July 8th, 2009 at 12:00pm
Federal-Mogul is considering making another bid for Delphi. Toyota doubles its ownership in Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru. Honda confirms the “Accord Crosstour” will go on sale this fall. All that and more, plus John answers viewer questions in the “You Said It!” segment.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Federal-Mogul could buy Delphi. Toyota doubles its ownership in Subaru. More details on the Honda Crosstour.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, July 8, 2009. And now, the news.
As we’ve been reporting, Chinese automaker BAIC is interested in buying part of Opel. And it has a lot of benefits to offer. Italian news agency AGI reports that BAIC guarantees that it can sell 485,000 Opels in China by 2015, after staring production there in 2012.
Speaking of China, it wants to see the dozens and dozens of smaller, money-losing car companies now operating in the country to get out of the car business. So here’s an interesting way one company is doing it. Reuters reports the Jiangxi Changhe Automobile Company is going transform itself into an aerospace company. It’s going to transfer all its assets to the China Aviation Industry Corporation in exchange for two aerospace subsidiaries.
Could Delphi be bought by another supplier? Federal-Mogul is considering making another bid for Delphi, after losing-out to private equity firm Platinum Equity in an earlier bid. According to Reuters, a bankruptcy Judge ruled Delphi must accept more bids to compete with Platinum’s offer.
And speaking of taking something over, Toyota is slowly taking more and more control of Subaru. Reuters reports, on July 14, Toyota will take its share to 16 percent of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru. That’s up from 8 percent.
On the new product front, Fiat just introduced the Panda 4X4 Adventure in Europe. It’s got four-wheel-drive, obviously, and is offered with a gas or diesel engine. Fuel economy for the gas model is 6.6 l/100km, or 36 MPG and 5.2 l/100km, or 45 MPG for the diesel. Pricing starts at 14,000 euros or about $20,000.
A couple months ago spy photos of a Honda crossover leaked on the internet. While it’s hard to tell much about it from the pictures – courtesy of Autoblog, by the way – the company has confirmed that the “Accord Crosstour” will go on sale this fall. As its name implies, this twenty-ten model is based on the Accord sedan. Stay tuned for more details.
All the Americans watching will be proud to know their government is working tirelessly to keep them safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is forcing Volkswagen to recall over 18,000 2009 Routan minivans because the owner’s manual doesn’t include a warning to not place items on or near the airbag. Yes, they forgot to print that in the manual, which is triggering a safety recall.
Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.
This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.
Tony Gray saw our review of the Honda Insight a few weeks back in which I commented how much vibration there was with the inside rearview mirror. After seeing our review of the new Toyota Prius he wrote in to ask, “Inquiring minds want to know if the rear-view mirror in the Prius shakes at speed?”
Tony, there is some vibration with the Prius, but you have to look for it, it really isn’t noticeable, and no where near the distracting vibration with the Insight. Come to think of it, Honda may have a safety issue with that mirror.
Salvador G. saw our story on how Valeo is developing supercapacitors to be used on mild hybrids coming from Peugeot. He asks, “So, what exactly is a “mild hybrid” and how is that different than a full hybrid? And isn’t a capacitor supposed to work with a battery?”
Salvador, here are the three basic categories of hybrids. Micro hybrids just offer stop/start capabilities. When you come to a stop sign or traffic light, the engine turns off to save gas. A mild hybrid has stop/start, plus it offers some electric assist, where batteries and an electric motor assist the gasoline engine. A strong hybrid offers all that, plus it allows you to run in pure EV mode for a limited distance and limited speed. Now for the supercapacitor question. They’re much smaller and lighter than batteries, and can dump out big jolts of electricity in a short amount of time. But they can only do that in short bursts. So they’re perfect for mild hybrids, where you don’t need a lot of juice.
And finally, Cz14XpE wrote in with this comment:
“I love the Caddy SRX. Here in Europe everyone has a German car. With the Cadillac, everyone takes you to be an alien. Too much exotic? Yes, for a lot of people.”
Well, Cz14XpE, Cadillacs have always had bold, brash designs. Now what they need to do, and they’re getting there, is to establish continuity in their design, where they develop a certain look that carries on for several decades, so the people the world over can instantly recognize a Cadillac, just like they can today with a Mercedes or BMW.
That’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. But before we go I wanted to mention that you can leave us video and audio comments on our website. It’s really easy, just click on the link in the sidebar of the Autoline Daily page, or follow it in today’s transcript. You can even use your telephone. We want to hear from you. In fact, we’re working on a story about hypermiling – you know, driving to get the absolute best fuel economy possible. We’d love to hear about the techniques you use while hypermiling.
Anyway, that’s it for today’s show, we’ll see you tomorrow.