AD #1432 – Lexus Plans New LFA, Mahoney Teases 2016 Volt, China Potential Underestimated

August 8th, 2014 at 11:52am

Runtime: 7:18

- Lexus Plans New LFA
- Hyundai Hit with Big Fine
- GM Recalls Crossovers
- Trouble Tracking Down Faulty Vehicles
- Next-Gen Chevy Volt to Debut in Detroit
- China Sales Estimates Too Conservative

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Welcome to Autoline Daily for Friday, August 8, 2014. I’m Barb Banyai wrapping up my week in the anchor chair, and now today’s news.

It’s Friday. We’re just hours from the weekend so what better time to dream of some expensive Supercars, right? Well, that’s what Lexus has up its sleeve when Executive VP Mark Templin announced earlier today that Toyota’s luxury nameplate may build a successor to the LFA…you know, that’s the 552-horsepower Lexus that sold for close to 400-thousand and stopped production a couple years ago. There were only 500 made in that initial run and Bloomberg’s Tokyo bureau reports that Templin says the plan for a new car has CEO Akio Toyoda’s backing. There are no solid production dates for the next supercar yet, so you performance enthusiasts still have time to put some money away in your future LFA fund.

And speaking of money, Hyundai is going to have to dig into its pockets to the rate of 17-million and not with a smile on its face. The Wall Street Journal reports that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — or NHTSA — said the South Korean automaker has agreed to pay the fine for delaying the recall of some 44-thousand Genesis sedans. Some of the company’s 2009 to 2012 models had brake corrosion issues and it failed to notify the government which resulted in the fine.

Meanwhile, the recall worries continue for GM. The Detroit Free Press reports that several small crossovers from 2006 and 7 have power window problems. The parts won’t be available for a couple more months so the company is asking the nearly 190-thousand owners to park outside — if they have the choice — because of the possibility of fire.

And if that wasn’t enough bad news for the company, when it comes to the original ignition switch recall issue that started started all this, The Detroit News tells us that GM can’t find nearly 140-thousand owners to let them know the potential problems with their cars. In papers filed with NHTSA, the company reported that 6.4% of the 2.2 million recalls have gone undelivered mostly, analysts say, due to the age of the cars and how many owners they’ve had.

But on the brighter side for GM, get ready for a new jolt of Volt. The company will reveal the next-generation of its combo car at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in about 6 months. Global Marketing Chief Tim Mahoney — who recently appeared on Autoline This Week — made the announcement yesterday in Traverse City, Michigan at the Management Briefing Seminars. The upgraded Volt will be one of 5 redesigned vehicles that Chevy will unveil at the North American International Auto Show.

And speaking of MBS, don’t forget to catch this week’s coverage of the CAR conference anytime at our website. John interviewed a variety of newsmakers including executives from Ford, Nissan and even the agency that influences the automakers — CARB — the California Air Resources Board over the last few days. Catch those and more available anytime at

Coming up next, why one professor says estimates for car sales in China are way too low.

Car sales in China are expected to hit 35 million a year by the end of the decade. However, Professor Frank Zhao from the Tsinghua Automotive Strategy Research Institute, and one of guests on last night’s Autoline After Hours, says that estimate is way too conservative.

(Preview of Autoline After Hours is only available in the video version of today’s program.)

Also joining John and Gary for a special edition of After Hours from the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan are executives from VW, Continental, Johnson Controls and Jaguar Land Rover. There’s a lot of interesting topics discussed and you can watch that entire episode right now on our website,

Well, that wraps up today’s show as well as my week hosting for John. He’ll be back on Monday. But before we sign off the team behind the show wanted me to point out that this was sort of an experiment this week and we’d appreciate your feedback. So if you liked my participation in the anchor chair please let us know in the show notes. Many thanks for all your kind words. I’m Barbara Banyai hope to see you again soon.

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

86 Comments to “AD #1432 – Lexus Plans New LFA, Mahoney Teases 2016 Volt, China Potential Underestimated”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Slight correction to the ‘small’ crossovers recall from GM. They would more correct by saying mid-sized SUV’s as these were/are body on frame vehicles (though saying small SUV’s would probably be correct also). At least that is my take on the vehicles described in the recall.

  2. Barry Rector Says:

    All of the programming is simply awesome. I’m totally hooked on them!!! Everyone does a great job subbing for John including Barbara.
    Thanks to everyone for such great shows!!!

  3. Robert McElroy Says:

    Barbara did an excellent job of presentation and communication this week. I look forward to seeing her in future segments.

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    Barbara was awesome. Great job.

  5. Todd Says:

    Go Barbara. Nice job.

  6. BobD Says:

    No negatives on Barbara, but I’d still prefer industry insiders being the substitutes even if some of them are not as polished. Sean is great and Christie Schweinsberg is a real treat… both really know their stuff.

  7. Mark Says:

    I have the echo the other comments. Barb did a great job. John better watch out! ;-)

    All the guest hosts are great and I like the variety when he is out.

    However, I do like John as the regular host as he clearly knows what he is talking about.

    Good show guys and keep up the great work. I look forward to watching them at lunch.

  8. Al Jadczak Says:

    I would also like to say that Barbara did a wonderful job as anchor. It was amazing how well she presented the information, almost like she had written her copy herself. Her expressions and gestures fit the presentation perfectly. I took a look at the Productions Plus web site and I think if there other employees can present as well as Barbara, they should be able to find positions for them all. John, I would be worried. Great job all!

  9. HtG Says:

    Try to have a nice weekend, Barb. ;)

  10. Mike P Says:

    John, you have a new assignment: turn Barbara into an insider. She already has a flair for delivering the message and seems to have an interest in the industry. Get her “in the field” and involved deeper in the industry.

  11. marshy Says:

    +1 for Barb. Great job reading that prompter! Like mentioned above, its more like you aren’t reading but talking about it directly.

    Thanks to all the subs this week, but I do miss John’s insight.

  12. DH Says:

    All this talk about the woman, and none about the cars. So I will:

    - Hyundai is yet another example (like Toyota) of a company trying to coverup their mistakes & risking drivers’ lives in the process. I abhore dishonesty & boycott these companies.

    - GM’s new Volt G2 will be interesting. I wonder if they’ll use a smaller 3-cylinder engine to gain higher MPG. That’s what I would do if I was redesigning the car.

    - China is fast becoming the dominant economy. Pretty soon they won’t need us, except to buy their stuff.

  13. Lex Says:

    Great Job Barbara!!!

    John you now need to have Barbara do some interviews in the field from the female prospective. Since the majority of light vehicles purchases are decided by women this could help OEM’s and Advertisers gear product especially targetting the female half of the population.

    Once again – Great Job Barbara!!!

  14. Lex Says:

    I am facinated that GM is only updating the Volt and not bringing to market a Voltronic powered CUV or SUV in the form of a Captiva or Equinox? This especially since these product segments are experiencing the greatest increase in volumn and sales. Maybe GM should test market these vehicles with real people. I would gladly test drive a plug-in version of a electric powered Equinox in my garage.

  15. Rick Szumski Says:

    Certainly there is no substitute for the authoritative voice of John McElroy delivering the news, but I do like the variety of news anchors you currently employ. Barbara is delightful and a fine addition to your lineup whom I hope to see in future broadcasts.

  16. Bradley Says:

    Ms. Banyai the production was great in John’s absence.

    Your criticism seems miss placed, wasn’t it GM that just recently announced a recall they were internally watching for over 10 years.

    I just saw a Volt today on the hwy that didn’t have a fuel door on its charge port.

    I am assuming this just like all those missing/broken fuel doors you see on other cars. I just thought it was funny. Fancy car with Fancy tech has the same ownership issues as all the other cars.

    Or maybe GM is saving some pennies and no longer putting color keyed fuel doors over the charge port.

  17. Grant fisher Says:

    Well your experiment worked!
    Barbara Banyai’s commentary of the daily auto news was smooth,had a good flow and the pace was right. I felt she was a pro from a news station- probably not from an auto background.
    Her delivery was great- not to mention she was not difficult to watch either.

  18. Ken S. Says:

    Cars? What cars! I think Barb Banyai has tremendous charisma as well as technical delivery skill. She gets my vote as the #1 person to show up whenever John can’t.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1, Yeah, TrailBlazer et. al. aren’t “small,” and by most people’s definitions, they aren’t “crossover” either, since they are body-on-frame.

    By the way, how old do vehicles have to be before you don’t have to recall them? The last I knew, manufacturers only had to have parts available for 7 years, but maybe you have to recall them forever, even for things like window switches.

  20. Majic Says:

    Barbara, you did a great job filling in for the guys this week. Keep it up. Hope to see more from you soon.

  21. Mike Says:

    Barbara did a great job. I believe she would make an excellent permanent addition to the already outstanding group, which makes up the Autoline team. Her delivery of the news is both professional and, as others indicate, personal. I hope to see more of her as I continue to be one of the lucky guys who is educated by the various Autoline shows.

  22. Lex Says:

    We are still looking for a new vehicle to replace my wife’s Honda Odyssey. The first thing she says to me this morning is that GM has another recall of their SUVs for fire from faulty window motors! This really does hurt any chance of her even looking at a GM vehicle. I realize Mary Barra is being very proactive in correcting decades of GM mismanagement and penny pinching, but I believe she needs to put her face and words to work on TV’s accross America. She needs to reassure the general public that GM of Olde is dead. Ford had a moto “Job One!”. GM should adapt a new moto “Safety is Job One!”. As a mother Ms. Barra might be able to communicate this message better to other mothers. The dancing Cadillac Robots are cute but all it convey is Glites and Glamour but no real substance.

  23. RumNCoke Says:

    Two thumbs up for Barb. And the whole Autoline Daily production crew. Really good stuff guys!

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Everyone is saying how great Barb is, but she refers to mid-size body-on-frame SUV’s as “small crossovers.”

    But yeah, in general, she does a great job, as do John and all of the guest hosts.

  25. Bill Westerman Says:


    There is no substitute for John McElroy, but as a substitute, I thought Barbara Banyai was terrific. She was poised and was a good orator.

    I enjoyed her as a very good speaking. I hope we see her again.


    Bill Westerman (DC)

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, A smaller engine should help the Volt’s mpg on gas, but also, spending less time in “series” operation, and more time with a direct connection between the ICE and the wheels would increase mpg. Doing that, though, would make the already complex power train even more complex.

    Of course, the Volt haters, like a couple people who haven’t been here lately, didn’t think the Volt should connect the ICE to the wheels under any circumstances, even though doing so greatly improves gas mpg on the highway.

  27. Roger Blose Says:

    Barb did a great job this week as did as did Mr. Feldmen. Both easy to follow. Watch out John!!

  28. Marshall Says:

    The lexus LFA. Lived up to the old saying about a fool and his money easy to part.

    The car cost $400K when new, lost nearly half its value in the first two years, and had its ass whooped by a Nissan GTR in every performance category other than top end speed, and costing less than a quarter as much.

  29. Brett Says:

    Curmudgeon mode on.

    This site/show doesn’t need appealing newsreaders, IMO. It needs knowledgeable, opinionated industry mavens that are comfortable in front of a camera. That formula has served them well for how many years now?

    I’ll take a Jim Hall or Michelle Krebs any day if John or Sean aren’t available for a broadcast.

    Does the absence of familiar faces and the appearance of new faces have anything to do with cultivating and retaining advertisers? I know that nobody’s doing this as a hobby, but you don’t want to mess up your mojo, either.

    But that’s just me…

  30. John Says:

    Barbara did a super job! Please have her back as a regular!

  31. LenV Says:

    Yes I agree. Barb did a great job!

    Regarding the China car sales, there was a report on 60 Minutes about a huge surplus of condos and apartments being built there and a probable housing bubble being created. People are buying four or five units as an investment and they have entire city suburbs sitting empty. If the bubble bursts, they could loose their life savings and result in lower future car sales there. Are the big auto companies relying on China sales too much?

  32. C-Tech Says:

    The latest GM recall is an expansion of the previous recall / campaign to replace those faulty driver’s master window switches. Since Chrysler also has a recall on window switches on their minivans which is waiting for parts, I wonder if they share the same supplier?

    @ #23 Toyota has enough excess cash they can buy up all the Nissan GTR’s and re-badge them as the latest LFA.

    @ #13 I agree. The Tesla X SUV looks questionable.

    Yes Ms. Banyai did a good job delivering the news. She needs a better understanding of what she is reading, or the writers need to up their game. The comments yesterday about Cash for Clunkers was wrong (good cars being taken off the roads driving up used cars prices is questionable. The #1 vehicle being traded in for a new fuel efficient vehicle was a Ford Explorer for a Toyota Corolla). Today’s recall info about GM’s “small” suv’s is just plain sloppy.

  33. C-Tech Says:

    A good number of those owners of the recalled GM cars are the junkyards they are resting (rusting?) in.

  34. Rick Szumski Says:

    Certainly there is no substitute for the authoritative voice of John McElroy, but I enjoy the the variety of guest anchors now and Barbara is a delightful addition whom I hope to see in future broadcasts.

  35. Bradley Says:

    The LFA represented many things for Toyota. Sure it wasn’t the most cost effective way to go 0-60, but it has its merits.

    Everything was hand assembled by top technicians and all the actual data from each and everyone made was logged by pen. Nothing was logged in computers for a few reasons, but the top most to simply do something well by hand.

    There is a documentary out there somewhere on it o’wait here it is:

    It is interesting to see the contrast to the Camaro factory and 911 factory.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    Yesterdays show segment about trading in your car now because it is worth more is also bewildering.

  37. Ken Post Says:

    Barb does very well when John is gone. She is quit pleasant. Not bad looking either.

  38. Ron Lundgren Jr's Says:

    Barb did great and i she sure is it pleasant to the eye. She presents well so she did well as John’s sub this week. I agree that John should remain as the main host though. Good luck Barb and hope to see you as John’s sub more often in the future.

  39. aliisdad Says:

    More GM recalls!! When will people ever “wise up” and stop buying GM(…and Chrysler, too)products… Yeah, I know it was the “old” GM, but why take a chance with your good money when there are other good choices out there?? We have had nothing but problems with both of these brands, and took a loss to get rid of them each time… Of course, we fell for the line they told us each time that they had changed… This has happened over and over with especially GM…
    They had better focus on quality, and soon, or they will lose another generation of buyers to
    I don’t really care much about the companies because of how they have operated, but I am concerned about the workers at the companies, suppliers, dealers, etc.. The automotive industry is a huge part of our economy, and it needs to be responsible and competitive…

  40. Roy J. Eaton Says:

    Barbara did a great job – I think she will grow in her knowledge of the industry.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, I’ll have no sympathy for housing speculators in China if they lose there @$$e$, just as I had no sympathy for speculators who were running up the prices of condos in Florida about 12 years ago, when I just wanted to buy one to live in.

  42. Tim Beaumont Says:

    Barbara was very good. I think she would make a great addition to the team that covers John when he is away …’working’ !

    Wonderful show,

  43. mj Says:

    Barbara was awesome 5 STARS ***** Great wish to see her more…

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If you just want a very high performance car at a bargain price, Chevy will sell you a Corvette.

    The LFA was, indeed, something special, for those who have lots of spare money. It even has titanium connecting rods. Formula One engines don’t have that, but no doubt because the rules require steel.

  45. Maverick Says:

    Barb, thanks for adding to the guest host team. I hope John and the rest of the Autoline staff keep you in the guest host rotation. Have a great weekend!

  46. yakrider Says:

    Barbara did an outstanding job sitting in for John. You go girl!

  47. David Says:

    Barbara did a great job would make a nice addition.

  48. Studebaker Ranch Says:

    I enjoyed Barbara Banyai & her delivery of the material a lot. Her presentation is very natural & pleasing to listen to especially when you compare to Jennifer Vuong of Automotive News whose voice to me is like nails on a chaulkboard (all over the spectrum). Where have you been hiding her John?

  49. Khisel Says:

    Barbara is a good news reader but I think I’m missing out on John’s keen take on the subtleties of the stories. Much prefer John but when he’s off on another project Barbara and Murray seem to be the best fill-ins (nothing personal, Sean!)

  50. Eric Says:

    I agree with Ken S. #18 commenter. Barbara, unlike most of the guest hosts, didn’t make me feel uncomfortable for her. I don’t know of one guest host off the top of my head where I don’t get distracted by their uncomfortableness or awkwardness. Barbara is a breath of fresh-air. You all say she is not an insider. What is her background and interest in the auto industry? Because she’s reading like every other host, it really doesn’t matter much to me if she is an auto insider or not, but for others I guess it helps. Love her. Can’t wait till Johns out again ;) lol.

  51. Bill Ike Says:

    Really enjoyed Barbara and other guest host. Nice to have a pleasant woman on the broadcast. No offense but I get tired of seeing just men on the show! Thanks and keep up the good work.

  52. Ken Wood Says:

    Barb is definitely a keeper.

  53. cwolf Says:

    The new Volt is a step in the right direction to keep interests growing. It will have its own platform, thus lighter than the Cruze platform now utilized. As a result, weight distribution will be improved as well as the distance traveled on pure ev. The present 30-40 mile range will prolly get a boost to around 50+ miles. And this is the scoop I’m getting from my inside friends. Don’t be surprised to see seating for five. I did hear word of a lesser hp engine to further boost fuel economy, but I think the current power plant is still given consideration until the final product gains clairity. I wish I knew more because the Volt drives like a “real” car. Yep, I am a fan of the Volt.

  54. John McNamara Says:

    I truly enjoy watching the Autoline Daily show every day. I have for years now. John McElroy always puts a smile on my face with his insight and great sense of delivery.

    Barbara Banyai seems like a natural. Maybe she has loads of industry experience as her delivery is fantastic… and those sparking blue eyes make it seem like she’s talking directly to me :)

  55. Dan Says:

    Barb was great host this week, I hope we see more of her.

  56. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Wow,just seen this and it looks very promising:

  57. Ron Ayotte Says:

    Nice job, Barbara. In my humble opinion, you’ve passed the audition!

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49, To me, the biggest weakness of the current Volt is that it needs premium gas. It drives well, and on gas, it gets very good mpg, matching or beating most cars its size.

  59. Al DeGennaro Says:

    Barb, you did an excellent job. Upbeat style, clear, and professional. I hope to see you again on Autoline.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    OK, Barb speaks well and is attractive, but she obviously doesn’t know the auto biz, calling TrailBlazer et. al. “small crossovers.” I have no problem with her returning as a sub for John, but she needs to either learn a little about autos, or read a prepared script verbatum, written by someone who knows the business.

  61. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link to a Reuters piece on the computer hacking community reaching out to automakers.

    54 I hear you, Kit

  62. Philip Siekierke Says:

    Yes, Barbara was a wonderful substitute for John.
    Has my vote to be added to the team.

  63. MATT RAHIJA Says:

    John I love your commentary but Barbara was really refreshing both as as a commentator and as eye candy. Could you please publish a little background info on her?(If she were to start her own car info website I definitely would subscribe!

  64. MATT RAHIJA Says:

    John I love your commentary but Barbara was really refreshing both as as a commentator and as eye candy. Could you please publish a little background info on her?(If she were to start her own car info website I definitely would subscribe!

  65. MATT RAHIJA Says:

    John I love your commentary but Barbara was really refreshing both as as a commentator and as eye candy. Could you please publish a little background info on her?(If she were to start her own car info website I definitely would subscribe!

  66. blueovalblood Says:

    WooHoo! new host! Christie’s still the favorite guest host. John you’re outta here! lol.

  67. blueovalblood Says:

    Seriously, I thought Barbara did a great job. Smooth and effortless.

  68. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Barbara you mentioned that this (week) was “sort of an experiment”; to what effect was this experiment aimed? If it was just you (as host), you did okay, if it was an experiment using non-automotive (types) to read the news, well then IMO, not so much. Credibility trumps smooth presentation most of the time. Again, JMO.

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Barb is a school teacher at Lincoln Park Middle School. Also, she is into other things:

    Maybe I found two different Barb Banyais, though, but both are in Michigan.

  70. RonE Says:

    #50, LOL, G.A, I know some people that could drive this new “Green Car” from New York to L.A. and never have to stop for a fill up.

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    G. A. Does it come in a 4,6 or 8 seater?

  72. Barbara Says:

    Thank you for all of the commentary. I have to say that I respect your passion for the auto industry. The fact that you have responded to our August 8th question, proves your dedication to the hard work the Autoline team presents. I am not just a ‘talking head’. I am an educated woman, with several gifts that I am using:) Reading your comments and discussions has educated me regarding the industry.
    Keep watching. Keep discussing. It is refreshing.

  73. Tom Miller Says:

    Barbara did a great job. She is a very cheerful, clear speaker with good delivery. John has built a valuable, credible Autoline dynasty over many years. He should be able to have time away and know that his audience will be there for his insights when he returns.

  74. Michael Bauer Says:

    I really enjoyed listening to Barbara Banyais this week. She did an excellent job and I hope you use her again! Barbara is a great team member of Autoline and I hope she returns again soon!

  75. Peter P Says:

    Barbara Banyai’s presentation style was polished and easy to listen to. What I missed from both guest presenters, which John delivers regularly, were the insightful comments about breaking news, or those additional tid-bits that appear to be unscripted.

    Until we have both a consummate professional with the automotive industry inside knowledge, then John, you cannot pull out yet.

  76. HtG Says:

    A very disturbing racing death. Tony Stewart killed another driver an event last night. Here’s a person’s video. Don’t watch it if you might be sensitive, though it seems to me that these two were both enraged. No charges against Stewart.

  77. HtG Says:

    Get a lawyer, Mr. Stewart. And keep your mouth shut.

  78. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Running onto the active racetrack wasn’t a very smart move,and it killed him.Being put into a wall maybe isn’t very cool,but it’s racing and it happens.To run out onto the track to point a finger is stupid beyond belief.

    @ Pedro: Yes they do have an 8 seater,it’s very large,and has ‘GoodYear’ written on the sides,lol.

  79. TJWatson59 Says:

    Barbara did a fine job of reading from the prompter. The difference between doing that and showing the passion that John has for this is opposite ends of the spectrum. It is not an easy job, Sean is still trying to get the hang of it.

  80. E. Gillman Says:

    I’ve been a fan of the show for many years. Barbara and Murray are excellent substitute hosts as are all the rest of the substitutes when John is not available. Keep the shows coming and keep up the quality work.

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A sad incident. From the video, it looks like the guy almost deliberately ran in front of Stewart’s car, but we’ll never know the whole story. I hope more videos show up, like showing the perspective from behind the cars approaching Ward, as he ran onto the track.

  82. Kevin Mcguffin Says:

    2 thumbs up. Barb was great.

  83. Lawrence Says:

    Nice complements to you John. Sean with his special technical insight, and Barbara with her special female perspective.

  84. Chris O Says:

    Ditto everyone – Barbara did a great job! Don’t know if she is a TV journalist or auto industry person but if not both, she’s had me fooled. Would be a great addition to the team.

  85. Mark Braeger Says:

    I thought Ms. Banyai did an excellent job! Very professional delivery. Bring her back whenever the need arises.


  86. mark Says:

    Bring back Banyai