November 1st, 2012 at 11:46am
General Motors expects to break even in Europe by 2015, despite loosing half a billion dollars in the third-quarter. The new Escalade is still a year away from showrooms, but Cadillac has already cut out some amenities. Subaru reveals the all-new 2014 Forester. All that and more, plus a look at pedestrian protection technology from Continental.
I’m back…Yes it is I, Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics here again to host another episode of Autoline Daily, this time for the first day in November. It’s hard to believe its only three more weeks before it’s Turkey Day – my absolute favorite self-basting holiday! Just thinking about that is making me hungry. But enough talking about Franklin Cider Mill cider-brined Amish turkey with Andouille cornbread dressing, let’s get started. Shall we…
GM TO BREAK EVEN IN EUROPE BY 2015?
Despite losing nearly half a billion dollars in Europe in third-quarter this year and over 17 billion dollars in the region since 1999, Bloomberg reports that General Motors says it will break even in Europe by the middle of the decade. Yes this decade. The company has cut 2,600 jobs this year through buyouts and early retirements and by 2016 it will have 23 new models in Europe. But the company still has way too much capacity in Europe. Does this mean GM expects big savings with its alliance with Peugeot?
JAPANESE CAR SALES SLUMP IN CHINA
Car sales in China for Japanese automakers are still tumbling because of protests over an island dispute with Japan. According to Reuters, Toyota’s sales fell 44 percent in October, compared to a year ago, to just over 45,000 units. For the year, the company’s sales are down 1 percent in China. And Gasgoo reports that Infiniti will temporarily halt exports to China until next January because dealers don’t need the inventory due to falling sales.
Sales of the Cadillac Escalade really took off about a decade ago when the vehicle started showing up in rap videos. The more the hip-hop crowd got into it, the brighter the bling, the bigger the dubs, the better the ‘Slade sold. But Mark Reuss the head of GM’s North American operations, says the next generation Escalade is going to be a lot less ostentatious. He says it’s going to be very understated, even elegant. Dave Leone, the head of Cadillac engineering, says they’re using just about every trick in the book to boost the fuel economy. The new Escalade is still a year away before it shows up in the showrooms, but it looks like this is the beginning of the end of the big bling craze that started just over a decade ago.
WE WANT TO BE #1
Mercedes-Benz really wants to hold their U.S. sales lead, about 5200 units, over BMW. Weak demand in Europe and China has put more pressure on Mercedes to keep holding the luxury lead in the U.S. Now they have announced discounts of as much as 5 thousand dollars to “VIP customers.” This is in addition to dealers being instructed to include cash offers and special lease deals on some 2012 models, as well as allowing some buyers to skip as many as 5 payments.
ALL-NEW 2014 FORESTER
The Forester has been one of Subaru’s best-selling models over the last 15 years. Today Subaru gave us a look at the all-new 2014 Forester. Powering the car will be a 2.5 liter BOXER engine, or a new turbocharged 2.0 liter direct-injection BOXER engine that is capable of producing 250 horse-power. Either engine can be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. Oh yeah, I need to mention that the forced-fed 2.0 liter is based on the flat four introduced in the Subie BRZ and Scion FR-S – but I digress. The all-new Forester will also feature increased rear seat legroom and an enlarged cargo area. We will get a better look at the Forester later this month when it debuts at the LA Auto Show.
DODGE DART E85 CAPABLE IN 2013
And speaking of product, the Dodge Dart will be E85 capable next year. WardsAuto reports that the company is currently upgrading its 2.0L Tigershark engine to run on the fuel. The only other vehicles in its class that can run on E85 is the Ford Focus and Buick Verano.
Coming up next, a look at pedestrian protection technology from German supplier Continental.
CONTI’S PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION
German supplier Continental has made it a goal to virtually eliminate traffic accidents and fatalities by developing technology to help cars avoid accidents. Pedestrian protection is part of that goal and recently we were able to experience several of the company’s systems that it is working on.
(Today’s look at Continental technology is only available in the video version of the show)
Before I bid farewell, I need to remind you that there will be no Autoline After Hours tonight. But don’t worry, the AAH crew will be back next week for an all-new show with Sandy Munro. He will give us the inside scoop on the REAL cost of building electric cars. You won’t want to miss that one.
And with that I’m afraid we’ve come to the end of the show. Again, I’m Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics. Thanks for watching and I will see you next time… whenever that may be.