AD #1178 – Ford & Toyota End Partnership, GMC Sierra Bed Upgrades, Mercedes Golf Cart

July 24th, 2013 at 11:40am

Runtime: 7:04

Ford and Toyota said they would collaborate on developing a new hybrid system, but now have decided to do it on their own. Autoline shares the practical upgrades to the bed of the 2014 GMC Sierra. Mercedes-Benz takes ideas from golf and automotive fans and introduces its Vision Golf Cart. All that and more, plus fill-in host Murray Feldman explains why not everybody is happy about auto production picking up in the U.S.

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Hello and welcome to a brand new Autoline Daily. It’s Wednesday, July 24th, 2013. I’m Murray Feldman from FOX2 News in Detroit filling in for John today. There’s a lot going on in the auto industry, so let’s get to the day’s top stories.

Just about two years ago, Ford and Toyota announced they would collaborate on developing a new hybrid system. But now, after completing a feasibility study into the partnership, the companies have decided to do it on their own. Ford will instead develop a rear-wheel drive hybrid system for its trucks and SUVs that will be ready by the end of the decade. However, Ford and Toyota will continue their collaboration on next-generation telematics.

And speaking of Ford hybrids’, the company announced that sales of those models have skyrocketed this year. In the second quarter, sales passed 24,000 units which is over a 500 percent gain compared to last year and a 15 percent increase compared to the first quarter of this year. Ford’s market share of cars with some form of electrification has jumped from 12 percent to 16 percent this year in the U.S.

And that also helped with the company’s bottom line, as Ford delivered rock solid results for the second quarter. The company sold over 1.6 million vehicles, up 231,000 units from a year ago. That pulled in revenues of $38 billion, up $4.5 billion. Ford’s operating profit hit $2.5 billion, up nearly 40 percent, and it’s net profit hit $1.2 billion, up 18 percent. North America was the profit powerhouse for the company, but its aggressive investments in China are also starting to pay off. But in South America, while the company posted a profit, the company is still losing money there and says that it hopes to break even for the year. In Europe Ford saw its sales and revenue go up even though the overall market fell by a million units compared to a year ago. Despite the increase in sales, the company is only losing less money than a year ago, and expects to lose $1.8 billion for the full year.

We’ve taken an in depth look at the new powertrains and styling in the 2014 GMC Sierra but that’s not all that’s changed. Here’s a look at some of the practical upgrades to the bed of the truck.

(Clip about the upgrades to the bed of the 2014 GMC Sierra can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Earlier this year, Mercedes held an international competition for both golf and automotive fans to come up with the golf cart of the future. After the winners were chosen, the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Center in California molded the concepts, with a little of their own innovative thinking, into what you see. The cart has some cool new features too, like a heads-up-display, iPhone or iPad dock and uses a joystick for control. But, if we were going to be spending as much money as this cart most likely costs, we would rather have Bubba Watson’s hovercraft golf cart, to drive through bunkers and over water.

Auto production has picked back up in the U.S. and coming up next, I’ll explain why not everybody is happy about that.

The domestic auto industry is on a roll, sales are up, prices are up, incentives are falling and production could hit 16-million units this year. Is everybody happy? No. Those who hold the key to the car assembly are not, the suppliers. Many slimmed down and they just don’t have the strength, the power and the capital to pump out as many parts as the car makers are demanding.

But now I’m told some tier one suppliers are not even replacing worn out tooling at the tier two suppliers. It’s the tier one’s job to replace that. The tier two’s have to maintain it. But, when it can’t be maintained anymore and has to be replaced many tier one’s are not doing it, for one reason or another. This is causing, downtime, production delays, could cause injuries and even quality issues.

But wait, there’s more. There’s another sticky issue, lower prices being forced on suppliers by the companies they produce for. There have been lawsuits, and I’m told more litigation is on the way, over these issues. If this surge in demand continues and these issues are not resolved, we could be facing more supplier bankruptcies, more lawsuits and perhaps even more recalls, because of quality issues.

And just a reminder before I sign off, don’t forget to watch Autoline After Hours this Thursday night. John will be out of town but Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, will take over hosting duties. His guest will be Rich Bartlett, the Assistant Chief Engineer, of the Cadillac Twin Turbo V6. That’s tomorrow night at 6PM on our website,

And that’s it for today’s show. Once again I’m Murray Feldman from FOX2 News in Detroit, thanks for watching and enjoy the rest of your day.

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27 Comments to “AD #1178 – Ford & Toyota End Partnership, GMC Sierra Bed Upgrades, Mercedes Golf Cart”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    hey why not autonomous golf carts, so that the player can study his game and concentrate on his next shot.

  2. Mike Says:

    Being a Tier One supplier is a tough racket. Margins might be in the 6% range, less if you have real or perceived quality problems. Every business needs a solid business plan that can drive investment in response to possible profits. It can be hard to make those investment choices when the risks are so high and the returns so low.

  3. HtG Says:

    I bet there’s a good reason for having to walk to the cab to turn on those lights in the bed. Can’t figure it out, but….

  4. HtG Says:

    Apple’s Cook

    Yesterday Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke on a conference call about the company’s latest earnings. He also spoke about iOS in autos according to;

    “Cook said efforts to put iOS in cars is important strategically. “Having something in the automobile is very, very important. It is something that people love.”

    I don’t know if Cook used the word ‘strategically’ himself, but that right there is what’s called speaking softly and carrying a big stick.

  5. T. Bejma Says:

    Perusing through the inventory data from June on Wards Auto site and it appears I was right about GM being able to pare down the current model full size truck inventory. It now stands at 77 days, just slightly above the F150 at 68 days. CK will probably just claim it is GM manipulating the data and that the numbers are not true…

  6. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @1 – Pedro – That’s funny!!! In a related note, I live near some guy who does something with golf carts. He often has custom ones parked in his yard or on a trailer. They look like 57 Chev’s, and other classics. They really look pretty good.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    I spent a whole day with a new rental Versa while the Vibrolla was getting new shoes, CV joints and front wheel bearings replaced, after I got it back I was happy to dump that Versa, what the hell is wrong with me? I think I have become addicted to the Vibrolla and suffer from separation anxiety. But it does ride nice and smooth now!

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    Cadillac announces S- Class …. errrr ….. cough ….. hack …. hee hee ….. ‘ fighter ‘

    No doubts in any thinking and rational persons mind it’ll be more like loser right outta the box

    S- Class fighter indeed ! Hell Caddy can’t even go head to head with the C-Class and we’re supposed to believe they can in any way create a competitor for the S-Class

    Bahahahahahahaha !


    T Bejma – Assuming ( and from you this is a huge assumption ) #3 is true ……. On what financial Planet is 77 days worth of inventory [ especially when the bet between you and I was less than 30 by now ] even remotely considered a ‘ Good Thing ‘ ( kudos to Martha .. lol )

    Oh wait ….. you’re still doing that GMObamanomics thing … ignoring reality entirely ….. never mind ….. carry on .


    HtG- 4- Seriously mien herr …. you don’t know the half of it … wink wink ;-)


    To heck with ( shudder * ) Golf Carts …. I wants me one o’ these ;

    Seriously …. I wish I could of when we had the 22 acres in VT …… Beep Beep .. Zip Bang !!!!

    * IMO the only good use for a Golf Course was when Porsche had their Winter Driving Experience on the Golf Course in Vail . Tearing around the 18th in a C4S with studs … shooting rooster tails 20 ft in the air … all while knowing some Golf Addict is crying on his balcony watching …. alone was worth the price of entry ;-)

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Talking to the tech yesterday, he was lamenting on the demise of the Chevy S10 trucks and how well they still hold up compared to the ones that came after.

  10. HtG Says:

    8 Oh yes I do, CK ;) . Let’s see if Cupertino can swing the transition into the next landscape. Cars are one piece, then TV, then watches, and then where? hmmmmm, whose decade will this be?

  11. Brett Says:

    Apple could spend 1/8th of their cash hoard and pay off every dime Detroit owes as debt. Maybe they should approach the Detroit Three and offer a deal. They use iOS exclusively in all their automotive products in perpetuity and Apple bails out the city. :)

  12. T. Bejma Says:


    We never put a number on the bet CK (want me to find it) but those in the industry understand that 60-75 days for trucks is normal because most truck buyers purchase off the lot and want choices. Look it up.

  13. Earl Says:

    #8….and the ATS was touted as a BMW 3 fighter…inspite it’s good looks,it’s not there by any stretch.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    # 13 According to most reviews, it IS there and in some aspects it’s better than the current 3 which was softened up by BMW to try to attract more buyers, BTW I have spoken to many current and former 3 owners who also complain about it being too harsh for a “luxury” sedan and have moved on to Mercedes or other more plush ride. I think the 3 and BMW in general is the one brand most every driver wants to own at one time or another due to all the accolades it gets from the auto media.

  15. C-Tech Says:

    If tier 1 suppliers are cutting corners due to pressure from the manufacturers to cut costs, how long will take before the results show up in the cars and trucks? After fighting so hard to improve quality, it will be a mistake to throw those gains out the window just to satisfy a quarterly financial goal.

    @ #6 I have seem those carts in use at a senoirs complex called The Villages near Orlando. Since the complex of homes is designed to be golf cart friendly, owners have the fanciest golf carts I have ever seen.

    Good for you Pedro for keeping the Corolla on the road. I hope things improve enough for you to move into a Camry :)

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ctech I have given up trying to fight city hall or the powers that be, my Vibrolla now has Chinese-made CV joints, ball bearings, rotors, tires and who knows what the hell else, if I want original Toyota parts I gotta pay like double and since I don’t know this thing is gonna last, I prefer not to spend the xtra dough.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    Re golf carts, here in Key Biscayne they have some for people that just want to drive around the island for their shopping and taking the kids to school or even for work, that are 3 rows long and can sit up to nine people, rain protection non applicable.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ctech I don’t like the new Corolla or Camry I would actually trade down in years but with much less miles to a mid to late 90′s Camry with the 2.2 and before it got so big in 2002

  19. Brett Says:

    I just spent $160 on a complete refresh kit for the timing belt and water pump on the Outlander off of eBay. Then I paid an ASE master mechanic friend $200 to install it. The dealer wanted $750 for the job. Are the parts Chinese? Yeah, probably. Do I care? Not in this economy, not so much.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also I asked the tech about re-manufactured parts like CV joints and rack and pinions and he told me that there were so many complaints from customers about parts failing soon, that most repair shops won’t bother with them and prefer to get Chines-made NEW parts instead for a bit more money, so there moronic re-builders drove themselves out of business by doing such shoddy work on the parts they were refurbishing, did they think they could just keep doing that and people would continue to buy them?

  21. C-Tech Says:

    @ #20 I understand where you are coming from Pedro, and I wish you well (and a win against the powers that be once in awhile). Early on in my career, I apprenticed at an independent Euro repair shop. The value of a good rebuilder is very important to an independent shop. For some Mercedes, BMW, and Audi models, it is hard to find new parts outside of the dealer (very costly). The key thing a good rebiulder does is measure and test the parts being reassembled. It may take 2 axles or steering racks to make 1 good rebuilt. I understand your feeling on the older Camry, but I like the fact that the 2007 Camry is chain drive, no timing belt. Good power and smooth is the 2.4L, plus they did build a few 5spd sticks.

  22. cwolf Says:

    Oh no! Tier one suppliers are not cutting corners. All the car company’s,esp GM,when pressuring a supplier to cut the price, the quality metrics remain in tact.

    Considering the ATS is still a new introduction and the German counterparts have reined for years, ATS sales have had an effect on their competion. Continuous monthly increased sales and satisfaction numbershas caused others to increase their rebates and is putting a dink in their market share. GM is on a positive roll and Cadillac’s drive to seek it’s oun identity IS luring customers from BMW and MB.

  23. cwolf Says:

    God, I love when sparks fly as a result of CK’s comments,yet I hope you fellas realize the comments he makes about the world affairs and economy reality mess is absolutely on the mark and perhaps a bit understated. As good as the media paints a brighter picture,”those in the know” have a real fear the world countries have spent too much and have doubts if they can save themselves. The US is probably in the best shape, but if interests rates gain just 1%, the market will absolutely know, no matter how much money the feds print or cut back, they have NO control or leverage of what will happen in the near future. With climbing interest rates in mind and all those many new jobs that have been created, remember most of those jobs are no greater than $15/hr with limited benifits or retiement. What do you think will happen to home and car sales in the near future? China’s 7% or truthfully less growth? Japans 200% gap in gdp? Oh my…. I need another beer!!!

  24. cwolf Says:

    Now that I have quenched my thurst,.. I went to a Bon Jovi concert at Ford Field last Thursday. On my way to Angalina’s Bistro,a place I highly recommend, I not only noticed the many vacated store fronts,but just how in shambles the upper floors of most the buildings are. The many police officers in the area looked worse than department store “rent a cops!”, but the crowd and street vagrants were well mannered. Still, I enjoy going to Detroit; There is so… much to do and so… much yet to be discovered. Have faith it will become anew.

  25. HtG Says:

    I think that’s going to happen, cwolf. Lose the burden of old economic arrangements, and let’s see….

  26. HtG Says:

    A little musical interlude during the absence of the gunslinger, CK

  27. cwolf Says:

    HtG, I have these convulsions every time I have an extended meeting with my finacial advisor. As retirement nears for my wife and me, my focus dwells upon that day and the there-after. Every day I experience some kind of reminder of the situation of those around me, then ponder the reasons of justification as why we are so blessed. It is a somewhat uncomfortable feeling to wrestle with, yet to want more growth, even though the existing nest egg exceeds many’s hopes. Feels kinda shallow, to be honest! However, I am an optomist at heart and want to believe all of us will have contentment in the days ahead.