Episode 1048 – 2014 Chevy Corvette, Lincoln MKC Concept, Mercedes CLA-Class

January 14th, 2013 at 12:08pm

Runtime: 5:15

We’ve got the first reveals from the Detroit auto show. The 2014 Chevy Corvette made its hugely anticipated debut in front of a giant media turnout. Jeep unveiled the 2014 Grand Cherokee and Compass. And Lincoln is showing off a new crossover concept called the MKC. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Isaac Bouchard, has all the details on Mercedes’ new debut, the CLA-Class.

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78 Comments to “Episode 1048 – 2014 Chevy Corvette, Lincoln MKC Concept, Mercedes CLA-Class”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    All this hoopla for a low selling, low profit car why not do the same for a high volume, big money maker instead?

  2. T. Bejma Says:

    What car are you talking about pedro? Can’t be Corvette because it is FAR from low profit…

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    Don’t you have to sell a lot to make a lot? Lexus loses money on the LFA, GM on the Volt, Toyota loses money on the Prius. SUV and large trucks is where the profits are, it’s why profits plummeted when those numbers went down. Vettes costs a lot to make, it is a halo car for the Corporation, not just Chevrolet. Ditto for the Dodge Viper.

  4. T. Bejma Says:

    Usually the high volume vehicles (except trucks) are low margin mainly because of the competitive market. The highest margin vehicles are the highest cost because there is less competition and the automakers can set the asking price. What is out there that competes with the Vette? Porsche? I heard a Porsche dealer makes about $28,000 on each 911 (or whatever number they are now). That is just the dealer, I am sure the factory makes even more…

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Toyota makes money on the Prius, and has made money with them for years. It didn’t start out that way, though, with the first generation Prius.

  6. gmveteran Says:

    Pedro is mostly right. His list of unprofitable cars is spot on, except for the Prius. It took over ten years for that car to finally turn a profit worldwide, but it is now a profit generator. Hopefully the Volt will accomplish the same task in far less time.

    The answer to your question is that no one gets too excited over bread and butter cars like the Camry, Malibu and Accord. The makers try, but lets face it, the Corvette is a lot more exciting! You may have noticed the big event that took place about ten days ago when Chevy and GMC took the wraps off their all-new 2014 pickup trucks. They got a lot of attention because the truck wars are raging and it was GM’s turn to finally show their hand and reveal their lineup for the next four years of this battle-royale.

  7. gmveteran Says:

    Footnote: the Corvette has rarely if ever turned a profit. That is why GM decided to build the Cadillac XLR on the Corvette platform and in the Corvette plant, in an effort to eke out a profit from that facility. The dealers make some money on them, but that varies with how hot the car is in the market. They will be discounting the existing inventory deeply now that this model has been revealed, and will be able to hold a very nice gross margin on this new model. For a while.

  8. Chuck Says:

    How do you get excited about a SUV or pickup, or a Prius, etc?? Mercedes Benz tried really hard to build enthusiasm for the SMART, but that flopped in the US market. A small number of people get very excited about Corvettes but they create a lot of buzz that gets lookers into the dealership but most buy what is practical and affordable – everyday reality.

  9. cwolf Says:

    Who wants to see and pay admission to see a bunch of refreshed high volume cars at an auto show? Not me! Ogling at the the latest designs and technology of tomorrow are the things I expect to see. Save the refreshes for the dealer showrooms.

  10. cwolf Says:

    Did I hear correctly McElroy stated the ATS won by a very large margin? Gee,KC, guess your personal expressions toward the ATS, and American brands for that matter, just lost most of its fizzle! Still…,you are most entertaining in my book.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    Fusion shot itself in the foot with all the recalls, Accord did not stand a chance, it did not move the needle at all in the segment and the Ram, well, being it was the only real truck in the finals, it had to win.

  12. Bradley Says:

    I have respect for the Corvette, as I do for my grandparents. I firmly believe this car needs to downsize to be more successful. The styling of this one is good, seems heavy handed. Overall, I like it, but the fins on the hood seem overdone.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the new Fusion had arrived last year, it probably would have won over last year’s winner, Elantra. Is that the case, John?

    While the Accord is an improvement over the very good previous generation, it looks too much like the old one to even get any attention.

  14. Alex Carazan Says:

    LINCOLN MKC: Looks like the Ford Escape at likely double the price.

    CADILLAC ATS: One can buy 2 new mid sedans (e.g. like Fusion)with almost the same technology for the same price as 1 ATS. And the mid size sedans are much larger. Go try to find rear leg room in an ATS. Luxury small cars desparately need to 2nd row seat adjustability that takes up trunk space when you actually want to carry more than 1 passenger.

  15. M360 Says:

    No, you do not have to sell a lot of cars to make a lot of profit. Rolls Royce, for example, sold 3575 cars in 2012. Not a lot of cars, but a tidy profit. For them, it was a very good year. They are in a league all their own.

  16. cwolf Says:

    If the new Accord was made by an American company it would be at the top of my list. The style is pleasing to most everyone. The same for the interior layout. And as a family car, the ride,interior room, handling and quietness is beholding no none of its competition. It does everything well. Nice car!

  17. C-Tech Says:

    From a dealer perspective, the Corvette is a money maker. They sell fairly quickly, rarely sitting in the lot for more than 90 days. Most are sold for sticker (or close to it). Some dealers make additional money selling accessories for it. Because it is a specialty car, many owners have other GM cars and trucks. This is one halo car that does work for the rest of the brand.

  18. Chuck Says:

    Too bad about the Fusion’s stumble – it is a very impressive mid-size with great fuel economy, a great choice for the money.

  19. Darren Says:

    A GM Isuzu diesel hybrid Silverado?

  20. C-Tech Says:

    The Ford MKC (there we go with the meaningless initials again) better bring something other that a Ford Escape with leather to the BMW X1, Mercedes GLK party or they will be embarassed again.

  21. C-Tech Says:

    John will GM try to sell more Corvettes in Europe and worldwide?

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    I was not referring to dealer profits but rather, manufacturer’s own profit margins. You either make money by selling a lot of them (Corolla-Civic-Camry) or charge a lot of money for low volumes, like Rolls or Bentley.

  23. T. Bejma Says:


    ATS is a sports car, not a family sedan. Buyers in this segment appreciate things like rear wheel drive and lightness and will put up with having the occasional complaint from the backseat. Ever sit in the backseat of a Camaro? Want more room? CTS. Even more room? XTS. It may have been competing against Fusion and Accord for NACOTY, but they are in totally different segments.

  24. cwolf Says:

    The MKC looks are nice,yet not much different than the Ford, except for the grill and MKZ tail lights. The interior appears to have more room as a result of relacing the console gear shift with a dash bush button tranny. But Mulally’s quest for Global platforms makes me doubt the Lincoln brand will be given the freedom required to proove itself not to be a Ford in costume, let alone a luxury brand that can compete with the Europeans or Japanese. It will need the 4cyl. turbo and more cuz you can be sure it will be several hundred pounds heavier than its Ford mate…, as usual. I do hope to be wrong.

  25. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 19: I recently read that GM wants to keep the full size/mid size pickup truck segment running strong….especially since ford and chrysler dropped out,and toyota and nissan has fallen asleep.Smart move gm.Now….give us a damn diesel…

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CWolf: Add to that a 8 or 9 speed auto and a easier to use interface system,they MIGHT get by.

  27. dcars Says:

    I like the Fusion, it has good looks and I bet ford will sell a lot of them.

  28. Floyd in GA Says:

    I think Pedro was referring to TOTAL Dollars of profit, in speaking of the Corvette, rather than profit PER VEHICLE. Yes, I am SURE there is a good profit margin in each Corvette sold, but the lower total volume of sales means less sheer profit of the product line to GM. So you have profit per product, and you have profit per vehicle. PLUS, you have “influence” of a product — such as the Corvette — on the overall Company image, and “bleed-over” of technology developed for a “Halo Vehicle” onto other products within the Company.[such as the magnetic shocks on Corvette going onto the Cadillacs --- and even SELLING the technology to FERRARI!]

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Plus the fact that so many of those Vette components are not used on any other GM vehicle, (if they went to the GM parts bin, they would be assailed) makes the cost of developing and building the car quite high, in order to make good money on them, GM would have to price it way above of where it is now, I like when they said ” No compromises” before the actual reveal. This is absolute crap, only car without compromises would be in the Veyron or Ferrari price class, I’m sure that even Rolls and Bentley have to make some compromises as well.

  30. T. Bejma Says:


    pedro – Several of the parts on the C6 were from the parts bin on the interior. The steering wheel is the exact same model from my Cobalt SS and the radio/nav unit was a corporate part. The C6 interior has been thoroughly blasted in the press so you are correct though. The new interior is much better.

  31. HtG Says:

    please order me a Veyron or Ferrari with a stick. There’s your compromise.

  32. T. Bejma Says:

    Good one HtG! And one that get’s 20 mpg!

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sorry, but Cobalt parts don’t belong in an iconic car like the Vette, as Lutz once said on this show, put in as much quality as you can into the interior, people will pay for it, it’s what they see, touch and feel day in and day out.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    One ( not so ) Quick one for the week ;

    First I would like to thank the Corvette design team for taking me from being a 95% GM detractor to a full on 110% GM hater ….. in one design no less . It’ll be so nice to finally be consistent and not have to make excuses for the Corvette’s existence .

    Second Porsche NA , Nissan NA ( GT-R) . Jaguar NA , Mercedes NA , BMW NA et al would like to also thank the designers of the Corvette at GM for the impending increase of sales they’ll all be enjoying due to the C7 being such a pathetic and cheap looking pastiche .. for way too much money no doubt .

    Finally . With the C7 now revealed I’ve sussed out what the translation of GM’s new slogan ” Find New Roads ” really means . That being ;

    With cars like the C7 now coming out of our design studios you’ll want to ” Find New Roads ” ASAP cause you won’t want to be caught dead on the old ones where they actually might know your name ;-)

  35. ColoradoKid Says:

    Give em ____ Pedro ! ;-)

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    C7 Recipe ;

    Take the very worst design aspects of ;

    The new Camaro
    New Viper
    Lamborghini Reventon
    Cadillac’s ‘ stealth ‘ design language
    Ferrari F12
    ‘Transformer ‘ Anime characters

    Combine that with cheap looking tacked on body work and bargain basement bits in the interior

    Mash and blend it all till its an innocuous mish mash of disparate elements that should never be found on any one single car

    And there you have it . The C7 . In all its ….. errrr … inglorious ineptitude

  37. Dale Leonard,Lakewood,Oh Says:

    I agree with cwolf. Keep the refreshed cars for the showroom. I only go to the Auto Shows to see the new models and concept cars.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    Then the car shows could fit in a small showroom.

  39. HtG Says:

    nobody here like to see the babes in skimpy outfits? smile to yourself

  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Bro,you really need to find a way to ‘not hold it in’ and tell us how you really feel ;}>

  41. T. Bejma Says:

    You are on a roll today HtG :-)

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC has an extended report on the Tokyo car and Tiny Butt show.

  43. T. Bejma Says:

    Love this side by side of the C6 to the C7. Can’t believe how plain and dated the C6 looks…


  44. cwolf Says:

    HtG, I have missed only one show in the past 5 years and can honestly say there are more babes on the floor with better gams,nicer boobs and far less make-up than those on stage. Let us not exclude a brain!

    Despite the many praises of the ATS and overwhelming number of votes making it car of the year, it has become self evident there are a few who remain blinded by their own false perceptions. And to pass judgement based upon a few pictures can only be a result of ignorance before the fact. The Vette is not my cup of tea, yet await with interest the sales numbers and performance reviews. Only then will anyones comment have any validity. The Kidds “pop” lost its fizzle. TB ++1, KC–0

  45. HtG Says:

    I hope you’ll be as candid with us as The Kid, if you can get close enough to the C7. You may look, but do not touch, cwolf

  46. cwolf Says:

    I have been hooked by the nostalgia of the vette since riding in my cousins split window as a kid. Over the many years and transformations I have yet been able to see over the dash and touch the peddles at the same time. Silly huh?

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    Now if they had combined the technical, interior and dynamic improvements of the C7 and kept it similar to the C6 in the exterior, there would have been less to criticize. Too busy, should take a page from the Porsche designers.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Exactly. If the shows had only “all new” cars, they wouldn’t need much floor space.

  49. cwolf Says:

    @ #47
    TB, I agree,yet without the black rims I’m not so sure how it would look with chrome…. or a set of hub caps! Yuk-yuk!

  50. C-Tech Says:

    The proof of the C7 will be in driving one. I doubt GM would take a step backwards on this one. The mechanicals are pieces that have been proven on other vehicles, the challenge is blending them all together. It seems the marketing dept. is again subpar at GM sending mixed messages. If you want the C7 to be a break with the past, then why reach back for the Stingray name?

  51. C-Tech Says:

    No comments on the FWD Mercedes? This is the reason you introduce a car like the Corvette. It sucks all the oxygen out of the room.

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    What’s to say? no one is immune from the FWD plague. Except for true sport cars.

  53. cwolf Says:

    O.K. C-Tech, instead of a RWD cash cow to maintain, they now have a less expensive FWD to fill in the voids of the service departments.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Isn’t it more a case of the low-volume Cobalt SS having a Corvette steering wheel, rather than a Corvette having a Cobalt steering wheel?

  55. HtG Says:

    51 yet another front wheel drive sedan, but with a Merc brand on it? FLAYVAA FLAVE!!!!

    who cares what pseudo plutocrats waste their chips on

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Chevy web site shows the C7 with non-black wheels.

    People here are throwing around Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Viper, Bentley, etc. as low volume cars “like Corvette.” Corvette is a very high volume car compared to any of those, with well over 10K production, even for a bad year.

  57. HtG Says:

    56 yes, but it’s stature is elite. It’s gigantic that GM can make such a car at that price. I’m always most impressed by what a carco can do ‘at a price.’ Out of respect for the engineers and planners and marketers.

  58. blueovalblood Says:

    Is Chevrolet serious?!?!??!?! The a$$ end of that thing is hideous!!! The taillamps appear to be straight off the Camaro!!!! I hope they fix it before production starts. The interior isn’t much better. I hope it looks better in person than the pictures are showing.

  59. HtG Says:

    blueovalblood, why don’t you go start a fire someplace, Sparky?

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Your moniker here might indicate that you wouldn’t be too crazy about the new Corvette, no matter what, just as someone who called themself “bowtiebadass” might not say much good about the latest Ford. I’m going to wait and actually see the car “in person” to form my opinions. It is safe to assume, though, that the C7 will continue the tradition of recent Corvettes, in performing as well as exotics that cost three times as much.

  61. Earl Says:

    I like the looks of the new MKC or what will really be known as the MKEscape….should have called it an MKE.
    To all you people that have been bad mouthing Lincoln,I bet in a couple years time you’ll see a rear wheel drive Lincoln. You can be sure Ford won’t be sitting on their butts. The Company is doing more things right than wrong and are on a roll.
    Their stock is over 14 now and they doubled their dividend.

  62. QuietStormX Says:

    Hey Corvette haters, The Chevrolet Corvette is the only high performance car anyone can buy and get parts cheaply compared to the Asia and Euro models that cost 2, 3 or 4 times more, and the Corvette can handle it’s self around the track with no problems. Remember Chevy says if you can afford todays models, you can afford the New Corvette Stingray. And wait for the new ZR1 with the supercharged LT1 engine. Wow! that is my preference please. The new Stingray out performes the LS7 ZO6. What a bargen for the performance…

  63. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The new Stingray hits the mark as far as performance; my only criticism is (the revealed) red with black wheels; to me, the traditional silver wheels (which are of course available) do it more justice. One more quick addition that Chevrolet should offer is too make the body available with a monochromatic paint scheme, thus eliminating the blacked out vent(s), which detract in my opinion. I call the new Vette a valiant effort.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    #57 precisely, which is why I don’t get why some are so quick to pick apart the Toyobaru twins for not having enough power, it is what it is, not a barn burner, if you have need for speed, then move up market and spend a lot more money, but won’t handle quite the same.

  65. HtG Says:

    Oh, Pedro. If I were a younger man…

    But I’ll paraphrase JM Fangio, …Driving fast is not a skill anyone knows. You have to learn it…

    the TB is such a great car precisely because its limits are approachable and it handles once there. That’s what spirited driving is about, and why Miatas are enjoyed. Those tires that come with the car mean grip is low enough that one gets the opportunity to use the skills of handling a car at the limit. Most fools just want to put the hammer down and have the car just stick. Why are they even looking at a Toyobaru? It’s for driving

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The monochromatic paint scheme should be available from launch, but only in one color, and you can even get color matched wheels.

    Like others here, I’m not crazy about black wheels, even though they seem to be fashionable these days. Maybe black wheels are “in,” to make people think you have those $4K carbon fibre wheels.

  67. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Black wheels have been around long before those new carbon fiber ones,and look good…..on certain vehicles.I’m thinking the new vette would probably look much better in a different color.I’m not sure red was a wise choice for the reveal,but it’s just my opinion.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, my ’74 Duster came with black wheels, with little hub cabs in the center.

    It seem like most black alloy wheels I see have some brushed or polished areas on the spokes, or rim/bead area. A 2014 Prius comes with black wheels, with plastic covers. A friend has a white one with the covers removed, and it looks “different.” My 2010 Prius came with silver painted wheels.

  69. T. Bejma Says:

    Wow! That Lexus IS is UGLY!!

  70. ColoradoKid Says:

    No Lexus IS Sportcross .. No surprise !

    #69 After that abysmal dreck of a Corvette C7′s reveal ? You’re joking . Right ? And even if the IS is ugly in some folks eyes at least its not Vulgar , Anime inspired and pathetically assembled !

    BTW TB . In the midst of being overwhelmed by the C7′s ” Transformers ” / ” Corvette Summer ” looks …. I over looked another major short fall on the hideous beast .

    Your little ” Transformers ” obsessed whizz kids at Bowling Green managed to take one of the last two sports cars made with decent outward vision ( Porsche 911 and the C6 ) and imbue it with a raft of blind spots . Brilliant . They just took the Vette from being one of the most daily usable sports cars available …. to a royal pain in the behind to drive …. all in the name of ( cough … hack ) design

    What is it lately with Blind Spots and GM anyway TB ?

  71. ColoradoKid Says:


    My final word on the subject .

    If Ugly , Vulgar . Inane and Profane are the new Beautiful … Pathetic Pastiche the new ‘ Original ‘ …. tacked on fiddly bits the new ‘ Cool ‘ … when it comes to automotive design . Count me out . Like most of the Modern ‘ Art ‘ on offer today ( at ridiculous prices ) ..

    I aint buyin it ! ;-)

  72. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have to admit to being really disappointed in the C7′s design.It really does have a ‘cartoon’ look about it,not unlike caddies angular styling which to me looks stupid.Thank you GM for not messing up the 2014 Silverados.I looked at pics of the C6 again and just love how smooth and flowing it is compared to the 7.But on the other hand,I will be the first one to admit,”I just don’t get it”.

  73. ColoradoKid Says:


    I beg to disagree

    What makes the MX5 / Miatas so appealing is ;

    #1 Its a convertible
    #2 Its small
    #3 Its cute as a bug
    #4 Its practical

    And …… it handles brilliantly

    Unfortunately the ToyotaRu twins only have the handling and to some extent the practicality going for them . Missing out on the drop top – cute as a bug aspects .

    Therefore in order to make up for those ‘ missing ‘ elements …. more power is desired for those considering the SubarYota’s . Well …. that and the fact that the kiddies who are considering the T S Twins have become too used to all Excess Terminal Velocity …. both virtually and in the real

    IMO if a cars gonna be that innocuous and ugly ( and I do think both the twins are ) it darn well better have some serious pony’s under the hood to make up for its looks . Whereas the MX5 ? Leave it alone . Its fine …… unless …. its an older one with a very worn out engine …. in which case I say …… stuff a V8 in the bugger and make it a Japanese Tiger/Cobra 8)

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In 18 months, we will know how the C7 goes over. If everyone hates it as much as some people here, I’m sure they will make some changes, but it will probably sell as well as Corvettes have historically sold.

    I suspect the Corvette market has started to shift, though, from aging baby boomers to Gen X’ers with some spare money.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The ToyoRu is more practical than a Miata, having a back seat, sort of, and it probably can carry more cargo than the MX5, but yeah, the Miata is cuter, and a drop top.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The C7 may be somewhat cartoonish, but cartoonish sells. I always considered the current Camaro to be cartoonish, and it sells pretty well, and the uber-cartoonish New Beetle sold well for years, even after the word was out that it was very unreliable.

  77. pedro fernandezp Says:

    People just don’t get the Toyobaru concept, starting with the price, a butt-ugly Veloster costs the same, FWD and it doesn’t handle near as well, besides this was made from scratch, the other one is based on a friggin’ subcompact, the couple of times I got to drive the FR-S made me wish they had something like it when I was 20

  78. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I think that most of the camaro sales are the V6 models at a much cheaper price point.I’ve seen tons around here,not one performance one yet,as opposed to Mustang GT’s all over the place.Again with the new bug,much cheaper vehicle then a performance Roo,or a C6/C7,and it has the ‘cute factor’.The more it costs,the more it will be scrutinized by the buyers.