AD #1299 – Nissan Draws Ire of FTC, CLA Attracts New Customers, Mexico is a Export Machine

January 24th, 2014 at 11:54am

Runtime: 7:44

- Nissan Draws Ire of FTC
- CLA Attracts New Customers
- Mexican Market 101
- Kia Design to Go Further
- Model S China Pricing Announced
- 2015 Cadillac Escalade Pricing
- Honda Sees Fleet Sales as Plauge

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, I’m Sean McElroy, filling in for John today.

NISSAN DRAWS IRE OF FTC
Usually when you hear about carmakers clashing with the government, it’s over fuel economy, recalls or safety regulations. But Nissan is getting a slap on the wrist from the Federal Trade Commission over deceptive advertising. This commercial featuring a Frontier pushing a dune buggy up a hill raised the ire of the FTC because it’s something the truck can’t do because cables were needed to pull off the stunt. However Nissan isn’t getting fined for the commercial. The company and its advertising agency TBWA have agreed not to use deceptive demonstrations in pickup commercials. But this is confusing to us because most car commercials exaggerate the vehicle’s capability. So why did the FTC decide to pick on this one?

CLA ATTRACTS NEW CUSTOMERS
Last year Mercedes was the top luxury brand in the U.S. Part of the reason why it was able to surpass BMW was thanks to the launch of its new entry level vehicle, the CLA. That base price of just under $30,000 is helping to bring new buyers into the showrooms, which is exactly what it was designed to do. Heiko Schmidt, the head of compact cars at Mercedes-Benz USA, tells Autoline that “8 out of 10 CLA customers is new to the brand.” He also tells us that the CLA has helped lower the age of its customers by 10 years compared to the C-Class, the car its replacing as the company’s entry level vehicle.

MEXICAN MARKET 101
Just in case you’re not that familiar with the Mexican car market, we thought we’d point out a few things because it’s such an important part of the NAFTA region. Mexico is a giant export machine. Last year there were 1 million vehicles sold in the country, but it built 3 million vehicles, meaning two-thirds of that production was exported around the world. Nissan was the top selling car company in Mexico, with sales of well over a quarter of a million vehicles. General Motors was the second largest automaker, followed by the Volkswagen Group. Ford just surpassed Chrysler to take the fourth spot, and Honda just squeaked past Toyota. The Mexican market also has a number of nameplates not sold just north of the border in the United States, such as Alfa Romeo, Renault, and Peugeot. And the Mexican market is growing well, with sales up 7.7% last year, just slightly better than in the U.S.

2013 MEXICAN LIGHT VEHICLE SALES
1. Nissan 264,000
2. GM 201,000
3. VW 190,000
4. Ford 86,000
5. Chrysler 79,000
6. Honda 60,951
7. Toyota 60,740

Source: WardsAuto.com

KIA DESIGN TO GO FURTHER
Ever since Peter Schreyer took over as Kia’s Chief Design Officer we have seen the brand’s design language go further than ever before. And that’s very evident in the GT4 Stinger concept it showed off in Detroit. But should Kia’s vehicles look like Hyundai’s? Well Schreyer tells Autoline that it’s important to keep the designs different from one another. But he also points out that it’s a good thing to have two brands within one company competing because it makes them eager to beat the other and that will keep the designs fresh and ultimately make the company stronger.

MODEL S CHINA PRICING ANNOUNCED
Tesla announced pricing of the Model S in China. The car will cost $121,000 when equipped with an 85 kilowatt hour battery pack. That’s about $40,000 more than in the U.S. but the added cost is due to taxes, customs duties and transportation costs.

2015 CADILLAC ESCALADE PRICING
And in other luxury news, pricing for the new Cadillac Escalade was revealed. The SUV will start just under $73,000, including destination charges. That’s about $8,000 more than the previous model but the new one comes standard with things like Magnetic Ride Control, LED headlights and taillights and 20-inch wheels.

Coming up next, a look at why Honda thinks that fleet sales are worse than the plague.

AUTOLINE THIS WEEK
Last year Honda increased sales in the U.S. but its market share dipped slightly. Honda claims that’s because the company focuses mainly on retail sales as opposed to fleet sales. In the following clip from Autoline This Week, Mike Accavitti, the senior VP of Automobile Operations for American Honda, explains why the company avoids fleet sales like the plague.

(Sound Bite from Autoline This Week can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Also joining John for that show is Paul Eisenstein from the Detroit Bureau and Michelle Krebs an independent writer and consultant. And you can watch that entire interview right now on our website, Autoline.tv.

But that’s a wrap for today. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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

79 Comments to “AD #1299 – Nissan Draws Ire of FTC, CLA Attracts New Customers, Mexico is a Export Machine”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Now somebody will sue after trying to jump on a train with a small SUV or survive the apocalypse with a pickup truck.

    Absolutely stupid. Nissan should have told them to pound the sand that the truck climbed.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    OMG…..the fiat 500′s aren’t really submersibles.Where’s my lawyers number….

  3. rick Says:

    honda trucks? really honda what trucks???? cant believe those 2 words were said in the same sentence.

  4. Cliff Andersson Says:

    The Mexican market also gets SEAT! For those who don’t know, SEAT is VW group’s Spanish brand and is essentially VW underpinnings with sexy Spanish bodies. The marque sells well in Germany and England. The SEAT Leon Cupra is equal to the GTI but looks awesome! I would but it in a heartbeat!!

  5. HtG Says:

    Please don’t tell me I’m wasting my time feeding this giant hamster. Who’s going to eat all this food, now?

  6. HtG Says:

    I guess Jeff Gordon will think twice before making another Pepsi commercial.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect the reason the Nissan Frontier ad was singled out, is that it was believable to a lot of people. Ads involving CUV’s jumping onto trains, and amphibious minicars are not believable, even to very gullible Americans.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The CLA is selling well, but it is certainly turning Mercedes into a brand where you really need to research each individual model, and not assume that, because it’s a Benz, it is special. The CLA is special, but not in a good way, in being a rather mediocre, but pricey front drive sedan.

  9. HtG Says:

    Don’t lock your Glock so quick, GA. The consent order with the FTC only applies to trucks. Nissan might still be fooling us shortless when it comes to cars. Think of the mischief being condoned.

    From the FTC order

    IT IS ORDERED that respondent, directly or through any corporation, subsidiary, division, or other device, in connection with the manufacturing, advertising, promotion, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any Nissan-branded pick-up truck in or affecting commerce, shall not misrepresent, in the context of the advertisement as a whole, any material quality or feature of the advertised pick-up truck through the depiction of a test, experiment, or demonstration

  10. HtG Says:

    7 My take on CLA is Merc accepting the reality that there are fewer americans able to pay for true premium cars.

  11. dcars Says:

    I agree with Kit, lots of truck makers show them pushing and pulling things. ie Toyota had their pickup pulling the Space Shuttle. The bottom of the ocean might be a good spot for the 500. ;)

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9, Fewer Americans are able to buy true premium cars, but also, they are hoping that the people who buy the CLA’s and can afford more expensive cars in the future, will come back for a real Benz.

    They need to hope that those CLA buyers really like the dealer experience, and hope that not too many of them drive their CLA’s back to back with, say, an Accord V6 which cost thousands less.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: No glock to lock in my house….I’m an ardent 1911 man ;}>

  14. Lex Says:

    @ #2 – G.A.Branigan,

    I love your comment! Can we make it s Class Action Suit!!!

  15. kmac1036 Says:

    Kit/11, the dealers are an issue, there isn’t very many in the States compared to other import brands. BMW & Audi has the same problem. The C-Class has been a joke quality wise. An Avalon base price with a S-Class care & repair bills. The parts are sky high & the local dealer doesn’t have a very good reputation with most people. Not as bad as the entry level Audis tho, I haven’t met anyone that’s had any luck with them being reliable.

  16. Lex Says:

    Now that the average transaction price of a regular mainstream vehicle is heading north of $30K. They (meaning the Government and OEMs)are forcing many Americans into a leasing position instead of a buying situation for their next new vehicle. This causes the “Constant Payment Syndrome”! They want us to rent everytime from housing, automobiles to technology. This way you are constantly contributing on a monthly basis to both of they bottomlines.

  17. Bradley Says:

    Pulling the space shuttle, giant Christmas tree, dam generator, etc. is possible. Those always show low speed, flat grades and the weight is on the trailer.

    The energy to keep something moving is less than the energy to start it to move. Those commercials, except the Toyota, never show it moving the object from a stop.

    However, I agree it is silly that the FTC picks on Nissan.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    My neighbor who buys a new car every 10 yrs just traded her ’03 Grand Cherokee for a 2012 CPO Lexus EX 330 with all the options, just show you where we are in this country economically. Her budget just did not allow for a new Jeep.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why doesn’t anyone do an ad showing ANY vehicle, other than a bus, carrying a Mariachi band with its instruments?

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mercedes CLA – That one took me completely by surprise

    ———

    G.A. Still using a 1911 ? Seriously ? I of thought you’d of learned by now … having owned JEEP’s etc .When it comes to guns … especially hand guns Its all about the reliability , usability and accuracy … not the fire power G.A. :o

    ————

    and …..

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY APPLE !

    A company NOT created by Bean Counters and Anal Attentive Engineers / Wonks …. but rather by a very healthy mix of Artists / Musicians ;-) / Engineers / Business types – half crazed Hippies and people willing to dream … as well as lead by a man who did things Right ! Despite the cost

    Now 30 years later with cash reserves that rival many an auto makers ( actual market ) value

    Could / Should the Auto Industry learn something from Apple ?

    Damn right they could/should

    Will they ?

    Phhhht …. Lets face it . Arrogance , Ignorance and decades of Bad Habits die hard . Very hard indeed mien freunds

  21. Lex Says:

    2008 was the year of the “Housing Bubbble”. 2015 is going to be the year of the “Student Loan Bubble”. When College Graduates are under employed or unemployed but need to pay back their student loans. There is be an uproar you will be able to hear from coast to coast.

  22. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bradley – One more bit of hope on the small truck horizon for you .

    Assuming the wife’s VW’s treating you well ?

    Looks like all odds are VW will be bringing over the Amarok .. just for the likes of yourself … not to mention to help VW take over that #2 spot from GM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VW_Amarok

    A pretty decent set o’ wheels from what my EU associates and friends tell me

  23. Bradley Says:

    Ok, I pretty much ignore Nissan.

    #1 Not as bad as Chrysler, but they are a bit of a Zombie car company. Renault is running the show, and for us Americans the “LeCar” wasn’t to special.

    #2 Nissan did make me a car guy, I still love the GTR. However, if there is ever any evidence of Renault putting content into the GTR…I will cross it off the list.

    #3 Yes, my first car was a Nissan. A used 1985 Nissan Pulsar NX 5 Speed. However, I want to put my money with genuine car companies. Not to buy cars that developed at of financial partnerships.

    #4 Infiniti killed the Nissan that I fell in love with. Well the Japanese economy tanked about the same time too, but the 1989-1994.5 Maximas were such spectacular cars. Especially in comparison to everything else. The current Maxima isn’t horrible, but it is a big car.

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    19 – Housing Bubble .. we haven’t seen even close to the worst of that one as of yet – Student Loans Bubble … already bubbling below the surface and about to bite us all on the ______ – then … there’s the whole ongoing SubPrime loans Bubble … including the auto industry … threatening to make the Housing Bubble look like a Disney movie in comparison …. as well as the impending Insurance bubble [ health care included ]

    And then … theres that rapidly disintegrating Middle Class … about to take another major plunge downwards … assuming the TPP gets shove thru under the table

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    21 – +1 – Damn Bradley … you’re hitting them outta the ball park this week !!!!!

    No worries about the GT-R though … Renault doesn’t have any content available to put in the thing … They did in the distant past . But now ? Nada !

  26. HtG Says:

    24 hours until the 24

    approximately

    (But you don’t have to wait at all to see some new 2014 Formula One cars. But you don’t want to do that.)

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – F1 – re; 2014 Lotus reveal

    Why am I getting the very distinct feeling F1′s designers have been consulting with Larry Flint lately when it comes to the snouts ? ;-)

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 24 hours till the 24 … or watching paint dry .. which ever seems more interesting and relevant

    I’ll go with the paint .. personally

  29. HtG Says:

    Could you please be more explicit, CK?

    Stupid old men running the sport into the gutter

  30. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – F1 – So …. if a 2014 Lotus crashes head on with a 2014 McLaren …. do we get a baby McLaren .. Lotus … or some very weird and undesirable hybrid combination of both ?

    ;-)

  31. ColoradoKid Says:

    27 – I think #28 should suit your request :o

    Ahh … but when it comes to Stupid …. nothing can be more stupid than that whole double points debacle

  32. HtG Says:

    24 hours

    At least tune in for the opening debacle that makes the Fox live air broadcast into a joke. (Hope not)

  33. HtG Says:

    Check out the website, SniffPetrol. Satire on racing

  34. HtG Says:

    From the sounds coming out of Jenson Button, we may not have as much of a thrill ride ahead of us this compared to last. JB sounds a little physically worried

  35. HtG Says:

    …this year compared to last…

    Sorry

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    33 – A sad reality indeed … Racing in general has lost all its mojo … not to mention relevance and reason to exist … With F1 of late … unfortunately …. taking over NASCAR , LeMans , Sports Car in general and the recent NHRA’s lead … while taking us perhaps even further down the road to perdition …. than the worst of our automotive nightmares are capable of imagining

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18,
    Apple is doing great now, but not that many years ago, they were on the verge of bankruptcy.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-steve-jobs-took-apple-from-near-bankruptcy-to-billions-in-13-years-2011-1?op=1

    Now, it seems that they are coasting, but are losing both smart phone and tablet market share. At some point, they will need another “Steve Jobs” idea to stay where they are.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29,
    Is the double points thing set in stone, even if Bernie goes to prison?

  39. HtG Says:

    There are no rules in F1 as far as I can discern, Kit. Just rats

  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Having used a 1911 in war I never had one fail in any way shape or form.And yes,I did use it on more then one occasion.

  41. HtG Says:

    You will admit though, GA, that it’s easier to rhyme stuff with Glock.

  42. HtG Says:

    35 to be fair, this is the 30th year of Mac. Apple is a few years older.

  43. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG:….lmfao….yup,it sure is ;}>

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, Yep, Apple started in ’76 or so.

    To me, the Mac is, by far, the most significant development from Apple. It changed the small computer from a toy for geeks, into a mass market item. It took MS another 10 or 11 years to catch up. Win 95 was the first version of Windows to really compete with Mac.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is a 1911 the same thing as a Colt .45?

  46. Ziggy Says:

    Note to the Honda ‘we’re too good for fleet sales’ guy, we purchased our 2013 Dodge Dakota because I just happen to rent one on a business trip to Maryland a while back and loved the thing. My wife was on the fence between that and a Mazda CX9, but for me it was no contest due to having rung the crap out of that rental Dakota. Wonder how many cars Honda is not selling due to renters not familiar with the brand.

  47. Brett Says:

    Nice to see Michelle on the show again, albeit briefly.

    re: Racing. Bring back bias ply tires and ban all aerodynamic aids. No traction control, launch control, dynamic suspension, etc. Manual gearshift lever. Think 1967 Gran Prix cars, but with fuel cells, on-board fire extinguishers, safety capsule cockpit, and such so that the drivers don’t die like flies in them.

  48. Tony Gray Says:

    GA:

    I am with you on the M1911A1. Carried it with me until they made us go to the M9 Beretta. But on my person you will find the trusty .45. 7 rounds is sufficient for me.

  49. C-Tech Says:

    Honda is simply missing a great sales opportunity by bypassing fleet and rental sales. Perhaps a change in management will change their minds. Fleet sales and rentals probably would have helped the Ridgeline.

    Apple is probably now at a similar point that GM was in during the 60′s. They should study GM’s history well.

    @ #16 How much did your neighbor pay for her Certified ES 330?

  50. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 43 Kit: Yes and no.Colt had made the 1911 45acp if that is the colt 45 your referring too.Of course they also made the colt 45 peacemaker,but that ain’t the 1911.

    @ 46,Tony Gray: Lol,I have some Kimber 8 round mags.I like them.9mm is for the movies ;}>

  51. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Tony Gray: Thanx for your service bro,and welcome home.

  52. XA351GT Says:

    Okay, The Kia’s guy sound like he’s speaking circular logic to me. So you want to steal sales from your sister company instead of the competition? I agree with the styling being different ,but they should serve different segments of the market or having two brands is useless. They should keep Kia the lower price choice while moving the Hyundai brand up to mid to upper levels. Having cars that are so similar is a page from the Big 3 and we saw where that took them.

  53. XA351GT Says:

    Nissan should have the FTC to go pound sand. I remember the Jeep commercial where it burrowed through the snow like amole and the other where the guy parked it on the roof of his A frame house to adjust his satellite dish. Sad fact is watching Jeep drivers in the snow they actually believed this crap.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48,
    I fired a pistol they called a Colt .45 as part of my training in the Navy. I looked it up, and it was a 1911. Colt must have made the ones they had at the time. I had no idea that the design would be that old, but I’m not into guns.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44,
    I didn’t know they made Dakota as recently as 2013.

    Anyway, the idea of rental car experiences selling cars works both ways, and yeah, I’d think it could work in Honda’s favor, at least with the current Accord, and maybe some others.

    On the other hand, the Sebring rentals probably caused people to swear off of Chrysler products forever, even though they have some pretty good stuff, like the 300.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51, Not to be repetitious, but as I said in #6, the Nissan ad could be believable to reasonable people, while the Jeep on the roof, the CUV jumping onto the train, the amphibious 500, etc., would not be believable to sane people. That is probably why that particular Frontier ad was singled out.

  57. T. Bejma Says:

    #20

    With tiny 2.0l engines and VW’s famous unreliable reliability, the Amorok is going to have about as much luck breaking into the North America market as the Passat or the Beatle have. VW is going to have to do a lot more than fancy Star Wars commercials if they expect to even make a dent in the US market. Meh…

    As usual, nothing to see here… Move along…

    #54

    Well… the CUV jumping on the train was a Nissan also (Pathfinder I believe) so… maybe that pushed them over the top? About as believable as towing a Shuttle is something special… Meh… again…

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, 55
    Also, the Amorok is BIG, 76 inches wide. If people want a big truck, they are going to buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge, not a VW with a turbo four.

    As far as the Passat, it has some real appeal, especially the TDI, but the US dealer network is seriously lacking, if VW wants to be a high volume brand in America.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55, The CUV jumping onto the train is a Rogue, but yeah, a Nissan.

  60. Ziggy Says:

    53, yep, I meant to say Durango, another senior moment. We’re so used to calling her DD that I forgot her real name.

  61. HtG Says:

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button did an interview with DailyMail. Here’s an interesting reply about what the racing will be like this year…

    You can’t discount the big guys. Red Bull and Ferrari are going to be there and Mercedes, in terms of pace, they are going to be quick. I don’t know what is going on with Lotus. But it is not just about speed. It is very different to the last three to four years in the sport. It is more like the early 2000s. It is not just outright speed. It is also the reliability that is going to be massively important. It is going to be a massive development race throughout the year with people picking things up from different cars out there. But testing is more about getting the engine reliable because that is what is going to get you big points in the first race. Finishing is going to be a big bonus and if you do you will be well in the
    points.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-2545334/Jenson-Button-revealed-considered-missing-F1-campaign-sudden-death-dad.html

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59, Interesting stuff, and the F1 soap opera continues. Will the Lotus team make it through the season, or start the season?

  63. HtG Says:

    Ferrari has released images of their 2014 car, and they have obviously understood that other teams’ nose solutions would not work on TheRedCar. F1 is after all Ferrari’s marketing.

    http://www.crash.net/f1/news/199728/1/ferrari-pulls-wraps-off-f14-t.html

  64. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    Can you say “vacuum cleaner” nose… ;-)

  65. XA351GT Says:

    Funny the new Ferrari F1 challenger is designated the F 14 T which to me looks like a play on FIAT using numbers in place of the letters.

  66. HtG Says:

    Others haven noticed the F14T/FIAT thing too,XA. Don’t let that distract you from Niki Lauda having just visited Luca Montezemolo in Maranello to discuss Formula One’s ‘television acceptance.’ F1 ever the political game for old men on thrones.
    ____________
    TB, good call on the dustbuster nose on the Ferrari. At least form is following function, as there’s few cars that can vacuum a road like an F1 car.

  67. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m looking forward to F1 season; new cars, new sounds, new driving teams. How reliable the cars are (this year) is going to be another cog in the puzzle. Should be exciting/different (or both).

    And even NASCAR, at least qualifying, will be exciting/different (not sure about both here) as they go to the F1 type qualifying with all cars on track (1 1/2 mile track and larger) with segments, eliminations and only the use of one set of tires. Though I’m afraid the actual racing will continue to be as boring as has been the last number of years.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Political BS notwithstanding, I, too, am looking forward to the F1 season. This is by far the biggest one-year change in the machinery since I’ve been following F1, and even the minor change from 3 liter V10′s to 2.4 liter V8′s saw engine failures early on. Also, it will be interesting to see how Kimi and Fernando get on as team mates. That could be interesting.

  69. HtG Says:

    C7 Glimpsed

    I saw my first C7 going in the opposite direction on the highway. Yellow. The blackened vents that have been criticized, I believe accentuate the movement.

    That’s an athlete.

  70. HtG Says:

    66 I predict a fiasco of epic proportions. They’ll be cruising around slowly and with separation, lest they run out of fuel, overheat, or detonate.

  71. XA351GT Says:

    68 not to mention probably sound terrible. V6 engines don’t normally sound good un muffled. maybe with the revs these will turn it’ll be okay . My guess is they’ll sound like 24 tractors on steroids.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new engines will have a lower pitch sound, both because they have fewer cylinders, and because they have a 15,000 rpm rev limit, rather than the previous 18,000. They will, presumably, be substantially quieter, because the turbocharger will muffle the exhaust somewhat.

  73. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Anything at 15000 rpm is going to sound awesome; the racing is (I’m predicting) going to be awesome as well.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think F1 should dispense with all of this crazy technology, except the part of car design that makes it safe. They should mandate H-pattern, 3 pedal manual transmissions, no KERS hybrid stuff, no DRS, and no communication between the car and pit, other than chalk boards. Also, they should disallow pneumatic “valve springs” are require steel springs, while eliminated the rev limit. Let the teams find the best compromise between the extra power available from very high revs, and the expense, and races lost form blown engines.

    Yes, I know. I’m only dreaming.

  75. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Formula 1 is one of the last bastions of “show me what you’ve got”, hey look at this, and money is no object in motor racing (within the body of rules of course). I believe ‘Carte Blanche’ should be the norm here; leave other racing venues to handle the more esoteric, when affordability and stability need to be paramount. Like hydroplane racing (the unlimiteds’) as an example and in a similar fashion; “balls to the wall” boys, watch this. Just an opinion.

  76. HtG Says:

    72,73 You guys have your fingers on the biggest issue I’ve got with motorsport. It’s too early for me to think, but I look at sports like baseball and swimming where technical effects are also an issue. In baseball they ban aluminum bats so that the directional grain of wood still exposes the skill of batters and pitchers. In swimming they’ve scaled back the fast suits, in this case to return ‘feel’ as a significant path to skill(and they’ve limited the distance one can go beneath the water surface). I see current tech in auto racing as having taken away the need for driver skills that show up on screen, like the ability to brake, downshift, and turn, all while someone is breathing down your neck.

    I don’t know the answer for auto racing, but there’s a problem. I’m just watching because I was interested in racing for 40 years.

  77. XA351GT Says:

    Kit @72 I’d be okay with F1 staying high tech ,but wouldn’t mind a alternative like a new version of the old Formula 5000. Let them run 5.0 normally aspirated v8s like the new Coyote Ford’s , With manual boxes no driver aides or electronic aides. Most importantly no carbon brakes. IMO this is a big reason there is little passing in F1. There is no out braking anyone . They don’t fade, no need to baby the brakes as the hotter carbon brakes get better they work. Make them flat bottom no ground effects chassis. Let the drivers who can set a car up and carry it shine.

  78. HtG Says:

    I’ve been listening to MRN, and I think it was Scott Tucker that said the cars are easy to drive, partly due to the paddle shifting. Last summer I was listening to LeMans Radio where a driver/commentator again said how relatively easy it is to drive the cars these days. I think driver aids are getting in the way of entertainment(I’d like to see the rear ends wiggle on exit), but if you read the IMSA rule book you see that some aids and technologies are prohibited. It’s a balancing act.

    (a driver that’s racing the TRG Aston Martin just said that they’ve got infrared sensors for the tires, so they can tell their condition. Does this driver aid get in the way of the show?)

  79. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that someone will come up with a remotely piloted racecar.They can sit at home with all the doodadz hooked up to their computer and drive whatever kind of race car.Kinda like those heros flying drones from afar.