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Episode 1089 – China’s EV Subsidies, Diesel Top Fuel by 2020, Cadillac Up Strong

March 12th, 2013 at 11:38am

Runtime: 7:12

China is offering more generous subsidies to customers that buy EVs, and it’s not just the central government offering them. One of the worlds largest oil and gas companies says diesel will be the #1 fuel by 2020. Cadillac has really started the year with a bang. But the sales gain is coming exclusively from two new models. All that and more, plus we take a walk around the exterior of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the head of Jeep design.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily, we’re glad you’ve joined us, now let’s get to the news.

CHINA DOUBLES DOWN ON EV’S
Sales of electric cars have been a huge disappointment all around the world and since China wants to dominate the EV market, the government will soon roll out new policies to subsidize the cost of developing EVs and to provide more generous subsidies for consumers to buy EVs and alternative cars.

BEIJING EXEMPTS EVS FROM LOTTERY
And it’s not just the central government. The city of Beijing announced that EV buyers now will be exempt from entering a lottery to receive a license plate. Beijing started a lottery system to limit the amount of new cars sold in the city, in an effort to reduce pollution, but that caused the cost of plates to skyrocket to many thousands of dollars. In addition to skipping the lottery, EV buyers get subsidies up to $19,000 from the city of Beijing.

TESLA DELAYS MODEL X
And in other EV news, Tesla announced it’s delaying the launch of the Model X until next year. According to the LA Times, production of the EV was scheduled to start at the end of this year, but is now being pushed back to next year. Tesla says it’s focusing on the Model S and believes it can sell more of that model this year than originally expected. I think that’s a smart move. It preserves cash and let’s them concentrate on ironing out any problems with just one car in the line-up.

DIESEL #1 FUEL BY 2020
And while electrics try to find their footing, ExxonMobil says that by 2020 that diesel will be the worlds #1 fuel. Because of an expanding global economy, it says transportation-related energy demand will jump about 40 percent from now to 2040. Most of this demand is driven by commercial trucks, ships and trains which are primarily diesel. The report also says that diesel will represent about 70 percent of all fuel demand through 2040. I’m not so sure I agree. We are about to see a dramatic increase in the use of compressed natural gas and liquid propane autogas for commercial vehicles in the United States. And if it catches on here, I think it will catch on globally if only because natural gas and propane provide significant CO2 reductions compared to diesel.

CADILLAC UP STRONG
Cadillac has really started the year with a bang. Sales are up 32 percent so far this year. But Cadillac’s sales gain is coming exclusively from two new models, the ATS and XTS. If not for them, Caddy’s sales would actually be down nearly 39 percent because all the carry over models dropped in sales. The good news is, Cadillac has a lot more room to grow. Right now the brand really only has five vehicles in its line-up, compared to roughly a dozen each for BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

THE SEATBELT SHIRT
Some people just seem to have problems with regulations and authority. A company in China came up with a tee-shirt that has a diagonal black stripe across it that makes it look as though you are wearing your seatbelt. The shirts cost about $8, which is actually about the same as the fine you get for not wearing a seatbelt in China. But something tells me that if you do get pulled over wearing one of these shirts there is no talking your way out of a ticket. Or to flip around an old saying, no shirtee, no tickee.

Coming up next, let’s take a comprehensive look at the styling of that new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE STYLING
(Styling walk-around of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Speaking of design at the Chrysler group, join us this Thursday night for Autoline After Hours, when our guest will be Klaus Busse, who runs interior design for the automaker. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, for the best insider information in the business.

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

95 Comments to “Episode 1089 – China’s EV Subsidies, Diesel Top Fuel by 2020, Cadillac Up Strong”

  1. Rumblestrip Says:

    How DO you get your shirts so clean Mr. Lee?
    Ancient Chinese Secret!!!

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Diesel fuel will be a big deal now that our country is finally getting some diesels for us.Next should be bio-diesel,as I might have mentioned a time or two before.Get the under-hood tech up to speed on B50 and we will be rockin’.

  3. Bradley Says:

    Sales Growth, I do not read too much into those numbers. GM has proven selling high volumes of cars doesn’t mean high profitability. Nor doesn’t really mean customers want your cars more than your competition.

    I think Cadillac would make a mistake to try and offer more models.

  4. Bradley Says:

    Ugh..should be:

    Nor does it really mean customers want your cars more than the competition.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    John using static data on the extrapolation of Cadillac sales (without the addition of ATS and XTS) is flawed; there could be a wide range of what actually would have been reported. Without ATS/XTS there might have been ‘saved’ sales to CTS, which might have mitigated a full 39% decrease, OR, without new product Cadillac might have slipped (even further) due to no knew models and a perception of a failing brand. I think best to report the increase (in sales)and speculate in more nebulous terms (rather than an absolute number).

  6. M360 Says:

    John – What new models for Cadillac do you suggest? Maybe a cool convertible or a strong competitor to the MB S-class?

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    Cadillac’s sales numbers news ;

    As has been GM’s MO for over the last three decades

    ” Much Ado about Nothing ”

    Christmas …. BMW sells more 3 Series than Cadillac does its entire inventory . So does Audi with their A4 as well as Mercedes with their C-Class .

    Not to mention an overwhelming amount of those ( cough ) Cadillac sales ( especially the ATS ) were Fleet sales .

    Also from the figures it looks like I’m not the only person in the US that thinks the SRX is in fact a very bad and over priced Joke .

    As to Bradley’s comment about Cadillac offering more models … two things …. 1) + 1 .. and 2) Even if they did ( try and create more models) what the heck would/could they even do ? Another godawful attempt to compete with the Mercedes SL ? Or …. maybe an ATS attempt at a Fastback Sedan ? Gee …. how about going back to the ATS’s roots and trying to go head to head with the SLK and BMW Z series ?

    Oh well . At least there’s a good laugh in there if’n you’re really payin attention ;-)

    ——-

    Diesel – The only sensible as well as viable short term solution until the minor glitches and difficulties of Hydrogen are finally resolved .

  8. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Ugh, another day even MORE China news. Does it ever stop on here? We all knwo you hate EV’s John. Isnt that Cadilac story old news to?

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    M360 – Yeah …. lets do another steel body on a Corvette frame -over weight – under performing – over priced – handles like a pig in a mud bog – POS like the last travesty Cadillac dumped on the market .

    No thanks ! Cadillac is already enough of a Worldwide joke as it is .

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    What’s next, car covers made to look like a brand new model to cover my pathetic POS Crapolla? BTW I now have a carbon monoxide detector aboard to prevent it from making another attempt to poison me like it did a few years back.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    XLR part deux oh yeah! that was a raging success, wasn’t it? Met a client who owns one and I expressed my sympathy to him. (not amused)

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The first thing Cadillac needs to do is get rid of CUE, or at least make it an option on all trim levels of XTS and ATS.

    I’ve mentioned here before, but I think it’s worth repeating. An elderly friend who bought an XTS loves the car, except for not being able to work the radio and HVAC. They can look in-house, like at a Cruze or Malibu for ideas on how to do controls.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Honestly with the heavy bumper to bumper traffic in So Fl I just couldn’t imagine fiddling with one of those complicated on-board computers so prevalent in modern cars, you have to be alert not only for other cars, but bikes, distracted pedestrians, street vendors, beggars and jaywalkers galore.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6,
    Both Cadillac and Lincoln need a competitor to the S-Class, a true “flagship” car, but neither will have one in my lifetime.

  15. Feldman Says:

    “CADILLAC UP STRONG
    Cadillac has really started the year with a bang. Sales are up 32 percent so far this year. But Cadillac’s sales gain is coming exclusively from two new models, the ATS and XTS. If not for them, Caddy’s sales would actually be down nearly 39 percent because all the carry over models dropped in sales.”

    John,

    In just one line, you contradicted your initial over-optimistic assessment. Caddy may be doing far better than its onetime rival LINCOLN, but it is struggling, and no better proof than the INVENTORY numbers I posted yesterday, they were DISMAL, over 100 days for EVERY model, especially for that short-wheelbased whale the XTS.

    As to what Caddy needs, neither it nor Lincoln have a FLAGSHIP MODEL that can even REMOTELY compete with the S class, 7 series, or even the LS460 and the A8 and the XJ Jag!!

    This means well over 200 inch length, BUT more importantly, well over 120 inch WHEELBASE, and REAR WHEEL DRIVE!!! Oh, and DO NOT give me any lame-posterior V6 for a FLAGSHIP, try V8 or even v12!

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: I don’t have que in my equinox and the hvac is easy to figure out.But the damned radio/sat is a real pain in the ass so I just don’t bother with it anymore.Then there is the touch screen that you better not mess with while you are driving.Poorly designed and executed imho.Would I want another? Never happen….

  17. Feldman Says:

    PS the XTS is a glorified IMPALA. Give me a break, anybody who thinks it can go up against the S class and the 7 series. RIDICULOUS, no matter how many auto illiterate (or auto outdated) esteemed 98-year olds like it fine.

  18. Feldman Says:

    So Actually I have the same problem with the domestics that Branigan has with the imports, the domestics have no flagship sedans, while the (Germans) imports have no pickup Trucks.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 18: LMMFAO……..ain’t it th’ truth…

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    The expense vs profits of developing a large, rear wheel flagship is what keeps this from happening, I just don’t see either US brands making a dent against the German competition which has had a long time absolute domination of that segment worldwide.

  21. HtG Says:

    Cadillac’s flagship is The Beast. You can see Obama waving at you from inside. What he’s waving, I’m not so sure.

  22. HtG Says:

    some beauty shots of The Beast

    https://www.google.com/search?q=cadillac+the+beast&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ZmU_UYzRGKWD0QGRmYH4AQ&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=653

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if the Caddy hearses will now come with CUE as well? Surround sound with a sub-woofer?

  24. HtG Says:

    Rrrrrrace fans. An internet streamed Formula 1 show begins tonight from the UK. Hosted by Peter Windsor, it gets started at 10pm London time(NY is now 4 hours behind).

    http://links.em.f1racing.co.uk/servlet/MailView?ms=NTc2NjI2MwS2&r=MTU5MzM0NDE5MDAS1&j=Njg0NDMwNTYS1&mt=1&rt=0%%FORWARD_INFO%%

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit

    Buy a Mercedes ! Its got the simplest , most logical , easy to understand infotainment/hvac on board computer system around . If I can make it work … anyone can ;-)

    Takes me all of ten seconds to change the clock . Two seconds to reset the OD . 8 seconds to reset all the functions ( average mpg etc ) all in one go . All the hvac and radio/cd functions are knobs n dials on the dash … etc .

    ( its the Apple of onboard computers )

    Everybody’s got a lot to learn from Mercedes Benz’s onboard infotainment …. including how to deal with Apple when it comes to synching your personal device ( iPad iPod iPhone ) to the system

    ——

    G.A. Branigan ( and Feldman ) – Actually Das Krauts do have P/U’s . Mercedes ( G – Class P//U for military and industrial use thats killer on the road as well ) and VW ( Amarok ) both . Even Land Rover offers a Defender P/U . Its just that like everything else …. you can’t have one if you live here

  26. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG

    Peter Windsor ????

    Boy do I ever rue the day he got involved with that travesty of an American F1 team attempt … leaving broadcasting behind

    The guy was brilliant …. and hopefully still is ( no keys to the kingdom needed for this I presume ? )

    Peter Windsor . Dang I miss that guy !!!!!

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    Is They Is or Is They Aint ?

    ( small P/U’s coming back to the US )

    WSJ says yes

    TTAC says maybe

    Everyone else is saying flat out ….. NO !

    I’ll play it safe here and go with .. Maybe

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #25,
    I’m still waiting for them to import C220 CDI or C250 CDI wagon with a manual transmission.

  29. HtG Says:

    26. If you want drinks you need to know the password, otherwise it’s free. Windsor’s been doing a weekly show on YouTube for a couple of years, already. Deeply connected people like him are always interesting to me; remember, he used to work for Williams.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    #27 that would depend on what happens to the price of gas, yet there are people I have met who are hanging on to those old Toyota and Nissan small, 4 cyl pickups like priceless antiques.

  31. HtG Says:

    Pedro, if Fidel cashes in his chips, will you offer to let him be buried in your Eternal Vibrolla?

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Only if the price is right, but most likely he’ll be wrapped in a giant Cubano cigar and get smoked by the Jolly Green Giant.

  33. PhoenixMark Says:

    #27 Not until the US Government repeals the chicken tax on PU’s, or someone builds one in the NAFTA zone (read Mexico).
    #30 I got mine last year a 2003 Toyota Tacoma with only 40k on the clock.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just saw a Mexican market tiny Chevy called the Matix (a friggin’ Daewoo) with Fl plates which was brought over here, I wonder if they had to do some extensive work to make it pass US standards or is it ready for US use? anyone? bad enough we have an illegal alien problem, now we’re gonna have an illegal alien car issue as well?

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    PS it sells for $99k Mexican pesos which is about $8k US 1.0 liter 4 cyl 65 hp same as the Smart for half the cost.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34,
    I think it’s the same as a Spark, but still, I’d think it would be somewhat different from the one sold in the U.S., and probably wouldn’t be legal. I’d guess that someone just put an FL plate on it from another car.

  37. PhoenixMark Says:

    #34 Maybe a Chevy Matiz or Daewoo Matiz aka Chevy Spark.

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – In light of the cost required to ‘ Federalize ‘ a car ( more than $8k) not Made for the USA … as well as the legality of bringing one over here thats not a ‘ classic ‘ ….. I’d hazard a guess that Matix is about as ‘ legal ‘ as the dishwashers and line cooks in that up scale NYC restaurant HtG and myself wish we could afford/get reservations for …. ;-)

    As to Castro though … didn’t I hear that Dr. ( witch doctor ) Abena Matatambo turned him into a zombie ten years ago so’s he’d never die ? ( LoL )

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    I suspect one day he’ll show up in an episode of the “Walking Dead” On AMC TV Sundays at 9pm, unpaid promotional ad, not authorized by anyone. @Kit they sell the Spark over there as well as the Aveo, so this is even smaller and cheaper than those, more like the Sprint that was sold here many years ago. This would be in the class of a suicide car or a car you would get for an ex if the courts made you buy her transportation as part of a divorce settlement.

  40. T. Bejma Says:

    #7

    Looks like the Kid has been sneaking some of the “hooch” that he claims everybody else was drinking…

    “Christmas …. BMW sells more 3 Series than Cadillac does its entire inventory . So does Audi with their A4 as well as Mercedes with their C-Class”

    December 2012 Sales

    BMW 3 Series = 10,713
    MB C-Class = 7,828
    Audi A4 = 3,371 (??????)

    Cadillac = 18,248

    Maybe he meant to say that Cadillac sold almost as many as the BMW 3 Series, MB C-Class and Audi A4 combined… ;-)

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah it seems that the Matiz is the same as the Spark w/o the modern electronic stuff present in the Spark according to Wikipedia that car is called Matiz in some countries and Spark in others, the one I saw today is about 10 yrs old, less likely to pass US inspections.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB any input from you on this illegal Mexican Cheby invading our borders? Are cars allowed to visit here from other countries? temporary visa of some kind, buy why would it have Fl plates?

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, is this the one:

    http://www.chevrolet.com.mx/matiz.html

    If it is newer than 25 years old, it would be very difficult to register legally. I talked to a guy at the Cocoa Beach Mini show a couple years ago, who had brought a very late, ~2000 model year “old” Mini to the U.S. from Germany, and it was a very involved process to get it legally registered. He said something to the effect that he could have had a nice Benz or BMW for the money involved, but it would not be unique like his Mini.

    The car is a special edition, I forget the name, but it has a really cool interior with leather, wood, and has wool carpet.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I saw that as well, but this one is older it is at least 10 yrs old, I had to get off my car and take a closer look cause I had no idea what the heck it was, the Chevy bow looked different and the rear just had CHEVY on it, spartan interior as you would expect and some after-market radio

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just yesterday I saw that old showroom looking tiny MINI with rt hand steering parked AGAINST traffic, this wacko must have thought he was in the UK.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44,
    It sounds suspiciously like that Florida plate didn’t belong on that car. I doubt anyone would spend what it would take to make it legal, like the guy with the Mini did.

  47. T. Bejma Says:

    #42

    The only plants that the Matiz was built at are:

    Changwon, South Korea
    Karachi, Pakistan
    Halol, Gujarat, India
    Hanoi, Vietnam
    Bogotá, Colombia

    So, that is not a Mexican vehicle Pedro, but it may be from Colombia!

    We bring cars over all the time that are not federalized but they have “M” (Manufacturer) Plates on them. Sounds like someone just drove it up from Central America. The Border Patrol probably didn’t even know that the car was not domestic.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    But TB, it appears in the Mexican Chevy website, so it has to be sold there, they just don’t make it in Mexico, it is imported over there, it’s just a cheap car for those who must buy new.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just looked at the Chevy Colombia site and that same car is sold there as the Spark, our Spark is sold there as the Spark GT, why can’t GM just call their cars the same name everywhere, it’s confusing for no good reason.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48,
    Yep, and the Matiz is the cheapest car listed on the Chevy MX web site, then Spark, and Aveo.

  51. T. Bejma Says:

    #48

    You are correct Pedro. Boy that is one ugly car. Glad they don’t sell it here. Spark is a BIG improvement…

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit

    The classic Mini in question

    Was it perhaps a Radford ?

    That was one ( relatively speaking ) luxury original Mini

    And you betcha getting even a Classic car here is one expensive proposition . When we were in KCMO thinking we were staying I seriously considered importing a classic Bristol 411 . The car I could of gotten ( from a friend ) for a semi reasonable price …. federalizing it was another story indeed … despite the car having good ol Detroit iron under the hood ( Chrysler V8 ) being a recognized ‘ classic ‘ etc . Suffice it to say once the total was tallied ….. I passed .

  53. ColoradoKid Says:

    #40

    World wide Mr Bejma …. total sales of 3-Series , A4′s and C-Class worldwide vs Cadillac’s entire inventory sales worldwide .

    Once again site buddy . C-O-N-T-E-X-T

    I never said US market only ;-)

    So nope …. its still the 3M’s and Akerson bogarting all that Kickapoo Joy Juice

  54. Jim Thykeson Says:

    Diesel will be gone by 2020.Hydrogen and CNG will be the prepellant of choice.

  55. T. Bejma Says:

    More Yen manipulation help to continue the Japanese unfair profits and now it’s starting to hurt the Koreans…

    “Major factors contributing to the surging profits of Japanese OEMs are the weaker yen, which has fallen by nearly 20% since early November…”

    http://wardsauto.com/management-amp-strategy/shifting-exchange-rates-foretell-japan-korea-auto-makers-fortunes

  56. T. Bejma Says:

    #53

    Of course they would all beat Cadillac worldwide. We all know that Cadillac is a VERY small player outside of the U.S.

    But in the U.S. Cadillac is doing pretty well… ;-)

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52,
    Yep, Radford sounds familiar.

  58. T. Bejma Says:

    #53

    You also never said WORLDWIDE so kind hard to clarify with C-O-N-T-E-X-T when there is none, my Man ;-)

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54,
    Where, exactly, is this hydrogen going to come from? It takes a lot of electricity to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Also, where are people going to refuel these cars, other than the attached garages of suburbanites, in the case of the CNG cars?

    Seven years isn’t very long to develop an entire new infrastructure for fueling cars. We can’t even maintain the road infrastructure we have, and are unwilling to spend the money to have decent public transportation.

  60. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma ……. Never A-S-S-U-M-E !

    ( I’ll take the chance you know the old adage that goes with that word )

    Ask if you’re not sure . And quit trying to pick a fight . I’ve been playing rather nice lately …. so do the same in return T .

    ——-

    Tuesday Afternoon Slideshow

    A slide tour thru the Porsche Museum

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130312/CARNEWS01/130319955

    Sigh … just seeing what the Boxster should of been brings tears to my eyes

  61. C-Tech Says:

    Would the Tesla S qualify for the Chinese tax credit?

  62. C-Tech Says:

    First problem with the X5, my lady went to put on the electronic parking brake (she was just curious after driving a manual for about 15 yrs where the handle was ?) and the button came off in her hand. Dealer says no problem they will call her when the part comes in, no charge. The part is north of $500 plus labor.

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh and in 1969 we thought we’d have lunar and Mars bases by now, I guess they never expected the massive movement of wealth to the East back then!

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    #59

    A minor correction if I may .

    It ‘ currently ‘ takes a lot of electricity to separate hydrogen from what ever . Thats the only problem that needs serious addressing .

    As far as infrastructure …. you need to read up on BMW and Mercedes extensive reports about that ;

    To sum it up ….. the infrastructure is already in place ( petrol gas stations ) with minimal conversion costs needed to upgrade to hydrogen

    That …… is the joy of hydrogen … once they get the cost/energy consumption down . Any ICE can easily be converted … for a reasonable price …. the current infrastructure can be converted …. fuel cells can become a reality etc . Even refineries can easily and quickly be converted .

    And maybe …. just maybe ….. if ALL our stupid governments and manufactures would get their heads out of the EV hole they’re stuck in and put the investments being wasted on a dead end technology ( EV’s ) we’d get there ( hydrogen economy ) a lot quicker

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    #62 good thing it was not an emergency brake failure stop, C-Tech. I often wondered what is wrong with a handle between the front seats that you pull to engage the brake, what a concept!!

  66. C-Tech Says:

    @ #65 Well she still enjoys it, the BMW dealer washes and vacuums it for free when she stops by on the way home (are you listening Lincoln/Cadillac/Buick/Infiniti/Acura ?) once a week. The thing is with an electronic parking brake, they have basically eliminated a secondary braking system in case of an emergency failure.

  67. C-Tech Says:

    @ #64 Hi C.K. I beg to differ with you on the cost to outfit a regular gas station with a hydrogen delivery system being, well inexpensive. The other issue is the if you build it they will come issue. If you owned a 7-11 would you be the early adopter to make the investment in a hydrogen fill system?

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #64,
    IC engines will run on hydrogen and natural gas, but there is a major difference, both at the fueling station and in the vehicle, between handling a liquid fuel, and using a gas stored at 2500 psi or a cryogenic fuel like LN2. In addition to the complexities of dealing with the high pressure and/or low temperatures, you need a much larger volume CNG or N2 to store the same amount of energy as with gasoline or diesel, or even ethanol.

  69. cwolf Says:

    TB: I find it interesting the ATS is the front and center of Cadillac sales in only one real year of sales and all numbers indicate ATS growth is partially due to previous BMW owners. If the ATS continues its present pace, the bright spot in BMW’s future will be from the taillights of Cadillac’s up-coming cars, like the ATS. Ya know,TB, would you agree that it is rather odd for one to boast a favored brand,yet only has the confidence to lease it… for a maybe second time?

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    C-Tech #66 do you think this is a good idea? it’s like putting the fuel filter inside the gas tank, discourages people from replacing it, thus causing all kinds of problems in the long run. Lexus does the same as BMW dealers.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62,
    Hopefully the will be an isolated problem.

    I go for months, or years without using a parking brake. The only time I use it with a manual is when starting on steep hills, or when parking on steep hills where first or reverse gear might not be enough to keep from rolling. With an automatic, I use it only to take the load off of the park pawl on hills. Since there aren’t hills in FL or central IN where I spend most of my time, I don’t really even know if my parking brakes work.

  72. C-Tech Says:

    @ #70 The reason most manufacturers went to in-tank fuel filters (actually closer to in-tank spagetti strainers) is because of changes in federal law requiring gas stations to deliver fuel with fewer contaminants thus putting the fuel filter, if you will, on the pump.

    Yes Lexus, M-B, and BMW offer that higher level of service uniformly. There is one Chrysler dealer in Sanford Fl. that offers that level of service (they are owned by the same group that owns the BMW dealer). I think in addition to product, that raised level of service will keep customers coming back to a brand.

  73. Edwin Benson Says:

    I rejoice in the good news coming from Cadillac, and I jsut hope that they will use some of it to engineer a rear wheel drive luxury car that has a REAL front end – unlike the droop-snooted XTS.

  74. C-Tech Says:

    @ #71 Hi Kit. Well we are still learning all the bells and whistles. Remember coming from a somewhat basic 1998 Eclipse to this is akin to going from flying a prop plane to a Learjet! Daylight savings time took 15 mins to adjust!

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    72,
    C-tech, is that Sanford dealer Fields? They have the Orlando dealer where I bought my MINI.

  76. cwolf Says:

    Who does not like the Prius or at least marvel it? Yet, according to TTAC, the BEST selling EV world-wide is the Volt! And TTAC called it an EV. This one is for you TB.

  77. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf they were referring to the Prius plug in model, not the regular Prius model, that is just a hybrid.

  78. C-Tech Says:

    @ #75 Yes, it is Fields.

  79. C-Tech Says:

    @ #77 Pedro I am glad you cleared that up!

  80. W L Simpson Says:

    Speaking of oldies—-Fla tags used to start W/the
    county # , then Q for antique , then the sequential # of purchase. A rodded woody’s tag at a long ago car show read —–4 Q 2

    The only real difference between a Cadillac & the rest of the GM lineup is the Crest.

  81. W L Simpson Says:

    Dashboard distraction is the next rash of accidents

  82. 97 Sentra Says:

    Europe has seen a dramatic increase in Diesel cars over the last twenty years and reached a maximum of about 50% market share. But things are changing – the latest gasoline engines (TSI, TFSI, etc) have dramatically improved efficiency. That, together with the lower price for transmission, fuel system and emission cleanup, and a reduction in incentives for biodiesel, the pendulum is swinging towards gasoline engines. I guess time will tell.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    82,
    The gas engines are getting better, but the European diesels still get about 30% better mpg than the gas counterparts.

  84. Alex Kovnat Says:

    > THE SEATBELT SHIRT
    > Some people just seem to have problems
    > with regulations and authority.

    I don’t like the nanny state. But people who insist on driving w/o wearing a seat & shoulder belt, are fools. Even NHTSA agrees that air bags are not a substitute for seat belts, only a supplement.

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is a good article about the myth of the “hydrogen economy.”

    http://csauth.ccny.cuny.edu/ci/cleanfuels/upload/Hydrogen-Paper.pdf

  86. jmann Says:

    John: CNG? Propane? meh . . . Low specific energy content, poor winter perf. Expensive, potentially dangerous, fuel systems. Plusses and minuses. This is all old territory. No magic (physics or economics).

  87. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have and still believe in the future of bio diesel.Sustainable easily with todays technology.Burns cleaner,has more energy content,lubes the diesel much better.A win win if people gets behind it.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    87,
    I agree. Producing biodiesel fuel requires less processing than most other biofuels, and there is a significant amount of “waste,” stock, like used fryer oil, that needs almost no processing except for mechanical filtering.

  89. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I would say that with more diesels entering service here we just might be able to get bio diesel.I would love to have a vehicle that could burn B50,and a gas station that sells it.

  90. ColoradoKid Says:

    #85 Funny that EVERY engineer at VW-Audi , BMW and Mercedes Benz as well as now Toyota are in diametric opposition to this Ivory Tower CCNY pundits opinion about the future of Hydrogen

    Not to mention BMW in the mid 2000′s already proved the viability of a Hydrogen economy by converting several gas stations in the US ( one pump ) and sending over two 740i Hydrogen cars which then drove across the US problem free ( several of the US as well as UK press covered it then )

    Biodiesel you say ?

    Hmmmn . Best wait till todays episode when I post about the realities of E85′s current effect on gas and food prices ( WSJ etc) as the same can be said about biodiesel .

    As I’ve said a thousand times

    There Is No Free Lunch !

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    90,
    Where are these “gas stations” with hydrogen? Do you get it in thermos bottles at -420 F, or in compressed form at, what, 4000 psi?

    Hydrogen is not a practical fuel for anything except rockets, where its high energy/mass ratio is important. For road vehicles, its very low energy/volume ratio is a problem, along with the issue of storing a cryogenic liquid, or a very high pressure gas. Then, there is the little issue of where you get the hydrogen other than ways that make it a much less efficient fuel than just burning something else.

  92. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: there is no free lunch,nor was one suggested.Bio diesel is easier to make,does not need corn to do so either,ie: hemp for example.High in oil,plus the fibers are stronger then cotton.There are other ways of making/recovering ingredients for a high quality bio diesel without going to our food chain.It ain’t nutthin like e85.

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    92,
    …and there is a lot less processing to make biodiesel than to make ethanol from corn, or from sugar cane as is done in Brazil.

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s info on the BMW Hydrogen 7:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_7

    It is a 760 (V12), and gets 4.7 mpg on liquid hydrogen. Range is 125 miles on the LN2. It is dual fuel, also running on gasoline.

  95. Jim Thykeson Says:

    Ah, its wonderous to see this bunch of ‘motor-heads’ fret & cry as to where the next fuel will come from. Don’t worry ‘petrol-heads’ Exxon WILL NOT get rid of the blonde walking across your TV screen imploring you to go to their propaganda site about clean petrol. Fear not! China has announced that its coming to America with a fuel refinery, infrastructure, fueling station effort all for the new CNG & hydrogen world! Can the thousands of jobs running ‘conversion-shops’ be far behind?