AD #2063 – Cadillac Makes V2V Standard On CTS, South America Shows Signs of Hope, Should CAFE Be Killed Off?
March 10th, 2017 at 11:48am
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- South America Shows Signs of Hope
- Cadillac Makes V2V Standard On CTS
- The Backhoe of the Future
- Ford Mustang Learns Chinese
- Should CAFE Be Killed Off?
On today’s show…the Cadillac CTS is the first in the world to get V2V technology…the Ford Mustang can now read Chinese…and should Trump roll back the fuel economy standards? John has something to say about that. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
SOUTH AMERICA SHOWS SIGNS OF HOPE
The South American car market has been a disaster for years, but we’re starting to see a glimmer of hope. Wards Auto reports that sales in January jumped 11%, to nearly 290,000 units. That’s in spite of Venezuela being a total disaster, only 157 vehicles were sold in the country in January. And Brazil is still in trouble too. Automakers have been bleeding red ink in South America so any kind of turnaround could really boost their bottom lines.
CADILLAC MAKES V2V STANDARD ON CTS
We’ve been talking about V2V technology for well over a decade and now Cadillac is making it standard equipment on the 2017 CTS. V2V allows the cars to communicate with each other and can practically make it impossible for them to crash into each other. Cadillac uses Dedicated Short Range Communication and GPS and can handle 1,000 messages per minute from vehicles up to nearly 1,000 feet away. Drivers can choose to have alerts display in the instrument cluster or head-up display. The V2V feature is currently only available in CTS’s in the U.S. and Canada.
Did you know that BMW Designworks designs a lot more than just cars? That’s coming up next.
THE BACKHOE OF THE FUTURE
BMW’s Designworks does a lot more than designing BMW’s. Did you know they’ve worked with John Deere for over 20 years? They call this the backhoe of the future. The goal is to cut weight by at least 20% and equip it with a hybrid powertrain, which also lowers the center of gravity and improves visibility. The backhoe also features augmented reality controls and airless tires. I’ve always heard tires like these wouldn’t work on heavy vehicles, but a backhoe would certainly test that theory out.
FORD MUSTANG LEARNS CHINESE
Here’s something kind of cool. Since the Mustang is now sold globally it has to learn new languages. Now the updated SYNC 3 system can understand more than 2,500 handwritten Chinese characters, making it far more intuitive. An enhanced voice recognition system is also able to understand Mandarin commands and even local accents. The Mustang was first introduced to China in 2015 and last year sales jumped 45%. Now that it knows the local language, sales ought to do even better.
Should President Trump roll back the CAFE standards? Coming up next, John has something to say about that.
SHOULD CAFE BE KILLED OFF?
Automakers are asking President Trump to roll back the fuel economy standards and he’s probably going to end up doing so. Environmentalists are up in arms and both sides are playing fast and loose with the facts to make their case. So let’s cut through the BS and talk about what what’s really going on.
Automakers are using scare tactics, claiming 1 million jobs will be lost unless the standards are watered down. They also say that cheap gasoline prices mean not enough people are buying hybrids and electrics to be able to meet the standard. This is nonsense. The 1 million jobs baloney is a doomsday scenario that’s not going to happen. And the current CAFE standard anticipates that hybrids and electrics will only account for 3% of sales in 2025–the same as today. Under the old rules automakers had to average all their cars and trucks together, but that’s not the case anymore. They have the technology to meet the standard, but this is not a technology issue.
And that brings us to the other side of the argument. Environmentalists love to point out that automakers are currently running ahead of the requirements so this proves they can easily meet the 2025 standard. What they never point out is that the standards get much tougher in 2019 and ramp up after that. They also say the standards are not driving up the cost of cars that much, but that ignores reality. Prices are already going up by nearly $800 a year, and will soon start going up by $1,000 a year. Not all of that is due to regulations, but a lot of it is.
Environmentalists claim that cars account for 30% of all CO2 emissions, but the truth is that all transportation, including planes, trains, ships and heavy trucks, accounts for about 25%, while light vehicles only account for about 14%.
And then there’s the California Air Resources Board and its Byzantine collection of regulations that are so hard to understand that even the CARB has a hard time explaining how they work. Worst of all they mandate what percentage of electric cars that automakers have to sell. They’re trying to mandate market share by government regulation.
When the Obama Administration wrote the current CAFE rules everyone was sure we were running out of oil and that prices were going to skyrocket. So it set very aggressive standards. We don’t need to be that aggressive right now and can afford to ease up a bit. But we shouldn’t give up on the goals. That’s why I say, don’t make it a 2025 goal. Push it back to 2030. That would give the auto industry enormous relief while sticking to the standards. As for the California ZEV mandate, kill it. It’s ridiculous to put such a burden on an industry that only accounts for 14% of greenhouse gasses. It’s time for the other 86% to start doing their part.
Anyway that’s how I see it. As always we welcome your feedback. And with that we wrap up today’s show. Thanks for watching and please join us again on Monday.
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