AD #1814 – People Pay a Lot More for Cadillacs, Candidate Emerges as Next CEO of FCA, Nissan’s Autonomous Vision

March 7th, 2016 at 11:51am

Runtime: 8:43

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Cadillac Transaction Prices Up
- Nissan’s Fueling Station of the Future
- BMW Turns 100!
- Russia’s Autovaz CEO Stepping Down
- Candidate Emerges to Become Next FCA CEO
- Supplier Develops Vacuum-Less Braking System
- The Bar That Created the Car

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34 Comments to “AD #1814 – People Pay a Lot More for Cadillacs, Candidate Emerges as Next CEO of FCA, Nissan’s Autonomous Vision”

  1. Rob Says:

    Cadillac transaction prices; So people are paying $8000 more for a CTS. Makes me wonder did Caddy have huge discounts and rebates that just arent being offered anymore or has the sticker incresed that much more? Maybe combination of both. Certainly no one is paying over the sticker.

  2. David Sprowl Says:

    Play back of the show is um bad. No mater what computer or feed I’m on the play back is very segmented. Good thing the transcript is there.

    So Nissan has a bold vision of the future. Given that cars are charging, not sure how it wold both receive and give electricity at the same time. Given the cost of construction, that would be one pricey charge/parking fee.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My Prius has an electric vacuum pump to make sure vacuum is available for the brake booster when the gas engine isn’t running. It surprised me to learn that when I bought the car in 2010. Vacuum boosters must be a really cheap and easy way to do power brakes, seeing that alternatives are only now coming on line.

  4. KEVIN M Says:


  5. Wim van Acker Says:

    Could anybody explain to me what the potential benefits are of charging a house or an office with the electric vehicle?

  6. Buzzerd Says:

    @5- if you had a fuel cell vehicle you could theoretically use the fuel cell to power you house saving electrical costs and or use it to live off the grid say in the event of a large power outage.

  7. Lex Says:

    How does the braking system on pure electrics like the Tesla and Nissan Leaf operate without a vacuum assist from the ICE motor.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Leaf has some kind of non-vacuum electric boost.

  9. Wim van Acker Says:

    @6: thanks. The hydrogen of a hydrogen fuel cell is currenty produced by:
    1 burning natural gas: CH4 + O2 ===> 2 H2 + CO2
    2 steam reforming of naphta
    CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2 and then
    CO + H2O → CO2 + H2

  10. Wim van Acker Says:

    I was not done, yet, when the previous post went out:
    @6: thanks. The hydrogen of a hydrogen fuel cell is currenty produced by:
    1 burning natural gas: CH4 + O2 ===> 2 H2 + CO2
    2 steam reforming of naphta
    CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2 and then
    CO + H2O → CO2 + H2
    3 in future through electrolysis of water by adding electrical energy

    Therefore the benefit of using a fuel cell vehicle to power a house escapes me, too.

  11. Rob Says:

    #10 I believe your over-thinking this. Kind of like the battery packs for solar power or wind. Using the storage capacity when the sun is down or no wind. In many areas electric rates are cheaper during off peak hours. So charging your car at night and then using that power during peak hours for your home could theoretically save some money.

    But to me that assumes the system knows when you are leaving and insures the car is fully charged at that point.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    BMW has been around for 100 years, but not as a car company. Their start was with airplane engines, then motorcycles, and later, cars. They again made a lot of aero engines during WW II.

    They have a long and interesting history, and seem to be doing well, in a very competitive industry.

  13. Albemarle Says:

    Always amusing to see these futuristic videos. I think they are done as morale boosters for the company.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to have an inductive charger under every parking spot, rather than playing musical chairs all night?

    Using the car’s battery to smooth out power generation would be ok as long as I don’t have to wait for a recharge if I have a sudden urge to leave early.

    Finally, I’d love it for my car with snow and/or mud to drive through my office on the way to the garage.
    Let me think about this. How about having the cars go through something we could call a garage door, while people enter a person door? A new idea, but something we could work on for the future, perhaps.

    Must have been an elementary school project. Actually, that’s not fair. Kids are a lot smarter than this.

  14. JWH Says:

    Vacuum boosters – As Kit pointed out, fairly economical to manufacture as they have been used for years on gasoline engines, & the alternatives are fairly recent. Diesel engines have used engine driven boosters for years as diesels do not produce the “free” vacuum that gasoline engines do. The ZF unit has very good claims & if true I’m sure it’s use will expand.

  15. ukendoit Says:

    #11, That is how I always understood it. Charge when the energy is cheaper and use it as a battery during the day. What I don’t get is that during the day is normally when the vehicle is needed or is away from home.
    Given Nissan’s scenario in today’s show, you could possibly leave work with a full charge, then use that to power your home. If you have a short commute and enough battery capacity, your employer could theoretically foot the bill for your home energy needs. I’m not sure we will ever see that “free energy” they mentioned though.

  16. ukendoit Says:

    (If you watch the Nissan video in the link, it mentions that energy may be free in the future since it will be so abundant and shared.)

  17. Rob Says:

    #16 Yea probably. Energy will be free and we will be paying for water and air. Oh wait already pay for bottled water.

  18. Jonathan Says:

    With leasing isn’t the incentive put on raising the residual?

    That’s the only reason Cadillacs AVERAGE TRANSACTION PRICES ARE UP.

    So instead of cap cost reduction to lower transaction pricing….the leasing company just raises the residual to lower the payments..

    If I’m right that shows the shell game being played by Cadillacs Johaan..

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #5: The great benefit of running your house with your electric car is you can’t drive to work in the morning.

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    The Prius brake controller defeated dyno testing our 2003 Prius (see link to eBay unit.) Without the rear wheels turning, the car could only reach 18 mph before the ABS (part 47070-47020) braked the drive wheels.

    The brake assembly has a nitrogen bellows and a 12V motor that charges the brake fluid. This is the first sound you hear in a Prius, the pump ‘charging’ the accumulator. This type of brake controller was in the first, 1997 Prius sold only in Japan.

    For dyno testing, I’ll have to ‘spoof’ the ABS encoders. But once done, I should be able to return to the dyno and play some tricks.

    Bob Wilson

  21. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Jonathan, you may be on to something; I know there are still transaction deals out there for buying a new Cadillac. Burns me up sometimes with this creative accounting.

    And on vacuum boosters: they’ve been working great for generations; now the new technology may save some weight (but perhaps at the cost of complexity and cost). Vacuum boosters are basically a diaphragm (in a can) capturing engine vacuum and storing it in a vacuum reservoir.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3, 20 I was wrong about my Prius having a vacuum pump. That sound I hear when I open the door is a pump as described by Bob, not a vacuum pump.

  23. Ziggy Says:

    If all the big wigs of the auto industry sat at that bar what happened to all the seats, I don’t see any in that photo you showed, or did old Henry scoop them up in a fire sale to use on his cars of the day?

  24. motojerry800 Says:

    #13:also, I don’t see why any of these skulking auto bots even need headlights.

  25. Don B. Says:

    Cadillac sales must really tanking out for them to claim best in transactions prices. That’s like saying Radio Shack had better transaction prices on 50″ flat screen TV’s than Walmart. But who sold more?
    Vacuum-less brakes, does anyone remember the Tevis brake systems from the 1980′s that were on Jaguars and Rivieras? They did not work that well and had total failure without warning of any kind while driving the vehicle.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I could never figure why 2500-3000 pound cars even need power brakes. My ’74 Duster had non-power front disc, rear drum, and the pedal didn’t push that hard. The brake pedal was a little higher than with power brakes, but it wasn’t a problem. Now, even a 2000 pound Smart probably has power brakes standard.

  27. HtG Says:

    12. The BMW roundel is a stylized airplane prop, spinning. (Confession, when I was a kid working in the BMW dealership parts dept, it was all I could do not to steal one of those things. Now that could have been a cool paperweight!)

  28. Mark B. Says:

    Working as a Dodge mechanic since 1982 I have had to work on the Bendix 10 ABS systems that were on on Dodge,Plymouth,and Chrysler minivans in 1991-93.They used a electric motor-pump assembly to provide the brake assist instead of vacuum.Since the motor-pump assembly would run a lot,they had failures.Recall 685 came out to fix them.Maybe the parts quality is better now.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 At one time, they were brass cloisonne, and would be good paper weights, even in front of a big fan.

  30. Earl Says:

    #24 Who would ever of thought that at Cadillac their best selling vehicle would be a cuv (SRX) and not a car.
    They should have had that XT5 out 3 years ago instead of developing new cars which are being outsold by CUV/SUV’s. Too many on the committee again.
    As for transaction prices being up it’s understandable when those exorbitant price increases were put on models like the CTS and the result was that sales tanked.
    My hope is that Johann can finally move the needle there.

  31. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Johann has to, or at least should, be careful when publicly declaring the rise in transaction pricing. This could be construed as ‘bragging’, and when a customer (or potential customer) hears these declarations, they may be off-putting.
    You can think it, but don’t say it. A more dignified statement might be that, we (Cadillac) are happy/delighted/positive/etc. with our margins and gain in margins; presently and looking into the future.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 America is CUV-crazy, which is why the SRX is Cadillac’s best selling product. It is generally considering among worst-in-class, but it sells well. Meanwhile, CTS and ATS get very good reviews, but don’t sell so well.

    Since the SRX sells, even though it is not too great, it makes sense to spend the new product money on something else. I suppose a second, larger or smaller CUV might have made sense, but that would just take sales from SRX, more than from competitors.

  33. Rob Says:

    #29 I was thinking the same thing. It’s a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand it’s a way of saying hey, look people find value in our product and are paying for the name Cadillac, only second to Mercedes.
    It’s also like saying “hey look customers your overpaying by $X000. But with many things in the luxury arena, you partially pay for better quality but also the brand recognition.

    Cadillac has cars that can compete with Merc on quality of product, but still many people would prefer the Merc brand simply because status symbol. If Merc and Caddy had equal cars of equal pricing people would still think you over-paid on the caddy.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that Merc and BMW also have an image advantage, in having one main brand, and not sharing engines, etc. with “lesser” brands like Chevy. OK, BMW now shares more with MINI, but not like GM and, especially, Ford between their premium and mainstream brands.