AD #1523 – Honda’s Big Reveals, Jeep Speakers Work Underwater, Automakers to Focus on Cuba?

December 18th, 2014 at 11:59am

Runtime: 8:07

- Production NSX Finally Here
- Honda to Unveil FCV Concept in Detroit
- Jeep Speakers Work Underwater
- StateFarm Launches an App
- Formula E Getting Fans Involved
- Will American Automakers Start Selling in Cuba?
- You Said It!

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50 Comments to “AD #1523 – Honda’s Big Reveals, Jeep Speakers Work Underwater, Automakers to Focus on Cuba?”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hold off there Baba Louie, first of all, Congress has to lift the embargo, Emperor Obama cannot, and I don’t see the new Republican controlled chamber doing so,second what the heck are Cubans gonna use to buy these cars? worthless Cuban pesos? I think Monopoly money is worth more that those things, they tried selling late model cars to the public earlier this year, no one had the dough, they were asking for astronomical amounts of DOLLARS for second hand stuff you could get here for 1/3 the price.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    Joh, you’re spot on the Cuban situation, no wonder I’ve always liked you!

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While it is certainly going to be a very complicated situation (normalization with Cuba), I have to agree wholeheartedly with both John and pedro’s observations. I also consider myself a fairly staunch republican, but in my opinion, normalization is way overdue.

  4. Ron Paris Says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with your comments on Cuba and the reasons for their economic situation. Seems to me the way to establish a neat trade balance is to ship them one late model cast-off Crown Vic for each mid-50s restorable classic they send us!

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Those classics ain’t worth crap cause they were kept going with adapted parts from whatever junk cars they could find over there, Cubans are pretty innovative that way, they got to keep the ole Yankee metal running no matter what.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3, I’m a fairly staunch Democrat, and I, too, think some sort of normalization of relations is overdue, about 40 years overdue.

    Pedro, I certainly understand your position of, presumably, not liking any normalization. It could help accelerate change in the regime, though. Fidel, and more recently Raul have been effectively using the U.S. as a scapegoat for their problems forever, but that might not work so well any more.

    The politics of this will be interesting. The Ted Cruzes and Marko Rubios are loudly condemning any normalization, but they are now on the wrong side of public opinion, at least nationally, if not is parts of south Florida. They will try to change public opinion, but they might need to cooperate, at least a little bit, if nearly 2/3 of the country is against continuing the embargo another 50 years.

  7. C-Tech Says:

    Seems to me if Volvo is trying to expand sales they should try to get to more auto shows not less.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5, I’m surprised they have kept the bodies of the cars sufficiently intact to be usable, with the salt spray they’ve seen for 60 years. I’m sure the cars are a mess, cosmetically, with with welded in metal, bondo, and the rest, but people have been very creative to keep them going at all.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit if I thought this would help the population over there, I would go along with it, but it won’t. First off they have no way of paying for goods, they owe millions to many countries including China and Europe which they will never pay back, so they would get credit here and buy stuff and won’t pay it either, remember they’re free to buy from whomever they wish but not even China will sell them anything because of their debts.

  10. C-Tech Says:

    Hey John and friends here,do you think Fiat should bring the more passenger – friendly Doblo to Fiat dealers in the U.S?

  11. RumNCoke Says:

    I am surprised this diplomatic thaw is happening while Fidel is still alive. You had to know it was just a matter of time after Russia left them for dead. But the timing is suspicious. Perhaps somebody is looking for a presidential legacy? You got some ‘splainin to do!

  12. C-Tech Says:

    Perhaps NASCAR should start ” fan boo ” and let fans vote for the most hated drivers, which the top 3 loses 15hp for 5 minutes.

  13. Bradley Says:

    Volvo’s A-Pillar design may be very expensive, but it doesn’t require power or software to work.

    It was good sound engineering decisions that gave Volvo a head start in vehicle safety decades ago. They need to make more choices like that.

    Subaru is successful because they addressed the “masses” needs while maintaining some of their core technologies.

    Sure it would be cheaper to have front wheel drive and sure it would be cheaper to have conventional piston alignment. Subaru doesn’t and they make it work.

    Volvo, you will not be relevant if you allow the accountants manage your way to success. You have to take risk and risk will not balance in the financial books.

  14. C-Tech Says:

    I thought Fidel was retired?

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #7 C-Tech

    I’m with you on this one too (Volvo and auto-shows), and while I’m sure auto-shows are expensive to participate in, restricting themselves to only three might be limiting the exposure that they have been lacking (of late). They should participate, in as many as they can; especially in the markets in which they compete in (or want to expand in).

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ C-Tech: They do have a passenger version called the wagon I believe.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    C-Tech, Fidel still runs the show, the brother is just his puppet. I love the fact that while he was making his declarations at the same time as Obama, he had his army uniform on, the same crap they did when they took over in 59, which showed me that nothing has changed over there, I think Obama is trying to keep Russians from increasing their military presence over there by trying to be chummy with the Castros.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Here C-Tech:

  19. Bradley Says:

    Oh Yea, Jeeps Speaker system in the Wrangler..just a bunch of hype.

    Any speaker will work under water, if there are any materials in the cone that can absorb water then eventually those materials will break down. A lot of speakers are made of synthetic materials that wouldn’t break down in water.

    A speaker works via electromagnetism and therefore there isn’t anything to short in a speaker.

  20. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Obama ain’t that smart or clever Pedro.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16, Passenger version of Dablo in the UK.

  22. Lex Says:

    The second part of my question is if Takata can not figure out why there airbags are failing can people at TRW and Autoliv be enlisted by the OEM’s or Congress to help?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17, Also, maybe trying to get the offshore oil drilling business for American, or at least western companies, and keep it away from the Chinese and Russians.

  24. Lex Says:

    Western Automotive Companies are pulling out of Russia and just waiting for the opportunity to start shipping and selling vehicles to Cuba. What will happen if Putin does not like Obama reaching out to Castro to make nice? Maybe Putin will cut Russian support to Cuba? How will this affect relations between US, Russia, Europe and ultimately Cuba? What a crazy world we live in.

  25. Bob Aubertin Says:


    First and foremost Shigehisa Takada with all his arrogance in failing to address this Major Defective AirBag problem, should be held liable for their product.

    Second, I believe that all these car manufacturers are sorry for not choosing “TRW” the global leader in automotive safety. Among the world’s largest automotive suppliers and one of the top financial performers in the industry, for their automobiles.

    Third,You Only Get what you paid for.
    Four,There is a price to pay for Quality!!!!

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s the cold war part deux.

  27. Brett Says:

    I still don’t grasp the disconnect. Massive trade and normalization of relations with the Communist, totalitarian nation of China is great, but trade and normalization of trade with a little, pi**-ant country like Cuba and, lawd-a-mercy, it’s the end of the world. SMH

  28. gary susie Says:

    Obama was right. Look at Vietnam, we do trade with them and they are much better off and have more freedom. Most of the old cars i see are four doors, not as collectable as two doors.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, I didn’t think there had been much Russian support for Cuba since the end of the USSR. Is that not the case?

  30. HtG Says:

    Pedro, does the US embargo prevent loan guarantees for Cuba? If the thaw gives them access to loans for development then there will be money in the economy. I can’t believe that a path to infrastructure and capital equipment will still be blocked. As for buying cars, well, I guess the connected types of the regime will be first in line.

    And if anybody bought thay hannukah malarkey about an american contractor being released on humanitarian grounds…..

  31. Jim Nader Says:

    I’m no expert on airbags, John, but I believe there are more than 3 airbag inflator suppliers in the world. Key Safety Systems, Daicel, and possibly Mobis are in that market, unless something has happened recently. They aren’t as large as Autoliv, TRW, and Takata, but exist nonetheless.

  32. Lex Says:

    The Acura NSX is finished before it begins compared to the new Chevy Corvette and other vehicles from our friends in Germany.

    Honda is wasting it’s engineering resources on a dedicated single source fuel cell vehicle with these currently low gasoline prices. Honda has robot technology which is what they should be working on to bring autonomous driving to the everyday person. Technology is key to the future of driving. Artificial Intelligence (AI) along with electrification of the automobile has the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry IMHO. A “Smart” vehicle which is able to obey your commands (near and far) and resourceful enough to know how to replenish it’s fuel reserves and service requirements would be a beautiful thing. A realistic version of the iconic Knight Industries 2000 (KITT) would sell like hotcakes. The Chevy Volt does have a dual fuel powertrain, however Chevy / GM does not have their heart invested in the Volt. Also Chevy does not do a sexy electric vehicle in the same way as Tesla does.

  33. DaveThompson Says:

    Obviously readers have not been to Cuba already lots of Brazilian buses, Toyota buses & vans not to mention Hyundai’s and Citroen taxi’s, the old american cars are in the minority and they are old. Java motorcycles, Honda 125, Yamaha’s I am not sure where they are made?

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Lifting the embargo on Cuba: No different then lifting it for Vietnam,and look at the trade we have going on there.Of course the commie regime is having fits with the free thinkers there,especially now that the internet is all over that country.Just like china or any other commie craphole,once they,the people,taste money and start having a better life,they give the commie leaders fits.

  35. HtG Says:

    I best Tyson chicken has a guy on a plane to Havana right now. And aren’t there all manner of cheap mopeds that would work? Obama is talking about increasing remittances, so those dollars can buy a cheap bike.

    You guys think Fidel and Raul aren’t already on the Corvette configurator?

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31, Jawa is Czech. Honda builds bikes all over the world, including Brazil, where many of the ones in Cuba might come from.

  37. Bradley Says:


    I didn’t think the official NSX specs were released?

    I would rather have a GTR. Assuming the NSX is similarly priced…it would be tough call.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG they car borrow from whomever they wish, but since they don’t pay their debt, I guess not even US’s bank, China, wants to lend them anything, BTW when I realized our dinette set was made in Vietnam, I took a fit and wanted to return it, Kit there has not been much support from Russia and now even less with their own economic woes.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just read on TTAC that OEM’s have suspended sales in Russia due to money crisis there, but Putin is still ultra popular over there, all these measures won’t bring him dow, it will only make him angrier.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that Putin’s wanting to re-start the cold war keeps him popular at home, regardless of everything else.

  41. John McElroy Says:

    Most of the classic cars in Cuba are wheezing wrecks of rolling junk. But there is a car club in Havana with owners who have done a remarkable job of trying to restore their cars. We did a show on Autoline This Week about it. Check out show #1530 or use this link:

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39, Thanks for the link. Great show.

    Do some of the wheezing wrecks have transplanted engines from Lada buses, since they couldn’t get parts of the 50′s cars?

  43. Mike Says:

    As relations get “normalized” with Cuba, it will be interesting to see what happens with sugar. Will it be converted to Alcohol for the southern USA market? There’s lots of corn in Nebraska, but it is costly to transport alcohol to the refineries in Texas and Louisiana. What will cane sugar at 1/4th the price do to our beet farmers in Michigan? Will type 2 diabetes rates fall once we go back to real sugar in our soft drinks? So many possible consequences.

  44. Mike Says:

    I’ve been in the auto restoration hobby for a good while. What you learn is that it is okay to spend what it takes to restore an XKE, but that is not true for most collector cars. IMHO, from what I see in the videos, the tired sheet metal running around in Cuba would, for the most part, not be economic to restore.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, it would be cool to have one of those really tired 50′s American cars from Cuba, just for what it represents, the ingenuity of the people who kept it going all those years.

  46. HtG Says:

    very true, Kit. Some years ago I new a young Cuban guy working as a lifeguard, but who had swum into Guantanamo to escape. He was worried that his girlfriend would look down on him and Cubans for those old cars. Just heartbreaking. I told him it was the opposite, they were to be honored for all the reasons we know. Last I knew, he was working as a security guard at the UN.

  47. TC Says:

    Anxiously awaiting my copy of Havana Motor Club!

  48. J S K Says:

    Keep the cars. Sent the cigars.

  49. cwolf Says:

    They say not to count on those Cuban stogies any time soon, so I wouldn’t count on shipping any cars in or out either. Their old cars may be junk or tinker-toyed together, but I bet thar be plenty of good parts worth salvaging that folks would pay a pretty penny for!

  50. Darren Says:

    Foggedabout going to Cuba to buy a classic car.
    I have bought classic motorbikes, Vepsa scooter in Thailand and some old military BSAs from Burma.
    They have all hand made parts on them