AD #2736 – UAW Workers Approve FCA Contract; Taycan EPA Range Surprisingly Low; Importance of GM’s Big SUVs

December 12th, 2019 at 11:56am

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Listen to “AD #2736 – UAW Workers Approve FCA Contract; Taycan EPA Range Surprisingly Low; Importance of GM's Big SUVs” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:43

0:07 UAW Workers Approve New Contract with FCA
0:36 IIHS Makes it Harder to Earn Top Safety Award
1:09 Dan Ammann Bites the Hand That Feeds Him
1:52 Toyota’s North American CEO to Retire
3:18 Audi Unlocks More Range for e-tron
4:36 Porsche Taycan EPA Range Surprisingly Low
5:19 Ferrari Backtracks Stance on EVs
5:55 Baojun Shows Nameless NEV
6:23 Why GM’s Big SUVs Are So Important
7:30 Active Aero to Become More Common

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47 Comments to “AD #2736 – UAW Workers Approve FCA Contract; Taycan EPA Range Surprisingly Low; Importance of GM’s Big SUVs”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    Just because Porsche wants us to call its BEV the “Taycan Turbo” does not mean that we should encourage it.

    The name is even more ludicrous than “Kia Rio Grand Touring”, or Nissan Versa for that matter.


    Porsche, do you hear?

  2. Larry D. Says:

    For the 1 in 1000 who might care. The “employee of the month” awards season is on.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Sergio M. was right about engines being a major part of Ferrari DNA. Electric powertrains are already essentially a commodity. I don’t see an EV being a Ferrari, in any meaningful way, no matter how fast it is, or what it looks like.

    That said, I guess some people are willing to pay a lot for a name plate, like with Porsche. Thousands of people are making large deposits on the Taycan, and people pay major premiums for other Porsche models, like an extra $10 or more for a Cayenne over a similar Audi Q7. Maybe people will wait in line for a $300K electric Ferrari that won’t perform a lot better than a $70K Tesla 3 performance.

  4. Phred Says:

    Interesting to hear a “well heeled auto executive” lament that if he could only rid himself of the pesky auto drivers he could solve all our transportation problems.

    And the active aero idea for the common car also introduces the increased repair cost plus the cost to manufacture these “appliances”.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 What do you think about the name “turbotax,” or “Turbo Clean PC”? The word turbo is used rather loosely, for things not involving turbochargers.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    3 Ferrari already has hybrids, and it could go to plug-ins so its cars can circulate in downtown Euro Cities like Brussels without paying $250 every time they enter. One or more of those current hybrids are much more expensive than $300k.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean do you know if the IIHS has included any standardized tests for the many crash avoidance vehicles? It would be nice to see a third party testing of these systems and if they perform as intended.

    Dan Ammann says: “If we were inventing a new transportation system today, we would be crazy to set it up and run it as we currently do.”
    So Dan what’s your alternative solution?

    Ferrari will build an EV when enough consumers are begging for one. I doubt recharging time is the sticking point. Givens them time to develop something really good rather than rush to market like Porsche with a half baked EV. IMO

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I was talking about pure EVs, in regard to Ferrari. Hybrids fit very well with Ferrari. especially with F1 cars being hybrids. They can claim the the powertrains of their road cars are like their race cars.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    7 Obviously Dan peddles his Cruise Crap, which is costing GM billions and from which GM never saw a dime.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 Interesting that Wards would pick that powertrain as one of their “10 best,” given that it’s the reason I don’t own an Accord hybrid now. The Accord almost matches the Camry mpg, but the Camry system is smoother and more seamless, and yes, simpler.  I liked the Honda better than the Toyota in some other ways, including appearance, but from my perspective, Toyota has the better hybrid powertrain.

  11. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Larry – Ferrari does have a PHEV, the SF90 Stradale.

  12. Brett Cammack Says:

    I wonder if Ferrari has tried those plastic cards they give you for hotel room keys in the wheel spokes on the BEVs.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    11 Thanks. How much is it? (and don’t tell me if I have to ask, I cannot afford it. I can.)

  14. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lambo – I don’t think the IIHS has any tests for crash avoidance technology. I know the AAA has tested out Automatic Emergency Braking systems and Consumer Reports has tested Forward Collision Warning systems. The tests I’m thinking of would have been from several years ago.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    I looked it up and it’s about half a mill depending on the options. (the SF90 Stradale plug-in)

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:


    16 miles of electric range, for an estimated price of only $600,000.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    16 and “Since it’s a plug-in, the feds will credit $4126 off your taxes. We’ll repeat: The government will pay you to drive a Ferrari.”

  18. Larry D. Says:

    16 In most old cities in Old Europe, who are quite small in area, 16 miles electric range may get it off the hook.

  19. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Larry – Looks like it’s about $1 million bucks.

  20. Drew Says:

    The visceral engine/exhaust sound has defined the DNA of many vehicles – Ferrari, Corvette, Mustang to name a few. Such brands have to tip toe around electrification.

    But I would not put Porsche in that camp. I always found its engines/exhaust to sound more like a sewing machine, so electrification shouldn’t be such a risk to its DNA.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I’ve read that the next generation Cayman and Boxster will probably be BEV. I suspect the 911 will never go electric, or not any time soon, but the others could, if there is a major trend in that direction. No Porsches sound that great to me either, but to some people, they do.

  22. Rickw Says:

    The Baojun EV looks like Baojunk to me.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    19 Sean, the one that costs $ 1 mill is “LaFerrari” which is barely any better than the bargain basement Stradale 90, which goes, see the above comments, for a mere $0.5-0.6 mill.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    21 If Porsche calls its BEV “Turbo”, then I doubt if it is beneath them to install an old cassette player which will play ICE engine sounds when you put their BEV in Drive.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 They don’t call any versions of the current Cayman/Boxter “turbo,” even though all of them are turbocharged, except for a low volume one with a naturally aspirated six borrowed from some version of 911. Maybe they will call the top versions “turbo” after they go electric.

  26. Drew Says:

    I recall IIHS’s headlamp testing favors brighter LED headlamps and auto high beams. I love the improved visibility at night. BUT, I hate the blinding glare from oncoming vehicles with the same technology.

    As so often experienced, there are unintended consequences in “good intentions”… 1st gen passenger airbags that were too powerful for smaller stature occupants; no kids in fronts seats, but now at risk of being left in vehicle unintentionally; driver-assist technologies that are leading to less attentive drivers; and now, blinding headlights.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    Wim mentioned fleets of Tesla S taxis operating for some years in Amsterdam ( the X might be more utilitarian as an airport taxi) but I just saw a photo of a yellow Model 3 Taxi in Stockholm, Sweden.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    The so-called Trump “Tax Cut” did not result in lower Government Revenue, EVEN, as they correctly do in the bar graph, they compare apples to apples and express all amounts in constant 2019 Dollars.

    In fact, Govt Tax revenue jumped in 2018 and 2019, the years the tax ‘cut’ came into effect.

    The irresponsible and corrupt Congress, however, who is the body that holds the purse strings, spent even more, so the deficits widened. But NOT because of lack of Govt Revenue!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 The funny doors on the X might not be a good thing for taxi use, with all of those open/close cycles. Body-related areas are where the X does very poorly in CR’s reliability data.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Yes, the deficit is ballooning, not a good thing during what is generally a good economy. What spending has increased, other walls, and the military? Yeah, the wall, itself, is trivial, as a percent of the budget. Well, I guess a few billion are being paid to wealthy farmer/ land owners, to compensate for their lost export markets due to the trade war.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Wouldn’t the government have more revenue if companies like Amazon paid taxis? There seem to be a lot of loopholes that need to be plugged.

    It would seem that Congress, and Trump, hold the purse strings. I doubt that many veto-proof bills come out out of Congress.

  32. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Larry #23 – Thanks

  33. Larry D. Says:

    5 I think they are really silly, but as they do not refer to autos, they are not as RI DI CU LOUS or misleading as Porsche’s naming a BEV “turbo”.

    Because nobody will be confused or misinformed if one hears “Turbotax”, one understands that this is probably a really potent piece of software. Everybody knows software cannot possibly have a Turbocharger.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    31 it does not just ‘seem’, Congress does hold the purse strings by definition and per the Constitution and all that. Their spending of huge amounts on pork projects and handouts to their constituents, so they get reelected, is notorious and known to all.

    And esp the House, with their two-year election cycle, barely have time to get any work done, as they are constantly campaigning for reelection.

    And it gets worse when they are voted out of office and they join the lobbyists on K street at $1 mill a year, selling access and influence. Legalized Corruption.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23,32 It looks like the LaFerrari is $1.42M.

    I guess that F90 Stradale is really a bargain, at only $600K.

  36. Barry T Says:

    Someone needs to blast Dan Ammann for socks and underwear ownership! I’m sure no one should own anything but just live “on demand” with shared housing, etc?

    At least my personal car never drives empty anywhere looking for a passenger!

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 GM might be able to get part of their money back, and bail out of Cruise now, rather than throwing more money away on it.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    Most memorable quote from yesterday’s AAH

    “Anybody who is caught working on a mid-engine Corvette will be fired” — Bob Lutz

    The guy is more overrated than the late Lee Iacocca.

    “A mid-engine corvette does not exist” –the guest, couple years ago also on AAH. He explained it away by claiming that an actual car did not exist at the time.


    I think somebody should tell Dan Ammann that there is a huge segment of society which does not even need to show up to an office for work; including him. And yet companies like GM and cruise force them to do so every single day. These people show up to a GM office and proceed to get on the phone for hours on end or a computer for hours on end. That is the driver of the current “system” that he proposes should change.

    If you could work from home for those non-Manufacturing jobs, you would not have as many cars on the road. You probably wouldn’t have much need for his cruise service either, so there is that. It would however eradicate a significant portion of total emissions output if half the population was not forced to drive to a job location just to spend time on a phone and computer.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    And this. What do you make of it?

  41. Lambo2015 Says:

    Seems the cybertruck will certainly hurt the domestic big three trucks. This is one segment where the EV can compete in price. They will have no choice but to lower prices of the trucks and large SUVs. As for the tug-a-war bologni, funny that Musk stated Physics is law and everything else is a recomendation. Yet placed his 8000lb truck with AWD up against a 6000lb 2WD F-150. Yep he proved that physics rule. Now hitch both trucks up to a 8000lb trailer and drag race and that will show me the advantage of the EV. Tesla would most certainly win and not be subject to critisizm over 2wd vs 4wd vs heavier truck or tires used.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 All true, regarding efficiency of working at home, but a lot of people probably need the social aspect of a work place with other people around.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 It makes sense, as far as Cybertruck being “class 2,” if it has the payload to qualify. As far as it being a real replacement for an F-250 et al, it depends on how you want to go, without taking a long break.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    43 Sorry I’m an hour late boss. Had to stop for a refill on my way into work in my EV.
    Or; I cant come in today the power was out last night so my vehicle didn’t get charged.
    It will be interesting to see if something like the Cybertruck will be successful. Lots of great features and may even be cheaper than its ICE counterparts. It would be interesting to know how most class B trucks are used. I’m sure there is a mix of short and long runs but do the majority need range along with the towing capacity? I wonder how many F250s opt for the dual fuel tanks. Those people will probably not want the cybertruck when they probably get 400 mile ranges with dual tanks.

  45. Larry D. Says:

    44 Dual tanks should give them 900 miles range if they got the Diesel. I am close to 1/4th tank left and my range left is 247 miles. I have not put diesel in the tank since Oct 5, 2019. (I spent Nov in China tho).

    I don’t think the BEV truck will run out of juice commuting, unless they do 120 miles each way. The average commute is less than 20 miles one way

    I have no idea how well the Cybertruck will sell and am very curious to find out. They sure have lots of reservations, though, and the price is right.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 I see 250-350 series pickups used for towing back hoes to constriction sites, and similar use. If they are only used locally, an EV should work for that. Also, though, I see them used where range, and quick refueling would matter. Surprisingly to me, I recently saw an “HD” Ram pickup towing a trailer with two new Sprinter vans, with the “Prime” logo. They were, presumably, being delivered from the South Carolina factory, to somewhere south of me in Florida. An EV would not work well for that. A Cybertruck with a rated range of 500 miles, would probably have less then half that towing a heavy, draggy load, at 70-75 mph, and it would take a long time to charge the quite large battery in the tow truck.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 The “HD” pickups with the big diesels get lousy mileage when empty, no better than gas V8s, from the experience of two people I know who have them, one Chevy and one Ram. As I remember their reports, they both get about 14 mpg in mixed driving, empty. The owners bought them mainly for towing, and usually drive something else, except when they need the capability.

    Of course, the smaller diesels, like the new one in the Silverado, get much better mpg.