Episode 194 – The German Provision, Nissan’s EV Program, CARS Generates Traffic

July 28th, 2009 at 1:07pm

Runtime 8:45

German automakers get CO2 exemptions from the U.S. government that American automakers can not get. Nissan says that its EV program is going to be profitable thanks to all the government subsidies it’s getting. The Cash for Clunkers program got underway in the U.S. market yesterday and dealers reported a big jump in showroom traffic. All that and more, plus a closer look at the interior of the redesigned 2010 Ford Taurus.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. German automakers get CO2 exemptions from the American government that American automakers can not get. Nissan says its EV program will be profitable. And Cash for Clunkers generates a lot of showroom traffic.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, July 28, 2009. And now, the news.

A couple of days ago we reported that automakers would no longer be able to pay a fine if they did not meet US fuel economy standards. Well, it looks like the American government changed its mind. The Wall Street Journal says companies like Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and others can keep selling cars that emit more greenhouse gasses than the law allows. But of course the American government would never grant an exemption like that to American automakers. They call it the “German Provision” and both the federal government and the state of California allow exemptions for cars like the Mercedes S600 that’s rated at 13 miles per gallon, or 18 liters per 100 kilometers.

Nissan says that its electric car program is going to be profitable thanks to all the government subsidies it’s getting. Bloomberg reports that Nissan is getting help from governments around the world, including $1.6 billion from the US. Nissan is putting the capacity in place in the US, Europe and Japan to build 350,000 EV’s a year. It will start production in Japan next year.

The Cash for Clunkers program got underway in the American market yesterday and dealers reported a big jump in showroom traffic. While most buyers do not qualify for the incentive, the Wall Street Journal reports that many dealers have seen their sales triple. But other experts warn this is just pulling sales forward and they’ll drop off again when the money runs out.

Ron Bloom, the newly appointed head of the auto task force, says the government plans to sell its stake in GM and Chrysler as soon as possible. According to the AP, Bloom expects an initial public offering for GM next year but the government won’t sell all its shares at once. The U.S. government owns 61 percent of the new General Motors and eight percent of Chrysler.

Delphi may finally exit from bankruptcy soon, but not with Platinum Equity as the new owners. According to the Detroit News, Delphi’s lenders won an auction for the supplier’s assets. During Delphi’s bankruptcy the lenders gave the company $3.5 billion in loans and threatened to foreclose the company if it went ahead with Platinum’s offer. General Motors said it supports the new bid and that it will be a better deal for GM than Platinum’s offer. The new agreement still includes selling off four of Delphi’s U.S. plants and its global steering business to GM.

Magna has improved its bid for Opel. According to Reuters, the Canadian supplier is now offering 350 million euros of its own capital, up from 100 million. The German government favors a Magna takeover and now Opel’s workers are saying the same thing. According to the Detroit Free Press, Opel’s workers prefer Magna and won’t help rescue the automaker if they don’t get a say in who the company ends up with. Workers are being asked to provide up to 1.5 billion euros in concessions which is more than any investor intends to commit.

Coming up next, a closer look at the interior of the redesigned 2010 Ford Taurus, we’ll be back right after this.

Yesterday we looked at the exterior of the new Ford Taurus and today we’re getting inside for an up-close look at what the company’s done to revamp the interior.

And that’s it for today’s news. But don’t forget to tune in for Autoline After Hours on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Eastern, when our guest will be Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics. He always has great insight. On another note, we’re working on a story all about hypemiling and would like to know your driving tricks to get the best fuel economy possible. Give us a call at 1 – 620 -AUTOLIN, that’s Autoline without the “E,” or the full number is 1-620-288-6546.

And that’s it for today’s program, thanks for watching we’ll see you tomorrow.

14 Comments to “Episode 194 – The German Provision, Nissan’s EV Program, CARS Generates Traffic”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    The BEST Ford Sales Reps will watch this segment and use it to highlight some of the best features of this apparently wonderful new car.

  2. Dan Clemons Says:

    Ford is on a roll with thier new Taurus. The Blue Oval is turning heads inside and out. That is a home run hit if you ask me.

  3. Michael J. Brown Says:

    Those “German Provisions” kind of remind me or the “Jordan Rules” from the Piston’s Bad Boys days.

  4. paulstewart Says:

    John are you allowed to ask hard questions from Ford Reps ??? I had a high opinion of you from many years past that is slowly changing to less. Please prove me wrong or are you more like the Lienarts of the Freepress from years past ?. Please ask some hardball questions I’m begging you.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The “German Rules” are probably because BMW and Mercedes-Benz are not “full line” car companies, so should be treated differently, like maybe Ferrari. My thought is that Ferrari should be given exemption from gas mileage requirements, because they are very low volume, and are obviously not a full line car company. BMW and M-B should not get any exemptions, though. They are full line car companies in the rest of the world, but choose to be uppity, snob appeal car companies in America, and not import their smaller, more efficient cars. If M-B would sell A Class, C Class diesels, and some other products they refuse to sell here, they wouldn’t need special exemptions. The same would apply to BMW.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The “German provision”,thats nice.What other concessions to foreign auto makers will our law makers do? How about some provisions our way?Like ease off on the outragous diesel restrictions for us? You mandate E15 yet let in cars that get terrible mileage,and spout out more damageing emmissions while putting more and more unrealistic demands on our american auto makers.Shame on you washington,shame on you.

  7. Roger T Says:

    The German provision is an outrage! Look at these companies with a bigger umbrella: Mercedes should promote sales of Smarts, Porsche should be accounted in VW sales and BMW could (and should) develop a small car too. Remember all these companies sell clean diesels, so there really is no excuse for this provision – think of American manufacturers that sell more trucks than anything else and are being included in the fuel economy standards regardless.

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Chastised by our own government (during the hearings on why they should get a bailout) and scolding them about how the domestics weren’t competitive (to the rest of the world) and then they go and give special treatment to the Germans (not to mention carte-blanche, for the rest of the manufacturers competing in America, while all the while a lot of the foreign car companies have been getting national support in order to compete in the U.S. unencumbered.

  9. Jude Says:

    So how easy will it be for owners to clean those “zen-waved” cupholder bottoms once coffee, soda, etc. spill in them? My guess is it won’t be.

    The only time someone will see the “zen waves” is when they cupholder lid is open, but there are no cups actually being held…in other words, when the cupholders aren’t being used.

    This is the epitome of ego-driven design (i.e. overstyling), NOT user-friendly ergonomics. How upscale and special will customers feel with coffee/soda-crusted, sticky cupholder bottoms?

    What next? Chromed blue oval badges on the wheel well liners? A built-in hood insulation camera? Gooseneck trunk hinge-mounted vanity mirrors?

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess some people aren’t very careful with the way they handle coffee and sodas in their cars. I have a 20 year old minivan with cup holders that are used routinely, but are very clean and not at all encrusted with anything.

  11. pedro Fernandez Says:

    In my humble opinion, these designers put too much emphasis on things that the average buyer could give a crap about. MOST buyers want a certain “feel” from a car, quiet cabin, comfortable seats and good ergonomics, good ride and decent handling, the wallowy sensation of the past is not desirable anymore. Also good gas mileage and reliability are a must Just like good value for your $. But how the headlights seam into the lines and wavy interior trimmings, ect. ect. is just BS.

  12. Matt Says:

    Hey John,

    Just a thought about the new phone number for people to contact the show directly. You should promote it as (620)-AUTOLINE (*with* the E) since it doesn’t matter if you dial an 11th digit with today’s phones at the outset of the call–the network will just ignore it. It’ll be a lot easier for people to remember and you won’t have to keep explaining it each time.

  13. Mouhamad A. Naboulsi Says:

    It just does not make any sense for the Government to penalize U.S. automakers while allowing the european to getaway with more Green house gazes. Is their green house gazes any less damaging? What’s going on here?

    Nissan gets a 1.6 Billion in grants. I love that one. Did they bring Ghosn over to the senate and asked him if he’ll work for one dollar? What gives?

    I am really lost in the logic of all of this.

  14. Edwin Benson Says:

    Love the interior of the new Taurus, but I sure hope that I NEVER have to dig into that one piece center stack/console for service – or have to pay anyone else to do that.