AD #1554 – BMW Unveils 2 Series Variant, EyesOn Annual Poster, Investor to Rob GM Piggy Bank?

February 11th, 2015 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:04

- BMW Mixes Wagon with Crossover
- Kia to Show D-Segment Concept
- NASCAR Hall Failing to Bring Visitors
- Wearables the Next Big Tech?
- EyesOn Design’s Annual Poster
- Just What GM Doesn’t Need

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74 Comments to “AD #1554 – BMW Unveils 2 Series Variant, EyesOn Annual Poster, Investor to Rob GM Piggy Bank?”

  1. Tom Says:

    Eye’s On Design is on Fathers Day every year.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’d give the ‘nod’ to BMW’s new vehicle as a crossover; looks amazingly like others with crossover status.

    NASCAR’s problems continue since the ‘great recession’ and even before that when they began losing their roots (and fan-base). And agree (with John), the ‘chase’ needs to change.

    Nice “EyesOn” poster, but not my kind of interest; I’ll bow out and increase (everyone else’s) chance by a smidgen. :)

    I don’t know enough to comment on GM’s dilemma but will yield to John’s comments; they seem spot-on (as presented).

  3. Brett Says:

    The residents of Daytona Beach, including myself, were fairly disgusted with Brian France’s decision to build the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte instead of Daytona. His infatuation with the NFL and with Charlotte being a burgeoning banking center had a lot to do with the decision.

    The Streamline Hotel still exists here in Daytona and NASCAR should’ve bought it and made it a shrine to the birth of their sport, but they couldn’t be bothered, just like they turned their backs on Smokey Yunick and Raymond Fox.

    I followed that series since the early 60s and now I pay it no attention whatsoever.

    The new BMW looks like a page from the Mazda5 playbook to me.

    re GM: I guess Wall Street capitalists haven’t finished gutting our country like a trout.

  4. Dave R Says:

    The Eyes on design is held during press days at the Detroit auto show and the aw award is given on the last day, Thursday

  5. Mike Says:

    The same problems NASCAR has are being seen in many other hobbies as well. Aging demographics, especially baby boomers, are affecting lots of things. More golf courses closed last year instead of opened. Collector cars of the 1930′s/1940′s are less popular as the people who owned them pass from the scene. Even the sports of hunting and fishing are down. Nascar needs to think of how to “re-size” themselves to the new size of their possible audience.

  6. Ron Paris Says:

    So Charlotte, NC taxpayers will now be stuck bailing out the NASCAR HOF because of low attendance. Well here’s my “non-Autoline insight”: Cities like Charlotte need to stop being suckered into subsidizing museums, sports stadiums and the like for fat-cat organizations that are unwilling to take the risk themselves to build these white elephants on their own dime. They hardly ever perform as promised financially and yet are one of the most popular and enduring forms of “crony capitalism:.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they had put the NASCAR museum in Daytona, I would have gone once, because it would be only 80 miles away. I might have gone by now, even if it were in Atlanta, because I drive through there twice a year. To me, Charlotte is a place I fly though occasionally, because it is a USAir hub.

    As far as NASCAR in general, I am becoming less interested year by year. Last year, with the inexplicably strange method of picking a “champion,” I paid little attention at all, except to watch the Daytona 500 and Brickyard on TV.

  8. Rick Says:

    John:
    I was at the hall of fame a couple of years ago and it was the biggest wast of time and money. Have followed nascar since the 60′s and if a new fan went there he would not learn anything about the modifieds or sportsman division that is now Xfinity series. It’s basically a self promotion for Nascar. You can learn more about the sport going to the museum at Darlington speedway.

  9. Jock Vargo Says:

    The day is Fathers Day

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like BMW is going to FWD platforms, one series at a time. The 1, no longer sold in the U.S. except the soon-to-be-replaced X1, has already gone to an FWD platform, and now this 2GT will do likewise, using the new MINI platform.

    I guess if I think I might ever want a rear wheel drive 2 series coupe, I had better hurry.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    I never understand why the public has to fund these huge projects when the owners and participants are millionaires. You need a stadium or a museum or track or a whatever in order to hold an event to make even more money? Then build the thing yourself.

  12. fred kermes Says:

    eyes on design held on sunday

  13. Johnc Says:

    Fathers Day for eyes on design

  14. Bradley Says:

    Wall Street has driven the executives to view each company as a cash machine. Long term growth, success or simply a commitment to the business doesn’t enter any executives thinking.

    Sure they are going to unlock hidden value…for themselves.

  15. Bradley Says:

    Class D segment…

    Wikipedia implies using A,B,C,D, etc is a Euro way of classifying cars. Is that true? Is the global industry going to that way of classification?

  16. Ian Says:

    John,

    Your comments regarding GM’s cash position were spot on. I wish more people realized how this type of corporate raiding weakens American businesses in an increasingly global marketplace.

  17. Kenneth Wood Says:

    Eyes on Design is held on Fathers Day each year. This year it will be held on June, 21. Enjoy your show very much, thanks for your effort,.

  18. C-Tech Says:

    Eyes on Design is held on Father’s day each year.

  19. Tony Gray Says:

    This guy won’t have the jack to pull off that buyback unless he strong arms other members of the board to go along. Now I don’t know who they are but we can only hope they will see this short sighted money grab for what it is, and remain on course to build a better, stronger GM.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 It seems that the industry uses the “letter” classifications globally. Consumers also use the classifications in Europe, but not so much in North America.

  21. C-Tech Says:

    The sad part of the GM stockholder situation is 1.) This is backed by a number of investment banks who hold GM stock. This does not add value to GM. 2.) GM used to be such a widely held stock it would almost impossible to pull off something like this.

    Unless NASCAR was expecting the team employees and their families to repeated pay to go to the museum, this was a miscalculation from the start. I was talking to a car / motorcycle guy who is under 30 and NASCAR is barely part of his racing interest. There is a great opportunity for sportscar racing or Indycar to get a younger fan base from NASCAR.

  22. Victor West Says:

    NASCAR need to race “real”cars again including a variety of makes we see on the road. More tracks with right and left turns would make real racing more interesting. Now it seems that only pit stops make a difference in position.

  23. Barry Rector Says:

    Eyes on Design is Father’s Day, every year.

  24. Al Jadczak Says:

    Hi John, the day for the Eyes on Design Car Show is always on a Sunday. I had the privilege of working the show. You get to rub elbows with a number of greats in the area of Automotive Design. I had the honor of working the Show that was held at the GM Tech Center, I think this was the only show that was not at the Fisher Home. I met people like Chip Foose, Dennis Gage, Wayne Cherry, Tom Gail, and a number of others. Guess what, they talk to you! Enjoy the updates everyday.

  25. M360 Says:

    John -
    Eyes On Design is held every year on Father’s Day.
    Also, I agree completely with your analysis of what Harry Wilson is try to do to General Motors. I just hope GM is equipped to deal with it appropriately.

  26. Cozy Coles Says:

    John, the Eyes on Design is held on Father’s Day each year. Cozy

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Do you guys think that the move towards making most vehicles FWD will continue till only sport cars and top tier luxury sedans will remain RWD or AWD?

  28. HtG Says:

    GM

    Are these bankers the same ones that took a bath during the BK? Didn’t Obama’s task force sink the bond holders like them? Pay back can be a B!+€#.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 It seems to be going that direction, though FWD has the biggest packaging advantage in smaller vehicles. FWD is probably a little cheaper to make, and has some packaging advantages, even with large cars. Most drivers wouldn’t know the difference in what wheels are powered.

    FWD has a advantage over rear drive for going through snow, but today’s all season tires work well enough to get by in snow, even with RWD cars, and pickup trucks.

    There is one FWD car, the Audi A8, car that is considered a top tier luxury sedan in most of the world, though is is sold in the U.S. only with AWD.

  30. gary susie Says:

    Looks like a station wagon to me. You are so right about these wall street guys. I always call them looters because they have ruined so many companies!

  31. C-Tech Says:

    So BMW is building a minivan! Cool.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I was not aware the A8 was FWD, I am shocked! I would not be surprised if the next gen Chrysler 300 goes FWD as well.

  33. HtG Says:

    Isn’t NASCAR’s problem shared by motor sport in general? It’s not as exciting or novel as it used to be. F1 is so desperate they’re going to try standing restarts and sparkling titanium bump stops under the cars. I get up for a few races a year, but mostly I’m watching out of habit and nostalgia. I also want to see Kyle win or go berserk.

    —–
    Honda air bag recall

    Both bags were replaced today. Even the driver’s side which was done a few years ago for another excessive force recall. Hey, new air bags, not just the inflators. This sounds expensive.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 It’s not a real minivan, though, because it has hinged rather than sliding doors.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Looking at the Audi UK site, most A8′s are AWD there, but some of the lower powered diesel versions are FWD.

    I don’t know what Chrysler is going to do with the 300 et. al., but as far as I’m concerned, they should keep on building what they have, with periodic small updates. The platform is old, but it still seems to work well enough. Those cars are a bargain, compared to the German competition.

  36. Rumblestrip Says:

    Eyes On Design show is on Fathers Day every year.

    As for the the CLOWN nominating himself for the board, #1 GM should go on the offensive with a PR campaign, about why it’s a bad idea, Mary Barra could make herself look very good on “Main Street” fighting for better product against the “Wall Street” crowd just looking to make money moving paper. I’m completely against this kind of class warfare, but then again all is fair in love and war. #2 GM should send a link to Mr. Wilson AND the Hedge Funds backing him, it’s on YouTube, just search for “Morning Greetings In Deadwood” just as a heads up, it’s not work safe unless you have headphones due do language.

  37. Dave Foley Says:

    Mercedes and BMW make me shake my head.

    A while ago Mercedes decides to put fastback rooflines on a variety of cars and SUV’s and call them all a “Coupe”. Now BMW is saying that their small frumpy wagon-ette is a “Gran Tourer”. Do they not understand that a Grand Touring car is actually kind of a THING already? And a 7 passenger minivan wannabe is not that!

    Maybe they should both switch to using random alpha-numeric ‘words’ for their descriptions as well as their model names. They clearly don’t understand the english language well enough to actually use it in a way that explains anything.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 The “Gran Tourer” is a super stretch Mini with roundels.

  39. Rick Wakefield Says:

    John,
    Could you, Gary and any other guests expound on the GM situation in more depth on AAH tomorrow.???

    I would like to know how these corporate raiders can do what is claimed and how GM can stop this from happening without spending millions of dollars in law suits.

    Thanks very much,

    Rick Wakefield

  40. Majic Says:

    Eyes on design is held on Fathers day

  41. Jon M Says:

    Much could be said about Mr. Wilson’s demand. Simply put, I think he’s just looking for a bigger payday in his role during the bailout. Does he propose these repurchases be booked as treasury stock or just removed altogether? I’d really like to hear what value he thinks this will add beyond an inflated stock price. Is ROA and ROE really that important to him? Or perhaps a better P/E ratio. Sheesh, some people just can’t hide the true colors. Surely we’re not the only ones who smell that rat!

  42. Don Roth Says:

    NASCAR is going to see its numbers drop until they remember that the “S” in their names stands for “stock.” Today’s nearly identical cars don’t let fans root for their own favorite brand. They need to look different and actually BE different under the skins. That is the simplest way to perk up fan interest.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 Having cars that are closer to stock would make it more interesting, to the extent that is possible, while maintaining reasonable safety. Also, having the entire season count for the “championship,” and not just the last race. Give points for the top 20 or 25 places in each race, and add them up at the end of the season. What a concept.

  44. Enn Norak Says:

    It would be highly entertaining to see piggy-bank-robbing knuckleheads scale up their dirty tricks on a highly leveraged basis and have it all backfire on them.

  45. HtG Says:

    One thing racing doesn’t need to bring back is the excitement of death. Safer cars, race tracks, and no more cigarette sponsorship are the way to go. Not talking to you Ferrari.

  46. HtG Says:

    Third time likely not the charm for Musk, as SpaceX says ocean conditions too extreme for 1st stage landing. Lift off still scheduled for 6:03.

    http://www.spacex.com/press/2015/02/11/dscovr-launch-update

  47. w l simpson Says:

    This newest beamer should have i3 underpinnings.
    When the goodolboys quit racing real stock cars, however modified, they lost me . I date back to when Daytona was run on the beach.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 They are going to try the soft landing, but over the ocean, not on the barge. It will be more “practice,” but no chance of actually recovering the rocket.

  49. Ziggy Says:

    EyesOn Design car show held every Father’s Day.

    I used to follow NASCAR when I was a kid because back then the cars at least looked like the ones on the road. I was a Richard Petty fan because my dad owned Chrysler cars so I cheered for them and Petty in particular. I have no interest in it now since all the cars look alike and underneath they all are. Bring back at least the stock bodies and you’ll see attendance jump.

  50. Peter Tickle Says:

    Father’s Day

  51. Peter Tickle Says:

    It Happens on Father’s Day

  52. cwolf Says:

    Wilson surely does have GM’s best interest in mind; Just look what he has done to Radio Shack! Then, what would anyone expect from a hedge fund guy.

  53. Bob Aubertin Says:

    Hi John,

    Couldn’t agree with you more about NASCAR losing it under the so called leadership of Brian France.His most recent quote was that “The Fans Love The New Chase Format”, what planet is this guy on!To qualify for the Chase Should be based on the number of Wins before the Chase also the number of Points accumilated as well.

    As a Stock Car racing junkie,”Bring Back The Stock Bodied Race Cars” leave the “Air Brushed” Car Of Tomorrow in the scrap pile.Have Ford,Chevy and Dodge build limited production 2 door sedans or coupes to qualify as Stock Cars to run in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity series.That’s called Fan Product Recognition.

    Brian France it’s Your Fault, Now Wake Up and Fix It.Oh,by the way Get Rid Of Restrictor Plate Racing, which is the cause of Many serious Crashes.May the Fastest car Win. Thanks!

  54. HtG Says:

    50 Time for GM CFO and ‘car guy’ Dan Ammann to show why he should be the next CEO.

    (you would not believe how much I need a drink right now, not that there’s anything car related about it)

  55. BobinAtlanta Says:

    Re Nascar: Is it finally time for electric self-driving cars? Kinda closes the loop on the evolution of “stock car” racing in the USA. ZZZZZZ

  56. cwolf Says:

    HtG, I beat you to it. Just Wilson’s comments sent GM’s stock prices up to around $37.50. What a hay day for the small investor to make a tidy profit! Unfortunately, Barra is giving this guy some consideration, but to a much lesser amount (thank god). Therefore stock may increase a bit more in the near future.,But Barra may stick to plan and perhaps be wise enough to use a good amount of this money to be on the forefront of the push towards autonomous cars. We shall see.

  57. HtG Says:

    Musk tweets on soft landing

    Rocket soft landed in the ocean within 10m of target & nicely vertical! High probability of good droneship landing in non-stormy weather.

  58. HtG Says:

    54 The interests will compete. -a wise person

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55 I’m impressed. I saw the launch from about 5 miles away. I’d like to see one of those landings, but I don’t think they plan to try it on land here any time soon, and the barge is well out from land.

  60. XA351GT Says:

    NASCAR’s problems have nothing to do with the length of the races. That is all you hear. TV networks want it to fit in that 3 hour broadcast. But here is something to think about. Busch/Nationwide/ or whatever corporate name is sponsoring it now. Those races are 2-3 hours at most . Their attendance and tv numbers are down. The Truck series is even shorter and even worse numbers all around. If it survives another 3-5 years I’ll be surprised. Indycar most of their races are 2 hours or less Their numbers suck. Even mighty F1, their races have a 2 hour max time limit and they have taken a big hit. So reducing Cup races to sprints is ridiculous . That is why the numbers are down. Everything long time fans of the sport have had are being ripped away in the name of new fans, The same fans that flooded the sport and then left just as fast. As far as the HOF when they only induct 5 people a year and one of them is a guy who only won a single race because he is a minority to gain those fans. There is a problem. When real stars are still on the outside looking in.

  61. Tom Tyson (ARHPG) Says:

    Eye’s On Design is each Fathers Day.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If NASCAR wants to try racing with something closer to real vehicles, the trucks would be a good place to start. The real ones are rear drive with V8 engines, and they could put some old 4-speed manual transmissions in them. If they could use real trucks, but make them as safe as these current things, it might generate interest.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cell phone video of Elon’s rocket:

    http://youtu.be/2LLyoSWZWDg

  64. HtG Says:

    neat. Wow, you are close.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was at the space center industrial area. I think my condo would be about 2.5 times as far, but I can still see, and hear them pretty well from there.

  66. BobinAtlanta Says:

    Kit: Good to see they are still lighting them off from the Cape. I saw my first launch in 1963 from a drive-in theater on Merritt Island. Saw some early Minuteman attempts up close during dredging for the Saturn V pads and driveway. Must be fun to see the latest events!

  67. Dave Foley Says:

    BREAKING NASCAR NEWS!! In a surprising partnership with “The Food Network” NASCAR’s newest attempt to gain new viewers will see each driver preparing a meal before the race, that will be cooked under the hood of their car, for the duration of the race. Food City 500 could have a new and tasty meaning!

    And here is a viewers tip! Look for drivers preparing peppered steak done rare to medium rare, to have ‘unforeseen’ mechanical problems fairly early in the race.

  68. FSTFWRD Says:

    NASCAR’s problems are obvious, but France has his head in the sand. I like the idea of the Food City 500, but they should not use real steaks, just airbrushed plastic ones, to make it more competitive. LOL

  69. Jim Thykeson Says:

    John: ‘spot on’ again in your opining about the ‘carpet-bagger’, ‘robber-barrons’ at GM. These types come in milk companies by artificially building them up then selling off while stripping the profits. On NASCAR, its simply a case of massive over-exposure. This is too much of a good thing, and the audience in general has become sated. They need to draw back….a bunch!

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    64 I saw launches in the ’60′s on TV from Indiana, but first saw one “live” in the early ’90′s.

    There are now a few launches a year, various military and commercial satellites, and NASA and other scientific missions.

  71. WineGeek Says:

    Here, here John on your comments on GM.These guys come and rape the company for their own benefit and screw the rest of the shareholders and wreck the financial health of the overall operation.

    Quick short term profits major long term downside…

  72. HtG Says:

    It’s sad to compare the GM financier story with what Mark Reuss was saying only a week ago at Daytona24 about how the company was now all directed at the consumer.

  73. marshy Says:

    Admittedly, late to this game but when we look at the cash balances of companies, the whole balance sheet needs consideration, what are the offsetting accounts receivable/collections, cost of borrowing, long term debt on the books, asset write down, etc.

    The whole picture needs presenting as the cash position alone doesn’t paint the proper picture.

    My two cents.

  74. w l simpson Says:

    But Nascar is so exciting ! Hey look, they’re making another left turn !

    What the new Beamer wag needs is I3 underpinnings