Episode 215 – Chrysler Sues Daimler, Ford’s Wixom Plant Conversion, IIHS Safety Charade

August 26th, 2009 at 12:18pm

Runtime 8:47

Chrysler is suing Daimler for refusing to supply certain parts. Two energy companies are interested in buying Ford’s Wixom plant to convert it to make energy storage systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety wants stricter crash standards. All that and more, plus John answers viewer questions in the “You Said It!” segment.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Chrysler sues Daimler to make sure it gets components for cars. Ford’s empty Wixom plant may build windmills. The Insurance Institute continues its little safety charade.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, August 26, 2009. And now, the latest in the auto industry.

I am so jealous of my German colleagues, because the German auto industry definitely has the most drama and unexpected developments. More details on the saga surrounding Opel, and this story is changing by the hour. The Wall Street Journal carried a story this morning about how German politicians and labor leaders are demanding that GM make a decision to do a deal with Magna (subscription required). But only hours after that the AFP reported that, the German government will consider providing financial aid if GM sells Opel to investment firm RHJ. And a few hours after that, Fiat announced it might make another run at buying Opel. And of course yesterday we reported that GM is trying to figure out if it can avoid selling Opel altogether.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking at coming out with stricter crash standards. So is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Turns out too many cars are getting good ratings, so they want to raise the bar. But I’d point out that making standards tougher is just a charade that doesn’t address the root cause of most traffic fatalities. Take the Insurance Institute’s push for tougher roof crush standards. Every year about 10,000 people are killed in the United States in roll-over accidents where the roof crushes. But the vast majority of those people are killed when they are ejected from the vehicle because they are not wearing a seat belt. Making roofs stronger is projected to save about 70 lives a year. Getting them to wear seat belts would save most of them.

Toyota announced it will cut production in Japan in order to cut excess capacity. According to Reuters, the company could cut capacity this year by 700,000 units and that number may rise to 1 million by next year. The company is also considering halting production in Britain, and as we reported earlier, Toyota will pull out of its NUMMI joint venture with GM. Even so, Toyota still has excess capacity of 3 million vehicles, which is bigger than all of Chrysler’s production.

Two energy companies are interested in buying Ford’s Wixom, Michigan assembly plant which closed back in 2007. According to the AP, Xtreme Power and Clairvoyant Energy want to convert half of the plant to make energy storage systems for utilities, wind farms and rooftop solar-power stations. The other half would be leased to suppliers and other energy companies. The $725 million project could create up to 2,800 jobs within the next five years and potentially create 10,000 supplier-related jobs.

More drama between Daimler and Chrysler. The Detroit News reports that Chrysler is suing its former partner of equals for refusing to supply certain parts. Some of the critical components include steering columns, diesel engines and torque converters that go in the Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300.

Tally-ho! MINI is celebrating its golden jubilee today. Exactly 50 years ago the original version of the car was publicly revealed. To celebrate the occasion, the company, or more accurately, BMW, released photos and video of a new concept, the MINI Coupe. Differentiating it from regular versions, it has only two seats and features what is described as “extreme lightweight technology.” The rear hatch also slopes down dramatically. You can see the MINI Coupe Concept in the flesh at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger has come up with a new way to help alleviate the state’s budget crisis – have a garage sale! Among other things, he’s selling-off old, state-owned vehicles on eBay and Craigslist to generate revenue, but with a twist – he’s autographing them. So far, one lucky person scored a 2001 Ford Focus wagon with Arnold’s John Hancock on the sun visor for just 16-hundred bucks. Arnold says he got the idea from Twitter. Don’t look for this stunt to save California, which is billions in debt, but it is a nice gesture.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

This is “You Said It!” Everyday you guys send in all kinds of questions and comments, “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.

Jim Sachetti wrote in about yesterday’s news cast: “I was surprised John left out, in this very slow news day, a major piece of news about GM.  It has decided to remove the “GM” logo from all its vehicles!”

Jim, the reason we did not cover that story in yesterday’s show is that we broke that story two weeks ago. In fact, we carried several lengthy sound bites from GM’s Bob Lutz explaining when and how they were going to drop the logos. In fact, there’s still more information in that show that we ran back on August 12 than was reported by the mainstream media yesterday. You can see the full interview at show number 205 on our website at AutolineDaily.com

Speaking of yesterday’s show, I had to explain how Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics came up with the answer for our trivia quiz about which was the longest running nameplate in the American market, the Corvette or the Suburban. Hermann the German wrote in to say, “This Jim Hall sounds like he knows just about everything. But if he really wants to impress, he will explain what the significance of the number 2953 is. OK, big boy, take your best shot!”

Well, Hermann, Jim Hall will not say what it stands for, he dodges the question completely and won’t even explain why. Others have pointed out that 2953 is the birthday of former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, February 9, 1953. Jim Hall says that’s merely a coincidence. But I say, what a coincidence!

And finally John posed this question for us: “Do you think the concept of GM competing against GM/Opel’s own technology and patents sold in the market from a cut throat manufacturer have finally sunk in?”

Oh yes, you bet it has. Look, GM doesn’t want to sell Opel. But it’s in desperate financial condition and doesn’t have the money to help Opel. However, the new GM board of directors are looking way down the road and don’t like what they see if Magna and Russian automaker GAZ get their hands on Opel’s technology. I believe they want a deal to be able to buy Opel back in the future, even though they deny that’s what they want.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours, live tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Eastern. We’ll be talking about the cash-for-clunkers program and how the government reports that Toyota was the big winner, selling more new cars than anyone else. But over at Edmunds.com they say that’s a bunch of BS, the government is counting it all wrong and Ford was the big winner. Tune in tomorrow night to get the full details and the inside info of how the government got it all wrong.

Across town and around the world, that’ll do it for today’s top auto news. As always, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

37 Comments to “Episode 215 – Chrysler Sues Daimler, Ford’s Wixom Plant Conversion, IIHS Safety Charade”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Chrysler vs. Daimler,this will be interesting.Talk about hitlers revenge.They all but gutted Chrysler.

  2. Jim Sachetti Says:


    Thanks for addressing my comment on the air; I would feel like a fool, except that I was not aware of the history, you breaking the story, etc, having joined the daily broadcasts only two days ago.

    You are quite right on a couple of points you raised today,

    Specifically about the lives that would be saved if seatbelt laws were rigidly enforced, at a minimal cost, vs the 70 or so lives (nothing, really, vs the 10,000s rollover deaths) that are due to roofs not being strong enough.

  3. Thor Says:


    Re Hall’s 2953, not that this topic deserves any more scrutiny, but my guess is that both Hall and his spouse were also born in 1953, hence the “2″, but if not, I would advise Jim Hall not to be so coy and secretive about this, it is trivial anyway, no big deal. It’s not like revealing this huge state secret.

  4. Thor Says:

    Re the Cash for clunkers program, JOhn, you correctly pointed out the different ways the Government and Edmunds measured the “top 10″, but this only changes the rank of the top 10 vehicles; And you are NOT right that the givernment “got it wrong” here. Not that it does not get wrong almost everything else, but the Govt tabulation was just as legitimate as Edmunds’. (The Govt counted Explorer 4wd and Fwd separately, for example).

    Still, and despite all of the above, the big beneficiary and No 1 in ALL clunker sales still appears to be Toyota, which replaced GM from the No 1 spot, and all big 3 combined sold a pitiful 38% or so of all clunker sales, while they used to own 50++% of the market, only a year ago or two.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While the Safety Institute’s role in automobile safety can’t be argued when looking at the big picture, John’s point of over regulation is well taken; and some of that ‘overkill’ in regulation, also helped the auto companies fail due to a lot of costs that just couldn’t easily be transferred to new car buyers.

  6. Thor Says:

    From the Detroit News: Corolla finishes FIRST, and two Fords, the Escape and the Focus the only TWO domestics that make the top 10:

    “After one month, an extra $2 billion in funding and an absolute mess of paperwork, Cash for Clunkers has finally petered out. The final numbers are in and the program resulted in 700,000 sales totaling $2.877 billion in $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers handed out at dealerships across the nation. An additional $100 million was set aside for administration costs, or about $144 for every claim processed, leaving $23 million in the kitty.

    In all, 84% of participating customers traded in pickup trucks, and 59% ended up with passenger cars. The other 41% was split up among crossovers, SUVs and new pickups. The Transportation Department says the program resulted in a 58% improvement in fuel economy for the new vehicles, as the outgoing models averaged 15.8 mpg while the new models averaged 24.9 mpg.

    At the onset of C4C, Detroit automakers appeared to be getting a sizable share of turn-ins, but import automakers gained ground on the domestics as the program wore on. Ford, GM and Chrysler combined to take 38.6% of overall Clunkers transactions with Chrysler coming in last with an unimpressive 6.6% chunk.

    The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Toyota Corolla was the most purchased car under the program, followed by the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. The Ford Focus and Escape were the only domestics to make the top 10, though Edmunds has pointed out that the government vehicle counting process is outdated, messing up the top 10 tally. The Ford Explorer 4WD was the most turned in vehicle under C4C, while the 2WD Explorer finished 4th. Hit the jump to check out the ten most purchased and most turned in vehicles under the Clunkers program.”

  7. Alex Kajdi Says:


    When I heard again that GM is removing the GM Logo from all their vehicles, I thought this is a bad move. GM needs to rebuild it’s image not by erasing it visible connect to the remaing brands but by building the best vehicles on the planet.

    I really believe that the Adminstration led bankrupcty of GM did the American Tax Payor a real disservice by allowing GM to continue it’s poor business practices without fulfilling it’s obligations to it’s workers and other stakeholders. The Management and Board of GM need to revitalize the GM Mantle by employing a a single corporate image similar to what Ford is doing so well these days. GM should save money with a single advertising message covering all it’s remaining brands including Opel. In this way they should save enough money to save Opel from Magna, Fiat or the Russians.

    If GM does not consolidate itself into one single corporate image, I can see Hyundai / Kia , Ford and Honda gaining more and more market share in North America because of GM’s out of dated corporate “Brands” strategy. Toyota is on top and they are there to stay. The others are smart enough to carve up GM.

  8. Thor Says:


    You are quite correct, but why stop at the latest bailouts? CHRYSLER in 1980 should have never been allowed to be bailed out by the long suffering US taxpayer. IF Chrysler went bankrupt in 1980, the still huge adn healthy Ford and esp. GM, who still had a HUGE market share, would see the handwriting on the wall and shape up and build superior vehicles to survive, knowing that the Government had NO BUSINESS bailing them out!

  9. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The 1980 Chrysler loan was hardly a bailout. Chrysler paid it all back (earlier than required) and sold a heck of a lot of cars after that. True they fell back into their mismanagement ways but they were quite the force for quite a while.

    I’ll go out on a limb and also use quite a bit of conjecture but if Iaccoca had stayed and Lutz had gotten more control of GM earlier I believe the industry would survived a whole lot better. JMHO

  10. Thor Says:

    # Chuck Grenci

    I am well aware of all the details of the Chrysler loan and that it was paid back etc. That in no way justifies the Government sticking its nose in the private sector and picking winners and losers in this or that industry,

    it is a terrible precedent, and, as I pointed out, only encouraged Ford and especially GM to continue their long path of decay and losing market share to the imports, sure that they would be bailed out too.

    ” True they fell back into their mismanagement ways but they were quite the force for quite a while.”

    They became even worse, and kept losing market share, until they were rescued again, this time by the Germans at Daimler, in this incomprehensible mis-match of a merger…

    “I’ll go out on a limb and also use quite a bit of conjecture but if Iaccoca had stayed and Lutz had gotten more control of GM earlier I believe the industry would survived a whole lot better. JMHO”

    Iaccoca was a clown and salesman, I lost my respect for him after he touted these execrable K-cars to the automotively illiterate who would believe that they were the best car in its class back then (LOL!!!). I have much more respect for Lutz, because he understands the need for SUPERIOR PRODUCT.

  11. Andy S Says:

    Hmmmm, 2953 sounds like something measured in cubic centimeters. Right Jim?

  12. Alex Kovnat Says:

    >Making roofs stronger is projected to
    >save about 70 lives a year. Getting
    >them to wear seat belts would save
    >most of them.

    I wish this point could be gotten through to ALL college students who are likely to be in decision-making positions, even if said position is no higher than just being a member of the well-educated middle class voting public.

    Unfortunately, we have too many people in our society who are good at law, medicine, real estate, etc., but are technologically ignorant.

    I tried to address my concerns about the possible consequences of excessive regulatory aggression against the auto industry, in letters to the Detroit News and other publications over the years. But I wonder how successful I’ve been in getting through to anybody.

  13. dcars Says:

    The Opel situation is funny. GM wanted to sell part of Opel to RHJ which sounded like a much better deal for GM and if like magic now the Germans are reconsidering RHJ. GM’s new board is a winner.

  14. Jim Sachetti Says:


    The case of seatbelts is more than tech ignorance, it is carelessness, stupidity, and in some cases an idiotic belief that being asked to wear a seatbelt somehow restricts one’s freedoms and rights (like wearing a helmet on a motorcycle).

    Most of our 44,000 traffic deaths a year (2/3rds of them) are preventable, and, what’s more, preventable without spending billions to improve the vehicles, but preventable just by outlawing and throwing the book at the fools that do not wear their belts and the drunks that kill themselves and so many others by driving impaired.

    It is a totally unacceptable situation, but it continues to exist, with little improvement. Cars are safer and the deaths per million person-miles driven go down every year steadily, but the 20-30,000 deaths every year due to these 100% preventable causes continue, at a cost of billions to the economy. And that does not include the 100,000s injured!

  15. Nick Stevens Says:

    Opel is too big and important and basically healthy for GM to divest of. It has made billions for GM int he past 40-60 years, and will continue to do so if properly managed. GM would not divest itself from its China operations, and likewise should not do so in Europe.

  16. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Thor

    It’s been far too long ago to remember the details of the Chrysler LOAN back in 1980, but to say the government has no justfication for sticking it’s nose into the private sector ……..

    How many jobs were saved by the Chrysler loan?

    The load was paid back in full, early, and actually made money for the government.

    And what is government for, if not to help the people? (I know this one line will ignite a firestorm of arguments)

    And name me one thing we do on a daily basis that doens’t have the government connected to it in some way? So why not loans to private companies to keep part of an industry alive and healthy?

    And to say that Chrysler was “rescued” by the Germans in 1998 is one of the dumbest phrases I’ve heard in here!

  17. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Remember Thor (it’s not a lie if you believe it…….)

    They sold a ton (and a half of “K” cars) They were no worse than most what was on the road at the time. And let’s not forget the Minivan (I believe they sold a dozen or two of those too).

    I don’t mind your incite on topics (though I don’t care for the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know everything……………..let’s just say, you don’t either.

    If this crap continues, I shall just stop posting (maybe others have already made this decision; then the whole comment board loses). This isn’t a forum (in the strickest sense) it is a comment board; leave the debates to other venue.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I never minded wearing my seatbelt,or a helmet when riding my bike.Having flown in the army one gets used to being strapped in.As for helmets,I hate being told I have to wear one,I do have common sense and have been riding for most of my 58 years……with a helmet.

  19. Andy S Says:

    Alex, the next wave is unneccesary regulation will be ejection mitigation, which will force side air curtains to be so stiff that their deployment can pose a risk to people leaning on the door trim. Hey, JUST BUCKLE-UP! All this is the continued over-reaction of the Runge administration and the fialure of rule makers to get to the root cause – drivers. Of, that’s right… drivers vote… the auto industry doesn’t.

  20. Thor Says:

    “How many jobs were saved by the Chrysler loan?”

    In the short run, quite a few, for a few years only, and not the kind of jobs you have pride in doing. Ultimately, none, the opposite, hundreds of thousands of jobs were ultimately lost because of Detroit 3 complacency and security that big mommy Government will be thete every time they screwed up.

    (PS I know personally former Ford engineers (and ford is currently the best of the big 3) that told me how much better their work experience was when they left Ford to work for Toyota and other well-managed import brands.)

    “And what is government for, if not to help the people? (I know this one line will ignite a firestorm of arguments)”

    The government could help the people by eliminating red tape and bureaucracy, not by picking winners in one industry while letting other industries to die, that were probably more successful than the domestic autos.

    Government can help by creating jobs, but it is well known that government jobs are not real jobs, while most jobs are created by SMALL business, not by large corporations. Current Government policies are predatory towards small business owners, with excessive taxation, and thus are the wrong policy, if Govt wants indeed to help people.

    IF Chrysler had potential for th elong run in 1980, it would hjave easily got loans fromt he private sector, as so many other companies do.

    “And to say that Chrysler was “rescued” by the Germans in 1998 is one of the dumbest phrases I’ve heard in here!”

    I knew it would generate comments, but it was not a good choice of words, what I wanted to say was that, no matter what, CHrysler AGAIN became mortally ill a few years (less than 2 decades) after its Government rescue, and HAD to merge with Daimler (really be bought by Dasmiler).

  21. Thor Says:

    Chuck Grenci Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    They sold a ton (and a half of “K” cars)

    and that proves WHAT? They were dirt cheap, and Iacocca was good at fooling people.

    ” They were no worse than most what was on the road at the time.”

    Maybe not worse than the Chevy Cavaliers and the FOrd Escorts of the time, but you can’t be possibly serious if you claim they were not worse than thr corollas and civics and Accords. Give me a break, It is clear WHO has no clue, and it is not me, and the CONSUMERS have proved me right, and if you don’t like my posts and want to stop posting, make my day.

    ” And let’s not forget the Minivan (I believe they sold a dozen or two of those too).”

    That is the only valid point you make, the minivan sure rescued them as much as the original Taurus rescued Ford in the 80s.

  22. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Chuck GRENCI:

    Thor’s comments make a ton of sense, and just because you do not agree with them does NOT entitle you to call them “crap” and to act like a five year old threatening that “if this crap continues” you will take your ball and leave the playground with your tail between your legs. Grow Up and just reply with facts, not with whining, and this forum will be a far better place.

  23. Richard Sutherland Says:


    the Mini has never been a thing of beauty, however, it has always been cute. This new coupe concept, from todays show, has me scratching my head. Did BMW send Chris Bangle to mini?

  24. Tom Major Says:

    Actually two of today’s discussions are relevant for me.

    During C4C I like thousands of others ditched an old F-150. I really tried to buy a D3 product but frankly found the available qualifying cars were not what I was looking for. My daily driver is a Lucerne so it isn’t like I have been boycotting them.

    I ended up buying a MINI convertible. I could find no domestic brand “fun” anything that was covered by the program. To my surprise the Solstice/Sky did not qualify as they do not get the required 22 mpg (so I don’t need to mention that I can actually get a couple suitcases in the MINI). Ditto 6 cyl Mustang’s and Camaro’s, 21 mog = No Sale. Unless I wanted a small sedan, or SUV, there was no way to buy domestic.

    With MINI’s 50th anniversary at hand, and BMW seeming to do pretty well with the brand, why no domestic competition at all? Maybe Ford will someday in the distant future offer a Speedster Fiesta variant but that’s a long time off, if ever.

  25. Warren Webb Says:

    Thor, how can you say that Chrysler was “bailed out” by Mercedes when at the time Chrysler had reported between 12 & 19 BILLION in cash on hand! Doesnt sound like a company that was on its last legs there! Where did all that money go? Well lets see what was going on at the time…BMW had gotten the rights to Rolls & VW obtained Bentley, so what was the arragant Mercedes left with? Ressurect a dead name & spend billions on a car that is still a dead horse. Strip Chrysler of the computer design programs that enabled them to build from computer simulations rather than have to construct interior bucks & prototype engines. Now we learn how Mercedes is blackmailing for components that their team designed into the vehicles in the first place! How about the other Mercedes led jokes, like the Chrysler “Cease-fire” with its measly 215 hp compared to a similar Nissan 3.5 with over 275hp! So much for the german engineering!

  26. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    looking forward to tomorrow’s AAH to see what Edmund’s got up their behind. If Corolla, Camry and Prius were in the top 10, then why are they saying that Ford was the big winner?

  27. paulstewart Says:

    @ Warren Webb, be careful, you don’t want to anger the mighty t hor/larseenn (O’ I misspelled his name) you might suffer the slings & arrows/h ammer from the mighty -1. the website bully of Autoline Daily

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tom Major,

    If Ford sells the proper versions of the Fiesta in America, they will have a worthy competitor for the Mini, in terms of performance and handling. Of course the Fiesta won’t have the Mini’s cool retro styling. I suspect there is no chance of a Fiesta to compete with your specific Mini (convertible), though.

  29. Salvador G. Says:

    1. you should write a book about Opel before someone beats you to the punch.

    2. When does a Mini stops being a Mini???…
    Seriously, I like that BMW saved the Mini, however; now their just beating the brand to death.

    3. You know (JohnMc.) what would save even more lives than just wearing a seatbelt???… better more responsible drivers.

    4. JohnMc. Do you think Chrysler really has a chance of winning a lawsuit againts Daimler for what basically mounts to Daimler’s own technology??? I get that Chrysler really needs those Daimler parts, but they are a FIAT company now and I really doubt Daimler will be so given to a FIAT company.


  30. John Says:

    John McElroy,

    “The other half would be leased to suppliers and other energy companies. The $725 million project could create up to 2,800 jobs within the next five years and potentially create 10,000 supplier-related jobs.”

    If Detroit Manufacturing can build cars, batteries, and wind turbines, and solar panels… why can’t some of the unemployed labor and empty real estate be utilized to design and manufacturer Energy Efficient home appliances ?

    I went into a local Lowes yesterday to research the home refrigerators on display before the next government giveaway starts up.

    I could not fine ONE refrigerator that had white label sticker inside the door that reads “MADE IN USA” . All the everyday major brand names had a white sticker inside that reads “MADE IN MEXICO”. The Samsungs read “MADE IN KOREA”. The Kitchen AID read “Assembled in USA” which means the contents assembled do not meet the “MADE IN USA” Standard.


    If this next political giveaway in the name of “green” progress and “energy efficiency” had one ounce of credibility, it would create jobs for “OUR” U.S. MAIN STREET ECONOMY.

    Or, is the plan to have everyone work for the government ?



    Where is the Governor of Michigan on this issue?

    I do not want to spend a dime of my money, to reward a Wall Street “penny per share” driven company, along with “OUR” TAX DOLLARS to buy a cheap Mexican labor made refrigerator.



    During the years that Frigidaire was owned by General Motors, they were very competitive in the automatic clothes washing machine business.

  31. Thor Says:

    “3. You know (JohnMc.) what would save even more lives than just wearing a seatbelt???… better more responsible drivers.”

    WHile I fully agree that we need the above, NO measure will save more lives, hugely more lives, with ZERO cost, than the RIGID enforcement and the SUNSTANTIAL toughening of the SEATBELT LAWS.

    Public ignorance of the importnace of seatbelts is mind-boggling, as this includes highly educated people, and even an engineer with a PHD who recently was treated leniently and given NO FINE when he was stopped for not wearing a belt in MI. UNBelievable!!!

    People seem to have little interest to become better drivers, and treat their POS SUVs and Cars like their bathrooms, “powder rooms” for women, offices (emailing and texting) and Phone booths.

    NO Self respecting German would dare behave like that on the autobahn, and this is why, despite the routine 150 MPH speeds (and much higher, for Porsches and exotics) seen there, the fatalities are not any higher than those of the retards here applying makeup, shaving, and going 50 MPH, and still hitting the car in front of them (as they did with our former Secretary, who broke all kinds of bones when some moron shaving in an SUV read-ended her ugly 2nd gen taurus.)

  32. Thor Says:

    “Warren Webb Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Thor, how can you say that Chrysler was “bailed out” by Mercedes …”

    I already said I misspoke there, I was trying to find the post where I acknowledged that to another poster’s similar comment.

    Chrysler might have been profitable in the late 90s and early 2000s at thhe peak of the SUVs and Jeeps, but they already had a HUGE problem with the unreliability of their vehicles, I was involved supervising two different teams that documented their miserable warranty cost explosive growth, they hired a bigshot consulting company to help them with that, and instead of doing some serious work, that company hired some amateur undergrads from a nearby U and used their naive report as their own deliverable (!!!) with little extra work on their part.

  33. Thor Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    looking forward to tomorrow’s AAH to see what Edmund’s got up their behind. If Corolla, Camry and Prius were in the top 10, then why are they saying that Ford was the big winner?”


    it is no big deal and I told John so, but his point is that the Govt lists the FOcus 4wd separately from the Focus 2wd, and the Escape 2wd likewise separately from the Escape 4wd. This might change the ranking when you do the top 10, with both focus and escape moving up. BUT the totals aRE not different, the Big 3 were the big LOSERS in the CFC program, as they lost a TON of market share among the cars bought with the program.

    Among the WINNERS were not only the Prius, which some dealers are selling $5k over list now, but also, surprisingly, the slow-selling Nissan Versa and the Huyndai Elantra, and the Honda Fit, all of which made the top 10, while they were not in the top ten in any month in overall sales.

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    There is no Focus 4wd.

  35. Thor Says:

    I didn’t know a 4wd Focus existed, but I thought I read that FOcuses were also tabulated under two models instead of one, as well as the Escape. Maybe there is an AWD?

  36. Thor Says:

    Well, in a few mins I am sure John will speak for himself and tell us what he meant on that topic.

  37. Thor Says:

    I probably mixed up the Focus with the Fusion, which does come in AWD and did not make the top 10 because the Govt counted FWD and AWD Fusions as 2 separate models.

    John gave no details on the Aug 27 daily, but they will discuss the whole mess in the 7 PM lengthy Autoline After Hours with some yougn woman from Edmunds.