Episode 44 – VW-MAN-Scania Team Up, Waiting For the White House, 2010 Ford Mustang

December 16th, 2008 at 12:00pm

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When it comes to the bailout everyone’s still waiting on word from the White House but reports indicate it will happen tomorrow. Volkswagen is cornering the heavy truck market in Europe pushing for an alliance with MAN and Scania. Daimler announces a major lithium-ion battery partnership. All that and more plus, an up-close look at the new 2010 Ford Mustang.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. When it comes to the bailout everyone’s still waiting on word from the White House. Volkswagen is cornering the heavy truck market in Europe. And an up-close look at the new Ford Mustang.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, December 16, 2008. And now, the news.

Another day and still no money from the White House. But all the major wire services report it will likely happen tomorrow. The AP quotes Michigan Senator Carl Levin as saying GM will get $8 billion, Chrysler will get $7, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will be the car czar. Automotive suppliers are especially nervous about getting paid. The AP reports Chrysler pays out $7 billion to suppliers every 45 days.

Big changes in the big truck market. Volkswagen now owns nearly 30 percent of German truck maker MAN and nearly 70 percent of Swedish truck company Scania. VW is pushing for a three-way alliance between the companies (subscription required), the Wall Street Journal reports. And MAN is buying up all of VW’s truck operations in Brazil.

Daimler announced that it will partner with Evonik Industries to produce lithium-ion batteries to power Mercedes and smart electric vehicles. Daimler will acquire just less than 50 percent of a company owned by Evonik. This cooperation will help Daimler reach its goal to start mass producing electric vehicles by 2010.

WardsAuto.com reports French President Nicolas Sarkozy is promising to help car makers finance their sales (subscription required), but only if they stop moving production and parts sourcing outside of France. And in other global auto aid news, China is considering cutting the purchase tax for a car. The proposal is to tax cars based on engine size, cars with smaller engines would have lower taxes.

It’s a sad time for motorsports fans. Yesterday Suzuki canceled its World Rally Championship program. And Autoblog reports that Subaru may be pulling out, too, with a formal announcement coming tomorrow. This follows on the heels of Honda quitting Formula 1 and the trouble NASCAR teams are having finding sponsors.

Ok, everybody knows the economy is in the toilet. Global markets are reeling and the U.S. has record unemployment, but apparently nobody is immune to the downturn. Our media partner Autoblog reports that somebody is delivering pizza in an Aston Martin DB7. Maybe Domino’s brought back the “30 minutes or less” guarantee and needed something faster than a Geo Prism to make the deadline.

Coming up in our feature story, a look at Ford’s redesigned 2010 Mustang.

In 2005 Ford introduced today’s “retro-themed” Mustang. The old-school look and available 300 horsepower V8 helped it become very popular. For 2010, Ford has substantially updated its all-American pony car.

On the outside the new model looks very similar to the current Mustang, but it’s sharper and more aggressive. Bigger wheels are also available, up to 19 inches.

Under the hood the engines essentially carry over. There’s a base 4.0-liter V6 and an optional 4.6-liter V8 that gains 15 horsepower and a little torque. To make driving more fun, V8-powered cars now have a sound tube that comes from the air intake; it pipes the engine’s muscle car rumble right into the cabin.

Overall Ford made a lot of changes to the 2010 Mustang. Designers and engineers worked hard to build on the strengths of the current car yet make the new one better than ever.

Perhaps the most striking part of this redesign is the interior. It’s light years ahead of any other Mustang in terms of quality. The familiar two-pod dashboard is now made out of a soft material and it has a rich-looking texture. Other nice touches include a dual-zone climate control and Ford’s SYNC system.

Overall the 2010 Mustang is much smoother and quieter on the road than the current car, but it’s still a blast to drive. The new interior and added features make the car much more refined, but the similar styling and burly V8 means it has the same distinctive personality.

Yesterday we launched a live webcast that some of you were able to watch, but it was only some of you because we ran into technical difficulties. Even though our practice runs ran flawless, you never know what will happen once you go live. But you can catch that webcast all about the Big Three bailout at AutolineDetroit.tv. And we’re going to be doing another live webcast very soon, so stay tuned.

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

8 Comments to “Episode 44 – VW-MAN-Scania Team Up, Waiting For the White House, 2010 Ford Mustang”

  1. William R .Walling Says:

    John,
    “Any news if this new 2010 FORD ‘Mustang’ will bare a ‘Made In U.S.A.’ label when describing it’s ‘Country of Origin’?
    Reasoning, a recent television report stating that existing ‘Mustang’ vehicles assembled in OHIO contain so many foreign parts they are identified as yet another FOREIGN vehicle by our Government.
    Clearly, DUMB marketing!
    (Already aware competitors CHALLENGER and new CAMARO are today (or will be) Canadian built thus Foreign!)

  2. jeff mohr Says:

    6 years ago engine plant town hall meetings prepared us for this auto over capacity,and a new system was created,production and maintenance were cut about in half by about 2006, finaly late 2008 salaried cut 25%—too late, i want to emphasize the fact that there was a plan years ago and it was never fully acted upon, the new malibu and sebring are competive with the accord and camry, and the personal can also be, pension system conversion to a 401k? could this be an anwser

  3. pedro Fernandez Says:

    John: in all this bailout talk, all I hear is UAW givebacks and sacrifices, but what of the honchos on top, why aren’t they offering to cut their huge salaries and bonuses? After all it is their poor decisions and those of their forebearers what got these companies in trouble in the first place

  4. Ed Says:

    John,

    We’ve all heard the cries for the UAW to give up things to make the auto companies more competitive and we have all heard the talk about how the executives of the big three are over compensated and should give up some of their perks and salaries, but no one has said word one about the salaried white collar workers enduring some pain also, and there certainly enough of them that their contributions could have a significant impact. I for one know that they pay next to nothing for their health care coverage, especially at GM where I once worked and paid about $15 a month for full coverage. I think the pain should be shared all around when a company goes hat in hand for taypayer dollars. What do you think?

    Ed

  5. jeff mohr Says:

    Too many media and political people without any real experience deciding these issues(john actually worked the industry thats why i am here)Too much talk and not enough action-too many masters degrees and not enough real life indusrial time served-so much of what we consume winds up shortly back in the landfill-We are building great auto products and will succeed-this will all self correct in time-the american public is now recieving an indusrial education, and likewise the global business.

  6. Muhammad Rafi Says:

    I like the looks of the new Mustang, but it could have been better. For one, I’d like to see the Mustang replacing its live rear axle with independents on all four corners. I wish Ford had given the the Mustang the better quality interior from the start, and I honestly think the Mustang costs more than it should. All of this reminds of one great pony car that’s on the way to showrooms. And that would be the new Camaro. I have read about the new Camaro and I like what I’m reading. The Camaro is a true modern day muscle car in that it offers power and performance with a stylish yet modern design. Also the power trains offered for the Camaro are said to be better in terms of performance and fuel economy. Although a real-world test and comparison of these two cars is yet to be performed (I can hardly wait), from the look of things, I’d say the Camaro is the clear winner. Not only does it have the great looks (copied by the new Mustang) but will also be unmatched in its value and performance.

  7. Chuck Says:

    John,

    I’ve been waiting for the release of the 2010 Mustang and all I can say is it’s just alright. With the new Challenger and Camaro on tap, I would have liked to see an all new Stang rather than of a freshing up of the 2005 model. Seems Ford is trying to get 10 years out of this body style, and if you ask me that’s 4 years too long. But I’m sure Ford will out sell the Dodge and Chevy by 2 to 1 as they have in the past. And the majority of those Mustangs with be V6 cars driven by hairdressers, but I digress. Can’t wait for a Mustang vs Camaro shoot out by one of the magazines. My guess is the new V8 Camaro will walk all over the V8 Mustang, as it has always been since the early 1990s. Heck, the Camaro is rumored to have a base V6 with a 300hp, that should be enough to keep up with the 315hp V8 in the Mustang GT! It’s a good time to be a car guy!

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