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Episode 1085 – UAW Puts Pressure on Nissan, Green Car Sales Soar, Toyota Overhauls Management

March 6th, 2013 at 12:00pm

Runtime: 9:33

The UAW is holding a press conference near the Geneva auto show today as part of its effort to ramp up its organizing effort at Nissan’s assembly plant in Mississippi. Fueled by higher gas prices, sales of hybrids, plug-ins and electrics enjoyed a strong February in the American market. For the second straight year Toyota President Akio Toyoda overhauled the top management positions at the company’s North American operations. All that and more, plus John McElroy gets to your questions and comments in this week’s edition of You Said It!

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Welcome to the middle-of-the-work-week version of Autoline Daily. In the second part of the show we’ll get to your comments and questions, but first, the news.

UAW STEPS UP PRESSURE ON NISSAN
More news coming out of the Geneva Motor Show today but this has nothing to do with any kind of new product unveils. Instead, it’s about union organizing. The UAW is holding a press conference near the Geneva Auto Show today as part of its effort to ramp up its organizing effort at Nissan’s assembly plant in Mississippi. Nissan says it honors international agreements that allow employees to join unions, but the UAW claims Nissan’s American management is fighting any unionization efforts. The UAW also reached out to Japanese unions, so now it looks like the UAW is taking its protests globally to put more pressure on Nissan.

INDIA TO ASSEMBLE MORE HARLEYS
Harley-Davidson announced it will assemble three more of its motorcycle models in India. Heck, I never knew Harley made bikes in India! According to the Wall Street Journal, the company will also cut the price of the models by twenty five percent. Harley currently assembles half of the 12 models it sells in the country from kits shipped to India from the U.S. Harley made the decision days after India announced it will increase the import tax for motorcycles with engines larger than 800cc.

GREEN CAR SALES SOAR
Sales of hybrids, plug-ins and electrics enjoyed a strong February in the American market as car buyers reacted to higher gasoline prices and a bigger selection of these alternative models. Sales came to 43,500 units, up nearly 16 percent from the year before, and grew twice as fast as the overall market. If you just look at plug-ins and pure electrics, the growth was even faster. Sales were just over 4,000 cars, up 259 percent from a year ago. Even with this growth, however, these “green cars” only comprise 3.6 percent of total vehicle sales, meaning they’re still a small niche. And just because so many of you ask about the sales battle between the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF, the Volt outsold the LEAF by more than two to one.

TOYOTA OVERHAULS MANAGEMENT
For the second straight year Toyota President Akio Toyoda overhauled the top management positions at the company’s North American operations. The company says the new management structure is aimed at real competitiveness and sustainable growth, which is a bit a surprise coming from the worlds #1 automaker. For the first time Toyota will be adding outside board members, which includes former GM group Vice President Mark Hogan. Other notable changes are Jim Lentz will now run all of Toyota’s North American operations and affiliates. Steve St. Angelo will now run all of Toyota’s Latin America operations. And Mark Templin will run all of Lexus globally, the first non-Japanese to run a Toyota division.

HIT THE i-ROAD, JACK
In other Toyota news, the company showed off its personal mobility concept at the Geneva show yesterday. Called the i-Road, it’s a three-wheeler with motorcycle-like handling that is meant for the urban traveler that commutes short distances. The tandem two-seat i-Road is powered by a lithium ion battery, has a top speed of about 30 mph and a range of just over 30 miles if you stay around 20 mph. No word on any target price or if it will go into production, but it will compete against the Renault Twizy which sells for about $9,000.

Coming up, it’s time for You Said It!

Al Jones says, “I pass two dealerships on my way to work everyday. Both of these dealer lots are overflowing with new cars and one of them is still advertising sales on new 2012 models. So my question is – when the manufacturer publishes auto sales, is that vehicles sold to the dealer? Or when the dealer sells to an actual customer?” Great question Al. When a car rolls off the assembly line, an automaker counts it as sold, but only for financial accounting reasons. When automakers publish their monthly sales, the ones that we report about, it’s what the sales the dealers reported. But here’s where it get complicated. Automakers also report how many vehicles they built, and how many they delivered to dealers. So we have three numbers to looks at. Production, deliveries and sales. And you what? None of these numbers ever match up precisely. The same thing happens when we get the reports on the actual number of cars that get registered by customers. The numbers never match up with sales.

Tony Gray loved our report on the U.S. Post Office coming out with a limited edition of stamps honoring some of the greatest muscle cars of all time. “When I saw the 66 GTO stamp I smiled from ear to ear! As an owner of one the most popular of the muscle cars (66 GTO, mine is a Tri-Power Hardtop) I can now emblazon all my written correspondence with a lovely vision of my favorite American Super Car.”

ColoradoKid was not at all impressed with the modifications Visteon made to a Nissan LEAF, what they’re calling the e-Bee. He says, “The e-Bee’s a bit of a pipe dream as well as more than a bit silly IMHO. No real benefit. The thing being just a bunch of vaporware add ons with a shift in the interior here and there. Doesn’t Visteon have something more ‘productive‘ to do with its time and resources?” ColoradoKid, are you kidding? Did you see how much space they opened up on the instrument panel? Let me tell you, one of the greatest battles that takes place in every new car development program is what they call the battle over real estate, i.e., the battle over who gets what space in a car. And with the instrument panel, or IP, it involves everyone: the body engineers, the interior designers, the safety experts, the HVAC people, the sound system people, and, of course, manufacturing. So for Visteon to figure out how to open up so much IP real estate, wow, that’s a break through.

TangoR34 says, “Elon Musk claims that even if the power comes from coal it would still be 30% more efficient than ICE cars. I suppose he means it would still pollutes less. John, I wonder what you think on this.” You’re right Tango, electric cars are not pollution free, they merely pollute less. You can buy cars right now with PZEV emission levels that run on gasoline and have roughly the same emissions as EVs. But that does not include CO2 emissions. However, Ricardo did a fascinating study of an E-85 optimized turbo V-6 with the same well-to-wheels carbon footprint as an electric car. So EVs are not the only way to lower our carbon footprint. But, in the U.S., we’re quickly moving out of coal and on to natural gas, thanks to all the shale gas now available. That’s making our electrical generation far cleaner than it was just five years ago. In fact, thanks to the move to natural gas, the US is now reducing its carbon dioxide emissions far faster than any other country in the world. And the US’s total output of CO2 could drop below Europe’s this year or next.

Thanks for all your comments and letters, we sure like reading them all. Before we go, if you haven’t voted in this week’s Autoline Poll, we’d like to hear from you. We’re asking how many cylinders do you have in your household? That includes the number of cylinders in your car, or bike or lawnmower, weed wacker, snowblower or whatever you have in your household. Check out yesterday’s Autoline Daily for March 5th. At the bottom of the show notes you’ll find the poll. We’ll announce the results in tomorrows show.

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

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58 Comments to “Episode 1085 – UAW Puts Pressure on Nissan, Green Car Sales Soar, Toyota Overhauls Management”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does anyone know how VW diesels did last month? To me, they are the “other green cars” that compete with hybrids, because of their exceptional mpg, especially in steady-speed driving.

  2. Eric Bensen Says:

    23 Cylinders

  3. Feldman Says:

    John said: “(green vehicle) ..Sales came to 43,500 units, up nearly 16 percent from the year before, and grew twice as fast as the overall market.”

    It is important to note that these 43,500 are spread over several dozen vehicles, while the Camry alone in a good month would sell more than that 43,500.

    It is also important to note that almost half (!!!) of the 43,000 (or 40% at least) are due to sales of just ONE model, the Awesome ( reliability, affordability, and MPG-wise)Prius Family, which includes the non-plug-in Prius C and V and a plug-in, whose sales were almost negligible.

    “If you just look at plug-ins and pure electrics, the growth was even faster. Sales were just over 4,000 cars, up 259 percent from a year ago. Even with this growth, however, these “green cars” only comprise 3.6 percent of total vehicle sales, meaning they’re still a small niche”

    Actually, the sales of plug-ins and pure electrics you cite above, 4,000 cars, in a month (Feb 2013) that had a total of 1,192,000 sales, is a number far, far less smaller than your 3.6%.

    It is not even 1%. It is a puny, insignificant 0.33%! And this in a month of $4.00 and above gas prices!

  4. Feldman Says:

    #1 VW did announce that the diesel share grew by some low double digits over last year, where it was not weak either.

  5. Feldman Says:

    PS “Sales were.. up 259 percent from a year ago.”

    I could not resist mentioning that several decades ago, when I was a green junior faculty in my 20s and started a new graduate specialty in my dept, I bragged how the number of students grew by 200% not just once but four years in a row.

    That ought to be very impressive but it wasn’t. It was 100% true, but I ended with only 8 students in 4 years. Because I only had one the first year, two the second, four the third and eight the fourth. (three were PhD students that were present in more than one, even all 4 years)

  6. Brett Says:

    Regarding “coal-fired” electric vehicles.

    Do bear in mind that an electric vehicle is the only vehicle that becomes less polluting over time. As coal is supplanted by natural gas, solar, hydro, and wind, the electricity consumed by an electric vehicle becomes cleaner and cleaner.

    That’s a big deal, IMO.

  7. jim Says:

    the Geneva show is the place to be for alternative fuel vehicles this year. never saw so many interesting concepts in one place. hope many make it to the market.

  8. Mike Says:

    To John and the Colorado kid. I learned something here. The Visteon thing looked so bland and faceless. I didn’t see much benefit in it at all. It still looks pretty bland, but maybe the space factor is that important.

    Mike

  9. Zieke Says:

    Speaking of auto sales here’s one for ya John. One of our local dealers was apparently not selling enough cars at their dealership so they were shipping brand new cars to some of their other dealerships around the country who sold them as “slightly used.” GM found out about it so the dealers are in big trouble. Should be interesting if it gets to the courts.

  10. Feldman Says:

    #7 “..the Geneva show is the place to be for alternative fuel vehicles this year. never saw so many interesting concepts in one place. hope many make it to the market.”

    If you are an AFV fan, making it to market guarantees little, you should hope that they also can sell. And so far their sales have been utterly dismal.

    You should also ask if $10 gas would make them sell any better. The answer is across the Atlantic. Most EC nations have $8-10 gas, and AFV sales there are even more dismal than in the USA!!

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    What the _____ are the UAW doing taking the fight to Geneva ? Much as I find the Unions a necessary evil … thats a step too far in my book .

    ———–

    The Akerson article pt II is on TTAC today and the man’s looking worse by the word .

    ——————–

    e-Bee

    Sorry Johnny Mac but I’m not impressed by gizmos- gee gaws and gadgets add ons … so we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one . Give me solid engineering that leads to improved performance and/or efficiency over infotainment real estate any day .

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    Gas Prices go up – Green Sales go up .

    Gas prices go down and baby its P/U’s SUV’s and gas hog heaven …. guaranteed .

    But errrr …. according to Bloomberg – NYTimes CNBC etc it WAS SUV’s and full size P/U sales that skyrocketed last month .. dominating the sales numbers in fact …. not Green cars … so where’s the discrepancy coming from ?

    ——-

    India & The Motor Company ( Harley Davidson )

    All bets are on that within the next 24 months or so many of those India built Harley’s will be finding their way into showrooms across the US

    ;-)

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10,
    In Europe, the AFV’s are small diesels, and everyone sells them.

    Many, or most of them make the very efficient VW 2.0 liter TDI sold in America seem thirsty. No wonder hybrids, even Prius, don’t sell very well across the Atlantic. Here, the least expensive diesel, the Golf TDI, costs as much or more than a Prius. In Europe, the diesels are substantially cheaper.

  14. Feldman Says:

    Re the improvements on the Leaf, John commented

    “…Did you see how much space they opened up on the instrument panel? Let me tell you, one of the greatest battles that takes place in every new car development program is what they call the battle over real estate, i.e., the battle over who gets what space in a car…”

    This may be of interest among the Leaf’s (and/or Visteon’s) automotive engineers and their managers, but why would Mr or Ms Average COnsumer Care about such esoterics?

    Would these modest improvements increase the chance somebody buys or leases this weird/ugly, appliance-like-looking, tiny-ranged, overpriced creature? I seriously doubt it.

    WHy would one even bother with the Leaf when there is a pure EV that looks 1,000 times better (and this is not just in the eye of this beholder!), the Ford Focus EV, and in addition, it’s a domestic, so C-wolf can even consider it?

    The bigger, much biger story with the Leaf, John, as you must surely know, is how terribly wrong were “Genius” Carlos Ghosn’s prognostications about a million EVs by this and that time. He recently had to eat crow and significantly revise them downwards, didn’t he?

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is Royal Enfield assembling the Harleys in India?

  16. Feldman Says:

    #13 You really think we did not know diesels sold huge in Europe?

    Diesels are the ANTI-AFV! Be prepared to hear the riot act from the rabid greens, whose idea of a Diesel is their father’s GM Olds diesel from 1980.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, those diesel Oldses are still hurting the reputation of diesels in America.

  18. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit

    If I may …. I beg to differ ( 13 ) Not to be an utter pedantic about it but In the EU/UK diesel is and has been for decades a mainstay and staple fuel for the automobile …. not an alternative fuel

    Its only here in the US that diesel is considered an ‘ alternative ‘

  19. Feldman Says:

    #13 STILL, you are missing the point by a MILE. WHen gas is $10 and EVs can’t sell, this means curtains for them.

    Your buddy Obama’s former Energy Secretary once declared (before Obama’s Chicago goons silenced him) that he wanted gas prices to also go to $10 in the USA (despite the far greater commuting distances with no mass transit alternative!!!), so that his stupid EVs and Plug-ins would have a chance.

    NOT gonna happen, and EUROPE proves it. If Diesels were good in Europe, where most drive cars smaller even than a Civic, they would utterly dominate US sales, where millions of Pickups and SUVs are sold, and are far more ideal for the diesel than the Civics!

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    #15

    No . They own their own manufacturing plant there .

  21. Feldman Says:

    To make it clear, while I am a huge proponent of Diesels in the US and especially for Pickups and SUVs, Your typical Greeniac will never consider Diesel an AFV. You see what they talk about her today, their idea is an EV powered by Solar (horrendously expensive, but they would care less), wind, or even nat gas generated electricity. I bet diesel did not even cross their minds.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Feldman Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    “#13 You really think we did not know diesels sold huge in Europe?”

    “Feldman,” Do you really need to constantly inject your snideness here?

    Yes, many of us know that diesels sell well in Europe, but I suspect many here do not realize that the VW TDI’s sold here are relative “oil hogs” compared to many of the diesels sold in Europe. Also, I suspect a lot of people don’t realize that, while a zero option Golf TDI costs about the same as a Prius 2 here, similar cars are much cheaper than a Prius in Europe.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The old diesels people are still talking about are the truck and bus diesels.The cheapest,and the most abundant to my knowledge were the old 2 stroke Detroit diesels.From 4 cyl to 12 cyl for over the road work.The Detroit 6-71 diesel was probably the most common,especially in city buses.They were extremely noisey and smelly and grossly inefficient.Real pos’s,but they were everywhere.I haven’t run into to many people that even knew about the pos diesel that gm was hawking for some of their cars and 1/2 ton pu’s.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21,
    Well, diesel Jettas and Golfs were on the “short lists” of 2 of 4 Prius drivers that I know well, myself being one of them.
    As one who drives a oldish gas hog luxury car, maybe you don’t fully understand the thought process of people who actually buy Priuses an VW TDI’s.

    Yes, I realize that diesel doesn’t qualify as a AFV in Europe. I should have put AFV in quotes in post 13. Geesh.

  25. Feldman Says:

    #22 the bottom line is, almost none of the numerous Green Activists in the US or even in Europe will ever think of Diesel as an “Alternative” Fuel.

    Here, because it is thought of as even dirtier than gasoline.

    In Europe, because there it is the MAINSTREAM, number one, fuel, NOT an “alternative”.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23,
    Doesn’t Penske or someone still make those 2-stroke diesels for boats or something? Even though they are inefficient, they probably are powerful for their size and weight, compared to 4-stroke diesels.

  27. Feldman Says:

    #24 You SHOULD have put it in quotes. It is a total JOKE to even pretend you are serious when you explain away the EVs and Hybrids dismal failure in Europe by their preference for Diesels. Apples and Oranges.

    The POINT is, instead of making references to IRRELEVANT things as to what car I am driving, CONVENIENTLY forgetting that I drive it only a puny number of miles, while its prior owner drove it 120 miles a day to work,

    THEREFORE if you could think RATIONALLY you would give me KUDOS, for taking a 22-25 MPG HWY vehicle (AND NOT the huge gas hog you imply!) that did 20,000 and 30,000 miles each year, and driving it only 3,000-5,000 (and recently only 2,000!) miles a year, I have SUBSTANTIALLY LOWERED this vehicle’s Emissions compared to if the prior driver did not sell it but kept doing his 120 HWY miles a day.

    AND IN ADDITION, part of the time I drive a 44 MPG HWY TINY 75 HP Civic that is FAR SUPERIOR MPG wise than EITER your grossly polluting, old-tech MINIVAN or even your more recent MINI!

    You got SOME NERVE!

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Bye, guys. I’ve had enough of your shit for now, “Feldman.”

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – don’t take ‘ him ‘ personally . Its not worth it and your presence is valued here

    —————————

    T Bejma – To heck with SCCA – Skip Barber – Bob Bondurant …. in fact …. forget everything I’ve ever said about GoKarts as well ..

    THIS … is what you ( and I ) should be doing ;

    http://jalopnik.com/finnish-crosskart-racing-is-your-new-favorite-motorspor-451333669

    Dang if that don’t look a major hoot and a half 8)

    ( worth a watch for the rest of y’all as well )

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, sorry to hear this, your input to this forum is priceless and I know you have a lot of industry knowledge which you have always taken the time to share with us.

  31. T. Bejma Says:

    #29

    Excellent CK!! Rally type racing with an affordable vehicle – couldn’t ask for anything better! Going to have to look into starting that up around here! Super Cool B-)

  32. XA351GT Says:

    I think the thing to keep in mind with E/Vs and Hybrids is pollution as a whole not just what’s related to the emissions. From what I’ve read the by product of the old batteries. Th e rare earth metals are not all that good the enviroment either. So in one hand you pollute the air less but the earh and water more. Sounds like a catch 22.

  33. T. Bejma Says:

    Just do like the rest of us Kit and ignore the idiot…

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma – Let me know if you do . That’d make the drive your way well worth while . Honestly I haven’t smiled that much ( from watching the video ) since seeing Group B cars in action first hand . Just the thought of driving one of these little buggies bringing about a grin that may not go away for hours .

    ——–

    Marchionne’s Madness Marches Ever Onward

    The ‘ Geneva ‘ Edition ;

    Now the little emperor thinks he’s going to sell in excess of 800,000 new JEEP Cherokee’s in 2013 and set some kind of record (Reuters & TTAC )

    Anyone have a clue what it is the likes of Marchionne , Musk and again Victor Muller are on ? ( Hmmmn . The Three M’s ) Pietro…. any clues ? Cause I’m thinking if and when the _____ really hits the fan worldwide it might be good to have a supply of what ever that is on hand … if’n you catch my drift ;-)

  35. T. Bejma Says:

    #11

    Can you really like the TTAC article on Akerson when the author says stuff like…

    “We were made to believe that GM was saved by the government. In reality, it was the American automobile industry that was saved from certain annihilation by foreign carmakers, and we should thank the government for it.”

    WTF does that even mean???

  36. HtG Says:

    35 I read it as, ‘don’t single out GM, because the whole industry in the US was saved. Foreign transplants would have taken over. FU, Dick Shelby.’

  37. W L Simpson Says:

    Styling attracts, performance sells.

    Re: Olds diesels—-made a lotta money back then
    swapping to gas.

  38. Glen Rigney Says:

    75 1950 ford,53,mercury,67 mustang,on and on on on

  39. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I don’t know if penske,or anyone else would be wasting their time with those old pos detroits.Just not worth it unless they put stupid money into it,and again why would they? There are some high tech 2 stroke diesels but I only know of ones designed specifically for general aviation.

  40. ColoradoKid Says:

    T. Bejma ;

    re; 35

    Placed back into its context ( remember T .. in literature , letters and numbers …. context is everything ) I do believe HtG’s hit it right on the head . At least thats how I read it as well .

  41. Alex Kovnat Says:

    > GREEN CAR SALES SOAR

    We should be reminded that Mother Nature doesn’t care what you drive per se, or how many miles per year you drive per se. She only cares how many pounds of carbon dioxide you’re putting into the atmosphere as a result of your lifestyle. What I like about high fuel prices is, it incentivizes us to reduce our total fuel consumption, not just to drive smaller vehicles.

    So the big question we should ask is not how many Priuses or Volts were sold but, how many gallons of motor fuel are we consuming, especially per capita, compared to last year or the year before?

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Who’s buying these “green” cars anyway? around here I’ve seen a couple of Leaf and a handful of Volts and that’s about it. I should say that I’ve seen zero charging stations anywhere.

  43. HtG Says:

    I know of a Hugger in DC that has a Leaf. A Leaf near me has MD plates(silly bugger bought a black one), and I’ve seen a plug-in Prius juicing up on a nearby industrial/commercial back street.

  44. Danny T Says:

    I would be surpised if anyone under 40 yr old knew anything about the GM diesels from the early 80′s so if you would quit bad mouthing them they wouldn’t have a clue as to how GM screws people.

  45. cwolf Says:

    EV’s and the stock market are following the same trend. Regardless if the market curve is at its peak, some people want to buy just because they become overwhelmed by the present increases and want a piece of the pie, with no fathom of an inevitable down turn. And as gas prices rise, the same folks sharing the same mentality think they need an EV with out realizing the benifits will never exceed the added costs.

  46. cwolf Says:

    CK, Your ridicule of the UAW in Geneva really hurts this paying member. At least they are not picketing some Nissan car dealership!(snicker)
    My plant reps are a joke. It displays the solidarity theme for only those who do nothing,yet complain the most. A union rep responded to a plumbers dissatisfaction with me today because the guy said he did not have what was needed to do the task. I asked a REAL plumber for help and he came through in 20 min. Let’s just say the union rep. did not get 3 words out of his mouth before he was ejected from my work area. Let it be known that unions can’t fire people, not everyone has a bottle lunch or gets high at lunch. There are many union tradesmen and workers who are second to no one!

  47. cwolf Says:

    On a brighter note; I saw an old Ford Fairmont wagon in splendid condition on the way home from work. I drove the same car, oh so… many years ago when I started a vinyl repair business to help pay for my sophmore year. In my view, it was a swell car: the cargo area layed flat, it required no major repairs, had only the contents needed and was a perfect size for my needs. It only goes to show, you don’t need an M5 to have fond memories. I still love the bench seat!

  48. cwolf Says:

    I have a total of 26 cyl’s, if it means anything. Yet of more importance, I would be glad to give up AC for my Seris radio if I could get vent windows again.

  49. HtG Says:

    Rand Paul is still talking. Stunning

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the support, Pedro, CK, TB, and whoever I may have missed.

    #39,
    I found that DaimlerChrysler bought Detroit Diesel in 2000, so I doubt if any of the old engines, or anything similar, are still being made. I guess it was independent for a while between when Penske had it and now.

  51. Earl Says:

    # 49…You mean Rant Paul….the GOP brand continues to go south.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    cwolf – That wasn’t intended as a ridicule of the UAW overall but rather a comment on their inappropriate behavior in Geneva . More than bad form I’m afraid .

    —–

    Sheesh . Isn’t it about time for Rand Paul and his kind to simply … fade into the woodwork once and for all ?

    ——

    I saw three wonderful things today … and one absolutely hideous .

    Hideous first … A thoroughly ‘ Donked ‘ out Porsche 928S . Ugh !

    Wonderful ? Well try this . Three WWII warbirds flying in and around my area ( I live near a non commercial airport ) on and off for most the day . A P51 , P40 and a Corsair F4U .

    Oh baby ….. the sound ….. especially when the P51 is low enough to hear the supercharger whine . A greahead’s delight let me tell you .

  53. ColoradoKid Says:

    Alex Kovnat

    Hate to be the one to tell you this …. but Mother Nature don’t like no stinkin EV’s either I’m afraid

    Due to the extensive carbon footprint taken up by the manufacturing of them …. the massive pollution from creating the batteries … mining and refining the rare earth minerals etc etc etc …. not to mention the ecological damage incurred by the disposal of the batteries .. rare earth minerals etc when the thing finally gives up the ghost

    Haven’t you read my ‘ There is no Free Lunch ‘ quote : or Jaques Ellul’s more sophisticated version ; ” For every benefit gained by technology .. an equal or greater cost is incurred ” yet ? Its the truth … like it or not .

    BTW ; Just talked to the old bird and she said … ” If you wanna be green …. ride a bike or walk ” ( humor intended.. except its kind of true as well …. but nobody wants to hear that ;-) )

  54. T. Bejma Says:

    #52

    I live about 1/2 mile from Selfridge Air Base and they have an every other year airshow. The P51′s are by far, my favorite. Like a Hot Rod in the sky!!

  55. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 news Red Bull / Renault ( attention HtG )

    Might this possibly be why Renault is considering dropping Red Bull with Red Bull possibly switching to Honda power ?

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/105880

    Hmmn .

    —–

    T Bejma – Love the P51 but the F4U is my personal favorite ….. cause one of my great uncle’s flew them in the Phillippine’s during WWII . When he could he tracked down the plane’s he’d shot down over the island he was on ….. cut off a piece and fashion a bracelet out of it for his favorite niece …. my mom … with dates etc engraved on them ( x 4 ) They are family heirlooms which I treasure and will donate to some WWII warbird museum after my mom passes .

  56. ColoradoKid Says:

    GM’s ( Akerson’s ) ” Grand Illusion ”

    ( sorry T )

    Hmmmn . Lets see now . Can’t give away the Hybrid EV wanna be we’ve got ( VOLT ) EV’s ( all of them ) aren’t in fact ….selling anywhere ….. Everyone but us says EV’s have no long term future … so what should we do ?

    BUILD MORE EV’S …. of course !

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-06/akerson-says-gm-working-on-200-mile-range-electric-car.html

    So now we can add delusional thinking to Akerson’s long list of ills and shortfalls . Hmmmn . D’ya suppose he’s been hanging around the 3M’s of late ? ( Marchionne Musk & Muller )

    Again ….. apologies T Bejma . This aint yer fault . But it sure as heck doe affect you long term I’m afraid

  57. HtG Says:

    55 Is such a switch really being discussed somewhere? When I wrote a comment about it I was just being confused. The Infiniti deal makes it look like Renault is staying with RB, but just wants more publicity value out of the arrangement.

  58. Brett Says:

    re: Visteon concept car

    I believe the conversation here is illustrative of misinterpretation of the term “concept car”.

    The Visteon vehicle is a concept car to sell technology to *manufacturers* not retail car buyers or enthusiasts.

    It’s not supposed to make our nipples hard. It’s supposed to get automotive design engineers excited.

    I expect that it accomplished what it set out to do. :)