AD #2778 – 2020 Volkswagen Passat Review; China Car Sales Evaporate; Steer-By-Wire Just Around the Corner

February 21st, 2020 at 11:51am

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Runtime: 10:13

0:07 China Car Sales Evaporate
0:27 Geely Starts Selling Online
0:54 China Likely to Extend EV Subsidies
1:50 BMW On Track with CO2
2:43 Honda Civic Type R Makes Us Smile
3:42 Volvo Refreshes S90 & V90
4:19 FCA Looking for High School Designers
5:02 Consumer Reports Picks Safest Cars
6:04 Steer-By-Wire Just Around the Corner
7:53 2020 Volkswagen Passat Review

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64 Comments to “AD #2778 – 2020 Volkswagen Passat Review; China Car Sales Evaporate; Steer-By-Wire Just Around the Corner”

  1. XA351GT Says:

    So FCA is looking for High School designers? They have a way to go to beat tesla. They got their Cybertruck designer from grade school by the looks of it.

  2. Roger Says:

    When Steer By Wire suffers from an electrical glitch, and it will happen as any component in a vehicle, you will have no ability to steer whatsoever.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    Passat: In 2017 I rented one in Toronto, looked great from the outside, but the interior, despite all the options and upgrades, was cheap, and of course the auto transmission did not help any.

    The one you test drove looks better inside, and I like the exterior too, hate the stupid flares in Hyundais and cars of that sort.

    But the Elephant in the Living Room for VW, and the main reason its models have FAILED (yes, failed) in the US, is their DISMAL RELIABILITY. For 40 years, VW refuses to (or is incapable of) fixing this, and has suffered greatly for it.

  4. Brett Cammack Says:

    So nice to see a minute or so of my old stomping grounds out in Rosamond, California. Fond memories of youth.

    I believe there is a Federal law about the steering wheel must be physically connected to the steering mechanism of the vehicle.

    The steer-by-wire system is probably triple-redundant and will not allow the vehicle to move if any sanity checks fail.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    3 examples of the cheap interior of that 2016 or 17 Passat: try opening the sunroof. the thing felt like a cardboard or thin hard plastic cover, really unpleasant to the touch, and seemed brittle too.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    The Civic R for me, a repeat and very satisfied Honda owner for 41 car-years total, is unacceptable.

    Let me count the ways:

    FWD or AWD is unacceptable. For a car of this level of HP and price, it should be RWD, as all REAL cars should be.

    MPG is utterly unacceptable for such a tiny subcompact or compact.

    and a 4 cyl (I could care less how many turbos it has) is unacceptable in a $40k vehicle.

    I am sure it will be a hit with nerds on the West Coast that used to soup up their Civics. Now Honda is doing it for them and saves them time and trouble (but not $).

    The only thing I’d keep here is the 6 sp manual. In fact, I’d make it a 7 speed in hopes the lousy MPG is improved.

  7. Brett Cammack Says:

    3
    Must agree that contemporary vehicles seem to suffer from too much “surface excitement” as the Japanese call it. I find the Passat styling appealing for the same reasons you state.

    I suspect one issue with contemporary styling norms is that the manufacturers are being regulated into a fairly tight box with regard to the shape of the front of a vehicle because of European and American pedestrian safety laws. As a result, they are forced into more gaudy styling shenanigans to differentiate themselves from their competitors and they’ve all ratcheted it up to the point we see now.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    “But as Autoforecast Solutions reported, roughly 90% of all EV sales in China go to fleets. ”

    More than half the cars on the campus in Shanghai last Nov were plug-ins. Maybe most were hybrid plug-ins and fewer were BEVs, but still, the numerous chargers seemed busy 24/7.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    “volvo refreshes this and that”

    VOlvo continues to fail in the US market, with a PITIFUL 0.5-0.7% share, compared to 2.1-2.3% for each of Merc and BMW.

    If they are really serious, they should drop their ridiculous (for near-luxury 4-bangers going for close to $90k) prices in the US by 25% and then maybe they have a chance.

  10. Lex Says:

    VW needs to offer the Passat with AWD to be competitive in North America.

  11. XA351GT Says:

    My thoughts on VW are the styling is very bland much like Toyota was 5-10 years ago without the reliability . So what you end up with is a very boring , unreliable car. Not exactly a great combination for massive sales.

  12. Larry D. Says:

    CR picks the cars it wants to pick and leaves far better ones out. Even from the SAME Maker.

    Such as the Tesla Model S, the only Tesla I would care to buy, vs the inferior and much cheaper Model 3.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    So since China sales dropped 92% the first couple weeks in Feb, we can expect great sounding increases coming which will be confusing because in the over-all picture sales may still be dropping.

    Guess it turns out that not everyone in China wants an EV. 90% of EV sales are to fleets which are likely sitting idle in some parking lot. Wonder if Elon planned on that? Its crazy that government incentives would provide enough subsidies to make cars for the sake of making cars.

    Drive by wire; Makes sense and will provide another step toward autonomy. For those concerned like Roger (2) they have redundant systems in place just like the electronic gas pedals that have been in cars for over 15 years. The problem I have with it is driver feedback. So when he spoke of performance I tend to think of driver experience and this is another feature that will disconnect the driver from whats actually going on.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.michigandaily.com/section/administration/board-regents-announces-freeze-fossil-fuel-investments

    from our student newspaper. An utterly ridiculous decision. Also not clear what is and is not a “fossil fuel” company. Are the automakers? Their products are the biggest reason oil companies need to exist, even if idiots at American U’s boycott them.

    The Hypocrisy of these irrresponsible ( yet elected every 4 years by the entire popul of MI voters) so-called Regents, and the vocal demonstrators they are afraid of, is staggering.

    These are the same idiots that have banned alcohol from any event in which students are present (never mind the same students kill themselves by drinking 21 shots on their 21st birthday), but have NOT banned the accursed, sugar-filled Soft Drinks and COokies.

    I dare any nutritionist worthy of her salt to tell me that ONE beer (esp a low-alcohol American beer, which is ‘bloody close to water”) is less healthy than one Coke, one huge brownie or cookie, and all the salt-filled sandwiches and pizzas which are considered “lunch” instead of “JUNK” around here.

    IMHO, the Oil companies perform a far better service to society than the allegedly saintly “Ben and Jerry’s”, or “Pringles”, or “Domino’s Pizza”. And if you instinctively disagree, look them up and consult a serious Nutrition handbook.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 Some recent VWs including Golf and Passat, have ok reliability in CR’s surveys, though the Atlas CUV does not. Another problem VW has, like Mazda, is a sparse dealer network for a “mainstream” brand.

    6 The Civic R is very much a niche car, and from what I’ve read in Car and Driver, R & T, and others, it drives very impressively by any standards, not just for a front driver. I have no idea why they use that ridiculous spoiler, though. As far as $40K for a 4 cylinder car, there is one 4 cylinder car about $20K more than that which I’d consider, a Porsche Cayman, and people pay $60K+ for 4 cylinder E-Class sedans. The Cayman has about the same EPA numbers as the much roomier Civic R. Both would benefit from a taller top gear.

  16. Drew Says:

    CR moved to a segmentation scheme based on price, rather than vehicle configuration. They claim people are payment/price shoppers, but I still believe most vehicles must still satisfy some functional needs… people space, cargo space, payload, tow capacity, driving range, etc.

    CR has a major problem. They try to apply the same criteria to all classes of vehicles. As such, their recommendations rarely align with the values of some classes of vehicle buyers. Worse yet, the vehicle testing team is often overruled but the “board”… a classic push-pull between technical people and non-technical policy makers (I.e., lots of lawyers and social “re-engineers”).

  17. Larry D. Says:

    15 Not me. If there is something nobody can deny, I always make sure I get my money’s worth. Even the larger 4 cylinders in a Porsche or a Merc, I’d never buy one at any price. And my next car, if it is not a Model S, will be at least 8 and preferably a 12-cylinder, and could possibly cost HALF of what this silly Civic costs.

    Dealer Network is a valid weakness for VW, although it does not seem to hurt its Porsche and esp its Audi sales.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    In another CR ranking I saw yesterday, Porsche was no 1. But when I looked at the list, that failed loser Genesis was no 2, so I skipped the rest of it, as well as the article.

    Still, just to satisfy my curiosity, I will test drive a Genesis (hopefully the top, 90 model not those plebeian 70 or 80) and give you a detailed report.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW needs to again sell the Passat Wagon in the US. It should be available with a manual transmission, but does not need 4wd. People can buy trucks and CUVs if they want that.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 CR’s point scores, even the “road test” score is useful only to people who are very lazy in using the information they provide, but the charts, and even the written road test reports, are a lot more useful, for information about an individual’s priorities.

    17 Premium brands like Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, et. al. can get by with sparse dealer networks, but mainstream, or mainstream wannabe brands like VW and Mazda seem to need more dealers.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Are you talking about the brand satisfaction survey? In that one, Tesla was #1, Porsche #2, and Genesis #3. While a list like that is interesting, it is not very useful in a real way, especially for brands that have a lot of different models, some very good within their market segment, and some not.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    11 The Styling of the VW and especially the way it drives has NOTHING in common with the silly flares of the Japanese and the Koreans. You have obviously never driven a VW and even if you did, you probably did not appreciate it.

    VW styling is closest to the excellent Styling of Audis and other German cars.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    21 that must have been it. I guess Buick can be on top of that list, if the lil old ladies who buy it are 100% satified that it starts on Sunday morning and takes them to the church on time.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    21 BTW re yesterday’s comments, I doubt you want to rent an S class to see “what you’re missing” because I can tell in advance you will not appreciate it. You are better off (and will pay less) renting a 7 series, and driving it hard, high speed turns, and be impressed with its train-like secure handling, and I doubt the 7 will feel any different than the S on a long highway trip either.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    In other news:

    “Tesla Short Seller Analyst Gordon Johnson has lost his job at Vertical Group for being completely wrong about Tesla, costing his clients money, and him his reputation. Tesla has more than quadrupled since the lows, yet Gordon Johnson is still bearish on Elon Musk and on Tesla. Despite Model 3 ramp up in China, and Model Y in the pipeline, Johnson still believes that Tesla has a demand problem.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAbk6Y0R4qI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1N2QMraEHs4KqgdRtdotT9dMU8nlPS1vGqQnJjepkKv3VMjd5F4UJCs4Q

    Actually the Y is already here, on sale this March, in a week or two. The 500,000 Berlin Gigaplant is the one in the pipeline.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Actually, Buick was very low in the list.

    https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/car-brands-ranked-by-owner-satisfaction/

    Cascada, Encore, and Envision were all “below average” in owner satisfaction.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    6 Larry never say never! You may find driving a 4cyl vehicle enjoyable someday. I can remember feeling the same way about 6 cyl engines but they provide more than adequate power now. I like something that still has some power at 70mph. Once you turbo or tune a little engine to get that kind of power your getting the same gas mileage as a bigger engine. So to me why stress the crap out of a little engine to get the same performance as a bigger engine that doesn’t have to work as hard? Not to mention the lower RPMs less vibration and just smoother feeling of increased cylinders. I cant say that someday I wont be swayed to enjoy a 4cyl engine in a car. I know the one I had in my GSXR motorcycle was smooth powerful fast and reliable.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    26 Buick used to be quite high, even on Reliability, compared to other GM clones

    Maybe when they switched to Opel clones and Chinese made SUVs they went down

  29. Larry D. Says:

    25 watching this video now, If I had heard this shorter, I would go 100% conrtrary to his advice and would have actually bought Tesla shares. Not because he looks dumb (he resembles Brian Fellows, an SNL character played by Tracy Morgan, whom he also resembles), but because he falsely based his decision on past financials instead of future potential. USing this guys analysis, Amazon and Apple stocks should be worth $2.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Today’s 4 cylinder engines perform well, and are smooth. I remember my parents’ 1978 automatic Dodge Omni shaking at idle, and my did usually put it in neutral at red lights to stop the shaking. Things like that, and in most cases, vibration at higher speed and under load are not a factor with today’s 4 cylinder cars. Still, I’d have a hard time buying a $60K sedan with a 4 cylinder, even if it worked ok.

    28 Most of the current Buicks are at least ok in reliability, but a relatively high percentage of people wouldn’t buy the same car again, if they could do it over.

  31. merv Says:

    great show, enjoy the weekend

  32. Lambo2015 Says:

    30 Oh I owned a Chevy Cruze and the engine was quite adequate for local drives and anything under 60 mph. Typical turbo lag so the little 1.4L is a dog until the turbo starts force feeding it. But like I said around town it was fine but I did a lot of hwy driving and once at 70mph the engine didn’t have much left. A heavy foot to the floor garnered a slight increase in speed while the engine wound up and even after being dropped into passing gear you felt the same slight push forward. Not sure exact numbers but I’m guessing the 70 to 85 time was on par with 0 to 60 times.
    The car would get the advertised 38mpg at 55 mph but in real world driving like the interstates in Michigan where 80mph is the norm I got a whopping decreased 26mpg. So I sold the car within a year and bought one with a V6 and get 26 on the Hwy and can still pass at 75.

    Kit I owned a 1986 Omni America which had the 2.0L which was actually a fun car to drive. Its a basic box but back then the Corvette was slow and that thing was so light and was quicker than lots of bigger engine cars. Didn’t have the shaking you speak of but I know they were using Mitsubishi motors in some back then too.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 I’m surprised that the highway mileage of your Cruze was that low. It really took a big hit when going ~80. CR got 47 in their test at a constant speed of 65. I get ~44 with my Camry hybrid on long trips going 75-80 when traffic allows.

    My parents had the ’78 Omni with the VW 1.7, and then had an ’84 with the 2.2. As I remember, both shook some at idle with the automatic in gear, but were smooth at idle in neutral. Even the ’84 had a carburetor, but your ’86 would have had throttle body injection, which might have helped the idle under the light load of the torque converter. I had a ’79 with the manual which, of course, didn’t have the load through the torque converter.

  34. WineGeek Says:

    #2 Agreed

    The Passat has and continues to be UGLY! Why can’t VW higher a designer that has some design capability. Every time I look at a VW Atlas I think why would anyone think that looks good, now the Passat continues the UGLY streak 2 for 2

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 A friend had an Omni GLH Turbo which was a quick little car, for the time.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 I like the looks of the Passat better than my Camry, but with the Camry hybrid costing about the same, using barely over half as much gas, and being more reliable, I didn’t seriously consider the Passat. In CR’s tests, the Camry hybrid is also a little quicker than the 4 cylinder Passat, 7.8 vs 8.6 second 0-60 times.

    I don’t much like the looks of the Atlas. They tried too hard to make it look “tough” for my tastes, but I don’t buy any vehicles in that market.

  37. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 Ahh yes you are correct Kit mine was the 2.2L but without the turbo. It was a capable little car and was stick shift. I don’t remember if it was injected or not but by that time it probably was at least TBI.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 I’m pretty sure the ’86 Omni would have been tbi. My parents’ ’84 Omni had a carbutetor, but some 2.2s in the “premium” Dodge 400-600 and LeBaron were tbi. All of the turbo versions of those engines, both 2.2 and 2.5, like in my van, had port injection.

  39. cwolf Says:

    Can’t believe I agree with Larry on his Passat comment…. it’s a first!

    Putting Tesla stock aside, the down turn in China EV sales and fleet stock piling are just two more reasons why Tesla will not sell the projected 500K units this year. Last year most of its EVs sold were 3s from the Fremont plant and at a cost of its more profitable models. Now, those made in China will conversely effect the Fremont sales And if the saturation level has matured, the Y sales will diminish sales of all the others.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Everything in China is at a standstill, with the coronavirus quarantines, etc. Any predictions of recovery time are pure speculation.

  41. TERRENCE Says:

    Steer by wire takes Autonomy into a new ara of ethics questions. If the software determines it need to change lanes to avoid an accident, and it mows down someone on a motorcycle and kills him/her, how did the software make that determination?

  42. Joe C. Says:

    35,37,38 I bought a brand new 1985 Shelby Charger with the 2.2 turbo (port fuel injection) and still own it today. And it’s still a hoot to drive around town. At that time, it was the fastest car for my buck, faster than a Corvette.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 You’ve had it even longer than I’ve had my 2.5 turbo, 5-speed manual Caravan I bought new.

  44. Stephen Says:

    The passat is VWs attempt to compete with the Accord in the US. While saloon sales might have crashed in the US, there are still sales in Europe. What VW was never able to differ from Honda was that the Accord was always built better and VW was always going to find it hard to change loyal buyers. Ironically, the accord barely sells in Europe and has the same aged buyers issue.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 Do they sell Accord wagons/estates in Europe? When I was last in Europe, about 10 years ago, there were a lot of Passat wagons, it seemed like more than sedans/saloons.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    45 in fact my first car was a 1975 Passat Wagon (then called the Dashwer). Bought in 79 with only 65k miles. What a POS! (reliab wise) Drove great tho. Was unbelievably lightweight, 2,000 lbs or so.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    46 Dasher.

    PS no matter how good 4 cyls are and how much HP them make at a zillion RPM or at low RPM with a zillion turbos, it’s a no brainer. WHY pay $40k for this POS when you can buy a 500 HP W12 Bentley FLying Spur megaluxury, megapeformance sedan for even less???

  48. Larry D. Says:

    47 and a heavenly sounding V8 for peanuts? (S class or 7 series for $15k, 2007-2013 vintage)

  49. Larry D. Says:

    47, 48 also, if megaluxury is not your thing, you can still beat the living daylights of that juvenile Civic, and pay even less, for a brand new Model 3. It will run circles around it, and instead of 25 lousy MPG you will be getting 100 clean MPGe.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49 Actually, the cheapest Model 3 now available, the Standard Range Plus, for $39,990 plus add ons, basically ties the Civic Type R, 0-60, but the Type R is 29 mph faster, top speed. Of course, the Model 3 Performance is much quicker, but $17K pricier.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    50 No sporty FWD or even AWD Civic can really compete with the Model 3 in any variation. It just does not have the ultra-low center of gravity nor the instant acceleration, torque and power of the non-compliance BEV Model 3. It may compete with the Bolt and the Leaf, though. And I am saying this as a 100% fan of the Civic 5-sp 3-door hatch, which I have driven for 26 years.

  52. Larry D. Says:

    Motorweek had a test of the Taycan Turbo S or something. Not memorable. May listen to it again. used wishy-washy expressions such as “almost mind boggling”. So why do they even bother using this cliche, if they negate it from the get go? Just say it’s great or something.

    https://video.mpt.tv/video/2020-porsche-taycan-turbo-s-2020-toyota-camry-avalon-trd-kpzgoq/

    The Taycan will have a bargain basement version going for $114k, quite affordable to the Porsche crowd, but its performance will be far inferior to cheaper versions of the Model S that have much more interior and cargo room on top of that. That may make a dent on the few sales of top Model S versions. I don’t think Musk should lose any sleep.

    I still do not like the shape of the Taycan headlights, that look like they melt on both sides and drip down.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    Despite using the name Turbo where none is present, the Taycan does not try to fool the driver with fake ICE engine sounds.

    Instead, they amplify the whirring of the motor, which not all who test drove it liked it, some preferred that the car would just shut up and be silent.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51 Read some tests on the Civic Type-R. It is not just another Civic hatch. It would beat a “base” Model 3 in any objective measure of performance. Also, it was only 1.5 seconds slower around the Nürburgring than the Porsche Taycan that is, so far, the fastest street legal production electric car for that run.

    The Model 3 Performance would certainly beat the Type-R in a drag race, and on some road course, but it might not on twistier tracks, because of its overworked tires. I couldn’t find any comparison tests.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    Dropped by the local public library to return some dvds and saw some car mags

    R&T had nothing noteworthy

    C&D had a comparo where the hapless VOlvo 60 or sth could not even beat the miserable Alfa, and ended in 4th place (the 3 series took no 1)

    And it also had an article about this ludicrous vehicle, the 2+2 Plug-in 4 cylinder VOlvo in disguise, the “Polestar” (separate brand)

    This porker weighs as much as a Bentley three times its size, over 5,100 lbs, and goes for $156,000, as much as the new Acura NSX and N times as much as the C8 corvette.

    Can anybody tell me what is its purpose, before the Laws of Natrural Selection take over and it is humanely euthanized by the buyers?

    The only one I can think of is the “Greater Fool Theory”. The fools who pay $90k for a near-luxury VOlvo XC90 with a miserable 4 cylinder now can brag about what a bargain they got, since the stupid Polestar costs almost twice as much as their ridiculous vehicle.

    BTW an XC90 was in front of me at a light, its rear end looks terrible, mismatched lines, reminded me of the SUV by that bargain Renault maker in Romania, Dacia. (of course that SUV costs 1/4th to 1/5th what the stupid XC90 does)

  56. Larry D. Says:

    The other mag was a collectibles one and had an article on the 1942 Lincoln-Zephyr V12.

    The car did not look good from the outside, and had a rather tiny engine for that year for a V12, 302 ci or so.

    BUT the interior, and especially the DASH, which had ACRES of outstanding wood, a warm, rich brownish-red color, matched by the excellent leather that was NOT just on the seats but everywhere, doors etc, and not ONE square inch of plastic, just leather, metal and wood and glass all over the place, was incredible!

    The ONLY MODEL (not maker) today that can match that wood would be the $0.5 mill-$1.0 mill (with options) Rolls, NOT any rolls, the top of the line flagship Phantom VIII.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56 I would have ridden in a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr my aunt had, but I don’t remember it, because it was replaced with a 1949 Cadillac when I was 2 years old. The main thing I remember hearing about the Zephyr from my dad, was that it burned a lot of oil for the miles it had. I always thought those cars looked good, at least the ’37 I’ve seen pictures of, but I never heard much about the interior. The ’49 Cadillac was replaced with a 1957 Chrysler that end up being my first car.

    A lot changed in cars over those 20 years from 1937-57. The Lincoln had a 3-speed manual transmission, and its 267 CID flat head V12 had 110 horsepower. It probably took 20-25 seconds to get to 60 mph. The ’49 Cadillac had hydramatic, and a valve-in-head V8, and did 0-60 in about 15 seconds, from what I’ve read. It had no power steering, though, even though it probably weighed about 4000 pounds. The ’57 Chrysler had power steering and brakes, Torque Flight transmission, and also A/C and 6 way power seat. It did 0-60 in about 9-10 seconds. It was a mid-trim Saratoga with a 354 CID “polysphere” engine. The New Yorker with the 392 hemi would have significantly quicker.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just read a rather “mixed” review of the Porsche Taycan in the latest Road & Track. They liked the acceleration , handling, and build quality, but not the complexity-for-complexity’s-sake two speed transmission on the rear axle. You feel too much going on, and sometimes wait for it to make up its mind what to do. Also, they mentioned the dismal efficiency. I’m sure Porschephiles who already have a 911 and Cayenne will buy them, but for $200K, for the tested “Turbo S,” they should have done better.

  59. John H Says:

    “Steer-By-Wire Just Around the Corner”

    I see what you did there… ;-)

  60. Larry D. Says:

    58 If they have a Cayenne and a 911 they probably will be in no rush to get a Taycan, but if they just have a Cayenne, the Taycan will make them feel less guilty at cocktail parties with their neighbors. Sort of like back in 2013-17 in Palo Alto with the Range Rovers next to the Model Ss in each driveway.

  61. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.autonews.com/video/first-shift-rivian-eyes-direct-sales-colorado-other-states?utm_source=antv-first-shift&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200224&utm_content=hero-image

    Monkey see, monkey do. Now Rivian wants to sell direct too, and the bill allows it even for makers with existing dealer network

  62. Larry D. Says:

    In 61 also, mid-engine corvettes demand is 5 times the supply. Our local Chevy dealer, Lafontaine, has sold all 33 allotted to it (wonder if it asked for a hefty premium)

  63. Larry D. Says:

    Due to battery shortages, Audi has slowed or stopped e-tron production. With their battery gigafactories, Tesla is much less susceptible to these bottlenecks.

    Also,

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/jim-cramer-sees-biotech-stocks-as-refuge-in-coronavirus-driven-plunge.html

    Stocks plunge in early Monday trading, a move I always thought was long overdue in this stellar market, a healthy correction before it resumes its path. The plunge is attributed to coronavirus spreading outside China, so when the epidemic finally fizzles, the decline will reverse.

    Crazy Jim Cramer became a Tesla convert recently, but his take today is music to my ears as I have greatly profited from investing in biotech in my 401k since the mid-80s, using the Fidelity Select Biotech fund, and as I may have mentioned, the regular $100 or so contributions to that fund have grown so much (13.6% annually average over 34+ years), the accumulation is equal or higher than that of the regular $300 a month contributions to the general stock fund ( Magellan).

  64. Brett Cammack Says:

    62
    The C8 Corvette seems to be drawing considerable interest from owners of Ferraris and Lamborghinis. They don’t want to replace them with a C8, but you can’t really use an Italian exotic (for example) as your daily driver. (Someone called them Point “A” to Point “A” cars, you drive to enjoy, but don’t usually go anywhere in them.)

    So there is a lot of interest among owners of exotics for use as a “hooptee” exotic that didn’t cost them a fortune that they can drive cross-country on a whim and know that it can be serviced at any Chevy dealer around the country.

    It’s sort of interesting, and shrewd, move by Chevrolet. I wonder if it was intentional or just another blind pig finding an acorn by accident.