John's Journal: John McElroy's multimedia blog about the automotive industry

Archive for the ‘Autoblog’ Category

John McElroy on the Autoblog Podcast

August 10th, 2011 at 2:39pm

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Our own John McElroy guest starred on the Autoblog podcast this week. Among the topics discussed: Pagani Huayra makes its U.S. Debut; General Motors back on top as world’s largest carmaker; Will the confirmed Cadillac XTS and ATS help maintain momentum?

Find out how to subscribe to the podcast and much more at Autoblog.

AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: Big Problems with California’s CO2 Standard

January 31st, 2009 at 10:05am

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Earlier this week President Obama instructed the EPA to determine whether it should grant California a waiver to set its own CO2 standards for cars. It’s a hugely controversial issue, and one that’s fraught with major problems for the auto industry.First off, cars and trucks account for only 18% of total CO2 emissions in the United States. Yet it’s the automotive industry that’s in the cross-hairs, and California’s rules are designed to “hold the automaker’s feet to the fire.” But even if it eliminated all automotive CO2, that still leaves 80% of other man-made sources untouched.

Besides, California’s standard will merely bring the federal standard forward by four years. What’s the big rush? Even more importantly, California only accounts for 1% of global CO2 emissions. So is it really fixing anything? And above all else, whatever reduction the state achieves will be immediately replenished by CO2 and other green house gasses blowing in from India, China and other points in Asia.

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: Why I Still Support Those Boneheads at the Big Three

November 26th, 2008 at 7:41am

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What a week it was. Or maybe I should say, I can’t believe how weak it was.

The CEOs of the Big Three and the president of the UAW showed up in Washington last Tuesday to plead their case for a bailout. But by Thursday they had managed to turn most the country against them. Even their most ardent supporters were . . .

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: What if GM Collapses?

November 8th, 2008 at 9:37am

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Anyone watching the auto industry these days is acutely aware that General Motors is hurtling towards disaster. It’s burning through cash reserves at a rate that will put it in Chapter 11 sometime next year, no matter how much management says “that’s not an option.” It’s still being crushed by its legacy costs, yes, even after concessions from the UAW. And it just witnessed its own finance arm, GMAC, essentially pull out of the automotive lending business.

What was an emergency just a month ago has now blossomed into a full blown crisis. Unless something is done quickly, General Motors could collapse.

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: Quality Problems with Quality Ratings

October 30th, 2008 at 11:33am

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Pity the poor car buyer who wants to be a smart consumer and reads all the quality studies before going to the showroom. How do you know what to believe?

For example, Consumer Reports’ Reliability Survey gives props to the Scion xD. But Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Award gives props to the Scion xB. And J.D. Power puts Scion near the bottom of the list of its Vehicle Dependability Survey. Who do you believe?

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: GM-Chrysler, What are they Thinking?

October 23rd, 2008 at 9:23am

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The headlines say General Motors is feverishly putting a plan together to takeover Chrysler. From my standpoint, only two theories can explain why this is happening. Either the . . .

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: How to Kick Our (Imported) Oil Habit

September 29th, 2008 at 11:25am

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There’s a lot of talk about making the U.S. energy independent. Or getting off oil altogether. I guess anyone who believes it can easily be done has never taken the time to count how many millions of barrels of oil we import everyday. Damn do we use a lot of oil!

Some say the country is in trouble because we don’t have an energy policy. That’s not true. We do have a policy. It doesn’t have a grandiose name attached to it, but for decades now, with strong bi-partisan support, the U.S. has . . .

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: The Downside to Lithium Batteries

August 27th, 2008 at 9:00am

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Uh-oh. In the pell-mell race to develop lithium-ion batteries for plug-ins, EVs and hybrids, has any automaker taken a hard look at where all that lithium is going to come from? Guess what? Not only are global lithium supplies . . .

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: Six Quarters to Doomsday

August 13th, 2008 at 12:00pm

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2010 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in the American auto industry. From a product standpoint there will be a lot of interesting hardware in showrooms, including range-extending EVs, plug-in hybrids, clean diesels, pure electrics, and flex-fuel vehicles running on cellulosic ethanol. But it’s also shaping up to be the year when the domestic industry will . . .

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: Tell the Feds to Freeze the Regs!

August 3rd, 2008 at 9:00am

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Every day Chrysler LLC builds Euro-spec versions of the Chrysler 300 at its assembly plant in Canada, bolts a V6 diesel engine into most of them, and ships them off to Europe. That diesel 300 gets better fuel economy, over 30 mpg, than all the other vehicles in Chrysler’s U.S. showrooms. But it’s against the law for Chrysler . . .

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