Episode 1026 – BMW i8 Concept, November Sales Figures, LA Auto Show’s Biggest Winner

December 4th, 2012 at 11:58am

Runtime: 9:30

John talks with the head of BMW’s i Design about the exterior styling elements of the i8 Concept. Guest host Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com gives her analysis of November’s sales numbers. All that and more, plus we have the results of this week’s poll question, who you thought was the biggest winner in LA.

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Hello and welcome to a brand new episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Tuesday the 4th of December, 2012. I’m Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com and I’ll have some analysis on November’s sales numbers as well as the SAAR itself, coming up a little later.

Last week BMW took the wraps off a small EV car called the i3 Concept Coupe at the LA Auto Show. But that wasn’t the only concept the company showed off. John talked with the head of BMW’s i design about the exterior styling elements of the i8 concept.

(BMW i8 Concept can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show)

By the way if you’re looking for more from LA. Check out Autoline’s live webcast from the floor of the show. John gets the scoop about the reveals from the executives themselves. Check it out at Autoline.tv.

And speaking of the LA show, that brings us to the results of this week’s poll question. We asked you who you thought walked away as the biggest winner of the show. And Ford came out on top with 33.8 percent of the vote. A lot of you were impressed with the C-MAX Energi and the Fiesta with the new 1.0 liter EcoBoost. The company was followed by its luxury division, Lincoln which came away with 25.4 percent of the vote. That was a bit of a surprise since Lincoln didn’t have anything new at the show but people loved the fact it displayed some of its classic cars. After that it was a three way tie between Toyota, Mazda and Fiat with each receiving 5.6 percent of the vote. And the remainder went to companies like Volkswagen, Porsche and General Motors. Thank you for participating and we’ll have a new question at the end of the week.

Coming up next, a look at last month’s sales results.

Hurricane Sandy blew away some October car sales, but, as expected, the payback was big in November.

Consumers in the Northeast headed to dealer showrooms to buy the vehicles they intended to purchase in October and to replace ones damaged or destroyed by the hurricane. The storm recovery, combined with continued unleashing of pent-up demand supported by readily available credit and a host of new products, pushed the November sales rate to its highest level since early 2008.

To be specific, November car sales totaled 1.14 million vehicles, a 15 percent increase from November 2011 and a 5 percent rise from October. That pushed the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales to 15.5 million vehicles, the highest monthly SAAR since the early months of 2008 — pre-Lehman Brothers collapse and recession.

Hurricane Sandy recovery in November benefited automakers with the biggest presence in the Northeast, with Honda being No. 1. Indeed, November was a record-setter for Honda, which also hit its stride with new models including the CR-V and Accord, with the quickly freshened Civic added in November. Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen, which also rely heavily on sales in the Northeast, had extremely strong months. Volkswagen said sales in the Northeast soared 40 percent above a year ago whereas its total sales climbed 29 percent.

But November wasn’t all about the Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Year-end deals and the accompanying marketing – you’ve seen them, those cars wrapped with big red bows – started even earlier this year than last. The actual money deals aren’t that special as incentives spending didn’t increase all that much. Edmunds.com estimates the average per-vehicle incentive in November totaled $2,244 per vehicle, up only $64 from October and down $28 per vehicle from last November. But the ad spending is significant – and it is loud.

Expect more of the same in December. The recovery from Hurricane Sandy will continue throughout this month and possibly into next year. And all of the same factors that have driven U.S. car sales all year long will be in play in December, like the unleashing of pent-up demand, the more widely available credit, great new product choices as well as aggressive product promotions, particularly for luxury cars and pickup trucks.

So we’re teed up for a strong year-end close and well-positioned for a good start to 2013.

That brings us to the end of today’s show. Once again I’m Michelle Krebs from Edmunds.com. 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

63 Comments to “Episode 1026 – BMW i8 Concept, November Sales Figures, LA Auto Show’s Biggest Winner”

  1. David Overall Says:

    A friend of mine who lives in California went to the LA Auto Show. He was disappointed to find that Lincoln had pulled the old cars from their display. Evidently they were shown only to journalists before the show was opened to the public.

  2. Bradley Says:

    I am confused to how hurricane Sandy has such an immediate impact on the SAAR. I thought a car was considered “sold” when it left the factory. With all the inventory out there, doesn’t it take time for Sandy’s impact to be noticed?

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    John, you remind me of another John…Carson that is, he also took a lot of time off from the show, Lincoln in second place? really? is there a substance abuse problem among Autoline fans? This BMW guy neglected to say that in order to keep their customers coming back to visit the dealerships, they’re now using plastic in places where it has always been metal, this guarantees a much shorter life-span for the components and thus brings back customers to their service dept often and they can spend even more money than the avg buyer.

  4. HtG Says:

    Hiyoooooo! Pedro, now now

    In re German reliability, please tell me why it hurts me so much ‘not’ buying an older mid-engined little number. Rationality only goes so far.

  5. dcars Says:

    Sad to see Chevy just hanging on, a poor Malibu must not help. I wonder who is responsible for the botched redesign and introduction of this important car.

  6. shan Says:

    After watching Autoline After Hours last week and seeing the new Ford Fiesta 1.0 ecoboost 3 cyl, i called a few major Ford dealership and they were all completely clueless about this upcoming model. Btw, the Ford dealerships are gouging people about 25k for the Fiesta ST model. That’s a $6000 dollar jump from the SE trim model that sells for $18K+. Seems the auto sales business never changes in it’s trickery and deceptive ways.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    #5 the more things change…….. Scion and Subaru are doing the same thing with the FR-S (BR Z) models because they’re still in short supply even though they’ve been out for almost 6 mos already

  8. C-Tech Says:

    I am surprised there were so many Ford-Lincoln votes. Perhaps the Ford fans (and employees) stole the election ?

    BMW is producing some very stylish concepts. I hope to see those elements in future cars, except the extended windshield.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    November Sales Numbers : the complete breakdown ;


    My favorite ‘ winner ‘ thats actually still a loser ? FIAT !

    Lincolns Advertising Blitz ;

    For those that haven’t seen it Lincoln’s plastering their ads from the NYTimes on down in Supersize Me form . Promoting …….. the name change ! As well as tucking in some hype to convince us the next round of Lincoln’s will blow us away .

    Note to all US Auto Manufactures ;

    Quit raising our expectations to ridiculously high levels pre – introduction only to have them dashed once we’ve driven the things . Like G.A. said so well yesterday : the problem with each and every US Automaker being they’ll get it about 85% right at best …. and the rest will be junk . All under the guise of those hyper inflated expectations they’ve laid down before hand . A bit more Humility and Understatement American Car makers . Actually a whole lot more humility and understatement is in fact needed

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    BMW i8

    I love what one automotive pundit said about all the new i – series BMW’s in reference to the i8 .

    ” Another i – series from BMW that their customers cannot wait Not to buy ”

    Says it all in a nutshell ..

    Pedro – Two thumbs up on the Lincoln vote ( seriously what are some of us on anyway ? ) Not so much on the BMW commentary . Don’t own one but their quality and reliability is pretty darn good : high quality plastics or not

  11. HtG Says:

    Bimmer bashing is my job here at ALD, my comments about the X3 notwithstanding.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    This BMW comment not based on personal experience but on the experience of techs who work on them and who are all in favor of incorporating more plastics and electronics in what always has been mechanical and metal

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Seasonally adjusted rate of 15.5? With it being December, and sales being affected by weather, etc., and only one month left in the year, wouldn’t an average (December) added to the current years sales be more appropriate to report.

    I am also surprised by the pole numbers too; Lincoln #2 doesn’t show much automotive savvy by some of the voters (when nothing new was shown).

  14. Drew Says:

    Apparently, we have a few left brain people in this comment section who apparently did not understand the scope of ALD’s LAAP pole question. The winning OEM of a comsumer-based auto show should be judged in a multi-disciplinary manner – offering relevant and exciting products, delivering compelling key messages, and offering an exciting/memorable experience at the show.

    I am ashamed to confess I did not vote, but it seems Lincoln’s classic car display and its messages resonated with a lot of people.

  15. T. Bejma Says:

    Malibu is not as much a bad vehicle, which it is not, as the competition is getting much better. I have driven the new Malibu, a lot out of our fleet pool, and I got the 37 mpg highway with the eAssist at 79mph with the air on, got no complaints from my friends or my kids in the back seat, like the interior and the Chevy MyLink and even like the Bangle butt the more I see it.

    Really we are just talking about comparing it to the Fusion, which is GORGEOUS! The Passat is a rattle trap, the new Camry and Accords are uninspiring, the Optima is nice looking but still questionable reliability and the Sonata is old news. Got to give props to Ford, they did it right. Short of the interior styling funk that Ford is stuck in, this is almost a perfect midsize sedan.

    GM recognized the shortcomings of the Malibu compared to the Fusion and made a quick decision (haven’t been able to say that in the same sentence before) to move ahead some changes. Honda did the same thing with the Civic. Just goes to show that GM is listening to the customer and reacting.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    As I did not watch John’s live from LA autoshow broadcast I didn’t vote.

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 15

    Guess you missed the recent news . Ford’s got it wrong .. Seriously wrong …again . This time with all the ecoboost engined cars especially the Escape : which you’ll be lucky to escape alive from once it bursts into flames : and the Fusion .. which seems intent on fusing its driver to itself by once again .. bursting into flames. Ford telling owners not to drive their cars until they’ve been fixed

    #16 I didn’t vote because IMHO there were no winners at this years show . A couple of ‘ Not Bad’ ” One or two ‘ Kind of Interesting ‘ An ‘ Also Ran ‘ or three . But nothing this year that in my opinion was deserving of the designation : ‘ Winner ‘

  18. aliisdad Says:

    I passed a Lincoln MKZ on my way back from the dentist, this morning…As I looked at the rare site of a Lincoln, I noticed the Lincoln symbol just ahead of the driver’s door on the upper fender…It seems like an odd place to put a chrome brand symbol, but then I thought it might be a good idea to remind the Lincoln buyer that he/she was driving a Lincoln and not a Ford!!!!
    On the BMW using more plastics and lesser materials, I kind of doubt that will matter in their quality…I found BMW (3series) quality to be disappointing a few years ago, but still don’t think they would dare take that kind of chance by design…
    Finally, we continue to give our our opinions about the shortcomings of domestic cars compared to foreign manufacturers…Some of us have had bad luck with domestic cars, yet others defend and promote them…However, the fact is that they need to do more than just “enough” to get by and being about as good as “imports” of a generation ago…They need to compete in terms of quality and design…The “this time we have changed” arguement needs to be backed up by what they produce because each time this happens, more and more buyers give up on them…
    I know they can produce good products because I see them making them in foreign markets…Yet, for some reason they have always given us lesser cars in the domestic markets…I really don’t understand this philosophy of business, but you can still see it at the auto shows and in the showrooms…

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    This of course is my own opinion but,I find most of the cars today boring as hell.To me they pretty much look alike and just don’t move me as in years past,(way past).

    Since I won’t sit around watching something that bores the hell out of me,I don’t know if there was any trucks on the show.Since I haven’t heard that there was,it seems I’m ahead of the game.

    I’m into multi purpose vehicles that can safely be driven offroad.That is not to be confused with rock crawling or the like,and I’m interested in diesel power.If those types aren’t covered,I’m usually not going to be there.

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    Flaming Fords article link ;


  21. ColoradoKid Says:


    + 1 x 1000 … squared !


  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    After surviving the auto abyss w/o any govt bailouts, Ford got a pass from the auto media and the public in general, their CEO was praised as a latter day Howard Hughes and their cars could do no wrong, spearheaded by such Mazda derived products as Fusion and Focus, the iconic Mustang and F 150, reliability went up, perception went through the roof and they were able to charge Honda-like prices for their vehicles, but now this bubble is starting to come apart at the seams and it will take not only Mullaly’s leadership but a lot of additional work and internal analysis to figure out what is wrong and fix it.

  23. HtG Says:

    18+21=:( At the recent Concourse d’Elegance around here there was an older gent showing off his new Morgan, the ‘modern’ one. If you made the error of talking to him, he’d go on about how cars today are so boring, and that’s why the Morgan.

    Plus, there’s this yellow Boxster out on Long Island, dammit

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to Michael Karesh of TTAC, Ackerson was responsible for the launch of the Malibu with E-assist as the only available power train. That was a big mistake. The E-assist Malibu gets only 1-2 better mpg than a regular 4 cylinder Camry, both in EPA ratings and CR’s tests. That is not nearly enough to justify the price premium. Also, you lose the fold down back seat with the E-assist car. GM should either do a serious hybrid, like Toyota and Ford, or not do hybrids at all. The mild hybrid just doesn’t make sense. How about a diesel for the Malibu to give VW some competition in that area? That would set them apart.

    As far as the Malibu in general, I think it looks fine, in a non-exciting sort of way, and I like the interior appearance as well as most cars in its class.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ackerson should really give way to someone who knows the auto industry and not just count beans, bring back Lutz, if only as a consultant.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I voted for VW, partly because I correctly assumed that no one else would, but also for a couple other reasons. They introduced the New New Beetle Convertible, and niche car, but one that satisfies a certain part of the market, and because VW is the only company that sells affordable diesel cars in the U.S.

    Yeah, they seem to have their quality issues, but so does Ford.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    Listening to Your Customers ; GM Style


    Personally in light of this revelation I think I’d rather they ignore me .

    ( just to prove Pedro’s point )

  28. cwolf Says:

    I find the multi-colored Malibu interior too busy; Especially the seats. Matching the welt cord to the inserts is just too over the top for me. Like many Euro brands, a two-tone seat looks better without any welts.

    Sure would’nt like to wash the windows on the i8! There are several jaunting edge lines on the facia and lower door panels of the i8 perfectly designed for stone chips. Still…a great looker,plus comes with alternate transportation if’n it catches fire…if yer fast enough to beat the flames!

  29. T. Bejma Says:


    Seriously?!? Using a safety issue as a way to bash GM?

    For everyone’s information GM hired Morley to run the call centers for Dealer Service, Internet, Social Media and the dedicated Volt Customer Support. It doesn’t make sense for GM Engineers to man the phone lines answering questions from the public. Morley has GM Call Centers in Saginaw, MI (that I visited) and Texas (no need to worry about getting someone that can’t speak English on the line). Guess what other automakers have this kind of support? Hmmmm…. NONE!

    Regardless, Volt still has the highest satisfaction of any vehicle on the road according to a survey of current owners…


  30. cwolf Says:

    Volt may have the highest satisfaction rate for the car, but the added rigamorole and longer charging times make its purchase something not bargained for! Don’t ya think? It’s a hellava thing for Ford to make claims of what, 8 hr. chg. time?, then discover it is something less when you leave for work in the A.M.! You played a role in the Volt,right T Bejma? Did’nt you guys try to predict these worse case scenarios? Never the less, the two folks at work owning a Volt absolutely love’em!

  31. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Just had to say I got a chuckle out of the Mercedes Benz relflection in the BMW i8′s windshield/hood.

  32. C-Tech Says:

    It seems that there are certain people who believe every non-U.S. manufacturer has God design their vehicle and Angels assemble them. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have had their missteps but also their hits, not just in the past. Just because the new Malibu is not a clone of the Toyota Camry does not make it a miss. Styling is a subjective choice, as long as the manufacturer is not too far away from a pleasing choice (too far away – Pontiac Aztec, Nissan Juke). The variety of styles, I think, helps manufacturers and is good for the buyer. The ATS may not flat-out be better than the 3-series (having had a 320i and driven often a 2002) BUT it is a very good thing to have great competition and choice. Every maker has had recalls and most new powertrains have their early (but fixable) problems. I suspect that most of those here who are critical of Lincoln have not driven a new Lincoln. The MKS is a competent car for the money, and for the buyer who does NOT consider track time to be a priority it may be a good choice to consider at $45-50K with AWD. Now a Lincoln is not my choice, but I do not look down my nose at someone who does choose to be different.

  33. T. Bejma Says:

    cwolf – Yeah, we tried which is why the instructions say to not use an extension cord, but people still do, use a dedicated outlet, etc., etc. In Michigan the electric company will even install the 220V Charging station in your garage for free!

    You try, but it gets to a point where you can’t sacrifice that much performance to compensate for the mouth breathers…

  34. T. Bejma Says:


    + 1 x 1,000,000 squared ;-)

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder how home insurers are going to react when you install one of these questionable car charging stations and risk burning your house down, they either will charge you a premium or refuse to insure the place against fire. How long b4 we start reading about homes catching fire because of this? Is this really worth having an EV?

  36. ColoradoKid Says:


    Seriously ? You call technological incompetence a Safety Issue ? Four stinking buttons just to charge the over priced – over weight – under performing – overly complex Volt ? What brain dead tech weenie came up with that solution pray tell ? Same morons that design Cable TV’s menus etc ?

    C-Tech – You’re missing the point here . Or at least my point . Simply stated Almost Good Enough aint gonna cut it anymore and in fact hasn’t for decades when it comes to the US manufactures . Especially when their marketing departments come out with such over blown claims and promises at least 15% of which ( at best ) can the finished product live up to !

    Then factor in with the exception of Ford I’m ( US Tax Payer ) still footing the bill for that Almost Good Enough dreck and you’re darned right I won’t be writing a check to the likes of GM,Ford or Chrysler anytime soon .

    Maybe if more of us voted with our checkbooks and dropped the whole Blind Patriotism routine with the Big Three the powers that be there just might get it . But at the moment they are to a number clueless Ostriches with their head firmly tucked in the sand … to put it nicely

  37. HtG Says:

    33 I feel ya, TB. You’d think the types that buy early Volts would be sharps.

    32,33 I believe I have become a GM fanboy. It’s weird how positive I feel towards it, even despite personal experience, years ago.

  38. HtG Says:

    36 Weird, no?

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    Speaking of battery chargers , anyone hear the one about the AutoWeek editor with a dead TESLA S stranded in his driveway cause the charger etc will not work ? Brilliant stuff these E/V’s and plug in Hybrids . Brilliant as long as you have a spare ICE car on hand that is ;-)

    #33 Its already happened . Several times

  40. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 39 should of read

    # 35 Its already happened . Several times .

    My bad

    #36 should of read in the 2nd paragraph ” 15% of which ( at best ) the finished product cannot live up to “

  41. HtG Says:

    I’ll tell you from being an early buyer of Microsoft’s Surface RT, that I went into it expecting to watch the thing develop. I didn’t expect ease of use and no problems. But it’s a grand device, even if there are some flaws. A great thing is being able to listen to the music service, given to me for a year upon purchase, which lets me listen to all manner of obscure compositions. I don’t mind the weaknesses because I was realistic.

  42. ColoradoKid Says:


    Why ?

  43. HtG Says:

    Right now, Rautavaara, Sym. No.6

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This is a test. I’ve been trying to make a post that wouldn’t work, and I don’t know why.

  45. ColoradoKid Says:


    If you chose to throw your money away for the privilege of being a Guinea Pig thats certainly an option at your disposal . Just don’t try to justify the mistakes made by the manufacture to reinforce your decision to do so .

    A screw up is a screw up .. plain and simple

  46. HtG Says:

    42 I don’t think everything is rational. I think I’m GM biased. People support and deride ideas and companies for many reasons. I’m nasty to BMW drivers, but like the cars. Agreed, EVs aren’t there yet, but maybe in some years they’ll have a niche, or batteries will do some part of moving cars. Like the MKZ has a hybrid at no extra cost.

  47. HtG Says:

    45 fair point.

  48. C-Tech Says:

    @ #36 I’m not missing your point, I am calling you out on the so-called missing 15% on domestic vs. foreign. The fact is ALL OTHER manufacturers may come up short compared to the the leader in a particular category, however in many markets the gap is so small, the difference is personal preference. I have driven a Camry and I would call it the best mid-sized, mid-cost family sedan. The Malibu and the Fusion ARE on par with it and it is at this point in time a matter of style and personal preference as far as which is “best”. The VOLT may not be your choice of vehicle (mine either) but it does well fit a segment of the driving public and it is a quality built car. GM still has much to improve on (the Traverse and Equinox are not as good as the Grand Cherokee and Durango, don’t get me started on the Impala / Lacrosse).

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With a Volt, your car will go, even if your charger doesn’t work.

  50. HtG Says:

    Seriously Colo, rent Revenge of the Electric Car. Watch the extra segments to see Ghosn talk about his planning. He’s looking out a decade, watching battery tech develop and hoping for about 10% of the market at that time.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Exactly. There may be a “leader” in each category, but that gap is small, and even the leader is not the best in every respect. Consider the “sport sedan” leader, the 3-Series, vs the ATS.

    The ATS is actually better than the 3 in some ways, including braking and handling. It would really be a lot to expect, though, for Cadillac, or anyone, to have a better 4 cylinder turbo than the one in the 3. BMW probably put more effort into that turbo 4 than any engine they have designed in many years. Just think about it. BMW had a very lofty goal with that turbo 4. What they needed was a more fuel efficient 4 to replace the best 6 cylinder engine in the world. That isn’t easy, but BMW put more effort into that engine than anyone else could justify, and it shows. The BMW turbo is clearly better than the one in the ATS, or the C-Class. The ATS and C-Class are still worthy competitors to the 3-Series, but have different virtues, and deficiencies.

  52. Earl Says:

    I think Ford has to design into their vehicles with 1.6L engines a fire extinguisher. Maybe a bladder or a balloon inside the hood so that when the flames hit it,it ruptures and dumps the fire retardant on the engine extinguishing the fire. This beats putting a fire extinguisher inside the car and expecting the driver to open up the hood and possibly be greeted by an explosion.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    #52 the Feds might just take you up on that idea, I guess it’ll be “Ford has a better idea” series of ads all over again.

  54. Chuck Grenci Says:

    A lot of bickering (okay let’s call it bench racing) but what we see in the market is free enterprise. You are going to see winners and losers, but without it, we still would be driving the same old stuff; manufacturers innovate, throw it out there and see what ‘sticks’. But continue the bench racing because that’s a lot of what the automotive scene is all about.

  55. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Please add a ‘smiley face’ :) to my above post #54; no malice intended in my comment.

  56. T. Bejma Says:

    HtG – Thanks for the review of the Surface. It’s definitely on my short list. Also appreciate the GM support. We are not there yet but knowing that there are people out there willing to forget the past mistakes and realize that the new stuff is more than competitive, motivates me to keep going in my job. Thanks.

  57. T. Bejma Says:


    You need to read the responses to the link YOU posted from TTAC. 95% of the commentors agree with me.

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    Apologies to HtG

    I realized after the fact that my comment seems to imply it was HtG who ‘ screwed ‘ up . In fact my intent was to say the manufacture was the one making the mistakes in selling a product obviously ‘ Not Ready for Prime Time ‘

    As to the commentary on TTAC I could not care less . The Tyranny of the Masses ( DeToqueville ) having little to do with the facts and the fact is GM blew it big time with the Volt which TTAC rightfully exposed ( also want to make a bet at least 99% of those defending the Volt on the site were in fact GM employees and sales people ? )

    Simply stated every lap top and smart phone on the market is capable on its own sans switches etc of distinguishing between the ‘ Quick Charge ‘ ‘ Trickle Charge ‘ and ‘ Slow Charge ‘ it may be receiving so there is no excuse engineering wise for the so called ‘ Advanced ‘ Volt to be able to do the same .

  59. T. Bejma Says:

    CK – If you are so knowledgeable on battery technology you should offer your quite extensive understanding to GM to “fix” the Volt. We are hiring. http://www.gm.com/careers...

  60. HtG Says:

    58 I read it as you intended, CK. Don’t think I mind a hard argument.

    TB I can leave few notes on the Surface, after hours.

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that Darts are sitting in dealer’s lots and no one wants them, they have a glut of manuals, now that is some stupid marketing and production decision, did they expect Americans that have been driving automatics for decades now and most young people don’t even know how to drive a stick to suddenly embrace manuals like Europeans? When they first came out, dealers did not even have a/t so they could take customers out on a test drive.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they’d just imported the Alfa Giulietta instead of making the Dart sedan, they would sell more manuals.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Manual transmission take rates are actually up, a little. They are near 7% now, as compared to around 4% in the recent past.