Episode 981 – Tire Prices Expected to Drop, Bosch Bullish on Stop/Start, Audi Q3

September 28th, 2012 at 11:40am

Runtime: 8:50

Tire prices are expected to drop in the U.S. after a tariff placed on Chinese tire makers expired earlier in the week. Bosch predicts that half of all new cars in the U.S. will be equipped with stop/start technology within four years. John takes a look at the Audi Q3 with Audi of America’s President, Scott Keogh. All that and more, plus a preview of Autoline This Week with Don Butler the Vice President of Marketing at Cadillac.

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Everybody’s working for the weekend, and it’s nearly upon us! It’s Friday, September 28, 2012. Welcome to another installment of Autoline Daily. I’m Murray Feldman from FOX 2 News Detroit. Here’s what’s happening in the world of cars.

Tire prices are expected to drop in the U.S. A few years back the Obama Administration placed tariffs on imported tires from China, after companies were accused of dumping them in the country. But the penalty expired earlier in the week and now Bloomberg reports Chinese tire makers are expected to boost exports to the U.S. Tire prices have gone up as much as 15 percent because of the tariffs.

Stop/Start technology is another mile marker on the road to higher efficiency. It’s a relatively simple way to boost economy – kill the engine when the vehicle is stopped. Right now it’s only available on about 5 percent of vehicles in the U.S., but the folks at Bosch are predicting big growth. They estimate it will be on 50 percent of new vehicles within four years! 50 percent! Additionally, they’re working on an advanced version of the system that shuts the engine off sooner, while a vehicle is coasting, to save even more fuel. That could DOUBLE the efficiency gains of stop/start, pushing it from around 8 percent to 15 percent!

The Paris Motor Show is in full swing and John is in the thick of it. With a look at one of the newest products revealed, here he is.

Boy, Audi just keeps filling out its vehicle lineup. They have every segment covered. Speaking of Paris, if you missed our LIVE coverage of the event yesterday you can watch the recorded version at your convenience. Just swing by Autoline.tv for this program and many, many more.

Daimler and Renault-Nissan announced they will expand their partnership. The two companies will develop a family of 4-cylinder direct-injected turbocharged gasoline engines, which will be jointly manufactured and debut in 2016. Nissan will also license automatic transmission technology from Daimler which will be built by Nissan’s subsidiary Jatco.

Chrysler is adapting its U-connect technology for police cars. Law enforcement vehicles are cluttered with computers, keyboards and additional displays. So to free up space, Chrysler and Continental Engineering Services, enlarged U-connect’s 8.4 inch screen to 12.1 inches and gave it the capability to display data, graphics and video specific to police use. The system will be put to use in three Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles. One will be used for testing by Chrysler and the other two will be used by the Los Angeles Police Department for real-world tests.

Up next, Cadillac is the focus of Autoline This Week. Find out what’s going on at GM’s luxury division after the break.

The ol’ wreath and crest brand is the topic on Autoline This Week. John McElroy sits down with Don Butler, Cadillac’s vice president of marketing to talk about anything and everything luxury. His panel of experts includes ace-analyst Aaron Bragman of IHS Automotive and Tim Higgins from Bloomberg News. In the following bite Don talks about the brand’s lineup and hints at possible future models.

Don Butler mentioned “gaps” in the lineup. Could he be hinting at a rear-wheel-drive flagship model for Cadillac? Let’s hope so, that’s a segment the brand hasn’t served properly for decades. As always, if you want the full story you can watch this entire episode of Autoline This Week at Autoline.tv.

And one more thing before I sign off. Don’t miss tonight’s LIVE broadcast of RoundAbout. The show kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time at Autoline.tv. The crew will be recapping the Paris Motor Show by trying to cover as many new vehicles they can in the time allotted. It’ll be a lot of fun so check it out.

And with that we’re done for today and this week. Again, I’m Murray Feldman, FOX 2 News, Detroit. Thank you for watching…and let’s see if John gets back here by Monday…or if he decides to rip Paris apart after the motor show. Have a good weekend.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

39 Comments to “Episode 981 – Tire Prices Expected to Drop, Bosch Bullish on Stop/Start, Audi Q3”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    Boy, Scott Keogh is sure no Johan de Nysschen! Audi’s loss; Infiniti’s gain.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    I will not buy Chinese made tires, did it a couple of times and they were horrible, I’d rather pay for something made in the free world.

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    It will be nice to see some price reductions in the cost of tires. Even with the rebates of late (Michelin, Goodyear, etc.) the prices are just out of hand for the brand-name stuff. Earlier they blamed oil prices, then now the tariff issues, but seems they’ve (whoever they may be) have more excuses than ‘Carter’s has little pills’

    Audi, or not, 30 grand’ish for an entry level is a little steep (at least to me); guess they’re leaving a lot of room for the competitors to join in (on the segment).

    Looks like Cadillac is doing well and has their ‘eyes on the prize’ by continuing to produce better and better vehicles; rumor has it the long awaited flagship IS in the mix and, will or probably, be called LTS.

  4. Lex Says:

    As I mentioned before, Nissan is on the move. Now that Johann de Nysschen is running it’s luxury brand Infinity you are going to see some great product come out of the House of Nissan.

    I do not believe consumers are going to pay extra for Stop / Start technology. Bosch is high on the technology because they manufacture it.

    I quess the drop of the tariff’s would of not have affected me since I just put two full sets of 4 Michelin Defender tires on both my wife’s and daughter’s vehicles in preparation for winter. By the way, what is the real name of the Michelin Man. If he does not have a name can I suggest “Grip”?

  5. C-Tech Says:

    The nature of a small suv is basically a small station wagon with 4 wheel or all-wheel drive. What is the pricing for Audi’s Q3? The question is going to be do I pay more for luxury vs. size in the SUV category.

    Since Ford has killed the big rwd car and GM has not figured out how to take advantage of the police / municipal market, Chrysler looks like it going after this market full throttle with the additions to the Charger police package. Personally I would have given the police package a slightly different body, called it a Fury, and saved the Charger name/body for consumer use only.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Don’t skimp on tires folks.I just bought new tires for my better half’s crv.I bought American made Cooper tires and they are well worth it.Cheap tires are just that.I also use Goodyear tires and I had a set of Bridgestone AT’s that were excellent.Not cheap but you do get what you pay for.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would not want a car with stop/start, I would turn it off if it did, I have had occasions where a very long train had me siting there for over 5 mins and I shut the engine off, I don’t like complicated technology which will eventually break down and cost lots of money to fix.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    Problem is that tires are getting bigger even for small “economy” cars, no more 14 in everything is now 15 or 16 and they do cost a lot more to make.

  9. Drew Says:

    @ #6 – How could you buy anything from Bridgestone?!?!? They are managed by the same criminals as Firestone. They knowingly shipped faulty tires, then besmerched Ford, while the ‘Stoners tried to hide the evidence.

    I have purchsed tires recently from Michelin, Continental, and Good Year. That is about $2000 for tires. I will not buy Chinese, nor any ‘Stoners.

  10. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #8 pedro
    Agreed that they cost more, but why would they cost more to make. After investment for the larger sized dyes they shouldn’t cost exponentially more (yet some do).

  11. HtG Says:

    Tires are the most important component on a car. Get the right ones for you.

    Lex, it’s “Bib,” short for bibendum, as in ‘let’s get sloshed. Uh huh, that kind

    whoa, pretty pedantic this Friday I am

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    I guess people are willing to pay more to get a more comfortable ride which you get with a larger diameter tire, just think of the little Tercels with their 13 inchers

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The rims on the CRV are 17″.The rims on my LTZ are 19′s.There are a wide choice available for 17′s,not for 19′s as I found out.Bigger ain’t better…..

  14. HtG Says:

    I thought larger wheels only meant more angular momentum, and worse handling.

    Pedantry Friday

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    14 if the wheel is larger as well as the tire, it’s ok, however, if I put 195′s on my 14 in rims, there is too much sidewall, just like these low profile tires do handle better but the suspension better be ready for it.

  16. HtG Says:

    what I was trying to point out is that when you have big wheels and tires, there is more mass out on the end of a long spinning radius. So when you change the speed or direction of the tire there is more resistance to change, ie angular momentum. Another issue for low profile tires is a smaller slip angle, which means, if I pedantify accurately, that there is less room for error as you approach the limit of traction; then pajinng!, you’re off.

    ‘pedantify’ is not a real word


  17. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LOL….I never approach ‘the limit of traction’.I’m not a boy racer,not even an old fart racer,lol.Those days are long gone.The low profile works better in street applications,but it is what came on the vehicle.I will never buy another vehicle with 19′s again.Tire choices are slim……..and expensive.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yes I’ve heard before about 19 in not being the best choice, I wish I had 15 that is good enough for me. But 16 you gotta admit, a nice set of rims and tires dress up any car, that is why you always see larger wheels on artist’s renderings of upcoming cars.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The 19′s on my LTZ don’t look like rubber bands on rims,but I damn sure don’t like them and will never have them again.I’m happy with 17′s,and the tire choices are vast,and most are easily affordable.18′s you start to see the limits,and 19′s are just plain stupid money.

  20. Drew Says:

    The P255/40 19s for my car only came in a high speed rating (V or Z) and were $1300 for a set of four. I don’t drive my Vanden Plas aggressively, so I would have preferred an H rating for a quieter ride, better fuel efficiency, and hopefully lower price. But I had no luck in finding H rated 19s.

    I believe a portion of the expense in today’s tires is related to the lack of volume efficiencies. There are so many variations today, that there must be inventory-related cost penalities to handle all the complexity.

    From a material cost perspective, I would have a thought that the tire with less material will be lower cost. But not so. Take two tires with identical outside diameters and tread widths. The one with a lower aspect ratio (40 series vs. 50 series) has a shorter sidewall and uses less material but is premium priced.

    Ah… the premium we pay for bigger wheels and their requisite lower aspect ratio tire hits us three times… for the wheel premium (understandably more material), for the tire (despite less material), and for replacement costs due to greater damage risks ifrom road imperfections/debris.

  21. HtG Says:

    Yup, big low profile wheels and tires look cool. But check out the set up on an F1 car; 13″ wheels with fat wall tires. Also, the Corvette GT race car has wider sidewalls than the street version, I think to improve rolling resistance.

  22. Duke Says:

    I really wonder just how much tire prices have changed over the years. I can remember spending $800-$1,000 for a set of 4 back in the 60′s. Of course, those were high performance tires for hi-po cars (Mustang GT’s & Mach I’s). I recently put a set of LT’s on the F-series in the same range and on the car last year – again in the same range.

    I have never bought cheap tires – so maybe there has been a bigger change in that category.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Back in the mid 60′s I bought my tires at the Ford dealership that I worked at part time and basically got them at their prices.From 68 to 72 I didn’t need to buy any tires,just life insurance,lol.

  24. cwolf Says:

    A set of tires in my work car last about 1 1/2 years or about 80k miles,so I’ve learned to choose a tire specific to my conditions. Cost and tread life are the main factors,yet side wall stiffness has become of equal importance. I have noticed a stiff sidewall has less vibration after traveling 50k miles. Another must is tire rotation; I rotate mine about every oil change(8-15k miles). Front tires on a FWD car wear about 15–20% faster than the rear from what I see. For me, choosing a stiff tire and rotating often almost guarantees longevity, even wear and eliminates the need of any rebalancing. Michelin is a fav., Continental and Good Year have served me well. I liked Coopers only on a truck. The set of GY’s on my Milan have about 80k on them and still have considerable tread, but have a bit of twist in the sidedwalls. I thought I had a bent rim until I examined the tires. Michelin will be the next set before Winter hits.

    FYI, my mechanic was given almost new Chinese tires that he put on his trailer. After 2 weeks he put the ol’ worn ones back on and threw the Chinese stuff in the dumpster!

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf, ou should try Japanese tires, they’re better than your Good Year or Coopers and more affordable as well!

  26. cwolf Says:

    Good Year and Coopers performed just OK and my brother-in-law likes some of the Jananese brands, but not for me! I don’t have a trailer to put them on. Sorry, just can’t do it.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    For your car, Yokohamas and Sumimotos are very good and not made in China,(at least I don’t think they are) I buy no name brands (made in Taiwan) no commie tires for me, thank you!

  28. Brett Says:

    I have been *very* pleased with the Kumho tires I put on my late lamented Crown Vic LX Sport and on my current 2006 Outlander.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Big wheels with low profile tires are becoming so common as OEM for one reason. People think they look cool. You get a better ride with smaller wheels and taller tires, with little loss in performance compared to very low profile tires on large diameter wheels.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Now, with the tarriff coming off of Chinese tires, a lot more of those 6000 pound SUV’s in Texas will be going 95 mph on cheap, substandard Chinese tires.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Like the Beatles song goes: “It’s getting better all the time…” But you know they will sell regardless cause I’ve been in a couple of tire shops as people come in looking to buy used tires with no regard to safety or quality, just to see how much thread they got left on them, to solve the problem temporarily till things bet better!!!!

  32. C-Tech Says:

    The Chinese tires will mostly fill the lower end of the tire market putting a squeeze on the Kumho, Kelly, etc. of the world. Used car managers all over the country are rejoicing since they car put cheaper new tires on their used vehicles. If you see a used car with new “Goodride” tires, just walk away.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    NASCAR uses 15 inch wheels, presumably because they work better than 18 or 19 inch wheels that would make the cars look a little more like today’s real stock cars.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …or being NASCAR, maybe they use 15 inch wheels because that’s what they used on ’49 Oldsmobiles.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    NASCAR also uses 2 door Camry and Fusion, neither ones exist

  36. HtG Says:

    Here’s an article from the LA Times on California Lemon Laws; enjoy


  37. Philip Says:

    According to the car magazines I read, stop/start only increases fuel economy by 3%. The trade-offs are not worth the fuel savings. I would also disable the system.

  38. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #37 Philip
    What you are not taking into consideration is the EPA credits that Stop/Start provides the auto maker (that employs it). Many manufacturers go to great extents to gather ‘tenths’ of mpg ratings just to help them reach CAFE.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The saving from start/stop varies enormously depending on the type of driving you do. In heavy city traffic, the savings can be a lot, 10% or more. In steady speed highway driving, obviously, the saving is zero.

    The trouble with start/stop, if it is reliable, is that with most cars, you lose A/C with the engine off, and if the stop is long, you might run out of heat from the water in the heater core. With serious hybrids, like Prius and Fusion, you have electric A/C and and an electric water pump that will keep water moving from the engine block to the heater core, so there is no disadvantage to shutting the engine off.