AD #2793 – Volkswagen Atlas Impressions; Bollinger Motors Unveils E-Chassis; FCA Keeps Plants Open

March 13th, 2020 at 11:48am

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Listen to “AD #2793 – Volkswagen Atlas Impressions; Bollinger Motors Unveils E-Chassis; FCA Keeps Plants Open” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:25

0:07 China Slowly Recovering
0:36 FCA Keeps Plants Open
1:09 Ford Cuts Dividend
1:58 IndyCar & NASCAR Will Race Without Fans
2:57 Bollinger Motors Unveils E-Chassis
3:47 VW Testing AR Goggles at U.S. Factory
4:28 Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection
5:21 Pollution from Tire Wear Worse Than Exhaust Emissions
6:26 Volkswagen Atlas Impressions

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68 Comments to “AD #2793 – Volkswagen Atlas Impressions; Bollinger Motors Unveils E-Chassis; FCA Keeps Plants Open”

  1. XA351GT Says:

    Well that’s great Chin is recovering . Now they can pay damages to the world for this crap. I refuse to look at my 401K because then I will be sick . Up side is we could reduce our National Debt by telling China they have to forgive all of our debt we owe them.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    More likely than forgiving the debt, is that China could demand immediate repayment of the debt, and nationalize all US-owned factories in China, if they don’t get repaid.

  3. WineGeek Says:

    Hey John pretty bad when you have to say the back up camera was the best part of the vehicle. for the Atlas which is an ugly vehicle. Doesn’t VW have any creative designers left?

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    Makes sense that F1 isn’t racing but IndyCar and ASSCAR will without fans. F1 has almost as many people in there garages as the other two series has fans.

  5. GM Veteran Says:

    Bloomberg and other business analysts have their opinion, and I have heard this one for at least the last year, but no cut yet. It wouldn’t be the first time the Ford family turns a deaf ear to financial analysts.

    I agree with all of your points on the VW Atlas. Its the boring appliance of crossovers. However, there is a lot of demand for boring, reliable appliance vehicles in America. Witness the sales of the Toyota Camry for the last 20 years!

    Have a great weekend everyone, and keep your distance!

  6. Bob Wilson Says:

    One should always read a ‘press release’ with a skeptical eye. The “Tire Wear”, the press release claims “5.8 grams per kilometer.” If that were just tires for a car driving 12,000 miles/year, that would be 61 lbs per tire and brakes per year (( 5.8 * (12000*1.6)) / 4) * 2.2 ~= 61.2 lbs per year. If just the tires, this would be more than the total weight a tire including the tread, case, sidewall, and rim mounting rubber.

    Reading the second source listed in the press release, the UK ‘model’ report, suggests the simplest methodology is weight: (1) weigh new tires and brake pads; (2) drive a known distance, and; (3) weigh the now worn tires and brake pads. The difference is how much the tires and brake pads contributed.

    As for road wear, weigh a new cabin filter, instrument the air flow from fan operation, and weigh a year later. This would be a much better way to sample the typical particulate load.

  7. MJB Says:

    #5 – “However, there is a lot of demand for boring, reliable appliance vehicles in America.”

    That’s because we have a lot of boring people… ;)

  8. Lambo2015 Says:

    So exhaust emissions are limited to 4.5 milligrams per Km yet tires emit 5.8 grams? That seems hard to believe but would also place ICE and BEV emissions a lot closer to each other than people think.

    Johns review of the Atlas summary; If you don’t care what you drive its a capable vehicle that will be as exciting as doing your taxes.
    Probably good it has nice resolution on the back-up camera so you can clearly see where you been as the trip forward isn’t going to be anything to remember.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3,5 I agree completely about the Atlas. I don’t like it at all. It was designed for the truck-obsessed US market, though, and I guess the design worked. Atlas is selling very well, for a VW in the US. I didn’t realize it was that pricey.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 You beat me to it. That 5.8 grams/km did not make sense at all, and the calculations bear it out. I came up with about the same thing you did, 232 pounds of “lost tire and brake” per 12K miles. If the entire tire and brake pads were vaporized into the air, it wouldn’t amount to anywhere close to 232 pounds, unless they were talking about 80,000 pound GVW tractor trailers. They might lose 200+ pounds of tire and brake weight in 12K miles, but the article said “popular family hatchback,” which sounds like a VW Golf.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    10 Kit didn’t you watch the video. They were doing a burnout the whole 12k miles. So they probably went through a few sets. :-)

  12. Bob Wilson Says:

    #11 – LOL! You’d think from the YouTube videos we all hang out at the drag strips.

    The only way 5.8 g/km would make sense is if all the road dust remains on the road (never gets washed away by the rain) OR they just drive on dirt and gravel roads.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I just read the transcript, which is what I usually do.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One advantage the Atlas has over some of the competition is that it uses regular gas. The Atlas is 15% thirstier than the MDX mentioned in the show, but the MDX needs premium gas that is 30% more than regular in my area.

  15. Brian Says:

    6, 8, 10: Relax everyone. It should be 5.8mg/km. So, not 232 lbs per 12K miles, 0.232 lbs. . . .

  16. Bob Wilson Says:

    #15 – I only found out after reading their secondary source, https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1907101151_20190709_Non_Exhaust_Emissions_typeset_Final.pdf.

    So the original Press Release might have been inaccurate when they claimed, “Press Release: Pollution From Tyre Wear 1,000 Times Worse Than Exhaust Emissions”

    My web link is to the original Press Release as posted in the transcript.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15. Yep, that makes more sense. The 5.8 grams/km did not make sense at all.

  18. merv Says:

    another great week of autoline thanks

  19. Larry D. Says:

    “Supertanker Prices Spike By Nearly 678% On Oil Market War And Storage Plays”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/gauravsharma/2020/03/12/supertanker-prices-spike-by-nearly-678-as-oil-price-tanks/#fc552577e39e

    Where the ACTION IS, or how to become a billionaire while others lose trillions in their 401k.

    While all the sissies worry about the ridiculous virus, which is tiny in comparison to the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, the flu every year, AND the swine flu which killed 15,000+ with nobody noticing, the oil ‘war’ between Russia and the Saudis is the 800 lb gorilla in the living room.

    Trump deserves HUGE KUDOS for seizing the opportunity of dirt-cheap oil prices to fill our 700,000,000 barrel STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE, AND ALL OTHER NATIONS SHOULD FOLLOW HIS LEAD, IF THEY HAVE EVEN ONE OUNCE OF BRAINS.

    Sorry for the caps but this is H U G E.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    “…Brokerages say VLCC rates on the lucrative Middle East to China route jumped to a ballpark figure of $175,000 per day on Thursday (March 12), up from an average rate ex-Singapore of $22,500 per day recorded on February 3; an uptick of nearly 678% on the month…”

    That careless ‘journalist’ at Forbes, if you read the article, put the wrong title on it. It was NOT the “prices” but the FREIGHT RATES (short term) of these tankers that DID go up 678%. BIG difference.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    Re the ATLAS, while I sure hate the fake wood inside, I have seen a red one up close at our parking lot and it looks GREAT. What is wrong with a no-nonsense conservative, inoffensive design? COmpare it to the MDX and its silly flares and non-functional twists and turns. You really like the MDX better?

    I also see a Kia Telluride parked next to me at work all the time. This has been a very successful SALES wise, AS WELL as in “employee of the month” awards, and is less expensive and BETTER looking than its Hyundai Palisades twin.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.wardsauto.com/industry-voices/cracking-code-how-sell-more-evs?NL=WAW-04&Issue=WAW-04_20200313_WAW-04_981&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPENT000009061197&utm_campaign=23907&utm_medium=email&elq2=43ef6f388abe45a6bac6365fc131c754&utm_source=28389

    In my Ward’s email, this article, I actually guessed it would be by John before I saw his name on it. Have not read it yet, but those who need to read it are the Bolt marketing people (and those of all the other non-Tesla BEV slow (dismally slow) sellers.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    22 Having read it, I sure do not fit in any of the categories, and there are MANY like me. We belong to the additional category of those who would buy a (non-compliance!) BEV for its BREATHTAKING PERFORMANCE.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 I’d come closest to the group the survey calls “Young Enthusiasts,” even though I am old. The thing I’m curious about, though, regards 85% of car buyers in the U.S. being home owners. I’m pretty sure I would be part of that 85%, since I own my condo, but I don’t have a place to charge cars at home. What percentage of that 85% are people like me? I suspect accurate date on that would be hard to find.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    Bollinger Motors. This crude truck is supposed to sell for $125,000.

    One cannot avoid the obvious comparison, to the equally sharp-angled, simple styled, cheap to make Cybertruck, which will sell for ONE THIRD or even LESS than that, of the above, at $39,000.

    And then you wonder why Bollinger will not have a prayer in hell? At best it will be a niche of a niche, before it goes belly up.

    Re the Ford stock. Is the dividend yield 6% based on its pitiful $9 a share price, or its current DISMAL $5 and change price?

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 BFD on the petroleum reserve. It is already 87% full. It looks like Trump had been selling some off since 2017, though.

    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=M_EP00_SAS_NUS_MBBL&f=M

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 The Ford dividend has been $.6, so it would be 6% with a stock price of $10.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    26 The reserve could be doubled to take advantage of the dirt cheap prices. Currently most of the oil is stored in abandoned salt mines.

    China has been building its own SPR for years now. I bet they will fill theirs too. The only problem is the huge freight rates, due to the huge demand for tankers it will cause.

    The International Energy Agency had recommended that all nations create their own SPRs back in the $150 a barrel 2008 short-lived ‘crisis’.

    700 million barrels is only 7 days of world oil consumption, BUT, because of the amazing increases in US oil production, we only need to import (at this time) 19.5-17.5 = a couple million barrels a day, so even the 700 mb SPR is enough for a whole year of US oil imports, in case of an embargo or (much less likely) $150 oil again.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    This site is updated all the time and shows a detailed status of the virus, and cases and deaths and recoveries by nation (and in China, detailed by province and even city). (Scroll down for more).

    On the whole planet, only 5k or so deaths, of whom 3k in China and 1266 in Italy.

    World minus China and Italy, only 2,500 deaths or so.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    29 One of the highest death rates should be the tiny, scenic nation of San Marino, only 33,000 total population, and they have 5 deaths from the virus already. (it’s an independent nation inside Italy I wanted to visit sometime)

  31. Larry D. Says:

    back to cars:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QmVo2hRgWQ

    Which (if any) Automakers can rival Tesla? A case by case investigation of all of them.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHzCo8MoohA

    The Tesla Y. Most important vehicle in decades?

    Model Y Deliveries are actually ahead of schedule ( the 100% opposite of the case of the Model 3)

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 Tesla did great planning with product introductions. They made their first mass market product a sedan, which generally doesn’t sell well, but Tesla could sell them because of the performance, appearance, charger network, and their cult status. Now, with the Model Y, they will have a hatchback, which people want, but under a different name, so Tesla will call it an SUV for marketing purposes.

    The Y will get a bunch of first-time EV buyers, but also, a number of Model 3 owners will buy them for the extra utility. Some will keep the 3s as an extra car, but I predict there will be a lot more Model 3s on the used market over the coming months, maybe running the price down.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have another prediction. Global car sales will be down by a lot more than the 4.5% mentioned yeasterday.

  35. cwolf Says:

    We all may have noticed gas prices going down, but the many I passed today were not busy at all. A lot of people must be staying home. Maybe prices will keep going down as a result.

  36. cwolf Says:

    And of all things, did you also notice stores are out of toilet paper? How often does one poop when your sick!

  37. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I was at Costco for fuel yesterday and the pumps were fairly busy; price: regular $1.99, premium 2.49. While pretty good, other stations in my area were even cheaper; cheapest I saw (about ten miles away was $1.91.

    And cwolf, I’m with you; what’s with the ‘run’ on T.P. (maybe the fear of being at home quarantine for two weeks)

    I did the numbers, again, for the death rate; just about 0.021% (twice as high as the regular flu 0.01 but not the predicted 0.1% (2400 cases, 52 deaths) I’m hoping it is our superior healthcare available to Americans.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    33 Tesla in a sense makes no sedans, the Model S and 3 are fastbacks-hatchbacks, but more importantly, they are high to awesome performance cars, and also 100% green, so they escape the ‘curse of the sedan’.

    I agree Tesla marketing and sequence of products made sense. The early roadster was a ‘proof of concept’ experiment, with plenty of bugs, then the S was a really great product I would have waited 2 years to sell because of the huge battery costs at the time (2012-3), the X was more successful than I thought it would be, and both S and X were trial runs for the all-important mass market vehicles, the 3, the Y and (based on its low price) maybe the Cybertruck.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    Saw a test of the wrangler diesel, it costs not $4 but $6k more than the gas so it makes little sense $ saving wise, but the EPA 29 Highway is clearly a low ball guess, as they got 28.5 in MIXED driving. The engine is made in Italy, I believe the engine maker had delivered some real turkeys to the US Navy (and maybe other branches) that were horribly unreliable. (remember steady-state availability data I saw in 2003 in Carderock, MD (Code 17, Reliability)

  40. Larry D. Says:

    37 why such a huge death and case rate in Italy? They have free health care of a probably good quality. Spain is now having some more cases, but still less than 200 deaths vs almost 1500 for Italy. Maybe Italy has a large percentage of really old people, due to their greater longevity.

    As for the run on TP and the stupid Sanitizers (as opposed to the much healthier washing with soap and hot water), I went shopping Fri instead of Sat afternoon to avoid the long lines, and they were longer in 2 of the 3 stores. At Kroger, I did buy the things I chose, at Aldi there were no long lines, but at Meijer it was insane, and the 12 items I got were not that urgent, so after asking some questions about the very long lines, I decided to cut my losses and LEAVE.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 The Model S is a hatchback. The Model 3 is a sedan.

    To me, there are two main mistakes with the Tesla products, the stupid doors on the X that can’t even be opened in many garages, and the “no controls” arrangement of the 3, and probably the Y. Overall, though, the products have been great, along with the sequence of introduction.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    41 The doors on the X are an example of my point above, the X was a trial run for the Y, and they did not make the Y doors like the impractical gullwings on the X.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 Italy has the 5th highest median age, with Monaco the highest, and Japan second. It seems to be hard to find lists of percentage of people over 80, etc.

    Italy probably has a lot of infections, but they also have a good system to confirm them, unlike some other places. Also, the deaths are officially attributed to the virus, which they aren’t if the person isn’t a confirmed case.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 There is no way to know the death rate yet, because most of the cases are “active.” If you take the US death numbers as a percent of deaths plus recovered, the fatality rate is 82.6%. We can hope that most of those “active” cases will end up being “recovered.”

  45. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    44. The US has so far 2,952 cases and only 50 or so deaths, of which 22 were all in one nursing home in WA. The TRUE death rate is much less than 2%.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    43 Monaco is an outlier, with a tiny and very wealthy and old population, it is almost 10 years above the world median.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    I don’t want to make any predictions, but logically most of any drops in sales now and next month will be recovered as PENT-UP demand when this silly craze and overreaction is over.

    The whole scare reminds me of an elephant being terrified of a tiny mouse, jumping on a chair and screaming its lungs out, like an old maid would react to same mouse. it is really PATHETIC.

    It also reminds me of somebody with a minor illness and the doctor perscribing a ton of medicines and a chemo on top, resulting in far more harm (not to the person but to the ECONOMY in real life) than if calmer minds have prevailed.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 As I explained in #44, we don’t know the true death rate, because most of the confirmed cases are still “active.” Taking the data for China alone, if all of the currently active cases recover, the death rate will be 3.9%.

    BTW, that is a great link, assuming it is accurate, and kept more-or-less up to date.

  49. cwolf Says:

    There is no pent up demand. Everyone admits this years sales will decline and will continue. The world is now facing a bear market, so people will not be in the mood to spend on high ticket items. After this is over and we become more confident, it will take at least 6 months for the economy to rebound in any measure. Keep an eye on the used car market.

  50. cwolf Says:

    Bars and restaurants have to close at 9 pm.
    Oh no….my watering hole has dried up!

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In my case “pent up demand” is usually buying something I don’t need. I’m unlikely to buy any cars in the near future, being substantially less wealthy than a month ago.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 Being a senior citizen, I normally go to dinner early, and am home from the bars and restaurants before 9:00, so I’ll be ok.

  53. cwolf Says:

    Kit they close at 9 tonight and can’t open until the end of the month

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I hope they don’t do that where I am, at least without a couple days’ warning. I eat breakfast and dinner out most of the time.

  55. cwolf Says:

    My sister who lives near Bremerton Wa. Said they have people wiping down gas pumps each time they are used.
    Grocers are hiring temp payed off people to do the normal jobs, but also to help people fill their lists, cash out then load the car, just to get them out faster.. once one of these helpers takes the cart back into the store, they let another customer in to shop. Clever system!

  56. Larry D. Says:

    48 and furthermore all your death rates are grossly exaggerated because they are NOT, as they should, a percentage of the TOTAL US population, but a percentage based on a MUCH smaller denominator. Same with MY rates.

    The CORRECT death rate SO FAR, is 50 in the US out of a population of 330,000,000. What’s the correct percentage? less than one in a MILLION.

    And this is what we KNOW. You are trying to make predictions and projections, and we know that those who look at crystal balls eat broken glass.

    I also will make a guess, that the VAST majority of those who died or will die of the virus, would ALSO have died, in a short amount of time, of other causes (flu or an infection) if the Coronavirus NEVER EXISTED. Because they have a weak immune system (defenses). Analyse that.

  57. Larry D. Says:

    49 Really? There is no pent up demand, utterly clueless one? There is ALWAYS Pent up demand. Where don’t you have your Economics or MBA degree from? Is it the same fly by night outfit that your wife went to, and she expects a BEV costing 20k and with a 200 MPGE? Or did YOU make up this LUDICROUS demand too?

  58. Larry D. Says:

    Bars and Restaurants closing will sure harm the local economy, but healthwise, given what DRIVEL they serve you, will sure be very beneficial for your health, if instead of these ‘establishments’, you learn to shop WISELY, read the LABELS, and eat HEALTHY.

  59. Larry D. Says:

    This whole thing reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s presidency when he was utterly paralyzed because the thugs in IRAN violated all international law and held our Iranian Embassy people hostage. It cost him his reelection, combined with the 2nd oil crisis and the really lousy economy and the 17% interest rates (I remember having 14% 4-year savings accounts well into the 80s).

    The same image of an old maid terrified of a LITTLE MOUSE. Shame.

  60. cwolf Says:

    Yes, I guess there is always pent up demand, if that includes “ a few.”and those who are desperate. Ya know, kinda like universities that hire “ clowns” out of desperation because there was a pent up demand.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56 The death rate is per infection, not per resident. Until we know the results of the confirmed cases, which are the vast majority in the US, we don’t have any idea what the death rates will be. I For China, which has the most data, there are 3217 deaths with 81.020 confirmed cases, which is a death rate of 3.97 per cent.

  62. Larry D. Says:

    I will give just ONE example why it is so hard to predict the future, even ONE year from now.

    How many, one year ago, would believe that, a year later, Ford stock would be at $5, down from $10 or whatever, and Tesla at $680 or so, up from $180??????

    NOBODY. Not even the wildest Tesla Optimists.

    So once more, with feeling:

    “Those who gaze in crystal balls eat broken glass”.

    Try to learn what has already happened, and avoid making predictions.

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    You’re welcome.

  63. Lambo2015 Says:

    60 :-) lol

  64. Larry D. Says:

    Various press releases warn that the ‘elderly’ are the most vulnerable group, especially IF their immune system is weak.

    First, what is the definition of “Elderly”?

    When the SS act was passed in the 30s, the average life expectancy was 65 or so.

    BUT given that “60 is the new 40″ or whatever, when I use the word, 80+ is what I have in mind

    More importantly, how do we know if our immune system is strong? Is there a test one can take? There are only indications.

  65. Bob Wilson Says:

    It is hard to buy any car, new or used, when your 401k becomes a 201k.

  66. Lambo2015 Says:

    Stock exchange is on hold now

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    65 …very true, and it makes those of us who could still afford to buy a car much less likely to, unless we actually need one.

  68. Brett Cammack Says:

    You mean that blowing my money on loose women and fast living was a better move than putting it in a 401K??

    :)