AD #1155 – Eaton Denies Auto Sale, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Fusion Demand Surges

June 14th, 2013 at 11:47am

Runtime: 6:17

There were reports that the Eaton Corporation is looking to sell its automotive division, but the company emphatically denies that. Mercedes launches a significant refresh of the sedan and wagon versions of its E-Class. Ford struggles to keep up with demand for the Fusion. All that and more, plus John McElroy checks in from Bosch’s proving grounds in Germany.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics rounding out this week’s show. Later on, we’ll take a look at the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class but first let’s get to the day’s top stories.

Earlier in the week, there were reports that the Eaton Corporation is looking to sell its automotive division, but the company is emphatically denying that. Alexander Cutler, the Chairman and CEO of Eaton says and I quote “We are not, and have not, been in the process of discussions to sell our automotive business. It is an important part of our company, and a very strong profit-producing portion of our company.” That’s not a big surprise since Eaton has a near monopoly on superchargers, an area that is growing by leaps and bounds.

A new study conducted by the University of Michigan that was funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation says heavy-duty trucks equipped with automatic braking systems can save hundreds of lives a year and billions of dollars. The agency commissioned the study because it is considering mandates for the system. Researchers found that big trucks equipped with crash avoidance technology can prevent up to 300 fatalities a year and provide over $3 billion dollars in economic benefits.

The E-Class is one of the most important cars in Mercedes’ line-up. Last year it accounted for 20 percent of the company’s sales in the U.S. Mercedes just launched a significant refresh of the sedan and wagon versions of the car and here’s a look at some of the highlights.

(Interview about 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

The sedan and wagon are on sale right now while the AMG and diesel versions will be available later this summer. We’ll have a deeper look at the Mercedes-Benz E350 in a future Autoline Daily.

A few months back Cadillac shared details about its all-new twin-turbo V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission going into the 2014 CTS. And now we get to learn about the rest of the car. As it turns out the previously mentioned engine will power the CTS Vsport, but non-Vsport models are offered with a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6. Pricing for the sedan starts just over $46,000, which is nearly $6,000 more than the outgoing model, while the Vsport starts just under $60,000. The CTS hits dealerships this fall in the U.S.

Ford has a good problem on its hands. The company is struggling to keep up with demand for the Fusion, especially on the coasts, regions where Ford typically lags. Sales are up 22 percent this year in the U.S. and the company says inventory will be tight throughout the summer. Currently Ford has a 39 day supply of the car and 60 days is the typical average. Ford will get help when additional production begins at its Flat Rock facility but that won’t happen until later in the year.

Coming up next, an update from John about his visit to Bosch’s proving grounds in Germany.

(Video of John McElroy at Bosch’s proving grounds in Germany can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

And that’s it for today’s show. Once again, I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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100 Comments to “AD #1155 – Eaton Denies Auto Sale, 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Fusion Demand Surges”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I thought it odd that Eaton would sell its auto division (for the same reasons mentioned today; a virtual monopoly on superchargers and in a growing market).

    It was a little disappointing that the new CTS will be 6 thousand (other sites say 7 thousand) dollars higher but they are offering higher standard content that might defer some of those increases.

    No doubt the new Fusion is a hit, however my evaluation as far as styling goes, leaves me wanting. Yes it is handsome, but to me, a little too plain. Of course styling is subjective but that’s my opinion.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Are supercharged cars really increasing in numbers? Does anyone sell them, at least in the U.S., other than Audi, and a few very low volume “special” Mustangs, etc.? Numbers of turbos are certainly increasing.

  3. Buzzerd Says:

    Kit- I thought a few manufacturers were looking at electric superchargers. Maybe we’ll see more S.C. in future with engines getting smaller every year.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Cars aren’t the only uses for SC’s.

  5. ColoradoKid Says:

    Yup ! Demand for the Fusion is going thru the roof …. while errr… demand for the Lincoln Motor Company’s MKZ [ which is built on the Fusion ] …. has fallen into the Abyss


    As far as Eaton not being up for sale …. thank goodness . IMO had it been I’d be thinking the Auto Industry was in even deeper trouble than it already is


    VW – Setting new records with Golf sales …. and now outselling GM in China by a healthy margin . The BORG ( VW-Audi ) is coming – resistance is futile …. #2 looking more tenuous for GM by the minute … despite VW-Audi’s flagging EU sales…. unfortunately … ;-)

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    Usually when supply cannot keep up with demand, quality suffers, (1980 X-cars) I hope that the same does not happen to Ford, specially since the Michigan plant is coming online for the Fusion late summer.

  7. Lex Says:

    Great Job Jim Hall.

    I enjoy your quick and lively delivery style.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    #2 yeah! where are these superchargers? perhaps after-market?

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like the looks of the Fusion, but wouldn’t want the “ecoboost” 2.0 engine that is very complicated, but slower and uses more gas than an Accord or Camry V6, at least in CR’s tests.

    My favorite Fusion would be the hybrid. It underperforms its EPA number in a big way, but still gets excellent mileage, probably 50% better in city driving than its non-hybrid, non-diesel competition.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey all you ALD bloggers: TTAC announced that Carbon Motors is going bye bye, we all knew this was gonna fail big time,despite all the hoopla from the media, we’re not that dumb after all, eh?

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Where are these superchargers being used in non-car applications? They used to be used on Detroit 2-stroke diesels, but those are gone, and the SC’s probably weren’t Eaton.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    #9 an old mechanic told me many years ago, small engine in big car= more fuel usage, cause you still need to keep up with the rest of traffic. Power to weight ratio is crucial and never mentioned.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I heard that a month or so ago on the local news in Indy. I guess I forgot to post it. The news was that they were vacating the Visteon plant in Connersville, IN, and I think, had officially declared bankruptcy.

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 10 – Yeah as much as some of us might of hoped better we all saw this one coming from a good ten miles away … heres the link for anyone interested ..

    As to #6 …. thats GM’s MO … and IMO I pretty much doubt either Ford or Mulally’s foolish enough to go down that route . Maybe what Ford can do in light of the MKZ falling on its sales face is to shift the production in those plants over to the Fusion to keep up ? … Or even better …. Let the Demand exceed the Supply and like Subaru find themselves in a Winning situation … Ohhh …. no incentives needed and … err … profit ! What a concept ! Seeing as how thats Business 101 … ;-)

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    #13 Even if the Charger or Taurus did not exist, this thing would have never taken off, too damn expensive for a police vehicle.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    #14 true, but the fact remains that they want to capitalize on the buzz that the car has created a mostly over its looks and sell as many as they can, I don’t really care for their powertrain choices, as Kit said, this 2.0 turbo is a big question mark down the road, and they even talk of even a smaller engine in there. Bad idea!

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A way to sell more MKZ’s would be to substantially lower the price. Base MSRP is about $37K. That’s a lot of extra money over the Fusion, which many find more attractive. Most of the MKZ’s I’ve seen at the dealer near me in FL are over $40K. For that money, there are a lot of cars I’d rather have.

  18. T. Bejmat Says:

    From yesterday, Pedro said about GM Vietnam…

    “Disgusting if you ask me, but I’m just an old doddering fool living in the past,we Americans are too quick to forgive and forget. I bought furniture some yrs back and when I found out they were made there, I made them take it back.”

    Isn’t this the same Pedro that drives a JAPANESE car? Remember Pearl Harbor?

  19. Drew Says:

    CK – Don’t judge the new MKZ by CYTD sales. Remember the delayed and slow delivery of product to dealers meant inventory was not at critical mass until late April (more like early May in reality).

    There is Fusion P/T for anyone. If your main driving is highway, the standard 2.5L is a great deal. If your driving is mostly city, the HEV is the deal. Want AWD…it can be opted if you go with the larger EcoBoost (2.0L). Want a manual tranny, it can be had with the smaller EcoBoost (1.6L). Want to be a “greenie”? Get the plug-in.

  20. Drew Says:

    Kit, the Z HEV is a relative bargain… no HEV price premium, and I perceive it to have slightly more luggage room than the Fusion (higher decklid?).

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 16 – Like Carlos Ghosn … Mulally’s got a pretty clear view of what the Worldwide economy really looks like [ fact is of all the Automotive CEO's they're the only two that do ] .. and like Ghosn has been expressing both his concern … as well as the plans Ford has in place to deal with what most assume will be another downturn of potentially epic proportions my guess is Ford will ride the wave out … see where it lands .. and then make some decisions as to whether or not increased production in the long term is a viable ‘ Business ‘ option … rather than react foolishly to what may be a momentary boost in sales

    As far as Ford products in general though … like I said back in decision 2011 ( my new car purchase ) I drove a lot of their cars … ultimately none suited our ( SG’s and my ) needs …. but there’s not a one I wouldn’t recommend to anyone in a heartbeat . Even in the looks department IMO Ford has it down pat .

  22. T. Bejma Says:

    From yesterday, Pedro said about GM Vietnam…

    “Disgusting if you ask me, but I’m just an old doddering fool living in the past,we Americans are too quick to forgive and forget. I bought furniture some yrs back and when I found out they were made there, I made them take it back.”

    Isn’t this the same Pedro that drives a JAPANESE car? Remember Pearl Harbor?

  23. Bradley Says:

    A coworker has a new Fusion Hybrid, it is a very nice car. However, it is too BIG for me.

    What classifies a car as a mid-size? All of the Fusion’s dimensions are bigger than a 2nd Generation Taurus and it was also a mid-size car.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Unless history is wrong, we beat the Japanese, and were fooled and humiliated by the Viets, with their “peace” BS and then took whatever they wanted, besides they’re still commies and still treat their people like dirt, please don’t compare Japan to Vietnam or even China, the former is an ally the other two are not. BTW my Japanese car was built in the USA, California to be exact.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    #21 by your POV, any Jewish person who buys anything German is a freaking traitor to his people, I knew this Jewish fellow who would not buy German, he said it just did not feel right to him.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Many years ago, I worked under a WWII vet who lost both his legs in the war and he drove a Mercedes with no hesitation or second thoughts. Your logic escapes me.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 24 – And then there’s motoring legend John Fitch … who spent hard time in a German POW camp who not only drove for … but owned and/or drive several Mercedes … right up till the very end ( Google ” Gullwing at Twilight ” ) And then there’s myself … owing a Benz as well .. wink wink

    No Pedro … I was just as shocked and appalled as you were when seeing … 1) … what the Cruze really is … and .. 2) … where … other than the US the thing is built . My disdain coming from the fact that it aint American at all : and a heck of a lot of them [ with 9 out of 10 factories being overseas ] sure as ____ aint being built here …. on our dime I might add

    I can forgive sins of the past if atoned for . Its the unrepentant sins of the present I cannot countenance !

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bradley – Like the majority of Americans today … every manufactures cars ‘ waistline ‘ has grown by leaps and bounds over the last ten years . Even the new BMW MINI 3.0 is larger than the 2.0 … which was larger than the 1.0 … which was a good 2-3 times larger than the original BMC Mini .

    Its a stupid trend Worldwide that shows no signs of abating

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    GM has done a very good job of hiding the Cruze’s real DNA and where it really came from, unlike Ford which brags about bringing here European-designed and engineered vehicles and even Chrysler at the risk of ridicule also points out that many of their new products are FIAT/Alfa derived. GM tries very hard to separate themselves from the Daewoo name. could it be from the fact that until recently, this Aveo was the second worst car sold in the US? and Daewoo’s histroy here has been quite disastrous, from its marketing to its products.

  30. ColoradoKid Says:

    26 .. continued …. and Vietnam to this day has never so much as said ” We’re sorry ” .. but rather have demanded apologies from our men and boys that served there on a regular basis as if the Vietcong did nothing wrong during that whole debacle .

    Which is to say Pedro …. +1 .. and then some !

  31. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 28 – The one thing (among many ) that I love about Ford … is no matter where you buy one …. unlike GM and Chrysler … a Ford is a Ford is a Ford and the badge on its snout says so … with pride I might add . Even the Lincoln brand does nothing to hide its Ford DNA …. unlike err …. those other two ;-)

  32. Bradley Says:


    Yea, I hope the trend pops like a bubble someday.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep, the price premium is smaller for the MKZ hybrid, and it would be very well equipped with zero options.

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 11,Kit: There is getting to be a strong market in general aviation for 2 stroke diesels,and they all have to be,and are supercharged.There are other commercial and agricultural applications as well.OEM’s are also starting to lean towards supercharging as well.Mostly (overseas) use is for small displacement ice’s.For a personal preference I like superchargers for gassers and turbochargers for 4 stroke diesels.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Cruzes being sold here are built here, and have a much higher percentage US/Canadian content than their cross town rival, the Focus. Cruze is 56%, and Focus is 40%. But Corolla is 70%. These numbers are for 2013 model year.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Every “mainstream” car that is sold all over the world, is built at factories all over the world. Focus is built in:

    Saarlouis, Germany (Saarlouis Body & Assembly)
    Vsevolozhsk, Russia
    Wayne, Michigan, United States
    Rayong, Thailand (AAT)
    Chongqing, China (Changan Ford Mazda)
    Taoyuan, Taiwan

  37. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – re; the Cruze discussion .

    This just hit me . The VOLT .. is in fact 60% Cruze with a techie power train and a few body bits tacked on to ‘ distinguish ‘ it from its lesser sibling .

    Which means … despite all the GM rhetoric , facts & fictitious figures etc …. the VOLT is in fact a good 60% Korean .. no matter where its assembled .

    And the difference between the Ford Focus .. or Any Ford for that matter vs the Cruze is …… regardless of which country this bit or that may come from …… its ALL Ford .. designed by Ford … built by Ford … for Ford .. and labeled a Ford . No matter what country you purchase it in I might add .

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK it’s GM Korea, remember, Daewoo is no longer around, I wonder when are we gonna start seeing GM Vietnam products here, the Saigon CUV, the Tet subcompact the Ho-Chi-Min SUV?

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Focus is mostly designed by Ford of Europe, and that’s ok. Cruze is designed partly, or mostly by GM Korea and that’s not ok. Do I detect xenophobia here as it pertains to Koreans, who are more “foreign” to certain people here than, say, Germans.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    If I may, Ford has had a very good track record in Europe and in most cases their small cars developed and made there were a lot better than the stuff they made here, on the other hand, Daewoo was making some pretty lousy crap till recently and I just can’t believe that GM turned them around so quickly, they surely did nothing for SAAB. On the other hand, H/K was making very good stuff while Daewoo lagged behind, they remind me of Mitsubishi, did a lot of stuff, none too well.

  41. ArtG Says:

    #5. Quote your source for MKZ sales falling “into the abyss.”

    A record number of MKZs was sold in April, with 4012 units. May sales were still 3490 units, still higher than any previous month in the past three years.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I see your point. I happen to like the Cruze, though, for what it is. It is quiet for its class. It looks good, at least to me, and it has much more user friendly controls than most recent Fords. It seems that GM Korea/Daewoo actually has made a lot of progress recently.

    Of course, if I were buying a Cruze or Focus as an only car, it would be the Focus, because they will sell me a hatchback.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    We’ll know a lot more a year from now about how the MKZ is doing. It had a very slow launch, and just recently started showing up at dealers in reasonable numbers.

  44. Bob Kinnee Says:

    I for one feel South Korea is on par with any car maker….Hyundai ,Kia, make great cars I owned a 2010 Chevy Aveo LT put about 8,000 miles on it no problems, fit & finish very good nice style great fuel economy…good car with bad perception by media

  45. ColoradoKid Says:

    So now the automakers want to absolve themselves of any culpability/responsibility ;

    Isn’t that nice ? Caveat Emptor at its finest ( buyer beware )

    Well despite having said I wouldn’t offer any further public service advice here again …. here’s a tid bit to remember .

    Signed a non discloser agreement or an agreement to use an arbitrator if problems arise ? Think those are legally binding and you have to abide by them ? Well … according to Federal Law .. you do not . Oh you’ll need a real good shark ( Lawyer ) in your corner … but ultimately those agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on and are more for intimidation than any actual binding contract .

    And how do I know that you may ask ? First hand experience and a pool of ‘ sharks ‘ in my corner .

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    Read another review on TTAC by Jack Baruth, a guy who tells it like it is and again he rented a Focus with its auto stick transmission which continues to be its Achilles heel, only the manual is acceptable, putting it at a disadvantage in the segment, its mileage is not as good as others in the class with normal automatics and it costs more then they do. Ford needs to really reconsider these double clutch disasters, they work in other expensive cars, but not in theirs. Imagine you’re a Ford salesman taking someone for a test drive of this car and have to explain why a $22k new car has a jerky transmission as you negotiate a parking lot or run into traffic during the test drive.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    #44 if they’re so sure of their new hardware being the best ever built, why are they against this? there should be few if any lemons any more, so what’s the problem?

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe Ford people need to buy a few VW’s with DSG transmissions and copy them. They work very well.

    Actually, you’d think Ford would be able to fix theirs, maybe just by de-sensitizing the throttle at small throttle settings. I drove an early Focus of the current generation, and liked the way the transmission worked most of the time. Unfortunately, though, it is impossible to drive smoothly at parking lot speeds, and is very annoying in “gridlock” driving.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    #47 exactly and the folks who live in congested areas who need to buy automatics get this thing, plus the MSRP shock, they’ll walk away and into a Honda or Toyota dealer, there’s a good reason neither of these conservative companies have not gone into double clutch, but rather CVT’s

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Baruth mentioned in the article that he got better mileage out of the 4 speed Corolla he had rented a few weeks earlier.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR got very good mileage with the 4 speed Corolla in their tests too. It seems that a torque converter automatic, even with “only” 4 gears can work very well, if those 4 gear ratios are the right ones.

  52. T. Bejma Says:


    Half the Vietnamese were on our side!!!

    Not so with the Japanese or the Germans…

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey TB maybe GM can get the larvae of the same commies who killed our boys to build the Cruze for less money than the Koreans do and pass on the savings to the same Yankee imperialists who tried to take their country all those years ago, it would make the Cruze the best car for the money in its segment, bar none. They would need 3 shifts to keep up with demand.

  54. Jim Hall Says:


    Lex, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

    Damned perceptive, too!

  55. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T.Bejma: “Half the Vietnamese were on our side”!!!

    Where th’ hell did you come up with that?

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    G.A I suppose he means that the south was on our side, fighting against the north, reluctantly, perhaps.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe we were on the south’s side, more than their being on our side. In any case, our involvement there was probably the biggest mistake in U.S. military history, except for invading Iraq.

  58. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Hyundais and KIAs are superior to German (VDUB- Audi) (BMW/Mini)Cars.


    1. They are more reliable.
    2. They are more fuel efficient.
    3. They look much better.
    4. Their Premium Fit and Finish is on par with the Germans, but you can save tons of money.

    Hyundai/KIA is doing to the Germans what the Japanese did to the Americans say…. 30 years ago.

    Hyundai has Radically changed from even 5 years ago. It’s time for some of those Genesis Drivers to keep the crooked H on their cars.

    - Just bought 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. Arguably The Best Premium small car sold in America in my assessment. Better Value than Mini Clubman, Golf, and even A3.

    Can’t wait until the Chinese come over to America and destroy the Japanese Cars, because soon with Global Economic forces the only thing many Americans will be able to afford is a Chinese Car for their “Mainstream Brand” and a Korean Car for their “Premium Brand.”

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow TB and now H/S at the same time this should be interesting, anyone for the Germans?

  60. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 56,Kit: Agreed.@ years I spent there and still haven’t got it figured out yet.Still not sure who was the bigger enemy.

  61. G.A.Branigan Says:

    That was supposed to be 2 years I spent there.Todays rule: don’t type until you have your coffee a workin’.

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    you can’t enter a war unless you intend to win it.

  63. Philip Says:

    I was taking a hard look at the 2013 E-class AMG wagon, what a monster. But before I knew it they switched over to the new 2014, and I have to say I don’t like it style wise. That front end is to…sharp, razor looking. Looks like a concept for a Batman movie car, and the center dash is now more busy looking. Looks aside (which I can’t get past) the reviews are now coming in and MB did a good job of improving the cars dynamics. Just the same I’ll be looking elsewhere for my next ride.

  64. T. Bejma Says:

    “most of the major buttons are so big that they look like they were intended for use on a Jitterbug cell phone”

    “it offered sluggish shifts that never felt comfortably quick enough while driving around town”

    “the engine felt “gutless” going up hills at low engine speeds”

    “the powertrain is fair at best”

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and Hyundais aren’t cheap any more. That Elantra hatch Autoblog drove had an MSRP about $2K more than a Prius like mine. The Elantra had leather and a sunroof, but still. It would use twice as much gas in city driving, is noisier, and has less passenger room. For $17K without options, it would be an ok value. Also, from what the article said about the transmission in the test car, the manual should drive better.

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh no!!! you’re gonna bring the wrath of H/S upon us all

  67. RonE Says:

    @63 & 64, MotorWeek liked the Elantra GT, but said “there are other hatchbacks we would choose first.”

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I met a client with a new Jag J sedan, that windshield is just to raked for my tastes, otherwise a very nice looking car and the interior is to die for, or at least rob a bank.

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motor Week has never met a car that they did not like, even the Yugo, back when. Their mission seems to be not to offend ANY car maker.

  70. T. Bejma Says:


    It is also more than $3,000 more than my excellent 2LT Cruze and more than $5,000 more than the Cruze ECO (which Autoblog liked a lot more)…

    Granted, neither are hatches, but I get A LOT more in my trunk (2 sets of golf clubs and gear) than the GT…

    BTW, definitely glad I got the other manual trans in my car. High mpg definitely comes with some drawbacks…

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Unfortunately, Chevy won’t sell we Americans the Cruze hatch. Maybe some day, especially if the truck/crossover thing ever blows over, and more Americans want utility, along with high mpg.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    #69 the battle of the Koreans

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR found the Elantra GT to be noisy, ride bad, and have underwhelming performance. Other than that, they liked it ok. Still, they rated it near the bottom in their list of “small hatchbacks/wagons.”

  74. pedro fernandez Says:

    Once again the Korean brands cannot match the best from Japan in overall performance and durability even though they ain’t cheap no more!

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR rated the Golf at the top of their “small wagon/hatch” list, followed by Impezza and Mazda 3. These ratings are based on how the cars work, not reliability, but the Golf had “average” reliability in their surveys. That’s good, for a VW.

  76. pedro fernandez Says:

    There is no question that some VW’s drive better than their competition, reliability is what keeps them from being the sales leaders, even though the last gen Passat and Jetta were “cheapened out” on purpose to make the base $$ cheaper, even though no one except in Canada will buy a “base” Jetta w/o a/c. (there was an article in TTAC on how some Canadians are demanding stripped cars, no a/c. no power noth0 I’d rather buy a 2 yr old used with air than a brand new one without it.

  77. Chuck Grenci Says:

    This, not to incite a riot; just providing a link. Still gorgeous imo, and for those that appreciate the vehicle (I do); here’s the ELR from Jay Leno’s Garage:'s%20Garage&…c-elr%2F1433420%2F&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13713236234019

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    This is based on a Cruze platform, which beckons the comparison to a modern day, updated and improved Nova-based Seville.

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It is very, very loosely based on the Cruze platform. The end result is what counts. We shall see.

  80. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Whatever guys, that thing handles sweet around 30MPH turns doing 70MPH. These Mags still don’t understand a Hyundai, and understand that Hyundai has always had a sweet spot on their gas petals that when pressed correctly will get that car up and going. It’s not a GTI, it’s just a Grand Touring= touring car. The Elantra GT is more about Premium + Fuel Efficiency. That New KIA Forte hatch coming is going to be about Quickness and Performance. I Support KIA, but I’m still not into KIAs. I wanted something that looked and felt the part of Sophistication while getting good MPG. The car gets better than advertised MPG when in Cruise control at all speeds 25 and over.

    Oh and it’s nice to see you guys too. Been Busy trying to start a Revolution in America against the Racists and their Corporatist one percenter friends on the Left and Right out to impoverish and enslave us all. Any of you Tea Bags would like to join?

    Forget the Left-Right Paradigm, we all have a common enemy that wants us out of our cars.

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HK, you call the Elantra “premium plus fuel efficiency.”

    Since when did “premium” mean hard riding plus noisy plus slow? I must have missed something.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    80, I meant “Elantra GT”

  83. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That Cadillac ATS is not a bad car. What Cadillac Needs is a small crossover like that Buick Encore. The Next Financial Crisis on the horizon could kill GMC. I still think the GM product is still too Porky. GM is making some good products with those Korean Engineers they have. GM should become kike the French Brands, where the cars are Ala Carte. From dirt cheap plastic hub caps and fisher price plastic interiors on all models, to big boy chrome wheels and leather stitched interiors on all models.

    Ford should get rid of Lincoln, and put all of that energy into Ford One World Premium. They should offer Ala Carte cars like GM Should. Lincoln is an Old Man’s Premium Brand (even the Baby Boomers are too young for that brand) with a business plan wrapped in cob webs. Ford is making Awesome cars, but they still need work on their content. For Example: A Focus should have Standard Projection Headlights like those found on Standard Elantra GTs. Aston Martin should Replace Lincoln and become even better than Maserati offering D-F Seg Sedans and even crossovers in my humble opinion. Aston Martin is a Global Marque, while Lincoln will never reach that height.

    The Focus ST grille should be on all Fords in my opinion.

  84. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The thing is quiet as a church mouse on idle, Kit. The Mags want Hyundai to GTI the Elantra GT. With the GT name attached they come into the car thinking it’s a hot rod, but fail to realize that Hyundai has a Hot Rod company- called KIA. If Hyundai were to put that much faster (less fuel efficient) 2.0 GDI engine in the Elantra GT like they plan for the KIA Forte Hatch, that would of course be akin to “Old GM” cannibalization, and Hyundai is trying to fight cannibalization.

    The Mags still treat Hyundai and KIA as if they are 2 different companies. Hyundai wants to be about simple and Mature Sophistication and MPG. KIA wants to be a Sporty flashy brand with the latest tech.

    The oomph the Mags were looking for in the GT will be in the KIA. I still think Hyundai North America is still too conservative for their own good. They should have had an Elantra Hybrid already- the Koreans should have forced them.

    Hyundai and KIA also plan most of their cars for debuts 2.5 years years apart. For Example: The Elantra was New for 2011, and it is headed for a major refresh soon. The KIA Forte coming out will at first have more goodies than the Elantra, but once the Elantra gets refreshed it will have more goodies than the KIA. By the time the KIA is ready for a Refresh on this new Forte, the Next Gen Elantra will be already out. This will make the Forte look stale temporarily- another strategy to prevent cannibalization, and to test things on the KIA first so Hyundai will have a higher Reliability score; as Hyundai is always groomed to the more reliable of the 2 brands.

  85. ColoradoKid Says:

    OK …. I give up …

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    Don’t give up CK. there are enough out there that actually enjoy DRIVING a car, rather than having some robot do it, I just don’t get why so much time, energy and money is being devoted to this crap, they should be instead be taking real steps to cut back on distracted driving , I have seen so many low speed, rear end collisions that I am almost positive were caused by distracted drivers, I look around and see it all the time. BTW Happy fathers day to one and all.

  87. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Agree with pedro, “don’t give up” (which I know you haven’t); as with a lot of innovations, it is not either/or, it is that they are being developed in conjunction with. And as we are all aware of this, the interesting parts are going to be, which advancement(s) gets noticed, get press (coverage), gets pushed and finally either wins out or gets a pass.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That seems a good application for automated vehicle operation. I just hope they keep it on the test track, and off of public roads for a long time to come.

  89. ColoradoKid Says:

    Gee … looking above at whats transpired this weekend …. all we need now it the return of the Sybil’s and the picture will be complete .

  90. pedro fernandez Says:

    This blog is now sponsored by Hyundai, featuring a full line of Japanese wanna-be models for those who believe that all cars are created equal.

  91. ColoradoKid Says:

    89 – Pedro – Hyundai , GM etc .. I mean seriously …. the ads in the margins and during the video I absolutely comprehend the need for ….. But the rhetoric and propaganda on the Forum ? Not so much .

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d just as soon not have Hyundai and GM advertising in the comments section here, but also, I’d rather not have the steady stream of GM hatred from a certain person. Neither adds much to the discussion.

  93. ColoradoKid Says:

    91 – Maybe if there wasn’t so much GM propaganda / excuses / justifications etc here when ever a contentious issue about GM arises there’d be no need to express a constant stream of [ Disdain ] … ( not hatred … not even close ) when confronted by the raft of GM rhetoric present of late .

    ( you don’t see me making excuses when Mercedes does something less than admirable now … do you ;-) )

    As a small point of interest . Having read the recent platform vs architecture discussion on TTAC [ worth reading ] and the steady stream of GM shills that appeared there afterwards ( because GM is behind the eight ball when it comes to ‘ Architecture ‘ still stuck on platform sharing … but btw they pop up every time TTAC makes any comment about GM ) ..

    …I find it very interesting that GM is not only for some reason ashamed of the brand ( re-naming both brand and cars worldwide for decades ) … but is also … along with Hyundai/KIA ( who are by far the worst worldwide )… the only brand that does go out of its way to put forth its shills on Forums in the US when the company is facing any criticism .

    Sending forth shills instead of confronting the issue head on with ‘ Official ‘ representatives is an act of cowardice … and IMO ineptitude on behalf of GM . Which in my case at least … has me wondering …. what else is GM trying so desperately to hide that they feel the need to resort to internet shills to ‘ defend ‘ their positions ?

    Funny thing … we never see Ford/Lincoln , Honda/Acura , Toyota/Lexus/Scion , Nissan/Infiniti , Mercedes , BMW/MINI , FIAT/Chrysler/JEEP .. or even Jaguar/Land/Range Rover etc shills crawling out of the woodwork whenever their companies find themselves in the crosshairs ….. here or elsewhere .But GM ? ( and Hyundai/KIA )One single even slightly negative comment … and there they are … in droves ..

    Why is that I wonder ? Hmmmmn…….

    And as one final comment on this issue ;

    As I’ve stated here before …. those GMaganda/HyundaiKiaShills … what with their responses , rhetoric and attitudes …. only serve to DISCREDIT ( capitols for emphasis ) their ‘ beloved ‘ company even further with their comments and complaints . Which only serves to ‘ push ‘ potential customers ever further away from ever considering doing business with the company in question
    ( Marketing and Public Relations 101 )

  94. pedro fernandez Says:

    Honda uses that Accord platform for just about every thing they sell here including the expensive TL and Toyota does the same with the Camry/Avalon chassis and they don’t seem to get the criticism other companies get.

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, for whatever reason, Honda seems to get virtually no criticism for platform sharing, VW/Audi gets more, but it’s nothing like what GM receives. About the only Lexus that gets criticised much for platform sharing or badge engineering is the ES. I never hear anyrhing about the RX being a Highlander with different body panels, but that’s what it is.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I doubt that GM or Hyundai/KIA “send” what you call shills here. I suspect they come on their own. Also, I don’t sometimes defend GM here because I once worked there, but because they are making competitive products in many, or most segments, and I get tired of the negativity.

    Yeah, CK, you criticized the CLA a little, but nothing like if GM did the same thing, like putting a Nissan engine in a Malibu and calling it a Cadilkac.

  97. pedro fernandez Says:

    From what I got from that MB service manager I met last week, Daimler is not too concerned about the CLA, as long as it’s as reliable as their core products, they just need something to bring down the CAFE numbers for the brand so they can keep selling their bread and butter vehicles, otherwise who would have predicted that a Japanese company would be building cars for them at a Mexican Nissan factory, the founders of Daimler must be turning in their graves!

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect the CLA will be a nice car, for a generic front driver, but it is not a Benz, and will dilute the brand in the U.S., and probably world wide.

    I had thought the reason MBUSA hasn’t sold cars I might consider, like de-contented C-Class or E-Class wagons in the U.S., was fear of diluting the brand, but that seems not to be the case, with the arrival of the CLA.

  99. pedro fernandez Says:

    Even the baby Benz the E 190 from the 80′s was not really considered a true Benz by the MB faithful, even though I had a neighbor (postal employee) who owned one and to this day, is the only MB I’ve seen parked in my condo.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are a few Benzes at my 240 unit condo in FL, I see a few recent E350′s, and an older SLK. The guy with the SLK also has a Prius, which he drives most of the time. There is an older E that never seems to move, but it has current tags.