Episode 1068 – Why Gas Prices Are Up, Redesigned VF Commodore, Subaru Diesel with CVT

February 11th, 2013 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:02

Anyone who lives in the United States definitely has noticed that the price of gasoline shot up dramatically in the last month. Now, find out why. Holden unveiled the redesigned version of its rear-wheel-drive VF Commodore sedan, which will make its way to the U.S. as one much-awaited Chevy model. Set to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show is the Subaru Outback with the companies Boxer Diesel mated to a CVT. All that and more, plus the UAW once had a monopoly on automotive labor in the United States and Canada but not anymore.

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Well, we hope you had a great weekend. Welcome to a new week of Autoline Daily, let’s get to the news.

WHY GASOLINE PRICES ARE SURGING
Anyone who lives in the United States definitely has noticed that the price of gasoline shot up dramatically in the last month. That’s because speculators have jumped back into the market in a big way. They expect higher prices because some East Coast refineries are shutting down permanently or closing for maintenance. And because of record exports of gasoline, especially to Brazil and Venezuela. Tight supplies are a magnet for speculators who place bets that prices will go even higher.

CITROEN GOES TECHNO
Citroen has been selling an MPV for years called the Picasso. It’s met with moderate success, but if you ask me it’s always looked a little goofy. Now the company is getting rid of the fishbowl look with this good-looking concept that it’s going to unveil at the Geneva show next month. Citroen calls it the Technospace and says it uses a new, modular platform that is lightweight and space efficient. We wanted to show you what it looks like but we’ll all have to wait until Citroen releases more details.

CHINA IN OVERDRIVE
The Chinese car industry is growing by spectacular numbers again. Despite worries of a slowdown last year, sales last month hit 2.3 million units, up an astonishing 46 percent compared to a year ago. Production was up over 50 percent, hitting 1.96 million. And that is amazing growth.

HERE, HAVE SOME MONEY
Ford wants its dealerships to look as gleamingly new as possible. It’s telling its dealers it will match, dollar-for-dollar, up to $750,000 in upgrades to their stores in the U.S. Even so, Wards Auto World reports that the outgoing president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Bill Underriner, says automakers need to butt out of a dealer’s business. He criticized these kind of renovation programs, because they make all dealerships look alike and rarely pay off.

HOLDEN REDESIGNS COMMODORE
Holden unveiled the redesigned version of its rear-wheel-drive VF Commodore sedan, which will make its way to the U.S. as the much-awaited Chevrolet SS. The new sedan features lightweight aluminum panels, new exterior design and a more sophisticated interior. Unfortunately we were not given any information on what engine and transmission will go in it. So we’ll just have to stare at these pictures and imagine a Chevy badge on the grille.

SUBARU’S VISION INTO THE FUTURE
Subaru is giving us a look into its design and technology future with this tease for the VIZIV concept crossover, which makes its debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The name VIZIV comes from the phrase “vision for innovation” that Subaru suggests is the brand’s direction.

SUBARU BOXER DIESEL W/CVT
Also set to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show from Subaru is the Outback with Subaru’s Boxer Diesel mated to a CVT. I think that could be a killer combination. CVT’s provide terrific real world fuel economy and so do diesels. Together the two could be a real nice package.

Coming up next, a look at the biggest problem facing the UAW. It’s running out of money.

THE LABOR MOVEMENT
(The labor movement can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

And now it’s time for my viewpoint. Today’s topic: the labor movement.

The UAW is facing an existential threat. It’s running out of money.

It once had a monopoly on automotive labor in the United States and Canada but not anymore. While Asian and European automakers added millions of units of capacity in the United States and Canada, the union has failed to organize any of their plants. Not one.

The same goes for suppliers, who now have many fewer union workers, or none at all.

And it will only get worse. New hires at GM, Ford and Chrysler are paid half as much as legacy workers. Since union dues are assessed at two-hours pay per month, every new hire means the union gets half as many dues. Yet, the union is already dipping into its savings to pay for its operational expenses because it’s not collecting enough dues.

Another dilemma. GM, Ford and Chrysler gave the union over $50 billion in cash and stock to manage its Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) which provides health benefits to retirees. That’s a lot of money, but not enough. According to the latest papers filed with the government, the VEBA is more than $30 billion short of covering its obligations. A year ago the shortfall was $20 billion. Where is the union going to come up with that kind of money?

And now the state of Michigan, home to the UAW, just became a right to work state. Simply explained, that means no one can be forced to join a union or pay union dues or fees. Most UAW members will choose to remain in the union and pay their dues. But some people will drop out.

Now, before the anti-union crowd rubs its hands in glee, watch out. The UAW is mortally wounded and will likely lash out. I think the contract negotiations in 2014 could become extremely contentious. And it will ramp up the rhetoric against the transplants.

Obviously the union has to do something. Because it’s pretty obvious that it’s only a matter of time before the union runs out of money.

And that’s my viewpoint for today. Thank you for tuning in, and I hope to see you back here again tomorrow.

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70 Comments to “Episode 1068 – Why Gas Prices Are Up, Redesigned VF Commodore, Subaru Diesel with CVT”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I wonder if Subaru will bring in their diesels too.If not,why tell us about this?

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    The ‘ Truth ‘ about future auto sales ;

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/08/us-usa-autos-reckoning-idUSBRE9170YU20130208

    I’ve been saying this going on two years now !

    Any manufacture ignoring this info does so at his/her own peril

    And here’s my reasons why ;

    1 – Over saturation of the auto market
    2 – A ‘ recovering economic outlook with little or no substance behind it
    3- Over dependency on a ‘ hostile ‘ Chinese market
    4 – Emerging markets that are in fact unstable at best
    5- Worldwide including the US everyones going home with less money monthly in their pay packets

  3. Zieke Says:

    Maybe a lot of companies (not all) have decided to treat their employees fairly and just without a union forcing them to do it. In that case the unions have outlived their usefulness. Can’t think of many folks wanting to pay union dues without seeing the benefits of doing so. Personally it seems greed is also entering into the union equation. If true it’s their bed. Guess they’ll have to lay in it.

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    Holden – Chevy SS

    Bad move Chevrolet especially in light of Holden’s Australian future being ‘ tenuous ‘ at best … and more like Dead Man Walking . Somehow without hitting up my Antipode informant I get the funny feeling the SS will wind up being a pile of Holden leftovers GM will be using up in order to make a last dollar or two out of the Holden division before it dies .

    What the Chevy SS should be is a de- contented Cadillac ATS .. Now THAT would make some very real business sense ! Not to mention one ____ of a car !

    ( I’ll contend to the end that the ATS would make a fantastic $35k Chevy but as a $45k Cadillac .. BMW-Mercedes wanna be it comes up well short of the mark )

  5. W L Simpson Says:

    John L Lewis said “all we want is more” —–
    and greed killed his union. Looks like UAW is next, & long over due

  6. W L Simpson Says:

    This article is 4 years old , but quite relevant.
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/12/uaw-workers-actually-cost-the-big-three-automakers-70-an-hour

  7. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    John, are you guys going to the Geneva show? Look forward to the coverage if so.

    That Citroen looks pretty nice, but the Subaru NO WAY!

    What about sales in Russia, India Brazil or even Mexico? There are other countries out there worth mentioning not just China sales. Do they report numbers at the same time or is it all spread out?

  8. 14L Diesel Says:

    I think you are dead on regarding the contract negotiations. A wounded UAW is not going to be an easy negotiating partner at all. I would expect the Union to push hard for some kind of deal to circumvent the RTW laws.

  9. 14L Diesel Says:

    #4 CK – Disagree about the ATS coming up short of the BMW-Mercedes. The prestige might not be there yet but every review I have seen indicates near parity with the 3 Series while the C-class is never even mentioned. Mercedes has really got to step up if they want to hold onto market share. BMW, Audi and now Cadillac are really “coming to play”!

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    #9

    Driven one . Own a Benz . Several friends have Bimmers . The ATS does not measure up , quality , drivability , handling or performance wise despite the propaganda and rhetoric being put forth by the majority of the automotive press : who’s opinions are more than a bit influenced by the all mighty advertising dollar ;-)

    The NYTimes summed up the ATS best when they said it was like a College Sophomore athlete moving up to the Pro’s too early . Lots of talent but not ready for the big time .

    Whereas as a $35k Chevy ? The ATS would be brilliant . Even in my estimation taking into account that I despise what GM has become and is doing Worldwide

  11. T. Bejma Says:

    #5

    Holden is not pulling out of Australia, just focusing on smaller, 4 cylinder vehicles instead of big RWD, V8 and V6′s

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/demise-of-holdens-commodore-and-fords-falcon/story-e6frea83-1226555410358

    Don’t expect the Chevy SS to be anything but premium and not leftovers.

    “…with at least 400 horsepower on tap, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. “It’ll be a halo car for Chevrolet because we really don’t have a high-performance four-door sedan. It fills that niche,” Reuss said of the new sedan.”

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/1212_gm_reuss_2014_chevrolet_ss_sedan/#ixzz2Kc43sdQ1

    I would also love to see a stripped down ATS, just because I love performance and especially RWD, but just be patient, with the ATS Coupe and the new Camaro on the Alpha platform, the performance minded among us will soon get our wish.

    We need to understand though, that the marketers may love us, but the real bread and butter will always be the “appliances” that are sold in HUGE numbers and trucks, so what “we” (real drivers) want is never top priority at any automaker

  12. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #6: Wow,retired they make more money,and have better medical benefits then I do after being wounded and awarded 100% service connection after fighting for my country.No wonder people are so protective of their union ‘bennies’.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Subaru’s still lack in design (styling) in my opinion; no doubt they make some class leading ‘mechanicals’ (but plain as an old shoe). That may also be some of its appeal (frumpy looking); maybe like the old Saabs.

    On the new Citroen; now those rear lights look like a Camaro’s butt end (in reference to the misguided reference to the new Vette’s rear-view.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Subaru’s new Forester has much better looks then the other models,imho.That turbo has a really good looking front end that should be translated to some of the others.

  15. buzzerd Says:

    I don’t see any reason to celebrate almost any union getting weaker, it just means a quicker race to the bottom. People seem to forget that you might think that guy gets paid to much and does to little but the other guy thinks the same of you!

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    Not to be contentious ( or the least bit insulting ) there Mr Bejma but my Antipode insider says point blank the Aussie government will be bringing all automotive production in the country to a halt over the next five years… its not profitable .. Holden & Ford are not selling … they’re tired of bailing out/subsidizing the manufactures ( all of them ) and they don’t need them around anymore …. He also confirmed my suspicion’s and speculations about the SS . A left overs Bits and Bobs parts bin job it will be .

    #15 +1

  17. T. Bejma Says:

    #16

    Understand that production in Australia is hurting with only Ford, GM and Toyota left and don’t doubt that eventually there could be none, but I think it will be the natural progression, not the government that brings it down. If the government feels that getting rid of manufacturing is a good direction, I really feel sorry for the Aussie’s…

    I am working on the launch of the SS and some of the components and I can assure that nothing is from previous Holden’s. It does share the platform and some of the new Commodore exterior but regardless, both are new.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    This doesn’t sound like Holden,will be folden,(sorry)

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/holden-boss-spills-the-beans-on-new-commodore/#more-477200

  19. Bradley Says:

    So how much money does the head of the UAW make?

  20. Ed Says:

    I watched the Chrysler YouTube video about the grand Cherokee workers , on break drinking and tokin up on pot or whatever they were doing, they were let go, appealed and reinstated. You can have good and bad workers but car buyers who are looking and researching will use all info to their advantage, I think we are seeing people as a whole voting with their feet and wallets. Go America . And may the best win at the expense of the bad.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    @ TB any plans for GM to make a Caddy based on the Cruze architecture? If so, it would be priced near the ATS base model, don’t you think? I was thinking they might want to take on the MB CLA if it does well.

  22. T. Bejma Says:

    #21

    Pedro, not that I am aware of. The Verano seems to be filling that niche pretty well right now. I think with all of the bad things that came along with the last little FWD Cadillac we probably don’t want to go there. If I here differently, I will let you know.

  23. Julius Lambert Says:

    Its about time we start getting the uper hand on the MAFIA THUGs controlling organised labor.Now this is going to be a blow to Obama and his Chicago thugs.Now lets start working on the thugs collecting our garbage and trash.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    @ TB what little FWD Caddy are you referring to?

  25. buzzerd Says:

    @23 for sure it’s about time, I know I’ve had enough advances in pensions, holidays, wages, benifits, health and safety….

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9,10,
    Pretty much everyone who has tested the ATS says it outhandles the new 3 series, and that the 3.6/auto power train works very well. There are a few minor misses, like the instrument panel, but handling is not one of the misses.

    As far as the C-Class, it is not even in the hunt, handling-wise, and the 1.8 turbo in the C250 is underwhelming too. The power train of the C350 provides great performance, and the C is more “luxurious” in the tradition sense than the ATS, but it is a distant third to the 3 and the ATS in handling.

    Come on, CK, can’t you get over bashing the ATS each and every day. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is getting tired of it.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and yeah, I’d like to see a “stripper” ATS 3.6 sold as a Chevy, but it isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    Marchionne’s Madness and Lies marches on !

    First SM told Italy he’d be building the 500 there .

    Next he promised the US that we’d get production

    After which for some major CAW concessions he promised it’d be built in Canada .

    While then actually moving all 500 production to Mexico ( for a raft of even more concessions – government hand outs and tax breaks )

    And now …… he’s moving it all out of Mexico and to ………Tychy , Poland ( NYTimes )

    Nice guy that Marchionne ;-)

    —–

    Higher fuel prices …. another reason .

    A major ongoing drought US wide . Corn production way down . Ethanol prices skyrocket . So much for the benefits of all that [ E ] gas being shoved down our throats ( NYTimes as well )

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    The base ATS for around $33k is quite a bargain when you consider any run of the mill midsize sedan goes for the high 20′s nowadays. I just wished they had made the instrument cluster a little more attractive in the day time, it looks fine at night but not so in the daylight.

  30. T. Bejma Says:

    #24

    Cimmaron…. [shudders]… Don’t even like saying the name…

  31. ColoradoKid Says:

    #26 …….. pretty much every Automotive Magazine ( who’s income solely depends on those advertising dollars from the manufactures ) are the ONLY ones touting the ATS as a genuine BMW – Mercedes equal .

    Think about that for a second ;-)

    And I’m not ‘ bashing ‘ the ATS . I’m just saying its not living up to what is advertised … other than that I think its a pretty fine car .

  32. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @ Pedro – I think he means Catera, but not sure

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Catera was rear drive.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    BMW and Mercedes advertise in the magazines too.

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    #31

    I wasn’t going to get sucked in but…

    What about Esquire Magazine (loved ATS – Best of 2012 Award) – not auto, doesn’t rely on auto money – but… Not auto so doesn’t know what they are talking about, right?

    Same with Men’s Health Magazine, GQ, Popular Mechanics (Luxury Car of the Year 2013), etc.

    Then there is the respected blogs like AutoBlog, TTAC and Jalopnik that all love it as well.

    These guys must be getting paid by Cadillac as well, right?

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB my bad, I forgot the Cimarron was FWD I was thinking of the Nova based Seville, well, hey Merc is going FWD as well with this new small sedan, so no big deal. Besides the Cruze is light years ahead of the J car-based Caddy of yore.

  37. shan Says:

    @ #10 that’s the typical elitists view of American cars, funny how Mercedes and “Bimmers” have a long history of poor reliability and loose resale value as soon as they come off the lot like most other cars. BMW has had some huge misses with their much hated driver controls such as the iDrive. My brother bought a new BMW 318 back in the late 90′s and after a few years of hard driving the transmission literally broke loose from the engine. Most BMW’s are heavy cars, pushing 4000 pounds. I would say in another 5 years, Cadillac will compete strongly with anything in the world.

  38. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I would absolutely love to see both Cadillac and Lincoln get back what was once theirs.With the plethora of the ‘new’ luxo barges (okay maybe canoes),that they HAVE to compete with I really wish they would get serious about it.Caddy is going to do well with the new ATS,not sure what Lincoln is gonna do,maybe open a detail shop or something….

  39. cwolf Says:

    There is a lot of good conversation going on today, but this has to take priority. For anyone who enjoys a bourbon now and then, Makers Mark (Bean) is watering down their product by 3%!! Now, instead of three fingers you need four.

  40. cwolf Says:

    #2 CK – perfectly said!!

  41. cwolf Says:

    Subaru boxer diesel sounds interesting, but doesn’t the boxer have a bad rep. and will the diesel variety be any better? I like Subaru, yet, like everything else, is getting bigger, wider and longer. Geesh!

  42. gary susie Says:

    WOW the kid never drove an ATS but knows all about them. Wonder why all the test drivers says it beats the BMW. Could they all be lying. He can keep his Benz , had one and had nothing but electrical problems When warranty ran out got rid of it. Two friends did the same. You can’t take to a dealer without taking out a loan to get them serviced. They are a money pit.

  43. gmveteran Says:

    I think you all just need to give up on CK. Some people just won’t give a company or brand an honest appraisal or a second chance. It appears that his secret source down in Australia drinks the same Kool Aid that he does. Don’t sweat it TB, everyone else understands and gets your point on the ATS. CK is the only one with the advertising conspiracy theory stuck in his head. Even he can’t explain the ATS winning NA Car of the Year, though. With secret ballots, the journalists were under no influence from their bosses or advertisers. They just thought the ATS was a great new car, and voted accordingly.

    By the way, I drove the ATS and comparable MB, BMW and Audi models back to back on a closed course. The ATS is very impressive and accelerates, handles and brakes every bit as well as the 3-Series. Interior appointments are a pretty subjective thing, but all of the cars offer attractive interiors with a complete roster of technological features. The MB was the biggest disappointment in terms of handling, but did offer a nice cushy old-school luxury ride. Maybe they are chasing the old Cadillac customers!

  44. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Cwolf: Between my then wife and I we had 5 subies in a 8 year period and never an engine problem.Or any other problem come to think of it.If they had something a bit more heavy duty then the forester I would have another one in a heartbeat.Damn good cars.

  45. cwolf Says:

    Time, itself, will be the salt added to CK’s feathers regarding the ATS. From what I hear, the CTS will just add more misery to BMW,if their motherland has plans to abandon them in the next year or so. MB’s may not handle as well, but they offer more cush to the touche. I’ll take a MB over a BMW any day for my type of driving. My cousin’s BMW’s warranty expired two years ago and has cost her over $1500 every 6 months since. It has been one week out of the service dept. and the check engine light is on… again! Might say it can be labled high tech sh#t! So much for German engineering, eh?

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    Elon Musk can’t handle the ‘ Truth ‘

    http://jalopnik.com/elon-musk-super-pissed-about-new-york-times-tesla-range-128299695

    ( read the NYTimes driving test of the TESLA S this refers to and tell me how wrong I was about that one ….. ;-)

    #49 ” Time, itself, will be the salt added to CK’s feathers regarding the ATS ” ….. Like to place a small wager on that ? Or perhaps even a very large one ?

    BTW cwolf I talked with a BMW exec on the slopes . He said Cadillac isn’t even on their competition radar seeing as how BMW sells more 3 series in a year than Cadillac does their entire inventory . Mercedes cares even less and Audi sees Cadillac as a bit of a bad joke on the best of days .

    Quality gentlemen . Not numbers on a page – rhetoric from magazines desperate to maintain their advertising budgets …. Quality . Something as per MT’s Editor’s own words Cadillac has NOT had since the mid – sixties ( he also stated that Cadillac has not had an original platform since the late 40′s ) And still doesn’t . Probably never will again either … seeing as how GM has forgotten the meaning of the word … Quality .

  47. cwolf Says:

    Oil futures speculators deserve little blame for the immediate price increases we have seen. This is little more than well choreographed price manipulation, pure and simple! And we subsidize these A$$holes!! With all the huge profits the oil co. are making, why should we pay for their pipeline when not one ounce will be for our benifit?

  48. cwolf Says:

    CK, we’ll see if you are so eager to prune your feathers by next year, my friend. Like most execs., your BMW exec. friend is prolly better spreading a line of “bull” than of the snow added to the slopes! And like the slopes, both of you are going down hill. We shall see!

  49. cwolf Says:

    BMW quality? After the warranty wears out? Now that is a line for the Leno show!

  50. G.A.Branigan Says:

    From what I have been hearing over the years,merc isn’t the highest of quality anymore then BMW or Audi.Quality has suffered throughout the auto industry.Some companies really try to improve,Hyundai (sp) is one that has turned a corner and is making vast improvements.In truth,it looks like all of the German offerings are riding a rep that is no longer accurate.JMHO from the bottom….

  51. C-Tech Says:

    So the outgoing pres. of NADA believes the manufacturers of the products they sell should butt out of dealership business and allow their members to sell vehicles as they see fit. My question is do the marketing and division heads think he’s nuts? I would love the hear PMD’s opinion of this.

  52. T. Bejma Says:

    #46

    Quality? Really? You want to go there? Cadillac Quality against the Germans? CK, I REALLY thought you were smarter than that. Data does not lie…

    Prestige, racing heritage, simple form and function? Yes, we have some work to do there with Cadillac, compared to the Germans, but QUALITY? Seriously, you can NOT be serious!

    Cadillac Quality is, and has been since about the early 2000′s, WORLD CLASS (best of the best, up there with Lexus and Porsche), no if’s and’s or but’s and any amount of your rhetoric on this site will not change the DATA that is compiled by INDEPENDENT and OWNER information (as well as being substantiated on this site by several commenters)…

    Credibility is very valuable and should not be wasted by being blinded by (admitted) hatred…

  53. Jonathan Says:

    The BMW ,Audi or Mercedes owners shuddering fear about owning their cars out of warranty screams lack
    Of quality to me.

    I have no such fears with my AWD 304 hp fe2 CTS.

    Ownership experience has been flawless.

    Pick your poison and enjoy. I know I made the right choice with t

  54. Jonathan Says:

    The Cadillac CTS!

  55. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG

    ‘ New Yorker Magazine ‘

    Feb. 4th issue – 12 pages of Adrian Newey – Red Bull and F1

    We’re legit now mien freund 8)

  56. ColoradoKid Says:

    Yes T Bejma …. Quality … let us go there .

    Lets us observe my neighbors plight with her 2011 SRX . Same age as my GLK . Within 500 miles of the same OD . Been in the shop going on 15 times … for repairs ranging from interior electronics – to ECU issues – to interior bits falling off et .

    My GLK ? Not once except for oil and filter . Zero cost btw .

    My realtors 2010 Escalade . 22 times in the shop . Since new . All again major and minor repairs . Trailered five times .

    Gentleman up the blocks 2012 CTS-V . Ten times in the shop since new . And did I tell you about his entire door panel coming lose on the passenger side ?

    So yeah Bejma . Lets talk Cadillac ‘ quality’ and/or the lack there of . Let us also discuss that Cadillac reliability as well …. seeing as how all of the above have been on the tow trailer at least once since new .

    While we’re at it … lets place ANY new Cadillac side by side with its equal BMW or Mercedes . I have and the Cadillac does not stand up in paint – interior – fit & finish etc

    And finally …. the fact that every Cadillac on offer ( as well as on the way ) IS in fact nothing more than a GM parts bin car . . Lets face one small fact even MT has spoken of . GM with Cadillac in the 50′s started the whole Badge Engineering thing … with only Audi being worse about it today . Cheap parts re-branded as luxury . e.g. The Package Defining the Contents … not the other way around .

    So yeah …. lets talk about the quality of that pile of GM parts bin stuff cobbled together into a pretentious Cadillac …. at BMW – Mercedes prices I might add .

    Quality Bejma . Not surface fluff . Read Robert Persig’s ” Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ” on the subject . Because good sir me thinks you’re mistaking Quantity for Quality and the two aint the same .

    So yes Bejma ….Quality ….. let us go there .

  57. Steve Says:

    Speculators are people who trade futures. They not intend to take delivery. That is not the case in the current oil and gasoline market. The class of traders that take delivery are at historically long levels (the buyers). This means that the prices are going higher. We do not know why this is true. We will find out in the next few months.

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    Oh and btw T . The neighbor with the SRX ? After talking about her car with me as well as our other neighbor with a GLK ….. at end of lease she’s headed to Mercedes of Denver … giving the Caddy dealer back their Woe on Wheels as she calls it …. and trading up into a GLK of her very own . Cause in part btw the Caddy dealer treated her so good as well ( sarcasm intended )

  59. ColoradoKid Says:

    #57 Speculators and commodity traders control the prices on anything and everything ….. including petroleum products e.g. gas & oil . Its complicated but thats the way the market fumbles

  60. T. Bejma Says:

    Well, then let us look at the other side of the coin, now shall we…

    Neighbor’s 2011 C300 Sport 4MATIC – 12 times at the dealer since new, EVERY time on the back of a flatbed (this is a guy that could be mechanic and hates the dealer so it has to be pretty bad for him to send it in) the last 3 for a locked up differential and as of last month, MB has bought the car back under the lemon law because they can’t figure it out and when it happened the last time, he took out 3 other cars on the highway.

    Then there’s my uncle’s 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Bluetec (wishes he would have taken my advice and got the SRX) that has been chasing an electrical gremlin that started THE DAY HE DROVE IT OFF THE LOT! Imagine trying to navigate a back country road when all of a sudden, you have no headlights. Scary…

    So, yeah, I went there and the fact is – anyone can come up with a horror story on ANY vehicle which is why smart people do not rely on their neighbor’s or hearsay but on actual DATA compiled on thousands of samples and that data says that Cadillac Quality is at the top and MB is somewhere near the bottom. Sorry, can’t change it.

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
    - John Adams

    So does your unfortunate neighbor’s experience count towards anything? No, not in my (or any other logical person’s) book.

  61. Steve Ashley Says:

    John,
    Does anyone think that the UAW will not be bailed out by the feds? Obama will restore their pension fund using taxpayer monies. I for one am still waiting for my “FREE” GM vehicle due to the absurdly low price GM paid for that last stock repurchase.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56,60,
    Does anyone have a good horror story pertaining to a Lexus LS?

  63. T. Bejma Says:

    All pensions are guaranteed through the PBGC so guess what? You are already on the hook…

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, only heard of disgruntled German brand owners who got fed up with the service dept waiting rooms and switched to Lex and gave up nothing.

  65. HtG Says:

    55 did Newey say anything interesting in the NYer piece?

  66. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It took the Chinese?

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/cadillac-product-offensive-cts-ats-coupe-and-more/#more-477276

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    So Fiat 500 will now be built in Poland instead of Mexico, from bad to worse, folks! and more expensive to sell here as well!

  68. blueovalblood Says:

    Why in the world are we exporting our extra gasoline to Brazil & Venezuala of all plces, when it’s needed here?!?!?

  69. blueovalblood Says:

    The speculators need to but out!!!

  70. Jim Thykeson Says:

    Oh the poor, anti-union ‘dumb-asses’! Go to So. Carolina and work for one of the transplants at $9 per hr., you can’t live on that wage, but those goons at FOX will convince you that you can! Your all going to be working for Walmart wages soon, and then you’ll wonder what happened. If you think these companies really give a shit about you, then your just naive…if they did we wouldn’t need unions! When they go, so goes the middle class.