Episode 829 – Paice Sues Hyundai-Kia, MINI Clubvan, Strong February Sales Expected

February 20th, 2012 at 11:30am

Runtime: 7:50

Hyundai and Kia are being sued for patent infringement with their hybrid technology in the Sonata and the Optima. Mini is showing off a utility version of the Clubman called the Clubvan before it premieres next month at the Geneva Motor Show. February car sales in the U.S. are expected to be near 1.1 million units, which translates to a SAAR of 14.3 million units. All that and more, plus a look at a sports car that’s coming out of Mexico called the Mastretta MXT.

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This is Autoline Daily for February 20th, as we kick off a new week of covering the latest news and developments in the global automotive industry.

Hyundai and Kia are being sued for patent infringement with their hybrid technology in the Sonata and the Optima. A company that Autoline Daily viewers should remember, Paice LLC, filed the lawsuit. Paice is seeking cash compensation and wants to prevent the companies from using the technology without permission. As you may remember back in 2010, Paice made millions on a settlement with Toyota after an eight-year battle for hybrid patent infringement. You can use the search engine on our website, Autoline.tv to find an interview I did with the executives at Paice some years ago.

Another day, another Mini. The premium small-car maker is set to premiere a new model at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Called the Clubvan, it’s a utility version of the Clubman. It features a partition behind the front seats and a flat floor stretching all the way back to its split rear doors. Based on the pictures, this thing looks production ready. But given Mini’s upscale reputation, is the Clubvan something it really needs in its lineup? Are buyers going to pay for a high-end work vehicle? The company is targeting fashion designers and gallery owners, not masons and general contractors, but still, wouldn’t a vehicle like a Ford Transit Connect be a more cost-effective option?

The learning curve for in-car navigation systems can be steep. Every manufacturer has its own interface, which can make things confusing. How do I change the map to make north up again? Things would be a lot easier if you could just use your smart phone. After all, you’re intimately familiar with how it works. Well, this is just what one company is doing. Devium has created a double-DIN receptacle for the iPhone 4 and 4S. Called the Dash, it allows drivers to access a variety of things on their phones — from maps to music and more. This project is being funded on Kickstarter. Units are expected to start shipping in June.

Car sales in the U.S. are expected to come in strong for February. Ward’s Auto is forecasting that sales will be near 1.1 million units this month. It predicts that will translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 14.3 million units, the highest since the economy crashed in 2008.

Speaking about that crash . . . one of the issues that had risen to the forefront in this years’ Republican primary for the Presidency of the United States is the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. Front runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are claiming that both automakers would have been better off it the government had not bailed them out. Even more perplexing is that they claim GM and Chrysler could have found the money to continue operations even if the government had not come to the rescue. I don’t know where those guys were living in 2008 and 2009, but everyone else on planet Earth knows those two companies collapsed because they couldn’t get any more money. In fact, the global credit market choked up, something that the world still has not yet recovered from. The proof that GM and Chrysler couldn’t get the money they needed is how Ford is being hailed as brilliant for going out and borrowing all the money it needed before the credit markets froze up. I wish the Republican candidates would get off this notion, but my guess is, the polls show that bashing the bailout plays well to their core constituencies.

Vamos amigos, andale, arriba! Coming up next, we’re going to take a look at a sports car that’s coming out of Mexico.

Mexico is a car-crazy country with a well-established automotive industry and has also produced some terrific racecar drivers. And now, a company called Mastretta is also trying to make Mexico known for its hand-built sports cars, with a model called the MXT.

The Mastretta is a pretty decently turned-out car. The development prototype I drove had a stumbly engine that wasn’t fully calibrated, but I could still appreciate how this thing could be a barrel of fun to drive, especially at a track. I wish these guys well, but the history of the auto industry is littered with little companies that tried to break into the market.

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

97 Comments to “Episode 829 – Paice Sues Hyundai-Kia, MINI Clubvan, Strong February Sales Expected”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I wish Paice well (against Hy/Kia, after all, they did all the developmental work and since they came away with a winner deserve to reap some rewards from their initial investment(s). Too many times, the innovators come away with the short end of the stick.

    Another Mini, well, it is said: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”. Really,(another one).

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    What? No hidden compartment to sneak in an illegal or two?

  3. Ed K Says:

    The Mastretta looks like an old Fiero with a body kit, not exactly something I would fork over $70K for no matter how fast it might feel.

  4. HtG Says:

    Ford? Brrrrrilllliant? Why? Because they went on a boutique car buying spree that they couldn’t manage? Because they perfected the unintended Explorer rollover PR SWAT team function? Because they hit the bankruptcy wall so hard in 2005, that they had to hock the Blue Oval? Because the Ford family got its O-ring so stretched at the thought of losing their controlling stake in the Ol’ Gazetteer’s wonder child? Because the credit bubble was still rising, so they could borrow so much?

    Here’s what brilliance is, John. It’s the ability to read what Mitt Romney has stated about the bailouts, and make any reasonable sense of it. I mean, talk about a college entrance exam essay. Does this guy secretly read Heideggar while Mrs. Romney is dozing? What else is he ‘reading?’

  5. tj Martin Says:

    MINI Clubvan

    ( back early so why not )

    Having owned and enjoyed a MINI ( Cooper ) I keep asking the question with each and every new model ….

    Just how far will be a step too far for BMW to finally dilute the MINI Brand into irrelevance ?

    They’ve already got their backs up against the wall with the MINI Countryman/BMW X1 duo in the EU and UK ( which is why we gots no X1 in the US of A ) and you just feel one more model may be one too many .



    @ Chuck Grenci – +1 – For the reasons you stated plus a host of others ( like unfair labor practices , price fixing , Xerox Machine designs , lying about their MPG etc etc etc )

    Lets hope H/K finally gets theirs !

  6. Ed K Says:

    John, what’s the straight scoop on the loans that the USG gave to GM and Chrysler? Have both companies truly paid them off or has it been fancy book keeping that lets them claim that? I’ve read that GM paid some cash and gave the USG the rest in stock, but haven’t heard how Chrysler paid theirs off. Thanks.

  7. HtG Says:

    Ah, tj. Did you see this?


    Everybody stand back, now.

  8. tj Martin Says:


    +1 for the most part . Brilliant wouldn’t be my descriptor of FORD either .By the Skin of their Teeth would be closer

    But then again , in comparison to the Life Support Twins ( GM & Chrysler ) FORD almost does comes out looking …….. brilliant … almost ……. OK ……. maybe not :(

    Read Santorum’s comments on the Bailouts ? Can’t stand the man . Wouldn’t vote for him if he was the last candidate standing … but have to agree with him on this one

    Book Recommend ( slightly off topic but not really )

    From the cuzes . Fiction with more truth than most Non Fiction contains .

    Damn frightening ( I’m half way thru ) as well .


    A MUST READ for anyone wanting to understand the ugly truth behind the Economy /Banking / Hedge Funds etc with the extra twist of a bit of a Spy/Mystery Novel

  9. tj Martin Says:

    Ed K

    Chrysler will now never pay back the Loans / Bailouts etc as they’re being handed over Lock , Stock and Barrel to FIAT for absolutely No Charge , all loans to be conveniently ‘ Forgotten’

    The chances of GM ever paying back the loans or Bailouts ?

    A Snowball has a better chances of surviving Death Valley in the middle of Summer

    e.g. Aint a gonna happen

  10. tj Martin Says:


    Lapo the next president of FIAT ?

    Brother is Autoblog forever Clueless .

    Lapo’s the Idiot Black Sheep of the family that God Forbid he ever gets his mitts on FIAT ( his brother will never allow that ) because he’ll bankrupt not only FIAT but anything/anyone even vaguely connected with the Company

    Lapo in truth needs to be restrained but big Bro hasn’t the time to do so what with his Hedge Funds , Publications tie ins etc etc .

    In truth neither want anything to do with Grand Pa’s company

    ( for those who do no know the Elkann’s are Agnelli’s only remaining heirs )

  11. tj Martin Says:

    Gotta finish unpacking so Hasta la Tuesday


  12. tj Martin Says:

    CAR-BQ Club

    A long time member adding its newest entrant to the club ;


    TJ’s Nomx Formal/Dress/Business Wear / Casual will be having a 20% off all Fire Extinguishers for any new or current Ferrari owner , but will be adding a 30% premium to all goods for any E/V- Hybrid owner wishing to insure his/her personal safety

    All Nomex wear 15% off for Presidents Day in honor of Ferraris’ newest entrant


    But seriously folks . How many is this over the last 14 months now ? 25 or so ???

    Houston we Have a Problem ( with all brands )

    FYI that GTSpirit site is worth a gander for the Exotic fans amongst us )

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I see the Clubvan as appealing more to empty nesters with a hobby, than for any kind of commercial use. To me, it fits the MINI brand a lot more than the Countryman. After all, they sold the “classic Mini” Clubman as a cargo vehicle.

  14. MJB Says:

    I don’t own an iPhone, but that Devium Dash radio unit looks like a good 1st-attempt at doing what many of us have complained that none of these current in-car info-tainment offerings do.

    I took a look at the Kickstarter page for this thing and it seems to be a stand-alone device – meaning it doesn’t tap into a cars existing video display (to make controlling iPhone functions easier). Great effort though.

    I’ll actually be launching a new product through Kickstarter myself in another month or so. Great platform.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Its all the engine coverings and under hood covers to make them engines compartments look so preeety and untouchable, they cannot release the heat plus they’re also making the undersides almost as sealed as the hoods for the sake of aerodynamics

  16. MJB Says:

    #13 – Yes. Like model railroaders and dog-walkers.

    Can you really fit any cargo of substance in the back of one of those things?

  17. buzzerd Says:

    devium dash looks interesting ……. except if you leave the country, like when I travel to the US, my i phone is basically a phone only, because the data side will not work on the US system. I assume it’s the same when Americans come to Canada or if we go to Mexico.
    Someone just needs to explain to Romney and Santorum that we had to bailout the two companies otherwise they would have been aborted!

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    John, I’m with you completely on the “bailouts.” There is no way the companies would have kept going without them, and the chaos in the supplier base would have wreaked havoc with the other car makers as well.

  19. HtG Says:

    12 FIRE!!!

    I just got a small fire extinguisher for the ’96 Miata. Fits nicely behind the passenger seat. I also have jumper cables and an old coat in the trunk.

    Can’t be sure what I’m hoping for, though.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG I will also be getting one for the ole Vibrolla, just in case all those fumes decide to get ignited on one of those super hot So Fla days.

  21. HtG Says:

    MINI. Do I hear the fleet sales manager walking down the hall? Just look at those Geek Squad Bugs on the road; it makes an imression. I also see Smarts being used as rolling advertisements for small businesses.

  22. MJB Says:


    Hmmmmmm… You may be onto something there, HtG. ClubVans would make more funtional Geek Squad mobiles than VW Beetles.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s not very tall, but a two seat Clubman would have maybe four feet of floor length. It depends on what you want to carry.

  24. dcars Says:

    As far as work vehicles go, sometimes common sense has nothing to do with the decision. We priced out a M&B Sprinter vs a cube van. The cube van was cheaper, roomier and had more utility. Yet the Sprinter is still on our shores.

  25. HtG Says:

    Do you see now, John? ;)

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What would make a good Geek Squad vehicle is the car they don’t sell, but should have made instead of that funny looking Coupe. That would be a basic MINI hatch, sans back seat.

  27. HtG Says:

    And I quote, from the Book of Lutz,

    “He’s playing the same song as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck,” said Bob Lutz, a former vice chairman for General Motors who said he was still so upset with Mr. Romney that he had cast his absentee ballot in Michigan for Rick Santorum.

    “I think all of us in the auto industry who knew what the situation was were profoundly disappointed and, I would say, angry,” Mr. Lutz said. “We all saw it for what it was, which was a political ploy to the right.”


  28. MJB Says:

    bare with me, i’m testing my emoticons here:

    :) ;) o) 0) %) !) @)

  29. MJB Says:

    Okay… 2 out of 7

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I measured the rear area of my MINI, and, based on the Clubman being 9 inches longer, and an inch or two taller than my car, it looks like the ClubVan should have about 52 inches of floor length, and 34 inches of floor to ceiling height, if they make the floor flat, with cubbies underneath. The floor-ceiling distance would be more, if they just take the back seats out and leave a “hole” area where they would normally be.

  31. dcars Says:

    Ok, admittedly, I’d prefer the mini utility vehicle to a Transit Connect, cube van or sprinter or any other work vehicle on the road today!

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If you don’t need much room…

    I suspect the main reason Sprinters are used rather than cube vans, is that they get a lot better fuel economy, especially in urban driving.

  33. Alisdad Says:

    The Mini Clubvan seems like a good idea to me since many businesses just need a small car to represent their business, yet they don’t carry very bulky or heavy loads (like my dad’s bakery for example)…The windowless sides also offer good “advertising” name space…
    That said, I am a real fan of the Transit Connect…In fact, I once considered buying one for a “camper” and fun van…I it drove great and had enough space for fishing poles, bikes, dog, etc..If it had been a diesel, I would have probably bought one..Still do think they are cool, and I don’t have a business use for it at all..Hopefully, we will see more and more of both of these small “vans” running around with business names on them..although they would be pretty fun vehicles for a couple that likes doing outdoor stuff, as well…
    Sometimes I have to worry about myself since I really do like small vans and station wagons…Maybe it was all of those trips in the ‘ole wagon as a child!!!!

  34. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB- re; #14

    Buy yourself a new Benz . Order up the iPhone iPad integration kit and you’ve got yourself the same thing this Devium company is claiming to have created

    Buy any new MINI ( 2011 and newer ) and the same comes standard .

    FYI is this what you were trying to do in # 28

    :o :( ;-) 8)

    @ HtG – WTH is Lutz le Putz prattling on about ?

    Santorum is tearing into the Bailouts at a level and speed that makes Mitt look like he was for them



    Bullocks !

    What in reality have we gained/maintained ?

    A few jobs ? Fact is the void would of been filled within 24 months had either Chrysler or GM gone down the tubes

    American built cars ?

    Seen the origins list on the VOLT ? Everything with the exception of the platform is sourced from overseas . Motor Tranny batteries electric motors etc . All stuffed into a $20K car for a mere $41K

    Repayment of the bailouts and loans ?

    More like a loss of 23.77 billion . with more losses on the way , GM & Chrysler begging for more / along with holding towns cities and communities for ransom in order to keep factories open ….

    ….. and GM vying for an additional $10K per unit government paid Rebate on each VOLT purchased

    Yeah we’ve gained so much . Bullocks again I say

    Pure – Unadulterated – Politically Manufactured BS

    The ONLY bailout we’ve benefitted less from was the Financial Institutions Bailout .


    AN EDUCATED WAGER/GUESS (gentleman’s wager )

    In less than 60 days after the 2012 Presidential Elections . Regardless of who wins or loses ;

    All of GM and Chryslers mystical ‘ Profits ‘ will suddenly and magically morph into extensive and devastating Loses

    As Randy Newman once sang ;

    ” I may be Wrong now …. But I don’t Think so ”


  35. dcars Says:

    #32, If it’s meant for long haul, maybe, but there is about $10k difference in price. That would take a pretty long time to recoup. In most cases they are short haul vehicles. The Sprinter is an overly expensive van and I doubt that it’s justified paying the premium for the M&B Star.

  36. tj Martin Says:

    MINI Clubvan

    An Opinion

    Honestly , unless you’re some Suburban Urban Portlandia Hipster business …. delivering what …. maybe organic cupcakes , Hemp T-shirts or maybe …… six packs of Micro Brew or lb bags of Stumptown Coffee you’d be an absolute fool to buy the Clubvan as a business vehicle

    Between the price of entry , lack of space for bulky items , cost of maintenance and repair as well as Fuel costs ( premium only please ) a Business vehicle the Clubvan is not

    Now the FORD Transit . A brilliant ” Business ” vehicle IMHO that FORD still is not doing nearly enough to market properly

    In conclusion though … lets face facts . BMW/MINI wasn’t even considering Businesses when they created the Clubvan .

    Its for the SUPH I mentioned as a personal statement , which in fact says god knows what about you for buying one


  37. Brett Says:

    I could see one of those Minis for a decorative hardware store. You couldn’t deliver shower enclosures, for sure, but you could easily deliver $20k worth of door hardware, tub/shower/bath/kitchen faucets, knobs and pulls in one run and make an impression with your upscale clients, too.

  38. W L Simpson Says:

    i wonder how many infringements Paice has committed.

  39. HtG Says:

    33 I’ll say a bit on the B’outs. There were bailouts going on all around the planet for years, and still are. It isn’t just carcos. I’m a little sketchy on one issue, which is the Credit Default Swaps that were at risk in a bankruptcy; understand that this is insurance without reserves on bonds which goes through all the big banks. We’re talking about 60-600 T trillion dollars of disruption. (This is one of the scary things happening with Greece now) Another key matter was DIP,debtor in possession financing,which not one bank had unless the US gave it to them. DIP is money a company uses while in BK.

    As far as Santorum/Romney I certainly don’t get the local politics, or whether Santorum even means to win in Michigan. I f I were him I’d be playing for the veep slot on the Romney ticket, so I’d try to be as ideologically true as possible.

  40. MJB Says:


    I’ll keep trying, I suppose… :( 8)

  41. MJB Says:

    Disco! Got a new one!

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The ClubVan may not make sense as a business vehicle, or much else, but unlike the Coupe or Countryman, it will be cheap to tool up. They won’t have to sell many for it to pay for itself.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, you have to use it a lot for a Sprinter to pay for itself.

    Also, if you don’t plan to put a lot of miles on it, highish mileage cube vans can be bought for next to nothing, and with normal maintenance, can go a lot of years at 5K miles a year.

    Lately, I’ve seen a few passenger minivans being used by painters, plumbers, etc. They can be bought at bargain prices and, with the seats removed, can carry quite a bit of stuff.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t need a devium dash. My phone sits just fine in the empty cup holder in my MINI, and the tray under the control console in my Prius.

    I guess the devium gadget is only for iPhones anyway, and I have an HTC Android.

  45. Jon M. Says:

    John, I think the question regarding the Mini Clubvan is whether there is sufficient demand for an upscale utility vehicle. Judging by the decals and special paint jobs on higher end vehicles I’ve seen, there are at least some businesses that might take the Clubvan. But are there enough of them so flush with cash that they’re willing to spend the extra money on a work vehicle? I hope for their sake that Mini at least did enough homework ahead of time to find out.

  46. Targaman Says:

    I for one love the idea of the Mini Clubvan, what a clever idea! In highschool I drove a 55 Chevy Panel with a corvette 327 V8. My friends and I could loead it up with surfboards and head to the beach or skis for the mountains. I think hotrodders will love an ecoomical sporty runabout like this. I also think many young people will love it for the ability to haul all their sporting goods and dogs and to protect them from prying eyes. I have never been interested in a Mini, but I now might be if they make it.

  47. Alex Kovnat Says:


    My take on this issue is, the Big 3 wouldn’t have had to be “bailed out” (Ford with non-government funds, GM and Chrysler with) had it not been for such stupid policies as requiring them to build unprofitable small cars in UAW union shop facilities, instead of importing them from Asian manufacturers with lower labor costs.

    In 1979, the conservative element of our society – whom I agree with on many issues – criticized the Chrysler loan guarantee. It has been my opinion that Chrysler would not have needed to be bailed out if it weren’t for the government denying them access to GM catalytic converter technology, which meant that cars like the Aspen/Volare had all kinds of problems meeting stringent emissions requirements without using cat converters. And I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Chrysler NEVER should have been compelled by law to build the unprofitable Omni/Horizon front wheel drive compact car in a union wage facility. They should have been allowed (not compelled, but allowed) to import all such cars from Japan or South Korea.

    I have been a Republican all my life, but am disappointed that guys like Mitt Romney fail to mention how government meddling pushed the Big 3 into situations where they had to be bailed out either with government or non-government money. And I’m equally disappointed that the Democrats give themselves a pat on the back for bailing out GM and Chrysler, but don’t mention that it was their incessant demands that made such bailouts necessary.

  48. MJB Says:

    I know one outfit that will likely do a fleet purchase of that Clubvan. Red Bull. I used to see several of their heavily modified Minis running around the streets of Metro Detroit.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If people buy a ClubVan rather than a regular Clubman, that might be a net loss for MINI, depending on the pricing. If they had sold a MINI like mine without the back seat for $200 less than my car cost, I probably would have bought mine without the back seat.

    I assume MINI has done some market research on this, thought I don’t know if they did very good market research on the Coupe. I’ve seen the same number of MINI Coupes on the road, as I’ve seen Volts, and people keeps saying Volts aren’t selling very well.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, at the Moto GP in Indy two years ago, they had MINIs with a Red Bull can on the top. The were kind of like miniature Weinermobiles, with Red Bull cans instead of weiners.

  51. cwolf Says:

    It does’nt take much to alter a mini to create the clubvan and to create another niche in the US market. Fact is, Mini need to increase its US sales beyond the 55-60K units/yr. because it knows they will loose sales over the year in Europe.

    Did I read someone said that within 24 months the void created by GM and Chry would have been filled? Someone must have inhaled too many jet fumes! Heck, it would have taken that long to discuse what paperwork was needed,another month for the bribe money to exchange hands,and a month more to discover there is’nt any cash to be loaned in the first place. Maybe M-B,or is that Nissan or Renault would have bought them out?…..Yeh right! Perhaps Hyundai could have replaced them. Hmmmm….At least they would’nt have to aper others for awhile!

  52. HtG Says:

    49 sorry, I can’t resist


  53. HtG Says:

    I wonder if the advantage Santorum has over Romney on the bailout question is that Romney may be seen as being merely expedient. That would fit the narrative about his conservative credentials.

  54. cwolf Says:

    HtG I think this is the second time you have one-up’d me. Good one!

  55. HtG Says:

    not even close cwolf. You should have heard me before.

  56. cwolf Says:

    @ Alex Covnat Re#45
    I’m not totally sold that this event in “79″ would have the effect on the situation as you believe.
    Ya know; I have an uncle who is a die-hard republican,like you,and though dropped on his head as a child, was able to retire early a rich man. It only goes to prove that one can be mentally challenged and still become wealthy.

  57. HtG Says:

    Some evening YouTube viewing. MotorTrend 2012 car of the year video. Some familiar faces, too.


    If you look around, you’ll also see the Truck of the Year video.

  58. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    Silly lupine ( :o )

    Nobody would of purchased either Chrysler or GM . Its their facilities they’d of snapped up in a country heart beat to met the demand for cars left void by GM/Chrysler’s absence …

    … under their own moniker …. not GM or Chrysler

    But wanna know what gets up my nose the most about these bailouts ?

    Its the fact that once again , we the people have been forced to pay for the Stupidity that has been GM and Chrysler for the last 40 years ( can you say Chevette ? K Car etc )

    They Eff up left and right and its us ( tax payers ) footing the bill .

    Not to have them straighten up and fly right mind you

    Oh no . We’re paying out the nose for yet another round of Watch the Orient and the Euros kick our Automotive butts while we’re spending ( and spending and spending ) the tax payers dime

    Ever worse is now Obamacins trying to pass the Mortgage bailout for folks that purchased more House than they had any right to !

    Cause of course its the horrible bankers fault that said homebuyer was too stupid to realize he/she couldn’t actually AFFORD the house they were getting the loan for

    Nope . Helping someone get out of a jam not of their own doing ? Helping someone less privileged to get an education to better their lives

    You betcha . Sign me up ( I already have … multiple times )

    Pay for someone else’s blatant stupidity .

    No thanks !

    Can you imagine for a moment how much better this entire country would be if we’d spent all those Billions on Spade Ready WPA projects ?

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ check out The MediaMart on youtube for a review of your GLK and see if this guy sees the same thing you saw when you went for yours.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks, HtG for the video, I heard one of the judges say that the Sonic had some rattles and noises that took it out of the top for him.

  61. cwolf Says:

    @ 56 tj
    I’m glad you were paying attension,my friend!
    You’ve made several good points I agree with. Unfortunately,it is what it is and we can only look forward from here. Since Europe is in a seemingly endless turmoil and Asia has its own worries,I am just glad our auto industries have been strong enough to to keep the US market on an uphill climb,for the moment. Things seem rosier as of now but I’m not sure just how long it will last. I would’nt be surprised of a down swing in the not too distant future. I must say,my investments have done quit well lately and hope to be assertive enough to hold tight when the crap hits the fan. Bye the way,has your head cleared of those jet fumes? (funn’in again!)

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    Man, I’d give anything to be a guest judge at one of these events. Food, lodging, driving incredible machines in great surroundings and talking/discussing with car lovers.

  63. Lex Says:

    GM should bring back the Pontiac Fiero with a Voltronic powerplant. It would beat the pants off the MASTRETTA MXT at probably half the price.

    Hyundai / Kia should drop they hybrids because they conventional engines get almost the same MPG’s as their Hybrids. Hyundai/Kia should tell Paice that Paice’s technology is not worth putting in their vehicles based upon real world testing.

    I better the Mini Clubvan will do well with the outdoor type people who need that little extra room to carry their sports stuff.

  64. cwolf Says:

    pedro,I seriously doubt the Sonic had ANY rattles or noises. If the judge believed he heard them,it must be the residuals from driving a Hyundai earlier in the day!

  65. C-Tech Says:

    Mini ClubVan – It will appeal and sell to the 25-45 upscale entrepreneur, not as the “work” vehicle but the “sales” vehicle, it’s an oversized calling card (and rolling billboard). Many people used Hummer H2 and H3′s that way.

  66. C-Tech Says:

    Whoever is the Republican nominee it will be interesting if they sing the same tune in the fall.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When I bought my condo in Florida, the first sales person who took me looking had a Hummer H2, so I made it a point not to buy from them. The next sales person had a Lexus RX, a silly vehicle to buy, but at least it is not disgusting in the same way as an H2. I bought my condo from the RX driver.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect it will be state be state. In Michigan, I doubt that the R’s will brag about their desire to kill off GM and Chrysler, but in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, land of transplants, they probably will.

    Actually, probably no one will even campaign in in the last three states I mentioned, because they are an automatic “R” in presidential elections.

  69. TeS Says:

    I dissagree John. Is it just you guys in detroit or what. What I believe the republicans are trying to relay is that the Govt. has no business getting into the car business. We are not and I hope most of you can understand even you you do not agree. That we do not want to become 1930′s germany. nor the 2000,s venzuala. Also, it should be left up to market forces that determine winners and lossers. Because when the govt gets involved and starts picking winners and lossers we get this whole fiasco of bail outs multyplied by10 and they all become a emergency.
    #45 has a point most of this mess started with Carter and had help during the Cliton And Bush # 2 years. Between democrates and rinos And Currant admin has multiplied the problem at least by 10.

    The Clubvan is usefull if they can make a market for it. Think post it
    On Ford, I think the transit conect misses the mark ( outside of selling to govts. and for dealer use ) Not offered in awd, no third row option, and suck with out of date trans and I say poor economy for size of van.
    That been said, They were brilliant becuase they saw they were in trouble and took steps ahead to lay the groundwork for recovery.
    Sorry #65, hard for me to relate. Not able to aford condo nor either suv. Sounds like you have a doubble standard. You buy a overpriced condo ( all condos are, right ) from the person in a overpriced toyota vs. the person in a cool looking overprice chevrolet. not personel just business. LOL.

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf look at the video and see if you can figure out what car this judge was referring to.

  71. tj Martin Says:


    Jeeze and thought Consumer Report , Edmunds etc surveys and top tens were becoming FOS !


    Lets face facts . These days ALL the Surveys and Top Tens are being created for one purpose and one purpose only ;


    PERIOD !


    @ C-tech – #63 – Good point !


    Later today the AutoAnarchist will be coming out with a little History lesson / debunking session on the realities of Extinct Automakers .

    So pull out the pens/pencils and notebooks and do a bit of boing up , cause Schools about to be in session gentlemen


  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    The sad part is that some people still make their buying decisions based on such written BS

  73. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    re; GLK video review

    Yup ! The only difference being the first thing that hit me was not the styling or that fact that it was a Benz ( I’d driven everything from 300Sl Gullwings to Diesels in the past ) but rather the fact that there were …


    Solid . Boy that is the one word I’d use to describe the car . The only differences with mine being Wood trim and the AMG package which adds to the handling capabilities

    Here’s the video for anyone else interested in watching . Scroll past the Bimbo segment if you know whats good for you ;-)


    FYI pedro . Seriously mi amigo . Cut & Paste those links so we don’t have to scroll past a ton of junk to get to what it is you want us to see

  74. tj Martin Says:

    GLK cont.

    Solid ! On the Interstate . In the City . On the ‘ Blue Highways’ . On the most challenging of Colorado Rocky Mt roads . Solid , drama free and a joy to drive . As well as passenger in ( just ask the Mrs )

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    Forbes put out another one of their WTF! list on the 2012 cheapest cars to own and just by including the Insight while leaving out the Prius I don’t need to read any further, BTW they also include the Wrangler and Expedition!!! If I were looking to buy a new car and was auto illiterate, I’d be going bonkers with so many surveys and opinions and recommendations from so many damn sources.

  76. tj Martin Says:


    Pour yourself another cup of coffee and prepare yourself for the best automotive eight minutes you’ll spend all day ( other than ALD of course )


    This is the second video by this guy I’ve watched ( 2 weeks ago he gave a great technical explanation on the new F1 cars ) and I’m liking the guy more and more

    Cojones Insight and daring enough to put it in the public eye

    A must watch !

  77. tj Martin Says:


    Leaving out the Prius was the smartest bit of that list !

    From AAA AARP and I quote ;

    ” It will take a minimum of TEN years to recoup the extra cost of the Prius over an ICE ASSUMING $5.00 a gallon gas ….. not to mention the extra maintenance costs , battery replacement etc ”

    Don’t be Buffaloed by KG’s unfounded exuberance mi amigo

    Some folks are incapable of accurately gauging the True Cost to Own of the vehicles they’ve misguidedly purchased

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh, not for me, I still like the Yaris hatch despite all the critics saying it sucks, but no one can question its reliability, and frugality with a gallon of gas.The only positive thing for the Jeep is its resale value, but Expedition? really?? BTW I like to watch this guy’s reviews, down to earth w/o all the 0-60 BS you get from so many other reviewers.

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I didn’t want to buy anything from the Hummer driver, because Hummers are disgusting. Their main design intent is to be macho, and, with their 3 foot high “bumpers,” to be a hazard to anyone they share the road with. Greyhound buses have bumpers that are much friendlier to other vehicles, that what they have on an H2.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC tested the Mazda 3 Skyactive manual and they preferred the auto, also they point out that it is almost $2k cheaper than the similar Focus!! What the heck is Ford doing pricing their cars so high? do they want to become the new Honda, not too smart, look what has been happening there!

  81. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit to many guys, their vehicle is an extension for their masculinity, otherwise why would anyone buy such an over-the-top machine like the Hummer?

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Forbes is not serious when they put out lists of cars. Having the really substandard Insight on that list, and not the Prius reminds me of Winding Road saying a smart was better than a Fit in a “comparison test” they did a few years ago.

    Then, Expedition and Wrangler? The Expedition is obese, thirsty, and ugly. and Wrangler? If you actually drive off-road, Wrangler is about the best thing out there, but almost no one actually uses its capability.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You still know nothing about Priuses. I know people who have over 150K miles on them with no maintenance issues, and, if you look up their value used, it is good, even on a high mileage, 7 year old car.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    On “true cost to own,” a base MINI is cheaper to own for 5 years and 60K miles than a Hyundai Accent, because the MINI holds it’s value so much better.

  85. pedro fernandez Says:

    #82 agree!! but what about when you buy for the long run, like me, I don’t care about resale value cause I keep ‘em till they die. Then buying one used that depreciates is ok as long as it doesn’t help your mechanic send his kid to college out of your wallet. WE will never convince TJ that the Prius is AWESOME, just look how crappy the other hybrids are compared to them. And to think Toyota could have save millions in R/D if they had just used the Corolla architecture instead of building one from a clean slate.

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    Another misleading article re new cars from the AP stating that now the majority of new cars are for the most part, much more reliable and your chances of getting a lemon are slim plus for a very few exceptions, most new cars are now even in reliability and quality, this is the same hogwash we’ve been reading and hearing for the past 3 or 4 yrs, and my question is: If this is so, why do we seem to be inundated more and more with reviews, surveys,studies from all kinds of media, there are a bunch of car of the year awards from just about every source you can think of, we now also have individuals on youtube as well reviewing cars left and right

  87. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was thinking of you when I posted that (info from CR for a car bought new, and sold/traded at 5 years.) For someone like yourself, who keeps cars “forever,” a Yaris would be hard to beat, of what is now on the market. I don’t think I’d want to keep a MINI for 300K miles, or a Prius, for that matter.

    I suspect they used a specific platform for the Prius, to better package the battery, etc., and to made it easier to come up with the low aero drag liftback that they wanted. The production volume is about 300K a year, and the gen II Prius was used for 6 years. That is enough cars to pay for a specific platform. So far, all of them are built in the same plant.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    But don’t you remember reading that Toyota lost money on the Prius, otherwise they would have to charge too much and no one would buy it, and they figured they made tons on the SUV’s anyway, but now SUV sales went down the drain so I wonder if they still lose money on every Prius they sell?

  89. pedro fernandez Says:

    speaking of the Prius compared to ev’s, the Leaf that MT was evaluating for the car of the year award ran out of juice prematurely when they were putting it though the same use/abuse they put all the others.

  90. pedro fernandez Says:

    I predict that the new Prius C will fly out of the dealer lots if gas passes $4 a gallon like most experts are predicting. Not only is it super frugal, some reviewers have actually used the word “fun” to describe driving one.

  91. tj Martin Says:


    Hee hee hee hee hee !

    Gee now there was a ‘ shock ‘ ( pun intended )

    @ Kit – when it comes to Hummers we’re in complete agreement

    Vulgar is being too kind . Ridiculous OTT and just plain silly

    Though Wait ! You can still by a brandy new one for less than half the sticker from quite a few dealers .

    Eeeesh :(

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Of what I’ve heard, they lost money on the gen I Prius, even though it used a Yaris/Echo body. The low production volume of the gen I car didn’t help.

    With the gen II, they made money, almost from the start, or so I’ve heard. I’ll see what I can find about it.

  93. tj Martin Says:


    I’ll take that bet pedro

    No matter what … the cost of entry is too high .

    Yaris’s ? Well maybe

  94. pedro fernandez Says:

    #91 really? I thought they had shipped them all to the middle east and Russia where is cheap and plentyful and the streets are lined with dollar$.

  95. pedro fernandez Says:

    #93 but every review I’ve read has shown that they got around 53 MPG’s in spirited driving, that is one hell of a selling point and if it’s even half way fun to toss around…. remember that was the idea behind that failed Honda MDZ or MZD whatever, it sucked big time.

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    #94 meant to say GAS is cheap and plentyful

  97. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just visited a car rental website in Cuba and they got something called a Samsung. Is this the same company that makes TV’s? They actually got Audis to rent as well, you’ve come a long way Fidel!