AD #2802 – Ford’s Credit Rating Downgraded; Toyota’s Product Plans Leak Out; VW Electrifies Old Bus

March 26th, 2020 at 12:03pm

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Listen to “AD #2802 – Ford's Credit Rating Downgraded; Toyota's Product Plans Leak Out; VW Electrifies Old Bus” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:17

0:07 Ford’s Credit Rating Downgraded
0:54 GM’s Could Get Downgraded Too
1:07 Large Dealer Group Backs Out of Deal
1:41 Honda’s Australia Dealers Mad
2:34 Automakers Want to Re-Open ASAP
4:06 C8 Corvette Origin Story
5:29 Toyota’s Product Plans Leak Out
6:50 Toyota Using AI to Understand Humans
7:26 Volkswagen Electrifies Old Bus
8:06 Possible Easy Way to Make Face Masks
8:47 Mercedes Tests First Electric Minivan in the Snow
9:19 How Hyundai Increased Elantra’s MPG with a Hybrid
10:26 How to Spot a Meth Lab?

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24 Comments to “AD #2802 – Ford’s Credit Rating Downgraded; Toyota’s Product Plans Leak Out; VW Electrifies Old Bus”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    not much of interest today, but the VW van range, 125 (is it equivalent to less than 100 miles US rating?) is pitiful. Maybe they don’t need 300 and 400 mile ranges in Europe, where they use BEVs in small urban areas and do very few miles per day, but this thing is DOA if VW foolishly exports to the US market, and does not double the battery and range.

  2. rick Says:

    really surprised me to see toyota go with a V6 as top engine for the tundra. personally i’m surprised more manfacturers are’nt going with inline 5 and 6 cylinder engines. maybe only bmw and mercedes have cracked the code on the power of an inline design.

  3. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Giving the owner of the Veyron the benefit of the doubt, I capture the picture, “Putting your priorities straight”. (yeah, I like that one better)

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A 455 hp turbo V6 is rumored to be the “top engine” in the new Toyota pickup, but a non-turbo V8 of 300-some hp might also be available. It probably should be, if they want to sell the things.

    2 Inline sixes are great, but for some reason, only BMW and M-B use them, except for a few diesels. They are long for their displacement, but would easily fit in most current longitudinal engine vehicles on the market. Ram uses that huge inline 6 Cummins diesel.


    I wonder if VW is using Zelectric in California to do the conversions. They have been doing VW/Porsche conversions for years and the pricing seems very similar.

  6. Sean McElroy Says:

    @MERKUR DRIVER – It looks like VW is using these people –

  7. Bob Wilson Says:

    The only dealers ‘moving iron’ have a solid, Internet sales presence. Perhaps, some of these lessons will be remembered after we get back to closer to normal.

  8. XA351GT Says:

    That Veyron pic has been around for years. When I read the title how to spot a Meth lab I thought it was going to be a late 90s Camaro with Hillary bumper stickers ,because if that doesn’t prove you’re on drugs then you should be.

  9. Brett Cammack Says:


    It is not a serious mass-market vehicle. It is a boutique vehicle for someone with a serious nostalgia issue and too much money.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 The ~100 mile range is similar to the electric VW beetles from Zelectric mentioned in #5. Yep, expensive fun machines, for those who want to seriously change the character of their nostalgia machine. With Zelectric, the modification of a Beetle starts at $62K, and you need to have a car in excellent condition, except for the engine, and those now go for $15-18K, and the convertibles, and older ones, substantially more.

  11. Brett Cammack Says:

    If I won the lottery…

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Looks fun. Where do the engines come from? Does Porsche sell “crate” engines, or do you need to find a wrecked 911 donor?

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not only did the Corvette have a few concepts that were mid-engine, but no mention of the production Corvair and Fiero?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Yeah, the Fiero was mid engine. It’s too bad they dropped it, just abut the time they had most things worked out, and were about ready to make power steering available.

    The Corvair was rear engine, like a VW Beetle or Porsche 911, rather than mid engine.

  15. ChuckGrenci Says:

    13, 14, Yeah, the Fiero was just getting good when they discontinued it. As Kit alluded, Fiero had just gotten its own front suspension (I believe the first years were modified Chevette suspensions). And they also ditched the rear Citation suspension with a tri-link design in the final year; oh, what could have been.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    Maybe Vim can explain this, being from the NL. Two neighboring countries in Cedntral-Northern Europe:

    NL: 7,431, 434

    Germany: 47,278, only 281. At the NL rate, it should have 2,761!

    maybe for some reason it is too early in Germany and at a later stage in the NL?

  17. Larry D. Says:

    “ALERT: GM temporarily cuts white-collar salaries 20%; furloughs 6,500..”

    This is a huge pay cut for those with modest salaries, and would be palatable only IF the worthless top dogs and ceos cut THEIR undeserved millions by 80%.

    It is not as if they produced ANY value to their shareholders, as the Great Elon Musk has!

    where is JUSTICE in Compensation?

  18. Larry D. Says:

    15 the Fiero was a sad joke, before or after it improved, and so were its big 3 rival models in the 80s and 90s.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Batteries that last from 1,000,000 to … 5,000,000 miles, and can be charged from 20% to 80% in… 5 minutes?

    Debbie Downer’s wife should put a deposit.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    “Ford credit downgraded to junk by S&P”

    Thanks, Hackett and Bill Ford!

  21. Brett Cammack Says:

    A quick google search reveals quite a cottage industry involving used Porsche drivelines. I’d be happy with just the 4 cylinder 912/914/411 unit.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I guess a lot of those air cooled 911s have been crashed, or maybe were driven in northern winters, and rusted out. In addition to the Porsche/VW engines, a Corvair engine could probably be used, and a properly built one should work well.

  23. Brett Cammack Says:

    Or a ported Mazda 13B Wankel. It would go like stink with one of those.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Yeah, that would perform. It wouldn’t be “in the spirit” like the Porsche/VW, or even Corvair engines, but it would make serious power for a car that light, and the engine would be light.