AD #2801 – Germany Will Protect Auto Companies; SEAT Introduces New Leon; U.S. Traffic Volume Falls 30%

March 25th, 2020 at 11:51am

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Runtime: 10:49

0:07 Two FCA Employees Die from Virus
0:37 Javits Center Converting into Hospital
1:10 Germany Will Protect Auto Companies
1:35 Ford Ramping Up Production of Medical Equipment
3:35 SEAT Introduces New Leon
4:13 U.S. Traffic Volume Falls 30%
4:55 New Design Cut for Spoiler Guards
5:56 Mercedes Celebrates Its First Bus
6:44 You Said It!
8:22 What Will Happen to New Vehicle Launches?
10:13 Skoda’s Simply Cleaver Bag Hook

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47 Comments to “AD #2801 – Germany Will Protect Auto Companies; SEAT Introduces New Leon; U.S. Traffic Volume Falls 30%”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    Although stock prices drop doesn’t all sales require a board approval? Assuming it’s not a hostile takeover. We should be concerned about the same thing happening here in the US

  2. Drew Says:

    I have seen that bag hook design before. I believe it was on a Ford product about 20-25 years ago, and recall it had little value as the bag would either swing (distractingly) during acell/decel or be soiled on the dirty/slushy floor.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve seen people use radio or heater fan knobs to hang small bags for trash, back when cars had knobs.

  4. cwolf Says:

    The bag hook would be one heck of a knee banger if it wasn’t retracted. Ouch!!!

  5. Phred Says:

    The dislike by designers of the customer preference is the prime example of the arrogance of designers for their focus on their “design” that has horrible functionslity. Think of all the “crappy appointmnts” that are now in cars that no customer s ever asked for. The huge dash defying flat screen with tiny icons. No driver likes this distracting requirement , they all complain, and the designer swoon over each other’s latest iteration. Look at the return of te single “knob” on the sound systems!!!!

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found from the local newspaper that the Kokomo, IN FCA employee who died from covid-19 was 60 YO, and had “underlying conditions.” They didn’t say who it was.

  7. malondro Says:

    In addition to favipiravir’s positive progress, a combination of two existing drugs, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, has also shown promise. In the chart below, we can see that by day five after the combination treatment, patients no longer tested positive for COVID-19. (chart did not copy).

    Hydroxychloroquine is an analog of chloroquine, which is an antimalarial drug that has received a lot of press over the last week as showing promise against COVID-19. Azithromycin is a common antibiotic used for bacterial infections.
    As we can see in the blue line above, hydroxychloroquine does show some level of efficacy against COVID-19, but the best results came from the combination of the two drugs.

    The companies should be obtaining the drugs required, hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin, to treat their employees immediately. And then provided to any that test positive.

  8. cwolf Says:

    7). The antibiotic cocktail mentioned has a lot of positive attributes that could be used with caution.
    Immediately treating employees without first reviewing each workers medical history could be dangerous. Also, although patients may not have tested positive after a 5 days it is not 100% certain these patients could not still be carriers, as unlikely as it may be. Perhaps it is better to use this cocktail for the more extreme cases starting out and until more is known.

  9. Dave Says:

    1918 Spanish flu many were treated with doses of Aspirin 8-15 grams per day then died from ASA overdose Oops what mistakes will be made with the current crisis especially by automotive people?

  10. Roger Blose Says:

    Our 1996 Mercury Mystique had a purse hook just like the one shown today. The Contours / Mystiques had many european design details at the time including aero windshield wiper arms and lighted interior door handles. They use to call these “surprise and delight” features versus today’s annoying and disgusting engineering, ( start /stop, heavy tinted rear windows, and more).

  11. Brett Cammack Says:


    Pretty certain I read that testing in China showed that hydroxychloroquine was not found effective against Covid-19.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 I remember our 1950 Plymouth having a light around the ignition switch, high tech for the time. As I remember, it was on with the parking lights. The headlight switch, at the left end of the dash, was very easy to find at night by feel. You turned it one position, and it was easy to see where the key goes. Then, you turn the light switch the next position for headlights.

  13. Ken Says:

    Slow news day? That Dodge spoiler guard story is old news and came out months ago.

  14. Ken Says:

    The auto plants that shut down, did they complete the vehicles that were already in progress on the assembly line, or are they still half complete? It would suck to have a vehicle on order, 90% built, then stuck on the plant floor for several weeks until production begins again. And what about the finished vehicles that were built and were awaiting transport to the dealers. Did that happen?

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 They are apparently delivering completed vehicles. Today, I drove from Cocoa Beach to Jax, and back, mostly on I-95, and saw a load of new Hondas, and a load of something, hidden in white covers. I couldn’t tell what those were.

  16. Bob Aubertin Says:

    Hello Roger,
    Off all the comments that I’ve read here on Autoline Daily, you have hit the “Nail ON The Head”. Today we have sensors for everything; such as lane departure,blind spot detection,parking radar detectors, but wait why do we need a 32″ Digital dash display.Now do you remember when all our instrumentation were Analog or mechanical.No check engine light because all we need to know Oil Pressure,Water Temperature,gas gauge and Voltage meter.

    Let’s reverse engineer back and focus our efforts today on what Car ‘N Truck buyers really need and reduce costs.Thanks!

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 I like digital speedometer and radio frequency readouts, but other than that, I like analog fine. On function for which a digital readout would be decidedly bad, is a tach for a manual transmission car.

  18. Bob Wilson Says:

    “Across the U.S. traffic volume fell 30% compared to typical daily travel on Thursday and Friday last week.”

    Locally we’ve found traffic is much faster, +15-20 mph, over the posted speed limit. With less traffic, the lead-footed have more opportunities. But we also had two recent, fatal pedestrian accidents. My expectation is law enforcement will soon be more strict especially because they have fewer cars to watch.

    Now 30% is about 10 times, the EV penetration of ~3%. With more EVs, gas prices could come down and stay down. Lower demand softens the gas prices.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For the first time ever, I saw a Tesla on the interstate going faster, rather than slower than most of the traffic. It was a white Model 3. It turned off a couple miles after I saw it, so was likely driving locally, charged at home, with plenty of reserve range. The other Teslas I’ve seen on I-95 were among the slowest cars on the road, probably making sure they could safely make it to the next supercharger on a road trip.

  20. Barry Rector Says:


    By you keeping the Autoline programs going, you’re helping me to keep my sanity through all this craziness! I can’t wait to see your email coming to my inbox telling me that there’s another program to watch! Please please keep up the great reporting!

  21. cwolf Says:

    BMW will be closing it’s SC plant starting Sunday.
    It’s about time.

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    #19 – “a Tesla on the interstate going faster” is in part a function of unoptimized, trip planning software. With rare exception, the trip planning software expects fewer, longer, maximum charge sessions. In practice, the fastest trip times come from: (1) arrive with minimum charge, 5-10 miles, and (2) charge just enough to reach the next, fast DC charger.

    The reason is the fastest Tesla charging occurs at the lowest state of charge. It rapidly reaches a peak and then trails down. Lots of high-speed, DC chargers shortens the charge stop time and speeds the block-to-block time. By happy accident, the charge rates also mean this is the least expensive cost per mile. It is the electric car version of a race car, pit stop.

  23. blueovalblood Says:

    What will happen to the vehicles that the two FCA employees help build? Will they (the vehicles) be checked for the virus?

  24. Bob Wilson Says:

    #19 – The web link is to a recent, Tesla benchmark chart. In just over 7 minutes, there was enough charge to reach Manchester TN. Round it up to 8 minutes, it would have cost $2.00 to drive 57 miles to Manchester TN. But I’d accidentally over charged while getting a bite of lunch.

    Adding gas is faster than charging but does not include biology breaks for food and restrooms. Unlike holding or monitoring the gas nozzle, charging is plug and forget. Regardless, EVs can be very affordable on the road.

  25. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The good looking ” wagons ” continue and still the take rate is small; pity. I’d be a player, especially the Buick, but the wife said no a year or two ago; pity.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    You printed the two (by far) best comments last. Maybe intentionally?

    The first runner up is:

    Dan B.
    “Maybe have the car companies make TOILET PAPER !!”

    (and sanitizer)

    And the New Miss America is

    Brian Murray
    “Recession OK, Depression NO WAY! ”

    The media should get a grip. It is utterly irresponsible some of the RUMORS they repeat in official situations, such as at the WH daily briefing.

    Rumors like “A million dead” or , even worse, “Another Great Depression”. They have NO CLUE what they are talking about, as ususal, but they keep faithfully they “if it bleeds it leads” doctrine, even if they make the bleeding themselves, with ketchup.

    If they did it even in WW II, let alone in the Civil War, FDR ( Or lincoln) would throw them in jail, and overseas they would chop their heads off.

    This will be a SHORT TERM disturbance, whether it takes three weeks OR three months. There is NOTHING fundamentally wrong with the economy, AND we were due for a correction or recession ALREADY, before the CV hit.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    Hey Angela (Merkel), why bother buying shares of your automakers? Don’t you see how well VOlvo did after it was bought by the Chinese Geely? And wait to see how well (hint: deep sarcasm) VOlvo’s new division in disguise, Polestar, will do! Its sales could even exceed the 2 units the Acura NSX 2.0 sells, and the 1 (or is it ZERO) units the BMW i8 sells. (or sold).

  28. Larry D. Says:

    On the serious side, I don’t know if anybody here except myself is studying this great updated map from Johns Hopkins. This morning Italy has over 7,000 and Spain over 4,000 dead, and, most importantly, the graph at the lower right (unfortunately it is for the whole world, no detailed ones for each country) shows we still are rising fast, I was hoping for a slowdown in a day or two.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    I have never noticed any Teslas going slower than the traffic. This is bizzarre. On the contrary, there used to be a ton of prius drivers who drove like they were in a funeral procession, obviously trying to hypermile. Fortunately this annoying visual has stopped maybe a decade ago. It was especially egregious when these JERKS were hypremiling on the LEFT Lane. These auto illiterates should try to do that in the Autobahn, where there are SERIOUS FINES if you use the left lane for ANYTHING BUT A PASSING LANE.

    Teslas are race cars in disguise, as Bob Wilson hinted. Get a grip. AND Tesla drivers are RARELY surprised about their remaining range, as we hav e seen in a ton of videos, they get ample warning AND they get full info on where they can find the next supercharger, which they would NEVER need to do on a weekday commuting, BTW. Their ranges are way too long for even the longest commutes.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Thanks. Interesting.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    26 More accurately, I meant to say the STOCK MARKET was due for a serious correction when it rose to these dizzying heights a few weeks ago, regardless of the CV later. Companies like Apple had RIDICULOUS valuations in the trillions, companies that just make way overpriced cellphones and PCs. Even more with companies like FACEBOOK who makes NOTHING.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 We can hope it’s a short term disturbance, but how long can the “free money” last to help people pay their bills? After this is over, how many restaurants will never reopen, leaving many hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions unemployed. How many retail stores will close permanently, as we get used to doing even more of our shopping on-line? Yeah, we were certainly due for a market correction, but this is much more.

    28 I’ve been following the Johns-Hopkins site, and also this one, which has some very informative graphs, like the third one which shows case trajectories.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 The main place I am on the interstate, except between Fl and IN twice a year, is a 320 mile round trip between Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville that I make every two months. On most of these trips, I see one or two Teslas, mostly Model S, always going slower than the bulk of the traffic. Maybe these people minimize their number of stops, rather than planning stops for “maximum efficiency” as Bob Wilson does.

    As far as Priuses, yesterday, I saw 3 or 4, most of them going pretty fast. I was going 80, probably about the median speed, and was passed by at least one Prius. It is mostly SUVs/CUVs that I see in the left lane going slower than the flow of traffic. There are a lot of pickup trucks that never leave the left lane, but most of them are going fast, taking advantage of the ridiculously cheap gas we have.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    32 Thanks, I bookmarked it and saved it on my Bookmarks toolbar as I did the JH earlier.

    I was looking for a graph of total cases by nation, to see when the curve slows down its ascent and is about to peak, which means it’s halfway over.

    In the JH Link, Israel has had a ton of cases, almost 3,000, but only 5 deaths. Similarly with Wetchester county in NY, 4,000 cases, only 3 deaths.

    The first to die in MI was about 50 but had 3 preexisting conditions.

    Newsom, the Gov of CA made a big deal of the fact that in his state, half the deaths are BELOW 50! callers on C-span complained that the beaches there are still very crowded full of reckless punks

    There is thinking to keep (after Easter) the few severely afflicted areas in quarantine but allow the economy to start again in all the rest of the states (maybe 40 of 50). Not sure in which group MI falls.

  35. cwolf Says:

    Yes the market was due for a correction, but the decline has hit historical records. This is not a short term thing. There is no proof the market has bottomed and may not be seen for another 3-4 months. At present buying is selective. Faith in the market will only occur when the fear factor subsides. Estimates indicate market rise maybe in a year. Some say, in 5 years up to 15% returns are possible.
    Anyone believing Trumps market projections are in for a sad awakening. The markets will speak for themselves.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    35 Don’t annoy me. I do not need to use ANYBODY ELSE’s predictions, and I am IN GENERAL against making predictions. Least of all I would ever believe YOUR own uninformed predictions.

    As I have told you 1000 times, “Those who gaze in crystal balls eat broken glass”.

    You never seemed to understand it and why.

    EVEN WORSE, you have no clue what “PENT UP” demand really is.

    You believe that if new car sales drop 45% in march, (this is NOT a prediction, it is an ASSUMPTION), or down by 500,000 units or so, these 500,000 cars will not be sold SOONER OR LATER but they will somehow disappear. They will not necessarily be GM and FORD vehicles, many will be Teslas, but those owners who need a new car WILL GET ONE.

    If not for any other reason, the average age of a car is 12+ years and repairs are NOT cheap in the USA, where the unskilled mechanics who NEVER FIX anything, but JUST REPLACE ten items (including the one that failed) and charge 120 an hour and your bill is in the 1000s. over in the old country, it is one third of that, as are Dental Titanium Implants, just as good or better than the ones your local thief denstist charges.

    Maybe you can tell your cheapskate buddy, senile and corrupt Joe Biden.

    I just can’t figure out how this multi-millionaire has to have those ill fitting false teeth. He charges 100,000++ per speech. He could have replaced ALL His rotten teeth with those excellent titanium implants by just giving ONE of his worthless 30 min speeches.

  37. cwolf Says:

    Mr. Trumpette, Boy,are you lost! I was commenting on the market, not cars in demand. The intent was to alert others, most already are aware, of your false remarks which may give someone false hopes. The market info I share comes from my advisors whom I have regular contact and from what is read. Everyone of them realizes that nothing like this has ever occurred in the history of the markets. However, they do have data and past trends to make reasonable evaluations. It is only a matter of time before the markets return to a path that has become understood as a normal sequence. Neither you or Trump can make anything better by not being honest.
    ……isn’t China calling you?

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I, for one, don’t pay much attention to the appearance of politicians’ teeth, but rather, what they say, like Trump’s daily lies, and deranged statements, like that people should pack the churches in two weeks.

    As far as car sales, if 20% of the population have a lot less money than they used to, fewer older cars will be junked because of having a problem that would cost a few hundred dollars to fix. People will get get more creative in how to keep cars running, as in Cuba where they keep 1950 Chevy’s going, by transplanting Russian tractor engines into them. Fewer new cars will be sold overall.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    33 My morning ride to the office had no traffic anyway, it is a divided parkway with a wide island in the middle for most of it, the limit is a real low 40, I used to go 60, but these days I am in no rush and go 50. The ride back used to have light traffic, after the CV the road is as empty at noon as at 7 AM, but I am still not speeding, not in the mood.

    The many Teslas I see around here flow with the traffic, not slow, not too fast. I never saw them do jackrabbit starts, which would leave all of us ICEs in the dust. Maybe their buyers in this area are greenie enviro types and not enthusiasts.

    There is still a day and a half to go but this is shaping into a fantastic week for stocks, today so far they are up another 4-5% (!) and yesterday, while the Nasdaq was down a bit and the other indices up, when i checked my Fidelity portfolio summary, even yesterday was a great day. I was especially pleased to see my two municipal bond funds (which go up when stocks go down) have a huge unexplained jump (a while ago they had a just as unexplained decline one day).

  40. Larry D. Says:

    BTW 2020 is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, possibly the greatest music composer EVER, but I bet the CV will affect the festivities. Fortunately we have Youtube, and if you appreciate Great Music, you can listen to any of his many works and enjoy, 100% free.

  41. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I am certainly not the ‘forum police’ but it’s getting a little political here lately, and if you want to sum some of this up: there is plenty of blame on both sides of the aisle. JSNS (just saying, nuff said)

  42. Larry D. Says:

    41 and not just at the two parties, but at the millions of irresponsible and stupid youths who violate the CV guidelines. CA’s deaths, half of them are people less than 50.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    While waiting for the new show at noon ( a first for me in weeks) I am listening to NY Gov Cuomo’s updates. Usually he is very good but today he is a bit verbose. Overall, his presentation is much better than the daily update from the WH. Specifically, VP Pence daily waves this sheet of paper with the guidelines, which is an empty gesture since nobody can read them the way he shows the page. Cuomo instead comes PREPARED with a detailed POWERPOINT which has easily visible bullets as to what people should do.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 I see very few Teslas on a day-to-day basis, I suspect for the same reason I wouldn’t consider one at this point. Probably more than 80% of the people in my immediate area are in condos and apartments, with no home charging available. There are no superchargers nearby either, though one is “coming soon,” but about 12-15 miles away, near I-95, but not very convenient to go to from where I am.

    41 Sorry about that. I’ll try to refrain.

  45. Bob Wilson Says:

    FYI, some of the early Model S were somewhat lethargic in their fast DC charging. For example, using 50 kW, CHAdeMO in the days before early, 120kW, Superchargers. It has gotten much better.

  46. Al C Says:

    enough political content that has nothing to this web site, The pissing contest must stop!!!

  47. Adam Says:

    Auto Companies making TP?
    Funniest thing I ever heard! That was a good one, lol.

    Seriously, if successful in the hospital equipment industry;
    seeing a FORD logo for example, as car companies begin to brand their Hospital products, that would be cool.