Episode 354 – Mulally Earns $18 Million, Honda Avoids Joint Ventures, Another Toyota Theory

March 23rd, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:00

Ford announced that its CEO, Alan Mulally, earned nearly $18 million last year. One of Honda’s top executives says that alliances or joint ventures between car companies leads to a drastic decline in efficiency. All that and more, plus another theory on what’s causing unintended acceleration in Toyotas.

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Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Ford’s Mulally rakes- in nearly $18 million. Honda says joint ventures between car companies are inefficient. And yet another theory on what’s causing unintended acceleration in Toyotas.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, March 23, 2010. And now, the news.

Ford announced that its CEO, Alan Mulally, earned $17.9 million last year. A lot of people are going to squawk at him getting that kind of compensation. But remember, Ford’s market cap has grown by some $40 billion in the last year or so, so Alan really earned it.

But Bloomberg reports that Ford never sold all of its corporate aircraft. The Big Three executives were crucified in the media for flying to Washington a year and a half ago looking for bailout money. They all promised to sell-off their jets. But Ford says it just couldn’t find buyers for three of its planes and let its top execs keep flying them for security reasons.

One of Honda’s top executives says that alliances or joint ventures between car companies leads to a drastic decline in efficiency. Bloomberg quotes Fumihiko Ike, the president of Asian Honda, as saying that trying to get two companies with different cultures to agree on something takes a lot of time and energy. He says it’s usually faster to go it alone, and speed leads to greater efficiency. Maybe that explains why General Motors’ ventures with Toyota, Suzuki, Isuzu, Subaru and Saab never went anywhere.

Carbon Motors, which is developing a purpose-built police car, finally revealed what’s going under the hood. The E7 will be powered by a 3.0-liter BMW diesel (subscription required). Carbon Motors has ordered 240,000 engines and automatic transmissions from BMW. In the X5 and 3 Series the engine puts out 265 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Neither company has revealed the length of the deal but it’s rumored to be worth more than 1 billion Euros.

Ward’s reports that researchers in New Zealand have developed a more accurate battery meter for electric vehicles (subscription required). It uses three different methods to measure the state of charge. Most readouts simply monitor volts, which is only accurate when a vehicle is stopped. The new setup is designed to work like a fuel gauge to provide more meaningful data which will hopefully prevent drivers from getting stranded.

How can luxury brands gets customers interested in dinky little cars? And how can they make good money on them? Easy, make high performance versions of them. According to Autoblog, Mercedes will build an AMG version of its redesigned B-Class, which is due out sometime next year. The compact MPV would likely rival the Audi S3 and hopped-up versions of the Volkswagen Golf.

Coming up after the break. Another theory as to why Toyota owners think their cars are accelerating all on their own.

Toyota is investigating complaints about the cruise control not working properly in 2010 Priuses. Of the 160 complaints it’s received about unintended acceleration for the Prius, 11 percent say the cruise control didn’t turn off when it should. Ward’s reports that the company believes the problem is related to vehicles with adaptive cruise control (subscription required), which uses radar sensors to detect a vehicle traveling ahead and paces the car’s speed accordingly. Drivers can choose how close they want to travel behind the lead vehicle, but the stalk can increase speeds two different ways. By tapping up on the stalk, speeds are increased by one mile an hour but if it’s held down speeds are increased by five miles an hour. This is not explained in the owner’s manual. Also research shows a learning curve for drivers with adaptive cruise control. They tend to overestimate its effectiveness and the system itself is not always reliable.

In other Toyota hybrid news, Lexus announced that the CT 200h that debuted in Geneva will go on sale next year in the U.S. The five-door compact will be at next months New York show.

PSA Peugeot/Citroen is considering changing its name (subscription required). According to Ward’s, Peugeot/Citroen will be dropped from the name and will simply be called PSA. The company has budgeted $740 million to promote the change and a new logo. The idea will be announced to stockholders during a meeting in June.

An unlucky driver in India who had just purchased a new Tata Nano and was driving it home from the dealer, had his vehicle catch on fire. According to Autoblog, the driver has no idea what happened and didn’t realize it was on fire until another motorist pointed it out to him. Apparently this is the second incident of a Nano catching on fire.

The Associated Press reports that the head of the NYPD’s detectives’ union says the department has been towing its own unmarked cars and then paying officers overtime to go and retrieve them. It seems that over an 18-month span, the union has documented nearly 40 instances of detectives’ cars being towed while they were on the job. It reminds me of Peter Finley Dunne explaining the difference between honest graft and dishonest graft. Honest graft is when the schoolhouse needs a new roof and you get your brother-in-law to put on a new one. Dishonest graft is when the schoolhouse does not need a new roof and you get your brother-in-law to put on a new one. Seems to me this one sounds like dishonest graft.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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70 Comments to “Episode 354 – Mulally Earns $18 Million, Honda Avoids Joint Ventures, Another Toyota Theory”

  1. Nick Stevens Says:

    Mullaly fully deserves his $18 mill, paid all by Ford’s Shareholders, not the taxpayer,

    while Whiteacre at GM does not deserve a dime of his taxpayer-paid $9 million a year obscene salary.

  2. Ralph Kercheval Says:

    Ford paying 18M should not even be news considering the turn around that Ford has shown. No Government intervension and putting out products the buyers want. What a novel idea.

    How can anyone get wound up over corporate jet use by automakers when the same Senators routinely fly all over on OUR (the taxpayers) dime. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!!

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I see no big deal in Mullaly’s pay.He has earned every bit of it.As far as their corporate jets,who cares? Ford didn’t take any of our money thru the crisis,and have still come out near the top of the heap.”Honest graft and dishonest graft”,graft is graft and cops live on that.Nothing there will ever change.I personally never met an “honest” cop,and more then likely never will.

  4. dcars Says:

    Ike has a point. In an effort to make all the partners achieve lower costs they end up making very similar looking cars. I would bet that the Subaru/Toyota deal is aiming to change Subaru to be more like to Toyota. They are planning on coming out with a two wheel drive Subaru, which is exactly what made Subaru different and probably profitable in a down market. GM had a terrible time trying to integrate Saab and yet keep it different, it didn’t work. They are advantages to having a different brands and different cars.
    They aren’t all pulled down the toilet when something is engineered incorrectly. The Toyota gas pedal issue comes to mind. With some separation between the brands they can insulate themselves from world wide recalls.

  5. Dave Says:

    I wold not say that GM and Toyotas JV were all bad. GM sold a TON of Vibes, maybe one of the best selling GMs in last few years..

    As for the police car 50 grand and something new? Cities dont have money and are letting police and firemen go. And departments dont like change. Go from a car and service people we know to a “start up” car company!@# GOOD LUCK. The car looks cool,but will be as rare on the street as a F40

  6. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    John,

    An interesting Tid Bit that just came hot off the press. Fact-80% of 1 Series owners already think they have a FWD car. So, I guess that Front Wheel Drive BMW idea might not be such a bad thing after all?

    http://www.motorauthority.com/blog/1043671_80-percent-of-bmw-1-series-owners-think-their-car-is-front-wheel-drive

  7. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    There’s a simple formula in getting people into premium small cars:

    1. Fun
    2. Reliability
    3. Fit and Finish
    4. Curb Appeal
    5. Ultimate Reliability
    6. Reasonable Affordability

    People will buy an $18-19K Mini, a $15K Golf, but they will not buy a $28,000 A-Class.

    The Mini and Golf According to JD Power are missing the reliability ingredient, but guess what? People will still buy those cars anyway due to the other 5 factors.

    If anything MINI sales reinforce the idea that resonably affordable premium small cars are wanted and needed in America.

    HKAG Sees this-New Accent/Rio
    GM Sees this-New Chevy Aveo/Buick Viva
    Ford Sees this-New Ford/Mercury Fiesta

    Its seems like the Japanese are the only ones that dont get it, with their $17K small cars that look and feel like they should be $12K.

  8. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Americans see it too, and that’s why HKAG with their Accent/Rio/Soul combined sales are now the largest distributor of B-Segment small cars in America.

    You still cant pull the wool over people’s eyes.

  9. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Japanese are the only ones that dont get it, with their $17K small cars that look and feel like they should be $12K.”

    What nonsense!!!!

    The CIVIC is the BEST car in its class in that price range, good at EVERY criterion, a HIUGH quality WELL performing vehicle, and it has been around for years, its next model will be even better.

  10. Nick Stevens Says:

    Japanese STILL dominate this class, while the EUROS only have VW in the US, and even VW has a small fraction of the sales here that either Honda or Toyota or even Nissan have.

  11. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    HKAG Subcompacts sold 134,373 units last year inAmrica. To put that into context Top Seller Nissan Versa and 4th place seller Mini Cooper combined sales sold 6242 less units than HKAG.

    Yeah, Infinti needs a Subcompact too.

  12. dcars Says:

    VW’s small cars are over priced. They have put the Jetta in the same class as the Corrola. The Jetta is priced at 2k more, thats to big of premium.

    I agree with what big Ed did at GM. The high paid senior execs had to go. I would rather look to Mark Ruess and his team to bring GM around. The other guys lead GM into bankruptcy.

  13. LEX Says:

    John,

    Why do the Brownies (NYC Traffic Dept.) as they are affectionally called in New York City have more power than the NYPD? This is just another example of how big government wastes taxpayers money!

    If Peugeot/Citroen does drop their corporate names and are simply called PSA, what happens to all that automotive heritage? I can see PCA, i.e, Peugeut/Citroen/Automotive as a new corporate identity. I see this move as simply a waste of Corporate money during these poor economic times. Why doesn’t PSA simply invest those Euro’s towards builting the best vehicles at an affordable price for all it’s customers as, Mullaly is doing with the Ford Brand!

  14. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Wrong Nick the next Civic=Japanese Chrysler Sebring. Ive seen enough patent photos buddy.

    They are going to kill that car.

    The Elantra/Forte due have better interiors than Civic by a mile especially at some of the price points for these cars. Considering what HKAG is offering, why isnt the locally (Ohio) produced Civic cheaper in America?

    $1-2K is a lot of money in this class. The Elantra/Forte Duo prove without a shadow of a doubt that Japanese cars are way overpriced for what they offer.

  15. Mouhamad A. Naboulsi Says:

    I knew Tata will be hot, but boy I never thought that they’ll be on Fire.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke, I think you’re getting bad Mexican stash instead of the good Jamaican, Marley family endorsed, stuff you started off with. I have driven the Civic on a 3 day 1200 mile trip, It has by far, been the best small car I’ve ever driven. Then when I got into town, it was very nimble around city streets.Very comfortable seats. Got overall 35mpg and it makes the others in its class seem antiquated. Where is the 5 speed auto in your company at that price range? you gotta move up to a Sonata or Optima to get that. Next Sebring better than Civic, I’ll say 2 hail Mary’s and commit suicide if that happens.

  17. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, but what Nick doesnt realize is that a $19,000 Forte with 16 more ponies can be had with leather, while at that Price a Civic has less features than a $16K Accent.

    Why is that?

    Pedro you need to see the patents on the sedan.

    1. Its has an Insight grille.
    2. The Greenhouse is shot.
    3. The Door handles Suck.

    This thing is ghastly, trust me. Actually the Sebring we have now looks almost better.

  18. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Its horrible looking, even for a post 2000 era Honda product. The Crosstour looks like an Alfa compared to this thing. Then again, the Crosstour wouldnt be Half as bad if they JUST DID SOMETHING TO THAT DAMM GRILLE.

  19. Vince Mungioli Says:

    Of course Honda executives find joint ventures a waste of energy, they remember the Sterling. Fortunately, Honda didn’t forget and neither should we.

  20. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    With New Focus, Golf, Elantra, Forte, Astra, Cruze, on the street by the end of this year Honda will get PWNED if they put a Civic looking like that out.

    This is a competitive market, Honda is playing “Old Ford” while everybody else is playing some serious hardball.

    You Baby Boomers in here wont notice, but I can assure you that your 28 year old son/daughter wont show up to wherever in a 2011-2015 Civic.

  21. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That Nex Generation 2011 Suzuki SX4 is going to be another unlikely surprise by another unlikely Autmaker, and if Gas does go up, that SX4 might save American Suzukis ass.

  22. Willi B Says:

    i couldn’t care less what anyone in any publicly owned company gets paid – that would exempt GM – if the board members and stock holders are stupid enough to let it happen, give them billions, hell trillions

    but don’t come to the tax payer for any kind of bailout – you’re not too big to fail – we can drive cheap imports!

    i’m about to puke from all the bailouts – come bail out my sorryass – it’s a free for all, get what you can, i will take responsibility for myslef!

  23. len simpson Says:

    cars, like politics, all depend on your point of view—& what one has actually owned or at least driven. Comments & reviews had me hot for an SRX–until I drove one.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey smoke I don’t think Suzuki is going to last that long in the US as it looks now, besides they’re mostly Daewoo in disguise, Daewoo is what H/K were 20+ years ago, POS. Every Daewoo owner I’ve ever met has had nothing but problems with their cars, come to think of it, they also make lousy electronic products too. They’re the POS Mitsubishi wannabe of Korea. I dont’ get why you’re so high up on Fiat/ Chrysler. At least your company keeps coming up with products much better than the ones they replace. But Fiat has been in the car business forever and their quality still sucks.

  25. Drew Says:

    Did Mulally get the Ford workers to take pay and benefit cuts over this past year or two??

    If so, congrats to him and I think he should make as much money as he cut from the workers! Hell, cut the workers average pay down to about $10 to $15/hour, and Mulally should make $50 million a year!

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The thing Mini needs to make their car more “premium” is quietness. The fit and finish is good, it drives great, but is much noisier than my Malibu at highway speed. It will probably get quieter when I replace the run flat tires with regular tires when they wear out, but it still won’t be quiet enough to really be “premium” in my book. Still, it works very well for what I use if for, mostly trips of 5-20 miles.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    “But Fiat has been in the car business forever and their quality still sucks.”

    …but their Ferrari group seems to have great F1 cars this year.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    H/S says:

    “Fact-80% of 1 Series owners already think they have a FWD car.”

    I read that article, and couldn’t tell if it was 1 series drivers in the US or world wide that didn’t know the car was rear drive. It seems that the 1 is mainly bought by enthusiasts here, so I’d think they would know.

  29. mike Says:

    Didn’t Ford try to extort billions and back out. If we attempt extortion it calls for jail time. Check the Letterman case. Ford execs get rewarded. Granted it was a great scam to claim all three are going down and walk away after the other two take the dive making Ford look like the only company that will last.

  30. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Lmao, Oh, No, No, No Pedro Im not High up on these guys. I just think they will fail in a way, but with the styling these have they have a 50/50 shot.

    If they do make it, I think the American car buyer will teach FIAT what reliability and durability is all about, like they did with Hyundai. Or, they will Fail royally and take billions of Tax Dollars like Thieves in the night.

    However, they can pull it off if:

    1. They price their cars dirt cheap, and considering the Mexican Location of where these cars will be built, it will be totaly unfair if these cars arent priced dirt cheap.

    2. They’ll Have reasonable Prices but have a BMW Fit and Finish in the Chyrsler/Lancia stuff, a Buick Fit and Finish in the Alfa stuff, and a KIA Fit and finish in the FIATs. Like how HKAG does. Provide more equippment than the competitors and charge the same, a little more, or less.

  31. Chuck Says:

    GM’s JV’s with Toyota and Isuzu have been beneficial to GM, I don’t know how much benefit to Toyota and Isuzu. The others, not so much to GM.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Yeah, you got a point Kit. BMW has to do something about small cars, look at Aston, Audi, Merc. I know they could Cannibalize MINI, but I think MINIs can be a Grand or 2 cheaper too. Cars are going upmarket, but an increasing amount of makes are inserting a dirt cheap bare bomes downmarket variant of each car into the mix.

    Hell, I think a Yaris sized Lexus is coming. If Gas prices do get to some of the projections some oil stock guys talk about when the economy starts to boom again, they will be forced to have a Yaris sized Lex too. Not only a Yaris sized Lexus, but I think they are going to have to drop Corolla engines into HS/CT.

  33. dcars Says:

    I have driven the Civic and the Forte. I think the Civic is better. The Forte is a good car and with a more traditional interior.

    Yeah Ferrari’s F1 cars do look like a winners this year. Too bad for the Renault the race was theirs.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think Toyota would be foolish to try to make a Lexus for every budget, that’s why they have Toyota and Scion. MB tried their crappy 190 many years ago and people still have bad memories of this debacle. Luxury cars need to stay luxury otherwise they take away the “cache” of the brand

  35. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The thing Mini needs to make their car more “premium” is quietness. The fit and finish is good, it drives great, but is much noisier than my Malibu at highway speed. ”

    The Mini was not designed for long highway trips in mind, it is a nimble car around town and at low-speed coutnry roads with sharp turns.

    The Civic even states this in its name. Our old (but like new) 92 3-door hatch, weiging only 1875 lbs, is ideal around town. its shrot height also makes it good for the highway, but it gets noisy at 75 mph or higher, and has a top speed of only 106 MPH. But it is very simply biult and bulletrproof reliable for 18 years now, close to 19! and 44 MPG highway, 35 overall real MPG, which matters in $8++/gallon Europe where we drive it.

    For the Mini’s price, they need to make the interior more upscale, imoprove the plastics, maybe add some wood like the original Mini. And really they need to redisign that dashboard with the cyclopean speedo in the middle.

  36. Nick Stevens Says:

    “H/S says:

    “Fact-80% of 1 Series owners already think they have a FWD car.”

    I read that article, and couldn’t tell if it was 1 series drivers in the US or world wide that didn’t know the car was rear drive. It seems that the 1 is mainly bought by enthusiasts here, so I’d think they would know.”

    I have serious doubts about that article… I doubt that all BMW 1-series buyers are mindless teen chicks whose parents bought it for them and who can’t tell a car’s front end from its rear.

  37. dcars Says:

    Opps Red Bull with a Renault engine!

  38. Gary Lisk Says:

    Is there anyone other than me that sees Carbon Motors E7 as nothing other than vaporware? State and local agencies can not possibly justify the initial outlay for the vehicles, especially when the current manufacturers offer up to $10,000 off the list price in bid assistance. Also, just how durable will these vehicles be upon delivery? Look how long it takes established manufacturers to get it right. I doubt that Carbon has the resources to put 100 or so cars out there (on it’s own dime) for two or three years to get some real world miles on the cars. Are the gonna base it on a couple of handbuilt and clinically monitored cars? And when they do break, I believe my city would be better equipped to replaced the power train in a Crown Vic than to pony up for a replacement BMW unit. It is a great idea to build a “purpose built” police car, however it’s just not practical.

  39. Nick Stevens Says:

    # pedro fernandez Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    “. MB tried their crappy 190 many years ago and people still have bad memories of this debacle. Luxury cars need to stay luxury otherwise they take away the “cache” of the brand”

    Most BMWs sold are the 3 series, a civic-sized (but much heavier) car which is not that luxurious inside, I was given a current one (wuth AWD) for a day and was not impressed. It was an auto, that added to my distaste. This and most Acuras are near-luxury cars, as is the lexus ES and IS, both price-wise and in terms of their interior.

    The C class has got bigger and probably is more luxurious inside than the 3, and also is available with a 6 sp manual, probably the only merc with a manual in the US. I will try to test-drive one if they have one at the lot.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the Mini is a good highway car except for the noise. It rides kind of stiffly, but that is the price you pay for the exceptional handling, and I don’t mind the stiff ride.

    The speedo in the middle is part of the retro theme; old Minis were that way. Of course, there was a reason in the old ones. They could put the speedo the same place for right hand drive and left hand drive cars. The new Minis have a digital readout in the tach housing, so the center analog speedo doesn’t bother me much. Still, it is kind of silly.

    The ’07 and later Minis have nicer interiors than the first “new” Minis, but have more complex, less intuitive controls.

  41. Nick Stevens Says:

    Even if the mini rode like a buick, its short wheelbase and its low weight would still make it quite uncomfortable for long trips on straight highways.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    dcars Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    “Opps Red Bull with a Renault engine!”

    I knew what you meant. This is going to be the most interesting F1 season in a long time, with three or four teams, and about a half dozen drivers that will be in the hunt. I’d bet on Alonso to win the championship, but Vettel and others could do it.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    “Even if the mini rode like a buick, its short wheelbase and its low weight would still make it quite uncomfortable for long trips on straight highways.”

    The seats are comfortable for me, the steering feel is great, whether on twisty roads or going down the interstate at 75, and on decent roads, the ride is fine. I’m not used to driving a “large German V-8,” though, so I’m probably less particular about things than some.

  44. Nick Stevens Says:

    It has nothing to do with large german V8s in particular.

    The best cars for long trips (not to mention active and passive safety) are cars that are heavy (helps w suspension etc), and have a long wheelbase (more important than overall length). Super-luxury cars like Rollses had gas suspensions that made them even more comfortable.

    I never suffer from any back or related pains, so I never bothered to use the “lumbar” support the seats have in my car, although the previous owner made it into a selling point.

    I did not mind the highway ride of my primitive old Pontiac 2000 2,400 lb i-4, and I liked the ride of my 1990 2,822 lb accord coupe 5-speed, but I did not know better then because I had not yet tried far better ones.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “I did not mind the highway ride of my primitive old Pontiac 2000 2,400 lb i-4, and I liked the ride of my 1990 2,822 lb accord coupe 5-speed, but I did not know better then because I had not yet tried far better ones.”

    I’m sure I’d like the “far better ones,” and may buy one sometime, especially if/when I end up driving less than I do now.

  46. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Kit I dont know, I thin peopel even mny men are becoming more and more Car Illiterate in America. Ive seen a few articles on this, and its even more a generational thing, with my generation having a lower car literacy quotient than your generation.

    Its becoming 2 extremes with us Gen Ys. Petrolheads like myself who can play around with tech too, and others who cant even find their oil cap. Like it or not, guys like me are the future of cars, and dont worry we will have plenty of fast stuff too.

    Pedro, small cars are going to have to become Premium, its not a budgetary thing per-se. Its a cultural shift in terms of efficiency. Remember, those stats from earlier this month that said more 4s were sold over 6s and 8s? That’s just only the beginning.

    I hink C car drivers are slowly but surely starting to drop down to Bs, and Ds to Cs, and Larger Products to Ds. Many Last gen Elantra Owners for example are going into Accents now. These same drivers didnt lose their tastes for leather, XM, Alloys, etc… just becuase they dropped dow to an Accent, or becuase they dropped down into a Fusion.

    Drivers have been wanting to switch for a few years now, but the choice of premium small product was very few, and medium product very sketchy or pricey. 2011- The Year of the Small car will change that. 2010-the year of the Midsized Car is changing that.

    If there is a segment of the market that truly wants cheap cars they will be forced to shop China/India, and maybe a few stragglers from Japan.

  47. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Some of Johns guests have talked about overcapacity. I still think there’s way, way, way too much large product on the market.

    This is America, we are having less kids than ever to sustain growth. Why the larger product?

    With HKAG for example. I know in about 2 years KIA will get a KIA Genesis (K9 project) that will go for about $28K and be more performance oriented, but is it really neccessary?

    I think its good for KIA to do a car like that, but at least keep it to where there isnt a truck higher than Sorrento. Or Kill Varacruz, and use that energy to give KIA a Monster. Like a cheap Porsche Cayenne that gets better MPG.

    Sign me up for one of those, KIA!!!

  48. David B. Fishburn Says:

    That Carbon police car is so ugly! Would’nt buy it, even if they dropped the price down to a penny.

  49. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    KIA has always been a truck maker. Instead of a KIA Genesis, they should have a KIA Genesis Truck. Something very Opulent and powerful, but a truck, and for what it is be sippy in terms of gas. Do something to the V8 (like GDI)to make it get 30-32 MPG. They have the tech, why not?

  50. Max Christensen Says:

    After almost 50 posts, I can’t believe none of you have ceased on this tidbit from John’s report about TOYOTA:

    “Drivers can choose how close they want to travel behind the lead vehicle, but the stalk can increase speeds two different ways. By tapping up on the stalk, speeds are increased by one mile an hour but if it’s held down speeds are increased by five miles an hour. This is not explained in the owner’s manual.”

    Here is a vehicle function that could take some real getting used to, and could be potentiallhy quite dangerious, and it’s NOT explained in the owner’s manual???? I find this to be another prime example of something that should an accident occur would fall under “driver error”, yet honestly it’s just another one of Toyota’s fumbles! Talk about poor design! And yes, design extends all the way to the instruction manual. I find this omission on Toyota’s part to be inexcusable!

  51. Max Christensen Says:

    *should be “I can’t believe any of you…….”

  52. Max Christensen Says:

    As to the Civic, a co-worker bought a new 4-door Civic last fall. She traded in a 2-door, which by the way was a VERY fun car to drive! It was probably a 2006 model. After riding in and driving both vehicles, the new one (a 2009 model) has definitely been cheapened over the older model. The biggest problem I find with it is the fact it feels as if it has absolutely NO springs under it! Talk about a rough ride!! OMG!

  53. Max Christensen Says:

    With the Carbon Motors police car, it seems a bit underpowered to my way of thinking? With just 265 horse and 425 pound-feet of torque, a Charger Hemi police car will literally chew it up and SPIT IT OUT! I’m assuming a police Hemi undoubtedly has more guts than what you and I can buy form a dealer, but even so, WE can buy a 6.1 liter Hemi with 425 horse and 420 pound-feet of torque, so I’m curious what the polic version puts out?

    And I realize there is more to the equation than raw guts and horsepower, but when dealing with police cars, that’s always a pretty good place to begin.

  54. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Max, I think the media is resigning to the fact that Fanboys still rule America, and they arent willing to invest the real capital needed to evaluate Toyota fairly and truthfully.

  55. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    This driver error reporting is getting a little bit ridiculous now. Sure Driver error is a problem, but I refuse to believe that its not a factor in a majority of the incidents. When it was only John and just a few others it wasnt a serious problem. Now, almost everybody in the Internet Media is reporting on Driver error.

    Im going to ignore Toyota’s problems, we’re HKAG its time to play hardball for the future and today.

  56. Nick Stevens Says:

    Pffffft. more trash talk from Auto Illiterate Max…

    Who does not understand that the AWESOME 425 lbft torque of the diesel is available when you NEED it, at low RPM, and THAT tells you how fast you can accelerate, and is a much more useful number than the still respectable 420 of the primitive Hemi. But why I am not expecting the resident half of the toyota hater Fred Flintstones to know much about Modern Diesels.

    If the Police does not like it, I hope BMW offers these AWESOME Modern Diesel engines to owners of 740 and 745s, their highway MPG will skyrocket from the current 22-25 to 35!!!

  57. D J Martin III Says:

    Alan Mulally earned $17.9 million last year:

    The one thing everyone has overlooked is that most of Mr Mulally’s income increase came in the form of stocks and options. His increase comes in the form of investments in Ford. More incentive to work hard at increasing the company’s value. Keep it growing Alan!

  58. Max Christensen Says:

    Nicky, Nicky, Nicky ……. back to the school yard wanna be bully with the name calling I see. Poor boy ……. it’s a pity when you have to revert to such crude and boorish behaviour when you really have nothing to say and when you know in your heart that someone else is right.

  59. Max Christensen Says:

    And Nicky, no comment on the pitifully inexcusable omision in the Toyota instruction manual? IF you are truly as well educated as you like to say, I would think you of all people would find such a lapse in essential communication between a car company and the owners to be misguided at best …….. and criminal at worst?

  60. Max Christensen Says:

    And Nicky, didn’t you understand nor comprehend that a stock Hemi delivers astronomically more horsepower than your beloved BMW diesel and nearly identical torque? Again, I have to imagine that a police Hemi would add substantially to these already hefty numbers. Thus I stand by my statement that the “primitive” Hemi will chew up and SPIT OUT this imitation police engine that BMW is offering.

  61. C-tech Says:

    It appears that Carbon motors is basically a company looking at sucking on the the generous government tit for a long time. At $80K per copy, you get fewer police cars for the money which are better equipped. With a push to put more police on the street, do cities put cops on bikes and horses beceause there are not enought patrol cars? Nope! they ask the federal government to subsidize the purchase of these jewels. If Carbon motors gets off the ground, look for its first contracts to be with homeland security, the FBI, and wealthy surburban areas.

  62. First on Race Day (FORD) Says:

    Mullaly earned every penny and more. Ford has/will emerge from this down turn even stronger than before. Ford chose not to “drink the Koolaide” and they deserve credit for that. Sell thier jets? When Congress sells theirs. Congress had some nerve criticizing the automakers for traveling in thier jets.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Max Christensen Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    “I’m assuming a police Hemi undoubtedly has more guts than what you and I can buy form a dealer, but even so, WE can buy a 6.1 liter Hemi with 425 horse and 420 pound-feet of torque, so I’m curious what the polic version puts out?”

    I’m pretty sure the standard police Charger has the R/T engine with about 365 hp rather than the SRT8 engine with 425 hp.

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    First on Race Day (FORD) Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    “Mullaly earned every penny and more. Ford has/will emerge from this down turn even stronger than before.”

    If Ford wants to thrive, or even survive when gas gets expensive and stays that way, they have a lot of work to do in offering non-truck vehicles with some utility. Now, Ford has zero station wagons that are cars, and zero hatchbacks. Things will get better when the new Focus 5-door arrives, but they currently have only generic sedans, so-so crossovers, and ugly “premium” Lincolns. People are buying them, but it won’t last, unless the product offering changes a lot in the next few years.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    LEX says:

    “If Peugeot/Citroen does drop their corporate names and are simply called PSA, what happens to all that automotive heritage? I can see PCA, i.e, Peugeut/Citroen/Automotive as a new corporate identity.”

    I’m sure they will still use the Peugeot and Citroen names on the cars and not call the cars “PSA,” but I still don’t see reason to change the name of the company if it would cost much money to do it.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “Who does not understand that the AWESOME 425 lbft torque of the diesel is available when you NEED it, at low RPM, and THAT tells you how fast you can accelerate,”

    It is horsepower that makes a car accelerate. An engine with 42.5 pound feet of torque at 10,000 rpm will accelerate a car at the same rate as one making 425 pound feet at 1000 rpm. You just have to gear them differently by a factor of 10. If you have a CVT that will keep the engine at its horsepower peak rpm, you get the same acceleration regardless of the torque numbers if two engines have the same horsepower. A conventional transmission with a lot of gears will come close to accomplishing the same thing.

    That said, that BMW diesel is a fantastic engine, and it would really “feel good” to drive with a manual transmission which, unfortunately, is not offered in the US with the engine in either the 3 series or the X5.

  67. Nick Stevens Says:

    “An engine with 42.5 pound feet of torque at 10,000 rpm will accelerate a car at the same rate as one making 425 pound feet at 1000 rpm. ”

    The Torque is the one that twists the shaft and makes the car go right away, the higher the torque the better the acceleration, the peak HP comes on much later and is usually useless at those high RPMs nobody drives and nobody should drive and wear out the engine.

    Let alone that even very high-revving cars do not even reach 10,000 RPM, not all cars sound as pleasantly as Ferraris do at high RPM, and it is far far better to be able to accelerate right away, with 425 lbft beeing available at 1000 or so RPM, than with a gas engine that reaches its max torque (and HP) at much higher RPM!

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “The Torque is the one that twists the shaft and makes the car go right away, the higher the torque the better the acceleration,

    I was obviously using an extreme example with 1000 rpm vs. 10,000 rpm, but what I said applies.

    If you are driving a manual transmission and accelerate from a high gear for the speed you are going, the “torque monster” engine will obviously accelerate the car faster than an engine with less torque at the same rpm. Since most cars in the US are now automatics, that doesn’t apply, as the transmission, uh, automatically selects gears for best acceleration if you floor the right pedal.

    I just looked at Consumer Reports acceleration numbers on the 3 series with the 230 hp gas engine and the 265 hp diesel. The diesel was 0.2 seconds quicker 0-60 and in the quarter mile, but the diesel was actually slower by 0.3 sec to 30 mph. The diesel added some weight to the car, so the similar acceleration time were to be expected.

  69. Max Christensen Says:

    Nick being wrong? Imagine that?

  70. M Campbell Says:

    >>Gary Lisk said: “And when they do break, I believe my city would be better equipped to replaced the power train in a Crown Vic than to pony up for a replacement BMW unit. It is a great idea to build a “purpose built” police car, however it’s just not practical.”

    Unfortunately the Crown Vic is no more. A more accurate comparison is the Carbon’s BMW diesel versus Ford’s EcoBoost V6. I pity the budget manager for departments that put the twin-turbo, all-wheel drive Taurus into police service. Talk about skyrocketing maintenance costs!