AD #2169 – Automakers Have Too Many Models, Equinox Diesel Flirts w/ 40MPG, Who’s Next in Line for FCA CEO?

August 15th, 2017 at 11:30am

Runtime: 8:45

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Too Many Car Companies, Too Many Models
- Chevy Equinox Diesel Fuel Economy Ratings
- Ferrari Considers Dino-Like Entry Level Car
- Mazda to Restore Original Miatas
- Tires Need to Be More Durable
- John’s Top Picks for Next FCA CEO, Plus a Dark Horse

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22 Comments to “AD #2169 – Automakers Have Too Many Models, Equinox Diesel Flirts w/ 40MPG, Who’s Next in Line for FCA CEO?”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Chose anybody BUT M.Manley.He missed too many opportunities with Jeep,especially with the wranglers.He is NOT well thought of in the Jeep off roading community.

  2. Drew Says:

    Entry level Ferraris already exist. They are called Alfas and Maseratis.

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    When I think of entry level Ferrari I think of the Alpha Romeo 4C; maybe not a brother/sister to the Ferrari family but certainly a cousin. I believe Ferrari is doing great by offering their higher end product so I see no need for a ‘baby’ Ferrari.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    Ferrari; Developing a brand that is exclusive to the upper class is appealing partially for that reason alone. It is a status symbol to own a Ferrari. Diluting that exclusivity by offering an entry level car would be a bad move. It may generate revenue but at what long term cost?
    They do not build a very reliable car now and getting into mass volumes could end up being a warranty and reputation nightmare..

  5. XA351GT Says:

    Less brands and Models. Since 2000 the American market lost Olds, Pontiac ,Saturn, Hummer, Saab, Suzuki, Plymouth, Mercury, Isuzu. I’m sure I missed a couple. As far as models to cut how about the glut of SUV and CUVs? Seems like a great place to start. How many different ones does GM offer through their 4 brands? As far as brands to cut, Chrysler ( will only have one model to offer soon) Buick and GMC, Mitsubishi is circling the bowl Fiat is going no where. I don’t see any brands doing away with their premium brands , but they could be rolled back under the main company ex. Genesis/Hyundai. The problem with offering less models is less choice. If someone wants a small car and they don’t like what you offer your out of luck for a long time due build cycles. Ex. Volvo, just re-did their line up and people aren’t buying. With multiple models at least if you stumble with one offering a 2nd maybe doing okay. Get it wrong and you miss out on the entire segments sales.

  6. Drew Says:

    @5 – You missed Scion.

    Buick survives because of its China sales. GMC survives because of its profit margins.

    Acura is surviving only because of its CUV sales. But its CUVs are consuming production capacity that Honda could use for the Pilot.

    Mitsubishi is dead, but doesn’t know it.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    Fewer offerings seems to be just another indicator that society in general looks at vehicles as just a form of transportation. The car isn’t an extension of ones personality or passion. (present company excluded) Also why ride sharing is more appealing. Its no longer a necessity.

    IMO the new generation of drivers are more interested in how well their phone will interface with their car than how it looks. The style and variants become less important than function. So you just end up shopping for a Coupe, Sedan, CUV, SUV. van or truck.

  8. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I think the Equinox diesel will sell pretty good.I can’t see where they wouldn’t given the fact that VW is out of the diesel game. And I’m sure the epa testing done was complete,no cheats etc.That should bring buyers confidence back.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ferrari should put prancing horse emblems on Grand Cherokees and sell them as Ferraris. No, I’m not serious. They seem to be doing fine with their ridiculously expensive exotics that people wait in line to buy. They shouldn’t change anything. Sell the less expensive sports cars as Alfas.

    To me, there are too many car models, but too little choice. There about about 100 different SUV, CUV, tall wagon things, but not one real rear drive car-height wagon the in the U.S. market. There are almost no “mainstream” coupes. There are few hatchbacks, but I see promise, as the Civic hatch returns, and the Cruze hatch makes it to the U.S. market. Then, companies like BMW and Mercedes have all of these slow selling models, like the ugly, tall hatchbacks with lift kits. Why? They could sell the good stuff, like C-Class wagon in the U.S., and come out ahead, even if they didn’t sell a lot of them.

    As far as brands, GMC’s silly “professional grade” ads worked so well that it apparently makes financial sense to keep the brand. Also, it is a good brand to sell alongside Buick and Cadillac. Mitsubishi doesn’t do well in North America, but the parent company seems to have sufficiently “deep pockets” that they don’t care, and are staying on.

    Is there going to be a next generation Chrysler 300 based on the Alfa Giulia? If not, the Pacifica would be the only Chrysler, but as long as Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram are sold along side each other, there wouldn’t need to be a big “brand management” group for Chrysler, even with only the van. I, for one, hope there is a new 300, and it is a decent car.

  10. Ed Says:

    About the tire inflation. I was a kid in the 60′s, and remember traveling, every gas station had the men who would come up, wash the windows and check the tires and under the hood. Later every station had an air hose so you could do your own, but starting in the 80′s best I remember they got the cheap pay stations. Now most have nothing. Or if they do it is not working. It may just be here where I live but for most people when you do a fill up there is not a convienient way to check or air your tires. Unless you have your own pump and gauge it may not happen. No matter the ads or campaigns if the infrastructure is not handy it will not be utilized. My new vehicle came with nitrogen in the tires, but unless I go back to the dealer and get in line it is not an easy check or fill option. I don’t know the answer but the problems are multiple for the majority of drivers. So it will continue this way.

  11. Roger T Says:

    Ferrari has the ambition of becoming stand alone, reason for the (recent) announced shares sell-off. Of course Ferrari specific higher volume models will be needed, and an entry-level vehicle and SUVs will be pat of the plan. I suspect FCA will take Ferrari exactly the same path as Porsche did. First an entry level small car, then a large SUV, then a sedan, then a compact SUV.

  12. Drew Says:

    @9 – Amen!

    All I want is a C to CD-sized hatch with enough rear seat room (ingress/egress and knee room that I don’t have to apologize to my rear seat guests) with a manual transmission, the ability to get ALL the gooodies (FCW, AEB, LDW, blind spot indicators, back) and heated CLOTH seats… for under $30k. Has anyone noticed how we are forced into auto trannies and leather seats whenever you want the latest safety content? And have you noticed today’s leather feels and sweats just like vinyl? Oh, and I do not want leatherette, MB-Tex, or “soft feel” seats. Rant over.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    Drew.. Its rich Corinthian leather..

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I realize that a number of people here don’t like likes, but for years, I have felt that any place that sells gas should be REQUIRED to have free air for tires. If they have to raise the price of gas a tenth of a cent a gallon to pay for it, so be it.

    I tend to be as conscientious as anyone about tire pressure, but I could be a little negligent at times, after the air went away, until I bought a ~$100 air compressor. All I use the compressor for is tires, but with multiple vehicles, it was well worth buying.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #12 Interestingly, about the closest you can get in the U.S. is a Prius. It’s automatic, of course, but has most of the safety stuff standard, and is under $30K in the low and middle trim levels, and has cloth seats.

    Yep, the leather in my Corvette, and “leatherette” in my Mini feel pretty similar. For reasons I don’t understand, vinyl, usually by another name, is much more fashionable than cloth, even though cloth works better.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 typo correction….

    “I realize that a number of people here don’t like LAWS….”

  17. Puremoose Says:

    Reid Bigland is my pick for a dark horse for CEO of FCA

  18. Ziggy Says:

    My prediction for next FCA head honcho: Bob Lutz, he has got to be bored to death by now doing not much of anything and would be perfect to run FCA for a few years until they carry him out in a pine box. He can straif Auburn Hills in his Rusky jet like he used to do to us at Milford Proving Grounds when he was with GM. They’ll love it, we did!

  19. BobD Says:

    8 – While the Equinox diesel seems like a phenomenal vehicle, I suspect GM will put zero marketing dollars behind it, nor will the sales staff know how to promote it properly to justify the higher price tag. The diesel Cruze is impressive too (52 mpg highway for the manual, 47 mpg highway for the automatic), yet sales are just a few hundred per month. With incentives, you can buy a 2017 diesel Cruze for $22-23k, but the thought of having to fill-up with “smelly” diesel, rather than gasoline is a turn off to many and there is zero marketing for the diesel Cruze, other than to list the mpg with an asterisk in the regular Cruze ads to get buyer’s attention (and no one reads the fine print to see the impressive mpg is with the diesel).

  20. Tuck&roll Says:

    I know I’m late to this forum. But i noticed the sign on the FCA building. The says “We don’t make Jeep, You do”. I’d like to know what this referee too? Is this just a cute saying?

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    #20 I think the saying is in reference to the whole sub-culture of Jeep (specifically wrangler) owners. FCA may build the vehicle physically but the Fanatics that buy and use them, make them what they are today. And yes a cute marketing phrase to pray on that.

  22. Barry Rector Says:

    John,
    Thanks for your insight into Sergio’s replacement. It sounds like there are some good people. However, what about the sale of FCA? How/when/if FCA is purchased, what could the impact me for a new leader?