AD #2419 – Opel Concept Hints at Future Design, Kona EV Bests Model 3 & Bolt EV, More People Like to Lease

August 22nd, 2018 at 11:18am

Runtime: 7:38

0:29 Opel Reveals All-New Concept SUV
1:26 Is Mid-Engine GM Test Car a Cadillac?
2:36 Formula E to Sell 1st-Gen Cars
3:36 Hyundai’s Performance N Brand Beating Expectations
4:23 Hyundai Kona Electric Range Revealed
5:29 VW is Going to Boost Production in Germany
6:27 More People Take to Leasing New Cars

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46 Comments to “AD #2419 – Opel Concept Hints at Future Design, Kona EV Bests Model 3 & Bolt EV, More People Like to Lease”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    Those of you who follow US auto sales in detail, will have noticed that Hyundai-Kia is going from bad to worse despite a few interesting niche vehicles (the IoniQ Hybrid and the Niro Hybrid and EV cars). The Kona SUV (a stretch, it looks rather lame too), like the Bolt a year ago, has the segment all to itself, and unless there are other problems with it, it should do real well, until the Tesla SUV is offered, and then its sales will halve, as Bolt sales did in 2018, when the Tesla 3 went on sale.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    1 the Niro Hybrid has sold very well because it is kind of wagonish-crossoverish, but the Niro EV, same body style, is not selling any serious numbers, really pitiful 10s and 20s a month, vs the 3,000 Hybrid Niros. Now that the Kona EV, which is more of a crossover, is available, how much better will it do?

  3. Drew Says:

    Given the close parentage between Hyundai and Kia, they need to be surgical about the market/image positioning of their products to minimize the internal cannibolization that inflicted Chevy/Pontiac, Olds/Buick, Ford/Mercury, and Dodge/Plymouth. So, I am bewildered about the Hyundai’s performance N brand… Kia (think Stinger) should be flying the N flag… not Hyundai.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 There is no Niro EV, but there is a Niro plug-in hybrid, which has an electric only range of about 25 miles. The plug-in is about $4500 pricier than the regular Niro hybrid, which mostly explains the poor sales.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Niro sales are about 1/3 those of the HR-V. The Niro deserves to sell better, given the very good mpg, for that type of vehicle.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    4 Yes there absolutely is a NIRO EV and it has been a dismal failure in US Sales, as I already mentioned, 20-30 units a month, totally different than the very healthy 2,000-3,000 monthly sales of the Niro HYBRID. See BOB WILSON’s statistics for the exact numbers.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    5 apples and oranges. The HRV is not even a hybrid, much less a plug-in.

  8. George Ricci Says:

    Back in May 6, 2017 I sent the following:

    The recent leak of a new LT5 engine “ENGINE GAS CYL, 6.2L, SIDI, DOHC, VVT, ALUM, GM,”

    “The Corvette plant will get a new 450,000-square-foot paint shop — 200,000 square feet more than the current shop”

    The new paint shop is only part of what they are doing. For 2019 model year the assembly line will start off as 1 line to create the mid-engine chassis and then split into 2 assembly lines. Line A will build a new Cadillac sports car. Line B will build the Corvette. This line will be longer with more work stations and people working on it so the cars can be built cars faster than on the Cadillac line. So the reason they are closing tours for 18 months is they do not want people to see the new assembly line being built and anything that might say Cadillac.
    To design, engineer, and develop a new DOHC engine is going to cost a lot of money. For a md-engine car you’re going to need new transaxle (dual clutch) or maybe 2 transaxles (auto and manual). Could Corvette justify and pay for this high cost driveline by itself? I don’t think so. But if they could share the cost with Cadillac, then they could.

    Since then some pictures of the front and rear panels were taken from the new paint shop at the Corvette plant on Oct. 24, 2017.
    These panels do NOT look anything like the Cien.

    If you look at photos of the Corvette plant expansion, it looks like they double the size of the plant. Some of the new expansion area has a basement and some of it has a second floor. So there has to be more than one car planed to be build there.

  9. XA351GT Says:

    I was told that people lease mainly to be able to afford more car than they could actually buy. Which is okay provided you don’t care that you always have a car payment. For people who tend to only keep a car 2-3 years it makes sense, I just like to at some point not having a car payment.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    The HRV sells well in the markets it was developed for, that is Europe, Japan and NOT the US. Here they brought it decades after it was sold in Europe. BTW its first design was really ugly and awkward, the current one is improved but too many twists and turns for my taste.

    You should compare the HRV to the CRV, for some reasons the CRV has STELLAR sales while the HRV pitiful ones. Many years the CRV was the best sellign US crossover.

    The subcompact SUVS are too damned small and the price savings obviously not enough incentive for buyers (mostly young families with several children) to put their lives at risk with a smaller, less safe crossover. AND YES, don’t doubt it, Size and Weight really matters in passive safety.

    This is true of all subcompact cars and crossovers, not a single Winner in the US market, compared to the compact ones. EVEN smart designs like the Fit or reliable ones like the Yaris, always haD dismal US sales, and I really wonder if they make one dime off them.

  11. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While I am a Cadillac fan, and wish well for the company, and also, not saying that Cadillac won’t get a sportscar based on the mid-engine Vette, but they need to tread lightly and carefully because if history is to be repeated Cadillac will have a sharp looking vehicle and even with their own engine but will overcharge and it will soon be left orphaned. It happened with the XLR, they are doing it with the XTS (maybe/probably) and others too numerous to mention (i.e., ELR, the 75 thousand dollar Volt). If Cadillac wants to venture into ‘halo’ cars they need to make a CT8 that surpasses the M/B-S and the BMW-7 (and no need to reiterate their lacking in cross-over models so they can pay for it all).

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 It’s a non-hybrid CUV about the same size as the Niro hybrid, inside and out. They compete directly, just as Camry hybrid and non-hybrid compete directly. You pay more up front, for better mpg. Assuming you want a Kia, you can get about 50% better mpg with the Niro hybrid, for about $3K more money than an HR-V.

    Understandably, the new-for-2019 Niro EV has not sold well, both because it hasn’t been available long, and because the MSRP is $37,495.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 The HR-V sells better than many, or most of its direct competitors in the U.S. as well as in other markets. Yes, the CR-V sells better than HR-V, and the other “subcompact” crossovers. We all know that.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 I know one of the few people who actually bought an XLR. It looks great, but a regular Corvette outperforms it, and cost a lot less.

    To me, the biggest fairly recent mistake by Cadillac, was the ridiculous pricing of the ELR.. Also, I think they should let you get an engine other than a turbo four in an RWD CT-6. I still think a 6.2 pushrod V8 would be a great engine for the CT-6. A “mild” one like used in pickups would be just fine.

  15. Len Simpson Says:

    This is KISS personified & what all mfgrs should be building

  16. gary susie Says:


  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 If the mid engine car turns out to be a Cadillac, I just hope the performance, quality, and refinement are good enough to justfy the price. Refinement might be the hard part.

  18. Chris Del Rossi Says:

    Not saying there won’t be a mid-engine Caddy, but we’ve now seen the next GT racer (presumably the C8R) testing, and there is no question that it is mid-engined and Corvette. You can see it on Jalopnik and probably at least a hundred other sites now. There’s been other leaks and info indicating it will be a 2020 model year, so if they do both, it will be either simultaneous (or close to it), or Corvette first, Caddy later.

  19. Dan Says:

    You comment about people leasing cars has a couple huge errors in it. For many people leasing is not their preferred choice, but rather the only way they can afford the monthly payments because, and this is your other mistake – monthly payments on a lease utilizing the same terms [down payment and number of months], the lease will run 20%-30% less a month versus a purchase.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    14 manufacturers should build what the customers need and are willing to buy. And in the US market, this sure is not hybrids, and neither is it subcompact cars or crossovers. Unless sales and profits are unimportant to you, but they are to the owners, ie, the shareholders of above makers.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    13 Besides being ridiculously priced, it really frustrates me whenever I see Ford and GM offer clones of cheap cars as alleged luxury cars, with not even an attempt to differentiate them materially. THE ELR was differentiated down in terms of space and utility from the Volt, but should have been made different enough ( much larger range and more power and real luxury inside and bigger dimensions than the Volt) so as to justify the much higher price.

    GM does it with all its EVs and Hybrids, it way overprices them (look at the Bolt for the latest example) and then they do not sell and it loses billions.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    18 I never leased ( I also never bothered w monthly payments, I pay cash) but in the upper luxury and other niche segments leases are far more attractive than buying, and you have the added advantage that you don’t need to keep the POS if it stinks, you take it back in 2 or 3 years.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 The ELR was mainly a styling exercise, though the interior was pretty nice. They intended the car as sort of a “show case” for the Volt powertrain. More power was not an option, unless they wanted to spend tens of millions more, and come up with a scaled up Volt powertrain. Making the ELR larger than a Volt would only make it slower, not what they wanted. In the end, making the ELR at all was a big mistake.

    GM EV’s and plug-in hybrids “do not sell,” but they sell better than other plug-in cars that are not a Tesla or Prius Prime.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    22 Making the ELR larger would not make it slower, if the weight was the same.

    The prius prime does not sell well at all. Tiny amounts. Most Prius sales are not the plug-in. Even after they doubled its tiny ev range.

  25. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I believe an ELR at 55 k (to start) would have made the car a hit. Styling wise it was/is awesome. My statement is, of course, conjecture, however beautiful designs of ‘only’ competent performance have made their marks, so the ELR could have been poised for acclaim. JMO

  26. Larry D. Says:

    24 Why was GM, with its vast resources and the 1,000s of engineers doing ‘research’ at HM Research Labs, was not able to develop a car like the Tesla S, and sell it as a Caddy for 6 figures and higher? Utter incompetence.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Generally, when you make a car bigger, it gets heavier. Yeah, they could have made the ELR a little bigger, and a little lighter, but using different materials and techniques, but then, it would have been even more expensive to make.

    Prius Prime sales are at an annual rate of about 35K. They don’t seem to want to sell them, because they are not even available many places in the U.S. The Toyota dealer nearest me in Florida has never had one, and a much larger dealer has had one, as of about a month ago.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 GM could easily develop a car like a Tesla S. Maybe it is “incompetence” that they chose not to, but they had similar powertrain technology 20-some years ago, with the EV-1.

    Even if Cadillac had come up with a car like the model S, I doubt they could have sold it for 6 figures. The cult of Tesla sells the Model S in a way that no one else, even Mercedes-Benz could sell the same cars.

  29. Bob Wilson Says:

    The web link has the EPA fuel ratings for Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona, and Chevy Bolt. Comparing the specs:

    Kona :: Bolt :: specification
    28 kWh :: 28 kWh :: kWh/100 mi
    258 :: 238 :: range miles
    150 :: 150 :: kW motor
    201 :: 201 :: hp motor (from kW)
    small SUV :: small wagon :: EPA size

    The Kona is just a repackaged Chevy Bolt which is the risk of outsourcing your EV engineering to Hyundai.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Assuming similar MSRPs, Kona will have a price advantage for some time to come, because Chevy’s tax rebates will be running out.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just saw my second Tesla model 3, in Cocoa Beach, FL, with Montana tags.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    28 unbelievable… did not know the Kona was a repackaged Bolt. What did GM get in return, anybody know???

    It sure looks leaner than the bloated mini-minivan/hatch Bolt, but still does not look good.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    30 Never saw a 3 in the flesh yet (but I have been overseas since May 22) but there are plenty of Tesla S’s where I live, and even some awkward-looking Tesla Xs. One Tesla S is owned by a distinguished colleague who has brought millions of NASA research $ to his dept, and his licence plate is simply his first name (Tamas, he is hungarian-jewish. Probably means Thomas.)

  34. Larry D. Says:

    Unbelievable, part II. Why in the world did GM make the Bolt, an overpriced fat hatch nobody wants, and allowed Hyundai-Kia to make a far more popular SUV version, instead of, at least, keeping the crossover for itself, and at best allow the Koreans to make the unpopular hatch version???

    Sounds like bad old GM all over again… Pity…

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 FYI, the Bolt, which “nobody wants” is the top selling pure EV in the U.S. that is not a Tesla. That is the case, even though most Chevy dealers make no attempt to sell the car, and the sales people know nothing about it.

    32 I saw the 3 last evening in a restaurant parking lot. I was hoping to see its driver on the way out, and ask a couple questions if they wanted to talk, but I missed them. The car had Montana plates, and I wondered if they drove it to Florida using the superchargers. Looking at the charger map, it looks like there would be one possible route, from central or southern Montana, with a couple long stints that would test the range, From the map, it looks like the only big “dead zone” in the U.S. with no Tesla chargers is in North Dakota, and northern Montana.

  36. Al C Says:

    maybe it was the GM CFO idea make it ugly and over priced so we will loos a lot less money!


    On leasing: I owned a few Mercedes and BMW models. I vowed to only lease those for the rest of my days. Never again will I be stuck without a warranty for anything German designed. The stupidest simple stuff fails and somehow it costs thousands to replace on a German car. Never again.

    I am also leasing an F150 at the moment. My only reason, it is a turbo. Anything with a Turbo will be lease only for me. I have had modern turbos fail on me at the same rate they used to fail on me in the ’80s. The only difference, it was slightly expensive to replace them in the ’80s; it is crippling expensive to replace them now.

    Since I am leasing, I don’t care at all about replacing the turbos on this truck as that is someone elses problem now. I wonder how many others are leasing just to stay in warranty and not necessarily to have a new vehicle every few years/lower payments.

    Also, 36,000 mile warranty on new cars is laughable. Do manufacturers really think they can convince me their car is reliable for the life of the vehicle while only offering a warranty that only covers 1/5 of the vehicles service life. If they can’t stand behind their product, why should I?

  38. Larry D. Says:

    34 “FYI, the Bolt, which “nobody wants” is the top selling pure EV in the U.S. that is not a Tesla.”

    First, you carry coal to Newcastle, I am really up to date with auto stats, I follow them like others do sports stats.

    Second, Big Hairy Deal. THis is just like saying, 5 years ago, that some car was the second best selling hybrid to the Prius. This creates the illusion that the two are comparable numbers, even though the Prius sold as much and more than all the other hybrids put together.

    There is a saying, “when the cat is out, the mice are dancing”. The Bolt had a window of 8 months or so, before the Tesla 3 went on sale. After that, its numbers plummeted to truly insignificant 1,000 a month or so, compared to the 14,000 in July for the Tesla 3, according to the detailed data by Bob Wilson.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    This is a AAA study that refutes all those fortune tellers who claimed, with a straight face, that sharing rides is cheaper than driving your own vehicle. I have more than 40 years experience owning cars and never believed that nonsense (also one of Larry Burns’ false predictions, among many), but in case you do not believe me, look at AAA’s study.

  40. XA351GT Says:

    Kit ,my observation is most sales guys don’t know much about what they are selling or what is coming. Many times I’ve gone to dealerships for info ,only to find I know more than the people that are supposed to sell it.

  41. XA351GT Says:

    Larry , I wonder if that is because buyers had already put deposits on the Model 3? I have seen both neither are that attractive to me.

  42. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I also so my first Model 3; the pictures of them look better than in person. IMO
    I think Chevy went with the hatch design on the Bolt because of the trend for CUV’s. It just didn’t workout as well as hoped.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 A few, but very few sales people know much about the products. The guy I ordered my Corvette from three years ago knows Corvettes, and the other vehicles Chevy sells, except maybe the Bolt and Volt. I suspect he will even know the details of the many trim levels of the new Silverado by the time it hits the market. Unfortunately, he will be retiring soon, and the younger salesmen don’t seem to know the product as well.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 The Model 3 I saw yesterday was silver, and it didn’t look too great. The other one I saw, a few weeks ago, was a very nice metallic red, and it looked good, to me. It will take a while to get used to the front end, and I suspect there will be fake grills available, if there aren’t already.

    There is little doubt that Chevy could sell a lot more Bolts, if they tried to. The two dealers I’m familiar with don’t even have one available to test drive. People who drive them like them. Still, the car is very pricey for a small crossover/tall hatch its size, and it would never pay for itself in operating cost savings. The Bolt gets a 5 of 5 rating in “owner satisfaction” in CR’s survey, a very rare result.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 A couple people I know lease cars, expensive German ones, for mostly for the reasons you mention. They don’t want them off-warranty, meaning they need to replace them fairly frequently. Also, they find it much easier to negotiate price with leasing, than trying to trade or sell an expensive four year old used car.

    As far as turbos, I have one that is almost 30 years old, that has never failed, but it has only about 70K miles. A friend recently bought an F-150 with the 2.7 turbo. He hopes it will be reliable, because he plans to keep it a long time. Actually, my bigger long-term concern with newer cars would be the GDI.

  46. RADggs Says:

    Wow, a double win for a mid engine Caddy in Detroit, aaaa yeah, Caddy moved to New York.