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Episode 1059 – Ford by the Numbers, Diesel Cruze to Debut, de Nysschen on Q

January 29th, 2013 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:16

Ford is the first automaker to release its 2012 earnings, and we take a deep dive into the places where they’re winning and losing. At long last we’ll see the clean diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze debut in the U.S. John McElroy asks Johan de Nysschen why Infiniti has changed its naming scheme to focus on the letter Q. All that and we take a look at the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Let’s get right to the news because Ford is the first automaker to announce its full year earnings for 2012.

NORTH AMERICA STRONG
Ford’s North American operations put in a stellar performance. Sales were up nearly 100,000 units and that boosted revenue to nearly $80 billion, up nearly $5 billion from the year before. And that led to a pre-tax profit of over $8 billion, up $2 billion from 2011. That means that each of those extra 100,000 sales contributed over $20,000 in profits.

SOUTH AMERICA WEAKENING
But the story was very different in South America. Sales dropped by 8,000 cars and trucks, revenue dropped by nearly a billion dollars and profits plummeted by nearly $650,000. Ford says it did better in the fourth quarter in South America but it believes the situation there will get worse and that it will only break even for the year.

EUROPE PLUMMETING
In Europe it only went from bad to worse. Sales plummeted by a quarter of a million units, revenue dropped by more than $7 billion, and the company lost over $1.7 billion. While Ford is engaged in an aggressive turn around plan in Europe, it warns the market there will continue to deteriorate this year.

ASIA PACIFIC GROWING AND LOSING
Ford’s Asia Pacific region, which includes China, is a bright spot for the company. Sales jumped by 132,000 vehicles and revenue shot up by a $1.6 billion. Even so, the company lost money, though not as much as before, as it continues to spend heavily to boost capacity in the region. It expects to break even this year.

THE BIG PICTURE
So, when you put all these regions together, Ford sold 5.6 million vehicles worldwide, down 27,000 units from the year before. Revenue hit $134 billion, down two billion, and its after-tax profits hit $5.5 billion, down half a billion. It’s a solid performance, but shows the company has stopped growing and had serious issues to address outside of North America.

CLEAN DIESEL CRUZE’IN
We’ve been waiting two years for GM to tell us when its going to unveil the diesel version of the Chevy Cruze, and now we’ve learned it will be at the Chicago Auto Show next week. It will hit the showrooms in April or May. I keep saying that this car is a litmus test for diesel sales in the US market. If the diesel Cruze even sells reasonably well, look for everyone else to jump into the pool.

Q&A WITH DE NYSSCHEN
In case you didn’t see our live coverage of the Detroit auto show, the new global head of Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen, explained why they’re adopting the letter Q to name their cars.

(Our interview with Johan de Nysschen is only available in the video version of today’s program.)

By the way you can see that entire interview and several dozen others from the show at our website. Just look in the John’s Journal section and you’ll find it there.

Coming up next, a look at the all-new Nissan Pathfinder.

The Nissan Pathfinder came to North America in 1985 to battle the likes of Blazer, Bronco and Trooper. And even though that competition disappeared over the years, today’s all-new 2013 Pathfinder still finds itself in one of the most competitive segments in the auto industry, however, still ready to go tire-to-tire with all takers, any time.

What gets Nissan such glowing mpg numbers is the combination of a new 260 horsepower V6 engine, the next-gen Xtronic CVT powertrain and improved exterior aerodynamics all sitting on what is now a unibody frame for the Pathfinder.

But in addition to those improvements, Nissan gave its SUV some favorite features like the Around View Monitor and Easy Fill Tire Alert as well as a couple of new ones like Tri-Zone Entertainment so each row can listen or watch what they want, as well as Nissan’s LATCH AND GLIDE technology for easy third-row access even with a baby seat in row two, because if nothing else, this vehicle is family friendly.

It’s early, but families and other buyers just may be responding positively to the SUV. The fourth-gen Pathfinder hit dealerships a little more than two months ago and so far has outsold the 2012 model over the same time frame more than two to one.

Changing the Pathfiinder from a body-on-frame vehicle to a unit-body construction is what made the biggest difference. That dropped the weight by several hundred pounds.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

75 Comments to “Episode 1059 – Ford by the Numbers, Diesel Cruze to Debut, de Nysschen on Q”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Q X….add that to your ‘x’ list John ;}> The diesel Cruze should not be the litmus test for diesels here.The big test would be for 1/2 ton and smaller trucks here since they have the worst mpg ratings.OH…..wait a minute,there is no 1/2 ton or smaller diesel pickups here in the USA…..silly me.

  2. Lex Says:

    John,

    Any pricing yet on the diesel Cruze? I believe pricing will determine whether this vehicle makes it in North America. What about a plug-in version of the Cruze without the high price tag of the Volt?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My, how the Nissan Pathfinder has changed. Almost every day, I see an old one in my condo parking lot. It looks a lot like a first generation S-10 Blazer, both in squareness, and size. I don’t know what year it is, but it must be early-mid 80′s, and is a two door.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The test for the diesel Cruze will be price, and mpg. In my area, diesel fuel costs about 20% more than gas, so you need to get 30% better fuel economy for there to be much chance of the diesel making economic sense, except for people who do a huge amount of highway driving.

    Does anyone here know if the diesel Cruze will be available with a manual transmission?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s the scoop on the spectators at Daytona 24 hours:

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130128/GRAND_AM/130129818?utm_source=DailyDrive20130129&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=missedimage4&utm_content=20130128-Rolex-24-at-Daytona–Has-infield-party-overshadowed-the-Rolex-24?&utm_campaign=awdailydrive

  6. Bradley Says:

    The intro to the Pathfinder segment points out the importance of keeping a name on a vehicle. Although the Pathfinder is very different now, keeping the name in my opinion builds a pedigree for the vehicle.

    The Detroit brands bank a lot on the fact a new nameplate will bring new attention. There may be some truth in the short term. However, everyone knows what a Nissan Pathfinder is, but not everyone knows a Buick Entourage.

  7. T. Bejma Says:

    #2

    Jetta TDI adds over $6,000 to a base Jetta and then is only rated at 42 mpg.

    In Austrailia, a 2.0 liter turbodiesel Cruze gets up to 49 mpg highway. But a new 1.7 liter diesel Cruze model in the UK delivers up to 72.4 Imperial MPG, which translates to about 50 mpg for us.

  8. HtG Says:

    5 ayyup. Isn’t it like this at all auto races? People getting drunk. At LimeRock for ALMS, lots of those people you see sitting around the track have brought their coolers and the infield is half campers. You have to warn your women about the infamous shirtless passed out guy roasting in the sun; he does not, repeat does not require medical attention. But mostly, people are well behaved. (I’m not even going to start about nascar fans smoking and boozing themselves into oblivion. We’re talking stacks of beer cans and mountainously adipose stacks of grizzled grease monkeys. [not you, Pete Williams or Justice Thomas])

  9. T. Bejma Says:

    #5

    That explains it Kit. Good job setting the record straight. Guess CK is one of the few that actually uses his seat to watch a 24 hour race…

  10. HtG Says:

    5 cont’d I certainly do a lot of walking at a race. You can walk to each corner, put down your folding chair and enjoy. Walk to the infield to people watch and check out all manner of things for sale, eat, go to the pits, make a pitstop. The scene’s the thing, because it’s almost impossible to actually know what’s happening in the race unless someone crashes right in front of you, because at that point you’re going to just watch and see if the car hits you.

  11. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Gee-zus! Talk about the Ford news! How much are they paying for this kind of coverage? Also, diesels don’t need a litmus test in the US because the Germans already sell plenty of diesels in the market here. Volkswagen especially.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #8,
    At the Indianapolis speedway, the inside of turn 1 used to host the infamous “snake pit.” Then, in the early 80′s the speedway management wanted to “clean up” their image, so they built stands there.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 5: back in the 80′s I used to spend some weekends at Watkins Glen…camping at the infield.There were parties here and there,but never anything big or loud,and if memory serves me right,a 10pm noise curfew that was enforced.I always enjoyed it.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    I spent some time this weekend with the Infinity JX 35, the upscale brother of the Pathfinder and found it to be a very nice vehicle.

  15. ColoradoKid Says:

    Rolex 24 Hours : The numbers ?

    What a total crock of ( blank ) ! Propaganda pure and simple with the promoters playing the same stupid games F1 has done for years . Boost the numbers with a lot of unsubstantiated and unconfirmed …. claims .

    Also …. where pray tell are the ‘ numbers ‘ from our erstwhile blatant liars in the Grand Am ? Not a figure to be seen . just a lot of hype in defense of what has become America’s most embarrassing racing series , not to mention the greatest single travesty of what once was one of the all time great classic US road races . !

    And yeah T Bejima . Pardon me for going to a Race to ….. gee … I dunno ….. WATCH THE RACE rather than get ( blank ) faced stinking drunk and make an utter fool of myself .

    Guess I must actually go for the racing … rather than the Red Neck Yippee Eye Yo Kay Ya booze fest .

    Hiding in the infield . Yeah like the SPPED coverage didn’t multiple times show the for all practical purposes EMPTY infield during the race .

    Oh … and btw … just called a friend who was there . Empty ! was his assessment .

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    #13

    The ‘ bog ‘ The place to be back in the day at Watkins Glen . Cheap … great view ….. slightly crazy crowd ..

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    Carlos Ghosen says there will be NO growth in the EU market for the foreseeable future ;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/carlos-ghosn-sees-no-european-growth-for-years-there-will-be-even-less-after-that/

    Making Ford look smarter by the minute with GM coming up crappers ( tie in with PSA to boost EU/UK sales etc ) ….. again !

  18. T. Bejma Says:

    Hey HtG – Might have to play in a V-Series for a couple of days instead of Bondurant ;-)

    http://bcove.me/54y16b8g

  19. T. Bejma Says:

    #17

    GM not boosting sales but instead closing plants earlier than expected…

    http://www.freep.com/article/20130124/BUSINESS01/301240202/GM-may-close-Opel-plant-2-years-early

    Where is your info?

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    Heres the real numbers on the UK Diesel 1.7 Cruze btw : from the UK’s leading magazine when it comes to ‘ real ‘ world road tests ;

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/chevrolet/cruze/mpg

    Back page thru the whole review … its rather revealing as to whats coming our way … and why here it probably will not sell

  21. T. Bejma Says:

    Teaming up on a combined platform is to save money, for both, not increase production…

  22. T. Bejma Says:

    #20

    Do you read your own links?

    “The 2.0-litre diesel’s 50.3mpg claimed average is reasonably good, but mainstream rivals tend to go further on a gallon these days, which also equates to lower CO2 emissions; that does it no favours in the eyes of company car buyers.”

    “Better is the 1.7-litre diesel which emits 117g/km making it far more appealing to tax-concious drivers. Although we were unable to match the claimed 62.7mpg (we rarely do), a 46.7mpg test figure is respectable, and 10 per cent better than the Focus 1.6 TDCi we have previously recorded.”

    We are getting the 1.7…

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    #17

    Errrr … better read your own companies rhetoric of late . The sole intention of the tie in with PSA ….. is to boost sales in the EU/UK … get OPEL back on track …. and THEN import a bunch of PSA rust buckets to our shores . GM’s closing OPEL plants because they’ve bought Hook Line & Sinker into Morganomics … which I’ll discuss here further this afternoon . Might want to get that C/V in order speaking of Morganomics and GM T .. it might just hit you somewhere down the road ( though in truth I hope not …. I may disagree with you vehemently on all things GM but wish you no harm……. but …… ;-)

  24. HtG Says:

    18 TB

    OHHHHHHH YEAHHHHHHH

    I’ll shut up except to tell you what an instructor told me about male students. They have trouble listening and taking advice. I found an ability I have is to hear a correction and then do it in the car. Show the instructors that you can do this.

  25. T. Bejma Says:

    Who cares about the UK anyway??

    “a stark reminder that other territories – South America, China, Russia and India – are now much bigger priorities than the EU for one of the world’s true car-making giants.”

  26. ColoradoKid Says:

    Yeah I do T Bejima . The question is … did you ? The review makes the Cruze in all forms look pretty dull and not very competitive . When then placing said review in the context of the average US automotive buyer ….. that pretty much spells another upcoming great big [ F } on GM’s report card

  27. T. Bejma Says:

    #23

    The original sole intention of the PSA partnership was to gain the logistics volume savings. It progressed into a sharing of platforms/engines in order to save costs. You can’t boost sales if no one is buying and no one is talking about putting Opel’s in Peugeot dealerships or importing any current cars over here.

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    #25

    …… as GM invests more and more into attempts at increasing EU sales . Do you read your own posts T ?

    And the answer is …. if you’re truly serious about your automotive career …….. YOU SHOULD . The EU automotive business as well . Or have you yet to of figured out 99% of the reason GM keeps falling on its face is because your higher ups maintain their Head in the Sand – Xenophobic mentality ?

    Errr…. not to mention …. you might be knocking on one of those EU/UK companies door down the road for employment and it might help if you knew something about them …. their market etc .

    Yeah … but what do I know ? Retired at age 55 . Living quite comfortably I might add . Yeah … why listen to the likes of myself .

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    #27

    Last one on the subject of GM . Better take a moment to read your own ( GM’s ) propaganda and rhetoric of late T. Methinks you’re kind of missing the point ;-)

  30. T. Bejma Says:

    #26

    Yeah, compared to the other offerings in the UK/EU it is dull, but over here, and in the rest of the markets it is a very capable and competitive vehicle. I would love to have any the C-Segment beauties they get there (hell, even the B-Segments are Awesome) but we can’t, and we won’t. If we did get one of them over here, the media would tear it up for being too harsh of a ride, too noisy and with not enough cup holders.

    I watch Top Gear (UK version, even though the US version is getting better) and I see what they think of our cars, and I, and everyone else here, do not CARE! The EU market is shrinking and becoming less relevant everyday. I would worry more about what the Chinese and the Russians think, they are at least growing…

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    My favorite local gas station has diesel fuel 50 cents more expensive than reg gas, I just don’t see why anyone would buy the diesel Cruze unless they expect it to outlast the gas engine and want to keep the car for many years!

  32. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Cruze diesel; bring it on and let’s see what they’ve got (and see what we get). Chastising a vehicle (still to be released); pretty silly. Who thought that the mini-van was going to be a hit, who thought the original Mustang was never going to look back; you’ve got to put something new/different (out there) to see if it’s what people want.

  33. C-Tech Says:

    I don’t see that many people “Q-ing” up for new Infiniti products. I see a lot of JX35′s showing up on the rental lots.

  34. C-Tech Says:

    Come on man, ImAKidding why do belittle cars that you have not driven? Did you believe EVERYTHING your big brother or big sister told you?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    If you get 30% better fuel economy with the diesel, as is the case with the VW TDI’s, the diesel can be cost-effective, even with the fuel 15-20% more expensive. The VW diesels do exceptionally well in real world highway mpg, and probably the Cruze will too.

    Unless you drive a lot, the diesel probably won’t make economic sense, unless the price difference is less for the Cruze than with the VW’s.

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    But in case that the cost of diesel fuel goes up a lot (taxes) you’re stuck with a diesel and good luck trying to unload it

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I expect the fuel economy of the Cruze diesel to be very good, IF they will sell it to us with a manual transmission. Here are the Euro “combined” mpg ratings for the Cruze 1.7 diesel, and the VW 2.0 that is sold in North America:

    Cruze 1.7 VCDi 62.7 mpg
    VW 2.0 TDI 53.3 mpg

    The Cruze does 17.6% better than the VW.

    Of course, all bets are off, if we get the Cruze diesel only with a torque converter automatic, which seems to be the “American way.”

  38. C-Tech Says:

    @ #37 Kit, does that site show the mileage of a Cruze Diesel automatic? This is the U.S. and wide acceptance will depend on a Diesel automatic.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,
    I couldn’t find anything for the 1.7 with automatic on the UK web site. I suspect they don’t sell it in Europe. This is where I found the information:

    http://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/cruze-saloon/features-and-specs.html

    I found the VW information here:

    http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/#/new/golf-vi/which-model/engines/fuel-consumption/

    These numbers are for Imperial gallons, so would be high for both cars, beyond the fact that the Euro tests give high fuel economy numbers.

  40. Duke Says:

    Hmmm, looks like many can save the $$$ and not bother to go to the 24 Hours Nurburgring, 24 Heures du Mans, or 12 Hours of Sebring (you can add several others too).

    Speaking of Sebring, Green Park used to be a fairly good rendition of the partying that went on at those 2 Euro circuits – partying wise, that is.

    Seems like no matter where one goes, there seems to be a wealth of party hounds. Personally, I’ve never let that —- bother me, and enjoy what I went to see/experience.

    Some what like the internet and the minions of people that feel compelled to voice THEIR likes and dislikes and opinions. Just something one cannot escape . . . doesn’t ruin the whole thing though.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,
    I couldn’t find anything for the 1.7 with automatic on the UK web site. I suspect they don’t sell it in Europe. This is where I found the information:

    http://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/cruze-saloon/features-and-specs.html

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found the VW information here:

    http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/#/new/golf-vi/which-model/engines/fuel-consumption/

    These numbers are for Imperial gallons, so would be high for both cars, beyond the fact that the Euro tests give high fuel economy numbers.

    I posted this, and the rest of what’s in #39 an hour ago, but “the system” won’t let me put two links in one post.

  43. shan Says:

    $70k for a Infinity sedan that has outdated navigation unit and weighs 4100 pounds, low tech V-8 and gets 16 mpg…..seems Nissan has some more work to do in R/D

  44. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all,

    revenue for ford. none of it is a surprise. just about everywhere else is down but north america.

    chevrolet cruze diesel. yes, it is a litmus test because up to now segment c diesel has been a niche owned by volkswagen. if chevrolet gets the cruze diesel to become more mainstream, then others will offer theirs in north america. the cruze in the 1.7 liter version? i would rather have the 2.0 liter version. but we shall see in chicago.

    the new naming structure by infiniti. it does make sense. just not in the short term. mr. de nysschen explained it well. just as audi has a3,a4,a5,a6,a7,a8. then q3,q5,q7 for their crossovers/suvs. infiniti would have q30, q50, q70 for their sedans. qx for their crossovers/suvs.

    the corvette car company. at first, i thought “yes”. this should be done. because everytime a smaller sports car is proposed in gm, executives sabotage said car because they were afraid that it would take sales away from the corvette. however, after more thought; i would have to say no to this one. because while there are those at the top who think long-term, there are also those in the treasury department of gm and the present chairman/ceo that only think in the short-term. so unfortunately my final vote on this one has to be no for the above reason.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  45. cwolf Says:

    Ford is actually pretty well positioned and for those who buy automotive stock, this is the one. Unlike GM, Ford ended/stopped or made the needed cut-backs awhile back and reduced its EU inventories. They have a well-rounded lineup and sales elsewhere are on the up-tick. I don’t buy automotive stocks because, as a rule of thumb, they do not notably increase maybe twice every decade. If you like Ford, you may do better than the norm after 2-3 years. Ya, its that kind of stock.
    The Cruz diesel may become the best game in town! For me, I’d like to know about the time between urea refills and if it will have a rubber-band timing chain like the VW. Maybe C-tech will tell me if filling the urea container can be done at home easily. I know some who purchase the stuff on the web.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44,
    I think the 1.7 is the correct choice for the Cruze diesel, for the intended market. The 2.0 is considerably thirstier, at least according to the Euro ratings. The 1.7 should beat the mpg of the VW’s, the obvious benchmark. It should also beat the best of the hybrids in moderate speed highway driving but, of course, on expensive fuel If they used the 2.0 diesel, it wouldn’t have enough advantage over a Cruze eco.

    Just the thoughts of a Prius driver who had a Jetta TDI wagon a few years ago.

  47. gmveteran Says:

    I think you are right, vrmchris. One of the main reasons the Corvette still exists is that Chevy management fought for it whenever the beancounters wanted to kill it. As a standalone brand, it becomes more vulnerable to the suits and may not get the best marketing and management talent assigned to it. Lets face it, Chevy is the division everyone wants to run. A small division, even with great sports cars, just wouldn’t attract the best talent, and Corvette would suffer.

  48. HtG Says:

    After Hours ‘n Off Topic

    Here’s a link to a Bloomberg review piece on the rigging of LIBOR. Does the venality of bankers harm the image of their luxury toys, like expensive cars? You need to remember that rigging LIBOR allowed banks to make money selling swaps(bets that is) and to make most of their loot(booty). Does money ever stink?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-28/libor-lies-revealed-in-rigging-of-300-trillion-benchmark.html

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    cwolf, funny you mention Ford stock. About 15 or 20 years ago, I bouht 100 shares at what seemed like a good price of $13/share. It is now, hmmm, $13/share.

  50. cwolf Says:

    @48
    Money doesn’t stink if it’s in the your bank account or off-shore!

  51. C-Tech Says:

    @ #45 Be more than happy to let you know as soon as one gets here CWolf.
    @ #46 Kit I had a chance to drive a 1.4L turbo Cruze and the shifting was really smooth so I personally will be ok with the 1.7L and 6 speed. The real issue though is what will sell, and that is an automatic.

  52. GaryPaul Says:

    Regarding Diesels: The payback period from greater fuel mileage has to be in 2-3 years or the deal is generally off and people won’t buy a diesel in great enough numbers to make it worth offering. This is the same reason why people generally balk at paying the high price differential for one of these expensive electric vehicles–it takes too many years to realize a cost savings. However this appears to be changing as people recognize the benefits of driving a diesel such as the smooth even power flow at most RPM levels and the engineering produces quiet and easy to live with vehicles.

    Regarding the ridiculous Letters/numbers naming psychology of the marketing “experts” at so many of these companies… This is really astonishing to me… but not unexpected since these companies do not appear to actually test out the astonishing confusion that results from so many vehicles competing with each other with this type of naming philosophy. Yes I can see the logic with some of the companies such as BMW: 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series. But take Lincoln for example. The use of any number or Letter that is endlessly redundant –as with MK (which is supposed to mean “Mark” according to the Lincoln Girl @ the Detroit Auto Show–even though I have heard a Ford exec state that it does not stand for Mark.)–makes no sense. Why keep the “MK” if every Lincoln has MK in its name? Then why not call it the Lincoln Mark Company? Or why not scrap the Lincoln name and call it LMC?–kind of like BMW does. But lets pretend that we like the MK part–OK–where is the logic in the present Lincoln nomenclature? With BMW I can at least find some logic with the 1, 3, 5, & 7 Series (generally moving larger as the # increases). The only way that using numbers or letters makes any sense for a portfolio of vehicles is if there is at least some kind of logic to it or it so well ingrained that people recognize the vehicle. I recommend that Lincoln scrap the letters/numbers/ nomenclature and actually identify its vehicles with names!!–And then add a few internationally well recognized numbers or letters to signify special models, such as “GT”.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is what the Lincoln names mean:

    MKZ = Mark Zephyr
    MKS = Mark Sedan
    MKX = Mark X (cross) over
    MKT = Mark Truck

    Can any marketing personnel at the Lincoln Motor Company confirm this?

  54. XA351GT Says:

    #7 Okay I ran a little math. The Chevy website says the Cruze gets 42 MPG ave. You stated that the Cruze diesel gets 50MPG in the UK. So based on those numbers and the price of fuel here where I live reg gas @ $3.40 @gal ,Diesel @ $4.05 @ gal. So with a 12,000 mile per year driving cycle It will cost you $971.42 for gas and $972.00 for diesel . So it’s a wash. So if there is any difference in price of the cars the diesel is doomed. You will never recoup the extra cost unless Diesel drops a lot closer to the price of reg. gas than it is today.

  55. T. Bejma Says:

    #36

    You would be surprised how well a diesel holds its value. A colleague just had several offers for his late 90′s Jetta TDI and ended up selling it for MORE than his asking price. There is a rabid fan base for diesels so unloading them is never a problem.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    Not if they raise the tax on diesel fuel which makes it more expensive to run these engines, after all. diesel fuel should be cheaper, it takes less to produce it, it should be as cheap as regular at least, it used to be that way years ago and even then diesel cars barely sold.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From my experience, diesels overacheive their EPA numbers relative to gassers. Based on what the VW TDI’s do, I would expect the Cruze diesel to beat the real world mpg of a gas Cruze by 30% or so, if they sell the diesel with a manual, or a dual clutch torque converterless automatic. Whether the diesel makes economic sense will depend on the price premium, and the maintenance cost, including the urea solution.

    As far as that 42 mpg highway rating for the Cruze eco, not many people will see it. It would get that at a steady speed of not over 60 mph, but rarely in normal driving.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It takes more crude to make diesel than the same amount of gas, but more processing for the gas.

    A small part of the difference in price between diesel and gas is the ~6 cents/gallon higher tax on diesel, but the bigger reason is that the refineries have “extra” capacity to produce gas relative to diesel.

  59. HtG Says:

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

    58 that’s because there’s more atoms of carbon in a gallon of diesel than in one of gas.

  60. T. Bejma Says:

    #45

    cwolf – I do buy automotive stock and in 2012 my Ford stock made me 5% but my GM made me 25%, in the last year GM is still up 17% to 7% for Ford. Cheap does not always mean good buy. F is full of debt, struggling with quality issues and still have not made major, sweeping changes that were needed back in 2006 (3 years before GM and Chrysler needed the bailout) when they mortgaged the farm for $23B to save the company.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59, Yep, 7% more atoms of carbon, or something close to that.

  62. M369 Says:

    One big test for the diesel Cruze is whether the public will accept any diesel from General Motors as a legetimate effort. Many of us remember the half-hearted attempt back in the early 1980s called the 5.7L V8 diesel that GM sold to their unsuspecting customers. It was a total fraud and it appearded in Chevrolets, Oldmobiles, Caddillacs, Pontiacs and Buicks. I hope this time GM did their homework.

  63. Earl Says:

    Was I ever taken ack by that little blurb on the new Pathfinder. Did anyone notice the interior was not black in color like 97% of what you see on dealers lots.
    I was recently at a Chrysler dealership ( on a Sunday) and the dealer inventory of new everything (cars,suv’s,trucks ) had black interiors. And a lot of vehicles that were black exterior also were black inside…. black on black.
    Things were a little different at the Ford dealer. Just looked at Escapes. Dealer had over 40 on hand and except for two all were black inside too. This particular dealer still likes chrome wheels….fell in love with them back in the 90′s I guess.
    To anyone at the Company level reading this please get your dealers off this black only interiors.

  64. Earl Says:

    Ford would be wise to take a hint from Infinity. They use Q and then a number. If the Lincoln Motor Car Company would use M as the letter and numbers after that it would denote being ‘user friendly’.
    The MKZ could be the M50 for a starter and the MKC could be the MX and then a number.
    I guess that would be too simple.

  65. cwolf Says:

    #60
    Mr T., In a way, your comment speaks for itself; remember..”buy low- sell high”. Tell me again what you think in two years. You have two automotive stocks? Hope you are more heavily invested in other areas at mid-level risk for a younger fella. You should also be dancing in the streets to have made 25% last year, given the fact that the average was only around 10% at best.

  66. T. Bejma Says:

    #65

    Yes, heavily diversified, been burned before. I like to buy what I use or know. Have LOTS of Sirius/XM that I bought when it was under $0.20, some Apple, some eBay, some Amazon and even a little Facebook that I just picked up. Have a couple of Banks and some Energy just for stability as well. Hoping to have enough in my stock fund to get both of my daughters through college in the next 6-9 years.

    The Autos have a lot more growth potential in the next few years but not sure as a long term yet. Tough business.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    63,
    I miss the way cars were in the 60′s, when you could choose from about 6 or 7 interior colors in cars. My parents ordered a ’66 Dodge Coronet, which had a gold interior. You could also get red, black, white, blue, or probably green interiors in those cars. You’d think it would be much easier to offer choices now, with computer tracking, etc., but in most cars, the manufacturers offer only black, grey, or tan.

    I guess if the dealers order only black, the OEM’s could drop the grey and tan too.

  68. T. Bejma Says:

    Story on the advanced features of the C7…

    http://wardsauto.com/vehicles-amp-technology/chevy-corvette-stingray-building-block-future-gm-cars-trucks

  69. HtG Says:

    68 neat link, TB. Do you know what lower drag from the brakes is all about? I see that rev matching feature for the manual has a fuel mileage benefit.

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    69,
    I’m not TB, but most disc brakes drag a little bit, even when not being applied, and I suspect they came up with a way to keep the pads from dragging on the rotors at all when not using the brakes.

  71. T. Bejma Says:

    #69

    Fixed as opposed to floating calipers looks like the big contributor…

    2014 Corvette Stingray Brembo Brakes Specs:

    Standard Brembo brakes, with four-piston fixed calipers derived from racing, deliver exceptional stopping power on the street or track.

    System highlights include:
    12.6-inch (320 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) rear rotors are standard and have 35 percent more swept area than previous-generation brakes. Consequently stopping distance is improved 9 percent
    Dual-cast, slotted 13.6-inch (345 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) slotted rear rotors are included with Z51 Performance Package. They have 6percent more swept area than the previous-generation Grand Sport and are cooled front and rear for improved track capability. Consequently stopping distance is improved 5 percent
    All brake packages have fixed front and rear calipers are stiffer for more even pad wear, reduced drag and improved modulation.

  72. C-Tech Says:

    @ #45 CWolf if you are around, I checked on the UK Cruze diesels and they do not use an urea system. They are equipped with a catalyst and exhaust particulate filter, with needs a periodic regenerative cycle (drive 20 min. on the freeway non-stop at least once a month). I don’t know if urea will be used on the U.S. models.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’ll be great if the Cruze diesel doesn’t need the urea. That would be one more expense, and inconvenience making the diesel less appealing. If they’d just sell the hatch in the U.S., that might be an appealing car to me, if I were in the market.

  74. T. Bejma Says:

    Another pretty good article from Wards…

    http://wardsauto.com/flashback/wardsauto-flashback-january-2013

    1938 Vehicle production in the US and Canada was 3.8 million…

    “Some 48.4% of the 744,900 salaried and hourly workers employed by GM, Ford and Chrysler worked at facilities in Michigan in 1962.”

  75. Chuck Grenci Says:

    T.B., great link (above, on Corvette); the ‘car guys’ haven’t abandoned GM yet (good for them, and us).