AD #2425 – Ford Gets Downgraded, Hyundai Goes Back to the Drawing Board, Roechling Develops Active Air Blinds

August 30th, 2018 at 11:49am

Runtime: 6:37

0:27 Ford Gets Downgraded
0:58 Chariot Expands in London
1:24 Hyundai Reworks Kona Headlights to Earn Safety Pick
2:37 Honda CR-V Headed Back to Japan with Updates
3:25 Lexus RC Coupe Gets LC Inspiration
3:58 Lego Makes Full-Size Bugatti Chiron
5:02 Roechling Develops Better Active Air Blinds

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40 Comments to “AD #2425 – Ford Gets Downgraded, Hyundai Goes Back to the Drawing Board, Roechling Develops Active Air Blinds”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    “…The reason is that Ford’s sales and profits are plummeting in China, and it’s losing money in Europe and South America. …”

    Moody’s claims that? It may well be, but GM has lost tens of billions in other markets too. DId they say nothing about Hackett’s decision to axe all Ford Cars? And what about the billions wastes on all the hype about Mobility and AVs?

    “Moody’s says Ford is several years away from turning that around. If Ford gets further downgraded to a junk rating, many financial institutions will be forced to sell their Ford bonds because they can’t have junk bonds in their portfolio”

    This is dead serious. I predicted yesterday we would see this in today’s program, but it was more than just an item, it was the lead story.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/tesla/model-3/tesla-model-3/first-drive?motors=1

    If you think the $50k model 3 is the most expensive 3, think again. This is an amazing (but $78,000) rival to those M3s and C63s. Read the article (comments too!). This is not your uncle’s Chevy Bolt!

  3. Barry T Says:

    Air Blinds vs Shutters. The video didn’t really show the difference very well. It seems the “air blind” is a continuous material that rolls out and back so there aren’t a bunch of small seams like shutters have… makes sense.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s another article about Ford:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fords-credit-downgraded-at-moodys-to-1-notch-above-junk-status-2018-08-29

    Losing money in a growth market like China doesn’t sound good. Maybe GM made a wise move in selling Opel/Vauxhall to PSA. Ford has historically been very strong in the UK, more than in continental Europe, but Brexit may hurt the UK market.

    Still, the biggest downer to me about Ford, is that they are going to quit selling cars in the U.S. It might be a good financial decision, this week, but it seem awfully short sighted to me.

  5. Drew Says:

    As Ford’s stock price drops, it’ll be interesting to see the stock price level at which people start talking about taking the Ford private (again).

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe Elon Musk can buy Ford cheap.

  7. Albemarle Says:

    I am worried about Ford. They seem to be making a bunch of poor business decisions.
    Depending on Chariot is definitely not a good idea. Even Uber, with $2.5b in net sales loses money. Ford bought Chariot for $65m, so based on Uber sales/valuation, Chariot were selling less that $3m at time of purchase. Ford sells ~ $150b around the world.
    They need to get some cars guys in there right now and stop faffing around with side projects. Mulally was an exception. Why are many large companies their own worst enemies?

  8. omegatalon Says:

    ROECHLING’s aero blind design which they developed after doing thorough wind tunnel testing is something Chevy engineers didn’t do and it’s why the C7 Corvette ZR1 still can’t get the traction it needs which suggests that if Chevy doesn’t spend the wind tunnel for the C8 Corvette, it’s track times will still won’t be what it could be.

  9. Lex Says:

    I have lost faith in Ford since Mulally left the company. Their products are old and stale except for the truck division. Ford sunk too much money into the Sync system and should have bought an off the shelf telematics system. Trying to revive Lincoln is a huge mistake. I believe the “One Ford” moto or “Ford One” was genius. They have gotten away from that way of thinking and it is hurting them on the bottom line. Target specific vehicle to certain markets can be a boom or bust. If you spread yourself too thin than you could end up like swiss cheese.

  10. Lex Says:

    Honda needs to get the new Passport to market ASAP. The size difference between the CR-V and Pilot is too big. They need a V6 – 5 passenger sports UTE slotted between those two vehicles.

    The 190hp 1.5-litre turbo currently in the all but LX trim of the CR-V is underpowered for most tastes. Honda needs to upgrade the engine to the 2.0-Litre turbo found in the new Acura RDX. The same could be said for the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. It is hard to find a 2.0-Litre turbo in those vehicles because they fly out of the dealerships as some as they come in. I hate driving a vehicle that struggles up hills and sounds like it is going to explode under stress.

    P.S. Having to put premium gas into a four banger to generate power is not economical in my mind. Jeep needs to re-evaluate their new 2.0-Litre Turbo in the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler and get rid of the premium gas requirement.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    After reading the specs of the new 3 row CR-V, I am tempted to make a forecast!

    The 2055 Cadillac Escalade

    Will be 250 inches long, 100 inches wide, 90 inches tall (I’m just extrapolating the trend, guys) will have 4 rows carrying 14 passengers, and will be powered by a 0.5 lt one-cylinder engine with 4 turbos making 1,200 HP and 1,500 Lbft torque.

    The price has been set at $1 million worthless 2055 dollars, equivalent to $79999.99 in 2018 dollars.

    Lincoln will unveil the New Navigator in 2056.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    Now seriously

    4 Read the article. I could not believe any automaker could lose $ in today;s China market, but the schmucks at Ford managed to lose more than half a billion there. I wonder if Hackett will do anything about it, fire the execs responsible, and if it is his fault, fire his sorry self to help Ford. And what does BILL FORD have to say about all this debacle?

    BTW GM lost 20 Billion in OPEL over the years before it wised up, cut its huge losses and ‘sold’ the loser to PSA.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9 What did Ford ever do to revive Lincoln? Unlike Caddy, Ford offers thinly disguised Ford Clones as Lincolns, and sells them for $20,000 more. No wonder very few buy. This was the one mistake Mullaly made, he should have revived Lincoln or closed it down like he did useless Mercury.

    As for the “one Ford” slogan, you claim it is “genius”? Why? It looks like empty rhetoric to me.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    6 maybe Hackett can sell Musk a few idle Ford plants so he can stop making Model 3s under that tent.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 The “underpowered for most tastes” CR-V is still quicker than most of its competition, more fuel efficient than all of its competition, in CR’s tests, and is the 3rd best selling vehicle in its class, not far behind the leading Rogue and 2nd place RAV4. Still, I suspect a lot of the reason they don’t put the 2.0 turbo in the CR-V is to help sell of the pricier RDX.

    A lot of “premium” brands, especially German ones, tend to recommend, or require premium for about everything they sell. I agree that mainstream brands, like Jeep, should not require premium. According to Alpar, premium (91 octane) gasoline is recommended (for the 2.0 turbo), though it will take regular 87 octane with lower performance. The Cherokee with the 2.0 turbo gets only 2 mpg better EPA combined mpg, 24 vs 22, than the V6. The difference in fuel price would about make running cost break even, if you use premium, and if you don’t use premium, the gas mileage might drop to less than the six.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Didn’t the “one Ford” slogan pertain to the idea of selling similar Focus, Fiesta, and semi-similar Fusion/Mondeo in North America and the rest of the world? That idea is certainly dead now.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    16 and it was not the first time, I remember in the 80s Ford bragged about the tiny Escort as a “world car”, a truly stupid idea because different continents, and esp US vs Europe, want very different vehicles.

  18. Wim van Acker Says:

    @17: “a truly stupid idea”? That is what the world’s most profitable automakers such as BMW Group, Daimler, Toyota do.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I remember the first generation Escort from when I was in the navy in Scotland in 1970. It was rear drive, and was never sold in the U.S. Yep, any true mainstream “world car” resides only at the small end of the U.S. market. The Ford Fiesta was the best selling car in the UK for the first half of 2018, with VW Golf second. Of course, a number of larger, premium cars, like many Benzes and BMW’s are true world cars, though with big differences in powertrains and optioning in different markets.

    It seems that the mainstream mid-size cars, like Accord and Camry, have different versions in the U.S. than the rest of the world, but without the good body style (wagon/estate) in the U.S. Yeah, that’s just me in liking wagons.

  20. Wim van Acker Says:

    @19: “any true mainstream “world car” resides only at the small end of the U.S. market”. No, on the contrary: on the very top of the market; Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc. Identical vehicles the world over without differentiation in powertrains.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    18 it is certainly NOT what they do. Toyota, the best and most profitable in the world, does NOT sell Camry large sedans in Europe, but in the US they have been the best selling car for decades, or tiny hatchbacks in the US, which dominate the European and other markets. Totally different CONSUMER needs and tastes.

    The automakers should make the very different vehicles the CONSUMER wants in the vastly different markets. CONSUMER is king.

    Even the German luxury makers do NOT sell the same models, the US likes SUVs and they make them here, while in Europe they focus on smaller sedans and coupes.

    100% stupid idea to sell the exact same product in the USA and in India. If you want to try it, be my guest, and notify me when Moody’s downgrades you to junk too.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 how many makers do all these tiny niche makers sell? All of them together sell less vehicles than even TESLA sells. Who cares?

  23. Larry D. Says:

    19 Benzes and BMW’s are true world cars, though with big differences in powertrains and optioning in different markets.

    Absolutely true. I remember in the US for decades when BMW and Mercedes deliberately do not even offer as options many of those they offer in Europe. NO manual transmissions, and NO small engines. For decades, the only S class you could buy was the 430, the 550 and the 600, while in Europe there are twice as many engine choices, down to 2.8 or even 2.0 liters. Same with BMW 7 series and even 5 series. BIG differences.

    And what pisses me off royally is that even the navigation systems are not compatible, my US-spec Mercedes 320 Diesels have factory nav with a North Am DVD. I took onein the old country and ordered at the dealer, from Germany, the Europe DvD, it arrived, cost only 200 Euros, but it was not compatible w the US-spec Nav software, so we returned it and I was not charged either the part or the one hour labor they spent trying to make it compatible.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 Huh??? A Fiesta is a mainstream world car, and is clearly small, compared to most cars sold in the U.S. A Rolls-Royce in decidedly not mainstream, and is rather large.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    24 re 20 I believe Vim’s point was that in these exotic tiny volume cars they do not differentiate, they sell the same versions in the US and in Europe, which is true, but so what? all of them together sell less units than Tesla and even smaller mainstream makers.

  26. Wim van Acker Says:

    @22: market capitalization Ferrari right now is $ 25 BB, TESLA’s is even bigger, $52 BB, Ford $ 39 BB, GM $ 52 BB. How many vehicles an automaker products is irrelevant. It is a business, not a game who cranks out the most plain vanilla products which nobody wants to pay a premium for.

  27. Wim van Acker Says:

    @26: “produces” rather than “products”

  28. Wim van Acker Says:

    @25: you are correct, Larry, that was my point

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25,27,28 Got it. You meant number of vehicles sold, why I was talking about size of vehicles.

    26 Is the Ferrari F1 team still connected with the road car biz?

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The true successful, high volume car company, Toyota, has a market cap of $186B.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s truly successful…

  32. Larry D. Says:

    I saw another example of Mercedes not selling in the US what they sell in Europe, last Wednesday. My temporary use Merc Diesel needs a lot of paperwork, including a letter of guarantee by a third party who should attach their.. tax returns and all other crap. Last year my youngest cousin, who lives in Amsterdam NL with his wife and two kids, signed it for me and provided the unreasonable info above. I thought this was a one-time thing, but it turned out you have to bring a new letter every frigging year!!! AND my cousin was back in Amsterdam when I learned of it. I frantically called other relatives and friends, and got two volunteers, one of them was the 84 year old retired prof. who is the father in law of my above cousin, and who is the secretary of the National Nautical Club in my old country, so I drove the one hour scenic drive to an amazing location (he claimed it is the best view of the sea in the whole country), and he helped me out real well. He owned a Merc CLK 200 which has a 1.8 compressor engine, 14 years old and with only 30k miles (45k km). WHen I told him I paid 10k euros (less than 12k $) for my 2008 320 Diesel, his jaw dropped, and told me he paid 56 k euros (70k$!) for the little thing with the tiny engine back then, and every year, despite the low miles, the dealer fleeces him in service.

    My point: The US never saw his 200 CLK on sale, and especially not the 6 speed manual he got it with (which he now regrets due to the traffic there).

  33. Larry D. Says:

    26 You pick and choose whatever makes you point. Market Cap is a trillion one day and ZERO the next. It has nothing to do with the company’s property, sales, or, more importantly, Current Profits.

    The US automakers have been very weak for decades, thanks to incompetent and/or inbred management continuing today (Hackett at ford), and terribly uncompetitive union workforce that drags the companies down to the bottom.

    Ferrari is the ONLY supercar company making such a bundle and having a high market cap. Porsche is doing great too but it is part of VW group. and same with the others.

    None of them have ferrari’s success, if we were able to see their individual profits, we’d see it.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Most CLK’s sold in the U.S. were V6 automatic, with a few AMG V8′s. They were automatic only. I think the only Mercedes’ sold in the U.S. with the Kompressor engine were a C-class hatchback they sold briefly, and the first generation SLK. I know someone who has the SLK, but rarely drives it.

    A not-for-the-U.S. Mercedes I liked was a rental in France in 2008, a C-Class wagon with a diesel and manual transmission.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    I watched AAH (usually I skip the half hour infomercial with the guests, who recently seem less and less related to core automakers, and listened to some of the discussion. They ran out of time so the details are for next show, but John mentioned towards the end how impressed he was with my least favorite Tesla, the X, after driving it for an extended time (a week or so)

  36. Larry D. Says:

    34 what engine did the diesel wagon you rented have? any chance you saw the HP? My 07 and 08s have a 3 lt engine (despite called 320) and make 208 HP and 400 lbft. To get a higher torque than that with gas versions you have to get the top AMG model, even the 550 could not top it.

  37. Lambo2015 Says:

    The “One Ford” initiative is still alive at Ford and although seems like a worthwhile endeavor in theory the reality is its another corporate catch phrase like “thinking outside the box” and “Senergy”. In theory the company should operate and manufacture cars all over the world in the very same manner. Problem with that is the economy and tastes vary all over the world. So what sells good in the US may not be attractive in other countries. Yes Exotic cars are the exception but only because they are bought with other tasks in mind than an everyday driver. Similarly as the daily clothes all over the world vary but a tuxedo is still a tuxedo.
    Anyway, The labor cost all over the world vary so manufacturing a car with high labor process is not smart in the US but may make sense in other countries. Automation is expensive and may only be justifiable where labor costs are high. So a One Ford concept conflicts with the tastes and economics of a global market.
    In addition to all that wasted money and effort Ford has yet to provide an exciting design on anything. To compound that problem the recent push to SUV/CUVs which already all look very similar it will be even more difficult to stand out in a crowd of look-alike SUVs.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It was a 4 cylinder, probably 2.0-2.2 liter. I’m guessing it was about 150 hp or so.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    2.1 lt, and probably

    70 kW (94 hp)
    @ 3,800 rpm 250 N⋅m (184 lb⋅ft)
    @ 1,400–2,600 rpm 2006–2010

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_OM646_engine

    What really makes these diesels go is their tremendous torque (vs same cc gas versions), you feel it when you pass on the highway. Reviews said about the 320 Bluetec compared it to a “Saturn V rocket”

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 Yep. I found that cars called both C200 and C220 were 2:1 liter. You really notice the torque with a manual trans, when you accelerate at low rpm in a higher gear, with no down shifting.