Episode 55 – Exxon Wants Carbon Tax, Chrysler Car-Based Truck, ArvinMeritor Keeps Part Of Autos

January 9th, 2009 at 12:02pm

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Exxon’s CEO calls for a carbon tax instead of a cap and trade system. Chrysler is considering building a car-based truck to replace its Dakota pickup. ArvinMeritor is not selling off all its car business due to the industry downturn. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline about blogging and how it’s changing the automotive media business.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Exxon calls for a carbon tax. Chrysler considers a car-based truck. And ArvinMeritor is not selling off all its car business.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Friday, January 9, 2009. And now, the news.

My how the world has changed. The CEO of Exxon is calling for a carbon tax, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rex Tillerson, who has been CEO only since 2006, wants a carbon tax instead of a cap and trade system, which he calls complex and costly. Still, supporting a carbon tax puts the CEO of Exxon in the same camp as Al Gore and Ralph Nader, and that sure shows just how much this world done gone crazy.

The Detroit News says Chrysler is considering building a car-based truck to replace its mid-size Dakota pickup. This could offer better fuel economy and still meet the needs of many truck buyers. This news comes on the heels of GM canceling the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck, and Mitsubishi is pulling the plug on its slow-selling pick-up (subscription required), called the Raider, which is made by Chrysler.

Our media partner Autoblog reports that Mitsubishi will share its MiEV plug-in electric vehicle with Peugeot, which will be available in Europe sometime in 2011. The MiEV goes on sale in Japan later this year with an expected production run of just 2,000 units.

The all-new Mazda3 that goes on sales globally this year will be the world’s first application of single-nanocatalyst technology in catalytic converters. The new catalyst reduces the amount of costly precious metals used in the converter by 70 percent.

ArvinMeritor is not going to spin off all of its passenger car business, due to the industry slump. According to the Detroit Free Press ArvinMeritor plans to keep its wheels business. But it is preparing to sell its body and chassis business.

Here’s one I just couldn’t resist. Autoblog is carrying a story on this product from the Consumer Electronics show. It’s called Sound Racer. You plug it into the cigarette lighter and it pumps the sound of a powerful V-8 through the cars speakers. Hit the gas pedal and it sounds like the engine is revving. Autoblog suggests it’s the perfect accessory for people who own hybrid cars.

Coming up next, a preview of this week’s episode of Autoline Detroit. We’ll be back, right after this.

On this week’s Autoline I sit down with three journalist colleagues to talk all about blogging and how that’s changing the automotive media business. Joining me for this is John Neff from Autoblog, Chris Paukert formerly from Winding Road but now with Autoblog, and Mike Dushane from CarandDriver.com. Here’s a short preview in which we talk about the embargos automakers put on information and how it gets leaked out anyway.

And remember, if you want to hear the rest of my interview with these mavens of new media, you can watch the entire episode of Autoline Detroit on our website right now.

Also, this week’s trivia question asked, what is the automotive definition of “tumblehome”? Is it the vortex created by a swirling air/fuel mixture — is it something that happens when you’ve had a few too many at the bar — is it the inward slope of a vehicle’s greenhouse — or is it an engineering term for how a seat folds? And the correct answer is, it’s the slope of a vehicle’s greenhouse. The winner of this week’s prize, which is a cool Saturn Astra messenger bag and an Autoline t-shirt, is J. Mackowicz of Los Angeles, CA. Congratulations J. Mackowicz.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry, but don’t forget, we’ll be broadcasting live from the Detroit Auto Show this weekend. You’ll be able to watch at our website, AutolineDaily.com. That’s Sunday, January 11 and Monday, January 12 at noon and at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Anyway, that’s it for today’s show. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you on Sunday.

10 Comments to “Episode 55 – Exxon Wants Carbon Tax, Chrysler Car-Based Truck, ArvinMeritor Keeps Part Of Autos”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Once again chrysler is a day late and more then a dollar short……an auto based pickup to replace the dakota?? How about dropping it altogether and come out with a jeep pickup?? Yer goin’ down fast chrysler and you have no one to blame but yourselves.Hey Cerebus,don’t you care?

  2. Andy Harris Says:

    The Sound Racer is a great idea! Not just for hybrid car owners, but for anyone in a small car. Yeah, I know a V8 sounds cool, but I’d suggest they make one sound like a V12 Ferrari! Or maybe a turbo charged Porsche (since I do own a VW). Or maybe a Koenigsegg. I will never own any of these cars, but at least I can sound like I am!

  3. pedro Fernandez Says:

    Doesn’t Honda have a phony pickup already? I think there’s only room for one of those. How about a smaller, diesel, cheap to run TRUCK? what a concept Huh?

  4. Richard Tait Says:

    Hold on colleagues! The car-based truck may not be such a bad idea. If Chrysler can put to market an El Camino-like truck based on the Charger (think HEMI in that beast!) then they may be on to something. The Charger is available with AWD (as every proper truck should be) so this is really making sense. The El Camino and the Ford Ranchero were actual work trucks back in the day so car-based doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t haul the things that average Dakota buyers haul anyway. I say ditch the Dakota and build the “ute”. And yeah…give it a Spanish-sounding name to match!

  5. J.J. Slingerland Says:

    Chrysler is on to something! I agree with Mr. Tait’s comments! The car-based truck is a great idea right now! With the car-based truck getting better fuel economy than a conventional truck, better ride and overall handling along with some cargo capacity (and maybe optional high performance).. why not? Chrysler has successfully built niche vehicles in the past (Viper, Prowler, many SRT models, etc.) and there is no reason why this one wouldn’t sell as well, only with greater numbers! I think Chrysler will be around a lot longer than most people (and analysts) think. Wait and see, all the cards have not been played yet, and the best is yet to come!

  6. JIm Thykeson Says:

    If Exxon had a brain, it could forego that ‘carbon-tax’ by converting it’s infrastructure to natural gas. With its unlimited availability (all within our borders) and its extreme clean-burning qualities they could save the atmosphere and kiss-off the middle east dependancy all in one clean sweep! Why these petro companies aren’t jumping on this bandwagon is a mystery.

  7. pedro Fernandez Says:

    To Richard: remember that when El Camino was popular, pickups were rough, noisy and basically for work.El Cmaino was like the gentleman’s personal transport,and now pickups are as plush if not more so that cars. They have taken the place of the 2 door car lioke Cutlass and Grand Prix used to be. I have heard over and again the need for a smaller fuel efficient and reliable truck like the old Toyota, Isuzu and Nissan, even Jeep had a smallish truck

  8. Tom Martin Says:

    I’m interested in the Sound Racer. Hope it’s inexpensive, and I agree that I hope there’s several variations, and not all are based on NASCAR V-8s.

    I also support the idea of a car-based truck. A true half-ton pickup that gets 20-26 mpg should be popular.

  9. Ryan D Says:

    “Okay, wait a minute, wait a minute, I heard this one before. A man goes into a bar and says, man I’ve got one cool truck. Its the front end of a Dodge Omni grafted onto a ridiculous little truck bed with no carrying capacity. But heck, it sure is cute.”
    Seriously, remember them from the early 80′s? ROFLMAO. Do we need another Honda Ridgeline? Why don’t we get with the program and build a hybrid or maybe something with an actually efficient turbo-gasoline/E85 engine? This one-upping horsepower race is ridiculous too, and I love to go fast just as much as the next guy, but, ……
    The gas isn’t going to last forever, and this summer sure showed us AGAIN how easy it is for the major players and foreign countries to take us out to the woodshed for a good ol fashioned branch thrashing.

  10. Larry Dranchak Says:

    I love your subject content but your audio quality is so poor it is hard to decypher and understand.