Episode 437 – Overcapacity Concerns In China, Used Car Sales Down, Chevy Volt In The News

July 19th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:20

With so many auto factories being built in China, overcapacity could become a problem faster than anyone expected. Sales of used vehicles at auction are down for the first half of the year. President Obama test drives the Chevy Volt and comedian Jay Leno had some less than flattering things to say about it. All that and more, plus a look at the greatest gathering of Saab aficionados in the world.

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Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

This is Autoline Daily for Monday July 19, 2010, and now the news.

Last week we reported that China’s auto industry will experience a “Golden Age” for at least the next twenty years with sales expected to reach 35 million units by 2030. But there are new concerns the industry could face big problems well before that. According to Gasgoo, with so many factories being built in China, overcapacity could become a problem faster than anyone expected. A recent report says production capacity could hit 32 million units by 2015, far exceeding previous estimates of 22 million. Adding to the concern is the fact sales are starting to slow, which fell 5 percent in June on a month-on-month basis.

But that’s not slowing down any car companies in China. Wuling, the joint venture partner of General Motors and SAIC, is getting ready to launch a new passenger-car brand, as we reported last August. The brand will be called Baojun, which means “treasured horse” in Chinese. GM says that this is also part of its multi-brand strategy for the Chinese market, which is becoming more segmented. No details yet on the car, but it’s expected to be priced as low as $5,000.

In related news, GM announced that it’s going to build a new R&D Center in China to develop electric car technology, lightweight materials and alternative fuels. The AFP reports that the facility will have 300 engineers when it’s completed next year. GM says it wants to attract some of the best brains in the Chinese academic system and that it is now incorporating what Chinese consumers want in its vehicle architectures.

New-car sales in the American market are up year-over-year, but that’s not the case with used cars. Auto Remarketing reports that sales of used vehicles at auction are down nearly 7 percent for the first half of the year. However, a lot of that has to do with a shortage of good used cars. So even though sales are down, prices of used cars are up. On a dollar basis, sales are only down 2 percent so far this year.

EATON’S FUEL-VAPOR SEAL (subscription required)
Hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles are great for reducing gasoline consumption, but even in electric mode they emit fuel vapors because they use a conventional internal combustion engine. This can account for up to 20 percent of a vehicle’s hydrocarbon emissions. And now supplier company Eaton says it has a better system that seals those vapors in a tank and burns them off when the engine is running. Eaton says its new system is simpler, smaller and smarter which allows it to more precisely manage fuel vapor and help automakers achieve stricter emission regulations.

Last week President Obama visited Holland, Michigan, to kick-off construction of another battery plant in the state. He even got a chance to take the Chevy Volt for a spin. GM has really been hyping the car ever since the concept version premiered at the Detroit Auto Show a few years back.

But not everyone is sold on it. The Detroit News reports that comedian and TV host Jay Leno had some less than flattering things to say about it. He said, and I quote, “If you didn’t know, you might think it’s a Cobalt or a Camry.” A Camry?! Ouch! He also said “I don’t think there’s a lot of cachet in having the first one.” Looks like Leno’s no fan of EVs, at least not this one.

Coming up next, a look at the greatest gathering of Saab aficionados in the world.

Saab may have gone through a lot of changes the past year, but one thing that hasn’t wavered is the love that Saab owners have for their cars. The Autoline crew saw that up close this past weekend at the Saab Festival in Trollhättan, Sweden. Here’s Isaac Bouchard with that report.

We’ll have more on that event later in the week.

And that’s it for the most important news in today’s global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

53 Comments to “Episode 437 – Overcapacity Concerns In China, Used Car Sales Down, Chevy Volt In The News”

  1. HtG Says:

    First he screws Coco, now he’s trying to shaft the Volt. Stick to burnouts Mr Chino.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    It appears that China is going through what the United States went through in the early part of the 20th century; dozens of car companies, all trying to make it in the market, only to eventually see conglomerants, mutations and/or namesplates never to be heard from again. Competition is ramping up, because even with the population China has, and all the potential buyers, market saturation will eventually come and it will be up to the strongest to survive.

  3. dcars Says:

    Gm was the sole sponsor of Jay’s Big Dog Garage website until GM’s bankruptcy. I’m very surprised, I thought that he and GM still had a good relationship.

  4. Don MacConnel Says:

    Ya’ gotta love Eaton’s engineering. My first experience was an ’81 Cadillac V8-6-4. I thought the valve train control was a brilliant design even with some microprocessor problems and more commonly for me, GM’s cheap connectors.

    I can’t list all the cool stuff that Eaton has done over the years but the fuel-vapor seal seems like another fine idea.

  5. Derek V. Says:

    Time to get Jay on AAH.

  6. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Were the ‘Jay’ comments taken out of context, was he joking; okay, probably not, but the Volt is being made to work like a regular car (as far as reliable livery from one place to another) so maybe the comparison is a compliment (with a twist). Jay is definitely a pretty cool guy, so even if he was serious, I’ll let him ‘slide’ on this one. And yeah; would love to see Jay on AAH.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Obama was overheard saying as he sat in the Volt: “thank Allah I don’t have to drive this crap”

  8. Salvador G. Says:

    JohnMc., I think China is becoming the land of a thousand growing problems, overcapacity; if you think about the massive new sources of energy it will require, the amounts of water it will need for its people (production and otherwise) healthcare, etc, etc, etc.

    … And, has Jay Leno test drive a Volt already??

  9. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Jay Leno’s comments about Volt are right on the Money. It’s an Awkward looking product that looks like a $21,000 car, YET IT DOESNT COST $21,000.

    Many Designers talk about functionality being behind the look, but could they have worked better to make the Volt look better?

    The More I see it, the more it looks attrocious. Mr. Di Lorenzo in 3-5 years will have something to say about this on the lines of Leno, but it wont be as kind as what Leno had to say. It will be as side splittingly funny though.

    Believe it or not it looks more like a Ford Product done by GM.

    Its a good first try, and very neccessary one at that too however. Lets see what the customers say with their wallets.

    Im hoping the next Natural evolution of the look will be on the lines of the actual concept.

  10. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, will you stop please?

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey smoke you’ve been using this forum to promote Hyundai and Kia from day 1 and no one has asked you to stop, so please give me a break!

  12. HtG Says:

    Smoke, that Volt design piece was a brick in the wind tunnel. The rear of the production car is the pretty end, and also the most functional.

    There’s a joke in here, somewhere.

  13. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, there’s a difference. Im not showing outrageous disrespect to the President.

    Many Baby Boomers arent Hippies anymore many of you guys have grown up to become a bunch of Hypocrites.

    Hypocrites not hippies. What a shame, and what a tragedy. You had the chance to truly change things a long time ago to the way you wanted them, now we’ll just do it and trust me you wont like many of the new changes.

    Hey you played around with these old issues for 40 years now. Gen X did nothing about it really, but a lot of the time they couldnt help it as they were preoccupied by being bombarded on all sides. Gen Y is the size of the Baby Boomer Generation, so unlike our older brothers in Gen X we have an advantage.

    The time is now to kill those 40 years of old battles.

  14. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    HtG, yeah the joke is its a brick.

  15. HyundaiSmoke Says:


    Seriously that rear end just doesnt go with the rest of the car. No actually its the rest of the car that doesnt go with the rear end.

    This car at this price could turn out to be a disaster, we’ll see. However, I wouldnt have sent it out of the design studio looking like that. Especially when you have good examples of how a body style on a car such as this should look.

    Fisker Sedans, Cough, Cough…

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Funny, when Bush was Prez everyone and their grandma used to make fun of his lack of intelligence and questionable decision making, but when it comes to Mr Obama, then it’s a different story. even though his approval ratings are down in the dumps.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    Back to cars, Smoke don’t you consider a used Elantra a better buy than a used Accent, I mean they can be had for about the same money, similar MPG and the Elantra seems to have better reviews on Edmunds.com plus s more “car” than the smaller Accent.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    We need to take Jay Leno for who he is, a rich “car guy” who, for the most part, likes his cars FAST. I don’t know this to be true, but I doubt that Jay is a Prius fan, even though I really like the one I recently bought.

    As far as Volt, it is a first attempt at a plug-in/series hybrid. The body is what you end up with if you take what you have, and make it look a little different without spending a lot of money. What that car really needs is a body more like a Prius, a functional hatchback heavily influenced by wind tunnel results to have low drag. Maybe a second generation Volt will be more like that, if there is a second generation Volt.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    “Funny, when Bush was Prez everyone and their grandma used to make fun of his lack of intelligence and questionable decision making, but when it comes to Mr Obama, then it’s a different story. even though his approval ratings are down in the dumps.”

    …but Obama knows how to pronounce “nuclear.”

    Sorry, I’ll stay out lf this thread from now on.

  20. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I didnt fall for that “I am a stupid Texan” Crap. Bush wasnt stupid, he was evil. Too bad the sheep couldnt see the forest for the trees.

    By the way I voted for Obama, but I am not impressed with his work.

    He’s governing like Clinton in an era where we need Roosevelt. Clinton was all fine and dandy for a peace time relatively ok economy, but let’s see him handle this crap today.

    Clinton wasnt all that great either. He put a bunch of welfare recipients in $8 an hour jobs, thus impoverishing them more than they were in the first place. I was a 11 when Clinton first got in office. The Baby Boomers loked at this man with glee in their eyes.

    In retrospect, he wasnt all that great in the first place. Im tired of this Stupid Clinton Worship.

    We all know that Bush was elected by a bunch of Brainwashed Gen Xers, so go figure.

  21. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, Id say both are just fine for your application. Id go for the Accent, but if you’re in need of space and really have to have a larger car, then go for the used Elantra. Both arent bad cars. They have been historically shown to be more reliable cars than Sonata has been, yet everybody has been on Sonata’s Jock for years.

    Ive been to junkyards researching this, and on a Junkyard perspective Sonata pre 2000 are well… Junk. There’s a reason why I love the Hyundai small cars A LOT more than the big ones. Once they make the small cars as opulent as the big ones, then all barriers regarding Hyundai will break down. The Hyundai Small cars may have been cheap quality in the past, but they were the most reliable product Hyundai HAS EVER PUT OUT.

    Believe it or not, I think its a bad idea for Hyundai to play around with midsized cars in this market. These are bread and butter cars, in which the Sonata hasnt won a durability award for that segment in 5 years, while the Accent and Elantra keeps packing on the awards. Im still in the Accent, Elantra, Azera, Genesis, Equus Camp with a smaller Boutique car under Accent.

    Hyundai sure sells a decent amount of Sonatas, but its not the brand’s most reliable car. Just being Honest here. Hyundai’s truly reliable cars keep getting passed up. Well not really, until June Sales numbers came out Accent was the second highest seller in its class for 2 years behind Nissan Versa. The KIA Soul has usurped Accent, which is quite fine as it was only a matter of time before a KIA would outsell a Hyundai in that segment. This will spread to other segments eventually too. The KIA Optima will definately have what it takes to get Camry sales. The same powertrains as Sonata, a much lower MSRP than Sonata, drop dead looks, yeah that will be the cash cow for mothership HKAG. The Sonata is more of a mass market Boutique car rather than a Best seller.

    Just say I dont see 90s Sonatas but I see a Ton of 90s Accents and Elantras still alive and kicking with over 200K on the ODO. Im quite sure the New ones are up to the Accent/Elantra reliability standard, however.

    The Trucks arent half bad either. By the way, I still see 90s KIA Sportages.

    Back to the Politics:

    By the way, the Gen Xers were a “Beatnik” generation. Gen Y=a bunch of potential Future Hippies. We arent burning ourselves out in our youth like the original Hippies and actually rather not be put in this situation, but as you can see we are being forced.

    It will be more and more evident as this decade goes on. I can see it already, and we’re on the precipice of our season.

    Inappropriate for the time Austerity Measures (the Ones Deficit Hawks Want) by our government would definately bring such a thing out. Or some other event like an Asssassination of the Pres, a food shortage spurred on by the lack of Bees, hot temps, and dry weather (I havent seen one Bee yet in 2 Summers) or some other event. This is a promise, and a warning.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke, I like to use Edmunds consumer reviews on their used car pages and the Elantra enjoys mostly 100% approval from owners much more than Accent and Sonata, I think the company put a lot of effort into this car because it is a very important and competitive segment plus it opened the door for them to bring on more expensive cars. Even the pre 2000 Elantras have very good consumer reviews, on par with Corolla and Civic.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I find it interesting that supposedly respectable auto media are already naming the Fiesta as the #1 small car in the US without any hint of quality or dependability data yet available, have these people forgotten the almost expected first year gremlins that most American cars have had historically? This is a new model coming from a new factory.Let’s wait a year before we crown a new small car king, will you?

  24. Alex Kovnat Says:

    >Last week President Obama visited
    >Holland, Michigan, to kick-off
    >construction of another battery
    >plant in the state. He even got
    >a chance to take the Chevy Volt
    >for a spin.

    I wonder what the Secret Service had to say about that.

  25. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    You have a point Pedro on the Elantra and Fiesta, I cant argue with that.

    Fiesta doesnt worry me at all. Its the Nissan Juke that Worries me. Not for Accent, but for KIA Rio and KIA Soul. New VW Polo and Beetle are what Iam a little curious about for the Accent. Lower MSRPs with typical VW interiors, and if you havent heard VW has finally admitted that are the most worried about Hyundai. When you have Elantra Hackbacks (im30) trying to Benchmark Jettas and A3 Wagons, Veloster VS Scirocco, during testing regimen and seeing Elantra interiors. Yeah, Id be worried too- SUPER WORRIED. Im sorry but comparing Jetta and Elantra interiors VW is playing its C- D+ Game. I havent seen an interior in a compact car that looks as good, since well,…. that Buick Astra.

    To be honest that Buick Astra Compact looks like a Gen Coupe Copy interior. I think GM Copying Hyundai Interiors is quite ok, but at least give us the credit when you say Asian fit and Finish. These Hyundai interiors were developed 5 years ago, and GM Does SPY HEVAILY ON HYUNDAI and always takes Hyundais apart to see what its about. I surely dont see any Nismo, Honda/Acura, or ToyMo Interiors looking like that, but every new Hyundai that comes off the line and destined for this market looks like that. Like I said before at least give us the credit, and at least acknowledge that KIA fights Chevy and Hyundai fights Buick.

    Or, are you Cowards like VWAG was tooup until a few days ago?

    Im quite sure like the Astra the Elantra interior will feel as good too. They didnt even mention FoMoCo product in their statement.

    If GM does what I have been saying it should do (put 1.4 Cruze Eco Engine in Aveo as the standard banger, price the Buick Verona Subcompact to kill) those cars would be quite the little nuissances.

  26. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiBlowingSmoke ;

    I may not agree with everything Pedro says but at least he’s not here pretending to be a legitimate poster when in reality being a known Shill for Hyundai Motors . Yeah I know who you are even if you don’t know me little one . You’ve been banned from Autocar’s site as well as CAR’s because they both caught you red handed and connected you directly to the company .

    Why John allows you to remain here is a mystery . But don’t you DARE go critiquing any of our posts when you’re such a blatant hypocrite .

    Pedro ; Give HS a good slap would you ? And where the heck is Nick Stevens when we need him ?

  27. tj Martin Says:


    If is anyone is doing any spying as you so nicely are accusing GM of doing its Hyundai . Or haven’t you noticed the distinct Bangle styling cues, pathetic rip offs of Audi’s interiors as well as the futile attempt to constantly compare themselves to Toyota and Honda ?

    Better watch yourself there HS. GM folks do read this site . And I’d guess they’d take a rather dim view of a Hyundai Motors shill making such libelous accusations .

  28. tj Martin Says:


    A little perspective there son . Your generation has as of 1999 become the largest user of illegal drugs in the History of the US per Capita . Drug of choice ? #1 LSD #2 Heroin .

    So when it comes to being burned out there I’m afraid you’ve got the Hippie Generation ( Boomers you idiot ) beat by a country mile .

    Sheesh the least you could do is get your facts straight !

    If you’re any example of the level of employee Hyundai hires to promote their product well you’ve just given me ten more good reasons to never consider one .

  29. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    But I dont work for Hyundai, my friend. Just look at an Astra interior pic, and look at a Gen Coupe Interior (which was developed in 2004 as Hyundai develops 5 years out). I rest my case.

    By the way tj, that was the point. I want GM to see what I said. They want to compete World class style, then they need to acknowledge their true inspiration.

    Compare a New Buick Interior to a Lexus Interior. Its laughable, the Buick is by far the Winner. Compare a new Buick Interior to a new Hyundai Interior. Its not so funny is it?

    I as an unpaid Hyundai fan am tired of the down hyping of our product from the Automotive press. Ive tried other products and I have a contrary opinion to what you think. What’s wrong with that?

    Stupid anti-Hyundai Tea Partiers.

    Yeah, I compared you to the Tea Party. You guys are scared of something new and potentially great, so instead of embracing the change you discredit the change to make the status quo look A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN WHAT IT TRULY IS.

    I guess you dont understand the whole concept of unpaid grassroots fan support, but its a Hyundai I guess so you question the Idea of that brand actually having hardcore fans.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke, I don’t understand why anyone here would be “scared” of Hyundai. If they make good products that people want to buy, more power to them. But no one, not even you, is gonna convince me or hundreds of thousands of satisfied Toyota and Honda owners that our cars are a POS. The quality may have declined from the glory days of the 90′s but they’re still good cars that demand top $$ at auction houses. The other day I met a used car broker who will not buy Honda or Toyota (too expensive not enough profits) or Hyundai because he says his customers don’t trust them and he can’t sell them at a profitable price.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wall Street Journal had an article about highly desirable cars that are yet not available including the Volt, Leaf, Fisker and Tesla, What a joke!! these are the same people that will stand in line 2 days before the latest i-phone goes on sale or get in line a week to buy the latest PS3. After the initial surge, it will fall flat on their faces and then we’ll see.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Tj, actually Gen Yers have an Alcohol and perscription drug problem, but that’s right like the Naive Baby Boomers you are it juat blows right past your heads.

    Employment drug testing spurred this on. Since Employment drug testing is nothing more than a Glorified Marijuana Test, and since many employers cant afford to test more extensively for Perscription drugs. What was supposedly a remedy to a 80/90s street drug problem has just created another problem.

    People are going to get high, and they will do anything and everythng possible to avoid and get around testing.

    Let’s be real, employment drug testing is nothing more than a farce. It’s only used as an employment screening tool to weed out multiple applicants in a tight or competitive hiring climate. It doesnt help people, it just creates more poverty and trouble

    Back to Hyundai:

    You know why I am a hardcore Hyundai fan? Because they are an honest company that charges an honest price for its product.

    I am tired of seeing these $16, $17, $18K Honda Fits with downmarket $12K cloth interiors. If you’re going to be downmarket then at least price the cars cheaply. At least a KIA Soul at that price has leather, sweet alloys, etc…

    GM used to be like that too, but they are losing their way. That Aveo at that price, for what it has considering it’s reliability history is RIDICULOUS!!!

  33. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, I dont think Hyundai/KIA is trying to convince you guys of such a thing my friend.

    They arent really targeting you, relax man. They want to target the Germans. The Germans are the overpriced POS they are after.

    Its a price thing, guys. I see the danger with the way car prices are going as compared to wages.

    A GM assembly plant worker used to be able to afford the cars he/she built. Now they cant. When that segment of the middle class cant afford these cars anymore it only leads to one thing in the future=A car ANYCAR will be a conveyance that’s seen as a Luxury good ONLY.

    America was built around the car, while Europe was built around the City. For Europe this is ok, but for America this would be an Absolute Disaster.

    It would also lead to the same thing that has taken all other industries except cars by storm. Cheap Chinese goods and used products for the masses as that’s all they can afford. That would kill the disadvantaged American Cars. Either that or all GMs, Fords, Chryslers (if they still exist) will be made in China too. Even Japanese and Korean cars will be made in China too. The Japanese prices are getting so ridiculous for what’s offered, they are going to have to make a move and soon.

    Its not like there will be a dearth of Middle Class government jobs to back this up, as I have said earlier. American Austerity measures are coming, and the Deficit Hawks will probably get their way.

    That’s the problem with you guys. You guys see the past and Today, I see the future and it looks bleak. While you guys are spinning in your graves, Ill be still alive and kicking trying to fix this mess.

  34. dcars Says:

    I vote for Pedro! and a thumbs up for Eaton. Jay has driven the volt and gave it a good review.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think it’s a sad state of affairs when any manufacturer needs a celebrity to say something nice about their upcoming product, are they that insecure about this launch?

  36. LEX Says:

    Jay Leno’s comments were correct! GM has wasted too much time and resources on the reinvention of the EV1, I mean the Chevy Volt!
    The same could be said for the Chevy Cruze.
    These two vehicles share the same platform. GM should have dusted off the electronic blueprints for the EV1 and incorporated new batteries and a very small lawn mower size flex fuel generator to extend the Volt/ EV2′s range. The Volt drivetrain could have been dropped into the Cruze Platform with a Cruze top hat sporting Voltronic badging.

    GM is great at wasting time and the Tax Payer’s money on Glits and foolishness. The Cruze is sold all around the world exceptin in the USA. The Cruze could and should have been the vehicle to incorporate several different powertrains to fit consumers wants and desires. A Cruze powered by a 2.0 Litre Gasoline, or Diesel, or Turbo Gas, or Turbo Diesel or Gas Hybrid, or Pure Electric with onboard generator using Gasoline, Flex Fuel, Diesel, or LPG, NG.

    General Motors is going to be beaten to a plup by the Transplants, especially by the Koreans. Toyota got it’s kick in the pants and Honda needs the same especailly in the area of exterior design, form and function.

    The Volt is Dead! Who Killed the Volt? We all know it was not Jay Leno.

  37. XA351GT Says:

    I thought Bush was a clown ,but at least he wasn’t afraid to present his Birth Certificate. Obama still hasn’t from all accounts I’ve read. What’s he got to hide?? He is on the way to creating the US Socialist nation.Between him and these other ass clowns in DC we’ll all be up the creek soon. Doesn’t matter Dem or Repub they ALL got to go.

    As far as the Volt it is a overpriced average car. It will never pay for itself even at $4@gal gas. Unless you drive less than 30 miles a day . It just doesn’t make sense to pay that price for what a similar conventional car can do for 1/2 the money.

    I will now await the wrath of Nick who will tell me how stupid I am . :D

  38. LEX Says:

    @ XA351GT

    You hit the nail on the head about the Volt.
    Why do you think Toyota invested in Tesla?
    The Boys at Toyota know that electric cars may prove to be valuable one day, but you do not bet the ranch the way GM has done.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    XA351GT Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “I thought Bush was a clown ,but at least he wasn’t afraid to present his Birth Certificate. Obama still hasn’t from all accounts I’ve read. What’s he got to hide??”

    Get real, people. This was resolved even before Obama was elected. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and, yes, has a birth certificate to prove it. See:


  40. Nick Stevens Says:

    tj Martin Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 6:01 pm


    A little perspective there son . Your generation has as of 1999 become the largest user of illegal drugs in the History of the US per Capita . Drug of choice ? #1 LSD #2 Heroin .”

    That would explain his utterly silly and nonsensical rants, especially the one he named these two POS the Excremental Excel and the Awful Accent the….. two best cars EVER made (in the whole WORLD, not just in their Korean town of build!)

  41. Nick Stevens Says:

    The problem with Obama sure is not his birth certificate or any other certificate, althgough I’d really want to see all his SCHOOL TRASNSCRIPTS, esp. how he did in MATH and SCIENCE, and give him a make-up exam to see how REAL (or socially promoted) these grades were.

    The far bigger problem is his utter inexperience, gross incompetence, laziness (golfing for 5 hours while the Gulf is destroyed, and content just to demonize BP) and utter destructiveness, promising that by spending a TRILLION $ we NEVER HAD, unemployment would fall below the alreagy huge 8%, and instead AFTER the horrific waste it stays at close to 10%!!!

    That is what happens when the senile fools Reid and Pelosi in Congress and the two bozos in the WH do not understand what made the US Economy great and who provides the REAL JOBS ( SMALL BUSINESS!!!) and instead make small businessmen feel unsafe and unwanted.

  42. Nick Stevens Says:

    Martin: If Hyundai is indeed paying this fool even minimum wage to tout their wares, they are greater fools than he is. Ny guess is he is a chronically unemployed loser living in his parent’s basement or above their garage.

  43. Nick Stevens Says:

    LEX: You just cannot make the case for Pure electric cars for private owners in today’s markets. I welcome you to give me an example, even an extreme one, with numbers and all, where it makes more sense for a private buyer to buy the stupid Nissan Leaf with its tiny range vs the PRius or even the Jetta Diesel, or the Volt vs the Prius (the regular one, not the coming plug-in) for that matter.

  44. Nick Stevens Says:

    “As far as the Volt it is a overpriced average “..(The Volt) will never pay for itself even at $4@gal gas. Unless you drive less than 30 miles a day . It just doesn’t make sense to pay that price for what a similar conventional car can do for 1/2 the money.

    I will now await the wrath of Nick who will tell me how stupid I am . :D

    Why? I actually agree almost 100%, which proves you are very wise indeed. I would take it further, even if you DO drive less than 30 miles a day (I only drive 3 miles a day and about 20-30 on weekends, plus the long trips), it still does not make sense.

  45. Nick Stevens Says:

    More satisfied 500,000+ mile Civic owners, this one from IN, no sunbelt easy weather.


  46. Nick Stevens Says:


    this one with a ‘mere’ 325,000 miles… but put 245,000 of them in four YEARS! That is indeed easy highway miles.

  47. Nick Stevens Says:


    Thig gtuy also already put 500,000 miles in a…2004 (!!!) Element!

  48. HtG Says:

    Here’s why Volt makes sense. People buy for emotional reasons, and car makers capitalize on this. (ask Delorenzo) GM will lose money on Volt, but gain expertise in making electric drive. Good jobs will be created in MI and its universities. If gas gets expensive low fuel consumption will be at a premium. Don’t think the risk is real? It’s pronounced Is-real.

    Nick, you left out the possibility that Smokey supports his commenting habit by selling that Demon Dope to cute guys in his neighborhood. He doesn’t need to live with mamma to keep all this up.

  49. Nick Stevens Says:

    Buying a car on emotion or because it is high tech is NOT using one’s common sense. I specifically challenged LEX to show me the CALCS that prove that a PURE EV makes economic sense for even the most extreme consumer. Unless he or anybody else SHOWS ME the Numbers, I will continue to claim that today’s pitiful Pure EVs, with their pathetic range and even with their taxpayer subsidized huge cost, CANNOT be a privately owned vehicle that can satisfy a family’s needs AND do it at less expense than a Prius (not even plug-in) hybrid or even a jetta diesel.

    If I would go buy a car on emotion, I’d go get a Ferrari, not a stupid Volt, or a much stupider pure EV Nissan Leaf.

  50. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Good jobs will be created in MI and its universities.”

    these are anything but good jobs. Government created jobs are not real jobs in the first place, and when the stupid fad is forgotten, the jobs are lost, or if they have tenure, the bums that have them keep getting paid at our expense while doing practically nothing.

    ” If gas gets expensive low fuel consumption will be at a premium”

    That does NOT in the least mean one should get a ridiculous 50-mile range pure EV! EVEN with $8 a gallon gas, as they have where I am now, there are NO EVs or even Plug-ins to be seen. People get by with small cars with small engines, not even hybrids. SOme hybrids are seen because of taqx benefits and being allowed to drive in large city centers every day (unlike regular cars that can do so on odd or even days only, if their licence plate ends in an odd or even number).

    And I can guarantee you it will be a lon g time and a worthless US dollar when gas will cost $8 in the US, and the $ of THAT year will not be able to buy much of anything else either.

  51. HtG Says:

    Nick, would that be a regualar Ferrari or a convertible? When people want a car because it’s cute or powerful, how do you convince them otherwise? Why buy car with metallic paint or tail fins? People pay big money for feelings. I guess I just don’t agree that man is rational, or that rational analysis predicts behavior. I would agree that buying a Volt isn’t so rational compared to getting a used Civic; if you extend this idea a lot of OEMs and dealership would go bottoms up and have to join Smokey on the street corner.

  52. XA351GT Says:

    HtG ,
    You can buy any car you want ,but when the new wears off is it a car you want to make payments on or keep after there done? The only new car I’ve bought is now 22 years old. and I still love it. I don’t drive it as much as I’d like to but it’s still here. The Volt doesn’t make sense on many fronts. 1st the high price,2. is the gas mileage when on gas is average at best for a car this size. 3. Resale ,which will be almost noexistant if the replacement battery price hangs at 9K and only lasts 6-8 years.
    You have a 40K car that will be worth 10K in great condition in 5 years when the payments are up, at best depending on it’s realibilty when released. So would you pay 10K for a used car that may cost you almost the same amount in the next 1-3 years?? These will be almost unsellable as used cars which means if you buy it new then your stuck with it ,because there won’t be any value in it as a trade if a dealer will even want to take it ,because then he’s stuck with it.

  53. Nick Stevens Says:

    “HtG Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Nick, would that be a regualar Ferrari or a convertible?”

    I’m generally a cheapscate and new Ferraris seem too expensive to me. I don’t like convertibles much, but it might be one. Older 95-98 355 v8s can be found for $50-70k. I expect much more maintenance and repairs, and more expensive ones, than in my 740iL, which has proven quite reliable. And it is not really practical in the snowbelt where I live most of the time, or here where prices are astronomical both for exotics and for gas.

    ” When people want a car because it’s cute or powerful, how do you convince them otherwise? ”

    I don’t need to, Most of my cars were good looking and efficient and powerful. It’s not mutually exclusive. The new Prius is also both super-efficient and quite good looking in exterior styling and high quality inside. The 740iL is sure all of the above, since it is the pre-2002 model, no i-drive and no bubble styling.

    ” I guess I just don’t agree that man is rational, or that rational analysis predicts behavior.”

    OF COURSE man is not rational and expecially buyers of new cars are not rational, BUT my point was DISREGARDING THAT, I challenged Lex or anybody else here to give me the NUMBERS for the EVs that look just as bad or worse than econoboxes, and that people buy not out of lust but in the false hope they will save $ when gas is $6 oor $9, THEY WILL NOT.

    ” I would agree that buying a Volt isn’t so rational compared to getting a used Civic;”

    it’s a stupid ugly COBALT (really a Cruze!) it is NOT a ferrari or a 911!!!