Episode 814 – Hyundai Tops Dealer Survey, Luxury Sales in China Up, CARB Passes Strict Auto Rules

January 30th, 2012 at 11:45am

Runtime: 8:18

The National Automobile Dealers Association just released its latest Dealer Attitude Survey and for the third time in a row Hyundai topped the charts. Luxury sales in China skyrocketed last year. The California Air Resources Board approved new regulations that mandates that one out of every seven new cars sold in the state must be zero-emission by 2025. All that and more, plus a look at all the aerodynamic tweaks GM engineers made to the Chevy Malibu Eco.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily for January 30th. I hope you had a great weekend.

Certainly all of us motor-racing fanatics finally got over our withdrawal symptoms from not watching any races for the last couple of months. This weekend’s 24 hours of Daytona was an amazingly good race, lots of wheel-to-wheel battling, and when the checkered flag fell, Ford swept the top three positions in the DP prototype class, while Porsche swept the first three spots in GT.

It seems like every week a new customer-satisfaction survey pops up. We have a pretty good idea which brands consumers are pleased with, but what about dealers? Which automakers do they like best? Well, the NADA just released its latest “Dealer Attitude Survey.” This twice-yearly study polled nearly 15,000 dealerships across the country. It measures things like franchise value and automaker policy decisions. Add it all up and for the third time in a row Hyundai topped the charts. Subaru, Lexus, Kia and Mercedes-Benz rounded out the top-five spots. Sure wish they would release which automakers the dealers hate to do business with.

Car sales in China slowed down a lot last year, but that’s not the case for luxury cars. While the overall market grew by about 2.5 percent, the luxury segment rocketed up by 30 percent. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Audi, the top luxury brand in China, sold over 300,000 vehicles there and it hopes to top a million units within three years.

More good news for Chrysler. Next week the company is set to add some 1,600 workers at its Belvidere assembly plant to start building the 2013 Dodge Dart. The facility is also home to the Jeep Compass and Patriot. The hiring blitz has already started and the new crew will begin working sometime in July. Chrysler is adding shifts at other plants as demand for new cars starts to recover.

Selling cars in California just got more difficult. Last week the California Air Resources Board approved new mandates that one out of every seven new cars sold in the state must be zero-emission by 2025. The new rules say 1.4 million electric or hybrid cars must be on roads by that time. It also calls for a 75 percent reduction in smog-forming pollutants and a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. So why can California pass its own rules? That’s because the state started regulating emissions before the feds, and the Supreme Court grandfathered it in to make its own rules.

Here’s something that’s pretty cool. Artist Bo Lundvang is creating pictures of automobiles by rusting out pieces of sheet metal. Autoblog reports that he starts out with a 40-inch x 20-inch piece of sheet metal wrapped in white vinyl. He then cuts out the profile of the image, removes the negative and lets it rust. Once it’s to his liking, he seals it with several layers of clear coat to protect the piece of art. No prices are listed but you can click the link in today’s show notes to check out more of his work.

Coming up next, we’ll take a look at all the aerodynamic tweaks they made to the Chevy Malibu Eco.

The cheapest way to make a car get better fuel economy is to make it more aerodynamic. And with CAFE standards getting tougher all the time, now automakers are adding bits and pieces to improve aero that they pretty much ignored in the past. Let’s take a look at how GM engineers tweaked the Chevy Malibu Eco to come up with a coefficient of drag of only .29.

You know, aero numbers are like horsepower ratings. Unless the exact same test procedures are followed using the exact same equipment, the numbers can vary greatly. Some automakers are making aerodynamic claims for their cars that can be called fairly optimistic.

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And that wraps up this show. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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113 Comments to “Episode 814 – Hyundai Tops Dealer Survey, Luxury Sales in China Up, CARB Passes Strict Auto Rules”

  1. tj Martin Says:


    full story there please ALD

    the ‘ hiring blitz ‘ is in fact to hire PART TIME & TEMPORARY workers , so lets not make a mountain over an ant hill .

  2. tj Martin Says:


    yeah , like anyone with half a brain would take the opinions of any auto dealer seriously

    this story is fluff to the maximum degree and not worthy to be posted anywhere but the NADA website

  3. tj Martin Says:


    oh … they’re selling them alright .

    at the maximum possible discount imaginable ( CNBC , Bloomberg , AW , etc )

    the REAL question that you should be answering is ;

    Are the companies selling all those luxury cars in china making one solitary thin dime on the sales ?

    according to the financial pundits the answer is a resounding

    NO !!!!

  4. jesse Says:

    California is most certainly out of control with this emissions business!However,the natives out there might just be nuts enough to make these new rules happen!I will say that Hyundai,unlike GM, watches and sees the market and gets things out there fast!Their big problem right now is not having enough inventory…not a bad problem to have!

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Volkswagen Posts Record Profit on Audi’s Chinese Sales Gain


    “VW’s Chinese joint ventures, which aren’t included in the group’s operating profit, contributed an additional 557 million euros in first-quarter earnings.”

    That’s not bad, considering the percentage of total VW sales that come from China.

  6. HtG Says:

    I went to the DC autoshow this Saturday, and here are some notes.
    (this is not required reading)

    -The car manufacturers brought all the concepts and new cars to the show. As you entered the upper floor it was GM that held the upfront real estate, with Cadillac being hard up against the doors. XTS and ATS were there on pedestals, and there were presentations from Product Speicalists(PS), as you would imagine. Let me just say first, that all the cars I saw in the flesh at the show looked very different indeed from the photographs I’ve seen; you just have to get your own pair of eyes on them. XTS has a level of detail in exterior elements like the grill and lower rear valence which I thought communicated wealth and a rejection of cost cutting. The look is very upscale, and it’s easy to imagine CEOs like Jamie Dimon or Rex Tillerson getting out of them. One point the PS made was that the passenger doors ‘bow out’ for added room; interpret this as you will, Americans. ATS is a bit more understated than I expected. The front end looks great but isn’t as loud as CTS. The X and the A both have this understated feel compared to CTS. I sat in one Caddy, and was just quelling at the quality of the materials and the layout. You sit in a GM car, and it makes you feel like a rich man (seriously, all of them). Cadillac was also demonstrating its CUE system right up at the entrance, using an interior mock up demonstrated by a PS.

    -Buick. The Verano is more balanced and longer looking in life than in photos. The interior is great, again making you feel rich. Unfortunately, the Encore CUV made me laugh; it’s ridiculous looking, like something Jeremy Clarkson could use as a prop. Sorry.

    -Malibu has a strong upward pull visually, like a locomotive, and is shorter than I expected. You couldn’t sit in one, but the PS said one could order it now, and get delivery in a month and a half or so.

    -I got to see my future car, the Chevy Code130R. Gorgeous. It passed my smile test, which is when my face involuntarily forms a rictus upon seeing a pleasing shape. You know what I mean guys. (the other car that did this was the MB SL convertible. Hey, it’s involuntary!) This little red car was a delight to look at from any angle. You got my number, Mr. Welburn.

    -Dodge Dart. Here the photos told truth; the wheelbase is long enough that the car just looks off. I don’t read the car as a Dodge, except for the grill badge.

    -Lincoln. I am jerk, but let me explain. Ford/Lincoln had impressive and costly displays anchoring the north end of the convention floor. The Lincoln XKZ was on a rotating pedestal, on a raised white colored hard floor, framed by white wall background and ceiling, lit from multiple angles. It communicated that this car is a big deal. As I looked at the car I listened to people around me admiring it. Especially the brown color, which the PS called ‘bourbon.’ An interesting thing about the paint was watching it change tone as the car rotated. The shape of the body just below the beltline was curved in a way that caused light to brighten the paint as your eye moved up. This car is all refinement. Photography is just not up to the job. What I saw was a car that shared an overall shape and length with the Caddy XTS, but which spoke a totally different language. The XKZ is all subtlety; the creases and lines are achingly fine. Along the bottom of the car for its whole length there’s a narrow squared off channel about 1/8” wide; will it get into production? Who knows. But very fine creases in the metal flow from front to back, and even the name ‘LINCOLN’ on the tailgate is in very fine individual brushed aluminum letters. Still, that front grill? I looked at the car three separate times. I still don’t get it, but I won’t be abusive.

    -Ford Escape for 2013. Winner. This car looks great, you feel good just laying eyes on it. I sat behind a 6’4” man, and still had enough leg room.

    -Fusion. Looks just like the photos. One shape I saw all over the show on sedans was how rooflines flow back to the tailgate. ATS, XTS, XKZ, Fusion, Malibu all share a similar shape, which I guess is done for aerodynamic reasons. But the Audi A7 has pulled it off the best, to my eye. (It’s exactly like what the GM aero engineer was talking about today on ALD.)
    FIAT Abarth. The front and rear bumpers have been extended, and the car lowered 15mm, giving the car a meaner look. The front bumper had to be longer to accommodate an intercooler for the turbo. Downstairs at the show, FIAT had an area cordoned off for little test drives. There was a DJ spinning whatever, but also one of the “Laura Soave Bellas” in her white pantsuit, drawing people in to check out the cars.

    More on the lower floor of the show later.

  7. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    READ the link you posted

    those are ” earnings ” NOT profits the article is talking about

    big difference ! Business & Economics 101 you know ;-)

  8. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit


    a reminder also that VW-Audi does not reveal its actual PROFITS to the general public or it shareholders as if they did …… well …. lets just say the foundation would fall out from under them

  9. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    re; chevy code 130r

    say it aint so HtG . please …… say it aint so

    i’m soooooooo horribly disappointed . hmmph

    that settles it . you’re off the list , talented cuze or no talented cuze

  10. HtG Says:

    no no tj. no you don’t. Photos don’t capture this car at all. The sweep on the metal, the proportions, the details like how the rear of the roof line, extends about an inch over the baclight, it really works. This is one expressive car. You need to see it.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:


    “A company’s earnings are, quite simply, its profits.”

    Read more:


  12. tj Martin Says:


    in all honest I no longer see the point in them other than being a waste of money and an audience participation self congratulatory cheering section for the auto makers

    having gone to shows ( NY int , auto show ) back in the pre internet days when every corner revealed something new and even the ugly cars were a surprise vs today when 99% of everything at the shows has been revealed on one internet site or another IMHO all the joy and surprise has been removed with the auto shows having become a pay for view advertisement that in reality no longer holds any genuine sense of wonder to them

    anymore i no longer waste my money going to them or waste my time reading about them because in truth because of all the pre show internet they’ve all become


  13. tj Martin Says:

    # 11

    someday when you actually are capable of UNDERSTANDING business lingo we’ll continue this discussion , but for now its a waste of my good time and effort

    till then though EARNINGS are not PROFITS

    if my expenditures in fact exceed my EARNINGS i have in fact made no PROFITS !

  14. HtG Says:

    12 who says I spent money, tj? I go to see how the carcos are presenting themselves to the general buying public. Not just for myself. Like the time I was sitting in the new Escape as a young couple talked about how it would work for them. These are normal buyers. Ford was asking people to sign up for test drives, in return for which they would get a check for $50. Cadillac was also signing people up for test drives. Finally, photos don’t do it. You also need to sit in cars and feel them.

  15. HtG Says:

    12 cont’d; I’ll listen to people talking, see which displays are drawing people in. Listen to presentations. Talk to PS people to get info I shouldn’t(I won’t be posting some stuff I heard about one particular car because I think the guy talked too much)

  16. HtG Says:

    15 I think the guy “talked too much” because I confirmed with my maven what was public information already.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Read the effing article I linked, or any number of other info sources on the topic. The terms profit, “bottom line,” and earnings mean essentially the same thing.

    Revenue, sales, and income mean something different, which is the amount of money the company takes in, before considering cost of operation of the company. That is different from profit, but may be what you are thinking of.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Attn Californians: if you want to live in a place that still offers similar climate and freedom of choice as far as the state govt telling you what you can and cannot buy, move to sunny Florida, we got beaches, sunshine, Disney, stars, studios, drugs, hookers, (no mountains or deserts).

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, there are no “surprises” at car shows these days, but you get a chance to see some of the concepts and pre-production prototypes “in the flesh.”

    Also, at a show you can see, and at least sit in most cars on the market, without having to go to a bunch of dealerships.

  20. HtG Says:

    CARB. Let us bow our heads, and remember that CARB was created during the term of Governor Ronald Reagan. Amen.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …but we don’t have medicinal marijuana. Maybe that is what draws some people to California over Florida.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and the EPA was created during the Nixon administration. Nixon wasn’t all bad.

  23. Aliisdad Says:

    #6..Great report on the DC show…
    I loved the story that a person was not allowed to sit in the new Malibu; however, they were taking orders!!! It was interesting how you described the cars looking different in person than in the pictures…I have heard this before, but you did a good job of filling us in..Now, the big issue: You mentioned the Laura Soave Bellas; well, I miss her because she really seemed excited about FIAT, although she really didn’t have much to sell yet..She kinda reminded me of going to the state fair with your best friend’s cute sister…Hope she found a good new job where she is appreciated and it is actually possible to succeed…

  24. HtG Says:

    23 thx Aliisdad. Malibu had a thigh high glass wall around it, but the car was near the front of the hall, so it’s tough to miss. Doors were open so you could see inside. I swear, I think GM is doing some of the best interiors. They’re recognizably GM as well. They just make you feel wealthy.

  25. Lex Says:

    Where does Honda rank on this Dealer Attitude Survey? It seems that Hyundai has really stolen Honda’s MOJO.

    I was looking at the Hyundai i40 wagon which is offered in Europe. That vehicle would give the Toyota Venza a run for the money.

    My New Suggestion to Hyundai is to reintroduce the Kia Sedona Minivan as a Hyundai. It has a Southwestern name like Tucson, Santa Fe & Vera Cruz. Give the New Hyundai Sedona some of that Fluidic Design and offer AWD as an option. You will see sales of Odyssey, Sienna and Town & Country Plummet.

    Is Sergio Marchionne still considering dropping the Caravan nameplate and keeping only the Town & Country in the US? I would rather see him keep the Caravan nameplate since it is iconic and offering a Town & Country Edition as the top of the line option package on the Caravan.
    I wonder is Lee Iacocca is pleased with this decision to kill off the Caravan?

  26. 012345 Says:

    All I can say is that I wanted Scott Pruett to win, well; either him or Allan McNish. Those were some hard 24 hours.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit around So Fla we have “religious” gange or you can get the Mexican stuff, or the Colombian white coffee with extra caffeine, many choices available if you know where to look.#25 Toyota and Honda dealers both have corn cobs stuck up in some dark orifice somewhere, from personal experiences with both. (dealers, that is. Not orifices)

  28. C-Tech Says:

    @ #18
    Hey Pedro if they want mountains, they can head north to Georgia.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well C-Tech that is providing they don’t move to So Fla then the distance is kind of long, although Californians are used to driving long distances to get to different geographical locations. (boiled peanuts, anyone?)

  30. C-Tech Says:

    @ #6 Thanks for the auto show report. In Orlando we don’t get a real auto show, just auto show (very) lite.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    #30 ditto for the So Fla International car ripoff show, never any introductions, they’re just a bunch of dealers getting together to show off their new offerings. I stopped going years ago, you can’t even get close to the real nice cars.

  32. C-Tech Says:

    John, it would be great if your staff could get the entire list. I suspect Fiat, Audi, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, will be at the bottom of the list.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the report.

    It’s interesting that you thought the nose of the MKZ looked odd, even when seeing it “in person.” I thought it looked odd in the pictures, but Peter D. and others said they liked it in their reports. Of course, aesthetics is subjective.

    It will be interesting to see the production car when it arrives, and see if it has changed much from the show car.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect there are a lot of things that keep dealers happy, which we don’t see as customers. I suspect one area where Hyundai does well, is that they probably don’t force dealers to take more cars than they want. This has been a problem, almost forever, with many brands.

  35. Autos101 Says:

    aesthetics is subjective.



    The MINI is BEAUTIFUL. (at least from the outside).

    The Pontiac AZTEC is UGLY.

    YOU YOURSELF paid an arm and a leg over a yaris or aztec and bought a MINI.

    If it was NOT OBJECTIVELY BEAUTIFUL, it would not succeed in sales.

    People pay a TON extra to get a “GOT TO HAVE IT” FOX and NOTHING to get an ugly DOG like the Aztec.

    I watched a show on 30s Mercedes 540 and 500 cabrios. They fetched $4 million and $5 million each, DUE TO THEIR SHEER BREATHTAKING BEAUTY of lines.

    The Lincoln is a DAMNED DOG. The Grille was LUDICROUS in the old MKZ, and it still FLAKY silly in the new.

    Soaring eagles my foot.

  36. Autos101 Says:

    PS Re FLorida, Georgia etc

    No-No. Can’t stand the Humidity.

    CA would be pefrect if it was not so damned away, and if it was not populated by effing flakes and damned fools.

  37. Autos101 Says:

    far away

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, we know your opinion, but some people actually LIKE the looks of bustle back Sevilles, and Bangled BMW’s, and the new MKZ. Ask Peter D. about that one.

    Yeah, there are some cars, like Aztec that are almost universally considered ugly, but with cars, as other things, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know a couple people who absolutely love the appearance of ’59 Cadillacs, but, with their 8 feet or so of rear overhang, I’m guessing that you don’t.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    re” tastes and likes and dislikes: I used to like the Cutlass “Fastback” model from the late 70′s and people hated it because it looked like a hatch but it actually had a trunk, yet I preferred it over the notchback styling of the Malibu and Buick. I wouldn’t mind an X6 either.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I always thought the AMC Pacer looked ok, even though it is on many lists of “ugliest cars ever.” I liked those big windows.

  41. bob e K Says:

    ref to #1 tj martin…why are you so negative on everything positive ?

  42. HtG Says:

    DC auto show, Downstairs

    The Washington Convention Center has two main floors that run north/south. The lower floor is below the street surface, and the upper floor is a couple of flights up. The long axis of the building runs a few city blocks, there is only minimal street parking available, and a Metro stop serves the Center (take mass transit, please). Security is pretty discrete, but patrons with bags must go through a security check.

    -Toyota camped out at the entrance corner to the lower level. I saw several concept cars on display, plus the Lexus LF-LC. We know Toyota has become concerned with styling, and these concepts were all very swoopy, communicating the importance of design. The LF-LC is ravishing and dramatic. I could hardly believe that metal could be stretched and bent so far. The tumble home was also extreme. The car is a riot of movement, not just forward, but in every direction. Very sexual.

    -The Prius C was on the floor, but locked. I like little cars, but this is one well done example. It looks bigger than the Yaris, and doesn’t say I’m a hybrid as loudly as the other Priuses. (tj, the rear three quarter blind spot in the V will not please you)

    -Hyundai Azera. Home run. Inside and out this car looks upscale. The interior materials and shapes looked and felt like they were made by people who knew what they were doing. The outside is rich and understated, with the front and rear ends more subdued than the way the car is rendered in photos. Lots of people checking out Hyundais.

    -BMW. I looked at the front ends of the new 3 sedans, but please tell me why they are different. The styling details may have been intended for different buyers, but they just felt the same to me.

    -Subaru BRZ. It’s nicely executed and carries much of last year’s show car, even if the hood had to be bumped up for safety and the tumble home bent up a bit. Even though the car was cordoned off I talked my way into sitting in it; it’s very sports car purposeful in there, about the size of a miata, and the materials are muscular and correct, with great sight lines. The rear trunk opens up, and when the rear seat backs fold down, they go flat. It’s like a mini el camino back there. It was my impression that BRZ is aimed at Subaru customers who are empty nesters, just better not be fat.

    -Ferrari FF. In the words of Peter DeLorenzo, ‘Really?’ And the rear end looks like the shriveled rear end on an octogenarian dowager. Not a lot of people stopping to stare at either the FF or the California. The five year old boy I was with wasn’t much interested in the Ferraris; quote, “I’m not a Ferrari man.”

    -Porsche. No show, or did I miss you ehrgeizig a-holes?

    -Audi. I just watched people buzzing around these models. Lots of buzzing.

    Miscellany from the show.

    -When we saw John interviewing people last week he was downstairs and at the south end of the Center. Here is where some of the eco-efficient image of the show was showcased. I must report that not a lot of people were milling about either the cars or the Bosch display during the hours I was there.

    -Scion spotted us with three little boys, and a PS came over to give them each toy cars in the form of the iQ.

    -PBS had a tent and theatre area to entertain kids and parents, as you can guess not everyone is a car guy. In NY I usually see wives and girlfriends who have been dragged to the show, and they clearly look like they’re going to drop dead of boredom. We get this, don’t we gentlemen?

    -I spotted US Attorney General entering the show. He’s a tall dude, and if you look at him a little too long, you’ll catch one of his security detail starring back at you. Keep walking, dummy. I come up a little past his shoulder.

    -Wapo auto critic Warren Brown walked by at one point. He comes up a little passed my shoulder. Not a tall man.

    -The presentation given by the PS for the XTS was very professional and polished. This gal talked so fast and in high detail about the car for quite a while. I did notice some of the guys keeping an eye on her as well. I noticed in several presentations that when dimensions of the cars were given, they’d say something like, ‘the car has a 107.3” wheelbase.’ Like they were deliberately being precise and authoritative and knowledgeable. Still I got to play stump the PS on a few occasions. One wouldn’t answer a question directly, but sneaks may guess where I’ve given the gist.

    -It’s exhausting going to these things. I get why journalists only pay attention to the most interesting and newest things.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    let people buy directly from manufacturers online at a fixed price w/o all the BS from dealers. pick your options, colors etc and take delivery at a local dealer for a pre-arranged fee and get your financing directly from the bank or credit provider

  44. HtG Says:

    crxn, US AG Eric Holder

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    40 Pacer had a wide track and therefore a roomy interior for a small car, I suppose it also made it handle the road better than your typical small car at that time.

  46. RS Says:

    I wonder if the ‘Smoke is back under a new name??? Glad to see the new ‘Smoke is as flexible as the old one! Why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel?

  47. Aliisdad Says:

    The Pontiac Aztec really would not look so bad went sitting next to a lot of today’s models…I do think it does reflect some of today’s styling…While I think it was pretty awful, I have thought that it would probably actually fit in better today..

  48. tj Martin Says:

    @ # 41

    What part of PART TIME & TEMPORARY do you not comprehend ?

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    Fiat and Chrysler merger is also part time and temporary, just wait till people wake up from their passionate dream and smell the coffee, both Sergio and his smoke and mirrors freak show will go arrivederci, paisan.

  50. tj Martin Says:


    sorry , but to my eyes it looked like the south end of a north bound mule in a tutu

    even the ‘ fish bowl ‘ pacer was better looking and thats not saying much


    #17 let me ask you this kit . exactly how many companies , banks , manufactures do you or your family own and how many of those are you on the board of ?

    none ! right ?

    well as of 2012 my family still owns two , one of which is that CH bank i mention and i’m on the board of both

    therefore – earnings reported DO NOT reflect the profits gained . and with audi/bmw / m-b / bentley / ferrari et all offering upwards of 30% discounts in china … regardless of whether you believe the definition or not ( business ) there’s no way in hades audi or anyone else is making those numbers BW is reporting

    earnings is what one earned , whether before or after taxes/expenses etc . PROFIT is whats left over after the piper’s been paid his/her dues

    using the word ‘ earnings ‘ is how they buffalo investors into thinking the company is making more PROFIT than they actually are , thereby convincing said investors into plowing more money into the company

    nice strategy if you’re on the receiving end


    @ HtG – to show the extent of my disdain for the auto shows of present day … in 2011 Morgan sent me two free tickets for the geneva auto show with an ‘ associate ‘ offering to fly the mrs and i over in his private jet for free . i declined both offers

    hmmmmn . why is it Morgan would of sent tj two freebies . hmmmmn

  51. tj Martin Says:


    AMEN !

  52. tj Martin Says:

    59 cadillac – now THAT was a cadillac worthy of the name , especially after some top drawer hot rodder/customizer sinks his paws into one .

    my preference leaning towards the Hot Rod Caddy . Make it satin black w/parchment white interior , big stonkin v8 and some subtle yet cool mags and i’m all in

  53. tj Martin Says:


    in my opinion CA should be allowed to secede from the US , thereby creating the peoples republic of CA , and leave the rest of us the ______ alone !

    jeeze .. i disdained the place before i ever lived there , hated the place after living there ( in spite of making more $$$ than i’ll probably ever do again ) and now despise the place with a livid passion

    cause as Gallager so often has said ;

    ” CA is like a bowl of granola – what aint fruits and nuts is flakes ”

    never were truer words ever spoken 8)

  54. HtG Says:

    50 What did you like about the older shows, tj? I admit that I walk by most cars on the floor, as I’ve either seen them too much, or am just not at all interested in the segment. But really, I picked up some information that isn’t in public as far as I can tell. I like to talk to some of the PS people to get a feel for how they’re interacting with the public. But it’s unlikely I’ll go to the NY show after having seen DC. You can feel the boredom of the people working the show after many months.

  55. tj Martin Says:

    @ kit


    a simple example ;

    lets say you paid me $100 to cut your lawn in indiana ( lets pretend its a big lawn )

    therefore , according to the definition of the word – i just EARNED $100

    except …… what you don’t know is that it cost me $25 in gas to haul my gear to your house …. another $75 to fix the lawn mower that keeps breaking down …. and another $50 for my assistant to do the job cause my paws wrapped in bandages

    therefore – thought i EARNED $100 dollars … my profits are nil and in fact i’m in the hole $50

    e.g. EARNINGS DO NOT EQUAL PROFITS and its only the profits in the long run that count

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    So exactly how is the mandatory EV sale thing suppose to work if people refuse to buy an EV? Will the state buy the bulk of the EV’s, and if not enough EV’s are bought, then you cannot buy an ice car until some kind of quota is met, or will families have to one EV so the rest of the family can buy gas ones. If they really want to clean the environment, then target the real polluters.

  57. HtG Says:

    55 tj, here’s one for you. Sally Krawchek, the banker, used to be a bank stock analyst. As you know there’s lots of fun and games that can be played with a balance sheet at a bank with all manner of assets. She said she could tell when a banker was lying. Why? Because their lips were moving. Of course valuations can be stretched, one reason all the banks today don’t go boom, but how precisely does VW play around?

  58. Alex Kovnat Says:

    > Selling cars in California just
    > got more difficult. Last week the
    > California Air Resources Board
    > approved new mandates

    If by the grace of the almighty there was somehow a way for the federal government to put its foot down and say NO to California, it won’t be the first time that the federal government championed people as individuals against a tyrannical state government.

    As a 13 year old in 1962, 50 years ago this year, I remember how bigots like Strom Thurmond invoked the idea of “states rights” as justification for obnoxious racial segregation laws. At that time, there were laws down south that, among other things, prohibited blacks and whites from swimming in the same swimming pool. Those were state — not federal — laws. Now we see how California is using the idea of states rights to blackmail the rest of the country with threats to pass its own fuel economy laws if the U.S. government does not demand 50 MPG CAFE.

    “States rights” was a humbug 50 years ago and its just as big a humbug now.

  59. cwolf Says:

    All the aerodynamic stuff may aid mpg’s but don’t run over anything larger than a squirrel or you’ll find many pieces all over the road. The 3 people I know who have first hand experiences,including my son in the Mazda3,averaged to about $600-$800 in repairs! Of course you can save parts costs if you just pick-up the parts you need along the road. Thanks Michigan!

    I don’t doubt dealers are happy with Hyundai. Since a sizable hunk goes to an incorporated extended warranty,more or less,they would have no problem keeping the dealer happy.

  60. tj Martin Says:


    because nothing at all back then had been previewed anywhere making every nook , cranny and turn a surprise

    the chatzky’s were a whole lot better ( i’ve still got the ferrari MODULO model i got from the NY show one year )

    there was more room to move around

    back then it felt ‘ special ‘ and unique . now it feels ‘ tainted ‘ overly commercial , derivative and a bit …. cheap !

    thinking back to those days …… also the wild wild prototypes that’d show up back then vs the tame ‘ been there done that ‘ examples today

    even if the cars could be a bit OTT wacky , there was more a sense of innovativeness thats sadly missing from the cookie cutter schluff that shows up these days

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    Good news for Volt owners in Cali, new and only newly purchased Volts will be able to use the HOV lanes, not the ones already on the road because of some tinkering by GM on new Cali-bound Volts, they should change the HOV lanes to HOT lanes.

  62. HtG Says:

    57 tj, are you talking about off balance sheet accounting at VW? Are they even getting derivative contracts that hide costs? Is Goldman in the building? Uh oh, VW credit is where the bodies are?

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW all those under body front end plastic or rubber foils end up breaking off eventually.

  64. tj Martin Says:


    1) they never mention all the money its costing them for the porsche debacle

    2) they overstate their sales and earnings

    3 they conveniently omit the billions in warranty repairs as well as the loses incurred from bugatti and bentley , not to mention Skoda and SEAT .

    4 ) they neglect to mention the costs involved for doing business in china as well as the heavy discounting they must do to remain competitive there

    5) like ferrari all those racing ( LeMans DTM etc ) expenses never reach the ‘ public ‘ books ‘

    as well as more i cannot mention

  65. tj Martin Says:


    that as well

  66. HtG Says:

    60 Yeah, cars do look more similar today. Given safety and efficiency standards, how can that be avoided? But walking around the floor, I could see how the rear ends were truly similar, from XKZ to ATS. But Toyota had three concepts, and they were out there. But for people not so connected, or who don’t pay regular attention, the show is still pretty good.(I also left out of my report here something disappointing I saw in the cars of one car maker. I can’t bring myself to write it.)

  67. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    so … what ??? you think its only the GS and BoA crowd thats playing games with your head and possibly money ?

    heck it would be a much shorter list to lay out who isn;t playing games these days with the public books

    had a look at the total FORD picture yet this week ?

    talk about games , they’re playin em and playin em good

  68. cwolf Says:

    Like tj said in #1, 600 of those workers are temps. I suppose this would be an ideal way to weed out the dead wood before hiring full time. Then again,maybe its just a ploy to avoid paying for benifits. This type of doing business falls in line with another ploy created by the Casino industry on the east coast. They want to hire workers with a limited contract,something like 5yrs! Sounds great for a guy out of work,but I pity anyonne of them trying to get a loan or a line of credit. I wonder what gov’t party encouraged this idea? Duh!!!

  69. tj Martin Says:


    there you go again HtG starting something you’re unwilling to finish . grrrrrrrrrr

    honesly though HtG i’ve all but had it lately with the automotive industry as a whole . 98% smoke & mirrors w/cult of personality CEO’s , cars that in fact barely function as cars ( more like automotive jewelry ) and a media that for the most part is walking in lock step with each and every statement the manufactures put out regardless of how ludicrous it may be

  70. tj Martin Says:

    #68 and the rest are part time

  71. HtG Says:

    67 Yes, we’ve discussed the games being played at landesbanks in Germany. Pretty much all the books around the world are fictional, I don’t even get upset anymore when people start going on about free markets. We’re living in a big lie with the criminals safe to prance around like titans. You may want to check out the book ECONNED by Yves Smith, tj. She’s pretty clear minded.

  72. tj Martin Says:


    i think it was WALMART that started this hiring /firing trend or at least they’ve been the best so fat at implementing it

    fyi – thank once again Obamacins for this little maneuver that to remind you he had the gaul to brag about in his STATE of the ONION address last week .

    STATE of the ONION = no matter how many layers you pull away its still just more onion , stinks and makes you cry

    ahhh the song ” Stuck in the Middle ” ( Stealers Wheel ) resonates louder in my brain by the minute in this years election process

  73. HtG Says:

    69 sorry. I know.

  74. tj Martin Says:

    a musical diddy to sign of for the day on


  75. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    BWTM !!!!!

    you mentioned not being able to get e home loan or refinance on these temp and PT jobs chrysler is offering


    ahhhh remember those folks we bailed the living hell out of awhile ago ?

    well now they’re BETTING against anyone being able to refinance / get a new home loan and doing all in their power ( which is a LOT ) to stonewall any attempts by the likes of you and i to do so

    aint that nice ?

  76. cwolf Says:

    @ tj
    Did you read my query into the ATS platform? If so,what do you think? Ya know,the designer who aided my search noticed one vehicle utilizing just the rear license plate lights of a platform. Should it be said that that car is,then,of that platform?

  77. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    so whats your thoughts on # 75 ?

    ( ouch !!! damn hand ! )

  78. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    # 76

    where is it ?

  79. cwolf Says:

    tj,I did hear that story. Wow! Now lets just wait and see what happens next. We will soon learn how serious Obama is or who is bought and sold. Gotta rope?

  80. HtG Says:

    77 I’ll have to look at the Fannie thing later. The debacle hurts to read about.

  81. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    by my definition as well as most i talk to the ‘ platform ‘ is the base/foundation e.g. chassis … be it body on frame or unibody ( there’s still an entire section of a unibody that is in fact the ‘ frame ‘ or in modern lingo the platform )

  82. tj Martin Says:

    #80 buy a case of excedrin or better yet a good bottle afer you do

  83. cwolf Says:


    Jan 27 show. #24

  84. tj Martin Says:


    rope ? nahhhh i’m still waiting for pedro to announce the boat trip is on and come aboard

    ropes more effort than the situation deserves

  85. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    re; #24 1/27

    my source says that its the foundation e.g. platform e.g. frame from the opel gt / pontiac solstice/ saturn sky that is in fact been stretched and pulled just a tad to underpin the ATS . not a simple bit of nit picking as you postulated

    ( see #81 )

  86. tj Martin Says:

    paw is throbbing


  87. HtG Says:

    82 or try to contribute, and protect the young. And Gordon’s vodka

  88. HtG Says:

    the pithiness of Joseph Heller


  89. cwolf Says:

    No,tj, For the most part, the A-arms were borrowed from the saturn. The frame is mainly Holden because it accomodated front,rear and all wheel drive capabilities. This is why the future camero will be upon it. The a-arms with the Holden combo is what is supposed to make it 3 series competative. I don’t care what any car is derived from as long as it delivers what has been promised.

  90. T. Bejma Says:


    Thanks HtG, nice job on the Auto Show Review. Growing up in Detroit and then working in the auto industry my entire career, I go every year, but your review gave me a new view. I usually avoid the PS personnel because I figure they are just “reading the cue cards”.

    On a side note, was at GM Oshawa Assembly (Camaro, Impala, Regal, Equinox and now XTS) last week and got to get some close up seat time with the XTS. I have to echo your thoughts on that grille, it is very luxurious even up close. The interior is amazing as well. That large screen they call a guage cluster is spectacular. This definitely is NOT your grandfather’s Caddy! No opportunities in the near future to get to Lansing Grand River to see the ATS… Sorry cwolf… ;-)

  91. cwolf Says:


    Sure hope the ATS hits the mark and I would like to treat myself to one. My only concerns are the couple winter drives on the pike with rear drive. I could suffer with this. What I could not tolerate is having a vehicle with tires less that a 50 series. Anything less,to me, is low profile and just sucks after 18,000 miles are upon them. The cost is also a downer,as well as finding a good all-season tire.

  92. HtG Says:

    Hey TB, thx for your words. I value the PS people because I can hear what the carcos want to communicate, and I’m comfortable talking to them directly since they know a lot more stuff than what they say to the crowds. When I show them I know a little bit about the industry, they tend to open up a little; as you read above, maybe too much.

    That XTS really impressed me for its details. Like that lower rear valence had so many polished, black and colored pieces inlaid, that I thought it was Cadilllac telling buyers they were buying a true high premium car. It was respectful, like the customer was being honored. It’s just the vibe I get off GM.

  93. XA351GT Says:

    Okay can someone tell me exactly how California is going to force consumers to buy EVs??

    I attended the Philly Auto show on Sunday. Here’s some of my thoughts on what was there.

    Okay Caddy had a impressive display.

    Chevrolet not so much. They have all these new cars out or coming out ,so what did they load the floor with? Trucks and SUVs. Okay came anyone tell me again why they kept GMC if every other division is going to sell the same models with a different grille and/or taillight treatment?

    Toyota . Jesus I thought i was in a appliance store. Boring as hell. There is absolutley NOTHING to make you get excited about their products. Scion didn’t have the FRS , WTH it’s your biggest product launch of the brand and you don’t have it on display.

    Acura , hasn’t got the memo yet that their grilles are the worst in the business. No NSX except for a poster, WTF.

    Audi nothing exciting to me except the R8.

    Infinti ,next.

    Honda .see Toyota description.

    Subaru , had the BRZ , nice little coupe not much else to mention.

    Mazda , Oh boy this was is a goodie. The Miata has a 34K sticker price ,HUH???!! and better yet gets ONLY 28MPG highway. Are you kidding? a 4 cyl.sports car gets less gas mileage that a V8 Mustang ?? and costs as much. How much dope are they smoking over there?

    VW , another for you have to be freakin kidding me club. the Tiguan at $51K !!!! Right across the aisle was the SVT Raptor for $42K . VW is smoking what Mazda has.

    Buick , really liked the looks of the Regal GS . Buick is trying hard to move down the age bracket. Products like this may help.

    Lincoln, well not much of interest here ,but they had some of the best seats in the show.

    Ford , Well I’m biased ,but I honestly think they had the best overall display . They had a example of all the current models for sale as well as a copy of all the 2013s coming.

    Nissan, nothing stood out, didn’t see a GTR which is all they have ,well that and the 370Z that appeal to me.

    Dodge , had some really nice models on display , Challenger SRT8, Charger SRT8 Superbee, The Dart , I know I’m among the minority here ,but I liked it. My sister said it reminded her of the neon. Which may not be a bad thing as they sold a crap load of the back in the day.

    Chrysler , well the 300 doesn’t turn me on since they neutered it. I miss the agressive look of the previous model, 200 eh it was okay.

    Jeep , other than the SRT8 Grand Cherokee nothing to float my boat.

    Mini, had every model excpet it’s newest ,the coupe . They even had the upcoming 2 seat convertible ,but no coupe. Even the reps couldn’t explain it’s absence.

    Suzuki was a noi show, Hard to let people know your in business if you don’t come . Sign of them leaving the NA market?

    Mitsubishi, had the MiEV . Wow now I know what every golf course will have. A covered golf cart. Seriously this thing is hideous and looks like a a golf cart with a roof.

    Lotus had one car there the Evora .

    Lambo,Rolls Royce ,Aston Martin and Bentley had there displays of don’t you wish you could touch us there as always.

    Mercedes had the SLS AMG convertble very nice ,but at the price of a very nice home.

    Lexus had the LF-A stunning car at a price of 12.5 Camrys.

    Jaguar had some awesome cars. Remind me of supermodels , great to look at but high maintainence.

    Land Rover , the Evoque is everything they say it is . Stunning vehicle at a not to rediculous price. Can they be trusted not to break you in repair costs though?

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What did you think of the MINI 2 seat roadster? That one sounds interesting to me. I’m sure it would suit me with zero options.

  95. XA351GT Says:

    I thought it was pretty cool. Actually has a good bit of trunk space. That surprised me a bit. Overall i thought it was a pretty neat little car. Like all MINIs I’m sure it’s like a roller skate. My Sister had a JCW cooper and it was a beast for a small car.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    No, you earned the $100, minus the gas, minus the cost to get you and your equipment to my lawn, minus the cost to maintain your equipment, etc., etc. The $100 is revenue, or income from mowing the lawn, not profit or earnings. Your EARNINGS, the same as your PROFITS, were negative $50 in your example.

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding “platforms,” who gives a rat’s @$$? It’s the results that matter. In Europe, the BMW 3 series is sold as everything from a 1.6 liter, 116 hp diesel, to an M3. The 316d and the M3 are very different cars, built on the same platform. You people don’t seem to worry about that. Why the big issue with whatever minimal similarity there might be between the ATS and an Aussie car a few generations removed from the upcoming ATS?

  98. Autos101 Says:

    XA351GT Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Okay can someone tell me exactly how California is going to force consumers to buy EVs??

    That’s exactly what I thought when I heard the news.

    PS Don’t call them EVs, call them what they ARE, MORONIC, dirtiest of the dirty, COAL FIRED VEHICLES (CFVs)

  99. Autos101 Says:


    PRices are BOGUS!

    The most interesting piece of news is what I posted yesterday from AUTOBLOG which REVEALED what DEEP DISCOUNTS many makers had to offer last year to move their POS!

    JEEP was No 1 at 17% Off MSRP AVERAGE, and NISSAN JUNK was close at 15.7%!!!

    So, again, these prices are BOGUS and whoever can’t get at least 10% off most models, and 20%+ off the unpopular ones, is a damned fool.

  100. tj Martin Says:




  101. tj Martin Says:


    ” Regarding “platforms,” who gives a rat’s @$$? ”

    well kit … you should if you knew jack $h!^ about what makes a car function and what doesn’t

    because oh not so wise and little of knowledge ( when it comes to automotive engineering ) IT IS THE PLATFORM THAT DETERMINES THE HANDLING AND RIDE OF ANY VEHICLE !

    that being Engineering 101 for dummies BTW

    which is why a BMW behaves like a BMW no matter what Body BMW sticks on top … ditto M-B etc etc etc

    stick a maserati body on top of a JEEP GC platform and i don’t care how many different suspension bits etc they hang off it it’ll still HANDLE LIKE A JEEP GC

    so yeah smartless , it is the end result that’ll matter and the end result is determined BY THE PLATFORM YOU BASE IT ON

    haven’t you ever wondered , especially when PSA offered , in your more lucent automotive moments ( i assume even YOU must have one every now and again ) why it was the BMW spent so damn much money creating their own PLATFORM for the MINI vs just re-badging a PSA product that would of fit into their size etc needs ?

    wake up and smell REALITY there Kit cause your business and automotive acumen is more than a bit ‘ wanting ‘

    or at the very least , shut up , ask questions and learn a thing or two from those of us that do have said acumen instead of trying to pretend you know WTH you’re talking about

  102. tj Martin Says:


    Earning vs Profits

    To sum it up in a nutshell Kit

    when it comes to business you are totally and completely clueless and i hope to god no one takes any business advice from you !

    To Earn – what you get for the job done or sale made

    Profit – what is left over after subtracting your expenses from your EARNINGS . Look it up even in Webster’s there captain clueless

    and a reminder . i’m on the board for a bank who’s PROFITS annually are well into the nine figures and a manufacture who’s PROFITS exceed seven figures …. which really does qualify me as the expert and you as the blind outsider trying to make sense of a World you have ZERO understanding of

  103. tj Martin Says:

    Lessons are over – Schools Out

    I’m done trying to ‘ educate ‘ the likes of KG in the realities of business , automobiles and logic .

    so from here on , those choosing to remain ‘ vapor ware ‘ clueless internet bloggers , have at it . i’ll keep my conversations with those who might actually have a clue as to WTH they’re talking about and ignore the deaf dumb and blind amongst us

    but to those I’ll be ignoring from this point on , let me just say one more thing

    don’t come around crying when your investments fail , your car is a POS and your life is collapsing around you because of the multiple uninformed and clueless decisions you’ve made

    you had your opportunity to learn a thing or two , but allowed your deluded pride to get in the way

  104. tj Martin Says:

    Re-reading number 96 my god you really are utterly clueless Kit

    re; The BMW example

    you idiot . the whole damn point is that the M3 and the 318 ARe the same damn platform and the 318 is a terrific handling car with the M3 being an UPGRADE of the basic three series which is why people buy BMW’s of all engine sizes


    good lord can you possibly really be THAT ignorant Kit ?

    do you ACTUALLY have even a modicum of interest in automobiles ?

    is there any ASPECT of your existence that even approaches , never mind absorbs Critical Thinking ?

    well Kit …… i’m afraid the answer is quite obvious to the above questions

    a resounding and adamant ….. NO !

  105. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Clueless tj,
    1) By standard business definitions, earnings and profit mean essentially the same.

    2) Given your obsession with cars being P’s of S because of the platform they are built on, an M3 must be a POS because it is really and truly built on the same platform as the good, for its intended purpose, but truly underwhelming, 316d.

    3) The MINI has its own platform because BMW did not have a front drive platform, and wanted to develop one rather than “borrowing” something else. That’s understandable for various reasons.

  106. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was wrong on one thing in #96. The 316d has a 2.0 liter, 116 hp engine, not a 1.6 liter.

  107. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, tj, I’m sure you consider a Durango a POS, so an M-Class must also be a POS because it is on the same platform.

    Back to the ATS, why are you always so negative? You have special hatred for me, but you really aren’t willing to even give certain cars a chance, except your beloved GLK.

  108. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I saw a Volt on the road today in Merritt Island. It’s the first one I’ve seen in this area.

  109. HtG Says:


  110. HtG Says:


  111. HtG Says:


  112. HtG Says:


  113. HtG Says: