Episode 506 – Marchionne Angers Italy, BMW on Demand, McElroy’s Update From the Road

October 25th, 2010 at 12:08pm

Runtime 8:09

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne provoked anger in Italy when he said the automaker would be better off without the country and its unions. BMW plans to launch a new program in Germany that allows drivers to rent its vehicles by the hour. We get an update from John McElroy, who’s down in Nashville driving the Nissan LEAF. All that and more, plus a look at the brand-new engine lineup for the 2011 Ford F-150.

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This is Autoline Daily for Monday, October 25, 2010. I’m Jim Hall – like you didn’t already know that – from 2953 Analytics filling in for John who’s down in Nashville, Tennessee driving the Nissan LEAF. We’ll hear from him a little later in the broadcast, but first, here’s the top news from the automotive beat.

Sergio Marchionne is ruffling more than a few feathers. According to The Detroit News, Fiat’s CEO said the automaker would be better off without Italy and its troublesome unions. Not surprisingly, his comments provoked an angry reaction from labor groups and government officials. The company has been in difficult negotiations with unions over plans to shutter a factory in Sicily next year. While appearing on an Italian TV show last Saturday he said that Fiat could do more business if it eliminated Italy from its operations, adding that “One cannot forever manage operations that are at a loss.” Needless to say, these remarks are unusual for a public figure in Italy. Does this mean that Fiat has plans to pull production out of its home country?

BMW ON DEMAND (subscription required)
Have you always wanted to drive a BMW but just couldn’t swing the monthly payment? Well, now’s your chance to get behind the wheel of your dream car . . . if you live in Germany, that is. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company plans to launch a new program called “BMW on Demand” that allows drivers to rent its vehicles by the hour. In big cities around the world car ownership is declining, especially among young people, and this is an alternative way to make money without selling vehicles. The plan will allow drivers near BMW’s Munich headquarters to rent various models from its lineup. Prices range from €16 an hour for a 1 Series – that’s about $23 an hour to roughly $32 for a 7 Series. Logically, the company thinks that many people will choose vehicles they can’t afford to purchase, and that they’ll rent them for special occasions. I’d say look for programs like this one to gain popularity around the world as cities become more and more crowded and concerns about pollution rise.

Fleet sales are up this year for the Detroit automakers, but The Detroit News reports they’re doing a much better job of managing that side of the business. In the past, the Big Three would unload slow-selling and overproduced models to fleets in order to boost sales. But this ultimately hurt resale values. Now they’re doing a better job of matching production to demand. Last month fleet sales accounted for about a third of the domestics’ total sales, but Ford and GM expect by the end of the year that number will fall to around a quarter of their total sales.

AUTO ENGINEERS IN DEMAND (subscription required)
More good news for automotive engineers. Last week we reported that engineers in the auto industry can make good money, and now Ward’s reports demand for engineers is surging. Many companies had to shed engineers when the industry crashed, but now as the economy starts to recover engineers are becoming hot commodities. With the industry focusing more on alternative energy vehicles, automakers and suppliers are looking for engineers with skills in those areas, but they’re finding that there aren’t enough qualified people. As a result there are a number of open positions for engineers.

As I mentioned at the top of the show, McElroy’s down in Nashville driving the Nissan LEAF. Here’s an update from the road.

Yes sir, Captain McElroy! I look forward to hearing what you think about the LEAF after you get back from your trip down to the Volunteer State. Anyway, coming up next, we test drive the brand-new engine lineup in the 2011 Ford F-150. We’ll fill you in on all the juicy details right after this.

Ford is making waves with the 2011 F-150. It’s offering four brand-new engines in the popular pickup. At first glance it looks like a best-in-class lineup, but how do they drive? Autoline Daily Correspondent Craig Cole has more.

I’m sad to report that I STILL haven’t gotten any stick time in one of these trucks. They look great. Are you listening, Ford?

Hey, don’t forget to join us tonight for OpenLine, the best call-in program on the interwebs. To participate, just dial 218-936-6581. Again, the number to call is 218-936-6581. This week’s PIN is 2942, 2942. Remember, you can also tune-in on our website, AutolineDetroit.tv. The show kicks off at 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time. If you haven’t already, check it out. It’s a lot of fun.

And that’s it for today’s show. Again, I’m Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics, thank you for watching and I’ll see you again soon, probably the next time John’s out of town. Take care.

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

110 Comments to “Episode 506 – Marchionne Angers Italy, BMW on Demand, McElroy’s Update From the Road”

  1. Jorge Bahri Says:

    Yes my business blocks You Tube

  2. Dan Clemons Says:

    No blocking here.


  3. John Sunderland Says:

    I do not block utube

  4. Scott Says:

    youtube is blocked here.

  5. dcars Says:

    No blocking here.

    By Marchionne’s comments, I think he feels that Chrysler can be a more profitable company than Fiat.
    Pedro, FYI – my sister in-law was hit on driver’s side rear tire by a person that went into a diabetic shock. He was ok after they gave him some orange juice. They had to cut him out of his Honda Accord two door.

  6. timbeaumont Says:

    My workplace blocks youtube.

  7. Don MacConnel Says:


  8. Rob Scholl Says:

    You tube is not blocked here.

  9. motorman Says:

    i always wonder what GM has against turbo charging engines because i think ford has them over a barrel with these new V-6 truck engines

  10. Dave Kazmaier Says:

    YouTube has not been blocked. (iTunes is blocked)

  11. Ernie Krekewich Says:

    Yes, my work blocks YouTube access.

  12. jim Says:

    yes, my employer blocks

  13. Buzzerd Says:

    negative work blocks u-tube but not your site. positive u-tube plays on I pads and pods your site doesn’t.

  14. cjs Says:

    yes, my employer blocks

  15. D.L. Ford Says:

    I AM blocked from Youtube. Please don’t limit your wonderful broadcasts to that outlet.

  16. Todd Says:

    No, my employer doesn’t block youtube.

  17. PeteK Says:

    my company blocks youtube

  18. Bradley Says:

    My employer does not block YouTube.

    Two questions in regards to the F-150 review:
    1. How does driving trucks in a line through a course show better performance? Wouldn’t time, fuel consumption and comfort tell a better story.
    2. Why was the F-150 on a steep incline during Dyno testing?


  19. Kelly Holden Says:

    yes we’re blocked

  20. Matt Says:


  21. Dale Lang Says:

    Retired..love your show …youtube would be great…

  22. LEX Says:

    Not Blocked.

  23. Ray Tyner Says:

    how about some hd on autoline after hours I watch you on a 46″ HD .TV.

  24. Armando Joaquin Says:


  25. Ralph Kercheval Says:

    YouTube Blocked except for one hour per day 12-1 EST

  26. Jack Says:

    YouTube blocked – no

  27. ricardo Says:

    Not blocked

  28. Nick Says:

    No – but its slow.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    My employer blocks all internet access, he thinks we’re in China (or Cuba). I can’t believe John went all the way to Nashville to drive that POS Leaf, he’ll come back with a bad case of range anxiety. And Southern twang.

  30. Tom Carter Says:

    Yes, employer has it blocked

  31. Steve Says:

    I think Marchione is sending a message, you aren’t the only option.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if Marchionne wants to move manufacturing to the US south? He’s not stupid and has seen how well the transplants have done there.

  33. Gerald Thompson Says:

    Not at this time but could change anytime…

  34. Bill Says:

    You tube is blocked

  35. Dan Says:

    Yes, we’re block

  36. Matt Says:


  37. Daniel Says:

    They don’t block, but I’m not sure what they monitor.

  38. Joey Says:

    Yes and No

  39. Mark Bretscher Says:

    Yes my employer blocks YouTube. Please continue the option of having your podcast as it is now.

  40. grb Says:


  41. HtG Says:


  42. HtG Says:


  43. HtG Says:

    NSFW, go on…


  44. Marcin Says:

    Yes, U-tube is blocked

  45. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Retired now; but U-Tube was/is blocked there.

    Marchionne tells the truth (and he is called on the carpet for it) P.C. at it’s worse; it’s way past time that these Unions should be working with the manufacturers (not treating them as advisaries).

    Ford’s engine lineup looks very good (but they had a target to shoot for and put there best foot forward; and raised the bar by a good margin). Just about every launch (latest and greatest) puts down the competition; the important part, in all this, is how the competition responds. Chrysler just introduce their new omni-use V-6 and their hemi is still very good. And GM is developing new V-8′s with direct injection, (maybe they are looking at boosted V-6′s) and their ‘shelved’ diesel should maybe be brought back into the light. The ‘truck’ wars continue.

  46. Tony Gray Says:

    Yes, my employer blocks YouTube, eBay…all the fun stuff. If Autoline gets blocked…I will cry like a little schoolgirl.

  47. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    Nice Job Jim !!! I always enjoy the show when you guest host it.

  48. Mike Shipley Says:

    No blocking

  49. Gerald King Says:

    Yes GM blocks U-Tube.

  50. ahaught Says:


  51. jesse Says:

    No blocks here,but getting it in my email is more convenient and way easier!No time consumption wasted on getting to the place to watch the show.

  52. Dan Says:

    Streaming videos blocked?

  53. Gill Says:

    yes, it’s blocked

  54. Mike Cleary Says:


  55. Bob Says:

    Yes – youtube is blocked

  56. Bob Young Says:

    We drove the Leaf a couple of weeks ago and my wife could not effectively see over the dash, noting that she is 5′ 6″ tall. We were at a “green” event and noted that the Ford Focus, various Honda vehicles and even a Chrysler Sebring we just rented had a manual seat height adjustment for the driver. These newer cars generally have a wide A pillar (presummed for toll-over) sloped back (presummed aero), so it was nice to at least see the little windows near the mirrors. I get a bit tired of finding cars in production that have design flaws that should have been caught at or before the first test drive. We may keep our Volvo, Lexus and GMC truck forever at this rate.

  57. donald dipaola Says:


  58. Dave in Cal Says:

    No blocking youtube here!!

  59. Juan Barnett Says:

    My work (The Pentagon) does not block YouTube. As much as I like looking at John, Peter and Jim – I find it easier to listen via Stitcher.

    Happy Motoring,

    Juan Barnett “Lej Geek”

  60. Scott Maxwell Says:

    Most peolpe are blocked here.

  61. RJ Says:


  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    motorman Says:
    October 25th, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    “i always wonder what GM has against turbo charging engines because i think ford has them over a barrel with these new V-6 truck engines”

    GM, with its 1.4 turbo in the Cruze, has a lot more sensible turbo engine than Ford’s turbo V-6 that uses as much gas as a V-8 of similar power. The Chevy 1.4 turbo has adequate power, and gets very good mileage for a car the size of the ~3300 pound Cruze.

  63. Nanny-State Says:

    No Blocking of YouTube here.

  64. Rafael Says:

    yes I’m blocked to you tube. Keep up the good work!

  65. joshua meade Says:

    Yes I watch autoline daily everyday at work and youtube is blocked here.

  66. Clarence Erickson Says:


  67. PD Says:

    Youtube isn’t blocked, but our company still uses IE6 as its browser, which is no longer supported by almost everyone. They are working on going to IE8, but there are support programs that require IE6 still. We are not allowed to install Firefox, Chrome, etc.. onto our computers.

  68. cwolf Says:


    Seems Ford is serious about keeping the F150 No.1 and the new engines appear to perform as good as most reviews reflect. This make me wonder why a number of viewers became disgruntled when the new and larger Ranger was not a part of the US market. Clearly the F150 is the better choice. The F150 has a proven over time track and so close in size to matter much. I believe the current size of the Ranger fills the niche just fine, but needs an update,better quality and engines;diesels please! I have owned Ford products for a good many years and and put at least 200k on most of them with only std maint.; I just wish they would put larger rotors on them- they warp much too quickly!
    Kit, it took a second to grasp your point,but maybe putting a 4 cyl. turbo in a larger truck would loose the benifits due to weight and gear ratio. Anyone choosing a 4 banger in a larger vehicle might profit more by down sizing. If you think about it, most folks don’t use their trucks as trucks!

  69. Jesus Says:

    Yes! Youtube is blocked.

  70. Voytek Says:

    I’m BLOCKED at work, BUT I can still get around it by using OPERA!…which is what I’m doing right-now:)

  71. Laurence Says:

    youtube is blocked except for management and above

  72. cwolf Says:

    To daily commentators: I enjoy the perspectives from most everyone involved and as a result, expanded my interests in products,mechanics and technologies which are familiar to others. Seperating BS from fact is clear most often,yet there are comments made that makes one unsure if it wasn’t a result of brand loyalty or from beliefs of a by-gone era. Knowing everyone owned and experienced each brand would merit ones comments,but this is not possible. To envelope a better communication circuit between daily readers, would anyone be willing to state there occupation, loyalties and any other insight that could potentially add even more validity to what is said? Just a thought; any takers?

  73. Chris Says:

    Yes, YouTube is blocked at my workplace

  74. Thom Says:

    John,We are not blocked,and as a college instructor I often use AUTOLINE as a teaching aid.

  75. Biff Jingles Says:

    YouTube is not blocked at work.

  76. Martin Kahl Says:


  77. djones Says:

    Yes, YouTube is blocked at my job.

  78. Marcin Says:


  79. JB Says:

    Craig Coles review of the new f150 and ecoboost v6 was awesome!

  80. Jim Haines Says:

    No we can view anything on the web

  81. Wes Says:

    When I become a teacher, YouTube will be blocked, but TeacherTube is not. :)

  82. Guy, Lakeland, FL Says:

    Yes YouTube is blocked!

  83. Tom Stuart Says:


  84. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Equus=5000 K a year car tops. That’s only about 417 cars a month.

    It’s more of a Brand “Halo” Car as opposed to a unit seller.

    One day Hyundai might actually have to get rid of the Equus due to fuel prices, high taxes, and high CAFE standards.

    Hyundai might as well milk the Brand Image “Halo” from that car right now, as in the Future an Accent will be as posh (It probably will have to be). You might as well prepare for the eventuality right now.

    The Equus is a good Pannache builder.

  85. billy Says:

    My workplace blocks YouTube and other common media streaming web sites

  86. Fairlane Says:

    I meant BLOCKED.

  87. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    On that theory, this is why I think ultimately Buick has a better chance of becoming GMs pre-eminent Luxury Brand over Cadillac.

    Us Eco Geeks are everywhere, but I have a feeling the true Eco Nazis will one day gain the keys to the castle.

    I think a 50 MPG Prius or a 37 MPG Jetta Diesel is antiquated and out of touch, but I also think extremists who want to outright ban cars-like smoking are just absolutely ridiculous.

    Many of you Baby Boomers think Iam crazy, but Im a moderate compared to what others want.

  88. M Campbell Says:

    Not blocked, but if it was I could watch on a phone– which is my preference anyway.

  89. Rick Wakefield Says:

    No Blocking Here.

  90. kurt Says:

    My employer did not block youtube, but I won’t be watching Autoline there as I was laid off today due to their client cancelling a slew of test programs.

  91. Carroll Says:

    A move to Youtube would be better than this small size online here. I’m talking more detail with HD and full screen option also. Like MotorWeek. I used to have autolinedetroit on speedTV and watched every late Sunday morning. Get it back on SpeedTV.

  92. John Niu Says:

    YouTube is blocked at my work place in the US and completely in China.

  93. Nick Stevens Says:

    Not only NOTHING is blocked at work, we recently sacrificed a big sunny room in our building and furnished it lavishly as a student lounge*, we also put a 42 inch HDTV on the wall, in case some of these clowns were actually threatening to study. Actually, quite a few are actually studying there in groups, despite the distractions.

    *(while we have NO faculty lounge or anything close in our building, and the one in the dean’s building has decrepit furniture and is 10 mins walk in the snow from here)

  94. Dave in china Says:

    Well I used to live in NJ. I’ve won one of your trivia contests :) But if you move to youtube you will be blocked. China doesn’t allow youtube in the country.

    Not sure how many other people are in china watching your broadcast almost daily. But I know I am one.

    Please don’t move to youtube, or if you do, make that just another place your show is hosted. I’d hate to see something blocked that I’ve watched almost from the first day you started broadcasting.

  95. Nick Stevens Says:


    The STUPID Volt. Government funded to the hilt! What a JOKE. Maybe Obama Motors (no, the Obama Admin!) can also buy all copies and distribute them to unwilling welfare recipients.

  96. Nick Stevens Says:


  97. Nick Stevens Says:

    From the “A sucker is born every minute” files:

    “the new Fiesta is fetching $3,000 to $4,000 above its $14k base price, because buyers are happily taking them loaded with options. The result is that average transaction prices for the Fiesta are higher than Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas. And the Fiesta is a class smaller.”

  98. tom Says:

    no blocking here

  99. Nick Stevens Says:

    HELL, for less than $13k, even I would buy one of them LEafs!!!!

    “How sweet can incentives make the 2011 Nissan Leaf? If you’re really lucky and bunch together several rebates and credits, you can drive home this battery powered machine for a mere $12,280.

    Yep, you read that right. For less than $13,000 you could own one of the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicles – provided you meet some very select criteria. Interested in finding out how? Read on.

    Disclaimer: there are a bunch of “ifs” and “buts” included in the quest to receive this bargain price, but the important thing is that it’s actually possible (as Green Car Reports discovered). Here’s how it could go down: Starting with the $32,780 list price of a Leaf base model, slash $7,500 off courtesy of the federal tax credit and get down to $25,280. Now, provided that you live in California, you can also lop another $5,000 off the top under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. Simply submit your paperwork to the Center for Sustainable Energy and the Leaf’s cost almost magically drops to $20,280. But how do we get from here to $12,280?

    From here on out, the incentives get much more specific and will begin to seriously reduce the number of people who can get the EV deal of a lifetime. If you reside in one of the eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and portions of Kern), then you are eligible to apply for a $3,000 rebate (PDF warning) for purchasing a zero-emissions ride. Okay, so that’s $17,280. Here comes the kicker. For this final incentive, you need to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has apparently agreed to offer a $5,000 allowance for purchasing a battery-powered vehicle if you meet certain eligibility requirements.”-Autoblog today

  100. Nick Stevens Says:

    yeah, at $13k or less, no wonder Ghosn sees selling a million of the little POS!!!

  101. Cristi DICIANU Says:

    No UTube blocking here.

  102. dave Says:

    No, nothing is blocked here.

  103. Jim Head Says:


  104. John Savona Says:

    Don’t want to watch on You Tube

  105. Frank Battaglia Says:

    Yes YouTube is blocked where I work.

  106. dcars Says:

    Hi Carrol, “….Like MotorWeek. I used to have autolinedetroit on speedTV and watched every late Sunday morning. Get it back on SpeedTV.”
    I’m very disappointed that they took Autoline Detroit and Motorweek off Speedtv.

  107. yrwins Says:

    Yes YouTube is blocked where I work

  108. Aegis Says:

    My workplace blocks YouTube and other common media streaming web sites

  109. Nick Stevens Says:

    DCARS: Both programs are on PBS, when these clowns are not askinand assorted other losers and sissies on instead.

  110. Nick Stevens Says:

    when these clowns are not asking for your $ and put on Andre Rieu and Lawrence WElk and.. instead.