AD #2064 – Fewer Americans Buy Green Cars, Toyota Spruces Up the 86, Alfa’s Plan to Win Over Customers

March 13th, 2017 at 11:57am

Runtime: 7:52

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- China Might Back Off EV Goals
- Fewer Americans Buy Green Cars
- Chevy Gets New Class 6 Truck
- Intel Buys Mobileye
- Toyota Spruces Up the 86
- Honda Back in the Winner’s Circle
- Alfa’s Plan to Win Over Customers

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26 Comments to “AD #2064 – Fewer Americans Buy Green Cars, Toyota Spruces Up the 86, Alfa’s Plan to Win Over Customers”

  1. Buzzerd Says:

    Green car sales- seems to me they are mirroring car sales in general. For a few years now car sales having been going down and cross overs are shooting up. So what does anyone offer for a plug-in or hybrid crossover? Most manufacturers offer little to nothing.

  2. Tuck&Roll Says:

    It’s not surprising that the EV segment is tanking. It’s primarily confined to the warmer climate areas of the US. EVs will never make in the northern tier. The technology will never be sophisticated to withstand a NE Nor’easter.
    And, AR? Time will tell. The interview was focused on the product and sales. Not on the long term reliability and support. He gave no assurance as to how AR would overcome its support legacy. I would like to see an interview of an AR rep in about 3 to 5 years, if they are still in the US.

  3. Lisk Says:

    How is Alfa doing in Europe? Are they making enough of a sales dent to justify the foray into the U.S.? I sort of cringe to see what will happen when the 300/Charger/Challenger migrate away from the antique MB chassis. FCAs track record with sedans of Italian origin isn’t good with the demise off the Dart/200 and the lackluster sales of the 500 models.

    The “new” Chevy class 6 truck; it’s an Isuzu. Joe would be proud, Louis, not so much so…

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just did my part to buck the trend, buying a new Prius, to replace my 2010. I certainly didn’t “need” a new one; the 2010 was doing fine, but I like that the new one is quieter at highway speed, and generally rides and drives better than the gen III car. Also, the new has some additional gadgets, like adaptive cruise control. I’ll soon know how the mpg is, but all reports indicate that the gen IV does better that the already exceptional mileage of the gen III Prius.

  5. Roger T Says:

    EV sales – low fuel prices in the period shown are the likely root cause of the trend. We as consumers tend to forget rather quickly that we hated spending $100+ for a fill up just a few years ago. But don´t be fooled, as batteries get cheaper and larger and affordable vehicles become available in pure electric, mass transition to EV will be inevitable.

  6. Drew Says:

    Sean, is Chevy’s class 6 truck home grown or is it another re-badge from Isuzu (or dome other partnership)?

    Why would anyone pay more for black painted mirrors and spoilers?!?! For generations, base model vehicles came with black mirrors and door handles, whereas upper trim versions had body-colored or chrome mirrors and door handles.

    Similarly, I view today’s black wheel fad with great disgust. To me, it evokes two separate and negative images… 1. The owner is too lazy to clean the brake dust… 2. Base/cheap cars in the 1960s came with black steel wheels with small hub caps… so today’s black wheels look like a cheap car with a missing hub cap. Bottom line – black wheels = cheap and lazy maintenance. I know you’ll tell me it is a generational thing, but I am willing to bet it is a fad (like wire wheel covers).

  7. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Lagging electric sales; of course, even though they are now ‘affordable’, the prices they command even after incentives are still relatively high for the amount of vehicle you get. The general buying population just doesn’t throw 10,000 dollars down to make a ‘green’ statement. Okay, some do, but a lot of folks just can’t make that statement financially, as it is substantial and can buy a lot of gas, oh, and let’s not forget grocerys. In order to get the general public, with the 2.3 kids, etc., etc. to take the plunge and help get those percentages up, there needs to be a whole lot more parity with the bottom line.

  8. aliisdad Says:

    I saw a Scion version of the car Toyota now calls the “86″, and it looked great.. In fact, it really caught my eye, and actually took me a minute to recognize it since you don’t really see them much.. I began to wonder why they haven’t been more popular, and I think it might be the fact that the Miata might be a better choice in a similar price range… Although the “86″ seems really nice, the Miata is a lot more “sports car”… As far as the new “special” model of the “86″, I am not sure that some black paint and a couple of new colors will do the job without some real performance added… On the other hand, we Americans seem to get tricked over and over by black add-ons, fake vents, spoilers, stripes, etc., and they seem to really open up some peoples wallets!!

  9. John McElroy Says:

    #2. The director of Alfa Romeo North America Pieter Hogeveen did address reliability issues and how they are going to handle customer service. You can watch the entire interview on our website in the Autoline After Hours section.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 Black wheels are now “fashionable,” but I doubt that will last too long. It 1974, I painted the black wheels of my low option Plymouth Duster with aluminum paint, to make the car look less “cheap.” How things change.

    Yep, the Chevy medium duty trucks are Isuzu.

  11. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Kit – Congrats on the new set of wheels. Can’t wait to read more about it once you get some more time behind the wheel.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks, Sean

  13. Dan Hudgins Says:

    A correction regarding CA’s ZEV mandate. CA’s mandate is for ZEV credits, not vehicles and there are a number of vehicle classes that earn those credits at different rates. It’s a very complicated system but a very capable EV like the Bolt is likely to earn the maximum of 4 credits per vehicle. CA uses a very advantageous city cycle when measuring range. The Leaf for instance scores 160 miles vs only 107 on the EPA cycle. So the 238 mile range Bolt is likely to score 350+ miles, the maximum. So, instead of needing to sell 15% of sales, they’d only need to sell 3.75%. The overall goal is actually 22% credits in 2025 but the other part can be met with vehicles like the Volt and other plug-ins, etc.

  14. Dom Montesano Says:

    Half of the country lives in rural America. We travel 40 miles one way to a big box store with the heater on in winter and the A/C on in the summer. It’s not uncommon to put over 200 moles on in one day. Until an electric vehicle can be recharged in 5 minutes or so (the same of time it takes to gas up) there will never be a big market, no matter what fuel costs. Who are these green people fooling, getting their electricity from from a fossil fuel power plant.

  15. Dan M Says:

    The soon to be GM/Chevy conventional cab will be sourced to Navistar,with GM items.

  16. aliisdad Says:


  17. Tim Beaumont Says:

    The Toyota 86 needs more power. Perhaps add forced induction. Maybe the new turbo four would fit.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are aftermarket boost kits for the 86/BRZ, but I don’t know why the OEM doesn’t do it.

    For what it’s worth, though, I know only one owner, who is fine with the power. He bought the car for the handing, and appearance, and to him, it delivers on both.

  19. Ziggy Says:

    Whenever I see a vehicle with black wheels, especially from a distance, it looks like they are running the spares or the cheap wheels people use to run snow tires in the northern states so they don’t have to switch over tires for winter, the winter tires are mounted on the black cheap rims. Not something I would want and especially not something I would pay extra for.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, I understand the next gen Camry is to be built on the same modular platform used in your new Prius, seeing the size difference between the 2, do you think it’s possible that they could pull it off. BTW the next Accord is coming from the also smaller Civic platform, are these companies gonna start neglecting mid-size sedans and putting all their R&D into crossovers?

  21. aliisdad Says:

    Hi Again… I just watched the last Autoline AH, and they mentioned that the deal for GM to sell Opel to Peugeot has gone through, and GM is leaving Europe, for the time being at least according to the program… My question is what happens to Vauxhall in the UK since they were pretty much Opels?? Does anyone know the answer?? Thanks..

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Opel and Vauxhall have been the same company for years, and will both go to PSA.

  23. aliisdad Says:

    Kit… Thanks for the info.. Wow, it looks like GM is REALLY pulling out of Europe!!

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18, Pedro. I’m wondering the same thing. When cars that need to be different in both length and width share a platform, I’d think there would be compromises.

    Speaking of compromise, there seems to be some compromise in space efficiency with the new Prius, as it goes from a unique platform to a shared one. The gen 3 had a storage area under the floor in back, a completely flat floor, and a little more rear seat room. I like the new one better in other ways, though, which is why I bought it. The difference in space doesn’t matter, in my case.

  25. Eric Brunner Says:

    What are the BRZ sales like over at Subaru? My impression here in Canada is that typical Toyota buyers are not very sporty anyways whereas there are lots of Scooby owners who appreciate their cars for a great balance of fun and usefulness. Besides, the WRX/STi drivers probably have an influence on BRZ sales.

  26. Earl Says:

    # 6….Black wheels are referred to as Amish wheels. All a fellow would need now is to grow a goatee, start wearing suspenders and ask all his friends to call brother.