AD #2847 – Massive Layoffs Looming; Elon Musk Earns Historic Payout; Toyota Supra Requires Extended Test Drive

May 29th, 2020 at 11:53am

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Listen to “AD #2847 – Massive Layoffs Looming; Elon Musk Earns Historic Payout; Toyota Supra Requires Extended Test Drive” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:31

0:07 Renault & ZF To Layoff Thousands
1:04 Elon Musk Earns Historic Payout
1:37 Drones Take Over the Mercedes-Benz Museum
2:13 Could Physical Auctions Go Away?
3:23 Kia Soul the New PT Cruiser?
4:34 All-New Acura TLX Revealed
6:04 Ford Revives Mach 1 for Mustang
6:38 Nissan Teases Its Future Lineup
7:12 Artificial Intelligence & The Automotive Industry
8:46 Toyota Supra Impressions

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49 Comments to “AD #2847 – Massive Layoffs Looming; Elon Musk Earns Historic Payout; Toyota Supra Requires Extended Test Drive”

  1. NormT Says:

    Acura gets 3.0l single turbo v6…like Saab?

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    My memory is a little fuzzy on the TLX but didn’t the first one get lots of accolades and sold pretty well, the second one saw some improvements but pretty much ‘bombed’ on sales. Now comes the new one, and other than it being new, doesn’t look like it is going to reverse the trend.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    How many of the 15k Renault workers are being let go due to CV or is it part of the merger with Nissan and Mits? Dividing duties as you reported yesterday could certainly drive some consolidation and reduction of resources and labor.

    Elon’s pay seems like just pure access. How much money does one person really deserve? Tesla could launch a whole new model for that kind of money.

    Physical auctions may go away or include online bidders, why wouldn’t the auction houses want to open bidding up to potentially a world-wide audience? Makes sense for them and the seller as with more bidders the price will likely go up.

    New Acura, yawn.. sorry but nothing about that car jumped out as exciting new or enticed me to head to the dealership.

    Toyota Supra which is a car from Japan and probably not built with Americans in mind they had a person of smaller stature in mind when interior space was configured. Seems like a similar but better performing Miata and a cost increase for that performance.

  4. Drew Says:

    The new TLX doesn’t look much different in the greenhouse. The size changes may help, but I doubt it. It boils down to the question “Does anyone really want an RLX (size) at a TLX price?”

  5. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lambo – the Supra is based on the BMW Z4, so I doubt the car was built with a smaller person in mind.

  6. wmb Says:

    The new TLX is incredible to look at IMHO, but will it still many sales from the establishment? I don’t think so. For the entrenched, a real sport sedan is RWD, with Audi being the only exception! It seems that the only real direct competition will be to the S60, G70, Lexus ES, CT4 & 5,and whatever sedan Infinity has in that class. That said, I think Acura may have a hit on its hands (relatively speaking [with the fans that the TLX already has and those couple of people who are looking to replace their RLX]), which may be saying a lot in a world that is SUV/crossover crazy.

  7. Buzzerd Says:

    I really like the look of the TLX, sharp looking Honda. I been liking the front ends lately, they have toned down the beak thing for the better. Only thing I don’t like is the infotainment screen looking stuck on like many of the competitors.

  8. Albemarle Says:

    Love him or hate him, I can’t think of an executive that could have taken Tesla this far. The Board decided it was worth the incredible payout and it’s difficult to argue.

    I don’t have experience with quantities of money like this, but I think it long ago stopped being about providing for your family and retirement. Look how aggressively Mark Zuckerberg handles himself with federal legislators. They are a breed apart.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    What does one do with 700 million ??? Stick it in the bank with the other millions I assume.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    5 Sean does the Z4 have the same interior constraints as the Supra? I haven’t sat in either one. I’ve just noticed that many Asian vehicles seem to be built with a smaller person in mind (understandably), from smaller door handles to smaller buttons and switches.
    I believe it was a Kia I rented and could only stick like two fingers in the interior door release.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    9) With that kind of money Elon could give every one of his 37k workers a $17,500 bonus and still put 50 Million in his account.

  12. ArtG Says:

    #1. The 3.0L is a twin turbo.
    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a32600682/2021-acura-tlx-engine-sound-teased/

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I haven’t driven a Supra, but sat in one. It was probably a little harder to get in and out of than my Corvette, but not greatly so. I fit just fine, but I’m only 5’11″, and 155#. Even if in the market for a similar car, the styling would keep me from buying it. I also sat in a Z4, and the room seemed similar to the Supra. The Z4 would have much better headroom, though, with the top down.

    The Kia Soul always struck me as kind of a PT Cruiser, but with quirky, rather than retro styling. Both are practical, mildly tall wagons, that are/were good values, if not over-optioned. There are 3 or 4 of them at my condo in Florida.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The current TLX sold ~27K in the US in 2019. The new one should do better, but I’m not seeing sedan sales coming back any time soon. The current TLX had one of the lowest “owner satisfaction” results in CR’s survey.

    12. The Acura release and C and D seem to disagree on the number of turbochargers the new V6 has. Acura seems to indicate one. From the linked Acura release:

    “The new transverse-mounted V6 will be highly compact and lightweight, utilizing a dual scroll turbocharger…”

  15. Ziggy Says:

    With a price tag of $57,570 the Supra is less than $3000 cheaper than the new Corvette, the new bench mark for affordable performance. Would anyone in their right mind choose the Supra over the ‘Vette for almost the same money considering the performance of the ‘Vette and the clown car looks of the Supra? Seriously? Every sports car that comes within $10K of the ‘Vette’s base sticker price needs to explain why it should be bought over the ‘Vette, anything less is a waste of time in consideration.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Local auto news:

    Kokomo | FCA tells workers to return ‘overpayment’
    https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0PC5MBgj?s=a99&pd=05SHPXP6

  17. Larry D. Says:

    Elon’s $ 0.7 bill performance pay is not too shabby, I am sure that both Hackett and esp Mary Barra are salivating, but the important thing is that he really EARNED it for his Customers, his Shareholders, and they DID NOT earn their $0.022 bill each.

    The other day I remembered the phrase

    “We’re bigger than US Steel!”, allegedly said by Al Capone (probably after the 1929 crash?)

    and I wondered if Jeff Bezos of Amazon infamy IS bigger than his native land CUBA, with its 20 million people or so.

    I recently heard that his net worth is $130 bills, the richest known human. I checked my 2013 Almanac for Cuba’s GDP and found only $115 bill. OF course GDP is ONE years product and net worth is not. A 2015 number in Wikipedia lists for CUba a GDP of $254 bills (obviously apples and oranges with the Almanac estimate, it sure did NOT grow the last 5 years by even a third that much). Same ball park.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    The Acura whatever (at first I thought this was its civic clone but looking at the specs it seems like an Accord rival. Good luck with that, Acura. I hope your alleged wood is both plentiful AND real looking, otherwise why would anybody bother? A pimped up Accord with leather would be a far better value.

    Sometimes people here who hate BMWs or Mercs view their buyers as snobs that pay an extra $10k or $20k just for the Merc or BMW logo. BUT these two are NOT clones of much cheaper mass produced cars, while Lexus and Acura and Infiniti ARE (not to mention Lincoln!!!).

    SO the Merc and BMW buyers are the ones who get VALUE and a unique vehicle, and the OTHERS are who get a clone pig with lipstick on it, passing as beef.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    14 Long time ago, when I still bothered to go by the dealers and test drive cars, I drove a sporty Accord clone Acura “S” coupe, a really bland design inside and out. But the salesman was a Belgian who used to drive at rallies and other races, and he also drove it for me, to show me its limits. He really pushed it, but after 15 years, no vivid memories.

  20. rick Says:

    kia soul pt cruiser??????? not scion xb

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. The linked article says it’s a new, and different platform from other cars, not the Accord platform.

    “With a model-exclusive body structure and chassis architecture…”

    In any case, it has double wishbone front suspension, which Accords haven’t had for years. Still, even if it drives well, I’d think it would be a hard sell against Mercedes and BMW.

  22. ChuckGrenci Says:

    As reported here and commented on, it appears that supply of essential parts has stalled the restart of auto production at Volvo in their new S.C. plant as reported in my local newspaper. Resumption of production was slated to begin again June 5th. Parts from Mexico was stated as the reason; this could perhaps affect other auto makers.

  23. joe Says:

    Nobody is worth the money Elon Musk is getting. Only a con-man, which he is, would allow that to happen. But, many of his cult followers will tell you he’s even worth more than that.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20. Soul and xB, especially the first generation, are certainly closer in styling theme, but the Kia and PT are closer in size.

  25. Bob Wilson Says:

    Elon’s performance award was 1.7 million Tesla shares at $350/share. On Friday, TSLA closed at $835 so IF Elon’s shares could sell at that price and not collapse the price, that would be $824.5 M.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Elon’s rocket to the ISS is working well, so far, but a different Elon rocket exploded spectacularly in Texas yesterday.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    21 I did look at the linked article and while I did not notice that, I looked at the dimensions and they seem spot on with the Accord. Now if the Acura is so different, if it is also FWD, it will just be another failed Acura that is little Different than the Accord, whether they admit it or not

    26 Did not hear about this one. Elon has a long way to reach the 14 fatalities of the two NASA Space Shuttles who blew up over the years,not to mention the three US astronauts who were burned alive in the 60s (Gemini program?)

    I watched the live coverage and was disappointed that the signal was lost right at the time of the most spectacular feat, the landing of the 1st stage on that Barge, saw it only just after it landed.

    Also a lot of the coverage was terrible, in the sense it had some young clueless PR Types who just cheerleaded around instead of providing the SPECS and the DATA and the other facts. NASa pays a ton of these PR “communications” clowns. I wish some of the SCIENTISTS were there to satisfy the curious viewers.

    Everybody heaped a ton of praise on Musk yesterday, it was his biggest day, really.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    27 PS Amazingly the tributes to Musk by all others there never mentioned Tesla. Trump specifically mentioned Paypal and made a good point that Musk did not just take his windfall $1-2 billions from selling Paypal and blow it in Casinos and Strip Clubs and dog races, but DID SOMETHING WITH IT. A HUGE something with Space X, and another, just as important with TESLA.

    Still, there were videos of fleets of white Tesla Model Xs with various logos on them, taking the astronauts to the launch pad and driving around.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    21 I took another look, just in case, and it proved my pessimistic expectations and more. The Acura is a FWD with optional AWD. Why would they bother doing it on a different platform than the Accord beats me, and makes zero economic sense for such a low-volume loser, EXCEPT if it was a truly different vehicle than the Accord, like a RWD.

    There is one way it is different than the Accord, but NOT better, and that is trunk space, the Acura, all together, has a PITIFUL 13.2 ft3 of it. Most sedans of that size have 16 or at least 15. And it is not even a hybrid, which could explain it.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    23 i did not expect you to appreciate any of Musk’s LEGENDARY achievements, in Cars or in Space. You actually must be the last of the 7,000,000,000 humans who would EVER get a clue on this subject.

    Your hate for Tesla and Musk is such, that I NEVER heard you complain about Mary Barra’s UTTERLY UNDESERVED 22 million a year (plus a ton of other perks), or the DISASTROUS Hackett’s similarly and utterly undeserved pay at Ford.

    MUSK, whether you get it or not, DESERVED EVERY SINGLE PENNY of the less than $1 billion he got.

    And for many, many good reasons, just one of them being, he SERVED HIS SHAREHOLDERS, instead of losing half their money, as HACKETT Did.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27. The Acura would be more a competitor to Audi, than Benz or BMW, being transverse engine, FWD/AWD.

    This is the explosion of the SpaceX “Starship” prototype.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIh4aLX3cZQ

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28. I suspect those Model Xs were rounded up for the occasion, with the logos being easily removable vinyl things. I drive by parts of SpaceX’s activities in Florida, including an office building they use, and never see any Teslas with logos on them. There are a few Teslas, mostly Model 3, and probably most of them owned by employees. I suspect there were a lot of “what is that car” comments from TV viewers about the Xs, and their doors.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29. The Acura is probably intended to be a “wilder looking” competitor to the Audi A4/S4. The Acura is bigger on the outside, but maybe not on the inside.

  34. ChuckGrenci Says:

    @31, Kit, thanks for that link, the explosion was incredible and that’s an understatement. I don’t use the word incredible as in good, just for effect on scope. I can’t believe some of the morons that commented under the YouTube comment section with cold and feeble attempts at humor. This was a failure for sure, but this specific program is in its infancy, and some failure could probably be expected.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34. There is an almost hour long video discussing the test, the explosion, etc. with knowledgable people. I don’t have the link handy, but it is interesting, for anyone who wants to spend the time to watch it. The Starship program has had a rocky start, but I’m sure they are learning with each, uh, incident.

    The rocket, with newer Raptor engines, uses liquid methane, rather than kerosene, like the Merlin engines of SpaceX Falcons, and many other rocket engines.

  36. Bob Wilson Says:

    Getting back to things automotive, Elon’s first generation, 2008 Roadster, is in orbit around the Sun with a speed of about 75,189 mph. Thanks to an exceptionally efficient, improbability drive, it has set a record for miles traveled without charging.

    Thanks Larry D. for the synopsis. I’ve been following technical streams and the post-launch, briefing with NASA and the SpaceX team. Even now, I’m watching the preparations for opening the hatch.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    36 I had to wait for 3 hours since 10 AM to see the conclusion of the arrival at the space station, and even then I had to turn it off when various VIPs talked to the astronauts. Of course i was multitasking the whole time, But at 1:30 PM I had to leave home and then it was when I had to turn it off.

    The reaction of callers at C-span on the space mission was uniformly verty ehthusiastic and appreciative of Musk’s further accomplishments. Especially from those who had a clue, ie retired rocket scientists who wished they were still working (now in their 70s), and because of the lack of scientists and engineers to present the event, CSPAN did not, as ususl, cut the calls short at 1 or 2 minutes, but kept one of them for almost 10 minutes and asked him the questions of callers the others could not respond to.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    31 I Just saw the brief 1 min video. Sure was a big explosion. Had not heard about it an anywhere else. Hope they had insurance. Was this a commercial launch or a trial run?

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some careers with NASA are a little like those of architects and artisans of the middle ages. Their careers are long over, and sometimes their lives, before the results of their labors are seen. The design work and construction of the New Horizons probe to the out solar system and beyond, started in about 2000. It was launched in 2006, and passed Pluto in 2015. It took more than a year to download the data. The probe is now expected to continue gathering information, and downloading it until the 2030s.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38. The explosion occurred a minute or two after a static engine firing. It was the 4th prototype of SpaceX’s “big rocket,” called Starship. The previous 3 had also been lost in failures, not involving fire. I think #4 was intended to do “hover and land” tests, and then sub-orbital flights, if this hadn’t happened. Number 5 is under construction, and should be ready to do testing in a few months.

    I suspect things like this are “self insured” by SpaceX, but payloads on actual satellite launches, at least commercial payloads, are insured by regular insurance companies, like Lloyd’s of London and others.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 I first knew about it when it showed up on the google search “home page” on my phone.

  42. Bob Wilson Says:

    I have a lot of respect for Scott Manley (see web link) who collected the video source of the Starship, SN #4, explosion. He concludes the plumbing involved in de-tanking operation failed. This released a massive, liquid methane leak. Once ignited, the fuel-air mix had a massive detonation (i.e., shockwaves!!)

    The previous Starships were lost in less spectacular methods during testing with liquid nitrogen. One was in a de-tanking operation done in the wrong order: depressurizing the lower tank first caused it to collapse and the top tank collapsed on it. No fire but an impressive display of ‘unplanned rapid disassembly.’ Another was lost in an over-pressure test when a weld split.

    BTW, the Starship is using a similar tanking system as the Atlas rocket. It is a stainless steel ‘balloon’ whose strength depends on a positive pressure. Some early Atlas were lost when the tank pressure became too low.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42. Thanks for the link. I

    I’ve been curious about the reason they are using liquid methane, rather than the more usual kerosene, or in the case of the shuttle, liquid hydrogen. Liquid methane has more energy/weight than kerosene, but less energy/volume. A couple articles indicated that they may use methane, because methane deposits a lot less “soot” on the engine parts than kerosene, and the plan is to re-use the engines many times, with minimal reop. Interestingly, the other upstart rocket company, Bezos’ Blue Horizon also plans to use methane, while no one else does.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/05/buy-drive-burn-unpopular-v8-sedans-from-2016/

    For bargain hunters who appreciate a V8. Anybody remember the Hyundai Equus? (and was it the 9th or the 13th failed attempt by H-Kia to sell luxury cars in the US?) The Infiniti Q70? I don’t remember it, because I never even noticed it. The …Kia K900 (sic)? Who would call a luxury car a canine? “WHat does it look like? It’s a dog, but cheap.”

  45. M. H. Says:

    Your slide showing some of Mr. Theodore’s contributions was not quite right. The minivan you are showing is the 2nd gen or ‘AS’ with only one sliding door. The third gen was the ‘NS’ with the more rounded shape and two sliding doors optional. I was a resident engineer at St. Louis South during the first two years of production of the ‘NS’, so I am quite familiar. If I remember his discussion on AAH, he referred to minivans with the second sliding door as part of his lineage at Chrysler.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44. The one I don’t remember at all is the Q70, probably because of all the constantly changing letter/number names Infiniti have used. The Equus and Canine Hundred names are much more memorable.

  47. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I remember when they first announced Kia “K”; it was called the K9 (quickly changed over to the 900) but that still is close enough for the canine reference.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45. When I ordered my 1st generation van in 1989, a second door was available as an option. I ordered mine with one door, but two were available, I think from 1987 onward.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45,48. I can’t find anything on the dual sliding door option for later 1st generation Chrysler minivans, so maybe I’m imagining things.