AD #1301 – Ford’s in the Money, Hyundai/Kia Lose Korean Sales, Stingray Tech Secret

January 28th, 2014 at 11:55am

Runtime: 6:57

- Ford Makes a Lot of Money
- Ford’s Aluminum Strategy: Recycle, Re-use, Cut Cost
- Hyundai/Kia Lose Market Share in Korea
- Honda U.S. Exports Mark a Company First
- Corvette Reveals Another Technology Secret

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, I’m Mike Austin from Popular Mechanics filling in for John today. But now lets move onto the news.

Ford released its financial numbers from 2013 and the results are strong. The Blue Oval’s total revenue last year was up 10 percent to almost $147 billion. Net profit hit just over $7 billion. Pre-tax profit came to $8.6 billion. Ford sold 6.3 million vehicles worldwide, up 12 percent. But the Blue Oval’s profit margin on automotive operations was only 5.4 percent, which is not that impressive. Even so, Ford’s UAW workers in the US will earn an average profit sharing check of about $8,700. And that’s not too shabby.

And in other Ford news, how will the automaker maintain its profitability as it comes out with an aluminum F-150? It’s planning on doing a lot more recycling of aluminum to hold down the manufacturing costs, that’s how. Get this: A metric ton of high strength carbon steel costs about $738, while a metric ton of aluminum costs about $1,770, more than a thousand dollars more per ton! But Doug Scott, the marketing manager for trucks at Ford tells Autoline that, “The value of aluminum is much more as scrap (than steel). We’ll have closed loop recycling. We’re going to take that scrap and re-use a higher percentage of that material, which is going to help on the cost front.” Doug Scott goes on to say that by saving weight with the aluminum body, Ford was able to downsize other components, such as the brakes, and that helps to keep the cost down as well.

2013 was a rough year for the passenger car market in South Korea. Total sales came to 931,000 units, down 6.5 percent from the year before. But South Korea’s domestic automakers took the brunt of that downturn. Hyundai saw its passenger cars sales drop 12.4 percent, Kia was down 8.7 percent, GM Korea was down over 10 percent and Samsung was off 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, imported car sales shot up dramatically. BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen Group, Ford, Honda and Nissan, to mention a few, all enjoyed double digit gains. It’s interesting to see that the automotive media in South Korea looks on Hyundai and Kia with the same disdain that the American media once reserved for Detroit’s automakers. Last year alone, import brands picked up 3.5 points of market share in South Korea and now have 16.4 percent of that market.



1. Hyundai 345,000 -12%
2. Kia 277,500 -9%
3. GM 98,600 -10%
4. Samsung 53,500 -3%
5. VW Group 47,900 +36%
6. BMW/Mini 39,300 +15%
7. Daimler 24,800 +21%
8. Toyota/Lexus 12,800 -18%
9. Ford 7,200 +41%
10. Honda 4,856 +23%

Automakers as a whole in the U.S. are expected to have exported nearly 2 million vehicles in 2013. And for the first time in its history, Honda’s exports from the U.S. will top its number of imports from Japan. Last year the automaker shipped nearly 109,000 U.S.-made Honda and Acura vehicles compared to the over 88,000 it imported from Japan. This represents a significant change for Honda, and it’s a trend we see continuing.

Coming up next, a look at some cool new technology in the Corvette Stingray that may have some automakers wishing they came up with it first.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours this Thursday night starting live at 6PM Eastern Time. Bob Lutz will be the guest and we’ll get to learn about his latest venture Via Motors and why he thinks that the Chevy Volt should have been a truck instead of a car.

And that wraps up today’s report. Once again, I’m Mike Austin from Popular Mechanics. Thanks for watching.

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39 Comments to “AD #1301 – Ford’s in the Money, Hyundai/Kia Lose Korean Sales, Stingray Tech Secret”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    When those German and Ford cars start giving headaches to their Korean owners, them folks are gonna go back to their own home-grown brands as well as the Japanese ones

  2. Bradley Says:

    I have been thinking that plug-in hybrid or straight up EVs would make a good compact truck. The torque would be put to good use and the range anxiety would be minimized. As the EV compact trucks would be sold as such. For those runs to the hardware store, tree farm or to pick up a new appliance, etc. An EV compact truck makes a lot of sense.

  3. Gary L Says:

    Ford is downsizing the size of the brakes on the F150? This sounds like a big mistake to me. Ford will surely want to use the lighter weight to boast higher trailering numbers. So if the truck comes in 500lbs lighter, the maximum trailer weight will surely go up by that amount and the truck is potentially now underbraked. Downsizing components on passenger cars (if we see weight decreases) makes sense, however on a truck, it dowsn’t.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Okay now,ford can downsize other components to also save weight,like the brakes.With the big 3 doing the ‘our 1/2 ton can safely tow more then your 1/2 ton’ game,and ford does this,how will smaller brakes play into this? Will ford lower the max tow capabilities now because of smaller brakes? Hmmm…..

  5. Tony Gray Says:

    I gotta take a drive in one of those C7s.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Gary: Looks like we both picked up (no pun intended) on the brake thing,at the same time.

  7. Tony Gray Says:

    #3 and #4: Good points. Might not be a HUGE issue if you are towing below limits and on an irregular basis, but folks who tow heavy and/or often better take notice.

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    #1 Wanna place a small wager on that ? Talk to any long term ( 3 years or more ) Korean made car owner . You’ll take a pass on my offer … guaranteed !

    #2 A rather large wager perhaps ? Think about it . Making a P/U more complex and less reliable being anything but a good thing

    #3 – Yup

    #5 If you’ve driven the C6 … you’ve driven the C7 . The only difference being … in the C6 you WON’T feel like a middle aged man trying to pretend he’s a pre adolescent numbskull

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    #3 Ford should consult Dodge Journey owners about making the F150 brakes smaller, I am sure they would change their minds if they did so.

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    A US F1team … Here we go again …. unfortunately ;

    Reality check Mr Haas . Your annual net profits are less than half the budget needed to run a front running F1 team

    Seriously . Is THIS what Auto racing and motorsports in the US has digressed into ?

    MegaManiacal , Psychotically deluded , Self aggrandizing , Desperate for attention and media coverage seeking , washed up Mid Life Crisis fools with nary a clue what the terms .. World Class – Competitive on the World stage … even mean .. never mind so much as entail

    Honestly my only hope with Mr Haas is … this al goes away before it grows into yet another embarrassment and debacle like USF1 was

    Hmmmmn …. though thinking about the above …

    Seems to me the same folks running US motorsports …. are the very same people running the US [ not so ] Big Three

    Hmmmmmmmmn … ;-)


    But … there is some …


    1) Justin Beiber … everyone [ with a brains ] most despised gearhead … is on his way to being deported .. back to Canada ( apologies Buzzerd ) Seems the dear child has … errr … broken the law as to his O Visa … one too many times …

    2) The BMW Bobsled and Steve Holcomb … clinched the 2 man bobsled World Cup . A good omen for Sochi … we hope

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Justin Bieber lesson to be learned, boys should not be allowed to play with men’s toys!

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    @CK – it’s not too late to change your mind and keep him.

  13. Bradley Says:


    I would argue an EV vehicle is simpler than an internal combustion one. For instance, I would guess you might only need 2-3 or gears, maybe more like a tractor where you choose a range and gear based on what you are doing.

    The significant instant torque from an EV would allow for fewer gears.

  14. Ed Says:

    Fords use of aluminum could well have been foretold by anyone watching the airline industry, Alan Mulally was at Boeing, where they make airplanes out of aluminum, they rivet and glue them together, now with the advent of carbon fiber in wider use you may not need as much of the stuff, when he goes to ford it was a natural symbiosis of knowledge to go to such a supply/material. I wonder was it ford who saw this and had to have him, or did he see it and go to them. Either way he is the type of executive more of our corporations need to turn things around. Lack of Critical thinking is our problem, not lack of money. Ed

  15. Tony Gray Says:

    #14: Good points (Hey this is three posts for me in one day..a personal record).

    We could be on a huge revolution in auto construction, but only if the regulators will allow it. Look at the silly regulations we have all over the place. In my state, you MUST wear a seat belt in a steel cocoon surrounded by airbags..yet I can ride my Harley without a helmet. We have made our closed coupes virtual rolling pillboxes that you can’t see out of, yet we can still buy a convertible. Now they want to mandate backup cameras…helpful in my Silverado, useless in my Honda.

    Lord please save me from those who want to save me!

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 … and I thought the rest were hideous …

    Yeesh !


    12 – No thanks … not that y’all deserves the little snipe either mind you …. but err … no thanks . Any chance perhaps y’all could deport him to say …. errr …. Uranus or something ?


    13 – Errr … Not hardly …. have a look at the numbers of bells and whistles it take to make a contemporary EV/Hybrid even get down the road in one piece … never mind function as well as its ICE counterparts .


    14 – Ed said …

    ” Lack of Critical thinking is our problem, not lack of money ”

    I say …. AMEN … +1 … x 1000 .. to the tenth power … and tell it likes it is .. not that I hasn’t already [ see my earlier post ] … but tell it anyways …

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    @ Buzzerd – OT – So how did Canada … the land from which Joni Mitchell – Neil Young – Rush – Sara McLaughlin etc etc manage to push out something like the ‘ Bieb ‘ ?

    I mean from here … with our obsessions over fame and wretched excess … money and profit over talent … NoBrow ethics from top to bottom over quality … I get it .

    But from y’alls neck o’ the woods ? I’d of thought he’d of never made it past puberty up y’alls way ;-)

    [ that is meant as a compliment in case that slipped on by you ]

    Sorry though …. he’s yours … take him back … please … then of course do what every you wish with him … except sneaking him back over the border to us .

    Hey … but wait … I know …. let him join Snowden in political exile over Russia way . All bets are they’ll love the little snipe in their own backyard

    Problem solved … say thanks

  18. Rock A Says:

    Bad idea to down size the brakes on new F150 FoMo. They tried that misguided idea a few years ago.
    I got stuck with buying new rotors after very few miles. Guess what, un-warrantable, big buck to upgrade.

  19. ColoradoKid Says:

    Tony Gray

    re; Riding your Harley without a helmet – All well and good … IF .. the likes of you were paying an Insurance premium for the right to ride helmetless … instead of passing on the excessive costs to those of us choosing to be responsible riders … as well as NOT becoming DonorCyclists .. along with NOT adding to Health Care costs .

    Fact is … you are not . Which means .. y’alls exercising your ‘ freedom ‘ to be an irresponsible citizen ….. at MY expense !!!

    Which PO’s me beyond words !

    Same goes btw for seat belts .. read the actual research … not the Agenda based propaganda put forth by the 1% with neither the brains , education or the background to come to such ludicrous conclusions

    Personally ? IMO .. you show up at the hospital after a crash and riding without a helmet … whip the ole credit card out and start paying out of pocket …. Yours …. not mine that is !!!

  20. HtG Says:

    Alas, we drivers are the low hanging fruit, safety wise. Taking us out of the equation, while keeping the responsibility on us, looks like the future.

    Bieber- you think this chaos might not just be an act? And how come that Wrecking Ball video he made makes me feel kinda funny? ;)

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, 13,
    With a pure EV, you only need one gear. EV’s are extremely reliable, except for the batteries. The drive train is very simple, mechanically, and while the electronics are fairly complex, in this day and age, electronics are very reliable. In fact, the electronics in hybrids, which are much more complex than in pure EV’s, are very reliable.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ford pickups are switching from steel to aluminum, while airliners are switching from aluminum to composites. Maybe Mulally saw all that “extra” aluminum no longer being used by Boeing and Airbus.

  23. Tony Gray Says:

    #18: CK I said I COULD ride my bike without a helmet. I never do so. In fact, I am a STRONG proponent of helmet laws. Please don’t link the fact that I CAN to your belief that I do.

    Years ago I was hit from behind while completely stopped at a red light. The bike flew into the air and landed on its right side. The first part of me that hit the pavement was my rear end and I had quite a bruise. Shortly afterwards my head, protected by a fully approved helmet, smacked the pavement. Had I not been so equipped, I might either be no longer here or perhaps my syntax may have improved.

  24. Tony Gray Says:

    And I wear my seatbelt every time I get in and insist that everyone in my car or truck do the same. Even in my 1966 cars or my 64 1/2 vehicle. Have been doing this since I got my head out of my butt around 1984.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Many yrs ago the Fl state legislature at the behest of then gov Bush, passed the optional helmet law, since then motorbike deaths have tripled, for the life of me, I don’t understand why they did that. Funny thing is the fact that the most reckless riders are the same ones who choose not to wear one!

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I refuse to move my vehicle until everyone is strapped in.I didn’t need a law to make me do that either,just a very old habit.

    When I rode,I wore a DOT approved helmet,but not a full face.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have always worn a full face helmet since I started riding in 1973. My first bike was a Kawasaki 500 two-stroke triple, and my first helmet, a Bell Star.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Indiana had a helmet law at one time, but it was repealed before I started riding.

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Haas couldn’t even put together a competitive NASCAR team until Tony Stewart became involved . Also he gets his engines and Chassis from Hendricks. How the hell does he even remotely think he can put together a F1 team?

  30. XA351GT Says:

    Helmet laws, I think when they started repealing mandatory helmet laws the insurance companies should have been allowed to not pay your claim if you chose not to wear one. When PA did that my Dad’s bike insurance doubled . He always rode with a helmet ,but that didn’t matter , because now the Insurers were going to pay a lot more money out for claims when people came off their bikes and the 1st thing hitting the ground was their heads. I remember a add in one of his old bike magazines that said if you have a $10 head wear a $10 helmet. What is your head worth to you? Personally I think anyone choosing to not wear a helmet doesn’t have anything in their head worth protecting. With all the drivers that are too busy multitasking to drive your are taking your life in your hands with or without a helmet, but why not improve your odds a little?

  31. HtG Says:

    Maybe Haas thinks there will be customer cars in the future? Buy power units from Renault, ECU and hydraulics from Mclaren, and chassis from Marrrranelllllo. It’s already becoming quite a spec series. But yeah XA, daheqq iz datt guy thinking, unless he’s got some US sponsor like Google or Oracle? F1 is just prolapse inducing capital destruction.

    Did you hear the talk this week about battery thermal runaway? hothothot

  32. T. Bejma Says:


    Call it “Natural Selection” Pedro… ;-)

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    XA, I like your comment, “improve your odds a little.” I ride because it
    is fun, though I usually ride to get somewhere I’m going anyway, not just to ride. I quit riding in Florida, where I spend spend 7 months of the year. There are too many lost tourists, too many 90 year old drivers that shouldn’t be driving, etc. Basically, I don’t enjoy riding here. I ride in the summer in Indiana where the traffic is lighter, and where it seems much safer. …and I always wear a helmet, to improve my odds.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB I suppose it’s also a macho thing, you know, helmets are for sissies. Also the fact that there is no law that prohibits people from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, kids included, since trucks are not bound by the same laws that pertain to cars, I occasionally see adults and kids doing so.

  35. C-Tech Says:

    I believe the 2015 Ford F-150 will create some new opportunities in the aftermarket for aluminun-compatible accessories.

    There is nothing wrong with Haas proposing an American F1 team. If F1 has 2 or 3 races in the U.S. there will be a reason for (deep pocket) sponsors to partner with an American team. If it works for Red Bull, why not Monster or Full Throttle ?

  36. C-Tech Says:

    Given that Smith electric trucks and vans have been quietly working in the the Orlando area for awhile and worldwide even longer, perhaps an EV pick-up (not the old expensive GM hybrid) may make sense.

  37. C-Tech Says:

    Kit I saw the Chinese version of the old Honda CT70. One of my neighbors has one in the garage. I think it quit running.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that Chinese space probes have quality issues too. I just read that their lunar rover is dying after only a few weeks, while NASA’s Mars rovers have worked for years.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Umm! let’s see, the company I work for issued us new fancy looking scales for us to weigh clients and I have gone through 4 of them since July 2013 they all start giving erroneous results and have to be replaced, so if they can’t even make a decent digital scale, how are they suppose to make durable, super complicated space exploration machines?