AD #1361 – UAW Withdraws VW Appeal, Fields New Ford CEO, NHTSA Doesn’t Need More Money

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:51am

Runtime: 8:40

- UAW Withdraws NLRB Appeal
- Fields to Replace Mulally at Ford
- Automakers Expanding in China
- Nissan Shows Lannia Concept
- Honda’s Concept B for China
- Hyundai Unveils Small SUV in China
- Daimler’s New All-Electric Vehicle
- More Money Won’t Help NHTSA Solve Problems

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. We have some great shots of the new cars coming out at the auto show in China, and my commentary on why NHTSA does not need more money, but right now let’s get to the rest of the news.

The UAW has thrown in the towel trying to appeal that vote it lost at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. The union blames what it calls the historically dysfunctional National Labor Relations Board, fearing that its case could drag on for years. But I’m not buying this explanation. The NLRB under the Obama Administration is perceived by business to be overly pro-labor. And the 5-member NLRB board now has three Democrats and two Republicans. Here’s my Autoline Insight. I think the union realized it could end up losing its appeal. And it decided it was better to simply drop its appeal rather than be handed another stinging defeat. Now the ball is in VW’s court. Will it call for another union election, or simply decide it will figure out some other way of forming works councils in the plant?

Well this is as close as official as we’re going to get for the moment. Bloomberg is reporting that Mark Fields will replace Alan Mulally as the CEO of Ford. Of course, Autoline Daily viewers know that I predicted fields would get the job back in June of 2011. Bloomberg suggests Mulally might step down before the end of the year. And it says Mulally will not fade from view, but will take on some sort of business governance, which sounds like board seats.

Besides introducing new cars and concepts in Beijing, several automakers announced plans to expand in China. GM will invest $12 billion between now and 2017 to expand production and introduce 60 new or refreshed vehicles by 2018. Fiat-Chrysler announced it will start building three different models of Jeeps in China with its joint venture partner Guangzhou Automobile Group, with production to start at the end of 2015. I wonder if that will include Wranglers? Sergio Marchionne once said that model would only be built in the U.S. And lastly Elon Musk, announced that Tesla will start building cars in the country within the next three to four years. In the meantime Tesla wants to start building supercharger stations in China. And of course at some point Tesla will have to line up a Chinese joint venture partner.

Sales of Japanese vehicles in China took a big hit due to that dispute between the two countries over islands in the East China Sea. That led to an anti-Japanese backlash. So how do they get customers back into showrooms? One way may be to offer them vehicles designed by Chinese designers built exclusively for the Chinese market. Nissan is showing this concept in Beijing called the Lannia. It’s the second vehicle to come out of Nissan’s new design center in the country. The first was the Friend-ME concept it showed a year ago, and which the Lannia bears a strong resemblance to.

Honda is showing this 5-door hatchback called the Concept B that was also designed exclusively for the Chinese market. And it’s in the process of building a car based on the Concept B, which it plans to introduce in the next 2 years. And it will be interesting to see what the production car looks like because the concept deviates from Honda’s usual milque-toast design.

Hyundai also had a China-exclusive model it unveiled called the ix25 concept. It’s a small SUV that gets the automakers new signature grille and is powered by a 2.0L engine. It’ll hit showrooms in the second half of this year.

Back in 2010 Daimler established its Chinese joint venture with BYD, who is one of the leaders in battery technology. Now the two automakers are showing off their first all-electric vehicle that will launch in China this September. Aside from the Tesla Model S, we think this is the best-looking pure electric vehicle currently offered. It’s powered by a 86 kW electric motor that’s paired to a 47.5 kWh battery pack and has a range of up to 300 kilometers or about 185 miles. Prices start at about $60,000 but with central and local subsidies the price comes down to about $40,000.

Coming up next, I’ll tell you why taxpayers should not be giving more money to NHTSA.

Even though General Motors is taking a lot of heat for not initiating recalls when it should have, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is also being blasted for not ordering those recalls on its own. After all, it turns out that NHTSA had all the data all along. And in the latest recall involving electric power steering on those GM cars, NHTSA actually initiated an investigation on its own, but decided not to order a recall. All this has prompted Joan Claybrook, the former administrator of NHTSA during the Carter Administration, to run around saying that NHTSA needs more money. She says that a bigger budget will solve all these problems. But I’m not convinced. And here’s why. NHTSA has a budget of over $800 million a year. And NHTSA itself admits that its biggest problem is that its various databases are not linked together. So it cannot do cross-data analysis. It says that’s why it didn’t catch these GM problems. Now NHTSA wants to put all those numbers in the cloud so it can do Big Data analysis. But even NHTSA admits it only needs $3 million to do it. Three million bucks is chump change in an $800 million budget. I think they can find that money within their budget. Last year the agency awarded its employees $3 million worth of raises, or about $4,000 for each of its 715 employees. I’m not against these people getting a raise, but NHTSA’s administrative expenses are nearly 16% of their budget. At car companies like GM or Ford administrative expenses are more like 9%. Seems to me there’s some efficiencies to be found there. For example, why not outsource all their crash testing to the Insurance Institute? It’s going to crash all those cars anyway, so they don’t both have to do it. Also, NHTSA is engaged in a lot of low-reward efforts. For example, the agency is still devoting resources to help the Obama Administration reach its goal of getting one million electric cars on the road by next year. That’s never going to happen, not even if the Obama Administration starts giving EVs away for free. And that’s one of the problems with this agency, it’s trying to be all things to all people. It needs to pick its most important problems and targets its resources at them. In fact, this is a problem with every government agency. Every year they always ask for more money. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if we had a budget surplus. But we don’t. And I wouldn’t have a problem with it if I thought more money would solve all these problems but it won’t. And that’s why I say don’t listen to Joan Claybrook because we don’t need to give NHTSA more money.

That’s my Autoline Insight, and that wraps up today’s show, and I hope you’ll join us again tomorrow.

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62 Comments to “AD #1361 – UAW Withdraws VW Appeal, Fields New Ford CEO, NHTSA Doesn’t Need More Money”

  1. alex wellington Says:


    GREAT Autoline Insight re the incompetents at NHTSA. Very detailed account of their incompetence too.

    I agree with everything you said except for the line

    “Every year they always ask for more money. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if we had a budget surplus. But we don’t.”

    I would have a problem with their gross incompetence regardless of how big a surplus or deficit we have.

    If the budget has a huge surplus, instead of its current huge deficit, the first people that should get a BIG slice of that surplus, in the form of a huge refund are WE, the long suffering taxpayers, who were obviously Grossly OVERTAXED, and still have nothing to show for it!

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    Mister Chairman, it is my distinct honor to place into nomination the name of John McElroy as the Motorhead Party candidate for President of the United States!

    Do I hear a second?

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    NHTSA: Just another over bloated govt bureaucracy passing the buck on their own incompetence while looking for more money.Gee…..what a surprise.

  4. Stephen Kozak Says:

    John, excellent insite on the NHTSA/Joan Claybrook conundrum. You are so right about the funding and lack of effectiencies of our Government agencies. With the current budget deficiencies, you’d think there would be more effort spent on correcting their error states; rather then pouring more money into the agency to solve their problems. This seems to be the standard answer for everything coming out of Washington. Thanks for your honest and accurate reporting!

  5. XA351GT Says:

    NHTSA , The name means Highway Traffic Safety , right? How does a million EVs add to safety? It all comes down to accountability. No one truly oversees any of these government agencies and this is why they have become so large , so corrupt and don’t feel the need to answer to the people that pay the freight , us taxpayers. That’s a damn nice raise at $4K a year. Roughly a 2 dollar a hour raise for a 40 hour week. Most of us are lucky to 10-20 % of that . Time to start cutting the fat out of government.

  6. XA351GT Says:

    Hyundai new signature grille , you mean Ford, Subaru ,Aston Martin and others I missed? Come on designers quit monkey see monkey do. If the grille is that fastest way to identify your brand copying anothers grille is not going to get it done.

  7. XA351GT Says:

    Mark Fields is a great choice to succeed Mulally. Must mean there are no skeletons in Ford’s closet that they need a patsy for (Barra) .

  8. XA351GT Says:

    UAW ,you mean they finally got the message that they are not the Union that VW is looking for? I believe that they have been damaged beyond repair by their heavy handed methods of getting what they wanted. Yes they did a great job for their old members ,but the new members are paying the price for that. From what I read their members make not much more than non union transplant workers do. If that is true ,why would anyone want the union ? What benefit would there be?

  9. C-Tech Says:

    The NHTSA will figure out how to get the money to do the right thing now that there this embarassment floating around.

    I predict there will be another round of union voting in Tenn. after the midterm elections. This time I predict VW will quietly but firmly nudge the right people into saying the right things, especially if the UAW will play nice.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    reading TTAC and wondering how long before the Beijing Auto Show becomes the premier new car event in the world, it is giving NY a run for its money already!

  11. Brett Says:

    “Not the union VW was looking for”??? VW *asked* the UAW to come and organize their workforce in Chattanooga, fer cryin’ out loud!

    “WE, the long suffering taxpayers, who were obviously Grossly OVERTAXED, and still have nothing to show for it!” Um, taxes are historically lower today than they’ve been the past 80 years, particularly if you’re in the top 2% of income earners or a corporation.

    Once more, with regard to the NHTSA: human beings are *all* dysfunctional to a greater or lesser extent, therefore any creation of humanity will be, as well. Be it a device or an organization. Instead of complaining of the dysfunction, let’s work to minimize it. It’s how, from time to time, our country has functioned and made us, at those times, the envy of other countries. Lately, not so much…

  12. Drew Says:

    NHTSA can save a lot of money by changing the way it does business. Technology is moving faster than NHTSA’s capabilities. Rather than trying to expand their capabilities, they should leverage existing industry forums to tap into the industry’s expertise. NHTSA can simply interject themselves into SAE forums where they can collaboratively establish standards. This would also benefit the industry as common standards will create supply chain efficiencies.

  13. M360 Says:

    I would still like to hear a recording of the conversation between Mary Barra and Mark Reuss when they saw the new, aluminum Ford F-150 roll out at the North American Intl. Auto Show in Detroit in January of this year. What do you think that conversation sounded like when it dawned on them that GM is one whole generation of the full-sized pick-up behind Ford Motor Company? And, why doesn’t Ford have these recalls, like the one for the Saturn ignition switch, hidden in their closet?

  14. HtG Says:

    Hey AW, I think you should apologize to me for suggesting I made up the 6’4″ guy checking out the CTS.

  15. GaryPaul Says:

    The comments on the NHTSA and bloated government agencies in general is right on. Yes to a large degree the operation of so many bureaucratic federal agencies are as bloated and isolated and dysfunctional as the inside of GM was before the crash! It is a scandal that these federal agencies continue to have pulses while refusing to cooperate or even comment on the reduction of size of the Goliath government that we have created and our media seems to generally support this scenario as its business as usual…

    They are happy to confuse the average hamburger flipping American, and dup him into supporting more $$ to this agency and others so they can “protect” the citizens of America, while refusing to even comment or mention when this gigantic gravytrain of funding for government will stop its dangerous growth warned about by a number of the Founding Fathers…

  16. GaryPaul Says:

    No offense to hamburger flippers by the way in my above comment—I was one myself once! And i eat a local greasy hamburger establishment on occasion!

  17. HtG Says:

    My NHTSA question is why they didn’t investigate the GM switch even after one employee said they should. These govt departments are filled with career people, but are lead by political appointees. I’d like to know who made the call to stand down. And you know what I mean.

    I’ll add a bit of personal color here, and say that even if one has the top of an agency on your side that doesn’t mean you’re going to get what you want right away. Ask me how I know; sorry, no comment at this time. Of course, AW can just snort it off. Jack ass

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Ahhh…..cheesebugers.THE perfect food group.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LMFAO…..I meant to say…Cheeseburgers….

  20. Tom Tyson (ARHPG) Says:

    “Fields to Replace Mulally at Ford”

    John did correctly predict (somewhat of a no-brainer) that Mark Fields would succeed Alan Mulally as CEO at Ford. Fields is the perfuctory, de facto choice for new Ford CEO, and he is obviously a seasoned, educated, tested, knowledgeable and well-spoken executive (though, speaking extemporaneously, he often parses words). He is handsome, debonair, “hip” and dresses well—rarely found without the requisite tailored Oxford midnight-blue dress suit and Johnston & Murphy Aristrocraft presidential oxford shoes. Not a gray hair on his 52-year-old head, and one has to admire that extraordinary youthfulness, natural or otherwise. The man is obviously dedicated to Ford and extremely ambitious. Seemingly, all of the pieces of the puzzle fit well.

    However, if you watch Mark Fields in action in public, for example, there is an element of superficiality. Something is not quite right, a sort of je ne sais quoi. During the recent New York International Automobile Show, Gary Vasilash of Detroit interviewed several automotive executives, including Mark Fields, in quick-in, quick-out rotating interviews. Dave Zuchowki of Hyundai was one of the first to be interviewed, and he was relaxed, self-confident, humorous and looked not only at Vasilash during the interview, but occasionally looked at the camera (viz. the “people”); sometime later, Mark Fields was up to bat, and the man had a sort of dead-pan, dull expression on his face and looked 100% of the time directly at interviewer Vasilash, never once looking at the camera. He seemed glad to get in and get out as quickly as possible. His answers were flat and colorless, leaving no impression whatsoever for the television audience except to allow one’s mind to drift a bit, casually noticing the lack of a wedding band on the ring finger. This means little, of course, but Fields will have an important role representing a huge, No. 2 US Car Company, and it quite frankly looks a bit strange for a family man not to wear a wedding band. Surely there is some medical explanation for not wearing gold against the skin or something; he perhaps accidently lost the ring; he doesn’t ever wear a wedding band anyway, or whatever. It is insignificant until a housewife getting ready to consider Ford products notices something like this.

    Following in the footsteps of the exceptional Alan Mulally would be a daunting task for any executive in the world, let alone Mark Fields. There is little doubt about the sincerity of the man—and he’s had good success since being recruited by Ford—but now he enters the big-boy arena, and the test will be coming soon. I wish him well, but the real test might again be on Bill Ford.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    G.A. Agree, you get from the dairy, meat, veggie and bread group, all in one yummy, easy to eat package.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Yup,all in one “easy to eat pkg”…gotta love them ;}>

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Although some of these burger joints are going too far in hiding the meat inside tons of toppings, kind of reminds me of plastic covered engine bays where you can’t even see the motor any longer, just give me great beef, real cheddar and grilled onions on a freshly baked roll and I’m a happy camper. I actually enjoy tasting the bee. Eating at In N Out is on my bucket list.

  24. Drew Says:

    Pizza has all the major food groups – grain, meat, dairy, veggies/fruit (tomato is a fruit)- so pizza must be healthy!?!?! Beer has grain, so…

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, Pizza is definitely missing something, without the beer.

  26. XA351GT Says:

    Brett , obviously seeing as the workers voted AGAINST the UAW they are NOT the union they were looking for. As John has stated here there are other Unions that MAY wind up representing the VW workers. Do you think that VW management may have had a good feeling how the workers feel about the UAW and wanted to send them a message? They may have to have a union for their works council ,but they probably didn’t want the UAW and their baggage.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Pizza restaurants that don’t sell beer have a big disadvantage.

  28. Brett Says:

    That is not what was posted. “VW” means VW. If you mean “the rank-and-file workers at VW” then say that.

    They had the votes until the Republicans in state government started strong-arming them.

    If only all unions would vanish in a massive thunderclap. What a utopia we would have!

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Gee Brett sorry I didn’t spell that out exactly. I figured people here were smart enough to know what was meant by the comment. Also I’m pretty sure that the Union had their people doing similar tactics to what you have accused the Republicans of doing. Maybe not all unions ,but the UAW is pretty much made the bed that they now lay in in the field of public opinion. My father worked for the UAW back in the 70s. You want to know what they did for him and others at Autocar ? Closed the plant and lost their jobs whether they agreed with the unions position or not. When the economy was obviously hurting the big wigs in the union felt the company was BSing about the concessions it needed to stay in SE PA. Well the UAW decided to play hard ass and everyone lost good jobs that they were happy with over Union greed. So get butt hurt all you want .but that is the up hill battle the union will have trying to win over anyone.

  30. Drew Says:

    My summer job between high school and college was in a UAW production shop. Back in the 1970s, the union did not care about quality or efficiency. They only cared about collecting dues and protecting incompetence.

    Fast forward to today, I believe the UAW membership care a lot about quality and efficiency, but the UAW leadership still cares about dues and political power leverage (which continues to wane). The leadership needs to learn to listen to their membership

  31. stas peterson Says:

    I fully subscribe to Ralph Nader’s prescription for every governemental regulatory agency that is more than 20 years old. Kill it for 2 years, and then recreate the portions found necessary; but do not allow any of the old employees to return. Present regs will not age into insignificance in 2 years, but noxious and un-neccesary ones might.

    That is the only way to return an agency to its genuine regulatory mission, and not bureaucratic make work, and more importantly, getting co-opted by the organizations it was meant to regulate.

  32. cwolf Says:

    I can’t completely agree with McElroy’s take on the UAW’s actions in the sense that its all about accepting “loss.”
    Withdrawing its appeal may be a pretty wise move on the part of the UAW. Why waste years in delays,when there is only a years ban from organizing again and the money saved as a result. Even if the UAW won the appeal, the end result would be a revote.
    The UAW’s withdrawl also has other advantages. It forces all the statesmen, who opposed the unionization, to make true promises of state tax incentives and make real the production of the SUV and added labor. Pitty them if they don’t fulfill their promises!
    This should set a good example in the eyes of VW and it’s workers. Maybe VW will think kindly of the UAW by hholding a private election on its own! Yep, they sure can! Maybe a nonexclusive union, for those workers who voted favorably.
    The UAW also asked congress to examine the use of federal funds in states incentives. If they act before the one year unionization ban end, this may interfer with Sen. Corker’s and others interferance in the future.

    This is just something to think about instead of…

  33. Tom H. Says:

    I agree about NHTSA already having enough money. They should be doing much more with $800 Million a year. Also, what about the $2 Billion Plus that they just received from Toyota? Where does that money go?

  34. HtG Says:

    32 Interesting take, cwolf. Any idea why the union waited until the last moment to withdraw? Also, do you hear anything about what’s going on at the Nissan plant in Miss? I’m referring to my note yesterday(#1) on Local 79 giving out info at the NY autoshow.

  35. cwolf Says:

    Mums the word for now…sorry. Many only see the dwindling number of UAW auto workers, but don’t take into account the union also organizes in other areas, such as the gaming and others. Never the less, the money is all green.
    You know i am not a UAW nut, just a member, but I have made a couple good contacts over the years who have proven to be reliable. You haven’t seen the end of the UAw just yet and don’t ever believe they are out of touch just because they are out of view.

  36. w l simpson Says:

    I was in the IAM for almost 20 years & watched them help destroy PanAm, Eastern, & National.
    The only person I ever wanted to punch out in my whole life was an IAM shop steward.

    In every strata of life, greed rules.

  37. cwolf Says:

    w/ simpson
    I felt the same agression more than once. None the less the are needed….regretably so

  38. C - Tech Says:

    @ #35 As a son of a Pan Am employee and did a financial analysis for a class years ago, I remember the instructor predicting the death or merger of Pan Am due to deregulation. They lost their exclusive routes and weren’t large enough in any one market to succeed. Unions did not kill Pan Am.

  39. cwolf Says:

    Wow! Sorry about the spelling errors. Trying to do too many things too fast.

  40. alex wellington Says:

    #14 Wasn’t this yesterday’s show? And even if you did make him up, what’s the big deal? Adults make up imaginary friends just as kids do, they just have a different name (Religion, Gods etc)

    #11 ““WE, the long suffering taxpayers, who were obviously Grossly OVERTAXED, and still have nothing to show for it!” Um, taxes are historically lower today.. blah bvlah blah..”

    First, speak for yourself, and try to find a much better paying job, if you think your taxes are too low. Second, I meant ALL taxes, NOT just the Feds, and if you add them all up, unless you have a million dollar mortgage, a well-paid professional coughs up far more than 50% of his income to the various leeches, IRS, State, LOCAL, home taxes are especially high here, ($10,000 for a modest 3,000 sq ft home!) SS, Medicare, Medicaid, sales taxes! SO PLEASE do not give me this discredited, extremist, Rachel Mad Cow -Al Sharpton MSNBC crap. And before you bleat “Fox News”, I DON’t have any cable, I just have PBS and the worthelss networks. And CSPAN 1 ONLY.

    BUT you obviously missed my important point and objection to John’s excellent analysis, that I would have a HUGE problem with NHTSA EVEN if we had a HUGE Budget surplus and not a Huge Deficit, because a huge Surplus, under today’s taxation, would 100% prove that WE, you excepted or not, are WAY OVERTAXED.

  41. alex wellington Says:

    25, 27 Very wise and humorous comments. On the serious side (it may not seem so), the healthy part of Pizza and Beer is actually THE BEER! FAR healthier than the damned pizza, even just for the huge quantities of salt (the poor cook’s way to make cardboard seem tasty), one medium pizza has three times the daily recommended max sodium intake for an over-50 healthy adult, and twice the allowance for one under 50. And I did not mention calories, saturated fat, and all the crap they put in processed foods, if you eat a frozen one at home.

    Re the UAW: Why in the world did they chose (I assume he was elected in fair elections?) that utter Extremist King as its chief? ANd after they got a dose of that utter clown, they went and got one even more extremist than King (according to John Mc)?

  42. alex wellington Says:

    #38 And speaking of CSPAN, they had two guests on Sunday, one by his own admission a Democrat, and the other NOT a Republican but a Libertarian (makes a huge diff!) from the Cato Institute.

    I could not believe my eyes or ears when the Dem guest claimed that the problem with the US Economy, chronic unemployment, millions of workers abandoning the workforce (and hence they are NOT included in the much rosier than if they were, unemployment numbers) etc.,

    the problem, he claimed, with a straight face, is that the US Dollar is OVER, not way UNDER, valued.

    Nobody in the show challenged him, not even the libertarian. And the clown uttered the same nonsense once more before the show was over.

    The $ is overvalued? Just take a trip overseas and see how many worthless Euros one dollar can buy. Not even 3/4ths of one euro!

    These really immoral clowns have no problem destroying the US dollar, and they have done so for many decades already. Just watch an old movie and be stunned at the ridiculously low seeming prices for everything!

  43. T. Bejma Says:


    Nice analysis Tom. Goes along with the other comments out there in the blogosphere that maybe Fields is an empty suit…

    What are your thoughts on Joe Hinrichs as a possible successor to Mulally?

  44. HtG Says:

    38 John, if you think this is acceptable behavior on the comment board, then I am gone.

    Eat a bullet, AW.

  45. T. Bejma Says:


    Would like to return some sage advice you have given me in the past. Keep Calm and Just Ignore.

    Here is some FACTUAL information regarding seat room:

    The thing that is missed when discussing rear seat leg room is front seat legroom. After all, the seats slide back and forth. The CTS has quite a bit more front seat legroom than the competitors. If you add the front seat legroom to rear seat legroom, the picture shifts a bit for total legroom available to be divided between front and rear passengers.

    CTS 42.6/35.4/78.0
    BMW 5 41.4/36.1/77.5
    A6 41.3/37.4/78.5
    MB E 41.3/35.8/77.8

    So Audi has a half inch more total room, BMW has a half inch less and MB is about the same.

    Much ado about nothing.

  46. HtG Says:

    I won’t have my veracity scoffed at, TB. AW still has the opportunity to apologize. My account was factual and only left out my impression that the tall man was actually shopping, as he was accompanied by his wife and daughter. Many people shop at the show, and I was in the CTS with them.

  47. HtG Says:

    I also shop at the show.

  48. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: I remember the last two or three iterations of AW.Just before he left,or was booted off of here he got real insulting to almost everyone,then he was gone.Why would this time be any different.He’s used to ‘beating down’ those that disagree with him until in frustration,he packs up and takes his football home,while stomping his feet.Let it ride bro,he’s getting close to meltdown yet again.he can’t help it.

  49. HtG Says:

    They already owned a CTS. That idiot, AW, can’t take it if the world doesn’t conform to his preconception or spank mag reading.

  50. HtG Says:

    47 guess why he was gone, GA. The semi-literate doofus can’t tell when he’s being run off a cliff. I baited him into going berserk enough to get banned.


  51. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Lol,he does it every time doesn’t he.The sad part is,he’ll never ‘get it’.We are not some starry eyed students having to listen to him lecture and take all he says as ‘the only way’.All of us here have had our own life experiences which seems to differ greatly from his,hence we have inherent differences.Too bad for him,this is a great bunch of enthusiasts that hang here.

  52. HtG Says:

    It is, GA

  53. Brett Says:

    There are people in this world who have not yet had their behinds kicked by it. I was one once. Now I’m not.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is AutoWeek’s take on the Trax:

    It is mostly positive, and they predict the starting price to be ~$17K, based on the MSRP in Canada.

  55. alex wellington Says:

    I hear that you have two free articles even if not a subscriber, so I post the link.

    The 2 Series models are the most natural heirs to the 2002 BMW tradition. These days many BMW models are not designed just for sportiness or exemplary handling but also to satisfy a ton of other objectives. Even the 3 series has grown as big as the 5 series 15 years ago, and even more powerful.

  56. alex wellington Says:

    42 Wow! It seems I have struck a chord here. What is the big deal? Actually, I did NOT assume you made this guy up, I wrote, in last day’s show comments, that he must be either an imaginary friend OR an AMPUTEE. (or a person with really short legs for 6′ 4″, could be another option).

    Also, a 6′ 4″ person can sit in any car’s rear seat, provided the front seat is pushed all the way towards the front. I have personal experience on this, last November I was in Hong Kong and the General Consul (not of the US) took me to lunch. He had a modest prior Gen Accord, and he is taller than me, 6 3″ for sure, and was sitting behind the passenger seat in the back (which, in HK, is on the LEFT), and had pushed that pass seat all the way up front. Not only he, but Shaquille O’ Neal would be able to sit back there comfortably (and not like in these Doctored Buick Ads!)

  57. alex wellington Says:

    #47 HtG Says:
    April 22nd, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    They already owned a CTS. That idiot, AW,”



    This is ENOUGH already! YOU are the one with the utterly unacceptable behavior. I must have pushed some really important button.

  58. C-Tech Says:

    @ #54 You have never seen Shaq in person or never been in a Buick LaCrosse.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    58, I’ve read a couple places that one of Shaq’s cars is a smart, to go along with the Escalade and F350, and maybe a LaCrosse.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have a relative who is 6’8″ and over 300 lbs who has problems fitting into most new cars, he still drives a hand me down Olds with a bench seat and shifter on the steering column, can’t get into anything with a large center console like they all have now.

  61. Todd T Says:

    42 Odd really you’d take the attack stand on the Dem for suggesting this, when “W” Bush said exactly the same thing when he was president and the Dollar had slipped to 60% of the Euro. He said he “wasn’t concerned” with the value of the Dollar…

  62. Tom Tyson (ARHPG) Says:

    T. Bejma Says:
    April 22nd, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Nice analysis Tom. Goes along with the other comments out there in the blogosphere that maybe Fields is an empty suit…

    What are your thoughts on Joe Hinrichs as a possible successor to Mulally?

    All I have read and heard about Joe Hinrichs has been positive. He is especially a manufacturing “ace,” a man known to get the job done. Hinrich also seems relaxed, highly intelligent and self-confident in about everything he does. I just don’t see this in Mark Fields. Hinrich would be a great candidate, but I suspect that Bill Ford has simply made up his mind to select Fields for the job. Heretofore, Alan Mulally has set a remarkable strategic plan for Ford over the past few years; the question is whether Mark Fields has the intelligence and vision to continue this work.