AD #1655 – VW Develops Golf for the Track, AutoNation Dumps TrueCar, NAFTA Bigger Than China

July 10th, 2015 at 12:07pm

Runtime: 7:23

- NAFTA Bigger Than China
- AutoNation Dumps TrueCar
- Ford Ends Focus, C-Max Production in MI
- VW Develops Golf for the Racetrack
- U of M to Test 3D Printed Autonomous Cars
- Does Subaru Need a New Plant?

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39 Comments to “AD #1655 – VW Develops Golf for the Track, AutoNation Dumps TrueCar, NAFTA Bigger Than China”

  1. Bradley Says:

    Subaru’s success has stemmed from offering something different. That “difference” was labelled “niche” by GM.

    In 1999/2000, GM acquired a chunk of Subaru, this relationship gave birth to the Saabaru.

    Fortunately, the economy tanked and GM had to sell it off (I happy). Wise Toyota picked up those shares (I was happier). Fuji Heavy Industries is still in control of Subaru.

    Subaru’s success amplifies criticism of GM. IMO.

  2. RumNCoke Says:

    So, has TrueCar overplayed their hand or is this an example of what the tech guys call “disruptive technology” sweeping away the old ways?

  3. Lex Says:

    I am glad to hear that Subaru is working on a 7 passenger AWD vehicle. I think the Tribeca nameplate should remain. The “New” Tribeca should have a tag line “You Spoke We Listened!”. This vehicle will bring even more attention to the Subaru lineup and allow Tribeca / Subaru loyalist an opportunity to grow with the brand. This was a great interview with Tom Doll on ATW.

  4. Rob Says:

    Ford and GM continue to drop the price of their hybrid and plug-in’s. Because the government wants the cars more than there is a market for them. Sad how much money the auto industry is wasting being strong armed into building cars that have no market (or very small market).

  5. Mike N Says:

    I’m betting TrueCar has waaaay overplayed its hand. After a couple of experiences with the service that were, mediocre at best, I can see why Autonation told them to take a hike, especially if they demanded access to all sales data.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Subaru has been increasing sales year to year, but 500K annual sales for 7 or 8 models is not impressive for a mainstream car company. They do have a following, though, and my sister likes the Forester she got a few months ago.

    If they wanted to sell more cars, they would start selling FWD versions of some of their cars, like Impreza and Legacy. If they did that, they would expand their potential market. I would consider an FWD Impreza wagon, if they sold one, at least I would have considered one a few years ago when I bought my Malibu Maxx.

    Still, their AWD only thing (yes, except for BRZ) is working. They don’t want to compete with Toyota and Honda, and what they are doing is working well for them.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For those who don’t know, Subaru cars are FHI’s “core business,” in the company president’s words.

    https://www.fhi.co.jp/english/outline/index.html

  8. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The new subarus are very well made,get decent mpg’s etc.I’d say the only thing about the new ones that bother me is the oil consumption.That should not be.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The oil consumption I remember with boxer engines, was when I had an “air head” BMW bike. It would sometimes, but not always blow a cloud of blue smoke on startup, if parked on the side stand. In later models, I think they pinned the rings so the gaps would not be at the bottom, and that stopped the smoking.

    I don’t know if the Subarus’ oil consumption is anything to do with it being a boxer engine, but my sister’s Forester doesn’t seem to have a problem. It was still near the full mark after 5K miles.

  10. gary susie Says:

    I saw a survey by indepentdent mehecanic’s who all said don’t buy a subaru because they leak oil and use oil.

  11. gary susie Says:

    I saw a survey by indepentdent mehecanic’s who all said don’t buy a subaru because they leak oil and use oil.

  12. HtG Says:

    It’s interesting what Subaru’s Doll said about how the US sales group persuaded Japan to make the cars bigger. I’ve noticed that the Subies are pretty bigger these days compared to the past.

    As for price, I know a guy that won a price battle with his local dealer by pitting him against another. I don’t think I’d have the stones to do that.

  13. XA351GT Says:

    Funny thing is Subaru’s business model of just AWD isn’t the 1st to do it. American Motors did it with the Eagles back in the 80′s when they phased out to 2WD versions of cars. AMC always pushed the trends and were often ridiculed for them. Admittedly some of their executions were not good. They were one of the 1st companies to use lift up door handles , Their suspensions were always ahead of the big three. The Pacer as homely as it was was one of the 1st cab forward designs. Had the car been produced as intended FWD with rotary power it would have had even more interior room than it did. The Gremlin was mocked for it’s design ,but Honda copied it with the Civic DX . My wife has her eye on getting a Crosstrek if we get a brand new car.

  14. HtG Says:

    Off Topic. Way Way Off.

    Here’s one for you, Kit. A NASA piece on space weather affecting New Horizons as it approaches Pluto.

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/scientists-simulate-the-space-environment-during-nasas-new-horizons-flyby

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 My sister’s Forester is huge, compared to an older one at my condo. I suspect most of Subaru’s current products are designed for North America, their biggest market.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks, HtG. I’ll check it out.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I thought AMC sold the rear drive Concord sedan and wagon along side the 4WD Eagles. Maybe I mis-remember, though.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    Kit I think from 83-87 the only thing AMC offered was the 4WD Eagles. Which were Concords and Spirits when in 2WD . The Concords and Spirits were renamed Hornets and Gremlins.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Weird:
    Reg gas- $3.15.9
    diesel- $3.09.9

  20. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The worse car I have ever driven was an AMC Hornet. I don’t recall the year but it had to be in the early 1980′s (the car was a middle to late 1970′s); granted it was a government fleet vehicle with power ‘nothing’ but it sure did drive poorly.

    Looks like the “Eagle” was AMC’s only model from 1984 till its demise in ’88. (though they did still have Jeep till the end as well)

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16, 18 Yep, it looks like I mis-remembered. They dropped the rwd Concord after ’84 or so.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    RE True Car, I heard that the dealers pay them over $300 for a list of prospective clients, I’d rather go to buy the car where they’re gonna take that $300+ and pass it on to me instead.

  23. HtG Says:

    So TruCar was trying to collect client lists from AutoNation et al so they could remarket them and pit dealers against each other? They could know when leases are coming due and then sell those names? No wonder Mike Jackson walked out.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    They should have people that are good at haggling and fighting for every penny, offer themselves to go with you and buy your next car, unfortunately lawyers ask too much money!

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    According to Auto cheat sheet, out of the top 10 most unreliable new cars you can buy, four of them are FCA products. What say you, Sergio?

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Which ones?

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Dart 1.4 turbo, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Fiat 500L Duh!# 1 on the list and Jeep Cherokee, congrats, Sergio and this is not coming from CR or JD Power.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Do they say what breaks on them?

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found the article. It’s based on CR’s survey data.
    http://www.cheatsheet.com/automobiles/the-10-least-reliable-new-cars-you-can-buy.html/?a=viewall

    FCA had the most vehicles on the list, but there are 2 Benzes and 2 Nissan products.

  30. C-Tech Says:

    Interesting. The CR respondants had common complaints about the radio/infotainment systems and these new transmissions. I wonder how much is in the different interfaces and different ways these transmissions shift?

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    With Ford it’s the info-tainment, with the FCA products, it’s mostly engines and transmissions, according to most experts, FCA has some of the best, easier to use screens in the industry. In the case of the Pathfinder as well as the Infinity variant, it’s the CVT that has issues.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    I am already having issues with the Chinese made CV joints installed in the Crapolla less than 2 yrs ago, my OEM units lasted almost 10 yrs, I’ve had it with Chinese parts. Will be willing to try the dealer or Rock Auto to avoid such inferior parts in the future.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems like the ZF designed 8 speed autobox in the rear drive Chryslers generally gets good reviews, but the ZF designed 9 speed front drive transaxle does not. Does Sergio need to hire some help to program the 9 speeds, or are they using the wrong gearing with them?

  34. HtG Says:

    There’s talk now about a forced Greek exit from the Euro, possibly leading to a break up of the monetary union. Why does it matter to us? Because German exports are kept cheaper by not having D Marks trade on their own, ie at a higher value.

    This week might get exciting

  35. HtG Says:

    On top of the Pluto fly by

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There were a few protestors near the gates to Canaveral AF Station a few days before the Pluto probe was launched, because of the “fuel cell” using radioactive materials. I suspect it would not have released radiation, even if the rocket blew up on the pad, but I’m glad it didn’t. It’s hard to believe the launch was 9 years ago. I guess time flies, when you’re getting old(er).

  37. HtG Says:

    It’s a thermocouple. People need to take a deep breath. Now that time thing,…I hear that.

  38. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LOUD AND CLEAR,lol.I am still tickled to death(??) of still being around.What a long strange trip so far.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 They use a pound or two of plutonium, strontium 90, or other material that produces heat during radioactive decay, heating the thermocouples to produce electricity. I’m sure there was essentially zero chance of the material being spread about, even if the rocket blew up on the pad.