April 25th, 2012 at 11:20am
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.
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.
TOYOTA’S BEIJING CONCEPTS (pdf)
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.
THE RACE TO REPLACE AKERSON
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.
YOU CAN’T BE SIRIUS!
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 INTRODUCES UPDATED Q5
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.