Episode 876 – Toyota’s Beijing Concepts, You Can’t Be Sirius!, Audi Introduces Updated Q5

April 25th, 2012 at 11:20am

Runtime: 6:20

Toyota pulled the wraps off of two concept cars at the Beijing Auto Show. Hyundai will offer a free three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio with the purchase of any used car at its dealerships in the U.S. Audi just introduced an updated version of the Q5, which goes on sale this summer in Europe. All that and more, plus another entertaining installment of Hall vs. Hall.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily for April 25th. I’m John McElroy. Later in the show we have another hilarious episode of Hall vs. Hall, but first, let’s get to the news.

There’s been a frenzy of activity at this week’s Beijing Auto Show. It seems like every carmaker we know of – and some we don’t – is revealing new stuff, including Toyota. It just pulled the wraps off several concepts. First up, the Dear Qin. Sounds more like a vehicle for North Korea! In Mandarin, though, the name implies intimacy, meaning the company wants the car to be cherished by many. It was shown off in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Toyota also revealed a model called the Yundong Shuangqing. Translated, its name suggests movement upon clouds and “dual support,” which refers to its hybrid drivetrain. It’s a China-only concept equipped with a hybrid system that was primarily developed at the company’s engineering center in Changshu, located northwest of Shanghai.

FORD CREDIT UPGRADED (subscription required)
Seven years ago Ford’s credit rating was downgraded to junk status because of its ballooning debt load, uncompetitive UAW labor contract, and shrinking market share. But yesterday, now that the company has flipped that completely around, Standard & Poor’s raised Ford’s rating to investment grade. As a result, all the collateral that the company put up to borrow $23 billion four years ago—including the blue oval—is back within control of the company. Hark! Methinks I dost hear the report of champagne corks popping.


GM CEO Dan Akerson says he wants to see his replacement come from within the company. Last year Ford’s chairman Bill Ford said the same thing, which prompted us to create the horse race to see who might replace Alan Mulally. Coming up soon, we’ll have the Detroit Derby: The Race To Replace Dan Akerson.

Hyundai really wants to bring more people into its used-car lots. It will now offer a free three- month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio with the purchase of any used car at its dealerships in the U.S. Yes, the deal applies to any car, not just a Hyundai. And that suggests the company is having problems getting used-car consumers to consider shopping at its stores.

Audi just introduced an updated version of the Q5. It’s available with five engines — two gasoline and three diesels. All engines are standard with direct injection and stop-start systems. Three transmissions are also available — a six-speed manual and seven- and eight-speed automatics. The company is also offering a hybrid version for the first time. The refreshed Q5 goes on sale this summer in Europe with a starting price just under 40,000 euros, or about $53,000.

Coming up next, them craaaazy brothers are at it again. It’s Hall vs. Hall.

(This installment of Hall vs. Hall is only available in the video version of today’s program)

I love it! Jim and Bob are an absolute riot! Hall vs. Hall is brought to you by Autoline’s RoundAbout team. You can get more fun stuff by clicking on the RoundAbout channel on our website, Autoline.tv. Check it out.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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35 Comments to “Episode 876 – Toyota’s Beijing Concepts, You Can’t Be Sirius!, Audi Introduces Updated Q5”

  1. dcars Says:

    Hopefully they can replace Dan Ackerson sooner than later.
    My pick Mark Reuss. He could captain GM through some great times and be so much better than any one else.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Hall vs Hall: Answering another question nobody asked (or should have asked); funny though.

    And on Sirius/XM: I’m currently on a three month trial subscription myself (recently purchased a certified pre-owned) and love the service. What I am not enamored about (and why I will not pick up a subscription after the trial) is that their customer service is cutthroat; they really want you to provide a credit card number (for billing) and require a phone call to cancel your service (or else you will be billed automatically). And when you call to cancel, that’s when you get the hard-sell (kind of what you have to endure if you get a telemarketer on the phone). You really almost have to be rude (to them) to get your service disconnected. Just, as a matter of principle, I don’t think I’ll be a serious Sirius/XM customer.

  3. jesse Says:

    Hyundai probably has the BEST certified program out there.Since their original warranty is better the most in the market,it stands to reason their certified would be also!Used Chevy’s have a 3 month free subscription to Sirius as well.Are they also having trouble getting people on their used car lots??I don’t think so.It makes more sense to think that SATELLITE RADIO is having problems what with their horrible customer service,ridiculous pricing and so on.

  4. jesse Says:

    CHUCK GRENCI…here’s a tip.If you do sign up tell them to send you an invoice.It’ll cost you 2 bucks but it’s well worth it to avoid all that cc hassle!

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d be more likely to try satellite radio if you could easily use a single subscription both in multiple cars, and at home. I find some of their music channels very good when used in restaurants.

    I’ve recently been contacted by two dealers, saying my used car is worth a lot, and that they want it. MINI of Orlando did this by snail mail, and the Chevy dealer called by phone, and sent mail. I didn’t answer the phone call, but they left a voice mail.

    Are used cars actually in especially hot demand now, or are dealers just trying to get people to trade what they have on a new car, using this as a gimmick?

  6. Jerry H. Fluegge Says:

    Now there is no sound at all!!!


  7. HtG Says:

    If I were Alan Mulally, and I am, I would want the next CEO to be able to keep the various organs of the corporation working as a team. Ford’s problems BAM!, before Alan Mulally, came in large part from the management silos and fiefdoms.

    ps. I just did an interview with that Leno guy in his shangri la garage. WTF?

  8. John McElroy Says:

    @Jerry: Please visit http://get.adobe.com/flash to update your installation. This usually fixes the problem. If you continue to have problems, please e-mail bsanders@blueskyproductions.tv.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Used cars are in demand but not so much at dealerships, seems people are not willing to pay their inflated prices and so there is a lot of owner to buyer transactions going on using various internet sites (newspapers are dead) as well as small independent dealers that work out of their homes.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Craigslist is a popular used car website cause it doesn’t cost anything to advertise.

  11. Chuck Says:

    If there is anyone who needs to face a firing squad it is Sirius SatRad and all their dirtbag employees. After nearly 3 years of bill collector harassment and losing my AMEX card due to these devious crooks I would volunteer to pull the trigger. I will never accept any service from this dishonest company and for anyone reading this rant you would be foolish to get in bed with them, believe me! They just keep resubmitting charges and AMEX stupidly resubmits bills – after a half dozen attempts to clear up the problem I just ignored all of them. what’s funny is they both keep sending me appeals to get a new credit card, renew my Sirius subscription – hahaha – lunatics!!

  12. Jon M. Says:

    @ #2 Chuck Grenci

    How right you are, Sirus/XM’s customer service is lousy. They want you to provide C/C info so they can bill you at a 3 year rate automatically. I have a subscription and love the actual satellite service, but I only renew for short periods and I beat THEM up to get dirt cheap rates for short periods. Its kind of pain, but there are a number of channels I just love. Don’t let them win, Chuck, beat them up and pay only a few dollars a month for short-term contracts.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve used craigslist to sell a couple oldish, small motorcycles, and have had good luck. I like its being free; I can advertise, and if I don’t sell the item, it doesn’t cost me anything.

    I’ve never tried craigslist to sell a car, but may try it this summer. While I hate to do it, I may try to sell my ’89 van. I don’t use it enough to justify keeping it, and things can go wrong, just from age.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    I can’t believe that there is a market for this pay radio when everyone nowadays has some kind of device that plays their favorite tunes through the car stereo, as a matter of fact, I have it at home as part of the satellite TV package and I never listen to it.

  15. HtG Says:

    I am advised by someone in the business that Craiglist is the way to go. Ebay isn’t worth his attention because the sales usually fall apart due to flakes of all sorts. I’m going to be putting up the Miata soon, since driving around here has become a bit of a Charlie-Foxtrot. I’ve had enough of chicks on their phones blocking a parking lot because now it’s there turn to gab back to their girlfriend, and Bimmer drivers pulling out into the left lane before a nice turn so they can barely creep around the Merc in front of them(three times in the last week, the Delta-Bravos). I’m going to curb my rant here, John, but it has gotten that bad.

  16. Jon M. Says:

    @ #14 pedro

    That’s one of my strongest arguments when I negotiate with them. It’s a real hard point for them to argue.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like your use of the phonetic alphabet.

    Let us know how it goes with selling your Miata on craigslist, if you do that. Your driving conditions would be a lot worse than where I am, but it’s bad enough here.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    The problem with Ebay is that a car you like may be too far away and then what do you do? drive all the way there and find out that it’s not all it’s hyped up to be? Craigs is local and it has all ads from individuals as well as dealers, btw Autotrader has a lot of listing that were sold long ago but the ads are still running, it’s frustrating!

  19. C-Tech Says:

    Toyota’s concept cars look more original than the Honda concept cars from yestererday. I’m happy to see anybody’s credit upgraded in these economic times. I hope Ford does continue their progress, although the Lincoln brand has to be troubling. Since used car sales can be more profitable than new car sales at many dealerships, I wonder if this promotion is more about getting subscribers to SiriusXM than sales to Hyundai?

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I know people who use Ebay with good results, but it’s not for me. It’s not local, and the commissions are high. I only use Ebay to try to establish a value of items.

    The “seller ratings” are a useful feature for those buying things sight unseen, or for people who might consider driving 1500 miles to buy a used car. If a seller has a very high rating, with a high volume of items, I suspect they can be trusted to accurately describe an item.

  21. Lex Says:

    My vote is for Mark Reuss to replace Dan Ackerson. His first task would be to transform General Motors into Global Motors in the same way Alan Mulally has done with Ford. The new Impala is a copy of the Buick LaCross but I would have rather have seen a Holden Product rebadged as Chevrolet. Isn’t the Holden Caprice going to be the Police Car for North America. A diesel Cruze and Cruze hatchback in North America should also be on his to do list. Why are there GM model’s available in Canada and not in the USA? The Chevy Captiva could be called the Equinox Sport in the USA.

    I believe some consumers just want basic transportation that offers great reliability and exceptional fuel economy at an attractive price. The GM needs to think this way. The Three Tier Approach: Basic Division, the Contemporary Divison, and the Luxury Division. GM has too many vehicles in the Contemporary Divison and not enough in the Basic Division.
    Cadillac is doing a good job as GM’s Luxury Division. Buick needs to go bye bye in North America. Buick can stay in China like Opel is in Europe. I do not want to see Daewoo’s with Chevy Badging as GM’s small car offerings in the US. Bring back the Pontiac Vibe as a Chevy Tracker. As gasoline prices rise people will begin to bail out of SUV’s and CUV’s into more economical Hatchbacks like the Vibe.

    Ford is becoming global much faster by offering European versions / models of the Fiesta and Focus in North America. Global is the way to go to cut costs and improve reliability which will enhance the corporate image.

  22. rick Says:

    last installment of hall vs hall, topic fuel, jim said hydrogen bob said something i`d never heard of. about a fuel the auto company`s wanted refiners to produce in early nineties. that had it been produced a vehicle with a carburetor. wouldnt have been able to run on it. had this this fuel been produced would hcci be possible now?

  23. T. Bejma Says:


    Isn’t being global what GM is arleady doing?

    - Captiva is being sold here – to fleets
    - We already have the great Equinox/Terrain, why would we want the Captiva competing
    - Regal is a Opel
    - LaCrosse was launched in China a year before here
    - Same as the Cruze and Sonic in Korea
    - Rumor that we may get a Caprice from Holden (like the G8 and current police only Caprice)

    Sounds pretty global to me…

  24. C-Tech Says:

    @ #18
    For Ebay and Craiglist (or dealers for that matter) its alway a good idea to get the car you are considering inspected. There are a few companies out there, Lemonsquad.com, comes to mind, that will do an inspection coast to coast and send you the results with pictures within 1-2 days. That way if you are dealing with a flake, you know before you get there. Sometimes they are things the seller doesn’t realize is a problem, especially with estate cars. The costs are about $120-150 depending on the vehicle. A good investment, especially if you are dropping 5 to 20K on a used car.

  25. C-Tech Says:

    @ #13
    Kit let us know if you sell your van this summer. It sounds like it may be a good buy for an old mechanic if the price is right. :)

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    OK, I’ll do that.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Everywhere you read, they tell you to run away from rebuilt titles, yet in some cases, if the damage was not bad, and it was properly fixed, it could be a good bargain. A few yrs back I got a rebuilt Prizm and it was trouble free for the 4 yrs we owned it.

  28. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Sirius AND onstar is way to expensive,and I have told them just that.When my 6 month trial for onstar expires I’ll buy a garmin,with lifetime updates for under 300 bux.My lady and I have almost 800 cd’s in our collection so XM/Sirius isn’t needed,or wanted.

  29. cwolf Says:

    I,too,enjoy Sirus yet hate their service and billing practices. I’ll hook-up my phone once the contract ends.

    A new Taurus was a ways ahead of me today. The rear end caught my eye and the white roof made me curious,so I sped up until I was on its tail. Oh My!!!;It was a new cop car! The officer must have noticed my curiousity and waved in the rear view mirror. I pulled next to him to get a side view,them mouthed,”Is it fast?” In a flash,it was 100 yards ahead of me. I guess it’s fast enough and no ticket for me!

  30. cwolf Says:

    TTAC site claims GM will be offering the Caprice in 2014,called SS performance. That will be fun to watch for! And…And…. expect to see a Caddy Volt!!!! Any bets on how much on of these will cost? Just to play it safe: No,pedro, neither of these are Daewoos.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yesterday I saw a Daewoo fridge at a client’s house, it wasn’t running either. They sell appliances for third world countries, their cars belong there as well. Will this SS be FWD as well? It should have one hell of a torque steer problem!

  32. Chuck Vergetis Says:

    I called sirius some months ago to cancel my monthly subscription. I received two months free but had to call on a given day to cancel my free service (?)I called the day before the date and told i was a day late (my fault, not their’s)and the month was already on my credit card. I requested they issue the order that day so i wouldn’t be wrong again (wink wink), they refused. I needed to request a Supervisor to have it done. I told her this was the most frustrating free service i ever encountered.

  33. Lex Says:


    I saw a captiva this afternoon on the drive home from work. Why is it only being sold to fleets? Regal is a Opel, Impala is a LaCrosse.
    The only truly global GM product is the Cruze.
    The rest of GM’s Portfolio of vehicles look like a mix and match to fill a gap in a particular product line. I find the same fault with Honda / Acura between US offerings and those in the UK. An Acura in the US is a Honda in the UK. This does not project a global identity for either brand.

  34. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The Cadillac ‘Volt’ is called the ELR and is stunning as a design. I believe it is destined to China (as well as the XTS). Here’s a link: http://www.cadillac.com/elr-electric-car.html

  35. Lawrence Says:

    Qin (chin) 亲 might also be translated close kin or chum.