AD #1230 – Mitsubishi Taps Thailand, GM Tests Online Shopping, 2014 Kia Soul

October 7th, 2013 at 11:38am

Runtime: 7:13

Mitsubishi taps Thailand to build the new version of its Mirage. General Motors is set to expand online sales for its entire dealer network in the U.S. We take a look at a few of the highlights for the new 2014 Kia Soul. All that and more, plus parking a car with the touch of a finger using Bosch’s newest technology.

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Hello and welcome to a brand new week of Autoline Daily. Let’s look at today’s top stories.

We’ve been wondering how in the world Mitsubishi can survive in the American market. Sales have been spiraling downward for a decade. But the company says it’s going to re-engage in the U.S. market with a new product line that will start showing up in 2015. That includes a new version of the Mirage, not the old one seen here, that will be built in Thailand, which we believe could be the first vehicle made in Thailand that will be sold in the U.S. Even so, Mitsubishi is under no illusions that the car will do a whole lot for sales. It only expects to sell 7,000 Mirages a year. Just for comparison purposes, the Dodge Dart sells more than that every month.

Car sales are going through a tough time in Europe, but not in the United Kingdom. Last month they shot up more than 12%. That’s the kind of growth we’re more accustomed to hearing about in China. In fact, UK car sales are back to pre-recessionary levels. And it’s mainly based on consumer demand, rather than from businesses or fleets, which suggests that sales could remain strong as those sectors recover. The UK kind of reminds us of the U.S. Both economies are not growing very much, but car sales are going strong.

You can buy just about anything on the internet these days except for a new car but that could start to change. General Motors is getting set to expand online sales for its entire dealer network in the U.S. with a new app called Shop-Click-Drive. It allows customers to lock in the price of the new car, get an estimate for a trade-in, apply for financing and arrange a test drive. GM is trying to appeal to customers who prefer to shop online and at the same time not infringe on dealer franchise laws that prevent direct sales to customers. Dealers aren’t required to sign up for the program. Even so, I’m sure the National Auto Dealers Association will not like this. The NADA is going to war against Tesla for trying to circumvent the dealer franchise network, and it has always opposed the car companies setting up their own on-line sales efforts.

We just got the chance to drive the new Kia Soul. We’ll have a full review in an upcoming episode but here are the highlights of the new model. It’s built on a new platform and is powered by the same 1.6L and 2.0L four-cylinder gasoline engines but they’ve been tweaked for better performance. The 1.6L can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission but the 2.0L only comes with the auto. While the design has been updated, it’s more or less the same because the company wanted to keep its distinctive look. This is an important car for Kia, it’s now the company’s 2nd best selling model in the U.S. The 2014 Soul will hit dealers later this month with a starting price just over $15,000.

We’ve reported recently about Chrysler delaying delivery of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee and it seems that all-new transmission is what’s holding it back. As WardsAuto reports, Chrysler is having issues getting the shift quality right in its new 9-speed transmission. The company says it’s been a challenge to seamlessly marry the transmission with all-wheel-drive and 2 engines that were not offered in the previous Liberty, which the Cherokee replaces. There’s no word on when deliveries will start but we will let you know as soon as we find out.

Looking for a great Christmas gift? Our friends at the Henry Ford Museum generously offered up a book for us to give away. It’s called “Driving America” and is a beautiful 300 page coffee-table book filled with high resolution pictures of the historic automobile collection at the museum. To enter head to our website, click the “Win This Book” icon below the headlines and follow the instructions to sign up.

Coming up next we’ll take a look at Automatic Park Assist technology from Bosch.

(Bosch’s Automatic Park Assist technology can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

As we keep saying, autonomous technology is progressing at a breathtaking rate.

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

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104 Comments to “AD #1230 – Mitsubishi Taps Thailand, GM Tests Online Shopping, 2014 Kia Soul”

  1. Bradley Says:

    The new Jeep Cherokee’s front end looks a lot like an Isuzu Vehicross.

  2. Ron Paris Says:

    Why would the driver get out of the car to initiate the Bosch self-parking feature? I would assume it can be done while sitting in the car too, which would be more the norm.

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    UK auto sales – A bit …. ‘ manufactured ‘ if truth be known . Fact is the UK’s been on a bounty hunting mission to get as many old cars off the road and crushed as possible … hence the need for a new car now . This won’t last . Guaranteed !


    JEEP Cherokee delay – I know what the ‘ official ‘ line is … but all bets are … its more about politics ( Marchionne vs UAW-VEBA ) than any transmission woes they may be willing to admit to


    And … a Happy Birthday today , October 7th , to the Assembly Line and the Model T

    On the surface this innovation in automotive manufacturing history benefitting all mankind

    On the other … in light of all our traffic , pollution , global warming , over dependency on the car , disposal issues , diminishing fossil fuel supplies , all the woes that go along with acquiring those fossil fuels , as well as our desperate lack of mass transportation …. along with the fact .. as much as the industry may try to deny it … we having finally reached over saturation when it comes to the automobile

    Maybe ….. not so much … think about it ;-)

  4. Chuck @ GM Says:

    @CK “…diminshing fossil fuel supplies…”??
    You really believe that oil comes from dead fish and dinosaurs, so to speak?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Soul is a KIA that makes sense to buy. It is a practical, roomy for its size wagon, and the price is right. It’s no wonder that I see a lot of them on the road.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Henry Ford’s most famous quote, one they didn’t involve antisemitism and some of his non-car related ramblings:

    “I will build a motor car for the great multitude…constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise…so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one-and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.”

    The “great open spaces” is the thing I remember from that quote, made when there were far fewer people than today, and almost no cars.

  7. David Sprowl Says:

    I just bought my last car totally online. I conversed with the dealer online, negotiated tho price with tax online. The day of delivery took less than 15 mins. We did the test drive while the business manager did the paperwork. I like it! It beats the last time I bought a car where we sat for 1.5 hours filling out this form that form, negotiating price, extra warranty sales –blah blah blah. I spent including the delivery less than 20 mins total.

  8. Jon M Says:

    Chrysler would be wise to put a more compatible transmission in the 2014 Cherokee for now..if one is available. It is wise of the company to get it right before they offer them to dealers. But why not just go with something that might already work and make the 9 speed available mid-year or the following year (assuming they can resolve it by then)? Maybe it’s for MPG that they want the 9 speed now, or maybe its bragging rights. Either way, Chrysler risks lost sales, and it probably won’t help their image either.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    # 7 My son had a similar experience, this is the only way to go, as long as you know what you want. BTW I think I will stop watching Motorweek after more than a quarter century of never missing one episode, they gave a glowing review to the new Cherokee, never once mentioned all the start up problems and issues with the 9 speed tranny.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Soul has been Scion’s xB (first gen)it’s a nice vehicle that goes about its business without trying to be weird looking (like most of its competitors)

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    4 – And you don’t ? So just where do you believe petroleum comes from ? Our Fairy Godmother ? Aliens from outer space ?

    Seriously ? If so … why am I bothering ?

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    9 – Motorweek … jeeze Pedro … you’ve still been watching that ? Heck I gave up about five years ago once they’d gotten to the point of giving everything they review a two thumbs up . Unlike ‘ Mikey ‘ … they love everything

    As far as buying a car online though ? A bit of advice . We ( SG and I ) buy nothing … and in fact do no financial transactions what so ever online .. period !

    And with a purchase the size and dollar amount of an automobile ? You’d be very wise to do the same . Fact is … hone your negotiation skills a bit … quit looking for the convenient and easy way out … and you’ll save yourself a hunk of cash as well

    Hint ? Same goes for Travel /Airlines etc .

  13. Next Says:

    I think it’s very interesting the Bosch park assist requires the driver to exit the vehicle before it parks. That requirement kind of flies in the face of all the rules requiring a driver behind the wheel when in autonomous mode. I wonder if Bosch did this to get the human away from a position in which they could mess things up.

    Let the computer do it. The computer is much more capable.

    Kind of like when the calculator was introduced. The calculator didn’t make us dumber, it made us more capable of working on complex math calculations. Autonomous driving will be very similar.

    Sign me up! I can’t wait.

    It’s about time we put an end to all kind of automobile accidents, specially drunk driving.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think they have been fully committed to the new transmission, and set up to build it in existing space after removing tooling some existing units. That may have been a mistake.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    #12 why are they scared to piss off any OEM? they can get any car they want to test out, I don’t think any automaker will deny them a vehicle to evaluate if they give one of theirs a less than glowing review?

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ford with their turbos, Chrysler with their 2 digit trans speeds, both will regret this years from now!

  17. T. Bejma Says:


    I tried to buy my car totally online (searched inventories/availability, confirmed price) but still had to come in to the dealer and get the hard sell on Extended Warranty, Accessories and even Financing – even though they new I was paying cash. Would have loved to do the WHOLE thing online and just had it delivered to my driveway!

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How do you buy airline tickets cheaper than on-line? Travel agents now charge commission, and waiting 15 minutes to buy tickets from an airline by phone doesn’t seem to save any money. At least that’s been my experience.

  19. HtG Says:

    No way a dealer takes payment for a new car online. You’re marching in there with a certified check.

    Though for the interpersonally challenged internet generation spastics, click-to-buy might swell their hoodies.

    Me? I love to deal. My technique? Courtesy, information, cash.

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    14 –

    ” I don’t think any automaker will deny them a vehicle to evaluate if they give one of theirs a less than glowing review? ”

    Like to place a $100,000 bet on that ?


    17 – Travel agent ? No no no Kit . Call the airline direct . You’ll be shocked ( AAA AARP etc will tell you the same thing ) Sure … its a bit more inconvenient … and a little more time consuming …. but even the tickets available when calling vs online will surprise you . With hotels surprising you even more . I could explain why but it’d take up a good hunk of space if I did . Maybe AH or on the weekend

    18 – Cash … is the single greatest motivator to acquiring a good deal there is on the planet

    Hint ? ( to everyone else as I assume HtG knows this )

    NEVER and I mean never take a loan from the dealership/manufacture . Get one from your personal bank so as HtG and I are saying … you show up with C-A-S-H .. in hand .

    Oh the finance manager at the dealership will hate you but who cares

  21. C-Tech Says:

    I really do not understand the criticism of Chrysler for trying to get things right before the introducing of a new vehicle. It appears they have learned from the problems of past introductions of new transmissions with start-up problems. The issues seem to be with driveability, not reliability. Given the upfront investment for a new model, this makes sense, and is no different from what Ford did with the Lincoln MKZ.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    #7 Not the finance part! that had to be done in person. but before we went there we already knew the total price of the vehicle.

  23. Brett Says:

    If I could buy another Cherokee like my 1988 2dr, 2wd “Metric Ton” export model, I’d do it in a heartbeat. That was a great vehicle and I still miss it. I had to let go of it due to an unfortunate confluence of necessity and economics. I love the 2wd, 2dr XJs.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    #20 But c-tech it makes them look like a bunch of amateurs just getting into the car business! They should have made sure every thing was just right b4 they announced a launch date.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve tried calling airlines direct, but only a couple times, and got the same price as through the airline’s web site. Maybe I should try again the next time I fly in a couple months.

    I use sites like expedia to find out what airlines fly where, and when, but I never book through them. I have booked a number of times trough airlines’ own web sites, though.

  26. ColoradoKid Says:

    Negotiating the Deal cont ….

    Forgot to mention

    Always walk into the negotiations absolutely willing to walk away at a moments notice if the deals not right . Being convinced at the very core of your being to do so .e.g. Leave ‘ Car Lust ‘ at home . A good salesman will recognize this before you even mention it … but will also see the hesitation in your eyes once you do if you’re not absolutely convinced yourself

    And … do not be afraid to play one dealer against another if need be . Thats the one advantage we have . If dealership [ A ] is unwilling to deal … guaranteed dealership[ B ] will

    Right now and by none of my own doing i have three M-B dealerships vying for my business . And you can bet if push comes to shove … I’ll use that if need be


    C-tech – IF the reasons Chrysler is delaying the Cherokee are as they say …. and IF I’m flat out wrong about my assumptions … then absolutely YES .. Chrysler is doing the right thing … hands down ….. if ……. ;-)

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    GM is having continuing problems with the new 5.3L V8 and they are cranking them out as fast as they can….hence the ‘real problem’ keeping up on the 5.3 orders I suspect.

    Jeep,one of my favorite ‘whipping brands’ only because I’m pissed at their junk and I love jeeps.However,in their defense I will say they show restraint in not rushing a product to the dealers that they feel isn’t ready yet.Offhand I would say it sounds like a software problem.

  28. HtG Says:

    I’d be a bit wary of dealing online for another reason. When a person goes online, the dealer, aided by GM’s spanking new big data unit, is going to generate all kinds of information about you. How much do you want known, like where else you’ve been looking, or if you didn’t get a loan from a consumer union five minutes before? They’re going to make a judgment about your seriousness and ability. Did you guys hear Ford’s Farley saying he’d been spending more time in California with Facebook and Twitter, and that he was also combining other databases? (please John, what did Farley mean by ‘doughnut?’ Did he misspeak when he meant ‘cookie?’))

  29. C-Tech Says:

    @ #23 Ford, Toyota, GM, and BMW have been known to miss lanch dates in the past. Does that make them amateurs too?

    Given that Carmax, and many smart dealers and dealer group will allow you to do everything but sign the final papers online, the OEM are just catching up, and moving their less willing dealers into the 21st century.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    But has there been so much publicity involved with those delays?

  31. C-Tech Says:

    The general public barely cares about these delays. Have you seen anything on broadcast or cable news?

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    oh no of course, nary a word even though Motorweek just tested it and never mentioned it, I would want to know, cause I would not want to buy from the first model year until they got the bugs out!

  33. C-Tech Says:

    Kit, for airline tickets, you sometimes can find a cheaper ticket if you call – however the people I know who have been able to do this know the timing and pricing windows of particular airlines and it often involves making a call at 2 am, or risk getting shut out of an available online price.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro mi amico – If I may take C-tech ( and G.A.’s ) side on the JEEP delay issue ;

    As the saying goes in marriage … its better ( and cheaper ) to get divorced before the ceremony rather than after .

    Or ..i n car terms … better to catch the glitches before the cars get into the hands of the public and look a bit silly … than to to have those glitches end up in the hands of the consumer with them then spreading the word far and wide ( as well as long lasting ) about what a POS they bought

    Old business adage . Make one customer happy and he’ll tell ten . Make one customer mad and he’ll tell a hundred

    Tell em they have to wait a bit though and the worst that will happen is a few in a hurry will buy something else


    HtG – 27 – Damn good point !!! And thanks for thinking of it and posting it so’s I didn’t ;-)

    BTW HtG … re; NYC cops . Nice to know some things never change regardless of how long you’ve been gone ( the recent ‘ Mean Streets ‘ revelations )

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    True CK, but I have very little faith in the Chryco engineers’ ability to get this fixed, they’re over their heads on this, I’m afraid!

  36. ColoradoKid Says:

    32 – Thats not quite true . There are other ways and guaranteed if you know them you’ll never get shut out of much of anything . Fact is you’ll find yourself in the catbirds seat . FYI we’ve always booked our flights during ‘ business ‘ hours .. you just gotta know how ( to bypass the initial garbage ) ;-)

  37. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro -34 – On that we’re in complete agreement . Like G.A. its a never ending irritation for me that I cannot even consider the purchase of a JEEP [ I love both the JK and its 4dr ] because of Chrysler/JEEPs inability to do much of anything right

  38. T. Bejma Says:


    Pedro, we set those launch dates a few years in advance so there is no way to anticipate a problem that may come up. Consumers should be happy the OEM’s are delaying launches to make sure everything is ‘perfect’.

    In the past, they would just put the vehicles out there with the issues and then deal with the large number of Warranty issues and everyone’s belief that you do not buy the first model year.

    Now we are launching with higher quality levels than the vehicle it replaces and no one has any qualms about delaying the launch a few weeks or months. In the end, it is you and I that win.

  39. WXY Says:


    I believe I briefly owned a car made in Thailand and sold here in the US. The car was a 93 Eagle Summit. This car was supplied by Mitsubishi, but under the hood, I believe the manufacturer plate said made in Thailand.


  40. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I too have been an avid watcher of Motorweek since season two.The Cherokee they tested was more then likely done several months ago and I’m willing to bet they had no idea of the problems with the trans delaying delivery.Although I don’t really ever see them outright bad mouthing a vehicle,they are pretty quick to point out what they don’t like about something…jmho.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well,TB that kind of mentality is what almost killed the US auto industry and this is just not acceptable,anymore. But I am no planner or engineer but when you’re dealing with an all-new vehicle and an all-new unproven, untried 9 speed monster like that, you gotta give yourself plenty of time to make sure it all works flawlessly, today’s buyers expect nothing less for their hard-earned money, specially with all the competition and with a vehicle that has such a long history, basing it on an Alfa car chassis was a big gamble to begin with. Either that all stop with any and all off-road pretense and just call it what it is: another CUV.

  42. T. Bejma Says:

    Pedro, you don’t mean delaying launches is what killed the auto industry right? Because that was unheard of even a few years ago. You are talking about launching vehicles with known issues, I hope. Because in that case I totally agree.

  43. HtG Says:

    Ridiculous Off Topic Observation

    This weekend I’m at the veggie farm, where they’ve now got all manner of squashes like pumpkin laid out in front on straw covered benches. But dang if the whole place doesn’t have that new car smell. I couldn’t tell if it was Ford or GM, but that was weird. Perhaps a CT scan is in order, or a madeleine.

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    No TB you know what I am talking about, cars that were not quite ready for prime-time, I mean the X cars for example, by all accounts they could have been great cars, according to all the write ups they got, it made me go out and buy one right away; if only GM had not rushed them into production and then had a dozen shifts going to keep up with demand. The ones that followed, the A cars which were based on the X car chassis were much better vehicles, I should know, my wife’s family had 2 Pontiacs, a Chevy and a Buick and they all were 1,000% better than my Skylark

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    You know HtG this new Cadenza I tested this past weekend, did not have any sort of new-car smell at all, it was so weird! And this thing just came out, I don’t understand why, no leather smell, no nothing!!

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That Jeep transmission is a ZF design, and is being built both by ZF in South Carolina:

    …and by Chrysler in Kokomo, Indiana. I don’t know what the problems are; the Chrysler employees I know don’t work in that plant, but based on past ZF products, the design should be good. Whatever the problems are, I’m sure Chrysler is getting plenty of help from ZF. If the the transmission is a bum design, BMW and others might re-think getting all of their transmissions from ZF, but I expect it to work well, in the end.

  47. ColoradoKid Says:


    I’ll still contend the problems with the Cherokee are purely political ( as in Marchionne vs UAW ) and not mechanical . Not saying I couldn’t be wrong about this …. but too many outward signs and too few actual facts point very nicely in that general direction


    HtG – 42 – Hmmmmn … interesting …. all while being just a bit …. disturbing as well . Veggie based upholstery ? Carpets ? Dashboards ? Hmmmn .Or worse yet ! Fertilizer based interior products ???? … Creepy mien freund .

    Even more disturbing being Pedro’s revelation that the new KIA had no new car smell ..

    I could comment on that but I’m afraid the snide remark I’d make would be misconstrued by the Politically Correct amongst us … ;-)

  48. ColoradoKid Says:

    BTW Pedro … that JEEP ? Its based on an Alfa platform that in reality is a mildly stretched and pulled a Suzuki platform ( SX4 ) thats still being built behind the former Iron Curtain

    Which err .. kind of makes the’ new ‘ Cherokee a heck of a lot less appealing IMO than any of its supposed transmission woes might of done .

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps some study has shown that new car smells are actually bad for you and toxic in nature so Kia has begun introducing new cars without the new car smell and the leather, well it could be leather from old cows that don’t smell like leather at all.

  50. ColoradoKid Says:

    39 – Motor Week has yet to truly criticize a single car they’ve reviewed in over five years G.A. and I’m far from the only person leveling those charges against them . Oh they occasionally couch a mildly negative comment in and amongst their overwhelming praise which 90% of listeners are bound to miss but they’ve yet to say anything they’ve driven in the last five years is in anyway bad or not recommended .

    As far as production lead times for MW ? Well … there’s no way they did the televised road test recently enough for the ‘ problems ‘ to of come to the fore … but there’s no way they did it that long ago either seeing as how a production ready Cherokee wasn’t available till recently .

    But then again … there is such a thing as an editing bay .. especially for voice over commentary ( easy as pie ) … so there’s no excuse for MW not to of revealed the problems with the Cherokee on the show either

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My ’86 VW still has some new car smell. Maybe it is from the multi layer convertible top.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    48 .. well .. what the heck .

    It could also be that the scent of Kimchi so pervades the interiors once the cars been finished that they then drown them in Fabreeze to eliminate the smell

    Full discloser . I love Kimchi … the smell though ? Not so much !

    BTW the fumes from some vinyl interiors is in fact very noxious and bad for your health

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Has MW tested a Fiat 500L? If they said they liked that one, we know that they would say they like anything.

  54. ColoradoKid Says:

    50 – Hmmmn . Franz held on to his new car smell for about the first year … after that …. neutral and nothing .

  55. HtG Says:

    Pedro, would you say the interior of the KIA had any character? The photos I’ve seen just seem generic. When I see BMW, Audi, Cadillac, or Merc insides, I know it. With KIA exteriors, I also know it.

  56. HtG Says:

    51 had to go there, eh CK? Know what the inside of your iPhone smells like? Inchon. (sorry, kidding.

  57. ColoradoKid Says:

    52 – From their website it looks like they haven’t gotten to the 500L as of yet . Either that or they’re avoiding it because even they couldn’t lie about it being good with a straight face

  58. ColoradoKid Says:

    55 – Had to be done … and I’m just the guy to do it :o

    BTW I thought that was Peking Duck ! Dang !

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    #52 Kit,they did and and they do! it’s on Youtube.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    nah! too much black and very little stitching, even the wood accents were very dark and to top it off it was a black car, I told my co-tester it would make a good funeral car.

  61. HtG Says:

    Today’s AutomotiveNews said the 500L isn’t selling very well.

    (some of this post was edited by me, lest I get banned)

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    Let’s see: Caliber>Avenger>Journey Caliber>Jeep Patriot(Liberty) Caliber was the same as the old Hyundai Elantra, Yeah, Chrysler is selling us some real state of the art, modern up to date machines, eh?

  63. cwolf Says:

    No new car smell? I guess with a specifically chosen diet you could really make the car smell like your own! How nice!!

  64. XA351GT Says:

    I was reading about the assembly line on a another site earlier and it stated that the line was able to cut the price of the Model T from $600 to $360 and usher in the $5 work day. With a little help from my trusty calculator I found that this meant that in 72 days a worker could earn enough money to buy the car. So here is where I thought I’d see how that relates to todays standards. Say a worker makes $160 a day or $20 @ hour if you multiply that by the 72 days of old that’s means the car would cost $11,520 . I know the T was basic transportation ,but is there a car currently on the US market that sells at or near this price? The Nissan Versa ,maybe?
    I don’t know about most ,but $20 @ hour sounds like a decent living wage, but I know most people make way less than that . No wonder so many people are desperately in debt.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50, 53,
    It’s been garaged all the time, except when driven, which isn’t much, but 27 years is a long time for that plastic and glue to still be outgassing. If I ever have liver cancer, I can blame that car, as well as the alcohol.

  66. Ziggy Says:

    What’s the big deal with VW autopark? Haven’t Fords had that for years? I still remember seeing the commercials for it on TV. Or am I missing some new feature only VW has?

  67. ColoradoKid Says:

    63 – Freaking brilliant . Both the math and the conclusion !!!!


    Pedro – 61 – I’ve said it before . Many have contested my statements .. but I’ll say it again

    Machionne has accomplished Nothing NEW since his taking over Chrysler . Not one single solitary new product ( that wasn’t already on Daimlers books previously ) that isn’t a badge engineered this / that or the other thing .

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  69. HtG Says:

    66. Isn’t SM’s goal to reach a Chrysler/FIAT global volume of 5.5million units, since that would make the balance sheet work? The 5.5M is a number I’ve heard SM say a few times. I think a truly new car is secondary for him.

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    #63 what is amazing to me that so many people still buy new cars with the simple fact wages have NOT kept up with the cost of living and the ever-increasing costs of new vehicles.

  71. HtG Says:

    leasing, easy credit supported by the Fed.

    There’s someone around the block who’s got the 435i X sitting in the driveway, and if you knew what I know, you’d know that appearances are deceiving.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    In 98 I bought the Corolla for just over $13k, as basic as they came, only option was a/c and auto, today I cannot buy any new car for anywhere near $13k, yet my earnings have not changed that much since that time. So I’ll be stuck with this thing for a long long time.

  73. cwolf Says:

    Fiat dealers upset and say they are loosing money. Only those also selling Chry. products claim a profit. Of coarse Marchionne is in denial.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Fiat dealers I know of are also Chrysler dealers, but they were required to have a separate showroom for Fiat. The one in Melbourne, FL built a new Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep building, and used the old one for Fiat.

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think that most people that wanted to buy a Fiat, have done so already, the local dealer I visited was all hyper about the upcoming Alfa model and when I saw the price, I almost broke out in laughter.

  76. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link to the Automotive News piece on FIAT dealers. Like you were alluding to, Kit, one of the economies used by the dealers is to share some facilities with their Chrysler shops.

  77. HtG Says:

    I gotta admit, this weekend when I was at a strip mall, a white 500 with the soft top, the Red/Green side stripe, and the middle aged blonde with the cigarette dangling out the window, caught my attention. It did indeed.

  78. ColoradoKid Says:


    My imitation of MW criticizing a car ;

    The MPG is a bit disappointing – But Its a Great Car – Its a little down on power – But Its a Great Car – The interior’s a bit rough for a car in its class – But Its a Great Car – Its kind of a POS .. But Its a Great Car And We Think You’ll Love it


    HtG -76 – Gimme a break … it was the hot blonde doing her best Fellini movie imitation that gotcha … not the car ;-)


    FIAT Dealers – Yes they’re losing money … but heard the latest ? It seems L’Stronzetto in his infinite wisdom has decided if and when Alfa Romeo comes back to the States … you won’t be buying them at your local FIAT dealership as Sergio promised them you will . You’ll have to head down to your local Chrysler dealership instead

    Suffice it to say FIAT dealers across the land are not amused .. and in fact are PO’d as all ____ .. with more than a couple of dealership owners threatening to buy those Chrysler IPO’s if they become reality … just to get even

  79. HtG Says:

    77. Indeed, CK, I did clip out the detail of how her chubby belly preceded her as she walked away from ‘la macchina.’ This is why Fellini was a genius.

  80. T. Bejma Says:


    Here are the vehicles you can buy for at or near the price you paid in ’98…

    Nissan Versa – $12,500
    Chevy Spark – $12,800 (std pwr windows, a/c, MyLink)
    Kia Rio – $13,500
    Smart FourTwo – $12,000

    All, just as good as the Corolla and way better than a Yugo…

  81. pedro fernandez Says:

    I guarantee you TB that none of those cars can be had for that money out the door, none will be automatic and the Smart? I’d rather keep my decrepit old Corolla than a new one of those

  82. pedro fernandez Says:

    That does NOT include transportation, usually $600 or $700 dealer prep, paperwork fee, plus tax, of course Mine was $13500 out the door.

  83. Brett Says:



    $13,500 in 1998 is $19,370.18 today when you factor in inflation.

    Gotta compare apples to apples.

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    So a $30k annual salary in 1998 should be about $22 in 2013, when you factor in the same inflation?

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    79, 80, 81
    Here is a list, and descriptions of the cheapest cars in the U.S. market:

    All of them are manual, except the smart which doesn’t count anyway, and it appears that none have cruise control. As you say, Pedro, I suspect you’d have a hard time finding these zero option cars at a local dealer. Maybe the best chance would be to factory order a Fiesta or Sonic, numbers 7 and 8 on the list. They are both just under $15K, MSRP. I’m sure dealers would resist if you wanted to order one of these cars, but they would do so, if you insist. At least the Chevy and Ford dealers I’m familiar with in Indiana would, and would sell them for no more than MSRP plus sales tax, and maybe a little less.

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    I still say that direct online buying from the manufacturer, when you know what exactly you want,pick it up at the assembly plant, whereby you save both dealer prep and transportation would be a good idea and many folks would take advantage of this, but of course, dealers would not take kindly to OEM’s pulling the rug from under their feet.

  87. ColoradoKid Says:

    79 – ” just as good as the Corolla ” … yeah right ! On what freaking planet other than Planet GM delusional ?

    Still can’t get it thru your skull that despite Toyotas glitches of late EVERYTHING they make is better than anything GM has , does or ever will make ?

    Hmmn… seems everyone associated with GM has the same problem dealing with reality . Sad … but then again … thats why the likes of GM are still on the Dole … while Toyota …. isn’t …

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    I say nothing about this, except that once in a while I will pass by in my 15 yr old, 360k mile Corolla a bunch of salvage yards replete with newer Neons, Cavaliers, Cobalts and Focci.

  89. ColoradoKid Says:

    Here’s the inflation calculator link in case anyone else wants to play with the ‘ numbers ‘

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My friend’s cheap GM car with 200K miles is doing better, reliability-wise than some Toyotos I know of, but yeah, I suspect Toyota would still be the “brand of choice” for those planning to keep their car $300K miles. His Sunfire has a long way to go to catch up with your Corolla, Pedro.

  91. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro 85 – If that became available I can guarantee you … with then then manufactures having absolute control over pricing you would most definitely wind up paying as much … but more likely more than you do now dealing with the dealers

    Ever wonder why Apple’s prices are a bit higher than average and discounts on new Apple’s all but impossible to get ( except for the professional and educational discounts offered by Apple )

    Because …. Apple has absolute control over every new Apple sold to the point even Warren Buffet ( Nebraska Furniture Warehouse ) won’t try and circumvent Apples price controls

    Now like I’ve said . On a $500 – $3000 purchase thats almost acceptable … barely .. but on a $15,000 on up purchase … the effects would be devastating to say the least

    Suffice it to say in a perfect world the scenario you’re offering would be wonderful . But in this much less than perfect world we live in it would be abysmal and catastrophic to say the least

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, and Pedro,
    What would you think of a system where WalMart, Sears, and Macy’s all sold new cars, of various brands? How would that work? Isn’t there some of that going on in Europe?

  93. T. Bejma Says:


    You haven’t got a raise in 15 years Pedro? ;-)

    You need a new job! All of the big 3 are hiring if you want to move up north… ;-)

  94. ColoradoKid Says:

    91 – Well … thats the way things were here back in the 20′s and 30′s ( fact is you could buy an entire house from Sears … my grand parents had one … quite nice .. still is in fact )

    It seemed to work pretty well back in the day . Considering we’re a step away from 1929 revisited … maybe its about time we try it again today .

    Would it be any worse than Dealerships ? I kind of doubt it . Would it be any ‘ better ‘ ? Maybe . Would it be a whole lot better than manufactures direct ? Absolutely

  95. ColoradoKid Says:

    92 – Yeah right … get Pedro a job with the ( not so ) Big Three … and all but guarantee he’ll be outta work within the next five years … as will you if things keep progressing as they are .

    Reality time T . Cause them delusions is about to be crushed by the hard weight of facts .. and the facts are … this current sales blip … is about to run head first into a brick wall of economic realities

    Oh … but wait …. you’ve been indoctrinated into the cult of GM . Never mind . Wasting my time . More fool me ;-)

  96. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – 91 – BWTM

    Maybe its just a case of waxing nostalgia but over the years I’ve heard a constant barrage of comments from our ‘ Elders ‘ about them missing the fact that you could buy your new car – M/C – house etc … all from a Sears Catalogue or the store front if you had one in your area back in the day . Fact is I’ve yet to hear a complaint about that old system

    So maybe like I said its just our ‘ Elders ‘ wishing for the ‘ Good Ol Days ‘ .. but then again ,,,, maybe there’s something there worth investigating for today .

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To my knowledge, the only cars Sears sold were Allstate, AKA Crosley, but maybe they sold others earlier. The also sold Allstate scooters, which were slightly de-contented Vespas.

  98. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK I suppose you’re right, it’s not like you can buy a Samsung TV directly from them, and even though they have Sony stores, for example, their prices are quite higher than some other stores, cause they’re usually located in malls, where the rent is very expensive. But at least when it comes to car, they should give you the chance to fly or drive to the assembly plant and take delivery of your new car and do all the transaction at the dealer, which of course would be compensated for this, but who needs dealer prep, prep what?? Cars come out of the assembly line ready to roll, just put some gas and you’re off

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    96, correction…..

    Allstate cars were Henry J’s, not Crosleys.

  100. ColoradoKid Says:

    Che bella machina ! Ecco ! Va bene !

    Not to mention yet another instance when ol Feruccio stuck it to Enzo


    Kit – You could also buy a Model T during most of its production as well as a Model A with a couple of other brands on offer as well .

  101. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That boat is incredible. The steering wheel looked familiar, and I remember why. It’s like the one in my ’57 Chrysler.,11955/1957-Chrysler-New-Yorker_photo.aspxl

  102. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The link didn’t work. I’ll try again:,11955/1957-Chrysler-New-Yorker_photo.aspx

  103. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – 101 – Aint she though . Make sure you head over to the Lambo Riva home page and watch the video /slide shows etc ;

  104. ColoradoKid Says:

    101 – The link a she work a da second time justa fine . I can see what you’re saying as well . Who knows … maybe Riva sourced it from the same supplier .