AD #2461 – Hyundai-Kia Test Exoskeletons, FCA Gets $7 Billion Payoff, Engine Displacement Continues to Shrink

October 22nd, 2018 at 11:28am

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Runtime: 6:46

0:27 Musk Hypes the Hyperloop
1:00 Engine Displacement Continues to Shrink
1:31 Gearheads Talk Flatheads
3:12 Raikkonen Ends F1 Drought
3:57 Chase Wins One in The Chase
4:21 Hyundai-Kia Test Exoskeletons
5:08 FCA Gets $7 Billion Payoff
5:43 North American Production Grows

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19 Comments to “AD #2461 – Hyundai-Kia Test Exoskeletons, FCA Gets $7 Billion Payoff, Engine Displacement Continues to Shrink”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    Last Saturday I saw my second Tesla S around here, a red one, and if you think I liked it better than the boring gray one I saw a week ago, you could not be more wrong.

    Again, I had the misfortune to see it from the front. From all other sides, all tesla 3s look good, but the front end is JUST AWFUL. No ifs, ands, or… butts (pun intended. The front end of the 3 is like a face without a face. it has eyes (headlights) but no nose, no mouth, no nothing, not even a logo. And before Bob Wilson tries to make a joke out of it again (he claimed that if Tesla put its distinctive “T” logo at least, in the middle of the faceless front, some would mistake it for a… Trump product, nothing could be further from the truth, as Trump always uses his full last name on everything he peddles.

    With the above in mind, the sales success of the Tesla 3 is just AMAZING. I would NEVER buy the thing as long as it looks like my left slipper, from the front. At ANY price, let alone the arm and leg buyers now are paying.

    At the end of the weekend, Kit put this link that I suspect only I have seen. It did not surprise me at all, except with reference to the above.

    A few important comments on their ‘nasty charts’

    1. Tesla sales are ESTIMATES. NOT Actual numbers. Now that it sure joined thebig leagues, Tesla is shooting itself in the foot by not providing its triumphant monthly ACTUAL US Sales. However, some other tesla numbers are accurate (production etc)

    2. Comparisons are only with GERMAN autos, while there are plenty of Japanese and indeed Domestics in the Tesla 3 and even the Tesla S price range. This is quite strange, since Tesla is a 100% AMERICAN company.

    3. How long will the good times last with ther Tesla 3 sales? a year? three years? what happens next? will the cheaper model go on sale? the Crossover?

  2. Kate Mcleod Says:

    Re: Musk. There’s a sucker born every minute. Often attributed to P.T. Barnum, the quote most likely came from Barnum’s contemporary, a noted con man named Joseph Bessimer aka, “Paper Collar Joe.”

  3. Larry D. Says:

    1 correction, of course, I meant I saw my second Tesla 3, not S. I have seen dozens of Ss and several Xs already.

    Now some comments on today’s show:

    John, the 1.3% rise in North Am production: Does it INCLUDE Tesla production? because in 2018 Tesla gained so much market share, I would not be surprised if the ENTIRE 1.3% was less than the increase in Tesla production alone!

    Also John, re your little piece about the Volvo plant in SC. VOlvo sales in the US are DISMAL, 1/4th of what Tesla sells with just 3 models!!! AND just because they will start producing this dogfood, it does NOT mean that the Dog will eat it, EVEN if they have a fire sale and they practically give them Away.

    The options you cite are NOT the only ones. Look at a similar example, another low-volume seller, FIAT, has 250 DAYS of inventory. they keep producing the crappy cars, and the Almighty Consumer keeps NOT buying them.

    Volvo’s best bet in the US Plant is to pull a BMW or Mercedes, meaning to make them here and EXPORT them in Europe, where Volvos are much more popular than here. (I don’t know why, they suck equally there, to me).

    So while of course you are right, they do not disassemble the cars they make, but this STILL does NOT mean that JUST because you built it, that it will be sold here in the US market.

    So No, it is NOT true that “As production grows, so do sales”. It was NOT true of the US domestics, when they had binding agreements witht he UAW and HAD to make cars even if people were not buying them, resulting in wasteful inventories.

    There are DISCIPLINED companies who ADJUST their production to have very athletic 20-40 day inventories. TOYOTA was the first one, others copied it. Not all do this, and they suffer the consequences. BILLIONS are lost with cars waiting in inventory. It is actually very simple high school math to see why.

    back to the lame Volvos:

    Consumer Reports is not impressed with them overall, and their Reliability is really bad.

    Last Summer, I had a flat tire almost when i arrived at a retired Cardiologist Friends summer home, about 90 mins away from mine. He took care of it, called a young friend of his, while i was resting in his deck, he arrived in 10 mins driving a Volvo “wagon”, I think it was the 60. he and the doctor sat in front, and I had the misfortune to try to sit in the useless back seat. Not only it was cramped beyond belief, NOTHING you saw around you told you this is even a NEAR Luxury car, let alone a full luxury car.

  4. Barry T Says:

    I love your closing lines on today’s show, John. Thanks for keeping things upbeat!

  5. XA351GT Says:

    Larry, maybe Tesla could buy some NASCAR grille decals for the Model 3. LOL

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1, 5 The aftermarket already has things covered.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 Well, almost. The linked site says “available soon,” but maybe someone else already has Model 3 grills, or grill decals.

  8. Albemarle Says:

    Good news that FCA was able to get a solid price for Magneti Marelli. Guaranteeing to keep them as a supplier must have helped. I wonder how long it will take Calsonic Kansei to make their money back. If it’s worth $6b mainly based on being an FCA supplier, when its sales are opened up to other OEMs as an independent, it should be a real earner.

  9. Chuck Grenci Says:

    That eggcrate grill makes that “3″ look like a Chrysler (and a lot better than plain). Some of those other renditions were as bad or worse than plain. IMO

    And agree with John that the race at COTA was one of the best of the season so far. Max made some very good moves Sunday, and even when racing wheel to wheel, raced hard (but fair) and that was good to see. Congrats to Kimi; he raced smart, hard and earned his victory.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think Kimi would rather just retire, than drive a non-competitive car for a year or two, with his “car swap” for next year. I guess Sauber could suddenly become a top tier team. Stranger things have happened.

  11. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Perhaps Kimi still yearns for the competition but without the dramatics associated with racing for Ferrari. If Kimi can help Sauber, he may earn some ‘cred’ for helping a team in need. I certainly have the greatest respect for the “Iceman” and I think he did actually crack a miniscule smile after his win; unless, of course, it could have been gas. ;)

  12. XA351GT Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Kimi stays in F1 that he goes to Haas considering they are Ferrari’s top customer team and the 2 knuckleheads there are doing very much . Grosjean is brutal. He is 2 points from having his super license suspended .

  13. Larry D. Says:

    1 After seeing the photo of a Red Tesla 3 front-side view on the cover of last Friday’s show here, I believe it can be fixed with only a minor facelift, and without fake grilles.

    The current Model 3 does have a tiny Tesla T logo, on the hood. If they put another, about three times as big, on the middle of the place where gas cars have grilles, half of the problem is solved. The other half is the upwards-turning snout. Is this dictated by aerodynamics? If no major benefits, better reshape the front so it does not look like it hit something and was bent.

    Remember the iconic VW Beetle, the original, not the lame, awful fake the “New beetle”.

    It had no grille either, and nobody noticed, because the front end flowed smoothly, had character lines, a big VW logo, and all that.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 Kimi is already “official” at Sauber. Grosjean and Magnussen are signed with Haas.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    And I believe not only the VW original Beetle but also the most successful sports car ever, its distant cousin, the also rear-engined, iconic Porsche 911, had no grille either. And it has sold more than, totally AMAZING for a 6-figure car, 1,000,000 copies and counting!

    It is a pity, BTW, that we cannot post photos here. I have more than 6,000 in my collection of all kinds of cars. Even a few of SUVs!

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The nose of the Tesla 3 may not look good, but no one will confuse it with any other car.

  17. Anthony Parisio Says:

    Are you sure you got the Hyperloop story right? From what I understand the test tunnel is not a HYPERloop system. It is only the Loop system.

    Hyperloop will be for large bus like puds. They will travel in a vacuum. This is for long distance travel only.

    The loop system is much smaller. Is only the size of a car. It can carry a car or a small pod. It does not travel in a vacuum. It is not intended for high speed. It is only for local travel.

    Where did you get your info?

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    Its a hyperloop test bed and is only 2 miles long so that 150 Mph is going to be like many electric roller coasters are. Quick acceleration followed by a quick deceleration. Hopefully not during a earthquake.

  19. Bob Gurr Says:

    The Loop is only one mile long due to an extraction tunnel shaft to return the drill head to the surface – per Los Angeles Times today.