AD #2451 – Model 3 the Safest Car Ever? Ford Likely to Layoff Workers, Mercedes Makes Big Battery Investment

October 8th, 2018 at 11:56am

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Runtime: 6:48

0:27 Tesla Tops NHTSA Safety List
1:11 Ford Reorganization Likely to Lead to Layoffs
1:57 Mercedes Makes Big Battery Investment
2:48 Formula 1 Racing Results
3:22 NASCAR Racing Results
3:37 NHRA Top Fuel Racing Results
3:56 Income Breakdown of New Car Buyers
4:46 The Kind of Women Who Drive Muscle Cars

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32 Comments to “AD #2451 – Model 3 the Safest Car Ever? Ford Likely to Layoff Workers, Mercedes Makes Big Battery Investment”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    The Safety Excellence of Tesla models is one more piece of great news for the company, which, most people do not know, had raided the best automakers in the World and hired talent in design and other aspects of their manufacturing. Including some people very high up in the Tesla Hierarchy.

    Mercedes is aping Tesla in constructing the 8 battery plants. Tesla was the first to figure out that you need a GIGAFactory to drive battery costs down and make the Tesla 3 at a profit.

    Also, we should be more precise. When Merc says “one electrified vehicle in every class of Merc models”, I bet they do not mean pure EV, and most of them will be lowly plug-ins instead, with dirty gas engines, an inefficient way to build a green car (two powerplants instead of the far simpler and more reliable and less maintenance-intense electric motor!)

    Ford Employees worried? If I was a Ford employee and believed in my talents and abilities, I would NOT want to waste them in today’s failed Ford of Fields, Bill Ford and Hackett. I would send my resume to SUCCESSFUL Automakers and even consider leaving the industry altogether.

    Income breakdown of new buyers: thanks to Kia-Hyundai AND the popularity of SUVs and Pickups by the domestics, a long term trend has been reversed, and the poorest buyers do NOT buy Chevys and Fords and Plymouths any more, but Asian cars instead.

    The $173,000 income of those buying new Euro luxury cars is almost identical to the median income I saw in a different stat, the income of those who buy EVs and Plug-ins and Hybrids that used to get the $7,500 tax credit.

    I remember a letter to Autonews by some poor geezer on fixed income, who complained that he does not benefit from the $7,500 becsuse it is a tax credit, and he paid almost ZERO in Federal Taxes.

    Which made the $7,500 not just unfair and Government meddling in the affairs of Business, it made Government exactly into a Reverse Robin Hood, taking from the average income people and giving tax credits to the WEALTHIEST.

    Finally, this elderly lady and her hypotheses about women who drive muscle cars. Most of what she said in that segment seemed pure speculation to me, and I bet is not strongly supported by her hard data (if any). If this is the best she said in that episode, I sure am glad I skipped her half hour and just watched, as usual, the other half hour with John and Vasilach and the usual suspects. Very few guests recently raise my interest enough to spend the half hour listening to what they peddle (it is usually a book or, if they work for an automaker, a free commercial for their new model)

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Did anyone ever hear any information about how fast the the Tesla S was going a year or two ago, when it crashed in Indianapolis, and spread burning debris 100 yards? I’m curious, but was never able to find any information.

    1 Some companies use the term “electrified” very loosely, to include 48 volt mild hybrids.

    As far as pure electrics, they still won’t work for me, when I’m in Florida, because I can’t charge one at home. Simple mechanically, and very reliable hybrids are still hard to beat for many people, like myself, even with that dirty gas engine. I’m looking forward to checking out that hybrid Mustang, if Ford actually puts it in production.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    2 You mentioned your own situation many times, but actually in your case, neither a pure EV nor a plug-in with a gas engine, would work well, if you can’t charge them overnight at home.

    I considered a plug-in for my overseas car, and looked at recent year Prius plug-ins for sale, but they were not attractive, poor interiors, dirty looking cloth usually, and their range on pure electricity was a measly 11 or 22 miles back then (2012 models), and on top of it all, they were asking even more than I paid for both my Mercs. ($12,000 or so for the 2012-13 prii plug-ins, vs $10,000 and $10,500 I paid for the Merc Diesels, in perfect condition, from dealers, with warranty free included.)

    Even if it could make 22 actual miles on electricity, my typical commute from the summer place to the city center overseas is 44 KM one way, and there is no chance of plugging it in once I am in the city (have an old a 6th floor apartment there)

  4. Bob Smith Says:

    Kit – You should check out Tesla’s supercharger locations. They have 31 of them in Florida alone with more on the way. When you’re in FL, you could use them the way you use a gas station, recharge while you’re there. They’re typically located near shopping and restaurants so you can leave your vehicle for 20-30 min and do some errands while you wait.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 The 2012 Prius plug-in was not a serious effort, with the low range you mention. Also, even with a full charge, the ICE runs at anything more than very leisurely acceleration. The current Prius Prime has somewhat more range, and a minor modification was done to the powertrain to enable both MG’s to be used for better electric performance. Both the earlier Prius plug-in and the current Prime work about the same as a regular Prius, if you never plug them in. I probably would have bought a Prime in 2017, if they’d sold them in either Florida or Indiana. It wouldn’t gain me much now, but I might have a place to plug it in sometime in the future.

    Most plug-in hybrids are seriously compromised if used only on gas. That’s especially true with the i3 REx, and to a lesser extent, the Chevy Volt.

  6. Ziggy Says:

    And the auto industry wonders why it has such a hard time attracting new engineers to hire. Just look at the practices of the companies that represent it, the latest being Ford with their announcement of layoffs, and just before Christmas no less! There is no loyalty at the auto companies and no one should ever feel like they have a job for life because the first time the company can make more money without your services you will be gone, no matter how much experience you have or how much you think the company needs you, the almighty dollar is all they care about, until they realize they have gotten rid of too many people and start to hire again. I had 12 years of exemplary service at GM when they laid me off and I swore I would never work for the auto industry again if I could help it, and fortunately for me I haven’t had to depend on them for anything since. Good luck to all those at Ford that will get the axe through no fault of their own.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 From the end of World War II, until the late ’70′s or early ’80′s, the car companies, at least GM and Ford, were very good places to work. I got in on the end of it, and things were still ok when I retired in 2001.

    Some younger friends “stuck it out” with GM and Delphi at my location, but things are not very pleasant for them, both from a job security standpoint, and general work atmosphere.

  8. merv Says:

    great show,as always,really like the weekend race reports.

  9. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Hopefully Ford will handle some of the reduction in force by attrition and maybe offering early retirements. Ford as a corporation has to look at the bottom line, though consideration of its employees certainly shouldn’t take a back seat to fair play. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t too long ago, when Autoline reported that there was a shortage of engineers (though I’m thinking, when they say white collared salaried employees, it goes beyond just the engineers).

  10. Dan Says:

    Still can’t fathom the announcement by Ford earlier this year that they intend to cease production of all passenger cars with the exception of the Mustang. Several questions go unanswered.

    How do they possibly plan to meet the federally required fleet fuel economy standards if they are basically only selling trucks and SUV’s?

    This move will cause thousands of employees to be fired and factories to be shuttered. Where is the outrage from the employs and unions?

    Why keep the Mustang? It is one of Fords worst selling vehicles considering total units sold. Other Ford models easily outsell it?

    Gas prices are already up again. What happens to Ford when the tide shifts back to more fuel efficient vehicles again and all they have to offer are thirsty SUV’s and pickups??

    Last question. Is Ford out of their freaking mind!?

  11. Dan Says:

    [#9 me] Yes, that should be employees, not employs. Blame this pages auto correct, and my laziness in not catching it before I hit submit. If only we were allowed to edit our own submissions. {HINT}

  12. Larry D. Says:

    4 I checked used prius plug-ins to see the range again, and indeed the first gen only got 11 and the 2nd only 22 as I mentioned, some owners would get up to 25 w the 2nd. Even the 11 mile version would work for me in the US, when my commute is 1.5 miles each way (if I did not go to the office early, int he dark, I’d walk, then it is only 1 mile) and only on weekends I might exceed the EV range, but overseas even the 22 mile version would be too small. If the Volt was a bit more attractive and they had parts there (they have a version of it in Europe called the ampera) I’d consider it, but again my first priority was safety, hence the merc.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9, 10 we mentioned these things here many times. Yes, Ford (as in Bill Ford) and esp. the CEO, Hackett, have no freaking clue what they are doing. They have been fooled by the ‘consultants’ and the fanatics that peddle mobility and AUVs and waste BILLIONS there, and then they cannot afford to keep their engineers…

    And don’t forget Lincoln. They kill all their cars (which they still produce in the rest of the world) and keep the losers at Lincoln.. go figure.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will Lincoln become completely a truck company, or do they plan to introduce a Lincoln version of the Mustang? Since Mercury is gone, maybe they could use the Cougar name.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    Fords way of conducting layoffs is a great way to lose your best talent. Those folks that are highly sought after can start looking before waiting to hear if they’ll be let go. Says a lot about management when the economy is lowest since 1967 and your doing layoffs.

  16. WineGeek Says:

    Looks like Ford has a death wish in the corporate hierarchy. Why don’t they get rid of hatchet (oops I mean Hackett) and put a car person at the top to run a car company? How can a guy who ran a company that built file cabinets be expected to build cars (trucks) and know what he is doing. This idea that skills are easily transferred from one industry to another is plain stupid. It reminds me of putting Scully at the top of Apple and firing Jobs we all know how well that worked out. I mean isn’t making cola the same as building high tech products…DUH!

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I found a couple reviews on the 1st gen Prius plug-in, and as I thought, the ICE comes on easily with much right pedal. Then, the first time, it runs a while to warm up the cat. The 2nd gen “Prime” ug-in

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oops, accidentally hit submit
    ..plug-in is much better, both in electric range, and how fast you can accelerate before the engine starts up. Both get near the same mpg as a regular Prius if run only on gas.

  19. Fred S Says:

    15 that is correct! I worked for Home Depot as a store manager when the founders retired and hired Bob Nardelli as CEO. In his short time as CEO his crap devalued HD by using similar methods…then he went to Cerebus and did the same. Ford is in a long term funk and the outcome is yet to be determined.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    As I mentioned before until an automaker designs a car from the ground up to accept a gas and EV power train the EVs will continue to be too expensive. They need to share the costs with a platform that sells. Plus make it attractive. Imagine if you could order a mustang or Camaro with the typical gas offerings or pure EV. Then it’s just the cost difference of the power train and not a whole development cost of a car that sells less than 10k a yr.

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    15. I meant unemployment is lowest since 1967 not economy.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20. The packaging is much different between an EV an ICE car. That’s part of why Tesla has done so well doing only EV’s. I hope they avoid trying to do hybrids, because they are different, and more difficult.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    9 I doubt it. Hatchett’s mistakes will be paid by the innocent, as usual.

    16 Exactly. Fully agree.

    17, 18 While 22 miles EV range is double the 11 of the first plug-in, which was really laughable, 22 is still very tiny and is only of interest if you live in a very polluted city and want to avoid using gas while driving downtown. I am more interested in a LS600hL from 2008-2012, but that is not a plug-in at all. Still the 5,000+ lb car is claimed to get 25 real life MPGs in mixed driving, and of course has more than 400 HP, an immaculate interior of really top quality and luxury, and only the handling leaves something to be desired.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    19 Nardelli is a good comparison. But why would the Ford Family, who appointed Hatchett, would want to do that?

    20 Pure EVs at this time are at a serious disadvantage, but I see them being far more efficient than gas cars in the future. Costs are coming down, their infrastructure is being constructed. it is no coincidence we refer to the most reliable cars like TOyotas as “appliances”, because of their bland driving but mainly because they seldom fail, like the ELECTRICAL appliances we have at home. I bought my condo 31 years ago and still have the same clothes drier I inherited, as well as the furnace, and have replaced the other very old appliances only once.

    AND while I got a new 55″ TV last Nov for a mere $340, I still have a perfectly fine 1984 19″ Mitsu which I bought for its good colors but it turned out a monster of reliability.

    So the way to go is pure EV, and I expect them to eventually not only cost much less to make, since they can do without 100s of systems gas/diesel cars got to have, and ALSO I expect them to be far less costly to maintain and much less frequent to need repairs.

    22. I never heard any plans by Tesla to build anything but pure EVs.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 I haven’t heard of plans for Tesla to make anything other than EV’s either, but I’ve heard people say they should.

    The reason EV’s are expensive, and are likely to stay expensive, is that it takes expensive materials to make the batteries and motors. Cobalt and neodymium are a lot more expensive than steel and aluminum.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    22 Yes the packaging is a lot different so it would need to be designed with the intention from the start. No trying to throw an EV powertrain into a current gas or stuffing a gas into a current EV. It would take careful planning and design to provide a structure that can accept both systems. Not even saying it would be an easy task but it could be done and once automakers figure that out. The barrier between IC and EV will be even less. Shopping for an EV would be much easier when you can go to the dealer see their entire line up and know you can get it with a gas engine or Electric. Then you don’t have to compromise on a funky little econobox EV. Again another reason Tesla is doing so well. Their cars would be an attractive vehicle even if they were gas. They didnt design the S-model to be some tiny little car and for some reason all other makers seem to think thats what people want in an EV.

  27. XA351GT Says:

    14 If Lincoln did get a car based on the Mustang , They could call it the Mark 9 as their 2 door coupes were Marks all the way up to the Mk VIII ( Beethoven with a attitude from their ads)

  28. Fred S Says:

    24 I wasn’t suggesting Nardelli go to Ford. I was using him as a comparison to Hackett. Nardelli is a poison anywhere he goes.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 It seems that Nissan and GM thought, wrongly it turned out, that more people would want a $26-36K EV than a $60-110K EV.

    Wasn’t the last Mark based on the next to last T-Bird?

  30. XA351GT Says:

    Kit the last 2 Marks were based on the T-bird the 7 and the 8

  31. Brett Cammack Says:


    When Lee Iacocca revived the “Mark” with the III, they used the Thunderbird chassis and running gear as well. I think the V was my favorite. Just before the downsize.

  32. veh Says:

    Do TPTB at Ford not understand how human beings work? Having the ax of layoffs hanging over their heads is not a morale-booster.

    Hackett et al should watch “The Office” reruns; there are several episodes that involve potential layoffs (remember the picnic skit?) and what that does to their staff.