AD #1883 – Chinese Find Success in Crippled Russia, U.S. Small Van Sales Soar, Renault Updates Best-Selling Car

June 13th, 2016 at 11:47am

Runtime: 6:41

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Russian Car Sales Continue to Drop
- Small Van Sales Soar in U.S.
- 300-Mile EV from Mercedes
- Mercedes to Sell Plug-In Fuel-Cell GLC
- BMW Prices New Bigger Battery i3
- Renault Introduces Updated Clio Hatch
- Hail Damage Has Huge Impact

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15 Comments to “AD #1883 – Chinese Find Success in Crippled Russia, U.S. Small Van Sales Soar, Renault Updates Best-Selling Car”

  1. Brett Says:

    I saw an inflatable car cover that served to protect a parked car from hail that looked quite clever.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I know I’m enjoying my mini-mini van.Good power/mpg’s/lottsa room etc.It’s still a hoot to drive.

  3. Tman Says:

    Looks like these small vans have replaced the market left by small pickups. They also have more utility than a pickup. I hope it grows further.

  4. W L Simpson Says:

    Composite roof & hood overlays would deter hail damage .An overlay would not require structural strength

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    If you don’t really care what your car looks like, a hail damaged rescue is a great buy, just fix the broken glass.

  6. cwolf Says:

    The piece about Mercedes plan to compete with the Tesla X within the decade made me ask why there isn’t a greater effort to shorten the delay. Then, based upon Tesla hype vs real numbers, I then realized there is no real reason to hurry. Sure Tesla said today they are producing 2000 units/day. To be fair lets make that 1800 because some models need more work off the assembly line. So even if they work a seven day schedule, that’s still less than 250 units of ALL models. I think if Tesla sold bull crap they would be self supportive.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Anybody heard from HtG lately?

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 I haven’t, and I miss his insightful, and sometimes entertaining posts.

  9. Roger T Says:

    Remember the old Saturn vehicles, those were dent proof. Anyone here knows why don’t automakers use more plastics in car panels? Wouldn’t that be cheaper and possibly lighter than aluminum? That would also be more dent proof.

  10. GaryPaul Says:

    That’s an easy one, Roger. The Saturn vehicles equipped with the thermoplastic body panel exteriors had large gaps between the panels because they would expand and contract noticeably when they would heat up and cool down (as in the sunlight), unlike with metal– and as Honda and others were making the gaps smaller and smaller it looked odd and GM wanted to fix that problem so they started to move away from the plastic on the Saturn’s—which was one of the reasons why people were supposed to like them! You can still see these gaps if you look at any plastic Saturn today… If this were 1947 back when big panel gaps were fine (recall that they did not build vehicles to today’s higher standards, back then), we could still be seeing these thermoplastics.

    In addition the plastic panels were slightly more expensive to manufacture at the time, because they took longer to make.

  11. GaryPaul Says:

    In addition, the plastic panels do tend to be lighter but they haven’t been able (so far) to fix the expansion and contraction troubles… unless someone has recently invented a plastic panel that will not shrink and grow in size with the temperatures..

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Did the Saturn body panels really save weight? Since they were mostly non-structural, I thought the need for a stronger “space frame” might have made the cars heavier, than with steel panels.

  13. Gene E Says:

    Re: 9 & 10…..I suspect that the gaps had some effect on the drag numbers.

  14. Ukendoit Says:

    7) G.A., its been over 3 months since HtG was on here! We may need to send out the troops to round him up.

  15. Tman Says:

    @11, The BMW i3 does have the visual quality of a metal bodied car. It shows that the technology is there to make plastic panels with a similar panel gap to metal panels.

    The only deterrent is the curing time of thermoplastic compare to just stamping steel or aluminum. BMW can get away with it on a low volume i3, but they still use metal for their high volume models.