AD #1476 – Tesla Upgrades Model S, GM Sales Up in China, Toyota Most Valuable Car Brand

October 10th, 2014 at 11:59am

Runtime: 5:39

- Tesla’s Big Announcement
- Tesla Fights Michigan Dealer Laws
- GM Sales Surge in China
- Toyota Most Valuable Car Brand
- Mobile Car Shopping Ranks
- Autoline This Week Preview

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61 Comments to “AD #1476 – Tesla Upgrades Model S, GM Sales Up in China, Toyota Most Valuable Car Brand”

  1. Enn Norak Says:

    Is there no federal restraint-of-trade law that is strong enough to trump Michigan’s war against Tesla?

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hmmm Porsche is number 3 as a car bought via smart phone, and I always thought it was a brand favored by people who like to drive, and who might want to actually check out the machinery.

  3. E. Gillman Says:

    After Nicole’s first week at the anchor chair, I think she did a credible job of reporting the news and sounds like she likes cars and the industry, a most important attribute when reporting on the subject. I would welcome her back anytime John is unavailable.

  4. David Buzo Says:

    Nicole Geverink does an excellent job reporting. Gives an impression that she is interested in the subjects and presents well.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think the Dealer laws need to be enforced universally; now if they are modified or repealed that would be fine with me, but as Tesla is (or should be) the same as any other manufacturer, so must they follow what others are required to do. They, Tesla, certainly have the right to not agree (with the current law) but should be held (to that law) until changed.

    And as far as their “D” car, while impressive, I can’t wonder whether they will run out of buyers of this now more expensive hot-rod. And the cost of performance has to be its weight (nearly 5,000 pounds).

  6. HtG Says:

    Why isn’t Tesla fighting the dealers at the Federal level? It’s hard to believe Musk hasn’t had lawyers look at this route. Going state by state takes so long and must be expensive.

  7. HtG Says:

    2. Kit, I thought we all understood it was my job to bust on Porsche owners. ;)

  8. Lawrence Says:

    “making hay”
    I love it Nicole.
    John, don’t worry about the one who is “holding down the fort”. All went well.
    As they say, no farmers, no food…..

  9. Bradley Says:

    I wonder if Productions-Plus has any male resources. That might keep the gushing down ;) .

    Great Job Productions-Plus! (i.e. Nicole)

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why are the Detroit 3 so concerned about Tesla setting up their own stores in their turf, are they scared of the car or the concept? They should let them try and see if it succeeds, maybe they want to try it too.

  11. Ed Says:

    With all the legal maneuvering Elon Musk us using to change things to his way of thinking, is he even a citizen of the USA? I thought he is from South Africa.

  12. Ed Says:

    Well he was born in South Africa and then was a Canadian citizen, and was then naturalized citizen of the USA. Many other countries allow dual or even multiple citizenship. these people can claim to be a citizen of the world and go and take technology to the highest bidder, how freeing to only have to be loyal to oneself. At any sign of trouble you can flee to anyplace you like. Go Elon!

  13. Bradley Says:

    #10

    Just like Tucker and the many others the Big 3 beat via good Lawyers. It is business.

    At a minimum, they are costing Tesla a little bit of money by fighting them. As the burden of proof is on Tesla.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tucker didn’t have a chance, even without the big 3 fighting him. The few cars he built were one-offs, using junk yard Cord transmissions, Olds fenders, etc. The engines were airplane engines modified with water jackets, and would be too expensive, even for a Rolls-Royce.

  15. GM Veteran Says:

    Y’all need to pay a little more attention. The Big 3 are not fighting Tesla. The state dealer organizations (including Michigan) are the ones fighting Tesla. They are also the folks that are behind the dealer franchise protection laws and are using those laws to try to keep Tesla from having Tesla-owned stores. They feel that it threatens the dealer franchise system and may open the door to GM or Ford or Chrysler setting up dealerships that they own and unfairly competing with franchised dealers on price.

  16. Paul B Says:

    Pedro, I think the Big 3 are concerned because their dealer’s are, but I wonder if there might be some in high positions who could be wondering; ‘Hmmm, what IF we can eliminate a layer between us and the consumer?’

  17. Bradley Says:

    #14

    Feature wise, Tucker had a lot going for it. Headlights that looked into the turn, disc brakes, etc.

    #15

    You are correct that is what the “story” is saying. However, it would be very naive to assume GM isn’t lobbying at some level to someone about the issue of Tesla. This is more than just dealers.

  18. HtG Says:

    If you let Tesla open ‘galleries’ across the country, then what stops Chinese carcos from doing the same thing in a few years? If I’m a Big-D exec, presumably that’s what I get paid to think about.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    If the Detroit 3 are scared of the Chinese crappy cars competing against them, they got more problems than advertised.

  20. HtG Says:

    I wouldn’t underestimate China. Think of the electronics being not only assembled, but designed there. They are designing and manufacturing the chips going into mobile and embedded devices. And what happens if the chicken tax goes away in the current trade talks?

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG they say a car is a sum of its parts and if the Chinamobiles come with parts as poorly made as the ones they sent over here, they should have total system failures a few months after purchase, I have seen many cases of defective Chinese made parts installed by my mechanic in different cars, that now customers are asking for US made parts instead and paying more for them.

  22. HtG Says:

    20 True. But I expect them to improve quality, at least among some brands. US carcos were making some cheap parts too. And if you look at Haider appliances, at one point they made a conscious decision to produce quality stuff.

  23. Tom M. Says:

    Nicole Geverink did a super job reporting the news this week.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    One of the main problems with Chinese parts is their steel, I’ve read that it’s just not as good as the Western made stuff and that is the basic material in many parts, which explains why my wheel bearings failed after only 2 weeks of use.

  25. HtG Says:

    I think the west still has a considerable intellectual property advantage. Hopefully, we’ll maintain it.

    at this point, we’d usually be reminded by our Denver friend that China is working day and night to ‘gather’ our secrets.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I know they can make quality stuff when they want, they have the only high-end tube CD player in the market which has received accolades from the audiophile community, also their HiFiMan line of headphones is world class and that is a Chinese company, perhaps they copied from the West and built it cheaper and just as good, but didn’t the Japanese do the same thing many moons ago?

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    No one should be afraid of Chinese cars initially, if/when they first show up. They will probably be crap, but so were the first Japanese cars we saw, especially in regard to body rust. The first Hyundais weren’t so hot either. My friend’s ’80′s Excel was simple, cheap, and unreliable, even though it was simple, but H/K are competitive in all ways now, at least their mainstream stuff. No one should discount what Chinese cars might be in 20 years.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, don’t forget that both Japan and Korea are democracies and their business are free to prosper and innovate, not so the Chinese, their pseudo-capitalists ways where govt is involved in their industries is what is keeping them from being the # 1 economy right now, they sure have the population and resources but that completely private enterprise system is what is lacking there.

  29. HtG Says:

    It’s hard to have the rule of law when one party has to be in charge forever. I wish I were younger, because China’s development going to be exciting to watch. Right now it looks like Xi’s deal is to consolidate power and crack down on corruption.

  30. w l simpson Says:

    If Musk wasn’t such an upfront guy , he could have installed pseudo dealers. If I were he, I would create a mesmerizing national web site , sell on line , deliver any where w/buyer right
    of rejection after test drive . allow full refund, no argument. necessary service centers
    should not be a problem , if they don’t sell the vehicle.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I saw a Tesla boutique, or whatever they call it, for the first time yesterday. It is in Indy’s fanciest mall which has an Apple store, a Microsoft store, and Saks 5th Avenue. The Tesla place had a car and a rolling chassis on display, and two very pleasant and knowledgeable employees. They seemed prepared for, and willing to talk to people like me, along the the occasional actual buyer.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tesla does not need a large, traditional dealership to operate, a kiosk type store is all they need, why the guy I met who bought one, did so from home,. online and never even took a test drive and he ordered exactly how he liked it, what a concept.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I didn’t think to ask if the car on display was for sale. I doubt if it was, unless they had another behind the curtain. I’m sure they would want to have a car on display at all times. The display car was a very pretty metallic red.

  34. HtG Says:

    They can’t sell out of the store, as far as I know. But I believe you can go online at the store or anywhere and order a car. Hey, I bet I could do that to buy a Chevy Trax! Just like the dealer does! I bet I could even finance on that darn ‘mputer!

  35. UKendoit Says:

    16, GM Vet said it best, as it was explained here on Autoline Daily. Implying that the Big3 are fighting Tesla either directly or indirectly doesn’t make sense to me. If they were in the fight, they would be on Tesla’s side. The DEALER network is fighting to keep vehicle MANUFACTURERS from selling their own products directly to consumers. The Big3 would probably be happy to cut out the middle-man and sell just the way Tesla is.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    Would the OEM’s want to sell directly to consumers and keep the profits dealers make?

    The correct answer to that question is yes.

    Will dealers fight to the death to protect their system?

    The correct answer is yes.

    Why do you think Warren Buffett bought into dealerships in such a big way?

  37. LVcurious Says:

    VW extended their JV agreement with Chinese FAW until 2041 !!! I have never heard of any agreement going that far out. Hard to believe.

  38. blueovalblood Says:

    John, take your time, see Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, heck see the world!! Nicole nailed it all week!!

  39. HtG Says:

    Autoweek

    Did anyone who watched the show understand what the panelist seated closest to John meant when he spoke about shifting the mileage balance from 50/50 to 60/40, or the other way around?

    And do the regs account for the weight of occupants?

  40. HtG Says:

    car/truck balance

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I must be the only one here who usually just reads the transcript, rather than watching the video. I watch the video when there is a note that an item will be only on the video.

  42. HtG Says:

    no you’re not, Kit ;)

  43. C-Tech Says:

    it will be interesting to see if OEM’s attempt to introduce more 2 door models. If you have a 2 door version of a Fusion or Camry, reducing the 2 doors and associated hardware and wiring makes for a lighter and more fuel efficient vehicle. I see most vehicle driven with 1-3 people in them so it would not be much of a sacrifice for most owners.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40, It seems that everyone keeps dropping 2 door cars, I guess because they don’t sell well. Done properly, I think 2 doors look good, but apparently most people don’t want them.

    It seems that Honda is wanting an excuse to kill off the 2 door and/or manual transmission Accord,given the way they are offered. The only color you can get a 4 cylinder manual 2 door Accord is black. WTF?

  45. cwolf Says:

    The doors on sedans are usually wider than a 4 door. This makes it tougher to enter/exit the doors inside a garage. Also,as a result of the added length, the door bottom often scrapes on the top of curbes if opened too far.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Back when there were a lot of big 2 door cars, I avoided parking next to them, because the long doors made them a big hazard for causing door dings.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    No one buys 2 doors unless they’re sports cars and even then… the last 2 door sedan I can think of is the Altima and Accord and they sell in small numbers, even though most cars you see driving down the street only have one or two occupants, the majority of buyers want 4 doors, even when it comes to trucks.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 2 door Civic still seems to sell fairly well, but other than that, the “pony cars,” MINIs, and sports cars are the only 2 doors that sell at all well.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Honda seems to REALLY be wanting an excuse to kill off the 2 door Accord. For 2015, the only colors available are black or grey, no matter how you otherwise equip it.

  50. C-Tech Says:

    You are all correct.
    All it takes is 1 OEM to design, market, and produce a great mid-sized coupe again (like the Thunderbird or Cutlass Supreme) or lower priced mid-size car (like the Chevelle or Torino) when 2 doors cost less than 4 doors.

    Chrysler seems to be killing off any interesting cars under $35K

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Challenger is a lot like a Cutlass Supreme or Thunderbird, except that it’s made by a different company, and it has retro pony car styling.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The ’78-’88 Cutlass Supreme and ’89-’97 Thunderbird are nearly identical size to the current Challenger, within a couple inches in both length and width.

  53. C-Tech Says:

    @ #49 The dimensions may be close, but from a marketing perspective a Cutlass Supreme customer is miles away from a pony car customer.

  54. C-Tech Says:

    Porsche produced a 3.8L engine for the 911 and Chrysler produced a 3.8L engine for the minivan but they are not interchangeable.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Boy, GM and Ford sure sold a lot of those mid size, 2 doors under different names, what the hell happened to them? FWD and downsizing, that’s what!!

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50, But Challenger is the “personal luxury cruiser” of pony cars, and a couple people I know bought them for that reason.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52, For a few years, in the 70′s Cutlass Supreme was the top selling car in America.

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    It was a great affordable personal coupe, but Monte Carlo also sold very well

  59. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Cutlass Supreme in around 1977 was the car that begat the uproar about Chevy engines in Oldsmobiles. Funny thing is, the Chevy engine was probably better. At least it seemed that way, given the number of friends I had replacing those aluminum rocker arm pivot things in the Olds engines.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Back then, buyers still believed that you could get a much better and different car by buying an Olds or Buick over a Chevy or Pontiac, we were so silly!!

  61. HtG Says: