AD #2475 – BMW Shares M8 Details, Volkswagen Plans Low Cost EV, Is It Time to Drop the F in FCA?

November 9th, 2018 at 11:38am

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Runtime: 9:46

0:26 Is It Time to Drop the F in FCA?
1:21 VW Plans Low Cost EV
2:27 BMW Shares Some M8 Details
3:28 Daimler & Bosch Launch Ride Hailing Service in CA
4:21 You Said It!

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42 Comments to “AD #2475 – BMW Shares M8 Details, Volkswagen Plans Low Cost EV, Is It Time to Drop the F in FCA?”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    John, all winning answers on your “you said it” today. Always one of my favorite segments. Always appreciate you insight, and a lot of times, setting things straight.

    The new BMW looks pretty sharp even though it’s another high priced, lofty, aspiring to, vehicle. (meaning there won’t ever be one in MY garage)

    Wonder what the world is going to do with all these present and forthcoming electric vehicles.


    I am seeing lots of a autonomous cars driving around Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Los Altos. You should include Apple in your list as they have 70 cars in their test fleet.

  3. Barry T Says:

    That FCA investors group seems to have a good strategy. It’s a shame it’s unlikely to be implemented. What a contrast of appeal (at least to my eyes) between the Ram/Jeep vehicles vs the Fiat one, the Mazda MX5-based “Fiat” bridging the “attractive” gap.

  4. Bert Says:

    The Chinese naysayers need to keep in mind that their economy has slowed down to 6.5% which is a much higher number than the 4% currently of the US economy which Trump is gloating about.

    The US economy is totally dependant on China as a supply system. You can’t build a single car (any brand) without their components and that extends to virtually everything in the US.

    China on the other hand is weaning itself away from all US goods. This trade war has accelerated this process and as a result, the US trade deficit is skyrocketing.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    I always enjoy the ” you said it ” segments

  6. Drew Says:

    Barry, I happen to like the Fiata appearance over the Miata. The Fiata ditched the Miata’s ugly gash on the front fenders and employs higher quality trim on the inside. It’s only negative vs the Miata is the uncertain durability of the Fiat engine.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    Good show, and AAH yesterday was very interesting, as usual I started it right after the Guest left. If you have not listened to it, you should.

    Why can’t VW, with all its enormous resources and excellent engineers, produce an EV at a profit, as Tesla can (as claimed by Munro, even a 30% profit on the Tesla 3)?

    I hope they can, and the plant which will make the VW EV is planned not just for a few vehicles but for a huge 200,000 annually.

    The VW 20,000 Euro (=22,000 US$) Subcompact SUV does NOT compete with ANY currently produced Tesla, either in price (even the $35,000 tesla, whenever it goes on sale, is far more expensive) or in vehicle type. I have read that the VW EV will compete with cheap Euro EVs from Renault and others. UNLESS of course Tesla enters this segment too!

    I also wondered what happened to the segment “you said it” and was happy to see it again today, although it was actually a “you asked it” segment.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought the old BMW 8 series was cool, because you could get 12 cylinders, with a manual transmission. The new one will no doubt drive much better, but a lot of V8 automatic cars are available for a fraction of the cost.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    Back to AAH yesterday, I especially enjoyed the discussion of that LUDICROUS Cadillac $1,800 A MONTH subscription service that GM humanely euthanized yesterday.

    Listen to it, it makes a lot of good points. John Mc correctly pointed out the huge waste of inventory sitting doing nothing and depreciating like hell, until one of the subscribers chooses a vehicle out of it.

    And he was just thinking from GM’s point of view. I saw this from the viewpoint of the consumer, I will pay $1,00 every single month, so I Can choose between what? Some Caddy models, which will NOT be new, but will have a few or a lot of miles on them. Like in Rental cars, they will have to get rid of them and auction them after they pile on 10,000 or 20,000 miles, and take a HUGE hit. But If I paid the above arm and leg to be a subscriber, I would NEVER accept no 20,000 mile rental as my ‘new’ Caddy.

    So the whole thing was a TRULY TERRIBLE idea.

  10. Wim van Acker Says:

    @7 BMW M8, what a beautiful vehicle. If I were BMW I would have chosen a different license plate for its video than the Missing In Action license plate, though :-)

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5. I like the Fiata’s appearance too, but the Mazda version performs better. The Fiat should use the 2 litre turbo from the Alfa sedan.

  12. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I did the CPO Cadillac twice, once with 19500 miles; no regrets. Traded up to another, same model (STS), newer year, and up until I lost it to a rear-ended accident (I was hit from behind at a stoplight); loved that vehicle too. Used, rental, or returned lease vehicles can be very good experiences and I might even do it again if the situation warrants it.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    11 I was not referring to any CPO program by Caddy, I am all in favor of buying a CPO car vs a new one.

    The discussion was about the recently euthanized Caddy SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE where you pay $1,800 a MONTH to choose among some used Caddys with various amounts of miles. This was a terrible deal for the consumer, but also should be pretty bad for GM when it has to keep a huge stable of used Caddys available to the subscribers, and then Auction them for peanuts after they have waited a year or so and depreciated 30% or more!

    I think they knew very well what they were doing when they canceled the program.

    Chuck: watch the second half of yesterday’s AAH to see the whole discussion.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Porsche has a sunscription service for $3000/month. I guess that could be an ok deal, if you can get top trim 911s, Panameras, and Cayennes.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    13 Way too expensive. It might be worth it if one can choose among special 911s, at least the Turbo S or the plain Turbo, if not more exotic and expensive variants. The base Cayenne is quite inexpensive. There is also the smaller Macan, I see some on the road, plus a ton of old Cayennes of course. I saw also some original Panameras (the ones with extra rear head room people hated), which I liked, but they are pricey compared to their German competition. The new Panamera is more popular but plainer looking.

  16. Lex Says:

    I think FCA should drop the “F” for Fiat and re-brand itself as AMC “American Motors Corp”!
    I believe Fiat/Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep still own the rights and trademarks to that brand and nameplates from the 1980′s. It only makes sense if the corporation in making almost all it’s profits in North America IMHO.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does Fiat make money in Europe, and other non-US markets?

  18. ChuckGrenci Says:

    12, Yeah,was there live,saw the segment; I was just commenting on the dispersion of used vehicles. I agree Cadillac had pie in the sky hopes, but I guess you don’t know sometimes unless you try. And some of those others at 3 grand and higher; whew, what were THEY thinking.

  19. WineGeek Says:

    Hey John gear to have “You Said It!” back again. Good quick overview and answers to questions. Keep up the good work.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6. It seems that no one makes the “right” EV, except Tesla, and their sedan and hatch are “right”, because of the cult-like following. If GM or Ford had exactly the same thing as a Model 3, it wouldn’t sell, because it’s a sedan instead of a crossover, it costs too much, that tablet for all the controls sucks, the fit and finish is bad, etc.

    If VW had an 100 mile Golf EV for $20K, it might sell in thr US, if VW had a decent dealer network and a better reputation.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 To clarify my post, those are among reasons people would give not to buy a car like the Model 3, had it been made by GM or Ford.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    19 , 20 you don’t need to clarify, your comment is crystal clear, and it is also 100% unfair to Tesla and Musk and the Superior Vehicles it makes.

    Nobody buys Teslas for the fit and finish. Nobody cares. If you want great fit and finish, you go buy a Lexus LS460 (which IS also in MY short list).

    You IMPLY that GM and especially Ford and FCA offer ANYTHING even CLOSE to the Model 3 or the Model S or even the Model X, for which I don’t care, but which made John Mc Elroy see the whole package experience of ownership after he spent a week in one.

    I don’t know where to start, it seems as all we discussed all these weeks went in one ear and out the other.

    The Tesla 3 sells because it is a Series 3 Fighter, and many Model 3 have better PERFORMANCE than much more expensive 3 series. AND they have not started making the $35 k version yet.

    The Tesla S has already OBLITERATED the best cars in the market, the flagship sedans from Merc, BMW Audi Jag and even the LS460, with which it competed in price and WON

    What I am ALWAYS amazed to see here is ALL these posters who are not THRILLED that FINALLY an AMERICAN Company has beat the Germans in their own game, they do NOT rejoice that the Model S is a SMASH HIT in Europe, NOTHING! They just have a visceral hate of Tesla, which is irrational and THAT is far more of a CULT thing than those who appreciate what Tesla ACHIEVED.

    AND to compare the Tesla fans to a CULT is in itself a REALLY VICIOUS slander, besides being utterly unfair. The sickos that committed suicide in Jonestown were a Cult. Scientology is a CULT. The other idiots who killed themselves to … travel to outer space were a 100% cult. Do not insult everybody else buy calling them a “Cult”.

    This REALLY pisses me off. It is just like the deliberate labeling of anybody who does not agree with your orthodoxy a “DENIER”, which sounds innocent, but is in fact a TERRIBLE, insulting characterization, because the word is primarily used for the HOLOCAUST DENIERS.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I didn’t IMPLY that GM or Ford had anything like the Model 3, but if they did, it wouldn’t sell like the Model 3. If you really think the exact same car as the Model 3, at the current price, would sell as well, and have years-long waiting lists, if made by GM or Ford, you are as delusional as someone else I can think of. I’ll let it go at that.

    You really need to get over your EXTREME NASTINESS.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cult, definition 2 a, Merriam-Webster

    : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book)

  25. FSTFWRD Says:

    @22 You really need to get over your EXTREME NASTINESS. I agree.

    And, If one does step up and pay for a “Subscription”, does the manufacturer, Cad or anyone else, need to supply cars in different colors (Ext and Int.)? What about different trim levels and options? Or does the customer have to take what is available and/or delivered? Talk about a bunch of dead inventory. Pricy, to say the least. I think the GM decision to cut the cord is valid and well thought out. My two pennies. Thanks.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering how the subscription thing is going with other companies, like Porsche. They have a $3000/month version. I don’t know what cars are included, but for that money, I’d think people would want the expensive cars, like at least the 911 Turbo or Turbo S, Panamera GTS or Turbo, or the Cayenne Turbo, if wanting an SUV. A dealer wouldn’t normally have many of those in stock, and I wouldn’t think they’d want to turn their new, $150K cars into used cars. Maybe these subscriptions should be specifically for used cars a dealer has, including off-lease ones. The could lower lower the cost of the service, since huge first-year depreciation wouldn’t be part of the expense.

  27. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Porsche has two subscription plans, Passport Launch and Accelerate (different level of available cars in each division). I found a FAQ site, here:
    You can get what is in the fleet and Porsche says that the cars are optioned from mid to high level so you can only specify to what they have. From what I saw this is currently only available in the Atlanta area (but this may have been expanded; I don’t know). A simple Google search for Porsche Subscription will get you more (to peruse).

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Thanks for the link. I’d read somewhere that Passport was initially to be offered only in the Atlanta area, but I hadn’t seen the list of cars.

    It looks like only the “mid level” 911, Panamera, and Cayenne are available, even with the Accelerate division. It says there is no mileage limit, though, so, even at $3000/month, with insurance, it could be a decent deal for someone who drives very high mileage.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    I bet there are no ‘unlimited mileage’ deals with subscription services, esp w Porsche. Or there must be a clause that you cannot just subscribe for one or two months only. I remember back in 2003 I had to be in the West Coast for 8 weeks in the middle of another stay in Wash DC, and I first checked if it made sense to rent a car in CA and not drive X country. I was amazed that all the rental companies offered lousy deals, I expected their rates to be as inexpensive or more as their weekly rates, but they were even more expensive than that. They mistakenly thought they could charge whatever they wanted to, but I did not buy, so I drove my old Accord coupe x country, DC to Seattle, Seattle to Long Beach CA, local driving, and back to DC in 8 w2eeks. If I rented a car for two months, the lousiest rental would still be more than $1,500 a month. But if I could do it today with the subscription service and drive an upscale 911 or even Cayenne the 10,000 miles i did in 2 months, I’d cough up the $6,000.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    26 thanks for the link. I looked around the site, there are two tiers, one is only $2000 but has no 911, the $3,000 has the Carrera but not the 911 Turbo. the $2k deal includes both the Macan and the Cayenne (probably the base model). There is no mileage limit and you can flip as many or as few times as you like, so I could use a Macan or Cayenne for the X country trips and when locally in CA I would switch to a more fun Boxster or Cayman, all for $2,000 a month? If I could do it for only 2 months, this would have worked great in summer 2003 for me, and at only $4,000 and not $6k.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    24 Are you thrilled about the success of Tesla, the ONLY, 100% American company to export top level aspirational cars in Europe and all over thew world, where the Detroit 3 have failed miserably since the 80s? If not, who is the nasty one? Who has Tesla Envy?

    Tesla succeeded NOT just because it is not named Chevy or Ford. it succeeded because it solved the problems, instead of, like Lutz admitted, making EVs at a huge loss and having the suckers who buy GM SUVs and Pickups pay the billions of red ink!

    Gm and Ford did not figure out the supercharger network, nor the gigafactory, nor the optimized elecronics use that allows Tesla to make the Model 3 at a 30% profit, according to its previous critic, Munro. Are you paying ANY attention? Are any of these EPIC Achievements getting through to you?

  32. Larry D. Says:

    24 And in addition, GM failed miserably in its EV strategy, while Tesla did all the correct moves:

    GM should have introduced its first Pure EV as either a separate division, OR as an upscale Caddy, BUT NOT like it did, taking a lowly Volt and making it a coupe and selling a smaller vehicle with less space for $75,000 than the $40,000 Volt which is the size of a $18,000 Cruze!!! it should have made a SUBSTANTIAL Car like the tesla S, at Tesla S price or LESS, and then they would have bought it.

    Tesla correctly always made the most expensive model first, to take the eager EV buyers, and then the lower priced. it did the same with the Model 3, first getting out the expensive ones, then the $35k ones.

    But the bottom line is, finally some BRILLIANT Engineers, with 160 IQs, as Czaba Czere said, are not only working for Porsche and BMW and Merc, but for an American Company, only it is not Ford or Gm, but Tesla, and it shows.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 The Porsche FAQ said it was unlimited mileage, but yeah, I suspect there is some “fine print” somewhere. I would not be a prospect anyway, but this stuff is interesting. Actually, the the only Porsche I have toyed with buying, either new or used, is a Cayman, and it would be a “fun car,” probably not something I’d want to drive 20K miles/year on the interstate.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31. Actually, GM did intoduce its first pure EV as a separate division, sort of. Th EV1 was GM, not Chev, Olds, etc. Yeah, that was a while back, about 1996.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    Best wishes for Veterans Day, esp. to any vets here. Today is the 100th anniv of the end of WW I too.

    33 Correct, I forgot about that one. EV1 was a model by GM but they did not create a division for it. And at the end they collected all the EV1s and crushed them, and gave rise to all kinds of silly conspiracy theories (“Who killed the Electric Car” was even made as a movie), and came back a decade later with the mutt Volt…

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My DD214 will get me a free lunch or dinner.

    The first EV1s used lead-acid batteries, and being a 2 seater will significant space in the back for batteries, got 70-100 miles of range with the decidedly low tech batteries. Later EV1s used NiMH batteries, and had more range.

    A few EV1s survive, most of them in museums.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    That abbreviation is a bit unfortunate, one could take it to mean “Dishonorable Discharge!”, among other possibilities. It used to be called “WD-AGO” which made a bit more sense. (War Dept., ex)

    Saw an i3 parked near my place yesterday, the only one I have seen here (I saw a rarer i8 abroad last summer). They must not have sold well, because the local BMW dealer used them as rentals and shuttles to customers who left their cars for service or needed a rental due to lengthier repairs.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The WD would have become DD in about 1947, when it was renamed Department of Defense.

    I occasionally see an i3, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an i8. That’s not surprising. The i8 costs about $150K, but has only about 15 miles of electric range, and then gets a mediocre 28 mpg using a 3 cylinder turbo ICE.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    38 we always called it DoD here.

    While on my weekly visit to the public library yesterday, there was another i3, this one a black one, and on the road. Looked boxy and dirty, then passed me to turn left, looked like a quick box, despite BMW’s efforts to add a few character lines here and there.

    Later in the Trader Joe’s parking there was a black LS460 from IL with dark grey or black leather. From the back and the top looked great, then on my way back I saw it from the front and it had the big spindle grille, and it was the only flaw. Did not get used to it on this vehicle.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep, I know it only as DoD. I was only about a year old when the change was made, so I don’t remember the Dept of War.

    I saw a spindled ES recently, and I thought it looked ok, at least better than on most other spindled Lexii.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    A few shows ago I wrote the same thing, I saw a spindle grille on an ES 350 and it looked OK. On the 460, not so, probably because it is larger and goes further down. The ES looked good exterior-wise but I did not see the interior, and in older ESs I was given rides in (by a realtor), the interior was a mix of acres of plastics and a few luxury touches. Not like the LS430 of Dennis, a colleague of mine we had a project together a decade ago, which looked immaculate and very luxurious, Dennis also owned a Corvette but told me he seldom drove it.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The current ES is based on the Avalon, rather than the Camry, like earlier ones. The Lexus is probably a little quieter, as well as having a nicer interior, but I doubt it’s nearly enough nicer to justify the price difference.

    The Corvette is comfortable, at least for me (5’10″, 150#}, but it is pretty noisy, especially road noise. To me, that is the main downside of it for long trips.