AD #1710 – FCA Labor Deal in Peril, Car Buyers Going Color Blind, VW Board Lacks Outsiders

September 28th, 2015 at 11:50am

Runtime: 6:43

- Latest Volkswagen Developments
- FCA Labor Deal in Peril
- Strong Sales in U.S. Expected to Continue
- Conservative Colors a Global Phenomenon
- VW Board Lacks Outsiders

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59 Comments to “AD #1710 – FCA Labor Deal in Peril, Car Buyers Going Color Blind, VW Board Lacks Outsiders”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Car colors: When you have no choice,white/black/silver/gray,is all that’s on the lots,what do you expect? I tried since this past Feb to get my van in a medium blue metallic,no dice with the trim level I wanted,so I settled for a dark gray metallic.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m doing my part to help with colorful cars, with tow red ones.

    It seems that Mercedes is at the forefront in pushing no-color cars. A while bact, I checked out the color palette for, I think, the new C-class, and it included about 7 shades of grey, black, white, and one or two other colors.

  3. Lisk Says:

    While the color palates on the outside are bleak, it’s the inside where cars are so dismal. You can have any color you want as long as it’s black or an equally depressing gray. Unless you get a high end marque there are no reds, blues, greens, or even nice tan/browns to choose from.

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Lisk: Yup,they offer the Henry Ford color palette,’any color you want,as long as it’s black’…..sigh

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Check out the color selections on the Ram 1500′s,they ‘get it’.

  6. Bradley Says:

    I thought it was a bad PR move to pull from within VW for their new CEO.

    The company is facing a bad corporate fraud case and you are going to ensure the public everything is fine by promoting someone that benefited from the fraud?

  7. HtG Says:

    At this year’s Pebble Beach, Ian Callum of Jaguar was saying marketers and dealers had a lot of influence on car colors being so grey. Callum said the colors designers liked tended not to sell.

    The vw/Audi V6 diesels haven’t been implicated. So that’s good. I’ll defer to DeLorenzo on what today’s Audi news will mean for the brand.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You can get a red interior in a Corvette, Challenger, and maybe a few other sporty cara, and some pricier cars than those.

    I can tell that Honda is really wanting an excuse to kill off the “basic” Accord coupe, because the 4 cylinder manual is available only with the Model T color palatte.

  9. Bradley Says:

    I have a red Yaris.

    I went all German for my first German car:
    A silver VW Jetta Sportswagen with diesel.

    The basic colors appear more timeless decades later.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like white with red interior. That’s what I’ll probably get, if I decide to order a now Corvette some day.

  11. shan Says:

    just wondering what Brand will benefit from VW’s fiasco?

  12. HtG Says:

    Some months ago, TBejma wrote here that one reason dealers order all those grey cars is that it’s easier for them to get customers ‘to settle’ for such color.

    And years ago I read that with expensive cars, people selected greys because it made the car easier to resell for higher prices.

    We’ve got silver and white cars, though not because that was my wish. :(

  13. HtG Says:

    11 Mazda Skyactive

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    And we have dark gray metallic,and dark gray metallic,not by choice here either.

  15. Rob Says:

    Not sure if its still the case but I do remember reading an article stating that the excuse of not being seen was used mostly on cars painted silver or grey. I agree they can be the hardest to see but not sure that would ever play into my buying decision anymore than Red is most likely to get pulled over for speeding. Personally not a big fan of silver.

  16. Kjhgr01 Says:

    Car color: try to get a blue import car with a black interior!! Good luck! If the manufactures made the black interior available with more colors I would choose colors over shades of grey!

  17. Roger Blose Says:

    Most dealers stock the silver, white and black so if you buy from stock, not much choice at retail. We have a black Mustang GT with a red interior which looks great. And a silver MKZ Lincoln with white / stone color interior which also looks great. Both bought from stock after some searching. Would love blues and dark reds but few dealers order these colors for stock based on resale. I wonder how many VW and Audi owners are trying to remove those TDI badges on their cars?

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 In the US, Prius sales should benefit from the VW fiasco. At least one friend, and I mainly cross-shopped TDI Golf and Sportwagon before buying Priuses.

  19. omegatalon Says:

    AAH last week discussed how every high performance turbo diesel engine without urea injection might have similar issues which means Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and BMW may all have issues which essentially wreck Germany’s economy because the cost of buying back cars because there is no viable fix for these engines which were designed from birth to be illegal.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When I have bought new GM and Chrysler cars, I have always ordered them to get what I want, as much as possible. I’m willing to wait 5-6 weeks. As recently as 1991, you could get a blue interior in a Chrysler minivan. My ’89 is “ice blue, ” with blue interior. My sister had a white ’91 with a blue interior.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, 13 Yeah, makes sense, and they have that nice Mazda 3 hatch.

  22. R Jones Says:

    I think G M truck division has the best colour selection !

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: My wife and I ordered our new van in the medium blue.We did that the day our dealer called and told us ordering was open.

    Two weeks later he called and said that dealer ordering was closed,and our order,along with others,were NOT EXCEPTED.

    I got excuse after excuse form the local mega dealer for why,or even when ordering would be open….again.

    By chance,the dealership where I bought my last new wrangler in 08 called and asked me if I would be looking to buy another vehicle.I told yes,this is what I wanted and he started looking.

    He did find use several blue vans,but nowhere equipped the way we wanted it.So he found the dark gray metallic van we have now,with all the options we wanted on it.

    And that as they say is,’the rest of the story’…

  24. gary susie Says:

    my CTS has a tan and brown interior. But the exterior is silver. Wanted a red one which the cts has but couldn’t find one.

  25. HtG Says:

    Beyond dark grey cars being so low profile and ubiquitous, there are times they blend right into the asphalt. You can’t see them in your peripheral vision. I think that’s a danger.

    On the other hand, some of premium cars painted grey have colors mixed in like flakes, so at least if you’re the owner or walking by, the paint can dazzle a little in the light.

    I’ve seen the new MX5 in all its colors on the road, and outside of the Soul Red they’re quite greyed out. No cheery colors like bright blue or yellow. It was at the Mazda driving event at MetLife stadium. Since the vw thing hit the fan I haven’t been feeling like talking about it though; one word, autocross.

  26. HtG Says:

    sounds like lots of people here settled for the greyscale paint.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 You can factory order Chrysler and GM vehicles that come from the US, Canada, and probably Mexico. I suspect they just build the PMC’s and ship them over, and try match them up with buyers. It sounds like they need to do better with that. I doubt if you can actually order a GM Korea car, but there are probably enough of them around that one the right color/equipment can be found via dealer trade.

  28. G.A.Branigan Says:

    In my case HtG,I had little choice.BUT…in two words,’vinyl wrap’….nuff said.

  29. Duke Says:

    #15 Rob, that is an old urban legend (red cars get more stops/tickets).

  30. Lisk Says:

    #27- The Chevrolet Trax used to be sourced entirely out of Korea but now they are also sourced from Mexico. We can order any combo we want; color; trim level; drive. The units are not pooled and then distributed so we get what we order. When Korea was the only source, it took about 4 months from order acceptance to delivery. Mexico cut that time in half. In the 80s, imports like Datsun & Toyota allocated cars out of a pool and you received whatever they felt like giving you. Chevy SS from down under- 6 month.

  31. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I could have ordered a new 1500 in a color I love,but not the rpmcw.They are made in Turkey,but I don’t know why that would make any difference.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 I’ve been driving about 53 years, and have had two speeding tickets. The cars were white and silver.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    G.A., you can factory order some European cars, including most BMW’s and Minis. You’d think they could set up a system for ordering the pmcw. It doesn’t even go through the chicken tax retrofit, that the cargo version would go through.

  34. HtG Says:

    32 34 years driving, 3 tix for speeding. Many more times being pulled over and getting let off. These days I do my extreme speeding on curvy highway ramps-there’s no law against making tire squeal noise near peoples’ houses. Good times.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 It’s easy to squeal tires on a Prius when cornering. Those LRR tires are good for making is seem like you are going faster than you actually are.

  36. JDay Says:

    I like the basic colors that are going around rite now. Greys,blacks,silvers,gunmetal and whites. My mazda5 is black/black leather and it looks just so much more upscale than let’s say a blue one with grey interior.. Loud ass colors on cars looks pretty tacky in my opinion plus I’m a guy that likes to blend in. Don’t do something crazy in your plum crazy purple or orange juice colored car and think everybody won’t know exactly who u are. I think teals and booger greens are literally the worst colors on cars. Yellows purples and some of these hideous pastel type colors I’m seeing around now I will never understand either. My truck is burgundy red and it’s ok but I was looking for a black one and I got a 130mph speeding ticket in my red trans am some years ago but I think I would’ve got that ticket no matter what color the car was. If u go in and buy a car with a funky color what happens when whatever mood u were in wares off? Trends change but u could be stuck with a lime green camaro yuk.

    As far as VW goes smogenbogen:

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    Re: colors, no one wants to stand our to either cops or thieves. HtG Redline Reviews on Youtube just tested his new Miata GT, very nice car indeed, if I were younger and had some money…..

  38. HtG Says:

    Pedro, “It’s a better car than I am a driver.”

    -HtG’s impression of the Miata

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like occasionally seeing purple, orange, and the right shades of yellow, on other peoples’ cars, but I wouldn’t want them on my own car. If I accidently pi$$ed someone off, they would remember my car forever. There is something to be said fore a silver Camry.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think a Plum Crazy Challenger might be fairly safe from thieves. It would be pretty noticeable when calls went out about a stolen car.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG I don’t buy that for a second!

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’m looking at a used Yaris, canary yellow, I thought it was an Earl Scheib paint job, but no, it was actually a factory color that year, it make the diminutive hatch look like a baby chicken. Great price and condition, but man, that color!!

  43. JDay Says:

    Thieves are an afterthought. Not that many cars are easy to steal to the common criminal these days. The days of busting the center column and twisting some wires are long gone. Cops are my single biggest concern personally. Having your local PD learn to recognize your “unique” colored car is likely to cost u more $$$ than any thieves will.

  44. HtG Says:

    41 For someone that says the new Miata is underpowered, I say they need to order a bigger plate of oysters. This car does what you tell it. Really amazing. I rotated and aimed it at sharp apexes and it never understeered, was totally predictable, didn’t break loose powering out of a turn, made it easy to level out before hard braking, and basically did just what I asked. With no experience in it. Stunning.

    I wish I fit in it.

  45. JDay Says:

    Earl shieb damn. Hold up maybe earl shieb is the answer….buy that ugly Yaris and have ol Earl spray paint it for 200.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG the Miata is NOT underpowered at all, it is ultra-light, small and it’s Mazda 3 derived engine is peppy enough to move it fast and with excellent MPG numbers. And unlike the FR-S, it has plenty of torque at any RPM. no need to rev it up.

  47. HtG Says:

    Pedro, I drove both the Sport and Club versions on the autocross(did a little favor for someone to get a second round). The Sport was manual and the Club version automatic. The biggest difference was that the taughter suspension of the Club suited me better. It was quicker to change directions. But both cars did feel quite soft, even though I always felt connected to and in sync with what the car was doing. I wasn’t allowed to turn off the nannies, though one of the instructors said the car could snap loose quickly with the nannies off. Compared to my ’96 I’d say my old car felt more direct and connected, but this new one is a much better car.

  48. Buzzerd Says:

    Colour choices- how often are people actually picking the colour they want as apposed to selecting what they like best from the lot? Maybe this has more to do with dealers picking ” safe” colours for inventory.
    Our last three vehicles were white, partly because we didn’t like all the dark earth tones, that show dirt and were boring, and one truck was white cause that’s what was on the lot with the options I wanted.
    Our new Juke is Red, cause we liked the colour and again that was what they had on the lot.

  49. HtG Says:

    46 Pedro, Mazda set up an acceleration and braking area at the lot. You gunned it, and then at a marker stopped it. This car is plenty fast. You can get in serious trouble. I guess I’m one of those people that doesn’t get the need for very high horsepower; where can you use it? What’s the big deal about pressing the accelerator in a straight line? This is not a skill.

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Considering our ever deteriorating roads, having a “softer” riding car is not such a bad thing after all, the FR-S does tend to get jarring after a while, even though most of our roads are in decent shape, but now and then you find one that is bad, and it rattles your brain after a while. I would not want it as a daily driver.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HtG, was this a ride and drive set up by Mazda, to showcase the cars? Maybe you said earlier, and I was not paying attention.

  52. HtG Says:

    Yep. They’re taking the cars on a 7 stop tour around the US. You take a breathalyzer test, prove you’ve got a drivers license, and then do a slalom course and an acceleration/braking course before you can go to the autocross. There are snacks and a Mazda key ring offered. One can’t drive the cars like this on a dealer test drive. Some people there were really hustling the cars.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sounds like fun. If they are only going 7 places, Kokomo, Indiana probably isn’t one of them, or even Indy, but I’ll try to find out. Maybe it is over.

  54. Robert Morrison Says:

    WOW John,

    Just as VW was regaing diesel powered vehicles as a great alternative to gas and alternative energy vehicles they had to go destroy it.
    Reminds me of Oldsmobile in the 80′s. Think about it, it took this long for Americans to accept what other countries car buyers have accepted for decades as reliable, efficient and long lasting power train.
    We were so close this time but confidence is lost yet again.

  55. XA351GT Says:

    Okay , I know I’m slow,but what is the union members problem with the deal they were given? It sounded pretty damn good to me who makes far less than they are offered. So They would rather cut off their hands? Going on strike is going to hurt the company and cost them jobs. I guess they’d rather have short term gain and long time pain. That kind of thinking just seems counter productive to me.

  56. David Sprowl Says:

    Given the recent large recall issues at FCA, GM, Toyota. The VW issue long term may not be as bad as it appears right now. Also it is doubtful that the board make u[ will have any significant difference to prevent this sort of issue from happening ever again. Firing somebody is a reaction to what already has happened. As to the color issue, I suspect that whites and grays are easier to deal with in the manufacturing process with respect to paint flaws and over all cost. Dork interiors are easier to clean and keep clean during manufacturing over lighter colors.

  57. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Since most of the interiors are covered in plastic I don’t see where it would be easier to keep clean.Back in the 50′s/60′s/70′s,there was alway excellent choices for exterior and interior color.It was done with no hassle back then,it damn sure can be done now.

  58. Warren Down Says:

    I think this is a simply a supply issue. Dealers only order bland colours that they think they won’t be stuck with later.Especially if they are selling high volume cars like Camrys and Accords. And buyers probably think they will have better resale value since everybody else is buying bland colours (talk about sheep!) The only faint hope of getting a bright colour is if you want a performance car (eg.Dodge Challenger) although Ford and Chevy don’t have as wide a selection of performance car colours as FCA. Hooray for FCAs bold stance for bold colours !

  59. BobD Says:

    Consumers get what they deserve for “settling” for the color/trim level/option combos they find on the lot. I’ve probably purchased 20 new vehicles over the past 40 years and all but two were ordered (the exceptions were exact matches of what I wanted found locally). All of my vehicles were GM, and with one or two exceptions, all were delivered in 5 or 6 weeks. My most recent vehicle was a 2015 Colorado which are in short supplies on the lot, but still only took 6 weeks to get including the X-mas shutdown. Salesmen don’t like ordering vehicles because it delays their commissions, but at the first hesitation/excuse, I just tell them “I’m ordering, or I’m leaving” and their attitudes suddenly change.