AD #2536 – Alfa Pumps the Brakes on New Models, Toyota Dropping the Prius c, Ford Gets Out of Heavy Trucks in Brazil

February 20th, 2019 at 12:11pm

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Listen to “AD #2536 – Alfa Pumps the Brakes on New Models, Toyota Dropping the Prius c, Ford Gets Out of Heavy Trucks in Brazil” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 6:35

0:23 Alfa Romeo Pumps the Brakes on New Models
1:00 BMW to Axe 6 Series Gran Turismo
1:22 Toyota to Part Ways with Prius c
1:54 Civic Hatchback Production Could Come to U.S.
2:21 Citroen Ami One Concept
3:24 Ford Drops Heavy Truck Making in Brazil
4:11 Subaru VIZIV ADRENALINE CONCEPT
4:33 Skoda VISION iV Concept
4:48 Mercedes to Reveal EQV in Geneva
5:18 Aston Martin Confirms New Hypercar

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24 Comments to “AD #2536 – Alfa Pumps the Brakes on New Models, Toyota Dropping the Prius c, Ford Gets Out of Heavy Trucks in Brazil”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Prius C, called Aqua in other markets, still sells well in Japan, where its smallness is a virtue in tight quarters. The main selling point of the C in the US, was a lower selling price than a regular Prius liftback. The Corolla hybrid will be a good car for people who want great fuel economy and conventional styling, and don’t care about the extra utility of the Prius.

  2. Bob Wilson Says:

    #1 agreed. The squared off back end of the “c” and “v” led to substantially poorer fuel efficiency than the standard Prius. It was an alternative to the “FourTwo” and other subcompact, gas cars.

    Of course it was no competition for our 168hp, EV motor, BMW i3-REx … a true pocket rocket.

  3. Lex Says:

    As Honda closes it’s British plant, will the Honda Civic Type R be manufactured in either North and/or South America?

  4. ChuckGrenci Says:

    1&2
    If the Corolla is more refined (can’t help but be) than either of the Prius’, then it is a good thing that they drop the C and/or the V; especiaaly the V sounded like you were in a rattle can.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s no surprise that BMW would drop the strangely named 6 series grand turismo. It is a kind of odd looking tall hatch, that costs $72K without options. They also have the much better looking, also oddly named 6 series gran coupe, which is a lower roof hatchback, that is even pricer. Of course, most people now buying BMWs in America want X CUVs, and the new X5 starts at “only” $61K.

    If BMW would quit making all of these low volume odd ball things that sell so poorly, maybe they could lower the prices on the rest of what they sell.

  6. Barry T Says:

    Great show today, love all the updates, and looking very much forward to the After Hours show tomorrow!

    Also, interesting announcement from Honda on more US manufacturing. This might indicate some patience with President Trump’s plan could really pay off in the long run.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.wardsauto.com/ideaxchange/ev-startups-better-bring-something-new-party

    I strongly recommend the excellent, thoughtful article by our own John McElroy I just got in an email at Wards, starting with:.

    “Tesla is succeeding because it’s doing so many things that give it a competitive advantage. Most EV startups coming to market now are not doing anything new. …”

    and if you need a detailed explanation,

    “History shows the only way to successfully break into the automotive business is to bring something new to the party. Toyota was able to claw its way to the top of the heap because it brought the vaunted Toyota Production System to bear. Toyota was able to manufacture cars at significantly lower cost and higher quality and it paid off beautifully. As other Japanese automakers adopted lean production, they too developed an advantage over automakers in the U.S. and Europe.

    Tesla is succeeding because it brought several new things to the party. It isn’t just styling, Ludicrous Mode and the EV public’s adulation of Elon Musk that helped Tesla sell so many cars. It’s because Tesla is using different batteries than anyone else – batteries which are made in higher volume and at lower cost than what others are using. And thanks to its proprietary battery management system its cars have longer range and charge faster.

    Tesla’s electronics and electronic architecture are light-years ahead of everyone else. It offers over the air (OTA) updates for its cars that no other automaker has matched, even though Tesla has been doing this since 2012. In fact, this is a key reason why Tesla has such satisfied customers, even though the Model S has only undergone one minor facelift in 8 years. Every year their cars get better thanks to those OTA updates.

    And Tesla completely broke the rules of the game by bypassing the dealer franchise system and selling cars directly to consumers. Even though Tesla is banned from selling cars in several states, and is severely limited in many other states, it outsold many well-established brands in the U.S. last year.

    The point is, Tesla is succeeding because it’s doing so many things that give it a competitive advantage….”

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 If the wikipedia article is correct, the Civic Type R is made only in Swindon, for the entire global market. I’d expect it to go to Japan, after the UK plant closes, but who knows.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    1 The Prius C is a cheap, underwhelming vehicle that got far worse reviews than the Prius and should never have been imported in the demanding US market. Only by necessity, in Europe and Japan, where parallel parking and traffic and tight quarters are daily headaches, did it make sense to be sold. The Daughter of a close friend of mine, who just had a boy a year ago, and her Canadian Husband, after asking and disregarding my opinion (which was to buy a much larger and stronger used vehicle) bought one of these, not because of the MPGs, but because they were afraid the used cars would break down. Obviously they are still living in the 70s and 80s, although they were barely born in 1984.

    2.100% apples and oranges to compare the Prius C to the failed BMW i3 which costs twice as much. Compare it to the Model 3 and you will soon sell it to get one.

    3. Do you know how many Civics are sold in the US market? 30,000 a month, even as recently as last year. Do you know how many of them are the Type R? I’d guess barely 300. 1%. Noise. Who cares, therefore?

    1,2,4 it is very easy for Toyota to make a Corolla WAGON with just as much, or even MORE, Utility than the Prius, which has seen its heyday in the US market several years ago, and still get the same 52 MPG.

    5. Unless you are one of these who believe there is something divine in the so-called “New Car Smell” you can get a Certified Used off-lease X5 for less than $30k, including low miles and a warranty. I will never understand why people buy these vehicles new, other than to convince their neighbors they are far wealthier than they actually are.

    6 100% agree, AAH should be very interesting once again tomorrow.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 A friend replaced a 2nd generation Prius with a Prius V, because he needed the extra room, and was disappointed with the noise level. Apparently they didn’t put enough effort into the V. The Prius C/Aqua was intended from the start to be a city car, so noise level at 80 mph is not much of a factor for its intended use.

    The Corolla hybrid will be interesting. I don’t know if it will have the exact Prius powertrain, or something different. I’ve driven a Camry hybrid and was impressed. The powertrain is scaled up enough to make the bigger, dragier car significantly quicker than a Prius, but it still gets about 90% of the Prius’ mpg in CR’s tests.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Yep, Toyota should make a Corolla hybrid wagon, and a Camry hybrid wagon. Unfortunately, the closest they come is the Rav4 hybrid, with mandatory AWD, which gets less than 2/3 the mpg of the Camry hybrid.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 For a while, at least, if you want the current generation X5, you need to buy a new one. Yeah, a used one would be a more rational purchase, even though, by most accounts, the new one is clearly better.

  13. Clem Zahrobsky Says:

    Trumps plans to get more manufacturing in the USA even if products cost a little more as these workers will be paying taxes and spending their paychecks in the USA not overseas.

  14. Albemarle Says:

    It’s no surprise that the smaller Prius C didn’t have much to offer in efficiency. If you look at the Yaris versus Corolla, the Mazda 2 versus 3 and other examples, they don’t provide better fuel economy than their larger siblings. The smaller and lighter size must have other problems like aerodynamics that eliminate the size/weight advantage.
    For really disappointing economy, there is the tiny Smart car.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 The powertrain of the Prius C must be compromised/cheapened compared to a regular Prius, because the C didn’t get much better mpg, even in city driving.

    The smart not only gets poor mpg for being so tiny, but it needs premium gas.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    14 good points, all so true.

    12 pretending I am someone in the market for an SUV like the new X5, the question is then, is the new model twice as good as the old, if I have to pay twice the price for it? In the very unlikely case that it really is, I would wait 9 months and get it at the end of the model year at a bargain price. However, the new X5 is much uglier than the older models, primarily because of the awful huge Tonka Toy Kidneys on the grille, which have also ruined whatever little good styling the previous 7 series had.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    10 The new Camry and Accord Hybrids get impressive MPGs and do not have the big disadvantage their predecessors (as well as other Hybrid sedans like the Fusion Hybrid) had, which was the mutilation of the trunk and its reduction to a much smaller AND uneven and therefore much less useful trunk, which for a family of four, or even 3, could be a HUGE problem. Current models have found a way to put components of the hybrid system in places where they do not ruin the trunk space and trunk shape any more.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 The new Camry and Accord hybrids have the big battery under the rear seat cushion, wasted space in the non-hybrids. I suspect the NiMH batteries of the earlier ones were too big to fit there, so they ended up stealing trunk space.

    16 You don’t get a zero mile, full warranty previous generation X5 for half the price of a new one. You get a 5 year old one with 70K miles, and if in Michigan or Indiana, a 5 year start on rusting out. Popular cars, such as the X5, are not screaming bargains used, as are 7 series and A8 sedans.

    Yeah, if you want the new one, it can be a relative bargain one year old, avoiding the dreaded first year depreciation.

  19. Dan Says:

    Speaking of Toyota sales numbers, I question why they keep the Land Cruiser around. Another source pointed out they only sell around a hundred units a month. Even though it is iconic, and there is profit on each one sold, I don’t see why they keep it around. Seems if they cut the price by $25K and modernized it they could sell in much higher numbers and make a higher profit.

  20. GM Veteran Says:

    Citroen is not the only brand to make compelling concept cars and ho hum production cars. The best examples I can think of are Cadillac and Buick. Both have a long history (at least 20 Years) of making stunning concept cars that look production ready and then launching quite boring production vehicles for all of us to buy. The production vehicles get very little of their “styling cues” from the concept cars, so what is the point?

    I keep waiting for one of them to actually produce a compelling design, but they continue to bore us to tears. The Avenir was a stunner and certainly looked production-ready, but instead it becomes a trim level on the boring Buick models that fail to excite many buyers.

    It certainly makes one pine for the days of GM styling leadership. Oh yeah, those were the days when people actually looked forward to the new model year vehicles and GM had 50% of the US market. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if there could be a connection . . .

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The mid-50s to mid-60s, my middle grade school-high school years, were the zenith of excitement about new car introductions. All of the “big three,” especially GM, had major annual styling changes in the late 50s. Think ’57-’60 Chevy or Cadillac. I suppose no one would care now, even if there were annual changes, especially since there’s only so much you can do with a pickup truck or a bread box on wheels, without just making it ugly, in attempt to be different.

    Certainly some of those late ’50s cars were ugly, at least to me, like a ’58 Buick Limited with about 500 pounds of chrome plated pot metal doodads on the side.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 They sell more than 100 a month in the US, at least until this year, but not many.

    http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/toyota/toyota-land-cruiser/

    I read in an article that more total Land Cruisers, going back to when they were much different, have been sold in Australia than in any other country. More recently, according to the same article, more are sold in United Arab Emirates than in any other country.

    https://www.whichcar.com.au/news/australia-leads-global-toyota-land-cruiser-sales

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 They sell more than 100 a month in the US, at least until this year, but not many.

    http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/toyota/toyota-land-cruiser/

    I read in an article that more total Land Cruisers, going back to when they were much different, have been sold in Australia than in any other country. More recently, according to the same article, more are sold in United Arab Emirates than in any other country.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    https://www.whichcar.com.au/news/australia-leads-global-toyota-land-cruiser-sales