May 25th, 2012 at 11:45am
The UAW wants to organize Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee but it won’t get help from German union IG Metall. One way Nissan is getting a best-in-class 38 MPG highway in the new Altima is by gearing it way down with its CVT. Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad from last year, the one with rapper Eminem, just won the top award in the advertising business. All that and more, plus a look at the all-new Cadillac XTS.
Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m John McElroy and here’s the news.
IG METALL WON’T HELP UAW
The UAW wants to organize Volkswagen’s plant in Tennessee but it won’t get help from German union IG Metall. According to Reuters, the German union is in favor of U.S. workers joining the UAW but it’s not going to do any lobbying to help the UAW. Instead, if workers reject the UAW, IG Metall says it would help form a lobbying group to represent employees, but it did not explain what that might entail.
MARCHIONNE WANTS TO EXPAND MAZDA TIE-UP
Earlier this week Fiat and Mazda announced a partnership to develop a sports car, and now we’ve learned the Alfa Romeo version will be a successor to the iconic Duetto Spider. Also, Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says he’s ready to expand that tie-up and is willing to build Mazdas anywhere in the world, including in Chrysler plants.
LOW RPMs IMPROVE ALTIMA’S MPG
One way Nissan is getting a best-in-class 38 MPG highway in the new Altima is by gearing it way down with its CVT. At Nissan’s proving grounds we found that at 100 miles an hour the four-cylinder version was only turning 2,500 rpm, while the V-6 was only at 2,600. At 70 miles an hour each engine was about 1,000 rpm slower. And that’s the key to getting terrific highway fuel economy.
WHY GM DUMPED PONTIAC
On Autoline After Hours last night, Craig Bierley, the marketing manager for Buick, said one reason why GM kept Buick but dumped Pontiac is that in focus groups with people who drove competitive products, people would openly make fun of those who drove Pontiacs, but did not criticize people who drove Buicks. That’s because most of them had loved ones—a father, a grandmother or an aunt or uncle—who drove a Buick. He says that’s when they realized they would have far more potential saving the Buick brand, and Pontiac got the boot.
CHRYSLER WINS AD AWARD
Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad from last year, the one with rapper Eminem, impacted the auto industry like the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. It blew everything away, including the competition. The unforgettable TV spot kicked off the brand’s “Imported From Detroit” tag line, which just won a Grand Effie, which is the top award in the advertising business for the most effective advertising. Congratulations, Chrysler!
MAY SALES INCREASE
Everyone is predicting a big sales increase in the American market for May. Look for a 20 percent jump with the SAAR hitting about 14.3 million units, up from just 11.8 million last year. But Bank of America/Merrill Lynch points out that last May was the first time we started to feel post-tsunami inventory shortages from Japanese automakers. Now that inventory is back to normal, we shouldn’t read too much into the big sales increase.
AUTOLINE THIS WEEK
On Autoline This Week we dive into the topic of product litigation. Automakers face a lot of lawsuits. Some are legitimate, many are not. But how should an automaker determine whether it should settle or whether it should fight it? Here’s a clip from that show.
2013 CADILLAC XTS
(The Cadillac XTS overview is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
Thanks for that report Andrew.
And that wraps up this week’s reports on the automotive industry. For those of our audience who live in the United States, have a great Memorial Day weekend. And we will see all of you back here next Tuesday.