Episode 236 – GM Sees Sales Growing, Chrysler Suppliers Balk, New Ford Super Duty

September 25th, 2009 at 12:18pm

Runtime 7:03

GM CEO Fritz Henderson says sales will grow by 1 million to 1.5 million units next year. Suppliers are reluctant to bid on new programs at Chrysler because the company will not guarantee production levels on any vehicles. All that and more, plus a look at the new Super Duty pickup Ford revealed at the Texas State Fair yesterday.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. GM sees sales picking up. Chrysler runs into problems with its suppliers. And Ford unveils its new Super Duty pickup.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Friday, September 25, 2009. And now, the news.

Two days ago Ford announced it sees sales in the American car market growing by 2 million units next year. Now, GM says it also sees sales growing, not quite as bullish as Ford, but still pretty good. The Associated Press reports that GM CEO Fritz Henderson says sales will grow by 1 million to 1.5 million units next year. And on last night’s Autoline After Hours, Tim Leuliette, the chairman of Dura Automotive, said automotive suppliers will do a lot better next year even if sales don’t improve at all. That’s because automakers sold so many cars out of inventory this year, and now, without that excess inventory, they have to build cars to meet customer orders.

But Chrysler could be running into trouble as it tries to develop new cars. The Wall Street Journal says suppliers are reluctant to bid on new programs at Chrysler (subscription required) because the company will not guarantee production levels on any vehicles. Suppliers say they can’t figure out what their costs are if they don’t know what production will be. Typically, automakers will allow suppliers to recoup pricing if production does not hit pre-agreed levels. But Chrysler does not want to do that, so suppliers are balking at the arrangement.

GM is showing its second-generation hydrogen fuel cell system. It’s half the size, over 200 pounds lighter and uses fewer precious metals than the previous system that’s currently being demonstrated in the Chevy Equinox. GM says it can be packaged in about the same space as a four-cylinder engine and that it can be commercialized by 2015.

You’ve probably heard the debate over whether electric vehicles are dangerous because they are so silent, pedestrians, especially the blind, could get hit by a car because they don’t know when one is approaching. That’s why automakers are working on creating artificial engine sounds for EVs, but according to Bloomberg, Nissan is taking an interesting approach. Instead of recreating traditional engine noises, Nissan consulted music composers to create more artistic and futuristic sounds for its electrics. The company says the artificial engine noises are reminiscent of those that the flying cars in the movie “Blade Runner” made. The sound system turns on automatically once the car is started and turns off once the vehicle reaches 12 MPH or 20 km/h because at that speed there is enough noise made by the tires.

Ward’s reports that Land Rover is going to build its LRX concept vehicle (subscription required) that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2008. It featured a diesel/electric hybrid powertrain that reduced fuel consumption by a claimed 30 percent compared to similar vehicles. The concept could travel up to 20 miles an hour on electric power. A production version of the LRX could really help Land Rover’s CAFÉ score, but the company won’t say whether the vehicle will be hybrid or not.

Coming up next, a look at the new Ford Super Duty pickup, we’ll be back right after this.

Yesterday Ford revealed its redesigned 2011 Super Duty pickup at the Texas State Fair. The hard-working truck gets a restyled exterior, but the biggest news is what’s underneath. It offers two brand-new engines and a brand-new transmission.

Among other things, the redesigned TorqueShift six-speed automatic has several new features, like a first-in-class power take-off. The Live Drive PTO allows the transmission to directly run things like snow plows, cement mixers and dump trucks anytime the engine is running.

Under the hood, Ford’s much talked-about 6.2-liter V8 makes its debut. The big-bore gas powerplant has single over-head camshafts, as well as two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder.

The top engine is a brand-new 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel that was completely done in-house. Ford designed, engineered and now builds this engine. It features a compacted-graphite iron block for strength and lower weight as well as an “inverted” layout – that is, the two-in-one turbo is mounted in the valley of the “V” rather than off to the side, which saves space. Ford is also bragging about how quiet the new diesel is. Interestingly, the Power Stroke is certified to run on biodiesel up to B20.

Ford has not released any horsepower or torque numbers for these new engines so stay tuned.

And, since its Friday that means it’s time for me to give you this week’s answer to our trivia question. We asked you to tell us what Audi translates to in English. And the correct answer is, to listen or to hear. As always we picked the winner’s name at random from all the correct answers and the winner is: Mike Smith from Alexandria, Louisiana. Congratulations Mike, you just won this Acura Motorsports baseball hat.

And don’t forget to stop by our online store. You can buy all kinds of Autoline items from t-shirts and hats to coffee mugs and DVDs. Just visit our website and check it out. With the holidays coming up fast, our stuff makes great gifts.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

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48 Comments to “Episode 236 – GM Sees Sales Growing, Chrysler Suppliers Balk, New Ford Super Duty”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Maybe Thor was Pookie! They both seem to have disappeared!

  2. Jeremiah B. Says:

    John,

    If I’m not mistaken, “Audi” technically means “Listen!” or “Hear!” as in a command or imperative sentence. “To hear” or “to listen” would technically be “Audire,” the infinitive form.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but having studied Latin, I can assure you that if indeed Audi AG name is from the Latin, then that is the correct translation.

  3. Dave Says:

    The Ford Truck in full “king Ranch”, or what ever, trim looks ok, but the rest of the 250s as well as 150s are just ugly. They may run and work good as long as you close you eyes while walking up to them..

  4. Chuck Grenci Says:

    This had been suggested before (and I think it was John Mc. himself) but for the sound that the electrics should make, let me second his first motion: Use the Jetsons’ vehicle sound Everyone, or mostly everyone would know that it was a vehicle coming, and with it’s unique example, would know it to be an electric.

  5. Alex Kajdi Says:

    John,

    If US suppliers are not willing to work with Chrysler’s new, CEO Sergio Marchionne, who has said that he wants face lifts on five different models by mid-2011, including the two minivans, Dodge Caliber, Jeep Patriot and Compass, without guaranteed vehicle production levels does that not force Marchionne to send the work to Fiat Suppliers, outside the US?

    If GM can see sales growing in the near term, why don’t they boost On Star sales by allowing other manufacturers to incorporate On Star Telematics into their vehicles? Ford has “Sync”, based upon Microsoft Technology. GM could expand On Star to other Manufacturer, making it the “Gold Standard” of automotive telematics.

  6. Alex Kajdi Says:

    This noise maker for electric cars is so simple to solve; just put a whistle type device into the grilles of the electric vehicle so that when it is in motion it emits an audible “Whistle Like” sound. If you want it to be more sophisticated then employ the vehicles horn as a “low level” noise maker while the vehicle is at idle and in motion.
    The sound would then decrease as the vehicle gradually increases in speed.

    Has GM solved the issue related to modulating the startup speed of the Volts on-board internal combustion engine, which is intended to recharge it’s batteries? I remember that as being an issue which was delayed the bringing to market of the final production version of the Volt.

  7. Alex Kajdi Says:

    I prefer the sound made by KITT from Knight Rider as the sound of choice for an electric vehicle. Everyone recognizes that sound!

  8. Chris Hail Says:

    Why not the robot from “Lost in Space”? “Warning, Warning! Danger Will Robinson”!

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM should quit making OnStar mandatory on so many of their cars. I probably paid at least $300 for the “standard” OnStar hardware on my Malibu, and like most people, I didn’t renew the service after the first year. Things like OnStar should be optional rather than standard on all except the most expensive cars.

  10. Salvador G. Says:

    JohnMc, it’s chrysler having this trouble with its suppliers because Marchionne wants new facelift on some cars BY next year to 2011??

    I could understand it better if Marchionne its trying to face off production of some car, but Chrysler its running out of cars to sell right now and how many cars its FIAT planning on bringing next year??

    Or, this will be a lot easier if we knew for how much high pre-determine number of cars parts is the contract with suppliers and Chrysler does not see a definitely way to reach that number and Marchionne its not stupid to pay suppliers for that.

    anywho, nice show JohnMc,
    see ya next week.

  11. Salvador G. Says:

    Oh, those anyone know– if it’s there anyway to find out how many blind/or deaf/blind and deaf people get hit by a car each year?? and how many were hit by car at high speed over a car a low speed???

  12. Alex Kovnat Says:

    >GM is showing its second-generation
    >hydrogen fuel cell system. It’s half
    >the size, over 200 pounds lighter
    >and uses fewer precious metals than
    >the previous system that’s currently
    >being demonstrated in the Chevy Equinox.

    The problem with hydrogen fuel cells is, hydrogen is not an easy fuel to transport and distribute. You need storage pressures of 5000, maybe even 10000 psi to get a decent range. Even if you could store hydrogen by adsorption without such high pressures, there is still the need to create a whole new distribution system.

    On the other hand, we are seeing interesting developments in fuel cells that use methanol for fuel. Methanol is easier to transport than hydrogen. Right now, CH3OH is being manufactured by the billions of gallons a year in big processing plants, and distributed by special ships to ports around the world.

    I have read stories about electric forklift trucks being converted to methanol fuel cells, which saves time because refuelling takes much less time than battery recharging. I would like to see what kind of results we would get with methanol fuel cell powered vehicles on our roads.

    We already have a distribution network for this chemical now, so at least for a little while transit and school buses (or other fleet vehicles) could use methanol fuel cell-electric drive without unduly straining available supplies.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Kudos to Ford for finally ending the painful relationship with Navistar.Maybe now it won’t be know as the “powerjoke)anymore.This brings me to price for F350,(or 250)for that matter:we’re looking at well over 50k.Not sure how that will sell anymore.Even a barebones work truck with the diesel option will probably be close to 50k.Yikes.

  14. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    GA That’s exactly why I’m seeing more and more people of average means buying used vehicles, whether truck or cars. Only the real well-off folks appear to be buying new (not counting the 4C4 buyers) If you’re a contractor, for example, and are struggling you’re not gonna blow $50k on any truck I don’t care how quiet and nice it may be.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    On the other hand, if you are a oontractor and are using your vehicle for business that vehicle can be depreciated on taxes as a business expense, so burden of cost can be relegated somewhat. Pedro, of course you are right when you say struggling contractors, but I think that they will sell a lot of heavy duty trucks to those that need them (and are not in such dire straits). The economy is showing some signs of life and recovery; let’s hope so anyway.

  16. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Well Chuck, I can only speak for my area, So. Florida, once a thriving real estate market where you had to wait your turn in order to find a good, reliable contractor to build or even improve your home, and now they’ll take anything available even hundreds of miles away. A lot of them tell me they’re hoping for a busy storm season so maybe then they can get some repair work coming to them. If you don’t have work, you’re not gonna be buying any new truck, that’s for sure, and that includes plumbers, electricians, even the guys who sell and deliver building material, the only construction work you see around here is road improvements.

  17. Buck Van Says:

    According to the Audi website, Audi means “hark”.

    http://www.audiusa.com/us/brand/en/about/main/history/Chronicle/Chronicle_1899-1914.html

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In the depressed town of Kokomo, Indiana, not all of the construction contractors seem to be struggling. One of them not only has a new $50K+ “work truck,” but he also has a Cadillac SRX, or whatever they call the Cadillac Corvette.

  19. Andrew Charles Says:

    There are actually three new engines for the Super Duty. Included in the preliminary specifications is a new, slightly larger version of the 6.8 L V10 available on larger models (not the F-250). As with the other new engines performance data has not been released.

  20. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “# Jeremiah B. Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    John,

    If I’m not mistaken, “Audi” technically means “Listen!” or “Hear!” as in a command or imperative sentence. “To hear” or “to listen” would technically be “Audire,” the infinitive form.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but having studied Latin, I can assure you that if indeed Audi AG name is from the Latin, then that is the correct translation.”

    John botched this up real bad. He said “Audi in english means…” In English, it means little. As John (not Mc) above correctly stated, it comes from the LATIN, and I believe in his far more detailed translation.

    Maybe John Mc will acknowledge the above next week and give John the Poster some cheapo knicknack or two from his basement.

  21. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “Two days ago Ford announced it sees sales in the American car market growing by 2 million units next year. Now, GM says it also sees sales growing, not quite as bullish as Ford, but still pretty good. The Associated Press reports that GM CEO Fritz Henderson says sales will grow by 1 million to 1.5 million units next year.”

    In the written version it is more clear to me, but when I heard the Audi-o version (LOL), I first understood that FORD sales alone would grow by 2 mill, which is of course ludicrous, since all of Ford sales are less than 2 mill these years.

    But even in the written version, you conveniently omit that they may be 1 or 2 million above WHAT? the Utterly DISMAL, DISASTROUS Sales of 2009, and you do not even give us an estimate of how big these will be? 10 mill? (11 Mill? If we are lucky., And a far, far cry from the 17 million A year we were getting when the US population was actually much LESS than the 310,000,000++ it is today!

  22. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “Pedro Fernandez Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    GA That’s exactly why I’m seeing more and more people of average means buying used vehicles, whether truck or cars.”

    WHile there are sure a ton pf poor people buying used by necessity, there is another (hopefully large) group that also buys used, and they are those that can’t stand the very unpleasant interaction with crooked salesmen, and their masters the dealers,

    and, more importantly, those that may be millionaires but are not fools, and buy used to save themselves $50,000 off a $100,000 S-class or SL-class or equivalent luxury(top luxury, not some lousy near-luxury) car!

    These are the econ literate, millionaires or not, that are not fools to pay for depreciation if they can save up to 90% of it if they buy used!

    If you only wait 7-8 years, you can buy an ‘as new” Titanic Utterly Luxurious car that sells for $100k+ new, for 10-20k only!

    And do NOT believe that it will collapse soon thereafter, these cars are made WELL and made to last. the Euros hold on to their cars far more than here, and demand quality!

  23. Jim Sachetti Says:

    There was a best-seller called “The millionaire next door” which interviewed many such people, and found out that they would drive not just used, but real CLUNKERS, beat up old trucks etc. I can believe this from my own experience and people I know.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jim wrote:
    “If you only wait 7-8 years, you can buy an ‘as new” Titanic Utterly Luxurious car that sells for $100k+ new, for 10-20k only!”

    The trouble is, if you buy a 7-8 year old expensive car that has been driven year-round in the road salt in Indiana or Michigan, it will be about half way in its progress toward being a rust bucket, just like a Chevy Impala that has been driven the same number of winters in the road salt.

  25. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Kit,

    Look at my post, you just quoted me too, I never suggested buying some POS like an Impala or even a cheapo Japanese car, i was specifically talking about ueber-luxury cars, not even the small and mid sized ones. These cost $100k new (no Impala costs more than,..,. 28k!) and depreciate like rocks (except in a few niche cases, 2-door exotics). These cars are built to last, have extended rust-proof protection, and, most importantly, have their engine compartments COVERED from below, while even cars such as the excellent Honda Accords have no protection there.

    These price drops, btw, are true not only in the Snowbelt but also in CA and the West, which further proves my point, just to a search at cars.com for any $100,000 sedan that is 7 years old or 10 and see many offered at rock-bottom prices.

    Unless you REALLY do a lot of miles and cannot afford the extra gas cost, such vehicles and their monumental SAFETY as well as performance and luxury are no-brainers.

  26. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    watching the Tom Stephens interview, I almost have to feel bad for this fellow,I’ve heard the same song and dance routine from just about every US car exec through the years. I remember Roger Smith back in the 80′s exclaiming that he would put up any GM product against any competitor, foreign or domestic and the GM entry would win in value and quality, this is the GM that at the time was building those world class vehicles Corsica and Cavalier, so please, Tom, consumers are not that stupid. It’s time to change the tune.

  27. Tom Tyson Says:

    John, I know you never read all these comments, and this will probably fall on deaf ears as well; however, in your segment on “Nissan’s EV Noise,” you stated, “make my sound a 16-cylinder radial at redline.” You’ll have a long wait, because radials didn’t come in 16-cylinder variants, and the B-17 that was shown was powered by a Curtis-Wright R1800 9-cylinder radial. There was no “red line,” as such, for a radial aircraft engine.

  28. Bob Andreocci Says:

    Just a thought. Why doesn’t GM continue the Pontiac G6 convertible as a Malibu. Would be nice to expand that line.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jim,
    According to KBB, the “private sale” value of a 2001 S430 with 100K miles is ~$15K. I agree that is a good price for a very nice car. The fact remains, though, that even at this bargain price, these cars are money sinks. For a start, they use premium gas and a lot of it. Then, routine maintenance is expensive. Also, if something breaks, which is not uncommon, it is REALLY expensive. Buying used is a great alternative to buying new for someone who has a fair amount of money to spend on cars, and wants a big Mercedes, BMW, or whatever. It is not a very smart option for someone who is on a budget and has $15K to spend on a car, and wants the total expense of owning the car to be fairly low.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I may not have been clear when I said
    “Buying used is a great alternative to buying new for someone who has a fair amount of money to spend on cars, and wants a big Mercedes, BMW, or whatever. It is not a very smart option for someone who is on a budget and has $15K to spend on a car, and wants the total expense of owning the car to be fairly low.”

    I meant that buying an 8 year old expensive European car in not a smart option for someone who is on a budget and has $15K to spend. A like-new one year old Accord would be a much better purchase for someone caring about total cost of ownership.

  31. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Pedro Fernandez Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    watching the Tom Stephens interview, I almost have to feel bad for this fellow,I’ve heard the same song and dance routine from just about every US car exec through the years”

    I watched the whole thing (better: suffered through it) and it really pained me that you and me pay for the million dollar salary of this utterlu clueless person, and, much worse, will pay $100 BILLION down the drain to keep these losers at GM and Chrysler alive for YEARS to come.

    The only positive thing is that it will be a much SMALLER and hopefully far less significant GM, so we eventually let it die with whatever dignity it has left.

    Going from the mightiest company in the world, with over 50% market share as late as in the 70s (!), to less than 20% now, and on to 10% soon!

    Losing HOME GAMES to the imports every year for 35 years, and blaming everybody but themselves for it!!!

  32. Jim Sachetti Says:

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    September 26th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Jim,
    According to KBB, the “private sale” value of a 2001 S430 with 100K miles is ~$15K. I agree that is a good price for a very nice car”

    I would far better prefer the 7 series equivalent, even tho it was the last year of its proiduction, and it would be available for much less than the Merc.

    “. The fact remains, though, that even at this bargain price, these cars are money sinks.”

    That is not a fact but a MYTH, Even if you do not know how to fix anything on these cars, they are simply MUCH, MUCH better made than the bargain basement Impalas and even Hondas, they have better materials in the Exhaust, for example, I know people owning 7 series and they never replaced the exhaust, while the Accord owners, with same stop-go driving needs, had to go to Midas every year for a new exhaust part! And that was a Honda, not some POS!

    ” For a start, they use premium gas”

    Now you are NOT being serious. First, you can put ANY gas in them, modern cars have electronics that ADJUST to any octane, and I have done it on occasion myself,

    ” and a lot of it.”

    NO, they do NOT use a lot if it. I did NOT specify SUVS and other auto illiterate large breadvans on stilts. CARS do NOT burn a lot, even large V8s easily get 25 MPG on the highway, now even more with the 7 speed and even 8 speed automatic.

    I ALSO said, if you do NOT do a lot of miles every year. If you DO, buy a Hybrid or a Jetta Diesel, depending on your needs.

    But I hate quibbling about $, how much is your LIFE worth? How much is th eMONUMENTAL safety inside an S class worth to you and your children? How much is your HOME worth? I know plenty of people whose home is worth $500,000 and whose cars have a trade in of even less than the above DIRT CHEAP $15k, some even $5k!

    Does the above make ANY sense to you? WHat is $ worth to you if you are gravely injured, or, worsem dead, in some death trap minivan from the 80s, or an econobox cobalt?

    ” Then, routine maintenance is expensive. ”

    That is TRIVIAL, an oil change a year for $90 fills even the largest V8 with a TON of expensive syubthetic oil, which allows the engine to last FOREVER with NO problems.

    “Also, if something breaks, which is not uncommon, it is REALLY expensive.”

    ANother MYTH. NOT true. The domestics may have cheap parts, but have you eveer owned an Accord? Its windshield is just as expensive as an S-class’s. And the Ultra-luxury cars Do NOT break a lot because they are COVERED under the engine, and you can not see the road when you open the hood, as in youir cheapo econboboxes, even Hondas.

    ” Buying used is a great alternative to buying new for someone who has a fair amount of money to spend on cars, and wants a big Mercedes, BMW, or whatever.”

    I repeat, you do NOT need a lot of $. If you had a lkot of $, you’d buy new unde rwarranty anyway.

    ” It is not a very smart option for someone who is on a budget and has $15K to spend on a car, and wants the total expense of owning the car to be fairly low.”

    You ar ejust repeating MYTHS, but I have EXPERIENCED realities. As for “not being very smart”, I know you are still stubbornly driving an obsolete, unsafe at any speed, small, vulnerable Minivan that does not even have the most elementary safety features, such as side airbags, that the CHEAPEST Hyundai has. If you cannot listen to reason, fine, go your way and good luck, but not insult us.

  33. Jim Sachetti Says:

    And on your clarification:

    “I meant that buying an 8 year old expensive European car in not a smart option for someone who is on a budget and has $15K to spend. A like-new one year old Accord would be a much better purchase for someone caring about total cost of ownership.”

    I am quite familiar with the total cost of ownership, and I happen to like the Sporty ccords better than the bland Camrys and Impalas, but

    1. A new Accord will set you back $25k, more for the V6, even with the most basic options. given its reputation for reliability, I strongly doubt you can find a ONE year Accord for $15k, unless it has really high miles. And you sure will not find one for $15k from those crooks the dealers and used car yards, i recommend taking a risk and buying from its owner.

    2. If you want to save $, you need to take advantage of DEPRECIATION. While cars depreciate the most during their first year, Reliable cars like the Accord hold their value well, and even aftger 5 years they do no tlose half their value. I know because I bought a 3.5 year Accord from its owner some years ago, a coupe manual 4 cyl its owner bought for exactly $15k, did 65k highway miles on it, and was selling it for much less than COnsumer Reports was recommending this model (for 10-12k, but he wasa selling it for $7.5k, and gave it to me for $6.5k cash). I bought it for less than 50% of its value, but Accordign to CR, it was supposed to lose only 20-33% (from 15k to 12k-10k)

    (I drove it for almost 15 yrs, but it had considerable rust and expensive repairs at the last 5 years, at which point I got rid of it and bought mu current ueber-sedan of which I had a FAR more rewarding AND cost-0effective experience.

    If you believe Japanese cars are so infinitely more reliable than European Ueber0luxury sedans, then you can afford to buy a WELL DEPRECIATED Accord, with 5-7 years and 100k miles (I PREFER high miles because it means EASY highway miles AND no odometer fraud!), for PEANUTS.

  34. Nick Stevens Says:

    Here is a very interesting news item that John may (and should anyway) tell you (with a 4 day delay) on Monday’s daily:

    Hyundai’s new flashy curvy SOnata, which, before the Genesis, was Hyundai’s Flagship sedan, will NOT be offered with any 6 cylinder engines, but only with 4s!!!!

    Even the current SOnata v6 is only 15% of Sonata Sales, so Hyundai correctly decided it was not worth it.

    These stats tell volumes about how the consumer has SOBERED from the SUV craze, the 400,000 of v8 explorers and other POS they bought every year, to not even be willing to buy a midsize sedan with a v6 any more!

  35. Nick Stevens Says:

    Needless to say, I applaud that move, today’s 4s are plenty powerful and, with turbo, comparable to the most powerful 6s of only a few years ago.

    The shift to smaller cars by millions of consumers will make life less expensive for ALL of us, since the gas prices will naturally be far lowER than they would OTHERWISE be, if these people kept buying v8 SUVs, or even v6 sedans!

  36. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Nick: to further expand on your last comment, I really think that carmakers should discontinue V12 engines, what’s the point of a V12? any decent V8 can handle any power requirements, if you must, you can always put a turbo on it. Perhaps Huyndai’s plan is to have buyers move up to the more expensive Genesis if they need more power, or they could just walk away from Hyundai, this is a risky move on their part.

  37. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Pedro Fernandez Says:
    September 28th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Nick: to further expand on your last comment, I really think that carmakers should discontinue V12 engines, what’s the point of a V12? any decent V8 can handle any power requirements, if you must, you can always put a turbo on it”

    Some makers like Mercedes offer both options, a V12 and a performance V8 with huge power both (500 and 600+ HP). I am not worried about these one bit, because these are niche segments with only handfuls of cars sold each year, they will never even raise your gas prices by one cent, let alone one dollar, while the millions of V8 Explorers and similar junk did, in a huge way.

    In addition, there must be a very different experience with the V12, even tho the v8 may have the same exact displacement. The legendary David Davis who was a very colorful guest in AAH recently, claimed that everybody should have the experience to drive a V12 vehicle once in his or her life. I am not seriously considering one, but I am not ruling it out. In the past, I did look at bargain-basement Merc 600 V12s, just for the total outrageous idea, and some colleague (do not know who) owns one, I see one in the parking lot, it is an 92-99 model, and I bet you can buy it today for $20k to $10k (!) depending on mileage and year.

  38. Nick Stevens Says:

    PS “hat’s the point of a V12″?

    What is the point of Ferrari, Lambo and Aston?

    Above all, what is the point of the 1,000 HP Veyron Bugatti with its W-16, and its close to $2 million a copy pricetag? (If you are bill Gates, $2 million is less than pocket change, though, think about it!)

    Such cars (as the Veyron) are not daily transports for the masses, they are exclusive one-off collectibles.

  39. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    I guess the same could be said for people that have to have their own jets. Wasting fuel, when they could just fly commercial. The point is that on one hand we’re trying to save resources and cut oil dependency, while the rich with all their money could give a damn about saving resources. I did meet one guy who bought a V12 Benz and he regrets it.

  40. Nick Stevens Says:

    # Pedro Fernandez Says:
    September 28th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    “I guess the same could be said for people that have to have their own jets. Wasting fuel, when they could just fly commercial. ”

    You did not seem to notice or understand my point.

    Again: The few hundred or thousand peoplke of the 7 billion people on the earth that have these luxuries DID NOT raiwe the price of your gas in 2008, WHILE the idiots that bought 400,000 Explorer V8s, which, BTW, may have WORSE MPG than a CAR with a V12, (not that it matters at all!), TOgether with the Chinese, were responsible for the VAST majority of the oil demand growth that resaulted in $147 oil in 2008!

    In addition, your claim that it is the same thing to fly commercial and be herded like CATTLE and wait for hours, VALUABLE time for these billionaires, instead of flying their own jets, is not serious!

    And, after all, why can’t a billionaire spend his $? Should he give them to you, Or to Raoul Castro????

    ” The point is that on one hand we’re trying to save resources and cut oil dependency, while the rich with all their money could give a damn about saving resources.”

    You STILL do not get it. These few are too few to make a dent, even if they wasted DOUBLE the oil they now waste”, it is the MILLIONS that used these V8 Explorers every year 15,000 or more miles each one, that gave you the $5 gas, in 2008, and if you still cannopt get this, I give up!!!

    ” I did meet one guy who bought a V12 Benz and he regrets it.”

    And you think this proves anything? Just because ONE guy regrets it? Tell it to David Davis anyway, not me. he is the one that suggests that every auto enthusiast should drive one, once in their lives.

  41. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    yeah, you know what? I just realized I’m just a stupid spick who doesn’t make any sense at all. I’ll just go back to picking tomatoes and keep my nose out of this intelligent and sophisticated forum.

  42. Nick Stevens Says:

    Jim Sachetti:

    While I agree with your car buying tips, I think you may be shooting yourself in the foot!

    Why? Because, the more people you convince to do as you do, this will only make the prices of used S-class and 7-series go way higher than they are now, eliminating much of the huge cost advantage.

    used car prices are already higher this year, thanks, among other reasons, to that idiotic failure, the cash for clunkers program, which destroyed a ton of perfectly good cars, and resulted in people buying 700,000 new cars with not a single TRADE-IN!

  43. Nick Stevens Says:

    Pedro:

    Spare me your irony and sarcasm.

    It is NOT MY fault if you stubbornly refuse to understand the simple point that the FEW, the VERY FEW people that are billionaires and have private jets, do NOT make gas any more expensive for you, because their consumption is TINY compared to the extra consumption of the MILLIONS, really tens of millions, of unneeded SUV v8 consumers, who drive these wasteful vehicles 15,000 miles a year.

    You ALSO have no answer to my point, why should these few not spend their $? What is the popint of becoming successful if they cannot spend and enjoy their $???

    In that case, let’s indeed become another Castro Cuba, only 30 TIMES worse, due to our far larger population!

  44. Jim Sachetti Says:

    Nick-good point!

  45. Jim Sachetti Says:

    I meant Nick’s point about shooting myself in the foot by extolling the advantages of buying depreciated supercars and thus driving their prices up as people appreciate the bargains they are.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jim S. wrote:
    “You ar ejust repeating MYTHS, but I have EXPERIENCED realities. As for “not being very smart”, I know you are still stubbornly driving an obsolete, unsafe at any speed, small, vulnerable Minivan that does not even have the most elementary safety features, such as side airbags, that the CHEAPEST Hyundai has. If you cannot listen to reason, fine, go your way and good luck, but not insult us.”

    I drive my old minivan a few miles a year for a specific purpose. I also ride motorcycles, so I’m obviously not as obsessed with safety as some people, though I do try to drive and ride as safely as possible. I always wear seat belts/helmet, and I rarely even use a cell phone while driving.

    I’m defenitely not of the mentality of wanting to drive a big vehicle so I can kill people in Cobalts and Civics while surviving myself. Also, there are a lot of 18 wheelers out there. A 7 series is not going to do much better than a Civic if you tangle with one of those.

    One last thought. Who is insulting whom, at least until this post?

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Jim wrote:
    “1. A new Accord will set you back $25k, more for the V6, even with the most basic options. given its reputation for reliability, I strongly doubt you can find a ONE year Accord for $15k, unless it has really high miles. And you sure will not find one for $15k from those crooks the dealers and used car yards, i recommend taking a risk and buying from its owner.”

    A 4 cylinder automatic 2008 Accord with 30K miles is valued at $16,400 for “private sale” on KBB. A six cylinder would obviously be higher, but a 4 cyl. Accord works very well.

  48. motorman Says:

    anyone else notice at the first shot thru the windshield how much the driver in the bridgestone ad looks like howard dean former liberal presidential candidate ???