AD #1405 – 2015 Ford Edge Goes Global, Toyota FCV Gets a Price, Dealer-Dally to Make the Sale

June 25th, 2014 at 12:04pm

Runtime: 8:26

- Ford Hones the 2015 Edge
- Valeo’s Electric Supercharger
- Toyota Announces Price of Fuel Cell Vehicle
- Dealers that Dally Make the Sale
- You Said It!

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In today’s Autoline Daily: superchargers have been around for over 100 years, but electric superchargers? Now there’s a new one. Also Toyota shows off its anti electric car strategy and dealers who answer your emails quickly may not make the sale.

FORD HONES THE EDGE
Last year Ford sold nearly 130,000 Edge CUVs in the U.S. market, but it wants to grow that number with the all-new 2015 model that will now be sold in markets outside of North America. Amazingly, the new Edge is based on the same global platform as the Fusion, which Ford says gives it a more solid body structure and better performing suspension. The exterior has been completely reworked with more pronounced character lines and, of course, it gets the automaker’s new signature grille. There are 3 engine options available for North America, a 2.0L turbocharged four, a 2.7L turbocharged V6 and a 3.5L V6. Both EcoBoost engines are new powerplants. The 2015 Edge will be sold exclusively with a 2.0L diesel engine in Europe. The interior is all-new as well and as you may have guessed, it has a bunch of new technology across all the trim levels. However, it remains to be seen if it will be offered in Europe’s Vignale luxury trim. Even if it’s not, Ford still plans on competing with other luxury vehicles in Asia-Pacific and Europe with the top-level Titanium package. It will hit American showrooms in the first quarter of 2015 and will follow with Europe, South America and then Asia-Pacific, including China.

ELECTRIC BOOST
The French supplier Valeo says it has landed a contract with a major European automaker to introduce its electric supercharger on a front wheel drive car in 2016. Valeo won’t say who that is, but since it released this video of the system on a Peugeot, we’re guessing that’s who it is. The 48-volt system provides instant boost, in less than 300 milliseconds, allows for packaging flexibility since it does not have to be driven off a belt, and can also be used on diesel engines. Valeo is selling the electric supercharger as a way to reduce CO2 emissions when combined with engine downsizing. But there could be a performance play here, too. Honda is using one on the Acura NSX it will run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb later this month. Could this be a test of the production version of the new NSX powertrain? We’ll want to watch that race.

TOYOTA’S FOOL CELL
Toyota and Elon Musk are in a war of words. Toyota says it doesn’t see much of a future for battery electric cars, while Elon calls fuel cells “fool cells” and says they’re “a load of rubbish.” Well Toyota just threw down its gauntlet, announcing the price of its fuel cell car. You can pick one up next year in Japan for only 7 million yen. That’s nearly $68,000 at today’s exchange rate. And it will have a range of 700 kilometers, or about 430 miles. But that’s based on Japan’s JC08 test, which is a lot easier than the US EPA’s FTP 75 test. Most importantly the car can be completely refueled in 3 minutes. Why is that so important? Well tune in tomorrow when we’ll give you the A-B-C’s of how the California Zero Emission Vehicle program works. In fact, we’ll explain in plain language why automakers are so committed to selling EV’s and fuel cell cars even though they have no hope of making any money on them.

MAKE THEM WAIT A BIT
First is always best, right? Well it may not be when you’re talking about dealerships responding to online customer sales leads. According to data gathered by DealerSocket, a response time of 16 – 20 minutes had the highest closing rate at nearly 5.5%. That’s 23% better than dealerships that responded within 15 minutes. The data even showed that waiting 31 – 60 minutes has better results than those that responded in 15 minutes. I guess it goes to show that waiting and having a well thought out response is much more effective than being the first one in the pool.

Coming up next, it is time for You Said It!

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

C-Tech heard our report that Cadillac sales are languishing this year and how it’s in danger of being sold by Audi in the US market. “Cadillac needs to bite the bullet and lower their prices. It may also help to continue to offer a wagon and coupe CTS. Build great cars, take a smaller profit and you’ll take back market share.” Well I would add a CUV sized below the SRX before I worried about a wagon. But remember, the new Escalade has just hit the market and there is an ATS coupe on the way. That will help sales later this year, but Cadillac’s biggest problem is that it does not yet have the lineup that can compete with the German luxury brands.

MARSHALL saw our report that the new Volvo S60 is getting rid of buttons and going with a touch screen. “Funny, Volvo used to be all about safety. With buttons and knobs I can easily operate the radio and climate control by touch, never having to take my eyes off of the road. This touchscreen nonsense is a backward move for Volvo. But then what would you expect from a Chinese owned company?” Don’t blame the Chinese, Marshall. All the styling and engineering decisions at Volvo are still made in Sweden. Or, at least that’s what they keep telling us.

RS does not like the idea of a battery powered Harley Davidson. “Electric Harley: No, I would miss the pipes!” Personally I think it would be a mistake for the company to come out with an electric motorcycle using the Harley-Davidson brand. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong, but I think this is more of a branding issue than a technological one.

C-Tech heard our report that yellow and orange cars have better resale value and he thinks he knows why. “Usually a yellow or orange car is a special edition, most likely with more options. A hugger orange Camaro gets more bids than a sliver one. A yellow bumblebee Camaro is worth more than a black Camaro.” Great point C-Tech and thanks for the insight.

pedro fernandez heard our report that the notorious new car smell often includes fumes from plastic, foam and glue that automakers are trying to get rid of. “Well there goes another reason for buying a new car vs a used one, no more new car smell. ‘Oh, honey, but I love that new car smell’ …out the window, baby!” Well it will not be completely gone, but that new car smell will not be as noticeable in the future.

Thanks for all your comments and letters, we truly enjoying reading them all. And before we go don’t forget that John Krafcik will be joining us for After Hours tomorrow. He’s the former CEO of Hyundai Motors America and now the president of True Car.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching.

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31 Comments to “AD #1405 – 2015 Ford Edge Goes Global, Toyota FCV Gets a Price, Dealer-Dally to Make the Sale”

  1. Lex Says:

    Harley Davidson should brand their electric bikes under the “Lightning Bolt” or simply “Bolt” brand.

  2. buzzerd Says:

    I don’t understand- we can have Harley branded beer, aftershave, peanuts, towels, trucks, golf carts, sunglasses, safety glasses, glasses……….. but an electric motorcycle is over the top?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Not to do with today’s show, but I just drove a Fiesta ST, and it is a really fun car. It’s quick, handles great, and is significantly quieter than my MINI. I don’t know if I’d be able to work the radio, though. I didn’t mess with that.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2, …..and LOTS of Harley brand clothes.

  5. buzzerd Says:

    for sure Kit, like the old joke goes- I was thinking of buying a Harley but I can’t afford all the clothing you have to buy!

  6. buzzerd Says:

    not that I’m much better, I own a BMW motorcycle, there is less stuff to buy but it costs twice as much!

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit how many buyers won’t even consider a Fiesta ST because there is only manual and the majority of buyers just won’t go there!

  8. Bradley Says:

    Are CUVs Compact or Crossover?

    I wouldn’t consider the Ford Edge either.

    Sure all the Volvo decisions are made in Sweden. But if the Chinese owners are only giving them pennies to work with then there really isn’t a decision.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Does this mean the end of the Flex?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7, I suspect a lot of people would rule out the ST because it is manual only, and also because it is kind of pricey, near 23K without options.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    And after all is said and done. deep down it’s just an economy subcompact. If Ford is so keen on their DCT, they should make it available on the ST, if Toyota and Subaru did not make the FR-S/ BRZ with an automatic their sales would be much worse than they are.

  12. Andy Says:

    Isn’t the F1 teams using electric turbos on the 2014 engines to keep the boost up?

  13. cwolf Says:

    I don’t enjoy driving my wifes Edge, but they have been problem free.

  14. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro @39 , I’m surprised the Flex has lasted this long. Too expensive ,shipping crate styling and very few seen on the roads in my area. They need to bring back the Bronco. Price reasonably and they’d have a massive hit. What they really need is a SMALL pick up. Not a midsize that would steal away precious F150 sales.

  15. XA351GT Says:

    Sorry that was Pedro @ #9 not 39. Damn these rented fingers.

  16. XA351GT Says:

    Manual transmissions any more are for driving enthusiasts . So I can see why they made the Fiesta ST stick only. Maybe it’ll keep unskilled drivers out of a little road rocket.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    XA I know someone who traded an Edge for a Flex, needed more room, but i call it an xB on steroids. No auto stick on the ST means a lot less sales for Ford, I have yet to see one in these parts.

  18. Mike Says:

    Yes, I am interested to replace my 2008 Ranger. I need a light duty hauler without 4WD or over priced extended cabs and preferably with a manual. Around $20K. Not just a lot out there to replace the herd of long in the tooth S-10′s and Rangers out there.

  19. motorman Says:

    A company was selling electric superchargers for H/D motorcycles and ATVs several years ago. May have been the same company

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, 16
    The Fiesta ST drives great, and is getting rave reviews from enthusiast mags. The trouble is, it costs too close to a MINI S, and the MINI will probably hold its value better. Also, the MINI, especially the new 3rd generation one has a nicer interior. Still, they did a great job with the powertrain and suspension in the Fiesta ST. That 1.6 turbo is much more at home in the Fiesta, than in an automatic Fusion.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14,17
    I like the “xB on steroids” look of the Flex, but when I first saw the interior, was surprised that it didn’t have a flat floor with the seats folded. Lazy design, I guess.

    As far as Bronco, they still make them, and call them Expedition, albeit much fancier than OJ’s. Also, they still make Bronco II, and call them Escape, or is it Explorer?

  22. Ziggy Says:

    If they made the Fiesta ST in a 2 door I would consider it, but as a four door it just doesn’t look sporty enough, the European version is what I would want if I were to get one. Ford, send over the two door version!!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Fiesta ST I drove was a bright pearl orange color. I guess they offer that color to try to make it look “sporty” without selling the two door in the U.S. I don’t know if that color is used only on the ST, but I hadn’t seen it until this ST showed up at the local dealer.

  24. Brett Says:

    #14

    I think that Ford decided that a Ford truck buyer would grumble and buy the more profitable F-150 if they discontinued the Ranger. So they did.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25,
    If a Chinese company wants to get into the U.S. market, a basic, small pickup would be an obvious place to start. Wal-Mart could sell them.

  26. Bradley Says:

    Yes, it could be made on the moon. I wouldn’t care. If it was a true compact truck. SOLD!!!

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I thought Mahindra was going to bring a small pickup into the U.S. market; apparently troubles ensued but weren’t rectified. I still think it will be interesting (on the take-rate) of the new mid-sized trucks (coming). And, I too, felt that they should have been somewhat smaller.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A small pickup at a low price would sell, at least initially, even if crude and unreliable. A “smaller,” but not small one that costs almost as much as a big one will be a harder sell.

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Hopefully some of you will see this and that I haven’t messed up the link. Here is IMO the perfect replacement for the Ranger for Ford and they already make it. Just ship the tooling over here and update what needs to be done for USA crash and EPA regs. http://www.carbase.com/photo/Ford-FG_Falcon_Ute_XR6_mp8_pic_55481.jpg

  30. Norman Says:

    In the sixties there was a company that sold electric superchargers. They didn’t work very well.They also had rocket fueled turbo chargers. Turbonique turbines was the name. Crazy stuff that you probably couldn’t sell now. http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?2820-The-Real-Acme-The-Glorious-Insanity-of-Turbonique

  31. Gary Says:

    Hey John, I have a Phantom electric super charger installed on my BRZ. It’s a constant output blower that runs on a dedicated 24VDC system that resides in the stock battery location. It makes 5psi at low rpm and 2psi at high rpm. In real numbers it increases peak HP by 40% and peak torque by 50%. But most importantly, the torque peak is shifted from 6000 rpm to 3000 rpm. That’s a lot of area under the curve, and it completely transforms the BRZ.