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AD #1242 – PSA to End GM Alliance?, Ford Idles MI Plant, CNG Mazda3 Announced

October 23rd, 2013 at 11:50am

Runtime: 7:59

Peugeot is considering ending its alliance with GM. Ford is idling its Michigan Assembly Plant for two weeks due to rising inventories of the Focus and C-Max. Mazda will reveal a CNG version of the Mazda3 at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show. All that and more, plus a look at why bigger wheels can cost you a lot of money.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Let’s get to the news!

VOLVO’S CHINESE SALES PLOY
Li Shufu, the former peasant farmer who is now a billionaire, and who owns Geely and Volvo, has come up with a novel way to market the Scandinavian brand in China. Speaking at the Global Automotive Forum in Wuhan, he points out that Volvo’s have carbon filters that clean up the air coming into the passenger compartment. He says he wants his Chinese customers to feel like they’re stepping into Northern Europe every time they get in their Volvo. He brags that the air inside a Volvo is twenty times cleaner than the outside air. Specifically, he says the filters trap 90% of the smallest 2.5 micron particulates that can cause cancer and are a big concern amongst the Chinese people. And if you ask me, he’s just come up with one of the greatest ways to sell cars in China’s smog choked cities.

ANOTHER GM DIVORCE?
In early 2012 Peugeot and GM announced a partnership they claimed would save $1 billion a year by 2016. But earlier today the French automaker said they may never reach that goal and it’s now considering ending its alliance with GM. Peugeot is now in talks with its Chinese partner, Dongfeng, about selling it part of the company as well as a part to the French government. As we’ve reported from the beginning, this alliance made no sense to us. GM has already had to write off the $400 million it invested in PSA, so it hasn’t saved a penny. And we wonder what gave GM the idea that this would work after all its failed alliances in the past with Isuzu, Suzuki, Toyota, Subaru and Fiat.

FORD IDLES MI PLANT
Uh-oh hopefully this isn’t a sign of bad things to come. Ford announced that it’s idling its Michigan Assembly Plant for two weeks due to rising inventories of the Focus and C-Max. The Detroit News reports that the company has built more than 35,000 C-Max’s this year but has only sold around 23,000 of them. This is the first time since the Great Recession that Ford has shut down a plant in the U.S.

MAZDA GOES CNG
There has been a rash of CNG powered vehicles coming out recently. Honda, of course, has had a CNG powered Civic for a while but Chevrolet just announced a bi-fuel version of the Impala and both Ford and Ram have CNG versions of their pickups. Now Mazda will be joining the mix. The company will be showcasing the Mazda3 SKYACTIV-CNG Concept at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show. Like the Impala, the concept is bi-fuel, meaning it will run on both gasoline and CNG. Here’s my Autoline Insight. If this shale bonanza continues to play out, it could start to affect the sales of hybrid and electric vehicles.

HONDA’S TOKYO LINEUP
And speaking of the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is showing off the vehicles it will have on display there. The two vehicles that caught our eye are the S660 Concept and the N-WGN. The S660 is a small open-top sports car that looks like it could take on the likes of Mazda’s MX-5 Miata. The 4-door N-WGN is the 4th model in the N Series of mini-vehicles and looks like it seats up to 5 passengers. The boxy-looking vehicle kind of reminds us of the Scion xB. The Tokyo Motor Show opens to the public on November 23rd.

CHEROKEE DELAYED NO MORE
We have been keeping you informed on all the production delays of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but happily now we can give you the news that Chrysler has begun shipping the vehicles to its dealers.

For the last couple of days we’ve been asking you to fill out a survey to help us make Autoline even better. And we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. We were originally going to run those promos for two weeks, but we hit our response target in only a day and a half. Now we have to sift through all the responses we got, and we’re working on that right now. We’ll give you a full report on your feedback when that’s complete. Also, a few of you complained that we were asking for too much personal information, such as your name and what company you work at. Some of you thought we’d be using this for data mining. I can assure you that is not the case. We simply needed to quantify who was responding to the survey. For those of you who still would like to submit suggestions, just shoot us an email and send it to viewermail@autoline.tv. We promise you complete anonymity and we’re always welcome to good ideas.

OK, coming up next, a look at the way wheels keep getting bigger and bigger on cars, and why that can cost you a pretty penny.

AUTOLINE GARAGE – BIG WHEELS
(Today’s Autoline Garage is only available in the video version of the show.)

In tomorrow’s show we’ll have another installment of the Autoline Design Handbook with Jim Hall, with his explanation of why wheels keep getting bigger.

And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching.

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

126 Comments to “AD #1242 – PSA to End GM Alliance?, Ford Idles MI Plant, CNG Mazda3 Announced”

  1. Mike Says:

    I wonder how long the performance of those air filters on the Volvo will really last? Is there any proof those filters will really help people? Will the filters ever be replaced as they clog up? Will the aftermarket filters be as effective? I suppose 90% of the time the people are not in their cars and they really are breathing that toxic brew they call air in China.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Those activated charcoal (carbon) filters will last a pretty good while; my Cadillac recommended interval is 35,000 miles. Now they may not last that long in Beijing but I’m sure they will help somewhat; good marketing tool in any event.

  3. Tony Gray Says:

    If I had a dog with a face as ugly as the new Cherokee I would shave its butt and make it walk backwards.

  4. drew Says:

    Regarding large diameter wheels, the higher price for the replacement tire is just one of the cost penalties. Often, those tires have poorer rolling resistance, so fuel economy suffers. And the lower sidewall height means more risk of rim damage if you live in a “pothole state”.

    My Euro luxo car has 19″ wheels with 40 series low profile tires. The replacement tires cost $1300 5 years ago and straigntening the rim cost $150. In comparison, my wife’s car D-class sedan has 16″ wheels with 60 series tires. Her tire replacement cost was $550 and she has never bent a rim. The two vehicles weigh about the same, but her car yields about 20% bettter fuel economy despite having fewer transmission gears.

    I am looking forward to Jim’s Design handbook tomorrow. I believe larger wheels are part of a 40 year trend that has reached its plateau. The trend accelerated in the 90s as whitewalls and raised white letters were phasing out. The resultant acreage of black sidewall needed to be visually reduced, hence the aesthetic appeal for larger diamter wheels.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    At this point, who’s had more divorces, Liz Taylor or GM? Inquiring minds want to know! Re big wheel/tires, about 3 yrs ago, a guy who had a Corolla like mine got it totaled and offered me the the 4 alloy wheels and low profile tires for #100. I almost jumped on it but i told him I would get back to him, when I looked at the price of the replacement rubber, they went for $150 ea. and they also wear out quickly so in my case with all the driving I do, I would need a new set every 8 to 10 mos. No way, Jose!!

  6. Bradley Says:

    As a result of doing my own maintenance on my Yaris and former Tacoma; I was able to witness the benefit of smaller wheels. Smaller tires are not only cheaper to buy, but a lot easier to rotate.

    I am sure Jim will have a great presentation.

    GM is a car Broker. They buy into companies like some bet on horses. This is part of their culture that hasn’t changed. They need to grow organically and stop trying to hit Wall Street numbers through acquisitions.

  7. Richard Tait Says:

    This whole PSA-GM agreement is just another example of Dan Akerson’s inept and obtuse leadership. He can only be described as weird, and not in a good way. From his childish utterances about Tesla to the silly memo sent by his underlings for personnel to stop saying “Chevy” as a way of portraying consistent brand messages, he is simply not fit to lead GM. The continuously poor ad campaigns of the vast majority of GM models is yet another example. Chevrolet “finding new roads” with trucks that are dead ringers for the previous generation and barely any tangible improvement overall, coupled with ad campaigns that are STILL showing dirt roads and cowboy hats. What kind of new roads are those exactly?

  8. Jon M Says:

    Tires are one of those parts of the car I bet the average consumer never thinks about in terms of maintenance cost when purchasing a car. In fact, I’m willing to bet the average Joe (or Jane) has no idea what size the tires are, let alone how much they would cost to replace. Of course the bigger the more expensive, but the customer to which Sean referred can take solace in the fact that the tires were not run-flats!

  9. Michael K Says:

    Sean, I am not sure where you have been shopping for tires, but the prices I see for 18″ average tires are closer to $1,000.

  10. Lex Says:

    GM is always losing money on these partnerhips with foreign auto makers. The GM management team should funnel these monies into it’s supplier base and brands, including Holden, Vauxhall and Opel. I believe these companies see GM as an easy mark!

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    PSA – GM divorce question ;

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    errrrrr… Been tellin y’all so .. for weeks I might add ;-)

    Care to urrr …. comment … Mr Bejma ? [ guess we now know who really reads French as well as the EU/UK automotive press around these parts … now don’t we …. Mr Bejma !

    Bahahahahahahahah

    Ahhh .. to be fair and a little kind though T Bejma … unlike yourself … I DO have a PSA insider in my address book … hee hee

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    3 – +1

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    Lex – If I may . The reality is when it comes to business relationships ..

    ….GM is the Black Widow Spider of the automotive business world . And really …. they can’t manage their own business in a profitable and productive manner … so where does GM get off thinking they can fix someone else’s ?

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4, Maybe black wheels now being fashionable will help end the big wheel fad. If the wheels and tires are both black, you barely see the size of the wheels.

  15. HtG Says:

    PSA-So who is the GM board going to send to Davy Jones’ locker for this debacle? Let’s ask Peter D. who should be walking the plank.

    Tires-It’s not just size, it’s width that makes a tire more expensive. I see wider tires on cheap cars now. My ’02 Civic has 185 width.

    Welcome Back McElroy-The gang is pleased to see the Manchurian Journalist has returned. ;)

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG: 14 or 15 in on your Civic? 14 in are disappearing just like the 13 inch have, if it weren’t for all the old Corollas and Civics still out there, those 14 in would not be so easy to find! Re: Focus, for years we read that if only Ford would bring the European Focus here, they would wipe out the competition, well, they came, they saw and they failed to conquer. I think Cruze has a lot to do with that, at least around these parts. Perhaps there’s the transmission issue!!

  17. HtG Says:

    16 14″ steelies, 70R profile, all season. Without drawing the attention of a certain insurance company, these are some kind of fun when in capable hands.

  18. HtG Says:

    17 cont’d. How come nobody ever complains about low profile tires having less slip angle to mess around with?

    Slip angle, it’s not just for perverts.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    HTG I got 14 but 65R, I looked into getting summer tires, Holy excessive costs, Batman!! Why are these damn “summer” tires so freaking expensive, I don’t need all season here since we only have 2 season, HOT and HOTTER but them so-called summer tires are like racing rubbers or something cause they sell for 3 times what I pay for my all-season radials plus there is almost no selection at all!

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My minivan has 14′s.

    With 17 and 18 inch wheels becoming more commonplace, the price premium for big wheel, low profile tire is less than it once was, but they still cost more. Low profile tires should cost less, since there is less material in them, but it doesn’t work that way.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    plus they were out quicker, my kid’s FR-S Michelin only have 240 mileage rating and cost $170 each plus shipping and install so you’re talking $200 a pop, good thing he has not taken up drifting

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19, I’ve checked on summer tires too. All of them are at least “H” rated, which is for 130 mph. I don’t really need that for my Prius.

    Actually, I found some Michelin summer tires, also low rolling resistance, that are only $14/tire more than Yokohamas like came on the Prius. I’ll probably get them,if I buy replacement tires while I have that car.

    I will actually be buying tires for the Corvette fairly soon, and was pleasantly surprise at the prices. It takes 275-40×17, and there are several available for ~$650 for four tires.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit one of the criticisms I’ve read re the FR-S is that Toyota puts Prius tires on them, but ours are Michelin summer tires, I don’t believe Prius comes with those particular tires at all, I don’t know where they’re getting that from?

  24. HtG Says:

    When I checked out the Michelin site for advice about tire life, they said that there were many factors affecting longevity, but about 10years is the limit.

    At tirerack.com, prices to replace the Civic’s tires range from 50 to 117 dollars, with most between $60-70/tire. The Michelins are at $98 and the Bridgestones, $117. That’s quite the spread, I’d say.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG when you add shipping and installation costs, Tirerack is not such a good deal at all, I was gonna go that way but when I added it all up, it was the most I would have ever spent on tires for this car, so I went the local route again and I think I did ok. $55 each installed and balanced. 400+ treadwear.

  26. HtG Says:

    prolly right, Pedro. I was just looking for some quotes. I’d buy local, too. But Sean’s got it right about the surprising costs of big tires, which let’s face it, people buy for the looks.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23,
    My Prius has Yokohama Avid S33, or something like that, low rolling resistance tires. The top trim level Prius has wider, 17 inchers, but I’m pretty sure they would still be low rolling resistance all season tires of some sort.

    I’m sure no Priuses come from the factory with summer tires of any description.

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    15

    Seriously ? Heck .. take yer pick . Eeny , Meeny , Miny … or Moe , Curly or Larry or Groucho , Harpo or Chico .. or … well … hmmn ….. why not blame Leno ? Or what the ___ blame Bejma :o LoL . You get the idea . Pick a name . Any name . Truth be known … its the Board n’ Bean Counters that ought to be walking the plank .. but hey … they’re immune … they’ll find a suitable Scapegoat from the above list … guaranteed ;-)

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    According to Tire Rack, one of the OEM tires is Michelin summer tires that are LRR. Maybe their being LRR is why someone calls them “Prius” tires.

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?tireIndex=0&autoMake=Scion&autoYear=2013&autoModel=FR-S&autoModClar=&width=215%2F&ratio=45&diameter=17&sortCode=49500&skipOver=true&minSpeedRating=V&minLoadRating=S&tab=All

  30. T. Bejma Says:

    #11

    The PSA alliance with GM, as the article states, was always about cost savings. Taking advantage of PSA’s economies of scale in Europe, it was always to help Opel save money. To an extent, it did that, just not up to expectations. This contributed to less of a loss in GME last quarter and expected even less this quarter.

    When PSA decided it wasn’t as concerned about the EU and more interested in going full bore into China and that it had an interested suitor that happens to be a competitor, in Dongfeng, the GM relationship was doomed. It wasn’t because GM is some kind of virus that kills other companies. Even PSA stated it saved Є60 million this year due to the relationship. And with PSA stock up 94% this year, GM stands to make a pretty penny on it’s investment when they sell the shares.

    All I know is what I read in Europe and I posted the link to a very reliable source that said that PSA wanted GM to invest more. Not my fault the media over there is as clueless as ours here.

    And from yesterday’s show…

    ColoradoKid Says:
    October 23rd, 2013 at 10:35 am

    “BTW Zippy …. all the press I’ve read about it say to a number … its a DaeWoo”

    Would love to see a link where someone actually calls it a Daewoo, since Daewoo as a company hasn’t been around since 2011. Must be some pretty lame publications. The only two Daewoo branded vehicles in the world are what we call the Cruze (Lacetti) and the Spark (Matiz) and they are just lingering until the next model where they will become Chevy’s.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think FR-S haters will come up with any BS to make the car look bad including accusing Toyota of putting hybrid car tires on it, regardless, those OEM tires are Michelin summer tires with short treadwear life, NOT the type of tire a Prius owner would want on his car.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hmm, it looks like that link didn’t work right, and gave all tires the size that fits the FR-S.

    Anyway, the Michelins they list as OEM are “Primacy HP Grand Touring Summer.” That is probably what you son has. For longer tread life, he might want to check out all-season tires. It’s crazy, but they cost less, and last longer. He’d give up performance, though.

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    26 – Ahem … hate to be the cat amongst the pigeons … but up to a certain size depending on the weight and performance potential of the car … larger tires can and do make a vast difference in handling . Try my GLK w/AMG handling pack [ 235/45/20 Pirelli H Scorpion MS rated all season ] vs the standard wheels and tires . Huge difference . And errr … the only reason F1 doesn’t use larger lower profile tires is because the FIA banned them in an attempt to moderate performance .

    Now ‘ Donk ‘ sized wheels ? Thats a completely different kettle of fish … those … are ludicrous and absurd

  34. RonE Says:

    Re: New tires. Buying tires for today’s cars will could involve replacing the TPMS system in each tire, or at least the batteries in the system. Battery life estimate 5 – 12 years. A friend put new tires on his Chrysler 300 and the cost for the TPMS replacement was $200.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB, in all fairness, what exactly did GM do when they bought Daewoo? did they improve the way they design, engineer, build cars etc cause honestly Daewoo did make some crappy cars, including the much-maligned Aveo, it stands the reason why you see so few Daewoos still running around, I knew 3 people who bought Daewoo cars including an Aveo and they were not happy at all, including a Leganza who had the transmission go bad right after the warranty expired and it cost so much that the woman took a beating and traded it in for a Malibu, the Aveo owner traded his in for a used Corolla

  36. HtG Says:

    33 Compound is also an important factor in performance. Isn’t the FR-S shod with low grip tires expressly to improve the fun factor? If your tires grip too well, it’s going to take more speed and stress to get the car on its limit where the engineers have spent so much energy and talent. A better tire may well give you better handling, but there’s lots of fun in having your hands full. F’rinstance, the Goodyear’s I’ve got are rubbish in the wet, but dang if that isn’t the most fun time to drive.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31, Looking at Tire Racks list, there are a lot of tires available the right size for the FR-S, and most of them have much higher tread life ratings than the super performance summer tires that came on it.

    The ones I’m likely to get for the Corvette are Continental ExtremeContact DWS. They are fairly cheap, did pretty well in CR’s tests, especially in resistance to hydroplaning, and have a tread life rating of 540. I’m sure any tires that big, on a 3300 pound car, will have plenty of dry handling capability for me. I

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    30 – hee hee hee … nice try sunshine ! Futile and pathetic … but nice try

    Maybe someday you’ll get something right . Maybe .

    Err .. probably not . Oh well .

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33, I bet your GLK would handle even better with 235-45×17 tires, because it would lower the car 1.5 inches. Of course, you lose ground clearance, and your gearing would be lower, so it wouldn’t be something anyone would want to do, except for autocrossing, if the car were legal for that.

  40. Bradley Says:

    Daewoo is a great example. When GM invested an influential amount in Daewoo, it was a time where within the United States GM wanted you to focus on Detroit. Buy American! Yet GM would quietly release the Pontiac LeMans, etc.

    Speed up this conversation, and now post economic collapse GM wants us to view them as a Global powerhouse. If GM were truly a global brand, Camaros and Impalas would be seen around the globe.

    So what is GM? A car broker, they own many car brands and change the product offering so often it is clear GM believes the car is strictly a commodity. So like toothbrushes, they want you to get comfortable and hastily buy a new one on a reoccurring basis.

    GM has to fix this problem, but they can’t. Because they do not see anything wrong in their ways, because they didn’t feel the pain of bankruptcy.

  41. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 35

    I can answer that ( honestly .. unlike the corporate rhetoric you’ll get from TB )

    A DaeWoo by any other name … is still a DaeWoo … just the same

    e.g. SS.. DD … different logo ( coming ) on the snout ;-)

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, It seems that the products from Daewoo/GM Korea have gotten a lot better. Whether is is because of GM, in spite of GM, or the result of the passage of time, I don’t know, but the products have clearly improved. Time will tell how they are doing when they are 20 years old.

  43. ColoradoKid Says:

    39 – No it wouldn’t because the suspension with the AMG package is lowered to compensate for the larger tires/wheels . Mercedes ( and AMG ) aint stupid you know :o .. a bit silly sometimes ( the ‘ Black ‘ series ) but not stupid

    —————-

    Bradley – Damn !!! Couldn’t of said it better !!! From word one to the very last period . Damn !!!!

  44. Bradley Says:

    Speaking of the Ford Focus, if Ford sold the Focus Wagon in the United States, I probably would have purchased one over the Sportwagen. I assume it would have cost less and been on par with the Focus sedan.

    However, I am liking the Sportwagen more and more…

  45. Bradley Says:

    #43

    Thanks! Too bad we have to do this for FREE. :P

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    45 – the ” Free ” comment – Been thinking the very same thing of late ;-)

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43, You don’t think it would help in ultimate handling, on dry pavement, to lower the GC an inch and a half? It think less lean would be a good thing.

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    True about the FR-S, the fact that the tires are not very sticky adds to the “fun” factor, drifting, letting the rear end loose at turns, etc unfortunately neither the owner nor the dad is very proficient at such maneuvers. When it’s time to replace tires I will suggest a little more treadwear number, and not buying the always expensive Michelins, should help.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 Isn’t your wagon a TDI? They don’t sell any Focii that way in the the U.S.

  50. ColoradoKid Says:

    47 – Lowering it more than stock and Mercedes has engineered it ? Maybe . Logic would say yes .. but many times reality says no .. .. so .. maybe .

    [ handling dynamics have a multitude of variables ]

    But would I give up the extra clearance just to scare SG a bit more than the car already is capable of ? Bad idea if you get my drift . Not to mention how nice that clearance is in the snow … and hopping the curb onto HtG’s front lawn ! LoL ! ( just kidding HtG )

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 There are a lot of tires to choose from. Tire Rack lists 75 different ones the correct size for the FR-S. Many have double the 240 tread life rating of the ones that came on the car, and I saw one or two with ratings of 600, and I didn’t go through the whole list.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50, Yeah, I agree that there are a lot of variables. And yeah, for doing anything other than running for time on dry pavement, I’m sure they way it came is the best compromise.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    GM got Daewoo cause they knew or at that time admitted that they could not build a small car in the US and make any money, so they needed a source for such vehicles and only after the bailout they decided to build the Cruze and Sonic here which also made them easier to pass off as American-made.

  54. HtG Says:

    Air

    Here’s a piece on how polluted air is corroding copper circuits in computers. People in China are returning PCs after a few months. You wonder if this will affect the ever more computerized car.

    http://news.techeye.net/science/air-pollution-killing-computers

  55. T. Bejma Says:

    #35

    Pedro, GM had been a majority owner in Daewoo since 2001, but had been invested in them for a lot longer (back in the 70′s). When Daewoo was making cars for the Korean market or selling them under the Daewoo brand here, it seemed like GM wasn’t really concerned what they put out. As soon as GM started thinking/acting more globally in the early 2000′s, the Engineering processes and procedures, R&D resources, etc. became available to the former Daewoo and GM started integrating Engineers from different regions into Korea. With the disappointment in the Aveo (it is well known to be the worst quality GM vehicle in the past 10 years), the focus was increased even further, to the point now where the Cruze, Sonic and Spark are top notch vehicles that came right out of GM Korea.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53, The decision to build the Cruze here, at Lordstown would have been made before the bailout, the the Sonic, maybe not.

  57. T. Bejma Says:

    #41

    Gee, that was helpful information their CK. Don’t strain your [massive?] brain there coming up with this stuff…

  58. T. Bejma Says:

    Oops. Meant “there”.

    Hope everyone filled out their [got it right that time] Autoline survey and requested an edit function for the comment section ;-)

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54
    Those cabin air filters in the Volvos are going to plug up quickly.

    I hope they get all of that export stuff on the boats quickly, so it won’t be affected. So far, my MacBook is still working and it is about 2 years old.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Who would have thought that you had to go inside a car to get cleaner air, and here we are spending millions if not billion trying to be more green and the Chinese pollute away like there is no tomorrow. BTW these cabin air filters are a gold mine to dealers who charge exorbitant fees to replace them, when it’s so easy to DIY.

  61. T. Bejma Says:

    #40

    1988-93 Lemans was actually designed in GME as the Opel Kadett…

    http://jalopnik.com/tag/a-kadett-by-any-other-name

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB thanks for the explanation, I promise not to put down the former Daewoo as much as I have before. As a matter of fact, I would look at a Sonic or Cruze (not turbo) as my next car!

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    Was the Lemans that much worse than the Kia built Aspire??

  64. Bradley Says:

    #49

    Yea, I have a wagon. “IF” Ford sold the Wagon Focus in the United States, I might have purchased it. The diesel thing is quite fun with my TDI.

  65. T. Bejma Says:

    Glad to hear it Pedro. And just so you know, Warranty and Reliability data on the first 3 years of the US Cruze and the first 2 of the Sonic looks really good, even the turbos. I wouldn’t have bought my Cruze in March if I was worried about it.

  66. Steve Henderson Says:

    DUH,
    Have I been missing something??? Autoline Garage….well I’ll be….I knew all about the tires & higher prices….when I bought a new GMC Sierra SLE in 2008 I made sure the tires were 17….also might add that I believe they give a smoother ride.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    61, I was in Czechoslavakia in 1992, and they were selling that car as the Daewoo Racer in Czecho, but as Opel Kadett in the “west.” I assume the Opel ones were built in Europe, and the Daewoo did, in fact, come from Korea.

  68. T. Bejma Says:

    Uh oh… Honda thought it was okay to burn a quart of oil every 1,000 miles?

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20131022/OEM11/131029975/american-honda-settles-class-action-suit-over-oil-burning-claim#axzz2iZtGeBxJ

    Sounds like it is going to cost them a couple $’s

  69. T. Bejma Says:

    #68

    Yes, Kit, licensed to be built in Korea from Opel.

  70. ColoradoKid Says:

    57 – the ‘ facts ‘ seldom are in need of embellishment … unlike the corporate rhetoric you spew out

    55 – Speaking of a load of rhetoric and tripe !

    65 – And yet again … only worse

    Yeah .. you’ve got the corporate BS down pat son . Care to shovel a few more loads our way ? I’m sure the office is full of it ;-)

    ——–

    Pedro – 62 – Don’t you dare even consider one mi amigo ! Or were you being a bit sarcastic ? Hopefully the later

  71. Brett Says:

    I’ve been quite pleased with the Kumho Solus and Ecsta lines of tires the past decade.

  72. ColoradoKid Says:

    68 – And what did I tell you the other day about people working in ‘ glass ‘ factories not throwing boulders thru the windows at their competition ? Especially when that ‘ competition ‘ is in fact their ‘ betters ‘ ?

    BTW .. drop the schadenfreude routine … it makes both you and your minders look even worse than you already do

    God … as much as I’m no fan of VW-Audi I’m gonna celebrate the day they take over #2 .. shoving GM down the pile where they belong . Fact is … I’ve got a bottle of twenty year old just waiting to be opened

    Oh … btw Bejma .. did you also request on the survey that all GM detractors … especially those of us batting a 1000 on accuracy … be removed ? I’ll bet you did .. ;-)

  73. pedro fernandez Says:

    #68 well, then both my Camry and Corolla are guilty as charged of this, so how come I don’t get no money? That Corolla all aluminum engine is notorious for burning oil, I see a lot of my gen Corolla with rear bumpers full of soot. CK not kidding! my car testing Youtube buddy has tested both Cruze and Sonic and has given them both thumbs up! Besides I don’t drive nearly as much as I used to.

  74. ColoradoKid Says:

    GM vs VW-Audi

    So why is it when VW-Audi products share a platform they do nothing at all to hide it .. and in fact as in the case of the new MBQ .. brag about it .. publicly and often I might add .

    Whereas GM .. via rebadging and labeling … deceptive practices , inventory etc … goes out of their way to not only Hide … but to completely bury any and all evidence as to the extensive platform sharing thats being going on since the 50s .

    So what is GM so ashamed of that they feel the need to hide the truth from the general public ?

    Hmmmmn .

    Got any ideas Bradley ?

  75. ColoradoKid Says:

    73 – Sorry to hear that Pedro . Might I suggest a new friend ?

  76. T. Bejma Says:

    #72

    I thought this was a place where we talked about ALL things Automotive. What, am I only allowed to post GM related articles? And how is passing auto related information considered throwing stones? I just thought it would be of interest to the people on here, but I guess the self proclaimed judge of all people and posts, does not approve.

    As Steve Martin as said very eloquently…

    EXXXXXXCCUUUUUUUSSSSSEE MEEEEEEEEEE!!! ;-)

    I would post bad GM things of interest as well, but it seems you have the lock on that.

  77. ColoradoKid Says:

    73 – Seriously Pedro . If you’re gonna buy a freaking Korean car ( no matter where its ‘ assembled ‘ ) at least be honest about it , spend your money at the source .. and buy a Hyundai/KIA .. rather than a Yank wanna be

    Eeesh …

  78. T. Bejma Says:

    #74

    Where did GM ever hide where a platform was shared? Come one example. Just one.

    It is a well known fact that GM is reducing platforms, the same way Ford has done and VW has cornered the market on. No one is hiding it. Just because in Europe something is called Opel and here it is a Buick? It’s called brand recognition. Maybe your buddy PDL can explain it to you.

  79. ColoradoKid Says:

    76 – Its the attitude and tone Mr Bejma … along with the blatant bias … as well as the intention behind it all … which is more than obvious to all

    So … now we’ve resorted to using an out of date well worn Steve Martin ‘ pop ‘ catch phrase eh ?

    Hmmmn . Telling . Very telling ..

  80. T. Bejma Says:

    #79

    You mean biased like you are against GM (which is very obvious to all)?

  81. ColoradoKid Says:

    78 – Yeah yeah … shovel it out again … at this rate you’ll have the entire UP fertilized for the next five growing seasons

  82. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK just trying to help American workers, my Corolla was made in Calif. not the Camry, the Corolla has turned out to be more durable/reliable.

  83. ColoradoKid Says:

    80 – See … there’s the difference …. you say I’m against GM … when in reality if you’d actually … gee .. I dunno …. READ my posts in their entirety and context … you’d see that I am willing to Criticize GM … in the vain hopes [ as I'll bet Bradley's doing as well ] that maybe …. just maybe that worthless bunch y’all call a Board would get their acts together and actually FIX GM …. rather than constantly trying to BS the general public that they are accomplishing much of anything !

    But .. then again … as I’ve said before … attempting an intelligent conversation with any Temple of Delusion true believer is an exercise in abject frustration and futility

    BTW … funny you never react to Bradley’s comments .. even when like today they’re even harsher .. more blunt and to the point than mine

    Hmmmn .

    Enough ! You’re becoming a waste of good time and conversation T .

  84. HtG Says:

    Honda

    68. That is quite a claim about burning oil. I got to chuckle at that. How about the Odyssey transmissions, then? And the Civic motors of the mid ’00 failing? Oh, and the hybrid’s poor mileage? Yet the rep of Honda is their rep. But this settlement may not be too bad financially, as Honda only agreed to extend warranties and limit attorney fees to 800K, if I’m reading the article right.

    Honda agreed to extend the powertrain limited warranty for up to eight years after the original sale or lease of the vehicle. Honda also agreed not to oppose the counsel attorney fees as long as they do not exceed more than $800,000. Eagen[complainant] is also asking the court to approve an incentive award of no more than $1,000 to compensate him for his time and effort on behalf of the settlement class, according to a copy of the class notice.

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20131022/OEM11/131029975/american-honda-settles-class-action-suit-over-oil-burning-claim#ixzz2ia40M6js
    Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook

  85. ColoradoKid Says:

    82 – Then BUY American … and buy a Ford !

  86. T. Bejma Says:

    #83

    I did respond to Bradley. See #61 that was in response to his #40. You only see what you want to see…

  87. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sorry, no likey Ford, never did, Don’t like the turbo, don’t like the double clutch and Fiesta is made in Mexico. Plus too expensive as well!

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    73, My friend’s 200K mile Sunfire uses less than a quart of oil between oil changes, done at about 5000 miles. Not that it has too much to do with today’s GM cars. That Sunfire has the now-retired 2.2 that started life at 1.8 liters in 1982 J cars.

  89. T. Bejma Says:

    Pedro,

    Keep in mind if you were looking at comparable Ford models to the Cruze and Sonic, the Fiesta is built in Mexico and the Focus was designed in Europe, so despite opinions to the contrary here, the GM product is more American.

  90. T. Bejma Says:

    #87

    Should have known you’d have it figured out Pedro. Nothing is going to get by you. It is going to be interesting what you end up with the Corolla finally gives up the ghost. With over a decade of looking, research and opinions, I hope you get exactly what you want, no matter the brand. ;-)

  91. XA351GT Says:

    Well I know what the excuse is for those bigger wheels is. Bigger brakes. Bottom line is that they make the company more money. Personally I think anything bigger than a 16″or 17″ is a waste. How big of a rotor do you need to whoa down from highway speeds? They all a lot of unsprung weight. I’ve always heard that’s a bad thing. They make for a harsher ride as the side wall is part of the suspension. As was mentioned by someone earlier they are prone to breakage over potholes or even parking curbs. I really can’t find one REAL benefit for needing these huge wheels. And for god’s sake I wish people would stop putting them on classic cars. They look like crap. I’ve seen some really nice cars at shows and then then ruin the car with these giant chrome conestoga wagon wheels they put on them .

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    89, I generally like the Cruze better than Focus, as far as powertrain choices, interior appearance, and controls, but I’d be more likely to buy a Focus, because the sell the hatch in the US. Maybe that will change by the time I’m ready to replace the Prius, which is a few years away.

  93. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys I ain’t no tech, but I believe aluminum engines are partly to blame for oil loss, in the case of the Corolla 1.8 all aluminum engine, I’ve read that they made the pistons too small and that is why after 150k miles they start burning and/or leaking oil.

  94. HtG Says:

    93 When I was looking at a Boxster(idiot), one problem with the engines I’d read about was that some of the units were actually porous and leaked oil this way among others. Some jazz about how the metal was poured. [Also, the precious little porkers liked to eat their tires, which were extremely cambered in the rear, presumably to keep the things from oversteering. But does that stop me dreaming about a '99 in Los Altos on Craigslist? Nooooooooo. Because I'm an idiot]

  95. cwolf Says:

    Gee…help me out,here. What German brand has a new small car which is a rebadged Nissan with a prettier body? Bet the Cruze and Sonic will be just as or more reliable,have less costly repairs, besides being many thousands less expensive to purchase. Hmmmmm!

  96. cwolf Says:

    A Mazda CNG? Yeah, right! A diesel has been earmarked for how many years, now, and still not the diesels they promised.

  97. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf you talkin’ bout the CLA? It’s not a re-badged Nissan, Daimler hired Nissan to build it for them in Mexico, but the first ones are built in Hungary by who knows who?

  98. pedro fernandez Says:

    HTG my old Camry had the front wheels slightly toed-in as to keep it going straight, the downside was of course, front tires would wear out prematurely on the inside and had to be rotated every 6 mos

  99. cwolf Says:

    #94
    We must be two nuts from the same tree, cuz I like the boxter, too! Always have. But talk of a sibling to the S2000 may be a mind changer.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    93,
    Aluminum engines, done properly, seem to do fine. Even the ones with Vega-style aluminum bores hold up well if the processing is done right. There is also the issue of corrosion, which seems to be under control, even with iron block/aluminum head setups. I have two of those over 20 years old, and so far, so good.

  101. cwolf Says:

    pedro, corect-o-mundo, my friend! Nuth’in better than that good’ol Nissan reliability! Like I said. I’ll take any of the new GM cars mistakenly/ignorantly claimed to be Daewoo than to pay the price of a status car assembled by a company not much better.

  102. Buzzerd Says:

    @TBejma – I honestly don’t know why you bother to respond to the his comments, try doing what I do and pretend it’s not there as it’s mostly nonsense either way.

  103. HtG Says:

    99 Also looking at a Suzuka Blue S2000 in McLean VA, cwolf. So yeah, two fools.

    See…
    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/4132707673.html

  104. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Aluminum blocks: Everybody is aware of those ‘leaky old harleys’.Back in the beginning they used a ‘total loss’ oiling system and sand cast blocks.What didn’t leak out by design leaked out from the porous sand castings.That is called ‘porosity’.This was still a problem into the early 90′s,same same as the trans cases.If by chance you have an all aluminum car/truck engine as most of us do now,’porosity’ might still be a problem due to poor casting quality.For some reason I am under the impression that today’s aluminum blocks are all machined,but maybe I’m wrong there.

  105. HtG Says:

    The Boxster blocks were poured at a contract manufacturer. It’s sad, because that car was as good as it got, except for the numerous problems.

  106. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A friend’s 2010 Boxter is doing fine, but it has only about 6000 miles.

  107. HtG Says:

    I think by sooner than 2010 the issues were dealt with, Kit. But the only way I could see owning an older Boxster would be in ignorance. (BTW, the 911s of the era also had similar issues. It may be that the transition to water cooled engines, coupled with Toyota consulting in manufacturing just didn’t work out so great.)

  108. C-Tech Says:

    I like the Autoline Garage segments. Big polished aluminum and chrome wheels seal the deal, that why dealers order stock that way. Don’t forget the tire sensors when replacing tires after 7-10 good years, add another $200 or so.

  109. C-Tech Says:

    When Top Gear reviewed the Toyota FR-S they said it used Prius tires.

  110. HtG Says:

    104 GA, do you know the cause of porosity? Is it that seams form as the liquid metal fills the sand forms?

  111. pedro fernandez Says:

    C-Tech are you referring to the US or the UK Top Gear?

  112. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: Poor quality sand castings and poor quality aluminum= leaks.On my old harleys when I rebuilt the engines I used a product called ‘gasoila’on the inside of the engine and trans cases to seal them up.It’s a red semi liquid that you apply with a small squeegee nice and smooth.Once dry it is impervious to any future leaks.I don’t know what can be done on older cage blocks,if anything can even be done.

  113. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Most old school ‘outlaw’ harley shops that specialize in the older iron all use ‘gasoila’,just as a fyi.

  114. HtG Says:

    thx, GA

  115. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    In reference to the oil consumption in the Hondas it is a ring issue for the most part. That is what has been replaced in the couple in the shop where I work recently. According to the tech it seems that the rings from those year engines had quality control issues… some leak some don’t but it is always the rings… in his experience so far. Not a block casting issue.

    Thanks to Sean for the wheel info. I have given this advice to many people over the years. I sold tires a few years ago when the 20″ wheels were first standard on the half ton Dodge Rams I saw many pissed off customers when it was tire replacement time.

    One other word of advice is to check the tire prices on any car you are considering purchasing. One of the biggest surprises to me while working there was a lady looking to replace the 17′s on her Nissan Sentra Spec V. They weren’t an overly large tire but they were an oddball size. I could only find two tires we could get in that size and the cheaper set was still over 800 dollars. When the ford 500′s and Freestyles first came out those tires were a “non standard” size also and were spendy for the first few years until the vehicles became more common.

  116. cwolf Says:

    HtG, that color was made for that car! Did I ever tell ya you have good taste?

    Over the past couple weeks , I spoke to at least 3-4 C-Max owners. Not one dis-likes their car and all claim much better hwy mpg’s than the new standard. No major problems reported from the C-max’s with total miles ranging from 20-68 K miles. Lil’ noisy when accelerating hard, said one guy.

  117. Bradley Says:

    #61

    Yes, but I am not sure what that changes. GM was heavy into the “Heartbeat” of America stuff when the Pontiac LeMans rolled out. If the car was designed by Opel and made by Daewoo, how does that fit into “Heartbeat” of America?

  118. Kit Gerhart Says:

    116, If they are beating even the new 40 mpg highway rating, they probably aren’t going over 60 or 65. Still, the C-Max gets very good mileage compared to most cars.

    I would have checked out the C-Max, had it been available when I got my Prius. From what I read, C-Max drives better than a Prius, but from measuring it, I know the load floor is quite a bit shorter. Such are the compromises in selecting cars. I’d still rather have the NiMH batteries that Prius still uses.

  119. Kit Gerhart Says:

    117,
    The “Heartbeat of America” ad campaign was Chevy, not Pontiac.

  120. Jim Haines Says:

    Lots of cars have Charcoal type cabin air filters for fumes heavy depth type paper for particle trapping. Some of the cars offer a carbon type or a regular paper type for the same car. Don’t see where Geely invented anything other than a ad for the sales dept.

  121. Bradley Says:

    #119
    LOL, yes. but it was still GM.

  122. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro
    RE; Your ‘Mericun .. car quandary

    I was thinking all night about this . And here’s what I concluded . Thinking back to when I was considering Franz .. I remember the turning point being when cwolf and G.A. came on both saying ” You’ve worked hard .. you deserve it .. get it ‘

    Well mi amigo . Aint nobody here more deserving of a bit of fun than you . You’ve worked hard – put Jr on his feet – been the responsible guy for years , driving the same car going more than a decade . On top of that … you live in FLA … so no snow etc worries … Its about time for a bit of Rock & Roll and cutting loose

    Buy a Mustang ! As American as it gets . Not a rebadged Holden .. or a decade old Mercedes hiding under an American suit …. but a thru and thru true blue … American . Simple straight forward .. to the point ,, and fun as all get out

    Need to still be a bit practical ? Get the V6 .. its a hoot and a half . Heck you could even grab a CPO . But I’d seriously consider the V8 as well .

    And if you do … I’ll lay out an itinerary for the American Road Trip of a lifetime for you . Showing you parts of this great land most Americans have no clue even exists .. discovering the very roots of ALL American … as well as 90% of all contemporary music ( that’d be the blues HtG .. the note than changed the world ) the bastions of American literary history .. not to mention foods and cultures most have never sampled

    So treat yourself Pedro … like a friend of mine in your shoes FINALLY did recently ( bought a Miata ) YOU …. deserve it … and so does the little woman

    Va bene !

    And … I’m damn serious about that itinerary as well !!!

  123. T. Bejma Says:

    I agree with CK Pedro, you do deserve it and the Mustang is a good choice, don’t worry about the mpg. Just make sure you wait for the Independent-Rear-Suspension/Fusion-Look-Alike version (and hopefully they spruced up the interior as well)because that solid axle blows in the twisties.

  124. Kit Gerhart Says:

    122, I’d like to know that itinerary too. I’ve been a lot of places, but I’ve missed a lot too, including right here in America.

  125. Daryeus Says:

    I paid $130 a piece for 245/30/22′s you have to shop around for a good deal or you will pay those high prices. It does cost $150 to fix a bent rim though.

  126. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, if you go shopping for a Mustang, be sure to check the window stickers. Some of them have engines and/or transmissions from China.