AD #2205 – Wall Street Yawns at Ford’s Vision, Toyota Redesigns Top Luxury Car, Nissan Designer Creates Luxury Yacht

October 5th, 2017 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 8:05

0:33 AV Legislation Takes a Step Forward
1:24 Analysts Say Ford’s Future Plan Lacks Vision
1:55 Auto Leather Maker Blames Uber for Bankruptcy
2:28 Chevy Designs New Fabrics for 2018 Equinox
3:34 Toyota Redesigns the Century Luxury Car
4:19 Nissan & BMW Embrace Amazon Alexa
5:09 Honda Puts Wheel Attenuators on New Accord
6:11 U.S. Diesel Sales Strong
6:42 Alfonso Albaisa Designs a Yacht

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30 Comments to “AD #2205 – Wall Street Yawns at Ford’s Vision, Toyota Redesigns Top Luxury Car, Nissan Designer Creates Luxury Yacht”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Toyota Century: front lighting (Rolls-Royce), grill (Lincoln), side and some rear (Cadillac Seville) and taillights (Chevrolet), oh, and I almost forgot; circa 1980′ish. JMO

    Looks like wheel attenuators could be cheaply put on all wheel (plastic); that would be a one-upmanship and catch-up for the rest of the crowd (if they truly work).

    AV legislation is at least on the right track as the rules need to be homogenous throughout the U.S. (at least), but as stated, this is just a Senate bill so there may still be a long time to go (to get this done).

  2. Don LaCombe Says:

    The new Ford plan sounds a lot like a previous one offered by former CEO named Nasser.

  3. Todd T Says:

    Ford’s strategic struggles will continue. When Mark Fields was named CEO I made my concerns publicly known, haven’t been invited to a Ford program since. These big car companies really can’t handle the truth. Fields wasn’t a leader, and the fact Ford basically just coasted along under his guidance isn’t a big surprise. Hackett’s big “plan” is to cut costs, not exactly a ground-breaking idea, or particularly visionary. This was the failed strategy of former United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek, and Toyota suffered catastrophic results with a similar cost-cutting strategy. Some of Hackett’s cost savings make a lot of sense, such as reduction in model combinations and parts sharing. These should have been done years ago (and for some reason, I recall being told there WERE being done years ago) but maybe that was just wish list stuff. But, reducing engineering costs by reducing prototypes and product-development time is risky, especially when you consider Ford’s quality with launches still suffers. Even older designs like the Escape, still suffer recalls, and transmission complaints. Also alarming is the plan for most of these saving to come from “reduced materials cost” I.E. beat up suppliers and chase the lowest price. I can see why investors are nervous.

  4. Buzzerd Says:

    Leather – the wife and I aren’t huge fans of leather seats, cold in the winter and hot in the summer- especially the ever present black leather. My avalanche has heated and cooled leather which helps but I think it’s hard to beat a heated cloth seat but often you have no choice if you want some of the other options like a sunroof.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, cloth is the best material for car seats, but, for some reason, it is unfashionable. Even vinyl is more fashionable, and is used in $50K+ German cars. Today’s cloth lasts a very long time, probably longer than leather.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Ford has always seem to be the very conservative type of automaker. They are not leading the way in AV, EV or design. Also when great ideas are rolled out to place the company in a good strategic position, it falls short. Managements commitment to the costs associated with any change to the very large organization is halfhearted. Why care what analysis’s think if wall-street is going to penalize them anyway as you mentioned earlier this week?

    The Toyota Century looked to me like a 1980′s Lincoln town car with a Chrysler 300 front end.

  7. Barry Rector Says:

    Are there any aftermarket suppliers for the wheel attenuators for other cars? Sounds (haha) like a good idea to me!

  8. Dale Leonard Says:

    If Toyota sold the Century in the USA I would purchase one in a heartbeat as they have totally turned me off with their continuing to use that totally irritating spindle grill. It looks like a 1930′s railway train engine cow catcher.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    Oh and the Cruze Diesel sales or lack there of. Ask yourself how many commercials or ads you have seen mentioning the Cruze Diesel? I think GM is trying to protect the Volt sales by not mentioning the combined EPA on the Volt is 42 while the Diesel Cruze is 52.
    Humm guess is I wanted to push my EV probably wouldn’t want people knowing that they could get 10 mpg more for $8,000 less starting MSRP.

  10. Dale Leonard Says:

    Regarding Lambo2015′s Ford comment. I agree and once read where Mark Fields had several industry leading designs approved for future products and the Board shot them all down.
    I personally feel they did not give Mark a proper chance to advance the company.

  11. Dale Leonard Says:

    Lambo2015 your right again with your Cruze comment.

  12. Dave Thompson Says:

    How about some high end breathable vinyl seats like the German leatherette of the early 70s

  13. MJB Says:

    #5 – “…but for some reason, it is unfashionable” ??

    Sorry Kit, but one good look at the interior of that Toyota Century tells everyone with eyes why cloth is not fashionable (in an upscale auto). ;)

    I mean, com’n Toyota. Are you trying to slip by with velour in a limo?!?

    Sean, I’d love to know if those wheel attentuators (or some variant thereof) will be available on the aftermarket for anyone to have installed on their wheels at the tire shop. We all could use less road noise.

    Not impressed with Albaisa’s yacht design. I’ll take a Heesen.

  14. Bob Aubertin Says:

    The Toyota “Century” is the “Ugliest”,however would sell Very well in the Soviet-Union.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Cloth doesn’t have to look bad. Some of the optional cloth in MINI, and other cars looks pretty good, and the cloth in some European market Benzes looks decent. No, 80′s style velour would look, well, unfashionable, even in a Mitsu Mirage.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #9 The combined EPA for the Cruze diesel is 37 mpg, both manual and automatic. The highway rating for the diesel manual is 52. Here are the ratings for all of the Cruze powertrains:

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Century has a Rolls-Royce like shape, but the grill is sure generic looking. I’d think it might do well in China, but it may be built only with RHD.

  18. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Barry Rector & MJB – I don’t think anyone offers an aftermarket wheel like what Honda/Acura are using.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #9, 11 Here are the EPA numbers for the Volt and Cruze diesel:

    The Volt has a better “combined” rating on gas, even if it is never plugged in, and on cheaper fuel than the diesel, but they don’t give a highway number. The Cruze diesel would no doubt do much better than a Cruze in pure highway driving.

    The Volt and Cruze don’t really compete, though. The Volt is for people who would do most of their driving on plug-in power, but would occasionally use it for longer trips.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Ford is saving some money by discontinuing the V6 in the Mustang. They will lose some sales to Camaro, though, because some people would just rather not have the complexity of a turbocharger, but don’t want the V8.

  21. Drew Says:

    So, Wall Street beats up Ford for not having a more aggressive EV plan. Hmmm, weren’t we just saying everyone loses over $10k on each EV?!?!?!

    Seems to me the best strategy is to have EV capability and competency, so as to be prepared when market forces change.

    That is, wading in the EV waters is much more financially responsible than diving head-first into its presently shallow waters.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Drew: It seems like a “damned if you do,damned if you don’t” with wall street and ev’s true costs/losses.

    What I don’t understand is how they expect to convert over to electric,(either plugin or fuel cell) with little to no infrastructure.

    And with plugin’s,it takes a while to charge the batts,so for convenience and time,fuel cells would make more sense,imho.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit I’m not sure Ford will lose sales to Camaro by dropping the V6. Us older guys lived the early surge in turbo’s from the 80 and that left a bad taste in many peoples mouths. They have come a long way in the cooling and lubrication of todays turbo’s and increased their reliability. Plus with “Fast and Furious” movies attracting the younger generation to small turbo engines its more widely accepted. Either way if you don’t own a V8 the resale of those cars is negatively impacted about the same.

  24. Drew Says:

    In many ways, I like an EV future as it should stem the flow of dollars to areas of the world that hate us. And it should stabilize the price of gasoline for classic car enthusiasts. BUT, we need leadership to upgrade the reliability of the present electric grid AND to source clean yet cheap electricity.

  25. JWH Says:

    Interior material – We all have our own preferences for various reasons. I personally moved to leather 25 years ago or so, & find it comfortable & easy to clean. Heated seats help in the winter. Having said that, friends that work in seating advise we are actually sitting on the chemicals that the leather is treated with. 2004 Volvo V70R has Atacama leather which is very soft & substantially less chemical treatment than most automotive leathers. While I like the Atacama leather I would not get it if we had young children.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    I never understood why GM didn’t put a diesel in the Volt. What better motor than a diesel to run a constant speed generator. High torque low fuel consumption and probably could have been a 2 or 3 cyl to achieve the power needed to match the 4cyl gas that’s being used.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have cloth, vinyl, and leatber seats, and overall, I like cloth the best. It’s neither hot nor cold to sit on, is non-slippery, and holds up well. That said, I doubt that cloth seats, at their best, would look right in a Corvette, like a turbo 4 would not be a proper engine for a Corvette.

  28. Drew Says:

    There was a time when leather was an option on luxury vehicles with cloth being standard. Non-luxury had vinyl or cloth choices.

    Today, vinyl has crept into luxury vehicles (very shameful IMHO). And leather is offered on nearly all non-luxury… often as a series differentiator for the upper most orvsportiest trim levels. But I don’t understand at least one OEM’s (logo is oval-shaped) practice of forcing leather on mid/lower trim levels in order to get other content (navy and safety/ADAS).

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This seat material discussion brings up something interesting. I was in the Navy in Scotland in 1970-71, and even basic British cars from 1960′s, like a Hillman Mynx I rented, had leather. It must have been a British thing. Very few, and only expensive American cars had leather at the time.

  30. MJB Says:

    I must say, Kit, I too prefer the tactile characteristics of a good cloth (heat and cold resistance, hold you tight in your bucket seat when cornering). You just can’t beat those advantages.

    But by the same token I honestly couldn’t wait to ‘graduate’ from cloth when I left behind my 4-banger hatchback and got my first Lexus (SC400). Did it have the grip of cloth? Nope. But it sure did feel premium! :)