AD #2677 – Could Strike Affect C8 Launch? Bikes & Scooters Could Greatly Reduce Traffic, New Ford Escape Impressions

September 17th, 2019 at 11:45am

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Listen to “AD #2677 – Could Strike Affect C8 Launch? Bikes and Scooters Could Greatly Reduce Traffic, New Ford Escape Impressions” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 7:34

0:07 Teamsters Won’t Deliver GM Vehicles to Dealers
0:32 Could Strike Affect C8 Corvette Launch
1:09 Bikes & Scooters Could Greatly Reduce Congestion
2:38 Night Vision for AVs
3:03 Subaru of America Hits 10 Million Sales
3:21 Volocopter Performs 1st European Urban Flight
3:52 New Ford Escape Details & Impressions
5:55 Others Made Bigger Sacrifices During GM Bankruptcy

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59 Comments to “AD #2677 – Could Strike Affect C8 Launch? Bikes & Scooters Could Greatly Reduce Traffic, New Ford Escape Impressions”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    Excellent commentary, John. I had mentioned the shareholders before, but you brought up the thousands of dealers who were forced to close down their stores and had to fire tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of employees! At the time it was a huge deal, but we have forgotten it 11 years later.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    Those who wait to get their C8 or other GM vehicle, it is actually a good opportunity to order it just as they like it, and not pick up one of the few on the lot as so many impatient shoppers do, and be stuck with interior and exterior colors and features you hate.

  3. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Corvette has not begun production of the C8 (at least not customer orders); maybe internal bigwigs C8′s but customers, no. Also, pretty much most of the orders for the first allocation of C8′s are going to be custom order (maybe some from dealers for stock but hopefully the customer customs orders will get first priority). As far as customer builds, they were scheduled to start sometime in December (for late January or February delivery). The strike may in-fact affect the timing of this though.

    John, thanks for your insight on the UAW and strike; I believe your spot-on. And believe the strikers are a bit on the greedy side (on this one). A solid offer was offered by GM; sad it didn’t get traction.

  4. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The Ford Escape has a nice interior. My only gripe is the pod like screen that looks like it was an add-on. I’ve griped before on others that have taken the same route; don’t like the screens sticking out.

    Bikes and scooters may help a little but I’m thinking the uptick of these vehicles will be from people that used mass transit or walked to begin with.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    @4 that is often the problem with the alternative forms of transportation, they don’t take cars off the roads- they take riders off the subways and buses.

  6. Mark Says:

    Great perspective at the end of the video John. Thank you!

  7. lambo2015 Says:

    On the scooter thing; While in Atlanta my hotel was about a mile or so from an attraction that three of us wanted to see (aquarium). Rather than move the car from the hotel and deal with parking we thought we would just ride those scooters as they were everywhere. The problem with them is after downloading the app and putting at least $20 credit to your account you can only turn on one scooter at a time. So we would have all had to download the append pay $20 to use them and I wasn’t willing to do that. However if I was in a city often I could see them being useful for short trips.

    I was going to say the same thing as Chuck about he Escape. Not sure why after over 10 years of touch screens and the ever growing use of monitors being used in the infotainment system, why Fords Escape looks like it was an aftermarket add-on. For Pete sake make it look like it belongs there Ford.

    As for the Strike at GM the union is saying they want compensated for what they gave up during the bankruptcy? Oh back when they were way over paid already and should have had their pay cut to be in-line with other manufacturers in the US like Toyota. No they want their already highest in the industry pay to be higher and meanwhile not have GM move jobs out of the country. So raise their fixed costs and not expect them to look for cheaper labor? GM has offered bonuses that are tied to profits and that seems to be about as fair as anyone could expect. These fools only pay $4% of their healthcare while the national average is like 30%. Have to say I support unions but I’m with GM on this one.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, the UAW people came out very well. I’m a salary retiree, and am getting my pension, but lost paid health care coverage for three years, and lost Medicare supplement I was promised. I had sold all of my GM stock. I got stock contributions with my 401k a number of years, but never kept it too long, thinking it good to separate my investments from my employment.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, distances of 1/2 to 1 mile are for walking, not scooters, and I’m 73 years old. Most people of working age should be able to walk a mile, and probably more easily, and safely than with stand-on scooters.

  10. lambo2015 Says:

    Germany’s Volocoptor although very cool. I don’t think its ever going to do much toward helping traffic congestion. This will be nothing more than an expensive way to travel within a city quickly for the very few. I can actually see many opportunists buying them for tourist attractions. Take a tour of the city from the sky or things like Grand Canyon or Hoover Dam. To make any kind of impact on traffic in cities like LA they would need thousands of these things flying around and you still need places to land and take off. AD it would be good to know more like expected cost per mile, noise, range, and are they fully AV or will a pilot need to be on board?

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 I live 1.5 mile from work, probably only 1 mile if I walk it and cut through, but I go to work very early and most of the year it is 100% dark, and in addition I always need to drive 4-5 miles at lunchtime or to go to the other campus for a seminar or committee meeting etc, so I end up driving, despite the fact I really like walking, especially in a densely wooded parkway and campus I have to go through.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    8 “.. good to separate my investments from my employment.”

    Many people do it, but it is only good if your employer sucks. If you worked at Apple or Microsoft or Google or even the top Biotech companies, and all the garden variety Silicon Valley success stories, you would miss a huge opportunity if you did not invest in them.

    I think the main reason people don’t invest where they work is that they know all the negatives about their company and are not impressed by it. Legendary fund manager Peter Lynch of Fidelity Magellan also noted that many people invest in things they have no clue about, and usually end up fleeced, and they don’t invest in the company they work.

    On the contrary, Lynch’s advice is, you buy a car you like, you also buy shares of its maker. You like a hotel, you buy its shares if publicly traded. In general, buy what you know.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    12 So translation, this would mean you should buy a ton of Toyota shares, judging from your recent Prii and Camry, and shares of any other products or services you were very satisfied with.

  14. Joe S Says:

    8, 12 Think ENRON.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    12, 13 con’d I guess Lynch’s advice is valid for normal times, because what happened at GM in 2008 was anything but normal.

    Especially the slaughtering of thousands of dealerships by GOVERNMENT Bureaucrats was highly irregular and terrible. Instead of letting the almighty markets work, you had these incompetent government types decide that there were too many GM dealers, and which thousands of them would get to die and which to live!!! and 100,000s of employees arbitrarily fired!

    That was sure a horror story, far worse than ANY concessions the fat cats of the UAW and their corrupt so-called leadership had to endure.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    14 Give me a break. I said if you work in a company AND YOU ADMIRE IT! NOT if it SUCKS. Can’t you read???

    IN ADDITION, the fault of many greedy and/or clueless ENRON employees, as I remember very well, is that they, AMAZINGLY, put ALL, I repeat ALL, their eggs in one basket, their entire 401ks were made up of ENRON Stock, which is as Econ (or, more accurately, Financially Illiterate as one can be!!!

  17. Larry D. Says:

    14 see 12 you mention without paying attention to what I say: “Many people do it, but it is only good if your employer sucks.”

    You need new glasses, “Joe”, in addition to a whole lot more brains. I STARTED my #12 comment with the above! It was not even HIDDEN in the middle!

  18. Kate Mcleod Says:

    Before we fall in love with bikes and scooters, try to walk in Amsterdam without being severely injured. Just sayin’.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12,13 If I worked for Apple or MS, I’d want part, but not nearly all of my savings/investment in the company. That would be even more true if I worked for Tesla. Apple has had near-death experiences.

    As I remember, we had to put half, but only half of our 401k contribution in GM stock, and maybe had to keep the stock for a period of time, but I don’t remember the details.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    18 Ι am a frequent visitor to Amsterdam, my youngest first cousin lives there with his wife and two kids and works as a biologist at the (Koniklik or Royal) Cancer Institute.

    There is a ton of bikes BUT people there, in contrast to the distracted geniuses here, PAY ATTENTION when they walk or drive.

    I remember in my first day in Hamburg back in 1988 I was walking carelessly on a red pavement and I was almost hit by a fast bike rider, a young kid who then turned his angry, red as a beet face at me and screamed “Das ist ein Radweg!!!” (this is a bike lane!)

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Regarding the walking, I was thinking more of the last mile after a train/bus ride, or from a hotel or work to lunch, etc. in an urban setting. Some places, like areas with heavy vehicle traffic and no sidewalk or road shoulder, it is not safe to walk.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.jeopardy.com/jbuzz/contestant-profiles/who-jason-zuffranieri

    a followup of our discussion a few days ago, the current J! champ is another great one, has amassed almost half a mill already, and yesterday, as he always does, he went into the final with far more than twice than his opponents. He had 34,400 and I only 22,200 playing along. But then came the final, European Authors, I felt confident and bet it all, and he blew it, while I easily got the clue. Felt like a giantslayer.

  23. JWH Says:

    #4 & 7 – Info screen in the Escape – I agree it looks like an add on although I don’t know if it pops up from the dash when ignition is energized or not. In addition, the Corvette C8 has an info screen that looks like an add on. Not sure if story is valid as I heard that interior designer forgot to include & it was added late in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the C8 info screen incorporated in the dash in a few year out freshening. While only my opinion, GM did a much nicer job on the C7 & Ford integrated their info screen nicely in the 2018 Fusion.

    Chuck – I’ve also heard same information as you about C8 production customer builds. Was slated to start next month with deliveries around the end of 2019.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    21 it’s quite safe in my case. Once I walked early in the morning, almost totally dark, and at the corner of my condo complex and the parkway, some guy talked to me and asked me for $ but he was not insistent or violent. Was probably a rare occasion. During daytime, it is quite safe. The reason I don;t do it is partly the inconvenience of needing the car during the workday, partly the comfort of driving the car from the closed garage in the winter instead of walking with 10 degrees F and, worse, wind.

  25. Joe G Says:

    Great information in regards to the past sacrifices relating to the UAW strike. I like the appearance of the Escape touchscreen, since having it in that location is easier to access and see. You asked for comments regarding improvements to the show and I would just ask that you increase the length of the broadcast to give more details if possible. Wonderfully done program that I look forward to each day.

  26. Joe S Says:

    14 Unless I don’t remember correctly they were forced to put all their 401 in enron at least to start with.

  27. WineGeek Says:

    John

    I have no pity for the Wall Street types that lost “everything” they were the ones who encouraged the poor management and poor products to increase their returns and put no pressure on the GM board or management to produce superior products that they were entirely capable of doing instead they let these clowns run wild and screw the company up totally.

    I do feel for the dealers and the workers that were screwed over by these Wall Street geniuses. Even though the pensions were saved for the workers.

    The short term thinking and lack of planning for a future that at times might be difficult to mollify investors is still a problem for US companies. In all of our industries let’s plan for 10 years not 10 minutes!

  28. Wine Geek Says:

    Ooops! One more thing that new Escape is UGLY!

  29. len simpson Says:

    Amazing that it’s SOP for financial institutions to go belly up periodically , robbing the shareholders , using their govt bailout money to do it all over again. I was born in the Great Depression , enjoyed my first nonchicken meat dish at age 16 while learning auto repair at my Dad’s place of Biz

  30. cwolf Says:

    I don’t disagree with John’s comments regarding sacrifices and the UAW, but they do lack clarity and perspective.
    Obama didn’t prioritize winners and losers. Seeing TARP money was not enough and still bleeding, Obama was advised that filing for chapter 11 would force GM, unions and shareholders to seek a resolution. As a result of these agreements, the UAW workers benefitted the most. The Center Automotive Research later concluded the bailout saved 1.2 M jobs and preserved $35B in tax revenues. Shareholder and dealer losses are ample,but do not compare with the numbers above.
    GM was bleeding more and more, thus requested to borrow more billions. To do so, GM was forced to liquidate assets which included any dealer where GM had an investment in.
    Finally, GM was losing money long before going bankrupt and stocks fell accordingly. Any smart investor knows when any stock quickly sinks below 10%, sell off, cut losses!!
    The UAW had no involvement in any of these other disasters other than being a part of it.

  31. cwolf Says:

    The looks of the Escape are so-so, yet there are tons of them on the road. They perform rather well and are trouble free. But there are so many, they don’t hold their value. On the bright side, they’ll last a long time past the payoff date.

  32. cwolf Says:

    Why did my posts suddenly vanish? Didn’t see any vulgarity.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    26 You seem to be under the mistaken impression that GM shareholders were “wall Street Types”. You are 100% WRONG. Most of them were nickel and dime poor retirees, widows and orphans. In fact, even if we, like myself, own no shares directly, many stupid mutual funds of ours sure did back then.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    29 Must be Russian interference

  35. lambo2015 Says:

    John; One thing I don’t understand was how the government was able to come in and confiscate family owned dealerships? I mean I understand pulling franchise but how did that give the government any right to shut down privately owned family businesses. As for the GM managers that lost their pensions. Well you ran a company into the ground so hard to feel sorry for them. Just as I don’t imagine too many tears will be shed for the folks on wall street.

  36. lambo2015 Says:

    30 You must live in an alternate universe where poor people are buying stocks and bonds and are always accompanied by widows and orphans. Maybe they’re just hard working middle Americans with a 401K portfolio that includes failing stocks. I know that’s not as dramatic though.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    32 don’t worry about the ‘folks on wall street’, they are dumb, but not as dumb as you think, to own GM shares personally after the company was on death watch for 900 days at “Thetruthaboutcars.com”.

    The shareholders, I repeat once more, were small retirees and widows and orphans and everybody with a 401k mutual fund!

  38. Larry D. Says:

    33 I TRIED. You really think WS types are imbeciles, to own GM Stock in 2008???? REALLY???
    This does not speak highly about your powers of perception.

    PS “If they are so dumb, how come they are rich?” goes both ways!

  39. GM Veteran Says:

    A few points of clarification. The dealerships identified by the gov’t in conjunction with the management of GM and Chrysler simply lost their franchises. The gov’t did not confiscate anything. But, if you no longer have a franchise then you can’t order new vehicles or parts. That means you are left with a very large used car lot. One where you have almost no chance of affording the overhead of a dealership.

    And, while unnecessary and sad, it was hundreds of dealerships, not thousands. I recall it being around 650 for GM and 300 for Chrysler. Closing those dealerships did not save money for the automakers and ironically gave them fewer customers to sell their cars to. It kind of points to the lack of intelligence and actual industry experience of the people on the bankruptcy oversight board, especially Mr. Steven Rattner.

  40. GM Veteran Says:

    I was one of those who thought they were smarter than many. I would not have bought GM stock for anything. I did however, buy GM bonds, as bonds are supposed to be secured assets. I went to a business school and took finance classes where we studied these things. However, the “pre-washed bankruptcy” the government undertook broke most of the rules of finance. And yes, the UAW refused several times to help, only offering assistance in the form of concessions at the very end once they had assurances from the government. The whining of the UAW members about the company helping them now to repay the help they gave the company back then really frosts my ass. Just ask any automotive supplier that has had to endure mandatory cost cuts to approved programs after the contract is awarded. They were helping the car companies stave off bankruptcy for many years while the UAW workers got raises and better benefits. I’m surprised the car companies build any vehicles in the U.S. any more.

  41. lambo2015 Says:

    35 I never said anything in reference to the intelligence of the WS types. I don’t think they are imbeciles at all. They have learned how to make lots and lots of money off other peoples hard work.
    Oh and being rich doesn’t coincide with intelligence. Otherwise the Kardashians, many pro athletes, and silver spoon children would not be worth Millions. Sometimes its just being dumb enough to take the risk like say a drug dealer.

  42. lambo2015 Says:

    That was for 38 not 35

  43. DonC Says:

    While UAW retirees did exceptionally well,I think the bondholders came out OK. They got stock in “NewCO GM” which turned out not to be a bad deal. Of course some sold out prematurely for pennies on the dollar and lost big. But for every loser there was a winner who bought for pennies on the dollar and made huge returns. Timing is everything. LOL

    Of course in a bankruptcy reorganization workers invariably do better than bondholders. The interests of bondholders are never aligned with management’s — good reason why one shouldn’t buy corporates — and bankruptcy is no different. You need customers, and you need workers, but you don’t really need bondholders or stock holders. Of course you also don’t need retirees, and that is one area where treatment was different than it would ordinarily be.

    35. The government didn’t pull anything. The reorganization plan pulled the franchises. Standard bankruptcy procedure. From a business perspective more should have been pulled but political pressures protected quite a number. (My favorite was Republican Jeb Hensarling, noted tool of Wall Street, claiming that since franchisees had made investments those investments needed to be protected, a novel take on how capitalism works). Stock holders of course go under because they are responsible for management failures.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A lot of the dealers that lost franchices became used car lots. A new, fancy Pontiac dealer I know of became a Buick/Cadillac/GMC store, and the old BCG place in the same town became an everything Chrysler store. I suspect most places that lost franchises were already marginal as new car dealers. At around the same time, Ford was ending franchises for some small town dealers.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Wouldn’t the funds have seen the writing on the wall, and gotten out of GM (and Delphi) before things were too bad?

  46. Terry Quinn Says:

    “The UAW was lucky. The Obama Administration gave it priority over all those other stakeholders and protected their pensions.” It should be remembered that Obama broke the laws that give bondholders first preference, but like his Chief of Staff said, nothing like a crisis to do what you want to do (or something like that). Obama just did it illegally. What a guy!

  47. Ctech Says:

    Not one dealer whose franchise rights were ended lost property, equipment, or anything else that they owned. They were not barred from selling other brands, nor from servicing vehicles. You can’t have this both ways, with the NADA saying that there’s no profit in selling new cars and also whining about losing your Pontiac dealership.

  48. Ctech Says:

    Perhaps if GM’S management made better decisions, the government would not have been forced to intervene.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    47 NADA is absolutely right. There IS NO profit in selling new cars, and it shows over 10 years of data I got. They also make much less $ from selling USED cars, than one would think. Most of their money they make, not surprisingly, from SERVICE.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-roadster-all-time-nurburgring-lap-record-elon-musk/

    Will the new $200k-$250k Roadster beat the all-time Nurburgring Record?

    And what can Porsche and Ferrari do now? Nothing, (apart from aping Tesla and making their own BEV roadsters) if Sir Isaac Newton rides in the passenger seat of the Tesla Roadster.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    40 Well said, I agree 100%.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 The record for production, street legal cars is 6:45, by a Lamborghini Aventador, 38 seconds quicker than Model S. The 38 seconds is a lot, but seems possible with the Roadster, since they only need to go 12.4 miles. With gasoline having about 100 times the engergy density of batteries, it would be tough for electric to compete with gas at racing speeds if they were going very far, even 5 laps.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    52 The Nurb is about 13 miles. Is this one lap?

  54. Larry D. Says:

    52 also, in the future they don’t need to carry the batteries, there could be electrified tracks.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 One lap is about 12.4 miles. I’m sure the “rules,” such as they are, require the vehicles to be self contained, and run on rubber tires on the paved course.

    Yeah, they could go really fast on electrified tracks, and for long distances. Don’t a lot of the fast trains in Europe and Asia work that way?

  56. Larry D. Says:

    55 some fast trains and a lot of slower local ones, in Metro (subway) systems, are electric.

  57. joe Says:

    Copied from line 17

    Larry D. Says:
    September 17th, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    14 see 12 you mention without paying attention to what I say: “Many people do it, but it is only good if your employer sucks.”

    You need new glasses, “Joe”, in addition to a whole lot more brains. I STARTED my #12 comment with the above! It was not even HIDDEN in the middle!

    A message to Larry below:

    Hi Larry, I’m the other joe (joe without a capitol letter)and I have a personal message for you.

    Larry, why are you so mean and derogatory? Do you think you can say anything you want by insulting anyone or everyone? Shape up or ship out! You ruining this forum!

  58. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/17/white-house-general-motors-strike-1735740

    Trump tries to stick his nose in the UAW negotiations, on the side of the UAW (MI and OH need those 48,000 votes)

  59. Barry Rector Says:

    John,

    Thanks for giving us your take on the UAW/GM negotiations. We hear from the politicians telling us of all the UAW sacrifices WITHOUT a word of others who lost everything! This is why I and so many others listen to you to get all the information. Thanks and keep up the great work!