingenuity of thieves, cat converters are being stolen by the dozen from SUV’s with high ground clearance and are being sold for their platinum content.

  78. GPL Says:

    “Fiesta, great little car ,but to close in price and economy of it’s near look alike big brother ,the Focus. There is a 2MPG difference between the 2. a couple grand more more a equally equiped Focus ,but it’s much bigger inside.”

    Agreed, but you can say that about just about any car and its next size up sibling with the same cylinder count. I think that is why in the US most best selling cars are midsized offerings followed by their compact siblings and in turn the subcompacts. Fuel isn’t expensive enough here to push efficiency, so the larger size for the incremental cost usually wins.

  79. Autos101 Says:

    GPL

    You are missing a HUGE point!

    Look at the LOUSY MPG of the small cars!

    Cars one size larger have BETTER MPG!!!

    Eg, the ELANTRA, one size bigger than the Siesta, gets 40 MPG In ALL Its versions, while the Fiesta only on a few more expensive variants!

  80. T. Bejma Says:

    #70

    “And ….. FYI Cadillac … a rebadged OPEL that at best has garnered mediocre reviews in the EU is not in any way shape or form EVER going to be a ‘ BMW Fighter”

    tj, you are delusional, what Opel is a small rear wheel drive that is now the rebadged ATS???? The Alpha platform is unique to the US and if anything is somewhat modeled after a Holden CONCEPT CAR!!! Would love to hear why you think this car is based on the Insignia/Regal platform… Because they are of similar size???

    I have addressed the Volt tax credits before – I don’t agree with them either, but name ONE SINGLE thing that you have control over when it comes to your taxes? Did you approve the bank bailouts? Did you approve the hideous bonuses that all of the bankers got? Did you approve the billions that were lost on the wars? etc., etc., etc. If you are so angry that YOUR tax money is being spent on this GAME CHANGER, you should be really PO’d about the rest…

  81. GPL Says:

    Autos101,

    I haven’t missed that. That’s not what I’m talking about. Hyundai has bettered most of its competitors in MPG. Note that I said “sibling”. I’m comparing apples to apples – different size cars from the same mfg. Going up from the Elantra to the Sonata you get a lot more car for a little more money with only a moderate loss of efficiency, and if I’m not mistaken, the Sonata outsells the Elantra in the US.

    That the Elantra scores better MPG is another issue outside of the scope of my comment.

  82. steve Says:

    Yea the Volt is a real hazard. If you get into a really serious wreck, you only get 3 weeks to get out of the car, assuming you or the first responders don’t execute the safety protocols. Maybe after 3 weeks you get the last responders.