AD #2850 – GM Permanently Lowers Costs; All-New BMW 4 Series Coupe Revealed; Rivian Working on Charging Network

June 3rd, 2020 at 11:57am

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Listen to “AD #2850 – GM Permanently Lowers Costs; All-New BMW 4 Series Coupe Revealed; Rivian Working on Charging Network” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:52

0:07 Auto Industry Speaks Out Against Racial Injustice
1:32 GM Permanently Lowers Costs During Pandemic
2:13 May Sales Better Than Expected
3:45 All-New BMW 4 Series Coupe Revealed
5:47 VW Teases New Arteon Sedan & Wagon
6:12 Bentley Ends 6.75L V8 Production After 61 Years
7:02 Get Luxury Features for Non-Luxury Prices
8:06 Rivian Working on National Charging Network
8:53 Light That Bends Could Transform Safety & Design
10:55 BMW Confirms Manual Transmission for New M3 & M4

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42 Comments to “AD #2850 – GM Permanently Lowers Costs; All-New BMW 4 Series Coupe Revealed; Rivian Working on Charging Network”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Well, regarding the BMW 4 series, on styling; at least you can say that the new grill ‘does’ look more like a kidney. (shallow praise, on purpose)

    On the VW concept drawing; no matter how good they look, you really have to wait for them in the flesh to know how they are going to look. The stylist’s pen can’t represent what actually gets built.

    It’s not always the features of a luxury car that matters the most; it can be the prestige of the brand as well as the difference in styling. Like Peter D. states: design/styling is a major differentiator (or sometime to that effect).

  2. Bob Wilson Says:

    Jason Torchinsky’s “Unboxing The World’s Cheapest New Car Reveals It’s So Much Better Than You Think” is the video link. Put your drink down before watching.

  3. Drew Says:

    John, you focused on the grille of the new BMW 4-Series. While I agree it’ll look strange without the front license plate, Audi has been doing this for quite some time. And that is the issue. Be it the grille, headlamps, taillamps, or greenhouse, the new 4 has lost many of BMW design signatures. The lamps are familiar from VW/Audi… even Hyundai and Ford’s Fusion. The greenhouse lacks the Hofmeister kink, and looks like it evolved from either the Audi A5 or a prior gen Infiniti coupe.

    Despite the loss of BMW signature design cues, I applaud BMW for keeping the design clean.

  4. Lex Says:

    Will GM’s Permanently Lowers Costs During Pandemic translate to lower vehicle costs or extended warranty coverage for consumers?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised that Bentley kept the old Rolls/Bentley V8 as long as they did, after VW acquired Bentley. I’m sure it was to keep the Mulsanne more “different,” than using a VW/Audi engine. They did a lot with the old engine over the years, taking it from ~170 hp in 1959, to 530+ hp at the end, with the help of turbochargers, some displacement increase, and other tricks.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    John; I think the gap from a standard vehicle and a luxury vehicles has been reduced significantly in that last decade. I believe that is due to two main reasons. 1) The newest options are electronic and that technology moves and improves quickly so what is released on a luxury vehicle often becomes available within a year or two on lesser models.
    2) All automakers have stepped up their game when it comes to quality, comfort, noise and finish. That has also made the driving experience a lot more similar from a luxury brand to the standard models.

    Back in the day Luxury meant things like power windows, seats, A/C and a smooth automatic transmission. All which are standard on almost everything now.
    People will pay for prestige though which is why even if Cadillac built a better car than MB they still would not be able to sell at MB prices. So certainly more expensive doesn’t always mean better. IMO

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I got all the luxury features I wanted in my 2018 Camry hybrid, and probably saved $12-15K compared to the similar Lexus ES. The ES would have a nicer interior, and be a little quieter, but not $12K worth, at least to me.

  8. Wim van Acker Says:

    @4: yes, all gains will be passed on to the customers :-)

  9. Wim van Acker Says:

    @5: Bentley kept the L410 engine in highly modified version by VW alive for the Arnage, Azure and Mulsanne,, but not for Continental GT, Flying Spur and Bentayga. Rolls Royce stopped using the original L410 in 1998, when it switched to a BMW developed 6.75l engine.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I doubt if GM’s cost savings will be passed on to customers, but they should help the company stay in business through the recession/depression we are entering. That would be a very good thing for employees, both at GM and suppliers.

  11. George Ricci Says:

    Can you get a car for a lot less money that is just as good as the expensive ones? I agree that the gap has closed between the two, but there are still differences. Real wood vs fake wood, Super cruise vs adaptive cruise, large/multiple video screens vs 12 inch screen, Concierge service vs dealer service, etc.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9. Did Rolls-Royce use the “L” engine at all under BMW ownership?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 “Super cruise,” as in semiautonomous driving like Tesla and Cadillac have, is one thing that few brands offer. Yeah, in many cases, you get a nicer interior with wood, etc. in the expensive cars.

    In my case, there are no “features” I wanted that I couldn’t get in a Camry LE hybrid, with a couple option packages. Even then, there are things I rarely, or never use, like adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam. I use regular, constant speed cruise control a lot. My car has all the screens i want, and also has the knobs I like to have, like radio volume and tuning, and temperature set.

  14. Brett Cammack Says:


    Agreed. Our 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander seems positively agricultural in nature compared to our 2016 Outlander.


    rivian starting their own charging station, to me the future of EV’s need to be standard charging and cable for ALL vehicle.I foresee a problem with too many different cable/connectors in the future (ie, charging cables for apple and android phones).More uniformity will ease customers minds and eliminate problem in the future. We don’t have Ford gasoline, it’s gasoline !!!

  16. Wim van Acker Says:

    @12: I do not know, Kit. I am not a Rolls Royce expert, but looking it up it seems like there were few products in production in 1998, when VW took over, out-bidding BMW which wanted to buy it from the owner, Vickers Group. When it turned out that BMW had stealthily bought the brand name Rolls Royce from Vickers and was also a major powertrain supplier, VW had no viable business and had to come to the negotiation table to sort this out. This was a delicate issue with potentially huge loss of prestige for VW. BMW allowed them to exit elegantly and BMW took over. The BMW CEO, who was responsible on BMW’s behalf, became VW CEO a few years later. That always struck me as odd.

  17. Drew Says:

    @6 & 13 – I have always found it to be very odd that financial advisors drive prestige brand vehicles. It seems the image of success is more important than the values that breed success- efficient use of funds. The highest depreciation costs, acquisition costs, insurance costs, and operating costs are ascribed to those prestige brands. I’ll admit the sales/service experience may be “special”, but an astute shopper will find a mass/premium brand dealer capable of similar or better treatment. I did. And my CPO 2018 Fusion Platinum has all the tech and high quality leather of those prestige products at a fraction of the price. I guess I can’t be a financial advisor.

  18. Ziggy Says:

    I don’t understand how the Floyd death can be labeled a racial incident just because the victim was black and the cop was white. Some cops are just jerks and treat everyone with contempt, what makes this a racial incident? Was the cop spouting out racial slurs as he choked the poor guy, was he a member of a white nationalist group that we haven’t heard about yet? I feel for the victim and his family but I think we are way too quick in this country to label something racial when there is no evidence of such.

  19. Wim van Acker Says:

    @17, I like the way you put that. My own experiences differ on one point you mentioned, the dealer experience which would be better for luxury vehicles. I have had (unfortunately) six vehicles in my household for many years and have had to buy a new vehicle twice a year. Of all dealers I have interacted with, the Chevrolet, Buick, Jeep (with the only exception being my experience last month), Cadillac and Lincoln dealers are all great. The absolute worst: the Mercedes, BMW and AUDI dealers. When buying a Chevrolet Trax or Equinox you are attended very well by salesmen who know their products very well and make you and your kid enthusiastic for their product. Trying to buy a new A8 (I gave up) and buying a new S550 were the low point of my buying experiences.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 Thanks for info. The whole thing with VW buying the company, but neglecting to get the Rolls-Royce name was kind of crazy.

    17 My financial advisor drives a Tahoe or Yukon. I think the reason he has that, rather than a minivan or crossover of some sort, is to tow a fairly large boat.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Interesting. I’ve had mostly good experiences with GM and Chrysler dealerships, and OK experiences with Toyota. My only real experience with a “premium brand” dealership is Porsche, and the salesman I talked to was very knowledgable about the car I was checking out, Cayman. The same people have Mercedes and Audi. I don’t know if they are more like their Porsche store, or the Benz and Audi ones you dealt with.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19. That’s doubly crazy, because you’d think anyone shopping for a new A8 or S-Class would be treated exceptionally well.

  23. Wim van Acker Says:

    @20: that deal was wild. Vickers made a killing: 1 it sold RR to VW for 430 MM British pounds (GBP) instead of BMW’s GBP 340 MM bid; 2 it sold the RR brand to BMW for an additional GBP 40 MM. Then VW and BMW had to sort it out, while Vickers received GBP 470 MM (430 + 40) instead of GBP 340 MM.

  24. Brett Cammack Says:

    The longer I look at that new BMW, the more I think they should change their motto to “BMW, the other Kia!”

  25. Wim van Acker Says:

    @22 I am just one person with 6 buying experiences at 5 different “luxury” dealerships spread over 15 years, so my experiences are statistically irrelevant.

  26. Drew Says:

    I have service experiences with 2 European brands, 1 Japanese brand and 3 American brands. Lincoln’s service wins by a wide margin.

    In terms of the sales experience, the Japanese brand was the worst by a wide margin, followed by one of the European brands. Lincoln and Ford have been vastly superior.

    In terms of product quality, the Asian and Ford brands have been better experiences.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. The cop in question, Derek Chauvin had a bunch of prior complaints about his actions, but I haven’t seen any data about whether they disproportionately regarded blacks. I guess we don’t really know if this was truly racist, or if Chauvin might have kneeled on the neck of an unarmed white guy who’d tried to pass a fake $20 bill, and if 3 other cops would have helped, and/or watched without doing anything. I suspect other recent racist events, along with the Floyd killing, combined to create this mess. I just hope it ends soon, especially the violence.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26. Why do you name the Ford brands, but not the Asian and European brands? That would be interesting to know too.

  29. Drew Says:

    Volvo, Jag and Mazda.

    Volvo dealer service and product quality was very disappointing… mostly simple things like fuel doors and console armrest lids that were too fragile. And for a brand that claims high mileage durability, the seats wore visibly and uncomfortably shortly after the warranty. The clearcoat paint failed, despite garage storage. Other mechanicals clouded our confidence. The dealer service experience consistently gave me the impression that they were not my advocate when warranty issues arose.

    The Jag service was so expensive, I held my breath every time I used it. And corrosion in side marker lamp connectors is inexcusable. It’s a shame, because the ride, handling, and interior craftsmanship were impeccable.

    Mazda makes a lot of fun vehicles. Within the broader family, we have experienced nearly every model. All have been fun to drive and relatively defect-free… but prone to early rust and noisy rides. The dealer experience is horrible (several dealers).

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29. Thanks. I’ve paid less attention to Volvo than about any other brand. I’ve been in a Jaguar dealer a few times, because there is one about 4 miles away. I like the looks of the F-type, and some of the sedans, but would probably never buy one of their cars.

    My sister had a Mazda 5, the last actual minivan sold in the US, and had more trouble with it than with her 2005 Jeep Liberty. I suspect she was unlucky, because Mazdas are generally considered pretty reliable. I think her dealer experience was ok, with two different dealers.

  31. Tony Gray Says:

    If my dog looked like that 4 series, I’d shave it’s behind and make it walk backwards.

  32. kevin a Says:

    30. I live in an area with lots of winter salt usage. Every single Mazda 5 in my area rusted just ahead of the rear wheels. That includes all Mazda 5′s from the first model year to the last!

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 My sister is in a road salt infested location, Indianapolis. I don’t think her 5 had noticable rust, but she had it only 5-6 years.

  34. merv Says:

    a lot of fun comments today

  35. Larry D. Says:

    Volvo sales went from 0.5% market share to 0.5% market share, ie utterly insignificant, but the reason they were down only 2% in May is very easy to see, they were down 54.5% in APRIL. DUH. I bet the other insignificant darling of the auto journalists, Mazda, has a similar explanation. But really, who cares about those two losers?

    GM: Necessity is the mother of invention. Maybe Barra was told there will not be a 2nd bailout, so she got her act together and cut costs. Why couldn’t she do this in ordinary times? Why care, if big Mommy Government would come to the rescue, GM being allegedly “too big to fail”?

    As for Tesla, surpassing Audi was not even a blip on Musk’s radar. It will soon surpass ALL Luxury makers, AND start surpassing cheap econobox makers too. The Future will be Electrified, regardless if some fuddy daddies here hate it, and electrified means TESLA, not GM or Ford.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    The big BMW grille is an automotive atrocity and a DEAL BREAKER. Regardless how perfect the vehicle is in every other respect, I would NEVER buy and drive one at any price.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Those Bangled BMWs looked pretty good, compared to what they are doing now.

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    18,27 As more information is made available its pretty obvious this officer Derek Chauvin shouldn’t even been a security guard. Turns out he worked with Floyd at a restaurant for nearly two decades and it makes me wonder if Derek had been doing some shady things that Floyd knew about and Derek took this opportunity to silent Floyd which would make this whole thing about a crooked cop covering his butt and nothing to do with racism. But that’s speculation on my part and in no way am I saying the current divide doesn’t exist and need to be resolved.
    Maybe start with getting rid of the officers on power trips and keep the ones that want to actually serve their community.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    the Germans are always very careful with their money. As the title says, they give incentives, BUT NOT TO dirty ICEs.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    37 No they still do not. And why is there any need to go to Bangled BMWs when you have the pre-Bangle MASTERPIECES???? Especially the 1995-2003 crop of 3 5 and 7s?

  41. Bill B. Says:

    Seems as though BMW desirability, durability and quality is inversely related to the size of their kidney grills. They need to look back to the BMW 2002 for future direction — their cars handled and looked much better and were much more durable 50 years ago!!

  42. Ken Says:

    If Bentley is ending production of the 6.75L engine, replacing it with a vastly smaller 4.L engine does that mean they are stepping away from performance vehicles? With something that expensive they must be exciting to drive, and electric propulsion won’t cut it.