Episode 1035 – Too Much Inventory, Toyota Claws Back, Auto Ads Big on YouTube

December 17th, 2012 at 11:53am

Runtime: 8:58

The Detroit Three are violating their own promises which could hurt the brands and their bottom line. GM and Volkswagen are battling it out for second place in world-wide sales while one company claws back to number one. Automakers were a big hit on YouTube this year, eight of the top 20 most viewed ads this year were from carmakers. All that and more, plus John talks with the CEO of Carbon Revolution about its carbon fiber wheel and the future of the company.

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Welcome back to a brand new week of Autoline Daily. We have the results of our Autoline Daily poll that we’ll get to in a couple of minutes. But for now let’s get to the other news..

Uh-oh, the Detroit Three are letting their production plans get out of control again. They have too much inventory, and that’s leading to some big price discounts. GM has a staggering 106 day’s supply, Chrysler has a lopsided 90 day’s. Ford is sort of OK at 72 day’s. But compare that to Toyota’s and Honda’s 61 day’s and Nissan’s 62. By overproducing, the Detroit Three are violating their own promises to only build to market demand. This is only going to hurt their brands and their bottom lines.

Toyota lost its sales crown last year due to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan which crippled its production. But now Bloomberg reports that the company will once again be number one in worldwide sales. GM and Volkswagen are battling for second place, at the moment there is less than one percent difference between them. Overall, global car sales are expected to top 80 million units for the first time ever.

Carbon Motors announced today that it would begin taking orders for the Carbon TX7, and production will begin late in 2013. The TX7 is a custom-built cop car, with all the equipment integrated into the car, not added on like an aftermarket conversion.

The European Union has a carbon-dioxide-emission goal of 130 g/km by 2015. If the industry continues to improve the fuel economy at its current rate it will hit that goal. The car companies have specific targets based on the sales-weighted average mass of the vehicles they sell. Toyota and PSA have already hit the goal with Fiat not far behind. But Mazda, Chrysler and Nissan have the longest way to go. Companies that miss the target must pay fines up to $125 for every gram of CO2 they go over the target for each car sold.

Automakers were a big hit on YouTube this year. According to AdWeek, eight of the top 20 most viewed ads on YouTube this year were from carmakers. Interestingly, all but one were Super Bowl ads, only Fiat’s Abarth ad with Charlie Sheen wasn’t from the big game. Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side” featuring dogs barking Star Wars music was the top automotive ad on YouTube this year, coming in at number three overall.

Now let’s get to the results of the Autoline Daily poll. We asked you to take a look at the finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, and choose who you think should be the winners. First the truck and utility category. The Mazda CX-5 got 96 votes. The Ford C-Max got 181. But you decided the Ram 1500 pick-up should be the North American Truck of the Year. The Ram got 246 votes. On the car side, 57 of you voted for the Honda Accord, 241 for the Cadillac ATS. You decided the Ford Fusion should win the North American Car of The Year award, but by the slimmest of margins. The Fusion got 243 votes, only two more than the ATS. These are very interesting results and I bet they mirror what happens in the official NACTOY voting.

A while back we showed you a new type of carbon fiber wheel made by a company called Carbon Revolution. Coming up next the CEO of the company explains how they plan to take that wheel to the market and grow the company.

(Carbon Revolution can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Jake Dingle is the CEO of Carbon Revolution. In the following clip he explains how they are going to market these wheels, and talks about where they think they can take this company in the long term.

Very interesting to hear him say they want this to become the replacement for aluminum wheels. And when he says they want to take it to the masses, he means they’ll be able to make millions of these carbon wheels a year. It will be fun to watch them roll this product out.

Anyway, that wraps up today’s show. Thanks for watching, we’ll be back here tomorrow.

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

79 Comments to “Episode 1035 – Too Much Inventory, Toyota Claws Back, Auto Ads Big on YouTube”

  1. ColoradoKid Says:

    ( inside the Lincoln board room )

    ” Ok guys , the ads aren’t working , this new ad agency we just hired has produced bupkiss and the cars are still mediocre at best . So what’ll we do now ? ”

    ” I know boss ! Lets put unavailable wheels and tires on all the MKZ’s we lend out to the media so’s all the test results come back better than anything the customer can buy . You know . Just like Ferrari does ”


    Everybody lies ! ;-) Especially once desperation has set in .

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    Too Much Inventory

    They ( the Big Three ) never learn regardless of how many times they fall over the edge and we bail them out now …. do they !

    Same as it ever was . Same as it ever will most likely be when it come to the Big Three


  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    Any numbers on the original Carbon Motors police car? I have yet to see one anywhere I’ve visited and when I inquired about it to a couple of local officials, they told me it was just too damn expensive to buy and maintain.

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    “If we build them they will come” NOT

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The high inventory seems especially problematic with the GM pickups. There are all of the old ones, which will be competing with the new ones.

    Assuming the new ones are better, which is to be expected, they will have to offer huge incentives to get rid of the old ones, and hurt sales of the new ones in the process. All of this, of course, will hurt company revenues.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Did they ever build any, or just talk about it? I’ve never seen any either, and the company is only about a hundred miles from where I spend summers in Indiana.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    No surprise on the latest poll results.And….no matter how one spins it,most of us do know what is meant by “truck”.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well but this car was announced a couple of years ago and at the time I predicted they would not do well, with budget cuts and all, I just don’t see communities blowing all that money on what is essentially a high-end almost luxurious police car, having an iffy BMW 6 cyl turbo as a power plant does not help matter either. This new one is SUV like which police depts don’t like due to their high center of gravity.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    If the new Fusion turns out to be as problematic as the other late offerings from Ford, a lot of people are gonna regret voting it car of the year.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s an article about the new, trucky Carbon, at the low, low price of only $149,950. I can’t see many police departments buying them.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oops, forgot the link:


  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    Maybe Beverly Hills or Prince’s George County, Md or Martha’s Vineyard or overseas in Dubai or Abu-Dhabi, otherwise, NO!

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 7 +1

    A truck is a truck is a truck and a car based CUV/SUV aint a truck . They need a separate category for Unibody SUV’s /CUV’s

    #5 Bloomberg did a gloom and doom prediction last week for GMC & Chevy’s 2013 model year Truck sales due to an excess glut in inventory .

    Finally … the Carbon ( police cruiser … not the wheel ) It has yet to be produced . Been stalled several times and in fact this is the first I’ve heard about it for months .

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Looking back over the history of the North American Truck of the Year, it looks like the Ram will win. In all past years, if a pickup was one of the “final three,” a pickup won.


  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Carbon-motors is to cop/assault vehicles what tesla is to the automotive world.Just sayin’….

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I’d bet on Dubai or Abu-Dhabi being the best markets. They have plenty of money, and they probably have more people experienced with the BMW diesels than in the U.S.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    I can’t find any info of how many of these cars, if any, have been sold, read a report from March 2012 that the DOE refused to loan them any money to build the car, so I guess that was a no-go and now they come up with one that costs 3 times as much? someone at Carbon Motors is smoking the wacky weed I’m afraid.

  18. ColoradoKid Says:


    After looking at the link Kit put up I’d have to say ;

    +1 x 100 to the 19th power

    That TX7 is ludicrous

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit:….that’s cause most know what a truck really is.My Equinox is called a truck by chevy.Trust me,it ain’t in ANY sense of the word.Just because a vehicle has awd doesn’t make it a truck either.It just makes it another Subaru Legacy LOL ;}>

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    We know what a “truck” is, but that doesn’t mean the jury members wouldn’t vote for a tall wagon or van, if they really thought it deserved their votes. Anyway, we will soon know the results of the jury’s vote.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    #14 yes, but this is the year of the gas saving vehicle and they want to change American’s perception of what a truck is, so I think the C-Max will win based on that.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps FEMA will buy up most of the GM truck stock from 2012 to distribute to hard hit communities affected by Sandy so theyu can replace their damaged fleets.

  23. Chuck Says:

    Can we assume there’s a guarantee the carbon wheels are shatterproof since they surely will not be cheap??

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 23

    There is no such guarantee in the entirety of the Carbon Fiber using industry including Aviation – Automotive & M/C – Bicycles – Luggage – Aerospace nor any other segment using Carbon Fiber in their products .

    Because simply put thats not a guarantee anyone including the manufactures of Carbon Fiber itself can make .

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow just imagine if that Lexus LFA starts to fall apart after a few years of use and hard driving.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One can expect insurance companies to offer “road hazard” coverage on these carbon fibre wheels, but it won’t be cheap.

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    To John,
    Did our intrepid wheel salesman mention what sort of pricing on these carbon-fiber beauties; we all (probably) are assuming expensive, but I wonder how much expensive. Even now some ‘alloys’ can run over a thousand a wheel; are we talking anywhere in the ballpark (at a thou)?

  28. T. Bejma Says:


    Chevy does not call the Equinox a truck, it is a Crossover according to the website…


    The current GM Pickup has been basically unchanged since 2006, and has the highest margins of any vehicle. Based on this all of the tooling is more than paid for, so adding some extra on the hood won’t hurt GM. With incentives (which Ram and Ford already have) and plant shutdowns coming, I’ll bet you a local microbrewed IPA that the truck inventory levels of the current model will be under 80 days when the new one hits.

  29. T. Bejma Says:


    Again, every single Corvette C6 Front Fender, except the Grand Sport, is CF with no issues. Wheels, not so sure, but Fenders and Hoods, no problems.

  30. ColoradoKid Says:


    You need to have a discussion or two with some C6 ( all variants ) owners as well as more than a few body shops that have been replacing C6 Cf bits left and right . I’ve seen more than one cracked ZR1 hood myself and I’ve been warned off buying one by a few owners because of the ‘ issues ‘ and expense to repair them

    So lots of issues according to the C6 owners T . Sorry .

  31. ColoradoKid Says:


    You’re on ! Fact is I’ll call your bottle of IPA and raise you a case !
    Winner choses the brand ( and style cause I prefer my brews on the dark side …. )

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    $3737.50 each….. Two sizes available, 19X8.5, and 19X12.


  33. T. Bejma Says:


    That’s funny because usually you would find information like a hood cracking on, perhaps, a Covette Forum?


    Not seeing it there Kid…

  34. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Thanks kit; suppose when they ramp up production those numbers will decline (but still going to be a premium wheel).

  35. W L Simpson Says:

    Police cars should not be chasers, but zappers.

  36. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Click on this link T:


  37. W L Simpson Says:


  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    #36 OUCH! anal fissure anyone?

  39. T. Bejma Says:


    Bikes and Wheels in CF – No thanks (thanks pedro, I had to get up from seat after reading that one), but for automotive trim, NO ISSUES.

  40. HtG Says:

    The CF fetish is nutso. Cyclists can lay off the Lay’s, and drivers can take some speed lessons. As we read in Tyler Hamilton’s exposee of Lance, these guys were obsessed with reducing their body weight; Sally the Sunday rider can back away from the ice cream and reality TV. Dummy drivers are better off separating themselves from their money by getting the instruction that will let them actually drive their red rockets around turns on the limit. Actual technique can get your lap times down plenty.

    Fools and their money.

  41. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I did all the google searching I can stand for today,and zero found on any carbon fiber problems on car parts,hoods etc.Only common thing found was that some say carbon fiber parts are not repairable,some say it is.I say……who cares,lol.

  42. ColoradoKid Says:


    Issues ? Seems to me having to shell out more than a few $$$ to replace the hood or fender that just delaminated , cracked or failed right before your very eyes for no good reason what so ever most certainly is an issue .

    But if its any consolation T . Every CF car from the McLaren F1 on has had CF issues …. and will continue to just like Porsche predicted back when they were developing the Carrera GT ;-) Ask one of your engineer types if he has a copy of the Porsche on Carbon Fiber in the Automobile papers you can borrow . Then … have that discussion – or at least read the recent interviews with the founding father of CF in street legal cars – Mr Gordon Murray . In his own words CF should only be used in circumstances where extensive and regular maintenance is performed and X- Ray is available to confirm or deny potential internal damage .

    And btw .. that friends bike I mentioned ? Forgot to add in the part about the 6 ” scar I still have on my shin from the CF shard that hit me when it catastrophically failed . So just imagine what those interior bits in a car will do to your face will do in a collision .

    #40 According to a recent comparison test the # 1 improvement you can make to better your lap times is – Learn how to drive better . With the 2nd place being tires .

    Losing weight – more HP – better suspension etc all further down the list

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Carbon fibre has its place. Car hoods, fenders, etc., seem a very good, albeit expensive application. These parts are generally not structural, so if they receive damage, they can be repaired, though they won’t be as strong as they started out. For a car hood, that doesn’t matter.

    Wheels are another story. If they are damaged, they need to be replaced. If any part of a wheel is damaged, it cannot be repaired to original strength, and that is a safety issue.

    As far as bicycles, I suppose if you are competing at the very top level, a few ounces of weight saved, while maintaining stiffness in a frame or seat post, could be the difference between winning and losing, but for most cyclists, it’s crazy. I’m still partial to steel bicycles, though it has been years since I have been an avid bicyclist.

  44. HtG Says:

    42 I always recommend an all season low grip tire. The Goodyear’s I’ve got now are particularly rubbish, especially in the rain. The Kumho’s on the Miata were superbad. Do people listen?

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Carbon fibre composite can be repaired, but not to original strength.

    With these wheels, the carbon is presumably carefully placed to run around the circumference of the wheel, flow from the spokes into the rim area, go from one spoke, through the hub, into an opposing spoke, etc. If done properly, it would be very strong. If you damage any part, though, breaking the actual carbon fibre, you cannot recover the same strength by patching in short pieces of carbon with new resin, etc. You can repair a non-structural body part like a car hood that way, but a wheel (or the spar of an airplane wing) where strength matters, no way.

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    I’ll take Gordon Murray’s word when it come to using CF on street legal cars seeing as how the man has forgotten more than 90% of the CF engineers out there can ever hope to learn when it comes to CF automotive usage . Especially in the case of GM etc where being at the pinnacle of technological advancement has never been in their skill set

    Personally and I’d add to my case of brew wager with T on this , I’ll also bet the only real reason GM is using CF is for the publicity and high tech perception in the publics eye . And because its a ‘ Buzz word ‘ at the moment .

  47. ColoradoKid Says:


    CF cannot be repaired specifically because unless you have access to a very high definition X-Ray you have no idea what other internal damage may be hidden elsewhere in the affected part that may later go catastrophic .

    Anyone that says otherwise , including Calfee bicycles is simply trying to separate you from your money on what may or may not be a fully repaired part .

  48. Chuck Says:

    I’ll stick with forged aluminum wheels, thank you very much.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Exactly. CF cannot be repaired TO ORIGINAL STRENGTH, even if you can look at every bit with X-ray, but it can be repaired plenty well enough on minor damage to a non-structrural part, just as C1 Corvettes, with their really substandard short fibre glass body parts could be repaired with resin and glass cloth.

    BTW, those early Corvettes actually DID crack a lot, in normal use. A couple friends got what were 4 or 5 year old C1 ‘Vettes as HS graduation presents, and the body parts frequently cracked from hitting a small bump in the road. These beautiful, old Corvettes I see at shows every summer must not have many original parts.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s official. Lotus re-signs Grosjean.

  51. HtG Says:

    50 confirmed


  52. jack879 Says:

    GM has purposely made a huge amount of trucks because the assembly line will shut down for the new models. How many days of inventory do they have with cars, not counting pickup trucks? That answer would be more accurate.

  53. HtG Says:

    A video from the RedBull F1 team. 30min


  54. T. Bejma Says:


    If GM were using CF only for the buzz and perception, don’t you think they would leave the weave exposed instead of painting it body color base/clear? I bet you 90% of C6 owners do not even realize the fenders are CF. Besides, they have been that way for almost 7 years, long before it became “fashionable”.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The place car companies use carbon fibre, and fake carbon because of its being fashionable, is in car dashes.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports GM is idling the Malibu assembly plant during Dec due to poor sales of this model, even though they came up with a brand new version, which I’ve seen a couple out driving around and it looks very nice indeed. There are just too many good competitors in this class, very tough segment indeed!

  57. Rafi Jaan Says:

    I wish the poll (on Car/Truck of the Year) asked the reason for voting for one car over another. I don’t understand why the Ram won so many votes. I guess people are still stuck in the old-world trucking mindset that big, gas-guzzlers are the way to go. While the Mazda CX-5 is next gen technology of efficient, light-weight car building tech that not only saves gas and looks great, but is also one of the safest and most fun-to-drive SUV’s in the market.

    I don’t have a problem with big trucks themselves, I do, however, criticize the people who drive them without really needing a truck. The big gas hogs are not only ugly, unresponsive and inefficient, but they are also bad for the environment.

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    #57 perhaps you can write a letter to different car makers and ask them why don’t they build a small truck like they used to, they sold pretty well even though gas was a lot cheaper then, I’m sure now they would do even better with today’s higher fuels costs, but no one wants to build them.

  59. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ # 57: Most people I know that drive full size trucks do so because they need them for work etc.Would the smaller ford ranger size truck do as well for the job? For the most part…..YES.Follow Pedro’s advice and write a letter to the oem’s about rethinking the compact size truck and bring them back.I’ll wait right here to buy the first new small truck that makes it here.

  60. T. Bejma Says:

    It looks like at one time there was a need for a compact pickup, however, lately the sales volume is not adequate to support a new model. No amount of letters to the OEM’s is going to change the fact that they can not make money on them.

    Ford Ranger Sales:
    American sales
    1999 348,358
    2000 330,125
    2001 272,460
    2002 226,094
    2003 209,117
    2004 156,322
    2005 120,958
    2006 92,420
    2007 72,711
    2008 65,872
    2009 55,600
    2010 55,364
    2011 70,832

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    I believe that Ford just ignored this truck for years,like they did with the Taurus, without any refresh while the competition got better and Ford promoted the F series to no end. Do you have access to Tacoma sales during that period?

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Exactly. The second generation S10/Sonoma, last sold almost 10 years ago, was a better, more refined vehicle than the Ranger. I’d think a new, modern small pickup would sell decently, if the price was right.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57, 59
    GA, apparent things are a lot different in your part of the world than mine. Most of the people I know with big pickup trucks have absolutely no reason to have one. They just like the “image,” it seems. Most of them either carry nothing in them, or they put a topper on them to turn them into something that can be used like a van, only one that doesn’t work as well as a real van.

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC has a report on how to get a new “bargain” V8 high power vehicle for less than $25k A Ram with a hemi V8, never mind the thing is a freaking gas guzzler and a menace to normal drivers who don’t use their vehicle as an extension of their genitalia, including hanging faux gonads from the rear.

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve always believed that the pickup truck simply took over after the Detroit 3 stopped making 2 door, V8 full sized RWD cars.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s too bad they dropped the Magnum wagon. That was a nice vehicle for someone who thought they “needed” a high-powered V8, and wanted something better for carrying stuff than a sedan, and drives like a car, because it is a car.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, that is kind of the case with some of the pickup drivers I know, especially in Indiana.

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit: the Magnum did not stand a chance against the SUV!

  69. HtG Says:

    63 the day people stop living out their fantasies through their rides will be a very dark one indeed. I remember how butchy, he man it felt to actually use a big truck for its intended purpose, so it’s kind of amusing that dudes just like to parade around. We see this behavior in lots of classes. I’m not even going to chuckle about guys personalizing their car so it’s not like ‘all the others.’ We’re talking about mass produces goods.

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Magnum was more a bargain competitor for the E-Class or 5 Series wagons, than competition for SUV’s. I guess that was too small of market to keep it going. I suppose Challenger, which replaced it, is selling better than the Magnum would have, if continued.

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    Based on what I drive, my fantasy must be to live in a 3rd world crap-hole.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I meant that in the old days, folks bought wagons for more room and the ability to carry stuff in a pinch, SUV’s took that to a new level by bringing height, extra room and a false sense of extra safety over a normal car.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, at first, minivans replaced wagons, and then when they became un-cool, SUV’s replaced minivans.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My fantasy “3rd world” vehicle would be a pickup, a 70′s Toyota or Nissan.

  75. HtG Says:

    71 the milk just squirted out of my nose, Pedro

  76. HtG Says:

    71 A friend’s uncle actually drove a Corolla in the Philippines, but enjoyed his Jaguar in California.

  77. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Having lived out in the country most of my life,pickup trucks were a necessity,not a statement of fashion or machismo.

    Of course back then they looked like,rode like,and made noise like a truck.Nowadays a pickup is loaded down as good as your wallet will allow and then some.

    Back in the day I had a S-10.Nothing fancy,but very functional all year long.That is what America needs again,and I’m of the belief that they would sell not good,but great.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They are still building S10′s in Brazil, or were very recently. Maybe they should try importing them to the U.S. and see how they would sell now. Better yet, they could re-start production in the U.S., if there is some “spare” tooling.

  79. G.A.Branigan Says:

    From what I have read,GM is going to be bringing in the ‘global’ Colorado/Canyon for my 2013,and will be offering a diesel for this country.LOL,I know what your all thinking……honest,I read that just a week ago.I’ll try to find the article again and post a link.