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Episode 1060 – Chrysler Sales Soar… in the U.S., Big Bonus for Ford UAW, Fisker’s Money Troubles

January 30th, 2013 at 11:41am

Runtime: 6:56

Chrysler posted strong financial earnings last year but the company is still too reliant on the U.S. market. Speaking of financial earnings, Ford’s UAW employees are going to reap the benefits of the company’s positive results. Find out how much they’ll receive in profit sharing checks. Fisker just hired a consulting group to help it figure out how to save cash as it looks for a partner or a buyer. All that and more, plus John responds to your questions and comments in “You Said It!”

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Thanks for joining us for Autoline Daily, where we bring you the latest news in the wonderful world of automobiles.

CHRYSLER SALES SOAR… IN THE U.S.
Chrysler announced its financial earnings for 2012, and not unexpectedly the news is really good. The company boosted its worldwide sales by 300,000 vehicles to a total of 2.2 million units. However, Chrysler remains a company very much dependent on the U.S. market. Vehicle sales outside the U.S. came to about 558,000 vehicles, up by only 20,000 units, and they now actually account for a smaller percentage of the company’s total sales compared to 2011. If Chrysler is going to survive in the long run it has to dramatically grow its sales outside of the American market. But for now, it’s making hay while the sun is shining. Revenue jumped by nearly $11 billion to a total of $65.8 billion. Net income hit nearly $1.7 billion, up nearly $1.5 billion from the year before. Chrysler forecasts that sales will jump by another half a million units this year, with revenue jumping another $10 billion which should put another half a billion to the bottom line.

NO BLUES FOR THESE BLUE COLLARS
As we reported yesterday, Ford posted strong financial earnings and now its UAW employees are going to reap the benefits. They’ll get $8,300 profit sharing checks. After taxes that drops to about $6,000. Economists say that will pump $380 million into the American economy, because thanks to the multiplier effect, that $8,300 will generate a total of $20,000 in economic activity. Next up, salaried workers will learn what their bonuses are going to be.

THE END IS NIGH FOR FISKER

And speaking of automakers and earnings, Fisker just hired a consulting group to help it figure out how to save cash as it looks for a partner or a buyer. Think about that. You pay a company to come in and help you not spend so much money. Why would anyone do that? Because they’re desperate. No doubt about it, Fisker is in deep trouble and desperately needs to find a partner because the company could start running out of cash in a matter of months.

RAY LEAVES THE ‘HOOD
After hinting that he would stay on for at least part of President Obama’s second term, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood abruptly announced he will leave his position but will remain at his post until a successor is named. Autoline viewers will remember I interviewed LaHood a year ago when he told me then that he didn’t plan to remain as Transportation Secretary for a second term. I get the feeling the president did not ask him to stay on, even though secretly Mr. LaHood would have preferred to stay in Washington. Remember, Mr. LaHood is a Republican and the president has some patronage to pay off for his Democrat compadres.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

YOU SAID IT!
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

Wayne M. Brehob saw our report on hydraulic hybrids from NRG Dynamix and Peugeot and points out, “On the subject of hydraulic hybrids, no one seems to be pointing out that the energy that can be stored in a reasonably sized hydraulic system is a small fraction of what can be stored in an electric system.”

Wayne, you’re right, but hydraulic hybrids allow much more of that energy to be used all at once, which is perfect for launching a vehicle, especially big heavy ones. And the fact that it costs much less than a battery system makes it attractive. The one downside? It’s harder to package in a vehicle.

Dave Foley loved my report on all the cars that have the letter X in their names. “Your X-emplary X-hibition of the X-treme overuse of the “X” in model naming was X-cellent! You didn’t X-clude any of them either. I’m no X-pert, but it X-asperates me too. I wish I could X-trapolate on X-actly where it all came from. You should repost the “X” story as it’s own X-cerpt. I could see it becoming a viral video X-plosion!!”

Love the suggestion!

Lex heard our report on the diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze in the US market and wants to know what the price will be. “I believe pricing will determine whether this vehicle makes it in North America.”

Right now diesels seem to be cost about $1,500 over comparably equipped cars with gasoline engines. If the Chevy Cruze diesel falls in that range it ought to do fairly well.

And a bunch of you weighed in on whether the Corvette should stay within the Chevrolet brand or go off on its own as proposed by Peter De Lorenzo. Victor Castaneda Jr. says, “I think the Corvette should remain a Chevy, but I do agree with Peter’s three models.”

Cliff 59 says, “The Corvette definitely needs to be its own brand.”

jet Says, “A price point of 60K is not going to get in younger new Corvette owners no matter how great the car is. That’s why a real Stingray is needed, as opposed to just a Stingray.”

Yep, as Peter proposed, a Stingray with a base price just under forty grand.

Bradley admits that, “I voted for spinning off ‘Corvette,’ but I have reservations. Not that I don’t think the idea is good, but rather GM historically doesn’t manage separate brands well.”

Ouch, great point, Bradley.

Kit Gerhart also has mixed views. He says making Corvette a stand-alone brand…”Would make sense for Europe and other non-U.S. regions where Chevrolet mainly means minicars from Korea. For the U.S. and Canada, Corvette should remain a Chevy.”

Thanks for all these letters and comments. I know we only get to a fraction of them every week, but we do enjoy going through them all.

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

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

61 Comments to “Episode 1060 – Chrysler Sales Soar… in the U.S., Big Bonus for Ford UAW, Fisker’s Money Troubles”

  1. kurtw Says:

    Nice to see great shows continuing here! Hope you’ll be able to let us know soon what you think of the 2014 Foresters you drove in Arizona last week!

  2. Wim van Acker Says:

    Ad Chrysler sales figures: 2.2 MM worldwide, of which 550,000 outside of the U.S. How many of those 550,000 are to Canada and Mexico?

    I bet the sales figures to all other countries in the world with their gasoline prices at $6+ per gallon, are relatively small.

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    Fisker – DOA from the minute they left the starting gate . TESLA soon to follow perhaps ?

    Chrysler – I’m having a hard time swallowing Chryslers ‘ reported ‘ figures . The view from the ‘ street ‘ doesn’t look nearly so positive – the Dart is a non starter – FIAT seems to have stalled in the gate – and its not like every other manufacture of late hasn’t been ‘ padding ‘ the numbers

    So here’s the REAL question as to Chryslers ‘ reported ‘ numbers . Are those actual ‘ Sales ‘ to legitimate customer … or just the usual cars delivered to the dealers lots number so many others have tried to present as ‘ Sales ‘ figures .

    Inquiring minds would like to know

    And from yesterday …….. Q … is the new .. X ! Yeesh !

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    Corvette as a Brand ( as promised )

    As much as I completely agree with PDL’s suggestion about a Corvette ‘ Brand /separate entity here’s the main reason ( unfortunately ) it will never happen .

    GM for the last decade has been on a steady march towards Morganonimics …. and without going into the entire tenant of the philosophy suffice it to say its main and primary goal is to condense/centralize manufacturing as much as is fiscally responsible : eliminating individual ‘ Divisions ‘ Brands etc .

    For proof one look no further than the last five years . GM has killed off Oldsmobile – Pontiac as well as for all intensive purposes SAAB as well ( by selling them to Spyker rather than Koenigsegg ) and is on the march to eliminate OPEL in the very near future .

    As you may remember Michigan’s ( along with other States ) Right to Work laws will only grant more freedom to the likes of GM in their onward march towards absolute Morganomics .

    So …. much as I’d love to see PDL’s plans implemented … much as they may be the Corvette’s only saving grace for the future …. with GM’s present course it will never happen … again … unfortunately

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most of Chrysler’s products, and their best ones, are ill suited for non-North American markets, except maybe Saudi Arabia. Let’s face it. Chrysler’s best vehicles relative to the competition, are Charger/300, Ram pickups, and Grand Cherokee/Durango. These are not what many people buy in most of the rest of the world.

    No one in Europe would buy a 200 or Avenger, given the great choice of better front drive cars, nearly all of them available as more practical hatches and wagons. Then, there’s the Dart, which is intended for American tastes, except for those manual transmissions that only people like me find appealing. If Chrysler wants to expand their global reach, they need a better lineup of fuel efficient cars.

  6. HtG Says:

    Morganonomics and tenants. Digress, please

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    But let us dream for a minute ;

    Lets assume GM had done the ‘ right ‘ thing and sold SAAB to Koenigsegg ( CvK )

    Lets also assume the sale was amicable as well as mutually beneficial

    Let us assume as well that GM took PDL’s advice and created a Corvette brand with a three tiered product line up as PDL outlined

    First … SAAB would be well on its way towards recovery … CvK moving the brand forward as well as promoting SAAB by selling them side by side with his Koenigsegg hypercars ( all this was outlined and made public by CvK when he was vying for SAAB )

    But more importantly for the Corvette …. GM would be on excellent terms with CvK … who has expressed over and over again that his primary goal with Koenigsegg cars is to see the technology he and his team are developing implemented into more ‘ standard ‘ road cars of other brands and makes . Which would off meant Corvette( the brand ) could of availed themselves of the massive amount of genuine ‘ advanced ‘ technology CvK has developed -from engine to chassis – to interior – and use that to create what would no doubt be one incredible Corvette supercar to top off the line up

    If only ( sigh )

  8. HtG Says:

    6 CK, what do you know about that CvK. That name can mean a nobleman of the king’s acreage. Where’s he getting all the money to make those jewels?

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …but then Corvettes would start at $100K instead of $50K, wouldn’t they?

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    Morganomics – A business idiom used to identify JP Morgan’s later business philosophy/agenda before he was finally stopped by the Unions as well as the US Government .

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    #7

    A lot … for many reasons ;-)

    Suffice it to say Koenigsegg Automobile is by CvK’s own admission a bit of a vanity company … though an extremely well run – efficient and innovative one ( watch the DriveTV series on youtube now on part 4 ) … with all his extensive wealth coming from his multiple other business ventures in Scandinavia

  12. HtG Says:

    10 Of course I’m watching CvK on DRIVE, if only to get that accent down. (big Max von Sydow fan, here)

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Another million plus vehicle recall for Toyota. Now I’m not ‘ragging’ on Toyota just wonder how come they continually get a ‘free pass’ from the buying public (so often).
    http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/finance/20130130/AS.Japan.Toyota.Recall/

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    #8

    No PDL’s $39k Stingray entry level goal would easily be met …. with .. I’d betcha dollars to donuts assuming an ongoing relationship with CvK a new SAAB Sonnet sharing a few of its goodies – platform etc as well

    ( a new Sonnet was in CvK’s agenda brief btw )

  15. RS Says:

    Once again, CK – English please.

    There is no meaning in the word combination “would of.” The phrase is “would have.” If you need to use the contraction, it would be “would’ve.”

    But entertaining as usual. Thank you.

    Not sure I see the benefit of a separate Corvette brand. Fewer resources behind the brand.

    Interested in the sales figures for Chrysler. Do the financial results quoted for the US really mean North America? And does that include Mexico? Canadian sales for Chrysler have been nothing short of impressive for the past severl years – and the numbers are increasing steadily. GM is now number 3 – and not gaining ground there.

    Also, very interested in the “continental curtain” dividing Lincon from Ford at the Detroit Auto Show. Lincoln’s display was decidedly upscale with lots of glass, marble and chrome.Seems as if there is a very reall attempt to differentiate it from Ford. Although they have feinted that decoy a few times, Lincoln has really been a price-bloated Ford at least the last 40 years! Often very nice cars but not worth the premium prices. Check the depreciation figures for used Lincolns.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    These Chrysler sales boom must be in another part of the country because down here in So Fla I have not noticed it, I did get up close with a 3013 Civic, it is indeed a nice small car.

  17. Bob Aubertin Says:

    Hey ColoradoKid,

    What brand of vehicle do you own/drive?
    Regarding your comment of Chrysler fudging their sales figures, their dealer stores don’t have the storage capacity thousands of vehicles in stock.

    Oh! by the way the new Dart starts Real Good, I drove one last week and was very impressed by it’s comfort,handling and fuel economy.I must tell you that my hot-rod is a 300C
    Hemi which is strong and Fun to drive.

    Happy Motoring !!!

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It will take more then glass/marble/and chrome to turn Lincoln back into a premium brand in quality,design,and desirability.They already have the pricing but lack everything else.Too bad.I remember an old saying,”if you can afford a Cadillac,buy a Lincoln”.Not much happening in either camp.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    A GLK

  20. HtG Says:

    In honor of Ray LaHood

    I saw this bumper sticker on a Camry today…

    “You want to see God? Keep texting”

  21. C-Tech Says:

    The question I have about the analysis of Chrysler is this: given the losses that almost all the other major car companies are taking in Europe and S.A. now, why is it so important for Chrysler to join them?
    Kit is right (I think) Chrysler does not build much that would be competitive in Europe, and if they did would it not be to the detriment of Fiat? Right now they appear to not overlap each other.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 20: providing the airbag doesn’t knock them out first.

  23. C-Tech Says:

    Can the Lutz Destino save Fisker?

  24. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The only chrysler brand that I know sells okay in europe is the wrangler.There maybe other chrysler badges that sell okay too,I just know about.

  25. C-Tech Says:

    Since the UAW tends to negotiate pattern contracts, will Chrysler and GM employees be far behind in the bonus bonanza?

  26. C-Tech Says:

    @ #24 I agree, also Chrysler minivans. The Wrangler sells well in China too.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16,
    I see quite a few Chrysler products here in the Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral area, Chargers, Rams, and various Jeeps. I also see some 200′s, but they are probably mostly rentals.

    When I’m up north for the summer, I see a huge number of Chryslers, because my home town has a lot of employees at their transmission plants.

  28. W L Simpson Says:

    Luxury brands used to mean bigger, heavier , quieter. wasn’t as much parts sharing.
    Rebadging is good economics, but not good imaging.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    So Fl is much like California, imports rule.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, 26,
    Yeah, Wranglers sell at least moderately well almost everywhere, because they are an icon.

    They built the vans at a Stehr plant in Austria for years, but I recently read that they now build all of them in Windsor, Ontario, including the diesel ones for Europe.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think the Chrysler 300 is an under-rated car, it offers a level of comfort and driving dynamics that cannot be matched by some FWD competitors, for a reasonable price.

  32. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG ( as well as any other classic racing buff amongst us )

    If you haven’t already …. grab a cuppa coffee ( or beverage of choice ).. set an hour aside and watch this ;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=t3CkOlf-aMo

    Sir Patrick Stewart interviewing – riding with – and telling Sir Stirling Moss’s ( dare I say it ? ) sterling life story . Does it get any better ? 8)

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    A long but very interesting article on the early history of M/C production in Japan . Pay special attention to the parts about how US and EU manufactures had to do business in Japan Pre WWII ..( licensing – forced partnerships etc) and especially the end result ( Japan taking over all US and EU manufacturing by force … just like Fidel did in Cuba ) The parallels with modern day China are startling .

    Then tell me there isn’t a very distinct possibility the same thing won’t happen down the road in China

    http://thevintagent.blogspot.com/2013/01/japanese-motorcycling-early-days.html

  34. T. Bejma Says:

    #3

    Every single major automaker reports sales the same way. It is an industry standard. With the dealers being totally separate entities (in the case of GM, and I assume the others, there is now financial agreement between GM and the dealers, only a transaction when the vehicle is delivered to the lot) from the OEM’s, it is the only way that it can be. Regardless, it is apples to apples for all OEM’s.

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    #15

    The Lincoln display at the Auto Show was exactly the same one they used last year. I think Ford was the same as well except they got rid of the hokey circle lift in the middle…

  36. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 33: I have no delusions about communist china.Everything they do that involves foreigners,is done for a long term reason,and not always for ‘good bidness’.There is nothing that can stop them from confiscating any foreign owned property including intellectual property when they feel it’s in their best interests.

  37. HtG Says:

    32 oh man, what a smile I’ve got on. Bookmarked for tonight. Great catch, CK

    I saw Moss at LimeRock this summer for the historic. That’s one physically strong person.

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – Hows about tucking one of these under the hood of your aging :o Miata ?

    http://thekneeslider.com/is-the-motus-v4-baby-block-crate-engine-the-future-of-old-school-hot-rodding/

    Talk about Zoom Zoom baby ! 8)

    Any of you DIY and Hot Rodders on site might want to peruse this little beast as well . T Bejima will even be thrilled as its based on a GM small block .

    See ? There is some creativity left in the US . Now if it’d only find its way past the bean counters and into the automotive industry

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    #34

    Horsefeathers !

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,
    That’s a cool engine but, at 165 hp, your $10K wouldn’t add that much performance to a Miata. It would be really cool in a really light car like a bug eye Sprite, though.

  41. T. Bejma Says:

    #38

    Even better than a Miata, how about a LS7 in a Solstice. Now that is an AMERICAN Bad A$$!

    http://www.hotrod.com/projectbuild/hdrp_0607_ls7_pontiac_solstice_road_test/viewall.html

  42. T. Bejma Says:

    #39

    Help me out here John McE. Maybe CK will believe it coming from you…

  43. C-Tech Says:

    @ #42 Nah, T.B. ImAKidding only believes it if some European publication or the car gods from Top Gear say its so, then it must be true.

  44. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mr Bejima

    Here’s a wee little clue from the wonderful world of finance .

    Even the best of the Financial Pundits can’t make Heads or Tails out of the Hows and Whys of the Automotive businesses reporting of their so called ‘ Sales ‘ numbers !

    And perhaps you missed ( or forgot ) Johnny Mac’s article on how the number of cars ” Sold ‘ exceeds the number of cars ” Registered ” in the US of late ?

    Missed out on BMW’s little fudging of the numbers back in November as well ?

    FIAT’s numbers sold ( in Canada ) exceeding the number of cars actually imported into Canada ? Forgot that as well ?

    Simply stated There Is No Standard for the Auto Industry’s reporting of Sales Numbers in the US or anywhere else in the World for that matter ! Ask any German financial pundit about VW-Audi’s so called ‘ Sales ‘

    And why in the name of anything good would someone waste the money and time sticking any engine under the hood of that god awful Solstice/Sky ? Which is in fact …. an OPEL … errr … which is … German ( so much for ” American ” bad __

    C-tech – yeah yer a real cute little feller … aint ya ;-) A bit Xenophobic and Insular like GM and its minions as wel I presume .

    But … FYI …. I despise Top Gear ( magazine & the shows ) Entertainment is not my idea of news . As neither is blatant propaganda coming from major corporations who’s only agenda is their bottom line …. truth and facts be damned !

    Might want to consider that retired comfortably at age 55 thing ( started at age 52 to be accurate ) before arguing Dollars and Cents ( or sense in this case ) with me .

  45. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 38,CK: Nice engine,would be better suited to the homebuilt aircraft community then hod rods IMHO.For hot rods I would elect the GM E-Rod engine and system.Mean and clean,and tons of whupass for 4 wheelz…..

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A.

    Consider this . That brilliant little V4 under the hood of ;

    A Track T hot rod
    Caterham 7
    Mini Cooper ( turned RWD )
    Belly Tank …. for the street !
    Miata ( in a higher state of tune to keep Kit happy :o )

    ….etc . Think out of the box G.A. The guys from Bangshift to Kneeslider are all raving about the potential of the Motus V4 .

    Too bad though GM didn’t think of it first ….. aint it ;-)

  47. M360 Says:

    I agree with Bradley: “I voted for spinning off ‘Corvette,’ but I have reservations. Not that I don’t think the idea is good, but rather GM historically doesn’t manage separate brands well.”
    It’s too difficult for GM to handle multiple brands. Maybe they should go down to just Cheverolet and Cadillac. Even 4 brands seems to be too much.

  48. T. Bejma Says:

    #44

    There was someone else on here that tried to convince us that Opel has a rear drive platform that the Solstice was based on, but he was never able to come up with any EVIDENCE either…

  49. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Sorry to disappoint.I really believe that Modus would be super in small homebuilt aircraft.Looks like it would be excellent power to weight ratio,liquid cooling,fuel injection etc.Damn CK,if that ain’t thinkin’ outside the box,LMAO ;}>

  50. HtG Says:

    It sounds like the lions and tigers are hungry. Here’s a slab of meat that I’d been saving for the weekend.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFYeP6AXCA4

  51. Mike Says:

    Ref: Fisker, Tesla etc. I think the premise for the electrical vehicle/fuel cell vehicle has always been about the hope that higher volumes/lower manufacturing costs when combined with what “had to be” higher future fuel costs would make the numbers make sense. With the US become energy self sufficient, higher fuel prices, long term, don’t seem likely. Also the hoped for battery tech breakthroughs don’t seem to be happening either. Not good for the whole concept much less Fisker/Tesla etc.

    Mike

  52. C-Tech Says:

    @ #44 Xenophobia is a dislike or fear of people from other countries or of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange ImAKidding you are strange, so you may be correct.

  53. cwolf Says:

    This months issue of CR reviewed the 3 Fusion models, C-max and Focus. They did not bash the Ford’s like they usually do. Are they getting soft?; nah!!

    C-tech, thanks for the Cruz diesel urea info. For me, it is a positive. That is for now.

    I noticed the unionization of a Nissan plant in Miss. was given air time on one of the late night news shows. The battle between Goshen and the UAW will be one to watch. I sense “the fear of God” is instilled in the workers if talk of anything union is spoken. From my experience, it’s all part of the game. But being informed one had to work overtime on a seconds notice or forced to work several weekends in a row is wrong and will become a major cause of Nissan to become unionized. I find this an interesting argument; A supporting pastor mensioned the duration from slavery to date, the struggle for racial equallity(the plant is about 70% black) and that they will not allow a transplant to come into this country just to begin the struggle all over again and to treat the workers as they do in their own country. Kinda of an interesting twist, I say.

  54. C-Tech Says:

    @ #46 Yeah. Ford thought of it first

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Essex_V4_engine

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    V4 is a good engine configuration, but an I4 is cheaper, having only one head, and it packages better in transverse engine front drivers. Saab used Ford V4′s as a replacement for their 2-stoke triples at the end of life for those early cars

  56. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    chrysler financial results. good for them. but much work remains. the new 200/avenger has to come out. the dart is hiding because the present 200/avenger has some serious incentives to the average buyer. which is what ford faced in 2010 when the fiesta went on sale, but the previous focus was being run out. hopefully in 2013 the dart will have a much better result.

    profit sharing at ford. again, good for the workers. but again, much work remains. such as, getting my ford touch to be seamless. reducing the debt load. sorting out the fusion/mondeo. getting the 2015 mustang ready. the new transit. a succession plan in place for when mr. mullally retires.

    fisker. this should have been no surprise. from the word go there should have been a parallel track for erev and ice for the karma and atlantic. imho chances are, if that was followed in combination with sufficient capital (money as well as personnel), then fisker might not be in the position it is in now.

    transportation secretary ray lahood. no real surprise here. usually serving one term is sufficient enough. no more needs to be said.

    sales figures reported by the automakers. it has been a long standing practice that sales reported are from the manufacturer to the dealer. not to the consumer. by that standard, they generally are not inaccurate. until recently, companies such as r.l. polk could not get information based on actual registrations from respective state dmv. and even that, a representative from r.l. polk stated on aah that the variation is around 100,000 per year. what other countries do i am not sure about that. but i tend to believe that the reporting is similar.

    continued in a different entry.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  57. vrmchris Says:

    hello to all.

    workers at the nissan plant in canton, mississippi. this is one to watch very carefully. i too saw that segment as well. conspicuously missing was the uaw. this is one from the ground up. i sense that nissan i playing them too close. yes, while 70 percent of the workers are black; 25 percent of all workers are temporary at half the regular wages. this will spell trouble for nissan long term for morale. every nissan plant world wide is union except the ones in smyrna, tennessee and canton, mississippi.

    the pastor that is giving guidance to the group is essentially correct. people are getting tired of being treated less than humane just to earn a living. what should concern nissan is that this is not inspired from the uaw. this is grass-roots organizing. 2013 may see this plant going union. and probably smyrna following suit.

    saab and christian von koenigsegg. cvk had built up credibility long before he made an offer for saab. he had the support of several investors including some from the usa. i suspect that gm sold to viktor muller because i believe gm knew that muller did not have the financial capability to turn saab around. but cvk did. it reminds me of what happened to buell motorcycles. bombardier offered to purchase buell from harley davidson twice. each time harley turned them down. so harley shut buell down and sold mv agusta back to the late claudio castiglioni for one euro (estimated). gm as well as harley should be ashamed of themselves. but that is asking too much.

    diesels. generally speaking, engines around 2 liters and under do not use urea to control emissions. i am not certain that the 3 liter in the grand cherokee uses urea or not.

    modus v4 engine. great possibilities. but is very pricey compared to other 4 cylinder engines available. nevermind the h1 v8 used in the ariel atom. as of today, that engine and the h2 were sold to another company to be further developed. and has not been revealed who that company is.

    so, thank you autoline and good evening to all.

    regards,
    vrmchris

  58. T. Bejma Says:

    For your pleasure, an in depth look at the C7 Chassis…

    http://gmauthority.com/blog/2013/01/deep-dive-the-chassis-of-the-2014-corvette-stingray/

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #57, vmchris, thanks for the very informative post.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just looked at CR’s test results of the new Fusion, and while they liked the way it drove and rode, the gas mileage sucked big time. Both the 1.6 and 2.0 “ecoboost” were thirstier, and slower, than most of the naturally aspirated competition. For example, a V6 Accord got 4 mpg better “combined” mpg in their tests than the Fusion 2.0 turbo, and the Honda was 1.1 seconds quicker to 60 mph. The 1.6 showed similar underwhelming results, being both slower and thirstier than 4 cylinder Camry and Accord.

    The Fusion hybrid beat the Camry hybrid by 1 mpg, but has an 8 mpg better EPA rating than the Toyota. I’d expect the Fusion hybrid to have a “Hyundai moment” with its fuel economy ratings. The Fusion was 7 tenths slower to 60 than the Camry.

  61. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Glad to see the profit sharing (at Ford) and hopefully at the other automakers as well; a fair wage, then share in the profits (if any), the way I think it should be.