April 16th, 2012 at 11:40am
The supplier company TI Automotive is warning automakers of a resin shortage that could lead to production disruptions. Citroen is showing off a new concept called the Numero 9 which it says reveals the future styling of the DS line. Fiat will build a rebadged version of the Dart in China called the Viaggio. All that and more, plus a look at the all-new Infiniti JX.
It’s the start of a new week! I’m John McElroy, this is Autoline Daily, and here’s the news.
RESIN SHORTAGE MAY HALT PRODUCTION
While automakers and analysts are raising their sales and production estimates in many parts of the world, the industry is about to get hit by a critical parts shortage. The supplier company TI Automotive is warning automakers of a resin shortage that is needed to make brake and fuel lines. That’s because of a fire at a chemical company in Germany that makes the resin. TI supplies components to many major automakers and warns that production disruptions could hit in the next couple of weeks. Boy, if it’s not earthquakes, tsunamis or floods, there always seems to be something stopping the assembly lines.
CITROEN NUMERO 9
The DS was one of the most famous cars produced by Citroen. And that’s why the company recently revived the DS model name for a family of cars, the DS 3, DS 4 and DS 5. But it doesn’t end there. Now the company is showing off a new concept called the Numero 9, or number nine, which it says reveals the future styling of the DS line. Kinda looks like a flattened crossover, if you ask me, with a hint of the Mazda CX-9 in the rear quarter. But I love the front end view of the car. It debuts at the Beijing auto show next week.
2/3 OF PEDAL MISHAPS INVOLVE WOMEN
A new study from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration confirms what I said three years ago when Toyota was slammed with sudden unintended acceleration. It’s driver error! While safety advocates try to pin the blame on electronic gremlins or what they call “tin whiskers,” NHTSA points out that nearly two-thirds of the drivers who mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes in crashes are female, and most of them are over 76 years old. I’d love to see the study look into how many of them are diabetic, which can rob people of the feeling in their feet.
A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS
As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” But in this case it’s cargo ships. Shipping in the Great Lakes is up 14 percent compared to a year ago, thanks to the rebound in the automotive industry and it shows how deep the industry sends ripples through the economy.
I’ll be driving the new Dodge Dart this week and I’m dying to get behind the wheel. I think it’ll be a pretty nice C-segment car. Fiat agrees, because the Italian automaker will build a rebadged version of the Dart in China. Called the Viaggio, it’ll be powered by a 1.4-liter turbo engine that’s offered in two strengths – 120 or 150 horsepower. A five-speed manual or a six-speed DDCT – short for dual dry clutch transmission – are the two gearboxes offered. The Fiat Viaggio will be produced in China with the company’s joint-venture partner Guangzhou. It should start arriving at dealers before the end of the year.
TO PROTECT & SERVE
Did you have a rough day at work? Well, be thankful you’re not a police officer in Vietnam. A traffic lieutenant in Hanoi stopped a bus for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road. The driver initially cooperated, but then changed his mind. He decided to flee the scene and the constable got the ride of his life. He stood on the bus’ bumper and grabbed the windshield wipers to hold on for dear life as the driver took him for a kilometer-long ride. Eventually he did stop as more law enforcement arrived, but here’s the kicker. According to Autoblog, the driver in question was released from prison in 2010 for being involved in a fatal crash, and yet he got a job as a bus driver.
(The Infiniti JX feature is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
Interestingly, the JX media launch was done in the United States, and for the first time ever, Infiniti invited Chinese journalists to the U.S. to learn about the vehicle first hand. Infiniti really wants to take on the German luxury brands which dominate the luxury segment in China.
And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.