AD #2483 – Ford Unveils New Focus Active in Europe, OPEC’s Worst Nightmare, Top 5 Global Platforms In 2025

November 21st, 2018 at 11:48am

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Runtime: 9:33

0:26 OPEC’s Worst Nightmare
1:35 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in Trouble
2:06 German CEOs To Meet with Trump
2:59 Top 5 Global Platforms In 2025
3:53 Ford Unveils New Focus Active in Europe
4:43 Importance of Leak Detection
5:40 You Said It!

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38 Comments to “AD #2483 – Ford Unveils New Focus Active in Europe, OPEC’s Worst Nightmare, Top 5 Global Platforms In 2025”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Another wrench in the story on Africa’s dangerous roads; this one that 38% of the deaths are pedestrians, so wondering if that skews some of the data. A death is still a death (and should be lamented) but is it the vehicles that are the death traps here; an argument could be yes or no. Here’s the link I found:

  2. WineGeek Says:

    Hey Ford what happened to the good old USA? No cars here and a whole new product line in Europe…

  3. Usefull Says:

    I want everyone my age or YOUNGER to remember how the environmentalists kept us hostage to OPEC during the 70′s and 80′s and 90′s by their radical demands and beliefs.

  4. Sean McElroy Says:

    @WineGeek – Ford has already said the Focus Active will come to the U.S. Not sure if we will get the 5-door and wagon, but it is coming. I also believe this is what we will see happen with the Fusion in the U.S. as well.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Cant say I’ll shed a tear for OPEC but it certainly will make it more difficult to get he EVs competitive.

  6. Drew Says:

    Sean, the Focus Active was to be imported from China. With Trump’s tariffs on China, didn’t Ford cancel plans for NA availability of the Focus Active?

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    John its very interesting to see the differences between how you or Sean report on the current administration actions. Is it safe to say that you two do not share the same political views?

  8. MJB Says:

    John, on your response noting the move away from personal responsibility to product liability with regard to fatal accidents at the hands of autonomous cars, do you think we’ll all pay for that down the road?

    What I mean is, with insurance of most types (medical, auto, etc.) the high costs get spread out and passed down to all those insured in the form of higher premiums. So when it is no longer the individual being sued for wrongful death or second degree manslaughter, do you think the multi-million dollar settlements against the car manufacturers will further drive up the cost of cars?

  9. Larry D. Says:

    OPEC’s nightmare: We have known this for a while, and we did predict that the USA will become a net exporter of energy in the near future.

    This is really huge. Most people have no idea how huge. I mean, when we were importing 10 million or more barrels oil a day, we were paying these thugs at OPEC half a TRILLION of $ every YEAR. This of course was the biggest part of our Total (not just merchandise!) trade Deficit, and it will all change.

    Fracking may be responsible for most of the mear and medium term changes, but EVEN if someday oil from fracking dwindles, we still have oil coming out our ears by the trillions of barrels. Most people do not know that either, and the clowns on CNBC do not tell us, rather, they had all these charlatans the “peak oil” crowd on 1 years ago, these were laughable, non-scientific, non-expert conspiracy theorists, and when they were proven, as we knew in advance, utterly wrong, they never brought them back to apologize to the viewers. And they did not bring them because only BAD news makes them cable networks money, if the news is wonderful, everybody will turn off the stupid TV and go out and have fun!

    I insist on this point. The planet has barely been scratched to look for more oil reserves. The PROVEN reserves are less than even the tip of the iceberg. The ocean floors have not been explored except for tiny regions. Even on land, in the oil-rich Middle East, for example, Iraq’s western desert has NOT been searched for oil yet.

    EVs, not Fracking, is OPEC’s worst nightmare. because they have succeeded, selling in huge numbers even in the US of low gas prices. The people who buy EVs do NOT care how cheap dirty gas is, they just want to stick it to OPEC and make the environment better and all that, it is a new lifestyle. AND the EVs that sell are like a DRUG. Some Teslas have performance (in acceleration) that you can only get with supercars costing 5 times as much.

    if gas prices go down and people do not seitch to EVs, people, myself included, will DRIVE MANY MORE MILES. I have noticed it with myself too. IF this happens, obviously in the long run gas prices will go UP again and every idiot will blame OPEC, while it is OURSELVES that caused the rise.

    it is what is called a “CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM”. Gas prices will NEVER rise out of control, the next time they rise, people will drive LESS miles, switch to more efficient vehicles or go all the way to EVs. And this is the wonderful thing about oil prices CNBC will never tell you.

  10. Terry Quinn Says:

    My employer before I retired (Caterpillar Inc.), was using helium gas for detecting leaks in hydrostatic transmissions back around the year 2000, when I was stationed in Grenoble, France. It’s nice to see that Volvo has caught up to that technology almost 20 years later.

  11. BobD Says:

    3 – Had the environmentalist not pushed for lower emissions and higher fuel economy in the 70s and 80s, we likely would have had a very different and painful 2000s in both environmental conditions and cost of fossil fuel.

    Fracking was the savior in the 2010s and solar/wind will be the savior in the 2020s. Neither of these could have really been foreseen as practical in the 1970s. It is easy to criticize the past now that we have seen the present.

  12. Dave Thompson Says:

    Fracking has indeed increased oil supply, not including the Orinoco belt which over doubles the supply of oil. Then there is Tesla motors which produces exciting cars today. Then there are future Tesla cars and trucks and other great geniuses in the world putting their collective heads to produce tremendous fun vehicles.
    ps thanks again for another enjoyable though provoking autoline daily

  13. W L Simpson Says:

    US produces 70 mil cars per year -why does it import ?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I’ve read the same thing in Autoweek and elsewhere, that the Focus Active would not be sold in the U.S. There would not be even close to the volume needed to justify making it here. I don’t like it anyway. It’s another case of taking a perfectly good car, and screwing it up with a lift kit and plasticky stuff.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With cheap oil, this is an ideal time to double or triple the gas tax. It would provide money to repair infrastructure, reduce the deficit, whatever, and would have the huge benefit of encouraging people to use fuel more wisely.

    Yes, I know many people here will disagree.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Huh? The U.S. produces about 5M cars a year.

  17. MARK TILTON Says:

    Several years ago I was doing work for a German Doctor here with U.S. citizenship and German. I sold his new tail lights from a new AUDI SUV. He had bought TWO of them! One to ship back to Germany and save over $10,000 from what it is bought for in Germmany! He had to install German approved tail lights to ship it back where it was built! Isn’t this DUMPING in our market!! GIVE THEM A TARIFF! They have asked for it!

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 They have a high sales tax, called VAT, value added tax, in Europe. That accounts for the price difference. I suspect he had to drive the one going to Germany a certain number of miles, so he could export it as a used car, and avoid the VAT.

  19. Brett Cammack Says:

    Personal responsibility appears to be an exotic, unfathomable concept to many of the drivers I encounter.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Helium leak detecting has been around a long time, probably since the 1940s or ’50s. I used it in the ’80s to find very small leaks in vacuum systems used for processing silicon ICs.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As a continuation of vehicles in Africa, it looks like air bags are not required in South Africa, which probably has stricter standards than many African countries.

  22. Terry Quinn Says:

    20 Kit, I did not realize the technology went that far back. But I’m not surprised, because in 2000, we were running the test as a production process on every transmission built. I’m guessing that it probably has been in place has been for a long time, and it hasn’t been waiting for it to play a “major role with autonomous and electric vehicles” as the article claims. Frankly, I don’t see any more reason for it to be used in an autonomous or electric vehicle than has been needed for I/C powered vehicles driven by humans.

  23. Tuck&roll Says:

    I, for one, am ecstatic about the coming demise of the EV and the resurrection of oil and the ICE. I have said before and I will say it again until someone listens. The US electrical grid cannot handle millions of EV plus daily living demands. It could only happen if the US adopted a safe nuclear plant policy. EVs will overload the grid and bring it down. Keep your eye on China if want to see how it will happen. And it could not happen to a better country. EV suicide.

  24. Tuck&roll Says:

    And #15. Stop the gas tax talk. The US does not need a gas tax. Especially after an increase to 15% ethanol.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 The U.S. grid can support a lot of EVs, if they are charged during non-peak hours, like overnight.

  26. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I was also skeptical of whether the power grid could handle the influx of electric cars a couple of years ago, however without the influx that was predicted, I believe the power grid will be sufficient for some years to come. And as the ramp-up has been as slow as it is, the power grid can get up to speed if this increase does occur; the power grid is constantly being evaluated and adding capacity as growth (other than vehicles) occurs in other industry.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #1 About 16% of vehicle related deaths in the U.S. are pedestrians.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 There are a lot of things involved in providing enough power for charging cars, and everything else. There needs to be enough generating capacity, and distribution capacity for the times of highest demand. There are “peaking” power plants, I think mostly using gas turbines burning natural gas, to help produce enough power for the times of highest demand, and “base load” power plants, like coal, nuclear, and some natural gas plants that run all of the time, except during maintenance or breakdowns. Then, of course, there are renewable sources like solar and wind which produce sometimes, but not other times, and hydro.

    As far as electric cars, if there were many millions of them, and a lot of people decided to charge them at 5:00 pm on days when the outside temperature is 95 degrees, there would be an immediate problem. If most people charge them from midnight to 5:00 am, or something like that, the “grid” could handle it, but those expensive to operate “peaking” plants might need to run more.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    25 Most people in the US own single family homes or condos like mine, that are two or three floor townhouses with 1 or 2 common walls with their neiughbors, and a 1 or 2 car closed garage and a driveway where each can recgarge at least two cars overnight.

    I have looked at the breakdown of miles driven and was surprised to see that only a fourth or a fifth are commuter miles, people also do lots of around town miles to shop, go out, drop kids to games, lessons etc.

    Most employers who want to retain their employees may offer 100% free recharging at work. This may be high but not peak electricity use. The peak usually occurs in the summer when they use thew A/C full blast, and if both spouses work and the kids are at school, that peak is in the afternoon-evening before they go to bed and recharge the cars.

    Even stores and public libraries offer free recharges and supercharges. On Sunday when I go to the downtown library with the attached huge underground garage, free only on Sundays, I see at least 10-15 EVs and plugins being charged, and even that may be free. (if the town wants to encourage EVs). the 12 EVs are a couple Bolts, 3-4 Volts, 1-2 Prius primes, 2-3 Leafs, 1-2 Tesla Ss, maybe one tesla X and one BMW i3, we still don’t have many Tesla 3s.

    Today I saw gas prices at $2.33 and diesel at the same station was a full $1.00 higher. My diesel overseas was intentional, but the one I have here was not planned. Even so, I do so few miles here, I fill the tank less than once a month (22.5 gallon tank, with a range of 740-800 miles when you top it), and 33-37 HWY.

    Tesla’s plan was to have Supercharger centers using 100% solar panels.

    I really don’t worry about too many EVs taxing our grid.

    But if there are millions of EVs here soon, that is great news for all non-EV users that are terminally spoiled and cry to high heaven whenever a tiny gas tax is proposed, because the EVs will decrease demand by so much that any tax will be offset by the lower gas prices.

    Today I drove briefly to the local Menards store (a superstore like Home Depot to some extent) and got a telescope for $50 (list $100, they also had smaller ones for $30), a blue ray Dvd for $90 (list 199) and a huge deal, binoculars normally $35, on sale for $29.99, but paid … $4.99 after $25 rebate. Should have bought more, but have not tried them yet. These deals were only from 6 to 12 noon, I drove at 10, still found all, except for some other dirt-cheap items there was only one choice left)

  30. Larry D. Says:

    I see the markets are down again today in the US. Besides the hugely overvalued tech stocks losing 20% recently (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Twitter), the rest of the world has much bigger problems than the US Economy.

    Japan has been in a depression (stocks) for 30 years now, the Nikkei reached a peak of 40,000 or so in the late 80s and never recovered, today it is 21,600. Over in Europe, all hell has broken loose. May in the UK is challenged by her own party even, and the Brexit deal will be a disaster for both the UK and the Europeans. Merkel has quit, she will not run again when her term is over, and she was the number one in Europe who held it together. Italy has huge problems, and Brussels has rejected the budget of the newly elected populist government. And Italy is the 3rd largest economy in Europe, now that the UK left, after Germany and also troubled France. both too big to fail and too big to bail out!

    Back in 92 I invested in international stocks thinking they will grow faster than the mature US market, and especially with the European Union coming of age. NOTHING of the sort happened, my US stocks probably did much better!

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will facebook go the way of myspace, in regard to popularity, not Murdoch buying it?

  32. Bishop Says:

    #3 Environmentalists had very little to do with
    keeping “us hostage to OPEC during the 70′s and 80′s and 90′s by their radical demands and beliefs.”

    That was the doings of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

    In August 1971, President Richard Nixon rocked the world when he killed the international gold standard. It was a time of global instability, fueled by the Vietnam War. Foreign nations were starting to question the gold holdings that supposedly backed every U.S. dollar.

    Faced with the fact that the U.S. had run up so much debt, it couldn’t pay back its bills with the gold backed dollars. It would be disastrous if other countries panicked and started, in effect, a bank run on the U.S. Treasury.

    When he addressed the nation – his speech came to be known as “The Nixon Shock”- and announced the end of the gold-backed dollar.

    The result of Nixon’s action was the dollar was established as a “fiat currency”, a currency whose value is based solely on our faith in the sponsoring government. As a result, the U.S. continued printing dollars – completely unchecked! Billions were needed to pay for the ever-expanding war in Southeast Asia (as well as domestic spending).

    Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, made a pact with Saudi Arabia’s royal family in March of 1973. It was a deal that would dramatically impact the global economy until today. Essentially, they agreed to replace America’s gold-backed dollars with “black gold” backed dollars. In other words, oil.

    Kissinger and Nixon offered military protection for Saudi Arabia’s oil fields from any enemy and in return, Saudi Arabia would price all of its future oil sales in U.S. dollars only. It would then invest the proceeds into U.S. Treasuries.

    By 1975, all the members of OPEC had joined the “petrodollar” system.

    The result was that anyone buying oil anywhere in the world now had to do it with U.S. dollars.
    This established the U.S. dollar as the de facto reserve currency of the world.

    It increased demand for the dollar, boosting the dollar’s value all around the world which, in turn, lifted all kinds of America’s assets from housing, to businesses, and esp, stocks. The new petrodollar standard meant increased global demand for U.S. debt instruments. Foreign governments needed to keep big reserves of dollars on hand to buy oil. But if they chose to earn interest on those dollars while they were holding them, they would simply stash some, or all, the money in U.S. Treasuries.

    With trillions of foreign dollars positioned to buy up our Treasuries, the Fed could pump unlimited money into our economy. Of course, it ended up doing that for what turned out to be decades and decades.

    And finally, the petrodollar meant that the energy-dependent United States could buy all the imported oil it needed – with those dollars that it could simply print at will!

    The petrodollar was also a boom for the Saudis. It wasn’t long before the Saudi’s were pumping obscene amounts of oil – 30 million barrels a day – about half of the total world production and they collected a massive profit margin.

    45 years after the dawn of the petrodollar, OPEC’s gravy train is now coming to the end of the line. Fracking and new exploration within our borders for the last 10 years has pushed the U.S. to the front in terms of production and now OPEC is teetering on the brink.

    You can blame those tree-huggers, lefties, or whatever – but it’s probably a good idea to remember the more accurate happenings of history.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32. So that’s why oil is priced in U.S. dollars.

  34. ChuckGrenci Says:

    @32 I can’t contest that what you say wasn’t part of the reaction to the oil crisis of 1970′s but there seems much more to the equation. Without going into too much, the general condition of world economies and stability of the middle eastern area all contributed to reduced production (there was no shortage as you say) and realignments of areas that hadn’t produced because of previous low prices took time to get back on line and provide product.

    p.s. There are plenty of articles for the reading with a simple web search.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    32 Without going into your details, neither Nixon nor Kissinger were the ones that started the “special relationship” between the US and Saudi Arabia. It started well before WW II, during the FDR presidency.

    At that time, the US had zero need of the Saudi oil, since the US was a net oil exporter until WW II, and in fact it cut off oil exports to Japan after their hideous war crimes in China etc.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32, 35 Nixon and the gold standard, etc.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM news

  38. Brett Cammack Says:

    One really awesome way to get your government overthrown and yourself assassinated is to suggest that you’re thinking about selling your oil for rubles, or Euros instead of USD. Just ask Muammar Gaddafi or Hugo Chavez. Oh, wait, you can’t.