AD #1462 – Infiniti Partners with Dongfeng, Steel Fights Back, Sprinter Tops Residuals

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:46am

Runtime: 6:52

- Infiniti Partners with Dongfeng
- Mitsubishi to Supply Fiat with Trucks
- Sprinter Tops Residuals
- ArcelorMittal Develops New Lightweight Steel Frame
- New Mustang Nails It
- The Story of Chevy’s Small Block V8

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Fiat is getting into the pickup truck segment, Mercedes wins the residual race for vans, and how Chevrolet brought the small block V-8 to market in record time.

But we start out our coverage today in China, where foreign automakers are hoping they may get more control of their joint-ventures with Chinese automakers. But for the moment they still need to do J-V’s. Nissan just announced that Infiniti will partner up with Dongfeng to sell 100,000 vehicles a year in China by 2018. By building in China, Infiniti will eliminate the 25% import tax that gets slapped on every import.

OK, now let’s move to Europe, where Fiat is getting into the pick-up segment, not by rebranding Rams, but by rebranding Mitsubishi’s. The Japanese automaker will build up to 170,000 of its next-gen L200 truck for Fiat to sell under its own brand starting in 2016.

Meanwhile, back in the ‘States…Automotive Lease Guide, commonly known as ALG, is the premiere company that sets residual values for new vehicles. And those residual values play a huge role in setting lease payments. The higher the residual, the more a vehicle is worth at the end of a lease. And that means lenders can offer lower monthly lease payments. Well ALG just looked at the new commercial vans and decided that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter gets the highest residual at 52%. That means it will hold 52% of its original price after three years. The 2015 Ram ProMaster got a 49% residual rating and the 2015 Ford Transit came in at 47%, but ALG says that’s a lot higher than the Ford Econoline ever got. Larry Dominique, President of ALG, which is owned by TrueCar, says these new vans will save businesses a lot of money. “By improving fuel efficiency from an average of 14 mpg from a few years back to nearly 20 mpg today, U.S. business owners will save hundreds of millions of dollars each year.”

Steel and aluminum are duking it out to become the material of choice to make cars lighter. Now ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company, says it’s developed a new frame that can drastically reduce the weight of a pick-up truck. They call it S-in motion Steel PickUp and it can slash the weight of a truck’s cab, box, frame and closures by over 380 pounds which is 23% lighter than a current truck. And by the way, the pictures you just looked at are of the company’s C-segment steel frame which is what the new one is based on. ArcelorMittal says its new frame has been validated to meet all automotive standards and can help meet regulatory standards in the U.S. and Europe. It may not be as light as an aluminum truck, but it would be a lot cheaper.

To celebrate 50 years of the Mustang, Ford partnered with OPI to launch a limited edition nail lacquer collection. Shades include Queen of the Road, Girls Love Ponies, and Race Red. What we want to know is… if you could develop a car-inspired nail polish color, what would you call it? And which vehicle would you pair it with? We’re looking for the most clever and creative names. Submit your selections in the comments below or send them to…and don’t be afraid to submit more than one. One week from today, our judges will select a winner! They will receive this prize – the Ford Mustang nail polish color collection. Be creative and good luck!

On Autoline After Hours this week we’ll be out in San Diego, California for the media launch of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. If you have any questions you’d like to submit to the executives we’ll have on the show, send them in early.

Coming up next, the amazing story of how the small block Chevy was developed in record time.

Chevy’s small block V8 is one of the most successful and iconic engines of all time. That’s why we invited Dr. David Cole to After Hours last week, to tell us the history behind the engine because his father, Ed Cole, led its development. Here’s some of the story behind that engine.

(The AAH preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

100 million small blocks later, the basic architecture of that engine is still going strong. Simply amazing.

Anyway that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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39 Comments to “AD #1462 – Infiniti Partners with Dongfeng, Steel Fights Back, Sprinter Tops Residuals”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    What is Ford thinking? turning the new Mustang into a “girly” car? it worked wonders for VW with the new Beetle, now along with the Mini is another chick mobile?

  2. Mike Says:

    The part I like best about the small block is that it essentially is a constant in engine development that saw the durability of the 265 improve from less than 100K miles to later versions that will go 3 or more times as far. Lots of small improvements, but IMHO the big one was fuel injection. Getting rid of the cah-boober-ator eliminated the accelerator pump and the choke system. Those features resulted in over fueling that washed the cylinder walls clean of their lubricating oil.

  3. Drew Says:

    Pedro, did you forget a high volume of Mustang sales were from Sally Secretaries and Mustang Sallys? Their volume helped spread the development and tooling costs to improve the affordability of the hot versions of the Mustangs for all us motor heads!

    My submissions:

    1. Nail Head Lead Foot (graphite gray) clearcoat metallic.
    2. She’s the Boss (blue) clearcoat metallic.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If nail polish colors are inspired by car colors, won’t the only come in black, white, and 17 shades of grey?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1, Pedro, is my Mini a chick car, even with a manual transmission?

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, I am not saying that, neither the mini nor the ‘Stang are chick cars IMO, the media has labeled them that way, now as far as the Beetle……

  7. puremoose Says:

    Deadringer—Cherry red

  8. John McElroy Says:

    @3 Drew, what cars would you pair your submissions with?

  9. puremoose Says:

    @7–Scion XB

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    #5 I saw a very macho man looking, all black Mini Clubman with the whole bike rack thing and all the extra add ons that made the thing look like a Hummer Jr.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Speaking of the Clubman, I’m wondering if there will be a next generation. They are doing a mildly stretched 4 door version of the hardtop, with the liftgate. It will be about the same size as the Clubman, but will look different

  12. RumNCoke Says:

    For the lady with a Hellcat – a nice blood red shade of Cat Scratch Fever.

  13. HtG Says:

    Mucho Macho Mauve

    For the Miata

  14. HtG Says:

    Grizzly Grey

    For any German luxury car. Take your pick

    Optional shparkles. $500 dollars extra

  15. HtG Says:

    Manual Gearbox Grigio

    For Ferraris (no longer offered)

  16. HtG Says:

    Wildchild White

    For any Corolla over 10 years old.

    (Never comes off, never wears out)

  17. HtG Says:

    Is this what you mean, John?

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    #16 Thanks HtG, it sure beats home-painted matte black!

  19. JKulwik Says:

    Duesie Hues of Bleu.

    This is nothing like a Duesenburg Model J.

  20. HtG Says:

    Thin Lizzy Licorice Ruby Red

    For a future car with skinny tires, a wasp like waist, and never requires fuel. Stops traffic

    This car is only a fantasy.

  21. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Colored nail polish for certain vehicles (as icons as they are/were:

    “Purple Passion” plumb Crazy for the Challengers (now and the earlier ones)
    “Green Flash” synergy green for the Camaro
    “White Elegance” (pearl white) for most current Cadillac models.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    You can always sell make up and get a pink Caddy.

  23. HtG Says:

    Lumpy Lava l’Orange

    -give me minute

  24. HtG Says:

    Perilous Pink Pressure

    Citroen DS. Referring to the car’s ‘before its time” hydraulic suspension, this limpid layer of ladylike laquer is both logiqueux and amusante. Even looks good smoking

    Likes to be taken out on weekends. High maintenance.

  25. DrWu Says:


    A lighter shade of red
    For that woman you knew
    Back in ’72
    With the slant
    You would never forget…

  26. HtG Says:

    Let ‘em know you’re Leasing, Lapis Lazuli

    This deep blue hue will hint subtly that you saved a bundle on your Mercedes CLA. Comes in chic half sized bottles; come on now, it’s only got to last two years.

    (ok, that one was harsh)

  27. HtG Says:

    FYI I was quite busy this morning. DC fun and games. Trying to recover now

  28. DH Says:

    The redesigned “Beetle” is not a chick car. The 90s and early 2000s version was, but certainly not the current version.

    Also what’s wrong with Ford marketing to women & their nail colors? Women represent half of the population & Ford might as well take their money. ;-)

  29. HtG Says:

    16 edited

    Wildchild White

    For any Corolla over 10 years old.

    (Never wears out, never comes off)

  30. HtG Says:

    Mocha Mile Run

    Your nails will perfectly match the paper bag on your head as you sit through yet another car launch at the NY Autoshow.

    Don’t despair, there’s free food, after.

    (when? when?)

    (where’s DeLorenzo when you need him?)

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28, But will they want Battleship Grey nail polish?

    My observation is that certain Mustangs have sold very well with women. Probably 80% of 6 cylinder Mustang convertibles are driven primarily by women, those who can’t aFford a 3 series.

  32. HtG Says:

    Yep, there’s a red convertible right near me. It’s hers.

  33. C-Tech Says:

    Budget blue – Chevy Spark / Hyundai Accent
    Ember red – Ford Pinto / Pontiac Fierro
    Super Trooper Black and Blue – Ford Crown Victoria
    Appliance White – Scion XD / Nissan Cube
    Royalty Blue – Rolls Royce Silver Ghost / May achieve
    Underachiever Yellow – Ford Aspire
    Need More Green – Jaguar XK – XJ

  34. HtG Says:

    Alphabet and White

    Apply this milky cereal with all its lolz combos of letters and emoticons to your nails. Even while you drive!

    Hand me down Civic or Camcord must have snarky bumper stickers and dent from that time in the parking lot that Mom said not to tell Dad about.

  35. HtG Says:

    Swearing Blue Streak

    Porsche 911 restoration project.

    ‘Via con Dios, mi dineros’

  36. Paul G Says:

    I would like to develop a nail polish for challenger hellcat. I would name it

    “For Wildcats”


  37. Paul G Says:

    Though it may sound silly, I will make a nail polish for Mitsubishi mirage red color. I will name it

    “Chimera red”

  38. C-Tech Says:

    That should be Royalty Blue – Rolls Royce Silver Ghost or Maybach

    Code Red – any old Mitsui, Honda, Nissan with cut-down coil springs, too wide tires, bad ball joints doing 90 on I-75.

    Faded Glory Silver – 10 year old BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, Cadillac, or Lincoln

  39. Enn Norak Says:

    Associating car paint with nail polish? Has Mustang become a chick car?

    If marketing hype must extend to the 50th anniversary of a model then why not tell it like it is and call the celebratory colors “50th anniversary custom-formulated colors”. Ford might even get away with charging extra for these special colors although that would be a deal-breaker for me.

    That said, I would, in any event, buy a glossy pure-black car as minor scratches are then easily fixed with cheap non-water-based nail polish or polyurethane black paint from a small can purchased at a hardware store.