Episode 743 – Chrysler Saving Fiat, Avenger and Grand Caravan Axed, Hondajet Delayed

October 11th, 2011 at 11:50am

Runtime: 7:31

Oh how the tables have turned.  A couple years ago Fiat saved Chrysler and now Chrysler is saving Fiat.  The company is also rumored to be killing off the Dodge Grand Caravan as well as the Avenger to make way for a new Fiat-based crossover.  Honda is delaying the launch of its new small airplane, called the HondaJet, due to problems with the engine.  All that and more, plus a look at some of the latest transmission innovations coming from German company ZF.

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This is Autoline Daily for October 11, 2011. And here’s what’s happening in the global automotive industry right now.

FIAT GETS SAVED!
Two years ago I said this was going to happen and now it’s happening. Even though it was Fiat that saved Chrysler, now Chrysler is saving Fiat. Bloomberg reports that Chrysler’s operating profit is now 87 percent higher than Fiat’s. Analysts say that Fiat would be very vulnerable right now without Chrysler, but part of the problem is that Sergio Marchionne has been spending most of his time working on the Chrysler turn-around.

NOT-SO-GRAND CARAVAN
Speaking of Chrysler, it’s reportedly going to kill off the Dodge Grand Caravan in 2013.  The automaker promised to eliminate duplication in its showrooms and this will leave the Town and Country as the only nameplate on that platform.  It’s speculated the Avenger will also get eliminated.  Rumor has it both vehicles will be replaced by a single Fiat-based crossover, but we don’t know which one yet, and it probably will not come from the Fiat Multipla, Doblo or Qubo. They’d be a little too weird for North American customers. A brand-new Town and Country is expected to take a bow in 2014, so stay tuned for details.

GENERAL TSO’S JAG
Everyone wants to get into the Chinese market, but you have to have a joint-venture partner to do so. So now Reuters reports that Jaguar and Land Rover are in talks with Chinese automaker Chery. However, both companies said they have no information about any tie-up.

HONDA GROUNDED
We keep saying that Honda has lost its mojo, and now the company is suffering from yet another embarrassment. It’s delaying the launch of its small-business airplane called the HondaJet, due to problems with the engine. The company originally planned to start deliveries next year in the third quarter but now it won’t be ready until mid-2013. The plane will be built in Greensboro, North Carolina.

QUALITY IS JOB 24
Talk about problems. Autoblog reports Nissan is instituting a new quality-improvement campaign after getting slammed in J.D. Power’s quality and dependability studies.  Customers complained about difficult HVAC and rear-wiper controls, as well as confusing hands-free phone systems.  The company wants its Nissan and Infiniti brands in the top three of J.D. Power’s surveys, but it has a long way to go. The Nissan brand ranks 24th in the IQS study and 25th in Vehicle Dependability.

Remember three on the tree, or two-speed slush boxes? Coming up next, a look at how they’re now squeezing nine gears into a gear box.

DRESSED TO THE NINES
Automakers know they can improve fuel economy, performance and NVH simply by working the engine easier. And the fastest way to do that is by giving it more gears to work with. That’s why we paid a visit to ZF to get an update on its latest transmission.

By the way, powertrain experts tell me that we’re soon going to see 10-speed transmissions. They say that will be the max we’re going to see, but I remember when they said we’ll never get more than 7 gears in a transmission.

Don’t forget to join us this Thursday night for Autoline After Hours. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, for the best insider discussion of what’s going on in the auto industry. That’s this Thursday at Autoline.tv

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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69 Comments to “Episode 743 – Chrysler Saving Fiat, Avenger and Grand Caravan Axed, Hondajet Delayed”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Great info today John (rest up your throat; but you sounded fine); really liked the segment on the nine-speed. I was wondering how they could get so many ratios in such a small package; sure hope they (the new transmissions) are bulletproof as it looks as they would be quite expensive and involved to repair.

  2. tj Martin Says:

    This.. from Mercedes Benz ought to make Kit happy ;

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20111011/CARNEWS/111019982

    And yes Kit , the inside line says Diesels as well . The Diesel GLK is already set in stone , with most other models to follow suit ( Hmmmn Who is this masked man Mr Tj : AKA – the AutoAnarchist ? )

    ———————-

    Chrysler saving FIAT ;

    Talk about the Blind leading the Blind !

    First off ; Chryslers sales had nowhere else but UP to go as any further down they’d of been Non Existent .

    Second ; Chryslers actual sales numbers ( not the percentage of sales increases ) are NOTHING to brag about . Their sales are still Dreck in comparison

    Third ; From what little info FIAT releases to the Financial world , every major Investment Firm as well as Banks have rated FIAT below Junk Status , so a few measly sales on Chryslers side will hardly put a dent in the Black Hole that is FIAT’s current financial situation ( you don’t want to know how many Banks in the EU are calling in their loans to FIAT as well as refusing to give any more loans to the company , not that Stronzetto isn’t trying . )

    Fourth ; Stronzetto Marchionne is still in charge and the Elkann’s are still remaining “Hands Off ” so even if these numbers were in any way financially significant ( they’re not ) both FIAT and Chrysler would still be heading down the toilet .

    Later today or tomorrow an Opinionater from the AutoAnarchist on why the Automotive Industry NEEDS a Steve Jobs and why Alan Mullally aint it !

    This has been the AutoAnarchist , printing all the news the Automotive World wishes you’d never seen .

    ;-)

  3. shan Says:

    I always thought the Dodge Avenger had potential, but they blew it using cheap plastic materials and shoddy quality construction.

  4. tj Martin Says:

    HondaJet

    The real problem , if you ask me is the fact that the sales of New Private Jets are way down ( with so many used ones on the market , why by new ? ) and Honda knows as the new guys on the Block they’ll be last in line when it comes to Brand Consideration on the part of customers willing to buy New

    Reputation is everything in the Private Plane/Jet industry and Honda was Ill Advised to ever try to enter the market . especially as they’re now some three years too late for the Sales Boom that was

    Don’t believe me about sales being down ? Try renting a seat on a Private Jet to almost anywhere these days . Its a walk in the park . With so many vacant seats and so little revenue even Private ( not corporate ) owners are selling seats on their craft . For about the price of a First Class ticket on an Airline .

  5. tj Martin Says:

    One last …..

    SAAB Story / Dateline 10/11/11

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/10/our-daily-saab-possibly-last-supper/

    Please somebody let SAAB die in peace !

  6. tj Martin Says:

    This one’s for mi Amigo – pedro as well as any UAW workers out of work right now because of FORD or Chrysler .

    Somebodies finally listening to us pedro ;

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-chrysler-accused-of-false-advertising-by-made-in-the-usa-group.html

    OOOoops .

    Lookin like a bit o’ mud being slung at FORD and Chrysler . Bit of false advertising perhaps there Mullally/Marchionne ?

    Naaahhhh. Never happens ! Not in the USA ! Definitely not in the Automotive Industry . Yeah right
    :(

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Redemption at last, now I can go in peace.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Caravan outsold the Chrysler version quite a bit, it is still a bonehead move, just like the Chrysler Aspen variable, barely sold any of them.

  9. C-Tech Says:

    The 9-speed auto trans looks interesting. The use of dogleg clutches vs. standard paper clutches could cause total trans failure if or when it breaks.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chrysler saves Fiat, wow I did not realize Fiat was in such bad shape that they need a moribund company like Chrysler to save them! who is next Saab?

  11. C-Tech Says:

    Since most Chrysler dealers are now combined with Dodge dealers, they might as well have a single nameplate for the minivan. Personally I would have kept the minivan in the Dodge (affordable) line with the highline being a Grand Caravan and the lowline being a Caravan Express. By keeping the T & C name, building a budget T & C version I thinks corrupts the Chrysler brand as an upscale brand.

  12. HtG Says:

    Here’s a little piece on Steve Jobs’ car, which is a Merc as tj said.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-mystery-of-steve-jobs-plateless-car-2011-10

  13. HtG Says:

    Who recalls the Autoline show where John’s guest talked about wrecked cars are being auctioned for big dollars to thieves who want to clone their VINs onto stolen cars? Here’s an article in the DailyMail about how this economy works in the UK and South Africa. Notice how one of the punters didn’t have insurance on his X5; could it have been a bit pricey due to risk of theft?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2045557/WARNING-Thieves-want-steal-car-ship-Uganda-OPERATE-IN-THIS-AREA.html

  14. dcars Says:

    I agree Pedro, why kill the volume seller van. they’ll have to have a low priced version of the Chrysler, negating the premium charged for the T&C. I guess that kills moving Chrysler up market. Whats’ up with all the german exc’s using the PHD doctor title?

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, let me remove the tag on my Vibrolla and see what happens…………….Oh officer the tag was distorting the sound of my subwoofer, so I just took it off, ok?

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if Marchionne can be declared legally insane for this, do you know how many freaking Caravans have been and are still being sold specially since GM and Ford got out of the minivan business?. Dodge along with Plymouth were always the average Joe’s brand with Chrysler representing the higher tier, the Caravan appeals to those who don’t want to spend a lot on the more expensive Japanese nameplates.

  17. tj Martin Says:

    #10

    Yeah and the next headline we’ll be reading will be ;

    PACKARD AND HUDSEN COME TO FIAT/CHRYSLER’S RESCUE

    FYI I agree completely with the views here about Marchionne’s madness canceling one of the FEW remaining Chrysler products thats still selling .

    Brilliant . Dump the sales leader and concentrate on the stuff hanging around the showroom floor for months on end .

    That’ll save FIAT/Chryslers bacon

    And ahhhh …. excuse me , but what part of ALD has forgotten that FIAT ……. thats supposedly being saved by Chrysler …. who aren’t Made in America ………… OWNS Chrysler and just took out another huge loan recently before their lines of credit dried
    up to finalize the Purchase of Chrysler from us ( US Tax Payers )

    To sum it up ;

    How does one Bankrupt Company supposedly Save the Other Bankrupt Company that owns them in the first place ?

    Kind of an example of ” Financial Circular Logic ” if’n ya asks me . Not that anybody would ……… but maybe they should

    That little Ditty slip thru the cracks somehow ?

  18. tj Martin Says:

    ( a prelude to my auto industry needs a Steve Jobs ditty )

    IF !

    The US Automotive Industry had designed the iPad it’d be ;

    1) A Trendy Design , albeit uncomfortable to hold , awkward to use and impossible to read the screen from most angles

    2) It’d weigh 20 lbs and be at least 20 x 30 in size

    3) It’d be priced to match its competitors , albeit with half the quality , a third the performance and a tenth of the features , with most being extra cost options

    4) Its materials and workmanship would on the surface look fine but upon careful examination be sub par in comparison to its direct competitors

    5) It wouldn’t work as advertised 50% of the time

    6) And finally it’d be on its tenth Recall this year alone !

  19. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Dodge should have been the one to keep the Caravan/Grand Caravan, and then they could have had their top of the line Caravan with the Town and Country package or Town and Country trim level.

  20. HtG Says:

    If Jobs ran a car company

    1 The cars would cost triple their equivalents even though all internal parts are the same

    2 All models would all be silver, and you couldn’t pop the hood

    3 You’d have to wait 6 months in line to pick up your new car

    4 The onboard computer wouldn’t let you enter bad neighborhoods or pick up a hooker

    5 There would be no dials on the dashboard

    6 People would be putting videos on YouTube showing the Unboxing of their latest model

    7 No need for steering wheel or pedals. Just use the centergrip pole and armrest orbs

    8 The rear-view mirror shows only the current share price of Apple

    9 Industry leaks given only to Gruber

    10 Special parking at Apple stores for cars without license plates

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    #20 add to that built in a sweat-shop type factory in the Communist Republic of China, for almost slave wages thus maximizing profits and making shareholders put you up there with Jesus, Ghandi and Elvis.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #2,
    Some of the new Mercedes stuff sounds interesting. The B-Class might be worth considering, IF they sell the diesel here, and IF it is “premium” enough to justify the price they will ask. I’m sure the gas version will have mediocre fuel economy, so I doubt that I would consider it, but the diesel should get close to the very good mileage of the VW’s.

    AW says the new C in 2014 or 2015 will have a diesel. If it’s the 4 cylinder, it should get good fuel economy, but still no wagon in the US.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree that they should probably keep the Caravan name. It is the name everyone associates with the vans. Even if they want to call it a Chrysler rather than a Dodge, they could call it Caravan rather than T & C.

    My ’89 turbo 5-speed van is a Caravan, and I like the name. It’s easy to say, and everyone know what a Caravan is.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    Mini vans went on a weight increasing diet like the rest of the industry, I remember when both reg and long wheelbase were available, most reviewers steered buyers towards the longer ones. When the shorter one was perfectly fine.

  25. HtG Says:

    11 If you modify your Apple auto, it gets bricked. It’s magical

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #24
    If you used the 3rd. seat often, the long ones made sense. The short ones didn’t have much cargo space behind the 3rd. seat, and the seats were a little closer together, reducing leg room. I always thought the short ones looked better, though, and many people don’t need the extra space of the long ones.

    My ’89 is short 5 passenger. I bought it mainly for model airplanes, and the back seat has been in the van about one month of the 22 years I’ve had it.

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Have yerself a wee look at where the PC you’re banging on is made . Ten will get you Twenty the factory in China IT’s made in will make the Apple Factory look like Club Med ;-)

    And……… I’ll bet you another twenty your PC company DOESN’T have a Bespoke Retail Store ( along with several licensed sellers like smalldog.com ) Worldwide that pay an above average salary , along with good benefits , company perks etc .

    Then lets talk about Steve Jobs faults , many as they may be .

    @ HtG #20

    Very cute . Completely inaccurate , but kind of cute .

  28. tj Martin Says:

    If the US Automakers made the iPad

    It’d of taken them five years of focus groups and surveys just to decide on WHAT to build

    It’d of taken them another three years of committees and internal corporate wranglings to finally OK building the thing

    Along with another two years to engineer it and get it to the customer , by which time all their competitors will have locked the market up with their own versions , with the market already in decline , forcing them to rush ( Ha Ha ) it into production before its ready , and it turning out to be a major POS that angers everyone that buys it . Which few will for the above reasons .

  29. HtG Says:

    @27 I’m just messing with you, tj. In reality I have bought some Apple products, have used them since the first Mac, and have been personally enriched through related investments. I recognize that every computer is a descendant of Apple.

  30. tj Martin Says:

    #22

    Aint no IF about it Kit . The A and B Class are ( in the EU ) already the Gold Standard for a premium small car , the Diesels ARE coming , and once again comparing Apples to Apples instead of Apples to Oranges as is your want . Mercedes Benz’s MPG figures are equal to or better than their competitors .e.g, Same Class size , Same engine size , same # of wheels driven , from the same end .

    But of course to know that you’ll have to go a bit beyond the CR and EPA ratings , as well as compare equal Engine sizes as well as Class sizes , AND # of wheels driven , which you’ve yet to have done in any of our previous discussions , making even this post an Abject Waste of good Time as Equal to Equal seems to for some odd and uncomprehensible reason be beyond either your understanding or reach .

    I’ll say no more . Don’t buy a Benz . It won’t matter to me MBUSA or anyone else a bit .

  31. tj Martin Says:

    #29

    Smart Acre ! :o

  32. HtG Says:

    @31

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/news/articles/business_news.htm

  33. tj Martin Says:

    Gentlemen

    So …….

    I’m kind of getting into this “Why the Auto Industry Needs a Steve Jobs ” thing . I’d started this about two years ago on the CAR site , but never really thought it thru , but the more I think about it the better it gets .

    So rather than inundate everyone with a 1000 words plus essay , I’ve decided I’ll divide it up over the course of the week with the first two installments today to make up for being absent Monday

    In the mean time I’ll let the rest of y’all dredge up all the news and schmooze of the week , as well as comment on the Daily Stories .

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    Everything is made in China, when I went to EPCOT, I took the time to check out the stroes at the different pavilions, I would say except for clothing, 90% of all items for sale had “Made in China” written on them, even German toys.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,
    You are such an arrogant smart ass. The AW article you linked says it’s unknown whether the diesels will be available in the B-Class in the U.S. I’ve read the same thing other places, including C & D.

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @HtG & pedro

    BWTM

    Average lifespan of a PC

    Two years or less

    Average lifespan of an Apple computer

    Five years or longer

    Average lifespan of everyone elses Smart Phone

    One year or less

    Average Lifespan of an iPhone

    Five years Plus

    Hmmn . Maybe thats why they cost more , aren’t User Servicable , and don’t allow hacking , etc .

    They LAST longer . Both in fact as well as in the customers eyes .

    Hmmmn . Tell me cars couldn’t use those traits as well .

    Hmmmn .

  37. tj Martin Says:

    #35

    Why Yes I am and Thank You for noticing .

    Well except there is a difference between having access to unpublished knowledge and being Arrogant .

    See heres the deal Kit . The press doesn’t know everything , and even when they do , unless they think its a story that needs to be released in total , rather than bits and pieces to keep you coming back for more , they only dole out the bits to……. well…….. keep you coming back for more .

    Oh but the press would NEVER do that would they ? Keep you hanging so’s you’ll come back for more ?

    Naahhhhh. They don’t need your money and presence on their websites on a daily basis to keep running .

    Naahhhhhh. Hearsay ! Heresy ! They’d never do that .

    Or would they ;-)

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,
    If you are as smart as you claim to be, why the anonymity?

    Also, what do you consider better sources of data for comparing fuel economy of US market cars than EPA ratings and CR tests? I’d like to check out this third, or fourth souce of data.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Not all electronic gadgets are made in the People’s Republic. The (non-Apple) phone I’m typing this on is from Taiwan. No, I have nothing against Apple, except those proprietary connectors and non-replacable batteries. I have an iPod Touch, a cool device.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Gee, TJ I am on my 3rd pc in almost 20 yrs and we got rid of them because they became outdated, not because they broke, and since computers are made in a way you can replace busted components with out much hassle. Apples with their all-in-one construction are not so easy to fix.

  41. cwolf Says:

    This is one for the “smart ass”;And I thought you were known only as the AutoAnarchist!
    Anyhow- The vast number of products made in China and the large number of unemployed U.S. workers is getting a lot of attention. Knowing this is a result of China’s monitary manipulation,many govt. officials are getting serious about taking this to a higher level,which would include the WTO. So if we were to correct the 30% devaluation between our currencies,do you think the Chinese would threaten to sell off their vast U.S. treasuries? Or is it more likely we would back off,as usual?

  42. GPL Says:

    “Have yerself a wee look at where the PC you’re banging on is made . Ten will get you Twenty the factory in China IT’s made in will make the Apple Factory look like Club Med”

    Wasn’t there a rash of suicides at the Chinese factory where iProducts are built a while back because the working conditions were so horrible?

    Oh, and where are you getting those stats on lifespans of products? Site your source, because I think you just made them up.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys, this is very simple, while our middle class is being decimated, the one in China has exploded, is this coincidence? no it’s a fact!

  44. tj Martin Says:

    @ # 41

    Problem is China and the US are locked into an at best Symbiotic at worse , Co Dependent relationship that was only made worse by the US accepting money from the Chinese to stay afloat

    They need our business to sell what they make ( China is still primarily an Export Economy ) and now we’re beholding to them because of the money we’ve taken . Us being the bigger Dumb @$& cause we should of known better !

    Add into the equation the American Addiction/Obsession for lots of CHEAP goods , quality be damned , just give it to em cheap …. and …….. well …….. just try and find a solution for the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into . Any kind .

    To sum it up . I got no answers . ITs the ultimate in SNAFU’s

    Only question being who’ll ( the Chinese or the US ) take it up the ____ the worse in the end . Only Time will answer that one but I’ll guess China ….. and it’ll come from within and not us .

    @ #42

    Yes GPL I make everything I post here up . All off the top o’ my pointed little Arrogant Ass head . Thats why I’m right ….. what some 90% of the time . Damn that must be a really sharply pointed little head I gots there .

    FYI have a look at any aspect of Chinese manufacturing and you’ll find a rash of suicides etc with very few exceptions . Amazingly ( and yes I’m being sarcastic ) the Chinese seem to not like being Slaves either .

    #40 – Who told you that little bit of misinformation ? The Only Mac we’ve ever had go down since 1984 was repaired in less than a week . MacBook Pro I’m banging away on as a matter of fact . Fact is I’ve yet to even hear of a Mac that couldn’t be repaired .

    #38- Seriously Kit . You’re joking . Right ? Least I hope you are .

  45. W L Simpson Says:

    No importa, but the Honda jet engines are prone to
    icing

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #36,
    The average life of an iPhone is 5 years, but the oldest ones out there are less than 4 1/2 years old, and I personally know of “dead” ones.

  47. tj Martin Says:

    EPA ratings – Everyone including each and every major automotive publication ( both US and UK ) knows that EPA ratings on a good day are less than reliable and on a bad day flat out false . I could give y’all 101 reasons why that is but ” That would be telling ”

    CR is as bad if not worse . Their testing procedures are a poor approximation of that most hated term by a few here , namely REAL WORLD CONDITIONS in fact they are in plain English synthetic and contrived as is CR’s testing in every other avenue they’re involved in . Not to mention CR’s overly biased view point as well as the hype that they receive no outside compensation from the manufactures etc,

    They don’t offer those Subscription discounts cause they’re so wealthy and such a giving company .

    Hint Hint

  48. tj Martin Says:

    #46

    I rather doubt that unless they were abused .

    Talk to a Computer/CellSmart Phone recycler and ask them how many Mac and Apple products they see , compared to any other make

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #38,
    Again, tj, since you don’t like EPA and CR fuel economy information, what do you consider a good source of data for comparing fuel economy of vehicles in the U.S. market?

  50. HtG Says:

    48 My sister figured out how to kibosh her white iPhone. Let it slip out of her bike bag in DC, and crrrunch, one DC’s abominable drivers rolled over it. Did I mention it’s white?
    Wisely, she had sprung for replacement insurance(not the first time she’s killed a phone).

  51. HtG Says:

    @47
    “They don’t offer those Subscription discounts cause they’re so wealthy and such a giving company .”

    That’s quite a statement, tj.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    EPA and CR numbers are good for COMPARING DIFFERENT CARS. I’m not saying that people will match or beat them, but THEY ARE DONE THE SAME WAY FOR ALL THE CARS, therefore they are GOOD SOURCES OF DATA FOR COMPARING CARS. Who else has data for all cars, tested the same way, like the EPA, or a large number tested the same way, as CR. Name one source of data. That’s right, there aren’t any.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hondas maybe very reliable machines, but I’ll still prefer flying commercial over one of these toys. I believe the new Macs are not user serviceable, it’s all one piece, isn’t it? everything is inside the monitor shell. PC’s in their towers are very easy just to just replace components.

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motorweek actually responded to my email taking exception to their glowing review of the Saab 9-5, and they say their review was based on the opinions of 9 experts who took into consideration the history of Saab. A car’s past history must not have any bearing on a review of a new product.

  55. HtG Says:

    I shouldn’t get into the middle of Kit and tj, but I just checked the EPA site for my Honda, and it seems there is also a mileage range as reported by real motorists. Some people report highway mileage far higher than the official figure, as though EPA is shrugging its shoulders.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/calculatorCompareSideBySidePopUp.jsp?column=1&id=17554

    —————
    iMacs can be opened, Pedro, if you’ve got the guts to pry off the glass screen. I saw it done on YouTube. The laptops open with screws on the bottom. I was going to make a joke about Apple motors only putting proprietary fasteners and screws in their cars…

  56. HtG Says:

    If you have a need to indulge your inner geek, Pedro, here’s how one geek gets busy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YsCTNVEYt8

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #48,
    Yeh, they were dropped, etc., except for the one that just quit working, but dropping, etc., is what causes the demise of most mobile devices.

    The thing will give iPhones, at least early ones a longer service life than their contemporaries of 2007-2008 is that they made those Palms, etc. obsolete, and the early iPhone are still not obsolete. I suspect the best of today’s Android phones will remain in service at a similar rate to iPhones.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #55,
    With cars I have, I can beat the EPA highway rating if I don’t go too fast. I’ve had tanks of over 40 with my MINI which has a highway rating of 37, but those tanks had a lot of 55-60 mph and little city driving.

    I’ve looked at some of those reported numbers, and with the very high ones, I suspect people are “hypermiling,” or lying. I see people reporting 60+ with Priuses like mine, while I get 50 on most tanks.

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    err, I think opening a tower and replacing a few components is something I could easily do, this Mac repair is best left for pros. The EPA consumer results for a 98 3 speed Corolla is over 32 mpg highway, I say BS to that unless they all drove at 50 mph. I got a pathetic 24 at 65, 29 in mixed driving.

  60. HtG Says:

    @58 I know. People may want to ‘report’ a high mileage, but it’s interesting that EPA will post unverified numbers. You wonder how that decision went down.

  61. HtG Says:

    @59 I’ve opened and replaced enough parts on tower systems to advise one and all, think twice before you think that Dell looks cheap.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #54,
    That is interesting. That means if Motorweek had been around in 1957, they would have given the rather substandard Packard Clipper a great review, because Packards of the 1930′s were among the best of upper-middle cars at the time. Hmmm

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #59,
    I suspect a lot of, er, lying in those reported numbers. Either that, or these people are a real nuisance to share the road with.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    Of course the problem with mine is its archaic 3 speed, I drove a 4 speed Prizm (Corolla) same road and speed and got about 35 mpg, an 11 mile improvement. No question about the advantages of having more gears at highway speeds.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro,
    Does your transmission have a locking torque converter?

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    I am not sure about this, it’s good around town because it always seems to be in the right gear, unlike other multi speed autos I’ve driven which always seem to be searching for the right gear and are slow to downshift when needed and it is reliable since it is so simple, 325k no repairs, only fluid changes, but on long trips, forget it, I just rent. I had a 3 speed Buick back in the 80′s and this was never an issue,(that one did have a torque converter)

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #66,
    If you don’t have a locking torque converter, that would hurt highway mileage, but your 3-speed might also have a very “short” top gear, running the engine at high rpm. In any case, going 325K miles and counting, you’ve saved a lot of money on cars, never mind the poor highway mpg.

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, you’re right. I should not be complaining at all!!

  69. Steve Says:

    EPA has never claimed to be real world that I know of. What they do is force all vehicles to be tested the same way, so while it may not be accurate in the real world, it will indicate how one cars mileage is, in comparison to another. So if you’re interested in Car A and Car B, if mileage is important to you, you can compare the EPA cards and be reasonable assured the one with the highest number will get better mileage than the other. Your mileage depends on your driving habits and conditions. If you drive the same as the EPA’s schedule, (which nobody does) then you’d get close to the same mileage as they do. But you’d have to drive so many miles at specific but different speeds, so many miles up and down hills, etc etc.