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

Archive for the ‘John’s Journal’ Category

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter – Fighting for a Big Three Bailout

November 26th, 2008 at 12:20pm

Runtime: 17:40

As the Big Three prepare to head back to Washington next week for bailout talks round two, the questions persist on whether or not congress will grant the $25 billion bridge loans that GM, Ford and Chrysler are looking for. One of the lawmakers assisting with the process is Congressman Thaddeus McCotter from Michigan’s Eleventh District (Livonia). In this Autoline exclusive, he sits down with John McElroy to discuss the auto loans, what went wrong the first time in front of congress, and what the Michigan delegation is doing behind-the-scenes to help procure the money.

Video after the jump …

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

November 26th, 2008 at 7:41am

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

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

This article continues on Autoblog

Autoline in the News: John talks bailout consequences on the Tavis Smiley Show

November 24th, 2008 at 4:55pm

Listen to the Interview

Radio host Tavis Smiley interviews John McElroy on what the impact will be if one or more of the Detroit Three fold.  He also discusses the automotive CEOs’ performance in Washington and what they may have done to hurt their case with the American public.  Tavis and John also discuss how the management of the companies will look after the dust finally settles.

Autoline in the News: Discussing Detroit’s Future on “Michigan Matters”

November 17th, 2008 at 3:07pm

Runtime: 1:05
Courtesy WWJTV “Michigan Matters”

Detroit Free Press columnist Carol Cain and John McElroy discuss what the future may hold for GM, Ford and Chrysler as they head into talks for a federal loan. In this clip, John explains the important role the UAW’s Ron Gettelfinger will play as the Detroit Three head to Washington. For the full interview, please visit wwjtv.com and click on “Michigan Matters” in the right-side video player.

Video after the jump …

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AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Fiat Pushes Methane Cars

November 17th, 2008 at 12:28pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

With all this talk about alternative fuels, it’s worth taking a look at the one that seems to be catching on in Europe.

In Europe, cars that can run on methane are becoming more and more popular. And Fiat is the most aggressive European manufacturer that’s jumping on that trend.  They have a full line-up of methane vehicles.

Now, the company just unveiled a version of the compact car called the Punto that can run on both methane and gasoline. And on methane it only emits 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer, versus 145 when it runs on gasoline.

It only costs 12 Euro to fill the methane tank, which is about $16 bucks, and provides over 180 miles of range. Interestingly, if you fill both the gasoline tank and the methane tank, the car can travel over 600 miles. And this all explains why methane cars in Europe are becoming more popular.

Autoline in the News: John Talks Bailout on FOX 2 News Detroit

November 14th, 2008 at 12:24pm

McElroy on FOX 2 News

Runtime: 1:50
Courtesy FOX 2 News Detroit

John McElroy recently sat down with Bill Gallagher of FOX 2 News Detroit to discuss how automakers will make the case to the government for a financial bailout. John explains that the government could actually profit from a bailout.

Video after the jump …

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Join the Autoline Twitter Community

November 13th, 2008 at 1:48pm

Autoline + Twitter = :)

For all the current and would-be Twitterers out there: you can now follow Autoline at http://www.twitter.com/Autoline. Here you’ll find ongoing updates and analysis from John and the rest of the Autoline team throughout the day. We’ll let you know when a new show is out, when John will be appearing in the news and we’ll even offer up micro-analysis tidbits as news breaks.

You’ll find like-minded Autoline visitors following us on our page and you’ll be able to start up conversations with them, and of course, us. The industry is changing every day in these tumultuous times and Twitter is just one of the ways we’ll keep you abreast of what’s going on. So click over and hit “Follow.” We think you’ll really be glad you did.

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AUTOLINE ON AUTOBLOG: What if GM Collapses?

November 8th, 2008 at 9:37am

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

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

This article continues on Autoblog

AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Plug-Ins Won’t Crash the Electric Grid

November 7th, 2008 at 12:33pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

Can the electrical grid take it if we plug in millions of electric cars? Well here’s what GM and the electric utilities have to say about that.

The Electric Power Research Institute, or EPRI, is a research organization for electric utilities. And they love the idea of plug-in hybrids and electric cars. Far from being a burden on the grid, EPRI says that if we plugged 10 million electric cars into the grid it would only add about 1 percent more electric load.

The reason is that plug-ins don’t use that much energy, at least not compared to other products in our homes. For example, GM claims a plug-in electric car like the Chevy Volt would use less electricity than your refrigerator or a central air conditioning system.

So even though the grid may have other issues, plugging in millions of cars will not bring it to its knees.

AUTOMOTIVE INSIGHT: Detroit Three to Lose Thousands of Dealers

November 6th, 2008 at 12:43pm

As heard on
WWJ Newsradio 950

Listen to this story:

The Detroit 3 automakers have been losing several hundred dealers a year, but here’s one retail expert who says now they’re going to lose thousands.

For years, experts have been predicting that there would be a big shakeout in the retail side of the automotive business. And now it looks like that day is here. Mike Jackson, the CEO of AutoNation, the largest dealer group on the country says the Big Three are going to lose thousands of dealers by the end of next year.

But Jackson actually sees this as a good thing. With fewer Big Three dealers selling cars, the surviving dealers will have more sales which will make them more profitable.

Jackson says up to now the Big 3 dealers have actually had to charge more for cars to cover their fixed costs because they sell fewer cars. He says now its time for the Big 3 to copy how the Japanese and Europeans do it: that is, with fewer dealers.