Episode 1083 – February Market Share, Kia’s Sales Gimmick, Coda Closes LA Store

March 4th, 2013 at 11:40am

Runtime: 8:00

Car sales in the American market were strong in February. In hopes of boosting sales of its K9 luxury sedan, Kia has come up with a sales gimmick to bring in new customers. Coda, the EV startup company, just closed the showroom doors at its LA store. All that and more, plus we take a walk-around of the 2014 Mazda6 with one of its designers.

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Welcome to a brand new week of Autoline Daily, we’re glad you make us a part of your day. Now let’s get to some of the latest news in the global automotive industry.

FORD, GM GRAB MOST MARKET SHARE
Sales in the American market posted a strong month in February. According to Ward’s nearly 1.2 million vehicles were sold, an 8 percent increase as measured on a daily selling rate basis. The seasonally adjusted rate hit 15.4 million, up a million from a year ago, and if not for harsh winter weather in a lot of the United States, sales may have been higher. Ford and General Motors gained the most market share for the month, largely thanks to strong pick-up truck sales. Daimler, Subaru and Audi also posted solid gains. Toyota, Chrysler and Mitsubishi were up slightly. Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover were unchanged. Six automakers lost a fraction of a share for the month (Hyundai, BMW, VW, Volvo Suzuki, Mazda). But three automakers posted noticeable market share declines: Kia, Honda and Nissan. In fact, Nissan lost nearly a full point of share. Clearly, these numbers always fluctuate from month to month, but market share gains and losses are one of the best ways to measure how an automaker is doing in the marketplace.

TOYOTA SALES PLUMMET IN CHINA
Speaking of new car sales last month, it’s becoming apparent that Japanese automakers are still facing a very tough time in China. Toyota saw its sales drop 45 percent last month. It’s all about the deteriorating relations between China and Japan over who should own some islands in the South China Sea. We don’t have the sales results from other Japanese automakers yet, but if Toyota is struggling it’s highly likely the others are, too.

KIA’S SALES GIMMICK
Of course, when sales aren’t going well it always helps to come up with clever gimmicks that will bring customers into the showroom. Take Kia’s new K9 luxury sedan, for example. Sales are miserable. They’re bumping along at less than 500 units a month in South Korea. Kia tried adding features on the top level model, and dropped the price of the mid-level version. That didn’t work. So now it’s offering a chauffeur. You get your own driver, all day, for up to three times during the first three years of ownership. Owners also get free pick-up and delivery, and free service including oil changes, and new air and gas filters, amongst other things, up to 8 times during the same three year period. I can’t wait to see if it works!

CODA CLOSES LA STORE
And when sales just don’t pan out, sometimes you have to pack up and re-group. Coda, the EV startup company, is in trouble. According to the LA Observed, it closed its showroom in Los Angeles and in a bit of surprising twist, it will re-open as a Tesla store. Coda’s EVs are based on two-generation old Mitsubishi Lancer’s and cost just over $37,000. I got a chance to drive one last year and even though its styling is unimpressive, it drove surprisingly well. Click the link in today’s show notes to see my entire review of the car.

DETROIT SKYLINE DIMS
The skyline in Detroit is looking a lot darker than it used to, but there is a reason for that, birds. To be more specific migrating birds. It turns out that Detroit lies right smack dab in the middle of a migratory bird path. Estimates of deaths from birds running into skyscrapers range from millions to half a billion annually. So the people at General Motors have been encouraging employees at their skyscraper headquarters to turn off their office lights at night in hopes to protect those birds. The lighting shutdown takes place during the spring and fall migration months.

Coming up next, we’ll take a close-up look at the all new Mazda6.

(The designer walk-around of the Mazda6 can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Mazda really seems to be onto something with this Skyactiv technology. But now it has to get these cars in its showrooms and convince more customers to try them out. As we pointed out at the top of the show, Mazda lost market share last month in the American market.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching and please tune in again tomorrow.

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75 Comments to “Episode 1083 – February Market Share, Kia’s Sales Gimmick, Coda Closes LA Store”

  1. T. Bejma Says:

    Hey CK – When is that GM stock downgrade you talked about going to happen? I want to add some shares on the dip… ;-)

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    Wow ! That was quick ! Kudos ALD !

    F1 News ;

    Honda is coming back ;

    http://www.gptoday.com/full_story/view/443817/McLaren_set_to_use_Honda_engines/

    I’ll risk a prognostication here and say IF Honda moves forward with this and succeeds …. within five years we’ll be seeing an entirely new Honda emerging

    ( HtG – FYI … wanna guess who else is considering a new engine supplier in the next year or two ? Errrr Herr Vetel’s squad ;-) )

    —-

    EU news – Sales across the EU .. now including Germany are plummeting ( TTAC )

    —-

    Sequester News – Its here .. its real …. watch US auto sales tumble as well

    ——–

    CAPO news – Looks like da Capo has become the Fine’ 8)

  3. T. Bejma Says:

    From yesterday’s show…

    “Again … this is HUGE news even if one’s not an F1 fan . Remembering how many of Honda’s F1 engineers after a bit would then filter down to the road car division”

    You can not possibly be comparing a F1 engine to any Honda? Now that is HYSTERICAL!! :-)

    When ever I think of Honda “performance” it makes me think of this…

    http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6059/6269463015_4d788036a6_z.jpg

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised Honda are returning to F1 so soon after their departure, but I guess the timing is good, with everyone having to start over with their engine designs.

  5. ColoradoKid Says:

    Correction # 2

    CAPO should of been CODA

    Mea culpa !

    ——

    Mr Bejma – GM’s stocks current rating – still …. ” UNATTRACTIVE ( at best … most still rating it as Junk ) … e.g. Do Not Buy !

    ( actually T unless you really know what you’re doing and prepared to buy and sell on a minute by minute basis … I wouldn’t recommend any stock at present )

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 5: and I thought you meant macaroni….

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    #3

    Study your automotive history there Mr Bejma in relationship to Honda’s involvement in F1 and how that filtered down to its road cars back in the day
    .

    And errr…. it seems to me back in the day the NSX was handing GM’s Corvette ( as well as Ferrari and Porsche ) its head on a regular basis …. with the NSX being a direct product of Honda’s F1 involvement … along with the variable timing cams etc etc that found their way right down to the cheapest model Honda on the road

    Fact is …. technologically speaking …. the NSX still makes the C6 look a bit … antiquated in comparison ( yes the C6 is faster than the NSX but its the technological advances I’ talking about T )

    Just cause GM’s never had the stones to step up to the plate and go toe to toe with the BIG BOY’s in F1 is no reason to belittle Honda’s previous or future involvement in the sport

    ;-)

  8. Feldman Says:

    #1 a fool and his money are soon parted… or as I call it, the “separation Theorem”…

    Of course we all know you don’t really mean that. (You work for GM, can’t you see we can’t take anything you say seriously? Don’t you see the huge conflict of interest?) Otherwise you are truly delusional, and I am sorry for those that depend on your $ for their daily bread. Think about it.

    Leftovers from Friday (really this morning):

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    68,
    A Volt IS AN EV IF YOU CHARGE IT AND DON’T DRIVE BEYOND ~35 MILES.” (SIC!!!)

    Do you have even the slightest idea how desperate the above sounds?

    If you want a REAL EV, Go get the EXCELLENT Focus TRUE BLUE REAL EV.

    1. First, it looks 1,000 TIMES better than the pathetic Dolt.

    2. Second, it is a five-door TRUE REAL HATCH, which I know you value, not some unsure half-sedan, half-hatch with little cargo space like the geeky Dolt.

    3.It has a range of 65 miles, vs the 35 of the Dolt, which will allow most commuters to use it daily, while many VOlt users will have to use their dirty, inefficient engine.

    4. It is more efficient than the VOlt because it does not bother to carry the second engine (gas) and all the paraphernalia connecting it to the drivetrain, and when it actually uses it, to drag along its other engine and have poor MPG for its tiny size, like the Volt does.

    5. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I approve of Pure EV which were trried and failed in the 1900s and are being tried and failing today by Scientifically Illiterate Politicians and their green allies who stuff them down our throat at huge taxpayer expense. But at least a good looking pure EV is better than an awkward looking Jack of both trades like the VOlt which is not good at either.

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A . !!!!

    Sheesh …. Thanks for the reminder …. cause you betcha Marchionne’s at it again ( acting on his delusions )

    Remember last Fall when he claimed Maserati was gonna be FIAT SpA’s new savior .. with massive increases in sales ?

    Well now Stronzetto’s changed his tune and its Alfa Romeo … more expensive and exclusive ones BTW thats gonna pull FIAT SpA out of the hole they’ve dug themselves ;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/marchionnes-risky-gambit-bet-everything-on-alfa/#more-479995

    Yeah right !

    Thanks G.A. !

    And sorry ALD ( for the proliferation of posts this morning ) I’ll shut up for a bit ;-)

  10. T. Bejma Says:

    #5

    Where are you seeing that rating?

    Here is what I see for GM and it is all Bullish…

    http://caps.fool.com/Ticker/GM.aspx

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    From Fri #62 HtG the locking mechanism works once in a while, after a few F U’s and a prayer, went online and just can’t find anything on it, my son reminded me that his own cars have not had any such issues at all and none of his buddies he spoke to neither have, so I must attribute it to the superior quality and durability of the Dodge products that this is occurring. Most likely a visit to the dealer will be needed.

  12. HtG Says:

    Let’s see what happens to public perceptions of GM if the Treasury actually gets out, and the threat of stock dumping declines. I feel that lots of people have a weird viciousness toward GM due to the bailout. (I won’t do my usual song and dance about how most people’s pickles and pensions have been protected by their govts and central bankers. “Putting on the Riiiitz!”)

  13. T. Bejma Says:

    #7

    NSX – Lot of tech in a beautiful Aluminum package – Performance? Not even in the same league as any other 2 seat performance car…

  14. Feldman Says:

    #12 There is absolutely nothing weird or even strange with public indignation at the (botched, too) Government Bailout of GM. If there is one company that should never need to be bailed out, this would be GM itself!!!

    Check the history, GM had up to 55% market share, it was the Great White SHark that the Government was supposed to protect the smaller automakers from being devoured by it!!! (Antitrust etc).

    What is worse, the resurrected GM has learned NOTHING from its mistakes, and is not doing one single thing better than the bad old GM, which obviously predicts that it will need major TAXPAYER assistance AGAIN soon.

    (I can provide numerous examples on the above)

    Most people hate banks and hate Bush for giving in to the blackmail from the “too big to fail” TERRIBLY Mismanaged, Incompetent giants like CITIBANK, but the key word is “BLACKMAIL”, they left him no choice, banks are the lifeblood of the Economy and could not be left to go broke as they most surely deserved.

  15. buzzerd Says:

    An NSX and a Corvette are two different answers to the same question. Yes the Honda has VVT but it had to because of it’s small engine. Also the NSX cost a lot more than the vette at the time so you definitely have to factor that in.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: The problem with the power locks just might be in the key fob.A weak battery,or corrosion on the contacts will make it work unreliably.Have someone check that out for you.

  17. HtG Says:

    14 How do you compare today’s GM to the one from a decade ago before Lutz forced a refocusing of production away from hoary internal standards? Why will GM require more taxpayer assistance?

    My history of GM includes a Cold War defense of Japan and Europe. Why was Japan permitted to keep such a low exchange rate in the past?

    I will agree that the GM way had become obsolete, but what were they to do with such a powerful union? (yes, I’m aware that managers thought they had the labor issue licked via increasing sales)

    And then I’d like to understand how to interpret the politely declining Yen, and how Toyota isn’t benefiting from this. I find it hard to separate enormous concerns like carcos from historical forces.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #8,
    “Feldman” says “If you want a REAL EV, Go get the EXCELLENT Focus TRUE BLUE REAL EV.”

    A Volt is A CAR THAN CAN SERVE AS AN ONLY CAR FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, while a FOCUS EV IS FOR LOCAL USE ONLY, PERIOD.

    He also says: “It (Focus EV) has a range of 65 miles, vs the 35 of the Dolt, which will allow most commuters to use it daily, while many VOlt users will have to use their dirty, inefficient engine.”

    Most Volt buyers do most of their driving within the 35 mile electric range. That’s the point of they car, but, unlike pure EV’s, they have the capability to go farther when they want/need to, and they don’t have to worry about calling the flatbed when they go a little too far. You just don’t get it.

  19. buzzerd Says:

    Also to go along with #17- pretty much every car company required financial assistance and got it, and sometimes in multiple countries.

  20. T. Bejma Says:

    #14

    When GM had 55% of the market, how many other automakers where in the US market at the time? Three – and a handful of others (There are 16 today). Also none of them had their government controlling their currency (Yen) or were getting HUGE tax advantages to bring their overseas plants over here…

  21. HtG Says:

    Yen x U$ chart. How’s that happen?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=JPY%3DX+Interactive#symbol=;range=1y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined;

  22. Lex Says:

    Good Show John.

    I believe if you look really hard at the New Mazda 6 there is some New Ford Fusion in it’s blood lines.

    Incentives and Very Low or Zero Financing will be key to the OEM’s moving metal for the next couple of quarters once the Sequestration begins to take effect.

    Kia’s K9 sounds like a real sales DOG! Who is responsibile if the Kia provided chauffeur is involved in an accident? Will Kia deliver a brand new K9 to your front door? Do the South Koreans at Kia do background checks on this Chauffeurs? This is one vehicle that does not need to come to the US.

  23. HtG Says:

    22 K9

    While I resist it, how can anyone not think BMW ripoff? Does that work in the luxo barge segment?

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    G.A. it’s not only the remote, it is also the button on both front doors that fail to unlock the hatch, only doing so after many attempts at locking and unlocking and then even the door lock start to malfunction and fail to open, btw the little button at the door sill used to manually unlock the doors is so flush with the rest of the sill, that it is almost impossible to pull it open with your fingers, another safety issue should the electric locks fail and you need to exit quickly

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bet KIA will want to use a different name, if they ever try to sell the K9 in the U.S.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, Pedro, will the doors open if you just pull the regular door open latch? The lock buttons on my MINI are completely flush when locked, but pulling the handles twice will open the doors.

  27. Feldman Says:

    ” HtG Says:
    March 4th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    14 How do you compare today’s GM to the one from a decade ago before Lutz forced a refocusing of production away from hoary internal standards? Why will GM require more taxpayer assistance?”

    Because it is back at the bad old PRE-LUTZ ways.

    Many major, disturbing facts:

    1. Look at the horrible glut of pickup trucks they had, 129 days vs Successful Automakers 20 and 40 (NOT the Dinosaur “optimal” conventional wisdom 60 and 70 that some here still consider acceptable!!!) Has Toyota’s triumph passed totally under their radars??? They gave the lame excuse that they were overbuilding them because of the retooling for the new models. That’s utter BS, if this was the case they would not need to put $5k on the hood of each to sell them in Dec 2012! AND this hurt the profitability of the Successful makers like FOrd, which had to respond in kind!

    2. Look at every single new model. They are incapable of INTELLIGENT DESIGN. Even the Volt and the ATS, who got all the sentimental sympathy votes and the meaningless awards:

    The ATS is a series 3 competitor that takes sales from the…. CTS and only half as many from the… LINCOLN MKZ (the lamest of the lame, which is not even in the same segment).

    The ATS looks good and handles well, BUT it is still a 4 door sedan, and despite that, it has a PUNY (both in numbers and in actual useful space, 10-11 cu ft vs the ENORMOUS 17 Cu ft of the 3!!!). Let’s see how TJ Bejma spins that one! If it was a slender 2+2 coupe, trunk space would be a non-issue. But it is not.

    The new Malibu? A total dog, instead of being better, it is and looks much worse than the old Malibu.

    The Buicks? Rebadged OPELS with cute styling, but read the comparison tests, none of them EXCELLED.

    You really got me to spend an hour to write all that is bad with the new models. You are lucky we have spring break this week, I’d never do this on a regular work day.

    “My history of GM includes a Cold War defense of Japan and Europe. Why was Japan permitted to keep such a low exchange rate in the past?”

    Why was GERMANY permitted to have such a low DMark rate vs the DOllar for so many decades? ($1 for 4 marks!) Both nations were dirt-poor and starving after WW II. But why do this a decade later or two? Is it their fault that the US Political class is irresponsible and h as deliberately ruined the value of the dollar?

    (I really don’t buy all that BS about low exchange rates. The domestics have repeatedly used this “Dog ate my homework” excuse for decades, and even this year! It makes zero sense. “It is the PRODUCT, Stupid!”)

    “I will agree that the GM way had become obsolete, but what were they to do with such a powerful union? (yes, I’m aware that managers thought they had the labor issue licked via increasing sales)”

    It is the fault of the many incompetent GM CEOS, including the present one, for signing utterly unacceptable and counter-productive agreements with the UAW Managements, which, (fortunately in the past only) paid them even when they werre producing NOTHING.

    “And then I’d like to understand how to interpret the politely declining Yen, and how Toyota isn’t benefiting from this. I find it hard to separate enormous concerns like carcos from historical forces.”

    Give me a break. Toyota and Honda and Nissan build a huge number of their cars in the USA and are not affected much by any currency monkey business anyway.

  28. Bradley Says:

    I know there is a percentage of car buyers that are fixated on 2-Door cars or coupes.

    Mercedes was the first to abuse the term coupe; it saddens me that Mazda feels the need to justify their design on similar grounds.

    Style the car the way you want, but please don’t try and make it ground breaking by redefining terminology, or implying that a coupe is a design paradigm.

  29. T. Bejma Says:

    #21

    Takes some pretty powerful influence to get a chart that flat in this volatile world economy.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit not the rear with the child locks on, you can’t even open from outside cause they’re locked and the electric lock malfunctions and fails to unlock them. Very unnerving, feels like the car is a ticking time bomb and you can’t escape it!

  31. Bob Aubertin Says:

    Re:comment # 7
    Corvette and the NSX are not in the same league.It’s Brute horsepower & handling that makes Corvette a killer ride on the street and on the road course or drag strip.I have never noticed any wins for NSX.However I have see Ferrari and Porsche win races as well in road racing.Nuff said!!!

  32. HtG Says:

    John, I think that when you describe the conflict between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands, it would be helpful to point out that there are potentially decades worth of oil production available to the nation that has the territorial rights.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-10/disputed-islands-with-45-years-of-oil-split-china-japan.html

  33. HtG Says:

    2 Honda in F1

    It’s odd that RedBull may switch from Renault to Honda since Infiniti, a part of Renault/Nissan, has come on as KERS technology partner. Isn’t DeNysschen intending to build his brand through F1? Yet, it is BBC reporting the story.

  34. HtG Says:

    woop, retracts 33. I don’t know what I was just thinking.

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    #27

    GM’s incentives on the trucks are the same as the MUCH NEWER Ram and F150 that should sell without them, but the Silverado/Sierra twins still managed to sell more than the F-Series in February…

    3 Series Trunk volume is 12 cubic feet, not 17.

    Tell us then oh wise one, what vehicle has an INTELLIGENT DESIGN? BMW 740il?

    The ATS/CTS combo is still taking share away from the others in the segment (pretty good for a 6 year old CTS design).

    Buick Verano (not a re-badged Opel) is handily beating the only vehicle in it’s class – Acura ILX and has EXCELLED in every review written about it.

    I would figure being a teacher you would understand the details of Union Contracts but apparently you know little about the latest Union Agreement (you know the one, eliminated jobs banks, new hires start at half of normal wages, VEBA, etc., etc.)

    Also need to catch up on your economics in a global economy because since the foreign makers only employ about 1 out of 100 of their employees in the US, the value of their currency certainly does have a very big effect on their finances.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is Michael Karesh’s own review of the new Malibu:

    http://www.truedelta.com/Chevrolet-Malibu/car-reviews-54/2013

    There is a lot of positive, but some negative.

  37. shan Says:

    wow, someone at Mazda finally convinced the design team to get rid of the grimacing smiley grill that scared away potential buyers for years. Congrats, welcome to mainstream…

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 35 – BMW , Mercedes and Audi’s sales are still well on the rise in the US so the ATS /CTS dynamic dummies sure as heck aren’t taking any ‘ sales ‘ away from them …. Lexus is remaining steady … Infiniti might even be gaining a bit of market share … so again Mr Bejma … Just who are those customers being ‘ Captured ‘ by Cadillac ? Lincoln ? Volvo perhaps ? Or is it simply the age old case of Buick and Chevy owners upgrading as their financial position allows …. seeing as how that … plus the Cadillac faithful have been the only source of sales for the brand going on some 65 years now .

    ————-

    Honda & F1 – All reports are now saying its a done deal with Honda supplying McLaren F1 engines as of 2015 .

    And what … might be the result of that for Honda’s road cars you may ask ?

    Do I hear a … say 2.5 Twin Turbo S2000 Corvette killer perhaps ? Maybe a 3.5 Twin Turbo mid engined Ferrari killer on the horizon ? A hot hatch to make all other hot hatches look lame in comparison ?

    Errrrrr…. could be ! We’ll just have to wait and see .

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – re; Honda-F1-Red Bull ; What I’m reading is that Renault wants to cut way back on the amount of customers they’re supplying … Lotus … believe it or not is their priority … and I think perhaps they ( Infiniti/Renault ) are tiring of getting well beaten by Red Bull with their own engines . At least thats how I’m reading it . its still speculation though … so we’ll see .

  40. thatdavemarsh Says:

    I’m going to have to insist that PR types be BANNED from using the term dynamic from here on. You’re all educated people and know what it means, so I’ll skip that tirade.

    PR types: if you are going to try to describe your latest project, please open a thesaurus before your mouth.

    Thank you!

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When was the last time F1 engines had anything to do with road car engines, other than having pistons and a crankshaft? It’s been a while.

    Honda must have some spare money and are doing this for fun, unless they think “win on Sunday, and sell (a Civic?) on Monday” applies here.

  42. T. Bejma Says:

    #38

    BMW was only up 0.6% compared to over 20% rise for MB and Audi and they lost a couple tenths of share in the car division compared to last year. Definitely taking share from Lincoln, probably some Infinity in there as well since Nissan lost almost a point of share last month.

    http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

  43. HtG Says:

    I think that one thing Honda got out of racing in F1 was the engineers that got through it. Maybe they think KERS development will give them street applications. Personally, I’d like to see Team Horsie Hystericali have a tough time.

  44. cwolf Says:

    Some German brands may be on the rise in the US, but the BMW 3 series isn’t one! The “3″ avg’d about 10,500 units for the last 3 momths of 2012 and 2013 sales for Jan. and Feb. are reported at 4831 and 6973, respectively. It should be most clear a portion of the constant increase in ATS sales comes from the 3 series declining numbers.

  45. MJB Says:

    I like the cues on that Mazda6. Much better grille treatment than the several previous buck-toothed, ‘smiley’ grin front facias.

  46. Rumblestrip Says:

    John how much of the market share bump for Ford and GM with truck sales comes from “buying” market share with large incentives, i.e. cash on the hood?

  47. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @17 Do you think the Japanese gave Ronald Reagan $2 million for a 30 minute speech because they thought he was inspiring? I loved the guy as president, don’t get me wrong. But that action grabbed a lot of respect I had for the guy. He wouldn’t do a dang thing about the exchange rate even though tons of people in government and out were calling for it.

  48. Chuck @ GM Says:

    And while Japan was selling gazillions of cars here, GM was selling like 1000 a year. That Japanese didn’t like the fit and finish was a major part of the issue, but so was Japanese regulations protecting their home market that they didnt have to deal with here.

  49. HtG Says:

    47 shhh!, Chuck, the Koreans will hear you.

  50. cwolf Says:

    Re47 Chuck @ GM
    Even if a fair trade deal were to be made the Japanese still would’nt buy American because they posses something we lost long ago…. it’s called national pride!

  51. Ed K Says:

    John,

    Shouldn’t the GM employees in the Ren Cen have been turning out the lights all along to save energy and money for the company? I guess it took some dead birds to wake them up to the errors of their ways.

    Ed K

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49,
    Also, American car companies haven’t had much interest in building RHD cars for markets like Japan, UK, and Oz.

  53. T. Bejma Says:

    #51

    Ford and GM (Opel/Vauxhall/Holden) currently make several RHD models for Australia and the UK, but just like China, Japan makes it very difficult to import.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52,
    I was taking about North American cars. Yeah, GM and Ford make RHD cars at their Euro divisions.

  55. cwolf Says:

    52 53
    I think tomorrow starts US meetings with the Japanese and other Asians about auto trade differences, unfairness to US suppliers and Asian govt’s subsidies of their industry which gives them the egde to sell at a lower cost. I think it odd that there is not much said about this. I’m not happy with the existing trade agreements thus far and don’t think our reps. know how to drive a hard bargain.

  56. T. Bejma Says:

    #54

    Knew about the US – EU Trade Talks cwolf but didn’t hear about Asia…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324162304578301662368145012.html

  57. cwolf Says:

    T.B.
    I don’t know where I came across this info or if it is a combination of tid-bits from two articles. What caught my interest was talks about other country’s subsidizing their manufacturing sector which results in a price advantage over US products. I’m seeing this at work and may close the plant in the not too distant future. If I can recall where I viewed this material, I’ll let you know.

  58. Feldman Says:

    The almost 1,000 HP, Fuel Efficient Ferrari: Supercar without the Guilt Trip:

    “GENEVA – Ferrari unveiled the LaFerrari supercar at the Geneva auto show today. The 963-hp hybrid is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive Ferrari model to date. It succeeds the Enzo.

    Ferrari said the car’s name, which means The Ferrari in Italian, (SIC!!!) was chosen to underline its uniqueness in the brand’s history.

    LaFerrari is Ferrari’s first gasoline-electric hybrid model. It is powered by the HY-KERS system, which consists of a 6.26-liter V-12 normally aspirated engine that delivers 800 hp coupled with a 120 Kw (163 hp) electric motor, giving the car a combined power output of 963 hp.

    Ferrari did not disclose the price of LaFerrari, but sources said the pre-tax starting price for the car will be about 1 million euros. After taxes, the base version of the Ferrari Enzo replacement will cost an estimated 1.21 million euros in Italy, the sources said.

    Ferrari will build 499 units of LaFerrari, 100 more than the Enzo, to meet growing demand for the brand in Asia, particularly China. When launched in 2002 the Enzo’s starting price was 665,000 euros with taxes in Italy. Today, used Enzo models retail for more than 1 million euros.

    During an event last month in Turin, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the new Ferrari model is already sold out.

    Ferrari said LaFerrari will accelerate from 0 to 100kph in less than 3 seconds and from 0-200kph in less than 7 seconds.

    ..

    LaFerrari’s HY-KERS system reduces the car’s CO2 emissions to 330 gram per kilometer compared with 350g/km for the F12 Berlinetta and 398g/km for a 700-hp Lamborghini Aventador.

    LaFerrari burns about 14.2 liters of fuel per 100km, compared to 15 liters of the F12 and 17.2 liters of the Aventador.

    Ferrari said the high torque levels available at low revolutions from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimize the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs. The LaFerrari redline is at 9250rpm. Total torque generated by the engine and the electric motor is in excess of 900 Nm, compared with 690 Nm for the F12 Berlinetta.

    The HY-KERS hybrid system has two electric motors developed with supplier Magneti Marelli, one powering the wheels and the second the ancillary systems…”

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #57,
    ….but you can’t get a manual transmission.

  60. ColoradoKid Says:

    Detroit revisited

    ( subtitled ) The Have’s and the Have Nots .

    Welcome to the ‘ new ‘ United States of American

    Where as ” Animal Farm ” so well put it . ” Some animals are more equal than others ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/us/a-private-boom-amid-detroits-public-blight.html?hp&_r=0

  61. ColoradoKid Says:

    La Ferrari

    ( atsa matta Ferrari forget a how to spell ? Idiots ! )

    The REALITY check .

    In fact … here’s the real scoop . The KER’s is a joke who’s only intent is to market this over priced toy to the F1 wanna be’s out there who just gotta have at least one new bit of tech from the F1 cars they worship on their cars to boost their money fueled egos .

    In FACT …. the system will save nothing …. takes zero guilt away ( and in fact adds to it when the consequences of developing and manufacturing the system are added up ) now makes the La Ferrari into yet another Ferrari Car-BQ ( seen what KER’s has done of late in F1 ) not to mention a safety hazard to both the driver/passenger as well as any first responders approaching the car after its More Money than Brains inevitable accident .

    And errr…. oh yeah …. the Koenigsegg Agera R and the new Pagani will both kick the La Ferrari’s tail … on track and off with better engines and less junk on board to go wrong .

    In summation . For all Ferrari’s Hype & Hyperbole when all is revealed its a pretentious- over priced – over complicated joke well suited to its future More Money than Brains owners that’ll never drive the ____ thing once purchased

    And the KER’s ? It doesn’t work worth a _____ in F1 and sure as heck isn’t going to work on a road car either . Not to mention its utterly useless and totally irrelevant in a road car .

    Technology for Technologies sake personified .

  62. Feldman Says:

    “La Ferrari” must be the most utterly moronic, unimaginative name for a car… maybe second only to the… Oldsmobile Achieva (or, more accurately, Lemona….LOL).

    But they outdid themselves when they thought it necessary to TRANSLATE the name and explain to the unwashed, illiterate masses that the name means… “The Ferrari”!!!!

  63. HtG Says:

    LaSelfParodi?

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    LaFerrari ( or La Ferrari )

    The name ‘ sounds ‘ stupid ‘ ( not to mention mis-spelled )

    The car IS stupid ( regardless of the name )

    ———

    TESLA

    Musk sues BBC-UK

    Courts throw out the lawsuit ( its a bit hard to prove you’ve been wronged when 10 million people worldwide watched your cars self destruct on TV )

    Musk appeals

    Courts throw Musk and his suit out on his ear .. again ( TTAC )

    Amazing the little vaporware troll hasn’t tried to sue the NYTimes . Oh wait ! I know exactly why he hasn’t ( hint hint ;-) )

  65. ColoradoKid Says:

    62 Aspete … ecco ! Che bene ‘

    or perhaps …. LaTestaDuraPretensa

  66. HtG Says:

    For a million Euros(err, billion Lira?) LaScuderia will line the walls of your garage with leather specially selected to comfort the poor little Horsie, as it spends its life in scratchless, vulgarity free splendor. You can also get a tippy top speed geniusphone with highest Ferrari resolution screen to show off your wonder child to people you deign to impress with your taste and good fortune. Aqua di Parma toilette water in glove box shaped smell-cell included. Ciao, China!

  67. Feldman Says:

    I should have combined the above with more comments, per John’s request… but I was too distracted by too many other chores to remember it.

    Saw a pic of the new (and most powerful Rolls ever), the Wraith, a Coupe version of the Ghost. Did not like it one bit. Not a graceful car. 625 HP tho should be “adequate”, while the 200 HP of Rollses past actually never were.

    Even the always pro-Brit three clowns at the UK version of Top Gear have admitted, when the (also not too good looking from the outside) Phantom debuted in the early 2000s, that now that BMW replaced all the obsolete crappy mechanicals with its 7 series far superior ones, THEN they could say they are the best cars in the world… well, except for exterior styling, which was far better before BMW took over. (The Curse of Chris Bangle there too?)

    And some leftovers

    Re the failed new Malibu: Don’t watch what GM says, watch what it DOES, and it has almost immediately taken the NEW Malibu BACK for a “refresh” (translation: trying to patch it up and improve on at least some of its many failings), very similarly to what Honda did to the poor 2012 Civic (in which case the refresh succeeded and its sales have taken off. Not gonna happen with the hapless Malibu, no matter how auto illiterate its target buyers are. At least the Civic is really fuel efficient for a non-hybrid…)

    As for TJ Bejma, I notice he continues, largely unchallenged, to spout GM propaganda SO LUDICROUS as to be LAUGHABLE.

    I will not dignify his BS with a response. The rrest of you, if you agree with what he says, (let alone actively support it) you got a BIG auto literacy problem.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    61,
    Maybe they got the idea for that name from Renault le Car, as they called the R5 in North America years ago.

  69. HtG Says:

    LaughRioti?

  70. HtG Says:

    You can listen to Jay Leno talk about driving in his McLaren F1, where he says that the car is so capable that going at sane speeds it feels like nothing. Where’s the excitement of cars that make almost any speed feel slow? From the tarted up exhaust racket? From snapping a flappy paddle? Ferraris used to be elegant; no more.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like those gated shifters of older Ferraris, even though the shifter would sometimes rattle against it. They just look cool.

  72. HtG Says:

    CK, you had one. What of the driving and shifting?

  73. Feldman Says:

    68 it was a horrible idea on a chickmobile back then. They had no reason whatsoever to steal it. I doubt they have been inspired by it, really.

    Imagine you actually own one of these and are asked what car you own at a party.

    “A Ferrari” you proudly say.

    “Which Model”?

    “A Ferrari “A Ferrari”" you reply.

    This is a name that only the late (?) UN Sec Gen Boutros-Boutros Ghali would love.

  74. Feldman Says:

    PS “Le Car” was not the only one. There was the infamous POS Chrysler “Le Baron” and the far classier automaker “LaSalle” which predated “Le Car” for many decades.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    LeBaron was lifted from the name of a coach builder that did great work in the 20′s and 30′s. I don’t know why they used that name, though.