AD #1165 – Opel and PSA Merge? Diesels Cost Owners Less, Kia Cadenza’s New Window Coating

June 28th, 2013 at 11:49am

Runtime: 8:15

According to a report, the Peugeot family has agreed to sell its stake in the company to aid a merger. A new study finds that diesels have a lower total cost of ownership than gasoline vehicles in the U.S. To help with visibility, Kia treats some of the windows on the Cadenza with a hydrophobic coating. All that and more, plus which is the best technology to boost an engine while downsizing it?

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Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to Autoline Daily. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, filling in for John once again. In the second half of the show we have a preview of Autoline This Week which is all about powertrains. But first…the news.

COULD OPEL AND PSA MERGE?
Could GM takeover Peugeot/Citroen? According to Reuters, the Peugeot family, which has a 25 percent stake in PSA, has reportedly agreed to give up control of the company in an effort to merge with Opel. As you know, GM and PSA partnered up last year to develop new platforms and powertrains. But the two companies have been hit hard during the European recession, so this could allow them to cut costs even further. Both companies declined comment on the report.

LOWER COST OF OWNERSHIP FOR DIESELS
A new study from the University of Michigan that was commissioned by Bosch finds that diesels have a lower total cost of ownership than gasoline vehicles in the U.S. Researchers found that diesel owners saved between $2,000 and $6,000 during a three to five year period when compared to similar gasoline vehicles. Despite higher prices for diesel fuel, owners still save money because diesels are up to 40 percent more efficient than gas cars. And diesels don’t depreciate as fast as gasoline cars, 11 of the 12 diesels in study held their value better than similar gas cars over a three year period.

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW
Do you remember Rain-X? That’s the glass cleaner that you can use on the windows of your car that makes the rain run right off without beading or streaking. Well on the new Cadenza, Kia has treated the front side windows with what they call a hydrophobic coating. Translation: it has a phobia for water. The hydrophobic coating is impregnated in the glass and works just like Rain-X except that it lasts a lot longer, for years. They put it on the front side windows because, obviously, there’s no windshield wipers there and it helps improve visibility.

DID YOU HEAR SOMETHING?
Have you ever rode in a new car and just thought, wow, this car is much quieter than mine. Well that is one of the goals Ford has set out to achieve. The company is the first automaker to use thermal image technology to locate and fix air leaks to help improve interior quietness. The technology which is also used by the military and law enforcement, pumps warm air into the interior of a vehicle, then engineers use a thermal camera to locate problem areas. Now if they could only figure out a way to keep back-seat drivers quieter.

FORD INTRODUCES TREMOR SPORT TRUCK
And in other Ford news, yesterday the company introduced a new sport truck called the Tremor, that it says will address the needs of the street truck enthusiast. It is based on the short-wheelbase F-150 and is the first one to offer an EcoBoost engine, the same 3.5 liter engine that most F-150s come equipped with. The truck also features an FX appearance package, unique 20-inch wheels, and a 4.10 rear axle that has an electronic locking rear differential for both two and 4-wheel-drive. The Tremor goes on sale this fall.

JAPANESE INCREASE U.S. PRODUCTION
Last year was a good year for Japanese automakers in the U.S. According to data from the Japan Automotive Manufacturers Association, automakers from the country saw vehicle production in the U.S. jump 36 percent to 3.3 million units, which is nearly a million more than 2011 and the most since ‘07. Market share also improved by 2 percent and is expected to jump another one percent next year. It is also important to note that Japanese automakers were aided by a weakening yen and were able to boost imports from Japan by 19 percent.

So what’s the best way to downsize an engine and still provide the power the customer is looking for? That discussion is coming up next.

THE BEST WAY TO DOWNSIZE AN ENGINE
As you all know, the auto industry must hit a 54.5 mile-per-gallon fleet average by the middle of next decade. To find out how automakers will achieve that number, Autoline invited engineers from GM, Ford and Chrysler to talk about powertrains. In the following clip, the panel discusses which technology is best to boost an engine while downsizing it.

(Clip from Autoline This Week about the best way to boost an engine can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

If you want to learn more about what automakers are doing to make powertrains more efficient, you can watch that entire show right now on our website at Autoline.tv.

And a quick programming note before I sign off. There won’t be any new Autoline Daily’s next week because the Autoline crew is taking the week off to celebrate the country’s independence. So have a great 4th of July.

Once again I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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

170 Comments to “AD #1165 – Opel and PSA Merge? Diesels Cost Owners Less, Kia Cadenza’s New Window Coating”

  1. Bradley Says:

    It is a fact, large companies grow the easiest through acquisition. In my opinion, GM needs to spend their money on organic growth and not another acquisition. As that was one of the characteristics that doomed the company.

    Why not put the Hydro-Phobic stuff on the windshield? I put Rain-X (or Rubbing Alcohol) on my windshield all the time.

    The qualifier for the United States keeps surfacing when stating TCO for Diesels is better. Does that mean that in the rest of the world gasoline cars have a lower TCO?

  2. Bradley Says:

    Oh yea, I would bet my 401k that Ford would sell more Rangers than Tremors.

  3. Brett Says:

    Best danged stuff I ever found for windshields is the green Rain-X “bug cutter” washer fluid.

    Keeps the windshield clean and automatically applies Rain-X every time you use the washer. I seldom use the wipers above 50 MPH anymore.

  4. HtG Says:

    If you want the rain drops to explode-on-contact with your glass, clean it up with a detailing clay bar. The same junk that adheres to your paint can be removed from glass. A little soapy water and straight strokes is all it takes.

    Kabooooom!

  5. HtG Says:

    Kabooooom! Kabooooom! Kabooooom! Kabooooom! Kabooooom! Kabooooom! Kabooooom!

    (Happy 4th Autoline rabble!!)

  6. T. Bejma Says:

    Little break from the crowds and SUN!!

    - Daewoo: Yes, the plants are Daewoo built and most of the workers are Daewoo, but GM has taken over almost all of the management and key positions.

    “General Motors’ relationship with Daewoo dated back to 1972 when it purchased a fifty percent share in Shinjin Industrial, a small Korean auto manufacturer, creating a joint venture known as GM-Korea. In 1978, Shinjin’s share of stock was purchased by Daewoo, and the company was renamed the Daewoo Motor Company. Working with GM, Daewoo became the second largest Korean motor vehicle firm behind Hyundai, and held seventy percent of Korea’s large truck and bus market in 1980.

    Following the 1979 oil crisis, the Korean economy faltered and the South Korean government ordered Hyundai and Daewoo to merge their automotive manufacturing operations. While GM’s refusal to surrender management stopped the merger, in 1982, it gave Daewoo management control over the money-losing joint venture. Daewoo’s management moved quickly to reverse the venture’s sagging fortunes, earning record profits in 1983.

    In 1984, the joint venture began to manufacture a new small passenger car, based largely on the Kadett, which was manufactured by Opel, GM’s German subsidiary, in a new manufacturing facility that employed Opel’s state-of-the-art manufacturing technology. This car was intended for sale in Korea and abroad. GM bought half of the production of the car to market in the United States as the Pontiac LeMans. Kim Woo-Chone, the chairman of Daewoo, explained the LeMans joint venture as a way to develop a car quickly while using the knowledge and name recognition of GM to build and market a successful car.

    To overcome quality problems with its suppliers, several Daewoo Group subsidiaries entered into joint ventures with GM divisions during the mid-1980s. In each situation these ventures relied greatly on General Motors for capital and technology. Satisfied with the success of these supplier ventures, Daewoo’s chairman intended the export value of parts from the ventures to match the value of cars.

    In 1986, Daewoo cars and automotive parts accounted for ten percent of all South Korean exports and their domestic sales of the LeMans had cut Hyundai’s market share from eighty to sixty percent. The following year, the Daewoo Group began working on plans to open a 300,000 unit a year plant that would be entirely separate from its joint venture with GM.”

    PSA: This is the PSA Family desperately trying to keep the company from dissolving, not GM trying to expand. GM has already said that it would not invest another dollar into PSA so the only way that any merger would ever happen would be if PSA gave GM an offer they could not refuse.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Turbos or super chargers? no thanks, I’d rather be the turtle than the hare! but at least I know I can go for the long run.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB did you go on the Epcot car ride thingy already? give us the scoop.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Residual values on diesel vehicles (cars and trucks) is higher now because there is a lot less availability, but if they take off like many expect, they will be easier to find used so it will most likely bring their resale value down.

  10. T. Bejma Says:

    #8

    Yes, we went on the GM Test Drive. It was excellent! You get a radio frequency card when you first get in. You use it to access a touch screen design center where you get to design your vehicle including powertrain, shape, wheels, etc. It rates your design for efficiency and then you go to the performance area. You load your design right before you get into the “car”. As you go through a series of test scenario’s it compares everyone in the “car” and their designs so you can see at certain points in the ride how your design compares. The end of the ride is a high speed banked track where you go 65 mph(!) right before a banked corner. It was one of the most exciting rides we went on (besides the Rock N Roll roller coaster featuring Aerosmith at Hollywood studios where you go from 0-60 in about 3 seconds). Once you get off the ride, you can see the stats of all of the designs for the day (my daughter had one of the top 5 most efficient vehicles of the day!) and even get to drive your design on a virtual track. Highly recommend the ride (along with Soarin’ – well worth the wait) at Epcot. Also being a GM employee, I got to go right to the FastPass line ;-)

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t been on Test Track since the update with the techno stuff, but it is great, just as a ride. The high speed part outdoors is what I like.

    The first time on the Aerosmith ride, it really got my attention as it banged my head into the restraint. After that, I knew to put my head back against the restraint before the ride started.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh you lucky dog, it is now more interactive than before where it was just a regular ride.

  13. Jim Sawyer Says:

    Hydrophobic coatings for automotive use are nothing new. Europeans brands were using them about 10 years ago, notably Volvo, which not only had it on the side glass but also on the side mirrors.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Aerosmith ride gave me a freaking headache which took a couple of high potency Advils to get rid of. Old age is just wonderful.

  15. Drew Says:

    I wonder if my 2002 Volvo S80 had the hydrophobic side glass. If so, I hated it because it seemed the rain water beaded more and obscured my vision to the outside rearview mirrors. Our 2005 S80 does not seem as bad.

  16. dcars Says:

    I’ve got to believe that GM’s interest in PSA is focused on the modular platforms that PSA developed. PSA’s midsize cars would also make nice Buicks.

  17. XA351GT Says:

    Well I for one am glad to see Ford pull their heads out and put out a reg cab short box truck with a sporty back ground. I know I’m a fossil but that is how I remember all the cool trucks back in the day.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    #17 sort of a poor man’s Raptor?

  19. HtG Says:

    The Cobra/Ferrari War via BBC, a documentary.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzH2tvUkuxI

  20. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro @18 I think more like a Lightning light version. Where the Raptor is off road this more of street performance truck. Now if they keep the price under 40K they might have a winner.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    XA do you know if Ford will keep the same platform for the upcoming Mustang or is it a new one imported from elsewhere? I know they don’t ave any RWD domestic platform other than the current one.

  22. cwolf Says:

    I think the Lightning could expand its following if this single cab short bed was also offered with a small gas friendly power plant. G.A. might like the competition Ram is offering in their up-coming small p/u with a 2.0 turbo diesel this fall.

  23. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro,
    I’m not 100% on the Mustang chassis. I believe it is a new chassis, but don’t know for sure. What I have heard is that it is a lot shorter than the current car . Where the current car is nearly the same size as the 1967-70 Stangs . The new one is to more the size of the Fox body Mustangs. It will also have IRS and I believe that is for all cars not just the performance ones.
    I’m not sure how they will make this chassis pay for itself if they don’t have other RWD cars from this platform. I had originally heard that the Mustang ,Aussie Falcon and a Lincoln would come from this to spread the cost around. Now with the announcement that the Falcon is going away after 2016 and no word on a Lincoln RWD car that becomes a big question for Ford. Now maybe that the Mustang is going Global they think they can sell enough to make it work. Time will tell. My wish would be for a Ranchero like ute to replace the Ranger. I won’t hold my breath.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    XA they may use some European or Aussie RWD platform for this and use it for some Lincoln RWD entry level luxury sedan to take on the ATS and the Germans, they may even do a CUV from it to go against the X3 and the GLK, the possibilities are endless when you have a good platform to work with

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most of what I’ve read about the next Mustang does not indicate much likelihood of a Ranchero, or a Lincoln based on the new platform. It would make sense, though, to use the platform for more than one car. They do plan to sell it globally, though, which should help pay for the new platform.

    http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1080572_2015-ford-mustang-spy-shots

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Ford can manage to export the Mustang successfully, it would send GM running back to the drawing board to do the same with the next Camaro (ATS platform) and Sergio will most likely adapt another Fiat platform for a new Challenger, BIG mistake that would be!! I don;t know, Kit, that camouflaged car looks kind of big to me, especially in the rear.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They say it’s going to be smaller, but I’ll be surprised if it is much smaller.

    The styling will be a lot less “retro,” though. I guess they figure the aging “boomers” are switching to Buicks and Avalons, so they are going for younger buyers with the styling of the next Mustang.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    Kit ,
    I think that totally leaving the retro theme is a mistake. Those younger buyers have been into the import scene for so long that I don’t see many switching over to a Mustang. I’m at the very end of the Boomer generation and I still want a car that I’m familiar with. If they want to appeal to the front end of the Boomers maybe they need to revisit the Grande luxury model. Maybe a car that isn’t all performance , but one that features a lot more comfort and luxury for old bones that still want a stylish car.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve spoken to a few young buyers, including my son, who considered the Mustang when choosing a new car and went elsewhere due to size, weight and less than stellar handling, one got an FR-S one got a Mazda 3 and the third got an Acura TSX.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems like a big market for 6 cylinder Mustang convertibles has been females, usually on cell phones, who can’t quite afford a 3-series convertible. At least I see what appears to be that demographic.

  31. HtG Says:

    From my line of sight, Kit, there’s also a 300 pounder who is partial to the topless pony.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, there is no one group of people who buy any particular car.

    And since they replaced the old truck motor with the 3.7, the 6 cylinder ‘Stang is as quick as the V8′s of not too many years ago.

  33. cwolf Says:

    The wife and I looked at Mustangs at the Ford dealer after getting ice cream last night. I noticed the difference between the 6 and 8 was only about $3k. I’m not sure what the insurance difference would be, but the 8cyl. seems the only way to fly AND you get the V8 sound,too! The dealer had a Cobra on the lot, but the $50K was a little rich for a Stang.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    If the V6 has 305 hp why the need for the V8? how many times will it be taken to the local track for racing? BTW I just watched a PBS documentary and the unemployment/homeless situation in Japan among all age groups, but specially older fellows is really alarming, seems like we’re not the only victims of greedy corporations that don;t give a damn about their home country or its people and only looking to save $$ by moving to countries with cheap labor.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the difference between the 6 and 8 is only $3K, yeah, the choice might mainly depend on if you care about gas mileage.

    According to the Ford web site, the base price of the GT is $8700 more than the V6, but I’m sure the GT has extra standard equipment, in addition to the V8 engine. It is easy to run the price up on either version with options, or by getting the “premium” rather than standard versions.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    In most applications, the base engine is good enough unless you need to tow or you need to race, otherwise I would never pay extra for a larger engine, midsize cars don’t really need V6′s the standard 4 has enough oomph to the get the thing moving at legal speeds.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The V6 in the Mustang is now a more-than-ample 305 hp.

    CR got a quick 6.2 second 0-60 time, and they generally don’t get as quick of times as the enthusiast magazines.

  38. cwolf Says:

    Yes, the V6 is quite ample….but without the V8, it’s just another car! And to be honest,I’m not all that fond of the Shelby, but the Boss 302 would bring a mighty wide grin to my face if my wife parked it in the drive.

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    The TRUTH …. about the Australian Auto Industry

    http://bangshift.com/blog/friday-excuse-to-go-home-early-and-drink-the-literal-end-of-australias-auto-industry-is-in-sight.html

    Trust me …. its worse than this article presumes .

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    The further decline of the Western Civilization right here folks, we’re living it, it is happening despite all those who say it’s not true, that is just a phase we have to go through, I guess all these Aussie auto workers will be looking for Walmart and McDonald jobs as well, at a fraction of what they used to earn.

  41. HtG Says:

    Maybe it’s me, but the Shelby I saw waiting for service at the Ford dealer was a hot smoking riot, just standing there. Jeezus.

    But if you look at so many US roads, the ability to launch yourself in a straight line to the horizon is where the fun is going to come from.
    _____
    39 Well, there goes my Snowden theory on your absence, CK.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The entire Australian market is 1M/year. That is 3 or 4 assembly plants worth of production. Ford, and Holden, for now, are building RHD stuff that that is basically for Australian market only. There is no export market for these cars, except for the handfull of LHD cop cars Holden is making for America.

    Aussies are wanting fewer of these cars, and there are all of these cheaper, better RHD cars from Japan. There just isn’t enough volume for Ford and Holden to keep going with what they are building.

  43. HtG Says:

    not even Thailand, Kit? Don’t they drive RHD?

    check out this site

    http://whatsideoftheroad.com/

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They drive on the left in Thailand, but I suspect the market there for big RHD cars like Ford Aus. and Holden build would be too small to help much.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For what it’s worth, according to wikipedia, the export markets for the Aussie Falcon are New Zealand and South Africa. That sounds right to me.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Electric power kicks butt at Pike’s Peak:

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130630/MOTORSPORTS/130639995?utm_source=Racing20130630&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=image4&utm_content=20130630-Electricity-powers-the-fastest-motorcycle-at-Pikes-Peak&utm_campaign=awRacing

  47. ColoradoKid Says:

    EV power according to everyone else was a wash at Pikes Peak … and anyway … one quick trip up the mountain is ….. irrelevant

    Also …. having tested the GLK 250D ….. done the math … etc …. U of M and Bosch is full of it …. the cost of diesel ownership still exceeds that of gas ….. by a country mile

    Pure and blatant propaganda by both I’m afraid

  48. ColoradoKid Says:

    42 ….. and ….. all the Holden platforms GM is using underneath a multitude of their current rwd cars ….

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    now that they’re coming in with their diesels, they run the risk that there will be little takers due to initial higher cost and higher fuel prices as well, resale value notwithstanding, specially if it requires urea additive.

  50. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG

    #41 …. Vail and PP mien freund ….. next up …… cough …. sputter ….. errr …… Aspen …. fer a bit . Eeesh !

    Oh well …. at least Armstrong’s been marginalized and told to keep his distance … or else ;-)

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    47,
    I agree that a Pikes Peak bike run has little to do with passenger cars, but still, it’s impressive that, this year, it beat the 1200cc superbikes, and it’s only a few seconds from the overall record set last year under better conditions.

    When Bosch et. al. came up with their diesel vs gas numbers, a big part of the diesels’ “winning” was the result of lower depreciation of the diesels. If the GLK250D works well, it will probably depreciate slowly, as do the E350D, VW TDI’s etc. We’ll know in a few years.

    How did you like the way the GLK diesel drove?

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48,
    “all the Holden platforms GM is using underneath a multitude of their current rwd cars ….”

    If you mean in North America, “all those Holden platforms” are Camaro, and the the Caprice cop car which is actually imported from Australia.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that GM is working hard to do a large RWD platform to be used in Cadillac and others, whyu can’t they just use the Aussie platform they have now and just extend it a bit? everyone else is playing that same game.

  54. HtG Says:

    Here’s a Bloomberg piece on regulators now taking a closer look at how oil prices are being reported by Platts. Complaints had been ignored previously. Think Libor manipulation.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-01/oil-benchmarks-go-from-trusted-to-tainted-as-eu-missed-warning.html

  55. Sunrack Says:

    Why does the F150 Tremor remind me of a Maverick Grabber?

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    #55 4 wheels, an engine and RWD? can’t think of anything else.

  57. ColoradoKid Says:

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130701/CARNEWS/130709984

    Dear Cadillac ;

    Right up the road a piece …. under one of your former owns Bob Lutz’s leadership now …… the Fisker Karma ….. already developed to take the Corvette’s V8 …. already one of the best designs on the market …. already handles better than anything y’all presently have on offer .

    So get a clue Cadillac …. make Bob a deal he can’t refuse …. rebadge the thing as a Cadillac what ever …. and for once have a genuine winner on your hands

    ………. Nahhhh….. too easy and it makes far too much sense …. never mind ….. carry on ;-)

    ———

    #52 – So you say …. whereas my Holden inside says otherwise … and has the parts numbers to prove it …. suffice it to say Cadillac has not dime one to invest in a bespoke platform … and hasn’t for well over 50 years …. even MT has said that and quite plainly I might add …

    ——-

    Pedro – Shame on you mi amigo …. you’re asking GM to make a ‘ sensible ‘ decision …. sort of like building premium Buicks for the Chinese who are begging for them … instead of trying to cram Cadillacs they don’t want down their throats …

    Lets face it mi amigo . GM didn’t dig the hole they’re still in by making sensible and logical decisions ….. now did they ;-)

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    54 – And now …… all that nice behind the scenes spying on US citizens as well as …… errrr ….. our allies may just cost us a bundle when it comes to foreign trade in the future ( NYYTimes , Bloomberg etc ) …. with both Germany and France up in arms over us spying on them .

    Nice guy that Obama fellow . Promises up and down during the 2008 campaign that he’d diminish the Patriot Acts abilities …. all while multiplying its capabilities some 75%

    Yup ….. we’re gonna be paying for this little efff up for longer than it’ll take to get all the bailout monies ( Auto manufactures Banks etc ) and EV/Alternative Energy Loans and Grants combined back .

    Ahhhh … thank goodness for the repeat of the David McCullough interview last night ….. as the man said …. we’ve been in worse situations ….. and we survived …. but this one will test that Constitution and Bill of Rights to the max …. but … it’ll most likely prevail again …. as soon as a modicum of common sense returns to one party or the other

    Remind me …. how far away is the next election ?

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57,
    Whatever you say. If you have any real information you can show us about platform sharing between Holden and GM NA, other than Camaro, we’d be glad to see it. Sure, there is parts sharing everywhere, and not just within a single company.

    The Fisker Karma is way too “rough around the edges” to be a Cadillac, except maybe a “V” of some sort for performance enthusiasts. It could gain space getting rid of the battery, but there is no way that it could ever be a luxury flagship to compete with the S or 7.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    58,
    We’ve been spying on everyone, including France and Germany, for at least 40 years, and they have known it. The problem arrises when knowledge of it becomes too public.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe a V-8 Karma could sort of compete with a Panamera, but the Panamera is much more fully “developed” than the Karma could ever be.

  62. HtG Says:

    60 bingobingo

    Now let’s not start talking about cooperation between Saudi, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Good Ol’ ‘murrican spooks. The public can’t handle it.

    Oop, I’ve just been zipped into a garment bag. Hey, why did angry Eddie even have access to all our sexiest junk? Who’s gonna get promoted for that boner?

  63. ColoradoKid Says:

    On a lighter note ;

    iPad & Ducati …… go figure …. va bene

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/ducati/#video-ducati?sr=hotnews.rss

    ——-

    60 – No …. the problem is the current scope and intensity of the spying as well as the people involved and how many people .. like you and I are being spied …. e.g. contractors … Sorry Kit …… but on this subject you’re completely out of your depth

    Oh don’t tell me …. you’re one of those willing to forego the perception of privacy in order to maintain the delusion of security …. like it all worked so well with the Boston episode …. 9/11 …. WoMD in Iraq .. Pearl Harbor …. etc etc etc .

    Here’s a clue . All that intel gathered by the feet on the ground is absolutely worthless when the powers that be chose to ignore it …. or worse .. refuse to believe it cause its not what they want to hear

    e.g. There’s no conspiracy there … just blatant ignorance/delusion/arrogance by those at the top ….. hint hint

    Wake up and smell the ragweed . Your rights are being trampled on …. by a left wing liberal who ought to of known better …. if not for power corrupting his very being .

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    61 – Against the Panamera … probably not ….. but head to head with the M-B SL etc etc … at a slightly lower price ? No problem ..IF … they built it right out the gate

  65. ColoradoKid Says:

    63 should of read ….. ” by contractors ” who should in fact have zero access to any of our info as they do not face the same consequences for their actions as an agent of the government is subject to .

    Oh your Congressman Senator President may tell you otherwise …. but in fact they’re lying to cover their money saving tracks …

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #63,
    CK says: ” Sorry Kit …… but on this subject you’re completely out of your depth

    I used to work for NSA, and all I can say, without risking getting myself in trouble, is, that you don’t have a clue.

  67. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I think it’s the ‘scope’ of the spying that has changed tremendously over the past 40 years.Not just the usual stuff from the old days,but the level and sophistication available now that we DON’T know about is what has us citizens as well as our allies hot under the collar to put it mildly.When I was a kid in W.Germany from 1960-64 I have seen stuff as a son of a civilian contractor that the military just wasn’t aware of.In Vietnam I had the displeasure of having to brief with some of those dickweed air america clowns.I was impressed with what they had equipment wise,but the people that used it were less then stellar by any measure.Just from what I read from many sources,the quality of people in charge of this stuff from the top down are still….dickweeds.

  68. HtG Says:

    wow, who knew it was so spooky on this site.

    Cute story. My sister the prof(quite a bit more clever than HtG) has a series of drawings of the older gents that gather at a McDonalds in DC. They share coffee and chat during the mornings. And they all retired from the company.

    Anyone that would like a better clue may consider reading David Sanger’s ‘Confront and Conceal.’ That’s some impressive journalism.

  69. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Here is a link for the diesel half ton fans… no real info on MPG but the price difference over the Hemi isn’t too bad… I have a feeling you will be in a pretty high line truck before the diesel is an option though… just a guess

    http://www.conceptcarz.com/z22871/Ram-1500.aspx

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    67,
    Yes, the scope of capabilities for spying, and especially for analyzing data has, putting it mildly, changed tremendously. There is probably as much computing power in the average home, as in 20 acres of NSA building 40 years ago. Memory and computing power are so cheap, and available, that a spy organization can probably “keep everything they can collect,” while that was clearly not the case at one time.

    63, CK said: “…. like it all worked so well with the Boston episode …. 9/11 …. ”
    Actually, it did work in regard to 9/11, but Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and the boys chose to ignore clear warnings of plans to fly airplanes into buildings. Also, while the Boston bombing was completed, private “spying” helped to quickly figure out who did it, and helped locate them.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just heard on NPR that Honda anf GM are going to join forces in developing fuel cell cars. Is this “new news” or old news?

  72. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: CK was right about the boston deal.The rooskies warned our people about that particular family and it was ignored.

  73. ColoradoKid Says:

    Gee !!! … could there actually be a modicum of logical thinking going on over GM way ?

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/honda-gm-team-up-for-fuel-cell-technology-as-alliance-trend-continues/#more-493926

    Damn ! Somebody at GM’s using their head for something other than a hatrack ! Damn !

    Take this’n to the bank gentlemen . Hydrogen IS the future of the automobile …. not EV’s …. not diesel ( though it’ll always have its place ) not CNG ….. not even hybrids …

    H-Y-D-R-O-G-E-N

    Its coming ( quicker than I ever thought ) and y’all are gonna love it when it does . Especially when they put out the kits ( which they will do ) to convert your ICE to hydrogen …. yes … even that hot rod – muscle car etc

  74. ColoradoKid Says:

    70 – Actually … it didn’t ( Boston ) Fact is the FBI .. Russians … Interpol … CIA etc all knew about them for over 18 months …. with the powers that be here once again choosing to ignore all the intel that was gathered . It was only after the event that the powers that be came running to the field agents begging them to fix it …. and then later trying to blame the field agents for the problem . 9/11 ? 22 months advanced knowledge . Once again … ignored . WoMD’s in Iraq ? Everyone below the top layer knew there were none . The brass though was afraid for their jobs to tell GWB the truth … cause he and his gang of four Wanted the war …. so they lied … to GWB Congress and the public

    ——-

    A little perspective on those ‘ contracted ‘ workers vs a federal officer .

    Vetting prior to hiring ;

    FA – 18 months … minimum

    Snowden – 90 days

    Time till full security clearance given ;

    FA – 36 months all under intense scrutiny

    Snowden – immediately upon hiring

    Tabs kept since hiring;

    FA – Quarterly including the immediate family by five different agencies ( so yes I am under a watchful eye … difference is I agreed to it )

    Snowden – Zero and only renewed every five years by the contractor alone

    That … is the problem with Contracted labor in the NSA FBI and CIA … not to mention those unmentionable agencies for which I cannot mention .

    So one last word on the subject . Snowden … Hero or Villain IMO ? Well ….. until he went to Hong Kong …. it was a bit grey to say the least . Because … on one hand legally he never should of revealed the info …. but on the other hand …. the System is severely flawed ( see above ) and needed to be exposed for the godawful mess that it is …. along with Obama’s blatant hypocrisy when it comes to others ( mainly Chinese ) spying on us .

    But once Snowden headed to Hong Kong …. and then Russia …. well then his motives became in my mind more than a bit …. suspect …

    …. and now …. back to cars

  75. ColoradoKid Says:

    And on a much lighter note ( after 74 .. we need it )

    Forget your CTS-V . To heck with the ATS . Damn the XLR to the purgatory it deserves . THIS ….. is an American performance Cadillac …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cG8xUNysnTo&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL933202463D47A1C2

    Take this …. minus the blower of course .. translate it into the 21st century …. and you’d have a Cadillac worthy of the name

    Pay close attention to the beginning where he talks about the stock aspects of this classic Caddy . Yeah …. back when they really were …. Special

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    72,
    Yep, that is true. It’s still difficult to know which of the thousands of such warning to take serious, but they missed this one.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The idea of hydrogen is great, except where is the hydrogen going to come from, and who is going to pay to build the tens of thousands of 4000 psi pumps needed to fuel the cars, if it is to become a real alternative to gas/diesel?

    We need a lot of wind turbines to electrolyze water to make that hydrogen, and then the subsidies required to build fueling stations will make any EV subsidies look like pocket change.

    Maybe some day, but it won’t be any time soon. Still, it’s good that all the major car companies have formed partnerships with each other to work on the technology.

  78. HtG Says:

    73 I think the Honda/GM news was about fuel cells more than hydrogen burning in a ICE piston. Are you saying the latter will become more important, CK?

    74 Unmentionable agencies. Best line came from Bob Dole talking about the Black budgets; “There’s a highway somewhere that isn’t.”

    Or D.P. Moynihan on what the NSA stands for; ‘No Such Agency.” BTW, the word was that you didn’t want to ask him anything once the afternoon had gotten started. It’s what you’re thinking

  79. HtG Says:

    76 This computer problem of detecting the signal within a universe of data looks to me like the so called Big Data work that firms like IBM are working at for traffic flow, etc. Once we get Internet of Things and Machine to Machine ramping up around the world, it’s going to get interesting.(Already is) But wasn’t it humans making a determination on the Boston boys the decisive turn in missing them? I’ve also heard on On the Media that the Boston police aren’t so pleased with how FBI didn’t share info.

    77 Isn’t natural gas the feedstock for hydrogen?

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    74,
    Snowden worked at NSA and CIA before he worked for the contractor, so would have had a security clearance granted while a direct federal employee.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/06/edward_snowden_career.php

    Still, the followup was obviously inadequate to continue his clearance when he was hired by Booz Allen.

  81. HtG Says:

    80 Kit, did you catch this piece in WaPo on how Snowden’s background checks may have been misrepresented?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/company-allegedly-misled-government-about-security-clearance-checks/2013/06/27/dfb7ee04-df5c-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    77, 79,
    Natural gas is a feed stock for hydrogen for industrial purposes, but it would not make sense to use it for running vehicles. You had might as well just burn the natural gas (mostly CH4) in the car, especially if you are going to use an IC engine.

    If there were a source of hydrogen, as from electrolyzing water using renewable energy sources, electric/fuel cell vehicles would be much more efficient than burning the hydrogen in an ICE. The ICE would be much cheaper, though, at least for now.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    81,
    Interesting. When I got a security clearance 40 years ago, to my knowledge, it was actual CIA people in conjunction with state and local law enforcement, not contractors, that did the background checks. At least I was under that impression.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    83,
    FBI, not CIA.

  85. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Believe it or not,for a 2 month assignment at Ft.Bliss missile school pushing troops in late 1969,(not a student) I still had to have a TS clearance.And I do remember that it was done by the FBI.A couple of months later I was in SEA doing what I was trained to do.I wonder how much that cost the tax payers back then?

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    85,
    I was told that it cost about $10K in the late 60′s.

  87. ColoradoKid Says:

    83 – That was then ….. ( and you’re right … it was done by federal officers back then )…… but this is now …. where far too many NSA FBI CIA ICE CIS etc etc jobs are being done by contractors . A legacy left over from the GWB era …. it existed before in a very small way ( grunt jobs before GWB ) but GWB brought it all to a whole new level .. partly to return political favors for some of his larger donors …. those ‘ Contractor ‘ contracts being excessively lucrative you know … oh …. and FYI .. in reality those contractors cost the tax payer more than they save over federal employees

  88. ColoradoKid Says:

    Hydrogen Cars Pt II

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-26/toyota-seeks-prius-like-success-with-2015-fuel-cell-model.html

    Toyota’s on board to replace their hybrids …. they’s a coming …. when I can’t say ( cause I do not know ) … but they’s a coming

    BTW … did you know Hydrogen was actually cheap to manufacture back in the 20′s 30′s ? Hmmmn . I wonder what drove the price up ?

  89. ColoradoKid Says:

    78 – HtG – re: 73

    BMW already has the kit ready for production and in fact has had it since the 90′s . According to BMW the total price parts and labor would factor out around $1500 – 2000 once fully in production . Part of BMW’s sales pitch since day one being you can easily convert even a classic ICE car over to hydrogen …. which they did with a 30′s 328 roadster

    So you bet … once the price thing to produce hydrogen is settled …. you’ll be seeing ICE hydrogen powered cars … both new and old along with Fuel Cells ….

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It is easy to make an IC engine run on hydrogen. That’s not the issue. There is no source of hydrogen that makes sense for running cars. There is no infrastructure for fueling the vehicles, and it takes a lot of volume of very high pressure gas to run a car very far. A CNG Civic loses about half its trunk and half its range. A hydrogen fueled ICE powered car would have the same issues, only probably worse.

    Yeah, maybe some day there will be cheap hydrogen from sources other than processing fossil fuels, and maybe some day there will be a hydrogen infrastructure, other than a handfull of stations in southern CA, but it won’t be any time soon.

  91. HtG Says:

    Homework

    Here’s the US DOE page on hydrogen power.

    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/

  92. cwolf Says:

    My guess, it will be another 20 years before hydrogen hits the car market in any significant way. Although the process is simple enough to produce at home,it will never catch on. There are less than a dozen hydrogen stations in the US, so more will be needed. The trouble is which will/should come first; The staions or the cars? By the time politics and billionaires get involved, the added costs will not benifit no one but them and hydrogen cars will not catch on until the gov’t mandates it. Then you are screwed again!

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m now in an area where there is the ideal situation for producing hydrogen from renewable energy, wind, and flat ground. Guess what? People are fighting plans for wind turbines, because they don’t like the way they look, and because there are irrational scares about them causing headaches, or some such thing. Oh well.

  94. T. Bejma Says:

    #52

    There is also the new Chevy SS (very nice car too, I saw one at the GM Tech Center before vacation). Other than that, there are no other vehicles or platforms from Holden. In the case of the Camaro, Holden’s input was on the initial design, after that, GMNA took over so I don’t know how vehicle platform sharing could even have a possibility of saving the Australian auto industry. If we close them down, we will take the best Engineers and move them up here. They need small car/SUV manufacturing for the home market and export in order to survive. Helping us with RWD platforms is not going to do it.

    Just ignore CK and his supposed knowledge of vehicle platforms, he still has not told us what Opel vehicle the Alpha (ATS) platform is derived from…

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    94,
    Wasn’t the Omega that the Catera was based on the last RWD Opel, except maybe a commercial van or something?

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I saw a gas station selling urea for diesel exhaust treatment at $4.70 per gallon, I thought it was weird to find at a gas station, has anyone seen that before?

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t seen urea at gas stations, but I saw it at Autozone. It’s the inconvenience more than the cost of using it that’s a factor with the new diesels.

  98. cwolf Says:

    I’ve seen urea in smaller containers at a couple gas stations. Ya know, ya gotta be careful not to over-fill the reservoir or your diesel will get diurea!! Yuk-yuk!!!

  99. pedro fernandez Says:

    If you can afford a Merc diesel, why would you do your own urea refill, they take care of that when you change the oil.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The one “affordable” diesel in the U.S. market, the VW 2.0 TDI doesn’t need urea, for now, but I’ve read that the new one to arrive in 2014 will need urea. The new one will be a lot more powerful, though. Hopefully, it won’t be more thirsty. If it is, what’s the point? The current one gets very good mpg. In a test of a 2013 Beetle TDI, C and D got twice the mpg that they got from either gas engine. CR generally gets 30-40% better mpg from VW TDI’s than their gas counterparts.

  101. ColoradoKid Says:

    94 – Say what you will T ….. but as a matter of fact I have told which Opel platform the ATS is based on …. several times … or once again hast thou forgotten …. And if you were an engineer …. or even had any connections to engineering ( hint ; my Holden connection is a top level engineer ) you’d know the answer as well .

    But since you’re a supposed business maven …. answer this ; With Cadillacs P-R-O-F-I-T-S …. [ once again T .. profits .. not sales .. which btw are pathetic in comparison to the competition as well ] ….. having been in the toilet going on some 40 odd years …. GM’s cash reserves ( bailouts withstanding ) being all but non existent … assuming ANY of the recent Cadillacs did have a bespoke platform ( which even MT says they do not ) ….. where in the almighty ______ did Cadillac or GM get the $$$$$ to develop them ??? …. ehhh ?

    ——-

    99 – Pedro … yeah but if you don’t purchase the service contract ( which is a great deal btw ) what they charge you to replace that stuff is a bit ….. disconcerting .

    Like I said . I drove the GLK250D ( very nice and worthy of consideration if it were not for the cost of ownership vs gas dollars saved ) … did the math …. and despite Mercedes charging LESS for the diesel version ( they’re the first to do so btw ) …. the overall cost vs an equal 2013 GLK350 does not compute .

    Seriously … you’d have to be driving in excess of 30,000 miles per year for the diesel GLK to be a viable and cost effective option

    —-

    Kit – 100 – Yup . Like the Prius being the only Hybrid really worth considering …. the VW diesels are the only cars ( not trucks G.A. ) with diesel that can at the very least break even in cost to own …

  102. ColoradoKid Says:

    93 – Yeah I dealt with that insanity when living in VT as well . the usual hypocritical ” We need more power … more power … more power …. but don’t go building those damn wind turbines in our backyard ” BS .

    The home we owned was a cooperative of four homes on approximately 50 acres at at one point we all fought tooth and nail to place a very small wind turbine on OUR property ( which would of powered all four homes as well as been profitable selling electricity back to the grid ) …… but first the town …. then the county … and finally the State nixed the plan … because they said it would be detrimental to the view . What freakin view ??? We lived in a small valley surrounded by derelict and near derelict farms !!!!

    Nuts ! And like you said ….. oh well ….

  103. T. Bejma Says:

    #101
    “where in the almighty ______ did Cadillac or GM get the $$$$$ to develop them ???”

    Must have made it from all the Rap stars buying all those Escalades.

    In case it evades you, that was sarcasm. You ask a stupid question, you get a stupid answer.

    “In 2012, General Motors Co increased its cash reserves by 14.63%, or 2.3510bn. The company earned 10.6050bn from its operations for a Cash Flow Margin of 6.97%.”

    ” but as a matter of fact I have told which Opel platform the ATS is based on …. several times”

    Then how come NOBODY on this site recalls your supposed answer? And if it is developed on an Opel platform, what Opel uses it?

  104. cwolf Says:

    As I recall,TB, cK said the ATS was a Holden platform with a lot of bits and pieces from the left over bins. I’m trying to figure out how a car made from a bunch of scraps has increasing sales(13%ytd and a growing market share),yet CK thinks GM isn’t making any money!

  105. ColoradoKid Says:

    And here it is folks ….

    The 2014 JEEP …. thats a FIAT …. thats really a Suzuki SX4 … thats been lost in translation ….. unfortunately …

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/jeep-consolidates-patriotcompass-starting-in-2014/#more-494066

    ——

    103 – Your claiming my very legitimate question is stupid tells me and anyone else with so much as a modicum of business sense and knowledge … just how shallow your knowledge of GM’s business in particular … as well as business in general really is ..

    Wake up an smell the ragweed T . GM has bupkiss in their C-A-S-H .. reserves … . Plenty of debt . A ton of money on paper . Still some $30billion owed to the tax payers . But Zilch in actual cash …. you do know what cash is do you not young man ?

    So to quote the great WC Fields ;

    ” Go away kid …. you bother me ” …. more like mildly annoy to be honest …. but I’ll assume you’re capable of getting the point

    e,g, Hang it up son . You’ve already stuffed that foot down your throat so many times trying to deal with me to the point I’d of thought you’d be sick of the taste by now . And errr …. at your tender young age ….. I’d seriously look into some professional help with that ongoing memory problem . At your age such problems are a bit premature to say the least …

    But to hopefully spark that declining memory a bit . A hint ;

    The platform in question has appeared previously both here and in the EU/UK …. under four different brand names ;-)

  106. ColoradoKid Says:

    104 – GM isn’t ‘ making ‘ any money . Not real money . On paper …. sure on paper they’re manipulating the numbers to look like there’s cash in hand …. but in reality …. with all those incentives … sub prime loans …. losses on every Cadillac and Corvette sold … along with massive losses on the VOLT … as well as their horrid performance overseas … look at the stats cwolf … not GM and T Bejma’s – Rhetoric – Platitudes & Attitudes and Hype & Hyperbole .

  107. ColoradoKid Says:

    And thus ends any further discussion today from me on the subject of GM … though I’m sure this statement will once again fly right over Mr Bejma’s head …. and he’ll respond and try to goad it on anyway . The obvious most often passing the dear boy by as it does . Sad really . ;-)

  108. ColoradoKid Says:

    Shame on me . Forgot to mention ;

    Happy Fourth all !!!

    And please do remember …. as bad as things are right now …. they’ve been worse in the past …. we’ve gotten thru it then …. we’ll no doubt do it again … so …

    Rock On – Drive On – Remain Calm – and Carry On

  109. ColoradoKid Says:

    One last for the upcoming Fourth

    The most ‘ American ‘ brands according to the US consumer

    http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2013/07/03/most-patriotic-brands-jeep-is-first-harley-davidson-13th/#more-122527

    Take notice who … > isn’t <… in the top 25

    ( hint ; That'd be GM missing from the line up )

  110. pedro fernandez Says:

    How is Jeep, owned by Italy’s Fiat # 1 while Marlboro, a brand that says USA is down there?

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I hate to get into this again, but ATS does not use an Opel platform. There has been no rear drive Opel since the Omega went away years ago.

    The ATS may borrow a little from one of the Holden platforms, but probably not much. The current rear-drive Holdens are wider, longer, and substantially heavier than the ATS, and obviously not the same car, or even close.

    John Mc., could you help settle this one when you return next week. PLEASE.

  112. Kit Gerhart Says:

    110,
    It is perceived American-ness from a survey. Yeah, I suspect Marlboro is about as American as a brand gets, unless they use some Turkish tobacco or something.

  113. HtG Says:

    Maybe the survey group understands how international GM truly is. ;) just kidding

    So I’m reading this ‘ook on the new international economic base of feature films coming out of Hollywood. Aaaaand, you ask?

    When the studios want feedback from the audience about a new film they think it’s sufficient to merely drive east to the valley, since no matter where you go in the suburbs of the USA, we’re all alike. (as far as the types hanging out at the mall). They’ve got the research to back it up.

    ‘ook precis; International audiences prefer to gorge on high concept sequels and other product that they’re are ‘pre-aware’ of. 70% of profits are coming from international, replacing all that DVD money that has collapsed since ~2006. Hence, no hope for us! Go watch TV young man.

  114. pedro fernandez Says:

    For those who think TTAC has it for GM, just read an article where they blast the turbo 4 in the new 3 series to the point where they recommend you go for a used I6 instead, and this is the future of BMW engines, I guess!

  115. HtG Says:

    Holy Eff’th of July, I just saw the new FIAT 500L. The first sensation I had was that I was beginning to hurl, and then I recognized this elephant abortion rolling by; the new stylish stool from Torino. This car looks like a pile of excrement just as Gallager’s hammer is making contact. A true automotive taste IQ test; why why why?

    Or maybe dark grey just isn’t its color

  116. HtG Says:

    And then a new McLaren went by. Yellow, with the folding top.

    And then some suburban frau rolled a stop sign in her A3 while holding her phone to her ear. Never even looked at me on the line to her right, with my fricking lights on.

  117. HtG Says:

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be on the road this evening

  118. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG, beat this one, yesterday I saw a middle age woman driving slowly, phone in one hand, hair brush in the other, don’t ask me how she steered, I moved over to the extreme left lane when I saw her, thought to myself; “This is why they’re working on autonomous cars, for morons like this one”

  119. HtG Says:

    OK, Pedro.

    Last week I’m merging onto the highway from the right. I look at the right hand lane which is empty, then look at the left lane, wherein an SUV is cruising. Since ‘it’s happened before,’ I got my nose ahead of the SUV to make sure he could see me, and then I entered the right lane. At which point he switched into the right land forcing me to brake and move again onto the ramp. WTF? I ask you.

    When I caught up to the stroonz(scuzzi, CK) I could see that he was still continuing his phone conversation, holding his unit to his right ear.

    This crap happens at this particular on-ramp, and was actually one of the reasons in my mind when I decided to abandon the Miata. If only John could hear the gnashing of my teeth.

    I usually don’t share these episodes, as I try to keep it fresh. But is ‘happens all the time,’ Pedro.

  120. Kit Gerhart Says:

    114,
    “By the numbers,” the BMW turbo 4 is a great engine, with good power, high torque at low rpm, and best-in-class EPA mpg. The trouble is that it’s being compared with probably the sweetest 6 cylinder engine to ever live in the nose of a production car. In that comparison, the new turbo 4 doesn’t seem quite so good.

  121. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, is the reason most OEM’s went to V6 configuration due to FWD and to save space up front? From your recollection, were the US I-6′s as smooth as the imports? or were they really most into V8′s?

  122. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had a couple Chrysler slant 6′s, and they were smooth, but, of course, very low tech, and not very powerful. I drove a Chevy TrailBlazer with the 4.2 inline 6, which was smooth enough, but seemed too noisy in the wrong way when pushed, in that vehicle. I’ve only driven a few of the BMW sixes, but they just seem “right,” in being smooth and responsive, and sounding good.

    Companies went to V6′s because they fit better in FWD cars, but they also fit better in rear drivers. Mercedes stayed with inline sixes for a long time, but eventually went to V6′s for their rear drivers. I remember them saying the shorter engine was better for crash protection, allowing more crush space in front of the engine, but it is generally easier to package a V6 in any car configuration.

    I suspect BMW stuck with the inline 6 for the purists, even though they had to compromise the car design a little to allow for the longer engine. I suppose BMW will eventually start making V6 engines, but they have resisted for a long time.

  123. HtG Says:

    My father had a pair on BMW inline 6 cars in the 80′s. Those engines were soooo sweet, like a turbine. And the exhausts were tuned to keep that theme. Today, I guess people like thunder and growl.

    (in case you guys wonder, I was almost too mortified to be seen driving those cars. No kid looks right in a light blue or gold 5 series. GTHO of that driver’s seat)

  124. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just read that Toyota is recalling almost 200k Yaris models world-wide due to a glitch in the electric power steering which causes it to be very hard to turn the steering wheel, AHHH! the electrification of the car is going so well, give me hydraulic steering with all it’s leaks and hoses any time.

  125. HtG Says:

    Yeah, but I saw a new Avalon this evening. Looks great and so different on the street compared to the shows. This is one long sedan.

  126. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When the electric power steering fails, it’s just like if you didn’t have power steering, and a Yaris-size car doesn’t need power steering anyway:-)

  127. T. Bejma Says:

    #111

    Kit, the platform that CK thinks is underpinning the ATS is the sub-compact Kappa platform (Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel/Vauxhall GT and even the Daewoo G2X), and a modified version under the Chevy Nomad concept).

    Funny how, if this is the case, that platform was developed in North America, first for the Solstice in 2002 (well before the Opel GT) and was also designed to be LHD only. Kappa production officially ended in July 2009 after bankruptcy. After that, the Kappa platform, was sold to Spanish Car maker, Tauro, who now use the chassis for their production Tauro V8.

  128. T. Bejma Says:

    #104

    Here you go cwolf, don’t listen to me, look at the stats, as CK says…

    http://markets.ft.com/research//Markets/Tearsheets/Financials?s=GM:NYQ&subview=BalanceSheet&period=a

  129. HtG Says:

    NY state begins a crackdown this weekend on texting while driving. Let the crying games begin. Seriously, it’s a menace around here.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/txt_your_own_risk_qbHC1NxX3Bj2hW3iEc4syM

  130. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It’s a menace EVERYWHERE my friend.

  131. pedro fernandez Says:

    They need a law that says if you cause an accident by texting or talking on the phone, you will be held responsible for all damages and injuries, they can tell by contacting the cell phone service provider. As if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  132. ColoradoKid Says:

    58 Eldorado – Don Rickles – Jerry Seinfeld … ahhhh … back when a Caddy was a Caddy … Men were Men … what was said in private … stayed private … and humor wasn’t politically correct …

    Enjoy !

    http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/don-rickles-you-ll-never-play-the-copa

  133. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma -127 …. Think ??? I don’t think son …. I know !!!

    I also KNOW for a fact GM’s supposed cash reserves are a paper trail only …. with the actual CASH bank accounts being dry ( you DO comprehend the difference between money on paper and C-A-S-H do you not Mr Business degree ? )

    Suffice it to say if GM were forced to go on a CASH only basis as of today …… they couldn’t so much as afford to keep the lights on …. never mind develop non- existent bespoke platforms for a brand ( Cadillac ) that hasn’t seen an actual PROFIT …. going on 40 years now

    So hang it up when it comes to your feeble attempts at GM Apologetics ….. Its a lost cause …. and has been for decades .

  134. ColoradoKid Says:

    129 , 130 , 131

    +1 …. times more than I care to type out right now

  135. ColoradoKid Says:

    #111 Do you not comprehend the fact that ANY platform can be .. and most often is …. [ re: VW ] stretched ( easy ) … shrunk … ( more difficult ) … widened … ( again easy ) … or narrowed .. ( again harder ) to fit multiple models ?

    Do you also not comprehend that GM is …and has been notorious since the 50′s for re- naming and re-numbering their chassis’s and platforms in order to deceive ? Giving for instance the pedestrian version ( Chevy Pontiac Olds etc ) one number and name … the mid level luxury version ( Buick )another …. and the luxury version ( Cadillac ) …. yet another ?

    Are you also completely unaware of GM’s attempts to deceive when it comes to the origins of the Cruze as well as its VOLT counterpart ( yeah … that Volt is American alright …. its about as American as a jar of Kimchi )

    And you really think Cadillac can afford to develop a completely new platform …. for a car ( ATS ) who’s sales will never be profitable …. or ever even hope to reach World Class acceptance ?

    Face facts Kit . BMW sells more 3 Series worldwide than Cadillac does its entire range ….. that alone should be a clue . Or as that BMW exec told me on the ski slopes last winter ” We do not see Cadillac or its insignificant sales as competition in any way shape or form …. more a minor annoyance on the rare occasion ”

    Now IF Cadillac would follow PDL’s and my advice ? Well then ….. they might just stand a chance …. but on their current tact ……. SNAFU year …. after year ….. after year …. now going on for decades .

  136. ColoradoKid Says:

    The perfect soundtrack for …. the US Auto Industry …. Detroit …. and the American way of life should things continue on as they are …. as well as my continued participation here this summer ( business and duty calls ) ; Iris DeMent’s .. ” Our Town ” …… have a kleenex handy before listening ….. you’ll need it … I’ve heard this one 100′s of times since it was first used on ” Northern Exposure ” …. and I still shed a tear myself

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghVAH_WX-9I

    Rock On – Drive On – Remain Calm … and do please … Carry On

  137. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I happen to have that album,and had it down pat on my guitar 2 seconds after I heard it for the first time.It was the closing song from the last episode of Northern Exposure.Oh,use a capo.

  138. Kit Gerhart Says:

    135,
    Whatever you say, CK. Whatever you say.

    Everyone, except you, considers the ATS’ to be a different platform, and not borrowed from any Opel or Holden, current or past. I guess everyone except you is wrong, NOT. And your hatred for GM really runs deep, doesn’t it, clear back to the 50′s, when GM dominated the U.S. market with almost 50% market share?

    CK, do you consider the C-Class and E-Class sedans to be on the same platform? They are more alike than the ATS is like any Opel or Holden.

    Yes, BMW sells more 3′s than Cadillac sells cars, and Toyota sells more Corollas than BMW sells cars. So what?

  139. Brett Says:

    Best I remember, the “Opel GT” was a re-badged Saturn Sky built in Baltimore, MD and exported to Europe.

    If we’re talking about the same vehicles, that makes for a fairly tenuous claim of “based on an Opel platform” even if the ATS was based off the Kappa platform, which it doesn’t sound like it is.

  140. Kit Gerhart Says:

    139,
    Yep, regarding the recent Opel GT.

    There was an earlier Opel GT that looked a little like a mini ‘Vette. A navy friend had one. It was a cool car for the time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Opel_GTJ_ca_1972_Schaffen-Diest.jpg

  141. Brett Says:

    One just turned up in the Daytona Craigslist. 1970 Opel GT with 46k miles on it. Guy wants $3200 for it.

  142. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That sounds pretty good, if the car is in decent shape.

  143. HtG Says:

    141 There’s a yellow one of these rotting in the yard of a local body shop. I asked the store owner about it, and whether he’d thought of selling it. But he said it belonged to his deceased lawyer and there’s no paper work. Still looks pretty.

    ATS platform

    I must say I’m out of my depth on this question, though everywhere I read the driving dynamics are praised as highly or higher than the 3series.

  144. Enn Norak Says:

    John, this is a comment about today’s Autoline This Week show Improving the car-buying experience. Most discussion was about customer experience in general and not specifically about the buying experience. There is no way to improve the buying experience until the industry creates an environment of full disclosure about all aspects of the product including dealer cost and hidden incentives. I personally look for red flags such as a dealer attempting to rip me off with fictitious charges and charges that are already included in his overhead. A single red flag tells me to walk out immediately. I do business only with dealers who work on a true cost-plus basis.

    Manufacturers are not helpful in keeping prices down when they force dealers to build unnecessary palatial new showrooms the cost of which ends up being passed on to customers.

  145. HtG Says:

    wow. It took until 9:25 in this Autoliine show to hear a specifac improvement at Audi. Guess what they’ve done; the service center will be open on Saturday as will Audi’s technical hotline. Oooh Lawdy Lawd, it’s a little bit of Himmel. I’ve never heard such a stream of high falutin palaver, delivered in so fractured a rendition english as from the Audi gal. Wanna go high end? Read a book.

    Can somebody watch this show for me and report back, so I can go take an aspirin?

  146. HtG Says:

    dog whistle alert; I give Audi high marks for softball respect

  147. cwolf Says:

    Opel is going to go more up-scale. Competting with the M4 and M5, opel will borrow the chassis from the ATS to make a two seater called Monza. This is GM’s way of boosting profits per car. If the ATS was derived from Opel, why would they have to borrow the chassis?

  148. T. Bejma Says:

    #133

    “I also KNOW for a fact GM’s supposed cash reserves are a paper trail only…”

    Gee, I didn’t realize that you were on the Board of Directors and had some inside information because every Wall Street Analyst and Fund Director thinks that they are a great buy. Would some Wall Street analyst really recommend a company with zero cash?

    http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Forecasts?s=GM:NYQ

    So the old and wise CK “KNOWS” more about GM than Wall Street? BS…

    #135

    “Do you also not comprehend that GM is …and has been notorious since the 50′s for re- naming and re-numbering their chassis’s and platforms in order to deceive ?”

    And what would be the purpose of this deception? Can you site examples? Any one with a modicum of skill on Google can find out exactly what platform every vehicle is made on. My own 1969 Cutlass (since it supposedly began in the 50′s) is widely advertised as being an A-Body Platform that also underpinned the Chevy Chevelle, Buick GS and the Pontiac GTO. Nobody lied about what platform they were on. You really are delusional. Even in the 80′s when Time did the cover story on all of the GM versions that just had trim changes, no one was lying about it. It was definitely wrong and that GM Management that each wanted their own version didn’t work very well. That is a well known fact.

    Now when we make a vehicle that is on the same platform, they look nothing alike (Equinox-Terrain, Malibu-LaCrosse, Impala-XTS, Cruze-Volt, etc.)

    “BMW sells more 3 Series worldwide than Cadillac does its entire range”

    And the award for the most obvious statement on the Internet goes to… CK! How many of the same markets are both the ATS and the 3 Series actually in? North American and… that’s about it. GM is not trying to be BMW with the Cadillac brand, just like every other brand we have, we are trying to make our customers happy. They want rear wheel drive performance, we give it to them.

    “Do you not comprehend the fact that ANY platform can be .. and most often is …. [ re: VW ] stretched ( easy ) … shrunk … ( more difficult ) … widened … ( again easy ) … or narrowed .. ( again harder ) to fit multiple models ?”

    Yes I understand that, that is how we turned the Epsilon I platform (Malibu/LaCrosse) into the Epsilon II platform (XTS/Malibu). But converting the Kappa (crude, heavy) into the Alpha (light weight, high tech materials, superior handling) is like night and day. The ONLY thing they share is being Rear Wheel Drive. How would your Holden friend even work on this if it was developed in Europe and the US? He was too busy working on Sigma (Camaro) and our Chevy SS (Holden Commadore).

    “And if you were an engineer …. or even had any connections to engineering ( hint ; my Holden connection is a top level engineer ) you’d know the answer as well .”

    Again, you show your real lack of knowledge in the Vehicle Development process. If you did understand it, you would know that I interface with all areas of Vehicle Engineering multiple times per day. I also deal with Material Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Validation Engineering, Design Engineering and even Appearance Engineering. Give up your feeble attempts to discredit me when comes to anything in Automotive Vehicle Development CK, I actually work in the industry and don’t just pretend on some website. Your inflated ego is blinding you into thinking you know everything about everything. The next thing you know you will be giving us a dissertation on the cure for cancer.

    I am back from my great vacation in Florida and a bonus long weekend up north on the Jet Ski and I am done (for good) even acknowledging CK and his idiotic diatribes…

  149. cwolf Says:

    @ T. Bejma:
    Done for good! Come on now…you are too good for that kind of foolishness. For all the positive interactions you have with so many others,esp. at work, you are not going to let one person get the better of your senses, are you? I have always enjoyed your vitality, so I never would have guessed you were a quitter when confronted. I hope others at GM do not set limits when challenged. CK does not realize I enjoy his in-put, as well, yet don’t agree with him on many things. Never the less I accept his position and move on. Maybe this would be a good lesson for you.

  150. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB I’m curious, what did you get at the rental counter in Fl?

  151. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just drove my ’89 Caravan, and it reminded me of a very sensible, straightforward control you don’t see much any more, a pull knob headlight switch. You pull it one detent for parking lights, and all the way for headlights. Turning it cw/ccw adjusts the instrument brightness. All the way ccw turns on the cabin lights. All the way cw keep all the cabin lights off when the doors or liftgate are open, like when having a picnic, etc. I miss controls like that on newer cars, especially the ease of turning on the cabin lights without looking for an overhead switch in the dark

  152. cwolf Says:

    Kit: One easy to use and find knob to control several functions without junking up the dash. Geesh, we’ll have to wait until the Japanese re-introduce this old device cuz the Americans can’t think in simple terms and convenience.

  153. T. Bejma Says:

    #149

    Like you cwolf, I will accept his position and move on (that is what I meant anyway). Kind of like Keep Calm and Carry On :-)

    #150

    Impala LTZ Pedro. Not much selection at the Daytona Beach Airport. It drove well, accelerated well, the air worked great, it had leather and auto start and the trunk swallowed all 4 of our luggage without a problem. They are good rental cars, as everyone knows.

  154. T. Bejma Says:

    #151

    Driving strictly GM cars for the last 17 years, I enjoy the fact that every single vehicle they make has auto headlights. They turn on by themselves, they turn off by themselves. No need for any knob…

  155. Kit Gerhart Says:

    153,
    New or old Impala? Probably old? Those are really peppy with the 3.6.

  156. C-Tech Says:

    My Favorite Impala is the 1977-78 Caprice 2 door withe the “bent-wire” wraparound rear glass.

    An old saying “Never argue with a fool, after awhile people can’t tell the difference”.

    It is official, the new ugliest vehicle is the Nissan Murano Convertible. The second ugliest is the BMW X6. The Pontiac Aztec drops to 3rd.

  157. C-Tech Says:

    Any recommendations for steel toe work shoes, besides those expensive Red Wings?

  158. pedro fernandez Says:

    They’re also work-assigned cars as well, I’ve met quite a few people who get one for their jobs and are satisfied, but when I ask them if they would buy one, it’s always no. Ditto for the C.Vic, nice working car, but, no thanks!

  159. HtG Says:

    156 ugly sticks

    wait C-Tech, you must see the 500L, in vivo.
    ___
    steel toes

    where were you 10 years ago, man? My big toe smarts most days from my weight room stupidity. Ever see an orthopedic surgeon wince?

  160. HtG Says:

    :)

  161. Kit Gerhart Says:

    133, 148
    Not only is the 3 series sold world wide, while the Cadillac brand is mainly North America, but:

    The 3 series comes in more variations than some complete car brands. There are 4 body styles, 5 in some markets, where they didn’t start calling the coupe a 4 series. There are engines from under 100 hp to over 400 hp. In most markets, you can get most engines with either manual or automatic transmissions, and either RWD or AWD. Really, in addition to being marketed globally, the “3″ covers more niches than the entire Cadillac line.

  162. T. Bejma Says:

    #156

    I would also add the Infinity QX56 to the list of vehicles that look worse than the Aztec…

  163. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB the Olds “fastback” sedan (2 and 4 doors) from the early 80′s never sold well at all, as a matter of fact, you can’t even find one survivor for sale anywhere, I liked the look of that car, why do you suppose it did not catch on with consumers.

  164. T. Bejma Says:

    #163

    Not sure Pedro. My dad had one of those (Cutlass Salon I believe was the name). I thought it was butt ugly myself, the squared off backs looked more proportional I thought (I also hated that it was a 4 door and THE BACK WINDOWS WERE FIXED AND IT HAD NO A/C!! Real stripper model. I was in love with the Hurst Olds and the Grand National back then so that probably explains it :-)

  165. pedro fernandez Says:

    As they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, the Aztek was a good project that was not followed thru correctly, that’s all. So were the infamous X-cars, great on paper, horribly executed, those responsible should have been fired immediately never to work in the auto industry again, when they did the A cars (X-cars with their problems removed) it turned out to be most improved indeed.

  166. Kit Gerhart Says:

    163, 164,
    Given its shape, that car should have been a hatchback. Then, I would have liked it, even though I, like many, I didn’t like the way it looked.

  167. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh my God, I must be a real weirdo, I just liked the fact that there was nothing out there that looked anything like it, hatch back looking w/o the hatch. Well, there must have been some GM designers that thought it’d be cool, maybe the same ones that went on to do Aztek?

  168. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One kind of odd looking GM car that I did like, was the second generation Cadillac Seville. It looked odd when I first saw it, but I ended up liking it.

  169. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit that one looked like they had 2 different design teams working on it, one for the front and one for the rear, WOW!!

  170. HtG Says:

    You guys keep sharing like this and I’m going to make everyone sick with my own two bagger sweeties.