AD #2930 – U.S. Sales Surprisingly Strong; Top NASCAR Teams Valued Over $1 Billion; Musk Says Tesla Headed to India

October 2nd, 2020 at 12:01pm

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Runtime: 10:32

0:07 U.S. Sales Surprisingly Strong
0:45 September Sales Winners & Losers
2:40 Autoline’s Sales Takeaways
3:55 Top NASCAR Teams Valued Over $1 Billion
5:02 Honda Announces Exit From F1
5:39 Genesis Applies Machine Learning to ACC
6:31 Traffic Deaths Fall Again
7:49 JLR Interior To Be Made From Garbage
8:23 Musk Says Tesla Headed To India
9:07 Mercedes Jumps On The Scooter Bandwagon

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64 Comments to “AD #2930 – U.S. Sales Surprisingly Strong; Top NASCAR Teams Valued Over $1 Billion; Musk Says Tesla Headed to India”

  1. Don J Says:

    I’m disappointed there was no mention of the Borg Warner / Delphi technologies merger being finalized.


  2. WineGeek Says:

    Sean what was Alfa up from? Percentage increase doesn’t matter much if you go up 50% from 100 units you get all the way to 150. So please give us numbers not percentages alone. Thanks


    Not surprising that sales of trucks/suvs have continued to increase. The sales of Travel trailers have spiked in 2020 because people are discovering mobile working solutions. All those trailers are not being pulled by a FWD sedan. They need a truck or appropriately sized SUV as the typical trailer weight is 7500 pounds.

    Not too many sedans are capable of pulling 7500 pounds of weight around. Maybe the old full frame sedans of yesteryear but todays unibody sedans don’t stand a chance. So SUV/Truck continues to be the only vehicle of choice.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    Very interesting show today.

    A. US Sales numbers being strong would NOT surprise you if you listened to my many, many comments months now, predicting that DUE to the Covid 19 crisis, Cars will do VERY WELL (new and used) as Mass Transit suffers. WHo in his or her right mind would take the plane or the train or esp the bus, if he or she can DRIVE THEIR OWN CAR instead? In fact, in my case, the ONE and only time I used mass transit in 2020 was when I had to fly from the US to EUrope, as swimming across was too time consuming.

    B.Tesla sales. No surprise that the NEW and popular crossover took sales from the already saturated ( almost a million were sold alreafy) Model 3. But the BIGGER story is that Tesla US sales are LESS important than Europe and especially CHINA sales. As for INDIA, I wish ELon good luck, and I hope he does NOT trust those crooked, corrupt PROTECTIONISTS in New Delhi, and have his lawyers scrutinize every deal before he signs it. You will remember these words a couple years later

    C. Alfa sales and dead cat bounce. You are impressed by the percentages (and never mind next month they may dive by the same or greater percentage) but you do not give us the pitiful ACTUAL UNITS SOLD. When you sell 1 unit last year and 2 this year, you are up 100%. But still you are not visible even by the SPACE TELESCOPE in a market of `16-17 MILLION units. So please. And the same applies to the failed Genesis, no matter how much you seem impressed by it.

    D. Honda exiting the juvenile F1 racing. Good for them. Hope they use their savings WISELY.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Alpha US sales are as follows;
    1996 to 2013 were 0
    2014= 91
    2015= 663
    2016= 528
    2017= 12,031
    2018= 23,800
    2019= 18,292

  6. Larry D. Says:

    5 thanks. To put them in perspective we need to compare the to

    a. total sales of 16-17 million per year

    b. Sales by other makers, per year too.

    If you flatter Alfa by calling it a luxury brand, then you can compare it to

    300,000 each of Lexus, Mercedes, BMW

    maybe 200,000 Audis

    and pitiful but still higher 50,000 or so for Jag and Volvo.

    But hey,maybe ALfa still beats… Genesis.. LOL

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    So Alpha went down 23.2% from 18 to 19 so even with a sales increase of 50% its really only 26.8% from two years ago.

  8. MJB Says:

    Thumbs down on those JLR interiors. Sorry, but if I’m paying the kind of money that brand requires, I want real leather, not cloth of any kind.

    Did I hear correctly about that Mercedes electric scooter having selectable ‘driving modes’? The thing only goes 12mph. How much leeway is there for a ‘drive mode’?

  9. Larry D. Says:

    6 pS if you want to compare ALfa to vastly more expensive Porsche, it still lags way behind, instead of, being much cheaper, one would expect to have more sales than P. But Porsche sells about 5000-6000 a month, so 60,000-70,000 a year, vastly more than the cheaper Alfa.

  10. GM Veteran Says:

    Sean, Tesla does have a large crossover, the Model X. And why is every Tesla factory now referred to as a gigafactory? I thought the only gigafactory was in Nevada and producing batteries. Unless there is a lot more potential for sales in India for Tesla than it seems, I would guess that the most they might build is a midsize and highly flexible assembly plant there.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2,5. and some 3rd quarter FCA sales, by brand.

  12. GM Veteran Says:

    Though pulled from different data sources than Autoline uses, Automotive News also shows Alfa sales up 17.3% for the quarter vs 2019 (5,056 vs 4,310), but still down 6.4% YTD vs 2019 (12,493 vs 13,347). And yes, they are now slightly ahead of declining Genesis.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9. Porsche has 7 basic models, and many iterations of each, while Alfa has two. The X-Bow based Alfa is gone.

    Yeah, Porsche are certainly masters at selling expensive cars, some more “worth it” than others.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10. Where all is Tesla building RHD cars? Just Fremont, or do they build them in Shanghai? India is an RHD market, so if there is a significant market for Tesla, it might make sense to build them there, all RHD, and they could sell a few in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and a few other places.

  15. GM Veteran Says:

    Thanks for the FCA sales link, Kit. The biggest surprise there for me was that Pacifica sales were up 32% for the quarter! (28,696 vs 21,697)

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15. The Pacifica is a great vehicle, except maybe for suspect reliability. The sales increase is probably largely a result of the Grand Caravan being phased out, but the GC is being replaced by a de-contented Pacifica, reviving the Voyager name.

  17. veh Says:

    “Pacifica sales were up 32%”

    That caught my eye too, especially in a world of fleet sales being in the tank. Maybe big incentives? Or competition had no inventory

  18. Larry D. Says:

    13 The fact that Porsche has more models pales by comparison to the far, far higher prices they co,mmand. For all other makers, when their prices are so high, they have TINY sales, like less than 1,000 a month, and porsche has 5,0000 to 6,000.

    ALSO, Porsche makes HUGE profits, $20,000 a unit from 911 sales alone, and it has sold more than a MILLION 911s.

    Conclusion: NO COMPARISON. Porsche is a huge winner, and in the US market, alfa is the biggest loser. OK, with the exception of the failed Genesis that all auto journalists are infatuated with.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    8 I fully agree and I am even more demanding, especially for a Jag or a Range ROver, I demand ACRES of perfect Wood Veneer for the ridiculous amounts they ask ( they go to $200,000 for the RROver ‘autobiography’. ALmosr makes the blingy Escalade and the other Hippopotamus the Navigator look like

  20. Larry D. Says:

    17 some good guesses. Maybe all of the above.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. Porsche sells 9-10K 911s a year in the U.S. At that rate, they would have sold 500-550K over the ~54 years they have existed. Did they used to sell more, or are you talking about global sales for the million you claim have been sold?

    They sold 3880 of the Porsche I’d consider, Cayman+Boxster, in 2019. Is that a lot of cars? It doesn’t seem so to me. Yeah, they sell quite a few Cayennes and Macans, which aren’t real Porsches. They are upgraded VWs at inflated prices.

  22. Roger T Says:

    Wonder if Honda is dropping from Indy?

  23. XA351GT Says:

    So Honda has finally grown tired of pouring money into F1 to get destroyed by Mercedes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Renault follow suit. That would leave only Merc and Ferrari which has been out to lunch this year. At some point in time I could possibly see F1 going to a spec engine and just having teams build chassis. It wouldn’t be all that different to F1 in the 70s when everyone except Ferrari ran a Cosworth DFV . There were other engine suppliers but few were really serious. Until the Renault turbos I think the Cosworth and Ferrari won every race from 1971 through 1979.

  24. XA351GT Says:

    Exact numbers on F1 1970 -1979. 144 races Ford Cosworth DFV 99 wins , Ferrari 37 wins, BRM 4 wins, Alfa 2 wins, Matra 1 win, Renault 1 win. So all ,but 8 wins to 2 engine makers.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 I get Indianapplis local news this time of year, and I haven’t heard anything about Honda quitting Indy car. Indy would be really cheap compared to F1.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think it would be easier for F1 to get and keep engine builders if it were “easier.” The current turbo hybrids horribly complex.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    Watch this OUTStanding video and try to find who is the big WINNER and who is the big LOSER in the latest news.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    21 you really are outrageous. I “CLAIM” nothing. I gave you the FACTS that Porsche has LONG AGO sold its 1,000,000TH 911 (that model ALONE), and I have a ton of pix of the 1,000,000th special 911 they made. You could GOOGLE it and see it for yourself in a few seconds.

    Also, in your little world, nobody, not even Alfa, Genesis or VOlvo, are utter losers. Everybody gets a participation trophy. It may be a DOD thing. I remember having to evaluate people for DOD scholarships and every new one got a letter of recommendation (useless waste of paper) from the SAME DOD guy, who said that this person was the “best he ever saw”.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    21 LOOK, even WIKIPEDIA has it~!!! The 1,000,000th Porsche 911.

    THere is NOTHING in the world like Porsche, as there is nothing like Ferrari, in terms of BOTH performance and financial success for a sports or super car company.

  30. Larry D. Says:,_70_Years_Porsche_Sports_Car,_Berlin_(1X7A3888).jpg


  31. Larry D. Says:

    Here are some Q3 US sales numbers from Autonews. Sean, you can compare them to Wards and let us know if there are any big differences: Q3 2020 vs Q3 2019 and % change.

    Tesla Motors* 64,000 31,100 105.8%
    Volvo Cars USA 30,349 27,312 11.1%
    Alfa Romeo 5,056 4,310 17.3%
    Genesis 3,745 4,902 -23.6% 11,285 14,909 -24.3%

  32. Larry D. Says:

    ok i thought the post was lost (incomplete) but it was still posted above. These are NOT monthly but QUARTERLY numbers. Alfa and Genesis, most of their sales are the cheap base low-power versions of their models, can’t sell in one QUARTER what Legendary Porsche sells in a MONTH, and at 2-3 times the average price. So keep pretending they re doing OK, Kit, and are comparable to Porsche’s (million 911 made) success.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    Re 31: As many already know, Tesla did not just have ANOTHER stellar quarter in the US only, it set GLOBAL Deliveries records as well, and as I often stated, Europe and above all CHINA are even more important markets and growth centers than the US for Tesla.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28. Yes, I found it last night. I guess I should have posted an “apology” last night, to maybe save us from some of your nastiness.

    Yes, “long ago,” in May, 2017, after about 54 years, they made the one millionth 911. Of course, the current ones are as much like the first ones, as a current Mini is like a 1958 Mini. Well, the Minis are more alike, because both the new and old ones both have liquid cooled engines.

  35. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Perhaps Sean (or the news team) should have labeled the recycled JLR interiors as being made from “trash”, not garbage. Garbage is usually wet organic in nature that needs to be disposed of, trash, usually refuge that is of a dryer nature (as most recyclables). I wouldn’t have a problem with that type interior; what they are using as base product is certainly of a robust derivative and should be long lasting and “green” with marketable appeal. Oh, I do like leather though so as I would pay extra for “hides”, I wouldn’t pay extra for recyclables but might consider it if it were a lesser cost; but really, this type of product probably belongs in more modest offerings.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35. When I was a kid in the ’50s and ’60s, the term “garbage” was used only for food waste from the kitchen, and “trash” was used for about everything else thrown away. Now, of course, the term “garbage truck” is used for vehicles collecting refuse of all types. When I was a kid, until the late ’60s or early ’70s, the garbage was thrown over a fence next to the house to be eaten by hogs. I still live in the same house in the summer, but now, the field alternately has corn and soybeans, and will probably soon have houses.

    As far as using the recycled whatever for car interiors, it seems kind of silly. I guess it might have some marketing value, but the best use of recycled plastic is probably packing material, insulation, and other things where quality, per se, is not important.

  37. Brett Cammack Says:

    Doesn’t the Pacifica now offer AWD? If so, how might that’ve improved sales?

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37 Pacifica does offer AWD, but I suspect a big reason for increased Pacifica sales is the end of Grand Caravan production. They now sell a de-contented Pacifica, called Voyager, which is the real Caravan replacement.

  39. cwolf Says:

    Recycled materials are pretty much of plastic. If I am correct, these materials should have fibers that are more brittle and are not as color fast as a new similar material or of natural fibers. Also, the amount of “fade” over time depends a lot on the color.
    As far as leather goes, vat dyed, typical on European cars, has better wear characteristics than top dyed for obvious reasons. Anything of animal hair, such as hog hair or mohair is everlasting but is now impractical.

  40. cwolf Says:

    I should also mention fiber density has a major influence on durability and colorfast of cloth materials. And to a lesser extent, the backing material is also something to keep in mind when going cloth.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 What kind of fabric would have been used for seats in a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire? Polyester? It isn’t very pretty, in its greyness, but it lasts quite well, close to 250K miles, and still little visible wear in a friend’s car.

  42. cwolf Says:

    I dont know Kit. Not sure if I have the material sample book for that year. I bet it was a woven fabric though and not a velour. I’ll check later.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 It is woven.

  44. RickW Says:

    I’m no expert but I do follow some of the automotive news.
    Today’s Autoline caught my ear when mentioning the Tesla model 3 (sedan) and Model Y (crossover).
    It is constantly reported that sedans in the US market do not sell and CUV’, SUV’s and trucks have taken the market share.
    I have to question just what a “SEDAN” is.???
    These CUV’s and some smaller SUV’s are considered sedans by my eye.
    That’s why I mention the Tesla 3 and Y.
    To me they are both sedans. Yet one is being removed from the sedan category and placed in a
    CUV category, depriving the sedan category of the statistics they deserve.
    So all reports are that the sedan market has been falling for years. OK, I understand a lot of that is trucks and so called SUV’s that are bigger than the sedans made today.
    But the CUV’s for the most part are just sedans as far as I can tell.
    Yes, I grew up when sedans were larger than they are now but who moved the bar and why is it constantly reported that sedans are dying off completely when actually these CUV’s are, in some cases, still smaller than the sedans of yesterday.?

  45. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I sold my upholstery shops well before 2002 so I cannot help you. When looking at materials used for entry level cars, I can tell you fabrics were not up to par with the more expensive ones. I’m pretty sure this material had little to no “ hand” , fiber direction change when brushed and prolly developed wrinkles over the years. He must have had a soft butt!
    Yearly fabric books cost about $100/ each back then. Can you believe I sold a few early ones for a out $800 each !
    I still have a few early import fabric books that bring even more money to collectors.
    I enjoyed restoring collectibles and airplanes so much, my engineering program took me an added 2 years.
    Having upholstered a hand full of cars for the Ford museum and having Upholstered a new “lake” water plane on the cover of “Flying Magazine”, I lost my engineering focus for awhile. I also restored Henry Fords 37 Stinson airplane without destroying the original materials. It was then sent to the Oscosh Musium.
    I was surprised to learn to be the first Master Upholster in northern Ohio.
    I am very pleased with what I have accomplished but made nothing more than wages. Still very proud of myself.
    Very fortunate the money came once I regained focus on my initial objective

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 A sedan is a vehicle, typically with 4 doors, having a rear trunk, with the trunk lid hinged behind the rear window. A crossover is a vehicle with the chassis somewhat higher than a typical sedan, the body taller than a sedan, and with the rear opening in the form of the hatch, hinged in front of the rear window.

    The Model Y would be considered a hatchback, if it were not mildly lifted, and with a taller body. The Model Y is 7 inches taller than the Model 3, 64 inches vs. 57 inches.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45. Thanks for the info. Interesting story, and a lot of work to be proud of. I’ve probably seen the Stinson, if it’s been at the Oshkosh museum very long.

    My friend with the Sunfire would be relatively easy on seats, weighing probably only ~150 pounds. Now, the only cars you can get with fabric seats are lower trim level, except for some sports cars. There are cloth “performance” seats available for the new Corvette, the better for not sliding around when playing on a track.

  48. Larry D. Says:

    27 I don’t know if anybody watched this excellent and informative video.

    If I was in the committee that awards the Pulitzers, I would give a BIG one to Hindenburg Research for unmasking the crook Trevor Milton, the CEO of Nikola who had to resign in disgrace.

    At the same time I would CHIDE the professional press and the media, for being ASLEEP at the wheel and NOT doing their duty. Especially the Business paper of record, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, who did not do its JOB and Hindenburg did it for them, Investors Business Daily, CNBC and even the New York Times, since it is published in NYC, the nation’s financial capital, mere feet from Wall Street.

    It was a disgrace. AFTER Hindenburg Research did the job of the WSJ and the NYT and CNBC, the WSJ examined the crook Milton’s past misdeeds, and there is a TRAIL of FAILURE, where the crook made millions for himself, while his gullible INVESTORS lost billions. AND the Auto News media NEVER investigated this crooked clown, and instead ADORED him and offered EXCUSES and even compared him to… ELon Musk!!!

    Their ignorance is deafening.

    We deserve MUCH better.

  49. Sean Wagner Says:

    48 Watched it, thank you.

    I don’t understand GM’s involvement with Nikola if they don’t have any original IP.

    It certainly seems like a very substantial distraction at a crucial time, given the actual manufacturing resources they plan to divert in support of Nikola.

    36 Appreciate your brief excursion into etymology!

    Incidentally, when my parents wanted to calm down one pre-nascent Sean, they’d hop into my father’s leaky, second-hand 356 and go for a spirited drive.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49. An uncle had a 356 which I drove a little, probably a year or two after I first got my license. The things I remember about it were the shorter throw shifter, and it being somewhat quicker than my parents’ Beetle. I hadn’t been driving long enough to appreciate the huge difference in handling between the Porsche and the Beetle.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    We had a very enjoyable visit by a couple I hafe known for a while, whose two daughters are in College in the US. The husband was a former student of mine who continued at MIT for his PhD, but never worked in academia, and currently is the VP for operations of major transport company here, and independently I also knew his wife, who is an orthodontist. Despite being very well off, obviously (or, more likely, BECAUSE of it) he only buys used. His previous car was a Lexus RX 400h hybrid, which he liked a lot, bought cheap, but recently, and with only 120,000 easy miles (no snow and rust here), he traded in for a Crossovery looking Volvo Diesel (not a hybrid, I believe) which he also bought used and with low (30,000) miles. I asked him why he gave up the Lexus and was surprised to be told it had a major problem in the engine, and since he paid not much to buy it, he correctly did not want to spend too much to fix it. I wish he would ask me, he could have avoided the VOlvo, which has a very noisy and much smaller than my 3 liter diesel.

    His wife also wants to get rid of her VW Tiguan, because it’s 12 years old, and she claims it has cost her three times in repairs than she paid to buy it ( I hope she also bought it used and for a very low price, but who knows)

  52. Larry D. Says:

    49 It seems that a retired GM exec named Girsky was either utterly incompetent or criminally negligent in finding out about Nikola, a farce of a company with no own tech of any serious kind. GIrsky claimed he had an ‘army of people’ look into Nikola and found nothing wrong with it, and then when Milton jumped ship, GIrsky replaced him!

    You can’t make this sheet up.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    The 356 started at only 711 kg weight, compared to the 875 or so of my very lightweight 1991-2016 Civic 3 door hatch. It was hard to find HP and torques in the article, but they said the most typical engine had 59 HP (vs my 75 from my 1.35 lt). The civic had a 5 sp manual and was quite quick around town (hence its name, a pefrect fit) but on the highway it could barely do 106 MPH top speed.

    My CIvic was probably designed in the early 80s and the 356 had many elements from the 30s and some from the late 40s. So my Civic benefited from four decades of automotive progress.

    I did not enjoy being rammed on the driver’s door in 2016, which totaled the Civic (had ony seat belts, no airbags or ABS) but left me relatively unscathed. WHich could not be said of James Dean who was killed in his 356, and was 4 years younger than I was when I was hit in the civic.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    53 error, when James Dean was killed in his 456 he was not 4 but exactly 40 years younger than I was when my civic was totaled with me inside.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Porsche 356s had engines from 40 to 130 hp.

    The chart of 0-60 and 1/4 mile times doesn’t look right. The data they attribute to the 130 hp car are probably for an under 100 car.

  56. Larry D. Says:

    Jokestar BEVs recalled almost before they even go on sale… not a good sign for the parent, Geely of CHina, and owner of VOlvo (whose Polestars it does not want to call VOlvos though)

  57. Larry D. Says:

    55 130 HP in a car weighing only 1,351 lbs (compared to my Civics 75 hp and 1,880 or so lbs) should make it very quick 0-60.

  58. Larry D. Says:–Carrera-2.html

    I googled it in German for tech data and found this, makes more sense, the 130 HP version weighed over a ton, at 1,012 KG. I clicked the top speed button (Hoechstgeshwindigkeit) but it had no results. The length and width were almost the same as in my civic but the shape of course was very different.

  59. Larry D. Says:

    Separately though it listed the top speed as 200 KPH, but had no number for the printed 0-100 KPH.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:


    A 1,012 KG car with 130 hp should do 0-60 in ~8 seconds, based on published numbers for recent cars with similar power/weight. The 130 hp for the Porsche 356 would probably be old “gross” rating, though, equivalent to more like 100 hp with today’s ratings, so 10 seconds might be more realistic for that car.

  61. Larry D. Says:

    60 A more accurate estimate would be to compare with other cars of the late 40s and early 50s of similar/identical HP/Weight ratios, as current cars benefit from all kinds of improvements since then in engine efficiency, transmissions/gearing etc.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Porsche 356 certainly would not have been geared for 0-50 times. Top gear would have been chosen to maximize top speed, i.e. have power peak rpm and drag limited top speed coincide, and the lower gears, at least 2nd and 3rd would have been chosen for mid-speed performance. I don’t know if the old Porsches were this way, but air cooled Beetles had a very short 1st gear, to make it easy to start off without slipping the clutch much. As I remember, in 1st gear, a 1200 cc Beetle was going 15 mph at the power peak rpm of 3900.


    62) This site is a good resource for things like 0-60 and 1/4 miles times for vehicles both now and yesteryear.

  64. Ukendoit Says:

    62) Kit, my father always had an air cooled Beetle (traded in for new a few times), my brother had one, and I have had a ’66 for about 25 years (with a dune buggy body). You are right about the gearing; the suggested shift points are on the speedometer in little red lines at 15 MPH, 30 MPH, and 45 MPH as in the photo on the link on my name. The first gear is so low, that its common to start in second gear if the vehicle is on a hill or rolling at all.