AD #2059 – Ford Tests 3D Printing Big Parts, Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, GM Dumps Opel

March 6th, 2017 at 11:56am

Runtime: 9:23

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- GM Dumps Opel
- Ford Europe More Efficient Than GM
- 4 Million Vehicles in Inventory
- Ford Tests 3D Printing Big Parts
- Toyota Develops Autonomous Vehicle
- Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
- Are Diesels Headed For Extinction?

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24 Comments to “AD #2059 – Ford Tests 3D Printing Big Parts, Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, GM Dumps Opel”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Small diesels for cars are definitely on their way out,imho.However,for pickups,even the midsize ones,I think it will get a bit better,until they are no longer able to stay in compliance with new emissions regs/vs costs.Then they will also fade away.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I thought there might be some mention of another Tesla Auto-Pilot accident. This time the system failed to notice a work zone (and followed the lane markers into the barrier). It was definitely driver error but Tesla, I think, needs to rename the system.

    It seems to me that if there are 4 million inventory vehicles, and the probably solution is to reduce the price via incentives, that the price of the vehicles are too high to begin with.

  3. Albemarle Says:

    I think GM were hoping their diesel Cruze would appeal to the VW diesel market. Unfortunately for GM, it’s not just the diesel, it’s the whole German car package. The great torque and fun to drive feeling needs a tighter European suspension. Corner acceleration was the most fun.

    I don’t see VW diesel customers being attracted to any American manufacturer.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They are going to sell the Cruze diesel with a manual transmission this time, a good thing. A manual is essential, to experience the “fun” part of a diesel engine, the low rpm torque and power curve. With an automatic, you don’t really know what the engine “feels like.”

    As far as diesels making sense, they don’t, except for large trucks, buses, trains, and boats. In cars and light duty pickups, they barely get enough better mpg to make up for the higher energy content of the fuel. Then, the diesels are higher maintenance, with expensive fuel filters, more frequent oil changes, and the after treatment fluid.

  5. Bradley Says:


    Nope. Maybe if the Buick Regal Wagon existed…

    We ended up with a used Lexus IS-250…it is a sweet ride. Thank you VW for buying it for us.

  6. Lex Says:

    GM is better off selling off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA. The unfortunate thing is that certain Buick models still come from Opel. GM should switch Buick to be a solely Chinese sold brand and bring back Pontiac as a “Sporty” division for North America. We need a new Trans Am for North America.

    The space being emptied by diesel sales will soon be filled by EV’s in the not to distant future. The Cruze was in GM’s pipeline for sometime and it is hard to turn it off after so much investment in the technology.

    Is the reason Ford was so much more profitable than GM in Europe due to the supplier base and pre-assemble of major components which were delivered for final assemble by Ford workers?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 I am a former VW diesel owner (1.9 TDI Jetta wagon), and the Cruze diesel would appeal to me, now that you can get it as a hatchback, with a manual transmission. I doubt that I’ll buy one, though. It’s hard to beat a Prius for operating cost and utility.

  8. MJB Says:

    John, once diesels die completely in the States, how long do you figure it will be before we can no longer find a gas station that sells the fuel?

    I was still a kid when the switch was made from leaded to unleaded gas, so I don’t recall how long it took before leaded pumps became completely extinct.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I bet there are aftermarket companies selling grill kits and screaming chicken decals to make a Camaro into a Trans Am. At least, there a Barracuda kits for today’s Challengers, so I’d think there would be Trans Am kits.

  10. Drew Says:

    @8 – Remember a majority of 3/4-ton and heavier trucks are diesel-equipped and will remain as such (can’t beat the torque for hauling loads). So, diesel fuel will remain broadly available.

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #8: When the switch was made from leaded to unleaded,the pumps changed over essentially overnight in some cases.In others,that had much bigger tanks,it took considerably longer.At least that’s how it went where I lived.

  12. John McElroy Says:

    #8. Twenty years ago it was difficult to find gas stations in the U.S. that sold diesel fuel, except at truck stops. The move to offer diesels in pickups changed that. Even if diesels drop out of the passenger car market, there is plenty of demand from pickups. And even if they went away, we’d just go back to how it was before diesels became popular.

  13. Lisk Says:

    I’m sure all the big automakers are going to go big for 3D printing of bigger parts; if not, they should be. I think once 3D printing has matured a bit more, complex castings can be replaced with 3D printed parts. I think the parts can be made lighter and stronger by mixing the medium used for the part. It will be a long time before 3D printed parts will be able to match the cost of a casting but if you are only planning a run of 100-500 parts, it might be cheaper in the long run. Another benefit would be the ability to reproduce out of production parts. No longer would the tooling would have to be kept to make the part, but they could be generated in days, rather than weeks or months.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve been around 3D printing, to some extent, since it came into existence, and one thing hasn’t changed. It is slow, and would be cost effective as a manufacturing process, only for very low volume parts. It takes hours to make a plastic part weighing less than a pound.

    For low production volume, like buyer-specific Rolls-Royce hood ornaments, 3D printing would be cost effective.

  15. phred Says:

    Never devalue the engineering capability and ingenuity to solve complex problems for diesel engines. Look at how the direct injection gasoline engines and hybrid power train designs have matured. I enjoy watching “talking heads” expounding as market experts on engineering driven issues that cannot be solved.

  16. MJB Says:


    Having first-hand experience using 3D printers to make parts myself, I must agree. In the time it takes to eek out one printed part, 100 could be injection molded.

    Regardless of how much the price of 3D printing falls over time, I think it’s safe to say it will always be an exponentially slower process than traditional methods – thus making it mainly good for low-production runs and bespoke parts needs. Not to mention, to get completely smooth, glossy finishes on 3D printed parts, post production finishing must be done. This adds a bit more cost.

  17. cwolf Says:

    Would 3D printing be best in initial part design rather than for production purposes? From my experiences, most parts have few surfaces that require tight tolerances and do not require a process like this. Lets say I used a CNC program to mill a hole; This milled hole is made up of minute straight lines, thus requiring grinding if a perfectly round hole is required. Would 3D printing be that much better and would it be really necessary for most all applications? I guess I don’t know enough to grasp the true benefits.

  18. kurtw Says:

    Perhaps, if Trump and Company succeed in killing most of the EPA and the CAFE rules, Diesel will no longer be considered a “polluter”? And if so, what happens to earlier VW diesels that may just prove acceptable within that new rule void?

  19. Jim Gordon Says:

    I have a suggestion unrelated to today’s topics but of interest in terms of your website management even so, I hope. Literally every day I double-click the “Seat Time” hot link hoping to find another car review. Well, if you see the date on your last entry there you can see that I’ve wasted my time literally every day since that last posting. So, I urge you either to remove that hot link or give some clue on this site when it has a new vehicle review. I’ve long ago lost my patience hoping to find a new vehicle review there but still look at it daily not knowing when, or if, I’ll see another one.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 If that happens, I hope states and cities will still be able to make their own rules. Dirty diesels are ok in rural Wyomoming, but are not ok in the LA basin, and many other urban areas.

  21. Barry Rector Says:


    I would like for GM to put a diesel in the Suburban and Yukon at a REASONABLE price.

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #18 AND #20
    I don’t see the Trump administration going backward on pollution standards; I’m thinking maybe, and only maybe, a delay in new more stringent standards. And the auto industry has been asking for this for the last couple administrations so nothing too new (or evil looming). Urea seems to be the standard quo, and had VW just used it, diesel’s future wouldn’t have been so tarnished (or VW’s reputation). JMO

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found several articles saying Trump/Pruitt are likely to roll back the CAFE standards, and possibly proposed emissions standards. It would be more difficult for them to kill the waivers allowing CA and other states to have their own, stricter standards.

    Even if CAFE is rolled back, I hope the auto companies continue with their work on improving efficiency of vehicles. Trump won’t always be there, and gas won’t always be cheap.

  24. G.A.Branigan Says:

    CAFE is what made our pickup trucks so damn big,which I hate.Imagine if the oems started making pickups the size of what they were back in the 80′s,with all the safety/tech/and today’s FE engines.I would love to see that happen,but it won’t.