February 5th, 2013 at 11:53am
One company just reported its earnings for the first nine months of its fiscal year, and it’s doing better than most automakers who report full year earnings. Consumer Reports has been testing small displacement turbocharged engines and let’s just say they did not get a thumbs up, except for one automaker. Lincoln dropped sales and market share because Ford is very slow in getting its new MKZ to the dealers, which may come as a bit of a surprise. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Isaac Bouchard says that half a liter makes all the difference in the Mazda CX-5.
Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, we’ve got a fun show for you today with all kinds of news about the automotive industry pouring in from all over the world.
THE BANK OF TOYOTA (PDF)
Toyota’s amazing comeback continues. The company just reported its earnings for the first nine months of its fiscal year, and it’s doing better than most automakers who report full year earnings. Toyota sold over 6.6 million vehicles, up almost 33 percent from the prior period. It generated revenue of roughly $203 billion, up 26 percent. And it’s net profit soared almost 300 percent to $2.5 billion. But wait, it gets better. For its full fiscal year, which ends on March 31st, Toyota forecasts it will hit $269 billion in revenues and post a net profit of $10.6 billion. Let me tell you people, that’s a lot of potatoes!
TURBOS CAN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE
Consumer Reports has been testing small displacement turbocharged engines from Ford, GM, Hyundai, Kia and BMW and let’s just say they did not get a thumbs up, except for BMW. CR says its data does not support the companies’ claims of better fuel economy and performance over their naturally aspirated counterparts. I say this is similar to the problem of the latest generation hybrids with lithium ion batteries that don’t deliver the kind of fuel economy that the EPA label says they will. That’s because those hybrids can get through the EPA test mostly in EV mode, which exaggerates their fuel economy. With the small turbo engines, automakers can get through most of the EPA test without the turbo kicking in, which really helps fuel economy. But in the real world, where you really use the turbo, fuel economy plummets. And all this shows that the EPA really needs to change its fuel economy tests and do it quickly.
MKZ DRAGS LINCOLN DOWN
Lincoln saw its sales and market share drop last month in what otherwise was a strong market. And the reason Lincoln dropped is because Ford is very slow in getting its new MKZ to the dealers. That’s strange because the MKZ is built at the same plant as the Ford Fusion, and the Fusion had a terrific month with sales up 58 percent. In fact, the rest of the Lincoln line did pretty well too. Ford’s not saying why the MKZ is so slow to the market. They admit they’re doing some kind of additional quality inspections, but that would suggest it’s having some sort of problem that is unique to the MKZ, otherwise you’d expect to see the Fusion having the same issues.
UAW LOOKS TO ORGANIZE FOREIGN PLANTS
As we reported yesterday that the UAW wants members to get into politics. Now it says it absolutely must unionize the foreign automakers with plants in the U.S. UAW President Bob King says that if this does not happen that the wages of suppliers and new workers will not rise. Of course, the UAW has been saying this for years, without anything to show for it. But now its beating the war drums louder and longer than before, so maybe it’s getting ready to go out on the war path.
No doubt most of you are aware that we do a show every Thursday night called Autoline After Hours. I keep saying it offers the best insider view of what’s going on in the industry. And we don’t pull any punches, especially when it comes to my co-host, Peter De Lorenzo, AKA the Autoextremist. In case you haven’t caught the show, here’s a piece from the most recent show when we dove into all the automotive involvement in the Super Bowl. David Kiley from AOL Autos and Michael Sprague who heads up all advertising for Kia are on the show.
Even though After Hours runs live on Thursday nights, you can always catch it later in the John’s Journal section of our website, or on our YouTube channel.
RUST IN PEACE
We’ve got another cool Barn Find here. I was out cross country skiing, again, this past weekend, when deep in the woods I found this car quietly rusting in peace. But here’s my question: do you know what this is? I’ve got a pretty good idea, in fact, I think it’s pretty easy to figure out. If you think you know the answer, drop us a note in the comment section, or shoot us an email.
The Mazda CX-5 is a terrific vehicle, but some think it’s a bit underpowered. Well, Mazda seems to have the answer for those complaints as Isaac Bouchard reports.
MAZDA CX-5 GETS MORE POWER
(Mazda CX-5 can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Mazda is also considering offering its 2.2-liter diesel in the CX-5 and I think that could make an even more compelling package.
But that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing your guesses as to what our latest Barn Find is. Tune in tomorrow to get the answer.