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AD #1313 – Ford Faces Federal Scrutiny, Sinkhole Swallows Vettes, SsangYong Sstateside?

February 13th, 2014 at 11:59am

Runtime: 7:18

- Ford Faces Congressional Inquiry over Privacy Concerns
- Kentucky Sinkhole Swallows Rare Corvettes
- SsangYong May be Headed to the U.S.
- Venezuela Car Sales are Falling Dramatically
- John McElroy Responds to Comments and Questions

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily where we help keep you informed on the most important trends and developments in the global automotive industry.

FORD FACES CONGRESSIONAL HEAT
Back when we had Ford’s Executive VP of Global Marketing, Jim Farley on Autoline, he told us he wanted WiFi in all of Ford’s dealerships so it could monitor what customers were searching for online. Now the Blue Oval has had to answer questions from Congress about driver privacy after Farley suggested at a forum last month that the company knew lots of information about its millions of owners. The automaker told Congress that it collects limited data, including some from SYNC services for 60 days, but only after customer permission. The vehicle itself also stores navigation data for 2 – 3 weeks, but it’s never transmitted. Click the link in today’s show notes for the full report then let us know how you feel in the comments section.

HOLE LOTTA VETTES
I’m sure by now a lot of you have seen the sinkhole that opened up at the National Corvette Museum. But just in case you missed it or have not seen the images, here is what it looked like. It’s a pretty crazy scene. The hole is so big the cars look like toys. I just hope that none of the vehicles are lost and can be restored back to their original condition.

SSANGYONG SSTATESIDE?
Looks like there could be a new car company headed to the American market. Ward’s reports that Korean automaker Ssangyong is preparing to enter the US, but no date has been set yet. Part of the plans include coming up with a new name. SSangyong makes SUVs and crossovers. Last year it only sold about 145,000 vehicles worldwide, but hopes to double that number in the next two years. The Indian car company Mahindra and Mahindra owns 75% of Ssangyong and had played a pivotal role in getting the company into competitive shape.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!
Boy, what the heck is going on in Venezuela? Last month new car sales fell 87% compared to a year ago. Get this, Ford only sold two cars last month in Venezuela. And it says it cannot get enough U.S. dollars to pay suppliers, so it’s cutting back on production. Toyota says it is stopping production there altogether because it’s even having problems getting Venezuelan customs to allow parts into the country. That didn’t stop Venezuelan president Victor Maduro from criticizing Toyota for halting production.General Motors had to book $162 million in losses from currency exchange. Looks like the Bolivar revolution started by former president Hugo Chavez is falling apart, and at least as the auto industry is concerned, everyone expects this to get a lot worse.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

And now It’s time for some of your feedback.

Dakota wrote in to say, “Hi John, my name is Dakota. I’m 10 years old and LOVE cars. I can name them all. My favourite is the Buggati Veyron. My Dad even took me to the Detroit Auto Show last month. It was the first time I’ve ever been to Mishigan. We got to see all the cars you reported on Autoline and even where you stood! I hope to meet you one day.” Dakota I think that is so cool that you love cars and got to go to the Detroit auto show. You’ve got a good dad for taking you there. I would be pleased to meet you someday, hopefully when you are the Chief Executive Officer of one of the car companies. And one more thing, you’ve got a really cool name.

Kit Gerhart is getting tired of Ford creating a common family look across its model line. “When the “Aston Martin” grill first showed up on the Fusion, I really liked it, but enough is enough. I think it looks a bit silly on a Transit Connect, and Subaru doesn’t need to copy it.” Yeah, I noticed that Subaru is going with that look, too.

M360 doesn’t care that the Australian auto industry is on the verge of collapse. “So what’s the big deal if GM, Ford and Toyota pull out of the Aussie market? What effect will that have on the US, European or Asian markets? Could you please explain?” It will not have much effect on other markets, but I hate to see a country’s entire automotive industry collapse completely. A lot of good designers, engineers and executives have come out of Australia and losing so much of that talent pool is a loss for the entire industry.

pedro fernandez chimed in to say, “I wonder if what is happening in AU is the same fate that awaits us?” Pedro, as I said all along, the real problem with the Australian market is that it’s so small. Remember, Australia has a population of about 20 million people. That’s the same as Michigan and Ohio put together. And in a game that’s all about scale, Australia simply could not provide the scale necessary to compete.

Mike wants to know more about that union vote taking place this week at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee. “I’d be interested in the pros and cons being offered by the two sides at VW. What does the Union claim they will do for the workers? Why do the Republican lawmakers say the workers don’t need a union? What are the hot button issues in this campaign?” The hot button is unionization itself. The UAW exclusively supports Democrats, which makes them the natural enemy of Republicans. And there’s no question the UAW helped make GM, Ford and Chrysler completely uncompetitive from a labor cost standpoint. But higher pay and benefits really appeals to anyone, and that’s what the UAW is telling the VW workers it can do for them. This vote is a really big deal. If the UAW wins, it will help it organize other transplants. If it loses, this will be a blow from which the union will never recover.

Thanks for all your letters and comments, we truly appreciate getting your input.

Remember to join us for Autoline After Hours tonight starting at 6PM Eastern Time. Our guest will be Bill Warner, the founder of the Amelia Island Concours. Should be a great show as Bill is one of the greatest story tellers you’ll ever hear.

But that wraps up today’s report. Thank you for tuning in.

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133 Comments to “AD #1313 – Ford Faces Federal Scrutiny, Sinkhole Swallows Vettes, SsangYong Sstateside?”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chavez and now the new knucklehead “President” in Venezuela wanted their country to be more like Cuba, well, nice job there, Mr Despot, Cubans have not been able to purchase new cars for about 50 yrs now, so enjoy your revolution.

  2. Brett Says:

    John,

    My thoughts on the UAW:

    1. The automobile manufacturers are equally complicit in escalating labor costs through the 60s, 70s, and 80s. They didn’t have to agree to the terms and could’ve negotiated to pay less.

    2. Globaliszation had as much if not more to do with making the auto manufacturers labor costs non-competitive as anything the UAW might have done.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1, By most accounts, the elections in Venezuela were more free and fair than many, but one wonders, why did so many people vote for this guy?

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    Farley has made so many gaffes I wonder how long Ford will keep putting up with it. Look on the bright side, he would have a future in politics.

  5. Mike Says:

    #2 Brett, I agree with you. The trouble was in the burdens and overheads that the accountants put on top of the base wage rate. In those burdens for the USA automakers there were costs for health care, pensions, machinery and plants, R&D and the like that took the $22 an hour Union wage and made it look like $125 an hour. The Japanese and the Koreans didn’t have those costs accounted for in the same way. The result is that it looked like the union was the problem when really it was much more complicated than that.

  6. HtG Says:

    Farleybook

    So Ford’s Farley spends time in SanFran with Facebook and Twitter and Square, companies that know quite a bit about us all the time through smartphones. And we’re going to see V2V communication between cars in a few years. And the vehicle electronics are getting unified. Oooh boy is Ford going to know a lot, even if you don’t say yes to the ‘Ford’ privacy question. But then not everyone is so keen on their personal secrecy. (that gal I saw the other day driving 60mph in her 3series while reading texts, she probably doesn’t want dirty old man Farley watching her)

    we’re doomed. No, really

  7. Pablo Chavez Says:

    Kit Gerhart wrote

    “1, By most accounts, the elections in Venezuela were more free and fair than many,”

    Unbelievable how clueless this person is.

  8. G.A.Branigan Says:

    So,mahindra and mahindra are backdooring their way into the US.As the old computer saying goes:”garbage in…..garbage out”.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will the Korean division of Mahindra bring us the Mahindra pickups?

  10. Wim van Acker Says:

    #3: he is controlling one of the world’s larger oil reserves/production through total government control over PDVSA. They skim off PDVSA’s huge profits and dole out the petro dollars ton behalf of the government o the population And get elected as a result. It is that simple, IMHO.

  11. Wim van Acker Says:

    #1: on a positive note: Cuba is the only country in the world where the Big 3 have a 100% market share :-)

  12. RADgs Says:

    At first glance, it looked like someone had gotten into my model collection and left them in the yard My heart really sunk when I saw the video of 8 Vettes going to China, the hard way.

  13. HtG Says:

    Go on Venezuela, raise those domestic gas prices. Just a little. see what happens.

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/for-venezuela-the-magic-land-of-cheap-gas-a-big-hike/2014/01/19/cf52b096-7e1f-11e3-97d3-b9925ce2c57b_story.html

  14. Alex Wellington Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    1, By most accounts, the elections in Venezuela were more free and fair than many,..”

    You are joking, right? I refuse to believe you could be so utterly misinformed and misguided.

    I cannot begin to list the shenanigans Chavez’s hand-picked successor has been involved in just before these so-called “free and fair” (LOL) elections. Such as forcing a few politically targeted store owners to sell their wares at ludicrously low prices, well below their cost.

    But I don’t want to burst your bubble. In other news, I bet you also believe that the rolling out of Obamacare was a smashing success.

  15. ColoradoKid Says:

    What’s going on in Venezuela is simple . Chavez is dead . The curtain of deception has been dropped [ because it was Chavez holding it up ] Reality has hit the fan . Simply stated … Venezuela has no money … never did … sponsorship for their athletes and artists has all dried up …. Game – Set – Match …

    13 – As to Mr Gerhart’s assumption that the …. cough …. sputter … ‘ elections were in any way shape or form … free [ bahahahahaha ! ] and ….. errr ….. fair [ for Chavez and his cronies ... maybe ] … well …

    May I humbly and without insult suggest Mr Gerhart dig a little deeper … have a look at the State Department .. as well as Amnesty Internationals .. along with ” The Economist’s ” statements concerning those . … [ bahahahaha ] …. err … sorry Kit … can’t help myself … ‘ Elections ‘

    Shenanigans as Mr Wellington calls it doesn’t even begin to describe the realities in Venezuela since the ascension of Hugo Chavez

    Travesties held at gun point comes a whole lot closer to the realities of the very Despotic .. posing as Commie Wanna Be’s … Venezuela ….. elections …… cough !

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14, Research it. Chavez and his gang may have used dubious means to influence voters, but state legislatures in the U.S. gerrymander congressional districts to their own ends.

    I agree with most, that things in Venezuela are a disaster, but it isn’t because their election system is corrupt. Most indications are that Chavez and company actually got the votes.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15, Amnesty International has a lot to criticize about Venezuela, but the integrity of the election process is not among the items criticized.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/annual-report-venezuela-2013

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Giving away free gas to locals and to Cuba, rather than selling it, isn’t helping things in the Bolivarian Republic.

  19. ColoradoKid Says:

    3 – Kit – they didn’t … plain and simple . Unless of course you consider casting your ballot with a gun to your head … voting … Never mind the 100′s of thousands of deceased .. incapacitated .. as well a non existent ‘ votes ‘ that were ‘ cast ‘ .

    As to Obamacare and Mr Wellington’s quip ? Well … it aint no success story … by a freaking long shot .. but then again its not the failure nor the harbinger of doom those head in the sand .. insular , xenophobic verging on Aryan Nation KKK Tea Party hypocrites think [ think ? ] ….either

    ———-

    And speaking of the Tea Party hypocrites … here’s a little inside info on the gentleman ( Senator ) from Tenn. thats being so vocal about his anti union at the VW plant stance

    Seems the good sir .. who’s so adamantly against Government interference in ‘ private ‘ enterprise … despite trying to use Government interference to influence the outcome …

    … and is also so very very vocal on his Anti Government subsidies for anyone or anything ..

    Receives over $1.5 million in Government subsidies himself … for he and his family’s Horse/Stud Farm .. despite he and his family being worth millions …

    Yeah … Tea Party ! Go right ahead and vote em in …. in droves … but errr … when the US has turned blatant Fascist … having the wrong last name becomes a crime .. and god forbid you should go to the wrong church … or be the wrong color …

    Don’t go blaming the likes of me !

    I dumped my Republican affiliation the minute GWB was re-elected and the Tea Party began taking control

    Think any of the above is ‘ conspiracy ‘ ? Guess again …. ;-)

  20. Alex Wellington Says:

    16 “research”? Justr because you can spell the word, that does not mean you have the sliughtest clue what serious “research” is. I will not waste my time “researching” it, and on that subject, even if I did not know anything, I would take Pedro’s word over yours every time.

    #15 You are absolutely right on the late4 Chavez’s hand-picked successor. I was being low-key and charitable by characterizing his thuggish pre-election tactics (which might answer Mr. Gephart’s question, how come he got such a huge majority..LOL). Why should we be surprised in the least?

    The whole thing reminds me of an Eastern European newspaper, in the years that these poor people were the slaves of communism, under the grotesque Stalin, who tried to shed some humor in their elections by publ,ishing headlines that the Stalin-approved candidates (which of course were the ONLY ones on the ballot) won by 99% or more.

    Their readers were amused, but the KGB (or their predecessors) were not. “research” it Mr. Gephardt and find how many decades the editors spent in the Gulag.

    Could we please go back to autos? No so-called “Olympix”, and no “venezuela”? Thank you.

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    17 – Oh yes it is Kit . As I’ve said a million times before … whats on the web … and what is reality … are more often than not two completely different things . ;-)

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Who cares…..I wouldn’t knowingly buy anything made by that outfit,or any that I know to be tied in with them.Yup,I’m that kind of redneck.

  23. Alex Wellington Says:

    PS I ruined the story. The newspaper published the news of the 99% win of the Stalin-approoved candidates-stooges two days BEFORE the election took place. That should explain why the editors spent a few decades in the Gulags, in -70 F Siberian locations that would make our “polar vortex” seem mild by comparison.

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    16 – Kit … as a fellow site mate .. and in the spirit of our current and ongoing pax … Drop this one . On this … you are most definitely … wrong

    There is … was … and never have been anything even remotely resembling an Election in Venezuela …for decades

    FYI .. The same can be said .. to a greater or lesser degree for much of the rest of Central/South American as well I’m afraid … including … unfortunately … Brazil

    Remembering of course who SG’s employers are

    Pax Kit .. but do drop it … Mr Wellington’s getting a bit hot under the collar and things may get ugly ’round these parts

  25. Alex Wellington Says:

    OK, I promised I will go back to aytos.

    I bet Kit was not thrilled to see that the MINI, however cute it admittedly is, finished an utterly horrific last, dead last, worse than any Dodges, Chryslers, Rams or Chevys, not to mention its parent company BMW, or even that perennial loser, Land ROver, in the latest JD Power Dependability surveys.

    (Of course Kit can always claim that his MINI has been 100% trouble-free. As if anecdotal evidence would count as serious statistically significant surveys by 100,000s of owners)

    On another issue, I kind of agree with Kit, though, and that is the Fusion grille. It sure looks utterly ludicrous on the Transit Connect, which was a poorly proportioned vehicle (too narrow and too tall) to begin with.

    Actually, while I was originally a fan of the new Fusion, on second thought I believe that Aston-clone look does not go as well with the sedan as with models that actually aqre the same type as all Astons, ie, sporty sedans and especially coupes, esp. the new Mustang, or a Fusion Coupe if they cared to make one.

  26. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – Hint … ‘ Gremlins ‘

    Ya think ?

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    My political statement for the day: “Get back to our constitution as written”. Follow it,and live by it.End of most political bs.

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit … most definitely … the quote from ” Gremlins ” .. you’sa pretty smart fellow … I think I need say no more … wink wink

    ;-)

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cuba also has “free” elections and there is only one political party: the Commies, they’re free to vote for Castro every single time. Kit, please don’t fall for that Commie propaganda, you’re too smart for that! Just the other day I meet a Venezuelan who owns a business over there, his family had to move here cause he feared for their safety, he needs bodyguards to get around and had to buy a bullet-proof car just to be safe.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, ” I would take Pedro’s word over yours every time.”

    I don’t think Pedro said anything about “the vote,” just that the system is a disaster. Yeah, I take Pedro’s word on that too. He’s lived it.

  31. Alex Wellington Says:

    #24 I promise to behave.

    Back to autos.

    Diesels vs Hybrids. Why not both? (because it’s the cost).

    I read the latest issue of Cons Rep in my library. I have my doubts about these people’s ratings, especially when they gave the (new, improved, but sure not perfect)Impala a… 95/100 score.

    This time they reviewed the Audi A7 TDI and the outstanding Merc 250 Bluetec.

    Audis allegedly have vastly improved reliability-wise, but I am not one of those who claim that the A7 is such a work of art. It is an overpiced A6 with less space. In the test, it cost a ludicrous $70k in the TDI version.

    The Merc looked like a bargain by comparison, at $60k (base price $54k), and got stellar MPG (true, not just EPA)

    The E class diesels in the past were a greaqt bargain, because Merc priced them only $1-2k above the gas version.

    This one is a smaller and more efficient diesel than those, but it still has humongous torque.

    I predict resale prices will be high so while it is a good buy new, it’s not as good a buy used.

  32. ColoradoKid Says:

    27 – But first G.A. …. unlike those beer /drug addled Tea Party members [ like to know how many of them abuse prescription medications on a regular basis ? ]

    Make damn sure you know what the ____ the goram Constitution actually says .. as well as the freaking difference between the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights [ no insult intended G.A. }

    Seriously … the only thing that offends me more than those Tea Party quasi fascists mis-quoting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights on a daily basis is … when they even more severely mis-quote – take completely out of context … the Bible they all swear they believe in so adamantly

    Nuff politics for me !

  33. Alex Wellington Says:

    29 Pedro, we got to admit that commies have always been really good at propaganda, and have fooled many in the West by portraying their countries as “paradises” while in fact they were “Hells on Earth”.

    I think this is not restricted to the commies, but also to the nazis and fascists, they sure had well-oiled propaganda machines.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    30 – Kit … one last hint .. what do you get when subtracting 1 from six ? And what is that number called when referring to that number as a group of musicians ?

    Got it ?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, Venezuela has the among the highest murder rates in the world, along with Honduras and Jamaica.

    25, Actually, my MINI has been trouble free, but I don’t have a lot of miles on it. Also, my Dodge has been relatively trouble free, for being 25 years old. It doesn’t have many miles either, 70K, for its age.

  36. Alex Wellington Says:

    #35 I knew you’d say that! I’m a frigging psychic. And I’m on the record predicting it! LOL!!!

    Any old car today will run 100,000 trouble free miles. Even the worst. That’s why I disagree with pedro where he places too much importance on reliability and makes frequent anti-VW comments.

    This also reminded me of some latin american guy they once interviewed on the street, who commented on the loose morals of the local women. “Every one is a prostitute”, he ranted, ‘except for my mother and my sister”.

    Maybe this also applies to MINIS?

  37. ColoradoKid Says:

    WHAT ????

    No mention of Nissan’s startling announcement this week ?

    That being … they are going to forgo market share … in order to raise quality as well as profitability [ let HtG explain how that works .. I'm fading fast ... PT and all ... ouch ]

    WHAT ??? No mention of VW-Audi’s wretched excess subsidiary ?

    That being Bugatti can’t seem to give away the current version of the Veyron convertible

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    I was impressed that the A7 TDI got almost as good of fuel economy as the E-Class diesel, while being much quicker.

    Still, $70K is way too much money for that car, even though I like the way it looks pretty well, and I like the liftback utility.

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    35 – Kit – For the record .. my MINI never even so much as sneezed in the 36 wonderful and fun filled months I leased the little bugger . Fact is every time I see one .. my heart skips a beat .. but then my back and leg injury remind me why I traded it in … and I come back to my senses

    The MINI still being the best SPM [ smiles per mile ] car I’ve ever owned or leased . And that includes the three ‘ F ‘ words

    But err .. Kit .. the hints …. referring to the other half of the ongoing argument … Capice ? ;-)

  40. Alex Wellington Says:

    38

    They got the same MPG HWY, but not city, where the merc got a significant 2 MPH higher. And the Merc was the heavier of the two I believe?

    I should add the 250 got a stellar 98 score from Cons Rep. That makes it only… 3% better than the Impala (allegedly). I obviously do not buy that, having driven both, I know.

    I would pay $70 for a true flagship model that shares the same platform with the A8, not for a A6 knockoff. Same with the Merc CLS, I fail to see its alleged beauty. I prefer the S (previous and brand new model) and even the E class (also previous and current).

    Now the new S class coupe will be based on the S class platform, but it will be smaller and more expensive than the S sedans, as usual.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36, Alex, you can call me a liar if you want, but it’s my car, and I’d know if it broke, and it hasn’t.

    It has some things going for it, as MINI’s go. For a start, it only has about 20K miles. Also, it is a non-S with no options, except 16 inch wheels. That version even showed up as “average” one year in CR’s reliability survey, though it has slipped in the most recent one.

  42. Alex Wellington Says:

    The MINI has great styling and it true to its 50s original, even though it’s much larger.

    It also is a joy to drive.

    However, the interior is not that of a car that is priced like a luxury car (if you do it in $/lb or ft, as some people I know do, and they end up buying an.. Impala).

    I think the gauges should be much better, the speedometer in the middle should go in front of the driver, not the mother-in-law, the hard plastics should be eliminated, and some wood veneer would be welcome.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh no! my Crapola is really acting up lately, that engine sounds like it wants to be put out to pasture soon, I hope that $$ that I expected comes in soon otherwise, a big hole in the floor and Pedro Flintstone will make a return.

  44. Alex Wellington Says:

    41 The record shows that I certainly did not call you a liar, and I also stated that even the worst cars today go for a 100k trouble free miles.

    Still, I don’t call JD Power a liar either, I don’t think their surveys are rigged, and I leave it to the intelligence of the readers to decide which is more important,

    One individual owner who claims he had no trouble at all with a MINI of only a few years old and low miles, probably driven in the sunbelt with no snow and rust,

    or the total of many thousands of owners, who reported to JD power, and whose inputs made the MINI the dead last, least dependable vehicle on sale today?

  45. HtG Says:

    Whoa, I step away from the computer and all hell breaks loose.

    See what you started, John? At least you can’t suppress this story from the DailyMail: 10 year old Norwegian boy tries to drive to grandma’s house, when stopped claims he’s a dwarf and forgot his driver’s license

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2558223/10-year-old-boy-steals-parents-car-visit-grandparents-tells-police-dwarf-forgot-drivers-license.html

    (ps As someone whose father witnessed a communist takeover in Europe, and learned to spout the lingo backwards and forwards, and whose grandfather did three years out east, I’m staying out of it. Good times)

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    36 – Mr Wellington

    ” Any old car today will run 100,000 trouble free miles. Even the worst. That’s why I disagree with pedro where he places too much importance on reliability and makes frequent anti-VW comments ”

    Oh really ? Perhaps you’d like me to regale you with the facts of my 36 month lease of an Audi S4 Avant ? Not to mention the abject hell VW-Audi’s so called ‘ Customer Advocate ‘ service put me thru ?

    Try this on for size …. 36 months … less than 24,000 miles … grand total repair bill … regardless of being under warranty ?

    $24,000 … and change ! The list would take an encyclopedia to put up here . So yeah .. do the math .. then tell me how any car these days can go 100,000 trouble free miles these days

    Oh … and the wife’s Toyota ? 7 years .. less than 45,000 miles … and so far its been in the shop for ;

    Leaking water pump
    Leaking oil pan gasket
    Wheels constantly leaking air [ going on round 4 ]
    Faulty Air pressure sensors

    So yeah … you betcha … any car can do it .. when one is deluded enough to believe it can

    BTW ? Even VW-Audi is now admitting they’ve effed up left and right when it comes to reliability in the US.. and is on a tear to rectify the situation ASAP [ I know ... because Audi USA is now trying like hell thru the influence of a friend who's sponsored by them ... to get my business back ]

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, The A7 is almost 2 seconds quicker 0-60, gets the same mpg at 65 mph, but gets 24 mpg rather than 26 in CR’s city test. The performance/mpg tradeoff seems a reasonable one, depending on what you want. Both cars get impressive mpg for 2 ton+ luxury cars. Yep, the Benz was 110 pounds heavier.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    You never know about a car’s durability or quality, my sister’s Journey has been trouble-free except for excessive brake wear, seems that the ones they put in originally on these cars, were too weak to stop the heavy vehicle, after 3 replacements for free over just 2 yrs, they seem to have gotten it right, no more issues with that car.

  49. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – Yeah .. and guess who ?

    As to the rest . My grandfather [ Italian one ] saw both the Fascist as well as the Communist side of things

    As he so often said ;

    ” The only thing I despise more than a Fascist .. is a Communist ‘

    Cause in reality … they’re part and parcel of the same mentality

    Both think THEY … and they alone know what you want .. need .. and whats best for you

    e.g. Both at their cores … are Despots in different uniforms

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Listen fellows, I always make a point of asking car owners if they would buy that car again, most VW, Audi, Volvo, BMW owners tell me NO WAY, Mercedes, not to much, seems that they realize that their cars are indeed well built and have sound engineering, but their achille’s heel is the overly complicated and intrusive electronics.

  51. Alex Wellington Says:

    My old rustbucket of unknown make and model did great this winter, the 6 year old battery, which was acting up last year, was checked to be fine (core) and only needed a recharge, and after that, the engine started right away in down to -10 F (lower with windchill) weather.

    I drove it to Wash DC on Jan 26 (had not taken a long trip with it in years) and I even took the non-toll road, and it snowed while I drove, poor visibility, slippery even to change lanes, and the exits were a nightmare. I must have seen 20 cars and vans on the ditches along the road. On the way back it was colder but the roads were dry, I took the toll roads, and it went much faster.

    However, I am POd that the factory nav screen is not working for two weeks now. I know the original owner (15 years ago!) under warranty noticed a ‘line’ on the screen and had it replaced under warranty, at a ludicrous $1700, so I have no plans to replace it now.

    The downside is I don’t have all that wealth of info (not just the nav but also the trip computer, temps etc).

    The awesome stereo still works fine. That should be a relief.

  52. HtG Says:

    49 indeed,CK, I’ve read about it

  53. Alex Wellington Says:

    CK: I believe your Audi lease was before they (very recently) improved.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42, My MINI was pricey for a car its size, but not overly so. The MSRP was only about $2K more than a similarly equipped Honda Fit. If you load a MINI with options, though, it can get pretty ridiculous.

    You can put a digital speedometer readout in the bottom of the tach housing, which I always do. You may have read, but the “mother in law” speedometer is going away for the next generation MINI. They decided its “retro-ness” has run its course.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit if you get a chance to drive a hilly, curvy, country road, do you use the Vette or the Mini?

  56. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit . Yeah .. but my GLK’ll kick the pants off of both the diesel and the 6 cylinder Q7 VW in Disguise [ for a mere $15 - 25k more I might add than its Touregg underpinnings ] as well as give the V8 pos a good run for its money

    Especially up here at altitude !

    And errr … like to take a guess how many times my neighbors Q7 V8′s been in the shop for other than routine maintenance [ 2012 ] … just in the last 12 months ?

    Try …. 7

    GLK ? None !

    Ahh … but some will waste their money on badge engineered travesties … despite all the evidence at hand .

    Not me though … been there ….. done that …. no more VW’s in over priced Audi drag for me ever again

    I’ll stick with the real thing … despite the extensive discounts being thrown at my feet

  57. Alex Wellington Says:

    When in Washington, I stayed with old friends in Arlington. The wife has a “Smart” (aka “Dumb”) and is actually very pleased with it, she likes the ease of parking it in Georgetown, primarily. I told her it’s OK for the city, but that she should not take it on the Highway on any long trips, for both comfort and especially safety reasons. You should have seen her. Although she is auto illiterate, really, she proceeded to lecture me, telling me I am quite wrong. Then I said that the SMART is cute, which is why people buy it, and same for the Jetta and the GOlf, and then she went ballistic, and insisted that people buy VWs because they are… reliable!!!

    I tried to reason with her, and explained that people are willing to buy Corollas and Camrys, which are not half as fun to drive as the VWs, because they are far more reliable. She would doggedly insist on her fallacy.

    I thought by now she would have wised up, at age 64!! BAck in the 70s, when her husband found her in the old country, and they lived in the Boston area, she insisted, hardly a few days in the USA, that it is “Cape GOD” and not “Cape COD”. Honest to God true story!!!

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55, The MINI, so far, but I haven’t had the ‘Vette long. Next summer, probably the ‘Vette, at least for a while. The problem is, hilly, curvy country roads are hard to come by in both Florida and Indiana.

  59. ColoradoKid Says:

    53 – Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha !!!

    You wing nut !!!

    They’ve gotten a hell of a lot worse … not better since then … and by their own admission … as well as an extreme drop in US as well as worldwide sales

    [ and anyway … how do you know when ‘ When ‘ was ? }

    Even here in Snow Country USA … where admittedly Audi’s ruled the roost sales wise for years sales are on the decline

    Bahahahahaahahahahahaha !

    Have you ever been taken in by the Audi Propaganda machine

    Nice job ! Like to by some swamp land in Florida … or perhaps a nice sink hole in Kentucky while you’re at it ?

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    There should be curvy, hilly road vacations you can take which include the proper car for it, I traveled the Blue Ridge Skyway years ago, but to my surprise and disappointment, the limit in most areas that were challenging was just 35 mph! SUV and mini vans speeds.

  61. Alex Wellington Says:

    #59

    What utter nonsense. Go to the Gym if you can, to vent your agressiveness. I am not one to parrot company literature, these are

    Independent

    Surveys.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56, I never much like either the Touareg or Q7. They are way porky, over 5000 pounds.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    60,
    Yeah, those roads would be so much fun, except for the speed limits, and the huge number of RV’s in the summer.

  64. Alex Wellington Says:

    Top Gear on the web was ga-ga over the new Porshe Macan.

    They insist that while it shares a few parts with the Audi Q5, it drives far better and far different, and they pronounced it the best driver’s SUV-CUV-CAV on the road today.

    That’s Top Gear, not Me. so don’t call ME names, CK, when you reply claiming that your GLK will smoke the Bugatti Veyron and every other vehicle, or whatever.

    I was not in the market for such a vehicle, but the glowing article sure impressed me.

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motorweek’s Pat Goss did a report on how important it is to maintain the proper pH in you coolant due to all the “plastics” now used in and around the engines. Plastics used in such a high heat environment, are these engineers crazy or are they just trying to keep the techs busy replacing parts 1/3 earlier than before, when it was all metal?

  66. HtG Says:

    57 Alex, you wingnut :) , DC drivers are utter crap. They live in a miasma of slow motion, self-reenforcing suck. You can’t blame the critters for their misunderstandings. I’ve driven around there too much, you can tell I’m sure.

  67. Alex Wellington Says:

    65 If I followed all of Pat Goss’s recommendations, I would not have gone broke, thanks to my wise investing ans simple lifestyle, but I would sure have spent an arm and a leg. He is really, really anal.

    63 Why did you get that old Corvette, on top of the MINI? Do you take it to the track? BTW I once sat in a Corvette convertible with the top on, and did not bother to drive it, no head room and a truly god-awful interior, as bad as a Camaro (of that vintage). And I’m only 6′ 1″, not an NBA center.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The reason I’d always heard for changing coolant periodically had to do with corrosion of metal, especially the aluminum now used for almost everything from engine blocks to radiators.

    The heat would not be friendly to the plastics, though, and I’ve heard that the plastic intake manifolds in Crown Vics had a problem, especially in cop cars that sit idling for hours at a time, Things really got hot under the hood when you do that.

  69. Alex Wellington Says:

    66 I have lived in Arlington a total of almost a full year, and have done the drive to DC about 50 times over the last 32 years.

    They are not a uniform crowd, but you notice the sharp increase of expensive imports when you leave the farmers of PA and get into MD and northern VA.

    This time my hosts were complaining how all their neighbors were mindless liberals, even accusing them of idling around and living off their trust funds. But most live off the Government Teat, and do not deserve even half of their overpriced macmansions.

  70. Alex Wellington Says:

    OK you characters, time to go. More tomorrow.

  71. HtG Says:

    69 without getting too political, Alex, you betcha.

    ‘Tis a silly place

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    67, Being honest, I got the Corvette kind of on a whim, when a friend was selling it at a good price. I figured it would be fun to drive for a while, and if I get tired of it, I should be able to get my money back. I probably won’t take it to a track, but I might autocross it.

    To me, it is reasonably comfortable, but is a little hard to get in and out with the tall frame stepover. The interior is kind of crude, but it’s a 1984 design. In that context, it’s not too bad.

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I almost did that whim purchase from a guy I used to work with for a 68 Mustang fastback, even though he assured me it was in great condition, when I went to see it, it had a very noisy and unsteady engine, foul smelling exhaust and the lights flickered in the night, I did not walk, but ran away from it, even though I really wanted a Mustang.

  74. pedro fernandez Says:

    So JD Power new car reliability surveys show an increase in problems with new cars, specially 4 cyl and Diesel engines, I am surprised at the Diesel figures, but not the 4 cyl, most likely the turbo units and those with direct fuel injection, higher compression ratios and the other myriad of new technologies and tricks to try to get better,fuel numbers, Like I tire of saying, give me plain, simple, proven engine design any day.

  75. HtG Says:

    74 I don’t tire of reliability one bit, Pedro. I keep in mind that carcos are being pushed into efficiency solutions by the govt. at the same time people are getting larger in the spread axis, so cars get bigger and taller to accommodate. Quite a pickle

    Oh yeah, crash tests

  76. WineGeek Says:

    I don’t think any car company should keep information about me. When I purchase a car I take title to it and I own all the information that is produced. Why should a car company take any of my information free? I hope someone pulls the plug on Ford and any other company that takes my information for their use.

  77. HtG Says:

    VW

    Here’s a link to a WaPo interview with Bob Corker on the matter of the UAW. Highlight; BC says suppliers are wary of UAW

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/02/12/sen-bob-corker-cant-stand-the-united-auto-workers-an-annotated-interview/?tid=HP_more

  78. ColoradoKid Says:

    Olympics Update 2014

    Jeeze ! The favorites [ other than the Russian pairs ] are dropping like flies in the 2014 Winter Olympics .

    Either getting injured- bowing out – screwing up or missing the podium by mere 1/100 of a second !

    Please please please do not let that fate befall Steve Holcomb and the BMW sled . That’d be too much to bear

    ——————-

    And … didya hear the one today about Chevrolet ?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/automobiles/general-motors-recalls-778000-small-cars-for-ignition-switch-problem.html?ref=automobiles&_r=0

    GM making an end run to try and catch back up to Toyota in 2014 … for … errr … all the wrong reasons .. All 3/4 of a million of them ;-)

    Yeah … tell me all about it Wellington , Bejma etc … how much more reliable these excessively complex and majority out sourced cars are today . I love a good Fairy Tale .

    Oh ! BWTM ! Had a nice chat with my PT this morning . Wanna take a wild guess who his cousin works for ? [ White Collar management ]

    GM

    Wanna take a stab at the percentage of Chinese parts in the … cough … ‘ new ‘ Silverado ?

    Try …. errr ….. 60%

    Wanna guess what Mr PT drives .. despite GM’s family discount ? Not a GM !

    Buy American my lily white [ though not really ... being 1/2 Italian ] … buttocks !

    ———-

    76 – WineGeek .. not to rain on your parade / upset you or anything but ….. well over 85% of any major corporations you do business with … Are …. Have Been …. and Will continue to keep tabs on you … on a minute by minute basis sometimes

    Got OnStar – MBrace or any of the other similar offerings ? They watch ..and report your every move .. to the Feds .. your Insurance .. as well as to determine your suitability as a future customer …. depending on your driving habits

    Leave it off or don’t subscribe you say ?

    Oops … sorry …. it does its thing regardless

    Leave the AutoLocator on your SmartPhone on ? Not only does it wear down your battery quicker …. but it also makes it 100 times easier for your Carrier to keep tabs on you as well

    And don’t even get me started about Online purchasing .. transactions [ including checking your bank etc balance ] etc

    Privacy in the 2010′s is an Illusion … trust me

  79. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 77 – Bob Corker is a self serving , deluded hypocrite … period !

  80. ColoradoKid Says:

    74 – Gee Pedro .. there’s a surprise . And how many times have you and I been saying this ?

  81. T. Bejma Says:

    With Toyota recalling 1.9 million Prii already, they will have no problem maintaining the title of Recall Queens.

    BS on the 60% Chinese content. Just the shipping costs alone would eat up all profit.

  82. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #51: Still driving the ‘Magnificent 7′?

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    In contrast to CK’s Matrix, orig engine, tranny, starter motor, master brake cyl. power steering pump, A/C unit. Just reached 370k mi.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    73, The Corvette looked very good, inside and outside, for the miles, and drives as it should. The first thing I did, though, is change the coolant, which didn’t look too good. The car is now in the garage in Indiana, while I am in Florida. Hopefully, there will be no surprises when I start driving it in the spring.

  85. vincent joy Says:

    John if the workers at VW/Chattanooga ratify UAW representation they will prove themselves BOTH gutless and stupid. Unions are needed by the lazy and unskilled and they NEVER help workers! If you want higher wages, the solution is obvious: acquire skills that are in high demand!

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    82, I almost said that. :-)

  87. cwolf Says:

    This has to be the most exciting array of exchanges ever! Even more fun than a day at Cedar Point, which is only miles away. Wow, the ” Duke” of Wellington came out of nowhere! :)

    Past pals,now at the VW plant, say UAW expectations are more on the winning side, yet are unsure due to tremendous misinformation spread by the tea party. I was told by one past co- worker that he thought a few of these extremists were clad in work clothes during shift changes in the parking lot exclaiming everyone was voting against the union. And from a private source, the works council group is making exhausted efforts to separate truth from fiction. I wish I could elaborate, but we’ll just have to wait to learn what the workers want for themselves.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf going to Cedar Point is on my bucket list, the Mecca of Coasters.

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    77, Thanks for the link. Very informative.

  90. C-Tech Says:

    @ #83 Pedro at 370K (WOW !) miles perhaps it is time to consider another primary vehicle.

  91. pedro fernandez Says:

    I agree, but my bank account does not!

  92. C-Tech Says:

    Considering the information being gathered from us by our GPS, infotainment, and telematics in our vehicles, we have come a looong way from the protect-o-plate system in the 60′s

  93. C-Tech Says:

    @ #91 LOL ! I do understand. Try to avoid the buy-here-pay-here pit and I hope all will go well.

  94. cwolf Says:

    Where did the smiley face come from? I don’t even know how that happened……but maybe from above?

    My discontent with the UAW reps at my plant has become almost unbearable, yet realize the need for unionization in the automotive industry is a MUST! This global thing and over emphasis to be competitive is way misunderstood. The huge number of temps at the VW plant is the number one reason why a union is needed. There is no reason for an auto worker to work 52weeks a year and have few benefits , then still qualify for food stamps! There is also no justification to force any worker to work beyond the number of weekends stipulated by law without harassment or threat of dismissal. I will be the first to say, the UAW is far from perfect. But in light of the misguided political direction and increasing imbalance of wealth, it is the solidarity and/ or oneness the UAW reflects is the only glimmer of hope I can see for a future middle class. I say this from my heart.

  95. C-Tech Says:

    If they cannot get the Corvettes out of the hole in Kentucky, perhaps they can build a plexiglass bubble over the pit, put up a plaque, and make it another stop on the museum tour.

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    One day it will just quit on me and then I have to decide to either junk it or put in a rebuilt engine, but then there are all the other issues, more noises than a rock concert, plus the fact that it just does not like to go past 60 mph and will remind me if I ever try to do so.

  97. C-Tech Says:

    One of the cool things about Detroit is that if you are inclined, you can take a boat from Detroit to Cedar Point.

  98. C-Tech Says:

    Surely your car costs are tax deductible Pedro?

  99. cwolf Says:

    Pedro, you will have to make a choice: A day at the park with the family or a new car. I’m beginning to think a car would be cheaper!

  100. HtG Says:

    My research indicates that Friday at 8:30pm is the end of the VW vote. I read somewhere that it won’t take long for the results to be known.

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    98 yes 99 I would enjoy a day or 2 with the family at Cedar than a new car for sure! Drive over there and stay at a hotel.

  102. HtG Says:

    Ruh roh 3

    Another Tesla auto-immolated itself.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/february-1st-toronto-tesla-fire-2014-2

  103. dcars Says:

    Venezuela’s government control of currency exchange rates and the true value of the Boliva vs the US dollar is the problem with building and selling cars in that country.

  104. G.A.Branigan Says:

    “Dealing with occasional fires is something that every car company has to do, as no vehicle is completely fireproof under all circumstances. What matters is the number of such incidents per car, and it is worth noting that gasoline car companies experience an average of five to ten times more fires per car than Tesla”.

    Gee,could it be that the ‘real’ oem’s build more cars in one day then tesla does in a year….or more?

  105. Alex Wellington Says:

    T. Bejma Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    With Toyota recalling 1.9 million Prii already, they will have no problem maintaining the title of Recall Queens.

    BAHAHAHAH!

    This from the resident GM apologist, when GM’s far cruder econoboxes were just recalled, 772,000 of them, with far bigger problems.

    Nice job hiding the fact that the Prius recall was a mere software update.

  106. Alex Wellington Says:

    #87 Cwolf,

    If you had not taken this name, I should post with it, as it decribes me far more accurately than probably anybody else here.

    But I’m happy with my name too. Wellington (the “Duke” in fact was named Welessley, like that chick college north of Boston MA. And he was the “iron” Duke, while I would prerer “Aluminum Duke” instead.

    Mulally showed them what leadership is once more, with the Aluminum F-150. Now all the followers-competitors are parroting that leader, and are trying to secure aluminum supplies real fast.

  107. Alex Wellington Says:

    Wellesley. Misspelled it.

    February will be another dismal sales month, but only 20% or so of the decline will be because of the snow.

    The Domestics once more really overbuilt and now they are stuck with the inventories, Huge Inventories, and discounting them like crazy in desperation.

    The imports have far smaller inventories, esp TOyota, Lexus, Subaru, BMW, Mini and Merc.

  108. Alex Wellington Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    67, Being honest, I got the Corvette kind of on a whim, when a friend was selling it at a good price.”

    I can relate to that. After owning a series of 4-cyl, stickshift econobnoxes for more than two decades, I also got a very good opportunity to get a (different) large V8 powered performance luxury import, not from a friend but from a neighbor of my former Dept. Chair. I was not looking for that specific vehicle, but for one one class smaller, which had the same V8 but was avail with the 6 sp manual. I drove it twice and then took the risk to buy it as a highway vehicle in good weather, and kept my old 4-cyl coupe for the snowy months. But after three years I ended up donating the smaller car and driving the big one year-round for another 6 years (and counting).

    ” I figured it would be fun to drive for a while, and if I get tired of it, I should be able to get my money back.”

    I have not looked up Corvette prices, but yours seems to be a really old model. What is the HP? Still, the roar of the V8 is quite different than any 4 or even 6.

    Having many cars, even if they are cheap to buy, is expensive, taxes, registration fees every year, insurance, and taxes again if you sell them in a few years and don’t keep them until they almost drop dead (like I usually do).

  109. HtG Says:

    106-8

    Dear Perfessor, I do hope and expect that this visiting scholar period will be more restrained. Remember that Ben is the man with the Hammer.

  110. Alex Wellington Says:

    109 Mistaken identity? Thanx for the promotion anyway.

    PS Bejma I didn’t expect you to add that six people have actually DIED in the GM recall of those 772,000+ POS CObalts. LOL…

    At least if we had resident apologists for Fiat-Chrysler and Kia, it would be far more balanced.

  111. Alex Wellington Says:

    109 One can easily see that CK still gets away with all kinds of personal attacks and namecalling here. Including yesterday’s posts. What gives?

    “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the others?”

    It is an obvious case of two standards, a far lower one for the CO juvenile.

  112. HtG Says:

    You haven’t taught at a research university in Michigan, don’t drive a BMW 7, maybe still own a Civic, and travel widely sharing your expertise?

  113. HtG Says:

    111 there are limits, and yes it does get too ugly around her some days. The crap between CK and Bejma can be too much.

  114. Alex Wellington Says:

    112 You could say I travel widely. Although a colleague posted his travels for 2013 in his blog and it was 48 flights. Upon further scrutiny, I found it was really 16 trips. Still much more than mine.

    Fortunately we can also work (and get paid very nicely) from our home computers these days.

    Last weekend I reviewed two proposals for the Qatar Foundation. Having worked in the energy industry you might have found them interesting. Multi-year, $900k budget limit, collaboration between US and local institutes.

    I gave one of them 87/100 and the second, which was truly Excellent, 96/100 (the sum of many sub-criteria) and will get $750 for each in my bank soon.

    Not too bad for a couple hours’ work.

  115. HtG Says:

    114 Can you summarize the mission statement of the Qatar Foundation? What do they wish to fund?

  116. Alex Wellington Says:

    I bet they do a lot of stuff. You can google them and find out for sure. The proposals I evaluated looked at pipeline safety, maintenance and logistics. Safety in terms of enviro damage but also human casualties.

  117. Alex Wellington Says:

    Texas A&M has a subsidiary of sorts in Qatar. The best of the two proposals had people from that outfit, who took 2/3 of the $990k budget, and a collaboration with the U of Houston, who got the other third, and had facilities to test their theories experimentally etc.

  118. HtG Says:

    Thx AW. Please don’t reveal too much on this board. That’s why I only asked you about the foundation.

    (Lots of fun stuff I won’t ever write about)

  119. Kit Gerhart Says:

    108, “I have not looked up Corvette prices, but yours seems to be a really old model. What is the HP? Still, the roar of the V8 is quite different than any 4 or even 6.”

    It’s a 1996, the last year for the C4 body, so it’s not at all “collectible,” making it good for actually driving some of the time. It’s 300 hp, not much compared to the new ones, but yeah, the sound is quite different from other cars I have, and it’s quicker. It is an automatic, which would not be my choice in that car, but it “came up” at a good price, and with luck, won’t need much expense to keep going.

    Yeah, having extra cars costs money for ins. and registration. For the ones in Indiana, I can stop the insurance while I’m not driving them, which helps.

  120. Alex Wellington Says:

    #119 I thought it was even older, since you mentioned the 84 body style, and had much less HP (the 84 ones had either 200 or 240!). 300, depending on its weight, could be a lot of juice. And the torque? A big engine should have healthy levels. I’d not choose the auto, and I am a bit surprised that buyers of a semi-exotic would pay more for the auto instead of insisting on a 6-sp.

    Of the expenses, the most unfair is the annual reg fees here, because they are based on the price of a new vehicle, no matter if it is 30 years old and worth nothing. And if this is a $100k luxury flagship, that would be $400 a year here. (it is $246 for a $64k new vehicle)

  121. Alex Wellington Says:

    Interesting trends in autos the last few months

    -Honda seems to have nailed it with the new Accord. The Camry is trying hard to keep the #1 best seller crown, with incentives etc.

    -If you are considering an EV, the Tesla S is heads and shoulders above all others. Its resale value is higher than its list price, BTW, so you might also make a good econ decision! You could also go the very basic way and get a Spark EV, a Fiat 500e, or even a Mitsu, and pay very little. The ugly Leaf and the uninspiring Volt are far less attractive to me. And I am no fool to pay $75k for the coupe version of the Volt, just because it has sharp styling, a Caddy badge and a better interior.If they upgraded the engine, the batteries, the range, made it bigger (much bigger in length and WB), then it could justify the $35k premium.

  122. Brett Says:

    I’m starting to think we should just drop all pretense, whip out the rulers and settle this once and for all.

  123. Alex Wellington Says:

    settle what? (122)

  124. Kit Gerhart Says:

    120,
    The C4 body ran from ’84 to ’96 with few changes, except improvements in the power trains. The base engine was ~300hp from, I think, 1992 onward. There was a ZR-1 with a 4 valve engine built by Mercury Marine a few years. Others here probably know about all the changes in these cars than I do.

    By the 80′s, or even the ’70′s, a majority of Corvettes probably had automatics. Yeah, a lot of buyers are “old farts” who buy them for the look, the sound, etc. The automatic is a 4-speed which is not very “sporty,” but is generally very reliable, the same one used in pickups for many years.

    In Indiana, the cost of car registration is based on price of the car AND age, so an expensive car that is 20 years old can be registered for ~$50/year. A $70K car new, would cost a lot to register in IN, probably over $1000. I’m not sure exactly how registration costs are figured in Florida, but it’s about the same for a Prius and a MINI, both 2010 model year.

    To me, the most unfair expense of having multiple cars is insurance. To me, the “liability” insurance should be the same, whether a person drives 15K miles a year in one car, or five cars.

  125. Alex Wellington Says:

    #124

    $1,000 for a $70k car! That means $3,000 for a top of the line S65 AMG or whatever they call it, and probably $5,000-$6,000 for a Phantom or a top line Ferrari or Lambo.

    But fortunately it would drop steeply in subsequent years.

  126. HtG Says:

    124 insurance

    Yep, I was frustrated about paying double for two cars when really I could only drive one at a time. For older cars, like 25 years, can’t you get cheaper insurance from Hagerty?

  127. HtG Says:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    124 insurance

    Yep, I was frustrated about paying double for two cars when really I could only drive one at a time. For older cars, like 25 years, can’t you get cheaper insurance from Hagerty?

  128. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I had an ’84 Vette; 205 hp, 335 lb/ft of torque(I believe). I had the Z-51 suspension (a little rattly and stiff) but handled pretty good (for the day). Had a lot of ‘grunt’ (low rpm), just ran out of breath in the upper revs. It was a major improvement (of the day).

  129. Kit Gerhart Says:

    125,
    The “excise tax” for registering cars in IN is bracketed, rather than be a set percentage. I don’t know what the top bracket is,but a Roller might not cost any more to register than an S. All of that is another world from the one I live in, though.

  130. Kit Gerhart Says:

    127, You would have had that “cross fire” manifold, or whatever they called it. That system reminds me a little of the “ram induction” Mopars of the early 60′s. They had monster torque at 1600 rpm or so, but were nothing special at higher revs, and their peak hp was about typical for their displacement.

  131. pedro fernandez Says:

    I am paying more for insurance than ever b4, no accidents or tickets, older car, older driver. But there is no ABS no alarm no traction control .

  132. Brett Says:

    My wife’s 1984 Z-28 Camaro had the Crossfire manifold. Two Cavalier throttle bodies on a single plane manifold.

    Worse POS I ever encountered. The killer was that one of the throttle bodies was mirror-imaged, so you could harvest one of them out of wrecking yards all day long and the other was as rare as hen’s teeth.

    Offing that car and replacing it with our Eclipse ranks right up there as one of the happier days of my life.

  133. pedro fernandez Says:

    I remember back in the day, you had to spend serious money to avoid a car with numerous rattles, specially in the pot filled streets up north, I recall the high school D.E. car an early 70′s, almost new Chevy Chevelle, was so freaking rattly and the boss’s same year Ford 500 was the same, the one exception I remember was a co-worker’s whisper quiet Chevy Caprice, it was exceptional.