AD #1282 – Honda Won’t Quit Indy Racing, Rock You Like A Huracan, Executive of the Year Revealed

December 20th, 2013 at 11:44am

Runtime: 7:28

- Honda Won’t Quit Indy Racing
- Venture Capitalists Money Still Likes Autos
- Fisker Won’t Build In Delaware
- Rock You Like A Huracan
- Autoline Executive of the Year Revealed

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Hello and welcome to the last Autoline Daily of 2013. The staff will be on holiday for the rest of the year but we’ll be back on Thursday, January 2. Coming up in today’s show I’ll announce who we chose as the Autoline Executive of the Year, but first let’s get to the news.

HONDA WON’T QUIT INDY RACING
Earlier this year Honda announced it will jump back into Formula 1 racing as an engine supplier for McLaren. That kicked off a lot of speculation that a massive F1 effort would divert Honda’s resources away from Indy Car racing. But Mike Accavitti, the Senior VP of automobile operations at Honda America, was in the Autoline studios earlier this week and emphatically denied that Honda would drop out of Indy Car. “It’s important for Honda to be involved in Indy Racing,” Accavitti told us.

VC MONEY STILL LIKES AUTOS
TI Automotive, a supplier which makes fuel and liquid-handling systems for the automotive industry, is nearing a deal to be sold to Bain Capital. Bloomberg reports that the deal could worth as much as $2 billion but it still needs approval of the several hedge funds that own TI. It’s good to see that the venture capital industry is still very interested in buying automotive suppliers, and this suggests to me that Bain is probably planning on taking TI public at a future date.

FISKER WON’T BUILD IN DELAWARE
When we heard that Fisker Automotive was bought by Hybrid Tech Holdings, which is led by the son of Hong Kong’s richest man, we said it was unlikely that production would stay in the U.S. And it looks like former Delaware Governor and current U.S. Senator, Tom Carper agrees. Prior to going bankrupt, Fisker purchased a former GM plant in Delaware. The senator says its hard to see how this ends up with Fisker building cars in the state and that production of any future models would likely go overseas. Future models? I say, don’t hold your breath.

ROCK YOU LIKE A HURACAN
The Lamborghini Gallardo has been around for ten years now and can hold the claim to most successful Lamborghini ever, but its lived a long life and it was time for a new model. So, meet its successor the all-new Huracan, which is the Spanish word for Hurricane. Lambo seems to have a thing for Spanish. One of its other models, Veneno, is the Spanish word for poison. The Huracan is powered by a new direct and indirect injected 5.2 liter V10 engine that produces 610 horsepower and a little over 400 pound-feet of torque. And at a little over 3100 pounds, thanks to its new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, the Huracan has a power-to-weight ratio of just 5 pounds per horsepower. Its engine is mated to a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission with a electronically controlled 4-wheel drive system. The supercar can hit 60 miles-per-hour in just 3.2 seconds but if you can keep your foot out of the gas and paired with stop/start technology it achieves nearly 19 miles-per-gallon combined. The Huracan will make its first public debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show.

AUTOLINE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR PANEL
For the last two weeks I’ve been talking about the finalists for the Autoline Executive of the Year and about the blue ribbon panel I put together to determine who should win the award. I’ve already introduced you to Maryann Keller, Dr. David Cole, Neil De Koker and Karl Ludvigsen. Today I want you to meet Edward Lapham.

Ed covered the auto industry as a journalist for 40 years. He started at Ward’s Automotive Reports and was also a financial correspondent for Reuters. He later moved over to Automotive News where he steadily rose up the ranks. Starting as a reporter, he later became a columnist and ultimately became executive editor of the magazine. Ed has also won several awards for his columns and reporting. He was a founding member of the Automotive Press Association and like me is a juror for the North American Car & Truck of the Year awards.

So there you have it, that is the blue ribbon panel I put together and coming up next I’ll reveal who we chose as the Autoline Executive Of The Year.

AND THE WINNER IS…
For me, its been fun and informative trying to decide who should be the recipient of the Autoline Executive of the Year. Fun, because we had to debate the strengths and weaknesses of these executives; informative, because my blue ribbon panel brought out some very interesting background information on these people. Information that in some cases simply hasn’t made it into the media.

What we were looking for was outstanding leadership and solid, measurable success. And not a just-this-year, flash-in-the-pan success, but rather an on-going performance that was likely to continue.

And that’s why, after much debate, we chose Mark Reuss, who is now the executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors. It was a unanimous choice by the panel and we made that decision even before he received his most recent promotion. We are deeply impressed by his product and industry knowledge, his leadership skills, and his business acumen. He was up against some pretty impressive competitors, but we feel Mark Reuss stood out above them all.

Next weekend our television program Autoline This Week is dedicated to covering who we considered for the award, and why we ultimately made the decision we did. So come back to our website to watch that program or check your local television listings since Autoline This Week is seen on many public television stations across the United States and Canada.

But as I said at the top of the show, this is the last Autoline Daily for 2013. We’ll be back on Thursday, January 2nd. So have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.

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

229 Comments to “AD #1282 – Honda Won’t Quit Indy Racing, Rock You Like A Huracan, Executive of the Year Revealed”

  1. Brett Says:

    Have a terrific holiday season, John. Thanks to you and all the ALD staff for what you do here.

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    Exec of the Year

    Unanimous ? By what standard ? Sympathy ? A little ‘ greasing ‘ of the palms ? Blind patriotism ?

    Come on panel ( all of you ) GM is the exact same SSDD SNAFU as its ever been … bleeding money off left and right .. spending what they don’t have like there’s no tomorrow … all while casting a blind eye on reality .. not to mention GM’s consistent ‘ Head in the Sand ‘ mentality

    Truly the ‘ Travesty ‘ award of 2013 .. second only to the NACOTY and NATOTY awards … not to mention completely and utterly irrelevant

    My overall disappointment abounds with this ‘ decision ‘ while my respect rapidly wanes into the abyss

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    Lamborghini Huracan ;

    Got to admit … after seeing an MP4-12C , Ferrari 458 and Lotus Evora parked side by side from 30 yards away this summer .. realizing the ONLY thing distinguishing the Evora from the other two being its size … while the Ferrari and the McLaren were virtually indistinguishable from that distance ….

    …. much as I disdain all things VW-Audi …. I’m beginning to like the likes of AudiGhini as well as their Audi R8 spin off more and more by the day

    As to the Huracan …. well … like some have said … it could of been a bit more exotic in its styling …. but as I’ve replied …. they probably took it as far as they thought would sell in reasonable numbers

    Happy Holidays All … and here’s hoping … against all hope … for a damn sight better 2014 …. doubtful …. but … where theres hope …. theres life ;-)

    See y’all on the flip side ….. maybe ;-)

  4. T. Bejma Says:

    #2

    I am sure that coming from someone in the Entertainment industry with nary a clue about the Auto Industry, ALD is really concerned about your “respect”…

    Ridiculous…

  5. Wim van Acker Says:

    A Panel of “Global Automotive Experts” elects Mark Reuss as Automotive Executive of the Year over Winterkorn, Toyoda, and Mulally?

    Look at the performance of the four companies over the past five years. It makes the choice for Reuss look funny.

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mark Reuss .. Business acumen … now there’s the joke of the year . So much business ‘ acumen that he and GM have had their heads handed to them by the competition with each and every so called ‘ new ‘ release ‘ they tried in vain to dump on the car buying public .

    All while completely ignoring the one and only sales ‘ success ‘ they’ve had in 2013 … The Buick Encore

    Then add in … the travesty of Chevy in the EU … the closing of Holden … the saab story OPEL’Vauxhall is rapidly becoming …. and yeah right …. Mark Reuss as Exec of the Year

    Damn ! By those standards I’m surprised Henrik Fisker didn’t receive an honorable mention

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Given the expertise of John’s panel of experts,and the fact they know more about the ‘candidates’ that has been publicly known,I say congrats to Mark Reuss.I seriously doubt that there was anything nefarious in choosing Mr.Reuss.

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    4 – OK zippy lets go toe to toe this break and see who knows more about the auto industry and business in general between the two of us

    Bring on your best sonny boy cause education connections wealth and intelligence is about to bury your pretense into the ground … again

    Oh …. but wait … we’ve been down this road …. many a time … with me kicking your ignorant and abjectly uninformed little GM Shill tail end into the ground time and time again

    But … hey …. you want more abuse little man ? Bring it on … Glad to oblige ;-)

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A. Sorry mate … but on this one we disagree . Experts they may be…. but thats no guarantee of much of anything these days … especially a lack of bias etc

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Only time will tell which of the Detroit 3 will come out ahead, but in my eyes, GM has taken the lead from Ford, Chrysler and it’s taking on some of the imports as well, Lincoln is going no-where while Caddy keeps getting accolades for their latest products, (not ELR) at Chevy both the Aveo and Cobalt replacements are way better than the ones they replaced, Impala is as good as anything out there and C7 will bring crowds over to the Chevy dealers who will most likely buy something more down to earth.

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    5 – Thank you .. and amen .. though I fear we may be in the minority here … at least its the well informed and seeing the obvious minority . And heck … when it comes to money and business …. I’d rather be in the ‘ Got it Right ‘ minority … than in the ‘ Got it Ever So Wrong Again ‘ majority ….

    Funny how being the iconoclast amongst a phalanx of Lemmings can pay off … in spades ;-)

  12. Lex Says:

    Mr. Reuss is the perfect choice for Auto Executive of the Year!!!

    Thank you all for your suggestions ans comments from yesterday regarding selecting a new CUV.

    To John, Peter and All the Autoline Staff and Followers, Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!!!

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    I knew Mullaly could not win cause Ford is having all sorts of reliability problems with products that were introduced during his reign, unless they can fix this in a very short time (I doubt it) his reputation there is tarnished as far as I’m concerned.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Maybe,I really don’t follow much of the business end of things as you know.I’m a simple guy that knows pickup trucks,lol.What I think hardly figures into the grand scheme of things….or not so grand scheme of things.Give me a diesel pickup and watch to drive into the sunset a happy old phart ;{>

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #2, etc.

    Maybe the panel named Mark Reuss Autoline Executive of the Year, because he probably had a lot to do with the great PRODUCT GM has come up with lately. Just a thought.

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    10 – Accolades …. maybe … sales and profits ? Not so much …. not much at all in fact … and remember …. when it comes to the Press these days

    Everybody Lies …. remembering when it comes to the Press … you’re not the customer … you’re the commodity they’re selling to their advertisers

    And then theres that little issue of the manufactures … which GM is one of the most guilty of … of withholding Demo Cars from anyone who dares to criticize their crap

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    15 – And just what ‘ GREAT ‘ product would that be ? The ATS who’s sales predictably stalled 1/4 way around the track ? The Silverado who’s sales died at the gate ? Those cheap arsed Korean POS masquerading as Chevys

    Oh do pray tell great wise and Former GM employee great one . Just what ‘ Great ‘ products would those be ?

    Give it a rest Kit …. you Bejma and the whole bunch of you GM Cheerleaders combined couldn’t defend this decision if your lives depended on it

  18. ColoradoKid Says:

    I’m done … see y’all next year … maybe .. depending on my patience quota for Lemmingness

    ;-)

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #6,
    …and as far as business, shutting down Chevy as a brand for cheap Korean cars in Europe is a GOOD business decision, as is, sadly, the shutting down of manufacturing in Australia.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would agree with that but remember CR buys the cars they test so they cannot be blackmailed by anyone, and lately they’ve been very positive with GM products (except ELR). BTW they just tore a new exhaust pipe on the Scion tC a car that has sold pretty well and they came down on it like it was the worst car sold in America.

  21. T. Bejma Says:

    #!7

    So, if everybody lies about everything what gives you the clairvoyance to sift through the deception? Your degree as a Music Engineer? Your extreme wealth? Your massive ego?

    Do tell…

  22. Wim van Acker Says:

    #15: that could make Mark Reuss “Product Development Executive Of The Year”, then. Please do not get me wrong, I have highest respect for some of the latest GM products, and the 2014 Cadillac CTS is my favorite.

    But, in order to become “Automotive Executive Of The Year” I would say you choose the one with the best track record of sustainable business results. For that only the Number One of an Automaker qualifies, not somebody from the second level in the organization, who does not have responsibility for Group results.

    Mulally, Toyoda and Winterkorn have global leadership responsibility and play in that respect in a different league than Reuss.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, not all good products sell exceptionally well. As we all know, Cadillac does not have the “brand equity” of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and it will take years to get it, regardless of the product. The ATS is a great car, as a “sport sedan.” The Corvette, CTS, Impala, and the new GM pickups are very good, if not best-in-class.

    Yes, the idea of selling cheap Korean cars as Chevys in Europe was a bad idea, but the powers that be have now made the wise decision to quit selling cheap Korean cars in Europe as Chevys.

    You, CK, are the one who needs to “give it a rest,” as far as your hatred for everything GM. We all know that they have made some bad business decisions, but everyone but you seems to know that they happen to be building some very good cars.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have been let down by GM twice, Chevette and Skylark in the 70′s and 80′s and lost me as a customer, however I can remember before that time period when friends, co-workers and relatives owned GM products which were very good, I guess I joined the party at a bad time. Some of the standouts were Delta 88, Nova, Bonneville, Malibu, Olds Cutlass just to name a few.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, Yeah, I see your point there.

  26. Dave Forslund Says:

    Tough choice? When one’s debt and obligations are removed, and a little government money added, it’s pretty easy to move forward.

    But that said, maybe Mark Reuss would be a good candidate for Ford’s leader when Mulally moves on!!! Given the recent announcement at GM, he might listen!?!?!

  27. Tony Gray Says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the staff and forum members!

    Congratulation to Mr. Reuss…he has the job I always wanted.

  28. Chuck Grenci Says:

    First of all: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all (and especially to the Autoline Crew for what you have all given us).

    Now to to defend Mr. Mark Reuss (acknowledging GM’s lack of superiority in running a company, and responding to some responses here; though I don’t agree with most of those). If Mark did what he did in a company so disorganized and inept, then heck yeah, he did a world class job as Auto Executive of the Year (a lesser man couldn’t have pulled off the GM products of the last year) that he did (along with the rest of the GM ‘true believers’).

  29. T. Bejma Says:

    More ranting without any facts…

    “The ATS who’s sales predictably stalled 1/4 way around the track ?”

    ATS Sales Nov 2013 = 3,443 Nov 2012 2,152 up 60%

    “The Silverado who’s sales died at the gate ?”

    Silverado Sales Nov 2103 = 34,386 Nov 2012 = 30,674 up 12%
    Sierra Sales Nov 2013 = 14,362 Nov 2012 = 11,726 up 23%

    “Those cheap arsed Korean POS masquerading as Chevys”

    But the Encore is okay?

    Cruze Nov 2013 Sales = 18,200 Nov 2012 = 16,807 up 8%

    - Incentive spending lower
    - Average Transaction Prices up
    - Fleet sales lower

    SSDD? Only the crap you’re spewing…

  30. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I have been let down by all 3 of the American oems,as I’m sure most people have.Still,I do take chances but in truth the last two chebbies I bought have been trouble free and of very good quality.I wish I could say the same for Jeep,or even Ford,but that ain’t gonna happen.

    I get a good discount on Fords with my X-plan and employee discount through my daughter.Despite that,I just don’t like their trucks at all.If I was given one I would sell it right away.That’s how much I don’t like them.

  31. T. Bejma Says:

    #22

    Mullaly and Winterkorn both have major, publicized Quality and Reliability issues they can’t seem to be able to correct. To an extent Toyoda does as well, but the real factor excluding him from the top, in my opinion, is the simple reliance on reputation with no real effort to improve the product.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB you don’t think Toyota did a good job with the Corolla redesign, ok they kept the same engine and 4 speed on the base model so they could hold on to their core clientele but does offer the CVT and this ecomotor as an option for those who want the latest. It looks and drives much better than before and comparable to the competition. Why mess with success?

  33. Brett Says:

    #28

    Agreed.

    I would say that Mark Reuss was chosen for what he has accomplished despite the dysfunction intrinsic to the GM executive culture.

    “It in not amazing how well the bear waltzes. It is amazing that the bear waltzes at all.” – R.A. Heinlein (more or less as this is from memory)

  34. T. Bejma Says:

    Pedro,

    To me the Corolla looks a lot like a Hyundai and copying another maker’s successful design isn’t progressing. If you rely on what you have and do not continually improve, eventually everyone else will pass you and this is what is happening at Toyota.

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    “If you rely on what you have and do not continually improve, eventually everyone else will pass you and this is what is happening at Toyota”.@ TB: Well said.That very same analogy applies in spades to the demise of the compact/midsize pickups.But with GM making a BIG comeback into that market,the other oem’s are scrambling to finally catch up to modern tech/drivelines,ESPECIALLY toyota.

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    Ugh !

    The more i think about this whole Mark Reuss travesty … the more disgusted and dismayed I become

    Honestly … watching the likes of MT AW R&T C&D and CR go down the tubes when it came to Balanced and Unbiased [ as well as uninfluenced ] reporting … though disappointing was no surprise … seeing as how I’ve a few friends in publishing and watched that trend develop

    Seeing the likes of CAR UK go down the Rabbit Hole … well … in light of the UK’s protectionist policies when it comes to Advertisers vs Publishers .. was a bit of a shock and a hell of a lot more disappointing .. but I dealt with it .

    But seeing what has become of ALD over the last 24 months … now culminating in this Mark Reuss debacle … is in fact more than I’m willing to tolerate .Watching ALD go from being the last bastion of reasonable facts and truth … to just another bit of visual noise on a screen [ any screen ] has become too much to witness any further

    So .. after years of support … I bid ALD adieu … This is .. truly the end . I can no longer in good conscience support ( by posting here ) what ALD has become

    In closing let me say …. as long as the general public is willing to accept and support this current demise of Accurate Unbiased Uninfluenced and Balanced reporting …. then all that can be expected from the manufactures in the future is even more mediocre and mundane garbage masquerading as Quality , Luxury or Performance … what ever .. being sold to the public with a plethora of Smoke & Mirrors – Hype & Hyperbole and enough BS to fertilize the entire midwest for the next 100 years

    As long as no ones holding them in check or taking them to task …. PROFIT will be their only goal …. and to hell with you and me the consumer

    So …

    Adios amigos … fare thee well … and ..

    Rock On – Drive On ( assuming there’s still something worth driving ) – Remain Calm ( despite it all ) – Carry On … but start raising a little hell before its just too damn late

    Remembering .. it was the likes of myself that got our tails out of that mess known as Viet Nam … not the so called ‘ Experts ‘

    ;-)

    ———-

    T Bejma – One last . For old times sake . Whats happening at Toyota is .. Toyota is handing GM its pretentious head on a plastic serving tray ( GM not being worth the bother of Silver ) despite all Toyota’s quality etc woes . Kicking the ‘ new ‘ Silverados tail sales wise in the process as well [ Oops ... Toyota just made inroads into the last bastion of American superiority .... Full Size P/U sales ]

    With VW – Audi closing in on GM’s Number Two toot suite … all while GM is going down the tubes worldwide and losing credibility faster than a speeding bullet in a Superman cartoon

    THAT’s … whats really happening … when you bother to stick your head above the Rabbit Hole and have a good long look at REALITY …. assuming after all those years at GM you even know what REALITY is anymore

    Sorry to say this T …. but if I were in your shoes ? I wouldn’t be making any major purchases or racking up any big debts anytime soon …. cause your jobs about five steps away from being Outsourced … to which 3rd World or Pan Pacific country … take your pick

    And that son … you can definitely take to the bank .. or poor house … your choice ;-)

  37. ColoradoKid Says:

    35 – G.A,

    For old times sake …. and all the good JEEP advice you’ve passed on

    TTAC – Jalopnik – Reuters – AutoBlog – Bloomberg et al have all recently revealed that ….

    In fact the so called ‘ new ‘ Chevy Colorado is nothing more than a slightly stretched and pulled ‘ old ‘ Colorado with a bit of Techno Weenie toys and a new body to give the impression its anything resembling ….. new

    My going away X-Mas present to you …. for saving me a lifetime of JEEP woes and misery

    ;-)

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32, 34
    To me, Toyota were very successful at making the Corolla better, while keeping the virtues of the old one. Yeah, the new one is bigger, which I don’t necessarily consider progress, but it looks better, the interior is much nicer, and it is roomier, while maintaining, or improving the gas mileage of the old one.

    if they sold a hatch or wagon in the U.S., it would be on my shopping list some day, as would Cruze if they sold the hatch or wagon. I won’t be shopping any time soon, though. I am very happy with my Prius.

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    And to HtG … wherever he is ;

    Molto grazie for Q2 …. that one will be on rotation as long as they continue

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK,
    In #18 you said: “I’m done … see y’all next year … maybe .. depending on my patience quota for Lemmingness”

    and you are back so soon…..

  41. HtG Says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year to the Autoline crew, from the Boss all the way to prodigal son, Craig Cole. To paraphrase Jerry Garcia, ‘you are not only the best at what you do, you are the only one’s that do what you do.’
    —–
    Mark Reuss Choice

    I usually restrain my expression of how impressed I am by GM’s cars, but they make me feel so good. And whenever I get a chance to here or see Mark Reuss represent the company or talk about the cars, I can see where the results are coming from. I’d also give him a stiff belt, as corporate survivor award.

  42. HtG Says:

    39 take care, CK

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Take care, everyone, and thanks to John and staff for another year of news, and great analysis of the auto biz.

  44. HtG Says:

    41 I meant pour MR a stiff belt. That was clear, no?

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44, It was clear to me :-)

  46. Buzzerd Says:

    wow! imagine that, the calorado joke, perennial gm basher, doesn’t like the panels choice. Well it’s not like they know half as much as him anyhow.

  47. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: “Remembering .. it was the likes of myself that got our tails out of that mess known as Viet Nam … not the so called ‘ Experts ‘ “.

    I’m not really sure what that means,but if it’s in regards to the protests etc let me tell you what that did to guys like me: Because of the anti-war protests,much needed supplies like food/water/ammo/and badly needed parts for our helicopters weren’t delivered to us.In my unit,the very last Air Cav troop fighting a delaying action across the entire DMZ,from the coast of the south China sea to the tri-border.We flew more hours then we could legally log on us,the crews,and our aircraft.As a result of that many of our ships just quit flying and we lost crews,and a lot of them at that.We were tasked to do the impossible with inferior aircraft and little food for us.I was down to one box of c-rats a damn day because of the protesters back in the world.No,I’ve said enough.

  48. HtG Says:

    Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and Lord willing, the beginning of our next celestial lap around the Sun.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/12/20/winter-solstice-2013-shortest-day-of-the-year-but-sunset-already-creeping-later/

  49. mj Says:

    Well said calorado kidd You Rock

  50. HtG Says:

    47 GA, you know your service and sacrifice is honored here, like all the others. In DC when I visit my sister, I can walk in the back alley facing Rock Creek Park, and look up into a neighbor’s house, and see two triangular boxes sitting quietly on a high shelf. I walk quietly by.

  51. Buzzerd Says:

    “So .. after years of support … I bid ALD adieu … This is .. truly the end . I can no longer in good conscience support ( by posting here ) what ALD has become”
    In other words – I disagree with the actual experts so I’m taking my ball and going home
    bye bye

  52. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: I know that my friend,but that statement about ending the war is putting me over the damn top.Unless someone was there when the lights were being turned off,no one knows what that did to the troops that were there.Our ships and our flight crews,and the maint guys were working almost 24/7 so the rest of the forces could make a safe exit.The damn hippies are directly responsible for many USELESS deaths of our people and I despise them all.

  53. T. Bejma Says:

    #36

    Knowing CK’s massive ego, I am sure that even though he will (may) not post, he will be reading so as a parting gift, some more corrections…

    Toyota “Kicking the ‘ new ‘ Silverados tail sales wise”
    Tacoma up a to (oooohhh wait for it…) 10,000 Tundra’s a month based on November sales compared to over 42,000 for GM. Referencing Toyota’s “study” to see if it could raise capacity in Texas was a pie in the sky dream and not based on any actual data…

    VW closing in on GM…

    GM up 4% for 2013, VW -1%. Going to take a positive growth number to catch up and right now VW is not seeing it, even in a positive market where almost every maker is gaining sales…

    I appreciate a good back in forth as long as it is based on facts, but when it is just a lot of hot air OPINIONS with absolutely no back up, it is just tiring so I have to say, I am not really disappointed to see him and his insults go.

  54. Dan Clemons Says:

    Thank you for your autoline daily’s. I look forward to them every day. I must be a car guy.

    Merry Christmas to Bridgestone, Hyundai, and Dow for sponsoring your show and to your entire staff.

    What would we do without you!!

    Dan

  55. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    #47 – G.A. Branigan – Thank you sir for your service and sacrifice for all of us.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the Autoline Daily staff and their families and to all those who post here and share their love of the automobile.

    I have no insider info on the choice of Mark Reuss… all I can say is that when I here him speak about cars and product I like what I hear and I think the U.S. auto industry in general needs more people like him.

  56. Bradley Says:

    Merry Christmas!
    Happy New Year!

    Someday Santa’s Sleigh will be autonomous.

  57. Don MacConnel Says:

    Thank you for another great year of informative shows and interesting interviews. I still chuckle at your interview with Consumer Report’s David Champion. He just didn’t get your comment about their survey group not representing the general population.
    A sharp wit and a sharp knife are handy tools for a journalist and sometimes your interviews are downright surgical.

  58. C-Tech Says:

    Mark Reuss as auto executive of the year, ok so what does he win?

    Ck will be back and as biased and uninformed as ever. Enjoy the quit and if there are others who have not commented, please take a moment to send your thoughts. Unlike Target, John will not lose your credit card information.

    If you drive the new stuff from GM, Ford, and Chrysler I believe you will like it and they do hold up better than in the past, of course at these new prices they should.

  59. C-Tech Says:

    Thanks John and staff, please keep the news and commentary coming (and maybe more swag for us readers!).

  60. C-Tech Says:

    Saw 2 Ferrari’s, 2 new Corvettes, A Lamborghini, and Audi R10 waiting to be auctioned off last week. I think the new rich may be cashing in some baubles to pay the year-end bills.

  61. cwolf Says:

    I think CK has a pretty good over-all perceptions of the auto world and the economies that effect it. Unfortunately,he has allowed his personal perceptions/dislikes over shadow the reality of GM’s progress or give due credit to anything domestic. And as Bejma stated,often without a leg to stand on to support his case,CK is often too much for anyone to tolerate. Then his “bobble-head” came out of nowhere,thus adding to CK’s encouragement and self-righteousness. One thing I observed: I noticed CK used large words in a sentence when no supporting data was provided,as if this would win the argument. I was always taught to never talk down to your audience. I find DeLorenzo uses this same ploy. Anyhoot, if ony CK would simply state his ill feelings toward GM are his own and not factual, I think everyone would be more accepting. Other than that, I think he’s got alot to offer and adds balance to the discussions.

  62. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Cwolf: Agreed.

  63. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    Well said cwolf. +1

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    #61 cwolf agreed, if only GM were the only OEM to share platforms and make luxury cars out of regular ones, then his point would be valid, but we know this is not the case, even BMW and VW are using their own platforms to build Rolls and Bentley nowadays.

  65. cwolf Says:

    There are many benifits of sharing platform. But Chry is rapidly heading in this direction,yet all is not going well. IMO,GM is taking this approach more gradually and avoiding the many pitfalls from putting too many eggs in one basket or moving too fast too soon. By adhering to to their(GM) game plan already in motion, they will better focus as a team to fullfill their goals without becoming side tracked by altering the coarse. Just because VW has found success in shared platforms, I think it important to grasp these changes have taken time, money and careful planning. Volume to scale cannot be over looked, either. GM has made some significant moves of late here in the US and abroad. Clearly what had been accomplished is a reflection of on-going progress to meet their goals of controling cost,increasing profits and, as we have seen, offering some pretty exciting new cars and trucks. I wish GM well!

  66. cwolf Says:

    ** Autoline Detroit:
    Ben, I will haved moved by Dec.30 and will have aquired a new e-mail address. Will you assist me in my transition?

  67. cwolf Says:

    Now that the abode has barren walls and boxes now contain the many things that made this place something special,it is only a matter of days before my wife and I start anew. I wish I could find the words to describe just how woderfull this house has become and a setting most could only ponder. And from this window which spans the fields,woods and river began my first post. This is where many of us became familiar over the years and where new comers have shared in our interests. How wonderful it is to have you as pals. And to have you there when I post from a new loction will be a reminder that many good things remain. So I greet each and every one of you a sincere very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. May God bless you and yours.

    Craig

  68. HtG Says:

    Well done, CW. Best wishes.

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    Back at you CW, new year, new beginnings for you, congrats and good luck!

  70. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @Wolf: Good luck on your move.We just finished moving and still have a garage full of boxes.It takes time to settle but it is doable,despite the holiday season.In fact,we’re having xmas dinner here in the new place and will have most of the family here so hectic is the pace we’ve set to get everything done on time.Plus we recently decided to let our grand daughter,(she lives with us) get a cat.When we went to see the kitten (they had 3)and seen the way they were treated we took all 3.Some people should be banned from ever having animals.So now our happy household has my wife and I,one of our grand daughters,two African greys,and now three way awesome kittens,lol.Ah hell,family is great and the more,the merrier and we get by.Merry Christmas my friends,and a great new year for all.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CW,
    I’m sure you will miss you old place, but will greatly appreciate your shorter commute. Good luck with the move and adjustment to a new home.

    VW/Audi have been the masters at platform sharing, but Cadillac has gone in the opposite direction with the ATS and CTS, and producing good products. Hopefully, they will achieve the sales they deserve.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK has added a lot to the discussion at times, but his irrational hatred for everything GM is just, well, irrational. They have obviously make mistakes, but they also happen to make some very good products, maybe the best of the domestics.

    One thing that can be said for the new Cherokee is that it stands out from the crowd of look-alike vehicles its type. I saw 3 or 4 of them while on a trip yesterday. All were moving under their own power, so maybe the reliability will be ok. I hope it is.

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit @ 72 were you attempting a little yule time humor or being CK sarcastic re the Jeeps comment? Either way I found it funny. I think it’s safe to say that they won’t break down so quickly, well, maybe except for the 9 speed wundertranny.

  74. Brett Says:

    I hope everybody has a terrific holiday season.

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that 2014 will be even better for us all.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    73,
    A little of both, re. the Jeeps. If they build the transmissions properly, they should be ok. The are a ZF besign.

  76. C-Tech Says:

    @ #61 I concur. Good luck in the new crib CWolf, have a good holiday season, and yes you probably forgot something.

    The new Cherokee is not as bad looking in 3-D as compared to the pictures, which surprising. Chrysler has improved on the major issues, hell I’d consider a used 200 to be a great bargin used car.

  77. HtG Says:

    LATimes is reporting that Hyundai/Kia will pay a settlement to owners who bought cars whose mileage was overstated. About a million cars, and a few hundred dollars each. (notice that no one is paying attention right now. Well played)

    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-hyundai-kia-settle-mpg-lawsuit-20131223,0,2442041.story#axzz2oLTVujJR

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    c-tech as a car tech, do you consider a used 200 a good purchase? the problems is that most or the ones you find are rentals, and that is a big no-no in my book!

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    @77 HtG the Corolla 3 speed like the one I own is supposed to get 30 hwy and I don’t believe I have gotten anywhere above 25, even when it was new, this 3 speed w/o overdrive, keeps them RPM’s pretty high, even at 60 (not safe in today’s driving environment) Perhaps I have a case against Toyota?

  80. cwolf Says:

    Just got in from my last haul:4-wheeler,snow blower and misc. On the way I dropped off a few left behind MG parts to the restorer. I found in his barn two cars I know you guys will have to do your homework to identify. Both are very rare and have one or more unique features. After the holiday, I will collect pictures and submit them to the “barn find” segment. Do any of you recall the episode telling the procedure?

  81. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Cwolf, for the Barn find segment; just submit your text and pictures to the viewermail@sutolinedetroit.tv address.

    Autoweek reviewed the new Cherokee; kind of a luke warm review from what I gathered. Personally, I still don’t like the looks of it. I saw a couple on I-95 a couple weeks back, and while better than in pictures, still now much (for me) especially the front end (and the back end, to me looks like a Ford Escape, sans the JEEP emblem, of course).

  82. cwolf Says:

    Thanks Chuck.

    Darn! I have yet to see one new Cherokee in the flesh.

  83. cwolf Says:

    #77 HtG
    They may have done a good job staying under the radar, but just wait until after the holidays when these folks will be looking for easy cash to replace what was spent on gifts.

  84. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Cwolf, typo on my viewmail address; of course it is viewermail@autolinedetroit.tv (typo “s” should have been an “a”).

  85. HtG Says:

    Off topic

    KUSC is playing fine Xmas music

    kusc.org

  86. M360 Says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! Autoline Daily is great! It allows people who come to this site to learn, vent and move on! Thanks to John and the Autoline team.

  87. T. Bejma Says:

    Merry Christmas to John, Ben and the entire Autoline Daily Crew, and also to all of the contributors in the comment section! We may not always agree, but hopefully we can enlighten ;-)

    Here’s to a 2014 even better than 2013 has been!

    -Tom

  88. cwolf Says:

    Ta-Daaa!!! I saw my first Cherokee aand me likes inside and out. But we’ll see how trouble free they are in the months ahead.

  89. ColoradoKid Says:

    Ooops !

    VW about to overtake GM in China [ Bloomberg ]

    Any bets the US is next ?

    [ couldn't resist one final gloat for the ;-) ]

    ———–

    cwolf – 88 – Seriously ? Jeeze .. that knocks my opinion of you down a full notch … or three

  90. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma

    For future reference .. next time you’re thinking about belittling the Entertainment Industry .. and those of us in it . Consider this ;

    We Built ( and continue to sustain ) LA CA

    30% of NYC’s revenue is generated by us

    Orlando FLA would still be reclaimed swamp land with out us

    London UK would be a back water survivor rather than the thriving international city it is today

    Entertainment is the only thing keeping New Orleans afloat at present

    US music … has had more influence on the world ( Jazz Rock Blues R&B ) than entire automotive industry combined [ other than Henry Fords production line ]

    Facts is hardly no one gives a rats ___ about Fords Chevy’s Buicks Chryslers etc … but American music ? They love us ! Hell .. they’ve even died for the right to listen to us !

    Fact is .. despite recent downturns and foibles in our industry … PROFIT wise ( actual profit that is ) we out perform the auto industry at almost a two to one ratio … with no ‘ incentives ‘ .. ‘ sub prime loans ‘ .. government bailouts and subsidies etc to be found

    So maybe you and your industry’d do well to start listening to Us .. rather than those deluded minion yes men y’all keep stuffing in positions of ‘ perceived ‘ power

    Yeah … we’re a motley ‘ crew ‘ to be certain … but at least we know how to turn a profit and maintain a major influence the world at large ..

    But … Happy New Year to ya anyway ….. knocking heads with ya at least providing a bit of entertainment [ if not a challenge ] for me from time to time … !

    Thom ( btw )

  91. ColoradoKid Says:

    90 – BWTM – Without the entertainment industry … Steve Jobs wouldn’t of had the capitol to put Apple back on its feet [ from his investment in Pixar ] … nor would Apple ( via iTunes etc ) become the dominant player … not to mention the wealthiest manufacture in the US ( cash reserves ) that it is today …

  92. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK can you recommend a great, not too expensive, headphone. I currently own an Audio Technica ATH AD 700 but it’s getting old.

  93. HtG Says:

    89-91

    :) spit take :)

    It keeps drawing him back

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #89,
    If GM was ever ahead of VW in China, it was a temporary thing. VW almost owned the car market in China when I was there in 1994. Nearly all of the taxis were VW Santanas, essentially de-contented B1 or B2 Passats. If GM later overtook VW in China, they had some very good years.

  95. cwolf Says:

    GM has been in the lead in China for maybe the last 8-9 years. Having VW leap forward is only a maybe and to continue it is a very big maybe.

    CK, the Cherokee is cute and would be a great soccer mom mobile. I also like the size. But I’m not a Chrys fan of any sort!

    CK…..just goes to show ya that us’s are irresistable,huh? Yer hooked….reel’em in!!

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK says:
    “US music … has had more influence on the world ( Jazz Rock Blues R&B ) than entire automotive industry combined [ other than Henry Fords production line ]”

    You really think US music had more influence on the world than the entire auto industry, other than Ford’s Model T production?
    That Colorado weed must really be getting to you. The auto industry has done WAY MORE to help create a middle class in the US.

    In many genres of music, the US has been only a minor factor. Most orchestral music is from Europe. Much of the best rock is from the UK. Yeah, a lot of great jazz, blues, “big band,” and “standards” are from America, but only a handful of creative, and lucky people have made serious careers in music.

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK,
    In the last two days, you have said you would leave this site forever, not once, but twice. You know you love us, or you wouldn’t be back so soon.

  98. HtG Says:

    96 batten down the hatches, Kit. A lot of the UK music was influenced by American blues and rock. Someone like Van Morrison grew up in Belfast where his merchant marine father came home with records from the US. Look at the Beatles, from Liverpool, a port. Stones also US influenced. Clapton, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page

    We’re No. 1

    But yeah, I think CK likes us.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    98, Yeah, a lot of US influence made its way into the British music. And you’re right, CK likes us, and just can’t stay away.

  100. T. Bejma Says:

    #90

    Wasn’t belittling the Entertainment Industry CK (I appreciate and admire the creativity, which I have very little), only the ability of someone in the music industry to accurately contemplate the Auto Industry. The definition of Apples to Oranges…

  101. T. Bejma Says:

    Just in case CK missed it on his favorite site:

    The C7 Review…

    http://jalopnik.com/2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray-the-jalopnik-review-1474889014

  102. HtG Says:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    100 I’m going to have to disagree with the Apples/Oranges, TB. It’s called ‘Show BUSINESS’ for good reason. If you follow the business side of entertainment it’s as interesting as the auto industry; with terrific power contests, worldwide competition for audiences and dollars(one reason lots of movies suck), regulations and intellectual property issues, technological innovations particularly in visuals and sound, content distribution, and most interestingly, the machiavellian bust-ups between some of the smartest and meanest bastards on the planet.

    Autos and the the Business are my personal little interests. Who knows why.

  103. T. Bejma Says:

    I can see your point HtG. I guess I was looking at it more like the Product Development and Quality side of it, because that is what I know the best. With the Entertainment Industry there is not really and Quality Control and development of a song or a show, is nothing like developing a new vehicle. The business side has some similarities, you are right.

  104. HtG Says:

    That is interesting. I can’t see the quality control similarity between the worlds, either. Food for thought. You’ve started something, TB.

  105. C-Tech Says:

    Now I know who CK really is, he is the rapper/actor LUDACRIS ! Given the latest comparison of the auto industry to the music the comparison is (wait for it) ludicrous. The entertainment industry comprises music, movies, tv (broadcast, cable, and now internet), theatre, gaming, live events, and probably other facets which you can add later to the list. A more accurate comparision would be to compare “Entertainment Ind.” to “Manufacturing Ind.” Manufacturing would include autos, trucks appliances, airplanes, robots, and a variety of other hard goods produced.

  106. C-Tech Says:

    @ #104 HtG as far as the similarity betweem QC in manufacturing and the music industry, one person who did carry over his automotive QC experience into the music industry was Berry Gordy of Motown. If you read some of the history of Motown, he used similar factory systems (Gordy was an assembly line worker at Ford before starting Motown records) he learned at Ford to evaluate and train talent and even pick hit records.

  107. HtG Says:

    Can you give a brief explanation of what Gordy did, Ctech?

    I’ll give another similarity between industries: think about how many hundreds of millions of dollars must be invested in a studio movie, aimed at an audience a few years in the future.

    ——
    spotted

    Cherokee no2 dark grey in motion. It works for me

  108. pedro fernandez Says:

    Gentlemen: the auto industry and the music industry are both victims of too much electronics, I hate when I see they use synthesizers and electric drum “programming” instead of real musicians, the wife and I went to see an older crooner a couple of years back and no orchestra at all, bass, guitar, drums, and a couple of guys with keyboards that imitated horns, violins, etc, hated it I felt cheated. We paid good money to hear and see real musicians, not a couple of computer programmers pressing a bunch of keys on some console!

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even as I speak, I’m at a place in Cocoa Beach where there are a couple guys who sing and play guitars, but use ‘canned’ electronic percussion and bass. At least there is no cover charge.

  110. pedro fernandez Says:

    That is why I have a special spot in my soul for Jazz music, specially if it includes an acoustic, stand up bass and an acoustic piano, in a nice intimate club or room somewhere.

  111. pedro fernandez Says:

    Gordy had state or the art sound recording equipment for the time, much better than even Abbey Road studios and it was all recorded live, singers and musicians in the same room, various takes until they got it just right, remember these musicians were first and foremost jazz players, the proof is that half a century later, it still sounds great.

  112. broge Says:

    All American taxpayers got for the $$$ hundreds of millions invested in Fisker was a crappy blue sign and not one job. Think it was major theft but none will be prosecuted. Probably shared with the US politicians who promoted them.SEE Boxwood plant never utilized.
    https://plus.google.com/photos/102988372928778833247/albums/5792214412441722721?banner=pwa

  113. pedro fernandez Says:

    This govt on all levels has wasted so much money that it is criminal, small example, here in So Fl they spent millions to rebuild toll collection booths just 5 yrs ago only to be torn down to make way for the automatic toll collection system that now has replaced toll booth collectors just about everywhere and of course, those who don’t pay are now having to be subsidized by those who DO indeed pay and keep their little transponders all charged up and they keep raising the tolls as a result of the non-payers.

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    113, They’re doing the same thing on the SR528 “BeachLine” between here and Orlando.

  115. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah and these collectors booths were high tech state of the are with ventilation systems and fire safety equipment to protect the toll collectors who now have no one to protect their jobs from going the way of the horse and carriage driver.

  116. C-Tech Says:

    @ #78 Pedro, the reason I find the Chry 200 to be a good used buy is if you compare a used 200 or Dodge Avenger (2011 or newer, not the really crappy older ones), similarly equipped and mileage, to a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu or Ford Fusion – all used, the 200 gives you as much equipment for about $3K less, the balance of a 5yr 100K warranty on the drivetrain (the Camry is 5yr 60K). The performance of the 200 as a daily driver is not that far below the above mentioned vehicles (it has a smaller trunk and back seat). The 3.6L in the Chrysler has Mercedes-Benz DNA (look at it, then look at the M-B V6) and reliable. I find the 2.4L to be a bit noisely than the others, but it won’t leave you stranded. For the $3k difference, I can live with that. If you have not been in a 200 LX or Limited recently, you may be surprised at the improvement.

    As far as buying a used rental vehicle, I did buy a used Hertz rental. It gave me great service and the price was very reasonable. In my years of servicing some of the rental fleet vehicles in Orlando, my experience has been that the larger rental agencies which do in-house servicing (Avis, Hertz, National, Thrifty/dollar) do a very good job of keeping their vehicles in good shape. The way they make money is providing clean, reliable rentals so it is in their interest to keep them up, and keep the best vehicles in service while sending the accident vehicles to auction. The smaller rental agencies may try to cut corners so I would stay away from their vehicles.

  117. C-Tech Says:

    @ #107 I took a tour of the Motown Museum in Detroit and the tour guide gave some interesting background info. Because Motown had multiple songwriters and song writing teams for all the talents signed to the label, to get your song approved for a particular artist or group, it was “peer reviewed” by a group of senior talent at Motown. The artists signed by Motown were put through etiquette, dance, and media training in addition to the vocal and studio training before being sent on the road with the Motown Review.

  118. ColoradoKid Says:

    GM to possibly purchase ….. TESLA ??? [ WSJ etc ]

    WTF ???

    Yeah you betcha … can’t make a dime on their precious pretentious VOLT POS .. the ELR’s guaranteed to fail right outta the box … so purchase yet another money losing government subsidized entity with ZERO hope of ever making a profit .. to go along with the rest of GM’s Bleeding like a Stuck Pig in a slaughter house money losers

    That clinches it …. Pinkman ( or …… z’at you WW ? ) have been spiking GM’s water coolers

    NO ONE … can possibly be this stupid and delusional without massive doses of chemical assistance …. no one !

    Conclusion … when it comes to BUSINESS … there is no BUSINESS in the world of GM …. its all just wishful thinking – delusional madness and egotistical insanity … with a whole lot of ‘ external ‘ ;-) influences ruling the roost ..

    ——–

    Pedro – Used Chryslers .. if you hadn’t already sussed it out … C- Tech works for a Chrysler dealer/repair shop … so when it comes to buying a used Chrysler / Dodge / JEEP of any year , make or model ( all of which are and/or have been at the bottom of the reliability pile )

    JUST SAY NO !!!

    [ my fare thee well Xmas present/revelation to you mi amigo ]

    ———

    And finally …. PDL’s final rant of 2013 …. still could be ramped up a bit more IMO … but right on the money regardless

  119. ColoradoKid Says:

    117 – Yeah … cause unlike the automotive industry … they understood the concept of ….

    BUSINESS

    Want an even more interesting look into the music business ?

    Rent or go see the movie …” Muscle Shoals ” … even the cinematography is incredible … and its a side of the business you rarely hear about

  120. C-Tech Says:

    @ #118 Pedro i do not work at a Chrysler Dealer. This is why CK must be Ludacris, his statements make no sense. If I did work at a Chrysler dealer, it would make MORE sense to recommend a NEW car or truck, not used. You cannot deny the price differential, or the quality improvements in the 200. From what I gather from your comments, another car may not even be what you are personally looking for to replace the Corolla. I just try to answer the questions and issues put out here with factual responses, and my 20+ years of experience (and biases) in auto repair. Currently I work as an auto inspector with one of the major firms so I see a variety of used (and used-up) cars and trucks.

  121. C-Tech Says:

    @ #114 and #115 I don’t understand the reason for building and tearing down the booths so rapidly either. Kit, I am REALLy at a loss of why there are so many toll booths so closely together on the SR-408? I spent a small fortune getting from east Orlando to Ocoee (suburb of Orlando), a 15 mile trip with 5 toll booths?

  122. Kit Gerhart Says:

    121,
    It seems that the elected officials are unwilling to raise gas tax a penny a gallon, which would probably remove the need for 408 and these other roads be be toll roads at all. I’d much rather see that, but I’m not into politics, so I don’t have much say about it.

  123. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yes, this thing of mine is gonna die one of these days and to put 2 to 3 grand into a car that is worth $300 is kind of crazy, cause at the end of the day it will still be worth $300, so I have been looking at a mid 90′s Camry 4 doors and 4 cyl or a real cheap later model car, no more little noisy cars for me, getting too old for that crap!

  124. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, your next car will be more luxurious, and should get better gas mileage, a good combination.

  125. HtG Says:

    118 “.. the ELR’s guaranteed to fail right outta the box … ”

    The usual bet, maestro?

    ps ‘Muscle Shoals’ goes on the list. ;)

    pps Man alive, were people shopping at the mall this afternoon. And spending.

  126. pedro fernandez Says:

    #124, really? well, the more luxurious part is easily achieved over what I now drive, but better MPG’s ???

  127. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It will probably have at least one more, higher gear, which should make it get better mpg if it’s a 4 cylinder Camry or similar. If nearly all of your driving is heavy stop-and-go, though, a higher top gear won’t help much.

  128. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I just looked up a base Cruze and it listed for just under 17k.Manual trans/4 banger/air/cruise/power windows 5yr/100k warranty and so on.My last two chebbies were spot on in fit/finish,and zero mech defects.Were I in the market for a car,which I ain’t,it would be a cruze diesel I would drive home.

  129. HtG Says:

    This morning, Michael Schumacher suffered a serious head injury while skiing in France. He was taken to hospital.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/michael-schumacher/10541199/Michael-Schumacher-suffers-serious-head-injury-while-skiing-according-to-reports-in-France.html

  130. HtG Says:

    A report from Autosport says that MS was wearing a helmet while skiing on unmarked slopes, and was not seriously hurt. He is said to have hit his head on a rock and was only shaken by the fall. Let’s hope so.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/111978

  131. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Thanks HtG; tried an internet search but nothing came back (for me). Hoping all is well with Michael.

  132. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Glad MS appears to be OK. I suspect it is very fortunate that he was wearing a helmet.

  133. Brett Says:

    #110
    Pedro,

    My Oscar Peterson Trio “Live at the Blue Note” CDs are some of my most cherished.

    #116
    You got me thinking that if I get the opportunity to get another convertible after a 30 year hiatus, a used Chrysler 200 convertible would probably be the best value. The local VW dealer has a pair of 2012 cloth-tops with 28k and 33k on ‘em. Wants in the neighborhood of $14k for each. Looks perfect for me as it’s a 4-seat “cruiser” to use around town.

  134. ColoradoKid Says:

    Michael Schumacher update ;

    http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2013/12/29/meribel-michael-schumacher-victime-d-un-accident-de-ski

    He is not … as was earlier reported by the media … OK … in fact he has suffered a hematoma due to the crash … is in a coma and in critical condition ( translated from the French … Jalopnik has the story in English as well )

    Full discloser … I’ve never been much of a Schumi fan … but this is no way to start the new year … and definitely no way to go for such an acknowledged champion

    Here’s hoping …

  135. ColoradoKid Says:

    Brett – 133 – in response to #116 … problem being it’ll spend more time in the ‘ repair ‘ shop …. than you will cruising in it

  136. ColoradoKid Says:

    125 – ELR – And you doubt ? Even for a moment ?

    Anyways … hell … I was spot on with the ATS … will be with the CTS … and the ELR is all but a given by anyone with a modicum of common sense

    I mean really … what about an over priced Cruze .. which is in fact an over priced Dae Woo Lasceti .. with a couple of EV party tricks under the hood .. now masquerading as an even more over priced Cadillac … makes even a bit of sense .. to even the most deluded and WW’ized GM faithful ? … Ehhh ?

    ;-)

    PS ; Keep the fingers crossed and the prayers flying for MS … this … though not hopeless … does not look very good either mein freund

  137. ColoradoKid Says:

    Michael Schumacher

    The Jalopnik article link

    http://jalopnik.com/michael-schumacher-in-critical-condition-after-cerebral-1491287759

    And apologies … meant to say hemorrhage …

  138. HtG Says:

    Reuters is saying that MS condition has become life threatening, based on Le Dauphine Libere.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/29/us-schumacher-accident-idUSBRE9BS05L20131229

    But when I read the Le Dauphine, I don’t see life threatening. Rather, here are some quotes…

    22 H 45 : L’ancien champion allemand souffrait d’un “traumatisme crânien grave avec coma à son arrivée” au CHU de Grenoble et a subi un “intervention neurochirurgicale”, a annoncé l’hôpital dans un communiqué.

    (he arrived at the hospital in a coma, with a serious cranial trauma. My translation)

    22 H 36 : Michael Schumacher se trouve dans un état critique (hôpital).
    (he’s in a critical state)

    21 H 30 : Le pilote souffrirait d’une hémorragie cérébrale, selon RMC Sport. Son épouse et deux de ses enfants sont auprès de lui.
    (he’s suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, according to RMS Sport. His wife and two children are beside him)

  139. HtG Says:

    22H 45 report of Le D. L.

    The line says he’s undergone a neurosurgical intervention, as announced by the hospital. (my trans)

    Hopefully, they’re opening a hole in the skull to relieve pressure. But this is scary.(I’m no MD so discount what I write here.)

  140. HtG Says:

    Deutsche Welle writes that hospital officials have said that they will have more information on Monday.

    ‘Hospital officials declined to provide further details, saying they would release more information on Monday.’

    http://www.dw.de/michael-schumacher-in-critical-condition-following-skiing-accident/a-17329976

  141. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG

    Honestly … when I read the phrase ‘ off piste ‘ and hit a rock in the same sentence .. I suspected things were not going to be good [ ski helmets though better than nothing are not that effective either]

    When I later read ‘ transferred to Grenoble … [ like saying you've been transferred from Vail Hospital to Craig Denver Head Trauma unit ] .. I knew for a fact things were escalating

    Now … with the French report I posted and the German report you just put up …. confirming my worst suspicions

    This mien freund [ us having a friend who is a head trauma specialist ] does not bode well …. in the least … ugh ….

    Fingers crossed … prayers to be said … lets hope for a bit of a miracle

  142. ColoradoKid Says:

    140 – This is damn scary … by anyones estimation mien freund .. damn scary indeed

  143. HtG Says:

    It’s also interesting that MS’s neurosurgeon came from Paris to the Grenoble hospital. This is the doctor that treated him for a previous neck injury, so he’ll have intimate knowledge of MS’s strengths and vulnerabilities due to the earlier injury. You can reason that he’d be of assistance to the guys working directly on MS.

  144. HtG Says:

    One of the German papers wrote that the off piste site of the accident was at the crossing of two trails, and that the police had opened an investigation into the accident.

  145. Brett Says:

    I drive less than 13 miles a day commuting. I’ll take my chances.

  146. pedro fernandez Says:

    There is a road connecting the Fl t-pike to the Orlando parks/Kissimmee which bypasses the slower and heavily traveled 192 which is a toll and at the same time it has traffic lights at several intersections, I had never, ever seen anything like that, I thought the idea for tolls was to make the drive faster w/o ANY sort of interruptions.

  147. pedro fernandez Says:

    GM buying Tesla will give Caddy a flagship sedan, just put an ICE in there and voila! an instant flagship w/o all the high cost of R/D.

  148. Kit Gerhart Says:

    136, you say “Anyways … hell … I was spot on with the ATS …”

    Spot on in what regard? Yeah, they sell more 3′s than ATS’s, but we all know that BMW has more brand equity than Cadillac, which will take time to change. Maybe even more importantly, is that, while the ATS is only a sedan, the 3 offers a sedan, and a coupe, and a convertible, and a wagon. OK, they now call some of them 4′s. but not for the 2013 model year. Then, there is the M3 in multiple body styles. We’re not talking about direct competition here. Not even close.

  149. HtG Says:

    Joe Saward has a blog post on MSchumacher’s condition. Saward is a long time F1 observer and has great judgement, in my opinion. He brings up the question of MS’s previous injuries in his career.

    http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/michael-schumachers-skiing-accident/

  150. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the link, HtG. It seems that “early reports” of Michael’s injurys’ being minor were, indeed, premature.

  151. Ckernzie Says:

    So let’s say I accept and defer to the expertise of the blue ribbon panel and their decision to pick Reuss as the Auto Exec of the year…what does that say about GM that he isn’t running the show down at the tubes right now?

  152. Chuck Grenci Says:

    On Michael Schumacher: despite earlier reports; the good news would be that he was treated quickly and hopefully effectively (remembering Mark Donahue’s brain accident, where he might have been saved had the medical expertise at the time reacted in a similar fashion). My best regards for Michael’s recovery.

  153. HtG Says:

    Schumacher

    Some points from the hospital press conference. (my translation only)

    11 H 01 : “Cet accident est arrivé à haute cinétique. On ne peut pas se prononcer sur le devenir de Michael Schumacher. Il est sous coma artificiel. Notre objectif est de limiter la montée de la pression intracrânienne.”
    (The accident was highly kinetic. One can’t speak of the future for MS. He’s under an artificial coma. Our objective is to limit the rise of intracranial pressure)

    11 H 11 : “Le patient était obnubilé et ne répondait pas aux questions après son accident.”
    (MS wasn’t responding to questions after his accident)
    11 H 09 : Professeur Saillant: “Je suis ici en tant qu’ami de Michael Schumacher, et non en tant que médecin.”
    (Prof. S. ‘I am here merely as a friend of MS, and not as physician)
    11 H 08 : Le professeur Stéphane Chabarde explique que “le scan de contrôle post-opération a montré l’apparition de lésions hémorragiques diffuses bilatérales”.
    (Prof. SC explains that the post-operative scan showed images of bilaterally spread lesions.[my understanding is that this means there are injuries to the brain on its opposite side to the impact])

  154. HtG Says:

    the link to ledauphine.com

    http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2013/12/29/meribel-michael-schumacher-victime-d-un-accident-de-ski

  155. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG et al

    Michael Schumacher

    Nothing in any of the reports is even the least bit encouraging . From the initial reports of his being conscious but agitated ( always a bad sign in head injuries ) .. to todays news that he is indeed in dire straights and fighting for his life .

    All guesses ( by those who know like our MD friends at Craig Hospital ) are that even if MS survives … a fair amount of brain damage will be present . IF … he survives … which at this point is somewhat doubtful

    Prayers and hopes .. all we and much of anyone else can do at this point

    [ btw HtG .. when it comes to F1 stats etc ... JS is the guy ... medical knowledge though ? Not so much . Too bad Dr Sid isn't still with us to not only care for MS ... but to give the straight story as well ]

  156. ColoradoKid Says:

    151 – If its of any consolation …. the Auto Exec of the Year award given by those so called ‘ experts ‘ … in the context of the overall business world has proven to be …

    ” Much Ado About Nothing ”

    Seeing as how no one else is even commenting or reporting on that irrelevant and utterly meaningless award

    Auto Journalistic fluff pretty much sums it up in a ‘ nut ‘ shell ;-)

  157. HtG Says:

    CK, it’s evident that the injury to MS is terrible, but one thing that Joe may have been delicately implying is that MS had pre-existing weaknesses due to his earlier injuries in motorsport. I’m just trying to read reports and not believe anything as we wait. I also read that staff at the hospital are not allowed their cellphones and the like, presumably to protect MS’s privacy.

  158. ColoradoKid Says:

    Michael Schumacher

    Probably the most accurate info and updates we’ll find for the time being ;

    http://formerf1doc.wordpress.com/

    HtG – Yup … some privacy laws ( though not as strict as our HIPA ) do apply in France ..

    Where Joe’s assumption falls short is that though MS’s former injury’s may lead to long term consequences ( early onset Dementia etc ) they do not weaken the brains ability to sustain a blow .

    Fact is … MS’s accident was damn severe and in the worst [ off piste ] of places … especially in France where the ‘ maintained ‘ runs are less safe than the majority of our off piste ones

    But .. prayers mien freund … though not often … people in the past have beaten the odds .. so lets hope

  159. HtG Says:

    A link to witnessing and video of the evacuation of Schumacher from the slope. Le Dauphine

    http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2013/12/29/meribel-michael-schumacher-victime-d-un-accident-de-ski

    18h30 : les images de l’évacuation depuis les pistes de Méribel, juste après l’accident de Michael Schumacher.
    (18h30): images of the evacuation from the ski routes of Meribel, just after the accident of MS)
    Un témoin, Jérôme Delmau a pu filmer le départ de l’hélicoptère qui a transporté Michael Schumacher, cinq minutes après son accident de ski à Méribel. Selon ce témoin, qui est arrivé peu de temps après l’accident, le lieu se trouvait entre deux pistes peu pentues.

    (A witness, JD was able to film the departure of the helicopter that transported MS, five minutes after his ski accident. According to the witness, who arrived a bit after the accident, the scene was located between two ski routes ‘peu pentues’ [sorry I don't know what this means])

  160. Kit Gerhart Says:

    peu pentues = “bit steep,” according to a translation I found.

  161. HtG Says:

    Thx, Kit

  162. HtG Says:

    BMW drivers
    You guys have no idea how often I don’t lash out at Bimmer drivers I encounter. Not Audi drivers, not Merc drivers.

    Behold the schweinerei…

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/new-hampshire-democrat-accused-of-mowing-down-as-many-as-six-ducks-with-his-car

  163. pedro fernandez Says:

    Was he trying to make a statement against the Duck Dynasty TV show?

  164. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Why is it BMW drivers? Does their advertising appeal to people who drive like jerks?

  165. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yes sort of the same as guys who buy pickups with the extra wheels in the rear, I believe they’re called duelies or duellys

  166. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I encountered one of those dooleys today, going slower than the general flow of traffic in the left lane on I-95, forcing everyone to pass on the right.

  167. pedro fernandez Says:

    Around here some of these dooleys are diesel powered and when they floor it, a cloud of black smoke pours out, chocking the poor slobs that happen to be behind him, this should be illegal!

  168. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Looks like the VW group is selling diesels like crazy……in the USA:

    http://www.dieselpowermag.com/news/1312_volkswagen_group_of_america_sells_100000_tdi_clean_diesel_vehicles_in_2013/

  169. C-Tech Says:

    My prayers are with M. Schumacher and family. NPR reports he is in a medically induced coma. How strange after driving arguably the fastest race cars on earth, the collisions and near collisions to get serious hurt in a skiing accident while wearing a helmet.

  170. C-Tech Says:

    Most Diesel duelies are work trucks. There are the few that have the excess money and want the biggest truck on the block to commute in. I worked on a Chevy 2500 duelie Diesel owned by a college student, Dad bought it as a graduation gift.

  171. C-Tech Says:

    @ #133 One of the few 4 seat convertibles availible for under 30K, even better value used.

  172. pedro fernandez Says:

    Headlines today say that Ford is leading Toyota in hybrid sales, why would anyone buy the low rated, unreliable C-Max when the Prius has proven itself for so many years???

  173. Kit Gerhart Says:

    172, Those headlines are misleading, and should say “Ford leads Toyota in sales with help of hybrid increase,” or something like that. Ford’s total sales of hybrids are still well under half Toyota’s but they have increased a lot, tripling from 2012 according to Automotive News and Bloomberg. AN says “Ford said its hybrid sales will top 80,000 this year, almost triple the 2012 total.” The Prius liftback alone has sold ~117K units through September. Total Toyota hybrid sales are over 200K through September, and that’s not including Lexus.

    As far as why someone would buy a C-Max over a Prius, the C-Max is quicker and “sportier driving,” and some people like that it looks like a small CUV rather than looking like a slope roofed hatchback. I’d still buy a Prius if I were shopping now, because the Prius is known to be reliable, it gets better mpg than a C-Max, and it has a longer load floor. Also, the Toyota’s controls are more user friendly.

  174. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have never met an unsatisfied Prius owner, as a matter of fact, can’t recall meeting any unhappy Toyota owner, same cannot be said for BMW, most have told me “never again”. Great driving dynamics, horrible everything else.

  175. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Schumacher shows slight improvement.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/31/sport/motorsport/michael-schumacher-accident/

  176. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Thanks for the link Kit; guardingly optimistic but still far from being out of the woods. Continued best wishes to Michael and family.

  177. HtG Says:

    The light turns green
    I press the clutch pedal down
    And he’s already on his horn.

    What color is the BMW?

  178. Kit Gerhart Says:

    black?

  179. HtG Says:

    A winner

    Kit, you may have a knack for this; perhaps you can guess the color of the Ferrari 458 behind the BMW.

  180. pedro fernandez Says:

    I predict that in 2014 the front fascia of a BMW will be embedded in the rear bumper of my Crapola, and hopefully the arrogant, speeding SOB will have good enough insurance to at least paint my bumper.

  181. pedro fernandez Says:

    Or on second thought, they might declare it a total loss instead of fixing the bumper, it will be cheaper for the insurer to do so!

  182. Kit Gerhart Says:

    179, Is there a color choice on Ferraris? I though they were all red :-)

  183. Brett Says:

    I thought it was okay to buy BMWs since TopGear announced that all the c**ks were now driving Audis. :)

  184. pedro fernandez Says:

    CR is going ga ga over the new Audi A7, just wondering if anyone out there had tried one out?

  185. HtG Says:

    183 Don’t forget, Brett, there will forever be Porsche Coxsters(copyright Jeremy Clarkson)finding their foolish prince.

    Let’s not get started talking about the 2006 cars making their IMS bearings too wide to extract from the crankcase.

    Yet, we dream

  186. ColoradoKid Says:

    Schumacher showing slight ‘ improvement ‘

    Medical translation ;

    By increasing his coma state as well as lowering his body core temp etc etc … they’ve finally stabilized him enough to perform a very needed second surgery

    Not .. a positive report from any perspective

    Beware of the medias take on this . a) The majority have no clue what they’re talking about when it comes to medical trauma b) Positive spin sells copy … not realistic reporting/ assessment

    ——–

    Brett – In UK speak … the ‘ chavs ‘ ( @$&hats ) buy first and foremost … BMW’s … then Audi’s … and finally Porsche’s [ Boxsters and Caymans ]

    ———

    Pedro – The A7 … which is the A8 in drag .. so why bother ? Now an RS6 Avant ? Now THAT would be worth the effort to test drive … assuming we ever get them … which …. we won’t .. unfortunately

  187. HtG Says:

    Schumacher

    I’ll just try to paraphrase the reports below from ledauphine.com

    20hours: a German journalist posing as a priest tried to get into MS’ room, but was stopped. No police charges

    16hours30. MS’ PR person Sabine Kelm says MS wasn’t skiing fast when he fell, that his helmet did break, and that he fell while making a turn. He was also in a group of friends, not only his son.

    http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2013/12/29/meribel-michael-schumacher-victime-d-un-accident-de-ski

  188. Kit Gerhart Says:

    184, 186
    The A7 is the best luxury car on the planet. It looks great, and it’s a HATCHBACK.

  189. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #186,
    The A7 is an A6 “in drag,” not an A8.

  190. cwolf Says:

    Greetings from Huron,Ohio Just returned from the local Ford dealer service department and checked on any irregular problems with their customer vehicles. Since 01, no battery problems reported,very few complaints with the info system since the last updates and none of the 27 C-Max owners have experienced any of the many reported problems,except asking about correcting the mpg situation. Therefore,I do not know what to believe!

  191. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As far as the C-Max, it is entirely possible that a lot of the reported problems are of the “I just don’t like it” variety. The area that showed up REALLY bad in the CR survey is “audio system.” “Electrical system” and “power equipment” came out bad, for a one year old car. The trouble area which would clearly indicate a normal quality problem, is “body hardware,” which is described on CR’s web site as “Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof.”

    As far as the gas mileage, if the ratings seem too good to be true, as with the C-Max’s original 47-47-47 mpg, they probably are too good to be true, and that turned out to be the case.

  192. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yes, I am not the type to lust after anything, but after watching a couple of youtube reviews on the A7 TDI I have to make an exception here, a Diesel with no penalties, silky smooth ride and very quiet with a to die for interior.

  193. RonE Says:

    182, I always thought the most popular color for Corvettes was red, but during my last trip to the factory, the tour guide pointed out that black was the most popular.

  194. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The A7 TDI got better mpg in CR’s 65 mph steady speed test than a C-Max or a manual transmission Honda Fit. Diesel costs more than regular gas, but still…

  195. Kit Gerhart Says:

    193,
    I suspect I have one of the least popular Corvette colors, dark green, on my ’96. I saw a C7 a similar color, and really liked it. A dark color makes those black vent thingys on the C7 not so conspicuous.

  196. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #179.
    HtG, what color was the Ferrari? I didn’t want to guess; didn’t want to spoil my record for today.

  197. HtG Says:

    :) Black. It was a trick question

  198. ColoradoKid Says:

    The TRUTH about Ski Helmets

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/sports/on-slopes-rise-in-helmet-use-but-no-decline-in-brain-injuries.html?hp

    Simple fact is ski helmets are poorly regulated [ in comparison to bicycle / MC / motorsports helmets ] and have barely evolved beyond their initial intent . That being keeping ski racers from getting ‘ clocked ‘ by the [ flexible ] gates on a race course

  199. ColoradoKid Says:

    188 – Your taste as always is in constant question … calling a 4dr Sport back a hatchback being more than a bit of an exaggeration

    ….and yeah …. EXCUSE ME …. I got one wrong .. its an A6 in drag … yet still just another over priced Audi POS pretending to be what its not while futilely chasing the M-B dream Audi continues to try and pursue … The CLS having been around now for …. how long ?

    Stick with what you know Kit … ;-)

  200. Kit Gerhart Says:

    199,
    The A7 is a hatchback by the more-or-less standard definition of the window and “trunk lid” opening together. I am sticking with what I know. The A7 is based on the A6, and is a hatchback.

    ….and as everyone except you, CK, probably understood, I was being more than a bit facetious in saying that the A7 is the best luxury car in the world.

  201. pedro fernandez Says:

    #200 perhaps not the “best” but one of the best looking, engineered and with the diesel, most efficient ones as well, this is one car where the diesel is the best option to own, I don’t trust that supercharged V6 version, but it is stunning looking in and out and from all accounts rides like a high end luxury car should.

  202. ColoradoKid Says:

    200 = Problem being your overall record for ‘ good taste ‘ is at best questionable [ a C4 ? .. in green ? with the worst slush box GM ever made ? .. not to mention your cheerleading of the POS VOLT , ATS etc ... ad infinite ] .. not affording much room for jocularity on your part .

    And lets face it Kit ole bean …. your record overall … especially in 2013 … was abysmal … especially in comparison to mine

    As for the hatchback issue … funny no one calls the Panamera a ‘ hatchback …. Oh … it has a hatch ..but it sure as hell doesn’t fit in the common perception of what a ‘ Hatchback ‘ is …

    Leave it to Audi though to distort reality for their own benefit … or will it be ? ;-)

  203. ColoradoKid Says:

    201 – Its an over priced A6 … plain and simple … CR once again proving its ineptitude

  204. ColoradoKid Says:

    So gentlemen …. its now 2014 … I said I was leaving .. and so I shall .

    Only GM’s idiocracy of buying TESLA .. and lending some genuine perspective on the Schumacher story bringing me back for a couple of last posts

    So I bid y’all adieu … Don’t take any Wooden Nickels .. Korean Chevy/Cadillacs or FIAT built Chrysler/JEEPs [ or over priced Audi fluff for that matter ] … and …

    Rock On – Drive On – Remain Calm [ despite the constant flow of BS from the manufactures and especially the press ] – and do for goodness sake – Carry On

    My final predictions for 2014 ;

    VW to overtake GM in world sales
    Ford to overtake GM in US sales
    The realities of TESLA soon to hit the fan
    The C7′s sales to go flat once initial orders are filled etc

    As to the Schumacher story … lets hope regardless of how it turns out for Schumi … that this finally lead to the ski industry mandating proper helmets … not the fluff being sold to the unsuspecting masses today

    To HtG .. as always … ourfeetarethesame …. and see ya on Q2 ;-)

  205. pedro fernandez Says:

    I believe the lack of reliability of VW and Ford will keep those overtake predictions from happening, people DO notice these things when choosing a car brand, despite all the recent attempts to convince buyers that all cars are now as reliable and well built as the next, we still get those CR and JD Power results showing that is not quite true.

  206. Kit Gerhart Says:

    202,
    You are right about the Panamera. It is a hatchback.

    How is the transmission in a C4 “the worst slush box GM ever made’? It works well for an automatic of that era, and it’s generally reliable. What else is there?

    Also, nearly everyone, except you, says the ATS is a good sport sedan, and drives better than some current German competitors I could name. Also, the Volt works well, and is the one and only plug-in hybrid that has full performance on battery power. Have you ever driven an ATS or Volt? Probably not.

    Yes, the A7 is overpriced, but so is a 5 series, E-Class, and pretty much every car that costs over $50K. Yes, I like the A7, but I wouldn’t buy one, both because it costs too much, and I wouldn’t trust the reliability.

    Yes, CK, you said you were leaving, at least twice in the last few days, so why don’t you go ahead and leave. Have a nice day.

  207. HtG Says:

    FIAT to buy remaining Chry stake from VEBA

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/01/us-fiat-chrysler-veba-idUSBREA000FK20140101

  208. pedro fernandez Says:

    Bye bye Miss American Pie, another part of Americana gone forever.

  209. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was hoping Chrysler ownership would go the other way, rather to Fiat, being that Chrysler group seems to be “saving” the Fiat car group, rather than the other way around. The Fiat conglomerate’s other activities seem to be more successful than their European car operations, though.

  210. pedro fernandez Says:

    The other day I was reading a very honest article re the Fiat 500 and basically it said that after a few start-up issues, it seems like it’s steady as she goes and only time will tell how they will hold up after the years and miles pile up, but it warned not to expect anything like Asian durabiity for these cars and it went on to say that they have been nothing like the disaster so many had predicted based on the history of the brand here and abroad.

  211. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C-Tech,
    If you are out there, do you have any idea what CK might have been talking about when he said “with the worst slush box GM ever made,” referring to the 4L60E? Not only have zillions of rear drive cars and trucks used that transmission family, with very good reliability, but even cost-no-object cars like Rolls-Royce have used them, so they must not be too bad.

  212. pedro fernandez Says:

    I did a little research online and could not find anything written about problems with this C4 automatic, I know for a fact that the GM V6 3.8/4 speed auto combo has been one of the most reliable, most dependable powertrain combination used in any US vehicle during its existence, unlike the 3.1 or the iron duke which were not very good at all.

  213. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I’ve had two chevy trucks with that same tranny.I’ve never had any kind of problem with either of them.In fact,the ONLY gm transmission that ever gave me problems,was a 5 spd manual in a brand new 95 1/2 ton pickup.Truly that was a pos all the way around.But all of the gm automatic transmissions I’ve owned over the years none have ever given me any grief.

  214. pedro fernandez Says:

    Let’s face it folks, where GM went horribly wrong and lost so much market share was with their 4 cyl FWD midsize and small cars, their mid-size and larger 3.8 4 speed were very good, at least in the drivetrain dept.

  215. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 60 degree V6 engine family that included the 3.1 had a problem with intake manifold gaskets for its entire existence. I’ve known people who had problems at low miles, like 60K, but I’ve know people with high mileage on the engines without problems. Many of the cars with 3.1 and 3.4 engines have the same transmission as was used with the 3.8, which is very reliable.

    Yeah, the 3.8/4 speed auto was a very good power train, and I see cars from the 80′s and 90′s with that power train that are real beaters, cosmetically, but they keep running.

  216. G.A.Branigan Says:

    “I don’t need no steenkin’ smart phone”…..

    Well that well known fatman in a weird looking red suit thought differently this xmas.He done brought me a new Samsung Galaxy S4.It paired with my nox and downloaded my contacts so fast I thought it was broken and didn’t do anything.

    Fatman also brought me an IBolt charging/docking station for my windshield/dashboard too.Damn…..that works great,and came with an app called ‘dock-n-drive’.I downloaded it then was sent on some errands all around town.I used the nav on my phone and that worked great.

    All this time I thought I was too old and set in my ways to even think about that crap.Hell,the damn thing is even easier to text with them what it replaced,which was a cell phone as dumb as me,lol.All in all,fatman did me right ;}>

  217. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Come to think of it,the only other gm trans that really gave me fits was also a 5 spd manual in that 07 colorado I bought,and got rid of 13 months later.It took 3 hail marys and an act of contrition to get it into reverse ALL of the time.

  218. Kit Gerhart Says:

    213,
    The pickup I had, a ’95 S10, probably had the same transmission. I had the 4.3 engine. I think those transmissions were made by New Venture, a joint venture with GM and Chrysler. Mine worked ok, so I guess I was lucky, or you were unlucky.

  219. HtG Says:

    216 taking it to bed with you yet, GA? It’s alright. Everybody does it.

    Try driving while listening to a podcast or a radio station from the other side of the world. It’s a revelation.

    The smartphones are going to take over the world. And wait till the Vegas consumer electronics show in Vegas next week; lots of rumors about Google showing off some car tech.

  220. T. Bejma Says:

    The GM buying Tesla crap is just someone with about as little clue as CK making a prediction about as inaccurate as CK’s…

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/30/gm-buying-tesla-2014-analyst-prediction/

  221. T. Bejma Says:

    HtG – Daughter is LOVING her Chromebook! We also got a ChromeCast and boy is that thing cool! Our plasma TV was out before the “smart” TV’s so it is a cheap way for us to get the Internet and videos on the TV.

    Thanks for your advice! ;-)

  222. HtG Says:

    221 that’s great, TB! Do you know if she’ll be using it in school? Some schools are making use of Google Docs for assignments.

    (btw, I almost threw the Surface tablet across the room today, but I didn’t want to damage any of the art. ;) )

  223. Kit Gerhart Says:

    216,
    It sounds like you are quickly learning to appreciate your new electronic toy. The S4 is a great phone. I recently replaced an older HTC with one. Do you post to this site with it? I do sometimes, but I type better on a computer.

    Just make sure you don’t text while driving.

  224. T. Bejma Says:

    #222

    Yes, for sure will be using it for school work. Coincidentally, her cousin in Grand Rapids has the same model which was spec’d for all students in his 6th grade class.

  225. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #224,
    My, how school has changed. I remember when using a slide rule was considered cheating.

  226. Kit Gerhart Says:

    220, Tesla might be a good buy for a real car company some day, if the stock crashes big time.

  227. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I don’t text and drive.Also,I have my s4 set so it won’t even except a text when I am driving.That’s part of that app I got when Santa gave me the docking station.

    Also,both my 90,and 92 S10′s had the 4.3L V6′s,and both had the 4 spd auto’s and those were both excellent/zero problems.The only trans problems I have ever had was with their 5 spd manual transmissions.

  228. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My phone accepts texts while I’m driving, but I don’t read them until later. A thing that surprises me, is that the nav works with the phone in a cup holder, and the cup holders in the MINI are far enough forward that they aren’t under the windshield. I just set it up before I leave, and use the turn-by-turn, and don’t even look at it. The dock like yours would be great, if I wanted to look at the display while driving.

    My S10 had the TBI 4.3 and 5-speed manual. It was a ’95, an early 2nd generation S10.

  229. T. Bejma Says:

    Kit,

    Company called ProClip makes some fantastic custom mounts for every vehicle. Low profile and professional looking (unlike some of the generic mounts). They are a little pricey but, for me, the look and ability to customize is worth it. I would suggest that if you change phones very often, you look at one of the custom phone holders that goes with the vehicle mount.

    Here’s what the Mini mount looks like:

    http://www.proclipusa.com/dashboard-mounts/vehicle/mini/cooper/2010.cmsv