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Episode 816 – Chrysler Posts Profit, V2V Mandate Next Year?, Navistar Misses Emission Target

February 1st, 2012 at 11:23am

Runtime: 7:44

Chrysler posted its financial results for 2011, and the numbers look pretty good. Total revenue came to $55 billion, a 31 percent increase from the prior year. The head of the NHTSA says the agency will decide next year if it will impose regulations for vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Navistar, the maker of International trucks potentially faces some huge fines for selling heavy-duty diesel engines that do not meet emission standards. All that and more, plus John responds to your questions and comments in the “You Said It!” segment.

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This is Autoline Daily for the first day of February, and now the news.

CHRYSLER POSTS PROFIT
Chrysler posted its financial results for 2011, and the numbers look pretty good. Total revenue came to $55 billion, an impressive 31 percent increase from the prior year. But the net profit was not that impressive, only $183 million. Of course, that included paying down loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments six years early. The company’s operating profit, which is indicative of how well its core operations are going, shot up to $2 billion, which is two and a half times better than the year before.

CHRYSLER SALES SKYROCKET
And look for the financial picture to improve a lot at Chrysler this year. The company just reported sales for the U.S. market in January. They are up a staggering 44 percent versus a year ago. And in tomorrow’s show we’ll show you the lineup of new cars that Mopar is coming out with this year. So the good times keep on rolling.

OEMS EXPAND IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Despite all the political turmoil in the Middle East, automakers are investing in the region. According to Bloomberg, VW, Ford, Toyota and Renault are all planning on introducing new models there. VW expects its sales in the Middle East to grow 40 percent this year. Oil prices keep climbing, so governments are pumping money into their economies in an effort to create social stability. And when people have more money a lot of them tend to spend it on cars.

V2V MANDATE NEXT YEAR?
The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Strickland, says the agency will decide next year if it will impose regulations for vehicle-to-vehicle communication. According to the Detroit Free Press, NHTSA is finishing its pilot tests and will have enough information to decide if cars will be mandated to have the technology. Strickland says connected technology is the next major step in reducing traffic deaths and that it can help avoid up to 80 percent of possible crashes.

TESLA MODEL X TEASED
Tesla’s Model S sedan isn’t even available yet, but that’s not stopping the company from hyping its next release. The California-based automaker is set to reveal its latest creation in just a few short days. Building up to the unveil, a heavily silhouetted image of its Model X crossover appears on the latest event invites it sent out. As always, you can’t see squat in the teaser shot, but the front end looks fairly bulbous. Almost fish-like. I’d bet they just stretched a Model S sedan to make it a little taller and longer, but we shall see. We’ll have all the news that’s fit to broadcast next week, so sit tight.

NAVISTAR MISSES EMISSION TARGET
Navistar, the maker of International trucks potentially faces some HUGE fines for selling heavy-duty diesel engines that DO NOT meet emission standards. The U.S. EPA could force the company to pay as much as $2,000 for each engine it sold that misses the NOX target. The reason for the fine? Well, Navistar has run out of pollution credits – it’s a complicated situation – but more importantly, it bet on the wrong technology. It went with EGR, or an exhaust-gas recirculation after-treatment system, opposed to SCR, selective catalyst reduction. Competitors like Volvo and Daimler use SCR and they’re not facing any fines

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

YOU SAID IT!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

C-Tech saw our report on the Dealer Attitude Survey that listed which automakers the dealers like the best. I said wouldn’t it be great if they would publish which automakers the dealers hate the most. C-Tech says, “I suspect Fiat, Audi, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, will be at the bottom of the list.”

I’m not sure that Audi and Volkswagen dealers would be on the list. Their sales are soaring, which is not the case at the other brands you mention.

Danny Tumpaugh seems to have some deep reservations about the Maserati Kubang being built at the Jeep plant in Detroit. “Are these Chrysler employees that are going to build a Maserati in Detroit the same ones who were smoking dope and drinking on their lunch breaks?”

No, Danny, those idiots were fired.

juggernaut494 is incensed about JAC’s rip off of the Ford F-150. “Typical Chinese BS!! Ford isn’t going to do a damn thing about the blatant rip off of the F-150 because they don’t want to piss off the Chinese government. You go to bed with the Devil, you get burned!”

My bet is that Ford does go after JAC. It may not stop them in China, but it will likely stop them if they export those trucks to other countries.

Bagadaboats also weighed in on this issue. “I’m Chinese, but I think that the Chinese should stop copying stuff from other companies unlicensed.”

Bagadaboats, the problem is with the management of these companies. China is developing some pretty good car designers of its own and these companies should be unleashing their creativity instead of copying other companies’ designs.

1bentley4ever is puzzled by BMW’s announcement that it will have diesel engines in some of its M cars. “Diesel powered M cars? I think Hell has frozen over.”

Dude, haven’t you been watching what’s going on at the 24 Hours of LeMans? Diesel cars are the fastest ones in the field and have won the race for a number of years. It only makes sense to offer performance diesel cars to customers, and I bet they sell exceptionally well.

Thanks for all your letters and comments, we love getting them.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

80 Comments to “Episode 816 – Chrysler Posts Profit, V2V Mandate Next Year?, Navistar Misses Emission Target”

  1. Lex Says:

    I agree with what Aliisdad and Autos101 said yesterday on January 31st, 2012:

    “The best way to help the US auto industry would be to only purchase a car actually built in the United States regardless of manufacturer…”

    “This would help US citizens that work for the automakers, domestic or foreign. ANd the choice is quite wide, but there are segments of the industry where NO car is made in the US, either by the big 3 or the foreign makers.

    For example, flagship sedans- S class, 7 series, A8 are all made in Germany and the LS460 in Japan and the Indian Jag, I assume still in the UK.”

    The Obama Administration should listen to these guys regarding job creation. If Americans only purchased vehicles built in US Plants that would force the Domestic and Foreign OEM’s to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US. This would create autoworkers and part suppliers jobs. The only exception,in my opinion, would be our friends and neighbors to the north in Canada. Canada and the US should work more closely together to have a positive influence on both economies.

  2. tj Martin Says:

    DETROIT/CHRYSLERS ” SUCCESS ” STORY

    Once GM has paid back the American Tax Payer

    When FIAT actually PURCHASES Chrysler

    The moment FORD is no longer hobbling along on Government Guaranteed Loans ( because no Bank will lend them a dime without it )

    The very second that $23.77 Billion is back in the Governments account …

    THEN and only then , come talk to me about ” Profits ” Sales ” Success ” and Detroit’s ( cough ) ” Comeback ”

    Until then its just another round of the Three biggest Welfare recipients rambling on about their Delusions of Success and trying to snow the general public into believing their attempts at ‘ Magical ‘ Thinking

    nuff said , believe what you will

    ;-)

  3. tj Martin Says:

    # 1

    “The best way to help the US auto industry would be to only purchase a car actually built in the United States regardless of manufacturer…”

    Simple fact is we’ve ( American tax payers ) already paid for at least three cars each , from the ” American ” manufactures without ever purchasing one .

    The way I figure it they’ve gotten enough of my money and if they can’t become self sustaining on that amount …. well maybe like the UK it IS time to hang it up when it comes to American Auto Manufacturing

    Ever wonder why it is no venture capitalist , banks , investment speculators are willing to drop a dime on any of the Big Three along with the likes of TESLA and Fisker ?

    As the cous’s told me yesterday afternoon ;

    ” … because anyone with the money to invest in ANY automotive manufacture right now knows it would be throwing good money after bad … as all the auto makers
    .. with a couple of exceptions are bloated , top heavy , unproductive . slow to adapt Dinosaurs just waiting for extinction to catch up with them ”

    For some reason that did make me feel a lot better .

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    @tj – you are constantly complaining about the US manufacturers and usually the bailout so I assume you would complain just as much when the imports get huge government dollars to build factories in the US ….right? Do you complain about the huge tax dollars that are given to farmers also? Farmers meaning massive conglomerates like Monsanto. How about the oil industry they get a dollar or two and let’s talk about the banks and GE and…..
    I guess my point is there is nothing special about the big three getting a chunk of the pie that you have all paid for.

  5. C-Tech Says:

    Thanks John, you may be right about VW/Audi and their dealers. It is owners who seem to have trouble with their customer service.

  6. dcars Says:

    I met on very nice Chinese women who noted that we “Chinese” do copy products, but we also try to make it better.

  7. C-Tech Says:

    When will we ever see a Tesla or a Fisker on the street? I have seen a Volt, Prius (Priuses? Priuii?), and other hybrids, but are these other cars in mass poduction?

  8. dcars Says:

    The VW owners have a problem with customer service because when these cars break down the dealers/repair shops charge an enormous amount to repair these vehicles.

  9. C-Tech Says:

    Posing a question today: We had a devestating, massive crash due to fog and smoke on I-75 here in Florida recently. Do you think V2V could have helped avoid or reduce the severity of an accident like this?

  10. C-Tech Says:

    @ #8 It is true that VW/Audi repairs are expensive, but whether you are at a dealer or an independent shop, a fair amount of the expense are cost of the parts and the extra expertise required to repair them. I have heard owners complain about VW/Audi customer service under warranty which does not involve customer costs.

  11. dcars Says:

    I don’t doubt that Fiat can fix the problems that M&B gave Chrysler – namely the Caliber, 200, Compass, the Patriot, poor fleet fuel economy and and poor reliability ratings.
    It will be interesting to see Fiat/Chrysler in a few more years when the full effect of Fiat’s long range planning is evident.

  12. C-Tech Says:

    @ #11 Agreed!

  13. T. Bejma Says:

    Before tj starts spouting off that GM is going to go bankrupt next week because their January overall sales were down 6% from 2011 and they were one of the only OEM’s showing a decrease, there are some bright spots…

    “Chevrolet passenger car sales increased 13 percent. GM’s total passenger car sales increased 3 percent in January, led by a 30-percent increase in sales of fuel-efficient small and compact cars, which include the new Chevrolet Sonic, the consistently strong-selling Chevrolet Cruze and the new Buick Verano.

    In addition, the Buick LaCrosse, which now offers the 36-mpg highway eAssist powertrain as standard equipment, posted a 6 percent year-over-year increase, and the Chevrolet Camaro was up 20 percent.”

    See, we can build good small cars that people want to buy – IN THE USA!!

    And like “BUZZERD” said, we did it with A LOT less tax breaks than the transplants got…

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #4, 13,
    Mitch Daniels and company paid Honda a lot of money to build a plant in Indiana, but they didn’t do much to help out GM and Chrysler, who employ a lot more people in the state.

    The Indiana treasurer even spent a million or so dollars of tax payer money trying to kill the Chrysler/FIAT deal. If he had succeeded, it would have meant a loss of about 4000 jobs in my home town in Indiana.

  15. bob e K Says:

    On the money# 13 T.Bejma, & when the new Cadillac’s are available they will be big hits also….remember they are just taking orders now on the 2013 Malibu…A loyal GM fan

  16. dcars Says:

    #12 ….. I should mention that I doubt that Fiat will do anything with the reliability ratings!

  17. cwolf Says:

    Buzzard & Bejma: +1, spot on!

  18. tj Martin Says:

    ” Its the End of the World … As we Know It ”

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120201/CARNEWS/120209992

    Ferrari is next ;-)

    ——

    T.Bejima – Hate to tell ya there matey , but techinically speaking , GM has been bankrupt … oh for the decade or so .

    Bankrupt being defined as what you owe far and away exceeding what your total assets are worth ….. assuming …. you could sell those assets …. which GM couldn’t do if the fate of the Entire Country was dependent upon it … which … it might be at some point

    As to your cheerleader buddy in post # 15 thats a bet I’d take ( against it ) any day

    ——

    @ dcars – FYI – Get your story and history straight there . It was Chrysler that dragged Mercedes Benz’s quality down ( which then took M-B five years to recover from ) not the other way around .

    Hell Chrysler is STILL benefitting from their relationship with Benz with the new JEEP Grand Cherokee , their only sales Star at the moment … whereas M-B walked away with nothing but a load of headaches , debts and BS from the relationship

    Revisionist History may sound and feel awfully good … but reality will kick its tail every time !

    As far as FIAT fixing any reliability ratings that’d be like the Blind trying to lead the Blind . Fix It All The Time helping Chrysler the breakdown wonder dog . Thats funny !

  19. tj Martin Says:

    Oh look !!!! As I predicted .. all the American Band Stand cheerleaders coming to the fore in Defense of the poor little victim Big Three that have Bilked the American Tax Payer out of some $23.77 Billion Dollars in the last five years

    Ugh !

    Blind Patriotism rather than genuine Concern and Love for ones Country

    GK Chesterton had a saying . If you truly Love something or someone you’d be willing to tear it down if that was in that thing or persons best interest

    He also had a definition for Blind Patriotism’s adherents

    Look it up . It aint pretty !

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Hell Chrysler is STILL benefitting from their relationship with Benz with the new JEEP Grand Cherokee , their only sales Star at the moment …”

    Wrangler is also selling very well. The new engine has helped it a lot.

  21. cwolf Says:

    @ Auto:
    @ Auto101
    Why do/did the auto companies owe money to the UAW?

    ????

    Why are you asking me this question???

    It has NOTHING to do with what I wrote.

    Oh yes you did! Try reading your #59 post again.
    Gee,I thought a company issued bonds to raise capital and in return pay a dividend for its use! Now,answer the question- if ya have a clue! Hint: There is an very good answer.

  22. cwolf Says:

    Navistar might pay qite a bit of money in fines. I see a rather large number of them on the pike. The grill is a real eye catcher! For some reason they remind me of an older Diamond Reo that had a long tapered hood and similar grill. Cool semi,esp if it was equipt with a jake break. BRRRRRRRRRR!

  23. tj Martin Says:

    @4

    Tax dollars going to the Oil Companies keeps gas prices down ( but believe me the Oil Companies unlike the Big Three don’t NEED them to survive )

    Tax dollars going to farmers keeps Food Prices down ( and yes they do need it , but we NEED their food more )

    Gee ! Guess what ? I and every other American BENEFITS form those Tax Dollars being spent . I don’t like it , but I DO benefit

    So pray Good Sir and Do Tell

    WTH do I get for all the monies having been doled out to the Big Three ?????

    Lower prices ? In light of the fact that an equally equipped Cadillac SRX ( retail ) would cost me $15,000 more than the GLK ( retail not my discount ) I bought …. Not Hardly

    Jobs ? Oh yeah Jobs at a premium cost to each and every community that has those jobs in its area ( tax incentives payoffs tax abatements )

    Quality products ? Give me a Break .

    So again good Buzzard Sir

    WTH am I getting for my Tax Dollars from the Big Three other than Smoke & Mirrors , Lies and Garbage ?

  24. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Been previewing some of the Super Bowl car ads from around the ‘net’; pretty smart (by the manufacturers) previewing their ‘stuff’, as it is free advertising, and probably reaching people who aren’t going to watch the game.

  25. Alex Kovnat Says:

    > V2V MANDATE NEXT YEAR?

    As much as I am fascinated by this technology, my response to the above is NO.

    The auto industry has been subjected to far too much regulatory aggression as it is.

    Granted, it would be a stretch to say that everything that’s good for GM is also good for society, but sometimes the two are not in conflict. The logic of constantly mandating more and more doodads on your car and mine just to satisfy someone else’s emotional needs, is lost on me.

  26. tj Martin Says:

    # 20

    Gee and I wonder where that came from ( new V6 ) Couldn’t possibly be the same source as the ( urp ) Chrysler Hemi or the 2013 Viper platform now ……. could it ????

    Nahhhhhhh. Chisler created that from scratch

    And Frogs do Fly South for the Winter

  27. tj Martin Says:

    #21

    cwolf

    Do a cut and paste next time so’s 101 can’t try and deny anything you’re presenting here

  28. HtG Says:

    V2V. Watch out when the govt does a cost/benefit analysis. I deal a little with an agency, and this is a very sharp pair of scissors, indeed. I fail to see how cars will escape the broadening and deepening matrix of sensors, which will be deployed over the next several years. And the silicon is going to be cheap, even if the systems are costly. There will be such potential for accident and injury avoidance when cars can communicate over fast wireless and local bands, that you can see how benefits add up even before every car on the street is connected. Fog, standing water, black ice, emergency vehicles, can be relayed to cars. Either the driver or the on board computer can take action.

    Sigh. My simple Miata, with no ABS, only an LSD, will be quite the lone wolf. (female, of course)

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #26,
    If you are saying the Phoenix/Pentastar engine is partly the result of the MB connection, maybe it is. Whether it is or not makes no difference to me. The bottom line is that the new engine works very well, and, for the first time, Chrysler has a V-6 that is competitive with the rest.

  30. cwolf Says:

    tj, thx for the heads up. Maybe I’ll correct my err tomorrow,but “those guys” are’nt really worth a lot of my time.

    I have this inner feeling that we connect on so many issues,but I don’t share your views towards the Big3 or the bail out. Kinda sad really. But its OK to say we agree to disagree.
    I wish you could have seen the platform prints. They were so intertwined I could only smile. Can’t tell ya how many times I said to myself,WTF! I sure wish I had some knowledge your driving experience so I could better interprete the platforms beyond my structural knowledge. I am,though,most confident the ATS platform was chosen because it (or its predesesor) was initially designed to share the same characteristics of the 3 series. You might consider cheering the ATS on because only good things happen when a competitor comes into view. I will remain a supporter,but I think it comes with low profile tires,so I won’t be a buyer. Darn!

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #30,
    The ATS will probably be available with tires at least as “high” profile as 50 or 55 series. I suspect some of the optional setups might be very low profile, though.

  32. cwolf Says:

    Pedro:

    By the way Amigo, You Cubans only account for 1/3 of the Florida latino population! Of all places, I thought the percentages would be a majority! If Cubans dominate the Catholic faith perhaps it is understandable. Most Cubans,via media, are democrates,yes?

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding the BMW 3-series, they are losing something they had over everyone else by dropping that sweet, naturally aspirated in-line six.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #32,
    A majority of Cuban Americans are Republicans. A majority of other Hispanic Americans are Democrats.

  35. cwolf Says:

    Thanks Kit. Sounds like 50 series tires and perhaps 45′s. I doubt the 55 series,though, because they will not fit in with the design purpose. Maybe the ATS is an option for me after all! Also,to my pleasure, is that the 4 turbo gets a reported 32 hwy,but on high test. We will see if I am willing to overcome my scrooge habit.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    #34 correct, I’m independent, however. No party affiliation at all.

  37. HtG Says:

    cwolf, maybe this clip on ATS will give you a glimps of the ATS sidewall height. Start squinting at about 40 seconds in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT3XPVaV27w

  38. HtG Says:

    Also, Edmunds has this spec sheet.
    http://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/ats/2013/features-specs.html

    I see the tire spec is: P235/50R18 97V tires

  39. cwolf Says:

    HtG,I saw the same tire specs. The video? Well I watched all 3 segments several times. Tell me, how can I justify having a slick car like this and drive the hell out of it as a work car? I would feel a sense of guilt,for sure.

  40. HtG Says:

    fuck it. Enjoy yourself. I have two cars, and I don’t need it. But I love being in the Miata, and don’t regret any dollar I spend on it. These cars are only wasted on people who don’t like cars or driving. Besides, ATS has a much more subdued design language than CTS. It’s pretty low key in appearance.

  41. cwolf Says:

    You guys just might push me over the dedge! Thx.
    I’m stupid: Why are Cubans more republican? Going to bed. I’ll check in tomorrorow. Nite All!

  42. HtG Says:

    Repubs are perceived as more anti-Castro and anti-commie. Though I’d add that Truman implemented the Containment policy, and Kennedy took a few shots at old Fidel on his own watch.

  43. Mouhamad A. Naboulsi Says:

    The Cart before the horse. That’s what I think of V2V at this stage. Adding the cost to the new vehicles is of no value unless the government is going to force V2V on existing clunkers.

    With the state of the economy, shelling out for a partial solution so new car ownwers benefit from our clunckers is not a nice thing to ask people to do, not to mention forcing them.

    The other strange decision is delaying backup cameras, simple and proven technology, for couple of years, and now rushing this complex system? It does not make any sense.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    It was the Kennedy screw up of Bay of Pigs that has kept most Cubans away from the Democratic party and the GOP has capitalized on it, but people like me see through the BS. All GOP candidates go to Calle 8 and consume Cuban coffee and pastries and say “Castro no, Cuba si” and promise they will help bring down the Castros and nothing ever happens anyway, I remember when Obama got elected, my father-in-law said: ” Soon we will have Castro walking down Little Havana and this and that” all BS.

  45. HtG Says:

    Ah, Pedro. I remember it clearly when my father watched the communist dictatorship he had lived in go down. Watching CNN, we saw a part of the Romanian flag torn out among the crowds. It’s some moment.

    (sorry boys, not car related)

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #35,
    Yeah, it seems like 55 is kind of an odd ball aspect ratio for tires. My MINI has, them, 195-55×16, but there aren’t a lot of 55′s.

    Anyway, it looks like the 235-50R18 will be the “tallest” tires available OEM on the ATS. For someone wanting to buy a second set of wheels and tires for winter, 60 series 17 inch might be an option, but you’d have to check to see if they would fit over the brake calipers.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow, no one wrote in to say I am wrong about #44, incredible!

  48. Autos101 Says:

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120202/AUTO01/202020356/1148/AUTO01/Indiana-s-electric-vehicle-bust

    Boys will be boys, but here Damned Morons will be Damned Morons. An Elkhart, Indiana tiny Pure EV Coal Fired Vehicle Tragedy.

    Read and weep. AND they are inexcusable. FOrd had already made the blunder to buy and dump “Think”!

  49. Autos101 Says:

    #44 Makes sense. I never thought it was the BOPs specifically, I thought that it would be natural for people who see the utter failure of Communism in their island to be as staunch anti-communists as possible, and not some dumb fellow-trraveler softie Dem who secretly admires that clown Castro and his goons.

  50. Autos101 Says:

    The Stupid, Stupid Volt barely sold 600 (603) in january. Compare this pitiful # with the 60,000 they want to sell in 2012. Only theh “Dumb” sold less than that!

  51. Autos101 Says:

    Compare with the 11,555 Priuses sold in Jan 2012

  52. Autos101 Says:

    The dirty, moronic Coal-fired Short-range Leaf did no better than the failed Volt, about 650 sales in Jan 2012!

  53. HtG Says:

    Piling on, Revenge of the Electric Car is out on Dvd and available at Netflix. I know ti’s igniting the GLK for the ride into town. ;)

  54. Autos101 Says:

    #53 I wonder how many damned fools will waste their time to see this total pile of BS, and how many even bigger fools will shell out whatever they are asking for the DVD.

    (ps WHAT revenge on the electric car? The only revenge I see is the revenge of the (pure) Electric Car on the fools that believe in (pure)Electric Cars)

  55. Autos101 Says:

    #51 The 11,555 Priuses look even better compared to the measly, pale shadow of what they once were, Accord sales of 13,000 plus change!!!

  56. Autos101 Says:

    Oh, and BTW here is my guess on how the 603 Volt sales break down:

    400 to Obama’s Government Fleets
    200 to his Buddy Immelt’s GE fleets
    3 to below-winter temperature IQ private gullible buyers.

  57. Autos101 Says:

    In Jan 2012, Merc beat BMW in sales, and the very good C class, which used to sell 1/3 of what the 3 series sells, now is quite close, both are 6,000 plus change. But a new 3 class is coming and it is anybody’s guess how consumers will view the replacement of its excellent I-6s with more fuel efficient turbo 4s

  58. Autos101 Says:

    By com parison, the pitiful FRAUD the Lexus ES Camry Monkey sold less than 2,500 copies-compare to the well over 6,000 3s and over 6,000s C-classes sold.

  59. HtG Says:

    I’ll watch ‘Revenge’ just to see Ghosn and Lutz up close, and because Chris Payne makes good movies. It’ll be by Netflix though; now there’s a waste of money.(first I have to watch ‘Get Lowe’)

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #48,
    Elkhart, Indiana has a previous history with crude, electric “city cars.” In the 1970′s, such a machine was imported from Italy to the town, and sold as Elcar.

    Elkhart is a major center of RV and mobile home manufacturing, and these electric car projects seem to pop up when the RV business isn’t doing so well.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #57,
    While I’ve never owned one, I always liked 3- and 5-Series BMW’s because of their I-6. To a purist, an I-6 is the perfect engine, in that it is inherently smooth without the “band aids” required to make a V-6 smooth.

    Understandably, there are few I-6′s in cars any more, because they don’t package nearly as well as a V-6 the same size. Also, it is understandable that BMW is going to a turbo 4 as the base engine in the 3, and maybe in the 5. The turbo 4 will be more efficient, and I’m sure it will work very well. Unless it works REALLY WELL, though, I would expect the C-Class to overtake the 3-Series in U.S. sales. Some people actually buy the BMW for the engine, and that (base) engine is no longer part of the deal.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One group BMW will keep, though, is people who want manual transmissions. C-Class are now automatic-only in the U.S., according the MBUSA web site.

  63. T. Bejma Says:

    Cadillac SRX Sales only down 2% from the incentive heavy Jan 2011 numbers. The new engine is proving to be a success!

    And tj’s slamming of this vehicle? Not so successful…

    Oh, we also sold twice as many SRX’s as the Dodge Journey looking (and probably platform sharing) GLK… ;-)

  64. HtG Says:

    I found the interior of the new 3 impressive. Rich, understated, it felt like an executive office. The one I sat in had wood panels with fine inlaid wood details that looked handmade. The front end exterior has also lost all traces of C. Bangle. (but the current 3 is most like the 5 of the past, IMHO)

  65. T. Bejma Says:

    Here comes the slamming of all car buyers that think the SRX is better than the GLK by tj…

    Wait for it…

  66. HtG Says:

    63 now now TB. Warren Brown at WaPo also laid waste to the early SRX.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    T Bejma comparing the GLK to the Journey is like comparing a filet mignon to a Mc Donalds happy meal! Journey is built off the Dodge Caliber platform with lots of insulation and horrible brakes.

  68. Autos101 Says:

    #63

    GM was the only major maker that was down (6%) in Jan 12.

    And even tho Chevy was down a mere 1%,

    Both Cadillac and Buick were down 20-30% each!!!

  69. Autos101 Says:

    #66

    Warren Brown is a joke.

  70. Autos101 Says:

    #60

    Regardless, they should know the history of this specific Norwegian maker of tiny pure EVs, the “THink” ( what an ironic name!)

    Ford bought the stupid company that makes the think when it has $ to throw out the window, and took losses year after year until it could not take it any more and dumped it.

    Why did the Elkhart “Businessmen” “think” they would do any better and not much worse?

  71. Autos101 Says:

    #67 The GLK is an entry level SUV or crossover. Filet mignon is not an entry level steak, but probably at the very top.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The GLK is built more-or-less on the C-Class platform.

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    I was comparing the GLK to the Journey, despite the fact that a loaded Journey is only about $10 -15k less than the GLK the difference is like night and day.

  74. Autos101 Says:

    #72 Are you sure? Is the ML class built on the E-class? and the big GL off the S-class?

    I doubt the last is true.

  75. Autos101 Says:

    I have driven the previous C class and it seemed very cramped (even the driver’s seat). The current one looks much better and bigger, but I have not driven it. I seldom test drive anything these days.

  76. pedro fernandez Says:

    #72 it is correct, the Journey could have been better, if only they had not blessed it with inferior brakes and spongy suspension. The one thing you don’t skimp on is brakes, for Christ’s sake!

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #74,
    I’m not absolutely sure about the GLK/C-Class connection, but I’ve heard or read it in the past.

    Of what I’ve heard, the ML uses a platform designed for SUV’s, and shared with the new Grand Cherokee and Durango.

  78. Autos101 Says:

    “The one thing you don’t skimp on is brakes, for Christ’s sake!”

    One of my favorite cartoons is a huge color pic of a great white shark swimming around with a couple of empty (busted open) Metal Cages warped around his body. The cages have a logo reading:

    “Al’s Discount Shark Cages”

  79. Autos101 Says:

    “.the M-Class …In terms of size, it is slotted in between the smaller GLK-Class (based on the C-Class) and the larger GL-Class, with which it shares platforms…”

    So the GLK IS based on the C Class but the huge GL is based on the same platform as the M class, but it did not say if is based on the E-class platform.

  80. Marshall Says:

    So the NHTSA is considering mandating vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Personally I’d vote NO. Reason being even if they did, and every single new vehicle were so equipped, there already are approximately 250 million vehicles on the road without that technology. Unless all vehicles have it, then the system is useless.