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Episode 421 – Jacoby Jumps Ship, Mazda2 Pricing Revealed, NASCAR in 3D

June 25th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 6:54

Volkwagen’s North American head, Stephan Jacoby, is reportedly leaving to run Volvo. We interview the Mazda2′s vehicle line manager to find out how it will compete with the Ford Fiesta on pricing. NASCAR is the next to go 3D. All that and more, plus we talk to the CEO of the embattled supplier company Delphi Automotive about the new technology that it is developing.

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Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

It’s Friday, June 25, 2010 and here’s the news.

JACOBY JUMPS SHIP (subscription required)
While VW is shuffling top management at Porsche and Bentley in Europe, it looks like it might lose its top executive in North America. Stephan Jacoby, the CEO of Volkswagen of America is reportedly going to leave to run Volvo. The Wall Street Journal reports that VW has moved in new management, but is trying to keep Jacoby.

GEELY GETS NEW INVESTOR
Volvo, of course, was sold by Ford and bought by Chinese automaker Geely, which just managed to land a new investor, the Daqing State Asset Operation Company. That’s kind of unexpected because Gasgoo reports that earlier this year Geely said it did not need to raise any money to buy Volvo. And it will not disclose how much Daqing is investing until after the deal closes.

MAZDA DUMPS DONER
Meanwhile, back to Volvo. Jacoby will be replacing Steve Odell at Volvo, and Odell is rumored to be going back to the Ford Motor Company to run its European Operations. As I’ve pointed out before, Odell is the guy who stated the Zoom-Zoom campaign when he was at Mazda. And now the Detroit Bureau reports that Mazda just dumped the agency that came up with that campaign, Doner, and it moving its agency work to Team Detroit.

CADILLAC DUMPS BARTLE
Speaking of moving agency work, Ad Age reports that Cadillac is dumping the agency that was awarded only five months ago, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and moving it to Fallon Worldwide, which is based in Minneapolis. Bartle Bogle Hegarty was awarded the business when Susan Docherty was running GM marketing. But with Joel Ewanick now in charge, changes are happening.

MAZDA2 PRICING
The Mazda2 is really nothing more than a rebadged Ford Fiesta, so how is Mazda going to compete against Ford? Autoline Daily just caught up with Chris Hill, the Vehicle Line Manager for the Mazda2 to learn about it.

When Chris Hill mentioned the price of the car at under $14,000 that did not include the destination charge, which adds another $750 to the price.

3D NASCAR
3D TVs were all the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And guess who’s jumping on the high-tech bandwagon now? According to TelevisionBroadcast.com, following in the footsteps of Masters Golf and the FIFA World Cup, NASCAR will broadcast its first race in 3D on Saturday, July 3. The Coke Zero 400 will be available to DirecTV subscribers and on NASCAR.com. The internet feed will play in Microsoft Silverlight window with Nvidia 3D capability. To watch in your living room you’ll need a 3D-capable television.

A FLIPPER BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
Being a former British colony, Hong Kong drives on the left-side of the road, but mainland China drives on the right. But there are bridges that connect the two, so how do you integrate the flow of traffic between the two sides without causing head-on collisions? You get clever, that’s how. FastCompany.com reports that one proposed solution to this problem is elegantly simple – a flipper bridge. Designed by Dutch company NL Architects, this figure-eight-shaped span splits the traffic and merges it back into the proper lanes. One side goes over, the other under and nobody smashes into each other. It’s totally brilliant.

Delphi was once the biggest automotive supplier in the world. Then it ran into a whole host of problems and ended up in bankruptcy. But now, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, its looks like it will start growing again. And we’ll show you how, right after this.

Delphi’s CEO Rodney O’Neal is my guest on Autoline Detroit this week. He’s very bullish about the company’s growth opportunities, mainly because of the new technology it’s bringing to the market. In the following clip he reveals some of the new technology that Delphi is bringing to the market.

You can catch the entire interview with Rodney O’Neal on our website at AutolineDetroit.tv. Also with me on that program are Carol Cain from CBS and Tom Murphy from Wardsauto.com.

And that’s it for the most interesting news in the global automotive industry. Have a great weekend, we’ll see you next week.

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

47 Comments to “Episode 421 – Jacoby Jumps Ship, Mazda2 Pricing Revealed, NASCAR in 3D”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    “When Chris Hill mentioned the price of the car at under $14,000 that did not include the destination charge, which adds another $750 to the price.”
    All that AND a ridiculous smiley-face grill!

  2. LEX Says:

    John,

    I enjoyed your converstion with Kathleen Ligocki on AAH last night. Her insights into automotive industry, especially Mexico and China were great.

  3. HtG Says:

    really John? the Fiesta and Mazda2 are built on the same platform? Can’t be. I walked from one car to the other at the NY Autoshow and boy! are they different looking. Just shows what I know.

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    htg: you’re joking, right? everyone and their grandma know that most recent Fords are built off either a Mazda or Volvo platform, so the question now is: what about the next gen. Fords no more Volvo or Mazda to steal from. Then we’ll see what the product is gonna be like. Mazda2 got hit with the same clownish, lake bass mouth that has been plaguing most of the line-up.

  5. HtG Says:

    no really Pedro. I thought the cars looked really different. The character of the cars, at least from the outside since the 2 interior wasn’t accessible, just didn’t look related (and I do know about the Ford/Mazda history). The A pillars don’t appear to meet the fender in the same place at all. I am really surprised. I did omit from my post which car I thought looked like a dud though.

  6. dcars Says:

    Maybe US companies need to stop depending on others to engineer their cars and sink or swim on their own.

  7. dcars Says:

    I used to love the look of the Mazda cars but like Honda they seem to make them uglier as time goes on.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Mazda 2 price is very deceiving cause no one buys a bare bones car anymore, they figure that if they’re gonna make the financial sacrifice to buy a car, they want something nice with some modern, convenient touches, and by not including destination costs, well that’s just BS. Unless you can arrange to go pick it up from the factory, In Mexico.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    I, for one. will not miss those silly zoom zoom ads, I’ve test driven a couple of recent Mazda products and they had no more zoom than my geriatric Corolla.

  10. HtG Says:

    Pedro, you can borrow my Miata for a little fun. Going around a turn in second gear it’s pretty easy to put it on the limit. Get it up to 90 or so on the highway with the top down-that takes some adjusting to. But if it’s drop the gas pedal at 20mph and let it rip kind of fun you want, well that’s not the Miata. BTW I took a performance driving course where all Mazdas were used. Those cars really handle at the limits of braking and turning.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    HTG: Miata is in a class by itself, an affordable, blast to drive car that appeals to all ages. Even my late 50′s neighbor bought a used one which he loves, wife hates it though, and even for people like me who make their living with their car, the Miata would not be out of the question, due to its frugal engine and reliability. I’ll take one over a Mini anyday!

  12. LEX Says:

    John,

    Please get Dave Marek of Honda Design on AAH.
    I believe based upon the linked photo that Honda Design has losted it’s way. Please take a look at the 2011 Accord sedan. The Coupe looks better but the sedan looks awful!!!

    http://www.insideline.com/2011-honda-accord.html

  13. LEX Says:

    John,

    I loved the 1960′s Green Hornet TV show starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee. It was an Iconic TV Show with a very short run. The new movie with Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet looks fun but Chrysler really dropped the ball on this opportunity. Chrysler should have pushed the films producers to use the New Chrysler 300C are the “New Black Beauty”. This would have cemented the 300 are an Iconic vehicle in movie history, and probably boosted sales of the vehicle. You can see the New Chysler 300C as an advertisement on this link to the trailer for the movie. There is still time to add it somewhere in the movie as the “Next Generation Black Beauty” to be used if there is ever a sequel.

    http://www.insideline.com/chrysler/the-green-hornet-stings-in-internet-trailer.html

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lex: if this is gonna be the new “Black Beauty” this movie is gonna suck even more than I expected (based on the buzz, I’ve heard) The last time they used a comedic actor to play a crimefighter, the result was Michael Keaton’s puny Batman. Believe me I was also a big Green Hornet fan and was at first looking forward to this movie.

  15. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The Mazda 2 Looks pretty nice from the outside, but that interior is certainly not impressive at all. The 2′s interior shows that Mazda doesnt think interior design is important in a small B-Segment car.

    If it was the 2002 Mazda 2 then that interior would be acceptable, but badged as a 2010 Mazda 2= F–k No!!!

    Actually its pretty awful looking in fact. The gauges are super dated. The Ergonomics are poor, the graining on the plastics makes it look Fisher Price.

    This might be good enough for a bargain car in Europe, but that interior doesnt cut it for America in that price range.

  16. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    If it was $2K or more cheaper I wouldnt have too much of a Problem, but a $13, $14K B Segment Base Price in America is a lot to pay for an interior that looks like that.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke: what’s wrong with the Mazda 2 interior? It’s just a variation of the Fiesta. You wanna see an ugly interior dash? look up the 93 to 02 Corollas, that’s yucky and about as plain as you can get.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    June 25th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    “I’ll take one (Miata) over a Mini anyday”

    Miata and Mini are both “fun to drive” cars, but they have different strengths, and weaknesses. The Mini gets better gas mileage, even the “S” version, and has a back seat, albeit a very cramped one. The Miata is more stylish to many people than the Mini, and has rear drive, if you like that. In the end, I bought my hardtop Mini without seriously considering a Miata, mainly because I park outside at my Florida condo, and I figured the Miata’s soft top wouldn’t like the sun and weather as a regular thing over the years.

  19. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Perdo it looks fine, but the others have really stepped up and are playing hardball. They have either gone with a more upmarket theme like Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta, or have gone with more a sci-fi theme like Chevy Aveo and Nissan Juke.

    The Mazda 3′s interior looks fine, but only if it had a base MSRP of $11K. It looks cheaper than a $14-15K base priced subcompact should command in a world of Hardball players.

  20. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Correction:

    Mazda 2

    and
    Pedro.

  21. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Mazda 2′s interior looks just as cheap as the $9K Nissan Micra that’s coming, but it doesnt cost $9K, and that’s the problem.

    Mazda 2 might be something now, but with Fiestas, Accents, Aveos, Yarises, Etc… on the street along with Mini’s new powertrains, the slight potentiality of a massive Next Gen Honda Fit. Mazda 2 with that interior isnt going to cut it at that price.

    A lower price would make it stand out as a bargain hunters little car. This car has nothing to make it stand out.

    Its going to be like the Scion XD, a decent car that doesnt stand out at all that has a Billion competitors with various characteristics that make them stand out such as price, style, fit and finish, etc… the Scion XD has been a super flop comapared to others in its class. Its constantly 11th, 12th, 13th place in sales in the B-Segment.

    If they cant drop the price, then radically refresh the interior. Its going to look horribly outdated by 2015.

    The Mazda isnt going to stand out at all as others will have cars with interiors at this pricing that will run circles around this car. teh Mazda doesnt have a look, the Mazda wont have that much special driving characteristics compared to many in this coming New Pack, the Others will have MPG that will run Circles around Mazda.

    It needs something, a 225 HP Turbo Option or something to make it stand out.

  22. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Compare:

    Mazda 2
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_lJv8VwHhflo/TCP80FMSCcI/AAAAAAAABX4/Z1bF3vOE-iA/s1600/2011-Mazda-2-interior-3.jpg

    Nissan Micra
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_lJv8VwHhflo/S44AuLTDGRI/AAAAAAAAAM0/dB1mxmij4_g/s1600-h/2011-Nissan-Micra-10.jpg

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_lJv8VwHhflo/S44AujR9rLI/AAAAAAAAAM8/oejCHI9TR3I/s1600-h/2011-Nissan-Micra-05.jpg

    Look at these interiors. Why the $5k Price difference?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    H/S says:

    “Its going to be like the Scion XD, a decent car that doesnt stand out at all that has a Billion competitors with various characteristics that make them stand out such as price, style, fit and finish, etc”

    What are these billion competitiors in B segment in the US? There are almost none, and the good ones are completely absent. No Polo or Skoda/Seat versions. No Corsa. No C4. No 207. No diesel versions of any of the B segment cars in America. As I’ve said before, motor fuel is way too cheap in the US, and it shows in the lack of selection of B and C segment cars, especially hatches and wagons.

  24. John Rees Says:

    Possibly VW customer support will improve. View my VW experience at:
    http://www.reesphotos.com/VW/

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just watched the Motorweek review on the Honda CRZ and I just don’t get this car, it is not a tribute to the iconic CRX, but an insult. Why did they have to use this half-ass hybrid system, it does little for fuel economy plus adds cost and technical problems in the long run. Instead, they should have used the Civic drive train, forget that ugly ass Insight rear end then they would have had something there. It’s not too late they could still change the engine and tranny, but they’d still be stuck with the weird styling. ps Smoke I saw the new Accent interior, I don’t think it’s any better than the Mazda2

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM had the sense to drop their half-ass hybrid Malibu after a short run. Hopefully, Honda will take the same path.

  27. dcars Says:

    I kind of like the Insight, I think it looks better than prius, but I don’t know how it is to drive in….. Are you refering to the Civic or CRZ Hybrids?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just found the specs on the Mazda 2, and it clearly appears to be a “lesser” Fiesta.

    The “2″ has the same wheelbase as the Fiesta, but is 18 inches shorter, so, presumably, has a lot less cabin space. Also, it has a 1.5 engine vs the 1.6 in the Fiesta. Also, the “2″ has one fewer gears in both the manual and automatic transmission. To top it off, the “2″ is a gas hog. The Mazda web site lists its highway mileage as “up to 35 mpg,” not too impressive for a new-to-market car that weighs under 2400 pounds.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    dcars Says:
    June 27th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    “I kind of like the Insight, I think it looks better than prius, but I don’t know how it is to drive in….. ”

    From road tests I’ve seen, both in “buff books” and Consumer Reports, the Insight is vastly inferior to the Prius. The Insight uses more gas, is noisier, rides worse, and has less passenger and cargo space. Also, it’s slower and handles worse. It is a little cheaper, though.

  30. Nick Stevens Says:

    “the Insight is vastly inferior to the Prius. ”

    Absolutely true, and I say this even tho I am a HONDA fan!

    “The “2″ has the same wheelbase as the Fiesta, but is 18 inches shorter,”

    You must be comparing apples and oranges, ie, the hatch 2 vs the 4-door Fiesta.

    Also, the Mini has as much style and even more than the Miata. Both are retro cars, the Miata is a reliable version of the fun Brit roadsters of the 50s and 60s. Few people would cross shop between the practical mini (can load 2 people plus lots of stuff, or even 4 people, with great MPG) and the Miata, which should be RWD, otherwise it would not be any fun.

    The Miata is very popular with women, most of them can fit in it easily, while most men may fit, but can’t really take a long trip in it, can’t stretch, plus little luggage room, plus it feels really unsafe on the highway.

  31. Nick Stevens Says:

    And I second the suggestion to get the clueless Honda design chief on AAH or AD. And you forgot to mention the most god-awful Honda, the accursed Crosstour!

  32. Nick Stevens Says:

    Of all Honda Hybrids, only the CIVIC is a half-decent one, but, like the Camry and Fusion Hybrids it has the disadvantage of not being distinctive, like the prius, even

    The Insight looks like a poor copy of the prius outside and like a cheapo 80s-90s car inside. An awful miss for Honda..

  33. Nick Stevens Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/chart-of-the-day-2011-fiesta-versus-2011-mazda2/

    A more proper comparison between Mazda 2 and the Fiesta. They still do not look like total clones, and Fiesta seems to buy you far more stuff for the $. Plus it does not have that idiotic laughing idiot zoom-zoom grille.

  34. Nick Stevens Says:

    Autoblog readers agree with me more than 4 to 1:

    2011 Ford Fiesta or 2011 Mazda2?

    2011 Ford Fiesta 12279 (81.5%)

    2011 Mazda2 2792 (18.5%

  35. HtG Says:

    Whoa whoa whoa Nick. Don’t bust on Miata. While the first two models were retro, the current one is contemporary-also heavier and more powerful. The luggage capacity in all three models will surprise you. Think four or five shopping bags, or even your golf clubs. I’m 5’10″ and fit well in my ’96, though the windshield cross member gets in the way of my seeing traffic lights sometimes. Miata’s 50/50 balance and rear wheel drive with direct cable connection to the throttle makes for great handling, if indeed the 135hp can’t launch the old bucket into space. Mini and Miata both benefit from their lightweight when one wants to flog the car in turns, but I found Mini too forgiving of crimes against trailing throttle and oversteer. Also the electronic throttle linkage was slow to respond. However, I know which car I would rather do a rollover in. As for women, I agree women do like the car, and like to tell me so.

  36. dcars Says:

    Honda styling is terrible, the engineering of most of their cars save them, so do we really want to here from their chief of design? I’d rather hear from their chief of engineering. The Miata concept is very cool, I would have loved to own a hunter green Solstice too b ad GM dropped Pontiac.

  37. Nick Stevens Says:

    I was not unfair to the Miata and I stand by every word I wrote. WOmen do not like to get rides in it, they like to OWN it as an affordable, small, easy to park, roadster (I know many women who think convertibles are beter than therapy, but I think most of them are really unsafe, except maybe for the 4,000 + Lbs ROllses and Merc SLs.

    The Miata succeeded in producing a RELIABLE Retro Brit Roadster. It would be nice if it had twice the HP, then it could go against the excellent Boxster. But its most important flaw is space. You can’t just fit in a car, you need space to stretch. I am 6’1″ and over 200 lbs and I could fit in the Miata, but had ZERO room to stretch.

    IU also own a 1:18 die-cast model of the car, it is so small it looks like a 1:24! ANd the trunk is TINY, really tiny. Even if you can fit in the seats, you and the misses can’t go on a trip more than a couple days, you just don’t have the space to put the luggage.

    It would not be a big compromise if the car was 10 inches longer and had 30-50 more HP to compensate for the (little) added weight, to make it large enough so a 6’4″ adult male can sit in it and stgretch, and enlarge the trunk so they can go on a trip with their stuff..

    I’d choose the Mini, you can have a mini as your only car if you are a couple with no kids, even with small kids.

  38. Nick Stevens Says:

    dcaqrs: Honda engineering is still good, there is not much to criticize the engineering chief if you bropught him in, but the Design of both Hondas and Acuras has been atropcious for almnost 15 years now, so the design chief is the guy with the explaining to do, esp. for the abominable Crosstour!

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “You must be comparing apples and oranges, ie, the hatch 2 vs the 4-door Fiesta.”

    Yep, the Fiesta hatch is only 4 inches longer than the Mazda 2. Sorry about the bad info I posted in 26.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Miata’s most direct competition was the Solstice/Sky, but the Miata’s trunk is huge, compared to that of the late GM roadsters. They have no trunk at all with the top down.

    While Solstice/Sky were attractive cars, they alway seemed very “under-developed,” from the crude interior to the poor top mechanism.

  41. dcars Says:

    I think a lot of folks think that GM should have kept Pontiac, I would bet that they would have developed the Solstice into more of a complete car. The hard top version in my opinion one of the best looking cars GM ever designed.
    I wouldn’t want to be the guy that would have to defend the design of the current load of Honda and Acuras.

  42. HtG Says:

    Nick you might like the new Miata. It’s much bigger than the previous models, and the seat position is a few inches higher(easier in/out). Another improvement is that the exhaust manifold is now on the right side of the engine block; my 96 does a pretty good job of cooking my feet on long rides (see? I have given up more ammo to go with the basketball player’s complaint about stretching. I haven’t heard an answer to my criticism of Mini’s throttle, which goes directly to driving fun.

  43. HtG Says:

    Another downside of a larger Miata is that mass is not so concentrated. Even if the overall mass goes up just a bit, and the balance stays 50/50, the angular moment of inertia is spread out and the car won’t change direction as sweetly.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HtG Says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    “I haven’t heard an answer to my criticism of Mini’s throttle, which goes directly to driving fun”

    My ’08 Mini has good throttle response. It has “normal” and “sport” mode, the difference being the amount the throttle is opened for a given amount of pedal deflection. I normally drive in “normal” mode, because it is better for driving for good gas mileage. In “sport” mode, the car feels very responsive, given the modest amount of power of my non-turbo car.

    I didn’t like the throttle response of the first generation BMW Minis; they seem to have a bad “flat spot” off idle, and are hard to drive smoothly.

    My car is manual transimission. In automatic Minis, “sport” mode would change the shift points, as well as the throttle mapping.

  45. HtG Says:

    Thanks Kit, for the explanation. My experience with Mini was a test drive of an automatic in ’07. I was blipping the throttle and measuring engine response, which I felt was delayed, like the computer was making up its mind. Probably just didn’t know the car.

  46. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# HtG Says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Nick you might like the new Miata. It’s much bigger than the previous models, and the seat position is a few inches higher(easier in/out).”

    I appreciate the higher seat, I remember in my old Accord coupe as well as the 91-2 civic, I still drive, the seats are quite low and so is the roofline, and on humid days if I put my weight on my left kneww it would hurt. I have not had this inconvenience for 3 years now, and the 740′s seat height is just about right.

    If they also added a few extra inches legroom, and I could stretch, it would go a long way, but still, the car is an open tin can that is too small and too light to feel safe in on the highway. A boxster is still quite small, a 911 is probably where I would be OK with a cabrio.

    ” Another improvement is that the exhaust manifold is now on the right side of the engine block; my 96 does a pretty good job of cooking my feet on long rides”

    Reminds me of the Viper.

  47. Nick Stevens Says:

    Kit: The trunk of the miata in my 1:18 scale model looks quite small. If the Solstice has almost zero trunk, that does not mean the Miata’s is “huge”.

    PS my old high school classmate who bought this $65k, 7k mile Maserati two-seat cabrio in 2007, also has his old Miata, maybe an early 90s model in superman blue, a tiny car. And had more mazdas before, he told me that his old Mazda3 was.. longer than the almost 4,000 lb Maserati, but why be surprised, 5 seater vs 2 seater; he should compare the miata to the Maz, and would find out that the Mazerati is probably 1-2 feet longer!