Episode 1064 – Bank of Toyota, Consumer Reports Slams Turbos, MKZ Drags Lincoln Down

February 5th, 2013 at 11:53am

Runtime: 8:19

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.

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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

112 Comments to “Episode 1064 – Bank of Toyota, Consumer Reports Slams Turbos, MKZ Drags Lincoln Down”

  1. David Sprowl Says:

    1959 Mercury Meteor Rideau!

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Barn-find (sans the barn); my best guess is a ’59 Ford Fairlane.

  3. Victor West Says:

    59 Mercury turnpike cruiser?

  4. Tim Achterhoff Says:

    It’s a 1959 Ford… probably a Fairlane.

  5. Joe Says:

    John, I think it’s a ’59 Ford Custom 300 FORDOR SEDAN

  6. Jim Gordon Says:

    There are at least clues here, the most obvious one being the roof shape as it back end. Then, the overall shape of the roof and the “aircraft carrier” flat and long shape of the entire car. Finally, there’s the dash. Its either the 1958-1960 Lincoln or the Mercury equivalent in that same time frame, the Turnpike Cruiser. I think from the roof its the Turnpike Cruiser.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    mid 60′s Mercury Monterrey?

  8. Lex Says:

    The Barn Find looks to me like a 1960′s Ford Galaxy 500.

    If Mazda is having such success with the CX5, where is it in comparison to the other vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Chevy Equinox, GMC Terrain, Ford Escape and others?

  9. HtG Says:

    Toyota also gets a helping hand from the Bank of Japan. Check out the decline of the Yen over the past year. This is an intervention.


    admittedly, Peter is more fun

  10. Manny Says:

    Barn Find looks like a 59 Edsel.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    The rear window gives it away, the Merc had an electric roll down rear glass that was a big selling point for the car, it allowed flow thru ventilation instead of using a/c

  12. frank Says:

    1959 full sized ford, the hole for the big round tailight is the clue.

  13. Jerry Says:

    1959 Ford

  14. D Kaz Says:

    Barn find, I’m guessing it’s a 1959 Ford Snowliner

  15. Bob J. Says:

    1959 Ford Fairlane. The backup lights in the fins gives it away. The headlight buckets and parking lights confirms it.

  16. Jonathan Says:

    Looks like Peter DeLorenzo almost blew a gasket when your other guest David Riley? from AOL thought the Clint Eastwood ad was good..

    hahahaha Gotta love Peters enthusiasm….

    The barn find looks like a Mercury turnpike cruiser but its just a guess….

    Great show!


  17. WineGeek Says:

    Peter has a real hard-on for Sergio and it overpowers his normal intelligent insightful commentary. The best thing for the American industry is to see what the rest of the world produces and drives and add the best features to our vehicles. I look back on how long it took American cars to get disk brakes while “foreign” cars had them for years.

  18. Jonathan Says:

    PS…I agree with David Kiley….although I do understand Peter DeLorenzo’s point….

    Clint Eastwood ad was cool….if a bit overplayed..

    JMO and don’t tell Peter…I don’t want Peters head to explode! ;) Kidding of course..

  19. Fred S Says:

    1959 Ford 4 door sedan. Easy one this time. Where do you ski? A lot of old rusty cars out there.

  20. Bill Healton Says:

    Looks like a 1959 Ford Galaxie due to the side trim. The photo I saw of a Meteor had single trim rather than split trim with a strip in the middle.

  21. AZcarnut Says:

    1958 or 1959 Ford

  22. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Re: the old car. How is it a barn find if it’s out in a field? Cool car, though. I think it’s a Mercury.

    Was that Aftur Hours bite really worth playing again? It was uncomfortable enough the first time!

  23. Artie A Ahedo Jr Says:


  24. gmveteran Says:

    Yes, $10.6B is a lot of money, but its only a 3.9% profit margin on Toyota’s net revenue. Hardly astonishing, especially when compared to VW’s margin of late.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s a ’59 Ford, but I don’t know what model.

  26. Bill Healton Says:

    I agree with Dave Sprowl. 1959 Mercury Meteor. I thought it was a Ford Galaxie, but the cut in rear window appears to be Mercury only. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%2759_Meteor.jpg

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ford says it’s ok to use regular gas in their turbos, but they give higher power ratings with premium. CR tests the cars with regular, but they might get a little better mpg with premium, but I’m sure not enough better to make up the ~7% extra cost.

    CR hasn’t tested a Fusion with the N/A 2.5. It gets the same EPA city rating as the 2.0 turbo, and one mpg better for the highway test. I hope CR tests it soon. The results will be interesting.

  28. Dave Says:

    I’d say it’s a ’58 Ford

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, doesn’t that C pillar look too thin to be a Ford?

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    John, and everyone:

    From my experience, probably all hybrids under-perform their EPA ratings, if driven “normally.” I’ve averaged a very good 45 mpg with my 2010 Prius for ~20K miles, but its EPA “combined” rating is 50. A friend has a 2011 Fusion hybrid which also under-performs its EPA combined rating of 39 mpg, averaging about 34.

    On the other hand, I have averaged about 36 mpg with my 2010 MINI Cooper, substantially beating its combined rating of only 32.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chrysler used turbos under Iacocca to get more power from small engines back when, I don’ think it worked out too well, they stopped using that trick, leave the turbos for the diesels and performance engines.

  32. Roger Blose Says:

    1958 Ford Gal. 500. Your Turbo analysis is correct…foot to the floor to get regular performance at the cost of fuel and durability. Remember the Chrysler Turbos of the 1980s? All Gone..bang! Thunderbird / SVO Mustangs all gone with a bang! Two or three years and they go bang. History repeats itself.

  33. Daniel Jones Says:

    The vehicle looks as it might be a Ford EDSEL!

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, I’m going by the big round tail lights, and the smaller backup lights in the fins. See:


    That picture is the obviously the wrong body style for the “find,” but I think the rear end matches.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have one, and they mostly met the goal of getting extra power from a really low tech 4 cylinder. When they first started selling the turbos, they didn’t have a V6 available.

    Toward the end of the use of the 2.5 turbos, like in my van, the alternative was a not too reliable, low tech 3 liter Mitsu V6.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    @ #22 GM also used turbos to get more power out of smaller engines (The most successful the Buick Gran National) Both companies turbos had longevity problems.

    My SWAG – 1958 Ford fairlane

  37. Philip Says:

    John, I don’t understand your knocking turbos. My understanding is that while superchargers do decrease economy because they inject extra fuel into the engine, turbos should not decrease mileage at all because they only use exhaust gases to produce more power. So what’s the story?

  38. G W Groovey Says:

    #16…’Barn Find’ must be a trademark like Subway’s footlong sandwich.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    C-tech the Buick was a special car, not a run of the mill family or economy ride, big difference between the 2. #24 imagine people actually opting for the Mitsu engine, thinking they’d be more reliable than the American ones?

  40. C-Tech Says:

    I see the improvements in turbo technology in the Chrysler 2.4L and the Chevy 1.4L. They do last longer when not tampered with. I saw a blown up 1.4L Cruze when someone tampered with the wastegate and overboosted the engine (cracked piston and block).

  41. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mercury Turnpike Cruiser ?

    The Truth ( about GM’s China sales numbers )


    Small Displacement Turbos ;

    Lo a behold ! Will miracles never cease ?

    I actually agree for once with CR’s findings !!! If CR had added in turbo’s built in lower durability … not to mention their propensity of late to self ignite ( shame on CR’s ignoring that lovely little fact about BMW and BMW/MINI’s turbos ) and CR and I would be on the same page 100% .

    Jeeze .. next thing you know Bejma and i will be agreeing about something GM ;-)

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A friend had a Buick Skyhawk (first gen J-car) with a turbo, I think 1.8 liter, and manual transmission. It was a cool car for the time. It may not have been very reliable, though.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, the mystery car does not appear to be a convertible, if it is, it’s gotta be the most durable convertible top I have ever seen like the photo you uploaded, I was looking online for any Ford from that era and could not find one with such a weird c-pillar, I immediately remembered a Monterrey a friend used to own with similar c pillar, very vertical so it would accommodate the roll down rear glass.

  44. C-Tech Says:

    @ #28 Mr. P I should have made more clear, GM as well as Chrysler put turbo engines in many different cars Buick used the T-type moniker on cars from the Skylark to the LeSabre and Riviera. There was a Monte Carlo turbo, and Firebird turbo. The 80′s were full of turbos.

  45. ColoradoKid Says:


    My final word on the matter .

    There aint no Free Lunch …. in any technology .

    e.g. Every HP & Torque increase comes at a cost … be it MPG – durability – dependability etc . PERIOD ! No exceptions !

    With the single largest problem with todays small displacement turbos being the small spaces they’re being confined to , crammed into over crowded and under sized areas with minimal air flow and the heat and subsequent damage that ensues thereof .

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    Isn’t that the era when American cars began losing market share to the foreign competitors as well? something to think about now that this new turbo love affair has begun in earnest at a time when US car makers are beginning to get popular again, it’d be a shame to have history repeat itself, remember all you need is a few negative stories about turbo being unreliable or starting fires to get around and people will start avoiding them.

  47. RonE Says:

    1959 Ford Custom 300 4 door

  48. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 43

    I’m beting its a Mercury Turnpike Cruiser . My grand dad had one and that was one of the defining traits . The hardtop kind of did resemble a convertible soft top from a distance …. then ….. when you’d put the back window down ….. oh that’d really confuse folks

  49. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ # 36:Superchargers do not inject more fuel to the engine anymore then turbos do.Both increase the air pressure dramatically into the cylinders.Higher capacity fuel injectors take care of the fuel delivery,on command.Superchargers are mechanically driven by the engine,turbos are driven by the expelled exhaust gases.That’s just the basics though….

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Is john “knocking” turbos? I guess maybe.

    Anyway, CR’s findings are simply that most of the turbos don’t buy you anything, as far as mpg or performance vs simpler engines.

    Actually, I’m a little surprised that the Ford turbos are kind of gas hogs, but since they are, there seems to be no reason whatever to use them in mainstream cars.

    The BMW turbo 4 works great, albeit on premium fuel, but they probably put a lot more into that engine than just bragging rights for “technology” like GDI and turbocharging. They had a very lofty goal for that engine, given that it was intended to be a more economical replacement for what is arguably the best 6 cylinder engine in the world.

  51. Don Brand Says:

    Definately a 1959 Ford Galaxie.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    Clint Eastwood – IMO especially after his ‘ empty chair ‘ debacle needs to keep his yap shut on any and all subjects ….. especially ….Politics , the Automotive Business and Detroit . Oh man …. that Detroit essay link I put up last Friday just came flooding back . Ugh !

  53. Frank Paparteys Says:

    Looks like an Edsel

  54. ColoradoKid Says:


    ” The BMW turbo works great ” …… until that is it starts leaking all over creation … doing its darnedest to do its BBQ impersonation

    Reminding you of the multiple recalls BMW and BMW/MINI dealt with worldwide in 2012 ….. on each and every turbo model they sell . And from what the dealer here told me …. they’re still having problems … though no ‘ official ‘ recall as of yet

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m talking about the 2.0 turbo used in the 328i, not the MINI S engine, which is probably trying to make too much power for the engine’s own good.

    I’m saying that the 2.0 makes good power, has a pleasant, “flat” power band, sounds good, and it gets good gas mileage. I’m not saying the 2.0 is particularly reliable, though I haven’t heard that they are unreliable. In fact, the 4 cyl 328i has been very reliable in CR’s surveys.

  56. Frank T. Says:

    1959 Ford Failane 500 4 dorr

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oh, I’m saying that the BMW 2.0 sounds good on acceleration. It doesn’t sound good at idle; it clatters, like all GDI engines seem to clatter.

  58. motorman Says:

    my son’s cruze eco 6 speed manual will get over 40 MPG at turnpike speeds,75/85 MPH and i am sure the turbo is spooled up at that speed

  59. Roy Eaton Says:

    1959 Ford Fairlane

  60. Warren Webb Says:

    If the EPA revised its testing proceedures wouldnt that make meeting the 54 plus mpg standard even more unreachable? If real world mpg is needed, then a more realistic standard is required.

  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57, The EPA ratings on the window stickers are downwardly adjusted from the actual test results. The numbers used to calculate CAFE are higher than the window sticker numbers.

    It seems that hybrids are the cars that need to be tested differently, as they tend to under-perform their ratings compared to other cars. Diesels seem to be the opposite, over-performing their ratings compared to gas cars.

  62. ColoradoKid Says:

    Euro’s & SUV’s ;

    To add one more to the fray ( of upcoming SUV’s in the EU/UK ) ….. VW-Audi has just green lighted the very fugly Bentley SUV.

    Kind of ironic when you think about it .

    The more we try and be like them

    The more in fact they’re trying to be like us .

    I kind of guess maybe that means ….. we win ?

    Kit ; Again …. ALL of BMW’s turbos were recalled last year for leaking and fire hazard problems from the Turbo I6′s right down to the MINI’s I4 . And ALL ( both BMW and MINI’s ) according to the local BMW dealer are still having problems . Which is why the X1 is off the list for Decision 2013

  63. Glen Rigney Says:

    1959 Ford

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    MKZ dragging Lincolns sales down ?

    Methinks not .

    Whats dragging Lincoln sales down is the fact that they’ve got nothing on the lot anyone wants .

    Any bets Ford cans the Lincoln brand in the next 24 months or less ?

    Oh well . Another American automotive icon probably bites the dust . SNAFU .

  65. DanChester Says:

    The barn find is a 1959 Ford Galaxie 500. Or at least it was born as one…

  66. Al Bean Says:

    1959 Ford custom

  67. Howard Remeta Says:


    The car is a 1959 Ford Galaxie

    Howard Remta

  68. HtG Says:

    62 Decision 2013

    Subie Subie Dooooo

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62, As I said in my earlier post, I am talking about how the engine, you know, drives, not about whatever recalls it may have had.

    Speaking of which, there are no recalls for the 2012 328i, and one recall for the 2011 328i, which had nothing to do with the engine. You can search recalls and complaints here:


  70. avlisk Says:

    I think it’s a 1957 Galaxy, although it might be a ’57 Fairlane.

  71. Drew Says:

    1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Town Sedan. The C-pillar shape misleads people to think it is a Mercury, but the Ford Fairlane had two different C-pillars — a Thunderbird-like formal C-paller and an airy C-pillar with wraparound glass. This was the latter.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Drew, you and some others here know a lot about ’59 Fords. I could tell it was a ’59 Ford from the rear lights, but, beyond that….

  73. The Autoextremist Says:

    From the 12/19 issue of Autoextremist: Editor’s Note: A Mr. Sam Hemingway, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, took umbrage with Peter’s perspectives on Sergio Marchionne and Fiat-Chrysler calling it “problematic” and a “vendetta.” Peter’s response is below. – WG

    Editor-in-Chief’s Note: First of all, the notion that I have a vendetta against anyone at Chrysler is so off the mark it qualifies as unmitigated bullshit. The conspiracy theory is that I worked for Chrysler back during the Daimler ownership era and they fired me. Not true. I did have a one-year consulting contract, I fulfilled that contract, and then I left. Were they already going down at that point? Yes. The planets were aligned for the Germans to screw it up royally. But it mattered little to me and still doesn’t, there was no lingering animosity whatsoever on my part. End of story.

    The facts – which everyone wants to conveniently forget about when it comes to Sergio Marchionne and his crew – are the following…

    1. The U.S. government flat-out “gifted” Chrysler to Marchionne. Heading a fading, family-owned car company that languished in perpetual cardiac arrest because of its intransigent unions and piss-poor products – except for Ferrari, of course – Marchionne saw an opportunity to grab a North American manufacturing base and potential profit center for Fiat for a song. And that’s exactly what he did. Far from genius material, this only qualifies him as being the Opportunist of the Century, as Washington had zero options. At the end of the first year of ownership Fiat had to come up with something like $4.5 billion. Total. That’s a gift, folks.

    2. Every single product that has propelled Chrysler’s so-called “turnaround” was in place before Marchionne ever set foot in Auburn Hills. Every single one. The only vehicle that wasn’t was the Dart, but believe me, that’s not where the profits are coming from or will come from anytime soon. The people responsible for the uptick in the company’s fortunes are the True Believers in Design, Engineering and Product Development at Chrysler who were toiling away long before the Italians arrived. I have always distinguished between the True Believers in Auburn Hills who did – and do – the heavy lifting and actual work from the carpetbagging opportunists from Italy. And I will continue to do so.

    3. Back to the “genius” of Marchionne. He has based his whole idea for global domination of the car biz on the relaunch of the Alfa Romeo brand here and around the world. I think that’s flat-out ludicrous and I’m not the only one in this industry who thinks so, either. And guess what? Now that the European auto market is in near collapse Marchionne’s grand scam, I mean scheme, is coming apart at the seams. He just announced that Fiat doesn’t have the money to pay for the rest of Chrysler. Read that again and if it doesn’t sink in you shouldn’t be reading AE to begin with. That means that Marchionne’s grand plan for a new product lineup based on Alfa Romeos is now completely up in the air. Remember, folks, he has promised for years something along the lines of as many as six new Alfa-based products in-market here by 2014. That ain’t happenin’ as they say here in Dee-troit. To make matters worse, the situation in Europe for Fiat is so bleak that five months ago Marchionne went so far as to suggest that the manufacturers get together and agree on profit margins, so that they all could survive. VW laughed. Because that’s who Marchionne was targeting with his plea. VW’s “scorched earth” policy in the European market rankled Marchionne to no end. They despise each other because of it, and as best as I can tell, for good reason, but I side with VW on this. Marchionne was so far out of line, it was embarrassing. The rest of the industry just winced. In case you’re wondering, Marchionne will stop at nothing to save his ass. His ego won’t allow anything or anyone to get in the way of his carefully crafted image as industry seer and savior. Even collusion. Oh, some of you out there don’t think his image is “crafted” – ? Please.

    4. Fiat-Chrysler is now totally dependent on the True Believers in Auburn Hills for its survival, and that’s no surprise in the least. Fiat, as it has been for oh, 40 years or so, is a pretend car company with one family jewel. The “family” will buy Marchionne’s vision for just so long but even the Italians back in the home country are growing tired of his act, so it’s going to get interesting in a hurry, especially if Fiat ceases to function in Italy, which believe me is not beyond the realm of possibility.

    5. Marchionne’s manic management style, which has him having something like 30+ direct reports, is a recipe for future disaster. Marchionne has set up Fiat-Chrysler to run with only one guy – Marchionne – at the helm, and when he bolts the company will once again be in disarray. Don’t think there’s any chance of that happening ever again? Please. There is no Fiat-Chrysler management structure after Marchionne leaves, and believe me that’s exactly the way he wants it to be. That’s so he can sit back and say, “See, it was only my brilliance that powered the company. Without me, I knew the whole thing would come to a halt,” thus fulfilling the only scenario that his considerable ego would allow.

    6. Back to that carefully-crafted image. Marchionne’s “act” in this town is so transparently disingenuous I find it to be disgusting. Many of the AE readers don’t live around here and aren’t exposed to the constant bleating of Fiat-Chrysler’s PR handlers – led by one Gualberto Raineri (who, as I’ve stated previously, is a graduate of “Unctuous Prick University”) – who portray Marchionne as a “man of the people” and one who deeply cares about the city. I’m not buying it. And for those who do you’re just naive about the ways of media manipulation as practiced by Marchionne and his handlers. These guys have this town rolling out the red carpet for Marchionne on a daily basis, and the slavish media in this town and who cover this industry at large should be ashamed of themselves for not seeing through the Fog of Bullshit laid down by these espresso-fueled opportunists.

    7. As for Olivier Francois, he’s a mildly talented self-promoting fop perfectly suited for Marchionne’s ego, and I absolutely refuse to give him a free pass, unlike the rest of the media world. As an ex-advertising guy I can smell Francois’s act from a mile away because I’ve seen a hundred of his ilk come and go in this business, so I find the constant canonization of him to be laughable and embarrassing. Do you want me to play ad critic? Okay, the first Eminem Super Bowl spot was well done and well-executed, but in typical fashion Francois’s marketers then beat it to death and reduced its impact with every subsequent iteration. The second Super Bowl spot with Clint Eastwood was a flat-out disaster and painfully embarrassing, especially given the fact that these arrogant carpetbaggers had the temerity to tell us what it’s like to be Americans living in America. Absolute dreck, on every level. The only spot that has emerged under Francois’s reign that I would qualify as “brilliant” was the launch spot for the Dart that covered the development of the car. It was outstanding. SEE MY COMMENTS ON THE SUPER BOWL ADS IN THIS WEEK’S AUTOEXTREMIST. But I don’t call him Olivier “I’m a genius, just ask me” Francois for nothing. He is in sync with his boss, a self-promoting master who has snowed almost everybody – almost – in to thinking that these guys are akin to the Second Coming in this industry, the smartest guys in the room on so many levels that we’re fortunate just to be able to bask in their brilliance.

    Well I say bullshit to all of that.

    I will continue to call Marchionne and his band of carpetbaggers out for their blatant manipulations every step of the way. And I will continue to differentiate the True Believers out in Auburn Hills – the ones who actually are powering Fiat-Chrysler – from the smarmy Italians whose only purpose in life is to suck the profits from this company on their way out the door. Because I’ve never wavered since Day One of this publication from talking about things that the rest of the media hordes will only talk about in “deep background” or in some “off the record” conversations in a bar. And if some of you out there don’t like it, too frickin’ bad.

    The High-Octane Truth ain’t for the faint of heart. And if you think you know this business from afar or have gleaned its nuances in a fifteen-minute Google deep dive, think again. As most people in this business know, it’s the stuff I don’t write about that I’m privy to know that would really rock the industry to its core. – PMD

  74. Bradley Says:

    There is a shortage of the letter “Z”, it was covered on Sesame Street last week. I am sure this is why the MK+Z are delayed.

  75. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    Peter, thanks for the rant. I always felt you were sort of… holding back your real feelings about the Fiatasco.

  76. HtG Says:

    If some of the stuff PMD is holding back includes how important the survival of the auto industry is to govts around the world, such that laws are being ignored and the moneys poured, I’d believe it. It’s also inexplicable how Bob Lutz praises Akerson, at least until someone explains it.

  77. C-Tech Says:

    Why doesn’t HtG get to use bul—–?
    @ #74 +1

  78. HtG Says:

    And why does this comment board merit PMD sending a message through it?

  79. C-Tech Says:

    Somebody get Peter a Snicker’s bar, stat!

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Peter, should VW try to buy Chrysler? That would broaden their product lineup, and help them toward their goal of world automotive domination.

  81. Don LaCombe Says:

    I think its a Merc Turnpike Cruiser-58 or 59. The rear of the roof is the giveaway.

  82. ColoradoKid Says:

    Amen once again to Pietro D !

  83. ColoradoKid Says:


    From moi to vu

    Red Bull RB9 factory video


  84. ColoradoKid Says:


    Much as I despise the company I’d be the first in line to vote for VW – Audi’s purchase of Chrysler ..

    Anything would be better than Marchionne’s madness and insanity marching On ( to Chrysler’s eventual demise )

    Even … cough ….. VW-Audi .

  85. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 78

    Cause I think he likes us

    Either that or cause he’s figured out he’s got a fellow gumba ( Italian /American ) here ;-)

  86. The Autoextremist Says:

    I appreciate you guys. And sometimes I feel I have to reiterate my position, or set the record street (yes, you, No. 17). And as I’ve often stated, Sergio is an extremely bright man, I just wish the mainstream media would bother to see through the bullshit once in a great while and offer some perspective. (I don’t know if you have noticed, but there have been some articles of late that have offered more than a discouraging word for some of Sergio’s antics.)

    Goodnight and Good Luck,


  87. The Autoextremist Says:

    I meant set the record straight of course.

  88. cwolf Says:

    I need another glass of wine; Peter and I agree! This day will go down in history cuz most market guys I have shared time with are great to hang around with but have more BS than a x-mass turkey. Who-da-thunkit?

    Hey ol’dependable ones; turbos may have no longevity, new diesels may not be what they’re thought to be, and hybreds (Ford) says they start loosing mpg’s after 6K miles. what in the heck am I to buy that is NA and American? The ATS non turbo is a maybe but I’m not crazy about spending the extra money for handling performance, while I drive in a straight line. If the UAW unionized Honda, I wouldn’t mind a new Accord.

  89. HtG Says:

    82 thx, CK, I saw it. Now check out Drive’s film on Spa24.

  90. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ PMD: Wow…..excellent rant.I think everybody on here knows how I feel about macaroni.

    I would love to see VW pick up chrysler,and macaroni (moose-a-lini) given the boot (not Sicily).

  91. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ cwolf: How’s about a Lincoln? They may be seriously discounted soon….

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The rant was interesting, and informative, but Peter has a lot more confidence in Lincoln than most of us here. In his Super Bowl ad coverage, he says, in part:

    “Three years from now, once the Lincoln Motor Company is established and its product cadence is truly on pace, I could see doing a whimsical spot for the brand on the Super Bowl.”

    He’s assuming Lincoln will be around. I have my doubts, but I’m sure he has a lot more information than most of us. Maybe there is a secret Town Car in the works, to serve as the Lincoln flagship.

  93. C-Tech Says:

    For those of you in central Florida Autoline will be on tonight at 10:30pm WDSC.

  94. Bob Aubertin Says:

    Hey John,

    This week’s barn find is one car with 2 name plates!!! Yes it’s a ’59 Ford Fairlane or a ’59 Mercury Meteor four door model “only available in Canada” you say!!!

    I really enjoy identifying your “Barn Finds” it’s Great for our automotive minds & memory. Great show as always, keep them coming.

  95. G.A.Branigan Says:

    A lot of us on here,for years,have said Lincoln needs to lose the alphabet soup that other brands use and go back to the names we as Americans know.They want brand recognition? Towncar,Continental etc.Maybe even the Zephyr..

  96. fred kermes Says:

    1959 ford galaxy

  97. Dan Clemons Says:

    I say it is a Mercury 1964ish… Yes, it did have the automatic rear window. Nice car. I got to drive it.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember those Ford/Mercury hybrids in Canada, and also cars with a Dodge front end and Plymouth rear end. I guess those were called Dodge, rather than Plymouth or something else.

  99. Tom Henry Says:

    Barn find is a ’59 Ford 4 door sedan. Likely a Fairlane 500.

  100. Garry McNeil Says:

    The car that John found is a 1959 Ford four door sedan. I drove my father’s 2 door as a teenager in rural Ontario.

  101. blueovalblood Says:

    John, the “barn find” is a 59 Ford Fairlane (4 door sedan).

  102. Al Jadczak Says:

    Hi John, What kid of junk yard do you cross country ski In? Looks like a 59 Ford Galaxie 500. Keep the shows coming!

  103. T. Bejma Says:

    Looks like the Kid spoke too soon…

    Opel backs down and Dealers win…


  104. ColoradoKid Says:

    the ‘ Kid ‘ did no such thing . Fact was GM was trying to bring down the OPEL dealers . Fact is GM after massive protests EU wide : as well as the German Government stepping in with sledge hammer in hand ….. backed down ….

    Fact is . I’ll bet you ten to one when GM finally gets the cojones ( seeing as how honesty is one of the many traits GM is sadly lacking in ) to admit what they’re really trying to do IS to shut OPEL down ……. they’ll use this as one of their many lame excuses to do so .

    Tel you what . I completely comprehend Pietro’s need to hold back on some things ( there’s stuff I could let loose with coming from my OPEL and Holden insiders that’d curl your toes … but doing so would reveal their identities ) … but sometimes I wish the constraints could come off and he’d go on a serious tear on GM

  105. T. Bejma Says:

    Another positive review on the ATS and the Kid fails to mention it (even though it is on his favorite GM bashing site)… Surprise, surprise…


  106. Scott-in=Cleveland Says:

    I believe the barn find is a Mercury Turnpike Cruiser.

  107. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ T Bejma: I read the review,I wouldn’t call it all positive.The common complaint comes from the interior,even on their top of the line trim level.Too bad they dropped the ball on that.maybe the next MY it will improve,and maybe improve the CUE.

  108. Chuck Grenci Says:

    You can’t deny that the review was overall positive, and even in the interior; just wasn’t the best in class (still top-notch).

    Nice review T.B.; thanks for posting.

    p.s. please note that I ‘am’ a Cadillac enthusiast so my views are probably somewhat biased (but Cadillac undeniably brought their “A” game).

  109. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just the fact that they’re both being compared is remarkable in itself, my question is why did it have to come to this point, when we used to kick ass in automotive designing and engineering?

  110. Lex Says:

    @ # 73 PMD – Bravo Bravo!!!

  111. Dave Foley Says:

    #73. PMD. So focused on being negative.

    For all the bla bla about gifting and all that stuff, if SM is the “Opportunist of the Century”, why isn’t PMD calling every single other executive the “Idiot In Charge Of The Century!!”?

    Who else was in a position to bail out Chrysler? Who else had a small car platform that could be adapted to NA market? Who else was interested in anything that was in the ‘pipeline’ enough to see it through to production, instead of just poaching the technology, and installing it on their own vehicles. No one, that’s who.

    Peter’s vitriolic replies to anyone that shows any positive comments on Chrysler completely undermine his own comments on not only Chrysler, but other manufacturers programs.

    I usually agree wholeheartedly with PMD’s assessments, but his latest attack on an AAH “GUEST!!” Dave Kiley who simply expressed his opinion, shows he is more focussed on being belligerent, than being fair. I’m sorry but a 2 line compliment in Peter’s post about the ‘true believers’, isn’t what anyone would call a fair.

    It’s odd that the bone of contention of PMD seems to surround SM’s and PG’s ego, and self promotion. First off, isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black? Also, name me one auto executive that isn’t largely a self promotor. Everybody’s favourite exec Bob Lutz surely isn’t shy about it, now is he?

    Peter either needs to have a fistfight with SM, and PG and get it over with, or sit down and be quite when anything Chrysler comes up. He is undermining his own credibility by continuing to attack in this manner.

  112. stas peterson Says:

    I had to respond to the rant by Peter defending and justifying his unreasonable hatred of Sergio Mrachionne.

    True the government essentially gave away Chrysler to Fiat. Anyone with monetary credentials could have gotten that deal including VW, Honda, Toyota, Ford or even GM. GM was offered it twice and more by Nardelli.

    No one wanted to step forward, except the guy who grew up in metro Detroit, across the river in Windsor, and saw value there. For those who think only native Detroiters have have gasoline for blood, are qualified to speak knowingly about automotive affairs, ironically, Sergio Mrchionne is one of them, who has come home.

    Fact: There was a lot of value in Chrysler, the Minivans & factories, the S-class architecture handed by Daimler to Chrysler and cost reduced; and of course all of Jeep. Along with some not so hidden significant engineering efforts underway by Daimler.

    Fact: Only Sergio, who was negotiating to buy rights to use that premium RWD, architecture from Daimler, for Alfa Romeo, Maserati and perhaps Ferrari, knew the price and reluctance of Mercedes to part with it. He got it for free with Chrysler.

    Fact: Sergio knew that Mercedes had commissioned Chrysler to jointly develop a completely new family of ultra modern V6s for use by both plebian Chrysler; but also by patrician Mercedes. Meaning it was both cost reduced for Chrysler use; and of the world class quality for Mercedes use.

    Fact: Sergio knew that Daimler had commissioned Chrysler to jointly develop a new, next generation platform for mid-size SUVS for use by both plebian (Chrysler/Jeep) and patrician Mercedes. Meaning it was both cost reduced (Jeep Grand Cherokee) and of the highest world class quality, (Mercedes ML350).

    Fact: Sergio knew that Chrysler had jointly developed a family of very modern, large I-4s with Huyndai and Mitsubishi but also a pair of gleaming new factories and tooling in which to build them. The Chrysler WGE was not a world beater but Huyndai had turned it’s WGE into a world leading design. They had all the design inputs to field a world class engine. Die cast alloy blocks and heads for lightness; preparations to withstand and accomodate boost pressures; for Ecoboost but also future HCCI, providing for GDI, along with designed DOHC chain drives, and DVVT.

    That is highly significant. For example, Ford had to replace all of its reasonably modern Duratec-generation I-4s, with stouter engines to handle Ecoboost, succesfully.

    As an example of the efficacy of Sergio’s management structure, he separated Dodge Trucks from Dodge cars. As a result, Ram’s CEO was able to justify and to command a development budget, that resulted in a Ram truck with a designed in a V6 and 8-speed automatic combo powertrain complying with EPA 2020 requirements; is combining with Iveco to offer a line of Ram Commercial Vans; and is preparing to offer a second smaller V6 diesel for lighter Ram 1500 pickups to accompany the existing world class Cummins for it Class 2,3,4,5, HD vehicles.

    Ram pickups, including its HDs, are nipping at the heels of Chevy pickups at near 400,000 units per year.

    Sergio had to break up management’s good old boy network. He did this with his outsized, but probably relatively temporary, direct reporting structure. More importantly it has created distributed cost/profit centers managed by by creation of “brand CEOs” with P&L responsibilities.

    Funny. That is exactly what most profitable VW is doing with its management structures and brand proliferation. And what Alfred Sloan did ages ago at GM.