AD #2772 – Aston Martin’s Vantage Rag Top; Detroit Automakers Ignore Total Costs; Nissan Steps Off A Cliff

February 13th, 2020 at 11:39am

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Runtime: 8:15

0:07 Nissan Steps Off A Cliff
0:47 Mercedes-Benz Has Carbon Dioxide Problems
1:42 Mazda Is Still Pushing Diesels
2:55 Lexus Takes Rear View Cameras to Europe
3:51 Hyundai Teases New i30/Elantra Gt
4:23 Aston Martin’s Vantage Rag Top
5:27 IIHS Announced Top Safety Pick Plus Winners
6:39 Detroit Automakers Ignore Total Costs

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44 Comments to “AD #2772 – Aston Martin’s Vantage Rag Top; Detroit Automakers Ignore Total Costs; Nissan Steps Off A Cliff”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    So Mazda, with a straight face, is asking… $40,000 for a cheap midsize sedan which already did very poorly, just because it stuck a diesel in it? And then journalists and auto pundits marvel why Mazda sales are tanking every year, even though they like its models?

    I cannot begin to explain how RIDICULOUS this is.

    Remember the Tesla Haters here, who had no intention of buying a Model 3 under any circumstances, but complained that Musk allegedly did not keep his word to price the Model 3 (FAR superior to any Mazda 6) at $35,000? And betrayed their economic illiteracy at the same time, since Musk made this promise years before the Model 3 went on sale, SO, if you account for inflation, the close to $37k base price IS INDEED $35k in $ of that year?

    Seriously? a Lousy Mazda 6 diesel more expensive than the Awesome Model 3?

    That’s a “reverse GM”, who priced its discontinued VOlt and its failed Bolt at twice the price of same size Cruzes and Sonics!!

  2. Larry D. Says:

    In other news

    Nissan, when criminal Mr Bean-GHOSN was its CEO, ruined itself by adopting a FOOLISH Goal to try to pass Honda in US sales, and to do that it deeply discounted and cheapened its models, as well as gave them away to daily rental fleets. Now the chickens come home to roost. Thanks, Carlos-Bean!

    Lexus and Cameras. I wish all cars DROP the side mirrors that waste energy and ruin aerodynamics, and replace them with efficient cameras than don’t stick out like Prince Charles’ ears!

    Aston Martin whatever, when I saw its side view I thought it was the new Mazda Miata. And this is NOT a compliment to the fools at Aston, just in case they did not get it.

    Finally, re AAH, who would have believed a year ago, when every Tesla hater here predicted its bankruptcy, that today’s AAH would find out if

    “Can General Motors finally catch up to Tesla with over the air updates and data processing?”

  3. Brett Cammack Says:

    With regular gasoline selling in Daytona right now for $2.29 a gallon, diesel Mazdas priced like that are going to sell like cow chips in the food court of the local shopping mall.

  4. Dave Says:

    Why a diesel now? Tesla every year not dropping price but adding more and more stuff, hardware and software,

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Those Mazda diesels sound like a very hard sell, at $4K extra in a CX-5, while getting barely better mpg than the gas version, but on more expensive fuel.

    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=41593&id=41041&id=41594&id=41044

    The real world mpg difference is probably greater than the EPA numbers indicate, but still.

  6. Drew Says:

    Exterior designers might like the camera OSRV mirrors, but I suspect interior designers loathe the added screens.

    I also suspect more camera mirrors will find contact will mailboxes, side garage door openings, etc. as drivers pay attention to the display screen more than the extended camera. It’ll go through an adaption process. Let’s hope replacements/repairs aren’t too expensive.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I see a lot of Nissans in my part of Florida, both cars and CUVs, but the paint is falling off of a lot of them, so they probably aren’t too new. The brands that seem to be showing up in larger numbers at my condo are Hyundai and Kia. There are two recent Kia Souls, just at my building with 35 units.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    7 my town is not typical of MI but lately I see as many Tesla’s as I was seeing Prii at their peak years. Last Sunday in 30 mins of driving I counted well over 12 of them, one X, one S and the rest Model 3s, the last ones bought new apparently, so people took the trouble to go to Cleveland 3 hours away to get them.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 I only see about 2 Teslas a week, and a few Priuses a day, even though you can buy Teslas about 1.5 hours away. Part of the reason is the same reason I wouldn’t consider a Tesla, no place to charge it at home, and probably 80% of residents in my immediate area would be in the same position. Still, I’m surprised I don’t see more of them in the areas with single family homes, where people would have a place to charge a car, and where they could probably easily afford even the priciest Tesla. This isn’t a university town, though.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKWM8twZnX4

    The case for the truly amazing Tesla 18 wheeler.

    100s of incremental innovations saving billions

    20%+ More economical than Diesel Trucks, and a Convoy of BEV trucks better than even rail?

    A detailed presentation.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 It probably is not a Silicon Valley town. The expensive Model S and X were giga-hits there, as well in areas like Palo Alto and Stanford. The son of a colleague, a retired CEO, who lived there, would joke about all his neighbors having a Range Rover and a Tesla S in each driveway, and he thought the Tesla S made them feel less guilty about their affluence, including using the Range Rover dirty heavy SUV.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 They’ll need some very special chargers, 2-2.5 megawatt or so to do that 400 mile charge in 30 minutes. It will be interesting to see how that gets done.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    12 One of the many advantages of the 18 wheeler BEV is that, unlike private autos, it can charge while it is unloading.

    Currently I believe chargers can do 150 miles in 15 mins or sth. Not a big leap to 400 in 30.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-first-delivery-date-jk-moving/

    I checked when they will start delivering and they are ahead of schedule, some will take delivery in Q3 and even Q2 of 2020. a few months away.

  15. Bishop Says:

    #10 Can you imagine what a nightmare this is to Daimler (who owns Freightliner, Detroit Diesel and Thomas Built buses)? No doubt they are experiencing serious heartburn over “Daimler’s Earnings are alarming” – now this?

    Although it maybe a little while before OTR (over the road / long haul) BEV semis will actually come become dominate due to range (fully laden), the so-called last-mile local delivery semis are perfect for implementation almost immediately – cleaning up the air in cities another major benefit.

    I suppose much will depend on what Tesla can turn out with Maxwell (batteries) Technologies – and how soon.

  16. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    I had a Civic with a side view camera on the passenger side mirror. It activated when you turned on the right turn indicator. During inclement weather that camera was hopeless. The view was always obscured by snow/rain/dirt/etc. I was constantly cleaning when the weather improved or I was no longer driving on a dirt road. The mirror above it always worked adequately in even the most difficult of inclement weather and road surfaces however.

    I hope that the OEMs proposing cameras for mirrors have figured out how to make them function properly in inclement weather and on dirt roads.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwPkts0u0co

    The face behind the predictions. Cathy Wood, a summa cum laude grad (no drunk punk she!) of USC, back in Nov 2019, before the excellent Q4 Tesla results were revealed in Jan 2020.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    15 Not just Daimler but also Volvo who makes a ton of 18 wheelers. But I am sure both are developing BEV versions, 100% sure about Volvo because there was a story about them yesterday or so.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Probably the 400 miles is a near-full charge of the ~1000 kWh battery, so charging in 1/2 hour would mean charging at ~2M watts, or 2000 amps at 1000 VDC, if that’s how they do it. Getting 150 miles of charge in 15 minutes would take close to the same charge rate. It will be interesting to see how they do this. Will they start with ~4000 amp draw from a 480 volt AC line, and rectify it for DC charging? This won’t be something you do using your home, or typical business electric feed.

  20. Bishop Says:

    Has anyone done any real testing of range “fully laden” towing w/ BEV vehicles? I certainly have not exhausted searches for same and have only seen a few. One of which is this one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjklex38lkQ

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 What about Paccar? I suspect they would be less “cutting edge” than most, though I could be wrong. Still, I’m not expecting BEVs to replace diesels for long haul, over-the-road trucks any time soon. For that to happen, there would need to be a comprehensive network of Super Duper chargers as mentioned in 19. I don’t know what voltage/current compromises they’d use, but the bottom line, is that there would need to be a charge rate of about 2 million watts.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 From an article I found:

    “A number of reviewers and owners have posted videos online about towing with the Tesla. US car review brand, Edmunds, towed a lightweight caravan (680kg) behind a Model X and found the range dropped by around half. On day one of their towing trip, the car was driven for just over five hours and spent more than three hours being charged. Even towing such a light caravan made 100 miles or so between charges a realistic maximum.”

    Here’s the article.

    https://www.practicalcaravan.com/blog/139156-towing-with-electric-cars

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I’ll check that video later when I’m home. The bottom line is that EVs will tow as well as ICE vehicles of similar weight and power, but range loss is a major issue for anything other than local trips.

  24. James Says:

    #23 Kit. TFLC on YouTube have been doing some test with their X towing and such that are worth watching as well. The X consumed a lot of energy towing.

  25. cwolf Says:

    I don’t care about all the accolades this one person has for tesla, but I am not ready to buy his hype. I spent the day around Bloomfield Hills and Orchard Lake, Mi. and was lucky to see 3 Tesla’s all day. Most were large SUVs and luxury ICEs.
    After reading about China EV sales, or should I say drastic decline in them, it is almost impossible for Tesla to sell the projected 500 M units in 2020. Yes, Impossible!!
    The number one seller, BAIC, at half the Tesla price has declined 55% year on year and others are none the better.
    Tesla may see gains here and there, but in China they are not facing headwinds but rather headed into a hurricane.
    Perhaps too big too fast will happen again.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    Listened to AAH yesterday but had to turn it off 5 mins into the show. The nice young man from GM, as usual, was saying what wonderful plans they have and how he cannot tell us anything about them. Utter waste of time.

    In sharp contrast, the second half of the show was excellent and very interesting.

    John estimated that the failure in launching the new Explorer cost Ford $800,000,000. Not quite a billion here and a billion there, but still very real money.

    I am curious how you can waste all that $. How did they waste them? Did they have to rework the poorly made breadvans? Where exactly did all that $ go?

    John in general hit the nail on the head in every topic they discussed, and I am in total agreement with his opinions and explanations.

    Gary’s comments were not bad, but also not that memorable.

    Which brings me to the third person on the show, Richard Truett, who I know from Autonews which is his day job, and where he is considered sort of some kind of engineering expert.

    Richard is a nice guy, perhaps too nice, but he got it wrong every step of the way.

    Where to start? He even advocated Ford to bring back not the well-selling Fusion or even the Focus, but the DISASTROUS Selling FIESTA, where Ford spent so many millions advertising it, and the dog never ate that dogfood. AND that was not a surprise either, far better rivals in this accursed subcompact segment have dismal sales, even the Honda Fit and the TOyota Yaris and all the rest of them underachievers.

    Richard’s rationale is that new cars are too expensive, so let’s offer tiny Fiesta for a few $k less and people will buy it.

    No they will not. They will much rather go buy a MUCH bigger, better car, for the same price or LESS than the unfortunate Fiesta, and it will be 1-2 years old and CPO. Read the news lately, Richard? This is exactly what they do.

    Richard is really incorrigible. We are all for the underdog (and in a sense Tesla is still the Underdog) but Richard specializes on the underdogs that don’t have a prayer. Watch AAH and you will see it for yourselves.

    Richard is the guy who, when asked to judge some school sports event with 10 students competing, he will show up with 11 Trophies.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 Who cares. I don’t care for ignorant fanatics mischaracterising my FACT BASED posts as “Hype”.

    You have no clue what Hype means, if you insist.

    I have not even given an OPTIMISTIC Scenario, such as this:

    In 10 years, assuming the 500,000 gigafactory size is optimal, Tesla will have the following around the world:

    1. USA, the existing one in Fremont, one in Texas and one bought for a song from the incompetent and bankrupt Detroit 3, total, 1,500,000 BEVs Every YEAR.

    2. Europe, the existing one in Berlin-Brandenburg, one in the UK, and one in Poland (cheaper labor), another 1,500,000 BEVs every year.

    3. CHINA, the 800 lb gorilla, the existing one in Shanghai, one in the Bejing-Tianjing area, one in Guangdong near HK, and one in Harbin-Dalian area, 2,000,000 BEVs a year (and this could still be higher!)

    4. India, one in Bangalore, 500,000 and one near Delhi, and one in Bombay (hell, this is supposed to be optimistic), 1,500,000 BEVs every year.

    TOtal, 6,500,000 BEVs every year.

    AND I have not even included affluent Japan, Canada, or Latin Am and Africa.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    26 I was SOOOO correct about the Fiesta! I just saw this article in AN Europe, FOrd is cutting production EVEN THere (UK).

    Richard Truett, when will you ever get a clue?

    https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/ford-cuts-fiesta-production-falling-uk-demand?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200214&utm_content=hero-image

  29. Larry D. Says:

    Oh, and PS Stupid Fisker-Karma, Lutz’s favorite loser, is laying off 60 workers. What a surprise. I bet those 60 are… 75% of its work force.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I watched the video, and it turned out about as I would expect. The range loss is huge, even with only a moderately large trailer. They might have been able to make the trip using the “superchargers,” barely, if they’d gone 50 or 55 instead of 75 mph, but at this point, no BEV is suitable for road trips towing, except maybe towing a very small pop-up made to tow with a motorcycle.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Fiesta is the 3rd best selling “subcompact” car in Europe, but had a big decline. While that market segment is very small in the US, it is the largest, but a declining segment in Europe.

    http://carsalesbase.com/european-sales-2019-subcompact-cars/#more-56283

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    John’s take on Genesis’ winning J. D. Power’s “dependability” award was interesting, and makes complete sense to me. John mentioned some people considering hard-to-use/hard-to-learn controls as “problems,” and having simple, intuitive controls is a strong point for Genesis. That, and the use of a naturally aspirated V6 rather than a turbo 4 are the main reasons a friend bought a G80 a year or two ago, over some other cars.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    32 All of John’s takes made a ton of sense, especially the one explaining Genesis’s alleged no 1 status at JD Power not being valid as its sample is ridiculously small and it does NOT imply Lexus is worse by 11 points, as JD shows.

  34. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I, also was not too impressed with AAH yesterday. I don’t know whether the panel asked the wrong questions or the special guest couldn’t convey what he came to AAH to do. If he was stifled by proprietary knowledge, then perhaps he shouldn’t have offered to appear. I wasn’t looking for any secrets, but the data provided left me at a loss to the reason for the interview. He couldn’t comment on future products; I get it, but he didn’t reveal much of the products that are already released. I have a Cadillac CT6 that has had over the air updates through the CUE/Onstar system but I am still in the dark of what exactly is available and what can and can not be tweaked using this electrical architecture. I was trying to pay attention but I sure didn’t ‘get-it’.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 My Camry gets “updates” every few weeks, but there is no detectable change in anything. I don’t have any paid service with it, so maybe something would change with paid subscriptions.

  36. Ukendoit Says:

    Trailer manufacturers may have to start getting in on the electric market by building their products with a spare battery array in their frames. This will help the range issue when towing and may make the trailers more stable (though heavier) having low center of gravity. This would also make them much more expensive and we may also need to revise the trailer connection. Such is the price of progress. It may be a niche market now, but a necessity in the future when most vehicles are electric. Whichever company comes out with this first, may do very well in the long run as the “modern” innovative leader of the trailer industry.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/02/qotd-which-niche-survives-at-mercedes-benz/

    I have been advocating that all automakers slash the number of models, getting rid of the most unprofitable ones, for a much healthier industry. I have been talking about recently unpopular segments such as midsize sedans and esp. subcompacts.

    Luxury makers also have a ridiculous number of models these days, and Merc probably the most of any of them. Add the shellacking they are taking from Tesla in all kinds of segments (S class to 3 series) and the need for rationalization becomes more obvious

    Candidates for the axe are the pretentious and overvalued CLS, the elegant S class coupe and Convertible (but even more expensive than the larger S class sedans), and more.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    I also expect next month that the Model Y goes on sale, the very popular CUV segment will be under pressure to eliminate the losers out of the many, many entries. And the more entries there are, the less profitable the segment will become (self-correcting the trend?)

  39. Brett Cammack Says:

    All of the discussion of BEV heavy trucks made me think of this:

    https://youtu.be/MbwjCUJLumg

  40. Bob Wilson Says:

    I was surprised that you’ all forgot the Sandy Munro thoughts on the new Tesla electrical bus that reduces the internal wiring:

    “Tesla has been addressing this issue by reducing the length of the wiring harnesses in its vehicles. Elon Musk recently said that Model S has about 3 kilometers of wiring harnesses, whereas Model 3 has only 1.5 kilometers. Using the new wiring architecture, Tesla hopes to bring that figure down to a mere 100 meters in the upcoming Model Y.”

    As a technical tip, the link is to a working “exploded” Tesla Model 3 wiring setup. It turns out the Model 3 has two, fully redundant control computers … I didn’t know either but unlike a notorious Boeing product, this improves vehicle ability to deal with a single point failure.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 Maybe Tesla should get into the trailer business. They could sell RV and utility trailers with batteries in them, which could be charged at the same time as the tow car, using a second “supercharger” connection. Then, the battery in the trailer could be tethered to the car to get normal range for road trips.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 I like it that some companies, like M-B, can get by with charging inflated prices, which enables them to make those low volume niche cars, like the S-Class coupe. I like seeing at least a little variety in the automotive landscape. With Daimler’s shrinking profit, though, it looks like even they may need to drop a lot of the interesting stuff, and build more CUVs for the semi-wealthy soccer moms.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    42 There is little variety when you have 25 mid-size sedans, but half of them look almost exactly alike. And the worst are the re-badged versions, that GM prospered by doing when it had 7 divisions, and Ford still does with the mechanically identical Lincolns.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 Yeah, several mid-size sedans, and about 3 times as many CUVs as sedans. There are no mid-size coupes, except the 3 “pony cars,” and a few very pricey ones from premium brands. Then, there are essentially no wagons. The only real wagon from a mainstream brand is the VW Golf Sportwagon.

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