AD #2473 – VW Reveals New Pickup, BMW & Daimler Post Big Profit Drops, GM to Continue Producing Outgoing Trucks

November 7th, 2018 at 11:39am

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Runtime: 6:32

0:29 VW Reveals New Compact Pickup
1:08 Nissan Unveils Frontier Rescue Truck
1:43 GM to Continue Producing Outgoing Pickups
2:46 BMW & Daimler Post Big Profit Drops
3:28 Rolls-Royce Sales Up Thanks to New Phantom
4:51 Harley Shows Off Production Version of LiveWire
5:30 PSA Using Chevy’s In Car Sharing Service

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28 Comments to “AD #2473 – VW Reveals New Pickup, BMW & Daimler Post Big Profit Drops, GM to Continue Producing Outgoing Trucks”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The VW Tarok is the right size for what some of us have been saying needs to be offered here (in the U.S.) seeing as the midsized P/U’s are just too darn big. My guess is we won’t see it here (Tarok) and I don’t see Detroit giving us a like-size P/U either.

    And as I’ve gone more to the recreational side of motorcycling in my elder years, the new electric Harley could be on my short-list, if I decide on a new bike (however Harley thinks they make their bikes out of ‘gold’ so that’s probably a long shot (for me); but the best of luck to them in its introduction.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The electric motorcycles that look interesting to are Zero brand. An appealing thing about them, is that they are designed to be quiet. It appears that the electric Harley is designed to be noisy, not my thing.

  3. David Sprowl Says:

    I have an aged Avalanche. The main feature about the truck that I like is the mid gate. It can be a people mover or a truck. Thing I don’t like is the size. Great for VS. Hope it lands here at a reasonable price.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    I love my Avalanche also, will be keeping for a while yet unless someone comes up with something similar.

  5. BobD Says:

    It doesn’t seem that GM producing their outgoing trucks into 2019 is particularly newsworthy. They announced that was going to happen at the Oshawa plant over a year ago. GM continued producing the old truck during the switch over last time too, and GM has done that for other vehicles as well (the Cruze and Malibu to name two). Staggering the assembly line conversions help to maintain volume and squeezing out “limited” versions and fleet vehicles on fully amortized tooling makes sense.

    Likewise for FCA to do it with their RAM pickup, but I find the motivation of doing this simply to become the number two in market share a little petty. As we have seen in the past, some of the OEMs has sacrificed profit for market share bragging rights and it comes back to haunt them.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    Re the VW Truck, I remember the old VW Golf-based (or was it Polo-based) very small “truck”, a woman that was after me had one, and once I rode when she was driving, this was when I was 31 and she was probably 39 (!), and I think she must have been hard of hearing, because it made a terrible noise when she was shifting or driving (she probably had it two gears too low) and when I hinted at it she did not like my suggestion. Re the Nissan truck, I would care even less. Re GM, everybody does it (if it is feasible, of course), keep producing the old model when they start making the new, or whatever.

    BMW and Daimler always competed with each other but were both making very good money. If you really want to know why they do it now and they lose money, try to see the 800 lb gorilla in the room. (I know Elon Musk will not appreciate the comparison). The Model S inflicted a lot of pain in S and E series sales (as well as the BMW equivalents) and the Model 3 will do the same primarily to the 3 and 4 series, the C class, and maybe the E too. It is a zero sum game, and every Model 3 sold is one more lost 3 and 4 series sale.

    Finally, I am sure John and Sean are fully aware of that, but for the benefit of the others here, the Rolls ROyce Phantom is the mostr expensive, by far, Flaghsip Rolls model, which until recently was made on its own platform, while all other Rollses were made on the 7 series platform. Pricewise, a Phantom usually sells, with the average and very pricey options, for twice what its poor relatives (Ghost, Dawn, Wraith) go for. So 600 Phantoms sold, Jan-Sept, are like 1,200 of the lesser Rollses. And in profits, they may be even more,

    As for AAH, I will skip the infomercial and listen to its second half, as I usually do. And re this second half, I have a suggestion to Gary, I believe your weekly question about the numbers could be improved, by asking something your partners can use their vast knowledge to figure it out, instead of being such a difficult thing to find what it is, that they will only get it right one in ten times, and that by guessing.

  7. Drew Says:

    Like Chuck and David, I believe there is a market for a flexible, small pickup like the VW concept. Full-size trucks take up to much garage space, and today’s mid-size trucks aren’t much smaller and not much more affordable than the full-size.

    The cargo length with the headboard down looks long enough for conventional lumber dimensions. The key question is cargo width?

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 The VW trucks were Golf Mk 1. They seem to be a hot item now with collectors of older water cooled VWs.

    For now, the only way to get a “regular cab” Chevy truck is to get the old one. I think that is the case with Ram too.

  9. Jon M Says:

    I’m not exactly a Harley guy myself (neither am I anti-Harley), but I have to wonder if an electric Harley with a relatively dainty sound will be to Harley enthusiasts what the Porsche SUV did to die hard Porsche folks?

  10. Drew Says:

    Electric motorcycles need to heed the motto “loud pipes save lives”.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m not sure of the best approach, but Harley needs to do something to prepare for the future. Their buyers are rapidly “aging out” of riding, and younger riders are less inclined to be Haeley fans. I hope the electric bike finds a following.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    The Chevy Avalanche was the first thing that came to mind when watching the features of the VW truck. Certainly a small truck with those features makes sense and could be a big seller. Not sure if VW can succeed in the US as well as if Ford or GM would offer something similar but maybe its the push they need to finally make it.

    The Electric Harley will face the same scrutiny as the Buell brand did. It might appeal to a new generation of younger buyers. It will most likely not be accepted as a true Harley since it lacks the major criteria of a Harley, Loud, shake rattle and roll! I’m guessing it will not do very well unless its competitively priced with other EV bikes. If Harley thinks they can pull in their typical premium over the competition when it comes to EVs they will most likely fail. IMO

  13. Larry D. Says:

    Re Electric Harleys. In 1996 I directed a project with Harley, a team worked with them in the summer and I took two trips, one to Milwaukee (HQs) and one to York, PA near Gettysburg, where we also saw a great Museum with some bikes from as early as W W I.

    Most big bikes are expensive, and Harley’s more so. They are not bikes, they are really jewelry. The paintjob just on the gas tank cost $400 in 96, while one could then paint an entire Honda Accord for $180, I remember them telling us.

    The company was recovering from some bad years then, and saw a renaissance for several years after.

    I don’t like the idea of an electric Harley that tries to ape the sound of a gas one. Sounds phony to me, just as the fake grilles on EVs and all these other phony sounds some sports car makers use to pretend their cars are sportier than they really are.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 I was surprised that Buell didn’t do better. I expected a lot of Harley riders to buy them as a 2nd or 3rd bike which was different, but clearly a Harley, given the engine they used. A number of Harley fans have more than one bike, but I guess they wanted them more alike, than if one were a Buell.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 I don’t like fake engine sounds either, but it seems like a lot of manufacturers use them. So far, I don’t think Porsche is using fake sounds to make the 718 cars sound more like the old, 6 cylinder Boxter and Cayman. I hope they don’t.

  16. Wim van Acker Says:

    @BMW and Daimler financial results: do we know whether BMW and Mercedes SUV exports from the U.S. to China have dropped in the same period?

  17. Drew Says:

    Kit, I have 2 bikes… in accordance with your expectations. I see the appeal of an electric bike as most of my riding is within a 50 mile radius. But it needs its own distinct sound that isn’t wimpy or out of character.

    Having said this, some engines’ natural sounds are anemic… Porsche in particular… sounding like a low quality sewing machine. I’ll take a deep burble, even if it is synthesized.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    15 Forgot to say this business w the extra sounds reminded me of when I was 7 or 8 and I had a new bicycle which I rode all the time, there were several kids with bicycles who were apparently not satisfied with their quiet operation, and to make them sound like motorcycles, apparently, they would insert a card (like a 3 by 5) at the right place so when the bike was moving the spokes would hit the card and make a sound. (in addition to the noise pollution, I am sure they also generated some heat, adding to the ‘global warming’, and also wasted the rider’s energy, for he would have to pedal harder.

    16 This is a good question, not only the number of units drop, but, more importantly, the drop (if any) in the profits.

    So far, all Model 3s are sold in the US (not even Canada, I believe), Europe will see them in 2019 and China even later, perhaps. When they hit Europe, it should be interesting to see if their sales numbers come at the expense of 3 and 4 series and C class sales.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have two bikes, a KLR650 (which I only street ride) and a SilverWing scooter. Both are in Indiana, where I spend summers.

    The electric bike I’d consider is this:

    https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/

    To my knowledge, there is not fake engine sound, which is fine with me. I kind of like the relaxed, Briggs and Stratton sound of the KLR, though.

  20. Al C Says:

    Q2 EV sales in Canada all models listed

    https://www.fleetcarma.com/electric-vehicles-sales-update-q2-2018-canada/

  21. Al C Says:

    Q3 reslts

    https://www.fleetcarma.com/electric-vehicles-sales-update-q3-2018-canada/

  22. Drew Says:

    @19 – Kit, I have a Honda VTX1800 and a Harley Dyna. The best f.e. On the Honda is 40mpg at steady state 50 mph on back country roads (no traffic lights). I ride defensively, but distracted drivers are killing the ride… literally and figuratively.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 I ride in Indiana, but not in Florida, because, between the lost tourists, the 95 year olds that shouldn’t be driving, etc., it just isn’t fun. There are lightly traveled roads I like riding on up north.

  24. Wim van Acker Says:

    @18: agree with you, it would be interesting to know more about it. It is my understanding that a year ago 70-80% of the BMW Spartanburg plant’s production was exported, and the lion’s share of the exports were headed for China. And it was also my understanding that until last year around half of global profits of VW Group and BMW were made in China or thanks to the business in China (they can set intra-company transfer prices such that the profit is made in the country of preference).

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, 23 continued

    I get about 55-60 “no matter what” mpg with the KLR, and 45-50 with the SilverWing. The rubber belt CVT in the scooter is a compromise for fe, but it works well, as far as pleasantness of operation, at least to me.

  26. Drew Says:

    Kit, the VTX1800 has a lot of power. When you roll on the power, you better be holding tightly to the grips. The instantaneous and high torque of an electric bike might be a handful anytime you aggressive twist the grip.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I don’t know what the Zero electric bike would be like at low speed, but it might be quick, and wheelie prone, unless they limit power at low speed. Electric motors have maximum torque at zero rpm. It would have a one speed transmission, though, so there would no torque multiplication to the ground.

  28. Don B Says:

    VW is bringing back the Subaru Baja, but wait, doesn’t GM own a patent or copyright on the midgate design?

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