AD #1315 – VW Still Needs a Union, First Look: Kia K900, V-Dubs New Scirocco

February 17th, 2014 at 11:59am

Runtime: 8:16

- UAW Needs Marketing Lessons
- VW Still Needs a Union
- Kia K900
- Renault’s Rear-Engine Twingo
- V-Dubs New Scirocco
- Inside the Amelia Concours

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Hello and welcome to a brand new week of Autoline Daily. Well there sure was some big news that broke over the weekend.

As you undoubtedly have already heard, the workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted to keep the UAW out of their plant by a vote of 712 to 626. This is a stinging rebuke to the union, which was confident it was going to win. Here’s my Autoline Insight. The UAW needs to do a better job of selling itself. It often comes off as an angry, belligerent organization with a chip on its shoulder. That’s not a formula to win friends and influence people. It should have been pointing to the $8,800 profit sharing checks it won for Ford workers as an example of what it can do for its members. That’s how you sell the sizzle. When you come in with a combative attitude and tell people how outraged you are, you automatically turn off half the people in the room. The UAW ought to go out and hire someone like Olivier Francois from Chrysler. I mean if he can turn the old Chrysler 200 into an aspirational car, then I’m sure he can figure out how to sell the UAW to a bunch of factory workers.

And just because the UAW lost the vote in Chattanooga doesn’t mean this story is over. Volkswagen still needs to get a union in that plant. VW is committed to establishing works councils in that plant. Those are groups of workers who collectively decide work rules, labor practices and a host of other issues. In Germany, works councils are required by law and every other VW plant in the world, except in China, have them. But in the United States a works council has to be represented by a union. And it can’t be a company union, which is prohibited by law. So once the dust has settled and tempers have cooled down I would not be surprised to see Volkswagen approach other unions. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is already in several General Motors plants. And I’m sure the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, as well as the United Steelworkers union would love to get a crack at organizing the VW workers. The problem for the UAW is that it’s just so toxic from a public perception standpoint

KIA K900
We just got the chance to drive Kia’s new premium sedan, the K900. And overall, we were impressed with the company’s first jump into the luxury market. The car feature’s Kia’s first V8, a 5.0L with 420 horsepower, and an 8-speed transmission that was developed in-house. A V6 will be available later. Along with its fully independent front and rear suspension, the K900 was smooth to drive and handled itself well out on California’s twisty mountain roads. As you’d expect from a luxury vehicle, the interior is wrapped in leather and wood trim accents. Kia spent a lot of time reducing the NVH and it really paid off because the K900 features one of the quietest interiors that we’ve tested. Even though it’s a nice car, the V8 version carries a starting price of just over $60,000, and not a lot of people are going to plunk down sixty grand on a Kia. We’ll have a more in depth look at the K900 in a future Autoline Daily.

Renault has pulled the wraps back on the next-generation of its small city car the Twingo. It’s the first vehicle for Renault to stem from its partnership with Daimler to jointly develop the 2- and 4-door versions of Smart and the New Twingo. So, somewhere down the road we should expect a 2-door version as well. The New Twingo will switch over to a rear-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. It can be powered by either a 0.9L turbocharged 3-cylinder or a 1.2L turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine. The New Twingo will makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

And speaking of Geneva reveals, Volkswagen will be showing off the new Scirocco. It gets restyled front and rear fascias, new interior features and new wheel designs that range from 17 to 19 inches. But the biggest changes will be under the hood. The car can be powered by one of four turbocharged gasoline 4-cylinders or two diesel 4-cylinder engines, which range from 123 to 276 horsepower. The new Scirocco launches in Europe this August.

At those concours events when they decide what’s the best in show, how do they do it? Coming up next, we’ll give you an insiders viewpoint that is different from the way most concours hand out their rewards.

On Autoline After Hours last week we had Bill Warner, the founder of the Amelia Island concours, and we asked him if they follow a rigorous points system to hand out awards for the best cars in the show, or if they do something different.

(The AAH preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

I especially like what Bill is saying because I agree that the awards should go to the most interesting and rare cars and not turn into an event that really only judges who did the best restoration job. Besides, the new approach in car collecting is preservation, not restoration. Just like with other antiques, if you restore it, you destroy the value of the piece.

Anyway, that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.

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74 Comments to “AD #1315 – VW Still Needs a Union, First Look: Kia K900, V-Dubs New Scirocco”

  1. Mike Says:

    The Kia plan to go “luxe” is an oft repeated story. The high volume, low margin boys envy the low volume, high margin folks. The low volume guys envy the lower costs the high volume folks have. Look at the entry level Benz’s, Jag’s etc. Everybody would love to be something they are not.

  2. Alex Wellington Says:

    1. Mike, re the Canine K-9 with the two zeroes (nice try, Kia!) that looked exactly like a Fusion in profile:

    These are called “halo cars”. They are not sure they will make a dime off it, but they willingly spend/waste 100 million $ to develop them just to give owners and prospective owners of lesser Kias the illusion they are buying from a luxury automaker.

    In other news: SERGIO!!!!

    I used to give Sergio too much credit, while Peter De Lorenzo always gave him the thumbs down.

    Sergio himself said in a 60′ interview that he (chrysler) cann afford to screw up one new model introduction, but not two.

    So, Sergio, it’s time for your review card.

    Fiat 500, 500L: COunt them as one gigantic failure.

    Fart (oops.. Dart). A much worse version of a sexy Alfa, has not connected with the buyers. Mediocre at best.

    New Chrysler 200. Utterly Unimpressive. Guys, this is the segment owned by the Accord and the Camry, the Fusion and the Passat. The 200 is an utter dog compared to these.

    New Jeep Cherokee. Good sales, but CR panned it a few days ago.

    COnclusion: Zero home runs, one disaster, two mediocre tries (Dart, 200), and counting. (Jury still out on the Cherokee)

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    Apologies for the bobsled tv schedule mix up . Blame Comcast’s ‘ program guide ‘

    Yeah …. Comcast buying TWC …. the bad .. being purchased by the worst


    RWD Twingo …. a hoot and a half … that should it ever be made … we’ll never get … damn it !


    And .. a moment of levity/parody

    The reality of bringing home a P/U for you and the wife ;-)


    i3 report coming tomorrow … in full … minus the full road test

  4. Alex Wellington Says:

    Rear-engined Twingo is a breath of fresh air, but I wished a serious automaker and not the “Fronch” would make it.

  5. HtG Says:

    How was the noise level in the i3, please?

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    Sergio Marchionne – il Stronzetto to the core of his being … said so the minute he took over FIAT … been saying so ever since … and will continue to do so till the man is shown the freaking door …

    Assuming that is … the Elkann’s decide their inheritance is of value and get the cojones to actually get involved

    FIAT SpA buying Chrysler …. the Blind leading the Blind exemplified

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    5 – Patience mein freund . Tuesday good sir …. you’ll be ‘shocked ‘ I was !

    BTW I did get a quick spin in it … so ..

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #3 on the parody:

    Hell, he bought the crew-cab; what does she want for crying out-loud (tongue in cheek….)

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    An i3 ‘ teaser ‘ moment to close the day ….

    [ what the heck ... everyone else is doing it ]

    Suffice it to say …

    IF … and I do mean IF … the EV has any future at all [ and I'm still not entirely convinced it does ] ..

    … the i3 … IS that future … plain and simple

    Brought to you by

    Coffee , Cars & Kafka … where the discerning car guys meet

    and by ..

    CK’s Nomex Casual Sports & Formal Wear … with specials this week only for the unfortunate TESLA S owners

  10. Hugh Says:

    I disagree VW still needs a union and find it interesting that in the U S there cannot be a “company union”, you know who was behind that law, THE UAW!!! This is not the 50′s and 60′s any longer and I feel employees could have leaders representing themselves to deal with issues at the workplace. Without all the dues & BS with unions, the company could still prosper and continue being more competitive in the marketplace. I find it ironic the VW plant in Chattanooga has done so well, yet the German unions are upset they have been so successful. They are successful because of the incentives given to them by the city of Chattanooga and the state of TN, with more competitive wages allowing them to sell more cars. Is that not what car manufacturing is all about, selling cars?

  11. HtG Says:


    Professor Simeone treasures his unrestored racing GTs, as they show the scars and history of competing. He’s got some beautifully restored jobbies too over in Philly, but I’m sorry, a ragu red Alfa 8C with no marks on it is not the same thing as the Bugatti ‘Tank’ Lemans car or an Aston DBR1, with wounds.

  12. HtG Says:

    9 Kafka

    Gib’s auf, CK. Do you know my name?

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Good video CK,thanx.Renault should call the new rear engine model a dauphine or r4 or something from the past,and add the Gordini option.

  14. dcars Says:

    I think KIA will have a tough time moving up market….. it’ll take many years to convince people they are treating themselves by buying a KIA.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Re the K 9 whatever, Caddy and Lincoln who have been at it for 100 yrs, don’t have anything close to it for sale, for a company that was making cheap econoboxes until a few years ago, that is quite an accomplishment.

  16. Alex Wellington Says:

    10 I was intrigued by the title. In which “Tin Roof U” does this esteemed prof ‘teach’ as you guys usually put it (as if Us are high schools)? Never heard his name before. And for that matter, where did the (seriously good) Professor PORSCHE teach, anybody knows?

  17. Alex Wellington Says:

    15 to answer my own question, Ferdinand Porsche’s title was strictly honorific, he did not actually work at any U. Sort of like the honorary degrees my esteemed U awards to such luminaries as Katie Couric and other eminent Mathematicians and Philosophers.

  18. Alex Wellington Says:

    14 It is a Hyundai Equus based vehicle, I read. Of course they have made it quite different than the Equus. Whose sales are also very very small.

  19. MJB Says:

    Perhaps KIA should have spun a lux division first, before introducing this K9000. Worked for Toyota.

    I mean, honestly, is anyone REALLY going to let go of $60k only to stare at a KIA badge on the face of their steering wheel?

    That’s like going back to the ’80s when the Yugo was flavor of the month (before we found out what pieces of trash they really were), then hypothetically they regroup, start building decent cars, then better cars, then decide they want to go toe to toe with the 5 series. Would anyone have spent 5 series money on a Yugo? Nope? Didn’t think so.

    This will end similarly.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’ s a good investment cause just like TOyota with Lexus, the ideas and technology get passed down to the lesser models.

  21. GD Says:

    Regarding the new Kia….I sat in a very nice and obviously loaded model at the NAIAS. It was very plush inside, and I thought it had the “feel” and the “look” of a $60K car. Having said that, however, I really think when you’re spending that much on a car, you’re buying something other than just transportation. At that level, emotion and taste become a big part of the decision, and I think a lot of folks at that level are thinking S-Class/7-Series/LS/XJ/A8, not Kia. Just look at the success of the Phaeton and Maybach…..

  22. Alex Wellington Says:

    19 Tell that to Honda with its once successful but recently disastrous Acura.

    Why aren’t they taking this dog in the back yard and shoot it?

    It must cost them 100s of millions in losses annually. If not billions.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Toyota did it right, Honda did not, their “halo” car was the low volume NSX, they never had anything to compete with the LS, 7 series or S class.

  24. shan Says:

    What happened to Peter Delorenzo? He seems to have vanished, no explanation from anyone?

  25. G W Groovey Says:

    John–Do you think the spanking the UAW got at VW will affect their negotiations with the Big 3?

  26. Grono Says:

    Peter Delorenzo? Good riddance!!!!! All opinions, no substance. Gary Vasilash? Yay!!!

  27. HtG Says:

    24 go back and check Autoextremist’s ReaderMail section from a few weeks ago. You may find an answer there, Shan

  28. HtG Says:


    Would another union trespass on the UAW’s turf? Now that would be showtime

  29. gary susie Says:

    John i think politicians threateing the VW workers got them scared of losing work had as much to do wioth the vote.

  30. gary susie Says:

    John i think politicians threateing the VW workers got them scared of losing work had as much to do wioth the vote.

  31. aliisdad Says:

    I was happy to hear those asses at the UAW lost the vote at VW… We need unions to protect and negotiate for workers, but they need to be reasonable… When I saw the UAW fight to get those drunk/doper Chrysler workers reinstated, even after being caught on tape, I realized that a new or different union is needed.. What a shame that the UAW won’t stand for what is right and admit it when the workers are in the wrong.. As former active union member, I am very not anti-union by any stretch, but unions like the UAW need to be reasonable and fair in both protecting their workers but not abusing their company partners… Union labor should be a symbol of dependable and good workers with pride in a “job well done”; however, thanks to the UAW it now is the opposite!! As I said here after the UAW actions defending the Chrysler workers, that was the end for me, and we will probably avoid UAW built vehicles.. It is not the always the cars, but who wants the car they depend on being assembled by some “stoners” thanks to the UAW??!?!
    Hopefully, people will wise up and either form new unions or get active in the UAW and reform it.. Any union needs to be aggressive in protecting their workers, and they are very needed; however, they need to be reasonable and responsible or they will no longer be trusted, respected, or relevant… Take a hint UAW!!

  32. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 news

    Wanna bet ? Wanna bet whats going in the Red Bull when the Renault’s tossed out ?


    Bobsled news – Spoiler alert … turn away if you don’t want to know

    We didn’t … get gold that is … sigh .. the sled was fantastic … Holcomb did his best … but its kind of hard to beat someone with over 200 runs on a track you maybe had 20 …. another four years I guess

  33. ColoradoKid Says:

    aliissdad – 30 – UAW – You won’t be smiling when you see what happens next .. guaranteed !

    Can you say … loss of jobs … lower wages …. and the damn good possibility that VW may pull out .. seeing as how ALL their plants are mandated to have a Union . Can you say … Mexico bound ?

    Suffice it to say … that smile’s about to turn into a permanent frown … verging on suicidal tendencies

    For the record … am I a fan of the UAW ? Heck no ! Can we live without them though in the current corporate atmosphere we’re living in ?

    Hell freaking goram NO … we cannot ! Unfortunate as the case may be

  34. Alex Wellington Says:

    Peter is alive and well in his website and just posted another rant today Feb 17.

  35. Alex Wellington Says:

    It is interesting to see what happens with and without unions in a totally different industry, education.

    In K-12 in the US, we have strong teacher’s unions. The result is, despite spending horrifically high $ per pupil, we have, bu far, the worst public schools in the DEVELOPED world, and even nations with 1/10th our per capita income have better K-12 schools.

    In Stark, 100% contrast, all the top-tier (and most second and third-tier) Universities do NOT have faculty unions. Their MERIT payraise system is the exact opposite from the “same pay raise for the good, the bad and the really ugly” that holds in the K-12.

    And, surprise, surprise, our Universities are, without doubt, check any ranking, the BEST in the WHOLE WORLD, and people from all over the world pay an arm and a leg per year for four or many more years, so their kids can have an education in a top US University.

    I rest my case.

  36. Buzzerd Says:

    26, there doesn’t seem to be older reader mail so how about you just spill it.

  37. aliisdad Says:

    #32; 34… You guys make some good points, and it makes me think how difficult it is to have effective unions working for worker protection and benefits and yet have viable companies…
    I think a lot of the problem is that each side goes to the extreme and are often not reasonable.. I am no fan of overpaid execs in business, and I think the workers need a more fair share; yet, the company needs to be successful to keep jobs at all.. Perhaps both sides need to consider the “whole picture” when advocating for their interests… It is a really difficult balancing act with lots factors to be considered… I find myself kind of conflicted, sometimes, since I have worked on both sides and can see that there are factors that really matter to the benefit of both labor and business.. I suppose this back and forth is just the way it works, but both sides need to be REASONABLE when working for their unique interests…

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – 26 – Like Buzzerd said [ 35 ] … aint nuthin to be found … so spill the beans good sir … or are y’all gonna pull that who drives a GLK stunt like before ? LoL ;-)


    aliisdad – 36 – Agreed !


    34 – Hate to tell you this .. but the Euro’s … who’s education systems are kicking our arses … left right and sideways … have MUCH stronger teachers Unions that we could ever dream of . From their version of K … right up to their higher education

    Also .. having graduated from … as well as teaching / lecturing at several Top Tier ( Ivy League ) Universities … let me tell you something .

    Those Top Tier / Ivy Leaguers Tenure mandates well and good exceed anything the Unions might ever try and pull off . By a country freaking mile i might add .

    Oh … and for the record … those Top Tier Universities .. are now the ones most responsible for ;

    Grade Inflation
    Trading Grades for Alms
    Degree Inflation ( to keep those dollars rolling in )

    Simply put … you wanna place some blame for the current state of Education in the US somewhere ?

    Start off with GWB’s ” No Child Left Behind ”
    Move on to all the ‘ For Profit ‘ Universities
    Add in the Online degree BS thats watering down the system quicker than a Colorado flood in mid summer
    Toss in the Corporate collaborations with Degree Inflation

    …. and you’ll be barely scraping the top of the Iceberg … but its a pretty good start

    Unions are an Evil … no doubt about it ( I despise the one I’m forced to work with ) .. But in light of corporate greed … Government collaborations with the corporate world etc … the Unions are a necessary Evil indeed .

    And if you spent more than a minute in the REAL world … as well as with the REAL people who inhabit it …. you’d already know that as fact yourself

  39. ColoradoKid Says:

    Oh … VW’s .. new … err … ‘ S ‘ word

    We aint gettin thay either …. hmmph !

  40. ColoradoKid Says:

    34 – Oh … btw … those top tier / Ivy League schools are also the ones most responsible for TA , non- tenured and adjunct professor abuse .. both the extent to which they use them [ in lew of tenured professors and to the detriment of the students education ] right on down to the abuses they heap upon those , TA’s , non tenured and adjuncts ….

    And they get away with it … because they have no Union supervision

  41. M360 Says:

    Yes, the USW is toxic just like “Detroit” is toxic. If you can find a remedy for the image of the UAW, John, maybe you can help the city of Detroit, as well.

  42. M360 Says:

    41 – I meant, the UAW, obviously.

  43. XA351GT Says:

    Car show judging. There is no way you’ll ever make people happy ,because they all feel they have the best car there. As somebody who has restored cars and has shown them . There are shows that you’ll look at your competition and think I should have a good shot here. Only to get snubbed ,because a club decided to pick one guy in their club “to win” .I have won and lost in every type of judging. I go to every show confident that I’ve brought the best car that I can on my budget and ability. I also drive my car to every show. It is impossible to compete against trailer queens that arrive in A/C trailers with filtered air .

  44. HtG Says:

    43 as a guy that goes to Concours, I don’t focus a lot on who wins a ribbon. I appreciate the passion and effort of the people that show their cars. If I get a chance I’ll talk to the owner and thank them. (Still feel bad about walking by a guy showing his Vette. You could see him deflate. Brrrrr. I’m still feeling sorry)

  45. HtG Says:


    One young guy had spent a week cleaning and polishing his father’s Ferrari. So much effort

  46. HtG Says:


    Another gal had a restored Mercedes 250SL convertible in black. Rebuilt engine. She was having a great time telling me about the car’s history, and even how she had loved cars since as a girl she had asked her father to buy a Packard. You think I’m saying squat about the orange peel paint job on her car?

  47. HtG Says:

    berm? Huh? Darn you Apple spellcheck brown shirt. Meant to head off with ‘bwtm’

  48. T. Bejma Says:



    Have to disagree that “Caddy and Lincoln who have been at it for 100 yrs, don’t have anything close to it for sale,”

    You can get the awesome V-Sport CTS with twin turbo V6 for $57K.

  49. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – Figures . Up to your same ole same ole [ not answering the PDL question with a straight forward answer ]

    Thpppppt !

    As to Concours ? To quote my now deceased mentor when it comes to the numbers matching , over restored etc crowd … Big Sid ;

    ” Stock is a can of beans on a grocery store shelf ”

    e.g. They’s made fer driven an ridin … not starring at , judging and puffing out ones chest over

    More Money than Brains Anal Retentive [ and unable to truly enjoy them ] sums it up nicely IMO .

  50. ColoradoKid Says:

    48 – Awesome ? By who’s reckoning ? Someone perhaps thats never actually driven a performance car …. maybe ?

    Ahhh … the joys of delusional thinking …. ya just keeps believing the same ole same ole .. despite all the evidence against it

  51. HtG Says:

    49 this is John’s site, we’re patrons at the bar, CK

  52. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Is the no works council rule a new rule, or just something that applies to automotive plants??

    I worked for a printing company here in MN from 1997 to 2005 that had employee representatives that negotiated the pay scales and advancement requirements etc. on three year contracts. I don’t remember there being any official union representative at any of the negotiations… and I know we didn’t pay any dues.

    Is there a possibility it varies from state to state?

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t think the CTS-V, as sporty as it may be, is in the same class as the vehicles I mentioned before, and I forgot the A8 also, more like M.B E class, Lexus GS and BMW 5 series.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15, 48,
    If I wanted a biggish rear drive sedan, and planned to buy new, I’d be checking out the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. They are a lot less expensive than either a CTS or a K9P, and the last time I drove one, even before the recent redo that made them better, they were roomy, drove well, and had ok interiors. The current ones have kept the old ones’ virtues, and the interiors have improved.

  55. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Comparing the K-900, to anything yet, is premature. It has a lot of ‘stuff’ on it, and may in fact be a luxury bargain, but this has not been determined yet. Also, ‘stuff’, doesn’t mean that the vehicle has the driving dynamics of the class it is trying to be represented and included. Such jaded reviews of some ‘Marks’ and the willingness to project accolades to others is a point of mystery sometimes (around here).

  56. T. Bejma Says:


    I don’t know… How about… THE NEW YORK TIMES??

  57. T. Bejma Says:


    AutoWeek seems to disagree with you Pedro…

    “The main takeaway after spending an afternoon with the car is that it’s probably the most involving car in the class when you compare it to the Mercedes-Benz E-class, Audi A6 and, yes, the BMW 5-series. It’s actually a fun car to throw around, with great steering feel and performance and more than respectable handling reflexes. Throw in the strong turbo V6 and you have yourself a luxury midsize sedan that’s tailored for drivers.”

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why can’t you seem to understand me, TB? All I said was that neither Caddy nor Lincoln have a top tier car to go against the top tier of the other luxo brands, the CVT is equal to the 2nd tier group,(BMW 5 MB E Lexus G) I did not say it was better or worse, this despite being in the business for almost a century!

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    I meant CTS of course! Damn cvt transmissions!

  60. jmann Says:

    John: Excellent piece on VW/UAW at the Tennesse plant. Nailed it.

  61. Brett Says:

    Hyundai lost a golden opportunity when they neglected to snap up the abandoned Saturn dealership network and start their own Equus luxury brand with them.

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    Brett, they don’t sell nearly enough to justify such an expenditure of money. They only sell the Equus through select dealers, and the volume is too low to encourage other dealers to update and improve their facilities to sell the car at this point. The rich are getting richer,but they don’t want to flaunt it with neither a Hyundai or a Kia.

  63. Alex Wellington Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    February 18th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Why can’t you seem to understand me, TB?”

    Lemme guess.. Because he does not want to? LOL…

    ” All I said was that neither Caddy nor Lincoln have a top tier car to go against the top tier of the other luxo brands,”

    Absolutely true, nothing even remotely close to 125″ WB S class, 7 or A8 or LS460 or even Jag XJ.

    But I believe they are working on something in that category.

    ” the CTS is equal to the 2nd tier group,(BMW 5 MB E Lexus G)”

    It is in that group above, but it is far from equal. The pricey CTS looks real good on the outside, but inside the rear seat is a joke.

    And when you pay $60k to buy a 4-door sedan you want a REAL rear seat and you deserve one.

    It’s even worse with the ATS’s rear seat. The ATS is a sporty little thing, and in its case maybe it’t not a big deal. I always thought that a Coupe ATS would be more appropriate, and they DID come out with a coupe version, but it has a grille that is mismatched to the rest of it. I bet they can fix that without spending too much $ though.

    The ultimate Judge will be the Consumer, not TJ who has an obvious conflict of interest and will be in trouble if he says bad things about GM products like we do.

    So let’s look at inventories of all these hot r u ready, TJ? First no is as of Feb 1, second as of Jan 1, number of days supply:

    ATS 204 93
    CTS 183 117
    ELR 427 833
    XTS 197 126
    Total Cad. car 196 110

  64. Alex Wellington Says:

    By comparison:

    BMW div. car 68 27

    Mercedes car 46 46

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cadillac really needs to get rid of CUE, or at least make it optional in all of their cars. CUE, alone, would keep me from buying any of their current cars, except the base ATS, which is available without it.

  66. Brett Says:

    They could’ve branded the Genesis as an “Equus” and tarted up their biggest SUV as one, too. Lexus started with no more than that.

    Yeah, it was a different time then, but the basic concept is still viable.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    66, Yeah, Lexus started with the LS, which helped them sell a lot of badge engineered ES’s, and later, RX’s. I don’t know if the same thing would work for Hyudai/Kia. It seems that Lexus is the only “premium” brand from a Japanese company that has done very well. Acura certainly hasn’t, even though they were the first premium Japanese brand, as I remember.

  68. jesse Says:

    Kudos to KIA for building the car.However,as nice as it may be,as competitive as it may’s still a KIA.Just because you can build something doesn’t mean you should. They should have taken a lesson from parent company HYUNDAI and it’s EQUUS..The K900 WILL SIT ON DEALER LOTS AND IN SHOWROOMS FOR QUITE SOME TIME before any takers actually lease one.The Equus,as nice a car it it is,sits in showrooms for a year or more…having sold HYUNDAI for 15 years and having gone thru all of their growth with them,they are a fine automobile and company as is KIA since the Hyundai purchase of them about a decade ago.I do feel that delving into this high end luxury car arena is a mistake for both Hyundai and Kia.They should have spent money and added a power passenger seat to the Sonata and they would have sold twice as many as they did,and that’s no joke.There are not enough people in that tax bracket that will spend 60 + grand on any KIA.The dealership I was at for 15 years selling Hyundai recently gave up the EQUUS LINE FOR LACK OF SALES.I fear that eventually KIA dealers will do the same with the K900

  69. Alex Wellington Says:

    BTW I should say that, despite all its problems, Caddy is doing far better than Lincoln, which is still “lost in space”, has no really new product, and for the life of me I don’t know what Mullally wants to do with it. Right now he is starving it to death.

    Fund it or Close it down, Alan!

    Above I posted inventory numbers, but in case you think the sales nos are any better, here they are for the various Caddy models and their competitors, for calendar 2013:

    3/4 series 119,521

    C class 88,251

    ATS 38,319

    I bet TJ Bejma never made these comparisons..LOL

    Then in the midsize segment:

    5 series 56,863

    E class 69,803

    CTS 32,343

    Not good.

    And remember, Caddy and Lincoln play at HOME. (Home court advantage, anybody?)

    Imagine the humiliation of Merc and BMW if Caddy was able to go to Germany and sell double and triple the units that Merc and BMW sold in their home market!

  70. jesse Says:

    p.s.KUDOS to the factory in Tennessee for turning away the UAW.

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also, Lexus came from Toyota which had a great reputation for quality back then, the H/K twins, not so much! Plus they priced way below the competition.

  72. ColoradoKid Says:


    So … its the BMW Sports Activity Tourer .. soon to be renamed the X1 .. that I liked so much … not the Active Tourer thats in the process of being released

    These names and numbers are getting to the point where confusion is all but unavoidable Grrrr … Between the MM younger set … and us oldies slipping just a tad … doesn’t all this confusion seem just a tad .. counterproductive ?

    i3 Review in four parts [ to make it easier to digest ] coming this afternoon

    Brought to you by ;

    The H.G Lillian Trustafarian Trust … keeping the dream … alive ?

    and by

    Nederland Gold .. it don’t get much better

    and by

    Beans , Bach & Books – When cars won’t do and a touch of culture is needed

    [ sorry HtG .. can't resist a cheap ' dig ' ]

    BTW – Your ‘ answer ‘ ? Unmentionable Troubles in paradise I presume ?

  73. Phil Hopewell Says:

    Hi John,

    Over the last few months you have reported on VW’s disappointing sales in the North American market and the resulting change at the top of VW. My own (non-Autoline, lol) insight is that you only need to look as far as the VW products that are NOT for sale in North America like the Scirocco and Amarok pickup to see why sales are lagging. There is no excuse as to why these excellent vehicles are not offered here.

    Phil Hopewell

  74. HtG Says: