AD #1227 – Hyundai Embraces the Shutdown, GM Bi-fuel Trucks, Kia to Offer EV Soul

October 2nd, 2013 at 12:10pm

Runtime: 7:15

Hyundai announces a new plan to help out laid off government employees. Chevrolet and GMC just announced new CNG versions of their full-size heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans. Kia announced it will sell an electric version of the Soul in the U.S. All that and more, plus a deep dive into September car sales in the American market.

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Welcome to Autoline Daily, later on in the show we’ll have the latest sales report in the U.S. market, and the numbers are a little bit better than you might think. But let’s get to the other news first.

The big news of course is about the U.S. government shut down because the knuckleheads in Washington can’t seem to get their act together. But Hyundai, at least, is doing something about it for some of its customers. The company is extending loan and lease payments for government workers who have been laid off. Any laid off employee who wants to buy a new Hyundai in October will be offered a 90 day deferral on any payments. And that is quite a clever marketing move. The publicity alone is going to help Hyundai.

Sorry about the alphabet soup title for this piece, but we’ve got a few more details on developments at the GM/Peugeot partnership. The two companies will develop B-segment multi-purpose vehicles based on PSA architecture which will be built at a GM plant in Spain. The MPVs will be powered by engines from PSA and will go on sale in late 2016.

We keep pointing out that the commercial truck market is getting more and more interested in natural gas and propane. Chevrolet and GMC just announced new CNG versions of their full-size heavy-duty pickups and full-size vans.The trucks will be bi-fuel, able to run on both gasoline and CNG, while the vans will get a dedicated CNG system. Both are covered by a 5-year 100,000 mile transferable warranty and are powered by the company’s 6.0 liter V8 with hardened valves and valve seats. But GM has not released any pricing. As soon as we get that, we’ll let you know.

I’m sure by now most of us have seen the new Kia commercial where the hamsters lose a bunch of weight to help show off the all-new 2014 Soul. But now it looks like Kia will have to run a commercial with robot hamsters because the company announced it will offer an all-electric version of the car. No other details have been released yet but Kia says to expect an announcement at an upcoming U.S. auto show. And it makes me wonder if we’ll see an EV version of the Hyundai Tucson in the near future.

Colors, characters, or maybe even kids. Some people name their cars all sorts of things. In fact since today is “national name your car day” you might be interested in knowing that if you call your black 2005 Ford Focus “the ace of spades,” or something like that, you’re certainly not alone. It seems – according to a new nationwide insurance survey – that nearly 25 percent of U.S. car owners have a special name for their cars. And though there are more women than men who do it, and they’re usually between 18 and 34 – which was the largest demographic group by far – they normally don’t name them Herbie, KIT or the General Lee. But I’ve gotta believe that after the Breaking Bad finale this week, there may be a few Pontiac Aztecs running around named Heisenberg.

Coming up next, we’ll take a look at the latest new car sales report in the U.S. market and we’ll tell you why the numbers are better than they look at first glance.

New car sales hit 1.1 million units in the American market last month. That would seem to be down 4% from last year. But this September had 2 fewer selling days than a year ago, so when you look at sales on a daily selling rate basis, as Wards Auto does, sales were actually up 4%.

Nonetheless, the seasonally adjusted rate fell to 15.2 million units. That’s definitely weaker, but Ward’s points out that for the entire third quarter the SAAR was 15.6 million, and it expects that’s where we’ll end up for the year because it’s forecasting a stronger fourth quarter.

Amongst the full line manufacturers, the Big Six as it were, Ford was the big winner, gaining a 10% improvement in market share. Chrysler was up too. Toyota stayed flat, while Nissan, Honda and General Motors all lost market share. Amazingly GM’s share of the market in September was only 16.5% while Ford was at 16%. In fact, if Ford had only sold 6,000 more vehicles it would have surpassed GM in sales.

GM’s problems were at Chevrolet, where sales were down more than 7%. And you can’t have a strong General Motors if you have a weak Chevrolet. The problems at Chevy include sales of the Cruze, down 46%, even though sales of the Malibu were up 40%. Impala was down 18% and even the Silverado was down. But GM says it does not yet have a full mix of the new pick-up and has pretty tight inventory. It also accuses Ford of putting $5,000 of incentives on the F-series pick-up.

But I think the big story is that the luxury segment is red hot, led by the German brands. Luxury cars captured 13.9% of the market, up from 13% a year ago. Porsche’s sales shot up 23%, BMW was up nearly 18%, Audi was up nearly 15% and Mercedes was hot on its heels. But it wasn’t just the Germans. Cadillac was up nearly 20%. However, Lexus and Infiniti were up only 4%, Lincoln was up 3% and Acura sales actually dropped 12%.

So, as reported on a daily selling rate basis it wasn’t a bad month, but there’s no question that sales slowed in September. Is it a seasonal fluctuation, a drop in consumer confidence or problems in the economy? We don’t know yet, but as soon as we start to get some clearer signals, we’ll be the first to let you know.

Speaking of being in on the know, join me and the Autoextremist this Thursday evening for Autoline After Hours when our guest will be David Leone, the head of performance luxury vehicles at GM.

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

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80 Comments to “AD #1227 – Hyundai Embraces the Shutdown, GM Bi-fuel Trucks, Kia to Offer EV Soul”

  1. Bradley Says:

    Bi-Fuel Silverado, now that might get my attention for less than $35k.

    Random thoughts on GM:
    The Cruze Diesel needs a wagon and AWD options.

    The Colorado needs a Diesel and become smaller in size.

    GMC and Buick need to become history.

    Focus the company on Cadillac and Chevrolet.

  2. Jon M Says:

    It’s a clever move for Hyundai to offer deferred payments on a new finance/lease purchase. But any unfortunate individual to be put on furlough while their fearless leaders continue to collect their paydays while they squabble better check the fine print. Deferrals often come in the form of accruing interest that conveniently compounds when the “free” period ends. It’s a great offer…for the finance company.

  3. Mike Says:

    When GM offered the CNG option on the previous generation model the cost add was $11,000. even if you save $2 bucks a gallon, you still have a payback of 5500 gallons or @20 mpg about 100K miles. This is 100K of CNG miles which in turn depends on availability of fuel all the time. This might be attractive to fleets. does anyone know the take rate on the 2013 model for this option?

  4. WineGeek Says:

    From a marketing guy I have to say that Hyundai is quick on the trigger and it has to be commended for being on top of its game. They respond quickly to almost every change in the market or the economy. Smart marketing department. My hats off to them…

  5. Steve Ashley Says:

    I am still waiting on the new truck GM owes me as a part of the taxpayer bailout a few years back. Oh wait I will never see that in my lifetime! Just bought a new Ford Super Duty. I WAS a GM customer before this, still owning a ’03 Tahoe and a ’57 Chevy.

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    Hey ! Who turned out the lights ? Oh no … don’t tell me ALD got furloughed .. ALD’s not Federal … are they ? …. no wait … never mind … it was me .. forgot to flip the switch on my end :(

    As to Hyundai’s reaction to the government shut down though ? Hey … its a nice bit of rapid fire marketing but in reality won’t help those on furlough living pay check to pay check one tiny bit .


    GM/PSA … ahhh …. but whats not being said is that in the EU/UK press PSA’s leadership is rapidly losing faith with their partnership with GM …. and now reaching out big time to the Chinese in order to solidify their position .. as well as possibly divest themselves of GM down the road … which kind of trumps any news about yet another B segment offering


    Steve Ashley – 5 – Don’t hold your breath good sir . To date GM hasn’t so much as even said ‘ Thank You ‘ never mind offer the American tax payer anything of substance

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Hyundai “payment deferment” scheme is intriguing, and will get them publicity, but do people really celebrate being unemployed by buying a new car? I wouldn’t.

    Offering duel fuel in the GM trucks is much more sensible than CNG only. A CNG vehicle has the same limitations as an EV, only more so. There are a lot more places to plug something in, than to fuel a CNG vehicle. If you can also burn gasoline when needed, the “range anxiety” is gone.

    Chevy needs a Cruze hatch or wagon, or both. Focus has a hatch, and they sell a lot of them, but Chevy has nothing to compete with it. A Cruze hatch with a diesel would be a great high mpg, long range car, especially with a manual transmission. I doubt that VW would want Chevy to offer one, though, since VW now owns the market for such cars.

  8. HtG Says:

    Do Not Feed the Animals

  9. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @1 GM announced a diesel Colorado/Canyon Aug 27th

  10. HtG Says:

    More Aricept maybe, CK

  11. C-Tech Says:

    When unemployed, or furloughed, the last item bought is a new car. If Hyundai (or any other car co. ) really wanted to help , instead of hype, offer free or delayed payments for REPAIRS in your service dept. That will build a loyal customer base.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    The lack of consumer confidence is what kept people from buying cars, now thanks to the warped media and low interest rates, they’re back at it, but soon it will come to a screeching halt when the dreaded Obamacare apocalypse hits everyone.

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 10 – Yeah well they didn’t air it in my neck of the woods ( KCMO ) or at least not on any station we ever watch so …

    BTW … that’ll be Co K to you good sir ! :)


    11- Yeah .. seriously paying off the current car loan or buying a new one being the last thing on those folks in the Federal Government employees minds currently on furlough .. who btw haven’t seen a pay raise going on two years now – had a lot of their work resources ‘ sequestered ‘ ..


    12 ObamaCare isn’t the problem . Never will be . The problem is the Cruze /Boehner Tea Party insular uneducated uninformed xenophobic idiots who are more than glad to throw another few billion dollars more at yet another futile Middle Eastern war ( Syria ) that’ll never end should we get involved … but god forbid we should fund the government – pay a decent wage – and provide health care to those in need ( many in dire need ) – never mind actually do their jobs rather than grandstanding and posing for the media . Yeah … they’re about saving money alright . Saving it on projects they don’t like so they can spend even more on projects they do … nuff said on that’n … back to cars ..

  14. Jim Says:

    Jon M. needs to know there is no interest that accrues with the Hyundai payment deferral program. He’s right — it’s a great program for those affected.

  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Well… looks like the H/K offer shows that they are indeed,a OEM……with a Soul.

  16. Phoenix Mark Says:

    It looks like SAAR could use some work on the Seasonally Adjustment part.

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    Supercar madness …. is about to get a little madder

    The Koenigsegg One:1 – 1400 lbs … 1400 hp … the articles good as well ;


  18. ColoradoKid Says:

    Uh oh…… found this link at the bottom of the Koenigsegg article … the Truth … about GM’s PickUp sales numbers ..

    So much for supplier delays , lack of V8′a etc . Fact is … they aint sellin !!!!!!

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    #18 are we ever gonna see consumers saying: “Stop with the ridiculous high prices for new vehicles” or are they just gonna march into the dealers like good little sheep and just pay the piper? Used cars are sure looking more an more attractive to the ever shrinking dollar.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s probably too early to know much about how the new GM pickups will sell, given that the only ones available at launch were the 12 foot wheelbase “crew cab” version. Other versions are just now beginning to arrive at dealers.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Buying that ’96 Corvette really gave me a taste of how much money you waste buying new. It’s in perfect condition, and I paid about 1/3 what a new Camry or Accord would cost. Yeah, the Camry or Accord would be a lot more practical.

  22. HtG Says:

    19 I believe I’ve lost my interest in the upper end of car world. Oooh, 450hp and $100K, that’s going to look great in someone’s garage. Oh snap, a head to head comparo of a Ferrari and McLaren at R&T. Again and again. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    On the flip side, I’d be loath to sell my Civic for what the market will bear; it’s in too good shape and more fun than any modern government appliance driven by computers. Ever notice how giddy auto journalists get when they drive a light car?

    Definitely becoming an old guy.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW CR testing staff gloating about GM in their latest video, how they love the Impala, Vette, CTS and Silverado not so kind to Chrysler and Ford.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    #21 Oh you got it Kit? good for you, enjoy it in good health and be safe out there.

  25. C-Tech Says:

    @ #18 Here is the problem with “High” new car and truck prices, what would you eliminate to lower them? Most plants have the automation to improve quality and lower costs – check. Automation, union concessions, and outsourcing have reduced costs. Adding safety features such as multiple airbags, ABS, stronger metals, increase costs. Making it bigger to match your rivals increases costs, More sophisticated powertrains (turbos, 7-8-9 speed trans, VVT, etc.), add to the base price of vehicles. The costs of a number of new vehicles comes in the option packages people choose. If you want a cheaper vehicle, choose less options.

  26. C-Tech Says:

    @ #21 The smile factor is in the Corvette’s favor.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    I agree, I blame consumers who want all the latest crap just because Johnny down the block got it too and I want it, I deserve it, I don’t want to stretch my arms to close the hatch or the trunk, I don’t want to take my keys out of my pocket or purse just to get into or start the car, I don’t want to use the mirrors I just wait for some beeping noise to let me know someone is next, behind, or in front of me

  28. HtG Says:

    27 As long as it’s in gray, Pedro. Subtlety and understatement, the hallmarks of true class.

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 22

    ” Old Guys Rule ”

    Co K

    PS; As to 28 . What ? White suddenly lost your interest ? :o

  30. HtG Says:


    Looks like a Tesla caught fire after striking a metal object in the road. Video at bottom of the link.

  31. HtG Says:

    29 white is still classy, Co K. Not to fret. :)

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I still like red, but I like that the Corvette is not red, since about 90% of them are. The ‘Vette is dark green.

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    30 … ahhhhhh … yup ! And ……..

    Step right up folks… and hurry on down to ColoradoKids Nomex Emporium and Automotive BBQ accessories – 14557 E Fried Ave , Death Valley CA – 1-800-327-hell . Special offers still on for Nomex Casual , Sport and Dinner wear for 458 owners . Fire Extinguishers 30% off for all SRX owners . TESLA owners now eligible for a 20% discount store wide on all BBQ accessories and supplies . And for all ALD readers .. click ; … for your special 40% off anything in the store coupon … cause I likes y’all and … I kind of doubt any o’ you needs anything I’s sellin ;-)

    ( sorry … with all the DC madness I was in need of expressing the silly side a bit )

  34. HtG Says:

    These drag racing boots may become popular at Tesla stores.—Drag-Over-Boot—SFI-20-Drag-Racing-Boots/product_info.html

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla stock is up over 400% YTD.

    I’m not a Tesla hater like some, but it’s crazy to me that people are betting so much on an expensive toy for rich people, even a relatively good one, which the “S” seems to be. There are only so many people who will want something like that, even without the occasional bad press resulting from a little fire.

  36. HtG Says:

    It’s also kinda a busy news day, so the Tesla story might not blow up. Though those whom the media gods would destroy, they must first raise up.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    My son,computer guy, tells me that laptop battery failure is a constant problem and these are the same Li ion batteries used in these cars, add to that heat, cold and shock from everyday use and you have to wonder just how reliable these things will be in the long run!

  38. C-Tech Says:

    @ #37 That is why if you read up on the technical aspects of these Li-ion powered electric cars (not just Tesla) you will see the extent of the cooling systems, heating systems, and packaging that goes into them. Amazing, or ridiculous take your pick.

  39. C-Tech Says:

    My technical mystery of the day is why are there so many Ford trucks with the 4.6L and 5.4L motors with timing chains going south at 100K miles? Ex wife bought one for my son and it lasted a year, tops.

  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Full size truck prices: I just went and spec’d out a 1/2 ton 4×4,reg cab/long bed from the big three,all very similarly equipped.2 price out at just over 37k,with the silverado at just under 38k.Damned expensive in my book.All 3 with the V8′s too.In my opinion,the base V6′s on the 4×4′s just don’t get it.

  41. cwolf Says:

    I am truely happy Lincoln sales have increased 3% and it’s about time something up-beat can be said about Ford’s luxury brand; I mean, 3 more cars are 3 more cars!

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Like all these things don’t fail, you know that better than most, ctech!

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    #39 and why does it seem every full size Ford-built truck/SUV that is a few years old have springs that sound like an old mattress going down the road?

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    #41 LOL

  45. HtG Says:

    44 here too. That’s funny

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37, 38
    Yeah, I’m glad my Prius has NiMH batteries. They don’t have nearly the energy density of lithium ion, but for a regular hybrid, that doesn’t matter, because the needed battery capacity is much smaller than for a plug-in car.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve never had a battery catch fire, but the battery in a Sony laptop I got several years ago lasted only about two years. I hope the battery in my 1.5 year old MacBook does better, because it is “built in,” and not so easy to replace.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    had to replace an Asus laptop battery after only 2 yrs, ditto my trimmer and my cell phone too, that is just too much coincidence.

  49. HtG Says:

    The thing about this Tesla story is that the car hit something hard, and then went up in flames. No bueno.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They use only the middle 60% or so of the battery’s capacity in the Volt, obstensibly to make the battery last longer. I see a Volt owner friend a few times a year, and so far, so good with his battery. It’s just now hitting two years, so we’ll see how it goes from here.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, the battery acts like an under body shield, much like a Jeep 4by4, not a smart idea, but when it came out everyone thought it was brilliant because it lowered the center of gravity and left room for luggage and passengers, but there are bumps on the road, what if you go over a high speed bump by accident, same thing could happen!

  52. cwolf Says:

    Hyundai might have a clever way to market its cars, but GM has an even better way to SELL them. That is by offering clear cut discounts on ALL vehicles to employees extended family. Previously, the largest discounts applied to a vehicle with a lesser demand and the more optioned the more saved. Now I can add myself th GM’s “maybe” list the next time I shop. But considering the increased cost of new cars and the $15/hr. two-tiered worker,I wonder what , if any, car they can afford? Can anyone say B-segment?

    Read it for yourself:

  53. cwolf Says:

    The gov’t shut down caused the NHTSA to hault recall notices……BUT IT ALSO SHUTS DOWN THE NHTSA!!! Hot diggity dog!

  54. HtG Says:

    53 My guys are also likely sipping hooch on park benches in Georgetown.

  55. ColoradoKid Says:

    TESLA stocks …. how many times must I tell you guys ? There’s a ‘ fix ‘ going on and everybody on the inside ( especially well heeled disgruntled TESLA owners ) knows it . Problem being those on the outside do not and are lining up like Lemmings to get in before its … err …. cough … hack … too late .. and like those Lemmings they’ll be meeting the same fate … sooner I’m afraid than later . Ba ha ha ha ha ha !

    ( as the closing credits song for the last Br Ba so well said ” You’re finally getting what you deserve ” )

    And err … not to toot my horn or anything ( like I’d never do that … yeah right ) but how many times have I told y’all ’bout the dangers and risks of Li batteries in an automobile ?

    Damn …. Still … nobody listens …


    cwolf … Ahem … err …. # 53 … and just why the heck is that a good thing ? Oh … and by the way a good 60% of food inspections , drugs and prescriptions testing etc etc are now on hold as well … cause of course as those Tea Party Meat heads will tell you … none of this will effect you at all …. yeah right

    All bets being the likes of JEEP etc will try and get as much crap under the radar as they can manufacture before the NHTSA gets back online …. and if a few die in the process ? Seriously … when has JEEP ( or any of the other manufactures ) ever given a rats behind ?

    BTW cwolf . Think about your expressed joy over the matter . Those are FAMILIES … with bills and kids and mortgages being affected by this . As in they’ll be getting NO PAY CHECKS till this is over …. and maybe not even then . How’d you like it if the same were happening with you ? Not too very much I’d bet … so chill before thou speakest …. and think about whats thou sayist before uttering such attitudes .

    No cwolf … there is no joy in Mudvillle to be had over this …. in fact if anything the likes of you and I should be raising hell to anyone who’ll listen as well as making damn sure the idiots responsible for this ( Tea Party Extreme Right Republicans who have hijacked the party ) never see another term in office for as long as they shall live

  56. ColoradoKid Says:

    47 – Actually .. its not that hard at all … you just need to learn the secret … seriously … And … if SG and my experience is anything to go by … we’re still on the same battery for one laptop going on 6 years …


    40 – Like I said G.A. $37,500 is the new median … welcome to the ugly reality of new car prices my friend . Aint it a hoot ?

    Oh well .. there is one silver lining in all this … at least now with the GLK … I’m Median ..and no longer need to concern myself with the shadow of owning a luxury car …. ;-)

  57. cwolf Says:

    #55 CK (HtG)

    I think you fellers know I’m not that thoughtless and cold hearted. My intended thought,about the NHTSA, was to convey the idea they won’t be able to add more crap people, like pedro and others,don’t want on their cars. As someone noted, the added weight as the price to be safe from….?

    I’m lucky not to have had a little girl who liked to have a “tea party” around the doll house, cuz I’d prolly have to put her up for adoption. Just a joke!

  58. HtG Says:

    I thought we were merely enjoying some dark humor, cwolf. I know enough furloughed people, and my own parade is affected by the shutdown. Still gotta laugh, though. Security workers sent home, now that’s scary.

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I hope my battery does as well as yours has.

    When the time comes, I’ll probably do it myself. Instructions are available on sites like ifixit, and others. If I run into trouble, I have a friend who is very good at this stuff, and has even done things like replacing a broken touch screen on an iPhone. That is kind of tricky.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    300,000 cars a year catch fire, according to a report on NPR.

    Most of them are not electric, but the electric ones get the publicity.

  61. T. Bejma Says:


    +1 to the 1 millionth power, and a snap in a circle (see who catches that reference)… ;-)

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    Does that include careless smokers? or is it just mechanical issues, how about shadetree mechanics screwing up and creating fires accidentally trying to work on their vehicles?

  63. ColoradoKid Says:

    And the loser is ( Corvette vs Viper )

    The Viper

    The C7′s not even outta the gate yet and already Viper sales have stalled . Gee … considering Marchionne’s brilliant strategy of trying to bring the Viper upmarket and more exclusive ( in price especially ) ….

    … is anyone really in the least bit surprised ?

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    Gee TESLA …. the Li batteries ? Really ? Ya think ? ;-)

    Golly … what a shocker ( pun intended ) Seeing as how scientists and engineers ( including Apples ) having been warning EV car makers and designers for years this’d be the end result of using Li batteries in a car .

    Wow . Imagine that . Scientists and Engineers actually knowing what the heck they’re talking about . Will miracles never cease ?

    Now where did I place that ‘ Shocked ‘ mask I’d bought just for such occasions ?

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    #63 the CR car guys say the same thing, the Viper feels like something out of the 80′s, compared to the Vette, at a lower price, it’s a no brainer. Anyone buying a Viper now should get psychological help. Like putting an NFL tackler to play in the NBA.

  66. HtG Says:

    64 Tesla spokewoman said, “Because each module within the battery pack is, by design, isolated by fire barriers to limit any potential damage, the fire in the battery pack was contained to a small section in the front of the vehicle.”

    Now I know who writes Jon Stewart’s material. It’s like Mort Sahl said, ‘the headlines write themselves.’

  67. ColoradoKid Says:

    66 – Funny thing being the firemen dealing with the Burning Man TESLA said the Battery ‘ Pack ‘ … not an individual cell was burning and that it was a royal pain in the bum to put out

    Funnier thing being if you read Boeings tales of Li woe you know you cannot isolate one cell from another from a fire

    Funniest yet though being Madam TESLA’s saying the fire was in any way ‘ contained ‘

    You call that contained lady ? Hell .. I’d hate to see what you’d call a rampaging fireball then .

    And yeah John’s got more material handed to him on a platter than a 1/2 hour show could even handle . The last two nights being absolute classic John Stewart . A comedian could make an entire living JUST on what emits from those Tea Party Fascists mouths .

  68. ColoradoKid Says:

    65 – Sad thing is Pedro … thats an AMG SLS underneath … . Yet another fine example I’m afraid of Chryslers ongoing ” Lost in Translation ” skills . Taking something truly sublime … and morphing it into an out of date pile of metal in ten moves or less . Hmmmn .. just like JEEPs done with the ML come to think of it

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    Will Tesla throw in a set of flame retardant Hanes for him and for her as part of a “safety” package? Fire suppression apparatus as well?

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK I guess the term: “With great power, comes great responsibility” does not apply to the folks a Sergiolandia.

  71. HtG Says:

    From what I heard, battery cells are grouped into different shaped bricks, which are then isolated from each other. But that one grouping can torch the whole car would put into question the strategy, no?

    I’d talk politics, but only when it’s directly car related. Lord knows it happens enough.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They didn’t say anything about the cause of the car fires, but I seem to see one occasionally. The last was an 80′s Cadillac with smoke and fire coming from under the hood, no doubt from some kind of fuel leak.

    I’d like to know what was burning on that Tesla. It was probably an “electrical” fire, but at the wrong end of the car for the batteries.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, the Viper is a poor translation, but most people consider that Jeep did a pretty goid job with the ML-based GC. If you “load up” the Jeep, though, it ceases to be a bargain relative to the Benz.

  74. HtG Says:

    I think the Tesla S batteries are tiled all along the bottom of the chassis, skateboard like. The first Tesla had a tall, transverse tub, amidship.

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That explains what happened. It probably was batteries damaged by whatever the car ran over.

  76. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 69 – Thats why I’ve fired up ColoradoKids Nomex Emporium and Automotive BBQ accessories :o

    I figure between the likes of TESLA Ferrari etc I ought to make a killing ( pun intended ) before its all over


    Kit – 73 – It breaks ( JEEP ) all the time … therefore … bad ! As far as quality of ride and performance ? Drive both back to back sometime . The JEEP comes up the definite loser … less money yes … but with substantially less quality as well . Plenty o’ Chrysler Bling mind you …. but much less overall ‘ quality ‘


    HtG – The heat from an Li fire if you read all the reports is phenomenal …. so how can you contain that within the confines of an automobile ? At least in their uses in planes … if the plane is on the ground the Li’s are located in such a way that you can ‘ dump ‘ them rapidly out of the plane so only the battery pack burns … but in a car ?

    CarBQ time I’m afraid

  77. ColoradoKid Says:


    Li’s – What can cause them to catch fire …. the short list ;

    Altitude ( increased )
    Water ( or moisture )
    Excess vibration
    A short ( even a minor temporary one )in the system
    Heat interaction between cells (e.g. they piggy back off each other )

    Hmmmn . Gee . Look at that .All the things a car must deal with on a regular basis .

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    #77 Did anyone EVER consider this little fact b4 they went ahead and put them to use?

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR’s surveys found the ML to break more than the Jeep, but whatever. I’ll check TrueDelta sometime to see what they are finding re. reliability. Yeah, I’m sure the ML is better, but it costs about $15-20K more, comparably equipped. I wouldn’t buy either one.

    A month or so ago, I talked to a Boeing friend about the 787 batteries. He said the “fix” was to contain them really well in fireproof boxes, and to ventilate the boxes to get rid of the smoke if the batteries catch fire. That might add enough weight that they could just as well have used NICad or NiMH.

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Lithium batteries have 3-4 times the energy density of other battery types, which is why they use them, both for phones and laptops, and for plug-in cars. Time will tell how things turn out long-term with the cars. They obviously have “issues,” but so does all new technology, and new uses of existing technology.