May 21st, 2009 at 12:00pm
Chrysler announced Robert Kidder will take over as chairman once it emerges from bankruptcy. The new U.S. fuel economy regulations could cost you a lot more than claimed by the Obama Administration. BMW puts Doppler radar in your car, so you can see the weather. All that and more, plus a look inside Lincoln’s new three-row crossover, the MKT.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Chrysler names a new chairman. CAFE costs could skyrocket. And BMW puts Doppler radar in your car, so you can see the weather.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, May 21, 2009. And now, the news.
Hold on to your wallets! Ward’s reports that the new U.S. fuel economy regulations could cost you A LOT more (subscription required) than claimed by the Obama Administration. $1,300 of extra cost was the initial figure tossed out there, but according to Ricardo, an independent engineering firm, depending on the type of vehicle, the actual price tag could be anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000!
Chrysler announced Robert Kidder, 64, will take over as chairman from Robert Nardelli once Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy. Kidder is the former chairman of Borden Chemical and Duracell, the battery company, and has extensive private equity experience. He was chosen by the Presidential Task Force.
And Chrysler put out a video yesterday from Steve Landry, the executive vice president for sales explaining why the company is getting rid of so many dealers. We’ll have the full video posted later on our website.
Daimler was fined by German market regulator BaFin, over the resignation of its former chief executive Juergen Schrempp. According to the Detroit Free Press, BaFin fined the company $272,000 because it knew well in advance of his resignation and should have notified the public earlier. Schrempp’s resignation sent stock prices higher, hurting investors who sold stock just before he left. Daimler admits no wrong doing but accepted the fine to avoid more legal battles.
Chinese automaker Chery will start building vehicles in Brazil. According to Gasgoo.com, the plant will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units. Chery will invest $500 million in the plant and plans to open it in 2011. The automaker will begin importing its Tiggo SUV to the Brazilian market next month with three more models to follow by the end of the year.
BMW will launch a new feature that lets drivers look at cloud and precipitation animations right on their navigation screens. The display looks just like Doppler radar and shows weather patterns for the past 90 minutes. Called “Precipitation Pattern” feature it’s set to launch this July.
Coming up next, a look inside Lincoln’s new three-row crossover the MKT.
The new Lincoln MKT crossover goes on sale late this summer. To set it apart from the competition, the company gave it some unique features – not the least of which is its styling.
People will either love it or hate it, but at least they’ll have an opinion about it. The plunging grill, kicked-up shoulder line and bulbous bustle back are unlike anything else out there. And while its exterior may cause controversy, there’s little to argue about inside.
The dashboard and doors are covered in stitched panels and real wood trim. The look is clean and luxurious with high-quality materials everywhere. Moving back, the second-row seats are like thrones, with plenty of room to stretch out. Unfortunately, passengers traveling in steerage are not blessed with the same spacious accommodations. There’s very little leg or headroom in the third row.
As we reported earlier in the week, Ford is offering its new EcoBoost V6 as an option on the MKT. A naturally-aspirated 268 horsepower, V6 serves as the base engine.
Driving the EcoBoost-powered MKT was more fun than expected. The big crossover handles remarkably well and rides smooth. With the turbocharged engine, it’s quick at all speeds. On level ground with the cruise control set at 70, the digital readout indicated 23 miles per gallon, or about 10 L/100 km. That’s impressive for a big vehicle with 350-plus horsepower.
If you’re in the market for a luxuriously trimmed three-row crossover, the new Lincoln MKT is hard to beat. Its styling isn’t for everyone, but if you like what you see, it offers some appealing features like a top-notch interior and surprising performance.
And that does it for today’s show. But one more thing before we go. Because of the holiday we’re taking tomorrow off, so I have to announce the winner of this week’s trivia contest today. We challenged you to identify the car pictured here. And the correct answer is … the Citroen Nemo. It’s a compact utility van that’s sold in Europe. And this week’s winner is… Brian Heersink of Livonia, Michigan. Congratulations Brian, you’ve just won a really cool Mercedes-Benz clock.
Also, don’t forget to checkout Autoline After Hours. It kicks-off tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern or 23:00 GMT. Along with Peter and Jason we’ll be joined by Robin Miller, one of the best motorsport journalists in the business, and Sam Abuelsamid from Autoblog. One topic for tonight: Is it possible the Chevrolet Volt will not make it into production? You’ll want to hear what that’s about.
Anyway, that’s it for today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.