AD #1994 – New Jeep Grand Wagoneer Cancelled, VW Axes U.S. Diesels, BorgWarner Electrifies Business Strategy
November 23rd, 2016 at 11:51am
To watch this episode on YouTube click here.
- Jeep Grand Wagoneer Cancelled
- VW Axes U.S. Diesels
- Mercedes May Drop U.S. Diesels
- New Hybrid Pick-up Truck
- BorgWarner Electrifies Business Strategy
- You Said It!
On today’s show…Volkswagen won’t sell diesels in the U.S. anymore…plans for a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer have been scrapped…and John answers your questions and comments in You Said It! All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
JEEP GRAND WAGONEER CANCELLED
The Jeep brand keeps expanding its lineup into new segments and it had plans to move more upscale, moving a whole segment above the Grand Cherokee. But now Autoforecast Solutions reports that plans for the 2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer have been cancelled. The problem seems to be that the architecture for the Grand Cherokee, which is also shared by the Dodge Durango, simply cannot accommodate a vehicle that is a full segment size larger. The solution may be to build the Grand Wagoneer off the Ram pickup platform instead. The most expensive Jeep now is the SRT Grand Cherokee, which costs about $65,000. Jeep sees the opportunity to go further upscale than that.
VW AXES U.S. DIESELS
Well this could be the least surprising news we’ve reported all year. Volkswagen isn’t going to sell diesels in the U.S. anymore. CEO Herbert Diess told German paper Handelsblatt that the company is “working under the assumption that we will no longer offer diesel vehicles in the United States.” That’s a big blow for the company, especially its dealers. Through October, VW’s sales are down 13% in the U.S., mainly because it hasn’t been able to sell diesels since last year.
MERCEDES MAY DROP U.S. DIESELS
But VW isn’t the only German automaker looking to dump its diesels in the U.S. Automotive News reports Mercedes is considering doing the same due to slumping demand. It’s currently conducting consumer research to see if it should dump diesels. The EPA is also conducting stricter tests in the wake of the diesel scandal and that’s delayed certification for several diesels that Mercedes wants to come out with. And that’s also causing the company to rethink its diesel strategy.
And we’ll be back with more right after this.
NEW HYBRID PICKUP TRUCK
Back in 2009 GM introduced hybrid versions of its Silverado and Sierra pick-up trucks. Those models ended up being discontinued due to low sales. But now another company is jumping into electrified trucks. The Workhorse Group, which makes electric delivery vehicles and drones, is getting set to come out with an extended-range pick-up concept called the W-15. It has an estimated 80-mile range on electric power and it’s equipped with a gasoline engine that will kick in once the battery is depleted. The truck, which is aimed at fleet buyers, will make its official debut at the ACT EXPO in California next May.
BORGWARNER ELECTRIFIES BUSINESS STRATEGY
BorgWarner is a traditional powertrain supplier that can trace its roots back to the 19th Century. Its expertise was primarily centered around the internal combustion engine. But in today’s increasingly electrified world, the company is modifying its business strategy. Last year it bought Remy International, the company that was once known as Delco Remy and used to be a part of General Motors. Now Borg supplies belt-alternator starters, a very low cost way to achieve stop-start technology and mild hybrids. It then combined its own transmission expertise with electric motors from Remy to create this EV drive system that is already being used in China, though BorgWarner will not identify who its customer is. It also created this in-cabin heater for electric cars that runs on high voltage, up to 800 volts, but uses very little battery power. BorgWarner is doing a lot more than what we just detailed here, but it’s a great example of how automotive supplier companies are adapting to changes in the market.
Coming up next, John answers your questions and comments in You Said It!
YOU SAID IT!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.
A number of you, not surprisingly, had something to say about the presidential election in the United States.
Nobody Important says, “The U.S. automotive industry has been crippled by left-leaning ideals for half a century. Let’s try it Trump’s way for a change. We might actually rediscover how to win again.”
I’m not sure I would say crippled, Nobody Important. The industry is enjoying all-time record sales and all-time profits. That doesn’t sound crippled to me.
Centurion1973 is on the other side of the fence. “I expect a disaster if Trump implements his insane ideas. But hopefully Senate + car makers lobbyists will stop anything too crazy.”
Actually, the lobbying group is already asking Trump to back off on regulations.
And finally Tail Finz asks, “Do you think Trump will be good for the automotive industry, John?”
I think Trump has to be very careful and remember the law of unintended consequences. Ripping up NAFTA and cutting back on fuel economy standards could actually hurt the American auto industry. And I’ll have a lot more to say about this next week in Autoline Daily.
DocWolph wants to know, “Will full-sized trucks get 48-volt systems first?”
Good question Doc. These mild hybrids would be perfect for trucks. I remember a few years ago Mark Reuss at General Motors said no trucks would be able to meet the fuel economy standards after 2019 without some kind of electrification. And the 48 volt systems are perfect for trucks and SUVs.
Didi Mulyadi wants to know why the Ford EcoSport will not be sold in the U.S. until 2018. “Why so late? By the time EcoSport arrives, other companies already have second gen or third gen models and improved their CUV.”
That is the million-dollar question. Why is Ford waiting so long to get the EcoSport into the American market? It makes no sense whatsoever, and Ford offers no explanation. To me this sounds like a major mistake and I’m sure somebody in the audience knows exactly what’s going on.
Kit Gerhart wants to know, “On cars with multiple drive modes, like my Corvette, are the tests done in the mode that would give the best mpg, probably “eco” on my car, or the default, which is “touring” on the ‘Vette?”
Man you people ask good questions! I don’t know the answer but we’ll get you one.
TJWatson59 notes that “When new car photos are shown, they almost always now have a license plate painted as the car color. Why even put one on a car then go thru all the trouble of painting it to blend in as if it weren’t there for publicity photos?”
TJ, I noticed the same thing and don’t have an answer for that either. Looks like I’ve got some phone calls to make.
Thanks for all your questions and comments, we really like getting them. But with that we wrap up today’s show. Remember, we here at Autoline are closing down for the next two days for the Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
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