AD #2285 – Luxury SUV Sales Leaders, Geely Buys Stake in Daimler, Fuel Cells Making Progress

February 7th, 2018 at 11:44am

Runtime: 8:51

0:30 Geely Buys Stake in Daimler
1:05 Driving A Sports Car Is Good for Your Health
2:15 Fuel Cells Making Progress
2:59 Luxury SUV Sales Leaders
4:19 You Said It!

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43 Comments to “AD #2285 – Luxury SUV Sales Leaders, Geely Buys Stake in Daimler, Fuel Cells Making Progress”

  1. Brett Cammack Says:

    I know it isn’t like the “old days” when VW nearly destroyed the Rabbit after opening the Westmoreland plant and hired a bunch of “Detroit Guys” to run it, but doesn’t Tesla have to walk a pretty fine line when hiring knowledgeable automotive industry personnel so that they improve their processes, but don’t dilute whatever agile, high-tech company culture and attitude that sustains them in the capital markets and with their customers and fans?

  2. MJB Says:

    Great study by Ford on the positive health and emotional benefits of driving a sports car with agility and mild aggression. Now go show that to all the people clamoring for driverless media boxes that can get them from point A to B without any hassle. Because you’ll not experience ANY OF THAT in one of those.

    It’s a trade-off, I know. But based on this study alone, I think we may be looking at higher rates of melancholy among the general population once full autonomy becomes the norm.

  3. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Not a surprise Lexus tops the sales in the luxury SUV class. Build quality and reliablity count. I wonder if the front grill design wasn’t so wild, they would sell many more. I’m sure that grill is what sold it to some customers but does that offset the ones that bought other brands because of the grill. That grill is what made me buy elsewhere.

  4. Jim Haines Says:

    Range Rover sales only show how people with money show poor judgement bu purchasing a car that is built only for style and show I’m it’s currentnstructure . They are very poorly built and are at best troublesome in many ways in the real world.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I never understood “crossovers” like the BMW X4 and X6, and a similar Benz whose moniker I forget. These tall, lifted hatchbacks don’t appeal to hatchback fans like myself, and based on sales numbers, they don’t appeal to CUV/SUV fans either. Why do car companies waste their money on tooling up for these things.?

    The BMW hatchback I really like, is the 4 series Gran Coupe. I don’t know how they came up with the name, but it is, basically, a 3 series hatchback. It looks good, and works well.

  6. Drew Says:

    I love your luxury SUV chart. M-B offers twice as many models, but can’t equal Lexus. Lincoln offers the same number of models, but Lexus outsells it 3 to 1. Cadillac has half the nmber of models as Lincoln, but outsells it 2 to 1.

    Hey Lincoln, wake up!!!! Hey M-B, you are diluting your resources!!!!

  7. MJB Says:

    Very interesting that with twice the number of models offered, MB still cannot touch Lexus when it comes to luxury SUV sales.

    I’ve said it before, but I believe MB would do well to ax many of their models and slim down. Even the big box food clubs (Costco, Sams Club, etc) know that consumers freak out when they have too many choices. That’s why they only carry one to two brands of any given item.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    BMW really has only 3, after you exclude the strange, lifted hatchback X4 and X6, which appeal to neither hatch fans like myself, nor CUV/SUV fans.

  9. Bob Wilson Says:

    Thanks to Sandy Munro, I now look at the door and body gaps in Elon’s space roadster to see if they might be a little too large … with the earth in the background.

  10. Norm T Says:

    Why cherry pick Oct-Dec 2017 and declare a luxury cuv sales winner? Do they not sell in the other 9 months of the year?

    Funny how Buick is selling 80% cuv’s at about 47,900 for the same period, or almost tied with 2nd place MB.

  11. MJB Says:


    Hey Kit, that X6 happens to be my favorite BMW SUV. Love the design!

    Eye of the beholder… ;)

  12. Albemarle Says:

    Good advice to Tesla fans, John. It’s interesting to see the knowledge difference between Youtube comments and the web site.

    It’s been a snowy, cold and cloudy winter here. I need to get a sports car, but one with awd so I can use it when I need it the most, in winter!

  13. grant Says:

    Great you said it” segment today.
    It’s time the Tesla owners came down to earth.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Yep, I agree about “eye of the beholder. The strangely named, but attractive (to me) 4 series Gran Coupe is my favorite BMW hatchback.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    John, loved your comment on Tesla and have to agree; it wasn’t too long ago when some of the same was said about the Big Three (against the standard of the time, Japan); say, the last couple of decades of the last century. For the most part the major manufacturer’s have raised their design, quality and reliability to those standards (and have raised some of those same standards on their own). Tesla has had adequate time to get their act together; it is time to step up to the plate (and connect).

  16. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Norm T – It’s the same story for the whole year (2017):
    Lexus – 200,842
    M-B – 163,778
    BMW – 134,310
    Audi – 119,859
    Acura – 106,181
    Cadillac – 106,162
    Infiniti – 96,153
    Land Rover – 74,739
    Lincoln – 71,607

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    #15 Sean if you put the average price per unit next to the SUV sales I bet you may see why Lexus is leading MB.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    Is it really any surprise that Exxon Mobile says it’s far easier to strip hydrogen from gasoline than to get it from water. Would amazingly work out well for them.
    My question is how does gasoline minus the hydrogen function? Can it still be used in an ICE?

  19. Lambo2015 Says:

    Have to say, when I first saw that Geely bought stake in Diamler, I was like yep here they go toward taking over Chrysler forgetting its Fiat/Chrysler not Diamler/Chrysler.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most of the Lexus sales are the RX, which is, by far, the brand’s best seller, car or SUV. As others have said, though, the sales would probably be higher, were in not for the front end styling. A year or so ago, a couple at my complex bought a used RX, and sought out one of the later pre-spindle years. They may well have bought a new one, were it not for the nose. This is another case of “eye of the beholder,” but I’d think most buyers of a car like the RX would prefer more “mellow” styling.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Gosoline minus the hydrogen is carbon, so it could probably burned in coal-fired power plants, or as a pigment for black ink and paint.

  22. Max Says:

    Here’s one for your next “you said it” segment. Ram is making a big deal out of the fact they are the only pickup on the market that has finally gotten rid of the fender mounted antenna mast. Why has it taken so long?? I have a 2015 Dodge Journey and a 2017 Ram. Both have the exact same infotainment system, yet the Dodge has the short little black antenna on the rear of the roof, while the Ram has the black shark fin on the cab roof AND the fender mounted antenna. Why does it need both? Why couldn’t it all have been accomplished with the shark fin on the Ram? This has puzzled me for quite some time, and now that the 2019 Ram made light of it, I’m even more puzzled?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 Does the Ram get better radio reception on either AM, FM, or both? If so, that is at least part of why the whip antenna on the fender has stuck around. My 1989 Caravan does better on weak AM stations than my newer cars. I’ve always thought it was the antenna, rather than radios being better almost 30 years ago.

  24. Max Says:

    #22 I’ve not noticed any difference on any of the bands. Granted, I don’t listen to AM enough to really be able to tell you, but FM and satellite seem the same. I do know that in the old days, the antennas embedded in the windshields never seemed to have the reception of the whip antennas, but it would seem our technology should have advanced enough by now to not have any difference between the shark fin and the whip.

  25. lambo2015 Says:

    #21 Max typically the shark fin is a cell antenna and used for things like GPS and Chryslers U-connect. The whip is your radio antenna. Vehicles that do not have the whip antenna but just the shark fin is because the radio antenna is integrated in into the headliner or sometimes the windshield.

  26. Tuck&Roll Says:

    John, you are so right about Tesla supporters doing no favors by blindly supporting Tesla. They, and we, should demand more. But, Elon is so distracted with his hobby shop projects that it appears he has ignored attention to detail. He is doing a disservice to his product line and to the EV industry. It’s obvious I’m not a fan. I believe he is a snake oil sales for his own self centered interests. SaturnX. Riiiight.

  27. Ron Paris Says:

    “Now, having said that, I believe the world will still go electric over the long term because EVs are generally more fun to drive.”

    About that last bit, REALLY John?! Remember that when you get your next opportunity to drive a Mustang GT, Corvette ZR1 or even a “lowly” MX-5 Mazda.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 The main place my old van works better, is for AM stations 120-150 miles away that I occasionally listen to for sports events. Probably most people never listen to AM any more, and when they do, it’s local stations.

  29. Ctech Says:

    It’s interesting that the modern version of a luxury suv was once considered to be the Grand Cherokee Limited from 1993. Now the Grand Cherokee isn’t even spoken of or considered in the same class.

  30. Daniel Says:

    John’s knowledge, insight’s & ability to express the fear of Tesla within the automotive industry today is only surpassed by Bob Lutz’s and his famous quote. “ The all-electric firm has been a wrecking ball to the automotive industry. ” Love the show !

  31. Bob Wilson Says:

    Owner of two plug-in hybrids, I have no interest in any BEV car. But it also means some detachment from the Tesla community.

    So look at last week’s Model 3 review with not one positive comment. Do you also pickup babies and say,”What an ugly child!” Said in Dixie and someone is going to need medical help.

    Elon has disrupted the high end car market with the Model S and X. From scratch, he not only brought 200+ mile EVs to market but also the 24×7 Supercharger network while the Big-3 dealers lockup their chargers at night and weekends.

    Poke ‘em with a sharp stick, what would anyone expect? … “Thank you Sir. I’ll have another.”

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I appreciate what Tesla has done, but I question why they didn’t hire some people, for the Model 3, who know what is involved in making cars in high volume.

    They really need to stick with BEV’s, and avoid any temptation to do hybrids. NVH issues become much more difficult when you add an ICE.

  33. Bob Wilson Says:


    #31 “They really need to stick with BEV’s, and avoid any temptation to do hybrids. …”

    Well I suppose a Falcon Heavy and Tesla Roadster could be seen as an over-the-top, hybrid electric.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Yeah, I guess so. There would be a lot of noise and vibration.

  35. Bill Nelson Says:

    21. Max, We still have a ’97 Dodge RAM pickup, complete with fender-mounted whip antenna. The radio/cassette deck is far less sophisticated than our 2015 Impala, but it does a better job of pulling in either AM or FM stations than the Impala. The car replaced a 2000 Buick LeSabre that had its antenna in the windshield, but still did better than the Impala. I attribute the lackluster performance of the Impala radio is an effort to keep owners buying into Sirius XM which seems more reliable.

  36. Don B. Says:

    Tesla owners are cultist. I can’t wait to see the orbiting roadster get wrecked from all the orbiting debris, and solar radiation. Let’s see safelite make a service call on that windshield.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 I’ll try to find out about your theory. I know someone who may have been involved with design of the system in the Impala.

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    #31 Kit I think that Tesla was afraid to hire many people from the automotive industry (corrupt his young inexperienced engineers). I believe they liked the idea that they were looking at things with new and fresh eyes and didnt want to get tunnel vision into building cars the same way as all the other manufacturers, just because that’s the way its been done. The flip side of that is 100+ years of experience tends to create a well developed process. There are certainly merits to trying to be different and possibly develop a new and improved way of building a car. Worked great for Henry Ford but Henry Ford was building cars and had a new plan. Tesla didnt have a new plan and did not embrace the current plan. So they are left with what they know. Low volume production. IMO

  39. Marshall Says:

    Sean said: “I believe the world will still go electric over the long term because EVs are generally more fun to drive.”

    More fun? Really? I can’t think of a single thing that makes them fun. The only benefit I can conceive of is your hand does not smell of gas fumes after you fill it up.

  40. Lambo2015 Says:

    #39 I havent driven any fully EV cars (Volt being the closest) so just hybrids. The EVs are quiet and have quick acceleration but yea other than that your missing most of the driving experience IMO.
    I mean there is something truly exhilarating about climbing into a vehicle that has a slight shake because of the massive pistons and explosions going on under the hood. The sound of a healthy V8 coming alive with the press of the pedal. That roar of exhaust matched perfectly to force pushing you back into the seat. Even the gurgling exhaust notes you get when you finally let up can bring a smile to my face. Pushing a car into a curve where you are on the very edge of what the tires can handle and you play with the pedal based on the engine noise telling you if your slipping or not. That sound gives you feedback even before you start to feel the back end swing around or in the steering wheel. I have to assume you lose all that with an EV and cant imagine it being more exciting.

  41. Sherman Says:

    Have you actually driven a BEV?

  42. Sherman Says:


    Unfortunately modern ICE vehicles don’t provide this sensation either.
    Drive a BEV vs. just a PHEV (Volt), they are quite a bit different.

    “I mean there is something truly exhilarating about climbing into a vehicle that has a slight shake because of the massive pistons and explosions going on under the hood. The sound of a healthy V8 coming alive with the press of the pedal. That roar of exhaust matched perfectly to force pushing you back into the seat. Even the gurgling exhaust notes you get when you finally let up can bring a smile to my face.”

  43. Lambo2015 Says:

    #42 I owned a Cadillac CTSV which is RWD and powered with the same motor and transmission as the corvette. Its RWD and with 650hp this modern day ICE provided every bit of the things I described.