Episode 1061 – Chrysler Saves Fiat, California Sticks to EV Mandate, Fisker to get Recharged

January 31st, 2013 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:38

Fiat reported its 2012 financial earnings, and the results look pretty good, as long as you include Chrysler. Automakers are having a tough time selling EVs but that isn’t stopping California; it is not backing down from its zero emission mandate. Yesterday we reported that Fisker is desperately trying to find a deep-pocket partner and now it looks like the company might have one. All that and more, plus John McElroy has a look into what the 2014 Subaru Forester is all about.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily and to the last day of January. Let’s get to the news.

Fiat reported its 2012 financial earnings, and the results look pretty good, as long as you include Chrysler. The Fiat Group’s total vehicle sales came to 4.2 million units, up by a million compared to the year before. That pushed revenues to about $109 billion, up nearly $32 billion, and it reported a net profit of $1.8 billion. But that profit was down by about $312 million from the prior period. And if you take the Chrysler numbers off the bottom line, the Fiat Group actually lost a billion three.

Speaking of that Chrysler profit, that’s going to result in Chrysler’s UAW employees getting bonus checks of $2,250.

The Group also released its new product plan for North America, which includes a dozen more new or refreshed vehicles than originally set out in its 2009 product plan. The total comes to 47 new models over the next four years, it includes four Fiats and two Alfa Romeos set to debut in 2015.

Here we get a look at one of those 47 new models, the Mopar 2013 Dodge Dart, which will be shown at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. This Dart gets the turbocharged 1.4 Liter engine with tuned exhaust, an upgraded suspension and brake kit, and a Mopar inspired interior. They’re only going to make 500 of them starting this spring.

Automakers are having a tough time selling electric vehicles but that isn’t stopping California it’s not backing off its zero emission mandate. The number of EVs automakers must build depends on how many cars they sell in the state. In the first few years automakers will receive credits to meet the requirements before they get gradually stricter. However the state was forced to back off its mandate twice in the past and I think there’s a good chance it will come up short again. But California says that over 15 percent of the cars on its roads will be zero-emission or plug-in hybrids by 2025, and that a third of them will be fuel cell or pure electrics.

And speaking of EVs, yesterday we reported that Fisker is desperately trying to find a deep-pocket partner and now it looks like the company might have one. Chinese company Wanxiang, which just bought Fisker’s battery supplier, A123 Systems, wants to help the luxury EV builder. One executive at Wanxiang says, “…it will be in our best interest to support them, as a vendor or possibly in a strategic alliance.” I say, just dig out your checkbook, boys, because that’s what it’s going to take.

At the recent Autoline Supplier Symposium we learned that many suppliers in North America have just about run out of manufacturing capacity. They removed a significant amount of capacity in the last decade but especially during the Great Recession. Now they are on the verge of running into critical shortages in production capacity, tooling, and people. The shortage is particularly acute in plastics, rubber, castings, powertrain components, and specialized tooling. You can get more details on this looming problem in the John’s Journal section of our website.

And be sure to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours. We’ll be talking about all those Super Bowl ads that are already coming out. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, as well as Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Kia Motors America and David Kiley from AOL Autos.

Coming up next,we’re going to show you more of what the new Subaru Forester is all about.

(Subaru Forester can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

And I’ll be showing you some of my driving impressions of that Forester in a new segment coming up soon.

And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you again right here tomorrow.

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

94 Comments to “Episode 1061 – Chrysler Saves Fiat, California Sticks to EV Mandate, Fisker to get Recharged”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, from #60 yesterday, remember there is no substitute for displacement, I don’t care what new technology they try to put in there, Ford’s obsession with turbos will come back to haunt them in the future, so will those who insist on direct injection and such trickery.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’ve often heard that when producing a vehicle it is ideal to make one less than the demand (for that vehicle) to keep prices attractive (to the seller); guess that premise doesn’t go for suppliers though. Just thinking out loud.

    Early release of ‘super bowl’ commercials probably doesn’t matter to the advertisers as, exposure is exposure, and if the commercial is seen it might actually be seen by someone that might not have seen it (at its premier release, i.e., the Super Bowl).

    I think the title of the California story should have been, “You will ‘BUILD’ them or else”; can’t make anyone ‘BUY’ anything (oops, I may have spoken ‘out of hand’ as we were talking about California).

  3. HtG Says:




    I still laugh at that kind of thing. That is all

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #1 pedro

    I know where you are coming from, but a more apt phrase for “no substitute for displacement” might more resoundingly be stated that to “replace cubic inches it takes cubic money”. DI and turbos do provide replacement for displacement.

  5. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Well, this was the all Chrysler show. Two days ago it was nothing but Ford! Must not have been very much news today.

    Also how is that supplier story news? You reported the same thing on Monday.

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    Is Ford also planning to use the 1.0 3 cylinder Ecobbost powerhouse in the Fusion as well? sort of reminds me of the 4 Cyl Mustang II from the malaise era

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For those who might be interested, here are my observations from CR’s recent Fusion tests that I post earlier this morning on episode 1060:

    I just looked at CR’s test results of the new Fusion, and while they liked the way it drove and rode, the gas mileage sucked big time. Both the 1.6 and 2.0 “ecoboost” were thirstier, and slower, than most of the naturally aspirated competition. For example, a V6 Accord got 4 mpg better “combined” mpg in their tests than the Fusion 2.0 turbo, and the Honda was 1.1 seconds quicker to 60 mph. The 1.6 showed similar underwhelming results, being both slower and thirstier than 4 cylinder Camry and Accord.

    The Fusion hybrid beat the Camry hybrid by 1 mpg, but has an 8 mpg better EPA rating than the Toyota. I’d expect the Fusion hybrid to have a “Hyundai moment” with its fuel economy ratings. The Fusion was 7 tenths slower to 60 than the Camry.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that, so far, the extra complexity of DI and turbos is providing no benefit, at least the Ford’s 4 cylinder cars.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    Advice to Wanxiang

    How to make a very small fortune by purchasing Fisker ( or any other E/V manufacture )

    Spend a very very large fortune and learn to absorb the extensive losses you’re about to incur ….. Either that or get a ton of Government subsidies / hand outs etc .

    BTW – Since when was CA taken over by a Fascist mindset ? I always thought the Peoples Republic of California had more of a communist bent . Oh … wait … the Peoples Republic of China is a Fascist state under the guise of communism . Now I get it ;-)

    HtG – Che quando ” Bogroll ” ?

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    #7 and the media criticizes both Honda and Toyota for not “keeping up” with technology as far as engine and transmissions but their cars achieve the same or sometimes better mpg’s than the competition with all their eco this and turbo that and that Hyundai GDI which makes their engines sound like diesels.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lex Luthor had the right idea of what to do with California in the original Superman movie.

  12. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #8 Kit
    I don’t know either way, but does the ‘DI and turbos’ maintain status-quo on a heavier vehicles (in this case the Fusion); just asking.

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 11

    +1 :o

  14. HtG Says:

    9 aus dem BBC Dokumentarfilm auf Moss

  15. Jim Haines Says:

    There is one thing you can always be sure of with a turbo on a car and that is a pricey replacement during it’s lfe. Do remember also ford is selling trucks with two so double up boys on the billfold.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    These Chinese got so much friggin’ money that soon I will go there and try to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge.

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    #14 Got it !

    FIAT being ‘ saved ‘ by Chrysler .

    Not so much if what all the EU press is currently reporting . FIAT is on the mat …. the count is up to 7 …. and at best a TKO is in their future ( to use a boxing analogy

    The ‘ saving ‘ bit just being another round of Marchionne’s propaganda machine in action .

    UK/EU Press;

    This is for all my EU/UK press naysayers here . A little insight .

    TB and others lately have been mocking my following the EU/UK automotive press and posting their finds here … claiming time and time again ” Who Cares ? ”

    Well here’s a touch of reality . You all may not care about what they’re saying when it comes to the automotive industry and car reviews .

    But….. they (those in the business in the UK/EU ) are most certainly paying very close attention to everything we’re doing …. in the press … in the business etc when it comes to cars here .

    The Japanese as well ! Which …. may be at least part of the reason they keep kicking our tails time and time again . Unlike the majority in the US automotive world ….. they pay attention to everything automotive thats going on …. Globally .

    Think about that for a minute !

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ford GDI turbos seem to maintain almost, but not quite “status quo” performance and mpg, but with a lot more complexity.

    The Fusion is a little, but not much heavier than the Accord and Camry.

  19. Lex Says:

    What is the life expectancy of these sub two liter engines / power plants? Can you expect to get 100 or 200 thousand miles out of them? I would rather drive a V6 with cylinder deactivation which goes from 6 to 4 to 3 depending upon demand. Why don’t more OEM’s offer this solution?

    Acura has put a larger/better 3.5 liter V6 engine into the new 2013 RDX with cylinder management which now runs on regular gas. I never buy a new vehicles in it’s first model year. I will wait to see what changes are introduced for the RDX in 2014.

    If California wants to increase the number of EV’s on it’s road then the State Government should increase the tax break it is offering it’s citizens. It is as simple as Economics 101.

    I spoke with a fellow auto enthusiast about the Dodge Dart. We agree the small displacement of the engine is what is hurting sales. If you look at the Hyundai Sonata, it has the right formula 4 cylinder power plant with 200 hp. Now that’s a winning combination.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, where does anyone in the UK press say the Alfa Giulietta is as bad as you say it is? LInks, please?

    The articles I found certainly didn’t say it was the very best-in-class; most consider Golf best-in-class, but they didn’t bash it either, except to say it lacked “Alfa-ness,” as in sporty sounding exhaust and such things.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With proper care, the small engines last a long time. Ask Pedro about his Corolla. Also, a friend has a much-maligned Pontiac Sunfire that is approaching 200K miles with few problems. It has the pushrod 2.2 that started out life as a 1.8 in the early J cars. That engine didn’t start out very good, especially in performance, but ended up being a pretty good engine as the 2.2.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I never liked turbos on gassers,going back to the corvair spyder.Trouble looking for a wallet to suck up too.Ford seems to like twin turbos.Fine for the original owner,a financial nightmare for the used buyer.I wonder if that will hurt the trade-in/re-sale value?

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    #22 GA only time will tell, all these new-fangled technologies might do a number on used car sales for such models. The more traditional ones will have a higher resale value.

  24. kurtw Says:

    Thnx for more info on 2014 Forester, John. However, Subaru’s calling their ’14 a 4th generation Forester; last major upgrade was the ’09 model.

  25. ColoradoKid Says:


    First off you need to trace the Dart’s platform and engines all the way back to its FIAT roots to see the complete picture … as the Guilia is nothing more than a re-bodied and re- badged FIAT with a slightly widened and longer platform but the same mechanicals .

    Second you need to keep up with the Forums ( UK & EU ) to read what the owners are saying about their cars . Suffice it to say when the Brits … who have a legendary tolerance for poor reliability and quality start complaining on a regular basis …. well ….. Houston …. We’ve Got a Real Problem on our hands

    Last … seeing as how those reviews ( FIAT & Alfa ) cover from the late twenty naughts to the present day … digging up any of those links would take more time than I am wiling to invest to prove a point here .

    In conclusion as I’ve said now twice before ;

    Garbage In ( FIAT/Alfa ) Garbage Out ( Dodge Dart )

    Believe me or not . Its not my good money going after bad after all ;-)

  26. ColoradoKid Says:


    Having owned two Turbos in the past I’m in complete agreement with you

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve had four turbos, including the ’89 Caravan I currently own. I haven’t had trouble with any of them, but I’ve never had more than 70K miles on one.

    If I were buying a car planning to drive it 200K miles, I would definitely avoid turbos, especially since, at least with mid-size front drive sedans, simpler, non-turbos perform better and get get better mpg, as explained in #7.

    With some cars, such as MINI, if you want extra performance, your only choice is a turbo. In my class, I am doing without the extra performance and have a base MINI Cooper.

  28. T. Bejma Says:


    Of course the UK/EU is paying attention to us, they are exactly where we were 3 or 4 years ago and they are trying to figure out how to stop the downward slide. They would be stupid not study every aspect of our recovery, take copious notes and then figure out how to apply there.

    What can we learn from them? Not much mon frere ;-) we already went through it…

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If you read forums for even the most reliable cars made, you have people complaining about their cars. People like to post the negative on the forums. Even on the Prius forum, you have people mentioning problems with one of the most reliable cars in the road. Heck, I’ve looked at Benz forums a few times, and there are complainers there too.

    It looks like you don’t have any real cases of the UK press saying the Gulietta sucks. I’ll leave it at that.

  30. C-Tech Says:

    @ #25 What car are you referring to? There is no Guilia at Alfa-Romeo. Do you mean the beautiful Guilietta?

  31. T. Bejma Says:


    He knows C-Tech, it is just a continuation of his attempt at humor, like calling PMD “Pietro”, misusing and always capitalizing xenophobia, misspelling my name, etc., etc…

    Guilia is Italian for Julie, so he is calling it a “Julie Car” in an attempt to emasculate it instead of correctly calling it Giulietta…

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding Fords and CR, they liked the C-Max quite a lot, except for the smallish cargo area and the controls. They said the controls were overly complicated, even without MyFord Touch, which is even worse. There is no tuning knob for the radio, even without MFT.

    While the C-Max set a new record for underperforming its EPA ratings of 47-47, it still got very good mpg, 37 overall, vs 41 for the significantly slower accelerating Prius V.

  33. G.A.Branigan Says:

    On one of the forums I am active on,(a pickup truck forum),someone just the other day mentioned that not many people on the forums say what a good vehicle they got,and I find that is true to a certain degree.

    You all know my feelings and animosity towards Jeep and how crummy their quality (lack there-of)is.

    My feeling towards the 1/2 ton Silverado is diametrically opposed to what I say about jeeps.For my use both on and off road I find the chevy superior to fords,and the rams.GM has a much better off road pkg then all the others combined.My point: I tell people that on those forums.Zero problems with,and zero complaints with my last truck.Just had to tell ya’ll that.

  34. C-Tech Says:

    @ #31 Sorry. I have trouble telling when he is kidding. Thanks T.B.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I tend not to post at all on Prius, MINI, or Gen 1 Chrysler minivan forums, but look at them occasionally. My most recent post on a “vehicle-specific” forum was Kawasaki KLR650. My post was about an aftermarket windscreen I got, and liked very well.

    Some people post a lot on those type forums, as I post a lot here.

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    Oh 2014 Corvette C7-R !

    It appears your old nemesis/vanquisher may be waiting for you once you finally come out of hiding and back on the track ;


    In light of the fact that the SLS ( which the Viper is built on ) was last years FIA – GT champion ( only with a V10 ) I’d say there’s quite a battle about to ensue ..

    But on a serious and less smarmy note . Vipers and Vette’s back in action in the LMS/ALMS as well as LeMans : regardless of who’s the victor is a Win Win for the US ( even in spite of my despising all things Chrysler of late )

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:


  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma & C-tech

    How cute . Now you’ve both become pedantic as well as insular and xenophobic . Not very good ones mind you . But pedantic never the less .

    Pardon me for mis-spelling Bejma and mistakingly typing Guilia instead of Gulietta , as well as using caps as a form of emphasis . On the one hand a mistake on my part …. on the other a case of you’re not comprehending the subtleties of writing online .

    Seriously though T . Give up on the feeble attempts at insults . They’re pathetic , most adolescent and very unbecoming of you … especially when I had though better of you . But tell you what . Get the moderators to take the gloves off and I’ll gladly teach you a lesson or two in the Fine Art of insults . Guaranteed .

    C-tech – But here’s a silly short one for you in light of your mocking my moniker yesterday …. Mr IGottaCinTechSchoolThereforeTheGermansWon’tEverHireMe . See ! Wasn’t that fun …..

    Kit – Believe what you will . Like I said ..its not my money being spent on the POS nor is it my reputation on the line for recommending the thing . I Promise though the first new article I run across I’ll place the link up here ….. just to make you happy …. or not ;-)

    And errr Kit ! Think you could refrain from the petty insults as well ?

  39. Bradley Says:

    The 2014 Forester looks great. I also think the front end on the turbo should be standard.

  40. HtG Says:


    When I went on a Miata forum to link to Bob Hall, the father of Miata, they went full metal jacket when I wrote about Bob kidding people who call the car girly.

    Touchy and douchy, they are. But it’s fun to read Porsche owners railing about the execrable engines in their early water cooled cars. One runs far far away.

  41. ColoradoKid Says:

    #36 should of read the Viper has the V10

    Mea Culpa

  42. G.A.Branigan Says:

    On the lighter side: http://jalopnik.com/2014-corvette/

  43. Chuck Grenci Says:

    G.A., I saw that elsewhere and have to admit I like it (however, lost is the venting, which is functional) and also the moving forward design that Corvette had in mind. Never did think the new rear looked Camaro’ish.

  44. Dave Foley Says:

    #36. Actually it’s the other way around. SLS is based on the Viper. The next gen Viper chassis was apparently well underway when the DCX divorce took place. Daimler just took the chassis engineering with them when they left.

    To me it’s obvious. Look at the proportions of the SLS. Front wheel to A pillar. B pillar to rear wheel. Greenhouse. It is all very Viper-esque. Add some sexy curves to it, and you’ve got Viper all day long.

    Daimler just had the money to get their car to market sooner than the Viper. Chrysler was saddled with a disinterested owner in the form of Cerburus. They had no more interest in building a vibrant car company, than a lion cares about the zebra population. It’s all about themselves.

    And so goes the spoils in a divorce.

    Glad the Viper is back, whatever it’s supposed lineage, and glad the Corvette is new and fresh looking. It’s a good time to be a car nut!

  45. ColoradoKid Says:


    Molto Grazie 8)

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    #44 Thats a matter of argument and a reasonable case can be made either way .

  47. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Chuck: I like it too,and with a bit of work they could again have the proper venting.I’m in the other school Chuck,the C7 tail lights to me,do look Camaro-ish,AND,I just can’t get past the sharp angles vs the once smooth flowing lines of the C6.My bad I guess….

  48. T. Bejma Says:

    I will add to the Forums discussion since I am active on several from Cobalt SS’s to Personal Watercraft to Snowmobiles to Android Phones…

    The ONLY reason I go there is to help solve a problem, help someone solve a problem or sell something. They are not a place to accurately judge anything because talking about how great the particular forum subject is, is like preaching to the choir. Occasionally, someone who is looking at possibly getting one of the subject items pops on, but they are usually just passing through. It is a GREAT way to learn about problems and how to solve them, but as a way to judge if something is good or bad, it does a terrible job.

    Take for instance said Cobalt Forum. There are almost 60,000 members but that only equates to about 5% of all of the Cobalts sold, so even if every single one of the members gave their honest opinion of the vehicle, you still are only getting a small percentage of the owners…

  49. T. Bejma Says:


    It sure explains why they didn’t go the round taillight route. It really looks out of place compared to the hard lines of the rest of the car…

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What petty insults? I’ve refrained for years from mentioning your use of “should of” when you meant “should have,” but now that others have pointed it out….

  51. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T Bejma: I like the forums that get into depth on subjects I love.AND,they are great for researching out possible common problems with either what you already have,or might be planning to buy.The forums I’m on don’t hold their punches either,they for the most part tell it like it is.That is especially true on one of the Jeep forums I’m still very active in.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I learned from the Prius forum that I am not the only person to have the “rough” U joint on a Prius steering shaft. One thing I learned, though, was that my dealer in Indiana knew immediately what the problem was. A couple other people on the forum didn’t have such good luck getting if fixed the first time.

  53. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T Bejma:,Lol…..we seem to be in disagreement on this one ;}> I love the round tail light kit.It actually improves the overall looks,imho.I’m sure the vent problem could be solved with no problem.

  54. HtG Says:

    I’m still embarrassed about the hard time Rod Maloney got, here.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The simple, cheap way to mostly fix the “vent problem” will be to paint the vent parts body color, if the car is a color other than black.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    No sports car expert here, but why doesn’t GM follow Porsche’s 911 way of just making subtle, evolutionary changes to the styling and put most of the effort into the driving dynamics, driveline and interior quality

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53, I think I like the round lights better, but I haven’t seen the car “in person.”

    In any case, within a short time after the C7 actually goes on sale, I suspect most of the whining about the “Camaro tail lights” will subside, just as the whining about the non-retracting headlights of the C6 didn’t last too long.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, you mean they should make the new Corvette look like this:


    I kind of like that look when I see them at shows.

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t think that is what I had in mind with the 911 comment, IMHO the 911 has this iconic, timeless style that has remained fresh through the years. GM should do the same with the Vette instead of trying to turn it into a Star Wars space ship.

  60. HtG Says:

    I think GM plain made a decision to break with the past. Didn’t Harlan Charles also say on AAH that they intentionally dropped the round tail lights?

    You mention the 911, Pedro, but is there another car that has evolved like it? Check the Ferraris, they are not speaking a consistent language. BMW Z cars keep changing(though I like the current model’s call back to the 507). And Porsche has those other models that the 911 buyer club may not want.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    MINI is probably closer to evolving like the 911 than anything else I can think of, and it’s not very close. The BMW cars are the same power train configuration as the “classic” Mini, but are much bigger, and less space-efficient.

  62. HtG Says:

    yup, MINI.

  63. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I know what Pedro is saying and I agree.We have but one vette.As such it should show the evolution over time like the 911 still does decades later.A little here,a touch up there kind of thing.The driveline can go like gangbusters but the looks,the essence of the vehicle needs to be maintained in a classy way.Not the star wars hard lined drastic change they did.

  64. HtG Says:

    The looks of the 911 notwithstanding, today’s 991 is mechanically very different than the original 911. Today’s car is nothing like the dangerous simple beast which demanded skill from the driver. It looks like a 911, but it steers for you, shifts for you, keeps the wheels from spinning, you can’t feel the tires except through a synthetic vibrations the engineers put in there. It’s for farts. I still not over Peter(Pietro) selling his 991. Why

  65. HtG Says:

    64 sorry about the rant. I still think anything beyond syncromesh and hydraulic power steering is ‘not on’ for a sports car. Maybe this is why I am less and less interested.

  66. carribean Says:

    I”m sorry not sure what john talking about but subaru forester looks horrible it has a 90′s body not sure who’s buying it but it wont be me..

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG I did write that the efforts should be on driving dynamics and interior improvements on the Vette, today I saw a CR review of the Focus ST and the tester saying that Ford went too far in the power given to the car, cause it needs a skilled driver even with traction control activated and with it turned off, it is a handful to keep it from doing a 180 on you, some people are never pleased!

  68. HtG Says:

    The computer machines that separate the driver from the controls of the car leave me cold. I get it for sedans and SUVs and trucks, but the union of driver and machine, and the responsibility and excitement that entails, that’s for me.

  69. HtG Says:

    I do blame the govts for a lot of what’s going on with autos. It’s one reason I hold onto the toy Civic

  70. C-Tech Says:

    @ #38 ImAKidding I just want to see you write that with every reply to my posts. :)

  71. C-Tech Says:

    Sadly the its the untrained public and insurance companies which demands the government mandated driving aids. If there comes something the public does not like they will create enough of stir to have it revoked. I remember seat belt starter interlock and how long it lasted.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m not a fan of AWD on normal cars, but maybe the Focus ST should have it, like the hot version of the Subaru WRX. That’s the one Subaru that should have AWD standard, IMO.

  73. C-Tech Says:

    Sorry for the typos, greasy and fat-fingered.

  74. C-Tech Says:

    @ #71 I loved the 300C AWD in the Michigan snow. It was a blast.

  75. HtG Says:

    I guess it’s the right answer for society, ctech, but I don’t have to be enthused. Cars are so much better and safer now.

  76. C-Tech Says:

    @ #74 Safer, no doubt. Missing feeling and some are just appliances on wheels.

  77. RonE Says:

    Re: #27, Kit, you’re probably very familiar with the “Twini” Mini. I first saw one on Wayne Carini’s show “Chasing Classic Cars.” If you’re on Facebook, you can probably find his Twini.

    Here’s a link to MiniMania where they go into some detail about the Twini. Really cool car.


  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d heard of Twini, but hadn’t seen much detail. Thanks for that link. It was a cool project. I’ll look for it on facebook.

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess I’m spoiled. In addition to synchromesh and hydraulic power steering, I like a heater, A/C, and cruise control, at least for a “daily driver.”

    I would not buy one of these exotics coming only with automatic transmissions, even if I had Bill Gates’ money.

  80. HtG Says:

    You’re right about that, Kit. Blasting the heater in the Miata let me drive it top down in the winter. And I’m beginning to miss cruise control in the Civic. But my point was about the driver being increasingly separated from the car and the road. I like how a steel cable throttle delivers more than a suggestion to the ECU. I can also recover a locked front tire by modulating the brake pedal. I don’t think cars are the same thing I grew up with.

  81. ColoradoKid Says:

    If this is the future of ‘ The Lincoln Motor Company ‘


    Might I humbly suggest they close up shop now .. cut their loses …. and call it a day .

    ( spoiler alert – this is almost too depressing to watch first thing in the morning if you care at all about the US automotive industry and its future )

  82. ColoradoKid Says:


    Well …… if you had my money … along with the bum left leg I’ve got ( chronic injury due to previous accident )

    You’d seriously reconsider ;-)

  83. HtG Says:

    watcha lookin’ at?

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    #80 Indeed Ford should just forget about Lincoln and concentrate on FORD and FORD ONLY! after all,things are not as rosy there as they appear to be, you lose Fusion winning NACOTY because of recalls and other issues? you gotta a problem that needs to be solved, pronto, before retirement Mr Mullaly! concentrate on your core business, Lincoln will never amount to anything outside the US

  85. T. Bejma Says:


    That was bad, real bad, real, real, real, bad… ;-(

    But what is worse is your attempt to assign this piece of advertising vomit, created by a (soon to be unemployed) marketing firm, (for a psuedo-luxury company soon to be dead) with the state of the US Auto Industry.

    Hyperbolize much?

  86. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hell Pedro,lincoln doesn’t amount to much here in the US.They lost their way,too long ago now to recover.Too bad….

  87. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T.Bejma: “advertising vomit”,damn that’s good.LMFAO !!!

  88. T. Bejma Says:

    General Motors (GM) January U.S. sales: +15.9% to 194,699, beating the consensus estimate of 13%. Retail sales were up 24 percent, while fleet sales fell 2%. Total sales by brand: Cadillac +47%; Buick +31.9%; GMC +23.4%; Chevrolet +10.9%. Sales of GM’s full-size pickups rose 32% to 50,230 units and the automaker notes pickup inventories are in-line with sales and production plans for 2013.

  89. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lincoln was mostly Navigator and Town Car and when those 2 dinosaurs became extinct, Ford should have folded Lincoln and kept Volvo and put some money into it, that one had a more promising future, plus international appeal as the last remaining Swedish brand.

  90. HtG Says:

    communicatory emesis?

    sounds like something you’d find in Doctor DeLorenzo’s Darkroom

    (wow, it’s early and I already need to go see the principal)

  91. pedro fernandez Says:

    Will soon be doing an ATS review with my buddy, have not driven a Caddy since the malaise era ’86 De Ville(YUK) so I am really looking forward to this experience, we just need to find a suitable place to test it out w/o getting a reckless driving fine.

  92. T. Bejma Says:


    Looking forward to your feedback Pedro!

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They still have Navigator, but Town car was almost a real Lincoln, it spite of its being a gilded taxi cab, and it’s gone, with no replacement even being discussed, that I’m aware of.

  94. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Everything Lincoln Motor Company is doing (are they actually doing anything??) makes no sense to me at all.In truth,it looks like they might be having ‘lunch’ with the chrysler gang…