Episode 1000 – More Blue Oval Woes, All-New Small Block, A VW Just for U.S.

October 25th, 2012 at 12:02pm

Runtime: 7:54

Ford estimates it will lose over one billion dollars in Europe this year as even more cuts are announced. GM debuts the all-new Corvette small block in Pontiac, MI. Volkswagen is considering building an all-new SUV designed specifically for the American market. All that and more, plus a look at Ford’s 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Thursday, the 25th of October. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist filling in for John again. And it is a special moment here at Autoline World Headquarters, as today marks the 1000th episode of Autoline Daily. Think about that for a moment. That’s a lot of excellent work by John and his team… and a lot of coffee too! Thanks to all of you for watching and we look forward to bringing you another thousand. And now, the news!

Yesterday we reported that Ford will close a plant in Belgium in a cost cutting move but the company’s cuts in Europe will go much deeper than that. Bloomberg reports that in addition to the Belgium plant, the company will close two of its factories in England and layoff about 5,700 employees in total. The downturn in Europe is reaching the critical stage. Ford estimates it will lose over one billion dollars in Europe this year.

But it’s not just the Blue Oval feeling the pain in Europe. Daimler reported that its earnings before interest and taxes fell by 2.5 billion dollars in the third quarter. The company also scrapped targets for Mercedes next year and plans to cut costs at the luxury brand by 2 billion euros in the next two years.

Corvette has been powered by small block engines for 57 years, and the all-new 7th generation is no different. The engine will be called the LT1 and be built at GM’s Tanawanda Engine Plant, which produced the original small block back in 1955. As we reported on Tuesday the C7 Corvette will be 99 percent new and so will the engine. The only carry over parts are the valve keepers and two starter bolts. The new features are direct injection, continuously variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. GM claims 450 plus horsepower, 450 plus foot-pounds of torque, and 26 plus miles-per-gallon.

Carbon Revolution, an Australian based company, is showing off what it says is the world’s first one-piece carbon fiber wheel. The company says its wheel, the CR-9, is up to 50% lighter than aluminum wheels and exceeds standards in the laboratory and out on the track. The wheels are built in Australia and created through a patented manufacturing process. The CR-9 is initially being produced for the Porsche 911 and later in the year will be available for the Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8.

General Motors and Peugeot confirmed plans in their alliance. The two companies will jointly work on four new vehicle projects. One will be a multi-purpose van for Opel and a CUV for Peugeot. The next will be a small car for Opel and Citroen. Another will be a low emissions car for both companies and the two will jointly develop a mid-size car for each brand. Peugeot and GM will also jointly purchase components. The companies plan to have the first cars on the road by 2016.

Volkswagen is considering building an all-new SUV designed specifically for the American market. VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said the SUV would be bigger than the Tiguan, smaller than the Touareg, but technically simpler than both vehicles and more affordable. The SUV would most likely be built at their Chattanooga, Tenn. plant, where it produces the Passat.

Coming up next, we’ll take a look at Ford’s 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

(Our look at the 1.0 liter EcoBoost Engine is only available in the video version of today’s show)

Before I go I want to remind you to tune into Autoline After Hours tonight. I will be joined by GM’s former head of marketing, Mark LaNeve, who is now stationed at Team Detroit, Ford’s advertising agency, as well as Jean Halliday from AutoAdOpolis. It should be a great show. Check it out tonight at 6PM Eastern Time at Autoline.tv.

That’s it for today, once again I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, thanks for watching and I will see you next time.

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

60 Comments to “Episode 1000 – More Blue Oval Woes, All-New Small Block, A VW Just for U.S.”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Congrats on 1000, wishing you many many more.

    The new small block and the new small Ecoboost; technologies for all of us; well done both.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    1000 shows….congrats to all at Autoline Daily !!

  3. Jim Bianchi Says:

    Kudos to John and the Autoline team on passing this monumental milestone!

  4. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Congratulations on 1000 shows, keep up the outstanding work.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Autoline Daily has become my daily cup of Cuban coffee, I’m hooked on it, congrats to all, and keep the caffeine flowing. Any guesses on the durability of the Ford 3 banger?

  6. Bradley Says:

    1000 Shows!! Congrats!!
    1. New GM small block engine, are those push-rods?
    2. VW SUV, better have Diesel, Diesel, and maybe a gas engine.
    3. Nice presentation on the Ford 1.0 engine.

    Love the Show!!

  7. Chris Chow Says:

    Great reaching your Milestone John! Keep up the good work.

  8. Lex Says:

    Does GM (Government Motors) really think that Peugeot is going to help them out of their dire straits with Opel in Europe? Didn’t GM try this same type of alliance with Fiat and get burns to the tune of a Billion Dollars!

  9. Lex Says:

    John, Peter and The Crew at Autoline:

    Congratulations on achieveing your 1000th episode of Autoline Daily!!! Keep Up the Fanastic Work!!!

  10. Tony Gray Says:

    Been there since Episode 1….and STILL haven’t won a coveted Autoline Coffee Mug!

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Congrats on 1000 shows. As with Pedro, I’m hooked on it.
    The Ford 1.0 will be the first one litre turbo triple in the U.S. market since the Chevy Sprint turbo. The Ford will have a lot more power, though, and will use less gas.

  12. HtG Says:

    Hurray for 1000!


    Am I hooked? No I’m not hooked. What makes you think that?

  13. M. Campbell Says:

    I don’t know how you all at Autoline manage to keep doing it, but job well done. Roll on 10,000!

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From the video, it looked like the ecoboost triple has a timing belt, and I confirmed that to be the case. It looks like the 4 cylinder “ecoboost” engines also have belts. That is surprising, given that most car companies are getting away from belts.

  15. MJB Says:

    Mad Props to Johnny Mac and the entire production crew on making 1,000 shows!!

    Gotta snag another one of those broadcaster awards!

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Belts are ok if you’re not keeping the car past 60 or 70k miles, otherwise you’re better off with chain timing, I have never had to replace my chain, despite all the miles. Replacing belts gets to be very expensive.

  17. Tman Says:

    #14 They claim the new belt is belt-in-oil which means that it runs in an oil bath which increases the durability and refinement. Seems it was done to save cost.

    I like the new LT1 engine. GM and Chrysler have proven that pushrods can live on. They still have a packaging advantage. I believe the current LS2 is smaller than the 3.6 DI V6 in most dimensions.

  18. John McElroy Says:

    Thanks for all the congratulatory comments! We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved and can’t wait to hit 2000!

  19. RonE Says:

    Congratulations on #1000 John. I hope we’re all around for episode #2000.

    Over the years I’ve learned a lot about the auto industry from you John, your guests, and the very knowledgeable posters that participate in the many online discussions.


  20. Laura Oliveto Says:

    Congrats on the milestone. You’ve got all the right stuff.

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    Congrats on the big 1000

  22. C-Tech Says:

    Congratulations on show 1K!! It will be interesting to see the topic and news on show 2K, will we still be discussing the future of electric cars? autonomous cars? Will the V8 be a by-gone era?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Out of curiosity, I looked up the timing belt change interval for Ford’s new engines. I looked up Escape, since it uses three different 4 cylinder engines.

    From the “official” maintenance schedule on the Ford site, I found that the suggested interval for the 1.6 turbo is 150K miles. The schedule didn’t mention the 2.0 turbo or 2.5 non-turbo, so maybe they have chains.

  24. T. Bejma Says:


    The PSA Alliance is NOTHING like the Fiat deal…

    The auto division of the Italian conglomerate, Fiat had been incurring losses since the mid-1990s. Fiat’s attempt to save its ailing auto division resulted in a strategic alliance with GM in 2000 under which GM obtained 20% stake in Fiat Auto while Fiat obtained 5.1% in GM. Fiat also enjoyed a put option in which it had the right to sell the remaining stake to GM after four years. However, as Fiat’s losses increased in 2003 and the company sought a recapitalization, GM’s stake in Fiat was reduced to 10% as it refused to be a part of the recapitalization process. In 2004, with GM’s refusal to buy the remaining 90% stake in Fiat auto under Fiat’s put option, the alliance turned hostile.

  25. T. Bejma Says:

    Congrats on reaching the 1K mark John and the Team. Great job. Good to see a local Michigan guy doing well. I wasn’t around at show #1 but I do remember reading John’s Editorial column in Wards Auto religiously back in the early 1990′s!

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    #23 that is weird, I know that both Toyota and Honda suggest 60k miles, I know a guy who has a Camry with over 150k miles with the original belt.

  27. Kate McLeod Says:

    Congratulations on your 1000th show. GM has such a great history of collaborating with other companies, I can’t wait to see what happens with the French!

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Belt change intervals have increased over the years. It was 60K for VW TDI’s up until about ’04, and then went to 100K. I guess the belts got better, because those TDI’s are interference engines. Honda has always been “conservative” on change intervals, because their engines are interference. I think the official interval for my ’89 Caravan is 80K. I’m not worried about it, because it is a non-interference engine.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know about the wisdom of GM’s collaborating with PSA, but my limited experience with their products has been good. The Peugeot engine in my MINI works well, and the Citroen C4 I rented a few years ago was a decent car.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if this is just part of trying to appear that today’s cars are better made or more durable than the stuff from the 90′s, just like extending the oil change interval to twice of what it used to be. I for one still believe in the 3k mile or 3 month rule. I also remember always reading that the first oil change should be done early to get rid of all the miniscule metal particles which come from brand new engines and now that seems to have been tossed out the window as well.

  31. C-Tech Says:

    @ #30 Most GM and Chrysler engines use a sensor to determine the oil change interval. Depending on how your drive and the contaimination of the oil the sensor may signal to change your oil in a little as 2500 miles to 10,000 miles. GM in particular uses and rewcommends a synthetic blend oil (DEXOS) in their newest cars and some trucks.

  32. C-Tech Says:

    @ #28 Not only have belts gotten better, but the tensioners and water pumps (bearing life) have gotten better. I have seen many a belt shredded by a seized water pump or pulley.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sensors to detect dirty oil, low air in tires, dozing drivers,cars in the rear, cars on the sides, cars in front and then people complain that cars are getting too expensive!

  34. C-Tech Says:

    Given how sunlight can degrade the carbon fiber epoxy, I wonder how long will these wheels hold up in direct sunlight? Many of the cars this wheel will be seen on are sunny-day cars only.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I wish it was possible to get real information on how much difference it makes if you change oil at 3000 miles, or 15000. I’m sure an engine will last longer if you change oil more often, but how much longer will it last? I’m sure the big car companies have people in their powertrain groups that have a good idea, but they don’t advertise it.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    @ #33 Hey Pedro I think BMW and Porsche did away with the dipstick on some of their cars. That should save money :)

  37. C-Tech Says:

    @ #35 Somebody at Yahoo! or Google will be happy to sell you, oops I mean tell you, how often you should change your oil (to their brand that is!).

  38. cwolf Says:

    I would’nt call Ford’s plan to close EU plants a “woe”, but a well planned move. Those in England,as reported, will not ruffle many union feathers because each plant has 500 or less employees.

    Yesterday DeLorenzo stated his dissatisfaction with showing and divulging too many peeks at new products before they are launched. But from what I have seen, the new Vett is pretty much under wraps, except for the LT1 engine. If McElroy shares Peter’s views, I wonder why so much of todays program was devoted to the LT1? Sounds contradicory to me!

    VW’s and Winterkorn’s plan to build an SUV sized between the Touarag and Tiguan, “but technicaly simpler and more affordable” at the Chattanooga plant tells me those two are not profitable enough, so they will now give the US market one cheap SUV and try to sell it as something special and better. Fact is, the Tenn. plant makes only the passat and needs to produce something more to better utilize capacity. Maybe moving to Tenn.,just because it is a right to work state, has a down side. Some reports claim VW can’t find enough qualified workers and that US trade agreements lack the scope of countries like Mexico, thus making exports more costly. Gee!; I always heard the UAW was the cause for all the woes. Guess they they were wrong as well as stupid!

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    A lot of people who lease don’t even bother to change the damn oil for the 3 yrs they have the car, that is why companies like BMW began free routine maintenance cause people were turning in the cars with molasses in the oil pan, I met a fellow whose job was to “refurbish” lease returns and had to do plenty of engine flushes just to get that gunk out of there. Some cars were permanently damaged that is why the free oil changes came about.

  40. HtG Says:

    34 There are epoxies that resist UV degradation. I recall when the ZR1 clear carbon roof came out, that this issue was discussed. But seriously, Ctech, how much daylight will the cars with these wheels really see? It’s nice and warm in the garage

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    European plants closing while new ones are being built in Mexico? The Mayan Empire rises again! I wonder what they will call the smugglers who bring workers south of the border?

  42. HtG Says:

    39 this is so so sick. I also notice wheels on bimmers are often filthy and the valve caps are missing. I bet bimmer makers have low regard for their customers.

  43. HtG Says:

    41 They’ll probably start smuggling people up from Guatemala and el Salvador. Call them Thunderbirds

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    They treat leases like rentals cause they know after 3 yrs they’re gone and forgotten so why bother taking the time to even take it in for service even when it’s free and you get a loaner.

  45. cwolf Says:

    The EU closings are well deseved because a 105 tariff is is added to US exports to them, while Mexico incures NO added costs,and don;t forget to add VAT costs! Mexico may be a pretty good place to invest in for the next few years.

    What one expects from a used BMW is nothing new. If you search the web for used Merc satisfaction, you’ll see the Merc is a better car over-all and has a many, many more satisfied owners of used units.

  46. cwolf Says:

    above should be 10% tariff

  47. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    congratulations to you mr. mcelroy.


  48. jesse Says:


  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will they use inner tubes in those carbon fibre composite wheels? Those type materials tend to be very porous.

  50. cwolf Says:

    Kit, would’nt an expoxy type material be needed to bond the carbon composite, thus minimizing porosity?

  51. HtG Says:

    from the article linked to in the text…

    …coated with an Aerospace coating system, resulting in a high grade automotive surface finish. To further ensure the part’s aesthetic performance will match its structural performance, each wheel’s coating additionally provides excellent UV, damage and water resistance.

    I got to get a life. When’s the first pitch tonight?

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Glass or carbon reinforced plastic tends to be porous, but they will probably coat the inside of the wheels with fibre-free resin so they won’t need tubes.

  53. Emmy Says:

    John, team,
    Congratulations on 1000 shows!!
    I’m another tiny little piece of this huge, global automotive industry, watching Autoline Daily in Japan.
    I happened to find your show two years ago and since then watching it is the first thing I do in the office every morning. Just love your shows! And I’m a big fan of John

  54. Earl Says:

    That new iL 3 cylinder from Ford sets them up to be again 3 years ahead of the competition. The length of the engine is only 17 inches. Apparently they have 2 versions, a 100 hp and a 125 and can get it up to 150. I suspect it will be used not only in the Fiesta but in a few years time in the Focus too. The EcoBoost brand is getting to be the standard when it comes to engines.

  55. Jeff Taylor Says:

    Congratulations on Episode 1000. I’ve watched and enjoyed every one of them. Thanks for all the hard work and dedication and for being the best source for auto news in the industry!

  56. kevin m Says:


  57. pedro fernandez Says:

    Looking on line at Googlemaps, I was looking at the Interstate between ND and Montana and it’s almost impossible to find another vehicle besides the Google car, this is one looong stretch of road that should have an 85 mph limit.

  58. John Berg Says:

    Congratulations John!!!!
    I Haven’t missed an episode yet. Autoline Daily is one of the highlights of my day. Thanks to you, I’m one of the most well informed car guys in town. It’s truly a pleasure to get a quick well researched and accurate industry update every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you. May the next 1000 be just as GREAT!

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ford turbo triple is about 25 years behind Suzuki. OK, the Ford has GDI, while the Swift/Sprint turbo had port injection.

    The triple should be nice in the Fiesta, with a manual transmission. It will be interesting to see what mpg it gets when in arrives in the U.S.

  60. Sung Says:

    Congratulation on 1000th episode!

    Well, Americans are producing high quality automotive news, even though they are not good at making good cars.