AD #1354 – More Bad News for GM, Lincoln Replaces Design Chief, Peugeot’s New Direction

April 11th, 2014 at 11:34am

Runtime: 8:19

- More Bad News for GM
- Lincoln Replaces Head of Design
- Ford Transit Skyliner Concept
- Ford Surges in China
- Peugeot Reveals Exalt Concept
- 2015 Mustang on Autoline This Week

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Welcome to this TGIF version of Autoline Daily.

MORE BAD NEWS FOR GM
The news at General Motors keeps going from bad to worse. The company announced it’s expanding the recall on those defective ignition switches. It turns out that another problem with those switches is that you can remove the key from the ignition while the engine is still running. That led to at least one car rolling away in a parking lot that resulted in a crash and an injury. So GM will now replace the ignition lock cylinder as well. And it will take a $1.3 billion charge for the recall which is going to destroy its profitability in the first quarter. Worse still, Goldman Sachs just lowered its outlook for GM stock. Just two months ago Goldman said GM was significantly undervalued, gave it a buy recommendation, and forecasted that the stock would hit $48 a share. Now it downgraded its forecast and says those shares will top out at $33 a share, which is where the stock closed yesterday. People keep asking me if GM can recover from this debacle or if this is going to sink the company. Here’s my Autoline Insight: this is going to hurt GM, but it’s not going to kill it. Last month GM’s sales were up more than Honda’s, or Ford’s. We’ll have to see where sales end up this month, but if GM can keep the sales momentum going that is going to make up for all these other problems.

LINCOLN REPLACES HEAD OF DESIGN
Lincoln quietly replaced its head of design, Max Wolff, with David Woodhouse who had been director of Lincoln strategy. Woodhouse has spent most of his career at Ford, but has also done design work at Mini, Cadillac, Land Rover and BMW. Wolff will still work on Lincolns, but only on exterior design. The company actually made the switch back in December but Ford claims it no longer sends out press releases for promotions below the vice president level.

FORD TRANSIT SKYLINER CONCEPT
And speaking of Ford and luxury, the company just revealed this concept based on its Transit van before it debuts next week in New York. Called the Transit Skyliner Concept, it has a very inviting interior, featuring leather wrapped seats that can recline and be reconfigured with a smartphone or tablet. It’s equipped with a high-end entertainment system and even a bar. Powering the Transit Skyliner is a 3.5L EcoBoost engine. The luxury van was designed by Ford in Europe and built by Galpin Auto Sports.

FORD SURGES IN CHINA
Now we go to China where we have more things to report about Ford. Amazingly Ford is closing in on becoming the third largest foreign automaker in the China, behind GM and Volkswagen, but it has a couple of other competitors to pass first. Ford sold over 270,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a 45% jump. That puts it just 4% behind Nissan, who is currently the third largest foreign automaker in China and only 1% behind Hyundai who is fourth. That’s an amazing performance considering how late Ford jumped into the Chinese market.

PEUGEOT REVEALS EXALT CONCEPT
Next we head to Europe. Peugeot revealed a sleek looking concept, called the Exalt, before it makes its official debut at the Beijing show later this month. The company says the design language is an evolution of the styling found in its Onyx concept from 2012. And here’s a tip. When a car company starts using design language or features on more than one concept car, that’s a clear indication it’s going to be putting something like that into production.

Next week the Autoline crew will be at the New York auto show and we want to invite you to submit questions to the executives who we’ll be interviewing. Three of those executives include Raj Nair, the head of product development at Ford, Dave Zuchowski, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America, and Ken Parkinson, the head of design for Global Chevrolet and GMC. If you’ve got questions you’d like us to ask these execs, shoot us an email to viewermail@autoline.tv. We’ll pick the best of your questions, and next week I’ll let you know who some of the other executives are who we have coming on the show.

Coming up next, a peek into what it took to develop the all-new Ford Mustang.

On Autoline This Week, our weekly television show, the topic is all about the brand new Mustang. In the following clip, Dave Pericak, the Chief Engineer of the Mustang, shares some of the details that went into the development of this iconic pony car.

(The preview of Autoline This Week all about the new Ford Mustang is only available in the video version of today’s program.)

Also joining me for that show are Moray Callum, the head of design at Ford and Steven Ling, who’s in charge of marketing the car. As always you can watch that entire show right now on our website, Autoline.tv.

But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog

96 Comments to “AD #1354 – More Bad News for GM, Lincoln Replaces Design Chief, Peugeot’s New Direction”

  1. Chuck @ GM Says:

    I want to weigh in regarding yesterdays question about the Astro/Safari vans. My wife and I are huge fans of that truck. We owned 2. I guess my son needed a lesson that driving a real car was not like a video game, you don’t get to reset and start over. He and the van and a tree had a face to face. He escaped the wreck unharmed, but I didn’t spend 15 years in the Navy and not learn how to chew rear ends. Then GM dropped the segment that GM totally owned, nobody built anything like it. As I recall sales were dropping for that truck, nonetheless there was a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in our house over the decision.

  2. XA351GT Says:

    I think as long as GM ignition switch woes don’t start affecting the newer models it won’t hurt them so much on the new cars . Some people may have second thoughts, but I doubt enough to hurt them.

    I really like the new stang, it will be interesting to hear whether people think they refined it too much. It is supposed to be a raw muscle car. I never bought any of mine expecting BMW type handling or ride. I expected a rough kick you in the seat of the pants performance experience. They never disappointed me.

  3. Rumblestrip Says:

    That is a very nice Honda Accord front end on that Peugeot Exalt.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve heard that the early, short wheelbase Astro/Safari are a hot item in Japan, kind of an XXL first generation Scion xB.

  5. alex wellington Says:

    #2 It is already a tremendous hit on their profitability and their market value. Shares at 33 vs the projected $48!. And who knows what they will be when this storm finally goes away.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the big thing with the Mustang, is whether it was time to “move on” from retro styling. Some people my age might like the new one less well, but I suspect it will sell well.

  7. Mike Says:

    The folks at Ford do have a painful reminder that it is possible to screw up the Mustang: Mustang II. Hard on gas, hard on the eyes, no guts; it took a long time to live that one down.

  8. Jon M Says:

    What an interesting concept for the Ford Transit Skyliner. But they forgot chrome wheels, a custom mural painted on the hood and down the sides, and a shag dashboard cover. Oh, and don’t forget the option of a waterbed!!

  9. alex wellington Says:

    I liked the exterior styling of most Mustangs, some more than others, but the deal killer for me was not so the cheap interior but the solid rear axle. Have they finally put a half-decent suspension back there? If not, I can still not take the Mustang seriously as as sports car with competent handling.

  10. Bradley Says:

    During the Astro/Safari days, I always considered them to be a hot mess. However, I didn’t realize they were different than the standard minivans of the time (i.e. being body on frame).

    Just like the Previa had its loyal following, it isn’t surprised the Astro/Safari did too. However, I still think they lacked refinement to the Chrysler minivans of the time.

  11. RumNCoke Says:

    NYC next week, eh? Does that mean we are going to see another segment of AAH from Katz’ Deli? See if you can ply an auto exec with tasty pastrami and pickles to get a scoop…

  12. Drew Says:

    Alex, the new ‘Stang should be awesome as the 2005-2014 was a good foundation from which to improve. Pericak mentioned the 2015 uses not just any IRS, but a world class IRS. I recall Wards saying the 5.0L as being world class (as good as any Euro elitist super car engine). And for those who want a better front/rear weight balance, I look forward to driving an EcoBoost version — a spiritual successor to the mid-80s SVO, but without turbo lag and without the SVO price premium. If it avoids the visibility issue that plagues the Camaro, then Ford will have a grand slam.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9, Astro/Safari were unibody, except for a subframe holding the powertrain, but unlike most competitors were longitudinal engine, and rear drive, rather than front drive, but with an AWD option most years.

  14. GaryPaul Says:

    As I said on March 31st there is now an…

    EMERGENCY AT GM…

    I asked for a bloody attack on GM culture ten years ago and earlier in many comments to the Freep, the Detroit News, etc. yet there was little action about it as they progressed through bankruptcy. And in the Bankruptcy aftermath they would parrot some nonsense about how everything is different at the new GM with a new CEO and some new board members, but the evidence wasn’t there that the CULTURE had been taken through the Heavy Wash Cycle—. Yeah it was nice to get out under massive debt and get $10′s of billions from all you nice taxpayers–and yes I agree that it did more good than bad as the effect on major industry suppliers would have been disastrous if GM tumbled–even though it was in a real sense the PAY FOR FAILURE GARBAGE THAT HUGE BANKRUPT COMPANIES OFTEN FALL BACK ON— BECAUSE GM, YOU’RE JUST TOO BIG TO DIE! (GM’s death, when combined with the other economic troubles in 08, 09, may have have spiraled the country into a Great Depression II)

    And CULTURAL CHANGE STILL NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED NOW because it was not a major part of the New GM. But does GM have the heart to accomplish cultural change at this point? I don’t think so! Mary Barra is not the leader type to tackle this issue, even if she was wrongly thrown under the bus in yet another despicable example of the dysfunctional messes at GM. Mary Barra came up through the same cultural crud that has infected the corporate halls of GM for decades—a GM that she was proud to work at in the past–and she must have been learning operating principles that don’t bid well for her as an engine of dramatic change and clear direction! The idea that Mary Barra can now lead GM though a Renaissance is so old hat sounding that even if she could do this the GM name is soiled beyond repair…

    Because parts of GM such as the product development and manufacturing are developing some vehicles that ride/drive/look impressive and feel high quality, the real heart of GM is still savable. But it may not be able to survive while connected to the GM logo & the GM management culture which are slowly killing it without accountability (ie., they get paid for failure!). And that culture—as always–starts from top management down as they set the tone and lead any cultural changes.

    As an example of the top management wreckage at GM take a look at this quote from Peter M De Lorenzo in his recent comments (4-14-14) in the Autoextremist Website:

    ”…It’s not just the fact that Akerson willingly and maliciously used GM for his own personal gain and to assuage his gigantic ego, to the detriment of the company and the hard-working True Believers who are still there and who still give a damn. And it’s not the fact that he consciously threw Mary Barra into the street knowing full well she was about to be run over by a 20-ton road grader made up of equal parts public humiliation and embarrassment. It’s the fact that he knowingly let the people of GM twist in the wind when he knew damn well what was coming.
    And the consequences? The financial blow alone to GM could be between $2-3 billion before it’s all said and done. But that isn’t even the half of it at this point, because GM has now been turned into a political punching bag and a national joke, and this could very well destroy the company’s image – and the company itself – once and for all….”

    ______________________________________________________________________

    ROLLING OVER THE MARK OF EXCELLENCE
    How many times can you Roll over the “Mark of Excellence” before the entity crumbles? The GM name has been getting a hammering for so long now and has such a negative appeal, the question is, “Why are we holding on to it?!!”

    If GM did what I suggested 8 years back and dragged each person up for a review starting with executives and board members (recall the rubber-stamp-it-board at GM?) and all the other white collar coffee drinkers like Bill Lumbergh’s (see Office Space), GM would have been better off by far as it weeded out the mess. But that would have taken strong leadership to cut through the GM Cultural GOO that surrounds you when you work there. And they never got that leadership (like Ford did —at least to a reasonable degree– with Mulally), so it still survived as noted below–like some kind of virus floating around the GM building.

    And now without a strong chief executive to clean up the GM cultural goop around the ankles of so many employees, parts of GM may survive but it’s certainly not going to make it as a company called GM if this kind of crap is not rooted out. I’ve seen elements of this GM dysfunction before, as have outlined in the past here in the Autoline Daily comments, but it just keeps rolling along…

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    I recall that in my old Camry, I could remove the key from the ignition even when the car was running, but also those cars were infamous for being able to be started by a dummy key that could start any of them and thieves had that figured out to a T.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, 11
    It seems to me that the advantages of IRS in “pony cars” are highly exaggerated. Do Camaro and Challenger, both of which have IRS, handle particularly better than the outgoing Mustang? I don’t think so. Yeah, the Camaro, and especially the Challenger are heavier, but Mustang has done fine with its “live axle.”

    Yeah, it was probably time to move on to IRS, but most buyers won’t know the difference.

  17. alex wellington Says:

    11 Awesome? Are you kidding? You ignored the most important thing in my post: DId they finally, after so many decades, got rid of the really embarassing (it is the butt of jokes around the world, not just at Top Gear)

    Solid Rear Axle?

    How can you have a proper handling alleged sports car (or even non-sports car) with such a Flintstones Dinomobile Tech?

    PS you really think the Porshe 911 and the M3- M5 and above all the 1 M are just “elitist” overprriced crude Mustangs and Camaros? Really? You think all these thousands of successful professionals who buy them are fools slaves to fashion? Oh really?

    Get serious.

  18. alex wellington Says:

    15 strongly disagree. And I know the reason they kept this Flinstones tech, it is because some tuners wanted to have way too much HP, which could be handled by the solid axle but not by a modern, not embarrassing suspension.

  19. alex wellington Says:

    11 PS both Camaros and Mustangs sell in rather insignificant numbers compared to sedans and pickups. I bet they make some $ for Ford and GM, but they are not really the indispensable “Cash cows” Pickups are for Ford and GM, or Camry and Accord and Altima are for TOyota, Honda and Nissan respectively.

    I sure am not in the market for any of them, when I can have an Automotive HEaven of used high-guality, truly sporty (and not just sportily styled) vehicles from serious makers in Germany. M3, 1 M (the new 2002), M5, Alpina, Porsche 911, Cayman, Boxster, 911 Turbo, and on and on and on (and I did not even mention Audi and Merc equivalents)

  20. Brett Says:

    Ford justified the live axle by claiming that the majority of the enthusiasts that purchased a Mustang were drag racers and preferred the simplicity and effectiveness of the solid, live axle.

    I seem to recall that you could order an IRS kit, complete with subframe from SVT if you wanted IRS.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17, Yes, I knew you’d disagree, “just because.”

    They kept the solid axle for cost reasons, and because 3/4 of Mustang buyers didn’t care. If the new one rides a lot better when driven back to back with the old one, the usual buyers will like the difference. If not, they still won’t care if it has IRS or not.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What percentage of Mustang drivers even know if their car has IRS or not? Probably not that many, just as the typical texting-while-driving 3 series convertible pilot doesn’t know if the car is driven by the front wheels, rear wheels, or one of each.

  23. J Hundertmark Says:

    16 – AW – Suggest you read & listen prior to posting, Drew mentioned the new IRS in the 2015 Mustang in his #11 post, not to mention John covering it on the Autoline this week portion. Mustang chief engineer even mentioned new front suspension design to match IRS.

    Have a good weekend.

  24. GaryPaul Says:

    #8;
    #8
    Yes it is well known that the new Mustang will have a completely redesigned rear suspension that is Independent for some time now. Ford did a terrific job keeping the solid rear axle around yet still providing good handling with exceptional ruggedness, & ease of maintenance (no four wheel alignments when I place new rubber on the machine for example and a breeze to change the axle oil). It kept me endeared to the vehicle. As we know attacks on solid rear axles have been around for decades starting to grow rapidly in the US oriented car magazines in the late 60s and 70s –and how they could never compete and were out of date. Of course the Mustangs association with powerful V8s and dragging, also delayed implementation of the IRS as the solid live rear axle has been the choice for that “sport” (hah) like forever.

    However. Today, the desire for IRS –on at least performance oriented vehicles–makes sense especially when combined with technologies like super-fast reacting shocks… I won’t miss the solid rear axle because it has had its day on any true performance vehicle–even moderately priced ones. [It is of course de rigor that a "performance" version of a truck will still remain with solid axles (if it is truly a truck that has hauling/towing capabilities intact). ]

    It is well time that the Mustang adopt this new IRS because the technology and capabilities of such a unit are just too advanced and delicious to not take advantage of… And drag racers will certainly figure out how to shovel in a solid axle if they have to, on their own or through some aftermarket supplier or maybe Ford Racing themselves as they may provide such a unit…

  25. GaryPaul Says:

    #11
    Yes—
    in a real sense the Mustang came of age as a balanced performance car with the 2011 models—Why?
    because they finally put it all together with power up to snuff in any Mustang (including the base model), combined with a decent interior, handsome exterior style, and reasonably solid handling/braking. Recall that although the Mustang was moving toward eliminating wimpy base models back in the 90s (went to a base V6 instead of the pathetic 4 cylinder combined with 4 wheel disc brakes and a relatively huge increase in hp (and especially torque))–it was not until the 2011 models that a really dent power-plant filled the base model’s bay.

    And recall all the pathetic Mustangs before with ancient 6 cylinder engines and vacuum-cleaner-sounding (and performing)110hp 4 cylinders. And recall that a whole lot of people bought those 6 cylinder base mustangs in the 60s!

    Mustang will now cement that image it finally reached in 2011 with a thoroughly revamped machine!!

    By the way John, did you ever find out about what the cd rating were for the new Mustang vs the old one, as you were commenting on the improvements a while back–from what cd to what? This has been a great mystery for years!! OK–somebody fill me in–really curious about this because the 2014 must be a relative brick! Somebody has this data!

  26. Mark Says:

    John, your comment that the current gen Mustang dates back to the 1970′s Fox body platform is wrong. The 2005 Mustang represented a clean break from that platform as Ford used a modified Lincoln LS platform as a starting point for the 2005 Mustang.

  27. GaryPaul Says:

    #14–
    We could take out the key while the vehicle remained running on our 1962 Pontiac Catalina….
    Hmmm. Does that mean it should be recalled?
    :-)

  28. GaryPaul Says:

    #15;

    yes–you are so correct–so MANY buyers have had lobotomies as far as their understanding of their own vehicles and whether they have IRS or a turbo or 50 squirrels under the hood running around.

    In fact it must be a requirement in order to buy a new vehicle in some places…

    But the guys who enjoy acceleration and handling and performance and terrific sporty ergonomics must be a somewhat larger percentage of Mustang buyers! And even if 90%+ have no idea that they bought a car with IRS they should notice the smoother and more pleasurable ride/handling— even if they never ever take the vehicle beyond 7/10s!

  29. Brett Says:

    One of my dreams when I owned the Crown Vic LX Sport was to one day locate a complete IRS and frame components from a Expedition to graft into the Vic so I could have the only Crown Victoria with IRS.

    Still miss that thing almost as much as my 1969 Thunderbird and my 1964 Galaxie XL-500 convertible.

  30. GaryPaul Says:

    #11;

    Yes Drew I agree with you on the new Mustang and you are correct–it should be an impressive driving/looking/handling/performing/braking/refining (oops sorry–you know what i mean!!) machine. And yes the 2005-2014 helped to reinvigorate the Mustang image–especially the 2011-2014 models with their base engines in both V6 and V8 (GT) models having finally come of age…In addition we had the wonderful Boss models… it will be exciting to see if Ford can take this new S550 platform and keep the models offered basically BELOW $50K–at least for a few years… Although i liked the Boss Ford should be able to deliver an Impressive set of higher performance models like the GT350 or a Bullitt (this time with more bite than the last version!) yet keep the price within 20-30% or at most 40%+ range of the base $35K (my estimate of the base price GT). WE need more POWER TO THE PEOPLE models that we can afford!

  31. Drew Says:

    Well now that I got Alex all excited (and thank you to #22 J Hundertmark for beating me to the punch), it is time for me to rile up the rest of you.

    Most critics urinate on the Mustang II, but they forget the environment and the vehicle it replaced. People were waiting in lines to get gas due to the OPEC oil emargo, and the preceding ‘Stang was over-sized, over-weight, over-plastic, and HP-choked by new emission rules. Mustang II (at least on paper) made stategic sense at the time, but suffered in two ways – no V8 in the initial 1974 model year and collateral damage from the Pinto media frenzy.

    I’d rather forget that 1973 ‘Stang, and the 1987-93 ‘Stangs before I forget the Mustang II.

  32. HtG Says:

    I’m eager to see the new Mustang with my own eyes. Come on Jim Farley, let this horse go racing!

    ——-
    GM Doomsaster

    I’d like to see some polling on how the public is reacting to these awful news stories. Are they looking to see how the company deals with the matter, or are minds closing?

  33. J Hundertmark Says:

    #30 – Agree with your comments on the Mustang II given the environment of the times. Those of us that are ancient enough can remember that performance took a deep dive in the 70′s (starting with 71 model year due to lower compression ratios & emissions tuning). Even Corvettes of 71 & later were not very quick.

    In addition, modern electronics has allowed current engineers to develop vehicles that put 60′s muscle cars to shame, along with lower emissions & fuel consumption.

  34. GaryPaul Says:

    #19

    Yes–there was a kit like that for IRS.

    Regarding Ford claiming most of the Mustang owners were drag racers back then—
    I don’t recall anyone there at Ford saying that at the time, but i do recall a few management guys saying that they would consider the needs of the drag guys but i think all this was overruled by the idea that they could save some dough by still using the solid live rear and avoid a extra warranty claims and headaches as the setup was less troublesome.

    The real cost saving however turned out to be not nearly as great as indicated. It was supposed to be like $50-60 per car but apparently turned out to be much less ( an astonishingly low $5 a car I heard–but someone will have to verify) thus meaning they could have lunched (thrown out) the solid axle a while ago!

    It is interesting how they nevertheless made (for the street) a pretty good handling vehicle (on smooth pavement!) with the big metal stick back there!

  35. gary susie Says:

    John don’t you think Toyota recalling 6.5 million cars helps GM? After all p[eople say even GM didn’t recall that many.

  36. GaryPaul Says:

    #21

    i checked on how many knew if their Mustang had the solid axle back there—it was .00000000000000000139 %
    :-)

    And you are right about so many of the BMW guys not knowing if their vehicle is fwd or rwd or what engine is under the hood or if it is a hybrid or a powered by squirrels!!

  37. alex wellington Says:

    35 Oh Really? YOU proved MY point, that it is the MUSTANGS that are driven by a bunch of inbred yahoos while I, a BMW driver, even knew quite well about their NEANDERTHAL Suspensions, let alone of BMW vehicles!!!

    Sour grapes, eh?

  38. GaryPaul Says:

    #28
    Brett—
    Yes the LX Sport–nice even though it was already at that point neglected by Ford over its frenzy at that time to ignore its cars over the trucks. I appreciated the tank and its 400,000 mile capabilities like so many taxi drives obtain at Detroit Metro airport with their CVs.
    In 2003 dark blue it spreads traffic too as people think you are the local cops…

    Uh Oh —Your mentioning a favorite—the 1969 T-Bird—Bot I really liked only the base model tops (not Landau’s) so I could have a prayer of seeing out the rear view window!! In fact I thought that the base roof on the 1967 model T-Bird would look perfect and function better with a sizable port window on each of the back pillars—. Was never a fan of the heavy vinyl tops –especially the 4 door model because it was executed so poorly…

    yes the 64 galaxy —another ol’ tank I recall (like my 1996 Town Car with Class III tow package)–boy –for the times those things were a lot of vehicle for the $$…

  39. HtG Says:

    TGIF, indeed

    Welcome to Augusta

  40. Drew Says:

    1964 must have been an exciting year to be a Ford dealer – a new Galaxie (I’d love an XL500 convertible or hardtop with buckets), the new “flarebird” Thunderbird with the aircraft inspired cockpit, and the mid year introduction of the ‘Stang.

    I am presently restoring a ’64 ‘Bird convertible. You gotta love the hard tonneau, swing away column, and coved rear seats. The sequentials nd front discs weren’t ready of 1964 (they made it onto 1965s). Shouls I keep it original or update to discs and sequentials?

    BTW, it is tough call between a 1964 Galaxie XL-500 and a 1964 Mercury Parklane Marauder. Can’t lose!

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they do a good job with the new suspension, even the “cruisers” should appreciate the difference, but IRS alone doesn’t guarantee much. By many, or most accounts, the current Mustang holds its own in the chassis department against the IRS-equipped, albeit heavier competitors.

  42. HtG Says:

    Program Note for Ben S.

    I couldn’t watch AutolineThisWeek via my iPhone today, as the server forces me to the sign up page for transcripts. Still able to view show on PC.

  43. GaryPaul Says:

    #30
    Yes agreed. Relative to the largess that has occurred with so many American vehicles in the past where each new generation gets bigger and bigger they they got the size correct with the Mustang II. In addition not many folks would have bought it if it was a styling stinker—and they did buy it at the time. I do think Ford could have used the opportunity to improve the handling more distinctly then however—it was supposed to be a sporty vehicle and with mediocre handling (even with the rack and pinion and lighter weight) and weak power it did not really conjure up a performance car image.

    Now the fox bodies Mustangs from 79-93 —Well they had quite a bit of success with the 5.0 Liter V8 and I recall when the SVO came out in 84—wow that was a shock seeing it on the street. But it could not keep up with (in 0-60) the rapidly improvising 5.0 and at if I recall about 30% high price than the GT. What i liked about the SVO was the emphasis on braking and handling making a better balanced vehicle than the GT (or the LX 5.0—same as the GT without the almost horrific trim and body cladding that Ford stylists placed on the GTs from 1987-1993). In fact a big reason why I sold my 90 Mustang LX Convertible 5.0 was that the brakes could not take one single stop from 90 mph without noticeable fade!!—Even then that was unacceptable especially when Ford could have easily used the brakes from the SVO or at least offered them as an option after it died after ’86 model. Yes Ford was already ignoring the Mustang’s important developmental points on the Fox body cars just as they got some power. Ford’s cost controllers were extreme during those days and refused to upgrade the brakes although it was so easy to do and so cost effective. The was another problem (on the Convertibles mainly) and that was pretty severe cowl shake in aggressive driving or when just hitting a pothole or a big bump. Yes I know its designed for cruising but really–if it is supposed to be a truly muscular sporty car then bracing would have been included in the package (like a strut tower bracket for a start!) This where the “PHILOSOPHY OF THE CAR LINE” takes over and provides the principle that guide the engineers and yes–even the cost cutter guys, so that they do not sacrifice making a good sporty car to save a small amounts of cash because 90%+ of customers won’t know it. Well 90%+ of customers will not explore a new Corvettes capabilities @ the limit but people are willing to pay for a vehicle’s capability and reputation and eventually it generates a a respect within the performance community… In addition engineering a car to be a truly fine performance car usually bleeds over to some degree into everyday driving!

    i could not accept my ’90 Mustangs faults in brakes and cowl shake…so I dumped it soon after i bought it. Now—I did get a chance to drive the gem of the 5.0 LX models which was the coupe model (you know–the kind the Michigan State police would sometimes drive)–not the hatchback or the convertible–noticeably tighter car, less cowl shake and as it was the lightest model it had a little better braking.
    It also had

  44. GaryPaul Says:

    #32

    yes—
    comparing a 1969 Dodge R/T to a 2015 Ford Mustang GT would be like comparing a the Charger R/t to a sporty 1923 car!!

    Yes we have come a long way from the 60s and its one reason why I changed my tune and realized that I really do not want a huge garage packed with 1960s machines!

  45. GaryPaul Says:

    #36
    Alex I wasn’t trying to make this a personal attack on you as a BMW driver.
    I admire the vehicles–in general.

    What I am saying is if you took a survey of BMW owners (or Mustang Owners) or owners of many different vehicle lines you would find that a whole lot of ‘em–even most of them– just don’t know much about their own vehicle including what engine is under the hood and whether it is fwd awd or rwd, etc.

    In fact just ask individuals in Bloomfield Hills Michigan about the drive-train in their vehicles and there will be a general consensus that they don’t know! Mustang owners in Bloomfield Hills or Mercedes or Cadillac owners–they don’t know and likely don’t care too much as long as it does what it is supposed to do!

  46. Drew Says:

    garyPaul – Yep, the newer cars are better in terms of performance, quality, fuel economy, safety, and corrosion resistance… but the heart wants what the heart wants. Given a winning lottery ticket (no chance, I don’t play), I’d redecorate the furnishings in the house/garage with a 1933 Packard Twelve Sport Touring, 1934 Auburn Speedster, 1956 Eldorado Brougham, 1957 Testarossa 250, 1965 E-Type roadster, 1967 “Eleanor”, 1969 deTomaso Mangusta, and a 1970 Challenger Hemi… just to keep the ’64 T-bird convertible in good company.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The thing I remember about the Mustang II, when it was new, is that it weighed a lot more than it seemed like it should have. It was only a few hundred pounds lighter than the huge, bloated 1973, and was heavier than than the 1965 Mustang.

    The Mustang II sold well for a year or two, but there don’t seem to be many collectors. It is very rare to see one at a car show.

  48. GaryPaul Says:

    #39
    yes nice heavy duty vehicles–I especially liked the 65 Mercury Marauder in the exterior style–cool and lean. And the same for the new interior in that car…

    Of course Ford unfortunately never really handled Mercury right—They continually gyrated from moving it closer to Lincoln and then closer to Ford and then closer to Lincoln and then closer to Ford… Finally by the mid 2000′s I blogged frquently to for Gosh sakes kill the line as Ford refused to handle it well and besides it needed to concentrate on the crown Jewels–the Ford Division itself…

    As an interesting side note to this—Mulally was so focused on fixing Ford that Lincoln was left to drift further–almost killing it by neglect by 2012! In fact Mulally did not want to save Lincoln and had his mind changed only in 2012! So she is hanging by a thread…and the really good stuff–if Ford can execute creating some terrific Lincoln vehicles–should start coming out about 2016-17. i don’t know if they’ll make it but we all have a front row seat to watch!

    My own first choice to break the Lincoln neglect cycle is a vehicle I been harpin about for a while– a 4 door “coupe” version (a la all the 4 dr. German “coupes”) on the S550 Mustang platform, arriving in say 2016 or 2017 model year! I think it could make a killer looking Lincoln with performance to boot. Wow–wouldn’t that be somethin’! —let’s see if they will throw the long bomb and save Lincoln or punt…

  49. GaryPaul Says:

    #45
    You are ambitious Drew!
    Ummmm
    You can borrow the keys to my restored 1969 International Bub Cadet 147 and I’ll take out the E-Type. Please have it ready for me, top down. I got the tractor out and the grass is starting to grow so you start cuttin’ any time…

    Actually I wouldn’t mind a few 1960s vehicles if i had big garage space…

    1. 1965 Pontiac Wagon made into a 2+2 Catalina with a combination of performance upgrades…
    2. 1965 Plymouth Sport Satellite (hardtop coupe)
    with a modified over-bored 360 small block pulling 475 hp and a Doug Nash 4 +1 or the 727 Torqueflite, 10″ Dana Solid Axle & yes aftermarket huge brakes!…yeah a “steet machine”
    3. 1964 Studebaker Super Lark R-1 (this one almost all original except the tires and shocks!)
    4. 1964 Imperial Crown 4 door (luxury tank)
    3. 1965 Corvette 327 4 speed–mostly original but with the engine putting out a real 400 hp
    6. Of course —a new 2017 Bullitt Mustang with a 500hp 5.3L V8 for $47500 and a manual trans of course…

  50. GaryPaul Says:

    in actual reality I could not imagine owning more than 3 cars from the 60s and a new Mustang and my old tank CV & and 07 Ranger–Whew—even that’s too many! Old cars can be a pain too.

    by the way they would all be #2 Old Cars Price Guide condition—not show so I could really drive them in the summer and if I am caught out in the rain heck its OK!!

  51. HtG Says:

    Judging by today’s comments, there looks to be a fair bit of excitement about the Mustang. I just watched the Autoline show on it, and I’m fizzing. Did you hear those guys all but say they’re going racing?!

    Corvette, Mustang, 911, BMW 3, Viper, Ferrari 458…

    Sounds right

  52. Drew Says:

    Now that we finished dreaming about our own Jay’s Garage, it’s time to get back to the Masters/Augusta… another item on my bucket list.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have too many cars, 5, but I plan to sell one this summer, probably the Rabbit convertible. Too many “age related” things are coming up, and I drive it very little.

    48, Is your Cub Cadet one with a flathead 4, or does it have a one cylinder Kohler, or something like that? I have a 1977 John Deere 210, almost everything original, that I use to mow the yard in Indiana. It has a 10 hp Kohler which has never been touched, except to change the oil once a year, and the plug and points every few years.

  54. HtG Says:

    52 Kit, bringatrailer.com would seem like the clientele for your Rabbit. It’s a convertible, no?

  55. GaryPaul Says:

    Yes

    This is an interesting topic
    –REAL GARDEN TRACTORS!
    not the junky lawn mowers that look like tractors that are often out there at Home Depot for $2000.

    Yes my Cub 147 was the king of the line at the tail end of 1969. it came standard with a powerful (for the time) 14 hp air cooled 31 cubic inch beast (I am joking a little), but it was so big that at the time they had to modify the frame to fit this outrageous monster engine between the frame rails! The frame was the narrow frame setup and they had to bend it out and then add a little bit of extra bracing to ensure durability. it came standard with elctric mid mount lift and rear class 0 3 point hitch (it will lift just over 200 pounds so its wicked–watch out!!) The whole thing is just so darn user friendly and well built from the tractor itself to the nice 90 pound snow plow blade (with attaching bracket). With he newer electric clutches they have is it a breeze to engage the mower deck. It also has fron and rear lights –a trunk (about 1.25 cubic feet of space under the seat but quite useful—I am going to place the battery there for a nice little extra 25 lbs of weight right over the drive wheels. I filled the rears with fluid for an additional 60 pounds weight and then added 50lb wheel weights and studs to the agricultural tires. with the additional 135 lbs and the studs (no chains!) I can move out through 6″ of snow like a mean little tractor should plowing a 1/5 of a mile street so I can get out…

    i like that it is got all this equipment yet no fluids/no ps/no hydraulic/no coolant/–simple and rugged and gets the job done…all for $1300 buck s and a drive to Alabama to toss it in the back of my Ranger LONG BED–now you know why i like the long bed compact trucks! —ran back at 80mph (except in Ohio!) nice and smooth with a 1000 ponds of tractor and mower and blade

  56. GaryPaul Says:

    OK I know–auto forum–
    -no more talk on garden tractors!!

  57. HtG Says:

    :)

  58. C-Tech Says:

    I sense that some of us are not old enough to remember the trials and tribulations of the 7 ‘ auto scene. The fact is the Mustang II was one of Ford’s best sellers in the 70′s.

  59. Jonathan Says:

    I’m more of a gm guy than a ford guy but the discussion on the show today has me intrigued to watch this weeks autoline show all about the mustang.

    Thanks for all you do and I look forward to seeing the new mustang both on this weeks show and at this months NY auto show.

    I do wish ford produced the stunning evos concept car design and yet I still admire the photos I ve seen so far of the next generation mustang.

    Keep up the great work.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54, My father bought my John Deere new, and it has been used continuously since 1977, but only for mowing an acre of grass. Other than a few belts and deck bearings, nothing has failed.

    I suspect my engine is the same “family” of Kohler engines as yours. They made 10, 12, and 14 hp versions with little difference, except the cylinder bore. My 10 hp is ~24 cubic inch.

  61. alex wellington Says:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/11/investigation-reveals-mary-barra-knew-trouble-2011/

    While this may not be about the ignition switch but about other defects in these POS vehicles, the above proves (are you listening, HtG???) that Barra WAS just as corrupt as any of these failed clowns CEOS that bankrupted GM. She knew of defects and did nothing about it.

    I am not in the least surprised. Barra is no innocent outsider!!! She was an inbred GM exec with all the negatives that this implies, and this PROVES it.

  62. alex wellington Says:

    And as a related, but general, comment, I believe that econoboxes like the ones that got GM in such huge trouble are ‘unsafe at any speed’. The accursed BEANCOUNTERS are trying to make them profitable to their makers (be it GM, Chrysler, FOrd, or even the imports) and cut corners left and right.

    What does this suggest for the car buyer? That he or she would be a damned fool to spend the SAME $20k or $25k on a new econobox, JUST to get that “new car smell” and maybe a tiny warranty for a few years. One can ALWAYS do much better by using the SAME $20k or $25k and buy a DECENT Vehicle, a High-quality vehicle, and accept that it may be 3 years old certified used off lease, or whatever. AND, as I repeated many times, the best bargains out there are the best FLAGSHIP Sedans of the Germans, because people are afraid of the alleged maintenance costs (which in reality are NOT higher of any Honda’s maintenance costs at the dealer’s), and they also worry about gas mileage (which they usually exaggerate, it is not such a huge deal, and if it is, you can always buy the DIESEL versions, or a used PRIUS)

  63. HtG Says:

    Did you see the letter sent to Holder by Blumenthal et al? Here’s a quote…”Their[GM's] deliberate concealment caused continuing death and damage, and it constituted a fraud on the bankruptcy court that approved its reorganization. It also criminally deceived the United States government and the public.”

    This is not good

    But, AW, I’m keeping my mind open until the relevant facts are known. There’s more info over at AN, showing the switch was made to rotate easily so that the ignition wouldn’t feel cheap. Who would have predicted that? I’m personally interested in learning what happened, even as I’m conscious of myself rooting for GM.

  64. HtG Says:

    When everyone was saying the BK protected GM from old claims, I was saying there could be holes in the wall. If there is a fraud in the BK, I don’t know how new GM says it is a different legal entity. But I’m no lawyer

  65. C-Tech Says:

    I am not a lawyer either but I suspect it will go GM ‘ S way as far as liabilities. New GM will take the financial hit repairing all these vehicles.

  66. C-Tech Says:

    @ #61 Given how the laws of supply and demand work, I do not see how the lower middle class buyers of new Corolla and Cruzes are going to find enough used certified BMW and Benzs at the $16 to 22 range without driving up the prices of the flagships or even the E – class or 5 series. Given my better half ‘ s experience with her X-5 perhaps she would have been better off with a new 200.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Also there is insurance rates, maintenance costs and fuel usage, after having this Sentra for 2 weeks and its excellent 38 mpg, the old Crapolla seems like a gas guzzler in comparison, yes it gets around 28 mpg that is a whole 10 miles less per gallon, so if I put in 10 gallons into the tank, I am getting 100 less miles of range, that is 2 or 3 days worth of driving for me.

  68. C-Tech Says:

    The full coverage insurance on a used Benz is comparable to or higher than a new Fit or Sonic. Repairs for electrical and oil leaks are high for BMW and Benz.

  69. C-Tech Says:

    If I were the 1st owner of a BMW, Benz,Jaguar, or Audi I would not be afraid of maintanence cost, but as the 2nd or 3rd owner, its BUYER BEWARE.

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    C tech, which component in a car is responsible for increasing the idle speed when your a/c compressor kicks in, mine is not working, so unless I am driving at a good clip, I barely get any cold air at all.

  71. C-Tech Says:

    The pcm sends a signal to the IAC (idle air control motor) or electronic throttle body to increase the air flow to match the increase in fuel from the injectors. It sounds like your fan or fans are not turning on to high speed when you turn on the a/c. When the air flow is low across the condensor (in front of the radiator) the a/c system cannot get rid of enough heat to cool the car at lower speeds or when idling. When the car is moving, you get enough air flow to cool the condensor.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yep, this so-called a/c “expert” installed a by-pass because the a/c stopped working suddenly, a/c button light started to flick on/off(just like it used to do when the belt would get wet and slip and the compressor would quit for a while) but now the engine idle does not react to the compressor being on. I need to find a true a/c expert.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53, HtG, yep, it’s a convertible.

  74. HtG Says:

    An article in Bloomberg describes how in 2007 upper level people at the NHTSA overruled an investigator who recommended an investigation into Cobalt airbag non-deployments. The inspector general of the DOT is now checking out what happened. This could get interesting.

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-12/regulator-didn-t-act-on-evidence-of-defective-gm-air-bags.html

  75. alex wellington Says:

    I saw the “refreshed” Cruze. It looks 95% like the old one outside, and I bet no major improvements elsewhere (it is not a new model, just a resfesh). They changed the grille to make it even harder to distinguish it from the Impala and the Malibu.

    It is telling of the failure of the Malibu especially, the fact that the Cruze, while selling less units than the biggies (Civic etc), is GM’s number ONE bestselling car. Usually the larger size Malibu sells much better, as the Camry over COrolla, Accord over Civic, Altima way over Sentra etc etc.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    74, Maybe they should sell a “Malibu SS” with the 3.6 engine. That might bump up Malibu sales a little, but probably not enough to be worth the expense of doing it.

  77. pedro fernandez Says:

    To me the new Cruze actually looks like an older model, just take the same ‘Bu fascia and make it smaller, lazy designers!!! The competition in the midsize segment is just too strong for the Chevy, I can’t think of one weak competitor in the class.

  78. alex wellington Says:

    #76 It is indeed getting a bit old. When I first saw it, at night, a while shining one in a parking lot, it looked great from the outside. I never sat in one. It’s a conservative design, good value. (not the Diesel, too much more $ over the gas version- the damn beancounters again). Its segment is competitive, but the next one up (Camry-Accord-Altima-Fusion-Passat-Sonata-Optima-Malibu- New 200) is really tough, but also quite profitable due to 300,000-450,000 annual volumes (of the successful ones!)

  79. alex wellington Says:

    Did my shopping rounds last afternoon, saw a ton of priuses on the road (about 20, 16 regular, 3 Vs and 1 tiny C), a few Fusions, and my first Fiat 500L, a red monstrosity parked next to me. It is really huge, very tall and big, does not look anything like the diminutive 500 that looks as somebody cut its butt off. Of course the 500L is made in the same Serb factory that made the infamous Yugo..

    This must be the first time in a while that I agree with HtG, in that the 500L sucks.

  80. alex wellington Says:

    about 5 of the Priuses were taxis. But none of them was the V, which could make a far better taxi than the simple prius, with its huge storage and passenger space.

  81. pedro fernandez Says:

    After seeing so many Nissan models at the rental agencies, I wonder if the 200 will be kept away from the rental fleets in an attempt to make the car harder to rent like an Accord or Legacy.

  82. HtG Says:

    78 AW, I dare say that I weigh your opinions and arguments a bit more heavily than I do my own. Autos are interesting to me, but you’re the one immersed in the field.

  83. alex wellington Says:

    82 Actually, like you, my main area of expertise is not autos. It’s a hobby, started when my neighbor ( a kid a year younger than me) showed me my first car mags when I was 14 or so. Remember the test on the cover, Rolls Silver Shadow vs Merc 300SEL 6.3 (surprisingly not the 600 Grosser!)

    That 500L looked something like a MINI Countryman baloon which one blew too much air into.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    79,
    When I was in the D.C. area are a week ago, I saw a few Prius V taxis, as well as regular Prius. I suspect a lot of those being bought now would be V’s, but the regular Prius has been around a lot longer. The V has only been around since the 2012 model year.

  85. alex wellington Says:

    81 the new Chrysler 200? I doubt they will keep it from the rentals, especially after the first few months of sales and the inevitable dissappointing results. Of course they have the god-awful Dodge Avenger (prior generation) to feed Hertz and Avis with… I hope I don’t come across it again, once in 2008 was enough.

  86. HtG Says:

    82 I guess autos are intriguing because it’s such a complex topic, from the actual products to the professions in the industry and then to wider society and politics. Complexity is just attractive to my head. I particularly like watching how computer tech is moving into cars. Autoline is one of the only outfits that has such a categorical approach, and which can get industry and govt players to sit down and talk.

  87. alex wellington Says:

    #85 I get the industry news, esp the sales nos, a day or more before they are presented in ALD. I like to hear the discussions, but those between John and his regular panelists, and much less those paid or unpaid advertisers for their own companies, even if they are asked softball questions. Govt players are even less interesting to me, especially that clown Ray Lahood, the republican porkmeister that Obama, in his infinite ‘wisdom’ (or, more accurately, utter lack thereof) chose to be DOT Sec, only to replace him by an equally clueless person, who, fortunately, does not rear his ignorant head as frequently as LaHood.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just saw a, rare, S-Class ad, on a preliminary show to the Masters tournament broadcast. Will the trunk hold 4 golf bags, while the players ride to the course in extreme comfort?

  89. alex wellington Says:

    The new S class has gone way up in price, $112k for the “base” 550 or whatever, not the V12 or AMG. The E is a far better deal, esp the Bluetec. But the prior S (2007-13) is now a good bargain, 07s can be had for less than $20k and they really are luxurious inside, powerful, and extra safe. $20k new gets you a Hyundai Accent or a Fiesta. The S is on my short list.

    This Jan I drove to DC, but last time I flew I took a Prius (not V) taxi, current generation, and asked the driver what MPG he was getting, and he told me 50. Don’t know how accurate that was, but since these taxis drive around town with lots of idles and don’t go faster than 40 MPH most of the time, it could be true. But the passenger get none of the MPG Savings benefits, all go to the driver, who charges the same fare as if he had a dinosaur CV V8.

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    88, Based on what I get, I doubt if the cabbie gets 50 mpg, 40 seems more likely, but whatever he gets, it would be better than anything else that could be used as a taxi, probably more than twice what a CV would get under the same conditions. I rarely have a tank over 50 mpg, and while I don’t “hypermile,” I’d probably get better mileage than most cab drivers.

    I think I’d much rather have a few-year-old S-Class than a new Hyundai Accent, especially since, for me, it wouldn’t be an only car.

  91. alex wellington Says:

    The Anti- Bean Counters at Honda. Will the New Fit sell? So far, the Cheapo Versa does!

    From today’s Autonews.com

    “…SAN DIEGO — If there is any question about whether smart engineering is on its way back at Honda Motor Co., one need look no further than the second-row “magic” seats of the 2015 Honda Fit.

    In an impressive display of packaging, not only does the second row give plenty of legroom and headroom for a 6-foot-tall person to sit — unheard of in a subcompact car — but the seats fold down seamlessly to the level of the hatchback’s cargo area.

    Sure, the seats cost more — Honda declined to say how much — to engineer and build than conventional seats. But a conventional seat — as seen in the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent — has nowhere near the same occupant space and does not fold flat with the cargo area. To Honda’s engineers, the seats are worth every penny.

    “It depends on how you think about it,” said Makoto Konishi, the Fit’s chief engineer or “large project leader” in Honda parlance. “Sometimes added cost is necessary. To spend the money to beat the competition, it’s worth it.”

    That level of confidence from a chief engineer has been sadly lacking from Honda for more than a decade, as purchasing-, finance- and regulations-obsessed executives ran roughshod over Honda’s engineering culture.

    But after a series of product-launch miscues and meltdowns — starting with the 2001 Civic and culminating with the 2012 Civic — Honda had its moment of clarity: The automaker that once was willing to spend a couple of extra bucks to deliver smart engineering needed to return to its roots. Cost-down and fuel economy solutions still would be important, but no longer paramount.

    With the 2015 Fit, engineering detail after detail is done the way of company founder Soichiro Honda: elegant solutions based on customer-first decisions. Sometimes, it’s visible, with better packaging taking priority over aerodynamics. Sometimes, it’s felt in the driver’s butt, such as the subtle change in the design of the torsion-beam rear suspension that makes the Fit’s handling more responsive.

    “If you go cheap, and it doesn’t sell, you don’t win. If it’s going to cost $50 more, and you don’t do it, you don’t win,” Konishi said. “We are trying to give birth to things that are different from the competition.”

    Sales nos will be the proof.

  92. alex wellington Says:

    90 The Cabbie’s daily driving profile is very different and way more fuel efficient than a private owner like you. While I bet 50 mpg is a round number, I will not in the least be surprised if he does indeed get that.

    When I drove the prior gen Prius in Los Angeles in typical urban taxi driving conditions, warm engine, low speeds, idling, I also got 50-53 MPG on the compute, and the taxi had your model which is supposed to be 5-10% more fuel efficient.

    I also saw an S-class ad, maybe different than yours, as I tried to see what was on 60 minutes but they were still showing the golf game.

    In other news

    I just saw the latest inventory numbers in Autonews. Predictably, the two worst dogs were the ELR (by a mile, a 15-16 month supply!) And the hapless Viper with about 10 months.

    Most Chevys had trim inventories, around 60, except the Camaro with 112 (maybe they went over to the Dino-Axled Mustang for sentimental reasons). Even the slow selling Malibu did not have bloated inventories.

    But the picture was different over at slow-selling Buick and Caddy. The Verano had 140 days of inventory (smart consumers get its Cruze clone instead, I suppose), the Regal was even worse, and all Caddy sedans were really terrible, 150 and 160 or more days. ATS, CTS, XTS, the works.

  93. Kit Gerhart Says:

    91,
    Yep, the cabbie would would have an advantage over me, in that the engine would always be warm. I guess I’ll never know what I’d get under “big city taxi” conditions, since I rarely drive in those conditions.

    More Mercedes ad reactions:
    I don’t normally spend an entire Sunday afternoon watching TV, or golf in particular, but since I’m just getting over the flu or something similar, I did that yesterday. The Mercedes ads were interesting, and I think were were great. They showed “legacy” shots of SL roadsters, S-Class cars from before they called them S-Class, race cars, and more. They seemed to make it a point not to go back too far. A Hitler connection would not be good. Also, they had specific ads for the new S-Class and SL. If there were an spots mentioning the CLA, I missed them.

    These ads beg questions, though. Do a of people who watch golf on TV buy new $100K+ cars, like S-Class and SL? Maybe so, but I suspect the ads are more to make the M-B brand generally appealing, and get people into the dealership. When they get there and learn that the S in the ads costs $130K, the sales person can point out that they have this CLA250 for only $37K. Interestingly, the ads were mostly SUV-free, to the extent that I was paying attention. Does that mean that people who watch golf on TV are “car people”?

  94. HtG Says:

    It isn’t just ‘golf.’ It’s The Masters. Every suit in America was watching. This is the first year I didn’t really care, but I watched a little. Those were great ads, but I got distracted by John Hamm’s voiceover. MadMen’s last season began last night.

  95. T. Bejma Says:

    #91

    Verano only down about 500 units from the first 3 months of last year. This is not due to it being on the SAME PLATFORM as the Cruze (far from a clone since it shares only about 5% of the Cruze’s components including none of the suspension and none of the same engines) but due to the trimming of the incentives (as cwolf can confirm from his recent Verano shopping excursions).

    The Regal is actually UP 48% over the first 3 months last year.

    Might want to check your facts before your GM bashing of the day.

    No worries at Buick, inventories will adjust, just like the rest of the brands have.

  96. alex wellington Says:

    #94 UTTER nonsense. My facts were 100% CORRECT, all the numbers I gave, it is you, Mr. Spinmeister, that tried to dodge the real numbers by “lies, damn lies and statistics”

    AND you are even WRONG that I “bashed GM”, since I ALSO Praised the modest inventories of most Chevy models, in stark contrast to the truly DISMAL picture over at` BUICK and CADDY.

    AND my comments are even more true because March was a GREAT month and sales were up and inventories of POPULAR, Got-to-have them cars, were really thin.

    You are counting on my being really BUSY and not going over to Auto news and posting all the specific exact numbers for each model? LOL.