AD #1266 – Traffic Deaths Soar in China, All-New Hyundai Genesis, An EV on Steroids

November 26th, 2013 at 11:55am

Runtime: 9:45

- Traffic Fatalities Soar in China
- Who’s The Greenest of Them All?
- All-New Hyundai Genesis
- A Mighty Morning Wind
- Sounds Like An EV on Steroids
- 2014 Kia Soul

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Hello out there, we’re so glad you joined us for Autoline Daily as we keep you up to speed on the most important developments in the global automotive industry.

TRAFFIC FATALITIES SOAR IN CHINA
And we start today’s report in China, where traffic fatalities are hitting scandalous proportions.There are over 275,000 traffic fatalities a year in China according to the World Health Organization. That’s nearly 9 times higher than in the United States. And while China has four times the population of the US, it has half the number of cars. So, if the number of cars in China doubles by the end of the decade, as it’s expected to, so could the number of traffic fatalities. That would translate into more than half a million fatalities a year, or 5 million over a decade. While there is so much media attention about air pollution in China, I’d argue these traffic fatalities are a much bigger problem.

WHO’S THE GREENEST OF THEM ALL?
Here’s something we never saw coming. Green car advocates are dissing each other over their preferred green technology. Elon Musk and Carlos Ghosn are hyper critical of fuel cells, saying they’ll never catch on because there’s no hydrogen infrastructure. Hyundai’s John Krafcik dismisses battery electrics and their “1,000 pound fuel tanks.” He says fuel cells cars will make battery electrics seem old fashioned. You know? That’s what I love about the auto industry. Never a dull moment.

ALL-NEW HYUNDAI GENESIS
Hyundai introduced the all-new Genesis earlier today in Korea. The biggest difference compared to the current model is the styling, most notably the front end which features a new hexagonal grille. It also features a bone line that runs along the side of the car. Overall the new model isn’t as plain looking as the old one. It gets four engine choices, three V6’s and a 5.0L V8 which are all mated to a 8-speed automatic transmissions. In addition to rear-drive, it’s available with a new all-wheel-drive system. And since this is meant to compete in the luxury segment, Hyundai loaded up the Genesis with new technology, safety and infotainment features. The 2015 Genesis will go on sale sometime next year in the U.S.

A MIGHTY MORNING WIND
Nissan is not going to sell the Leaf as a Nissan in China. It’s going to be sold under the Venucia brand. And it won’t be called the Leaf, it will be called the Morning Wind. It also gets this quirky looking front-end grille and badge. Here’s my Autoline Insight. By branding this car as a Venucia, and not a Nissan, maybe they’re protecting it from any anti-Japanese backlash when China and Japan start bickering with each other again. China just announced it’s expanding its defense zone in the area, so a big backlash against Japanese cars is just a headline away. But let’s go back to the name of the car for a moment. Morning Wind? Who chose that? My wife is always complaining about my morning wind.

SOUNDS LIKE AN EV ON STEROIDS
Next season Formula 1 will switch from naturally aspirated V8s to turbocharged V6s and one major concern is that the sound of the engine will keep people from tuning in. But what about when you replace that petrol burner with an electric motor? The FIA Formula E Championship series begins next September and it just finished its first test of the race car. And now we can take a second to hear what it will sound like.

To us it sounds like you might expect… an electric car on steroids. And it could sound even more wicked come race day because this car was equipped with a 25% smaller battery for testing.

Coming up next, a look at the all-new Kia Soul

2014 KIA SOUL
Despite debuting just a few years ago, the Soul has become one of the most important cars in Kia’s line-up. It’s now the company’s second best selling car in the U.S. Here’s Autoline Daily correspondent, Seamus McElroy, with a look at the new model.

If you look at side by side pictures of the 2013 Soul and the 2014 model, you probably won’t see a whole lot of difference, but that was deliberate because the company wanted to keep its distinctive look.

The Soul does come with the same engines as the old model but they’ve been upgraded for better performance.

The 1.6L can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission but the 2.0L only comes with the auto. The car is built on an all-new chassis, that’s stiffer, longer and wider. I drove the 2.0L with the automatic and after my time in the vehicle I did find the changes to the platform and the powertrain, improved the ride and handling and made it more fun to drive.

While the powertrain and styling are similar to the previous Soul, inside is where you will see the most changes.

The 2014 Kia Soul is on sale right now with a starting price of just under $15,500.

We’re starting something new here at Autoline. We’re going to choose who we think is the best automotive executive, the Executive Of The Year. I’m putting together an august body of industry experts whose opinions I value very deeply. I’ll tell you more about them and the award soon enough, but I’d like to hear what you all think. Who would you nominate as the best automotive executive this year, from any car company anywhere in the world? Shoot us an email to viewermail@autoline.tv, or leave your choice in the comments section of our website. And tell us why you think that exec deserves the award. I truly look forward to reading your choices.

But that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, please join us again tomorrow.

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97 Comments to “AD #1266 – Traffic Deaths Soar in China, All-New Hyundai Genesis, An EV on Steroids”

  1. Mike Says:

    The even sadder thing about the Chinese fatalities is that it tends to include those who have been economically successful enough to purchase a car for their companies. Losing good people in accidents caused by poor roads, poor traffic discipline and crazy speeds is limit on China’s progress.

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    New Genesis looks better, but seems a mix of Audi, Fusion and BMW styling. Not bad mind you, but not the standout in the segment that the Sonata was in its. But then, maybe that is the idea.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding traffic fatalities, we don’t do that well, with triple the rate of the UK, even though our traffic is generally much less “dense” than in western Europe.

    I’m not surprised about the high fatality rate in China, especially with all of the bicycles and mopeds mixed with the the increasing amount of car traffic. Also, there would be a lot of new, and relatively unskilled drivers in China.

  4. Bradley Says:

    Are car designers required to take continuing education classes? With so many cars having an Auston Martin looking front end, it would seem they are all taking the same class.

    Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, etc. all have at least one car with a front grill that resembles Auston Martin.

    The sound of that EV Formula car was awesome. For me that is more engaging than a NASCAR race car sound. Quiet = refinement, efficiency, etc.

    The KIA Soul is way more popular than I would have guessed. Of course, adding size and power make it better. It is too bad it isn’t on the bleeding edge of MPG.

    I saw a Leaf today on the daily commute. 15° F didn’t seem to bother it at all. Morning Wind! Your comments John is right where my mind went too. I wonder if Morning Wood was even considered. :P

  5. gary susie Says:

    John they say 3 million people die each year from the air pollution.

  6. HtG Says:

    In NY there used to be a classical music station that had an early show called ‘Morning Music.’ Do ya think Nissan is imagining the strains of the violins?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4,
    The new MINI Cooper’s grill is a little Astonesque too.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/21/2015-mini-cooper-hardtop-la-2013/

    I think I like mine better.

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    Who’s Greener

    In reality the only reason the likes of Musk(rat) and Ghosn are ‘dissing ‘ fuel cells is because both know all too well their days are numbered ( with the run for the rats to jump ship from TESLA already having begun …. where is that story btw )

    Fact is they both also know ( as BMW has since the 90′s ) that the Hydrogen Infrastructure is already in place … with just a tweak here and a minor change there needed to do the switch over

    Hydrogen baby …. its coming … sooner than you think … and unlike EV’s with all their inherited problems stemming from over a century ago ….. Hydrogen ( both ICE and Fuel Cell ) IS the wave of the future .

    And you can ( and should ) be banking on that one !

    —————–

    Formula EV …. Yeah right …. just what everybody wants to see . Battery operated semi human controlled Slot/RC Toy Cars with all the inherit excitement of watching paint dry … and the thrills of listening to your vacuum cleaner running .

    Absolute and Abject utter PRETENSE at its very finest

    Yeah …. I’ll be paying good money or wasting perfectly good time to watch Formula EV . Going to the next Lady Gaga concert as well ;-) ( sarcasm intended …. in spades )

    ——————

    HtG – 6 – Somehow … knowing the current culture ( or lack there of ) Nissan/Renault way ? I rather somehow doubt it

    ———-

    Accidents in the US – Why do we have higher amount of traffic accidents than the EU /UK ?

    Simple .

    In the US it is considered ones Right … to drive … with little or no responsibility attached to that …’ right ‘ … and even less training involved to begin exercising that ‘ right ‘

    Whereas in the EU/UK …. driving is a Privilege …. with a multitude of responsibilities attached … along with a plethora or training needed to attain that ‘ privilege ‘

    Therefore … the majority of US drivers are self centered .. untrained idiots with little or no concept what so ever as to the damage they are capable of incurring when exercising their ‘ right ‘ to drive

    Off the Soap Box …. Sermon over … donuts n’ coffee in the narthex ….

  9. HtG Says:

    via Gigaom

    I’m reading about a camera developed at MIT which may be useful in autonomous cars. The camera can build an image of its surrounding even in the rain, which exceeds the limits of some current ones like Googles system(at least if you go by the recent NewYorker piece). This MIT camera can unblur an image by bouncing light through transparent objects. It also uses many off the shelf components.

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/inexpensive-nano-camera-1126.html

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    7 – You should . Its smaller .. lighter … more nimble … and though I’ve yet to drive the MINI 3.0 …. I’m betting your 2.0 is a heck of a lot more fun as well

    ————-

    Bradley – Why is everyone copying the ASTON Martin ( spellcheck please ) grill you ask ?

    Simple ….. because though you’ve yet to of understood this yet … Aston Martin’s styling ( with the exception of the few Boy Racer wanna be’s like the One-77 ) are the most elegant … understated … classy … and timeless designs on the road today . Period !!!

    Therefore everyone wants to copy them … though in reality they’d be a whole lot better off coming up with something original of their own

    You’re young and have yet to come to grips with the concept of the Ephemeral vs Timeless design zeitgeist …. Function vs Form … Elegance vs Vulgar & Absurd

    But give it time … you will … guaranteed ;-0

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    ;-)

  12. HtG Says:

    8 I’d say it’s almost all pain getting behind the wheel these days. Astonishing how sloppy, discourteous and dangerous people are. BTW, one brownie earned today, so that’s nice. The new trend is rushing the ‘stop’ sign.

    My soap box is taller than yours CK.

  13. Al Jadczak Says:

    I have a strong suspicion who would be selected by the Autoline bunch, and that would probably be Alan Mulally. I would have to agree that Alan has done the best job of making a good car company, great! Besides, he spells his first name correctly. I think that Mark Reuss has a ton of potential once GM gets away from the government. I like his thinking on new products, but I don’t think that he has made the contribution that Alan Mulally has at Ford. At least they are both engineers.

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 9 – Big Brother is well and good here … capable of things the average citizen is incapable of even so much as understanding ….. But the worst thing is ….. WE … asked for it ….. and keep begging for more with each and every high tech zoomie toy placed on offer to tempt us … Regardless of the consequences which any half brained idiot with Eyes Wide Open could see coming from a mile away

    Soap Box #2 over …. Lyle Lovett entertaining in the Foyer …. Pot Luck [ not that pot wise acre ] to begin momentarily

  15. ColoradoKid Says:

    12 – Well … we could get into a ____ing match as to who’s is larger …. or we could be wise about it , combine forces and create a soapbox who’s height is unimaginable and unscalable

    I vote for the later

    BTW … the only thing lately making driving even a little bit of a pleasure is in fact being back in Denver ( where I know all the alternative routes and chose to use them regularly ) …. Franz …. and some good tunes in the CD player

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10,
    I suppose the MINI 3.0 with it’s turbo 3 will get a little better mpg than my car, but yeah, I suspect mine is more fun.

    I took another look at the photos of MINI 3.0, and in addition to the grill not looking “right” for the car, the front overhang got stretched, a lot, or at least it looks that way in the picture. I’ll reserve further judgement until I see it in person.

  17. G.A.Branigan Says:

    “make mine a…………… cheeseburger”

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #8, In addition to it being much harder to get a driver’s license in Europe, people in Europe who don’t want to drive have a lot more good options, as in decent public transportation.

  19. Rumblestrip Says:

    “The new Kia Soul is stiffer, longer and wider” who did the engineering, Pfizer, Lilly?

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    13 – Ha ! You actually think even for so much as a moment that ANY of GM’s problems are in ANY way the fault of the government ? Seriously ?

    Who you been reading/listening to lately ?

    The Cruze(r) ? …. Palin ? …. Limbaugh ? Wait wait … don’t tell me …. FoxNews ….

    No good sir ….. GM’s current problems are all completely on GM’s shoulders and in fact are nothing more than the same SSDD / SNAFU going on 40 years now … with little or no change in sight .

    Yeah … blame the very entity [ US government ] for whom without GM would be in the relegation bin where in fact they really belong …. all while costing the US taxpayer some $10 billion in loses ….

  21. HtG Says:

    Those E car sounds are going to delight all the little boys who are playing with their RC cars. You run these toys around city centers where the people are, and maybe you’ve got something. Personally, I haven’t been a fan of F1 cars of recent, especially with their off throttle blowing of the diffuser. Talk about wind.

  22. ColoradoKid Says:

    18 – Yup

  23. cwolf Says:

    The Detroit News reports of a growing trend to steal tail gates! Easy pick’ins, I say, cuz no one uses locks, even if all manufactures made them standard. Heck,I used two pipe clamps to secure the tailgates on my Ranger and F150 way back when. Now, at the stadium gate, we not only have ticket scalpers; Ya can buy a tailgate ta boot if’ya get a last minute urge to have a tailgate party.

  24. HtG Says:

    21 cont’d

    The rest of the time F1 cars sound like a pair of hungry siamese cats. I know from this CK.

    The Corvettes of ALMS, now they sound like murder.

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    21 – Like to place a small wager ( gentleman’s of course ) on that ? From my experience those little boys can’t wait to get their hand on some good ole ICE noise to go with their ” Need for Speed ”

    Sure F1 cars sound has become ‘ painful ‘ of late ( since the V10 era actually ) …. mandating earplugs lest one lose ones hearing …. but Vacuum Cleaners going ‘ round the track ?

    No thanks . In truth I’d rather be subjected to Lady Gaga than listen to Hoover/Dyson race cars ….

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13,
    Under Mulally’s watch, Ford has produced a lot of attractive, but overly complex, unreliable cars. He killed Mercury, and Lincoln is looking so good either.

    We’ll see what people are saying about Mulally, and the cars made under his watch, when they are a few years old, and the expensive repairs are not done under warranty.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    24 – And I …. don’t ?

    Hmmmnn ….

    FYI – The latest BOSS302 Mustang with the track key engaged … yeah baby …. now THAT’s a sound I can live with

  28. HtG Says:

    25 the second year of E racing will be more telling. Will fans and sponsors stay interested?
    Also, I presume the young drivers will do a bit too much banging, leading to long yellows and delays.

  29. HtG Says:

    Not speaking from any great intellectual height myself, I’d be surprised if Mulally got the sole CEO job at Microsoft. He may be an engineer, but the technical changes being faced by the company are so esoteric only a comp tech guy can even understand them. But I did read some days ago that during Christmas Eve last year or the year before, Mulally sat down with Steve Ballmer at a Seattle area Starbucks(think of the odds!) to talk about a re-org of Microsoft. Dude flies back on weekends, no?

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With both the V10 and V8 F1 engones, you needed ear plugs, if you valued your hearing very much.

    I was hoping F1 would go to turbo fours, with lowish rev limits, because they would sound a litlle like the turbo Offys used near the end of the “golden age” of the Indy 500.

  31. MJB Says:

    The bone line on that 2015 Genesis looks like it was lifted straight from a BMW740.

  32. HtG Says:

    Let’s hope F1 has the prescience to put microphones on the cars so we can hear those new engines and energy recovery systems go boom, fizz and pop. Also, watching those skinny drivers run for their lives should please me and CK.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Mullaly leaves now that Ford is dead last in quality surveys of the big 3, would that leave a big red flag on his resume at Ford?

  34. HtG Says:

    Spam settings be damned, Ben
    I think the durability of his One Ford re-org is more important. He also consulted with Ballmer of Microsoft, who tried to bring it west. Interesting times all round the town.

  35. John McElroy Says:

    @Kit: you’re right, the US has a higher traffic fatality rate than the UK. But remember that car ownership and usage is far more prevalent in the US than in Europe, where people use a lot more public transportation.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    I nominate Mr Hasumuna the outgoing CEO of Subaru who managed to increase market share by sticking to what makes Subaru have such a large fan base and not trying to be every one’s car company.

  37. Wim van Acker Says:

    John, #4, #6: please note that “Morning Wind” has been translated from Chinese into English. Because we do not speak Chinese.

    I believe we should not judge a car’s name in a different country in a different language than ours. Believe me, that name probably makes a lot of sense in China. And that it does not when translated into English, in the U.S.: irrelevant.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    I suppose that means a fresh start to the day or some crap like that although the Chinese air is so polluted, that it should be called the Morning Choke!

  39. HtG Says:

    Good call there, Wim. Morning Wind translates as E30. ;)

  40. cwolf Says:

    The latest Escape recall is a real wopper! Trying to figure out why Ford’s continue selling more and more is another brain teaser. GM sales have really skyrocketed over the year and still managed to keep under the radar as far as recalls go. This tells me positive changes are being made,but “the ol’way of doing things” still exists at the very top.

  41. HtG Says:

    And so beginneth the four days of family thanksgiving at the HtG compound.

    #FML

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35,
    We have more cars per person, .80, while the UK has only .55 cars/person, and we drive more miles. Still, I think it says something, that we have 3 times the fatalities/person, especially when the UK is more densely populated, and has very heavy traffic many places, in spite of the very good public transportation. They have good driver training, though.

    I checked data for California, and was surprised that the fatalities/100,000 population was lower than the U.S. as a whole, about 7.4, as opposed to 11.4 for the U.S. I guess those crazy freeways aren’t as dangerous as they appear.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    #40 cause people have been brainwashed into believing that everything that Ford puts out is world-class quality and the rest is crap, while the truth is reversed.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I really skew that data on cars/person, though, with five cars for one person, but my total miles are about average at ~15K/year.

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I passed by a local Chevy dealer that recently had a complete overhaul and there were tons of Camaro and Impalas with $5,000 off MSRP written in big bold letters on the windshield. Here we go again with the cash on the hood BS all over again, just lower the price of the cars and stop with the smoke and mirrors BS.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #45, They, especially, need to lower the MSRP on the “loaded” cars. I suspect the minimally equipped Impalas and Camaros didn’t have anywhere near that much knocked off. When I was buying GM cars as an employee at “invoice,” the percentage off of the highly optioned cars was greater than on the base ones. I suspect it is still that way.

  47. M360 Says:

    So, the new Kia Soul is an “ionic vehicle”. Really? According to who? It looks like that’s according to a guy wearing a short sleeved shirt, that could use some grooming tips, standing out in a parting lot and has a lot at stake with this car that he can’t afford to lose. What’s iconic about that?

  48. M360 Says:

    #45 – Yes, and I wonder if GM will leave the styling of the new Impala the same for 7 years in a row like they did with the last Impala (2006 – 2013). Then make it a fleet car at the end just before they conclude nobody wants to buy an Impala anymore.

  49. Earl Says:

    You have to hand it to Kia….they didn’t screw up the Soul like Toyota did with that 1st generation Scion. And then there was Chrysler that milked the PT for all it was worth ,wouldn’t put any money into updating it and let it die on the vine.Then there was GM with the HHR that died on the vine too. I understand that women are the biggest buyer of Kia’s Soul and have put a good sound system in it. I’m sure some of those original Soul buyers from 2009 will upgrade to the 2014 version. Again a tip of the hat to Kia

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe the Soul is “iconic” as the vehicle that sort of took the place of the Scion xB, after the new, bloated, big engine version came out.

    The Soul is recognizable to most people, it is practical, and is a good buy, as today’s car prices go. Its biggest weakness is that it is a little thirsty, probably because it is almost as tall as a small CUV, rather than car height.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    I believe that Toyota screwed up the xB by listening to the critics who complained about the original one being too weak, noisy and bad riding. So they addressed all those issues to please them critics and alienating the fans who loved the first gen, when all they needed was some sound deadening, the Corolla engine and tweak the suspension.

  52. cwolf Says:

    Tom B.: Your Cruze Eco is a manual, I think. A recall was issued Oct 30. The right front half shaft may fracture and seperate. This is not a good one to delay and I don’t want you to injure yourself.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49,
    I don’t think there were ever plans for a second generation PT Cruiser or HHR. With the PT, though, they should have at least updated the interior a little. That would have kept sales going better the last few years. Still, they were selling better at the end than most cars that go 11 model years, basically unchanged.

  54. Bradley Says:

    #37

    I think you are correct. Things do get lost in translation.

  55. Phoenix Mark Says:

    Ford quality going down because of technology, and Mulally is being considered to run a technology company?

  56. Phoenix Mark Says:

    The KIA guy is standing in front of an orange Soul and no orange paint option on any trim level for 2014.

  57. pedro fernandez Says:

    #55 I mentioned that on another auto forum and got eaten alive because they say you cannot blame the CEO for the engineers’ mistakes.

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    GM’s shareholders ….. expect ….. what ?!?!?!?

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/gm-stockholders-expect-buyback-dividends-companys-27b-in-cash-on-fortress-balance-sheet-may-attract-activist-investors/

    Bahahahahahahahahahaha …. OMG …. I’m about to bust a gut here …… Seriously ???

    Still some $10 billion in debt to the American public … pretend profits on paper only… sales in the toilet all the way around … cars n’ trucks languishing on the lots … and EU/UK AUS ( Holden Vauxhall OPEL ) marketing thats consuming itself

    So what ??? GM’s shareholders are even MORE deluded than GM’s BeanCounters -C’s ( CEO’s CFO’s COO’s etc ) – Marketing Mavens etc etc etc ????

    Good god in heaven . WTF are they handing out these days at GM ? Blue Meth x 1000 ?

    OMG …. I’m still laughing my head off ….. err …. ahh ….. mmmm….

    Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha !!!!!!!

    Pnkman ? Zat you lingering ’round GM HQ ?

    Bahahahahahahahahahaha !!!!

  59. Phoenix Mark Says:

    #57 you can if he didn’t get rid of them.

  60. ColoradoKid Says:

    55 – Ford ? Going down ? Golly gee wilikers … thats news to me .. and the WSJ … errr Bloomberg … ahhhh MSNBC Financial … ahhh ….. Wall Street …. errr …

    Hmmmm. Methinks maybe y’alls gots yer brands mixed up as to who’s going down and who’s on the rise of late ….

    wink wink ;-)

  61. ColoradoKid Says:

    Phoenix Mark

    Allow me to qualify # 60

    That’d be Ford holding steady … VW- Audi on the rise … Toyota maintaining # 1 …. and errr …. GM about to fall flat on its pretentious face

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Well, GM has the best cars of any “American” brand. Maybe the political BS will blow over one of these days (years?) and people will take note.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    61, Ford is holding steady sales-wise, but not so good quality-wise, it seems.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    When word of mouth starts about Ford quality being in the dumpster, buyers will start noticing and avoiding the brand for something more reliable.

  65. HtG Says:

    63 The same people that had their economic butts saved by the govt will continue to deride GM.

  66. cwolf Says:

    CK, I’m a little more careful than you when it comes to making comments like your #58. I predict Warren Buffett is all grins at the thought of having more people like you.

  67. XA351GT Says:

    LOL ,John at your morning wind comment that was classic.
    Okay on Chinese traffic fatalities, If they expect the amount of cars to double ,you should expect the number of fatalities to more than double. As most of those drivers will be new drivers with no or little experience behind the wheel. Does anyone have the accident rates for 16-19 YOs in the US? I would expect the Chinese numbers to be far worse than even those.

  68. cwolf Says:

    I’m starting to wonder if pedro is beginning to have a happy hour with HtG. He has become the sceptic of Ford, as CK is to GM.
    Putting things into perspective, I don’t believe the majority of Ford products are in the recall lime-light more than any others. A recent example would be Toyota wipper and spider problems. The latter is the cause for 800K units recalled for airbag shorts,leaks and overheating. Nisssan has a couple faults of late. Actually, they all have had gremlins lurching in countless models. But I think there is something gained by seperating supplier problems from design and engr’d problems, including annoyances that people just don’t like, such as info systems.
    There is no doubt Ford has some fast work to do to correct the slew of recalls identified by them,not the gov’t. Ford and GM can’t be as bad as the picture painted by the few here or the monthly sales would not continue to rise upward. Even the spiders don’t agree with Toyota’s recalls: They think they make great mobile homes! (:>)))

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf you forgot that Ford was ahead of most other brands in initial quality surveys 3 to 4 yrs ago. Then came all new cars, mostly derived from Europe, turbo engines, double clutch trannies and the Ford touchy touchy tningy that just about everyone had an issue with and voila! survey takes a dump, is it coincidence? I don’t think so mi amigo, too much technology too soon too widespread.

  70. cwolf Says:

    I agree 100% with you,pedro. Ford has taken on adding too much technology too soon without having a firm grasp of it all. Seems the geeks want this stuff, but I’m still in the dark ages. I get PO’d because I can no longer fine tune the radio dial and get lost hunting for the right darn push button on the console. I’m not a turbo fan,but at present there is not enough reliability data to suit me if a problem exists. The same for the double-clutch trannies. But besides the clunk at slow speeds,they function perfectly, so they say. Ford touch is troublesome for Ford, even though it has been tweeked time and time again;It certainly doesn’t touch me the right way, yet my wife and son can overcome the confussion in a heart beat. Ford is just not your cup of tea….and becoming less of mine,too. Gulp…and I’m a Ford guy!

  71. T. Bejma Says:

    #52

    Thanks cwolf, took care of it last week (damn supplier issues), and BTW, mine is not an Eco, just a regular 2LT.

  72. T. Bejma Says:

    #60

    I think CK used to say that the online version of the WSJ was different than the print version, that must be the reason he missed this…

    “By MIKE RAMSEY
    Nov. 1, 2013 1:09 p.m. ET
    ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Ford Motor Co. F -0.41% ‘s No. 2 executive, Mark Fields, said the auto maker is working hard to turn around quality problems that have led to poor scores in recent surveys by Consumer Reports magazine and JD Power and Associates.”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304527504579171740945925148

  73. T. Bejma Says:

    #60

    Bloomberg must also have the same problem… errr… uhhhh… wait… they don’t have a print version, do they?

    “Ford Motor Co., based in Dearborn, Michigan, remains plagued by nagging malfunctions with its electronics systems and powertrains in the reliability survey. The Ford and Lincoln lines ranked Nos. 26 and 27 out of 28 brands this year, as one of the automaker’s six-cylinder F-150 pickups was the only model that performed above average.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-28/japan-s-quality-slips-as-camry-loses-consumer-reports-nod.html

  74. T. Bejma Says:

    #60

    Maybe CK is just having a little comprehension issue?

    “Recall No.7 for Ford Escape; This time there’s a fire danger”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/recall-no-7-ford-escape-time-theres-fire-danger-2D11658567

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    Gee those 1.6 Ecoboost engines can crack under too much pressure and have the oil leak and start a fire, this is coming from engines that are just months old. What the hell!! Are they using Chinese parts? Perhaps it’s the Turbo??? and they claim they should last at least 150k miles? what a freaking joke, if I had one of these I’d be on my third engine already. in that case, the 1.0 turbo should last long enough for you to get home from the dealer.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    70,
    The thing that bugs me about Ford, is that all of the extra technology makes the cars worse, not better. I mostly like the Focus hatch, because it handles well, has low cabin noise for its class, and because it is a hatch. Unfortunately, most of them have MFT which complicates using the basic controls, the manual transmission is one gear short of what it should have, and the dual clutch automatic is nearly impossible to drive smoothly at low speed. The car gets good gas mileage, but not exceptional for its class, so the dual clutch doesn’t seem to be buying you anything.

    Then, there is the Fusion which looks great and handles well, but again, most of them have MFT. Then, most of them have an “ecoboost” direct injection turbo that is slower, while using more gas than the competition from Honda and Nissan, and probably others.

    I realize that it is hard for car companies to step back from mistakes, but it seems that Ford should consider it. The cars are good in many ways, but this new technology just isn’t making them better. It’s making them worse, and apparently unreliable.

  77. dcars Says:

    I love the new Fords, the engines, the sheet metal, the interiors are all great. I’m not going to worry about a complicated trip computer that I use twice a year.

  78. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    Only thing holding steady at Ford is the stock price (while everybody else in the automotive world keeps going up). The big mystery on Wall Street is why Ford stock price can’t break out past $17…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/09/us-ford-meeting-idUSBRE9480TX20130509

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    This week, I saw that a client had purchased a new base Corolla, I asked how he felt about the fact that it still has a 4 speed auto while others have more modern transmissions, he responded that he did not care about that, only that he knows it will give him years and miles of dependable, low-cost service, and it drives nice and smooth and as quiet as the 6 yr old Camry he traded in.

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    77,
    The engines are more complex than competitors engines that work better. If a Fusion with the Ford 2.0 turbo got better gas mileage and was quicker than, say, an Accord V6, one could rationalize the extra complexity, and the possibility of an expensive turbocharger replacement down the road. The trouble is, the Fusion is slower and thirstier than the Accord V6. What, exactly is the point of that godawful complex direct injection turbo in the Fusion?

  81. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, perhaps because some people like to buy the latest technology because they think that since it’s the latest, it has to be better than the older one.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    79,
    I just checked CR’s test of the new Corolla, and they got best-in-class fuel economy with the CVT, but they had not tested one with the 4 speed auto or the manual. I hope they test those at some point.

    In the test report, the said “Skip the base L model with its antiquated four-speed automatic transmission.” I just emailed them to ask why they would say that. The 4-speed is a known quantity, and has been very reliable, while the new CVT is an unknown. Also, the previous generation Corolla with the 4-speed got better mpg than a majority of the cars in its class.

  83. Earl Says:

    Ford is having its issues with that 1.6L. I saw on the news they are having another recall. Seems like a recall for the recall last spring. My wife has a new Escape SEL that we got In Nov 2012. It has the 2.0L. We did not get navigation or sun roof bur went for AWD. A great handling vehicle but gas mileage is around 24 at best. I’m not concerned about turbo durability, this is not the 80′s.

  84. cwolf Says:

    I find it interesting that the cracked cyl. head in the 1.6l Eco-boost doesn’t occure in the 2.0l. The cyl. heads could be the result of a design flaw or a mat’l/casting issue. Until the cause is discovered, I think it premature, however reasonable, the tubo is a contributing culprit. The fuel leak is a human error and is in relatively small numbers. For all the people involved with the Escape, I can only say those not involved dodged the bullet, cuz you can almost bet a few heads are going to roll.

  85. cwolf Says:

    TB, your comment about Ford stock is too simplistic and does not take into account political, internal aspects, or its ventures abroad into other markets. If their move into China bears fruit,Ford may spark investor interests at a cost to GM. GM stock is stymied by its European problems and by its label of being known as “govt motors.” The way this ecomomy is going, it is foolish to draw any type of correlation unless you have some inside info that I know you don’t have.

  86. HtG Says:

    Please guys, let’s go at issues and cars. Taking bites out of each other isn’t any good.

  87. cwolf Says:

    Htg, I hope you were not making a reference to my last comments, but to TB’s. If so, I think both have a valid argument…if you over look the jabs in the ribs. For as much as I find their exchanges taunting,I believe them to be respectfully challenging. What are you doing up so late?

  88. HtG Says:

    there’s a big rain storm here, cwolf. Makes it hard to sleep.

    It’s just that sometimes we need to dial it down a bit. People are passionate about autos, but when it gets too personal it’s too inflaming. Only bad stuff happens next. The ribbing and teasing, that’s very different.

    Hey, why are you awake, cwolf?

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    84,
    The 1.6 and 2.0 engines are apparently from different engine families, and it appears that the 1.6 has more “issues,” whether due to design flaws, or manufacturing problems. As far as the cracked heads on the 1.6, yeah, I expect some heads will roll. If this is happening early on, I don’t think I’d want to have one of the engines in a car I’d have after it was off warranty.

    I’m still waiting for them to do some work on “tuning” of these engines, so maybe they will perform as well as other cars’ simpler non-turbo engines.

  90. cwolf Says:

    89,
    I’ll have to purchase another car in a couple years. I hope, by then, I’ll have more faith in turbos. At that time, I doubt to have much of a choice. The 2010 Milan is now beyond 200K miles. She goes in for new struts next week and believe I’ll replace the battery. It had only a 73% charge when I checked it last night. In hind sight, it may have been the cause of my car not letting me start it a month or so ago. So far it has been a good car.

  91. T. Bejma Says:

    #85

    I know cwolf, was not trying to play stock analyst. Look at any stock chart and GM and Ford are joined at the hip as far as percentage up or down. I own Ford, as well as GM stock, and I cruise the boards looking for any insight and a lot of investors at my level are wondering why, with such great numbers being reported, the stock can’t seem to rise where it should probably be (in the $20 range).

    The Market Makers have their reasons and our in control and we can just hope to make a little on the side.

    Sorry HtG, just trying to make sure the facts are out there. I’ll tone it down. ;-)

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    90,
    So far, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan are holdouts on using turbos in their mainstream sedans, and their non-turbos seem to work very well. The Accord V6 is about the best “performance” engine in a mainstream sedan, and it isn’t even direct injection.

    I have nothing against turbos, if they buy you something. I’ve had four of them, and currently have one in my ’89 van. When I bought the van, I wanted something “different,” including a manual transmission, but also, the power train I got was the quickest, and was the highest mpg version, except for the under 100 hp non-turbo four which was slow, even by the standards of the time.

    As far as long term maintenance, a turbocharger is an additional item that will be expensive to replace, if it fails. Time will tell how the current ones do. The turbocharger in my van is original, but the van has only 70K miles. I wouldn’t expect the engine itself to be much less reliable than a non-turbo, except the highly boosted ones, if they are frequently driven hard.

  93. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I saw 3 new Corollas, at this rate it looks like a big seller around these parts, funny thing is that the majority of the ones I’ve seen are not LE or S models (CVT), but the plain Jane known as L with the same 4 speed but now they all come with std air and power doors/windows which were optional and it made more sense to buy the LE back then, now you can get by with the plain version and since most Corolla buyers don’t want too much complications, they’re probably shunning the CVT.

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    93, The bad thing about the Corolla L is that it doesn’t have cruise control. I’m glad I’m not in the market for a Corolla, because that would be a problem. I’d want either the manual or the old 4-speed automatic, until the CVT has been on the market long enough to know it is reliable. The 4-speed is available only in the L, and the manual with cruise control is only available in the pricier S.

  95. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, I also like to have C.C. but in reality, when there is so much damn traffic like we have around here, it becomes really useless, only on those occasional jaunts up to Orlando have I found myself wishing for one, in that case it pays to get a rental that includes it.

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports a marked increase in the theft of pickup tailgates all over the country, just so happens that yesterday I met a fellow who’s had his stolen twice in 3 mos right under his nose at home behind a locked gate, even though he had a special lock installed after the 1st time. These things are expensive cause they got cameras and electronics all inside.

  97. W L Simpson Says:

    Put 67k on a 2.4 HHR .Most fun car i ever owned.
    Spent a lot of time & money fighting road noise, tho. Gave up & went 2.4 Terrain. Most fun still
    rings my bell every time I see one, tho.