Episode 897 – BMW’s Swiss Troubles, Escalade Here to Stay, Park Like a Millionaire

May 24th, 2012 at 11:42am

Runtime: 8:28

BMW has been socked with a big fine in Switzerland for blocking vehicle sales to Swiss customers.  The Cadillac Escalade is here to stay and the redesigned 2014 model will ride on the next-generation GM pickup platform.  Parking is notoriously expensive in New York City but this spot takes the cake!  All that and more, plus Isaac Bouchard samples the 2012 BMW M6.

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I hope you’re sitting down because another episode of Autoline Daily is comin’ your way! It’s Thursday, May 24, 2012; here’s the latest news we could dredge up from the internet’s murky depths.

SWISS BANK ACCOUNT
BMW was hit with a $163 million fine by the Swiss government for blocking Swiss customers from buying its cars in other European countries. According to Bloomberg, the debt crisis caused the Swiss franc to soar against the Euro which led Swiss consumers to look for cheaper vehicles in Germany and France. BMW says it plans to appeal the fine.

CRIMSON TIDE: BMW SWELLS IN CHINA
And speaking of the German automaker, the company just opened a new plant in China that will quadruple its production capacity in the country. It will grow from 100,000 to 400,000 units. Since 2009 BMW has invested nearly $2 billion in China.

And make sure you stick around for the second-half of the show because Isaac Bouchard takes us on a little tour of the brand-new M6 convertible.

YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE ON A HONDA
Honda sells more than just cars, you know. Motorcycles are a big part of its business, especially outside of North America. According to AsphaltandRubber.com, just 1.6 percent of its motorcycle sales came from North America last year while nearly 80 percent came from Asia. By the end of the decade Honda forecasts 30 percent will come from India alone.

BATTLE OF THE OVERPASS
Now for a bit of labor news. Saturday, May 26th marks the 75th anniversary of the infamous “Battle of the Overpass.” This historic brawl between Ford security forces at the Rouge factory and union organizers is a defining moment in the history of the UAW and the American auto industry.

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DISTINCTLY DIGITAL (subscription required)
A high-tech car built for the electronic age requires special advertising. And that’s just what Chevrolet is trying out in the UK. WardsAuto.com reports the bow-tie brand is going digital-only with its INITIAL push for the Volt. That means no radio, television, newspaper, magazine or billboard marketing. It’s shooting for a high-impact online presence. This is an interesting move given the company’s opinion of advertising on Facebook.

‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND SHE GOES
Recalls aren’t something we normally cover here on Autoline Daily, but this one is curious. Lexus is calling back more than 650 GS350s from the 2013 model year because of a software flaw in the electric power-steering system. The faulty programming can cause the tiller to be off by as much as 110 degrees. Keep an eye out for Lexus owners driving in circles.

ESCALADE IS HERE TO STAY
As GM works reinvents its Cadillac brand, the Escalade was apparently destined for the scrap yard. But that may no longer be the case. Our friend Paul Eisenstein over at TheDetroitBureau.com has the inside scoop. He reports the Escalade is here to stay AND is getting redesigned for 2014. It will ride atop GM’s latest full-size pickup platform, which means traditional body-on-frame construction. Why the about-face? Well, it’s all about the Benjamins. The Escalade is HUGELY profitable for GM.

PARK LIKE A MILLIONAIRE
Parking is notoriously expensive in New York City but this is just ridiculous. According to the Bottom Line, one parking space in Manhattan will cost you a cool million bucks. The private garage is 12 feet wide, 23 feet long and 15 feet high. It even comes with a separate deed and sales contract. But in order to get the spot you must by a $39 million penthouse in the same building.

2012 BMW M6 CONVERTIBLE
(The feature on the BMW M6 is only available in the video version of today’s program.)

Looks like you’re having way too much fun out there, Isaac! Anyway, those gorgeous new M6s should start arriving at BMW dealers around the middle of next month. The base price is around $114,000, INCLUDING shipping and handling.

Also, make sure to check out Autoline After Hour, tonight! The LIVE webcast starts promptly at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Host John McElroy will be joined in the studio by that authority on all things automotive, Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist as well as Gary Vasilash from Automotive Design and Production.   Their special guest is Craig Bierley, the marketing manager for Buick. This is mandatory viewing (or listening) if you want the latest on what’s happening at the tri-shield brand.

And that’s the exciting conclusion of today’s episode of Autoline Daily. I hope you enjoyed the show and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for another heaping helping of news.

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7 Comments to “Episode 897 – BMW’s Swiss Troubles, Escalade Here to Stay, Park Like a Millionaire”

  1. Bradley Says:

    A plain white v-neck undershirt…is Autoline doing some drastic cut-backs?

  2. Chuck@GM Says:

    I guess if yo can throw down $39 meg for an penthouse, another million to park in an outhouse shouldn’t be that big a deal.

  3. dcars Says:

    What’s with the tee shirt? Honda used to build motorcycles here but closed the plant, I guess this explains it. I wonder how much of the US market they get these days. Seams like Harley has taken over.

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    That M6 has classic lines and will look good forEVER, much like the 80s edition.

    The previous model never really caught my fancy.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Harley has kind of taken over the “big bike” market, but the last I knew, Honda still had the biggest U.S. market share overall.

    For years, Honda dominated the touring bike market with the Gold Wing, but not so much any more. I don’t know if that is because the market has changed, or because the Gold Wing has changed. I had an ’82 Gold Wing which was “just a motorcycle,” albeit a relatively big and heavy one. Today’s Gold Wing is basically a two wheeled car, huge and heavy, with all kinds of fancy electronics standard. That may not be what a lot of people want in a motorcycle, even a touring bike.

  6. dcars Says:

    The iconic appearance of the Harley’s and increased reliability must have played a role in their come back. I still see lots of sport bikes on the street, but not many Gold Wings.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cruisers, designed to look like Harleys, and sport bikes seem to make up most of the non-Harley market. All four of the Japanese companies have so many different models of both, that it’s hard to see how any of them make money. Interestingly, I recently heard that the KLR650, a big “dual sport,” is Kawasiki’s best selling bike in the U.S. I guess their sport bike sales are split up among a bunch of different Ninjas.