AD #1374 – Toyota Posts Earnings, Marchionne Disses Ford & Nissan, 1.0L Fiesta Off to Good Start

May 9th, 2014 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:17

- Toyota Posts Earnings
- Camry Production Shifted
- Marchionne Disses Ford & Nissan
- FCA Chooses London for its Headquarters
- 1.0L Fiesta Beats Ford’s Expectations
- Autoline This Week Preview

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Hello and welcome to a brand new Autoline Daily. I’m Sean McElroy filling in for John today but now let’s look at today’s top stories.

And we start off with Toyota, who just posted it’s yearly earnings for its most recent fiscal year. The Japanese automakers sold over 9.1 million vehicles, which is up nearly 3% from a year ago. But despite the boost in sales, it didn’t translate to more revenue for the company. Total revenue came to what sounds like a staggering $257 billion, however that’s a drop of 3.6%. Toyota’s other numbers are strong though. It’s operating profit hit $22.9 billion up 44% and its net profit was just over $18 billion which is up a whopping 57% from a year ago.

And in other Toyota news, last year we reported that Subaru will no longer build the Camry at its plant in Lafayette, Indiana. And now we get word that Toyota will shift Camry production of about 100,000 units, to its Georgetown, Kentucky facility in the fall of 2016. To make up for the lost capacity, Bloomberg reports that Subaru may build a new SUV that’s designed for the North American market, in its Indiana plant.

Earlier this week we reported on the details of Fiat-Chrysler’s 5-year plan. But we also found some of Sergio Marchionne’s off-the-cuff remarks to be just as interesting. For example, he dissed the aluminum F-150 pickup that Ford is coming out with, saying the turbo diesel they have in the Ram pickup already gets better fuel economy than the aluminum F-150 will. And he went out of his way to criticize Nissan. “The Nissan GTR will never sell,” he said, “it’s just a weird thing.” And he went on to say that trying to make Nissan a premium brand will never work. It’s kind of rare to hear the CEO of one car company attack the products of another car company. But that’s what makes it fun to cover what Sergio is saying, because he’ll say whatever is on his mind.

And speaking of Fiat-Chrysler, the headquarters for the newly created company won’t be in Michigan or Italy but rather in London, England. The company had previously announced that it would have some operations in the U.K. for tax purposes but it hadn’t selected a city. One analyst tells Bloomberg that the move makes sense because London is a financial capital, it’s centrally located between FCA’s global operations and it avoids fallout from choosing Michigan over Italy or the other way around.

While U.S. sales of the Ford Fiesta with the 1.0L 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine are still small, they’re actually beating the automakers expectations. The engine first arrived in December and since then has seen a take rate of about 4 to 8% depending on the month, which comes out to a little over a 1,000 units. Ford feels that number could go higher but one thing holding the engine back is a lack of supply. Most dealers don’t carry them on their lots so customers have to special order them and all the engines come from Germany. Not to mention that the refreshed Focus that’s coming out this fall will offer the engine as well. But I hope Ford is able to get the supply issue sussed out because after driving the vehicle myself, I was really impressed by the refinement and performance thanks to all the technology that has been crammed into that engine. This is not the 3-cylinder engine of 15 or 20 years ago and I think most people would have a hard time telling they’re even driving a 3-cylinder vehicle.

Coming up next, a look at future interior trends.

On Autoline This Week, the topic is all about interior car design. In the following clip, our panel of experts share some of the cool new trends they see making there way into cars in the future.

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

Joining John for that show is Helen Emsley from GM Design, Jay Hutchins from Faurecia and Pat Stewart from Inteva. As always you can watch that entire discussion right now on our website,

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

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30 Comments to “AD #1374 – Toyota Posts Earnings, Marchionne Disses Ford & Nissan, 1.0L Fiesta Off to Good Start”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sean, did the engine in the 1.0 Fiesta seem “busy” at highway speed, or did it sound/feel ok at 75-80 mph? The regular Fiesta, like a Honda Fit feels like it needs another, taller gear for highway use.

    I’d like to rent a 1.0 Fiesta, just to see what it is like, but I’d probably have to go to Europe to rent one. No one rents manual transmission cars in the U.S.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    I have yet to read or see one single review of this Fiesta 3 cyl with the DCT, they only test them with the manual, which most people don’t want to buy here, is this some kind of cover up because that combo is bad?

  3. marshy Says:

    heated arm rests, eh? well, I typically wear a coat when its that cold.

    They would be better focused on auxiliary heat sources for the main cabin air during the first 5 minutes of running. Whether indirect fire gasoline or electric, as engines become more efficient or electric, the need for auxiliary heat will only grow.

    Instant hot air from minute one. Now that’s a feature you could sell me.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2, According to to the listings on, the 1.0 triple is sold only with a 5-speed manual.

  5. Brett Says:

    Back when I had fantasies about being able to purchase another new car someday, I was waiting patiently for the Fiesta with the 1.0L 3-cylinder in it. Now I just hope my 25 year old Eclipse keeps running.

  6. Armando Joaqun Says:

    Mr. Marchionne can ditch F150 aluminum. If Ford put diesel on the aluminum F150 let us see how Chrysler will beat that on fuel economy (that is 20%). They cannot accept that Ford beats them on using aluminum on trucks.

  7. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well it looks like Toyota has survived ‘their’ debacle of a couple of years ago; guess we’ll have to wait to see if GM fairs as well. I’m kind of thinking that they will get over it (GM) but maybe not as quickly or completely as Toyota has.

    And as to heated armrests, I think I’d pass and be more receptive to an adjustable armrest. I had asked that question on an earlier AAH and was brushed off (by the guest) stating that adjusting the seat could effectually adjust where your arm rested; personally I still think I was onto something (adjustable armrest).

  8. rick Says:

    hate to rain on 1.0L 3 cyl parade but NO automatic is a non starter for me. ever been in a miles long traffic jam with a manual?????? thanks but no thanks. why dont they call dual clutch transmission what it is an electric manual? so us americans no we`re not purchasing a traditional automatic.

  9. Sean McElroy Says:

    Kit – It did sound a bit buzzy at highway speeds, as you might expect, and another gear would have helped but I did not find it to be excessive. However it did not feel buzzy. Some of the tricks that Ford has incorporated into the engine to reduce vibrations along with the new engine mounts really seem to work.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit I did a quick search online on autotrader and and you can indeed get a 1.0 engine with the auto-clutch manual, I just have not seen any tested, plus I could not find any within 300 miles of So Fl I had to do a nationwide search and there aren’t that many available, I guess it must not be a very good driving experience

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #6:As it stands right now,ford hasn’t beaten anyone yet.As for the aluminum f150,remember the 700lbs lighter? Well that’s only for the top of the line f150,whatever it’s called.Lesser trim levels will get less aluminum.So how much of a weight savings is still to be determined as far as I know.Saving weight is good,but there is a long term payout they again hasn’t been determined and that is the cost for insurance.Aluminum body panels cost a whole lot more to fix/repair/or replace,and the insurance companies will demand their pound of flesh in premiums….you can count on that.As for me,I’ll take a diesel any day over aluminum.It will be cheaper in the long run.

  12. Brett Says:

    It seems like a CVT would be a slam-dunk no-brainer for that 1.0L engine.

    Regarding Mr. Marchionne and his comments about the aluminum F-150: I recall that Baldwin, Lima and Alco all dissed the diesel electric locomotive when it came out, producing some of the most powerful and sophisticated steam locomotives ever seen. Forged aluminum side rods, roller bearings, superheat, etc. They were all out of business in less than 20 years.

    I think we’re reaching the point with the internal combustion engine where there isn’t a lot more efficiency to be found and a point of diminishing returns for R&D in that direction is rapidly approaching.

    Ford seems to have accepted that and concluded that their R&D money was better spent elsewhere.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    And if I may add to your comment, GA, they also have not beaten anyone with their “ecoboost” motors and their quirky auto clutch trannies, I see on the other hand, companies that are using CVT’s are getting good results with their mileage and driving dynamics, of course the jury is still out on those, but when you see the top Japanese companies going for the technology, it cannot be THAT bad!

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9, 10
    Thanks for the info.

    I’m surprised the DSG didn’t show up on the fuel economy web site, unless it’s a 2015. I only checked 2014.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m driving my MINI to IN in a week, “for a change.” I hope I don’t encounter any bad traffic jams, though. At least the clutch is pretty light.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, you’re gonna miss out on our world famous 95 degree with 95% humidity, plus sidewalk cracking sunshine? Have you try night driving? I did that once from NJ to Fl and covered up a lot of interstate with minimum traffic.

  17. Ziggy Says:

    Sean, could you do a GARAGE segment on rotating tires and the need for it, I have a 2012 4×4 Jeep Liberty that wears the tires evenly yet the owners manual and dealerships are always telling me to rotate the tires every 8k miles. Is that really necessary if all the tires are wearing evenly? Is there any other advantage to rotating the tires if you have even wear? I check the wear on all of them regularly so I know if/when they are different but so far, at 27k miles they all have 11/32 tread left and have only been rotated once at 10k miles because I had a free coupon at a dealership. Thanks.

  18. Dean Romanski Says:

    I have one of those Ford i-3 Fiestas, it is smooth, relatively quiet and fast and I get about 40 mpg and it handles like a go kart, a great driving experience everyday… Honest…

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The south Florida Ford web site shows the Fiesta triple as 5-speed manual only. I guess that may vary by location.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow, that is dumb not to sell the auto stick down here, manuals are not popular, I met a young feller the other day with a stick Yaris that he got used for a real good price and he told me that if he needs to go somewhere where there will be a lot of bumper to bumper traffic, he takes the GF’s automatic Civic instead.

  21. ludovico Says:

    Did Sean just learn how to read-? Could somebody please teach him basic broadcasting skills?? I love ALD and his dad does a bang-up job, but young Sean’s readings are cringe-inducing! What’s with the nepotism-? Keep him back in the garage!

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, I went back to and it’s incredible how the closest 3 cyl auto Fiesta is just one unit in Tampa, even the manual is not available anywhere near So Fl. I would have to drive out of state to find one, I wonder why Ford is keeping those cars out of this area?

  23. XA351GT Says:

    HAHA oh that Sergio, I guess he does have to sling mud. Ford is burying the RAM with the F150 now The Aluminator will rip the horns off Old Dodge. Until Chrysler /Fiat sells something better than the GTR h should keep his trap shut. For all the improvements the Viper isn’t selling . My guess at a worse rate than the GTR Maybe he’s trying to divert attention from F/C trailing most other companies in most catergorys .

  24. dcars Says:

    Your right XA351GT. FCA is in trouble and Sergio just might want to shift focus on other car companies issues than Fiat’s problems. His five year plan isn’t funded and isn’t realistic.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, Both GTR and Viper sell in such low volume that they are irrelevant, even as halo cars.

  26. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The GTR is a beast (as is the Viper); styling (that’s the ticket). IMO

  27. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    #11 G.A. Branigan – Don’t be so sure on that diesel… I am not as sold on them as I used to be with all the new emissions requirements. Those on board systems cost as much to replace in some cases as an engine or hybrid battery pack and they do fail.

    I have a friend who’s father in law bought the new Ram with the Cummins the first year of the particulate filter and the exhaust brake because he felt he needed both for towing his 23 foot boat in the mountains.

    He asked me for my opinion and I told him I would buy a gasser because of two reasons. One he only tows that boat two to three times a year and he only drives five to ten minutes for most of the rest of the time he is driving, making the fuel economy to initial cost payback many years down the road for him if ever before he got rid of it. Two it was the first year for both the exhaust brake and particulate filter and I told him there may be “real world” kinks to work out.

    In his case he plugged that particulate filter three times under warranty because of all the cold start short trip driving he did. That was the reason the tech gave him for the problems he was having and told him he needed to make sure to get it up to temperature and drive for a distance at temp to allow the system to get into re-gen mode or he would continue to have these problems. If they hadn’t been under warranty he would have been in to the tune of $7,500 each time. His truck still doesn’t have 100,000 miles on it.

    Just like there hybrids are better suited to in town stop and go driving to make them most cost effective many of the modern diesels need to run long trips to keep all the complex systems on them working properly due to their higher amounts of particulate emissions.

    If you drive short trip distances and less than 10,000 miles a year there is a good chance that “horrible” aluminum Ford “egoboost” truck will be much cheaper in the long run.

    Right tool for the job… that being said I am looking forward to seeing how the new diesel GM midsize twins price out as I like diesels as they get much better fuel economy to power when heavily loaded than a turbo gas engine and more important than that I like choices.

  28. cwolf Says:

    Wishing your better half a “Happy Mother’s Day.”

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    #26 agree that Diesels are better suited for long distance driving, not short commutes in cold weather, and hybrids and such for around town needs, which begs the question. what would be a good compromise? I am getting warm towards CVT and small engines which are best suited for such transmissions, since manuals are going the way of the crank windows.

  30. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    #28 Pedro Fernandez – I like CVT’s too if you don’t need a “sporty” feeling car. Like you I am still waiting on full long term reliability but my sisters Freestyle with the CVT has been great with over 100,000 miles now and handles hilly terrain much better than any standard auto I have ever driven with the cruise set. Admittedly I have not had any of the new six, eight, or nine speed auto’s in the hills yet.