AD #3043 – Dacia Drops Center Screen for Smartphone; Apple CarPlay Issues; Why Moving Upscale is a Mistake

March 24th, 2021 at 11:55am

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Runtime: 10:06

0:07 Japanese Government Helping Chip Maker Renesas
0:46 GM Expanding Design Center to Speed Up EV Development
1:25 Dacia Drops Center Screen for Smartphone
3:22 Audi Turning to Low Emission Aluminum
4:09 Triumph Teams for Electric Motorcycle Prototype
4:45 Bridgestone Testing Mobile Service
5:32 Apple CarPlay Issues
7:18 Why Moving Upscale is a Mistake

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58 Comments to “AD #3043 – Dacia Drops Center Screen for Smartphone; Apple CarPlay Issues; Why Moving Upscale is a Mistake”

  1. Dale Leonard Says:

    Yes I would rather use my Smart phone as the screens just keep getting larger and larger. Next thing you will know vehicles will have a 43″ flatscreen on the dashboard.

  2. Dale Leonard Says:

    Yes,Dashboard!! Can you tell I’m 70 years old?

  3. Dave Says:

    In 1978 a car in Ontario rusted out in 6 years now most cars last a lot longer; also in 1978 cars broke down a lot more [gas stations had somebody to change a headlight while they pumped the gas] ; the good old days when headlights, fan belts, wore out regularly.

  4. Norm T Says:

    IPhone users always have problems with GM Intellilink too.

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    So the open floor plan of the planned GM design center sounds like it would promote collaboration but that’s not really the case. With so much work being done online these days you have multiple people holding online meetings at their desk and the surrounding noise is annoying and difficult to work around. Collaboration is easy today with other means like texting, video calls. The open plan is a 20 year old outdated concept. Sorry gm.

    I’ve always felt the smart phone provided a better option than most infotainment systems. Hence Carplay and Android auto. But is the screen large enough? Maybe if you are utilizing the voice commands like you should. A larger screen is nice for maps though. In a base model car it would be a nice option to cut costs. (if its actually reflected in the sticker price)

    John is spot on and yes the US manufacturers are abandoning a huge segment for the sake of the more profitable truck/SUV market. Its time for then next Model T, VW bug Chrysler K car. Something that almost anyone can afford and I really hope it doesn’t come from China.
    A cheap no frills car that’s reliable should be a target. Yet for some reason that always includes ugly. Why a basic car cannot have some style is beyond me. The manufacturer that can develop a good looking reliable car will own the entry level market.

  6. MJB Says:

    Give me both!

    I’ll take the car’s screen for size and visibility, but let it pair to my phone for functionality, access to my apps and data, and ease of use.

  7. Marshy Says:

    Re your ID4 guest and my general knowledge: how many cars have white “leather” steering wheels? Wont this be an unfortunate yellow mess in a year or two? Skin oils, diet, etc?

  8. MJB Says:

    BTW John, I’ve never before seen the Autoline baseball cap in that brownish color you were wearing. Did you get it mixed up in the wrong load of clothes? ;)

  9. Marshy Says:

    I’ve been using my phone “forever” in my cars. None of them have infotainment. I made a custom phone pocket and mounted it adjacent to the wheel.

    Keeps my 2009 JKU base stereo up to date with the latest tech! I cringe at what passes for decent infotainment today when viewed 10 years from now.

  10. cdkrek Says:

    Get rid of all touch screens, including phones. Call me old fashioned but I prefer buttons and knobs that I can find by touch. Screens require you to take your eyes off the road.

  11. Marshy Says:

    The brown hat isn’t in the merch store. But i like it.

  12. Marshy Says:

    @cdkrek: you’re old. But you’re also not wrong.

  13. Kevin A Says:

    Sean, I love Dacia’s approach, but it needs to go farther. Why not just have a phone ‘dock’ in the car. You could use your phone or upgrade to a Chromebook tablet for a larger screen. For big spenders, maybe a huge screen with the brand’s name on it as an option. Of course the base price has to drop by the mfg saving, to make the phone dock attractive. When it arrives, sign me up.

  14. cdkrek Says:

    So the automakers want people to buy used cars. Sounds short sighted. In order for someone to buy a used car, that car would have had to been bought new by somebody. If fewer and fewer can afford new cars, where will the used cars come from? I guess we’ll just need to hold on to our cars even longer.

  15. Bob Wilson Says:

    Could we get a more technical description of the “chip shortage?” Is it a question of automotive grade vs consumer grade temperatures or something else like legacy chip designs?

  16. 1949view Says:

    I keep saying this til I’m blue in the face. “Driving is a fulltime job; it requires your complete and undivided attention. Take your eyes off the road for even an instant to play with your electronic gadgets and you may have an accident or even kill someone, which you will regret the rest of your life.” Screens in cars should be getting smaller, not larger. If you need to do something involving a screen, simply pull off the road, park your car and have at it. Common sense anyone?

  17. Buzzerd Says:

    @John- I think you’ve got a point with offering a cheap transportation. I remember back in the day Harley Davidson had a deal on their 883 to get people into the industry. It was a fairly cheap bike and you got a guaranteed trade in price, I think you had a year to use the option. I thought it was a brilliant sales tool to get people who weren’t sure it they wanted to buy a bike or a or buy one that small to purchase a Harley.

  18. Buzzerd Says:

    @1949- I don’t know if its a full time job anymore- it supposed to be. Cities have dumbed down the roads, around here they don’t use flashing red/yellow lights for off hour intersections. They are barely anymore uncontrolled intersections. It seems most the traffic lights have turning lights because we are obviously too dumb to figure that out for ourselves….
    Then add in the cars that will auto brake, lane assist, side collision assist, blindspot, auto park, adaptive cruise control…

  19. Jon Says:

    The exoskeleton stainless steel unpainted electric powered small CUV the size of a porsche macan will be the next $25000 white space.

    Front or rear wheel drive base with all wheel drive as an option. 250 mile range is more than enough. Top speed 100 mph. No paint needed with exoskeleton construction and stainless steel materials should save a bundle in costs to produce allowing the 25 thousan pd dollar price tag.

    Paint shops cost manufacturers 650 million and the pollution is challenging from paint shops I believe. Removing paint shops from production facility saves a bundle.

    The other option is the skateboard platform with color impregnated exterior composite panels again removing the exoensive paint shop from the production equation.

    Black, silver, white or red Panels are more than enough choices. The color choices can even be paired down greater should cost constraints become an issue at launch.

    I think this is the next big segment as the price of new vehicles sold in the USA hover at 40 thousand dollars msrp.

    Young people are not as interested in new cars or trucks these days because at 40 grand average the prices are out of control.

    Too many standard features. Too many options.

    Just deliver heat, air conditioning power windows and door looks, abs brakes and active handling. Just have a receiver and speakers and a charger to use your cellphone as a radio or navigation..

    Speedometer and range gauge (or charge meter). Call it a day. Thats all people who view vehicles as appliances need.

    $25 grand is probably more than enough to build this type of vehicle.

  20. Victor West Says:

    The Koreans have attractive entry level products, and they are selling well.

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    The day is coming where people will finally have had enough with the multiple subscriptions and app fees. When your phone already has the ability to stream thousands of radio stations and music services, has an up to date (by the minute) maps with current traffic congestion and all your contacts and phone capabilities plus thousands of other useful apps why would you want to pay to have similar duplicate systems in your car? Put the HVAC controls back to buttons and knobs and leave the phone to handle the rest. Maybe develop a free app that connects your car to your phone for the typical touch screen information like MPG, Oil life, or other features provided on the current screens.

  22. GM Veteran Says:

    I always have my phone with me in the car anyway. Give me a separate stereo system and my phone can do the rest. The screen in my car and its capabilities are largely redundant with my phone anyway. So, I’m paying for much of the same capability twice.

    I think the Tata Nano was the right idea, with the wrong execution. It was a flop because it was ugly and too cheap. It also had no style. For a little more money, you could sell a car with basic capability and attractive styling. With a decent warranty, it would sell in large numbers.

    We all pay for a lot of features on cars that we don’t use. I think the auto companies would do themselves a favor by putting some research money into pursuing this concept.

  23. bradley cross Says:

    I thought the Nissan Versa was the cheap new car.

    Maybe an EV with recycled batteries will be cheap enough.

  24. ArtG Says:

    The Bridgestone mobile service, will “vacuum the oil out of your engine to eliminate oil spills.” What will they do about changing those oil filters that are positioned ins suck a way that makes it almost impossible not to spill any oil?

  25. ArtG Says:

    24. *in such a way* Sorry. Not a Freudian slip.

  26. WineGeek Says:

    John you are correct. This stupidity in raising prices just to raise prices and make Wall Street happy doesn’t really aid the country, the economy, or the people of the US. This makes a few people on Wall Street and Elon Musk very happy. I still marvel at Volvo which was a mid range semi-luxury vehicle somewhere between Buick and Mercedes now it is super high price and not selling, can anyone guess why?

  27. Chris Says:

    I would very definitely use my cell phone in place of on board navigation. The first car we owned became outdated and slugging when compared to my cell phone within 6 months. I would guess whatever cost of a navigation system it can’t compete with a modern $50 mobile phone. My choice is save the NAV cost and have as standard screen mirroring for integration with phone. I do hope auto manufactures hear this as well a new car buyers NOT look at NAV as a selling piont.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    Dave @ # 3, yeah but in 1978 it didn’t cost $1000 to replace a headlight either. With all these fancy LED lights you don’t replace a bulb you replace the whole assy if one bulb goes out . Add to the fact that to change it will take 3 hours to disassemble and reassemble the car at a shop rate of $120 @ hr . Some things are better and many are not . Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s improved.

  29. Lambo2015 Says:

    28 Yeah I know a couple vehicles that require the removal of the front fascia to replace the headlamp bulb. I was like what? Sure they last longer but that doesn’t mean make it almost impossible to get out. Totally agree that new doesn’t always mean improved.

  30. John McElroy Says:

    #15. Bob, the chip shortage is a shortage of all types of chips. When automakers shut down production last year because of the pandemic, they cancelled their chip orders and lost their place in line. The consumer electronics industry rushed in to take their place in line, and so automakers will have to wait about 6 months before their slot opens up again. For more info, check out the Autoline This Week show we did, #2506 – Chip Shortage Cripples Car Production.


    Moving up scale….if Tesla sold a vehicle without all of the cameras, self driving ready components/software, gaming computer, spyware, etc. they probably would have there $25k car already.

  32. 1949view Says:

    @Buzzerd, 17: Most electronic self-driving/safety gizmos still seem to be designed with quick-disabling features (tap brakes, touch steering wheel), allowing for immediate reversion to driver control in an emergency. When it comes to safety, there is always the unforeseen/unexpected factor to contend with, which so far at least, is being addressed by defaulting to human control. (Admittedly, safety equipment OEMs are also concerned about litigation and want to be able to claim driver error or “last clear chance” whenever possible.) For me, the “immediate reversion to human control” design feature for emergencies speaks volumes about AI’s current ability to handle unanticipated emergencies in a passenger vehicle.

  33. Ken Says:

    “Would you use your phone in place of an infotainment screen?” Are you even serious asking that? No way! Most smart phones have a 5″- 6″ screen — far too small for readability and functionality.

  34. Wim van Acker Says:

    @John: I am not following your logic about lower disposable income customers buying fewer cars because the average vehicle price increased.

    To me it seems that sales to lower-disposable-income customers depends on the price development of the cheapest vehicles and does not depend on what happens up-market, which may drive up the average price.

  35. Alex Carazan Says:

    VEHICLE PRICES: Why do prices for most goods and services keep rising over many years? Central banking Federal Reserve which are private banks and not federal at all keep printing fiat currency and paying themselves back interest by printing more and more fake currency as they support big government spending more $$ that they have to borrow from the same banks because it is $$ we do not have. Cha ching! All of Americans have become debt slaves to big global banks and the families that own them. This is of course bad for most industries including automotive. In the 1950′s and 60′s a family could have one bread winner and live a good middle class life. Today both parents need to work full time just to make it.

    Are big changes coming soon?!

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A base Camry has everything most people need, for $25K MSRP. It’s just that trucks are oh, so fashionable.

    To me, an android or iOS tablet would make a much better replacement for a built in display than a phone. Size matters, for some things. Yeah, unlimited data is more a “thing” with phones, and tethered data is usually metered, but that might change.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 I don’t know about my newer cars, but changing a headlight bulb is about a one minute job with my 1989 van, 30 seconds if I’d done it in the last 10 years. Yeah, many newer vehicles are not so friendly with changing headlight bulbs.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I’ve never had a car with nav, and have used google maps with a phone since I quit using paper maps. I set it up before driving, and use voice turn-by-turn.

    As a replacement for actual displays, we need at least 10 inch tablets, not phones.

  39. cwolf Says:

    Many of you know I have made numerous comments about the rediculous increase in prices of vehicles and that the Asians are the only ones offering affordable cars and small suv’s. I believe it is smart of them to fill the void by offering ICE cars, suv’s and small trucks and, in the future, dominate this sector that others exited.
    All these Yo-Yo’s moving towards electrics will accumulate losses evn with gov’t handouts. There will come a time when people just say NO to Ford and GM trucks outlandish prices. Without these huge profits, I guess their R&D into EL will suffer.
    I have been a Ford/Lincoln guy all my life. My next car mat be a Honda or Toyota.

  40. XA351GT Says:

    cwolf I see the US big 3 repeating what happened nearly 50 years ago. They have all but abandoned smaller vehicles for large fuel guzzling land barges all over again. With the recent up tick in fuel prices we are likely to see a repeat of the 2009 great sell off. Only this time there will be nothing for them to offer. If gas reaches $4 @ gallon you will see a drastic pull back from large SUVs and Trucks. I believe a lot of this is to push people into buying EV even if they are not ready for one.

  41. Sean Wagner Says:

    I concur with the overall sentiment here – it’s predictably shortsighted to completely abandon entire segments of the market to the competition – and that’s despite still having some strong products that sell in decent numbers.

    One of the best cars ever built in my humble was the diminutive Suzuki Wagon R+. Here was a four seater that did it all, on a small footprint and commensurately reasonable price.
    And it even made (European) city parking and ingress/egress nice.

    A car like that impresses me much more than any numbers of prestige cars whose engineers are blessed with abundant resources.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ford seems especially short sighted, dropping the Fusion and MKZ, both of which were selling reasonably well, and there is a new, presumably better version ready to go, in the Mondeo sold in Europe and elsewhere. Also, Chevy Cruze was still selling decently, 142K in the US in 2018, even though it had been announced in advance, as with Fusion/MKZ, that it would be an “orphan.” I guess GM and Ford just want to give the Asians extra sales.

    Then, if those buyers like their Elantras and Sonatas, they are likely to buy a Palisade rather than a Traverse or Explorer when they decide they “need” a biggish CUV.


    42) That was my thoughts also. The old car sales ladder is still very much real. GM/Ford/Chrysler used to understand that concept very well and structured their brand strategy around it (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Ford/Mercury/Lincoln and Plymouth/Dodge/Chrysler). It seems that in the past few decades they have forgot that it is important to get people introduced to your brand first and foremost; then you can move them up into the next tier as their fortunes improve.

    Most notably teens and young adult drivers. If their very first car is a Hyundai, their next car is likely a Hyundai. It is also cheaper as the acquisition cost to get someone from a Hyundai Pallisade to a Chevrolet Traverse is definitely higher than someone going from a Cruze to a Traverse which is zero dollars of acquisition cost.

    Its not a hard segment to figure out either. Literally the experience in 41 is all that segment wants. Reasonable room, practical up to date infotainment, and excellent reliability. If you hit all that, you have made a lasting first impression on that person which will influence their purchasing decisions for the rest of their lives.

    Or….We can wait for the inevitable rise of Chinese OEMs who will swoop in and fill the cheap car void and establish another generation of people that will ignore anything produced by Detroit. It worked for the Japanese OEMs when Detroit left the door open, it worked for the Korean OEMs when Detroit/Japan kept the door open, and it will work for the Chinese OEMs too because that door is still left open after so many decades. It is like the OEMs have yet to figure this out.

    Another example….What car saved Chrysler in the 80s? It wasn’t the expensive Imperials and Cordobas that were packed with luxury features and fine Corinthian leather(LOL). It was the humble and inexpensive K-Car and its variants. That is the power of the cheap car. It quite literally saved an entire car company. I can see where abandoning the segment makes total sense /sarcasm. I guess Chrysler forgot how they almost didn’t exist because they focused on going upmarket. History matters.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    I truly believe that the US car market is going through an evolution and people want higher seated positions and a better view of the road. Even if they don’t want a Truck or SUV. I fully expect to see more designs like the Ford Mach-E that are somewhat of a crossover to replace the traditional sedan as we know it.
    The big problem is US makers need to get an entry level vehicle that fills that desire similar to the Honda CRV or many of the Subaru vehicles. Not making sedans if fine as long as they maintain vehicles that still appeal to the smaller fuel efficient entry level price target. They are so focused on using those designs for EVs and not bridging the gap with a ICE vehicle that fills this void. If they don’t design something soon the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese will. Yes it will be the 1980s all over again. US with land barges and Asian manufacturers flooding sales with cheaper smaller vehicles that people can afford and fill with gas. EVs will not get them through the next 10 years. IMO

  45. Lambo2015 Says:

    43 Almost same comment as yours but you stated it quite well. Totally agree.

  46. veh Says:

    42. Kit, did you see Ford dropped the Mondeo in Europe? It’s not just the US and Canada that’s moving away from sedans.

  47. John McElroy Says:

    #34. Wim, the telling statistic is that a lower percentage of the American population buys a new car than in the past. In 1978 (the all time record), 6.9% bought a new car. Now that’s down to 5.1%. The only thing that’s propping up new car sales is population growth. In the US, the population increases by about 2.5 million people a year. If that growth ever slows, new car sales will drop immediately.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 No, I didn’t know that they dropped Mondeo in Europe. Thanks for keeping me informed.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I still own one of the saviors of Chrysler, the first generation Dodge Caravan.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 I remember when only a small percentage of vehicles blocked your view if you were driving a car. Now, with 2/3 of the vehicles in the US being trucks/CUVs, even more people want lifted vehicles so their view won’t be obstructed. A vicious circle, as it were.

  51. XA351GT Says:

    Jon @ #47 Can you tell how many of those vehicles sold in 1978 were low cost fuel economy models as that was right when the 2nd gas crisis was going on. My bet ia a lot of those new cars were cheap econo boxes to survive on while gas supplies were limited. if that were to happen today what would people be able to do? How many cars in the US market even list for what we would consider cheap today (20K) ?

  52. XA351GT Says:

    Kit @ 50 I feel you as someone who still drives a car it sucks when I come out of a store and see a truck or SUV on both sides of my car. It’s like trying to back out from between 2 billboards.

  53. John McElroy Says:

    #51. The second gas crisis did not hit until 1979. In 1978 sales of pickups, full size vans and SUVs were surging. In fact, Ford was able to charge a premium for V8 engines because they were in such short supply.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 The Mondeo, in many trim levels, saloon and estate, is shown on the Ford UK web site. It the car being dropped in the UK, or will it stay around there? TIA for info.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52 Exactly

  56. Fstfwrd Says:

    As far as the Nav vs.Cell Phone issue, the cell phone relies on the availability of a Cell Tower, not always available, even here in So.Cal.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56 Phone nav always works where I am, but yeah, there would be places where it wouldn’t work. I’m surprised that So. Cal. would be one of those places, but you’ve experienced it.

  58. Fstfwrd Says:

    @57 Yes, when one goes to the Colorado River of AZ you have to cross the desert, and there are a lot of areas with no cell service, and what about burning up Data time?