Episode 577 – Ferrari Backs Down, Geneva Show Previews, Ram Takes Lead in Torque

February 11th, 2011 at 12:08pm

Runtime 8:58

Yesterday we reported that Ford was suing Ferrari for using the F-150 name for its Formula One racecar, now the Italian automaker has agreed to not use the name. We’ve got more sneak peeks of what we’ll see at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Chrysler will offer a special version of its Cummins turbo-diesel engine in the Ram with 800 pound-feet of torque! All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit about how the people at Chrysler managed to make it through tough times the last several years.

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This is Autoline Daily for February 11, 2011. And now, the news.

FERRARI BACKS DOWN (subscription required)
Yesterday we reported that Ford was suing Ferrari and then, Ferrari blinked. Talk about a quick end to this dispute! The Wall Street Journal reports the Italian automaker agreed to call its new Formula One racecar by its full name, the Ferrari F150th Italia, not the shortened version F-150, which is what Ford objected to. The new name refers to Italy’s sesquicentennial – 150th anniversary – that’s being celebrated this year. I can’t believe Ferrari’s lawyers didn’t see this coming. Didn’t they do a name search?

UAW OFFICIALS LOSE APPEAL
Speaking of lawsuits, back in 1987, when General Motors was in the middle of a crippling strike, two UAW officials, Donny Douglas and Jay Campbell, refused to settle the strike until GM hired Campbell’s son, and the son of another UAW official, as highly paid skilled tradesmen. Neither one was qualified. It was a crippling strike that lasted for 87 days, and lost GM a ton of money. Douglas and Campbell were later convicted of extortion, but appealed the verdict. Now, the Detroit News reports they lost their appeal, and must await sentencing. Interestingly, a source within the UAW tells me the practice of hiring family members of UAW officials who are not qualified to be skilled tradesmen continues today. Autoline Daily will be looking into this matter.

COVETIC ALUMINUM
Did you see last night’s Autoline After Hours? Sandy Munro, who owns a design and manufacturing consultancy, demonstrated a new type of aluminum, what they call covetic aluminum. It has 5 percent carbon in it, which up to now would have been considered impossible to do. The sample Sandy is showing stopped a .45-caliber bullet shot from one meter away.  Again, something considered impossible with conventional aluminum, which the bullet would have gone through like butter. Covetic aluminum has great formability which opens the door for a lot of automotive applications. The process to make covetic aluminum was invented in the United States, but the company that invented it is keeping its name secret for the time being. Check out the entire show on the John’s Journal section of our website.

KIA RIO
We’ve got more sneak peeks of what we’ll see at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. First up is the all-new Kia Rio. Since it’s sold globally, it was designed to appeal to customers all around the world The front end is similar to the new Optima but was tweaked to give it its own look. The Rio comes in three, four or five-door models, depending on the market, and a total of six engines are offered, from a 1.1-liter diesel in Europe up to a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection engine for North America. A new high performance 1.2-liter turbo gasoline direct-injection engine will also be available in Europe starting next year.

NISSAN ESFLOW
Nissan is also giving us a preview of its EV sports car concept, the ESFLOW, which will be unveiled in Geneva. It’s a rear-drive two-seater that uses the same technology as the LEAF. Two motors independently drive the rear wheels, which are powered by lithium-ion battery packs that are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. Nissan says this configuration allows the car to travel over 240 kilometers on a single charge, that’s nearly 150 miles. It can also go from 0-100 kilometers an hour in less than five seconds. Other features include an aluminum chassis, a wraparound windshield for an unobstructed view, and the side rear-view mirrors have been replaced with small rear-view cameras at the base of the A-pillar.

RAM TAKES LEAD IN TORQUE (subscription required)
From full-size SUVs to super-sized Big Macs, BIG is a way of life in America. It’s practically in the bill of rights. In keeping with this principle, Chrysler made a bold statement at the Chicago Auto Show, revealing a lineup of R/T vehicles plus a new SRT8 version of the Charger. Now it’s Ram truck’s turn to make a splash. There’s a torque war going on right now and according to Ward’s the company is responding to GM and Ford’s challenge. Chrysler will offer a special version of its Cummins turbo-diesel engine with 800 pound-feet of torque! Horsepower remains the same at 350. This high-output straight-six will only be available with a six-speed automatic transmission. A lower-output version with “ONLY” 650 pound-feet will be offered with a manual gearbox. To handle the extra twist the truck features a beefed-up rear axle with a finned aluminum differential cover, among other changes.

Today, the picture is looking pretty bright at Chrysler, but a couple of years ago that wasn’t the case. In fact, the future looked downright disastrous. So, how did the people at the company deal with death on their doorstep? We’ll be back with that in a moment.

The people at Chrysler went through some pretty tough times over the last decade. How did they get through the bleak years and still keep their sanity? I put that question to three of the company’s people on this week’s Autoline. Joe Dehner is the head of Ram and Dodge design, Chris Barman is the vehicle line executive in charge of the E-platform, and Klaus Busse is the head of interior design for the group.

You can watch that entire interview right now at our website, AutolineDetroit.tv.

Before we go today I want to tell you about the latest program in our lineup. It’s called RoundAbout and you might consider it Autoline’s best-kept secret, because we’ve been producing episodes for more than a year now! Every week RoundAbout takes an offbeat look at the automotive world by covering the coolest, the weirdest and the funniest car news around. Hosted by Autoline Daily’s Craig Cole, he brings together a panel of automotive writers and bloggers reporting in from as far off as Florida, California and even Germany!

You can watch LIVE as they record the show every Friday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, or you can subscribe to the podcast. Check it out on the John’s Journal section of our website or get even more info at RoundAboutShow.com. Tonight’s episode will feature special guest Mike Levine of PickupTrucks.com. Join them for an entertaining (and sometimes even informative) start to your weekend.

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, have a great weekend, and we’ll see again on Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

58 Comments to “Episode 577 – Ferrari Backs Down, Geneva Show Previews, Ram Takes Lead in Torque”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    As John mentioned, last night AAH was a whirlwind of information concerning alternate material in and for construction. The covetic aluminum looked really enticing (as it had properties that suggest they were ferrous in nature). Aluminum that bends instead of cracking, the most mentionable. While a .45 caliber bullet could also be stopped with certain ‘other’ aluminum alloys, the covetic metal absorbed (and practically surrounded the bullet, in stopping it. Good show to be sure.

  2. bob Says:

    I tried to listen to Autoline Detroit with the three chrysler types, and could not bear it for more than a few minutes. This is NOT Journalism, just letting these clowns SPIN and not hold their feet to the fire. It is a JOKE, John. I suspect these clowns would not be willing to be interviewed unless they were asked only softball questions or no questions at all… but instead you let them ramble on, coherently or not?

  3. HtG Says:

    here’s a link to interviews with IBM boffins working on Lithium Air battery technology…from the f u t u r e.

    http://www.building43.com/videos/2011/02/10/lithium-air-ibms-quest-for-the-super-battery/

    Now this is geek lunchtime talk.

  4. dcars Says:

    It’s too bad that so many people were hurt by the actions of a couple of people from the UAW. I was at the local car show last night. Lots of good products are available these days. The New sonata and optima were very nice looking cars. GM seams to have one of the best lineups of cars. The Impala being it’s oldest car, but still ok for the rental fleets. You could have shot a cannon through the Toyota displays and not hit anyone. They’re Prius was the only car that got any interest. Even Honda seemed to suffer, but not Hyundai and Kia. Honda was next to Hyundai and the contrast was stark. A few people were interested in the Accord and fit; all the other kind of lonely. It seams pretty different just a few years ago.

  5. tj Martin Says:

    @dcars

    So where was ( what city ) your local car show in ? Im curious about a place that places Hyundai/KIA above Toyota & Honda .

    Here in KC the KIA dealer can’t ” Give ” the cars away ( at least two ” Specials ” and sales every week ) and the Hyundai dealer isn’t fairing much better .

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would starve if I tried to be an auto journalist and have to face these 3 guys telling me that from now on how “good” products are coming from Chrysler and that they stayed there despite all the gloomy forecasts. I would ask: number 1, why then until now, most of your products were crap, did you have any res pect for the American auto buyer when you kept building and selling subpar products hoping they would not notice and buy for the sake of being patriotic? and # 2 where would you go, when you do your resume and put down that you helped design the Sebring or the Neon or one of the other highly competitive products in their lineup.

  7. jesse Says:

    Is it any surprise that the UAW was and is trying to extort money and who knows what else from the auto industry? These same people claim to have everyone’s best interests at heart… NONSENSE!That whole union needs to be shut down and pronto before they take GM and anybody else they can into BANKRUPTCY yet again.

  8. Michael Says:

    Looks like whomever it was that created that CG animation of the Nissan Esflow concept just got back from watching Tron Legacy.

  9. HtG Says:

    I haven’t seen this week’s Autoline yet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion…On John’s interviewing style. When you let someone talk on camera, sometimes they will reveal themselves in a way inimical to their own interest. (look it up H/S). Some of you old f*rts may recall what Murrow did to McCarthy. And maybe some of the true geezers watched Steve Croft interview Julian Assange on 60 Minutes.

    I sure hope Bob Eaton isn’t reading this.

  10. Tom L Says:

    Boy-O-Boy. Are you guys down on Chrysler. The Neon and other cars were designed properly BUT the money boys stepped in to cut cost. Chrysler has always had great designer and engineers. What I heard on the show last night, they could be on the verge of great things. Chrysler is investing for the future.John. Could you do a comparison with the 200 and the best car in that class and see how bad or good the 200 is?

  11. Andrew Charles Says:

    You know it’s not just the legal ramifications that Ferrari seems to have missed, it’s the marketing implications of calling a car (even one they don’t sell) the Ferrari F150—in one of its largest markets you hardly want people thinking “F-150? Is Ferrari tweaking Ford trucks now?”

    As for the Ferrari FF—4-seater, 4wd, hatchback—it’s a new Jensen FF!!!

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    I see that Mafia-like tactics are still alive and well in the UAW, and to think that the bums want to move their corrupt ways into the transplants, I hope that these companies fight to keep them out, otherwise a lot of good, decent people are gonna lose their jobs to Mexican workers., or anywhere else the UAW’s, dirty, corrupt claws cannot reach.

  13. Alex Kovnat Says:

    Re Covetic aluminum: Well and good so far as that paragraph goes, but I have a question: How well will this aluminum-carbon composite or alloy perform with regard to resisting corrosion? This is an important consideration, particularly with all the salt that’s been thrown around on streets and roads and parking lots because of all the ice and snow we’ve had lately.

  14. HtG Says:

    Alex, it sounds like you missed last night’s show. Sandy Munro emphasized that these metals don’t corrode, and non galvanic. That AAH should be John’s reference show. Really neat.

  15. tj Martin Says:

    Chrysler 200 Ads ;

    I don’t know how many of you read the NYTimes website , bit for the last four days they’ve had the top 1/4 of the screen dominated by the most recent round of vapid and over emotive Ad campaigns by Chrysler .

    Pathetic in that at first glance it looks like a Harley Davidson ad with a Bald Eagle and the small section of the engine they’re showing initially looking like an abstract of the H-D V Twin .

    With an even more Vapid log saying ” Its the car you don’t need to own to be proud of ”

    WTF !!!!

    So over emotive , overly and overtly Patriotic ( but in a very Red Neck sense of the word ) and completely lacking in Substance .

    But like the Super Bowl Ad , any bets it will be successful as well ?

    I’d of liked to have told the Chrysler guys John interviewed for this show ;

    ” I can damn sure guarantee you I won’t be owning a 200 and I’m sure as Hell not proud of it either “

  16. tj Martin Says:

    Ferrari vs Ford ;

    The biggest reason Ford went after Ferrari on the F150 issue is that Ferrari also titled their Website for the 2011 F1 car F150 . So three guesses what came up first when you Googled F150 until Ferrari changed it Thursday ?

    All who guessed the Ferrari F1 Website , jump to the head of the class .

  17. HtG Says:

    tj. I’ve been seeing those ads too. Tey’re pretty melodramatic.(look it up H/S) But I notice that if I sqweeent, the image of the 200′s front grill and headlights echoes the arrangement of the wings and chest of the eagle in the ad.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    Wow , color me shocked, The UAW in dirty dealings ? Who would have thunk it. What gets me is this happened in 1987 !! It has taken 23 years to finally decide this appeal. WFT will it take another to sentence these ass clowns? They’ll have lived their good life long before they go off to prison if ever. CWolf will be howling about that not everyone in unions are crooked and we know that ,but these kind of people and their actions is what everyone will remember and leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The union started with great intentions to end sweat shops .but has become the monster it set out to kill. Reminds me a lot of Orwell’s animal farm.

  19. bob Says:

    The “patriotic” Chrysler ads are even more ridiculous for a company which, after being Plundered by DAIMLER, is now raped by FIAT.

  20. bob Says:

    MEanwhile, GM dealers offer $119 a month (probably leases) Cruzes,

    While Ford sent me an ad in the mail where the Fiesta was $2k more expensive than the LARGER (yet fugly and antiquated) Current FOCUS. The NEW Focus will cost $28k loaded, which is LUDICROUS, this is near-luxury $ and the Focus does not even have the room or the power that would justify almost $30k or more after taxes and fees.

    The loaded Siesta at $23k is higher than the base prices of not only that ugly Focus (by more than $10k!!) AND the Con-Fusion, but even the huge TAURUS!!!!

    No wonder the Cruze sells three times as many units as the Siesta, which, if it does not wake up (pun intended) is well on its way to become the SECOND Ford Fiasco (after the butt-ugly, really slow selling, unstable-looking Turkish Delivery Van with a Ford badge, the Transit COnnect)

    What’s next? FOrd Buys Manindra and brings the Mahindra Express to the US??

  21. cwolf Says:

    John Mc,I hope you put serious effort into investigating all ongoing cases of extortion by any UAW official. At ALL levels of a company, it is not unusual to see someones family member hired,either full-time or for summers. BUT the repercussions of hiring “family” who are unqualified, as a tradesman, is not only a danger to everyone, but could also be deadly!
    If someone did get hurt/killed, there would be a charge even more serious than extortion! You have to remember, crooks aren’t always smart. They should have gotten their sons jobs as highly paid supervisors; OH!-my mistake. These jobs are for the boss’s son!!!
    John, while your looking into the matter,try to find out if all those contaminated wastes and solvents a company generates goes to the right place. I would also like to know why the EPA doesn’t require the removal of top layer of contaminated soil when a closed factory is re-sold or turned into a low income housing developement? When my plant wanted to build an addition on a prior parking lot/driveway,the EPA first required soil samples, then removal before constructon. I don’t think a factory lot becomes un-contaminated once closed and don’t think it fair the tax payer inherits the liabilities and clean-up costs.

  22. cwolf Says:

    John Mc: If you discover any connections between unions and organized crime, just think of concrete loafers and remember the name “Hoffa.” Can some of us fellas take turns hosting the show if you disappear?

  23. cwolf Says:

    John Mc: Intertwinned with the UAW extortion matter, you might consider looking into state regulations issuing “skilled trade” cards to those who have not gained certification through a certified apprenticeship program,but rather by time served performing a “trade” function with past employer varification.
    During the time buyouts forced the early retirement of tradesmen,companys could not wait for apprentice programs to fill the void. Most had to hire from the “outside.” My plant,out of desperation, hired a few of these “time served” people and each one continues to be a miserable disappointment,but a card holder non the less. Now the cement is set. The company failed by hiring them and by not terminating them within the 90 day window. The union seems to only care about the needed dues each month. Now we’re all screwed because these folks just don’t know what they’re doing, leaving other tradesmen doing the others work as well as their own. These unqualified STATE card holders screw-up so often, supervision would rather have them do absolutly nothing, than to touch a machine-no kidding! Looking into State apprenticeship regulations may become interesting and serve as a stepping stone in your quest.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Last night I saw an episode of Ultimate Factories and they showed where the Challenger along with the 300 and Charger are built, well the very patriotic Chrysler makes the engines in Mexico and the car is assembled in Ontario,which unless my limited geography fails me, are not in the U.S. I just wonder if the train carrying the assembled engines through the US towards Ontario passes by Marysville, Oh or Georgetown, Ky?

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also heard and ad for a local Autonation Ford dealer announcing a $157. lease on the stagnant Siesta with no deposit, no down, only a $500 acquisition fee, a little more gets you a Fusion, I guess the price wars are starting.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Seems to me that Peter’s enthusiasm for the new Focus may not come through at that announced price and that it appears that Cruze will take on both the two F’s from Ford until the horribly named Sonic comes online. I have already seen 3 new Odyssey minivans since they came out, that is as many Fiestas as I’ve seen.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How many of you Chrysler bashers have even looked at/sat in recent Chrysler products, much less driven them? Even the “old” 300/Charger are bargains for what they are, and drive decently. The new ones have a much better V6, and a better interior. Even the 200 is much better than the Sebring, both the interior, and the engine in the 6 cyl. version. It may still be worst-in-class, or may not be. There haven’t been enough evaluations to know yet. In any case, it is a big improvement.

    Sure, a lot of people stayed at Chrysler (and GM) because they didn’t have anywhere else to go during the “dark days” of bankruptcy. The fact remains, though, that both companies had, and still have a lot of very talented people at all levels. GM came up with some very good products during their “darkest hours,” and it looks like Chrysler may be doing likewise.

    Pedro, as far as the not-so-patriotic Charger/300/Challenger, they are much more “American” than certain mid-size Ford sedans. The Chryslers are 70% “American” while the Fusion is 20%. See: http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/AALA/AALA2011_Percent.pdf

    Yes, the Camry and Accord are even more “American.”

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have driven one and as I’ve said before, during a highway trip when this Journey was almost new, the brakes and steering shuddered when I had to suddenly slow down for some idiot who cut me off, completely unacceptable for ANY new car to do this, even if it was some lowly economy car. Also drove a new PT Cruiser, but that was 4 or 5 yrs ago, so let’s not go there.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was talking about the recently redesigned ones. If the brakes don’t work properly, that is not good. No disagreement there.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, you know as well as anyone who follows the car industry that to make any significant change to a given vehicle takes time, not 6 mos or even one year (since Sergio took over), I submit that updating interiors and materials is a quick and easy way to make any vehicle look and feel better than its predecessors, the drive-train and dynamics take a lot more time and effort, I have no doubt that the upcoming products WILL be quite improved over the current ones. I recall when the H/K chief declared about 5 or 6 yrs ago that they would spare no expense in improving their quality, and now that commitment is showing.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new V6 would have been in the works for a long time. I suspect the interior and sheet metal changes would also have been started before Sergio. If suspensions are improved, that could be done by just using some different/better parts.

    There is only so much you can do with Sebring/200, though. The body is narrower than the competition, so you can’t match some of the competition’s shoulder and hip room, no matter what else you do.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Sebring/Avenger, just like the Journey are built off the Caliber platform, not much you can do with such a small architecture. Making it larger only makes its shortcomings more apparent.

  33. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Chrysler still needs small cars like the Lancia Ypsilon Subcompact, and Lancia Delta Compact.

    There’s a naked Next Gen Ypsilon pic floating around. My site happens to be one of the few that carries it.

  34. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro and Kit,
    I sat in the new Charger and 300 a week ago . For all the talk about the new interiors I wasn’t all that impressed. Yes the fit and finish are nice and look great,but the materials are still lacking. Replacing hard plastic with hard textured rubber instead doesn’t cut it IMO Also the they had what looked to identical interiors with Identical materials ,so what are you paying for in the premium of the 300 over the Charger?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro wrote:
    “during a highway trip when this Journey was almost new, the brakes and steering shuddered when I had to suddenly slow down for some idiot who cut me off,”

    Did this shuddering feel like warped rotors, or was it more like unusually intrusive ABS operation? I’m curious.

  36. bob Says:

    Actually, the original 300 was far more to write home about than the redesigned one, at least in terms of exterior styling.

    The original one was bold and distinctive, while the new one is smoother and more derivative styled. The new one will also be sold as a Lancia in Europe ( of course with a DIESEL, it would be laughable to sell it with a gas guzzling Hemi there for most buyers!)

    I have not test driven any car from any maker recently, no time, plus why the hell should I, I am not in the market for any of these POS. I only see nee cars when i rent them and I have only rented the Prius II (an Awesome machine, optimized for its objective as no other car in the world), the Malibu (OK) and the Nissan Altima Hybrid (an excecrable, utterly unreiable piece of JUNK that got… 32 MPG average (vs high 40s for the prius) and the clowns even had the audacity to rent it for $7 MORE than the Prius, because it is a “bigger” size and has a stronger engine, recently.

  37. bob Says:

    One great characteristic of the 300, the original at least, is also its 120 inch wheelbase, a KEY factor in good ride, handling and expecially highway travel comfort. Too many Big 3 dinosaurs were much longer than the 300 yet had pitifully tiny wheelbases, which made them both LOOK AND Drive poorly, and I have NO IDEA why the idiots that designed these 208 inch buicks and the 212 inch Crown Vic insisted in that!

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, I could not tell you what the problem was, I have had warped discs and I know how it feels, and that how that moment felt, but violently. One time when I was driving a pretty new Chevy minivan rental I experienced a temporary brake failure, which sounded and felt as if suddenly the pads had worn down to zero and I heard a metal grinding sound with very little braking, I almost made in my pants.

  39. bob Says:

    I always castigated that corrupt porkmeister LaHood (why Obama chose this one of all Republicans to put in his cabinet is beyond me), and now he proves that he is not just corrupt, he is just as stupid as he looks, and more.

    After Setting the Hounds of NASA of all people to try to find fault with Toyota systems (and the geniuses, remarkably, returned empty handed, The moron told his own DAUGHTER to buy a Toyota Sienna, while for the rest of America he tells them to “buy American”! (even if this means a Mexico-made Ford Siesta, Ford Con-Fusion or.. the next Ford Fiasco!!!)

    ” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood: Buy a Japanese Car

    Back in December, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the Department of Transportation was launching a “Buy America” website to encourage the purchase of American-made products.

    But this past week, LaHood admitted that he had told his daughter to buy a Japanese car — a Toyota Sienna — and that she had done just that, CNS News reported.

    On Dec. 16 of last year, LaHood said when announcing the Buy American site, “The Obama administration is making historic investments in America’s infrastructure — investments that lay the foundation for our long-term economic health while creating good-paying jobs right now.”

    And a DOT press release stated: “Through Buy America, the Department of Transportation supports an entire supply chain of American companies and their employees.”

    On Wednesday, LaHood announced the results of a 10-month DOT study that sought to determine if electronic systems could have been responsible for reports of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles that compelled the carmaker to recall nearly 8 million vehicles in the United States.

    The study determined that electronic systems were not responsible.

    In announcing the study results, LaHood said: “I told my daughter that she should buy the Toyota Sienna, which she did. So I think that illustrates that we feel that Toyota vehicles are safe to drive.”

    Fox News called his statement a “ridiculous gaffe.”

    Not as bad as Biden’s gaffes (such as when the 1929 crisis happened, “president” Roosevelt talked to the American people, said idiot Biden with a straight and 100% clueless face… FDR was elected THREE YEARS LATER!!!)

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Ford puts the price of the Focus as I read online at over $25k with the ecoboost, they will be pricing themselves out of the market, It will be as expensive as the more for the money Fusion, which of course it will have to go up in price too, soon at this rate, Ford won’t need a luxury division, they WILL BE the one. Toyota needs to step up and really make a competitive Corolla, when the new Civic comes out, the Toyota compact will lag way behind the competition. But of course, people will buy it anyways because of its reputation.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Bob, Ford will never hire you to help name their cars, LOL. BTW Motorweek as expected went along with the chorus and named the Volt car of the year and praised it to a fault, w/o once mentioning that it costs well over $40k.

  42. bob Says:

    Pedro, I made a point to not waste my time watching Motorweek’s idiotic Awards show. All Awards are moronic, but these buffoons really overdo it, they have more categories than there are models, so everybody wins. And I know they cluelessly named the Volt their COTY. I usually see Motorweek in its text version on the web on Friday and if it is BS, I skip watching it on Sunday at 10 AM when it is shown here.

  43. bob Says:

    I’m not sure that Honda will get the new civic right. They have botched just about everything recently (meaning laast 10 years!). But I know the initial new Civic was too big and heavy and did not have 40 MPG, so they sent it back and put it on a diet. Usually there is a new civic every 4 years, and the current version has been around since when? 2005? it should have been changed in 2009 or so, but, see above.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If a new Focus is 25K, you’ll be able to get a new Prius for 2K less. The turbo Focus will be faster, but every Prius is very well equipped with auto temp control and a “key” that never leaves your pocket, along with the usual AC, cruise, etc. I suspect, though, that a 25K Focus will have leather and a sun roof that a 23K Prius doesn’t have.

  45. XA351GT Says:

    Hey Bob,
    The reason Biden was chosen as VP was so Obama wouldn’t get shot. Anyone with half a brain knows he’d be worse than B.O.In fact every VP starting with Bush the elder’s term was chosen for those reasons I think. LOL Quayle was so dumb he couldn’t even spell a 4th grade word correctly , Gore was a fascist believing he needed to tell everyone what’s in their best interest because they were too dumb to know it on their own.Anyone want to be G.W. Bush’s VP’s hunting partner ? So Biden fits in with the current trend of “oh God I hope nothing happens to the prez . because the VP is even worse thought process.

  46. XA351GT Says:

    Give Barry credit he knew damn well if he chose Hillary he’d wind up taking a dirt nap ,just like everyone else that got in her way (Blackwater anyone?)

  47. XA351GT Says:

    That should be whitewater not blackwater.

  48. bob Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    February 13th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Bob, Ford will never hire you to help name their cars, LOL.”

    I am sure no automaker will ever hire me to name their cars, and the dry, but informative, (no mere MKSs and MKZs, where MK stands for next to nothing), alphanumeric names I would propose would be turned down anyway.

    But Ford does not need me, it paid millions to people like the Chick McElroy invited once on AD (she names Hyundais mostly), and in return the geniuses gave Ford names like

    The Fiesta (yeah, right, in the midst of 9-10% unemployment and 15 trillion US national debt, what should we do, what should we do, WAIT, I found it, a Fiesta!) that became a Siesta and if it does not improve, a Fiasco!

    The Con-Fusion

    The unfocused poor, old Focus, to be replaced with a Focused one at $30k… LOL

    The Escape.. right what you need to get away from the Island of Miscast names..

    Note that all Ford cars (and its full size truck) are F-Words, (as in Ford, or as in “Effed up”, on a case by case basis, but all Ford SUVs are E-words.. as in “Shit, the gas tank is EMPTY again after putting $100 to fill it a few hours ago!”

    Not to leave GM out of this, but its pathetic Aveo has been renamed the “Sonic”. Make it “Subsonic”… very Subsonic. I wonder if they offer an SS version (LOL) will they call it the “SuperSonic?”

  49. bob Says:

    XA: both Biden (who BHO chose) and Pelosi (who he did not choose, but who is next in line) ensured that BHO would not be harmed…LOL but in a gaffe contest with poor Dan Quayle, Biden wins hands down.

    And the guy is really ambitious, he does not make just ONE gaffe in one sentence, but several! Not only did he say that Roosevelt was the prez in… 1929, he also said that he went ON TV (!!!!!!) which would not become available for more than a decade from 1929!

  50. bob Says:

    Toyota has very ambitious plans for the pRius, to become even the best selling toyota in a few years (to surpass even the camry!!) so it will hold down prices to increase its volume. This will make the Prius an even more fantastic VALUE for the new car buyer.

  51. bob Says:

    ( I of course meant she WAS, not IS, next in line, for pelosi. Thank Gawd!)

  52. bob Says:

    Inventories as of Feb 1 are in, and are truly remarkable, but not in the least unexpected !

    The Ford Fiesta-Siesta-Fiasco now has 24,700 unsold units in inventory, equal to a CRUSHING 139 days of sales (4.65 months!)

    (the Old Focus has only 86 days, same as the Taurus, and the Con-Fusion has 79)

    meanwhile the Transit Connect has trimmed its inventory down to 52, BUT this is only 4,500 units! Which means, they barely sell 3,000 copies a month. I doubt Ford makes a dime off this dog.

    Compare over at GM and at Honda:

    The CRUZE has 33,500 copies in inventory, but that is only 59 days, almost identical to the magical “60 days” perfect inventory acc to conventional wisdom.

    The IMPALA has 17,300 copies that are enough for ONLY 27 days!

    The Malibu has a bloated 46,700 unit inv that is only 79 days of sales tho.

    The CIVIC has 54,000 units, 89 days,

    the Accord has a huge 72,000 units, 115 days (Honda, you have a PROBLEM! Can you say hyundai SONATA???LOL)

    And the successful CR-V has 40,000 units and 59 days,

    BUT this pales compared to its rival the Excellent Equinox which has only 16,900 units AND a very trim 32 days of sales inventory!

    Over at the dealers, the highest sales (units per dealer) were at TOYOTA at 83, vs 66 for the second (Honda), while Ford only sold 36, GM 34, Dodge 15 and poor Chrysler only… 4 cars per dealer!!!!

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Fiesta was the best selling car in Europe in 2010, not just in its very competitive segment, but the best selling car, period, beating out the second place VW Golf.

    It seems that the problem with Fiesta in the U.S. is not the name, or even the car. As has been discussed a lot, it’s likely the price, or maybe that people don’t tend to go to Ford dealers looking for B-segment cars.

  54. bob Says:

    it is obvious that the Siesta’s biggest problem in the US is the price, I and many others here have already pointed it out. Especially when one can buy a bigger Ford Focus for much, much less!!!

    I liked the Fiesta exterior when I saw it in our lot before last June, in dark blue .

    But every car has the right price to sell well, and the Fiesta is sure WAY overpriced.

  55. bob Says:

    “Fiesta was the best selling car in Europe in 2010, not just in its very competitive segment, but the best selling car, period, beating out the second place VW Golf.”

    The (by far) most competitive car market in the World is the US market, and has been for decades.

    The Euro market is FAR from competitive. MANY cars that have made it there do not have a chance of making it here, and many have actually found out by coming here, suffer a miserable defeat, and leave with their tails between their legs (utter dogs that they are! LOL). Euro cars are also WAY more expensive (with the exception of the smallest car segment when you can still get a stripped, tiny 600 cc car for $10k or 7k euros), which explains why the Fiesta sells well, it can price high AND sell there!

    The fact that Renaults, Fiats, and Peugeots are still best sellers there tells you something!

  56. bob Says:

    “Lamborghini will unveil the Aventador, a flagship supercar costing more than $370,000, at the Geneva auto show, a source says. The Aventador LP 700-4, which has a 700-horsepower V12 engine that surges to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in 2.9 seconds..”

    Lambo’s system of naming its cars according to their HP and not the CC or CI displacement makes sense in today’s market when a twin-turbo 4 liter can have much more hp than a normally aspirated 6 liter engine.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “The (by far) most competitive car market in the World is the US market, and has been for decades.”

    There are 10′s of “B-segment” cars sold in Europe, and only a handful here. There is lots of competition for that slice of the pie there, but not here. That makes that market segment much more competitive in Europe than the U.S. Fiesta outsells very good offerings in its class from VW, Opel/Vaushall, PSA, Fiat, etc., plus the Asian products we see here.

    Low prices in the U.S. are not synonymous with competitive market. Low prices are, well, low prices.

    Also, have you driven a “B-segment” Peugeot or Citroen lately? You might be surprised.

  58. bob Says:

    Lower prices for the same exact products are INDEED the mark of a more competitive market. Only PROTECTED markets like in Europe and Asia are able to price the same POS for many thousands of $s more than in the US.

    And we should compare segments that are offered in BOTH places.