AD #1324 – Chevy to Keep Man-U Sponsorship, Ford’s Silky Smooth Mustang, EV Comparison

February 28th, 2014 at 11:35am

Runtime: 7:50

- Chevy to Keep Man-U Sponsorship
- Rolls-Royce Gets Personal
- Ford’s Silky Smooth Mustang
- New Catalytic Converter Improves MPGs
- EV Comparison

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. I’m Sean McElroy filling in for John once again while he’s out of town but now let’s move on to the day’s top stories.

As you no doubt remember, Chevrolet signed an 8-year deal valued at nearly $600 million to become the primary sponsor of the English soccer team, Manchester United. That was supposed to supercharge Chevy’s marketing move into the European market. But then GM decided to pretty much yank the Chevy brand out of Western Europe. We thought GM might transfer that sponsorship to Opel, but that’s not going to happen. Tim Mahoney, the chief marketing officer for Chevrolet worldwide tells Autoline that Chevy is going to keep that sponsorship, which starts this year. Mahoney points out that Manchester United has over 600 million fans worldwide. 350 million of them are in Asia alone. “You can already buy black market Man U jerseys with the Chevy bow-tie on them in places like Thailand and other parts of Asia,” he says. And that is pure marketing gold for the bowtie brand.

Customized products are becoming more and more popular and the same is true with cars. Rolls-Royce revealed that nearly 95% of its customers in 2013 personalized their vehicles. This is good news for the company because the bespoke business helps create more emotional attachment and affinity for the brand. And more importantly it’s able to charge more money for bespoke work. Last year revenues for the British luxury maker were up 30% over 2012.

Yesterday I told you that Ford was able to shave 3% of drag from the 2015 Mustang, but lets take a look at how it was able to achieve that. The shark nose that’s on the front all Mustangs naturally helps to force the air over top of the car, but designers and engineers added things like front and rear splitters, functioning hood scoops on GT models, active aero shutters for the 4-cylinder EcoBoost, moved the side mirrors to the doors and integrated the rear spoiler into the decklid. And that’s just to name a few. All in all, the new Mustang spent twice as much time in the wind tunnel than the current model.

Researchers at the Imperial College London have developed a catalytic converter that they say improves fuel economy and cuts manufacturing costs. According to World Industrial Reporter, the converter uses up to 80% less rare-earth metals, which helps reduce production costs since the metals account for up to 70% of the cost of the converter. The new converter increases the surface area in which exhaust flows through, which means up to 80% less of the honeycomb substrate is required. This not only helps to reduce emissions but also improve fuel economy by up to 3%. That might not seem like much but with fuel economy standards ramping up over the next several years automakers will take any improvements they can get.

How do the electric versions of the Fiat 500, Honda Fit and the plug-in version of the Ford Fusion stack up against each other? We’ll let you know right after this.


(The electric vehicle comparison is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

That’s it for today’s show. Thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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58 Comments to “AD #1324 – Chevy to Keep Man-U Sponsorship, Ford’s Silky Smooth Mustang, EV Comparison”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    Uh-oh; John’s been drinking the EV koolaid!

  2. Tony Gray Says:

    Gooseneck hinges on that Fusion? Geesh for that amount of money you think they could spring a couple of pennies for struts and free up some of that valuable trunk space.

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    The problem with struts is that they always need to be replaced, usually more than once during the life of a vehicle, not so with the hinges, ditto for the hood struts, always fail at one time or another, thus crushing hands or heads or whatever is in the way.

  4. Drew Says:

    Tony, another factor that favors gooseneck hinges is reduced closing efforts and related higher customer satisfaction.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Can’t wait for John to test out the Tesla vs the Leaf, sort of a Rich man Poor man comparison of the 2 extremes in EV cars.

  6. HtG Says:

    Chevy stays on Manu

    Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, good bye

    (And for the reason I said. That’s one more lunch, CK)

  7. John McElroy Says:

    Yes hood struts do fail more often, but I have seen the goose-neck type fail as well. They are usually controlled by an X-shape torsion bar set up. And when one of those fails, watch the F out!

  8. Sean McElroy Says:

    7 – Comment made by Sean McElroy, not John.

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why the goose neck to begin with? My trunk lid has the tried and true method of whatever you call that mechanical contraption and the prop rod for the bonnet, and no failures ever. Bonnet coming from a Cuban! how do u like that?

  10. Bradley Says:

    I liked the EV information. :)

    What eight states will sell the Honda EV Fit? Do we know what the rationale was for these eight?

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    More libs than in other states? I’ll bet none are in the South! Perhaps keeping them away from places where it gets very hot in the summer. Cali and Northeast states I read, but I just read that they ran out in Cali, why does Honda keep doing this over and over again, making their desirable cars hard to get?

  12. Brett Says:

    After the 3rd set of gas struts on my 1990 Eclipse, I have a nice prop rod that never fails. :)

  13. dcars Says:

    I don’t think that Chevy is pulling completely out of Europe. They are continuing to sell the Corvette and I think Camaro in Europe. The smart thing to do is to make Chevy the upmarket brand with those two vehicles in the lead.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    #12 exactly, they sometimes get replaced by a broom handle which is not exactly the safest way to hold up the hood, and there go the injuries and the lawsuits.

  15. GaryPaul Says:

    Regarding the 2015 Mustang cd. I have written emails to a number of Mustang websites in the past & attempted Internet searches asking for the cd (coefficient of drag) of any of the 2011 model year or later Mustangs and the only data I picked up was that the 2010 GT500 was supposed to be rated at .38, and the 2011 Mustang GT was supposed to be rated at .35. Does anyone have any idea what the factory Mustangs from 2011-2014 model years were rated? Are my figures accurate?–

    Based on the couple of cd values I found I am guessing that these 11-14 Mustangs, although generally good performance vehicles, are relative bricks in the air, and I thought Ford would place considerable effort to improve this figure for 2015 models. What are the the figures for the 2015 Mustangs, John? Did Ford offer this data yet? Even if they achieved only a .34 it would be a marked improvement.

    #3: Regarding the famous gas struts that held up the rear hatch of my original 1980 Citation, yes they failed very rapidly and were replaced under a secret warranty (if the customer barks the dealer would replace them & I barked–otherwise the owner had to buy replacements himself). Yes a well designed spring and hinges will take up little space and last a loooong time. I imagine there are some sturdier stuts out there, but for the hood at least the metal rods on my 5 Ford Rangers have been just great–simple, sturdy, and I never found them to be in the way when servicing the vehicle. Incidentally I have seen rods holding up the “boot lids” (trunk lids) in older English vehicles.

  16. GaryPaul Says:

    Not to beat a dead horse but here’s part of an article from Road and Track Dec 2, 2009 regarding improvements to the way the 2010 Mustang model slips through the air & improves mpg… Notice that there are no references as to what the cd figures are (even though they mention a 4% drop in the coefficient of drag)! Since i am seeing this everywhere with regards to the 2005-2014 Mustang (that is, a general refusal to mention the cd figures) I figure Ford is not too happy with the cd figures… Hey I like the car. I just like to know what the cd figures are! OK, ’nuff said…

    “…Ford pushed hard to improve fuel economy, adding standard electric power steering, improving aerodynamics (there’s a 4-percent drop in the Mustang’s coefficient of drag) and fitting Michelin Energy Saver tires on the automatic-equipped cars…”

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    Stands the reason why Ford won’t call their turbo engines turbo and instead refer to them as “Ecoboost” turbo is a 4 letter word to many buyers.

  18. shan Says:

    What happen to Peter De Lorenzo, why the big secrecy, no mention of his departure anywhere?

  19. Phoenix Mark Says:

    The limited availability of most EVs has to do with:

    A) Most makers loss money on each one they sell
    B) State mandated zero emission vehicle requirements.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The bonnet of my MINI has struts. So far, they haven’t failed, but I’d rather have a prop rod. With today’s cars, you open the bonnet so seldom that a piece of broom stick with a proper storage spot would work ok.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From this site:

    California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Rhode Island.

    I don’t know the rational.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Or in the case of the Corolla ad, you can weld shut the engine compartment and never have to access it, stupid ad!!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15, 16
    In general, people don’t much like the appearance of cars with low drag. If all cars were designed for low drag, they would tend to look like a Prius, which is not what most Mustang prospects consider an attractive car.

  24. HtG Says:

    Rrrrrrace fans!

    Here’s a Friday afternoon, Autosport interview with FIA chef, Jean Todt, on his vision for the future of motorsport.(YMMV)

  25. Ron Paris Says:

    #18: Peter De went to work for GM a couple of months back. It was mentioned here somewhere, but I agree, there certainly wasn’t much discussion of it. And his total disappearance from Autoline After Hours was really abrupt.

  26. HtG Says:

    Isn’t that Jim Hall that went back to GM, Pedro? It looks like PMD is still doing his thing at AutoExtremist.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    I saw either Jim or his twin presenting some GM product online a couple of weeks ago.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I can’t imagine Mary B. would hire Peter De., except maybe to clean the bathrooms. He didn’t say many nice things about her.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    PDL and ALD must have had some kind of issue, that is usually why sometimes people disappear from jobs and you never hear anything about it, it has happened at most places I’ve worked at.

  30. Ziggy Says:

    I might be in the minority on this but I don’t miss Peter D. or CK one bit, neither one contributed much useful information from where I sit and just stirred the pot whenever they could without facts to back them up. You don’t have to be disagreeable to disagree with someone but they acted like they never heard of that proposition.

  31. Bradley Says:


    Thanks! I surprised with the number of east coast states.

    Was there anything ever said about Peter’s absence?

    CK, was colorful and yes at times over the time.

  32. HtG Says:

    What does it mean when your dentist drives an Audi TT, with a wing?

  33. dcars Says:

    32 it means she’s a female.

  34. HtG Says:

    33 I thought big SUVs were the chick cars.

    OK, maybe 3series coupes. ;)

  35. Brett Says:

    A little bit of bombast keeps things interesting, but beyond a certain level it becomes tedious and is detrimental to the dialog you’re trying to foster and maintain.

  36. HtG Says:


    So, yesterday I stared down a police officer. I’m in the car at a STOP sign trying to make a left, and from my left a police car is approaching the intersection. My street terminates at this intersection. The police car does not have a STOP sign, so he can go straight or turn to his right where I’m waiting. No other traffic.

    And he’s not signaling, so I’m waiting. And waiting. Finally he slows and makes that right turn in front of me. But I’ve been staring the officer down. I cannot STOP myself. You bet he noticed it, turning his head to the left as he went by me.

    I think I’m insane to do this kind of thing. But authority is pretty much a provocation for me.

  37. cwolf Says:

    HtG, patience my friend. Being bold with a cop could be hazardous to your wallet or at least become a target.
    I remember flashing my brights at the car ahead with the high beams on. It took three flashes before the guy dimmed his lights. The cop and I both shared an ugly look at one another as our cars passed. A minute later the law was on my tail to the point where I hit my brakes to back him off. He followed me for almost a half hour, but I was not pulled over.

  38. HtG Says:

    I do this st*ff cwolf. I can’t explain it. A few weeks ago I got ticked at a county police car for going in the left lane through some twisties, and caught myself before I passed him. Double lucky, because the hotshot decided he’d cut into the right lane just in front of me.

    Or the time I hauled a cop into court to negotiate with the town attorney? Yeah, that’s me.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34, Especially 3, now 4 series convertibles.

  40. HtG Says:

    39 last week, Kit? 3 series convertible goes by with 50ish gal driving along looking down at her phone, oblivious to the police car right behind her, which in turn is not aware that she’s texting.

    But yeah, a local 4series is chick owned, economic realities be damned. (ask me)

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, BMW needs to get to work harder on autonomous ultimate driving machines, for those 4 series convertible people. The police need autonomous cars too, so they can use their laptop computers without being bothered with driving a car.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    #41 And eat donuts and drink coffee and talk on the cell phones……………..

  43. HtG Says:

    OK, who’s interested in another installment of ‘HtG’s Whine About Traffic Theatre’?


    Black(of course) 3series blocking the left lane on a local highway. Right lane empty.

    I approach and begin moving into the right lane to pass, at which moment the 3 switches into the right lane. Mind, I drive with my lights on and give plenty of warning.

    So I go back to the left lane, but as I pass I’ve got to see what’s driving that 3. With his left hand he’s got some documents pinned to the steering wheel, while with his right he’s dialing his smartphone.

    Still wondering how I could have sold my perfect Miata?(we’re PG rated so I won’t answer)

    Fade out

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Why does such a nice driving car as a 3 series end up in the hands of so many people who have no business driving at all? I guess it’s marketing.

  45. HtG Says:

    Maybe there’s also a kind of entitlement the drivers pick up from the ads. I hold back on my Bimmer stories, as it gets tedious and why spread the miasma? (I get my life threatened pretty regularly by these pricks and prickettes)

  46. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think there is a lot of inattentive drivers out there but perhaps we delight in identifying the affluent (wish I had their car) drivers. Just a thought (and certainly not a rule of the road), but I group ‘others’ the same way, i.e., youngsters, oldsters, women (blondes mostly), slicksters (I’ll let you make your own definition of those), etc., etc. And then sometimes I have to include myself (when I make a bone-head move) though I do try to remain cognizant and drive appropriately.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG around here, the Diesel-powered Dually trucks seem to be the Richie Incognitos of the road.

  48. HtG Says:

    46 Chuck, I agree that BMW envy may animate my animus, but then I have no problems with the other high end German marks. Just very different kinds of people.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG when someone cuts me off or does some dastardly deed to me on the road, my favorite thing to scream is: “Hey, you got more to lose than me!!”

  50. HtG Says:

    Nice that you’re keeping it clean, Pedro. ;)
    I cannot believe the st*ff I hear come out of my mouth sometimes. It’s only on the internet that I seem balanced.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just 2 weeks ago, I yielded to an emergency vehicle, lights and siren on, the a-hole behind me got so pissed off because he had to brake hard, that he caught up to me and started yelling with the window closed, I flipped him off and dared him to pull over, of course he did not and never opened his window!

  52. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LMAO…..those duallies are Kit’s favorite road hogs ;}>

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52, Yeah, duallies and Hummers. Actually, while to me, it was sad to see Olds, Plymouth, Pontiac, and Mercury go, I celebrated the demise of Hummer.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48, It seems like C-Class drivers stand out, by not standing out. It seems that, unlike 3 drivers, they rarely pi$$ me off. A totally different group of people buy the C, and the A4.

  55. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Yer gonna hate this:—report

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    At least it sounds like it will be more-or-less H3 size, rather than weighing 6700 pounds like the H2, almost 1000 pounds more than the Tahoe it’s based on.

  57. Alex Wellington Says:

    I am 99% sure it was Jim Hall, not PDL, who was hired by GM, and it is a good hiring decision on their part, Jim knows his stuff.

    If they hired PDL it would be to bribe him to be silent. Maybe they will do that sometime.

    PDL has not just started criticizing GM when Barra took over. He has been doing it since 1999 or so, and I have been reading all his columns for many years.

    PDL has been absolutely correct with his criticism of GM back then, AND the ACTION taken by GM by closing down Saturn, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and in the Future Buick and GMC, is EXACTLY what he was recommending. His main complaint back then was too many models that had few, if any, differences, but each required a huge marketing budget so people have a clue what each model was.

  58. Alex Wellington Says:

    On the three EVs, Maybe Ron Paris is right with his first comment. They are utterly unappealing to me, and WAY overpriced, even the Fusion, but especially the tiny ones.

    The Tesla S dominates the pure EV field, and with good reason. It is the only Pure EV I would ever seriously consider, apart from the cheapo boxy Chevy Spark in case I want a daily driver, but I doubt it, the gas Spark is $5 less and probably has much more space inside..