AD #1206 – GM Hires New Indonesia Pres., Jaguar C-X17 Concept, Fleet Sales Make Money

September 3rd, 2013 at 11:48am

Runtime: 7:51

General Motors promotes Michael Dunne to president of GM Indonesia. Jaguar hints at its future design with a concept that will debut in Frankfurt. Fleet sales account for 19 percent of total sales in the U.S. and can be quite profitable for a car company. All that and more, plus we look at the next-gen smart fortwo EV.

Vote-in-This-Week's-Poll-Banner

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone and Dow Automotive Systems

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | Zune | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher | YouTube

Welcome to the first Autoline Daily for the month of September, 2013. Here’s what’s going on in the global automotive industry.

GM HIRES MICHAEL DUNNE
General Motors just promoted Michael Dunne to president of GM Indonesia. Autoline viewers will recognize Dunne as a prior guest on our television show, Autoline This Week. The last time he was on, it was all about his book “American Wheels, Chinese Roads.” In fact, earlier this summer we were trying to get Michael back on the show, but he politely declined saying that something big was brewing. Well, now we know what that “something big” was all about. Dunne will report to Stephan Jacoby, formerly of Volkswagen and Volvo, who now heads up GM’s Consolidated International Operations.

INDIA HITS THE SKIDS
Up until a year ago, India was one of the hottest car markets in the world but that’s not the case anymore. WardsAuto reports that automakers and suppliers laid off 5,000 temporary workers due to slow sales. Production capacity utilization slumped to only 63 percent but some automakers fear that could drop to 50 percent. Remember, once a factory drops below 80 percent capacity utilization it typically starts to lose money. But the layoffs aren’t expected to save much money. A full-time employee in India earns about $450 a month while a temp worker is paid about one-tenth of that.

JAGUAR C-X17
We have another tease of a concept that will make its debut in Frankfurt and this time it’s from Jaguar. Called the C-X17, it showcases the company’s new advanced, modular aluminium architecture and it even says that the concept “illustrates the diversity of vehicles that could be produced using this architecture.” Even though they’re only releasing a silhouette this concept is clearly a crossover vehicle. When Jaguar and Land Rover merged they said Jaguar would only produce cars, while Land Rover would only make SUVs and would share the dealer network. So the question is, where does a crossover fit in that formula?

POLL QUESTION
And you know, that makes a great topic for a new poll question. Should Jaguar be allowed to sell crossovers, or should that be left to Land Rover? We would love to know what you think, so just vote in the box below today’s show notes.

FLEET SALES MAKE MONEY
Finally, others are starting to say what we’ve been saying for nearly four years. Fleet sales can be quite profitable for a car company. Back when the Detroit Three were burdened with overcapacity and relied on fleet sales to keep their factories open, fleet sales were a money losing proposition for them. Bloomberg reports that fleet sales account for 19 percent of total sales and represent a $65 billion business in the American market. It says that 13 percent of sales at Chrysler go to fleets, 11 percent at GM and 10 percent at Ford. As one fleet executive at GM once asked me, “If one of your customers wants to buy 20,000 vehicles from you, why would you say no?”

We here at Autoline have never much been a fan of the smart car because the way the transmission shifts is horrible. Every shift feels like someone is tapping the brakes. But now there is an electric version of the smart and we’ll have more about that after this.

SMART GOES ELECTRIC
Daimler recently introduced the new electric version of the smart fortwo. While it still looks the same, underneath, the car is all-new.

(Clip about electric powertrain can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Overall the car performs well and is pretty fun to drive around the city. And with its instant torque, it really can get up and go. In fact I prefer driving this version over the gasoline model.

But there are a few downsides. Not surprisingly it’s fairly small inside, but that’s not the biggest problem with the interior. It’s kinda cheap looking. The cloth and the plastic along the dash both look inexpensive. And the infotainment system and its graphics seem a bit dated.

And the brake feel is awkward as well.

With a starting price of $25,000 this is the lowest cost EV available in the U.S. and that doesn’t include the $7500 federal tax credit for EVs. The company also has an offer that allows the customer to rent the battery separately, which comes with some unique features.

(Clip about unique features of battery rental can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Currently the smart electric drive is only available in the eight Zero Emission states but by the end of the year Daimler hopes to have it on sale across the country.

We’ll see if this helps smart sell more cars because that brand has been struggling forever.

Say, earlier in the show we covered that new Jaguar crossover that will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Well, we’re going to Frankfurt too. So join us next Tuesday at 1 pm eastern time when we’ll be webcasting from the floor of the show and you can watch it all at www.Autoline.tv.

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

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

Copy and Paste to send this poll to a friend: http://bit.ly/1cBPDry

82 Comments to “AD #1206 – GM Hires New Indonesia Pres., Jaguar C-X17 Concept, Fleet Sales Make Money”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Buy a jag cuv,or a land rover cuv.Both are expensive junk so who really cares?

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA that should have been the 3rd choice in the poll.

  3. HtG Says:

    Perhaps Porsche should’ve left the crossovers to VW.

    I keed I keed

    BTW the top ‘o the line RR can haul some tail on the highway if you taunt it. Ask me how I know

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today should have been called Turd Tuesday, look what made the headlines: Indian cars,Land Rover/ Jaguar and Smart (dumb) car

  5. ColoradoKid Says:

    India hits the Skids … First Brazil …. now India …. Russia’s already there … China next to follow .

    When it comes to the BRIC’s … hate to say this ( full discloser … I actually rather enjoy it ) .. but ..

    Told You So !

    See what depending on politically and economically unstable Emerging and Third World countries for your future growth will get you ;-)

    ———

    SMART EV … Perhaps the first truly ‘ smart ‘ thing SMART has done . When talking to the owners of those EV ‘ carts driving the streets of Aspen several spoke of how they’d tried owning a regular EV as well …. each to a number saying .. the whole reason those enclosed Cart things work so well and their attempts at owning a full size EV such an abject failure is because those EV carts are ….

    1)Light weight
    2) Simple
    3) No electronic gee gaws to drain the battery
    4) No complex systems to screw up
    5) To sum it up … everything each and every EV car on the market is not

    So hopefully SMART does it right and keeps things KISS

    Then … and only then would an EV truly be a viable option for some …. including … hmmmn……

    ————–

    Jaguar X-Over – Stupidest thing JLR could ever even be considering doing .. Hmmm … seeing as how TATA’s now hit the end of all the plans and platforms Ford left behind in the deal … could this finally be the beginnings of the Reality of TATA’s lack of abilities to run JLR coming to the fore ?

    My guess is … yes … with the future of JLR looking more tentative by the moment

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    1&2 – LoL :o

  7. Mike Says:

    As to the Jaguar versus Land rover thing on SUV’s; the obvious comparison would be to the Porsche Cayenne. That model has been a huge success for Porsche. It might work for Jaguar as well. Maybe Land rover should try a sports car?

    Mike

  8. HtG Says:

    I’d prolly spend more time at the driving range if they had one of those Smart EVs scrambling to dodge my drives. Man do those things bring out my mean side.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mike – 7 – Assuming that was your intent ( I hope it was ) …. number 7 is even funnier than 1&2

    A Land/Range Rover sports car indeed ….. hee hee

  10. Bradley Says:

    Wow!!

    I must have something big brewing. As I am not on “Autoline This Week.”

    I am Not sure, how that would prohibit him? Unless simply put, he was too busy and had to add the standard GM Spin.

  11. T. Bejma Says:

    Don’t know of any automaker (except maybe Suzuki) that is “relying” on India for all (or even a large amount of) future growth. India is less than 0.4% of Ford’s sales and GM India is a joint venture with SAIC. Also similar small potatoes for Russia.

    Brazil reported good GDP last week and estimates continue to show 8-9% growth for them, also for China, so those two are still on track, at this time.

    http://www.investorideas.com/news/2013/brazil/08311.asp

  12. T. Bejma Says:

    More on the BRIC’s and GM (and VW)…

    http://www.ibtimes.com/general-motors-gm-volkswagen-vow-its-all-about-china-brazil-not-so-much-russia-india-1399501

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12,
    VW and GM got a head start in China 20 years ago, and it still seems to be working for them.

    John Mc., when they first announced plans to do a smart EV, my first thought was “great idea. As an EV, it should drive ok, but that transmission in the gas one is awful.”

  14. Lex Says:

    I am glad that someone at Smart finally realized that the Smart for Two needs to be an all electric urban runabout. This maybe the only way it can survive.

    As Labor costs increase in South Korean and India and the other BRIC countries it will hopefully bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S..

    The only thing I do not like about Fleet Sales is the way Chevrolet has been rolling out the Impala Classic and Captiva. As a consumer you should be able to order these models also from your local dealer.

  15. Lex Says:

    Bob Lutz hinted on Autoline This Week that the 2015 Chevy Cruze may receive a new nose similar to the New Chevy Impala, can anyone confirm that? Any new engine choices for the Cruze in 2015? Maybe a 2.4 Litre like the one in the Buick Verano?

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    11 – You’re all to a number depending on the BRIC’s for future growth … with the only exception currently being Ford … who’ve admitted the BRIC’s are crashing .

    As to Brazil .. wake up and smell the ragweed ( or in my case the chenopods…. ahhhh choo ! ) …. Brazil has been in flames going on 12 months now ( riots ) over their rapidly crashing economy … their supposed GDP numbers in no way reflecting the reality on the street …. ask me why I know that for a fact … as well as why I’m dumbfounded as to why you do not

    Suffice it to say T .. calling the political situation in Brazil unstable is in fact an understatement of the very worst kind

    Seriously T … you sure you’ve got the word Business printed somewhere on that diploma of yours ?

    Oh BWTM … guess what T ? China’s now enforcing even more bans on new car registration … along with their economy stalling

    ————-

    HtG – 3 – If you really wanna see something funny you should see a $40k V6 Mercedes CUV go flying past a top of the line $80k + V8 Supercharged Range Rover over Vail Pass like it was standing still … with the RR’s driver doing everything but try and pedal or row the thing to get it to keep up ….

    Ask me how I know that …. though a hint …. SG was not amused ;-)

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think the Fiat EV is better than this Smart thing, the interior, the brakes and it’s roomier for about the same price. Daimler go back to the drawing boards for this Turdmobile.

  18. Lex Says:

    The Trim Levels in vehicles should be standardize to be: Base, Sport, Premium, Luxury. I found it confusing that some OEM place Luxury before Premium.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if scooter sales are also down in India or are thy up now that less folks are buying cars?

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    13 -Excepting neither VW or GM has yet to show a profit in China …in fact both are still operating at a loss …. which kind of makes any of their so called sales success pretty much a moot point and irrelevant

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    17 – Yeah but all bets are the SMART might actually work ..whereas the FIAT is already on its first of soon to be many no doubt recalls …. cause it doesn’t …. work that is . FIAT being FIAT ya knows

  22. cody Says:

    i would leave the crossover to jaguar and keep the look of the land rover the same.. most people who want a land rover want to own the road and stand out

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps if we had offered China American-made Schwinn bikes back in the 70′s instead of helping turn them into a 21st century industrial powerhouse, the world would have been a lot different today.

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    19 – On the serious side .. sales of M/C’s under 600cc’s is on the rise in India …. along with ….. bicycles !

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Fiat recalls? I was not aware of any!! Oh well, at least the mechanics are passionate about their work!

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20,
    How so? At least with VW?

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a4eb38c8-e1b5-11df-b71e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2dqrPzuBb

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and GM

    http://wardsauto.com/update-2-gms-china-profits-quadruple-korea-losses-fall

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    According to Edmunds. there have been no Fiat 500 recalls, yet.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25,
    There aren’t any recalls. CK sometimes likes to, uh, embellish a little.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults.action;jsessionid=hxTQSmdLwhRJPXGJ2BPxDpqhRPnmhLVVgGpPf585D7Cl2RJQ5rcJ!1507103805

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29,

    That link didn’t work. Sorry. Try this one and search “vehicles” by year and model:

    http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, people file the most ridiculous reports on this website, I should put down that mine rattles, creaks, groans, emits foul odors and vibrates and that’s even before I start the engine!!

  32. Jon M Says:

    So the Smart brand has recently introduced an electric version of the Fortwo. The Little Tikes Co. must be fuming that Daimler got the patent on that first. Oh well, at least Little Tikes got the rights to the cozy coupe name first; hence, the silly name for a brand name that is itself a misnomer.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    I noticed the other day at my local supermarket, the shopping cart with the thing in the back to carry 2 kids that’s made to look like car is actually as long as a Smart car that was parked there.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    Some of that stuff can be entertaining to read, except that we are all paying for even the goofiest of it to be “investigated.”

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    #16

    “…with the only exception currently being Ford … who’ve admitted the BRIC’s are crashing .”

    Not quite…

    “SAO PAULO–Brazil’s auto market may grow between 2% and 4% next year, depending on the pace of Brazil’s broader economic recovery, Ford Brazil President Steven Armstrong said Wednesday.”

    ‘Ford, which in the past year has been rolling out new models, will likely end the year with growth of 4%, Mr. Armstrong told reporters.”

    “Chief Financial Officer for the region, Amit Singh, said he expects growth of 50% during the next decade. That’s less than the 150% that the market grew in the past decade, but still outpaces expected U.S. growth of 15% to 20% by 2022, Mr. Singh said.”

    —————–

    CHENNAI, India, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ –
    Ford India’s integrated manufacturing plant near Chennai is poised to begin volume production of a soon-to-be-introduced new small car after undergoing significant transformation with a $500-million investment to become a strategic global production hub.
    The facility will be the first Ford volume car plant globally to introduce a new premium paint process that will also be a first for India. Called Three-Wet High-Solids, the process delivers a glossy, high-quality, more durable finish that’s more eco-friendly to produce.

    —————-

    (Reuters) – Ford Sollers, the Russian joint venture of U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co (F.N), will build the EcoSport in Russia next year, at a time when the market for small SUVs is gaining traction in the country, Ford officials said on Tuesday.

    Ford Sollers broke ground on a $274 million powertrain plant in Russia on Tuesday. Ford is expected to employ 500 workers at the new factory, which will be located in Elabuga in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, where the venture already produces vehicles.

    “The Russian market will be the largest in Europe in the coming years and represent an important growth opportunity,” Ford Europe chief Stephen Odell said in a statement.

  36. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 22,Cody: ” most people who want a land rover want to own the road and stand out”.

    Yup,your right.They are standing by the side of the road waiting on a rollback to come and get them and their status symbol,lol.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA is on a roll today, guys.

  38. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I remember about 15 years ago when I lived up in the NE some guy had a new jag.Whenever he saw me coming down the hill,or going back up it he would give me ‘the look’,like I was garbage.That lasted till the first winter he had to climb that hill with his pos jag,and I would just pass him easy as pie,AND not even being in 4wd at that.I had my 97 Ram 1500 slt laramie,lol.Since that time whenever I saw him I gave him the ‘your #1′ hand signal.

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    OT – Politics

    Is anyone else beginning to think like me that Obama and his cronies are sounding more and more like GWB and Company when it comes to this whole Syria thing ?

    ———-

    G.A, Branigan – Land/Range Rover

    My favorite comment and the one I quote most often when it comes to Land/Range Rovers products is ;

    ” They’re great for getting you there in great style and comfort . Just don’t plan on one getting you back home ” ( C&D )

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    #39 and yet they have such a history of being used in remote areas of the world where conditions were horrible and there may not have been any one to fix them and if you could die if they left you stranded in the middle of nowhere, but that was before the wonderful “electrification” of the automobile. Land Cruisers and HiLux trucks took over that segment.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Saw a youtube video by a popular tech there lamenting the demise of the throttle cable in all modern cars and how troublesome and expensive these motorized units are now, my Crapola looks better and better all the time.

  42. HtG Says:

    39 Did I ever tell you the story about the time my sister had to restrain my BiL from confronting Paul Wolfowitz at a Thai restaurant in DC? Or the time same BiL came upon Rummy in the street after the Snowpocolypse and only managed, ‘hello Sir.’

    coulda woulda shoulda

  43. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: I am a constitutionalist. Having said that,dubya and all before and now after him are going against what our founding fathers set forth to follow.That is all I’ll say on that subject.

    @ pedro: The old land rovers were the equivalent to our jeeps back then.Simple,rugged,reliable.Now those words don’t even apply to telephones.

  44. HtG Says:

    41 my Civic has the cable throttle, and when I dream in opiate blue it’s a ’99 Boxster that still has that physical connection.

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA those words don’t even apply to most of the Gen Y males.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yep, I think I will be putting some more money into the old lady to make her run sweeter, need new tires, rear shoes and struts all around, getting a little bit too bouncy for my taste.

  47. HtG Says:

    It’s OK because the younger generation won’t know that they’re missing a lot of feeling. If you grew up driving XBox you don’t miss the connection to the machine. It’s all normal. We’re getting old.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39,
    Obama is like GWB regarding Syria because, sadly, American politics demands it.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    Getting involved in Syria would be a mistake, we don’t even know who the rebels are, funny how we keep screwing up even after half a century, we helped a young charismatic, bearded revolutionary topple the dictator Batista in 1959 and he’s been paying us back ever since.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    So HtG does this mean dinosaurs like us cannot or should not buy any of these new computers on wheels and are doomed to own stuff from the previous century?

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Obama can’t win on this one. Some R’s are already beating up on him because he hasn’t bombed yet. Meanwhile, others will vote against the resolution in Congress, just to be “against” Obama.

  52. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Here guys is something we’ve been talking about for years: http://apnews.myway.com//article/20130903/DA8IVJH00.html

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50,
    I, for one, like the new technology for powertrain control, including “throttle by wire.” When you get to operator interface and “infotainment,” it’s a different story. If I were buying a car now, I’d cross most Fords off my shopping list for that reason, and Cadillacs, except for the base ATS, which can be bought, sans CUE.

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    #52 but the move towards robo cars continues and is being welcomed with opened arms by so-called car guys (should be embarrassed) and now we read that Nissan is got an indirect steering system giving them hackers more to mess with, imagine messing with ALL crucial vehicle controls? NICE!!! bTW did you read about the Nissan recall of the CVT used in the Pathfinder and JX 35? This should be the first of many issues with this type of transmission.

  55. HtG Says:

    50 I think today’s cars are great. So safe so smooth so reliable. But they are a different thing than I grew up with, and autonomy will make that clearer. I’ll hold on to my car for a while I suppose. Did you read what Peter D. had on the new Carrera he’d been driving? Listen carefully to his reasons for having let go his own 991(scroll down). Times change.

    http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/2013/8/19/on-the-table-august-21-2013.html

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit if one of these motorized throttle fails you’re talking big $$, When my throttle body began to stick, I went to a junk yard, pulled one off another Corolla. for $20 paid the guy another @20 to install it and voila! no more sticking.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, if it breaks, it would be more expensive to fix. In one way it is simpler, though. The same motor is used for throttle control by pedal or cruise control. I guess time will tell how reliable they are after 15 years and 200K miles.

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG but for real world driving, do you really need all that speed, same thing for choosing the V6 Mustang or Camaro over the more expensive, thirstier and more $$ to ensure V8′s

  59. HtG Says:

    58 People are hedonistic. Some people prefer fine dining(you), others the power trip of knowing that any time they want, they can blow away any other car. I got wasted this weekend by an M3 that launched itself down an on ramp and then through highway traffic. Holy Christmas did that thing take off. As for myself, I get a kick out of smoothly driving around a turn near the limit, switching from understeer to oversteer. I guess I need it.

    (I’ll say a little more about that M3 if a local story from this weekend goes broader.)

  60. G.A.Branigan Says:

    For myself,I prefer the precise,nimble handling and performance of a nice American……….pickup truck ;}>

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jaguar/Land Rover should have a third brand for crossovers, Mall Cat.

  62. T. Bejma Says:

    #59

    Hey HtG, ever do any cone racing (Solo)? Seems like a good way for you to get your fix – safely…

  63. HtG Says:

    62 nope, but gokarts hooked me for a spell. It got discouraging comparing times with 120lb teenagers. I guess I’m a sportscar person, enjoying control and balance and a bit of fear for your life. F’rinstance, if the road is wet, that’s play time, and Civics do drift. ;)

  64. C-Tech Says:

    On electronic throttle bodies: as a tech, I see very few fail regardless of the brand. Some that do fail have been due to excessive carbon build-up or mishandling by the tech trying to clean it.

  65. C-Tech Says:

    Thanks Kit on the phone tip. I will check it out this week.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C-tech,
    Check out varioous Android phones, and iPhone. . I did, and the word wrap is what sold me on the HTC over Samsung and iPhone. They all have their advantages, and disadvantages.

  67. ColoradoKid Says:

    Morning Video Break

    A history of Tag Heuer’s involvement in F1 …. which err … conveniently ties into the Ron Howard F1 film ” Rush ”

    http://bangshift.com/blog/video-footage-from-the-upcoming-racing-movie-rush-plus-the-story-of-how-tag-heuer-developed-a-bad-ass-timing-system-for-ferrari-back-in-the-day.html

    Gotta just love product placement in the movies these days … but at least this one is accurate and relevant

    ———-

    @ C-tech – What sold me on the iPhone is the fact that it is the most seamless to use as well as to integrate with your laptop assuming you have an Apple . Its also the most secure against outside hacking … period ( excepting PRISM of course .. which all brands are more than susceptible to ) Unlike Kit I was less than impressed with HTC ( too big .. too awkward etc ) … the new Android’s are making Apple converts out of former Android users left and right ( I know of at least ten off hand ) … and Samsung for all their excessive hype … are nothing more than an iPhone Clone wanna be .

    Also …. depending on what features you need … seriously look into the previous iPhone model …. despite all my tie ins with Apple .. the previous model has more features than I/We will ever use so thats what we got … at a substantial discount I might add

    So yeah …. when it comes to techno weenie gadgets …. we’re cheap and buy no more than we need ;-)

  68. ColoradoKid Says:

    The TRUTH .. about autonomous cars ;

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130904/AUTO01/309040040/1148/Self-driving-cars-face-roadblocks

    Yeah …. they’re coming alright … at about the same time hell freezes over – Obama stops giving our money away to every Tom Dick and Harry’s Science Fair project …. and errr ….. GM actually makes a profit

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    67,
    I’m a windows to Mac convert, sort of. I also have a Windows laptop for some Window-only software.

    With phones, I like the bigger screen of my HTC and the Samsung S whatever, but some people don’t. The iPhone 5 screen is a little longer, but not wider than earlier ones.

  70. HtG Says:

    who predicts Microsoft buys Blackberry? CK, got a line into the 64bit story for the A7 processor? Does Apple build it’s own datacenter and laptop chips after buying into GloFo? I needs to know. Elop or not Elop? Just what does MS do with its architectural license? Come on, man, hook me up. Why has Apple scheduled Cook to speak at the same time as Krzanich? Nasty nasty

    ok, back to cars

  71. T. Bejma Says:

    #68

    From the article…

    “But there are still a host of issues to work through before there’s a driverless car in every driveway. State laws requiring a licensed driver at the wheel will have to change. Insurers will have to determine who’s at fault if a self-driving car crashes. And highways will need to accommodate cars with and without drivers.”

    Hardly deal breakers. In fact the last one isn’t even an issue.

    Once autonomous cars are the norm it will free up traffic for everyone. Imagine not having the idiots that dive in at that last minute when a lane closes or the people that can not maintain a constant speed on the highway or even the morons that do not get up to speed before merging. All of these things cause traffic jams and all would be eliminated if a machine was driving instead of someone on the phone, eating a Big Mac while putting on eyeliner (or to be PC, shaving).

  72. T. Bejma Says:

    Auto sales numbers out for August. Ford and GM continuing to do well with fleet sales down for both (and up for the Japanese)…

    “Ford’s (F) unit sales +12.2% to 221,270 vs. estimates for a 10% gain.Retail sales were up 20% during the month.Ford brand sales rose 12.7% during the month, while Lincoln sales edged 0.6% higher.For the month: Trucks +18.4%; Utilities -0.2; Cars 17.5%.By model, Fusion has its best August ever with 24,653 vehicles sold while the smaller-sized Focus, Fiesta, and C-MAX all sold well.”

    “General Motors’ unit sales +14.7% to 275,847 vs. estimates for a 11% gain.Retail sales rose 22% during the month to help offset an 8% drop in fleet sales.By brand, Buick sales rose 37% and Cadillac jumped 38%, while Chevrolet sales came in with a more moderate pace of 10% growth.GM continued its trend of reducing its reliance on fleet sales with the month seeing a 490 bps drop from last year to 19.9% fleet share of total sales”

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB you are, I assume, a car guy, so why would you want these robo cars to succeed? I don’t get it, I want the least possible interference before me and the vehicle I drive, much less some robotic thing driving me around, and I ain’t no spring chicken but still love driving, even my crappy car.

  74. HtG Says:

    71 or shaving AND putting on eyeliner. Get with the times Bejma. ;)

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    The accolades towards the Cruze continue from different sources, what is amazing for one reviewer I read is how such a good car comes from the same company who designed and built the horrible Aveo just a couple of yra ago and replace such a substandard small car like the Cavalier/Cobalt in one swift stroke?

  76. T. Bejma Says:

    Pedro, I am a car guy that’s why I will be the last person to own one of these autonomous cars.

    What I am hoping for is the non-car guys/gals and “appliance” drivers that don’t car how they get from A to B and those that do not pay attention when they are driving will be the first to get these cars. Once all of them are being driven around, the rest of us that enjoy driving can actually have fun not worrying about what idiot is coming around the corner. Right HtG?

  77. T. Bejma Says:

    #75 Still loving my Cruze. MPG keeps going up. Up to 34 mpg combined now with 8,500 miles on the clock…

  78. HtG Says:

    76 yup, TB. I want the autonomous car behind me to stop before it hits me, not to run a red light, etc. it’s only we drivers that are doing the damage now, not weaknesses in the cars.

  79. HtG Says:

    “…it’s only us drivers….”

    sorry, was doing something else.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB GM should bring the Cruze hatch here with the diesel and manual imagine the MPG’s on that thing in the highway! good room, comfort and excellent mileage!

  81. T. Bejma Says:

    Pedro, don’t be surprised if we get the hatch for the next model change ;-)

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    80,
    Yep, that would be on my shopping list when I’m ready to replace the Prius.