AD #2488 – New LEAF NISMO Race Car, Ammann Named CEO of Cruise, How Will You Spend Your Time in An AV?

November 30th, 2018 at 11:31am

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Runtime: 6:19

0:27 Toyota & PSA Expand Partnership
1:00 Fiat Makes Big Investment in Italy
2:17 Dan Ammann Named CEO of Cruise
3:03 How Will You Spend Your Time in An Autonomous Vehicle?
4:19 Next-Gen Mustang & Continental Update
4:43 Nissan Reveals New LEAF NISMO Race Car

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24 Comments to “AD #2488 – New LEAF NISMO Race Car, Ammann Named CEO of Cruise, How Will You Spend Your Time in An AV?”

  1. phred Says:

    With the advance of the AV …this is just an attack on public transportation system so only the poor who can’t afford an expensive ev/av will be sitting in a bus while the rich will be sitting in a personal “transportation pod”!

    And as to the announced investment in Fiat…first increase the quality and redo the “Engineering Design Manual” to correct the many engineering mistakes in the cars. Then maybe you can sell a Fiat badged car!!

  2. David Sprowl Says:

    How will I spend my time in a driverless car? Pretty much the same way I spend my time as an airplane passenger or an uber passenger, or a train passenger, or a buss passenger. Those studies are already out there and have a lengthy history.

  3. Ziggy Says:

    Sean, whatever is light colored on the back of your head is really distracting when watching the show, others here have commented on it too, care to share what it is?

    Regarding the survey of what people would do if they didn’t have to drive their AV, they left out the category of getting it on, other surveys have mentioned that people have chosen that as a future endeavor as they make their way down the road. Seems the survey isn’t inclusive enough or maybe they were going for the G rated version.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    People will read and comment on Autoline while in autonomous vehicles, like I now sometimes do while waiting for food in restaurants.

  5. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Slightly tongue-in-cheek: people will continue to text, listen to the radio, look at the info-tainment screen, put on their makeup, etc.; you know, kind of what they are doing now (when driving).

    Where are all these “E” vehicle stylists; they should be designing the regular ICE offering; more times than not, the “E” vehicles are stunning, this takes me back to the Caddie ELR and quite a few others.

  6. Bob Wilson Says:

    AV will appeal to sex workers and bring new meaning to Lyft. The quality of car based mini-bars will improve. Nursing home residents will make a break for it. Some outpatient medical procedures can be done solo.


    I would be one to pay attention to the road in an AV. My Job on the otherhand will likely have the expectation that everyone works while travelling in an AV. With internet service being added to planes, they already expect I am accessible while in the air. My car is the last refuge against their 24/7 accessibility expectation.

  8. Henri Says:

    Yup. Huge Fiat investment in Italy funded by Chrysler USA profits!

  9. Larry D. Says:

    Toyota&Peugeot. While peugeot has a lot to gain from this cooperation (assuming they are paying careful attention!), Toyota’s only benefit is access to additional markets it could not go in alone.

    Fiat’s investment, Dan Amman. Wake me up when this segment is over.

    How will I spend the time in an AV? Unless the weather is clear and sunny, not even a mild rain, I will HAVE to DRIVE IT. How many more premature studies will we have about these nonsense AVs? You are assuming way too much. First make them operate even in moderate RAIN, let alone really FOUL weather, with snow, ice and fog, plus crazy traffic, and then ask.

    The image of a dam fool teen in an AV suburban or Navigator, texting nonsense, while the huge vehicle is hogging the highway and wasting precious fuel to transport ONE fool who could have taken the dam BUS or Train instead, is NOT a hopeful one.

    I will rather drop dead than be imprisoned in an AV and lose my RIGHT and Privilege to Drive. But if I am 105 and not too healthy and I really need to travel in one of these, then I will bring my personal physician or nurse along.. maybe a manicurist too..

    Amazingly, I see a lot of rare Lexus LS 600 H (the big hybrid from 2007-12) rigged with AV and data gathering gear close to where I live, for the last year or so. This vehicle sold for more than $100k (the only Lexus in 6 figures back then) and claims to have V12 performance at V6 MPG (and much better City MPG). I have no clue why they did not use dirt-cheap Yarises instead.

    The Continental will certainly not be missed by any true auto Enthusiast. In sharp contrast to the CT6 (NOT the XTS!) which is a great car that would have sold much better if priced right (a theme with Caddys?)

    Finally the silly Nissan. They will only build 6? Why bother? Tesla already offers many Tesla S models that can beat its 3.4 acceleration, and can be had at modest premiums over the base S. THOUSANDS of these top spec Ss have already been sold. Is this how Nissan will compete with Tesla? Laughable.


  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #8 FCA is #4 in Europe, with 6.7% market share in for 2017. If they can improve the products, that could increase. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like such a good investment now, but if the truck fad in North America ever subsides, Chrysler USA might no longer be doing the funding. I guess time will tell.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Yeah, that sounds like quite a waste of the LS hybrids. Maybe they have more weight in electronics, sensors, etc. than a Yaris could carry. Camrys should work, though. Do you know whose project this is? Is Toyota involved?

  12. Larry D. Says:

    11 I’d bet Toyota is involved, it has a big research facility a mile from where I work (and live too) maybe it is just one or two LS600Hs but it goes the same parkway I commute each day. I was surprised they were not even regular LS460s. We also have a whole AV fake city here with little Google-ish cars and vans driving around its fake roads and buildings (at least they do not run around the public highways killing squirrels). the director is a colleague from Taiwan who was with me in my first stay in Shanghai in 2006, who sure did well career-wise with this development.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9, 11 a year ago or so when I was looking up 2007-12 LS460s I also did a search on used LS 600 H’s, one could get them for about $20k-25k vs the typical $12-15k for an LS460 of the same vintage. The H weighs a ton (close to 3 tons, 5,400 lbs before passengers and cargo) and should have a great ride, and i could do all my weekly driving on electric mode, due to my short commutes and side trips. But then i was stuck with my first of two diesel E320s, which has passed the two year mark on Oct 17 and still has not needed any repairs whatsoever.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    I have some tips for the NA Car of the Year committee.

    1. Don’t limit it to just “new” cars. People buy four times as many used cars every year as they buy new cars. Reward excellence, not just the accident that a car is new and there was no competition. I got my latest R&T issue yesterday, and they crowned the ZR1 the best performance car, regardless of price. It beat supercars costing 4 and 5 times as much. THIS is the kind of truly outstanding vehicle which should be on your list. NOT yet another Volvo that does not sell.

    2. Pickups: there are just too few new models of these every year. I am surprised you found three this year, but I imagine there are years that only two are new, or just one. Face it, who makes pickups? Only serious makers are GM, Ford and Ram, and next year Jeep, and Toyota. The Nissan Titan sells what, 3 units a month? Same for the Ridgeline. But if you widened the search for the best pickup on sale, New model OR Not, you can reward excellence and provide a valuable service to those who think of buying one.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 NACTOY had to use two nearly identical trucks to even come up with three. Next year, I guess there will be two, Gladiator and Ranger, or will there be other new ones I’m not thinking of?

  16. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I have to agree with Larry D and Kit: Car of the Year; if the new one isn’t better than the existing ones, the best of the year is the previous one. Don’t lower the standard.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe they should just do North American Vehicle of the Year, picked from all of the new ones, and don’t have an award, unless one really stands out. Seeing the list of finalists, I don’t see how any “really stood out” this time.

  18. Bob Wilson Says:

    The web link is a YouTube about a guy, passed out drunk who didn’t crash … his Tesla was driving itself. He’ll still get a DUI ticket but he didn’t crash.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    The news today are dominated by the passing of GHW Bush at 94, but in automotive news there was another significant milestone achieved, the Model 3 has reached production of 1,000 units per day. Assuming they work 24/7, this means almost 30,000 units a month for a sedan priced like the (once) almighty BMW 3 series, which never sold even half that in any month in the US market, and currently at the top of any sedan production numbers, even those two and three times cheaper. Of course this will not continue forever, currently they have 500,000 orders to fill and have not even started selling the 3 in Europe (or China?), but do not assume that they do not have other high volume vehicles, perhaps even more affordable, up their sleeve.

  20. ChuckGrenci Says:

    This may no longer be what is happening at the Tesla plant in Fremont but here is a link to Tesla Master Plan (stated two shifts), page 14, 4.3 employee count. This is dated 2016 but it also has a lot of other Tesla data:

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 I’ve read that they are taking Model 3 orders in China, with deliveries to start in March. The Shanghai factory should be going in 3-4 years. By that time, there will probably be different and/or additional products.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    maybe we’ll hear about this in tomorrow’s show, as it is related to the protests (finally, after decades of higher and higher gas taxes) of the very high gas prices in Europe.

    This was a protest that started in Belgium last week and apparently it spread in the land of regular protests, France, and even Holland.

    The protesters cleverly chose to wear an easily visible garment, a reflecting yellow vest, that now identifies their movement.

    The damage the protesters did in Paris was considerable.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    i was curious what gas prices are currently in France, and I found this old CNN $ link with prices as of 2005. This is interesting to compare with today’s prices, which I could bet are at least 50% higher!

    i found this site (don’t know how accurate it is, the prices do not look too high in France or Belgium, maybe they are pre-increase, Nov 2018 prices: They are in Euros per liter. A Euro is $1.1-$1.2 and a liter is 3.875 gal

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess that’s why gas taxes are kept so low in the U.S. There would be thousands of deaths with a gas tax riot in gun infested America.