AD #2494 – Nissan & Ghosn Indicted in Japan, China Sales Continue to Plunge, VW Going Retro with Electrics

December 10th, 2018 at 11:02am

Follow us on social media:

Instagram Twitter Facebook

Runtime: 6:41

0:28 Nissan and Carlos Ghosn Indicted
1:07 China Sales Down in November
1:35 BMW & Daimler to Form Mobility JV
2:30 VW Going Retro with Its Electrics
3:15 BorgWarner Helps Automakers to Hybridize
4:35 Why a Traditional Gearhead Wanted an EV

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone , Dow Automotive Systems , Lear Corporation , and ExxonMobil.

»Subscribe to Podcast |

5661 rss-logo-png-image-68050 stitcher-icon youtube-logo-icon-65475

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website:

32 Comments to “AD #2494 – Nissan & Ghosn Indicted in Japan, China Sales Continue to Plunge, VW Going Retro with Electrics”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe everyone in China who wants a car has one, and since high volume car sales is a new phenomenon in China, the cars aren’t wearing out yet.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    VW EV concepts will be cool but too bad they will most likely never see production except maybe the bus. I’m guessing the dune buggy version would have to be strictly ORV, as trying to pass crash tests would be difficult.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 I confirmed that the average age of cars in China is low, about 4.8 years.

  4. WineGeek Says:

    I think the best solution is a plug-in hybrid that has a range of around 100 miles on electric. This alleviates the range anxiety so common even with Tesla models, but gives the around town electric range to minimize pollution in congested population areas. I have heard so many manufacturers talk about this type of plug-in but haven’t seen them in the market as of yet.

    I drive a lot when working and 200 or even 300 miles probably won’t do it for me.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    1. “Maybe everyone in China who wants a car has one,..”

    You are JOKING, Right? if you are not, then you and anybody else that believes this have no clue at all about the Chinese auto market.

    It has been several years since CHina Surpassed even the US market, the biggest new car market in the world, and then wildly exceeded it, and many of its new cars are far more expensive than the new cars in the USA. I am talking a US market that never exceeded 18 million units a year, while the Chinese surpassed that and went to over 30 million, before they slowed down to… 25 or so, a number the US may not see in your LIFETIME.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of CHinese Still Desperately want a new car.

    A far more believable claim would be that Everybody that CAN AFFORD a car in China already has one, but I do not believe that either, the tens of millions of affluent Chinese sure would like to trade up as they get richer, and as the Chinese Economy RESUMES its growth (it is still growing much faster than the US, BTW)

    3 OF COURSE the average age of cars in China is very low, the market has exploded only in the last decade or so, most cars SHOULD be below 5 years old there, BUT this does NOT prove the market is… saturated, or even mature, like the US or Euro markets!

    You are all very welcome.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    Musk was on 60 mins with auto illiterate grandma Leslie Stahl (who has done more botox than Nancy pelosi earlier), and paid no attention to accuracy in reporting. I only caught the second half of the segment, but today there was a far more pleasant summary you can see for free at (they have a morning and an afternoon video like this show, but it is only news, no analysis)

    Musk did not say when the $35 k Model 3 will be available exactly, he mentioned 5 months or so. However, in other news I saw Tesla is preparing to sell the 3 in Europe now. He even said that, if anybody makes an EV better than he does, he will be glad, because it satisfies his dream of clean transport etc.

    meanwhile, while markets plummet every day, some analysts in Wall Street changed the recommendation for Tesla stock to BUY, because it has demonstrated profit potential, and even put a target of $450 per share, which is higher than even the $420 price Musk was considering to sell the company.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    Re a discussion about claimed MPGs by car computers, these are always inaccurate. If you really want to know how much fuel you burn, you do what i do, you always fill the tank to the top, and then it is very simple, every new fillup, you divide the amount of fuel you bought by the number of miles you did since the last fillup.

    What I hate even more is the blatant inacurracy of all the fuel gauges of ALL the cars i have ever owned. But the E Diesel I own now broke the record last Saturday. I had not filled the tank since… Nov 30. at the end of last week, I got RIDICULOUS indicators that the car was running out of fuel, it said the remaining range was 50 miles, while the fuel gauge (which looks like a thermometer) looked like it still was 1/4th or 1/5th full. I got a great price deal with my Kroger Card and the points from shopping, a 55 cent a gallon discount, and when the tank filled, I saw I only put 16 gallons, while its capacity is 22.5 or so. After it was filled, it showed 710 miles of range (mixed city-hwy, pure HWY it would show 800).


  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Yes, the average age of cars in China is low, meaning that most of the new ones sold are additional, not replacements. That was my point.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 The accuracy of mpg readouts varies considerably. On both my 2010 and 2017 Priuses, they have read about 5-6% high, based on many miles of fillups, dividing it out. With the Corvette, the readout is pretty accurate, within 2% when checking three 1100 mile highway trips. I’m sure the inaccuracy is deliberate. Toyota wants to make Prius mpg look better than it is, but only up to a point that might not draw too much attention. GM probably figures most people don’t buy Corvettes for gas mileage, so they make it accurate.

    I’ve found that all new cars I’ve have for years, even back to my 1989 Dodge Caravan, have odometers that are accurate within 1-2%. I suspect there would be legal problems if they weren’t accurate, since warranty is based on odometer readout.

  10. XA351GT Says:

    5 door based on a beetle, how again is that retro? Never ever saw a 4 or 5 door beetle.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Yeah, the New Beetle was silly enough, even as a 3 door, given that the real Beetle had a totally different powertrain configuration. A 4 or 5 door Beetle? That is much sillier than a 4 door Dodge Charger, that people are still whining about.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    9- watched a you tube vid where they tested trucks from Ram Rebel, Chev Trailboss and Ford Raptor for real life MPG. The vehicle computers were pretty accurate like you said. I think the chev got the best mileage but only by a bit. Ram was the worst and way off the rating because Ram doesn’t adjust for the lift kit and bigger tires, the other two do.

  13. Lex Says:

    I would love to see VW bring back the Corrado as a full electric Tesla Model 3 fighter!

  14. Phred Says:

    Is the Nissan debacle in Executive management compensation and the indictments a hint of more corporate “dirty laundry” to come? Or is this an example of individual “greed”?

  15. Lex Says:

    I was a General Motors loyalist, I will not purchase or lease another GM vehicle unless GM rectifies the post-Thanksgiving Holiday plant closures and layout announcements. Several Automotive Journalists are saying “This could be the end of GM!”. I must agree, or is this the game plan how GM will get its Chinese partners into the North American Automotive market through it idle Canadian plant? These idle GM plants will be ripe for the picking since the local politicians will do anything or make any concessions to get their citizens back to work! The Federal and State government officials need to keep the pressure on GM and especially it’s leadership.
    The Canadian Workers had it right, drop your tools and walk out of the plant. Show GM Management that without them the company will fold and government will not step in to save them again! Maybe FCA or Ford could take over one of these GM plants and build Jeeps or VW’s since the Federal Reserve lost 11.2 Billion on its bailout of GM, IMHO.

  16. Drew Says:

    Do we know how much space is consumed by that B-W drive module? FWD transverse powertrains don’t have much, if any, free space. If they did, the demand for tighter turning circles would have already consume that space.

    So, even though the B-W drive unit may be more package efficient than other hybrid adaptations, it still can’t be drop-in to existing transverse layouts. As a drop-in, I suspect the B-W drive module makes more sense in longitudinal powertrain arrangements.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 I agree that the timing of those announcements was not good, but they are just doing the same thing as Ford, but to a lesser extent. It looks like they plan to keep the Malibu, and maybe Sonic or a replacement.

    I don’t see Ford wanting those plants, since they are having their own huge “down sizing” in dropping all of their cars, except Mustang. FCA might be interested, if they need even more capacity for building Jeeps. As far as BMW or Mercedes, no way. They go to the old confederacy, where unions don’t exist, or barely exist.

    As far as the U.S. treasury selling the GM stock at a loss, a lot of people were tired of the “government motors” talk, and both GM and many politicians wanted the stock sold. I don’t know if the timing of the stock sale was exceptionally bad, or if it went up at some point after the sale, but selling the stock probably made sense at the time.

  18. Roger Blose Says:

    There is a Model 3 Performance model that Henry should have bought if he wanted to track his car. It comes with dual motors and 6 piston Brembos which should solve many issues. I was given a ride in one recently and it was brutal to say the least!

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Speaking of an EV better than a Tesla, Porsche has announced that if you want its EV Taycan, you are outa luck, as all its 20,000 planned $85k or so, Panamera-sized Grand Tourers have been sold out. It may make 30,000 of them instead. US Porsche dealers may get 50 units each, for a total of 10,000. The Taycan is 191″ long, 78.3″ wide, 51.2″ tall, weighs a hefty 4,410 lbs, and has a 90 KWH battery with a range allegedly 500 km (310 miles). Looks like a Tesla S fighter, and priced close to the S too.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    Oh BTW in his 60 mins interview, Musk was interested, when asked, in considering one of GM’s closed down plants in the US to produce more Teslas, and blamed the UAW for spreading lies when asked about alleged safety problems in his existing plants. So it is not just the dealers and their salesmen that hate Tesla for going over their heads and selling directly to the consumers…

  21. XA351GT Says:

    Ghosn under reported by 43 million?? How exactly would you begin to do that? Over how many years . Mary Barra makes $22M a year and that is about 21.5M too much IMO with a company that is shedding models, brands and workers like GM is.

  22. XA351GT Says:

    #20 Let’s face it if people can’t dig their fingers in the pie they won’t be happy when you cut them out.

  23. bradley cross Says:

    Tesla has no marketing but is always in the news. That is a candidate Trump like strategy.

    Yes we need Henry to review the performance Model-3.

    $22M is a lot but sadly is the going rate. I’d like to see a hard limit of 10 times average/mean company salary. Note that with Share options and other moves the salary is very grey.

    The US could likely increase car sales if they allowed shitty little cars like the Chinese have. US new cars are getting too expensive so used cars take their place, as John has discussed previously.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 I just listened to the AAH, and Henry seemed to just want RWD. I suspect what he’d like, would be the RWD car, but with the bigger brakes. Maybe they will sell the car that way, after they get caught up with the orders.

  25. ChuckGrenci Says:

    China is still selling a lot of cars; just because the growth has slowed, doesn’t mean they’re done, and even if their sales are flat they are still moving a lot of metal. I certainly won’t count them out, and maybe they have just plateaued for now, and don’t forget, a lot of their sales is pretty close to what the government decides (via incentives and directive).

    As far as mpg calculations, for my vehicles, I’ve found the on-board vehicle computations are pretty close, and functionally, pretty accurate. Even if you fill your tank, collect your miles driven, and fill your tank again, there is plenty of margin for error as quite a few tanks don’t fill precisely (every-time). Multiple fill-ups are really needed for accurate, manual, calculations.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, 9 Yep, you need multiple tanks to get a good check, especially with with a high mpg car like a Prius, where 1/2 gallon difference in a fillup amounts to 5 mpg. I divided out the first ~10,000 miles with the 2010 Prius, and found the readout to be 5%+ high.

    GM seems to make the readouts pretty accurate. It is with my Corvette and was with my Malibu Maxx, and it sounds like it is with your XT5.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    I have never been to China but from pictures and videos I’ve seen I wonder if maybe some of the slowdown in sales isn’t attributed to infrastructure. To be selling cars as rapidly as they have they certainly have to have a lot of road construction and parking garages and just places to put all these cars. I have no idea but after living in LA I know that in highly populated areas sometimes having a car is a bigger burden than not. If they have reached a saturation point for what the roads can handle the decline might be a result.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    25 correct, and because of the intolerable pollution esp in Beijing, where the bigwigs have to live, the Govt in China is a huge pusher of EVs and EV infrastructure. While the US has about 100,000 gas stations and 44,000 or so EV charging stations, China has the same # of each (close to 100,000).

    26 China spent huge amount on infrastrucure, they have fantastic trains, the opposite of India which still uses the antiquated Brit trains at 20 MPH, and a ton of highways, beltways (Beijing has 3 or 4 concentric beltways), bridges etc. The slowdown in car sales is understandable, they are catching their breath after huge growth, the econ slowed down a bit etc. The breakdown of EVs vs non-EVs should be more interesting. (I have been to China multiple times, if I had more time I’d go back every year), on lengthy business stays each time.

    because the government does not understand economics and efficiency and of considerable corruption, there is rumored to be a lot of ‘bridges to nowhere’ in China, and highways, very modern with many lanes, that shave very light traffic. I even saw one very close to Shanghai, on the coast, in a region which did not have good land, and the government gifted it to two large Universities which moved from downtown and got a ton of $ for their Shanghai downtown real estate, allowing them to raise dozens of campus buildings to the new big campuses.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve been in China once, in Shanghai about 20 years ago. Traffic was a mess, even then. The last thing that city needed was a bunch more cars, and I guess Beijing is even worse. They were starting to build a subway system in Shanghai when I was there, and that was what they needed.

    The places in China where cars would be more useful are the less densely populated areas, but in those places, I suppose fewer people can afford to buy them.

  30. Dwight Barnes Says:

    5 Larry D:
    No Larry, you are the joke.
    It still amazes me that you are still allowed on this form.
    You are a clown.

    Dwight Barnes

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 What is wrong with you, vulgar creature? Are you stinking drunk AND have your sorry excuse of a brain on Drugs? i went back to my post number 5, which you refer, and i quote:

    “1. “Maybe everyone in China who wants a car has one,..”

    You are JOKING, Right?”

    I did NOT call anybody “a Joke”, unlike you, worthless and ignorant vulgarian. If you do not understand the difference between the two, then you are seriously mentally challenged.

    I ALSO sure did not call anybody “a clown” either. You did. I am not a MIRROR.

    The only one who should be expelled from this Forum immediately, if there is any JUSTICE, is YOUR worthless, vulgar self.

    PS I do not remember you CONTRIBUTING anything at all to this forum for as far as I can remember. Everybody, has this vulgarian ever said anything worth mentioning here?

  32. Autoline Says:

    @all commenters:

    At Autoline, we strive to post thought-provoking content for our viewers. Please keep your comments respectful so that we can continue to have lively discussion on this forum.
    Thank you!

    - The Autoline Team