Autoline Daily

Subscribe - Podcasts Video Podcasts iTunes Zune RSS Audio & Other Options
Autoline Daily

Episode 1092 – EVs Flop in China, VW’s Plant Expansion, Europe Cheats MPG Tests

March 15th, 2013 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 8:32

China has sought to dominate EV technology, but the electric car market has been a flop in the country. Volkswagen’s Chief Executive says the company will build a minimum of 10 assembly plants in the years to come. A report out of Europe says automakers use tricks to boost their fuel efficiency and lower CO2 ratings that border on cheating. All that and more, plus host John McElroy answers some of your questions and comments in this week’s edition of You Said It!

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

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

Ah yes, Friday. We earned it, didn’t we? Of course we did. Later in the show we’ll identify the latest Barn Find, but for now, the news.

EVs FLOP IN CHINA
Bloomberg is now reporting what we’ve been saying here for some time now. The electric car market is a flop. Especially in China, which once sought to dominate EV technology. Despite a goal to sell 5 million by the end of the decade, EVs only account for 0.02 percent of the total fleet. There are several reasons why EVs have not caught on, but China’s notorious traffic jams mean EV drivers have to shut off their air conditioning or heaters to prevent the batteries from dying on the road. And if you turn off the A/C, that means you have to roll down the windows and breathe in all that horrific pollution. Now Chinese regulators are looking at increasing incentives on hybrids and other fuel efficient models.

VW’S MIND-BLOWING PLANT EXPANSION
Volkswagen’s Chief Executive, Dr. Martin Winterkorn says the company will build a minimum of 10 assembly plants in the years to come. 7 of the plants will be built in China, where it already has 12. The U.S. could get one plant and 4 to 5 models developed specifically for U.S. customers. If all these new plants are the size of a typical plant that would represent an additional 2.2 million units of capacity, which is far more than GM or Toyota have talked about. And that would definitely put VW in the #1 slot.

IT’S ONLY KIND-OF CHEATING
The fuel economy test cycle in Europe is far easier than the American test and it routinely generates higher mpg’s than comparable cars tested by the US EPA. Even so, a report out of Europe says automakers use tricks to boost their fuel efficiency and CO2 ratings that border on cheating. The reason I say border on cheating is because it is not technically cheating. Some of the tricks include overinflating tires and taping over the gaps where body panel meet. Get rid of those tricks and the study shows a drop of about 12 percent in fuel consumption.

AMERICANS ARE DISTRACTED DRIVERS
In other European news, drivers are less likely to drive while using a cell phone than Americans are. A recent survey showed that nearly 69 percent of American drivers reported using their cell phone in the car in the last 30 days, and 31 percent of people said they had read or sent a text message. That compares to a high of 59 percent in Europe to a low of 21 percent for the 7 European countries surveyed. I would add that it’s rare for Europeans to eat or drink beverages in their car, too.

BARN FINDS
Alright, people. Time to reveal the identity of this week’s Barn Find. Yesterday we showed you this mossy monstrosity submitted by Gordon Garside. And as, well, NO ONE correctly guessed, it’s an Austin A40 Devon. Hey, we finally stumped you! This particular model was sold from 1947 until 1952 when it was replaced by the A40 Somerset. In those five years, Austin managed to build 450,000 cars. That may be why, as we discovered in our research, it is not hard to find decrepit examples of these sedans in fields all over the world. In case you’re wondering, in 1948 you could have scooped one of these up, with the optional sliding sunroof, for a tidy 505 pounds sterling — that’s 13,237 pounds adjusted for inflation, or about $20,000. Now, if you’ve got a vehicle you think we should feature, you know where to send it: viewermail@autoline.tv.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It! Yeah, you!

Lex says that, “The Transit Chassis Cab nose would look great on a Ford Minivan. Any mention by Ford of re-entering the full size minivan market with an Eco Boost powered Freestar, Windstar or EcoVan? The Transit Connect is just too commercial and boxy IMHO.” Lex I like your suggestion of transplanting that nose, but Ford has not said peep about getting back into, as you put it, the full-size minivan market. Isn’t that one of the greatest oxymorons you ever heard? Full size minivan. But I know what you mean.

Duke wants to know, “What are the German companies, specifically MB and BMW doing to meet CAFE and will they be able meet it in 2 years? Audi is presumably going to ride in on their corporate coat-tails of VW.” Duke, MB is really going to ramp up the smart brand, and CAFE is a key reason why BMW has Mini. Plus, this is exactly why you hear about all the German brands expanding their diesel line-ups, which provide an instant 30 percent improvement in CAFE numbers.

Speaking of diesels, G.A.Branigan says, “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’.” Amen, GA. The fastest way to increase diesel refining capacity is to simply add biofuel to the mix. And guess what? That also instantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions since biodiesel has a lower carbon content.

Edmund T liked my comment about how Jeep should think about sticking a diesel in the SRT Grand Cherokee. “Hey John, I totally agree. I hope Ralph Gilles is considering an SRT Grand Cherokee HEMI Diesel.” HEMI Diesel, whoa! They better run out today and trademark that name.

M360 heard me say that Cadillac needs more models in its line-up. “What new models for Cadillac do you suggest? Maybe a cool convertible or a strong competitor to the MB S-class?” M360, right now the hottest sellers in the luxury segment are SUV’s. BMW and Mercedes have about a half a dozen each. Audi has four. Cadillac only has two, the Escalade and SRX. That’s the biggest hole in Cadillac’s line-up.

Thanks for all your letters and comments, we sure love getting them. And if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, may I highly recommend last night’s Autoline After Hours. Our guest was Klaus Busse, the head of interior design at Chrysler. Anyone who has anything to do with interior design ought to check it out because it really was that good.

Anyway that wraps up this week’s reports. We’ll be back here again on Monday.

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

133 Comments to “Episode 1092 – EVs Flop in China, VW’s Plant Expansion, Europe Cheats MPG Tests”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I looked up some Austin 40 pictures when trying to figure out the barn find, but I didn’t look hard enough. The ones I found had more “flowing” front fenders than the car pictured. I should have looked at all the A-40 variants.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If MB wants to “ramp up” the smart brand, the place to start would be using a decent transmission. That should triple sales overnight.

  3. HtG Says:

    What, no gloating about having your Katz’ Delicatessen care package for lunch today? John, you are all class.

    “Send a salami to your son in the army,” they used to say.

  4. HtG Says:

    What is the opposite of a Barn Find?

    A new McLaren in blue getting on the highway next to me this morning. That thing is so athletic and lithe looking, just moseying along in traffic. Then I drove behind it on the surface street; stopped at a light its high mounted exhaust tips vibrated my car, my chest, everything. The air around the car was shimmering from the heat. That’s class, too.

  5. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Wow,a new McLaren….cool.I’ve never seen an old one out here in sticksville,lol.

  6. T. Bejma Says:

    #4

    Yeah, no one can afford super cars in the midwest. I’m sure the McLaren was government funded…

  7. HtG Says:

    think wolf stalking its next meal, GA

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    Recall Update

    Todays is Nissan … for …. an undetermined number of cars ???

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/nissan-recalling-some-2013-vehicles-for-problem-with-air-bags/?ref=automobiles

    ———

    Kit – Wait till you see the ‘ new ‘ SMART thats come from their collaboration with Nissan … funny thing is as dreadful as the SMART 1.0 is …. the thing sells like crazy and has quite the following … though why I don’t know

    ——–

    T Bejma – #6 – Yer either livin in the wrong neighborhoods or hanging out with the wrong folks …. cause from my Mid West experience of the last five years there’s a ton of money ( just not in the cities ) with some incredible car collections etc . The midwest is a mecca of Gearheaditis believe it or not . And errr… you’d freak if I told you some of the celebs that have been moving to the midwest of late … car collections in tow

    ——-

    HtG – Drove one last fall . Think sterile and synthetic with more power than you can ever use ( on the street ) I wasn’t impressed . Fact is … after about an hour or so it got kind of …. dare I say it ……. boring ? The SLS was gobs more fun .

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    The EU’s mpg ratings Cheating ;

    ” Everybody Lies ” just about sums it up in a nutshell

  10. Earl Says:

    Austin A40′s that came into western Canada in the late 40′s and early 50′s only lasted 2 years and they were whipped. And then in 58 we had another bunch of European cars show up like Simca’s and Renault’s and again they only lasted 2 years. The only import that hung in was the Beatle and they required a new engine every 60,000 miles. After all that we got the Falcon,Valiant and the Corvair for the 60′s. Some say they were the good ‘ol days..to hell they were.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    #8 Kid: you must be mistaken, cars ARE much better than they were years ago,(so we’re told over an over again) these recalls are just a figment of your imagination!

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    You will notice most of these recalls are component problems made by suppliers, until these oem’s address all these supplier issues, this will go on and on, since most car makers use the same supply companies.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If all the European companies “cheat” on their fuel mileage tests the same way, the ratings should be good for comparing cars.

    I suspect most people in Europe realize that they will never match the ratings in normal driving, and probably don’t sue the car companies about the fuel economy they actually get.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I’m wondering how much is the fault of the oem’s.If the oem’s demand said parts/components for a price,they just might be getting what they pay for.Another thing,a question actually,do the suppliers build the parts/components to the oem’s design AND specs? Or does the oem’s make certain things fit because they are already built?

  15. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – #13

    Some people ( Brands ) cheat more than others so any comparisons are moot . FYI the only reason the EU’s don’t sue for things like misrepresented mpg etc is because their culture/legal systems don’t promote/allow litigation the way ours does ….. which has both positive and negative effects .

  16. ColoradoKid Says:

    14

    My question as well . How much of it is the supplier and how much of it is due to the parts being mishandled and/or improperly installed ?

    I’m betting its a fair % of both .

  17. Feldman Says:

    The 12% difference is puny, in the European tests. Routinely car mag tests get mpgs that are half of the advertised. Of course, they drive them harder, similar to C&D tests where they never get the EPA numbers, because they take the cars to the track and flog them.

    I believe the Prius (non-plug in) gets close to 90 MPG in the even more lenient Japanese cycle and maybe 70 mpg in the Euro cycle.

    Re EVs in China, if the Government there wants EVs, they can have EVs. They got trillions of cash in their coffers, all they have to do is to lower the prices of EVS until they become attractive. I assume if they give them away, buyers will come!

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    G.A. no doubt you’re right on this. Same thing when people want cheap goods at Wal-mart and we get cheap $hit from China, but we’ve become accustomed to it, it breaks after a couple of years and we just go buy another cheap one to replace it. We’ve read here how much suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand, surely quality suffers from this.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Our traffic is not that much better than over there, so maybe EV’s have the same weakness all over, name me one major city anywhere in the world that does not have a traffic problem? (besides Havana with its ’55 Chebies).

  20. HtG Says:

    8 McLaren. Were you able to drive the car somewhere where you could push it and make it stop and turn? It makes sense that cars with very high limits aren’t a blast most of the time. All the engineering goes into making it work well at high thresholds. Waste of money if you ask me. Let’s have a 2000lb car with 200hp, off button for the nannies(lookin’ at you ABS), and three peddles on the floor. Job done.

  21. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1

    Red Bull was sandbagging in the preseason

    NBC Sports coverage isn’t half bad ( I’ll tell more after the race ) At the very least they’ve attracted better quality advertisers and ads than SPEED ever did

    Mercedes has found a ‘ legal ‘ active suspension system ( hmmmn )

    McLaren is breaking down ….. again

    Ferrari being the question mark at present

    The rest …. other than possibly a momentary bit of extreme luck … are the rest 8)

    ——-

    Pedro -I agree though I still think a fair amount of the time the problems are due to the auto manufacture’s error in assembly / handling etc …. not the supplier

  22. HtG Says:

    20 cont’d I forgot to mention skinny nonstick tires with high sidewalls. You got to earn grip.

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    #20

    Yup . On the road and on the track . Walked away with the distinct impression your aged granny could drive one at say 85% with little or no effort . Not my idea of fun !

    Honestly …. for the MP4-12C’s price …. I’d rather have a pair of C6 ZR1′s … the second for when the first breaks down ( cause I hate everything American ya knows )

    But even more honestly … if I just had to have a mid engine …. I’d rather track down a used Evora … spend a couple of $$ sorting the reliability problems out .. and call it good

    Truth be known though …. errrrrr …. a Caterham 7 or that Beck Speedster as a second car could make me a very very happy gearhead ! ( assuming I have one last midlife crisis still left in me ;-) which I doubt in light of the traffic etc we’ve discussed )

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17,
    The Prius gets 72.43 imperial mpg, or 57.94 U.S. mpg in the Euro “combined” test. (Toyota UK web site)

    If China wants EV’s, they need to install lots of charge stations. The lack of places to charge them in cities, where EV’s generally make the most sense, is why so few people want them in Europe, the U.S., or China.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23,
    An Evora should be reliable, at least the power train, since it is Toyota.

  26. T. Bejma Says:

    #14

    G.A./Pedro/Kid

    I can answer this because part of my job is making sure suppliers are making the parts to the level we expect.

    We do not demand that a supplier meet a price. We do evaluate what is out there and have an idea of what a component may cost, but there are several factors that go in to why a part is awarded to one supplier over the others, such as quality performance, history, capability, etc.

    We also require that each component meet our specifications. It is a rare occasion that we would use something that is “already built” and using a current component probably only really happens with fasteners.

    There are a couple causes of defects that would lead to a recall:

    - Supplier process/material change that allowed the part to go out of specification and it was not caught by their quality system or the OEM quality system and it caused a severe problem to the customer

    - Specification for the component was not adequate to represent real life use and even though the part met all specifications, it failed in the field

    - As the Kid mentioned – part meets all specifications and the installation process at the OEM causes it to be defective. Actually CK, this is probably the most rare. It may seem like it is more common (like the missing brake pad on the Sonic) but it is still usually due to a supplier (in the brake pad example, the entire strut/brake assembly comes in in one sub assembly and was actually caused by the packaging allowing the part to shake and the pad fell out, it wasn’t forgotten). Another time it would be caused by the OEM assembly process would be if something were not torqued correctly, but all fastening equipment has torque monitoring and is audited about 2 times per shift.

    If you look back at all the recalls I would say it is more like 80% supplier 20% OEM.

  27. Feldman Says:

    From Wikipedia, and for Japan

    Prius 3rd gen (XW30)[135] 2010 – 2012

    38 km/L (89 mpg-US) 32.6 km/L (77 mpg-US)

    (old and new Japanese mpg test)

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have NBC Sports, so I guess I won’t see any F1 races on TV this year, unless they broadcast a few on the regular NBC stations.

    From the Friday practice times, it looks like Lotus is clearly the “best of the rest.” We’ll know more Sunday.

  29. HtG Says:

    26 TB, do you think that the govt threshold for demanding a recall has moved of recent?

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    T.B lately a lot of the recalls have to do with air bags, electronics, etc and not so much assembly line issues, my point is that since any give vehicle is a complex mix of components made by different companies, the vehicle can only be as good as its parts. That is why they always recommend you get the original factory replacement part rather than some generic lower quality one.

  31. HtG Says:

    28 Kit, BBC will be showing 9 live F1 races this year, and all the rest will be shown as a two hour highlight show. This week’s Melbourne race will be shown our Sunday morning at about 10am. Say the word and I’ll flash you the key.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27,
    Wow, the Japanese test returns REALLY HIGH numbers. I never see mileage like that, even in steady speed driving at lowish speed. I inflate the tires to 35F, 33R as the placard says, though, and I don’t tape up the door and hood gaps, etc.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    The Word..

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Thanx T,I’m still confused,but not as much now ;}> I’m trying to relate all that you said,and equate it to the absolute crap the jeep jk is and their continuing electrical and mechanical problems with said pos.I’m believing that Murphy designs/builds/installs everything JK related,lol.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    perhaps the Japanese tests are run at the optimum speed/rpm’s for the best mileage, I recall doing such a trip in a Prizm with a 4 speed and getting 35 mpg’s at a steady 60 mph no a/c, closed windows, a rare weather day in so Fl. Same car never got more than 26 mpg’s in mixed traffic

  36. Feldman Says:

    32 the Plug-in Prius gets even higher:

    Prius Plug-in Hybrid
    (ZVW35)[138] 2012 Gasoline equivalent
    in EV mode
    (blended operation) Hybrid mode
    (charge-sustaining) All-electric range
    (blended mode) EV Mode

    61 km/L (140 mpg-US) 31.6 km/L (74 mpg-US) 26.4 km (16.4 mi)

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:

    With speedtv having problems,I seen the advert of what I think is the first car show to jump ship over to Velocity.Too bad it’s McQuires ‘Car Crazy’.That guy makes my skin crawl.Uber creepy…

  38. HtG Says:

    33 The word.

    Go to YouTube and type, senna trailer, into the search bar. Find my recent comment. I’ll take it down in a few minutes

  39. T. Bejma Says:

    #29

    Like they are pulling the trigger sooner? It does seem like it doesn’t take much (the Cruze recall of 400,000 vehicles for the possibility of oil collecting on the heat shield and causing a fire was based on 2 vehicle fires!)

    You know what I think it is? Communication and Expectation.

    People have a higher expectations of vehicle quality so it takes less for them to complain and with the advent of the Internet, discussion forums, etc., it is much easier to communicate issues.

    If your wheel fell of in 1984 you would have put it back on and went on your way. NHTSA would have never known it. Now if 500 people had their wheel fall off, at least 100 would complain even if they had to write a letter…

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve never tried to really find the “optimum” speed for my Prius. I reset trip 1 when I get gas, and never reset trip 2, using it to give an idea of my average mpg. Sometime, I’ll reset one of them and check a few miles at different speeds to see what I find.

    I always write down the gallons/miles on refills, so there is no reason not to reset the computer readout to check short distance at different speeds. The mpg readouts are about 4.5% high over a full tank, and, presumably, would have about the same error at constant speed.

  41. HtG Says:

    38 can I take it down, Kit?

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,Thanks. I got it. Will try it soon.

  43. Feldman Says:

    #40 for most cars the optimum speed is a constant 35-45 MPH. I have seen 62 and 69 MPG on the previous Generation Prius computer in Palos Verdes, CA (south of LA) where I took a leisurly drive at 6 or 7 PM, country roads more or less, rolling hills, at 45-50 MPH. IN Downtown LA it gave me 53 MPG in stop-go city driving and on the Highway to San Diego and back at 75 MPH, it went down to 47 MPG. I bet the current model, which is rated higher (EPA) would do better than that.

  44. ColoradoKid Says:

    JEEP Wrangler’s Keep on Keeping On !

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/wrangler-demand-spurs-200-new-jobs-at-toledo/#more-481384

    JEEP keeps on building them

    The Wranglers keep on breaking .. left and right

    Yet people keep on buyin em regardless

    Hmmn .

    —–

    T Bejma – 39 Or conversely …… 1000′s of people complain about the very same issue for going on three years only to be repeatedly ignored by the manufacture – NHTSA etc

    True story . With all Audi A4′s and variants in the early to mid 2000′s . Every owners club , magazine , forums etc was alight with a constant barrage of complaints ( suspension bearing failure ) dealers were doing warranty repairs on the issue while still under warranty by the 1000′s ( the funny part being the replacement parts had the same problem and broke again …. in my case 3 times ) ….yet Audi ( worldwide ) the NHTSA along with every EU/UK safety board blatantly ignored the demand for a recall

    So pulling the trigger too soon ? Ehh… I’m not buying that one for a minute . IMO the real problem on both the supplier and the manufactures part is trying to build too many too soon a.. the end result being … recall

  45. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – #25 – The electronics … along with a few key suspension parts and interior bits and bobs ..

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    37 – +1 Yeech !

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    What is the best engine/transmission combo for the ultimate mileage? should be a four banger diesel with a 7 speed transmission (I don’t think it exists) most likely it’d be a six speed job.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    #37 that dude smiles way too much, don’t trust smileys much!

  49. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A. Branigan

    Heads up . SPEED is dead … as of this summer …. kaputsky …. ist no more …. the ‘ official ‘ announcement was made last week … hence everything automotive on SPEED thats still vaguely popular will be moving elsewhere

  50. Bradley Says:

    The key to better MPG is how hills are managed. If you allow the hills to dictate your speed more, your MPG will soar.

    If you allow your car to slow to 50mph and then not exceed 80mph (safety) on the downhills. Your MPG shoots way up.

    I did this once on my 30 mile commute each direction for one tank in my Yaris. I hit 50mpg for the whole tank. It was a lot of effort and not practical.

  51. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – # 47

    32 hamsters w/a 21 speed transmission , 2 wheels and a fairing !

    :o

    ( had to end the week on a laugh … seeing as there’s no good videos to link to this week )

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    Velocity is the place to go to, btw this US Top Gear continues to suck I’m just about ready to give up on it, so poorly executed. They could have done so much with it, we have so many great places to film this, they just don’t take advantage of it,

  53. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: It is amazing that for now,the jk is enjoying the popularity.Every dog has it’s day as the saying goes.These neophytes with more money then brains,or they just fail to do the research,either way,they don’t stay long with the jk.This is especially true when they have a lift put on,then have the usual problems only to be told by the dealer that since they lifted it….

    Then there is the questions by all the noobs on why is this happening,or what’s wrong with this,it won’t start etc.It’s a nightmare I doubt I will ever endure again,diesel or not,they just ain’t worth it.

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    #50 I remember from my hilly days, speed it up b4 you get to the start of the hill,after the crest, you let go of the gas and at the bottom pray that smokey is not sitting there with his trusty radar gun.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    @ 53 GA perhaps because they have no competitors at all?

  56. HtG Says:

    54 as you come down off the Betsy Ross bridge from Philly into New Jersey, this is precisely where Smokey is waiting. Count on it.

  57. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Speed has been dead for me for a long time with very few exceptions.I love watching the Barrett-Jackson auctions,and several of the car shows.Although he giggles like a little girl who sat on a feather,stacy david knows his $hit.I used to like 2 guys garage,(I think that was/is the name)but it was taken over by a couple of meth heads the way they act and jump around.Chop-cut-and get a life was just too boring for words.And Pass Time,the joke of the century.A big fat dumbass with knuckle bling that fist bumps everything that moves shouting ‘cash is good’….lmao.Gee,I wonder why speed tv is going under ;}>

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    I remember driving through the smokey mountains, going up was quite a struggle for a fully loaded 77 Bonneville with the 302 engine, coming down was another story, too fast, too many curves, sloppy handling, fear of over-heating the brakes and getting pulled over, driving is supposed to be fun, this was not!

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    I also remember enjoying Shadetree Mechanic which then became 2 Guys Garage, they had 2 great hosts, but these new guys suck big time.

  60. C-Tech Says:

    Just a follow for #85 yesterday Kit, the cost increase when you lengthen the wheel base on a fwd comes from added wiring, exhaust, added strength necessary for the frame rails and other structural components in between. Overhang is relatively cheap. Adding width cost even more.

  61. Bradley Says:

    #52
    I am proud to say I haven’t seen a single episode of the US TopGear. The previews confirmed my WTF response when I heard it being created.

    Maybe John McElroy could send one of his reporters to the BBC for a story TopGear.

  62. C-Tech Says:

    Pedro, I agree. I guess the other 2 guys were too old for the demographic they were trying to reach. The projects now are more complicated in real life than they show on tv.

    Stacy David and Chop Cut Rebuild have gotten better, but too many re-runs.

  63. C-Tech Says:

    @ #61 Brilliant idea man!

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    Recall update

    Another big one for Toyota I’m afraid

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/toyota-recalling-209000-fj-cruisers-for-seat-belt-problem/?ref=automobiles

    ——-

    #61 Add another + 1 from me !

    Eeesh .. Top Gear USA . What a travesty that is . Watched 1 one episode and I was done . As I’ve said before …. Top Gear BBC is three genuine automotive journalists occasionally playing the fool for effect

    Whereas Top Gear USA is three fools trying in vain to play at being automotive journalists

    ——-

    59 – Dream Car Garage … that was a winner IMO

    ——-

    G.A. Branigan – Want my honest opinion why the JK JEEP sells ? Perhaps because it is the last truly ‘ American ‘ car ( other than a couple of the P/U’s ) still being made that in no way shape or form even attempts to be a EuroJap wanna be

    ( T Bejma will hate me for that ….. )

  65. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 55:They have zero competition.Ford,a long time ago was playing with the idea of resurrecting the Bronco which would have been a great thing for off roaders and everyone else who needs a capable 4×4.But for whatever reasons they didn’t do it,and no one else will step up to the plate.Great for Jeep,shitty as hell for us consumers….

  66. ColoradoKid Says:

    Ahhhh finally a video to end the week on . Even if it is an Audi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VW5GMsT32RM#!

  67. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @CK: Peter Klute (sp)from dreamcar garage has a show on Velocity,and has his son with him too.Good show.

    Your right about the JK….for a while longer anyways.There has been a lot of talk/rumor that macaroni and (un)manley want to put IFS on the jk.

  68. cwolf Says:

    RE #26,TB
    If you look back at all the recalls I would say it is more like 80% supplier 20% OEM.

    I have to disagree with you on this one,TB. It would be more accurate if the numbers were reversed. I know at my plant and of two others where parts are checked every hour, thouroughly twice per shift. This occurs for each stage of a process, then more at final ass’y! If we get one or two out of spec complaints/month, you guys are on a war path!
    I’ll bet more than half of the recalls are a result of less than substantial design by GM in unexpected areas and cutting one too many corners to curb costs. And to say GM does not set prices is not altogether truthful. We all know or have heard of GM’s strong arm tactics to to squeeze all but the last drop of blood out of suppliers just to stay in business. For instance, GM will display a cheap Chinese part on the table and demand that the American supplier match the price, knowing their part is far superior. If this is part of your job, my friend,save the BS for the Chinese.

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    #66 this is a bit of over-reaching, don’t you think? in that case, any portion of the vehicle that anchors the seats, seat belts or any other safety feature and it could get rusted out and thus weaken the metal to the point the the anchor would fail in an accident should also be recalled, Let’s recall everything, better still make people junk their cars after say, 10 yrs which is how long air bags are guaranteed for anyway. junk your car and get a tax break from the IRS.

  70. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ cwolf: Does what you say apply to all the oems here? Is that quality checking depend on what oem one works for,or is it like an industry standard?

  71. cwolf Says:

    @ G.A: Take my words with some degree of error, but allow me proceed to shoot from the hip. For the most part, word class manufacturers practice some agreed upon quality control practice and it are these principles that determine the guidelines to be adhered to. Let us say, for example, an EL connector may have been designed,met all QC st’ds and has been commonly accepted throughout the industry. But if this part is placed too close to a heat source,it may not come apart as designed, but thru contraction and expantion it may corrode quicker than anyone thought. These un-planned things happen more than we like,but,I guess, we are all human and often overlook every fine detail cuz time is money!

  72. T. Bejma Says:

    #68

    cwolf, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. This is my job (and based on my recent raise and bonus, one that I do very well) so I think I have the knowledge here. Throwing the cheap part on the table and making the US supplier meet it might have happened in the past, but it does not anymore. The Buyers don’t care where they get it from (in your example, they would just buy the China part) and the Suppliers learned long ago that making a part at a loss just leads to being out of business (in your example the US supplier would simply walk out). Almost every supplier is FULL (or over full) with profitable work and there is only more to come. These suppliers that made it through the downturn don’t play those games. The ones that did, are gone. I do hear horror stories recently from the supply base about the Japanese suppliers starting to abandon the “partnership” methodology that helped them to get such solid supplier relations (hey, maybe a reason for all the recalls) and start using the old hammer method…

  73. T. Bejma Says:

    Impala Reviews revisited…

    Car and Driver likes the Impala
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-chevrolet-impala-first-drive-review

    MotorTrend likes the Impala

    Who was it again that didn’t like it (besides the known GM haters at TTAC who haven’t driven it yet)? Some internet search engine? Oh yeah, not even a good internet search engine – the yahoos at Yahoo!

    I think I’ll believe the actual automotive journalists at car magazines…

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C & D liked the Impala more than I would have expected. CR’s take will be interesting, but will be a couple months away. If I wanted this type of car, I suspect I’d like the Impala ok with one option, the 3.6 engine. It is too big and heavy to gain much mpg with the base 4 cylinder, and “e-assist” doesn’t improve mpg enough to justify the expense, or complexity.

  75. HtG Says:

    73 Jack Baruth should stick to whining about his Porkers and coming up with more contorted euphemisms for drunken sexual congress. He made himself look small.(not speaking figuratively)

  76. Feldman Says:

    http://www.truedelta.com/Cadillac-XTS/car-reviews-1164/2013

    Here is a good review from the always careful Mike Karesh. He compares it to the A6. He wants more people to go comment at his site. (I already did, with the obvious name I use there, 740iL98)

  77. Feldman Says:

    I usually take C&D reviews seriously, as I do CR reviews and Mike Karesh’s too.

    Re the Impala: They say it is the quietest Chevy ever. SO I assume they want it to compete vs the Toyota Avalon?

    Any serious reason anybody would buy the Impala over the Avalon (besides misplaced patriotism?)

    But here is what is the deal killer both for the Impala and the XTS (which has IDENTICAL puny, ridiculous wheelbasae to the XTS! Didn’t caddy change ANY mechanicals?)

    Wheelbase: 111.7 in
    Length: 201.3 in

    What does this look like?

    Like a six-foot, 250 lb mother-in-law with size 6 shoes.

    In a word, RIDICULOUS.

    WHY OH WHY do GM AND Ford insist with these UGLY looking cars, very long, but with puny wheelbases and huge overhangs?

  78. Feldman Says:

    “T. Bejma Says:
    March 15th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    #68

    cwolf, I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. This is my job (and based on my recent raise and bonus, one that I do very well) ..”

    I will ignore your immodest, distasteful bragging to let you know that, ESPECIALLY at bad old GM AS WELL AS at the current ineffective, poorly man aged Government Motors,

    anybody’s raise and/or one-time bonus prove NOTHING.

    You MAY well have done a good job, but the above is NO proof of it.

    Want to explain it so that even you can undertand?

    Look at losers like Susan Doherty, VPs that make multiples of what you make. Maybe ten times what you make. SHE was DISASTROUS, clueless and incompetent EVERYWHERE they promoted her to. SHe is the poster child of what I acccurately pointed out earlier, to a lot of protests here, namely the social promotion of INCOMPETENTS, JUST because they look politically correct to do so. AND she is not the only one!!

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Any serious reason anybody would buy the Impala over the Avalon (besides misplaced patriotism?)”

    To the wheelbase obsessed, the Avalon has a SHORTER wheelbase than the XTS and 2014 Impala.

  80. HtG Says:

    Who was it that posted the TTAC neck biter’s post on the deficient Impala. You, Feldman(yesterday, note 53). You’re damaging your credibility.

  81. Feldman Says:

    #80

    YOU are the one who is being RIDICULOUS.

    TTAC was one of FEW sites that WARNED people of GM’s bannruptcy.

    Mags like Motor Trend and C&D accept all kinds of FREEBIES, are wined and dined by the automakers, THEY are the ones with ZERO credibility. COnsumer Reports, on the other hand, has 100% credibility, as well as I DO, because we have NO SKIN IN THE GAME, UNLIKE YOUR T.Bejmas of the world who propagansdize foro their masters and will NEVER tell you ANYTHING bad about their company.

  82. Feldman Says:

    79 Yes, I am wheelbase obsessed, and with EXCELLENT REASON.

    I am not surpised if the Avalon has a slightly smaller WB. It is ALSO much shorter than the Impala. is the % (WB over L) smaller? I don;t care if it is or is not, Avalon would be the last car I would buy, BUT Impala seems to want to compete with it, so I brought it up.

  83. Feldman Says:

    #82 after all, Toyota introduced the Avalon in the mid 90s to directly compete with Buicks, and copied all kinds of distasteful features from said Buicks, even the accursed bench Seats, originally!

  84. HtG Says:

    81 After getting yourself banned, shouting ‘welfare queen’ repeatedly at T. Bejma, you think stating you have no skin in the game is sufficient demonstration of your impartiality? Proceed.

  85. Feldman Says:

    84 you are UTTERLY DISGUSTING. The crap you mention had NOTHING to do with my TRUE, 100% impartiality, AND YOU KNOW IT. Bejma and all the GM employees are INDEED welfare queens, and I take back not ONE IOTA of that. And don’t get me started on the UAW…

  86. HtG Says:

    QED

  87. Feldman Says:

    ANnd so that even HTG understands, what I mean is that, unlike BEJMA and the CAR MAGS, I have ZERO conflict of interest.

    I own NO automotive stocks of any kind, except if my retirement mutual funds own a share or two, which I have NO control over and cannot exclude them from doing. I don’t even try to make money by SHORTING any auto shares of poorly performing companies. (I never shorted anything else either). THAT’s the 10% truth.

    If Motor Trend want to be as impartial as I am, then they should do what COnsumer Reports does:

    DO NOT accept ads from any company

    DO NOT accept free cars to test drive, but buy them retail,

    and do not even accept expensive JUNKETS and be wined and dined like Magnates by the Automakers.

    IF you get all these freebies, no wonder you will…. vote the Chevy Citation and the Renault Alliance “CAR OF THE YEAR”.

    Got it, HTG?

  88. Feldman Says:

    the 100% truth, of course.

    Some people keep talking, believing I will take themselves seriously when they praise their own. DOn’t you guys understand the meaning of the phrase “CONFLICT OF INTEREST”?

  89. HtG Says:

    I have no more interest, Feldman

  90. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Not that what I say means shit,but I’ll be back if and when feldman is permanently gone.You feldman are by far the single biggest horses ass I have ever run across on any forum.

  91. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that America’s most fuel efficient cars are NOT American, a couple of weeks back we read that the most reliable brands in America are NOT American, so will someone explain to me why should we be spending our hard-earned dollars in buying anything but the best in fuel efficiency and reliability (quality)? Why do they keep telling us that now they’re all created equal and American brands have caught up to the imports? Even so-called respected auto journalist have appeared on this website and have said this over an over again. It’s all a bunch of ca-ca.

  92. Chuck Grenci Says:

    F1, Australia; pretty darn good race. The same names (and some new), close racing (multiple brands), a lot of passing, tires (in the mix) and looking forward to the rest of the season.

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    92,
    It looks like Kimi’s comeback tour is going a lot bettet than Michael’s did.

  94. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Perhaps; though I think Kimi left (at a younger age) than Schumy and is ‘still’ more in his prime (?). We’ll have to see in future races; Ferrari (Alonzo) was six seconds back (before he ran out of time and eased to a 12 second fallback) but the bigger difference was Lotus making two (tire) stops and just about the rest of the field (including the rest of the front runners) making three. All things considered that was besides the point, I guess, but for sure, a lot of good strategy and good racing and a lot more top (competitive) teams this year too.

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The two stop strategy certainly seemed to work well this time, and yeah, Kimi being younger probably helps. Also, last year and this year’s Lotus may be more of a “best of the rest” car than Schumy had at Mercedes.

    It will be an interesting season. It doesn’t look like Vettel, or anyone else is going to run away with the title this year.

  96. HtG Says:

    Eric Boulier of Lotus implied that this year’s car is better on tires than the rest. He also said things should fall even more in their favor under the heat of KL next week. Kimi mentioned that they have a “good car.” Hamilton said MB was on a two stop strategy, but that when he flat spotted while defending against Alonso it meant he had to switch to three stop.

  97. Feldman Says:

    Branigan: I am very sorry that you are SO Misguided, and you are SUCH an UTTER UNGRATEFUL BRAT. I never ever remember calling YOU any names, but you call me a sewer of epithets, in the language that shows us who you are.

    It SICKENS me that my MANY FACTUAL contributions to this forum, that apparently few of you have access to (I MEAN hARD DATA such as inventories, MPG etc) are not appreciated, and then mindless sheep such as YOU add insult to injury by Attacking me!!!!!

    I have not read the sewer of attacks I expected whenever, like yesterday, I TOLD THE TRUTH and let the chips fall where they may.

    I just came back five minutes and read ONLY the last few comments. I stopped at YOURS Branigan. I thought you were far better than that.

    Still, have a happy St Pats, esp since you seem to be Irish on your father’s side at least. Despite the fact that you did you best with your false charges to ruin mine.

    Thank god for PEDRO for having both the BRAINS and the INTEGRITY to tell you the truth too, not to mention his always excellent sense of humor.

    The thing is, though, be careful what you say, Pedro, because this crowd CANNOT HANDLE THE TRUTH.

    Day after day we are SPAMMED by the resident GM paid CHEERLEADER with his pom-poms, posting SPAM. As if he will ever tell you what is still wrong with GM… The rest of you do not mind that at all, but mind ME when I called incompetent GM exactly what it is, the Greatest Welfare Queen EVER. AND damn the 1,000s of DEALERS who, in the process of lifting GM from its coma, were FORCED to sacrifice their dealerships, small businesses going back countless generations!

    So you want cheerleaders praising the laggard domestics? Have it your way. There are many other auto forums I can share my thoughts, and many welcome substantive comments.

  98. pedro fernandez Says:

    Are you guys seeing a lot of Velosters around your area? I am seeing so many of them around these parts that it is shocking that so many people have such bad taste and that there is so little else available in the segment. Curious to see if the Fiesta ST will make a dent in those sales, from the looks of it, seems a bit over-priced compared to the superior and $2k more expensive Focus ST.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    98,
    I’ve seen a few, but not many Velostars. As far as Fiesta ST, it sounds like a really fun car. If I didn’t have my MINI and were looking for a “fun” car, I’d be checking it out. The Focus would a much better only car for most people, as Fiesta has a very cramped rear seat. It’s roomier than a MINI, but I bought my MINI assuming it a two passenger car.

  100. Feldman Says:

    #98 I have seen maybe one or none. I have read a review that showed that, in addition to the weird exterior design (that may appeal to much younger people than us), the whole ‘thing’ is both poorly put together and a poor value.

    As for Fiesta sales, they are poor, and inventories are swollen. One more case of the domestics, and not just GM, having too many models that compete with each other. here the far better Focus is only marginally more expensive.

    I have seen this countless times. You never hear that the Corolla stole Camry sales or vice versa. You never hear that the Civic stole Accord sales or the opposite.

    BUT, every time a domestic model fails, the usual excuse (real or made up) always invokes that other model of the same maker which stole its sales.

    First it was the ATS which took sales from the CTS. Then the Dodge Dart lagged in sales because the Chrysler 200 (one size bigger) was priced too low and it undercut it (Loaded Darts, which are civic-sized, go for UTTERLY Ridiculous prices close to 30,000!). Then the new Buick Regal flopped because the Cruze clone Buick Verano took its sales (that was the official GM-Bejma excuse).

    So why do they keep doing it? Why do they have so many models, and so closely priced to each other? It obviously makes zero economic sense to have multiple, multi-million marketing budgets to teach the consumer what is a “Verano”!

    PS It is possible that the Fiesta sold less than even the niche Fiat 500 last month!

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ford scared off many buyers with their premium prices on the first wave of Fiestas and buyers got a big sticker shock for the class and that you could get more established models for less money, now they’re having a hard time getting sale numbers up. Dodge scared off Dart buyers by barely shipping out any automatics at first. BTW by most reviews I’ve read, Verano nice, Sonic based vehicle but way too much money for its size, these US car makers think Americans are gonna develop European tastes overnight and get into expensive small vehicles.

  102. T. Bejma Says:

    #101

    Actually Verano is Cruze (Delta II) based, not Sonic…

    “We’re tempted to go ahead and call the 2012 Buick Verano a “baby Regal,” because the truth is, the two cars are much more alike than you might think. Since the Verano is based off of the Delta II platform (which is relatively large for what General Motors calls a “compact sedan”) that also underpins the Chevrolet Cruze, the new Buick’s dimensions are awfully close to that of the larger, Epsilon II-based Regal. What’s important to note, however, is that while the Verano is Cruze-based, it uses different materials throughout the interior and has a totally different look.”

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/01/06/officially-official-2012-buick-verano-revealed/

  103. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Feldman,
    You may not understand, but G.A. has generally been very civil on this forum. You have not. He responded the way he did as a result of the way you responded to others, not to himself.

    Also, T. Bejma is very transparent in letting us know that he works for GM. You, on the other hand, CLAIM that you are well informed, CLAIM that everything you say is factual, but meanwhile, you have no credibility because you won’t even keep the same anonymous screen name for more than a few weeks. Yes, your posts on inventories, etc. are informative, and I appreciate your posting them.

    As far as Fiesta, it costs too much, and they should have put a 6-speed manual in it, rather than a 5-speed with a too-short top gear. The market for Fiesta is people who want a sporty driving small car, and don’t even need a back seat. The Fiesta ST should be appealing to the same people who now buy MINI Cooper S. We’ll see how that works out, but from what I’ve read, the ST drives very well, and costs significantly less than a Cooper S. The MINI has way more “cool,” though.

  104. T. Bejma Says:

    Yikes! Dodge Challengers catching on fire – Chrysler says STOP DRIVING!!!

    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130317/RETAIL05/130319926#axzz2NpRwqluN

  105. Feldman Says:

    Kit Gerhart Says:
    March 17th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Feldman,
    You may not understand, but G.A. has generally been very civil on this forum. You have not.

    If you go back all the way, you will see that I Never, ever INITIATED any personal attack against any member here. I was sure scathing in my criticism of MODELS and MAKERS, but I never attacked the posters. When members attacked me because I dared criticize or ridicule their favorite model (usually domestic), they attacked me personally.

    “You, on the other hand, CLAIM that you are well informed, CLAIM that everything you say is factual,”

    It is obvious that I am extremely well informed on the aspects of Autos that interest me (the industry, sales, inventories, and specs and design of production models. When I am NOT well informed, on subjects I do not care about (such as F1 and Nascar races) I do not speak about such matters AT ALL.

    But the main point is that I am 100% unbiased and do not have any dogs in the fight, while others do. Perhaps it was YOU who did not understand this. Pedro sure did.

    Cars in the Fiesta Class (and smaller), if I had to bet, have4 lousy sales (a 100% fact) and probably don’t make a dime, unless they have strong retro styling like the MINI and maybe the Fiat 500. They do not even have better MPG than one or more sizes larger cars (Civic, Prius, Jetta Diesel, Passat Diesel), so why in the world would a rational consumer buy them?

    This is why, even tho the Fiesta is made in Mexico and should have a big cost advantage, at the end it was a huge flop.

    And not to brag, I told you first, long time ago, and aptly named it the “Ford FIasco”.

    I was also right many, many other times, when others challenged my strong recommendation of the Cruze and the Equinox and my telling you how successful they were sales-wise. This has continued during my absence from this forum and as of now the Cruze has sold more than half a million copies. And rightly so, it is a huge improvement over the Cavalier-Cobalt. The Equinox-Terrain too, even after all these years, have excellent sales, despite the many new models in its class. The two sold 30,000 units last month (!!!), far more than the (new!) Escape, CR-V or Rav-4.

  106. Kit Gerhart Says:

    105, Feldman says:

    “It is obvious that I am extremely well informed on the aspects of Autos that interest me (the industry, sales, inventories, and specs and design of production models.”

    You are informed on some things, like inventories, but you are OPINIONATED on others, like design, and are unwilling to let it go at that. Most people LIKE the appearance of the current Malibu, or at least find it unobjectionable.

    I certainly agree that cars like MINI, Fiesta, and others don’t make sense from a practical standpoint, compared to to larger, roomier cars that don’t cost much more, and get similar, or in the case of Prius, better mpg. You ask “why in the world would a rational consumer buy them?” I bought my MINI because it is fun to drive, I like the way it looks, and, silly as it may seem, I like the connection, minor though it may be, to the history of the original Mini. I ask the same question, as far as why so many people buy pickup trucks when they have absolutely no reason to have a pickup truck. They have their reasons too.

  107. T. Bejma Says:

    “If you go back all the way, you will see that I Never, ever INITIATED any personal attack against any member here.”

    Except me, that is. Besides saying that you need to get back on your meds, I have never personally attacked you, however, even when not addressed to you, you still feel the need to personally attack me on a daily basis…

    Just from today (all typos transferred in their entirety)…

    “I will ignore your immodest, distasteful bragging”
    “Bejma and all the GM employees are INDEED welfare queens”
    “…so that even you can undertand?”
    “…SPAMMED by the resident GM paid CHEERLEADER with his pom-poms, posting SPAM”

    And as far as automobile industry knowledge…

    “You never hear that the Corolla stole Camry sales or vice versa.”

    But what about Corolla/Scion TC? Camry and it’s clone the ES350?

    “You never hear that the Civic stole Accord sales or the opposite.”

    Civic/ILX, Accord/Acura TL

    You know why GM and other makers compete against themselves? To satisfy everyone. Not everyone likes the European handling of the Regal, so there is the Verano. Some people want more room than the ATS, so there is the CTS. Maybe someone doesn’t like Cadillac XTS styling, so there is the Impala. It is not because the people that are in charge want to compete against themselves, it is all in an effort to satisfy you (well maybe not you, because all you will buy is used) the customer. Simple as that…

    Nothing you can type has any affect on me Mr. Feldman and the more you continue to attack each and every person on this site, the less your opinion matters…

    Good Day

  108. cwolf Says:

    @ TB #72
    Doesn’t seem like a good day to comment for obvious reasons, but keep these thoughts in mind for they next time the topic arises:
    Gm and the suppliers know the competion, as well as a good guess of the bids. Some get gov’t funding which makes it tough to compete and GM knows this as well. I’m sure JIT comes into play when bids are close, but GM’s history is to accept close to the lowest bidder. I’m also sure you are a devoted employee and earned your merit raises and are viewed positively as one who fits into the corparate philosophy and makeup. But you did not get this raise for buying the most expensive parts,..right?
    Ponder this, TB: Compare almost any Honda window sticker against one on a GM window. Why do you think Honda has a 70% Am. components vs. GM’s 20%? Just like the Japanese make purchases guided by national pride, I believe Honda and the other Asians brought this notion of pride with them believing/knowing their cars may be better accepted if their new American product was made by Americans. I think their logic and reasoning is bearing fruit. Wouldn’t you agree TB? Might not be a bad idea for GM start being more American instead of doing biz abroad for the majority of GM’s needs. I betcha several guys her would agree. By the way, my friend, learn to ignor the guy as I have.

  109. ColoradoKid Says:

    Eeeeesh !

    Gone a couple of days and already the wars back on in full ?

    A couple of suggestions to the two protagonists

    T Bejama – You are not GM … GM is not you ( you work for them … period ) so try not to take comments about GM personally

    Feldman – Once gain ….. T Bejma is NOT GM …. and GM is NOT T Bejama …. so for the love of Pete quit aiming your attacks against GM at T Bejma personally !

    e.g. You’re both somewhat at fault here .

    ———————————————

    Now …. lets take a break and look at the racing news

    F1 – A surprise winner in everyone’s book . Kimi and the Lotus . Ferrari answering a few questions – McLaren confirming how the mighty have fallen – Mercedes leaving more questions than answers and tires playing a major role in the results

    The racing … was damn fine ! The coverage ? ( NBC Sports ) Really pretty darn decent …… almost good even … nice thing being NBC Sports HD feed is a whole lot clearer than SPEED’s ever was .

    Kind of sad to have two Aussies in the field though with not a solitary American to be seen

    The Petite LeMans thing ? A bit of a travesty with nothing but foregone conclusions …. a lack of audience …. and the LMP1 and LMP2 class becoming more irrelevant than ever

    Milan San Remo ( bicycle’s me mateys )

    One seriously mighty fine race ….. with again a surprise winner and a Yank ( Taylor Phinney ) in the top ten .

    So ….. looks like F1′s gonna be mighty fine ….. Bicycle racing’s making a comeback from all its debacles …

    But errrr …. American racing is definitely on the wain . Even with all the motorcyclists in Daytona this weekend the formerly most prestigious M/C race in the US ( Daytona 200 ) can no longer even fill the front straights grand stands . Which …. is s shame . Daytona’s star is fading …. thanks to the France family’s mismanagement over the last decade

  110. ColoradoKid Says:

    Sorry T for mucking up the spelling ….. again

    Mea culpa

  111. ColoradoKid Says:

    cwolf – Now THAT’s ….. how you properly criticize GM without ( hopefully ) making things personal

    ;-)

  112. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB I meant the Buick Encore being built off the Sonic platform, not the Verano, a well received higher level vehicle.

  113. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #108,
    The “American-ness” of all brands varies a lot by model. Camry, Malibu, 200/Avenger and Accord are among the most American. Prius, Spark, Fiesta, and Fit are among the least American. I’ll post links about this when I get home from the Irish pub.

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Go here, and then check the model year and way you want to see data, alphabetical or by percentages, to see “Americanness” of car parts and assembly:

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA)+Reports

  115. T. Bejma Says:

    Great link Kit – Thanks!

    #108

    “Some get gov’t funding which makes it tough to compete and GM knows this as well.”

    U.S. Government? I don’t know of any, please explain. Foreign government funding, yes, that definitely happens, especially in Korea.

    “…but GM’s history is to accept close to the lowest bidder.”

    History, yes, but that was the previous regime. Started with Lopez and ended with Bo Andersson. Those were some bad days but under the current leadership, part performance trumps price in 90% of the cases.

    “Ponder this, TB: Compare almost any Honda window sticker against one on a GM window. Why do you think Honda has a 70% Am. components vs. GM’s 20%?”

    Based on Kit’s link, I am not seeing that cwolf. Spark and Encore that are built in Korea, yes, but the rest are up near the top. Look at the Ford Fusion down near the bottom…

    “Just like the Japanese make purchases guided by national pride, I believe Honda and the other Asians brought this notion of pride with them believing/knowing their cars may be better accepted if their new American product was made by Americans.”

    Actually when the transplants came here, they wouldn’t use American suppliers and brought over their own with Japanese personnel. It has relaxed a bit since the start, but they still MUCH prefer to deal with their own, then us and still have an arrogance that they know better than us. I have worked with several transplant companies and they are all the same.

    “By the way, my friend, learn to ignor the guy as I have.”

    Usually do. Couple beers and few Irish Whiskey’s and sometimes I just can’t hold back ;-)

    Thanks for the feedback cwolf, always enjoy it.

  116. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Looking through those lists again, it appears that now, the Japanese companies, especially Toyota and Honda have high US/Canada content in their transplant vehicles, but the Koreans and Germans import a lot more of the parts from “back home.” This is especially true with US-assembled BMW X5 and X3. They have only 20-25% US/CN parts content.

  117. ColoradoKid Says:

    Americaness

    Here’s a scary thought to ponder

    A Honda Goldwing actually has a higher American made content than …….

    Either Harley Davidson – Victory or the up coming Indian

    So much for ” Made in America ”

    ——-

    T Bejma – Time to move up to the big leagues . Drop the Irish Whiskey thing ( dreck in a bottle ) Forget those toff Single Malts from Scotland … and step up to some Stranaham’s Colorado Sipping Whiskey …. or at least one of the smaller US distilleries ….. can’t expect us to buy American ( cars ) when you’re buying overseas ( whiskey ) now can ya

    ;-)

  118. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma

    ” U.S. Government? I don’t know of any, please explain. Foreign government funding, yes, that definitely happens, especially in Korea.”

    WTF !!!! What planet ARE you living on son ? Planet GMazoid or something ? You don’t know about all the Govt subsidies- loans -funding – bailouts -grant- subsidies for sales etc etc etc that the US tax payer’s been dumping on GM’s doorstep going on some 40 years now thanks to the multiple Claus’s we’ve had in office ? ( ObamaClaus ReaganClaus BushaClaus 1.0 & 2.0 ClintonaClaus etc )

    Seriously TB …. the only US automaker thats gotten more of the tax payers cash in its bank accounts than GM is in fact Chrysler .

    We need to get you up to speed on the realities of major corporations in the US son …. cause at the moment ….. saying you’re unaware is an understatement .

  119. ColoradoKid Says:

    Recall Update

    ALL 2013 Dodge Challenger V6′s

    Seems Dodge/Chrysler has caught a case of Ferrari’s Self Igniting fever ….. so do not drive or park in/or near any structure ( as per Chryslers announcement )

    Yeah Pedro ( if you’re up yet ) cars sure as ____ are getting better now ;-)

  120. Kit Gerhart Says:

    117,
    Gold Wing production moved back to Japan a couple years ago, but for many years, from ~1979-2010, Gold Wings were probably the most “American” motorcycles on the road, or nearly so.

  121. HtG Says:

    For lunch today, I’m feeling like a big juicy Chaebol with a side of Keiretsu. Vodka with ice would be nice too. Join me, TB?

  122. T. Bejma Says:

    #118

    I thought he was referring to government support of suppliers, not OEM’s, sorry Kid if I was wrong. Of course I know about the government support of GM/Chrysler.

  123. T. Bejma Says:

    #121

    Sounds yummy HtG, but you forgot about the Confucianism for desert… ;-)

  124. HtG Says:

    I hear the ‘Foreign Devils’ food cake is served all day long.

  125. T. Bejma Says:

    #117

    Sorry for the multiple posts…

    Would love to try some of that there Stranahan’s unfortunately I have to go 2,000 miles to do so…

    “Where can I find Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey in my neck of the woods?
    Our product is so good, and produced in such small batches, that we can’t make enough of it to keep up with the demand across the country! For the time being, we are only distributing Stranahan’s in the state of Colorado. We are working on making more of it for our loyal fans in other states, and once we do so, we’ll expand distribution to additional states once again. You are always welcome to come visit us at the distillery though to take a tour and purchase a bottle straight from the source.”

    And unfortunately Michigan law prevents you from shipping here without a liquor license or I would have you pick me up a bottle… ;-)

  126. Feldman Says:

    #109

    CK: Actually, if you read the posts on Sat again more carefully, you’ll notice that what got me going was not some GM propaganda piece from TB, but the utterly unprovoked attack on my integrity by your pal HtG!!!!

    And what he objected to is that I dared make a reference to a TTAC article.

    Note that both you, Pedro and others refer to TTAC articles all the time, on multiple occasions, but HtG never, ever objected!!!!

    I have nothing against TB. In fact, if this is his real name, he is probably (from his father’s side) from Northern Holland, and I always have had a soft spot for the Dutch. In fact, my youngest cousin, who has the same first and last name as I do, lives in Amsterdam, NL permanently with wife and two kids, and it is quite convenient for me to take a rest in his place, when I need to change flights in that city, which is a Delta/NW-KLM hub.

  127. pedro fernandez Says:

    Is it a coincidence that Lexus vehicles, mostly ALL built in Japan, are the most reliable ones year after year, survey after survey? I think not, whether it’s the assembly, the suppliers or a combination of both, also notice that Honda and Toyota both began their quality decline after they moved so much production out of their homeland. By all accounts Accords and Camry from the early to mid 90′s were the best built and most durable of the bunch. Fact is that I see tons of each every day around here.

  128. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma – 125 – Which I’d gladly do . But T …. there’s a whole raft of craft distilleries across the US with many making some mighty fine stuff …. so like US craft breweries ( which I already know you’re into ) give em a go ….

    ——

    Pedro – Interestingly …. on the wife’s old 92 Corolla …. the ONLY thing that ever failed in 15 years of driving was in fact the alternator …. made by ….. ( sorry TB ) AC Delco

    ——–

    HtG Come on out my way mien freund …… I’ll put on the spread I cooked for the wife Saturday . Buffalo Steaks on the grill – baked Yukon Golds – Peas & Corn on the side – wife’s home made rolls – a little horseradish to spice things up … and a glass of Stranaham’s w/ prerequisite ( at least IMO ) splash of ( real ) spring water . Home made ice cream ( vanilla ) chocolate chip ) for desert

  129. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – I was unaware things had changed with the Goldwing . Thats too bad cause it was always fuel for a good slap in the face to the Harley faithful

    Thanks for updating me !

  130. Chuck Grenci Says:

    True, the Hondapotomas (as it is affectionately and non-affectionately sometimes referred) is no longer produced in the U.S.; while ‘king’ of the tourers, not immune to recalls and other quality problems (heck of a good bike though).

  131. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had an ’82 Gold Wing which was a great machine, though even then, ‘Wings were big and heavy, at around 600 pounds. The current Gold Wing is the ultimate touring bike, but at 900 pounds, yikes.

    I wish they’d make something similar to the original 4 cylinder Gold Wing, only lighter, but that’s not likely to happen. Honda, Suzuki, and now even BMW think if you want a touring bike that weighs less than 800-900 pounds, you should get a scooter which weighs “only” 500 pounds. The big scooters are nice, but their 2 cylinder engines just aren’t as smooth and nice as a boxer 4 or 6.

  132. Kit Gerhart Says:

    129,
    I was sorry to see it too. I suppose they wanted to free up more space for car production at Marysville, and also, Gold Wing sales are way down from what they once were.

  133. HtG Says:

    128 Sounds great, CK!