AD #1748 – Ford/UAW Agreement in Jeopardy, Volvo Makes Engineer Sweat Design, Fiat + Miata = 124 Spider

November 19th, 2015 at 11:49am

Runtime: 7:35

- Ford/UAW Agreement in Jeopardy
- Volvo Tests Emergency Braking System
- Buick Debuts All-New LaCrosse
- Subaru Hints at Its Design Future
- Scion Getting Wild-Looking Crossover
- Mazda Develops New CX-9 for North America
- Fiat + Miata = New 124 Spider

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37 Comments to “AD #1748 – Ford/UAW Agreement in Jeopardy, Volvo Makes Engineer Sweat Design, Fiat + Miata = 124 Spider”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The scion crossover,is ugly to a point where the Juke looks beautiful.WTH are they thing?

    I like the new mx5,and the fiat 124 spider,nicely done.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I meant,”wth are they thinking”…

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Even though I’m not in the market for a small sports car, in my mind and between the two Fiat/Mazda, I would give the nod to the Miata (MX5).

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bet the guy in the car for the Volvo truck test was “ready to go,” if need be.

  5. Jon M Says:

    Was the FH tested at 80K lbs. with a loaded trailer? It’s a good system to have on truck, but can it adjust for slick roads and shifting loads (no pun intended), especially when it comes with a few inches in a controlled environment? All the more reason why such collision mitigation systems are helpful but not foolproof.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 I’d rather have the Mazda engine.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: yeah….to change his shorts…

  8. Jonathan Says:

    The fiat 124 should have had the 1.7 liter 237 hp fiat motor. Maybe the abarth version?


    I’d buy one for sure. This will be the next cuv niche to explode…..

    Hopefully Toyota will give it the 2.4 liter four and those huge tall tires for production.

    If they dumb it down…with a little motor and tiny wheels (small diameter it’ll be a dud) what say you?

    Will Toyota offer this as a scion with a 2.4 liter motor and large diameter wheels or most probably dumb it down to a bland transportation device?

    Is there hope that Toyohashi on a tear to really revamp it’s lineup to include cool looking and sports car like CUVs for scion?

  9. Lex Says:

    Toyota / Scion C-HR will be a disaster for both.
    The New Buick LaCrosse looks like an Acura.
    The New Subaru design language looks very Honda-ish. The Mazda CX-9 should be getting 250 hp of 87 Octane as the only grade of fuel needed.
    Is Mazda looking to partner with Fiat or FCA?

    Ford/UAW Union Negotiations Comment: Have Senior Leadership and Managers been receiving salary increases over the last ten years at Ford? I would believe the answer is YES. So Ford Management should give more consideration to their employees who actual build their vehicles. Are Ford Line Workers able to purchase Ford Vehicles at COST? I do not think so based upon the pricing I have seen from their latest sales campaign.

  10. Todd T Says:

    Scion C-HR styling: Chances are if you hate it, you’re not the target market.

    Fiat 124: Nicely done? Hummm, that cheap black plastic grill insert, and OMG that massive FIAT badge horribly stuck on the trunk lid, ruins the car! Maybe it is only stuck on and can be removed with judicious application of a heat gun.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6, 8 But a couple articles I’ve run across say it will probably driver better with the Fiat engine, with more power and torque, at lower rpm. I’d trust the simpler Mazda engine further for reliability, though.

  12. Drew Says:

    Lex, I see a lot of Acura in the body side sculpturing of the Subaru concept.

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I do not behold the front end of the Fiat 124.

  13. Lisk Says:

    While I like the designs of the new Miata/124, I feel both have missed the mark in terms of adding performance. I watched the video of the first gen Miata vs the current, and while the new one was quicker around the course, it wasn’t miles ahead. Think if a 1990 Corvette (or BMW M3) squared off against a 2015 one, there would be no contest. The Miata/124 both need at least another 50hp to keep up with the times…

  14. Buzzerd Says:

    CHR- I like it, bring it on.
    Buick laCrosse – looks very nice but where are the crossovers that Buick, Cadillac and Chev really need.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve already read that their might be an Abarth version of the 124, with the 1.75 turbo putting out 230-some hp. I wouldn’t think Mazda would want that on the market, unless they plan a higher power version of the Miata.

  16. Rob Says:

    Am I the only one that noticed the winglets on the new Buick grill looked just like the ones on the new Subaru Impreza grill which both look like they were taken from the Chrysler 200?

  17. Rob Says:

    #5 I was wondering the same thing. Do these braking systems adjust at all for road conditions?

  18. Don B. Says:

    Nice look to the overlay of vehicle stats, with the picture as back drop.

  19. BobD Says:

    To clarify the statement, “Workers haven’t had a pay raise in nearly 10 years and while an increase is part of the new deal, union members don’t feel its enough for the sacrifice they had to pay.”… It should be noted that the lower tier workers have gotten hourly rate raises and profit sharing over the past ten years. It is only the legacy workers who have not gotten a rate change, but they too have gotten profit sharing. It is also a little misleading in that ten years ago, the legacy workers agreed to a pay freeze “until they retire” in exchange for not having to take a pay cut. This was the basis of the two tier system where new hires started at much lower and their rates would eventually raise over time, and the legacy workers would not get raises unless the lower tier eventually increased to the legacy worker rates. Now the legacy workers are demanding more than the “frozen” rates they agreed to several contracts ago. Short memories for the legacy UAW workers. Perhaps times are different and the companies are more profitable for the time beings (providing big profit sharing checks), but increasing the legacy rates will eventually bankrupt their employers (again), or drive production to cheaper labor markets at an even faster rate.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 i’d think it would need ABS on all 18 wheels to work well

  21. william schultz Says:

    New LaCross designed by Opel?

  22. Rob Says:

    20 The problem with ABS is you still need at least one wheel to be spinning to let the system know your still moving. On ice you can lock up all the wheels even with ABS so maybe they can intergrate the vision system to identify that the vehicle is still moving.

  23. Wim van Acker Says:

    @5: “All the more reason why such collision mitigation systems are helpful but not foolproof.” Foolproof like human drivers?

    …32,000 casualties in traffic per year caused by humans …

  24. HtG Says:

    Volvo brakes

    One scenario I see on the highway is private drivers moving dangerously in front of trucks and buses. It’s like they think the truck is magic and it’s fine to cut it off. I’ll tell you, looking down from a box truck, your sedan is made of the aluminum foil that covers chocolate car candies. I wonder how the Volvo software decides what to do with lane changers.

  25. MJB Says:

    Much to comment on today:

    - Buick Lacrosse grille wings: NO! The grille looks too convoluted with those extra pen strokes. New interior: YES!

    - Subaru Imprezza is now quite Un-Imprezza with this mainstream styling (began at least one refresh ago), and the hexagonal grille just screams Ford Taurus to me.

    - Scion CHR: Though quite radical, I personally don’t think it will take the title from the reigning champ of ‘puke’, the Nissan Juke.

    - Fiat 124 Spider: Too much happening on that front facia. Loose the double-chin -errr- double-grille.

  26. W L Simpson Says:

    MIATA !– messing with FixItAgainTony will besmirch your spotless reputation !

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 With ABS, the wheels are turning, but with short pulses of slippage.

  28. MJB Says:

    #5 #23

    Hat’s off to the engineers on that tech. Going to save lot’s of lives (and rear bumpers).

    Unfortunately, it won’t save the front bumpers (or lives, for that matter) of the poor souls driving right behind said semi trucks.

    All the more reason not to tailgate a semi.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think the LaCrosse looks pretty good, but as others have said, the wing thing doesn’t fit. It looks like it should be a Chrysler, not a Buick. Keep the vertical things used in recent Buick grilles. They look decent, and help you know it’s a Buick.

  30. HtG Says:


    I haven’t seen any vehicle weight number for this Fiat. If there’s more power, the chassis may have been made stronger and heavier too, which isn’t very miatan.

    As for looks, I’ll take the original 124.

  31. HtG Says:

    I’ll have that LaCrosse interior all day. Wow, do I like Buick interiors.

  32. Rob Says:

    27 Yes Kit when ABS is working they spin but in heavy vehicles that use air braking systems its easy especially on ice to jam the brakes all wheels stop and ABS does not kick in because the vehicle thinks its stopped. Hense the need for one wheel to still spin.

  33. cwolf Says:

    As a UAW member, I believe the UAW should over-ride the skilled trades differences, though I am one. Wages and bonuses are more than enough and any petty grievances can and should be resolved at each local.

  34. cwolf Says:

    the Spider weighs a couple hundred pounds more than the Miata, I believe. For as much as I like the styling, I’m not fond of the Taurus-ish tail lights and have strong doubts about any reliability. I’d go for the Miata, but may be swayed by an S2000 if one came out. But I’ll have the MGC back come Spring. That has my heart over all others.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Even 40 years ago, skilled trades seemed more likely to vote against contracts than general clearing. As I remember, though, the overall vote was what counted for ratifying the contract.

  36. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I believe you are right but all I know is that labor and trades agreements are handled differently. I’ll get out my book tomorrow to see how these differences work.
    What gets me and is the basis for my beef with the OEM tradesmen, is the lack of realization of any over abundant profiting and gains they profit from forces those companies to squeeze suppliers to the point their trades can no longer make a decent wage. For instance; when I was GM, then Delphi a good wage was had. But now that KBI purchased the place skilled wages were cut over $17/hr and the UAW seemingly has tossed us out with the bath water and offers no real representation. I surmise, the UAW is so focused on winning VW unionization by these OEM labor contracts, the UAW has totally abandoned all efforts to represent suppliers. I’m at the point where Most wonder why we need the UAW. I’m not kidding!

  37. Rob Says:

    36 cwolf, your absolutely right. Back when the union was strong and the domestic automotive market was strong even the suppliers to the OEMs were union and everyone was making money.

    As corporate greed continued and the push for huge profits to shareholders and wages for the upper crust cuts were made, supplier divisions like Delphi and Visteon were split off so those wages could be negotiated separately.

    As you mentioned suppliers are beat down to the point of having to compete with Mexico, India, and China, which is the global market we compete in now. Once the UAW negotiates salaries that makes moving their jobs out of the country or to a supplier they’ll wish they accepted this contract. Profit sharing is the way to go.