Episode 808 – Who’s #1?, New Interest in Saab, Dart Equipped with Hyundai Transmission

January 20th, 2012 at 12:00pm

Runtime: 9:02

GM announced that it sold just over 9 million vehicles globally last year which sparked off a flurry of news reports over who’s the Number One automaker in the world. Chinese automaker Youngman Lotus and Turkish private equity firm Brightwell Holdings intend to place bids for Saab. Hyundai will supply six-speed automatic transmissions for the Dodge Dart. All that and more, plus a preview of Autoline This Week about the pitfalls and benefits facing automakers in China.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 20th as we wrap up a week’s worth of reports of what’s going on in the global automotive industry.

Yesterday GM announced that it sold just over 9 million vehicles globally last year, which sparked off a flurry of news reports over who’s the Number One automaker in the world. Of course it all that depends on how you count sales. Many analysts do not count GM’s sales with SAIC or Wuling in China, since GM is a minority partner in those joint ventures. In fact, Volkswagen says if it counted sales the way GM does, it would be Number One. I don’t know why VW is worried. As we pointed out last year, when it comes to revenue and profits, Volkswagen is far and way the biggest automaker in the world. In the first half of last year alone, VW’s revenue was $37 billion higher than GM’s.

Maybe Saab is Swedish for cat because the company seems to have nine lives. Believe it or not, there’s still interest in the company. Chinese automaker Youngman Lotus will renew its efforts to acquire Saab. But it looks like Youngman will have some competition. Bloomberg reports that Turkish private equity firm Brightwell Holdings intends to place a bid for Saab. It would keep production in Sweden but it also needs approval from GM and the Swedish government. Don’t hold your breath.

German automakers could be penalized for not meeting fuel economy targets in the U.S. Carmakers had to achieve a fleet average of 27.5 miles per gallon in 2011, and achieve CO2 emission limits. Daimler, Porsche and BMW were the farthest from meeting the standards according to initial estimates. Daimler had the lowest average at 25.2 MPG. The government won’t finalize its results until later in the year.

CONTINENTAL TEAMS UP WITH SKI (subscription required)
The giant German supplier Continental is forming a joint venture with South Korean battery producer SK Innovation. SKI will focus on lithium-ion cells while Conti puts its energy in the electronics and battery pack of the equation. SKI will also build a brand-new plant in Korea that’s capable of producing between 25,000 and 40,000 batteries a year. This may seem like a risky proposition given how slowly EVs are selling right now, but Continental estimates that by 2025 they could account for 30 to 40 percent of global sales. And that is far higher than anyone else seems to be forecasting.

The new Dodge Dart blends American design with Italian mechanicals. But this C-segment car is even more international than that. Car and Driver reports Hyundai of all companies will supply the vehicle’s six-speed automatic transmission. This sounds sacrilegious, but it really isn’t too far of a stretch. The Dart’s new “Tigershark” powerplants are derived from the old GEMA engines that were the result of a Chrysler/Hyundai/Mitsubishi tie-up. It’s interesting they wouldn’t use a Chrysler or Fiat automatic, or just buy one from a supplier like ZF. The 2013 Dodge Dart also offers a conventional six-speed manual as well as a dual-dry-clutch automatic.

And don’t forget to check out our coverage of the Washington D.C. Auto Show next week. We’ll be webcasting LIVE from the nation’s capital on Thursday, January 26th starting at high noon, Eastern Time. But we need your help! Go to the John’s Journal page of our website, Autoline.tv and submit your questions. Get ‘em in as soon as you can. You can also see the complete list of regulators and policymakers that I’ll be interviewing.

Coming up next, Cadillac is trying to boost sales in China, but the Chinese have a not-too-flattering nickname for the brand. We’ll get into that, right after this.

On Autoline This Week, my guest is Michael Dunne, author of the book “American Wheels, Chinese Roads” which is all about the Chinese auto industry. Also joining me for this show are Sharon Terlep from the Wall Street Journal and David Welch from Bloomberg. In the following clip, Michael Dunne points out some of the pitfalls and benefits facing automakers in China.

You can see that entire show on our website Autoline.tv right now. And that wraps up today’s show, except that there’s another game of heroic savings and epic failures on tap on RoundAbout tonight. Here’s Craig Cole with the details.

If I’m sitting in front of a wall of flames that can only mean one thing: RoundAbout will be playing a thrilling game of Dungeons & Dealers. This time our gladiators are designer and author Jason White as well as Josh Lewis from RawAutos.com. Tune in for that plus all the weird, cool and funny car news of the week. It starts at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time at Autoline.tv.

That wraps up this week, thanks for watching and we’ll see you on Monday.

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

77 Comments to “Episode 808 – Who’s #1?, New Interest in Saab, Dart Equipped with Hyundai Transmission”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Dumb and heavy? I wonder what they would have called the old land-yacht from the 70′s? BTW I’ll bet that TJ is on his way to his nearest Dodge dealer to put down a deposit on the new Dart now that he found out it comes with a Hyundai transmission.

  2. W L Simpson Says:

    Wonder if the limeys have ever been sorry they raised VW from the ashes of WW2

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to most road tests, the Hyundai automatic used in Elantra works very well. If that is the one they will use in the Dart, it might be a good thing, if it is reliable. It’s probably too early to know about that.

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    What is the big deal with being “#1″ whatever, sales, profits, quality? Both GM and Toyota got there and then what? Egotistical a-holes. that’s what they are! how about aiming for #1 in customer satisfaction, how about that? what a concept!

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit: a mish-mash of parts,a bastardized car if I’ve seen one and that engine has roots going back at least 2 decades, even H/K has moved on since with their new generations of engines.

  6. Kit Gerhart fan club Says:


    How come no free tickets to the Detroit Auto Show? As a long time patrom of the NAIAS I could use a freeby now and again.

  7. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The claim for #1 is for marketing; the moniker of being top seller resonates with the more common automotive purchaser. Us enthusiasts either covet reliability (but not always) as some want the best performance (reliability be damned). Don’t underestimate the bean-counters (wanting to be number 1); while we don’t always agree, they know what they are doing (most of the time).

  8. Aliisdad Says:

    I found the last segment on China so interesting that I switched over and watched Autoline Daily for the full show..Wow, was it interesting and the guest Michael Dunne really had a lot of insight into the Chinese auto industry…I do think it is interesting that we have to partner with a Chinese company to sell there and they get half the earnings, yet we never would do someting like that here with “foreign” companies selling in the US…It is sad that we seem to cut poor one-sided deals with other contries that lets them take advantage of us…I am not sure that our economy is going to allow so many of these one-sided deals as it used to sustain…Wake up, America: we don’t need to take advantage of others but should see that we get fair deals…
    One more thing..That info on the Dodge Dart was interesting in that FIAT has outsourced so much of the car…I know that it is pretty common, but with FIAT making so many cars and parts it just seems a little odd; kinda normal for Chrysler, though…Well, have a good weekend, everyone!!!

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree about the engine. It was never very good. They are still using it in the 4 cylinder 200/Avenger, and it is worst-in-class in refinement and mpg. I guess we’ll see if they have improved it, when the Darts sees some road tests.

    Everybody buys parts, though, including transmissions. If the Hyundai one is good, I don’t see a problem with that.

  10. LS ford Says:

    @#7 Good points about equallity in fair trade agreements. I have long said that we ought to do what China and Brazil do, tax heavily the imports demand that 50% is produced in country. That my friends is how we put US back in place. I am not saying we have to be #1, but we should look out for ourselves.

    Here is a thought: If you are starrving to death, and have not eaten in weeks. Would you give a dollar to a pan handeler? No, you would take the dollar and feed yourself first. I think this kind of policy should be employed here in the US. Instead of all these “Occupy” movements, why not have legislative sit ins? Where we take apart foreign trade policies one by one and rewrite them in our best interests? If we truely want to survive this ecomonic downturn, we have to make our US dollars stay in the country.

    I would be happy to keep my “old” iphone for 3-4 years and buy a new one then for $400 if it was “made in the USA”. I think we should start to all buy american and work american. If we took the 10% unemployed and said, all right you will now get $15 per hour making iphones rather than your $10 unemployment we could start to create jobs here. Rather than give those unfortunate unemployed people money so that they can buy playstations made in japan or china.

    Again, sorry for the soapbox…. :)

  11. Chuck Grenci Says:

    With slight tongue in cheek I make this comparison: take half, provide protection and validate ‘the operation’; sounds a lot like the mafia (to me).

  12. Rob Grosse Says:

    Prius RV: Ugly or not, we need some environmentally friendly campers on the market. I am glad to see that Prius RV for sale, and I wish the company (and any similar start-ups) well. Environmental concerns aside, the days of average income families being able to cross the continent in 8 mpg monoliths are pretty much behind us. Yet I personally don’t like tents; I want to be off the ground. This sort of Fresh “out of the box” thinking is needed in the RV industry.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The problem with the Prius RV is that it will absolutely kill the mpg of the car. If the camper is something you can install and remove, it would be ok for occasional use, but if it’s there all the time, it makes no sense at all.

    Something that would be good for camping with a Prius, or other small and/or low powered cars, would be small pop-up trailers. A friend has one designed to pull behind a motorcycle. It only sleeps two, but it could be scaled up enough to sleep three, and still be light weight, and not have a lot of drag.

  14. T. Bejma Says:


    GM’s only goal is not to be #1 in sales volume. That can be seen by the reduction of incentives and reduced fleet vehicle sales (look at how much Chrysler increased their fleet vehicle percentage and increased their volume). I know in my job, I have 2 goals: 1. Making sure I do whatever I can to make our customers happy, 2. Do whatever I can to keep costs down and profits up. If we accomplish those goals, #1 will come.

  15. Autos101 Says:

    As much as I appreciate the AWESOME Prius, the Prius V and the Prius C to come (not so much the Prius Plug-in, for obvious reasons),

    this monstrosity the prius RV is a bad joke, and those that developed it and the managers who approved it, if there is any JUSTICE, should all be fired.

    The butt-ugly con traption looks like a portable Potty on wheels from the back, and like a Prius with an effing TUMOR from all other sides.

    Welcome to the Pontiac AZTEC of the 2010s….

  16. Autos101 Says:


    Explain then the HUGE overproduction of Silverados, which led to a DISASTROUS 120++ days Inventory, which led to a TON of incnetives to move these worthless inefficient dinosaurs, and which not only cost GM billions, it cost FORD and RAM billions too, since they had to RESPOND with big incentives to protect THEIR products.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    That Prius RV should be displayed next to the Oscar Meyer Wieniemobile and the Planters Mr Peanut mobile thing.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    #12 what about driving up to the campsite in a normal Prius and setting up a tent, they got some real nice ones and are a lot cheaper and are environmentally friendly as well.

  19. T. Bejma Says:


    The way that it was explained to me (I don’t work in Marketing or Production) was that, in anticipation of the increase in construction (we are seeing in Southeast Michigan anyway) the dealers wanted to have a lot of choices on the lot for builders and construction workers. Apparently truck buyers appreciate it. We also had a Mid Cycle Enhancement (MCE – slight appearance change to keep them looking fresh) in the summer, so the incentives were used to clear out the old stock. Last time I looked, the inventory levels on trucks were back down, so it must have worked.

  20. C-Tech Says:

    @ #12 I hear you on the “enviro-friendly” RV, however the people with the cash and time to travel want to take with them ALL the comforts of home (camping with a satelite dish?) with them. It was tried before in 1986-87 with a unique RV called the Vixen. It was built in Michgan, designed to fit in your garage and had a 5 cyl BMW diesel engine pushing it (a rear mounted diesel was ahead of its time in 1986) It got 25 mpg on the highway with room for 4. Unfortunately, not enough buyers.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kudos to Hyundai, they’ve gone from a company that used Mitsu engines jus 25 yrs ago to one whose components are being used by 2 of the oldest car builders in the world. BTW neither Honda nor Toyota build a 6 speed for the segment.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    People here seem to have forgotten, but that Prius RV thing is a prototype that showed up at the Tokyo auto show, and was from from a third party company, not Toyota. Someone must think that a handful of people might want such a thing.

    I’ve seen three articles about it, and there was little indication that would actually reach production, much less, be sold in North America.

  23. Autos101 Says:


    I was aware of both (too late) cuts in Silverado production and significantly higher incentives. I was also aware that in just one month (December) the inventories went way down from over 100 days to 69 or so (still way above where a lean 20-30 day inventory should be),

    BUT the Q is, at what cost to GM? ($Billions!), and maybe another billion to Ford and RAm who had to compete with GM’s incentives by offering their own.

    A Vicious Cycle.

    Did these people never hear of LEAN Manufacturing and producing only what the marker wants?

  24. Autos101 Says:

    The ATS

    Several GM people seem very proud (or at least pleased) and have great expectations for the new ATS small sports-near-luxury Sedan (and the approx. 115th alleged 3 Series fighter that will fail).

    BEfore test driving it or even sitting on it, I am afraid that GM has, once again, shot itself in the foot.

    The TRUNK of the ATS has a DISMAL “Is this a typo?” INCREDIBLY SMALL capacity of barely 10 cubic feet! The smaller, lighter Jetta by comparison has 15-16!.

    IF the ATS was some kind of a convertible or a sports coupe, buyers would probably not mind the tiny trunk. BUT when it is a 4-door sedan that carries at least 4 passengers (and one dwarf in the middle back seat) and their stuff, this is a DEAL KILLER.

  25. Dave Says:

    Dumb and Heavy?? We in the US have words we use to discribe goods from China, but I cant say them here..

    From a CTS Wagon owner

  26. Autos101 Says:

    #22: The atrocity can be ordered. BUT even if it just reached this stage, it is UNacceptable, it should have been killed long, long ago in the design process. GEEZ!

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Par vu mi amigo 8)


  28. HtG Says:

    now that was cool. Didn’t I tell a story about a young guy I know who escaped from Cuba, and was going to take his girlfriend over to see it? He worried that all the old cars people kept running would look bad. Quite the opposite

  29. cwolf Says:

    #24 If you don’t like the ATS,don’t buy one! It is more likely than not,the ATS buyer will not utilize this as a family car or haul two others at any great distance requiring a larger trunk. I,also,believe any car design having a 50/50 weight distribution didn’t have a large trunk as an primary focus. Heck!,I’ve rarely seen more than one person in a three series and more than a small package or two inside. Don’t think the ATS will be used much differently.

  30. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #25 @Dave “Dumb and Heavy?? We in the US have words we use to discribe goods from China, but I cant say them here..”

    Pretty much agree with your assessment. What I found interesting in Michael Dunne’s “Autoline Detroit” interview was that while they call Cadillac ‘dumb and heavy’, Michael then said that what was holding Cadillac back from finding their niche is because they stopped building the land barges of old; so which is it and what do they (China) want from Cadillac? Maybe nothing (and the previous question was rhetorical.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks for the link, TJ, I’ve always said that necessity is the mother of invention or in the case of Cubans, adaptation and resourcefulness, they do the same with American iron from the 40′s and 50′s, when they come here, they are deeply disappointed with the evolution of the American car, as far as quality and longevity are concerned. Today I had a conversation with the less than thrilled lessee of an Insight, that car is full of compromises, no wonder the Prius kicks its butt month after month. In order to get about 430 miles to the tankful, he uses the “eco” mode which cuts out the A/C during stops, in this hot Fla weather that is one BIG compromise, noise is also a big factor and to get great mpg’s he must also watch his speed and like he said: “Drive like my grandmother”

  32. Autos101 Says:


    Don’t be a thin-skinned GM cheerleader. OF COURSE I would never buy that POS, I am not even in the market for that SEGMENT.

    GM could PROFIT from my comments, IF it FIXED it, while it would NOT profit from protective Biug Mommies like YOU, who never dare say that GM EVER DId ANYTHING wrong.

    DO you effing know how LUDICROUS you sound?

    OR do you believe that comments like yours will intimidate me to NOT SPEAK MY MIND?

    Dream on…

  33. Autos101 Says:

    “Dave Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Dumb and Heavy?? We in the US have words we use to discribe goods from China, but I cant say them here..”?

    “Chuck Grenci Says:
    January 21st, 2012 at 11:25 am

    #25 @Dave “Dumb and Heavy?? We in the US have words we use to discribe goods from China, but I cant say them here..”

    Pretty much agree with your assessment.”

    You two prretty much make me SICK.

    I can BET that neither of you biased (not to say BIGOTED and RACIST)ignoramuses have ever been to CHina, and even if you DID, you would not have understood or appreciated ONE DAMNED THING. UNLIKE YOU, not only have I lived and WORKED in CHina, our PhD students from their top universities RUN CIRCLES around any other student we have, foreign or domestic, in both SHEER INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ETHIC.

    The Chinese people have been suffering under an Econ Illiterate Rule of the Evil Communist Mao from 1949 to 1976, and only in 1990 or so did they get RELIGION and now they are more capitalist than the retards you elect in WAshington DC, especially the two BOZOS Obama-Biden, who have RUINED this country!

    But it is NOT their Fault (the chinese people’s). The world would be a FAR, FAR better place if all 7 bBILLION Humans were as INTELLIGENT AND HARD-Working as the CHinese.

    Perhaps in your ignorant Mind, China is a fourth-world poor nation like Ethiopia and Sudan? Or evewn like India?

    If you believe so, you don;t have an EFFING CLUE.

    It was only 50 years ago that when we said “MADE IN JAPAN”, we meant a PIECE OF CHEAP JUNK.

    NOW the same ignorant people sing the praises of LEXUS and how Damned reliable its… Buicks are.

    DO you think that the CHINESE are less capable than the Japanese of achieving the same success in a few decades from now in EVERY DAMNED SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY, Including CARS, of course?

    Lecture over. Remember to STUDY and do your homework!

    (Descends from Soapbox)

  34. Autos101 Says:

    ps the same bigoted, racisr crap they were saying about the Japanese products 50 years ago, they were saying about the Korean products until this very day. But not just the Japanese, even the Koreans managed to totally turn around their products, and from the cheap, unreliable POS of the 1989 Hyundai Excel and the 1999 Kia Sephia (which depreciated to… less than $5k after a year or two), you have even a Lexus LS fighter Hyundai EQUUS today (not my cup of tea, but very impressive and at over $60k!)

    If the Japanese and the Koreans succeeded, do you REALLY think the Chinese will not eventually be FAR More successful?

    As the Koreans themselves. they View CHINA With AWE, as the place that CIVILIZED them, or their mother, or whatever, and appreciate CHinese Culture far more than even the CHinese themselves!.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    From the Daewoo still sucks dept, a neighbor’s friend is selling his 08 Suzuki (Daewoo) Forenza for $6k OBO, about 40k miles, supposedly nothing wrong with it but that is way below market price and I read on Edmunds.com that almost half of those owners are dissatisfied with their cars, a throwback to the early years of Korean automakers, Not all Koreans are the same. I actually thought of retiring the Vibrolla for this Pandora’s box, but I think I will wait for my dream Yaris to appear.

  36. cwolf Says:

    #32 The comment made was very realistic and reasonable and can’t find a single word that sounds like a cheerleader. I also know you would never buy an ATS,if for no other reason,because you can’t afford one.

    What is ludicrous are most comments you make and how childishly expressed they are. You are indeed one pompous phoney! Do you understand just how silly it is to judge a vehicle solely on info found on a the web without,at least,test driving a car for yourself? And noone would place any faith in your few friends who always have had or driven every car under the sun….; you know, Bob,Thor and the gang! Yep.. these are all the imaginary people who YOU have pretended to be.

    Read my comments again,then re-read yours and you may discover you have a screw loose.

  37. cwolf Says:

    OK Auto, now,based upon your own words in #33, you have lived and worked in China. You also state,” our Phd studends FROM their(Chinese) best universities…” indicates you are/or were at one time a Chink prof. and pretend to be one in AnnArbor,Mi. at present. Really!!!
    So were Your phd students Bob and Thor,by chance? And where are we going to pretend to have lived tommorow? How about Ireland. It would be fun to imagine you as a Chinaman with red hair and wearing a kilt! PHONEY!!!!!

  38. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Just read an article from AUTOWEEK on the Camaro ZL-1; does pretty well for a 4,100 pound beast (but i use the word beast as a positive term). Doesn’t have bragging rights (for h/p ratings) in 2013 but does still for 2012 (against arch nemesis Mustang GT-500 in this case) but does have a more rounded package than the Ford. Pony wars are alive and well (wonder if Challenger will step up to the plate).

  39. HtG Says:

    I’d have to back A1 up on his views of China’s potency. They’re not only making up for disastrous policy over the last 50 or so years, but they have a very long memory indeed about how western imperialists dismembered their society. It’s only we that don’t remember how opium was forced onto them, only we that don’t read about how chinese were treated as second class citizens in their own country. Order is going to be returned over the next few decades. It’s happening right now at the IMF as voting rights are being rebalanced in recognition of who has the economic heft.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be around if growth of the Chinese economy can’t keep the people invested enough in their own futures; then another part of Chinese history could be seen again, internal conflict.

    (wipes chalk from fingers, steps away from blackboard)

  40. HtG Says:

    If anybody wants to hear a challenging discussion about China’s banking sector, here is a link to a video in four parts. Click on the right side of the page.


    (warning, dry)

  41. cwolf Says:

    #40 HtG,this was a fun link to watch. I enjoyed it much.

    I don’t doubt China’s potency in the long term, yet see marginal concerns in the near term. The country is not in good shape. It is deeply in debt, people are saving more and spending less internally,inflation is growing and exports, though huge,are lessening. If correct,Chinese peoples got a 3% raise, but the COL is approx. 6% and the people are not happy. Chinese cars are not selling, though forbidding foreign brands is not a cure of any sort. I,too,believe the Chinese people are brilliant and hard workers. The few who were in my engr. classes(years ago) were tiers above the US students in math and engring sciences. The problem was that they were book smart and were oblivious as how to apply their knowledge. They were limited by the restrictions and lack of liberties bestowed upon them. I find it odd that the number of graduating engrs is 10 fold greater than in the US,yet they can’t make a good car? And to obtain the needed technology to keep moving forward, China requires it to be handled over for a foreign business to enter there market?
    No HtG, China is indeed a bear to contend with,but at present,China is there own worst enemy.

  42. HtG Says:

    cwolf, I listened also to John’s Autoline show with Michael Dunne, and find that some of the car market fits into the discussion at G+. There are so many excess car makers, one wonders if they are just the creation of the banking system flooding the country with capital. I also suspect that much of that easy money is walking over to the Audi dealer.

    I also had a friend studying laser fusion who was awed by the mathematical smarts of his Chinese colleagues. But there’s smart people everywhere, like Russia and the Middle East; how do you put it to use?

  43. T. Bejma Says:

    I know tj won’t publish (or read) this news, but thought some of you might want to know…

    Chevy Volt fire probe is closed, NHTSA says http://shar.es/fnlZD

  44. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I saw the Volt article as well. The whole situation was handled poorly (by just about everyone that had a had in it), i.e. overreaction in the first place, almost a witch-hunt investigation, GM’s almost apologetic reaction and finally a slow (after a lot of damage done) resolution. I hope we can move on.

    We live in exiting times (I speak automotively here) because this by and large is an automotive forum: electrics, diesel, gasoline, gas, etc. will all have a part in our transportation needs until a superior technology develops that supersedes some or all of the others. I come here to celebrate that and follow develops of all of the above.

  45. HtG Says:

    Sunday morning documentary. BBC on Colin Chapman, racer and carmaker.


  46. Autos101 Says:


    WHat you describe is exactly what happened to TOYOTA, the shameful ABC news VOO DOO reporting on alleged accelerations that were never the VEHICLE’s Fault.

    In the case of the VOlt, it was the 100% OPPOSITE, the investigation was DELAYED and was NOT made public FOR MONTHS, and now it is dropped, with the conclusion that allegedly the fires after collision on the VOLTS ONLY (and none of their competitor EVs or Plug-ins) are not something we should be concerned about.

    I am a harsh critic of the Underachieving, RIdiculously overpriced CObalt-Cruze that is the Volt, and was so long before it had any problem with fires.

    The ultimate Judge will be the BUYERS who will vote with their WALLETS.

    ANd so far, the niche vehicle Prius V, the WAGON ALONE, not the mainstream Prius, in its two short months it has been on sale, has sold more units that VOlt, despite the OUTRAGEOUS $7,500 Taxpayer SUBSIDY, has sold in its entire first year!

  47. Autos101 Says:

    As a footnote, it was the same ABC “news reporter” “Investigative Journalist” Brian Ross that did the LUDICROUS Toyota hatchet job, using a so-called “professor” from a fourth-rate college in Carbondale IL (Not even REMOTELY Caltech or MIT!) who also did not know what he was talking about,

    it was the same Brian Ross that did that LEWD, outrageously TIMED interview with Gingrich’s ex-wife, 2 days before the S C primary. TOday we know how well that worked…. BUT in Gingrich’s FAVOR!

  48. Autos101 Says:

    HTG: “I also had a friend studying laser fusion who was awed by the mathematical smarts of his Chinese colleagues. But there’s smart people everywhere, like Russia and the Middle East; how do you put it to use?”

    Math smarts are mainly Indians, Chinese, the French (yes! much more than the Germans, who are more applied and good at engineering, chemistry and physics), and the Greeks. The Chinese also have practical ingenuity and inventiveness (from what I saw in China working for more than a month there)

    Isolated smart people are everywhere, but flourish only in societies that value and respect science. CHina has a TREMENDOUS (Confucian) Work ethic, and respect for EDUCATION and Educators.

    People there told me that they go HUNGRY in order to be able to send their kids to school or college. Not like here, where one of my Distinguished Colleagues, (of German origin) is such a cheapskate, that he did not send his daughters to Harvard or similar huge-tuition school but to a lowly State U instead, even tho they were admitted to the top schools. The guy did not skimp on his sailboat, tho, or on horses for his daughters! Go figure. A Chinese would never understand him!

  49. Autos101 Says:

    From the “I told you so!” Files:

    Even Chevy Dealers don’t want the Stupid, Stupid Volts GM wants to shove down their throats:

    “DETROIT — Some Chevrolet dealers are turning down Volts that General Motors wants to ship to them, a potential stumbling block as GM looks to accelerate sales of the plug-in hybrid.

    For example, consider the New York City market. Last month, GM allocated 104 Volts to 14 dealerships in the area, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Dealers took just 31 of them, the lowest take rate for any Chevy model in that market last month. That group of dealers ordered more than 90 percent of the other vehicles they were eligible to take, the source said.

    In Clovis, Calif., meanwhile, Brett Hedrick, dealer principal at Hedrick’s Chevrolet, sold 10 Volts last year. But in December and January he turned down all six Volts allocated to him under GM’s “turn-and-earn” system, which distributes vehicles based on past sales volumes and inventory levels.

    GM’s “thinking we need six more Volts is just crazy,” Hedrick says. “We’ve never sold more than two in a month.” Hedrick says he usually takes just about every vehicle that GM allocates to him…”

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120123/RETAIL07/301239977#ixzz1kI6UcOlP

  50. Autos101 Says:

    While, amazingly (or not!), GM Dealers CHEAT to get MORE of the OTHER than the Stupid Volt Models that DO sell, like the Excellent CRUZE!

    “DETROIT — General Motors is cracking down on dealers who it says are “gaming” its vehicle-ordering system to finagle more cars and trucks than they deserve — a problem that has grown as retailers struggle to get popular models in light of GM’s tighter production schedules.

    In a Jan. 9 memo to its 4,500 U.S. dealers, GM said it has uncovered “significant ordering and reporting abuses” by some dealers trying to snag more vehicles. GM acknowledged that a shift to a “lean-inventory environment” is prompting some dealers to break the rules.

    The memo threatens to punish violators with fines of $500 per incident, cutting off incentive cash or terminating their dealer agreements.”

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20120123/RETAIL07/301239962#ixzz1kI8PEPgY

    Damned Fools…

  51. john787 Says:

    John, I know the link below does not coincide with the current writeup, but no long ago, you had something on Toyota’s sudden acceleration. A new report has come up today which you might find interesting.


  52. tj Martin Says:


    First the NHTSA tries to cover up the evidence

    Then over the weekend they lie about the results !

    But the good news is the Chevy dealers aren’t buying it ….. or the VOLT either .


    Somebody …. please put GM out of our misery

    E/V’s that aren’t .. that are a fire hazard

    Cadillacs that have never been .. with each and every one being no more than a Chevy/Opel/ Holden Badge engineered pile of dreck .. for the last THIRTY Years !!!!

    (yeah yeah T.Bejima .. dole out yer excuses and reasonings .. but we both know that a lengthened/shortened Chevy/Holden/Opel is still said car in the end .. no matter how many confusing monikers GM choses to slap on them . BS is BS and in the end thats all it is from Cadillac .. BS )

    Chevy’s that are in fact Dae Woo’s revisited

    More cars with more blind spots than any two manufactures combined

    JEEEZE !!!! Whats next from GM ?

    Re-badged TATA Nano’a ??

    Truth be known I think its a race between Chrysler/FIAT and GM as to who can rip the american consumer off for the most money before fading into obscurity

    Chrysler/FIAT in the lead by a nose .. with GM pulling up the rear and gaining .

  53. HtG Says:

    tj, you there? I have a short non auto message

  54. tj Martin Says:

    Dodge DART

    Soooo…… according the the contract Obama and Marchionne signed … in order for us ( US tax payer ) to GIVE FIAT a larger chunk of Chrysler ….. they needed to come up with an AMERICAN built car that gets at least 40 mpg

    According to FIAT and accepted by the Government ….. the Dodge DARt is said car and contract is fulfilled .

    REALLY ?????

    And just how does an Italian built platform and engine … now mated to a Korean built Transmission ….


    So ……. what ? Now as long as its assembled here … that qualifies as an American built car ?

  55. tj Martin Says:

    Ja vol mien freund ?

  56. HtG Says:

    wednesday kauffman 1679 Ruggeri


  57. tj Martin Says:

    American Manufacturing

    And here … gentlemen …. is the reason why so many jobs are going overseas ..


    Time to pony up American Work Force ! Either that or accept your impending redundancy

  58. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    A little more detail there mien freund por favor ?

  59. tj Martin Says:

    Such as WTH is EOM ?

  60. HtG Says:

    end of message

  61. tj Martin Says:

    Ist dat your cuze’s band ?

  62. tj Martin Says:

    OK its a Violin , its an import ‘ Band ‘ its here Wednesday

    Its a decent program ( anytime Vaughn Williams is included its a goo un )

    So …… ?

  63. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    If’n yer poking in

    Well … anyways I’ve got a prior … but thanks for the heads up … what ever it was supposed to imply ;-)

    Toodles !

  64. Autos101 Says:

    #55 it’s Jawohl. one word and an h

  65. Autos101 Says:

    #55 (and I assume mein, not mien, was just a typo)

  66. HtG Says:

    63 tj, he ain’t gonna be sittin’ with the tutti

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    GM is starting to act more like the government that bailed them out, telling their retailers how to run their business and what to push their customers. Put Bedbug Bloomberg in charge of GM, will ya? they were made for each other. Build them Volts and we’ll shove them down their throats.

  68. Autos101 Says:

    Note in #49, the two examples of terrible VOlt sales and interest are in NYC and CA!!! NOT in… Montana and Texas!

    If it failes in CA AND NYC, where will the stupid, stupid Volt succeed?

    Gimme a break! NOWHERE, of course, except in….. Government Fleets and GE fleets (same thing)

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I spoke to a VW tech who also fixes banged up ones and sells them and asked him about getting a re-titled diesel Golf or Jetta and he told me to prepare to pay a pretty premium for these much sought after VW’s he has a waiting list for customers wanting to buy them used, even re-titled banged-up ones. Yet they don’t sell that well new, I guess everyone is looking for a bargain out there

  70. Autos101 Says:

    #69, exactly, I have been saying many times that used Diesel Jettas go for almost TWICE (!!) the price of used non-diesel Jettas, which recently allowed VW to make the suprising claim that Jettas, on average, Diesel and Gas together, are the highest resale vfalue in their segment, higher than corollas and civics!

    Honda made the wrong move when they got cold feet and reversed their initial decision to bring Diesels in the US.

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    Funny thing is that all these automakers have diesels in other markets that they could bring here with some tinkering to pass federal standards, but NO! they left the market wide open for VW, how foolish, you have to wonder why these top execs get so much money for making dumb-ass decisions, BTW IO looked at the local used car ads and them VW diesels are selling for a lot more than their gas counterparts. And that’s with diesel fuel at the current price, imagine if it were lower than regular gas like it used to be.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just read on Edmunds.com customer reviews for the Jetta diesel that a lot of them have to have their fuel pump replaced at a very expensive $8k repair bill, if this is the case, that’s like the battery on a hybrid.

  73. Autos101 Says:

    Same is true for other Diesels such as in Merc and BMW SUVs, the best bet is to buy the diesel new, since used Diesels are far more expensive than their gas equivalents. In the old E class (NOT today’s E gas which is quite fuel efficient!) it was an extremely good value to get the diesel new, only $1k or so more expensive, nothing really, you recovered it in a year or so!

  74. Chuck Grenci Says:

    @pedro #71

    Because hindsight is 20/20 (and they aren’t a super hit yet, though they well may be; again, it will be wait and see if diesel in the U.S. goes beyond the first surge).

  75. Autos101 Says:

    #72 $8k for just the fuel pump MUST be a typo. A friend had to replace an entore ENGINE in his old 7 series and it cost $8k! In fact, soon after he bought the car with low miles and a warranty from a dealer, both the engine and tranny failed, the warranty covered half of the $6k+8k total, so he paid only $7k, but then he kept the car forever, he still drives it today and it is a 1989 6-cyl model.

  76. tj Martin Says:

    # 64 & 65

    And I assume you’re being a pedantic ass with little room to criticize seeing as how 99% of your posted dribble is barely legible , never mind spelled correctly !

    Hell Strunk & White has obviously never even spent time on your book shelf .. never mind you having read it .

    Oh well . I guess in the face of superiority those of inferior ilk such as yourself need every little nit pick you can find so’s not to have to admit to yourself what an uninformed Internet , DB , Sock Puppet Ass you are

    ( ohhh I do hope you come back here to read this ‘ Bob ‘ )

  77. Autos101 Says:

    tj Martin Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    # 64 & 65

    This is your “THANK YOU”, you INSUFFERABLE MORON????? MY FAULT giving you free spelling lessons so you do not keep making an EFFING FOOL OF YOUR ignorant self, BOZO.

    I NEVER misspel anything out of SHEER IGNORANCE, like YOU DO, MORON.

    I can distinguish between a TYPO and an error of IGNORANCE, and when you JUST made a TYPO I SAID SO, CLOWN.