Episode 694 – July Sales Weak, Toyota Roars Back, South America Poised to Grow

August 3rd, 2011 at 12:19pm

Runtime: 8:28

Automakers reported sales numbers for July and overall it was a pretty mediocre month with sales gaining less than 1 percent compared to June. But one company stands out from the rest. Toyota’s sales numbers surged nearly 18 percent month over month. One analyst says South America is poised to become the best emerging global market for the auto industry over the next five years. All that and more, plus guest host Anne Doyle takes a look at what one global automotive supplier is doing to tap the full leadership potential of top women talent.

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This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, the third of August, 2011. Welcome all you first-time viewers out there and hello to our regulars. I’m Anne Doyle, your guest host. I’m also a long-time friend and colleague of John McElroy’s from my years as Director of NA Communications with Ford Motor Company and most recently, the author of a new book on women’s leadership: “POWERING UP!” Thanks for joining us today.

JULY SALES (subscription required)
Starting things off . . . July sales. Overall it was a pretty “meh” month. Compared to a year ago when they were up almost 5 percent. The gain was less than 1 percent versus June. The SAAR hit 12.2 million, a decent uptick from last month when it was stuck around eleven and a half million. But it’s still not where we want it and need it to be. Most automakers’ sales were up strongly compared to July 2010, but month-over-month many of them were down. Sifting through the numbers one company stands out from the rest. Toyota is absolutely roaring back. Sure, its sales were way down compared to last year – off nearly 20 percent – but month-over-month it surged nearly 18 percent. Say, wasn’t this the company with severe inventory issues? Where did it get all of these vehicles from? Interestingly, the Camry is once again the best-selling car in America, taking the “crown” back from the Chevy Cruze, which was right on its heels. Again, we thank Ward’s for providing these numbers.

TOYOTA INCREASES INCENTIVES
Here’s one reason Toyota did so well last month. According to Bloomberg, the company was one of the few automakers to raise incentives. Overall, automakers cut spending by 9.5 percent to an average of just over $2,500 per vehicle. Toyota on the other hand raised incentives about 21 percent. But the company still spent less on average per vehicle than the Detroit automakers, even though they slashed discounts.

SOUTH AMERICA POISED TO GROW
According to one analyst from J.D. Power and Associates, South America is poised to become the best emerging global market for the auto industry over the next five years. The Detroit Free Press reports sales in South America are expected to grow nearly 8 percent this year to 5.4 million units. Over the next four years sales will increase an average of about 8.5 percent reaching about 7.4 million cars by 2015. The analyst predicts sales will outpace production giving automakers an opportunity to export cars to South America or to add plants in the region.

MASERATI GRANTURISMO SPORT
Maserati just introduced the new GranTurismo Convertible Sport, also known as the GranCabrio Sport outside the U.S. It’s equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V-8 which can be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It cranks out 450 horsepower, goes from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour in just 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of about 177 miles an hour. Not surprisingly, fuel economy isn’t that great. The GranTurismo Convertible Sport gets a combined 16 miles per gallon. But getting good fuel economy is not why people buy a car like this.

MULALLY ON LETTERMAN
Make sure you’re near a TV late this evening. Along with actress Emma Stone and the band Blink-182, Ford CEO Alan Mulally is a guest on the Letterman Show. According to The Detroit News, his appearance took years of negotiation. The ever-charming Mulally is expected to talk about electric vehicles and maybe even bag some groceries. You heard me right, groceries. Apparently the two men both worked at supermarkets earlier in their lives. “Late Night with David Letterman” airs on CBS tonight starting at 11:35 p.m.

Coming up next, we take a look at what one global automotive supplier is doing to tap the full leadership potential of top women talent. Stick around.

WOMEN’S BUSINESS RESOURCE GROUP
Last week I was privileged to be part of the global kickoff of a cutting-edge initiative by a global commercial truck supplier.

I’m talking about Meritor, and the launch of its Women’s Business Resource Group. 175 Meritor leaders got up early to be part of the launch event at their Troy, Michigan headquarters, while another 60 listened in from all over North and South America, Europe, China and India.

The mission, laid out by Marsha Remski, director of Meritor’s North America supply chain, is simply this: to advance the company’s business strategies by creating a work culture that excels in the recruitment, development, achievement and retention of talented, aspiring women.

We’ve heard of these initiatives before, but here’s why I predict Meritor’s approach will give them a competitive edge rather than fizzle as a well-intentioned flash in the pan.

It has full support at the top. That’s CEO Chip McClure in the front row – surrounded by company officers & senior leaders.

The board sees it as a business priority. Directors Victoria Jackson Bridges and Rhonda Brooks both participated and voiced their strong support.

And Meritor’s men are engaged, as mentors, allies and sponsors. Chris Snodgrass, VP of Worldwide Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, is the steering committee’s champion.

This is the stuff of leadership. A strategic, focused attack on one of our industry’s Achilles’ heels: the ability to attract, develop and retain high-potential women.

My congratulations to Meritor for a smart business move. May your leadership, as board member Victoria Jackson Bridges told the kickoff audience “become a template for the rest of the industry.”

Remember to mark your calendars for tomorrow night’s Autoline After Hours. This week John McElroy and Peter De Lorenzo will talk to David Snyder, an artist who specializes in painting cars in their natural environment. Of course, the guys will also get into the news of the week and take your questions in the ever-popular Rapid Fire segment. So, tune in Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 4:00 p.m. Pacific at AutolineDetroit.TV.

And that’s it for today’s show. Again, I’m Anne Doyle author of “Powering Up: How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders.” Thank you for watching.

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

73 Comments to “Episode 694 – July Sales Weak, Toyota Roars Back, South America Poised to Grow”

  1. tj Martin Says:

    When are we going to finally realize that all these ” Special Interest ” groups in business and Government only serve to create stronger lines of division , cost the companies ( and Government ) more money that could of been better spent elsewhere and in the end provide no real and tangible benefit to anyone ! Especially the so called ” Special Interests ” the ” Group ” claims to be serving . While in reality only serving themselves .

    Either you compete on a level playing field , or you have no business competing at all . Period !

  2. tj Martin Says:

    South America should read Brazil ( as the rest of S. America is in deep deep trouble )

    As far as Brazil , well I’d be very cautious before lauding their success as they still have some of the worst poverty in the America’s : w/ a very small minority holding an overwhelming majority of the money ( sounding a bit like China ? ) Thousands of children on the streets on their own , starving and stealing just to exist ( The Senna Foundation still has to feed some 70,000 children per day in Sao Paulo so how good can things be ?)

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    ‘Camry takes over sales lead again’; man, I guess people forget quickly (not that they don’t make a very nice, re reliable, vehicle) but there are so many alternates that actally have some style. The new Camry looks like a melted jelly bean………………..yuck. And to be counted as one of the ‘lemmings’ of the world; I just don’t get it. JMHO again, :)

  4. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    to tj martin. special interests? are you referring to meritor’s attempt to include women who happen to have talent in business? by recognizing a weakness in the automotive industry?

    the problem is that there has never been a “level playing field”. especially for women and minority ethnic groups in this country.

    i can tell you from experience that almost no-one is looking for special treatment in this area. simply an opportunity to perform. yes, mistakes, errors, and sins happen along the way. most people want the opportunity to do, be, and excel in what we choose to do in this life.

    there is still “red-lining” in this country. when the rules are clear, then you and me will know who can and who cannot perform. until that happens, you will see these proposals and initiatives come up from time to time.

    i know you have been blessed in your time. it is time for others to shine as well. regardless of gender or ethnicity.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Most regular folks can’t afford “enthusiast” cars so they go for reliable, comfortable, gas-saving transport. For the enthusiasts there’s plenty of hardware out there to choose from. Tj did you catch 60 mins piece on Brazil? Lot of people think their problems are all solved thanks to E85 making them energy independent, hold on there Baba Louie, not so fast!

  6. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m with TJ on this one; to analogize a bit: “the cream rises to the top”. Women have made it to the top in quite a lot of areas. Now, if there is a prejudice, that should be erraticated at all costs, but any affirmative action, negates equality, and is wrong on its own terms.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps tonight on Letterman Mr.Mullaly will read the top 10 reasons Camry is again # 1 despite being at the end of its 5 yr cycle.

  8. HtG Says:

    I thought the idea behind developing and retaining talent among women was that companies need exceptional people. If you lose your female talent, you lose.

  9. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    to htg.

    that is precisely my point in my earlier post.

    you do that for everyone. regardless of gender or ethnicity.

    the obn (old boy network) has excluded women and ethnic minorities for too long. and has lost significant opportunities.

    it is easy to say that all has been erased. not so. i wish it was that way. i would like to have had mentors to guide me, but i do not. that is a tremendous advantage to ones growth and development in business and life.

    and that is what meritor is trying to do. eventually it should do so with everyone that becomes employed in that company. actually, every company should be doing that. that is the real level playing field. not being alone trying to figure out everything. no-one rises to the top without some sort of assistance or guidance from a mentor.

    hopefully that helps.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  10. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Pedro, I saw the piece on Brazil on “60 Minutes” and while they listed the goods and the bads, what I took from it was that it kind of sounded like the U.S. about 60 to 75 years ago. So what did ‘we’ have at that time; first a not quite as mettling a government, great resources that were allowed to be utilized, and maybe a little sadly, we had quite a bit of poor (and I mean really) poor people; today our poor people have cars, tv’s, and tend to all be fat.

  11. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    tj is right about everything – as always.

  12. Wayne Says:

    Just a few comments about yesterday’s show:
    @pedro-Yesterday’s host had to drive through parts of the old East Germany to get from Berlin to Dusseldorf. Berlin was completely surrounded by the “Russian Zone” prior to re-unification. Thus the need for the Berlin airlift many years ago when the Russians blocked land passage through their zone. As far as driving in the eastern area of Germany goes, from my experiences in Saxony the roads could not be any better. Almost every highway has been rebuilt since re-unification and new Autobahns have been created. Lots of fun for a lead-foot!!
    @Everyone-While the host yesterday did look at things in Europe somewhat through rose coloured (yes that is spelled correctly as I am from “north of the border”)glasses, I somewhat agree with his message overall. The impression that most non-Americans get of the U.S. is that yes it is a great land of opportinity but only if you can afford it. The “anti-socialist” views suggest that American society is very selfish (ie “me” first) and to hell with my neighbour if he falls on hard times. I’ll admit that is an over simplification of the situation. As for the U.S. Military presence beyond its own shores, please be reminded that the U.S. has a habit of sticking its nose in where not welcome, sometimes with altruistic intentions but not outcomes. During the cold war, Germany probably did need help defending itself while it got back on its own feet after WWII (which the U.S. did help with a great deal) but it also had restrictions on it as far as building up a military. I doubt it still needs A U.S. presence on its soil.

    Anyway,enough politics this is supposed to be an automotive forum.

    The MB “B” class has been available in Canada for some time now and seems to be suitable for getting around in the city. Not sure how they handle highway/freeway traffic but there are smaller vehicles on the road that appear to do okay. Not sure of powertrains that are available but it would be a shame if a diesel was not an option. I cannot understand why it took so long for MB to make these available south of the border. You would think that the market potential would make it a no-brainer.

  13. dcars Says:

    Brazil has been singled out as an emerging market for the last ten years and is receiving a lot of investment. GM doesn’t have enough capacity for building the Cruze and it’s hurting sales.

  14. tj Martin Says:

    @ Bob in Atlanta – Well no I’m not , but thanks for saying so :o

    @pedro – Yes I saw the 60 minutes piece and was appalled at how much they completely ignored all the wrongs going on in Brazil , attempting to cover them up with the current President’s hyperbole and BS

    @vrmchris-

    While you make a decent point , I’m afraid you’ve missed my point or at the very least , misunderstood me completely .

    I have no – zero – nada problems with creating laws that guarantee an equal opportunity for all .

    My critique , which as much as you may try to contradict , is plainly that all these ” Special Interest Groups ” DO NOT Guarantee a level playing field , but in fact attempt to give advantage to the demographic they are claiming to serve over and above PERFORMANCE , QUALITY of WORK , EXPERIENCE etc .

    Which does in fact create resentment in those overlooked in spite of superior qualifications , cost inordinate amounts of money to the company/government agency involved , as well as allowing under qualified , under experienced individuals to rise beyond their abilities , which again costs everyone with the exception of the Special Interest Group in question , both jobs and money .

    We’ve had 40 some odd years now of ” Special Interest Groups ” ( ahem ) so called ” serving” everything from Race to Religion to Gender to now even Sexual Preference and none of it has accomplished a bloody ( ____ ) thing . Except to enrich those running the ” Special Interest Groups ”

    My wife has excelled in both fields she’s pursued ( Higher Ed & Government ) with NO help from any ” Special Interest Group ” but because of her education , abilities and work ethic . Period .

    Hopefully that helps ;
    Tj Martin

  15. tj Martin Says:

    @ dcars

    Russia has been singled out as an emerging market since the fall of the Berlin Wall , but you wouldn’t want to have any of your hard earned invested there , now would you .

    Emerging seems to be the Buzz Word of the last 30 years for ;

    ” Well we’re hoping by saying its good enough fools will part with their cash to hopefully make it so but …….. ”

    Anytime I hear that term of late in relation to any form of business I cringe with well founded and proven cynicism .

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The US is heading the way of Brazil, the bad things about Brazil, with widening wealth disparity between rich and poor, and the desire by many in Congress to dismantle the social safety net. While Brazil has problems, they are going in the right direction more than we are. While Brazil has a very wide disparity of wealth, it is narrowing rather than widening. That’s also true in China. The disparity is very wide, but narrowing.

  17. tj Martin Says:

    #16

    Actually Kit , the Brazilians themselves say just the opposite . The gap is getting wider and much much larger . With many more ending up on the bottom of the pile .

    China , for all the hype is the same . The gap gets wider by the minute .

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. Camry, the Indiana dealer where I bought my Prius sells Toyota, Ford, and Honda. Two salesmen there who are kind of car buffs, or at least know the products, say the Camry is probably the best of the three cars they sell in its class for most people who buy such cars, especially the 4 cylinder versions. It rides better, and is a little quieter than the Accord, and the interior is a little nicer. These guys say both the 4 cyl. automatic Camry and Accord perform a little better than a similarly equipped Fusion. Most people who buy these car are wanting a “transportation appliance,” so it’s not surprising that the Camry continues to do very well.

  19. tj Martin Says:

    Brazil Revisited

    And lets not forget Brazils ongoing destruction of their rain forests in the name of profit ( for cattle and for the sugar cane to feed their fuel needs ) all the open pit mining that’s also not only destroying even more rain forests but is polluting both the air and water supplies , including the largest fresh water source in the World ( Amazon ) the constant rise in deadly crime both to residents and tourists ( ask the F1 crowd what precautions they need to take to stay safe )

    Toss in an extreme prejudice towards their native population that makes any we have in the US ( bad as it may be ) look good in comparison … and you’ve got the perfect storm brewing for implosion .

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj, I’ll try to find where I read what I said about Brazil China, but it seemed a credible source when I saw it a few weeks ago. It would
    certainly make sense that China’s disparity might be narrowing, since they have their emerging middle class as all of our jobs go there.

    Where did you get your info on this topic?

  21. tj Martin Says:

    @ Wayne

    No US military presence in Germany would = No Germany

    Without our military , money , constant bailouts , not to mention again our money in the products we buy from Germany ., the country would collapse under its own weight .

    B Class – Why M-B hasn’t brought it here is probably due to BMW’s ( 1 Series ) and Audi’s ( A3 ) abject failure to capture much in the way of US sales . Not to mention M-B still smarting a bit from the failure of the C-Class Hatchback here . Toss in the whole SMART debacle and can you blame them for being cautious ?

    Having said that , its a different World right now , so its probably the right time to finally get that B-Class down our way as well .

  22. HtG Says:

    this article may interest you, Kit. You can link to the Foreign Affairs magazine piece from a few years ago.

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5510

  23. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    The China info has been all over the financial press as well as an ongoing topic of discussion amongst the financial and investment pundits over the last year and a half

    Brazil as well . Along with several again friends and business colleagues in and from Brazil ( musicians mostly but a couple of lawyers and business men/women as well ) I also participate actively in a prominent Brazilian Charity which I may or may not of mentioned .

    The best single source for worldwide financial goings on is probably ” The Economist ” magazine if you’re really interested .

    Myself I’m gradually walking away from it all , dropping subscriptions etc as its all becoming too wearing to continue on with , not to mention taking too much of my time better spent elsewhere .

  24. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    So there you are . Thought perhaps Mz Chris had scared you off for the day .

    By the way , who the heck was the ” Richard ” you kept referring to yesterday in the Germany debate ?

  25. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    to tj martin,

    thank you for elaborating on your position.

    i believe we are in more agreement than meets the eye. the special interest in question is meritor itself. that initiative should be aimed at everyone regardless of gender or ethnicity.

    i still stand by my point in post number 4. it is effort combined with recognition of such that enables one to succeed and advance in any organization.

    and yes, i agree that certain “special interest groups” want to perpetuate themselves because they love the fame and most importantly the money they receive for such efforts at the cost of everyone including the marginalized in question.

    so, thank you for clarifying your position. i agree with the thrust of it.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The B-Class is a tall wagon, something that might appeal to SUV infatuated Americans more the A3. I actually like the TDI A3, but I never much considered buying one because of the price. I’d guess the B-Class would have the same problem when compared similar size vehicles. The three pointed star would certainly add some dollors to what you could sell it for, but only up to a point.

  27. tj Martin Says:

    Another despot , refusing to step down . This time he’s Italian , and will have a direct impact on the Automotive world . Remember who’s corner he’s in

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/world/europe/04italy.html?_r=1&hp

  28. tj Martin Says:

    @ vrmchris

    #25

    Fair enough ! Good to have some solid discussion resolve into a reasonable and positive conclusion .

    On point 4 we’ll just have to agree to disagree .

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HtG, thanks for the link.
    tj, I read the Economist sometimes at the public library, and yes, it is a good publication from both the US and EU perspective, when I’m in the mood for some “serious” reading, rather than useless trivia like cars.

  30. HtG Says:

    I was busy breaking rocks today, tj. Nice big pile.

    Richard? Yeah, I was having a steam explosion, and got Kiley’s first name wrong. It’s David. Looks like a good guy to have a drink with.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    Funny , lately I’m beginning to think its the ” serious ” reading thats useless to me , not being in any real position to do anything about it other than debate and complain .

    The 14 days of no news or newspapers , coming home realizing all the news we missed was completely irrelevant to us personally has had quite and impact on me over the last couple of days back home .

    Well anyway I’m consternating over the subject , debating internally how much ” serious ” I/We want to shed .

    We’ll see .

  32. tj Martin Says:

    @ vrmchris

    Forgot to mention , please excuse the Mz Chris comment to HtG

    I was just busting his chops a bit , not intending any insult towards yourself

    Ciao
    Tj

  33. HtG Says:

    @31 On news. I watch next to no TV news. Not cable, not Judy and Jim on PBS. So much emotional and half cocked crap for doofs. Read papers with important stuff, like WSJ and Bloomberg. And Businessweek. Look for articles in various actual newscreators like Telegraph and Guardian; avoid aggregators on the web. Check NYT if they have some scoop, otherwise maybe Krugman. You’re right about questioning the value of the news, tj. (OK, sometimes I watch the nightly news if there’s something really visual, or if I want to see how they are playing it to their aging audience. I can tell you some fun inside stuff about those organizations if you get me drunk, comrade tj.)

  34. cwolf Says:

    tj and vmchris: tj, your views towards these special interest groups is well proven,but vmchris,a newbie,I believe is just trying to make a valid expression and contribution, perhaps with some reservation as how she will be accepted. First impressions have a lot of credibility with me,and I sense this lady has real ‘gusto!” I personally would welcome her perspectives in the future.

    vmchris, tj’s wife and mine earned their keep on their oun merits. If you share the same backbone, you can fulfill all of your expectations on your oun merits.

  35. cwolf Says:

    vmchris: Your formality gets nowhere with this crew and your comment structure will not be graded, either! Be yourself and just share and contribute without BS.

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    re; Brazil

    Since its definitely after hours , here’s my take on a more personal basis .

    Of late , as much as I love Brazil : the food ( oh my God the food & the beer ) the people , the music , the culture etc its getting to the point where i can no longer deal with going there .

    Being put up in a nice house , with butlers , maids etc eating like a King , all while just right up the hill within site there being 1000′s of cardboard and tin houses w/people that can barely eak out one lousy meal a day . Then going into the cities and being surrounded by the multitudes of abandoned kids , begging , stealing , pimping themselves , anything just for a crust of bread , the contrast has become too much for me .

    Because Kit , regardless of what the popular media and the politicians will tell you , that is the realities of Brazil .

    I won’t even go into traveling in the baccountry , seeing all the wanton destruction that goes on so’s McDonalds can have enough beef to fill their hamburger buns etc .

    Anyway Kit I thought i should pass this one on so you’ll understand part of my passion about Brazil and the realities thereof .

  37. HtG Says:

    looking for something, tj?

    http://csis.org/event/energy-and-development-nexus-historical-view-ethanol-and-brazil

    csis has lots of interesting topics.

  38. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    Forgot to toss this at you Beer recommend wise

    He-Brew Brewing ( yes its a real company ) Jewbilation and their Lenny Bruce IPA .

    Both again evil to the core , very unique ( not to mention self abasing , yes the company is Jewish owned ) and delicious

    And Black Sheep Russian Imperial Stout .

  39. tj Martin Says:

    @cwolf

    Personally I was enjoying the structure and formality of vrmchris

    After months of H/S and the Sybil Quintets aimless ramblings I found her posts to be ….. welcome .

    Not that we all should do the same . But a welcome change of pace indeed .

  40. tj Martin Says:

    Ciao All

    Off to look at a potential new digs w/Mrs Tj

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Because of all the well-publicized problems with the Brazil’s horrible slums within earshot of the touristy parts of the cities, I was surprised with the decision to have the Olympics there.

  42. cwolf Says:

    Over the past many days we brought to light the strength and weaknesses of many countries across the globe, including our own. When all is said and done,the U.S. house is still the nicest house in the worst neighborhood! We still have a reasonable chance of growing our economy,creating jobs,and still satisfy market demands as long as the tea party and ultra-conservatives can be held at bay.

    For now ,the Toyota come-back,due to their incentives, seems to me to be driven by desperation. In reality, they have to dump their inventory because their interest rate is on the rise and everyones next quarter outlook have the odds of a coin toss.

  43. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    to tj martin. all is forgiven. just so you and cwolf know, i am a man. if i gave the impression that i am female, i am truly sorry.

    to cwolf. i am being myself when i post in this fashion. it is my intent to be as clear as possible in expressing my views on various and sundry topics. you can find this on openline and afterhours.

    i have not given up. i suffered a setback in my plans to have my own business. it is just delayed, not necessarily denied.

    i do not write in this fashion to be impressive. it is done so that whomever reads can make sense of my view. if there is confusion, please ask of me. i will be more than happy to clarify and or elaborate my view without blasting someone. or being cold, harsh, and mean trying to sound “tough” when that really means i am scared of you or your point of view.

    to all of the regulars, thank you very much for your input and insights today.

    regards,
    VRMchris

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Toyota’s incentives have been increased, but are still lower than those of some other companies. Anyone who pooh poohs Toyota does so at their peril. Toyota has a solid product line, even the aging Camry and Corolla, and they have a couple products, like LS460 and Prius that stand out in their catagories in a way that it enhances the company’s reputation, even with people who would have no interest in those partivular products.

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    2012 Civic what is the real story?, reviewers are divided on this car, some say it’ actually better than its predecessor, others like CR, ripped it a new one. Johnny Mc: I think you need to give it a test review and let your faithful flock know what the truth is.

  46. cwolf Says:

    vmchris: your courtesy IS refreshing,yet forgive me for saying it style creates alot of curiousity and, perhaps, more doubt of intensions. Without ill-will, you could be a “Smoke” ttype person dressed in a more formal verse. I wish you well on your buisiness plans and to never let go of your dreams. Can’t believe you are not a female! Who-da-thunk-it?

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    To a lot of people a car with an isolated, quiet, floaty ride like the Camry is a sign of quality and you get more than you paid for mentality, call them boring appliances if you like, but appliances like this one appeals to many indeed, just look at the sales numbers. I have asked Camry buyers if they had tried others and the few that have actually done some comparisons admit they were attracted by those same attributes that turn so many others off from buying it.

  48. HtG Says:

    Pedro, @47, that’s exactly the kind of thing I thought about when I saw the new Civic. ‘Honda knows something I don’t know,’ meant that they knew what their intended customer valued. Stuff I don’t like is irrelevent. Did you see the interview on WSJ with Alan Mulally, where he identified the four factors that their customers were looking for? And I recall a few years ago hearing Lutz talk about the ‘customer’s perceived quality.’ It looks to me like the pressures on Honda are not letting them spend on stuff they don’t need to. We’ll see how they do in the showroom.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    One of the things that surprised me about the new Civic is that all reports say the same thing: wind noise, come on Honda really??? you can’t get this under control? Even lowly Elantra is as quiet as a luxury car. One time I rented a PT Cruiser and the first negative thing I found was its excessive wind and road noise despite its triple seals around the doors. Immediately I put the car in the “not for me” category. BTW hasn’t VW taken a similar approach with the new Jetta?

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    New Top Gear segment making fun of the Leaf and the Mitsu EV. They both run out of juice and nowhere to recharge them.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess the Camry today is what a low-end Buick was in the 50′s, quiet, comfortable, and softly sprung. The thing is, the “wallowy” Camry has much better road manners than the trucks that make up half the US market.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #49
    CR mainly mentioned road noise with the new Civic, but commented on wind noise in the background. To me, it’s hard to believe they can’t do better, if these reports are at all valid. You’d think that GM might have had real moralle problems and people leaving during all the turmoil of the last few years, but they did a great job of quelling cabin noise in the Cruze. Do Honda employees need a bigger crisis than they’ve had so far?

  53. Alex Kovnat Says:

    Regarding the matter of whether or not there is a level playing field for women: Our nation has many women who take it as a given that there should not be one single jot or tittle of difference between average income for men and average income for women. But then, many of these women who are single also take it as a given that when they get married, if they get married, of course it will be to a man who makes at least as high an income as they do.

    As long as a man’s prospect for getting married to the girl of his dreams is more dependent on his career success than is the case for women with regard to men, we will see men having higher average incomes and higher socioeconomic job status than women.

  54. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    to cwolf,

    i do understand. if i were hyundai smoke, i would have sounded much more arrogant than i did. unfortunately, he is a very poor ambassador for hyundai/kia. probably the worst fanatic for a marque i have seen in a long time.

    yes, there are men who can be courteous to others. in other words, a gentleman.

    i know from my perspective in this world, we are supposed to be “tough”. very often that is a mask to hide our vulnerabilities.

    however, i do understand. i simply say as it is written: be in the world. not of it.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys, did you ever think that neither Toyota or Honda give a rat’s ass what the critics and reviewers say, I mean they have been putting down Corolla for years now, yet it continues to be the #1 seller inn the class with Civic #2. I don’t know of many folks who choose their wheels based on reviews and not on test drives and reputation.

  56. tj Martin Says:

    OK its official , we’ve got a new contestant for the Loony of the Site Award with this new ( she/he/it ) vrmchris .

    Great ! Just when we’re rid of H/S and the Sybil Quintet , the asylum lets loose another from amongst its midsts .

    Seriously , going way out of your way vrmchris to portray yourself as a woman , then revealing you’re a man , complete with overly flowerly language ( which amazingly later in the evening descended into a mixed up almost non descript incomprehensible blur ) and by the way how did you know ” Smoke ” was in full HyundaiSmoke unless perhaps you either are H/S or worse one of his multiple personalities.

    I take back any apologies as well as any compliments offered .

    What ever you are , you are a sham vrmchris

    Admittedly you did have us going for a bit , but unfortunately like so many of your ilk , you could not maintain the facade for a full days posting . Y’all need to work on that aspect of your psychosis . Consistency being the real convincer .

    So now I guess its;

    Fools to the left of me .. Jokers to the right .. here I am Stuck in the middle with you ( regular guys ) …… and the loonies with nothing better to do than post in online forums .

  57. tj Martin Says:

    :(

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think Toyota has jumped the shard for good, another deal with Tesla? What the hell are they doing? giving these bozos all that money, why don’t they use it to improve the efficiency of the future ICE?

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    SHARK

  60. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    re;TESLA

    If you think Toyota’s deal with TESLSA is insane , you should have a gander at the one our esteemed Government has , complete with censored reviews of ANY TESLA product , as well as a gag order on at least two US automotive magazines , preventing them from publishing their comparison tests between the TESLA and _______ .

  61. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro – SHARK ?

  62. tj Martin Says:

    Somebody should ask the folks at Toyota why they felt a need to partner with an Electric BBQ manufacture .

    ( a reminder that TESLA roadsters have been self igniting on a fairly regular basis of late , hence the Electric BBQ snipe )

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tesla: “The ultimate Frying Machine”

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    perhaps electric and performance don’t mix? I dunno, just a thought!

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    did anyone catch the video of the dumb scuba diver kissing the shark? Perhaps drinking and diving should be discouraged.

  66. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Electric & Performance

    Oh they can go together alright . As long as you can live with a 5 -15 mile range on the batteries , zooming along , with the reality of becoming that $100,000 + instant mobile BBQ I spoke of , not to mention wearing out half the gizmos on the car in the process

    Funny thing is a certain German Tuner , who’s name I shall not mention was able to come up with a Performance E/V , that unlike the TESLA actually works , as well as not morphing into that mobile BBQ . Funny that we don’t hear nary a word about them in this whole E/V Debacle/Schlamazzel we’re in .

    Of course it might have something to do with that German tuner , who’s name I will not mention , being quite blunt about the fact that neither theirs , or any E/V on the docket is in fact ready for mass or even boutique consumption .

    Uh oh . Whats that I hear ? Sorry pedro , I’d better make a run for it . The Men in Black just pulled up front and ….

    AHHHHhhhhhhhhhh………

    :o

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro, re. #55
    For the most part, you are right that most people don’t buy cars based on reviews, but there is a major exception. Whether it makes sense or not, people DO buy cars based on CR ratings, at least the cars non-enthusiasts buy. It is safe to assume that CR has sold many thousands of Camry, Accord, Corolla, and Civic over the years. I suspect their clout is not what it once was, and it will diminish more if it turns out that they are really “full of it” regarding the new Civic. For now, though, it is safe to assume that the powers at Hyundai/Kia are very appreciative of CR’s ratings of their new products.

  68. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit

    Well I can’t speak for others ,but as for myself in the last 12 months or so , after having done extensive research on the cars I was considering , I’m finding Consumer Report to be less and less reliable by the minute because of ;

    Multiple factual errors

    Statistics that are either out of date or flat out incorrect

    In more cases than I’d like to admit to , their findings being based more on their opinions than verifiable facts

    Jumping the gun too many times on reliability reports without properly investigating the claims etc

    Their so called Buyers Service pages being extremely out of date to the point of being worthless in the buying/leasing process

    Honestly I don’t know what’s going on at CR of late but ..

    All I’ll say is CR has seen the last of my $ .

  69. tj Martin Says:

    I’ll also guess in spite of CR’s railing against the new Civic as well as the odd Toyota or two , along with all the Hype that’s surrounding the H/K twins ( along with a whole lot of flat out lies and BS coming directly from H/K like their mpg discrepancy on the Elantra – claimed 40 mpg / actual 29 mpg ) …

    ….. that Toyota and Honda have next to nothing to worry about , especially when all those H/K’s prove themselves to be the CHEAP ( not inexpensive ) POS’s that they really are

    What’s the saying about fooling some of the people ……

    It’ll all fall back into H/K’s lap.. guaranteed

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I find CR’s web site to be very handy for checking diminsions, weight etc. of cars. Also, CR has the only available “second set” of fuel economy numbers to compare to EPA rating. As far as “factual errors,” I suppose there may be some, but not many.

    Like all of us, CR writers have their opinions. In reading their reports, you can pick out what you care about, and what you don’t. In the end, I certainly don’t buy cars based on what CR says, but I find their car reviews to be interesting reading.

    Reliability ratings? CR’s are far from perfect, but what else is there, except “word of mouth,” not very reliable, and the hodgepodge of J D Powers stuff?

  71. tj Martin Says:

    A Truly annoying AutoLineDetroit Factoid ;

    If…… I lived on the KS side of Kansas City , I could watch ALD on my TW HD cable ( yes John its available in KC , KS ) But…….. because I live a whole mile over the border on the MO side of Kansas City .. well….

    No AutoLineDetroit for Me !

    Even more annoying is my On Screen Cable Guide shows ALD as available , even though it is not . Because ….. I live on the wrong ( truth be known the right ) side of Kansas City

    What is wrong with Public Television and the Cable companies these days . Or maybe a better question is , what is right ?

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Methinks it is way too early to form opinions on the durability of these new H/K cars. Only time will tell. How will the bodies hold up after 15 years of road in Michigan? How will the power trains be doing after 250K miles? I don’t know, but neither does anyone else here, unless there are people here who helped design them.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oops, that’s 15 years of road SALT in Michigan.