Episode 1078 – Chery Hires Porsche Designer, VW’s 2012 Earnings, Jeep Cherokee is Back

February 25th, 2013 at 11:44am

Runtime: 8:09

Chinese automaker Chery hired top-level designer Hakan Saracoglu from Porsche. Volkswagen announced its earnings for 2012 and the company posted some jaw-dropping numbers. Jeep is so excited about bringing the Cherokee back that they released pictures before the official introduction at the New York Auto Show in March. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Seamus McElroy has our first look into the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: BorgWarner, Bridgestone, Dow Automotive Systems and Hyundai

»Subscribe to Podcast | iTunes | Zune | RSS | Listen on Phone Stitcher | YouTube

It’s good to see you back with us for the start of a brand new work week. Here at Autoline Daily it’s our job to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the automotive industry, so let’s get to it.

General Motors just took an important step towards getting customers more interested in its cars. It’s partnering with AT&T to put be the first automaker to put 4G LTE connectivity in most of its 2015 U.S. and Canadian models. Besides being faster and more responsive, 4G allows customers to create an in vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot, stream video in the back seat, or get real-time traffic updates. The system is integrated with the electrical system and uses an external antenna for better coverage and connectivity. GM plans to work with other carriers to offer 4G for Opel and Vauxhall. This is a very astute move for GM to bring younger, tech-savvy customers into its showrooms.

Chinese automaker Chery is taking a page out of Kia’s design book. Just as Kia hired a top designer from Audi. Chery hired Hakan Saracoglu from Porsche. He worked at Porsche for 15 years and helped design the exteriors of the 918 Spyder, Boxter and Cayman. He began his career at Ford in Europe and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. You watch, in one design generation Chery is going to have fantastic looking cars, and that could truly vault the Chinese automaker onto the global automotive stage, just like it did at Kia.

Volkswagen announced its earnings for 2012 and the company posted some pretty impressive numbers. It sold 9.3 million vehicles, up nearly 12 percent. That boosted revenues by more than 20 percent to $252 billion. That pushed its pre-tax profit to a jaw dropping $33 billion. Net profits came in at a very impressive $8.3 billion. Meanwhile, things don’t look so rosy over at Daimler. On Friday we told you that CEO Dieter Zetsche only got a 3-year renewal of his contract instead of the customary 5-years. Now we’ve learned that the board trimmed Dieter’s pay package by almost 6 percent even though he still earned $11 million, and management members on the board saw their bonus whacked by 28 percent. Daimler is falling behind BMW and Audi and let me tell you, nothing focuses executives’ attention like cutting their compensation.

Last week we got to see the production version of Volkswagen’s XL1, a plug-in diesel hybrid that could be the most fuel efficient vehicle ever produced. However, with its hand-built carbon fiber and aluminum body it does not seem the XL1 is slated for mass-production. So now there are talks that the same 2-cylinder TDI engine and electric motor powertrain will go into Volkswagen’s 2-door hatch, the Up! which has a better chance for higher production capacity. The word is that the Up! Hybrid is still in the developmental stages and we may not see a production version till sometime in 2014, but what a smart move for VW to get more volume production for that powertrain because it will lower the overall cost.

Jeep is bringing back the Cherokee with the official intro at New York Auto Show in March. But they’re just so excited about the news that they just had to release these pictures before the fact. What an interesting interpretation of the Jeep front end graphic. And notice the almost Kia-like grille on the lower front fascia. Jeep claims that it will have 45 percent better fuel economy, I’m guessing that’s compared to the Jeep Liberty. And that leads me to believe that the 2014 Cherokee will be getting a diesel. It will be built at Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Plant in Ohio and will arrive in dealer showrooms by the third quarter of this year.

Speaking of Jeeps with the word Cherokee in their name, let’s take a look at the refreshed Grand Cherokee, coming up next.

(Video and interviews for the Grand Cherokee can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Thanks for that report, Seamus.

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

53 Comments to “Episode 1078 – Chery Hires Porsche Designer, VW’s 2012 Earnings, Jeep Cherokee is Back”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Speaking for myself,I have never minded the ‘noise’ the old diesels made,and the new ones are much quieter,so that wouldn’t be an issue for me.As to putting off prospective buyers,the 3.0L ecodiesel is still probably a LOT quieter then the junk pentastar,lol.

  2. W L Simpson Says:

    4G—– a wonderfully new driving distraction

  3. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Not much to say about todays news. But John, have you ever considered doing Autoline Daily on the weekend’s. I think it would be a great idea! The news doesn’t stop on weekend’s.

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    The comment on more rapid refresh hit me as a welcome change.

    I still feel that the constant search for ever more tiny niche markets to fill with yet another vehicle version just diverts critical R&D and refinement money with diminishing ROI.

    I just have this gut feeling that all these different versions will cause an implosion similar to the housing market bubble going burst.

    Look at BMW for example. It used to be simple for them. Not too long ago they just had the 3, 5 and 7 series with a couple versions of each. Now it is damn near impossible to keep up with the 1/X1, 3/X3, 4/Z4, 5/X5, 6/X6 etc etc etc.

    How about Ford? Are the Fiesta and Focus different enough to make a difference? Look at the problems Chevy is having making the Malibu appear as a clear step up from a Cruze (especially since the recent wheelbase shrink).

    I guess I would prefer a more limited range, updated on a more frequent basis, than the continual slicing of the pie into smaller and smaller pieces.

    But I’m just a consumer, not an industry insider.

  5. C-Tech Says:

    Who gave Jeep the ok to put the UGLY JUKE front end design on the Cherokee? I have seen better variations and this will need to change at its 2 year refresh for sure.

  6. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Who else think’s there should be weekend edition’s of Autoline Daily? Even if they were just shorter updates.

  7. C-Tech Says:

    John if “nothing focuses executives’ attention like cutting their compensation” when will we see the hatchet at Ford (Lincoln) and GM (Buick)?

  8. C-Tech Says:

    @ #6 Give the guys a day off! Go watch Autoline on your local PBS station! Let them be with their families and recharge! It’s not THAT much news on the weekend.

  9. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Why ruin AD’s staff on the weekend? There are enough automotive online news outlets like TTAC and the like,to sooth the ‘hunger pains’,lol.

  10. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have to wonder (as always) about jeep.They keep on giving the Grand Cherokee all kinds of upgrades/refreshes etc but pretty much leave the jk alone,only getting mild interior upgrades and a lousy pentastar.Which model sells more,the GC or the JK? I’m thinking the jk outsells all other models in the jeep line,but I could be wrong.

  11. Lex Says:

    The Styling of the 2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE has much to be desired! To paraphase Seamus ” Jeep’s attitude is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. IMO Jeep needs to rethink the front nose styling on the 2014 Grand Cherokee and Cherokee. The head lights are way to small and too much lower chrome. I believe the current model of the Grand Cherokee is a very handsome vehicle. The current nose of the Grand Cherokee would transfer very nicely to the Cherokee.

  12. RonE Says:

    @8 & 9, +1.

  13. Lex Says:

    VW has the right idea, take the powertrain from the XL1(which is a halo vehicle) and plug it into a mass production model like the UP. Now if GM could learn from this example and take the Volt powertrain and put it into the Cruze at a 30K max price point in a 2LT Trim Level that would enable GM to recoup Voltronic developments cost much quicker. The $7500 Federal tax credit would drop the EV Cruze to under $23K, and other state tax incentives would make it more attractive.

  14. Gerry P Says:

    Well, I was anxiously waiting for the replacement of the Liberty to retire my gen 1 Liberty. The new Cherokee looked promising until I found out it won’t have a neutral in the transfer case. That means it won’t be flat towable. I could get a Grand Cherokee, but it has gotten too fat and bloated over the years for my liking. It seems that the Jeep brand has lost its focus. I loved my Jeeps, but it looks like I will need to go else ware to find a true off road vehicle, that the wife also won’t mind driving. Liberty, I will morn your passing.

  15. RickW Says:

    Please, Please tell Shamus to get his hair cut.
    I can’t take his commentary serious the way he looks.

  16. Feldman Says:

    #5 Absolutely agree, they ruined an excellent Design. The Kia lower grille does not work either.

  17. Feldman Says:

    #13 it was a TERRIBLE idea to steal the $7,500 from the average Joe taxpayer for every lame Dolt sold, and give it to the Buyers, who are WEALTHY people with an average income of $174,000!,

    and it will be HORRIBLE to extend it from the measly few Dolts sold annually to 100,000s of Cruzes!!!

  18. Feldman Says:

    Good Job Seamus. (Good vehicle too, that Diesel, a MODERN Diesel is what ALL SUVs should have under the hood, it is IDEAL for their purposes.

  19. Feldman Says:

    “GM TO OFFER 4G”

    Won’t help failures like the new Malibu, which, amazingly, is far worse, not better, than the Old Malibu.

  20. Feldman Says:

    #15 should wait till the Spring. Only 3-4 weeks left.

  21. Feldman Says:

    (VW): “Net profits came in at a very impressive $8.3 billion.”

    Toyota made similar stellar profits. How much profit did GM make in the same interval, TJ Bejma? Must be all these hugely discounted Silverado Inventories GM does not care about because the “dealer pays for them”, right? LOL…

  22. Lex Says:

    @ # 17 – Feldman if you think $174,000 is wealthy then you do not live in the New York Tri-State Area.

  23. Feldman Says:

    LEX: Don’t be a wise guy, read my post carefully.

    My 100% correct point is that to take $7,500 from those who make ONLY $34,000 a year (US average) and give it to the auto illiterates who buy the stupid, stupid Dolt (instead of the Awesome Prius), who make $174,000, MAKES ZERO SENSE and is INVERSE RObinm Hood, taking from the average and poor and giving to the RELATIVELY YES, WEALTHY.

    Better luck next time.

  24. Feldman Says:

    Speaking of clueless GM VP’s, here is an example, so TJ can understand the kind I was referring to-Socially promoted ‘blondes’ for diversity and multiculturalism that RUINED GM once already: The History and current exploits of Failed VP (Buick, Pontiac, GMC no less!) Doherty is a textbook example.

    From today’s TTAC:

    “Uh-oh: Susan Docherty, dispatched from China to Europe to teach the Eurotrash the proper appreciation and respect for Chevrolet and Cadillac, has come up with a strategy that assures the destruction of Cadillac outside of the U.S. Cadillac’s global aspirations hinge on its success in Europe, Docherty told WardsAuto. Again:” To be successful in China, Cadillac must first be successful in Europe. No blond jokes please, show some respect…”

  25. Feldman Says:

    #22 – Feldman if you think $174,000 is wealthy then you do not live in the New York Tri-State Area.

    FYI, more than 250,000,000 of the 312,000,000 US Citizens live OUTSIDE your precious Tri-state Area. AND those who live INSIDE largely do not even need a car.

    As for the $174,000, I bet it is a TON of money for the average, the median, the trimmed mean, and the Mode american, and every other “Measure of Central Tendency” Statistical American you can produce.

  26. Feldman Says:

    #22 PS and even worse than the tristate area, where at least its affluent people WORK for a living, is the situation near Washington DC, an area I know very well, having friends for over 35 years there, and having traveled to DC maybe 50 to 75 times on business the last 31 years, and stayed there for extended intervals for a total of half a year:

    Northern Virginia and Maryland’s affluent are no-good Government Employees and Lobbyists, and I don’t know which of the two I despise the most.

    I find it outrageous that the Average Government Employee today makes more than the average private Sector employee! It should be 100% thew other way around, and until recently, it was!

  27. C-Tech Says:

    @ #24 I don’t think multiculturalism ruined GM, however if this is truly the view of Susan Docherty about how to get Cadillac accepted in China, then I do have to belive she must be riding on having one helluva good year year at GM and avoiding blame for her mistakes for all the rest.

  28. Feldman Says:

    #27 any time any organization

    (including the leading US Universities, which have been the envy of the whole world for the last 50 or so years, and are in dire danger of lagging due to exactly this)

    instead of focusing on the pursuit of ABSOLUTE EXCELLENCE, and may the chips fall where they may,

    engages in Public Relations Social Promotion of barely qualified “blondes” (and I use the word figuratively, not literally!),

    and replaces the above goal with “Diversity and Multiculturalism”, “Geographical Distribution”, social promotion, and accepting students that are GUARANTEED not to make it because of their poor background (let alone IQ),

    that organization is Doomed.

    The Bankruptcy of Chrysler is not nearly as amazing as that of GM. (after all, Chrysler has gone broke before once)

    GM was the leading, dominant automaker in the US. Its market share used to be in the 50% range, it even reached 55% once!

    Companies like that usually drive their competitors out of business, they don’t lose 2/3rds of their marker share and go belly up themselves!

  29. john878 Says:

    I thought the winner of yesterday’s Daytona race was big news, but I guess not. Nothing was mentioned.

  30. GM Veteran Says:

    A diesel in the new Cherokee? I don’t agree. Simply putting a strong four cylinder engine with an advanced automatic trans in it will get the 45% mileage increase as compared to the outgoing Liberty. It was not exactly a mileage champ.

  31. Lex Says:

    @ # 23 – Feldman, Sentor Kristen Gillibrand was on the morning news shows talking about cutting out the BILLIONS in subsidies given to Big Oil and Big Agro(Corporate Farming)and G-d knows who else. You are worry about a mere $7,500 tax credit for the average Joe who wanting to save gas, promote a cleaner environment while supporting American Jobs. It seems to me that you need to calm down.

    I know several people at the 34K to 55K salary range who can not afford a new car like a “Awesome Prius”! The banks will even consider them for a new car loan. The unfortunate thing is that they end up buying used, not pre-owned certified. This is where their problems begin. These Clunkers need constant TLC and cost them more money in the long run.

    The Financial Industry and the Government need to work together to give every citizen an opportunity for a comfortable life. My Solution is to get rid of the Payroll Taxes. You as a citizen would have 10% deducted off the top of your paycheck to be your contribution to Social Security and Medicare. Your Employer would match that amount. The remaing 90% of your pay would be your’s to use as you see fit. You could Spend it, Save it or Invest it. All three options grow the economy. The Federal and State Governments would institute a VAT (Value Added Tax) which the IRS would collect from businesses and merchants. This value added tax would have no loop holes for anyone, company or industry. If you spend $1 to a Trillion Dollars you would pay the flat same percentage of tax. This model would take the burden of annual tax reporting off the backs of the average Joe and put 90% of his/her total income at his/her disposal, and hopefully a more comfortable existence.

    There are alot of hard working American Citizens who need help more than Huge Banks, Big Oil or Gigantic Agro firms who are currently receiving Billions in US Government Aid. We need to make education more accessible and affordable in this country for our our citizens so that we grow the leaders of tomorrow from inside our borders. OK.

  32. ColoradoKid Says:

    Feldman ;

    ” I find it outrageous that the Average Government Employee today makes more than the average private Sector employee! It should be 100% thew other way around, and until recently, it was! ”

    Your cluelessness abounds in measures beyond all intelligent human comprehension my little wingnut .

    FACT is the average government ‘ Employee’s ‘ wages are just now ( since GWB I might add ) becoming competitive to equal jobs in the private sector . Not higher .

    And here’s a little clue as to why I stepped in for one quick moment . My wife IS one of those Government employees who in fact by the very act of doing her job on a daily basis is risking her life keeping the likes of your smarmy – snarkafied little self not only safe and well ….. but giving you the freedom to step on a site like this and make a royal pain in the ______ of yourself with your persistent diarrhea of the keyboard endless uninformed at best : mis informed most often posts you insist on foisting upon those of us attempting to have a reasonably intelligent conversation


    Lex – Brilliant idea . I’m an advocate of a flat 10% rate myself . But much like Cadillac having a booming sales year in the EU – Marchionne for one short minute stating a Fact or telling the truth – Chrysler in reality rebounding – or for that matter any of the Sybil’s ever making a modicum of sense ;

    It aint never gonna happen .

    There’s too many ‘ Politicians ‘ with their hands way too deep into yours and my back pockets and they aint about to give up on the cash cow that is …. You & I … Nor are the multitudes that benefit from those politicians actions .

    If though …. it makes you feel a little better . Things have been worse . Much worse in fact thu out history .

  33. Feldman Says:

    #31 Didn’t you promise to go away, fool?

    I was right telling Pedro that u did so before, and came back despite your promise.

    Yeah, “brilliant idea” to give 100,000 Cruze Plug-in buyers $7,500 each. MORON.

  34. Feldman Says:

    You probably are unemployed and don’t pay any taxes…. otherwise you wound not spout UTTER NONSENSE like that.

  35. Chuck @ GM Says:

    Maybe they should’ve thrown in a moustache trim also.

  36. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @31 and everyone else who doesn’t realize it’s OUR government!!! We are the sovereigns!!!! They are the servants. They act like they are the sovereigns because we’ve let them do it for so long. The constitution is on OUR side explicitly to protect us from people like them. But it isn’t worth squat unless we take control of the things we have control over, like our Congres and senate. Sorry for sounding semi-politicky it’s kind of a hot issue for me. It doesn’t matter to me what party or political bent you have, just learn your constitution and make your reps live by it. The same constitution they swore to defend and uphold.

  37. Bob In Atlanta Says:

    6. Admiral Ackbar:

  38. cwolf Says:

    Thanks for stepping in CK. This guy is going to kill what once was a pretty fun forum to participate in. Perhaps it will return to normal after he discovers no one wants to listen to him.

  39. cwolf Says:

    John Mc. & Ben
    Allowing this phony to return countless times under a different identity was a lack of good judgement on your part,knowing the outcome would be the same as before. Add me to the list of lost customers.

    Hey,my friends; I might return after this guy hits the road. Hope to have some good “funn’in” then. Take care. Permitting anyone to call another a “fool” just took me over the edge.

  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I’m with ya cwolf…..

  41. 97 Sentra Says:

    This is a new low here on the board today. Bad case of the Mondays – better luck tomorrow, I guess.

  42. Feldman Says:

    I call a spade a spade and a fool a fool.

    I came back here with no intention to insult anyone.



  43. Feldman Says:

    You need to go back a whole week.

  44. T. Bejma Says:

    Add me to the list of those on hiatus until Feldman either gets back on his meds or is gone, for good.

  45. Feldman Says:



    I especially enjoyed the Faberge Egg grenade and the Bond-like Caviar Dispensers

  46. Feldman Says:

    TJ Bejma

    Give me a break. Holding hands with that despicable fool, aren’t you? Can’t handle the Truth?

    PS I am on no medications of any kind, and in perfect health. I just take a multi-vitamin every morning, just the 100% dose.

  47. Feldman Says:

    Talk about an odd couple… Martin and Bejma…

  48. Feldman Says:

    And PS, could you ONCE come up with something original, instead of using the utterly worn-out cliche about alleged “meds”? Pathetic.

  49. Feldman Says:

    Just in case I am “ostracized” from here, I have to say this.

    Last September I got an invitation from my alumni club in this region to go to the Orphan Car show in Ypsi, MI, and then go to some place where the BRILLIANT fellow alumnus and former Editor-in-Chief of Car and Driver, Czaba Czere, gave us a great little talk about cars, incl his recent drive of the Tesla S, etc

    In the ensuing discussion we lamented about the poor record of the domestics (and not just GM, BTW)

    ANd he offered this comment:

    The problem with the domestics is that the Engineers with the 160 IQs go to work in Silicon Valley, and not in the Automotive Sector, which gets the (not too shabby, BTW) 120 IQs.

    But over in Europe (and probably in Japan too), the engineers with the 160 IQs DO go to the automotive sector. ”

    That explains Porsche, BMW, Mercedes vs…. Lincoln and Caddy.

    Sorry if Czaba hurt your feelings, my friends.

    But the TRUTH shall set you free.

  50. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If anyone here (including me) can rectify an industry (or even one small topic of an industry) in a few sentences (nay say a few paragraphs) well then, that is surly a fool’s errand. Sure, make your comments, even cordially disagree with fellow panelists, but any name-calling, authoritative superiority is truly just plain arrogance (narcissistic and sometimes condescending). Keep it ‘light’ guys/gals.

  51. Feldman Says:

    #50 Only the industry itself can rectify itself, and it may take decades, but the first step is to recognize its horrendous faults.

    The ones who were truly arrogant and did not listen to the (few) correct critics were the Industry CEOs themselves, many of whom had no clue about the Industry (Chrysler’s Nardelli, GM’s Wagoner).

    Can you think of another industry where the dominant firm, which had 50 and 60% market share at one time,

    which would make it the “Great White Shark” of the industry, and a threat to all the other industry members,

    Instead of devouring its competition, it became the new “sick man of Europe”, like the Ottoman empire in the 1910s,

    and instead of dominating the industry, saw its market share fall from 50 and 60 to… 17% and even went BANKRUPT?

    and then, in total denial, claimed that all was well, but it was the “Financial Crisis” that made it go broke?

    And Ed Whiteacre correctly asked them then, So why didn’t Honda and Toyota and even Ford go broke too? (paraphrase from memory).

    The problem, which is still a big one today, is that too few Auto Journalists and “experts”, especially among those who live near Detroit and shmooze with these CEOs and their PR Lackeys all the time, ask them anything but Larry King and Baba Wawa softball type questions.

  52. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Just proved my point, Feldman.

    I think I’m done here too; till cooler heads prevail. I’ll still be watching but will refrain from comment(s) unless I can maintain ‘opinion’ without infringing on others (opinion).

  53. Tony Says:

    I guess this will be a one man forum from now on! “Fascinating, Captain Kirk”