AD #2963 – VW Dropping Passat From U.S. Market; Rivian Eyes Smaller EVs for Europe & China; Subaru Reveals New BRZ

November 19th, 2020 at 11:46am

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Listen to “AD #2963 – VW Dropping Passat From U.S. Market; Rivian Eyes Smaller EVs for Europe and China; Subaru Reveals New BRZ” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:26

0:07 BMW Shifts Engine Production Out of Germany
0:48 Daimler & Geely Developing Hybrid Engines
1:01 VW Drops Passat to Make Room for ID.5
1:46 Rivian Eyes Smaller EVs for Europe & China
3:01 F-150 Hybrid Will Appeal to Contractors
4:26 Subaru Reveals New BRZ
5:47 New Mercedes Maybach S-Class Dripping with Decadence
7:41 Honda N-ONE Hitting Japanese Dealerships
8:16 GM Launching OnStar Insurance

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43 Comments to “AD #2963 – VW Dropping Passat From U.S. Market; Rivian Eyes Smaller EVs for Europe & China; Subaru Reveals New BRZ”

  1. Wim van Acker Says:

    @ Sean: “Some automotive suppliers have grown so big they’re actually bigger than a number of car companies.” Could you please name a few suppliers that are larger than a number of OEMs?

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    1) Not sure of the size of each of these companies but Bosch, Denso, Magna, Continental and ZF were the largest. Number 3 Magna’s total revenue was around 42 Billion in 2019. Net income of 2.2 B.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    2 cont- Bosch has 400,000 employees worldwide and 77.7 Billion Euros in sales.

  4. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The Honda N-One almost equals the first Honda Civic (at least to the eye, or my eye anyway).

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not a big fan of telematics being used to determine insurance rates. That’s only a snapshot of the overall picture. If you are a good driver and drive defensively you can go 30 years without an accident even if you speed frequently. Be a horrible driver obeying all the speed limits and have multiple close calls a day yet telematics says your the safer driver.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    BMW must be confident that the UK and EU will work out a post-Brexit trade deal, to allow free flow of engines from the UK to Germany and other locations. Is there any serious progress on that yet?

    The F-150 claims to be a “full hybrid,” but why the non-hybrid level gas mileage? It will be interesting to hear more about that system, like how much of the time will the engine run, if you are using the power plugs? It will be convenient for construction sites, but an extension cord might be a lot cheaper than having your 3.5 turbo running all the time, if that is how it works. We should soon hear more about it.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 It looks like Bosch’s revenue is substantially less than Toyota or GM, but more than quadruple Tesla.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I glad to see that the BRZ/86 is surviving for another generation. I’ve read a couple reports, and people are still whining about the lack of a turbo, but others say the new, bigger engine with a lower rpm, flatter torque curve works very well, and is a noticeable improvement, even with only ~12% more power.

  9. Roger Says:


    Say goodbye to excellence in engineering, and engines hand assembled in Germany.


    5) My insurance company kept asking me to put one of their trackers in my car for a “cheaper rate”. I refused. I drive on I-94 to Detroit every day and get the joy of experiencing near misses multiple times per day and all within 5 miles of the I-75/I-94 interchange. Their telematics lack context and I would likely be considered a bad driver despite never having an accident in the most intense traffic situation known to exist in Michigan. Not even once. I would refuse onstar insurance for the same reason. There is no way I would remotely trust anything TESLA. TESLA has a nasty habit of blaming their customers for everything that goes wrong with their cars. With a corporate culture like that at TESLA, imagine TESLA insurance LOL

    The good news is that I have OBD1 cars that I can drive to work if insurance ever wants to make a thing of it. No possibility for them to track anything on those cars unless they want to tell me what the latest check engine light codes are LOL.

  11. Roger Says:

    The American auto manufactures are going to be in deep shit in the coming 10-15 years with this continued push toward electric vehicles. Fact is most people don’t want them, will not buy them, and the country infrastructure is not ready or equipped to handle the power distribution and charging of millions of EV’s.

  12. wmb Says:

    I know that many may not agree or desire such a change, but VW’s discontinuing of the Passat in the US for the I.D.5, seems to indicate that the five door CUV/Crossover ‘coupe’ may eventually replace to sedan in the market place. Crossovers are generally tall sedans anyway, so they’re replace for the sedan may have been just a matter of time.

    Rivian statement that they build ‘addition to building full size vehicles’, is very misleading IMHO. Their current offering is a tweener, between the size of a full size vehicle and midsize. So when they say that they will eventually build a smaller BEV, will it be a tweener too? Between that of a true compact vehicle and a midsize? And will they offer it in the US as well?.

    The hybrid F-150, at even 22 mpg is a great average I would think. At work I use a new 2020 regular cab and 6 ft bed F-150 and get 14.5 mpg with the light stuff that I carry in the bed! To get 22 mpg, with a loader bed and the plug-in capacity that it has, will be win-win for work truck industry.

    I still can’t see the Maybach as a real competition for Bentley and Rolls Royce. I know it is a step up from the regular S-Class, they treat it like trim level. AMG has set itself apart as a serious, in house tuner for Mercedes. Yet, to me, it is hard to look at Maybach in the same way, let alone the same class as RR and Bentley, as great as they may be!

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    The new F150 will make a great truck to tailgate. You could carry all your stuff to the game like your grill, chairs, table and big screen TV and have a place to plug it in. Since you cant go in and watch a game anymore.

  14. Kevin A Says:

    Sean, Does the Ford F-150 Hybrid produce enough power that I could use it instead of a GENERAC for emergency power during a power outage? If so, that might make it worthwhile to a lot of people in rural, tornado or flood prone areas.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 Now, if they’d just lower those 5-door CUVs and make them the height of a regular sedan, they would have great cars, formerly known as station wagons.

    The EPA combined rating of the F-150 hybrid is only 2 mpg better than the 2.7 turbo. The hybrid, with the 3.5 turbo and some electric boost will be faster, but substantially more expensive, and the 2.7 turbo has plenty of power for normal use. The generator thing would be nice for some people.

    M-B has been using the AMG moniker very loosely the last few years, applying it to versions of the very mediocre A-Class and CLA. They should reserve AMG for better cars than that. Maybach seems to be for ultra luxury cars, that aren’t as conspicuous as a Rolls are Bentley. Maybach didn’t seem to go that well as a separate “brand,” and I doubt it will do that well as a trim level of the S-Class. We shall see.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 The 7.2 kW version should work as an emergency generator for many people, but you’d need to use care about what high drain appliances are on at the same time.

  17. Wim van Acker Says:

    @ Sean, 2, 3: Annual revenues Robert Bosch $47 BB/yr (Lambo’s EUR 78 BB/yr figure includes Household appliances and Powertools), DENSO $42BB, MAGNA $40BB. So, Sean which suppliers are larger than a number of OEMs?

  18. XA351GT Says:

    #10 poking the bear I see. LOL

  19. Sean Wagner Says:

    I’m looking forward to Autoline After Hours.

    As Lambo2015 noted, these are gigantic, world-bestriding companies. It’s also indicative of US competitiveness in legacy industries that only Lear made it into the top ten. Incidentally, Bosch is privately owned.

    Autonews has a nifty list of the top 100, usually updated yearly.

  20. Sean Wagner Says:

    9 Roger – German companies have been manufacturing engines and components in neighboring countries for a long time. The Audi e-tron’s motor is made in Hungary. And about that hand-assembled… I’d see that like pixie dust. It’s not good for margins.

    In Czechia and Slovakia, any warm body can find work (well, pre-pandemic) due to the abundance of German factories. And they’re competitive in software / engineering services too.

    While Skoda survives in name, Tatra was a storied marque even before WWI, if I remember correctly.


    17) Every day LOL

    I also found out that GM partnered with American Family Insurance as their underwriter. This insurer recently had their Fitch rating withdrawn because of deep financial issues and the likely outcome that they will be bankrupt soon. Imagine trying to get a company like that to approve and pay claims. Best case scenario they approve the claim and can’t pay it because they are broke. There is no way I would consider OnStar insurance until they get an underwriter that isn’t teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

  22. WineGeek Says:

    I’m firmly convinced that the only people that make out with the telematics watching your driving and calculating your rates are the insurance companies. It’s just another way for Big Brother to charge you more for giving you less. I love to watch all the ads on TV about how you really make out with the insurance company electronic copilot. The problem is that the only one that really makes out is the insurance company.


    21) Meant for 18 not 17

  24. Drew Says:

    Sean M – I understand how aluminum hoods and fenders can coexist on a steel body. But I am curious how an aluminum roof coexists with steel quarter panels, etc.

  25. Tony Gray Says:

    Another source says the Maybach has a 4 liter twin turbo V8 putting out 496 horse with a 21 HP e-boost.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 It looks like the top 7 suppliers had more revenue in 2018 than Tesla in 2018 or 2019.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 According to KBB, for only ~$30K extra, you can get a V12.

  28. Sean Wagner Says:

    12 – wmb – Maybach always seemed to me like mediocrity dialed up two notches. Those 21 HP of e-boost, though… breathless. I prefer the understatement of a Toyota Century.

    Cadillac speeding up the Lyriq is great news. It can’t come fast enough, and I hope they’ll develop cars with a view to competing globally again. It’s all a matter of E-tiquette.

    Just can’t see the Escalade moving beyond a hybrid. They should just keep it “classic” and milk that line.

    26 – Kit – Irrespective of its valuation-du-jour, Tesla has only recently joined the ranks of automotive medium-weights. It’s just that the trajectory holds some promise…

  29. JWH Says:

    GM Onstar Insurance – Many years ago (1970 when I completed school at GM) GM offered auto insurance at least to employees through Motors Insurance Corporation. My memory is that GM themselves covered collision insurance & farmed out the liability to some other company. My only contact was with MIC. Not sure when MIC disappeared from the GM portfolio.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 I remember MIC when I was working at GM. I got a quote, and they were barely, if any lower than what I had.

  31. Joe G Says:

    The new F-150 hybrid will be available on all trim lines, even the basic XL, which is a smart move. The truck equipped with the hybrid will cycle the engine on/off based on the stuff plugged into the Pro Power tailgate. No need to lug a generator to the worksite or tailgate party or have to worry about it being stolen.
    Ford will not certify that it will power your house in an emergency, but I bet it would with the 7.2 KW Pro Power setup.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 The resistance heat at my condo is rated at 4800 watts, and my water heater is 4500 watts. so if the two ran at the same time, you’d be well over the 7.2 kW of the truck. You’d have more than enough to run the frig, TV, a couple burners on a stove, and a few other things. You’d just need to turn off some of the high current stuff, if you had electric “heating” equipment, and central A/C you had much else running.

  33. wmb Says:

    #15-Kit; Mercedes-Benz is arguably the most successful luxury brand around the world! What it is not is an uber brand like Rolls Royce and Bentley. And it may burn Mercedes biscuits that these brands are owned by VW and BMW! IMHO, Mercedes doesn’t need to make Maybach a separate brand like they tried before, but putting more sparkle and shine on an S-Class and GLS-Class and raise up to 200K+! I mean, look, the 9 Series is built from the bones of the 5-7 Series, but its still a BMW. The Flying Spur/Continental came from the bones of the Phaeton (another luxury vehicle). In those two instances, the ending product were amazing vehicles in there own right! The difference with the Maybach is that it is still too close to the S-Class! A different paint job, funny front spoiler and much, much better interior appointments, in a on vehicles that still looks the same is a trim level and not a new model. I could see respect them calling their new EQS BEV a Maybach, more so then a loaded up S-Class.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 To me, a $60K car is expensive, so these cars are in another world from what I actually buy, but I still find the ultra luxury cars interesting. To me, the Maybach sedan is to a Flying Spur or Ghost, what a Phaeton was to an S-Class. The Phaeton and Maybach was/is a less conspicuous competitor to the others, and for somewhat less money.

    Yeah, the Maybach is way to similar to a regular S-Class to cost nearly twice as much, with twice as much being big numbers in this case. Still, maybe it could be considered a bargain compared with a Flying Spur, which uses a lot from from the VW parts bin. I think the Bentley looks cooler, though. Even the cheapest Rollers are in another realm, though. Don’t the Ghost and Wraith start at over $300K?.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Well, the Flying Spur looks more “special.” I don’t know that it looks “better” than the Maybach.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    34, 35 You clearly are not the Maybach targeted Demographic, not even the S class, for sure. But you still think you should comment on them, despite your deep ignorance on the subject matter.

    WHy waste my time to explain? The usual suspects will side with your ignorance 100% than with the facts.

    I am stunned especially at your ignorance of automotive history, the GLORIOUS Mercedeses of MANY decades, even recent ones.

    The LEGENDARy 600 of 1963-81 was actually MUCH BETTER than the ROllses of its time and every head of state had to have one, while very few chose ROllers.

    ANd I say this as a big fan of ROlls AND Bentley as well. But unlike you, I know what I am talking about.

    Why don’t you try to educate yourself on the subject you want to post, before you do so? WHy don;t you look how many MILLIONS you have to pay at auctions to buy several legendary 30s Mercs? NO ROlls ROyce of that time could command a FRACTION of their price.

    And as for $60k being too much for a car, this is actually the AVERAGE transaction price in the US of a STUPID PICKUP, and a couple years ago you could buy (I would not advice it) a Maserati Ghibli, BRAND NEW, with that $.

    WHen you talk about ROlls, Maybach and Bentley prices of $300k, $500k or even $1 million,

    You should TRY to imagine the people who will ACTUALLY SERIOUSLY COnsider buying them new.

    Not only are these prices POCKET CHANGE compared to what some Ferraris fetch at auctions ($25 million , $30 million),

    They are a TINY FRACTION of these buyer’s income and net worth.

    Even if you are not ELon Musk with $115 billion, but a lowly billionaire, with barely $1 bilion.

    WHat is even one MILLION compared to your net worth? 0.1%. TO buy the stupid car NEW, CASH. Or buy FIVE Maybachs, NEW, with 100% CASH.

    SO to THESE Buyers, who are the INTENDED audience, these cars are DIRT CHEAP.

    You should also try to understand what I often say, that once you have this kind of $, like even only ONE billion, You really cannot SPEND IT on yourself, at best you can invest it. THINK about it. DO some math, go tery to spend it in $1,000 dinners with $5,000 bottles of wine each. You STILL cannot spend it on just yourself.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 And I suppose you are the target demographic for these cars you talk about so much, even as you drive your dirty diesels, and gush over those far-from-luxury Teslas that sell for S-Class prices.

    As far as automotive history, I know more on my little finger that you will ever know.

    …and what, exactly, do collector car prices have to do with anything being made now? Nothing.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oh, and I never said anything about $60k being too much for a car, just that it was about as much as I pay for a car. Also, we determined a few days ago that the average transaction price in the US of a pickup truck is well below $60K, more like $45K, but you aren’t concerned about actual facts.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 …and since you want to talk about collector car prices, look up some lists of auction prices. There are dozens of Ferraris at the top for every Benz, and as many J Duesenbergs, of which only a few hundred were made, as there are Benzes in the top 50 or so.

  40. Lambo2015 Says:

    38-39 Dang I was beginning to think our local Tesla fanboy might have gotten banned after 15 hours and no posts. :-( wrong.


    36) You may want to read 34/35 again a little more slowly.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    As for the successor of the FAILED TOyobaru, it is just another joyless loser with derivative styling. The rear reminds of older BMW z3s, and the front/size reminded me of some Datsun-Nissan Zs. The engine is a pathetic 4. The interior is another depressing sea of cheap black plastics. No wonder the patron saint of all automotive losers is delighted that the fools at SUbaru decided to waste some of their wagon profits on this loser. Let’s have every other automaker make a loser like this, so you can have more ‘choice’. WHich loser do you fancy, Loser no 1 or no 14? Let’s tell KIA to make one like this too! And Hyundai too!

  43. joe Says:

    Here’s shocking Wall Street news that might give a heart attack to a very well known individual who blogs on this site. The Almighty Tesla could be overtaken by GM according to Wall Street. How could a low tech company like GM beat the Almighty Tesla Company with the Super Genius, Elon Musk, at the helm? How could that ever happen???