AD #2828 – Tesla Design Improvements; Build Quality Issues Likely to Spike; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Impressions

May 1st, 2020 at 11:57am

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Listen to “AD #2828 – Tesla Design Improvements; Build Quality Issues Likely to Spike; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Impressions” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 12:18

0:07 U.S. VP Visits GM Ventilator Plant
1:00 Correction to Our Tesla Reporting
1:45 Tesla Improves Model Y Rear Structure
2:53 Build Quality Issues Likely to Spike
4:21 Mercedes Hosts Concours de Zoom
4:50 Bentley Offers New Carbon Fiber Package
5:30 Engines of Not Unusual Sizes
7:21 NASCAR Getting Back to Real Racing
7:51 Gale Halderman, Mustang Designer, Dies
8:17 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Impressions

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36 Comments to “AD #2828 – Tesla Design Improvements; Build Quality Issues Likely to Spike; Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Impressions”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Hyundai’s complexity for complexity’s sake hybrid powertrain is really great, 5 mpg worse combined mpg than a Camry hybrid, using about 10 times as many transmission parts as the Toyota. I haven’t seen any performance numbers for the Sonata. It could be a little quicker than the Camry, but might not be.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve been used the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL for years, and was very disappointed that they let Pence flaunt their rules during his visit to the Rochester facility. I guess GM did a better job of enforcing their rules.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve followed Elon Musk on twitter for a couple years, and while there have been some “interesting” tweets at times, this is getting weird.

  4. Kevin A Says:

    John, This may be a silly thing to ask, but how many people do you think would be willing to test drive a new car, if the test drive included a COVID-19 test? I know I would!

  5. John McElroy Says:

    #4. Kevin, what a great idea, sign me up!

  6. rick Says:

    that is a great idea

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4,5 That should help get people to test drive cars, and sell a few.

  8. JoeS Says:

    Or maybe just put some miles on their demo cars.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    The idea of powertrain sharing sounds good but I have the feeling there’s way more negatives than you are seeing. I used to have a Pontiac Vibe and when the TPMS was acting goofy the dealer had a hard time trouble shooting it because it used a Toyota system that was totally different than the GM system. Now apply that to dropping in a different engine.

  10. Wim van Acker Says:

    @John, combining of Ford, GM and FCA powertrains. Those three companies are usually clustered together, but I always wonder why. Is FCA more “American” than Toyota, Hyundai, Mercedes or BMW U.S.A.?

  11. GM Veteran Says:

    Thanks for noting the artificial profits at Tesla. I will be interested to see how they adapt their business model when those ZEV credits dry up.

    Nice to see our national leaders finally getting on board with the health practices and recommendations that their medical experts have been espousing for weeks now. Except for Trump of course. Whatever happened to “lead by example”?

    Its also weird that Pence determined that he needed a face mask to tour an assembly plant but not a hospital complex where numerous diseases, germs, viruses and bacteria certainly exist.

  12. Drew Says:

    Last year, I had the prior gen Sonata as a rental car in Phoenix. It was not a top series car, and had just one fuel economy display. But strangely, the fuel economy display seemed to re-set after each key-off. So, it wasn’t an instantaneous display nor a long duration display. Perhaps the disparity on the new Sonata is the result of the two gauges measuring different durations.

    John, with regard to the observed fuel economy in the new Sonata, your frequent short trips will yield MPGs than longer/highway trips.

  13. GM Veteran Says:

    10 – Because they do nearly all of their engineering and styling work here in Michigan for their domestic brands. The others do some here and a lot in their home countries.

  14. veh Says:

    3. Kit, I was looking at his tweets today and I feel like he’s gone off the rails. He should stay away from Twitter altogether…it’s like a drug for him, he swears it off for a while then he’s back with a vengeance. It’s bordering on scary

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14. Many of his recent tweets are seriously strange, but with a little “normal” stuff mixed in, about SpaceX, etc.

    12 My Camry has an mpg readout that resets with each startup, and two trip odometer/mpg readouts that you reset as wanted. I’m wondering if those on the Sonata were something like that, one being “this trip,” and the other being “trip 1,” or similar.

  16. Wim van Acker Says:

    @14: yes, like a chain smoker who quits smoking twenty times per day, every day :-)

  17. Phred Says:

    More “Badge Engineering” propaganda without the technology spread sheet comparison. Is that because it does not add up??

  18. Wim van Acker Says:

    @13. The latest Jeep products: 1 Jeep Compass: Italian platform; 2 Jeep Cherokee: Italian platform; 3 Jeep Renegade: Italian platform; 4 Jeep Grand Cherokee: joint development of Mercedes ML/GL/Jeep Grand Cherokee. What are your facts?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 …and Charger/Challenger/300 on a 20-some year old E-Class platform. It still works, though.

  20. Marshy Says:

    That Hyundai styling at the front is a little too uncomfortable for my likening. Somehow I keep thinking Mitsubishi Eclipse…and not the old sexy ones: the last to see the light of day.

    It certainly is bold and often those designs are the ones that age well.


  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20. I like the looks of the Sonata better than my Camry from most angles. To me, the grill is too wide, but is less “busy” than mine. Generally, I think the car looks very good. I’d never consider buying the Hyundai, though, because of the powertrain. Even after all of these years, no one else has a hybrid powertrain as good, functionally, as Toyota. The only powertrains more mechanically simple are BEVs which have nothing but gear reduction. So far, the more complex hybrid powertrains buy you nothing, either in mpg or performance.

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    If accurate, “Elon Musk@elonmusk Tesla stock price is too high imo 10:11 AM · May 1, 2020·Twitter for iPhone”, two speculations:

    1) On or more of his baby mothers have decided to squeeze him for more stock or money.
    2) Elon needs to take a break.

    Regardless, Elon is not known to repeat earlier mistakes like the $420 stock price. IMHO, a “Come to Jesus” meeting is warranted.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22. I saw that tweet, mixed in with a bunch of really strange ones, like “I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.”

    Do you know what’s going on? Does he have covid, and does it cause mental issues?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The SpaceX tweets are rational, though. Maybe someone other than Elon does them.

    Check out SpaceX (@SpaceX):

  25. Larry D. Says:

    11 clueless and hate filled vs tesla, the only SUCCESSFUL US maker.

    The credits are 100% appropriate. they are NOT a tax and not a handout.

    Worry about GM going broke again under incompetent, inbred mary barra.

    Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    PS Ford is in even worse shape than GM. I am sure this should cheer you up. LOL.

  26. Earl Says:

    Elon Musk has attended one too many Trump rallies.

  27. Donald LaCombe Says:

    John, standardization of basic engine production is entirely feasible and would save the companies a ton of cash when they really need it. A large differentiation between powertrains comes from the engine calibration strategies and electronic control hardware. This could remain unique with each company and allow them to match their desired customer driving experience.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think the place money could be saved is in development of new engines. Since GM, Ford, and FCA are already producing 4 cylinder turbo 4 engines, would it save money if everyone switched to making the same one? Maybe it would save money for FCA to quit making their exceptionally complex ones with “multi-air,” but between the GM and Ford 2.0 turbos, it would seem they might as well keep making the current ones.

    We keep hearing that no one will be developing any new ICEs in the future, but I’m not convinced.

  29. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’m pretty sure with all the new BEV in development and waiting for introduction in the wings that co-development hasn’t been considered in motor development either (as in suggestion to share 2.0 liter design). I believe that especially in propulsion, unique designs will prevail and should prevail to differentiate brands. And echoing Kits remarks, that development for the most part has been done and is “water under the bridge”. With less and less new ICE engines entering the markets, and collaborations between companies difficult at best, I don’t see such a complex component being co-developed by different agents.

    And on the new Sonata, I know ‘they’ say that a newer styling will grow on you, well, to my eye the more I see that front end, the more I DON’T like it.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember my father, born in 1914, talking about “assembled cars,” mostly from the 1920s. One was an Elcar, from Elkhart, Indiana. These cars used purchased engines, mostly Continental, and some Lycoming, and other powertrain parts from Dana, Borg-Warner, Spicer, or whoever made such parts at the time. From what my father said, and as a young adult car buff in the 1930s, he probably knew, these “assembled cars” never got much respect, even thought the Continental and Lycoming engines were probably as good as, or better than a lot of what came from the big companies that made there own powertrains. Probably the last vestige of this, in cars made in moderately high volume, was the Checker Marathon, which used Continental engines through 1964, and then various Chevy 6s and V8s. The later Checkers used Borg-Warner, and then GM transmissions.

    My point of all the above is that if GM, Ford, and Chrysler all used the same 2 liter turbo 4s, they might be too much like the “assembled cars” of the 1920s to early 1930s.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    VW wised up. Its cheap EV (“cheap” but not inexpensive) will be a DIFFERENT BRAND, not dirtied by any ICE models. So buyers do not have to explain that their VW is a BEV.

  32. Brett Cammack Says:

    Elon, is that you?


  33. wmb Says:

    Again John, while powertrain design and production may work for each automakers sedans, CUV/crossovers, I can’t see it succeeding with their pick-up truck and full size SUV’s. Can you imagine the up roar from customers and loyalist at the thought of the next Silverado featuring a Ram V8, or the next F-150 having a Chevy small block and the GMC Sierra using Ford’s truck twin turbo V6?! Never. Going. To Happen! Where I think the can collaborate on, is electrification. If the Big 3 got together and setup their own BEV start up, and allowed it to design a modular skateboard electric architecture/platform, to base their EV’s and AV hard and software on, they could all succeed. While this startup would be able to do a clean sheet design, like Tesla and others, they’d still have to keep with a realistic and reasonable budget or parameters. This will encourage them to think outside the box to solve complex problems, much like many of the up start BEV company’s are doing. Then the Big 3 could then take the platform, with it being modular, and apply it in the application(s) that they seek to fill. Then this start up could continuously seek ways to update and improve on the architecture and handle trouble shooting, with each of the Big 3 contributing and sharing the cost. With there being a standard to the platform, the differences to the vehicle would be in the aerodynamics as a result of the styling on the vehicle. While the consumer may not know what engine they have in their vehicle, the styling of it is something that most pay a lot more attention to!

  34. joe Says:

    Larry D, I don’t know who you think you are, but you have got to be one hell of a hypocrite. You accused “GM Veteran” of throwing stones when I see you doing that all the time. When someone differs an opinion you don’t like, you come down hard on them. You think you know it all and have all the right answers. Lighten up and start being nice once in a while and get a life.

  35. Jim Nader Says:

    In the Halderman story, the grille emblem in the last shot caught my attention. It’s fun and disorienting to see something that isn’t a “pony” on the front of a Mustang! Obviously this was a pre-production prototype, but I don’t recall seeing that grille emblem previously! Thanks for making sure I’m paying attention!

  36. Jim Nader Says:

    On the powertrain consolidation, haven’t they done some of that already? The front-drive and rear-drive 6-speed transmission designs were shared by Ford and GM, though both produced separately, right? My guess is that some of our friends at IHS Markit will have a more complete list of previous attempts, but nonetheless, you’re right… they can do much more — and likely will, now that so much funding is going toward electrification and autonomy.