AD #1575 – VW’s Margins Drop, ABCs of Autonomous Terminology, Ford Testing Diesel F-150

March 12th, 2015 at 12:01pm

Runtime: 7:56

- VW’s Profit Margins Drop
- South Korea Way Off EV Sales Target
- Tesla Components Fail on RAV4 EV
- How to Protect Your Rims From Thieves
- ABCs of Autonomous Terminology
- Mustang Already Popular in Europe & China
- Ford Testing Diesel in F-150
- Making a Balloon-Powered Car

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28 Comments to “AD #1575 – VW’s Margins Drop, ABCs of Autonomous Terminology, Ford Testing Diesel F-150”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It’s not much of a surprise that Ford is testing a light duty diesel for the F150 lineup.Too many expensive long term problems for the ecoboost imho.I wonder when GM will follow suit? I do remember last year when GM said we don’t need no steenkin diesels in our 1/2 tons….we’ll see.

  2. Buzzerd Says:

    Rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine, rear mid engine,

  3. Mike Says:

    Isn’t it interesting to watch how quickly “anonymous” sources inside Toyota threw the supplier under the bus when 2500 cars and the parts on them had a problem. The supplier is named as the culprit when the genuine responsibility should belong to both companies. No part gets approved without extensive levels of approval from within the OEM. If all those approvals gave the go ahead, why does the blame belong to the supplier alone?

  4. Mike Says:

    #1 The numbers for and against diesels have really taken some bounces in the last 12 months. The price of gasoline dropped, but diesel prices fell far more slowly. diesel does 30% better with fuel, but who knows if the extra sticker price will pay off. My Son asked the other day if he should buy a VW with a gasoline engine or should he take the diesel for only $1K more? The answer is not obvious to me.

  5. Drew Says:

    GA – do you know of specific problems with the EcoBoost or are you just generically weary of any added engine complexity? If the latter, we need to remember the old simple engines had lots of issues that were greatly improved by added technology. We no longer have oil spots on the ground where we park, oil life is longer, maintenance is nil, no stumbles, no smells, and we have much better perfamnce than before. Of course, some technologies take a couple of generations to get right. I’d say the first gen of turbos occurred in the 1980s. I believe this gen is much smarter and more robust.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 My problem with the Ford turbos is that they don’t buy you anything. In many applications, the Fords have non-turbo, and in same cases, non-GDI competitors which perform better, and use less gas. The “ecoboost” engines are complexity for complexity’s sake. The 1.6 really is nice in the Fiesta ST, though.

  7. GM Veteran Says:

    I read that a VW executive said that they could save millions by dropping the Polo model. I wonder how much they could save by dropping the Phaeton and repurposing its exclusive and expensive assembly plant? It would help Audi by having one less competitor for their A8 too. Its amazing that the company is looking high and low for savings and the Phaeton remains a “sacred cow”. The power of politics is truly amazing!

  8. HtG Says:

    3. I noted also that during his last AAH appearance VW’s Oliver Schmidt blamed their cars’ reliablility issues entirely on suppliers. I counted that as yet another Edward R. Murrow moment for John; now that’s a pro.

  9. Ed Says:

    I wish Toyota offered a diesel on the tundra. I would buy one.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 I thought the Phaeton had been discontinued, but I found that it was only dropped from the U.S. market, and may return. As an R & T article put it, the car is for people who want to impress their passengers, but not their neighbors. That seems to be a very small market.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 If VW did drop Polo, it would be a strong indication that they had rethought the goal of selling the most cars of anyone in the world. Polo is probably second to Golf in global sales for VW.

  12. HtG Says:

    10. “That seems to be a very small market.”


  13. HtG Says:

    2:32pm Having no luck thinking of cooler names than ‘Tadge Juechter.’

    …ok, back to reviewing docs…

  14. RumNCoke Says:

    Shows you that Ford is playing the Long Game. Just when Ram thinks it has stolen a march on the Blue Oval with its diesel – BAM! – a diesel in the F-150. Now the 700 lb aluminum weight savings is really going to start being significant.

    Also – Please don’t make up words like “configurated”. The language is already suffering.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 That 700 pound figure being thrown about refers to the heaviest version of the new vs old F150. The Ford is only 3-400 pounds lighter than Chevy or Ram for crew cabs, with less difference than that in “smaller” configurations.

    As far as diesels, the Ram is selling very well, but, at some point, people might do a reality check, and find that the diesels will never be cost effective for most people. If Ford does a “light duty” diesel, it would certainly hurt Ram, but by the time it hits the market, the total sales of both diesels might be lower than Dodge has now.

  16. Badnikl Says:

    I see the day when Autonomous vehicles are all we will be allowed to drive. Think over the air TV, everyone had to buy a new TV and HD antenna or use cable/dish.

    The Government-Lobbied by every side except the consumer, will mandate this for all. It will be so expensive to drive yourself, no one will.

    Insurance industry will definitely see to that.

    Everybody get on the line ride.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    11 After a little more reading, I submit a clarification. VW is pondering dropping the 3-door version of the Polo and selling only the 5-door, something one of their chief rivals did two years ago with no negative effect on sales. It would produce some savings in design, engineering, etc. to only have the 5-door. I still say that dropping the Phaeton would save more. Its never made a profit and bringing it back to the US market seems as ill-advised as designing, engineering and producing a new version. Their reputation will take another credibility hit and people will remain very confused about what VW vehicles are supposed to be. The “peoples car” shouldn’t cost $80,000+.

  18. HtG Says:

    17. Maybe China explains the Phaeton.

  19. HtG Says:

    Hey, when are we getting a convertible Phaeton? Ha ha, a little joke.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 They sell a 3 door Fiesta in most markets, but not the U.S. That is one of Polo’s main competitors in Europe, along with a PSA car or two. Maybe the Peugeot and Citroen are made only as 5 doors.

    I keep wondering if cars like the “made for America” Fiesta sedan make financial sense for the company.

  21. FSTFWRD Says:

    @3/Mike So what you are saying is the defective version of the part was approved by Toyota?? Why do I think Toyota approved the part that was working correctly, and not the defective version.

  22. cwolf Says:

    Today’s news feels a bit week, but GM’s reducing its power train warranty from 100K to 60K miles and their lame excuse is an attention grabber:

    Hyundai gets to keep the crown!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One would think that 10 years would have been long enough for VW to learn that the Phaeton was a mistake. From what I could find, they sell fewer than 200 a month in Europe. People paying S-class or A8 money want a Benz or an Audi, I suspect the few Phaeton sales are mainly at the expense of A8 sales.

  24. C-Tech Says:

    My car is officially a zero now, but I like it anyway.

  25. Johnc Says:

    I sure hope that Tadge J was just being corporate correct and ‘hiding the truth’ when he denied any knowledge of a mid engine C8 Corvette. Hopefully he was playing with words. If not, once again my hopes will be dashed. Plus, your comments that Porsche doesn’t mess with mid engine 911 hardly work. They make mid engine 918,boxter, and Caymans. Corvette could have more that one model, as they do now

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    #22 perhaps the real reason is that it was costing them too much in warranty repairs and they just want to save some $$ figuring most car shoppers won’t even take notice?

  27. C-Tech Says:

    While looking at the Motor Trend site, it appears that GM is bringing their powertrain warranty program in line with its major competitors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan at 5yrs / 60. Before throwing shade on GM, consider their competition. Only Hyundai and Chrysler will have longer powertrain warranties in 2016.

  28. Dave Moore Says:

    The F150 would go very well with the 3.2-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel that’s been used by the Ranger for the past three years, or maybe it’s intended the proposed 3.0-litre V6 would go under the Ranger’s hood?