AD #2458 – Tesla’s China Disadvantage, 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Updates, BMW Begins Shipping X7

October 17th, 2018 at 11:35am

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Runtime: 6:33

0:28 Senator Proposes to Eliminate EV Credit Cap
1:01 Tesla’s China Disadvantage
1:48 BMW Begins Shipping X7
3:19 Head-Up Display with Augmented Reality
3:41 Audi Tests AI for Quality Inspections
4:38 2019 Chevy Camaro Updates
5:13 Skoda Introduces New SUV In China

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42 Comments to “AD #2458 – Tesla’s China Disadvantage, 2019 Chevrolet Camaro Updates, BMW Begins Shipping X7”

  1. Albemarle Says:

    Looks like Chevy is doubling down on the Camaro. It already runs circles around the Mustang as a track car. So, if you have lousy sales, just do more of the same?

    The Camaro is a well engineered car, but it needs a camera to see out even over the hood! It’s way too big with tiny windows and it misses the market. Hence the poor sales. Until GM bites the bullit and does a complete redesign, it will languish and Ford will laugh all the way to the bank.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    That BMW X-7 weighs in at 5500 lbs.; it’s going to need that horsepower. I think there are better 7 passenger vehicles out there; but like Sean said, BMW is going to make a lot of money.

  3. bradley cross Says:

    Maybe Audi can sell that AI to Tesla to fix their paint issues?

  4. Kevin Anderson Says:

    #1 good pun …. until GM bites the Bullitt

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    I was wondering if the US would extend the EV credit with what’s going on with the Saudis at the moment.
    Camaro vs Mustang – lets face it, those cars have so much capability that 99% won’t ever use it comes down to brand loyalty and or aesthetics.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 The Camaro is the best of the pony cars, from an overall performance standpoint, and has, by far, the best low-mid performance powertrain with its V6, either manual or automatic. It has lousy visibility, but so does the Challenger, especially in the rear quarter area, with the huge sail panels. I’ve driven friends’ Camaros and Challengers, and to me, the visibility to the front of both is ok, but the rear quarters, not good at all.

    As far as too big, that’s Challenger, which is 10 inches longer, and 300-400 pounds heavier than either Camaro or Mustang. I suspect the bottom line of Camaro’s poor sales, is that people don’t like the looks of it. Is the styling too “juvenile,” perhaps? Appearance-wise, Challenger is my favorite of the three, but it’s too big. The 300/Charger platform is what they had to build in on, so that’s understandable.


    1) Completely agree. GM has a great performance car, let down by horrible ergonomics. Can’t see out of it and it has a cramped interior compared to the mustang. It fails as a car but excels at being a track car. GM needs to redesign not only the camaro, but the ATS which shares this platform and has the same flaws. Those sales are suffering too because the ATS fails to be even a reasonable car, let alone a reasonable entry level luxury car.


    IF GM and TESLA were smart, they would push to end the EV credit instead of expand it. With competition starting to roll in from Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, VW, and Porsche…Those companies will always have an automatic discount when being compared to TESLA or any of the offerings in the future for GM.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 The only reason to buy a huge SUV like that is to tow, and I suspect Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban/Expedition are all better tow vehicles than the X7 will be. If you just want to haul people, minivans are better than SUVs, but they aren’t at all fashionable.

    Yeah, BMW will make a lot of money with the X7. A roundel is worth at least $15K more than a bow tie or a blue oval, other things being equal.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 Camaro and Mustang are both two passenger cars, with moderate size trunks. The Challenger has a somewhat more useable back seat.

    How is an ATS not a reasonable car, and even a pretty good car, as long as you don’t want to carry large people in the back seat? Have you ever driven one? I have, and it drives quite well, with either the turbo 4, or especially, with the 3.6 V6.

  11. BobD Says:

    “Tesla just bought the land it needs to build an assembly plant in China” A large manufacturer BUYING land to place their plant? That is something you never hear happening in the USA any more. Usually it is, “Here is the land and we’ll give you 10 years of tax abatement, $10 million in employee training, and we will build you a nice 4-lane highway to your front door to connect the plant to the interstate four miles away.” All courtesy on the local and state taxpayers who will then see education funding cut to fund these sweetheart deals.

  12. Brett Cammack Says:

    It has always seemed to me (at least since the 80s) the GM stylists have always been compelled to keep “tweaking” their designs and so, seem to be overwrought. They are not “timeless” and do not age well at all.

    Ford, generally, seems to be able to say “stop” to the stylists sooner. I don’t claim they hit home runs often, but I don’t find myself shaking my head at the sight of them.

  13. Victor West Says:

    Convertible top down on the Camero solves a lot of problems

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    I think extending the tax credit for EVs should be on a time or money limit not based on a certain volume per manufacturer. Let the market decide which ones will sell and not alter it by the virtue that some manufacturers will have an advantage after other run out of credits. The tax credit is to promote the sales of EVs and should not favor a manufacturer over another.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    Dont really care that Teslas have a 35% tariff on them. In fact until thats lowered we should impose 55% on products from China. Since they pay their workers so much less and dont comply with the same safety and environmental regulations not to mention shipping many products with toxic materials and often infringe on copyright laws.

  16. Roger Blose Says:

    Bob Lutz got it right when he said that the first time he saw the current Mustang, he knew it would be the winner based on the styling. He said that the euro / Aston Martin/ Jag -like look was the winner as compared to the Camaro’s NASA inspired block styling. I spent a day in a Camaro rental tank and could not believe how bad the sight lines were. The trunk opening was sized like a manhole cover were you could not even fit wheel and tire through the opening in a pinch. It did have an excellent drivetrain!

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean How is the Skoda SUV considered a coupe with 4 doors? Do they not understand what Coupe means or did you just not have a video of the actual coupe model?

  18. Maverick Says:

    2012 Inferno Camaro RS 3.6 owner here. Actually, it was a Christmas gift for the spouse, big bow and all. Like the retro styling, great balanced handling at on/off ramps, 23+ fuel mileage, even like the “tank-like” visibility that makes it unique (just need to be careful). My only dislike will likely be the complex high-tech V6 valve train with extra long chains when it ever needs servicing (I turn my own wrenches). It’s not a daily driver.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 People would love it when their already expensive iPhones went up a $500 in price.

  20. Bob Wilson Says:

    Trade war victory: China 1, USA 0.

  21. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The ATS and the CTS are both very good performers but for one reason or another just don’t sell well. That being said, Cadillac is going to try again by nixing both those models and replacing with a CT(3/4/5) whatever they decide to call it. I like the looks of the newest Camaro, but practically, it is just not for me; great performer though.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 The Mustang has better visibility than Camaro or Challenger, but like Camaro, it has a small trunk opening.

    14 I agree, on the tax credits. If they continue, it makes no sense to penalize companies that have been more serious and/or successful at building and selling EVs.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here are some “pony car” sales numbers:

    I’m surprised that Challenger seems to stay even, and for 2018, increase sales numbers, even though it is 10 years old. Maybe the availability of those Demons and Hellcats spills over as sales of the more mainstream versions.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    Nothing of interest in yesterday’s show, even the others made only 5 comments total.

    A few things in today;s show.

    2 The BMW X7: They ruined the grille, far uglier than its rival the Merc GLS behemoth. The Merc is equally huge and heavy, but has much less HP in its basic engine (the cheapest GL used to be the diesel, which was the best one to go with by far. I don’t think they still offer it). The BMW engines here, even the smallest diesel, has an unheard of 355 HP and 50% more torque than that!

    9 Not at all. as we all know, Most SUV buyers never use them to tow anything. ESPECIALLY Buyers of German Flagship Luxury SUVs, and that included my colleague Mike here, who always had huge SUVs instead of minivans to carry his large family around, they had a Toyota Landcruiser, a Lexus LX 470, a merc GL currently and the wife drives a not much smaller Merc E SUV. (former ML). I can assure you that they never towed anything in their entire lives, but they have 3 kids plus one who left, and an aunt of the wife living with them full time forever, who was the nanny. Many, many other people I know have large SUVs for their utility (cannot put the stuff in tiny sedan trucks) and high seating position, and these huge ones are much taller than the average SUV, and they never tow a dam thing. Owners of Suburbans are 100% different, they do tow.

    20 if you are… rooting for China, you will, 100%, be rudely disappointed. EVERY serious economic analysis I have seen points out that IF this trade war continues, and there is a BIG chance it will NOT, there will be an agreement that saves face for the Chinese, IF it continues, it will be twice as bad for China than for the US, for obvious reasons.

    Camaro Vs Mustang: I could not care less about either of them crude cheapo performance wannabes, but the buyers, who vote with their wallets, have chosen the Mustang, which Finally, after 50 years, got a decent rear axle and not a solid one like the Flintstones’ Dino mobile.

    I am not a big fan of the crude, underperforming, poor interior muscle cars of the 60s the Camaro may emulate. I find the instrument cluster of the Camaro much worse than that of the Mustang, and that one gets no prize either. I have not driven the Challenger, but it looks more powerful than the others, even when is not.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    China is by far the largest pure EV market in the world, 1.25 mill vs 0.75 for the no 2 USA. Musk, regardless of tariffs, should have built a 500,000 car a year plant there 5 years ago.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    the biggest problem with the Camaro is it is not ICONIC as the Mustang is, for whatever reason, cool movies since the60s, and all that. Even initially, the Camaro was only a reaction of GM to the leader FORD who came up with the idea of the original pony car, the Mustang.

    There is little GM can do about it. Some cars are iconic, some are not. the 911 is perhaps the most iconic of them all, worldwide, as was the original Beetle. The Corolla may have sold more cars, than even the Beetle, but who cares?

  27. Larry D. Says:

    I forgot the most important comment I wanted to make, and it is about the expiration of the $7500 tax credits for Tesla and GM.

    While I am against the overall idea, for very valid and important reasons, the way the current law is written, it SUCKS, because it punishes the most successful EV sellers, and instead continues to offer the credits to all the LOSERS who have not achieved the 200,000 sales.

    I find the proposed legislation much better, and I also agree it should be phased out for ALL in 2022.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9, 24 OK, I should have said no RATIONAL reason to buy these huge SUVs, except to tow.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    28 This is just as bad and ignores the VALID reasons, some of which I cited, and others I did not (they live in the snowbelt and appreciate both the high ground clearance and the AWD-4WD, and in addition they have the best passive safety, I have no prayer not only because 5,500 lbs plus 1,000-1,500 lbs stuff is more than my 4,200 lbs (me and my car), but also because the bit, tall SUV will not just collide with my front end, it will climb it up and kill me.)
    that make these buyers choose these vehicles. Just because you and I do not like SUVs does not make their buyers irrational.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Yep, more Corollas have been sold than any other car, but it means absolutely nothing, since there has been no continuity in what a Corolla actually is. My sister had a 1972 Corolla, which was a rear drive 2 door sedan. About the only thing it had in common with today’s Corolla, is the name, and it had 4 wheels. Beetles were a lot the same for their entire 50-some years of production.

    Porsche has done an exceptional job of keeping the 911′s “iconic-ness.” even though there is little similarity between today’s 911, and those of the ’60s. Not only do the current ones have liquid cooled engines, and all of the modern technology available, but they have grown almost as much as MINIs have grown since their BMW stewardship.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 OK, it’s rational to buy vehicles that are good for killing other road users, if you drive poorly. I suppose that may be a lot of why I see so many single occupant monster SUV’s in Florida, where you don’t really need 4WD and lots of ground clearance to go through snow. Somehow, I even got by driving in snow in Indiana for 40-some years without 4WD trucks.

  32. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Kit, nice comment on the Model T vs. the Corolla. The T pretty much didn’t change much and was selling cars to a smaller market. So absolute sales, yes, but the T was in a class by itself.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Yep, the T, even more than the Beetle didn’t change much during its run. It was built only 19 or 20 years, but more than a million were made five of those years, and over 2 million were made in 1923.

  34. BobD Says:

    21 – Will the Cadillac CTx naming scheme continue now that the architect of that scheme gone? Perhaps the ATS or CTS name will survive.

  35. Chuck Grenci Says:

    34, Bob
    Well, I suppose anything can happen but I think Cadillac would be prudent to retain the CTx nomenclature (unless they decide to go back to naming names). Here’s a recent Car and Driver link on upcoming Cadillac models.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 Cadillac’s plans mostly make sense, but why would they replace the very good 3.6 V6 with a bigger-than-2-liter turbo four? That does not make sense.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    31 As I may have said before, I have lived in the snowbelt every winter since 1977-78, total 40 years exactly, and never owned any AWD or 4wd vehicle. I owned FWD econoboxes and coupes, and then only RWD vehicles, which I prefer.

    HOWEVER, I disagree with many of your points.

    First, it is not only by being a bad driver that you can kill another motorist. I have been in situations where there was a sudden, heavy rainstorm that continued for several minutes, as I was on the highway on a long trip, resulting at zero visibility. I did not know what wwas best, to try to change lanes and stop the car on the side of the road, or continue blindly hoping the highway continued just as before too.

    Second, Just because you and I are good drivers does not mean everybody else is, or can become one. So be careful what you wish. If the housewife who hates the styling of a FWD Minivan did not have the option of the big SUV and got the Minivan instead, it would be almost just as lethal, with its 4,500 lbs and another 1,500 lbs cargo and kids, if she lost control and hit you in your Mini, Prius, Corvette, or even (and more so) your 30 year old small light minivan with no safety features but a seatbelt. if she drove a tall 4wd SUV instead, she would have seen you more easily, and would be able to handle better w the 4wd/Awd.

    Using the big SUVs to commute 100 miles every day, as my colleague mike and his wife are doing, is a huge waste, but these people have no alternative that is just as safe.

    Finally, people take care of their own first, especially if they are affluent professionals who had kids late in life, and usually with much effort, and many times just one kid, and are overprotective of it. The others will take care of their own respectively.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    New items. Besides the X7, Porsche revealed a lot of details about its EV Taycan, a high performance 4 door (I bet with much less interior room than the Tesla S) that makes 600 hp or so, and has a base price around $100k, competing with the more upscale Tesla S versions, but they want to offer $200k versions as well, and make a total of 20,000 units (of which I guess less than 10k will be sold in the USA). So I doubt the Tesla 3 has anything to fear from this, but the Tesla S performance versions may lose some sales to it.

    Nissan has the new less ugly Leaf, and will offer a longer range version that undercuts the Bolt in price and gets 10 miles less range vs the Bolt, and also offer a much Cheaper Leaf with a 40 kw vs 60 kw battery.

    The main flaw of most EV makers other than Tesla, beyond not offering “Got to have it” vehicles, is that they have not created a separate division to sell them.

    IF GM had created the Volt DIVISION and sold all its EVs and plug ins as the Volt X, the Volt Y, Volt Z etc, it would have been able to sell more of them and at much higher prices. THis would be even better than sell them as Caddys that are not luxurious. EV buyers want no connection to brands that also make dirty gas cars, even if they are hybrids.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    38 the way it reads somebody might ‘correct’ me, but I meant besides the BMW X7 in the news, I just saw the Porsche and the Nissan articles.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, people with money can buy and feed huge vehicles, making them more safe in crashes, at the expense of the safety of the rest of us. Unfortunately, the wide disparity of size of vehicles used to carry passengers in the U.S. decreases overall traffic safety. That, in all likelihood, is a major factor in road traffic being more dangerous in the U.S., than in countries with higher traffic density and smaller vehicles, overall.

  41. Chuck Grenci Says:

    36, Kit, agree again; Cadillac needs to retain the option of keeping/offering that normally aspirated V6 (the 3.6 is a honny).

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 A friend has a Camaro with the 3.6/8-speed auto, and it drives great. That powertrain would work well in a Corvette, but they, understandably, wouldn’t use it there, because it would “dilute the Corvette brand.”