Episode 812 – Nissan Expanding in Mexico, Opel Ampera Delayed, Ford Retires “Drive One” Slogan

January 26th, 2012 at 11:22am

Runtime: 5:22

Nissan just announced it will build a third plant in Mexico. The company plans to invest $2 billion in the facility, with production scheduled to begin sometime in 2013.  Opel has delayed the launch of the Ampera to fix a potential coolant leak in the battery.  Ford’s successful “Drive One” slogan is being retired, replaced by another two-word catchphrase.  All that and more, plus guest host Murray Feldman from FOX2 News, Detroit shares some of his thoughts on the resurgent American auto industry.

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Welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily, for Thursday the 26th of January, 2012. Glad you could join us for today’s show. I’m Murray Feldman from FOX2 News, Detroit filling in for John. He’s down in D.C. right now for the Washington Auto Show. And make sure you stick around, because he’ll be webcasting LIVE from the nation’s capitol starting today at noon Eastern Time. Check it out . . . oh, and one more thing. It’s not too late to get your questions in. Swing by the John’s Journal page of Autoline.tv, fill out the form and make your voice heard. We appreciate your help. Anyway, on with the news!

First up, Nissan just announced it will build a third plant in Mexico. The company plans to invest $2 billion in the facility, with production scheduled to begin sometime in 2013. The plant will produce up to 175,000 units a year of Nissan’s B-platform cars.

In other production news, the Detroit Free Press reports Chrysler plans to hire 400 to 500 new employees at its Belvidere, Illinois factory to get prepared for the spring launch of the new Dodge Dart. And according to The Detroit News, Fiat-Chrysler is also in talks with its Chinese joint venture partner Guangzhou about building Jeeps in country. By assembling them locally they’ll avoid getting slapped with tariffs and shipping fees, which they currently have to pay since Jeeps in China are imported.

Opel has delayed the launch of the Ampera. According to WardsAuto, like its U.S. counterpart, the Chevy Volt, the Ampera has been recalled to fix a potential coolant leak in the battery in the event of a crash. Seven hundred Amperas have been delivered to Europe so far. They’re being fixed at a rate of 60 a day at an Opel port facility. The Ampera was scheduled to launch in France in December, but now it will arrive in March at the latest.

You don’t need me to tell you Hyundai is rockin’ and rollin’. The South Korean automaker seems like an unstoppable force these days. Its sales and market share keep growing. Of course, the result of all this success is money in the bank. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company just posted a 38 percent spike in net profits for its fourth quarter. The total take was nearly $1.8 billion! Hyundai’s growing global sales and a weak domestic currency were big contributors to the bottom line. Company forecasters predict 2012 will be a good year, with sales estimated to hit nearly 4.3 million units.

Ford’s successful “Drive One” slogan is being retired. Autoblog reports it will be replaced by another two-word catchphrase: “Go Further.” The new tagline will be used in the U.S. as well as Europe, where it takes over for “Feel the Difference.” Company spokes folks say “Drive One” was designed to get people to check Ford out back during the dark days a couple years ago when its financial situation was uncertain. Now they say the company’s on a completely different track and the new slogan reflects this.

Coming up next, my thoughts on the resurgent American auto industry. Stay tuned.

We keep hearing how American quality is getting better. The real test could be coming. The United States is quickly growing into an auto capitol.

American workers will be making more vehicles and more parts for Asian and European carmakers.

Asian companies such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan are moving more production here to places like Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee because of currency issues.

It’s cheaper for them to make it here and ship it out than it is to make it in Japan for export to other countries.

And European carmakers like Maserati and Mercedes are planning to do more here as well.

Mercedes will build a new four-cylinder engine at a Nissan plant in Tennessee in 2014.

Maserati will make its new SUV at a Jeep plant in Detroit. And so the question is, can the quality and the “build” that made these vehicles what they are be duplicated in this country? Or will this new wave of Americanization bring an end to these nameplates as we know them?

I’m rooting for the American workers because I do think they can do it. They have technology, new plants and a renewed sense of why they must succeed. After what the U.S. car industry has been through they know more than ever how much is riding on the word “quality.”

I’d like to hear what you think, and I will read it all. Just put it on this page.

And that, folks, is a show. I’m Murray Feldman, FOX2 News, Detroit. Thank you for watching today and make sure you check out John’s LIVE webcast from Washington D.C. The show kicks off at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Thanks again! I’ll see you ‘round!

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

61 Comments to “Episode 812 – Nissan Expanding in Mexico, Opel Ampera Delayed, Ford Retires “Drive One” Slogan”

  1. David Sprowl Says:

    Murry, your comments are my shared belief.

  2. jesse Says:

    As long as the UNIONS stay out if it,I think we’ll do fine!

  3. Fernando b menendez Says:

    i like to see more build in America,our workers are not slaves (CHINA) but we need them for the future of the US

  4. tj Martin Says:

    the truth about Chrysler;


    the key words in those ‘ hirings ‘ being ;

    part time and temporary

    WALMART style


    as to murry’s great american workers comeback


    marchionne is sending more work mexico’s way than the us and so are the rest

    but by all means ; keep up with the ‘ mushroom principal and do ;


  5. tj Martin Says:

    take a little time and read the media from the UK from say 1962 -1975 ; the beginning of the end of UK auto manufacturing ;

    change the names and the dates and its the same BS our media is feeding us today

    example – all their rantings and praises of the then BL MINI … which lost between £15 – £35 per car sold


    FYI – for those who do not know , there is only ONE UK owned and operated auto manufacture left … and that is Morgan

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    After the Nissan going down Mejico way news with a $2 billion new plant investment we’re supposed to think our labor picture is all rosy, sorry don’t buy it just like I don’t buy the GOP candidates promises of a new America and new prosperity, please I’ve seen way too many broken promises in my lifer time to believe any of this Mickey Mouse BS!

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chinese-built Jeeps? now I know we’re doomed. McArthur must be spinning in his grave!

  8. tj Martin Says:

    # 6 , 7

    +1 x 1000

  9. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    he’s from fox2 … the ultimate in far right wing biased reporting .. so what else would you expect ?


    this comment from a committed ‘ centrist ‘ if’n yer wondering mr feldman

  10. tj Martin Says:

    chrysler – GIVEN to FIAT

    JEEPs built in china

    harley davidson’s being built in India … for export

    nissan , along with several others planning to do the same – moving to mexico

    yeah murray …. things are looking real good here in the US of A

    ( be glad my paw is injured or i’d be giving you a real eyeful to try and disprove )

  11. W L Simpson Says:

    Right to work should be nationwide & would greatly
    reduce off shoring.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    Wow you guys, chicken little had nothing on you.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Inexperienced workers building an iffy car, a recipe for disaster, and I see they will use the same platform for the new 200 and Jeep Compass, can someone explain to me what is so innovative about Sergio’s plans? This is the same thing Chrysler did with the Dodge Caliber, will they continue on to a new Journey as well? Ford will put a manual in the Titanium Focus, it still WILL NOT sell. Americans unlike Europeans will not pay a premium price for a small car, specially an American brand.

  14. tj Martin Says:

    ” It’s cheaper for them to make it here and ship it out than it is to make it in Japan for export to other countries ”

    Really ?

    is that why the glass and steel for the twin towers memorial and building in NYC is being manufactured in …

    CHINA ?


    #12 – gee…. never knew chicken little read the FACTs and acted accordingly

    far as i know , the CL story was about panic monger who never took the time or effort to examine the FACTs

    must be a different CL story . either that or you’re buying into the rhetoric and propaganda everyone’s trying to feed you

  15. Aliisdad Says:

    It is great to see that manufacturing is moving to the United States, but the focus had better be quality or its all over…It should take about 2-5 years to see if the products hold up (Think US cars; they look great at first, but things start coming loose and fail, and go it goes bad from there due to quality iaues)…In the past, labor and shipping costs determined the loss of US manufacturing, but this time it will be due to quality if they fail…
    #6: I am glad that someone is positive about restoring American manufacturing be it GOP candidates or anyone else how wants to change the economic track that we seem to be on…
    We have to rebuild our manufacturing base to remain a successful, competetive country…
    #9: FOX2 is just a local television station who happens to use the FOX network; their local news has nothing to do directly with FOX or its opinions…By the way, there are a number of FOX networks, only one of which is the FOX News Network which I think you are thinking of when you speak of Feldman’s “bias”…

  16. tj Martin Says:


    and lets not forget that chinese built transmission FORD IS PUTTING in the new mustang thats failing left and right and is the brunt of sooooo much critisism …..

    cause its so much cheaper to build it here

  17. tj Martin Says:



  18. tj Martin Says:

    @ 15 BWTM

    though it doesn’t really matter as mr feldman is still practicing the ‘ MUSHROOM PRINCIPAL ‘ with his opinions and information he’s presenting here .

    mushroom principal = keeping us in the dark and feeding us a ton of manure

  19. tj Martin Says:


    in the UK it was called ” Selling England by the Pound ” when what’s happening with us ( the US ) today was going on with them in the 60′s 70′s

    but …. at least they SOLD it .

    we’re GIVING AWAY THE USA by the boat and truckloads by both parties ….. and have been for the last 20 years

    with the media on both sides of the fence being totally compliant

  20. Aliisdad Says:

    #18: But look at the positive side; at least it is not Jim Hall, DeLorenzo, or a woman who thinks the Elantra should be Car of the Year!!

  21. Aliisdad Says:

    #19 Again: Yeeeessss, that is absolutely right on!!

  22. C-Tech Says:

    One of the major issues in the quality mix which will need to be addressed is American-style management. Will the managers and supervisors at these plants look at what can be gained in the short-term with little or no investment vs. long-term gain with some investment or major change? This goes beyond unions, Mexico, or right-to-work rules.

  23. Lex Says:

    The Presidents State of the Union Address was peppered with plenty of nationalistic catch phrases. These were to inspire corporations to create American Jobs. The Real Truth is Big Business will do whatever makes more Dollars and Sense (Cents)for them, and to satisfy those PIGS (Purely Insensitive Greedy Slimes) on Wall Street! NAFTA is killing the American Worker.
    The Auto Industry is taking full advantage of the situation.

    Wait until Communist Chinese kicks the American and European Auto and Manufacturing Companies out of their country after they have invested billions of western dollars in China. These guys will cry foul and come running home for another bailout from the Fed or IMF.

    Marchionne is only interested in saving FIAT (Europe) and Jeep (Everywhere Else). He knows these two brands hooked together will result in a positive bottom line.

    Hyundai seems to be the only OEM with a laser beam focus (not a Ford) on what the consumer wants and expects. Great job John Krafcik!

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    #23 that will take a while longer, they still have not been able to successfully copy the Western standards for quality and precision manufacturing, I guess they’re not as smart as some people around here give them credit for.

  25. HtG Says:

    Hey Murray, I agree with what C-Tech just said in 22. There are so many variables that go into making a quality car, how can blame be aimed at the people assembling them? Look at Ford’s problems with the double clutch tranny and the SYNC; I didn’t hear anyone blaming the workers. And do you hear about quality issues with BMWs and MBs made here? We heard an exec from VW on AAH saying how carefully they were making cars in the new Tennessee plant. I think everyone gets it, quality is like oxygen. You better have it all the time.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are U.S. car plants, both union and non-union that produce good quality. There are non-union plants that produce mediocre quality.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new Nissan plant may be producing cars largely for “local consumption.” They have built a lot of Sentras there for years, which is why nearly all of the taxis in Guadalajara were Sentras when I was there a few years ago.

  28. C-Tech Says:

    The fact that Chrysler will be hiring 400-500 temporary workers is a good idea. For Chrysler, if things don’t work out, they are not committed to the all the benefits, etc. of laying off full-time hires. The plant manager and supervisors get to look at these people as “try-outs” for full-time positions if things go well (you get to sort out the slackers, and troublemakers BEFORE they get union protection, which is also good for the UAW – they get better members). If I got the chance at getting a full-time position through a temp tryout, then I’m working my butt off trying to hold on to that position – this can translate into better quality If management handles things correctly (IMHO).

  29. Aliisdad Says:

    …And another “right on” goes to #23, but I am not sure about the FIAT/Jeep idea since FIAT already produces very “Jeep-like” vehicles that we just don’t see in the US…In fact, one which I think may be called the Compagnola, looks like a combination or a Jeep Wrangler and an old Toyota Land Cruiser…

  30. tj Martin Says:

    @ Aliisdad

    # 20 … too funny .. i needed that :o

    #21 …… molto grazie

    # 29 …. got bad news my friend . marchionne is already planning for those FIAT jeeps to underpin the JEEP Wrangler and its variations FYI that FIAT jeep is a real piece of _____ think soviet bloc technology with a FIAT badge on its snout . i wouldn’t let my worst enemy drive one


    JEEZE – looking over the majority of comments today it sure as heck warms my heart to see that ;


    damn !!!!! maybe there is some hope for this country after all

    sure as heck hope so ;-)

  31. tj Martin Says:


    not too familiar with WALMARTs MO when it comes to hiring part time/ temporary now are you .

    lets put it this way …. chrysler isn’t doing so out of the goodness of their hearts … but rather so’s they can pay them less ( no benefits/health insurance ) and dump them before they qualify for any benefits

    to put it another way … you’d be a damn fool to take one of those temporary /part time jobs unless you’re a HS/collage student looking for summer work or abjectly desperate

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Campagnola was made for Mussolini’s army. OK, it’s not that old, but has been gone since the late 80′s or so.

    Regarding Chrysler temp workers, the ones at the transmission plants where I’m from are hired under the auspices of the union. Some of them have been hired full time. At the Illinois plant, it will depend on whether they need more employees long-term.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Can someone please point out where the trunk is in that Dodge Dart?, I cannot see it in the photos I’ve seen!

  34. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    trunk ???? you wanna trunk ???? 4 wheels , an engine guaranteed to go bust in 30,000 miles or less and a hyundai transmission that’ll follow suit aren’t enough for you and you’re asking for a ……. a ……

    trunk ?


    @ kit gerhart – best be reading the articles on the terms marchionne is putting forth for those temp and part time jobs before joining the cheering section

    cause things have changed under stronzetto’s watch and as REM so aptly put it ;

    ” its the end of the world as we know it ”

    or in LZ’s words

    ” what was and what will never be ”

    seems stronzetto is introducing his italian strong arm tactics here in the US , that he’s used for the last two years to beat the _____ out of the italian auto workers

  35. tj Martin Says:

    # 32

    the Sedici is the new fiat suv which is a hungarian built suzuki sx4 which takes any quality the sx4 might of had right down the tubes , turning it into a real POS and again i wouldn’t let my worst enemy drive one

    and that is what stronzetto is planning on basing the new wrangler on . nice … ehhh. a hungarian built , japanese unibody toy car as the basis of the wrangler

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    #34 TJ my point is that it should have been a hatch, just like the Caliber was, and after all it is supposed to be its replacement. The Caliber did not have much of an impact, this one should have less.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I liked the Caliber’s being a hatchback, but it got bad gas mileage, had a crappy interior, and was generally “rough around the edges.” The Dart will be a sedan, because, for reasons I don’t understand, Americans buy sedans rather than hatchbacks. A prime example is that, in the U.S., the VW Jetta outsells the the better Golf several times over.

  38. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    Are these Chrysler employees that are going to build a maserati in detroit the same ones who were smoking dope and drinking on there lunch breaks?

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t get the preference for sedans either, perhaps it’s the fear of having stuff stolen from a visible hatch as opposed to the more concealed trunk, plus glass is easier to break than a lock.

  40. HtG Says:

    What, no AAH tonight? But I’m all lubed up.

    38 Pedro, I bought my Civic coupe despite wanting a hatchback.

  41. C-Tech Says:

    #37 and #38
    I think I read somewhere that there was a study of why hatchbacks (which I agree with you guys are more functional) were not popular with U.S. buyers. The reasons given were that hatchbacks were acceptable in the lower cost cars, however hatchbacks are not acceptable as the price rises. Thus people associated “hatchback” with “cheap”.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I’d heard that too. Small, and, thus “cheap” cars have been hatchbacks for a long time, because a hatchback is the obvious way to make a small car. It is also a good way to make a larger car, such as the Malibu Maxx I had for a few years, but, for whatever reason, Americans don’t understand.

    BTW, all of the hatchbacks I’ve had, even an ’81 Citation, had a panel to keep cargo out of sight. I always remove those panels as soon as I get the car, because I have been in “low crime” areas, but I understand the car companies’ providing them.

  43. Autos101 Says:




    2. New Prius V hatchback provides excellent efficiency and utility

    “YONKERS, NY – The BMW X3, which originated the compact luxury SUV market, handily outpointed its European rival, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, in a head-to-head match up.

    While the X3 scored an 80 in CR’s road test, the Evoque received a Road Test score of 60, scoring near the bottom of its category. The X3 is one of the few SUVs that feels sporty to drive, and a new eight-speed automatic transmission helps bring its fuel economy to a respectable 22 mpg overall on premium fuel.

    With its unique styling, the new Evoque turns heads, but it has many shortcomings, including a cramped cabin, stiff ride, artificial-feeling steering, and troubling emergency handling.

    The new Prius V, also included in the March issue, received an Excellent road test score. No other vehicle comes close to its blend of versatility and fuel economy. This wagon version of the Prius hatchback has a big cargo area and roomy rear seat yet still returns 41 mpg overall.

    “The X3 does an impressive job of combining sporty handling, a lavish interior, and surprising fuel economy,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT. “Although the stylish Evoque has won lots of accolades in the press, including North American Truck of the Year, our more thorough testing reveals quite a few flaws.”

  44. Autos101 Says:

    Correction”Airhead” above, not “Airjead”, such as the pinhead Auto Journalists that chose

    the Evoque,

    the FOrd Transit… Connect,

    the… Stupid, Stupid Volt,

    and other ATROCITIES as … car and truck of the year!!!


  45. Autos101 Says:



  46. Autos101 Says:

    I’m curious how far behind the Awesome Prius V will the cute but as yet unknown Ford Focus C-max hybrid, its most direct competitor, be in overall MPG (REAL not EPA!)

  47. Autos101 Says:


    here is the full story

  48. Autos101 Says:

    “The Prius V is an impressive combination of utility and efficiency. Its ride is composed and compliant. Handling is sound but not agile; the steering offers scant feedback. The Toyota Prius V Three ($28,217 MSRP as tested), is powered by a 134-hp, 1.8-liter-four-cylinder engine with electric assist. Acceleration is loud and leisurely but fuel economy is impressive with test results of 33 mpg in city driving and 47 mpg on the highway. At 41 mpg, overall fuel economy is three less than the regular Prius hatchback. The continuously variable transmission is smooth. Transitions between gas and battery-only power are nearly seamless; the car can be driven on low speeds on electric alone. The interior is nicely finished but not luxurious. Rear seat and cargo room are both generous. Visibility is better out of the large windows of the Prius V than out of the regular Prius hatchback.”


  49. Autos101 Says:

    “EnerDel battery firm that won DOE grant files for bankruptcy

    A New York-based battery company that won a $118 million federal grant filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday — as scrutiny in Congress over the Obama administration’s green investments has grown.”


  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Prius V costs about $3K more than a regular Prius, but for people who could sometimes use some extra room, it would be worth it.

    I was surprised how close the MPG was between the two. The V actually got one mpg better in the rather severe “city” test.

    If you do a lot of highway driving and don’t need the room, the non-V makes more sense, getting 55 mph in CR’s highway test, vs. 47 for the V, but both are great numbers. The gap would widen at higher speed, though.

    I wish CR would do a 75 mph gas mileage test to simulate driving on the interstate, but the one they currently do is only 65 mph.

  51. tj Martin Says:


    well this one handed typing business has worn thin , so i’ll be leaving the rebuttals to what i have no doubt will be mr feldman’s ‘ MUSHROOM PRINCIPAL ‘ response to those of us here with EYES TO SEE AND EARS TO HEAR comments .

    so its in your hands lex , aliisdad , htg , 101 ( wth were you yesterday when your presence was needed ) etc to make the stand that the ENTIRE us auto consumer is NOT buying into the BS that the president , manufactures and media is attempting to shove down our throats

    MAKE ME PROUD gentlemen .

    and remember THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY IS DEPENDENT on folks that know the facts and deal with them accordingly
    NOT a deluded and propagandized mass following lock step and obediently to the TUNE the manufactures , politicians etc with the HELP of the media would have us all dance to

    LIVE FREE ……….. or die the death of compliance , watching all you believed in collapse before your very eyes .

    happened to ROME


    and again to the BRITISH EMPIRE

    and it can also happen to us ;-)

  52. HtG Says:

    49 shouldn’t they also simulate driving behind another car at 75mph for some periods, since that’s what’s going to happen in the real world?

    BTW, I’m going to DC for the Autoshow this weekend, at least that’s what my nephew thinks. So I’ll get a chance to see how the industry presents itself to the Worthies Among Us.

  53. Autos101 Says:

    #49 I was surprised how close the MPG was between the two. The V actually got one mpg better in the rather severe “city” test.

    the surprising above is that it got one more mile in the city, I can think of no reason to explain it other than saying they get THE SAME MPG city, and that the 1 MPG difference is UTTERLY INSIGNIFICANT, Statistically speaking.

    Although, before I saw the data, I would expect the heavier V to have 2 mpg LESS in Pure City driving.

    Getting 47 highway is not surprising at all. In fact, a longer car with aero shape should, other things being equal, be more aerodynamic than a shorter car, at constant highway runs.

    I remember drawings even as far back as my highschool physics courses, where a sphere of a given radius in a wind tunnel would have far, far worse air resistance than a teardrop shape that looked like a half sphere up front, but had a long tail in the back.

  54. Autos101 Says:

    In a few days, (next Wed or at most Thu) we will learn the exact Prius V sales for January. I predict as HUGE sales as it had in Nov and Dec. They are also saturating TV with really GOOD Ads about the V, so consumer awareness should be high.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d blame test variability for the one mpg difference, and in the opposite direction from what would be expected. The V is about 150 pounds heavier. I saw somewhere that the cd of the V is a little higher, like .27 vs .25 for the regular Prius. That, along with the V’s being a little wider and taller would hurt high speed mpg. Still, it’s a great car, and the interior is a little nicer than in my car.

  56. Autos101 Says:


    as I said above, there is really no difference when it is only one mpg and it is over a large number (40+ MPG). They round the numbers to the nearest integer MPG anyway, so it is really noise. Still, I would expect the V to have 2 or so LESS MPG City.

  57. Autos101 Says:


    After months of not updating this site, I looked it up this morning and there is a ton of new reports of Hondas with more than 300,000 miles (silver star), 500,000 miles (gold star) and even a million-mile 35 yr old (red star)

  58. Autos101 Says:


    Fake Rollers for $39,000! Look great on the outside, interior not half bad either.

    The long limo is powered by a…4-cyl MITSU of all engines, making 136 HP!

    Can probably move the thing on flat or slightly downhill roads.

  59. tj Martin Says:



    read the FORD profits article

    the ‘ mushroom principal ‘ seems to be having little effect with the jalopnik crew

    carry on . please !!!!!!!!

  60. Autos101 Says:

    It’s not just Ford’s meager profits, today the entire US GDP for 2011 grew at a DISMAL (for a recvovery, as any economist worthy of his salt knows), pitiful 1.7%, for the entire year!

  61. Dave Says:

    American workers/high quality? It’s not hard to forget yesterday but habits are hard to break. Can you say 12 step? We probably need it.