AD #1123 – Chrysler’s Earnings Plummet, Mercedes Sprinter Van, Volvo Tests New Hybrid System

April 30th, 2013 at 11:48am

Runtime: 9:20

Chrysler earnings fell in the first quarter of this year, but we think the company will be able to make up for its shortfalls this year. Mercedes unveils the updated version of its large Sprinter van. The Volvo Car Group tests a new hybrid system that doesn’t use batteries. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Sean McElroy takes a look at the all-electric Fiat 500e.


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Welcome to Autoline Daily, where we work diligently to keep enthusiasts of the global automotive industry, like you well informed as to what’s going on.

And we would like to start the show by saying Happy Birthday to Land Rover. It was 65 years ago to the day when the HUE 166, or Huey as it has become known, went into production. And of course Land Rover continues on strong today with vehicles like the Discovery, Freelander and Range Rover.

OK, now to two earnings reports that tell a very interesting story. It’s all about Fiat and Chrysler and how the small fish swallowed the big one. Let’s start with Chrysler’s numbers. In the first quarter of this year Chrysler’s sales fell by 33,000 units, mainly lost to model changeovers for the Jeep Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee and the new Ram pickup. Losing those sales dragged revenues down by nearly a billion dollars, and that dragged both the operating and net profits down by just over $300 million. With the plants that make those models getting up to full line speed I would expect Chrysler to more than make up for this shortfall later this year.

But it’s a different story at Fiat. Amazingly, the Italian automaker actually saw its sales go up slightly in the first quarter by 8,000 units. Even so, it’s revenues fell slightly, suggesting the company is heavily discounting to move the metal. As a result, it’s operating profit fell to a meager 8 million euros, and its net loss widened to 276 million euros, or about $358 million. So going back to what I said earlier about the small fish swallowing the big one, look at how Chrysler sells more vehicles, rakes in more revenue and puts more money to the bottom line than Fiat is doing right now. That’s not a criticism, because there would not be a Chrysler right now without Fiat. But this comparison puts that story into context.

Mercedes just updated its large Sprinter van. The design has been tweaked but is fairly similar to the current model. It’s available with five new safety systems, some are standard or available as options. It can be equipped with a variety of engines, which all meet Euro VI emission standards. Several diesel engines are offered, both four and six-cylinder versions that range from 95 horsepower to 190hp. A supercharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection is also available. And a natural gas variant of the same engine is offered as well. The engines can be mated to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. It goes on sale in June.

And speaking of the Sprinter, Mercedes and Renault are in talks about collaborating on a large van. Bloomberg reports that a final decision hasn’t been made yet. The two companies already share a platform for a delivery van, the Mercedes Citan and the Renault Kangoo.

The Volvo Car Group has been testing a new hybrid system for over a year now that uses a flywheel to store energy instead of batteries. Called the Flywheel KERS, or kinetic energy recovery system. Under braking it stores energy by mechanically connecting to the flywheel and spinning it faster. Under acceleration that energy is transferred to the rear wheels via a gearbox connected to the rear axle. That gives the car an additional 80 horsepower and drops nearly a second off the zero to sixty time when installed in an experimental Volvo S60. Volvo’s latest tests show it could reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent when comparing a turbo 4 to a turbo 6. The system was first developed by Torotrak and Flybrid Systems out of the UK for the Williams F1 team. Though Williams tested the system it never raced it. And now Volvo is trying to determine if it makes sense to put into production.

Yesterday we reported that some experts believe car radios will become extinct before this decade is out and that drivers will listen to radio stations by streaming it through their smartphones. So, that’s the topic for this week’s Autoline poll. Would you consider dumping your radio in favor of streaming radio through the internet with your smartphone? Or do you want that head unit in your dashboard forever? To vote just visit our website,, and click the link under today’s show notes. We’ll share the results later this week.

FIAT 500e
(Video and interviews for the Fiat 500e can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Don’t forget to join us for Autoline After Hours this Thursday night. We go live at 6 pm Eastern time and our guest will be Bob Purcell, the CEO of Protean Electric, the company that makes electric hub motors. We had Bob Purcell on a couple of years ago when they were out touting the idea, but now they have a contract to start manufacturing them. So join me and the Autoextremist for some of the best leading-edge insights as to where this auto industry is headed.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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73 Comments to “AD #1123 – Chrysler’s Earnings Plummet, Mercedes Sprinter Van, Volvo Tests New Hybrid System”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Chrysler carrying fiat,no surprise there.
    I like the inertial wheel thing.80hp equivilent to ease the fuel pain from a stop..Brilliant!!
    Back to loser fiat,yawn,another ev (fiat) people won’t buy,I’m shocked…

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The article lists all of those power trains for the Sprinter van, but I suppose the U.S. will get only one choice. Is that the case, John?

  3. Bradley Says:

    I think it is a bit naive to say “Chrysler wouldn’t exist without Fiat (and the US Government).” Who knows what might have happened.

    Ok, This is the first sign of life out of Volvo. As I feel the company struggles for an identity and relevance. Their hybrid system is an interesting idea.

  4. Bob J. Says:

    I have a 12 speaker Sony in my Fusion and am expected to listen to a telephone? This is a joke, Right?


  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Voted NO on the radio survey, I just got rid of my cassette and put in a CD I ain’t getting rid of that anytime soon, I hear my son playing music thru his I phone, sounds horrible, these you g people have no interest in good sound, well the music sucks as well so it kind of makes sense, EV Fiat 500 I guess they’ll be losing eve more money this year.

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    #4 no it’s no joke, I’m afraid.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe there could have been options other than Fiat for Chrysler, but without government involvement, they would have been liquidated. They would not have survived on their own.

    I, for one, am glad Chrysler is still around, however it happened, but I’m sure others, including several on this board, wanted them to die.

  8. Stu Says:

    Well…I wanted to vote “No”, but it says I already voted in the poll even though I haven’t…

    I listen to the radio all the time because it’s free, and I am cheap.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The sound quality from the FM radio function of smart phones is as good as the ear buds you connect it to, but the sensitivity, i.e., ability to receive weak stations is poor, from what I have seen. With a good system for connecting a real antenna to the phone, that might improve, but I still want a regular radio in my car, even though I don’t use it a lot.

  10. Drew Says:

    As a young man, I had an album and cassette collection of music – the albums for high quality listening at home, the cassettes for listening in the car. CDs allowed me to have one media for both. MP3 and SmartPhones compromise quality for convenience (walking, running, etc.).

    Extrapolating this experience to the future, I suspect a new format that delivers high quality (clarity and lack of dropped signals) and convenience could replace both the existing radio and other media devices, but I have not experienced such a format yet.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that Jac Nasser stated that the Australian car industry is going to go away in a few years, much like the British-owned one has as well, makes you wonder when you consider that if it weren’t for the bailout of GM and the Fiat take over of Chrysler, we’d be heading for the same abysmal future here as well, the decline of western industry continues, folks. Also weep you manual aficionados the next 911 Turbo will only come with an auto tranny.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    Around here, the FM signal is dismal, I don’t know why but even Hd radio loses signal a lot, that is why a CD or mp3 player is a must.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I remember being able to listen to she 103 all the way out to Margate.That was back in the 70′s though.

  14. Steve Mader Says:

    To me the poll implied that you’d stream the music through your car speakers using your smartphone as the internet device.

  15. Mike Says:

    I’m not married to any one format. What I want is uniterrupted, high quality audio with a selection of genre’s.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    But if there is no car radio,there isn’t any speakers either….right?

  17. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Lmao….okay John Mc,todays question was designed to mess with us like a vulcan mind **ck, ;}>

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA not all FM stations sound bad the problem is that the transmitters are in the Dade/Broward border and I live south, so reception is iffy on some stations, much better as you travel north.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Next week’s poll question will be, would you prefer a date with Kate Upton or Rosie O’Donnell?

  20. HtG Says:

    LTE killed the radio star

    As the speed of transmission for smartphones rises through LTE(long term evolution, for you nerdists) and as the phones get more powerful, it’s going to be attractive to be able to listen to KUSC from Los Angeles, BBC news, and Autoextremist rants in a seamless manner while you drive around any metro area. Buffering the live signal and stored content is going to satisfy the youngsters amongst us.

  21. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: “while you drive around any metro area”.Most of the country doesn’t have a metro area to drive around in.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, the new Lexus IS, the one that purports to compete with the 3 series, is automatic only.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I use streaming audio, but only at home on Friday nights. From 8:00 to midnight, there are great shows playing “standards” and jazz, on the IU NPR station. I listen using real radio when in Indiana during the summer.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most of the land mass of the US isn’t part of a “metro area,” but most of the population lives within one.

  25. HtG Says:

    21 You’re right GA. That’s why I wrote the metro area qualifier. I suppose the young clients for smartphone stuff will live where there’s reception. Plus, it isn’t a big deal to download a show or playlist from the office or home, and then head out in the car to search for bigfoot in the woods. (just kidding about bigfoot, there’s no such thing as bigfoot)

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t even listen to the sat radio included in the cable TV system that I get, you gotta keep the TV on just to see what stations you tune in to, wasteful use of TV, cause I pipe in the sound thru the home theater system.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA I wonder if there are still small radio stations with minimal equipment and personnel using a turntable or CD player rather than the digital sources most big ones use now.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are a few small, low power stations in Indiana, but the ones I’m aware of are “religious” and don’t play much music.

    The 5000 watt AM station that has been in my home town for about 80 years plays CD’s, and those one-song cartridge tapes used by radio stations, when they play music, mixed with local gossip, in the morning. Most of the mid-day, they have right-wing talk radio. In the evening, they have “syndicated” stuff.

  29. T. Bejma Says:


    Sounds like Satellite radio.

    I have been a subscriber for about 10 years now and can’t even listen to the regular radio. Love the no commercials, channels by year/genre, being able to listen to the same stations across the country (I travel a lot for work) and the high quality (no static) digital sound. Well worth the $12/month…

  30. ColoradoKid Says:

    Antipode Reality Check

    This is right in line with what my source there’s been saying for almost a year now

    Need I say more ?


    Mercedes /Renault Van – The little one’s a small disaster and has become a Black Eye ( as well as a bit of egg ) on Mercedes Benz’s face …. so all bets are the big one will probably be worse … especially in light of how good a vehicle the present Sprinter is


    FIAT & Chrysler’s ( massive ) loses

    Please be aware any Chrysler UAW members on site . Marchionne is barely one step away from ripping your pensions as well as any and all of Chryslers cash reserves right out from under you . And don’t be looking to the Government to protect you if and when he does …. as all bets are the Government will throw you right under the bus …. so please …. keep your eyes open …. and stay well ( meant very sincerely btw )

  31. Jon M Says:

    No surprise that there are rumors about cars radios going the way of the 8 track. But did you also hear about the U.S. switching to the metric system and U.S. GAAP converging with IFRS? Well, okay, so the last one is more realistic. You get my point I’m sure.

  32. Lex Says:

    Chrysler larger than Fiat. Keep Fiat in Europe and bring back American Motors. AMC had great nameplates like Eagle, Talon and Javelin.

    These John Varvatos 300c commericals are unappealing to me. I believe the product should be the star of the commerical. Chrysler should have promoted the 300c in the Green Hornet Reboot of a couple of years ago. It would have probable made the movie more interesting and sold more 300c’s.

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    ” Video Killed the Radio Star ” … but not radio itself

    Pedro – 27 – Just like vinyl – turntables and analogue recording the small independent radio station is gradually making a comeback nationwide with good ol analogue equipment in tow as it can be had for pennies on the dollar

    Several of the more successful NPR stations nationwide are ( on their own w/o Government subsidies ) sponsoring/partnering with these small wonders in order to diversify their listener base


    T Bejma – Big surprise that we’re on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to ALL things Satellite . The ‘ sound ‘ is abysmal being so overly compressed and digitally averaged/corrected to the point of missing each and every detail – the fact that every satellite station now repeats their music at least once every three hours ( so much for variety ) – Every genre is far from present on the current satellite offerings …. – It doesn’t ‘ work ‘ everywhere ….. not hardly … and truth be known the overall selection of music … the constant repetitions of a song/piece … the genuine LACK of variety available with the present day Sirius/XM …. is on the verge of rivaling the abysmal overly homogenized and unimaginative days of CLEAR radio … so worth $12 a month ? ( actually its more if you want even a modicum of variety to suit the likes of HtG and myself ) Not in my book !!!

    There WAS a time back when Sirius and XM were competitors and they were both battling tooth and nail with CLEAR for domination when Satellite was truly diverse innovative and creative .

    Now ? Its just SNAFU more of the SSDD ….. just like most everything else in the World . McDonalds and Burger King having set the standard as far as the American consumer is concerned …. e.g. dull tasteless junk with little or no value and zero substance

  34. MJB Says:


    Probably also a bit naive to say “Louis Lane wouldn’t have existed without Superman (a la ‘Superman’ circa 1978). Who knows what might have happened.

  35. MJB Says:

    Oops. I meant Lois Lane.

  36. T. Bejma Says:


    I guess because I don’t listen to the same station for 3 hours, I don’t notice any repeats. As far as coverage goes, EVERYWHERE I have ever been (besides under some bridges and next to some buildings) the signal has come in perfectly (even on a road trip from Windsor to Montreal and into northern Maine). I also prefer to listen to digitally enhanced sound much better than static – call me untraditional I guess ;-)

    I listen to 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, Hits 1, Classic Rock, News, Sports and Howard Stern so plenty of variety for me on Satellite, none on terrestrial radio…

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Lmao…..I tried listening to howard stern about 20 years ago.Does he still talk like he’s in a high school locker room?

  38. HHR Says:

    My data package on my phone would explode and put me in the poor house! Radio works, don’t fix it.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last I saw, or heard Howard Stern was when I channel surfed through “America’s Got Talent,” and he was a judge.

  40. T. Bejma Says:


    No, more like on a golf course now :-)

    Seriously, he is a really good interviewer. I have trouble listening to him when he talks about himself and his various ailments but when he is interviewing he really gets some good stuff out of these guests…

  41. HtG Says:

    39 Did you listen to him years ago when he’d be in misery over having spent the weekend in the basement, and not wanting to go shopping with his wife because he was so uncomfortable? Good times.

    Does he still do the news?


    ‘So, what have we learned?’

    as you may be able to descry, TB, I have a secret life

  42. C-Tech Says:

    Note to Renault – Let M-B design the van, ship components to France, and you assemble it. It worked for Dodge, works for Freightliner.

    @ #2 I expect to see 3 choices for the U.S. M-B dealers will offer the gas and 2 Diesel engines for their upscale people-haulers, and Freightliner will offer the 2 Diesels sinnce they have the commercial market.

    Can someone help me understand why you would buy a Land Rover Freelander?

  43. ColoradoKid Says:

    Howard Stern . If his still existing on Satellite Radio isn’t reason enough to avoid Sirius/XM than I don’t know what is . HS being the very prototype of Tea Party xenophobia and ignorance all wrapped up into one very untidy package

    And of course HS Doesn’t do the ‘ news ‘ HtG . He never did . He just continually rants on like an unchecked faucet about this opinion and that like the perennial drug/beer addled adolescent that he is ( and no doubt will forever be )

    Truly .. when talking to most anyone overseas ….. HS is a down right major league embarrassment


    @ HtG – If …… god forbid radio is finally put to rest ….. I’d do the cellphone thing in a heartbeat ( Q2 baby !!! ) IF !!!


    G.A. – 21 – yeah there’s a lot more area thats not metro for certain …. thing is …. there’s a whole lot more folks living in those metro areas than anywhere else … so ………..


    T Bejma – Thing is as it stands right now with Sirius/XM ….. there’s only three stations … maybe five on a good day I’m even willing to listen to ( all in different packages … aint that nice )

  44. ColoradoKid Says:

    41 – C-Tech

    ” Can someone help me understand why you would buy a Land Rover Freelander? ”

    1)Answer ; If you have/had half a brain . You wouldn’t ;-)

    2) An even better question being ….. WTH would anyone in their even vaguely right mind consider buying the Range Rover Evoque ?

    Especially in light of it being a very over priced – badge engineered Ford Focus – w/Rangey Rover fashionista looks – a Trendy Wendy interior and an AWD system that sort of works

    But … people do …. not many in CO mind you ….. but people do ….. sigh ……

  45. T. Bejma Says:

    I listen to Howard not for the news or his insight but as a break from the day to just be entertained. Simple as that. If anyone outside the US feels like Stern is representative of the people in America, they are the real embarrassment..

  46. C-Tech Says:

    @ #45 Agree +1. Does Graham Norton represent all of Britsh talk shows?

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When I first saw an Evoque, if I hadn’t known different, I would have guessed its price as high 20′s-low 30′s. It must be really prestigious to drive the least reliable cars sold in America.

  48. Randy Seck Says:

    With light weighting, KERS, turbos, hybrids, cylinder deactivation…if only it could all be paired with a diesel. I wonder what the mpg would ump to then…

  49. CDNeh Says:

    I’ve never come to grips with the idea of paying for radio (sat), and it’s too expensive in Canada to stream internet audio through a smartphone, so I will continue to load my iPod with music and plug it into the head unit. After a couple hundred tracks, you don’t notice the repetition.

  50. HtG Says:

    43 Perhaps you haven’t gotten over the departure of The Jokeman, CK? :)

  51. C-Tech Says:

    @ @48 agree +1 It also helps numb the background noise and chatter at work.

  52. HtG Says:

    The USGS released a much higher estimate of the oil and gas in North Dakota. Double the oil and triple the gas.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve always said that Land Rover repeat loyal owners must be a bunch of masochists, not only are the cars unreliable (though most won’t even admit that) when you bring it in to the local dealer, there is a waiting period and then you get a crappy econobox as a loaner, if you want another L.R you gotta pay for it! It’s all about the “prestige” and the “command of the road” factor that they just can’t find elsewhere.

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW if you want Stern on the Sat radio, you gotta pay extra for it, no thanks, he sold out to the “Man”

  55. Gabe Knapp Says:

    Re Volvo & Flywheel;
    I seem to remember many years past an article in Popular Science concerning an energy storage system utilizing a large (30+ inches) diameter flywheel enclosed in liquid nitrogen turning at 250,000 rpm. The target was to replace batteries entirely. Any-one know of it?

  56. Jonathan Says:

    He’ll no, don’t get rid of radios in cars…
    Have a thunderbolt smart phone and never have used a smart phone radio…

    To me it’s a phone with a little Internet and email ability. My iPod is for music that I have instead of CD s…

    The general public is not as advanced as those who even listen or read the Internet….so car makers can hold their horses with deleting stuff…

    Just wanted to say it was great to see David welch on after hours….

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You’d be able to put your music on your thunderbolt, but it’s much easier with the iPod, from either a Windows computer, or a Mac.

  58. gnd_books Says:

    re Gyro
    More than half a century of history

  59. M360 Says:

    Without Bob Eaton selling Chrysler to D-B back in 1998, I don’t think there would have been a need for Fiat at all. If Chrysler had stayed as vibrant as they were back when Bob Lutz and those guys were there, they would have survived all on their own IMO.

  60. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 49 – No I simply have zero tolerance for crass – ignorant – as I said earlier drug/beer addled – self indulgent – self centered bull fertilizer is all . To call HS ‘ entertainment ‘ is like saying professional wrestling is real

    If I’m in need of some attitude and entertainment I’ll pull out some of the old Frank Zappa discussions I have on tape . Now there was a man with the education and brains to back up that attitude … unlike Howard Stern who couldn’t think his way out of a paper bag if his life depended on it

    Jokerman ? You mean Bob Dylan ? Hey … love some of his music … his auto bios a hoot .. for more reasons than I’m able to explain here …..his rhetoric though … not so much ….. Never even gave his radio show a listen btw ….his concert tour this summer though …. now thats a possibility …


    T Bejma – 45 – You completely , utterly and entirely missed the point once again good sir … which … is no surprise … unfortunately . Ugh ! :(

    You really are in desperate need of expanding your Worldview as well as how the World views you there site mate !

  61. Sandkeeper Says:

    I have been using my Iphone through my head unit for years, sounds better and more variety.

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    #57 no he meant Jackie (jokeman) Martling a funny guy who just did not catch a break in the business, maybe hanging around Stern is not such a good career move!

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Daimler-Chrysler thing sounded good, at the time, but it certainly didn’t work out that way. Chrysler was making money and had cash reserves in ’98, but that quickly changed. At least Chrysler ended up with the 300/Charger/Challenger.

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    GM & the China Connection : The Very Ugly Truth ;

    Nice to once again see my tax dollars going over to subsidize and shore up the Chinese economy … This time thanks to General Motors .. or as the article calls them now …. General Tso’s Motors

    Pedro’s gonna just love this article !

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s too bad that Niedermeyer is now working for the Rupert Murdoch empire. One now has to consider what he says with a little more skepticism.

  66. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – 60 – Couple of corrections

    Chrysler wound up with the 300C/Challenger/Charger/Grand Cherokee /new Viper …… all of which … despite all that wonderful Mercedes Benz engineering Chrysler has over and over again managed to screw up in their ongoing quest to perfect ” Lost in Translation ”

    Also a reminder . When Daimler purchased Chrysler .. Chrysler was deep in the financial weeds and on the very edge of bankruptcy ( again ) … which IS why Chrysler was sold to Daimler . So where you or anyone else is getting the idea Chrysler was in any way financially solvent or healthy then is beyond any reasonable comprehension .

    I for one wish the heck everyone would stop trying to Romanticize/Mythologize Chryslers past or present and finally come to grips with the simple fact/reality that Chrysler has not been Profitable since the late 60′s early 70′s …. still isn’t … and at its present rate and with Marchionne at the helm … never will be ;-)

    Time to wake up and smell the Ragweed when it comes to Chrysler .. past or present

  67. ColoradoKid Says:

    62 – Fact is its not just Mr N and the WSJ thats reporting this story . Fact is they weren’t even the first to do so … so put the skepticism aside and face the facts …. GM’s ” Turning Chinese ” … on our dime I might add

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, you seem to have forgotten a lot. When the Daimler-Chrysler “merger” happened, Chrysler was making money, and had larrge cash reserves.

    As far as the 300 et al, and GC/Durango, they made the transition very well. For $25K more than a decently equipped 300, an E350 should be better in some ways than the the 300, even though the Benz would have vinyl seats. Right?

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    I was remembering CK this AM I had a client with a MB M class for the wife and a GMC Yukon for himself, I asked him to compare both and he simply said: MB quiet, safe, secure, comfortable smooth . Yukon good for pulling boat. Period. WOW I think that said it all for me!

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, the Yukon/Tahoe/Suburban are still “trucky,” even in their current form. They are good for towing, and have quite a bit of room, but it is hard to see why people buy them, just to drive around town. People do that, though.

  71. T. Bejma Says:


    Biased “op ed” there CK. Smelled a lot like a TTAC skewed GM hating article even before I got to the end and saw the tagline…

    What the writer fails to mention is that GM has:

    - Hired or planning to hire thousands of IT US based jobs and eventually in-sourcing all IT jobs

    - Moving part of the production of the Impala to Detroit from Canada thus creating hundreds of good paying jobs to a decimated city

    - Adding shifts to Lansing Grand River to build the very good selling ATS and eventually the new Camaro

    - Re-opened the shuttered Lake Orion plant to build the 2nd best selling (and only one built in the US) B-Segment vehicle, the Sonic and the Verano

    Based on this, your precious tax dollars are adding to the economy in very big ways…

    Face it, every single automaker is investing in China with a vengeance including Ford…

  72. David Sprowl Says:

    I see the smart phone assuming a position where the current head unit used to be. Different adapters will be used for different phones. The car will come with the needed antennas, but the rest is all on the phone. With radio apps one could still receive FM. I see AM going the way of the dodo. Manufactures will only need to provide the space, your phone will be the radio face.

  73. Eduardo Maluf Says:

    I will never give up conventional radio. I enjoy just tuning to an FM station and getting surprised by whatever the DJ wants to play.