Episode 210 – Ford’s Smart Charger, Magna One Step Closer To Opel, Heavy-Duty Hybrid Credits

August 19th, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 6:35

Ford announced it’s developed a smart charging system for electric vehicles. Magna is one step closer to acquiring Opel from General Motors. There’s a proposal in the U.S. Congress to double tax credits for heavy-duty hybrids. All that and more, plus John answers viewer questions about Chrysler’s electric vehicles and GM’s future product plans in the “You Said It!” segment.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Ford develops a new charging system for EVs. Magna steps closer to getting Opel. And an idea to double tax credits for heavy-duty hybrids.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, August 19, 2009. And now, the news.

Lots of battery and electric car news today. First up, Ford announced it’s developed a smart charging system for EVs. It allows people to program their charger to charge their car in off-peak hours. Or set the time when they want their car fully recharged, or allow utilities to interrupt charging if they need power elsewhere, or to buy electricity from renewable sources. The most interesting part of this development? Ford is developing this charger on its own and is not sourcing it from an outside company.

A report in Japan says Toyota is in talks with Sanyo about buying batteries (subscription required) to be used in hybrids. According to the Wall Street Journal, Toyota would buy lithium-ion batteries from Sanyo starting in 2011. The company is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for hybrids thanks to all the government aid being handed out to stimulate car sales. Shares for Sanyo were up 10 percent because of the report. Toyota currently gets its batteries from Panasonic, which is in the process of acquiring Sanyo, which it agreed to buy last year.

U.S. Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan is proposing to double tax credits for heavy-duty hybrids (subscription required). According to Ward’s, the legislation will cover up to half of the incremental cost of the systems and extend the program until 2014. The Eaton Corporation, which builds heavy duty hybrid systems, says the proposal would increase sales to 10,000 units a year, currently it’s at 2,000, and that it would reduce diesel fuel use by over 7 million gallons a year.

OK, enough of all that hybrid and EV news. Now back to the rest of the industry.

Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Ford have already announced production increases, and now you can add GM to the list of automakers revving their engines. According to Ward’s, the company is increasing its third- and fourth-quarter production forecast by 60,000 units (subscription required). Thanks to the U.S. CARS Program, demand for fuel-sipping vehicles, like the Chevy Cobalt and Equinox, has been strong.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Magna is one step closer to acquiring Opel from General Motors (subscription required). Magna says that all issues between it and GM have been resolved, particularly over rights to patents and intellectual property. Also, the Russian bank Sberbank would not be able to sell its portion of Opel to anyone other than the automaker GAZ or the Russian development bank, without GM’s permission. It looks to me like Magna will get part of Opel and we should have an official announcement next week.

In other GM news, it’s pledging $210 million to help American Axle avoid bankruptcy. The Detroit Free Press reports GM would get a 20 percent stake in the company. GM is also taking back five of Delphi’s plants. You know, a decade ago Detroit was wrapped up in an outsourcing frenzy. Now, it’s being forced to start in-sourcing critical supply sources. And the beat goes on.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.

Ken Post saw our report on the John’s Journal channel of our website about GM’s future products and wrote in to ask, “Sure would like to see a picture of the new Malibu. Why will it take until 2012 to get it to market?”

Ken, everyone would like to see a picture of the car, but GM is not releasing any photos and would not allow anyone in the media in the design studio with a camera. And remember, the current Malibu has only been on the market for about two years. Since most cars go through a four year life cycle before they’re redesigned that just about takes us into 2012.

Max Christensen wrote in to say, “I find if very interesting that GM and Nissan are getting all the media attention on electric vehicles. What about Chrysler? They are supposedly going to have an electric vehicle, most likely the Circuit, available in 2010 with up to a 180 mile range, beating both the Chevy and Nissan.”

Max, Chevy and Nissan are getting so much media attention because they’re announcing definitive production plans and showing us their cars. Chrysler has gone completely dark on us and won’ let the media talk to any of their executives. I’m sure that will change in the months to come. But so far, we don’t really know if Chrysler’s EV plans are for real, or were just part of a dog and pony show by Cerberus to get Congress to bail out Chrysler.

And finally, Pappy wrote in to complain. “I’m not appreciating the comparison of miles-per-gallon to liters per 100 kilometers. Call me crazy. I’m guessing your broadcast extends to the borders of people who really care about liters, kilometers and euros.”

Pappy, you’re right. At last count Autoline Daily is watched by people from 163 different countries. And if you think the metric stats are crazy, wait until electric cars catch on and we have to start talking in terms of kilowatt hours per 100 miles.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. But don’t forget, you can get podcasts, transcripts and a whole lot more on our website, AutolineDaily.com. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

61 Comments to “Episode 210 – Ford’s Smart Charger, Magna One Step Closer To Opel, Heavy-Duty Hybrid Credits”

  1. Willi Says:

    don’t thank us for watching, the amount of work you do to keep us informed is highly commendable

  2. Thor Says:

    For those who have access to the web (and that is ALL of you!), the problem with this show is that it does not give you TODAY’s news, but really yesterday’s. Most, if not all, of today’s items, I already knew from yesterday’s emails and websites. With immediate dissemination of news, it will be impossible to have a show 100% consisting of NEW news, as we would have probably heard or seen them even an hour before the show is ready, but it is still worth trying to be more fresh.

    Alternatively, John could increase his own commentary on the news we already know and refer to the news more briefly.

  3. Max Christensen Says:

    First off, John, THANK YOU so much for your insight and daily dose of automotive information! You seem to really have your thumb on the heartbeat of the automotive world, and you also seem to be one journalist who is non-biased in your reporting! Trust me, you are very much appreciated!

  4. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    I have a strong suspicion that the clunker program will return next year to help clear out the inventories that will go up again once the ramp up in production starts again.

  5. Thor Says:

    Re Plug-in MPG Ratings: It will be impossible to keepo talking about MPG or MPKilowatt. You just can’t compare apples and oranges, and especially add them up.

    What I am proposing is to switch to DOLLARS per mile, or miles per dollar, instead. That way you can accurately calculate your REAL annual fuel cost by adding the $ you paid for gas for your plug-in hybrid, AND the $ you paid for Electricity when you charge it at the dirt-cheap overnight rates (per unit of energy, 4-5 times cheaper than $2-3/gallon gas!)

  6. Willi Says:

    there you go – it’s not JUST the news, but also the interpretation thereof – now that’s service

  7. Max Christensen Says:

    Second off, Thor, why don’t you go soak your head in the toilet? All you ever do is bitch and complain and try to brag about your Bratworst car. If I recall correctly, you only drive about 2 miles to work every day, so you could do that on a bicycle! You hardly need the “ultimate driving experience” for that, huh? My 88-year old mother drives more miles in a year in her Dodge Caravan than you!

    And speaking of your beloved BMW – I’ve driven one, and trust me pal, it ain’t all you are trying to make it out to be! There are a good number of cars in the world that are just as good and some are a hell of a lot better – and most of those that are better cost a good deal less!

    And how is it that your beloved BMW got the crap kicked out of it in a recent Motor Trend article by coming in third in a head to head competition with a Benzmobile and an Audi??? An Audi came in ahead of a BMW????? Goes to prove those Bratworst Motor Cars aren’t all that great, huh?

  8. Thor Says:

    The clunker program is half-used its $3 billion now, and yesterday’s report shows that the Civic beat the Focus for the no. 2 spot, while the corolla is still the no. 1 new car purchase of the traders.

    Dealers are furious that they are not paid the $4,500 per car. The DOT has hired several dozen workers to accelerate these payments. Until they start giving dealers their $, many dealers will have a cash crunch and may not encourage additional clunker trades.

    Many nations had more than one clunker program, but the first was many years ago, in the early 90s, and the second this year.

    Many of the clunker trades are only stealing demand from the future, with taxpayer subsidy, so sales are not expected to skyrocket in 2010 and 2011, esp. as long as unemployment is dismally high and people are careful.

    And very few people buy expensive large SUVS, many do not even buy midsize and large Accords, Camrys and Fusion-malibus, but instead the top sellers in the clunker program are compacts and subcompacts like civic-corolla-cobalt-fit-and focus.

  9. Thor Says:

    Max Christensen

    Are you effing retarded, moron? Go pluck a duck, and mind your own bloody business, if any.

    You can be assured that BMWs were NOT designed with YOU in mind..LOL, but in addition, NOT all BMWs were made alike, there are plenty of them that I do not like, and that includes most of the exterior styling in the last 5 years or so, and even how they drive (for example the 328iX I had a chance to drive last year for a day or so. I

  10. Thor Says:

    PS Of course I do NOT always Drove to work, and many of my miles are NOT commuting miles but long business trips, which, current plane travel sucking as much as it does, I gladly make by car, and travel like a KING, and profit hugely from it (a 1,000 mile round trip reimburses me with $550, .55 a mile, WHILE my costs, at 22 MPG at high speeds on cruise with the 740 behemoth, are well below $200.)

  11. Thor Says:

    As for Audis, they look great for the most part, and have excellent interiors, but good luck OWNING one, they are as unreliable as VWS, while BMWs, as I found out, are much better, almost as reliable as my previous car, an Accord 5-speed with far less complexity and no of systems than the “Magnificent 7″

  12. Warren Webb Says:

    John, you mentioned today about Chrysler & their electric programs being hush-hush & said Cerberus was involved waiting for congress to bail out Chrysler. I thought Cerberus was out of the picture after the bankrupcy & Fiat was calling the shots….am I correct in that?

    Also, about 10 years or so ago there was a show car, a Dodge Avenger I believe, that had a diesel powered generator that supplied electric to motors mounted in the hubs. Looked like a great thing but never heard anything more…what happened to it?

  13. Dave Says:

    Some need to just grow up

  14. Max Christensen Says:

    Again Thor, I don’t think you got the simple message from before – go soak your head in a toilet.

    You act like a wanta-be auto journalist. Why don’t you build your own website and go do your own thing? I’d visit your site, if for no other reason than to see what stupid crap you are trying to shovel.

    And one thing you are right about (see, I can recognize when you say something that makes at least some sense) is when you say that BMW’s weren’t designed with me in mind. Boy are you right about that! I’m not gonna lay out my hard earned bucks for some overpriced, overrated, not terribly attractive bucket of crap from Germany. Especially when I can buy something as good and probably better for a whole lot less money! What kind of, as you put it, effing moron, would do that???? Oh yeah, you……….

  15. Drew Says:

    @ Thor:

    You stated “a 1,000 mile round trip reimburses me with $550, .55 a mile, WHILE my costs, at 22 MPG at high speeds on cruise with the 740 behemoth, are well below $200.”

    Surely you don’t think that the true cost of commuting is ONLY THE COST OF FUEL….do you?

    Unless, of course, your vehicle does not use brake pads, brake rotors, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, wear and tear (like rock chips), and the depreciation from accumulated miles on a vehicle…and much more?

  16. Thor Says:

    There is NOTHING the domestics are offering that is as good or better for less $” than my “Magnificent 7″, which, BTW, bought NOT for the $100,000 it will set you back NOW if you buy new, but for PEANUTS, $10.5k fully fixed and detailed, from its owner, 4 years ago.

    Originally, I was looking either for an S class or for a 6-sp manual 5 series 97-03, but the 7 was too good a bargain to pass. i took a risk, but was richly rewarded instead. Even if it was a total lemon, what would I lose? In its first year alone, a new 7 will depreciate two to three times what I paid (!!!)

    The Pontiac G8 is a car I’d give a second look, even a test drive, esp. with the 6 lt 400+ HP version, but I am not that stupid to expect that it will be the same driving experience as the 7. And I doubt I can explain the differences on a sheet of paper, esp., to the likes of Christensen (wouldn’t you be rooting for bankrupt Saab or Volvo, judging from your last name, assuming it is true? But right, you are not swedish, but probably of Norwegian origin, or Danish, assuming this is your real name).

  17. paulstewart Says:

    Some people WILL never grow up OR be satisfied ! @ “Dave says” about the mighty King of thunder & lighting I can’t believe I agreed with the dork on Monday.

  18. Thor Says:

    “# Drew Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    @ Thor:

    You stated “a 1,000 mile round trip reimburses me with $550, .55 a mile, WHILE my costs, at 22 MPG at high speeds on cruise with the 740 behemoth, are well below $200.”

    Surely you don’t think that the true cost of commuting is ONLY THE COST OF FUEL….do you?”

    If you have read my other posts, I have answered most of that. My depreciation is next to ZERO, four years after I bought the car, when I look up used cars for sale, it has not lost a dime! That’s the benefit of buying ALsays USED and always from their owner, never from the dealer.

    “Unless, of course, your vehicle does not use brake pads, brake rotors, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, wear and tear (like rock chips), and the depreciation from accumulated miles on a vehicle…and much more?”

    BMW recommends that we NEVER change transmission fluid. I pay nothing extra in oil changes, for if I did not travel, I’d have to change the oil after a year anyway, even if I did only 2,000 miles (!). Also, a 1,000 mile highway trip I do on CRUISE, so what brake and rotor damage are you talking about?

    Most other expenses, like insurance, parking fees etc, I’d pay anyway, whether I drive the car or not.

    That is why I am strongly in favor of insurance reform where at least half of auto insurance is paid by a few cents tax on gas, so it reflects the miles you drive. People that drive more miles have more accidents etc, while people that store the car in the garage (I’ve done it for brief intervals, and paid only $10 a month insurance) have zero chance, so they should pay less insurance.

  19. paulstewart Says:

    At least Christensen puts down a name and I my real name also. We don’t live in mythical Asgard with a Bimmer.

  20. Thor Says:


    Do not get too excited because you ONCE agreed with my correct comments. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  21. paulstewart Says:

    Excited over a guy who is ashamed of stating his own name. Buddy get over your self.

  22. paulstewart Says:

    Talk about over-inflated ego thy name is a Marvel comic book character.

  23. Thor Larsen Says:

    Satisfied, Paulstewart?

    What a clueless retard… he thinks that just because somebody gave a common first and last name, these are necessarily the REAL ones.

    At least my “THor” is far more real than the “Max”..LOL. After all, I WAS born on a THOR’s Day, while Max is nothing of the kind…LOL..

  24. paulstewart Says:

    Waiting ….

  25. paulstewart Says:

    quick comeback…

  26. Thor Larsen Says:

    Paulstewart: again, it is LARSEN. Now you can stop crying, OK?

  27. paulstewart Says:

    ok’ not so quick comeback…

  28. paulstewart Says:

    Waiting for hotair/thor response…

  29. paulstewart Says:

    Thought not !

  30. Thor Says:

    it’s LARSEN. I wrote the response but it was censored by the kid who is paid minimum wage to monitor this site… which did not bother to censor the one who STARTED it, the vulgar and unprovoked personal attack on me by that “Christiansen” character.

  31. Alex Kajdi Says:


    You and your staff put on a great show!
    Your unbias reporting continues to fuel my interest in the automotive industry.

    Will you and your staff ever do some more “Autoline on the Road” shows again? I would love to see you do a one on one special interview with Roger Penske and his vision for the Saturn Brand or send Jim Hall to interview the new owners of Saab in Sweden.

    Jim Hall did a good job filling in for you.
    You can hear the enthusiasm in his voice
    when he speaks about the automotive industry.
    But please ask him to slow down and relax because he is surrounded by friends who also love the auto industry.

    Keep Up the Great Work!

  32. Episode 210 - Ford’s Smart Charger, Magna One Step Closer To Opel, Heavy-Duty Hybrid Credits « Honda Says:

    [...] View original here: Episode 210 – Ford’s Smart Charger, Magna One Step Closer To Opel, Heavy-Duty Hybrid Credits [...]

  33. Thor Says:

    Satisfied? Now you can stop crying. and enough with that BMW-envy!

  34. paulstewart Says:

    Hey’ Thor sorry I really didn’t want to upset you. I really don’t think either You or I have been personnally attacked. Critized, yes.Some Bimmers are good if not great. Some American cars are good if not great.John has been doing a pretty good job, not Perfect. But pretty good. It really does not help you when you show your pride so much when you say “BMW-envy” I’m happy you own a BMW, envious “no”.

  35. Tony Gray Says:

    Well, isn’t this special.

    Uh, I am a BMW owner (have had several) and absolutely love them. It fits my needs perfectly. It perhaps isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but either praising it to the detriment of others or cursing it as an overpriced, overhyped bucket of crap is likewise incorrect. It does what it is designed to do VERY well. I have owned 30 vehicles in my career and my Bimmer is the best all around daily driver I have ever owned.

    It isn’t the fastest, or the quickest, It isn’t the cheapest or most expensive. It isn’t the largest or the smallest. It also isn’t the most efficient or the biggest gas hog.

    That said it doesn’t haul or tow like my Silverado or ride as nice as the wife’s Aura or turn heads like my 66 GTO. It is what it is.

    There is no ONE best vehicle, BMW or MB or Bugatti or otherwise. It all depends on your wants and needs.

  36. paulstewart Says:

    Now that 66 GTO, now I’m darn right jealous. Envy is out the window. What color is she ? Enjoy.

  37. Thor Says:

    I never praised BMW “to the detriment of others”, my comments on Big 3 and their debacle in the luxury segment (they went from 90% share to 17% today! a far greater defeat than in the civic-accord segments) were not linked to a specific import luxury brand.

    After I bought my “Magnificent 7″ My appetite was whetted for more exotic choices, namely Porshe 911s (a practical, everyday and great classic, but overpriced in the used car market) and even Ferraris (esp the 95 or so 355, but they are not for everyday use, I need to buy a bigger home with a much bigger garage first)..

    BMW was not my favorite brand as I was growing up. For various reasons, I liked Jags and esp Rolls Royces (Silver Shadows and Corniches), but when I drove them and got to the details, I cooled considerably.

    Back to BMW, they spend the extra $ to make them almost perfectly 50-50 distributed, which helps a lot with their excellent handling. Maybe it also helps in the winter, I was amazed how sure footed they are in the snow, being RWD. But they have a ton of systems to help, beyond ABS and ES, even Yaw control, and others say that maybe the 7s sheer weight helps in the winter too.

    Looking back, maybe I should have bought BMWs (as my father suggested when I started working) all along and not cheapo econoboxes for almost 20 years (a high MPG Pontiac which was essentially an Opel Clone, which I bought new, and the excellent Accord coupe I owned for 14 of its 18 years before donating it to charity)

  38. Thor Says:

    And what I write should be judged by whether it is correct or not, and not by if my real last name is Smith in which case I would not worry one bit disclosing it, since there are millions with that name around the world), or Larsen or whatever.

  39. Thor Says:

    Was that a Ferrari GTO? Now that’s a used car that might set you back several millions, but still prove a great investment!

  40. Thor Says:

    “There is no ONE best vehicle, BMW or MB or Bugatti or otherwise. It all depends on your wants and needs”

    The thing liked about the 7 is that it is like a decathlete, excellent in everything it does even if it is not the No 1 in speed, acceleration or handling among all the above choices.

    it is remarkable when a large, heavy car like the 200+ inch, 120+ wheelbase, 4,300 lbs (4,500 loaded?) 7 can handle so nimbly around curvy roads, as well as, expectedly, have a fantastic highway ride at any speed, and get 22 MPG from a big, powerful V8 on the highway on midgrade fuel recommended. And in addition do great in the snow, without even snow tires (Use all season tires all year round)

    But I appreciate other high quality vehicles, and if I bought a second car today, I’d not get an identical 7, maybe Id get a Merc or a different Bimmer, even a 911 if I found a bargain (and assuming it comfortably fits me). I’d even give the Pontiac g8 a test drive, and given the idiots at GM-Obama motors shut it (instead of that lame-ass Buick) down, you can probably get a great deal on the remaining G8s!)

  41. Max Christensen Says:

    Where do I begin……….

    @ Tony Gray
    Thank you for a fair, honest and level headed assessment of the BMW brand. If others could use your diplomacy and ariculate their thoughts as well as you, this would be a much better discussion

    @Thor Larsen
    What’s vulgar and personal about telling someone to go soak their head in the toilet who is as full of crap and full of himself as you?

    And you advise everyone to buy used cars? Hmmm, somebody has to buy new and take the depreciation hit, or guys like you wouldn’t have any used cars to buy!

    “Also, a 1,000 mile highway trip I do on CRUISE, so what brake and rotor damage are you talking about?”

    Also, you can drive 1000 miles and never apply a brake? I’m damned impressed! Your Bimmer would have to have a 45 gallon gas tank at 22 mpg to go without stopping, plus I’ve never been on any road where I could drive 1000 miles without applying a brake somewhere along the way. So, with every brake application, regardless of how small, there is wear and tear on rotors, pads, etc. So once again, you have proven for all of us to see, that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    @ Paul Stewart
    You had some really good lines going there Man! I especially liked the one about the Marvel comic book character! And I’m with you – I envy Tony for the 66 GTO too!!

  42. Thor Says:

    ‘“Also, a 1,000 mile highway trip I do on CRUISE, so what brake and rotor damage are you talking about?”

    Also, you can drive 1000 miles and never apply a brake? I’m damned impressed! Your Bimmer would have to have a 45 gallon gas tank at 22 mpg to go without stopping, plus I’ve never been on any road where I could drive 1000 miles without applying a brake somewhere along the way. ‘

    I never claimed that I never have to stop in a 1,000 mile trip. The 7 has a 22.5 gallon tank, which is almost sufficient to do each leg of the 1,000 round trip non-stop at 22 mpg. (25 mpg if you obey the speed limit..lol)

    Even if the 7 had a 45 gal tank, I would probably still stop once each way just to pee. But my comment still stands, brakes wear when you use them frequently, and using them 2-3 times in a 1,000 mile trip largely on cruise, is far, far less (about 500 TIMES less) of the , wear and tear than using them daily and 3 times per the 2 miles if I commute to work. I thought that was Obvious, but apparently to you it was not. Hopefully it is 100% clear now, even to you.

  43. Thor Says:

    TO change the stupid topic, here’s what John will talk about tomorrow, when he covers “today’s” (ie, yesterday’s) news:

    “Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government’s Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.

    The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They’re also worried about getting repaid.

    “(The government) needs to move the system forward and they need to start paying these dealers,” said Mark Schienberg, the group’s president. “This is a cash-dependent business.”

    The program offers up to $4,500 to shoppers who trade in vehicles getting 18 mpg or less for a more fuel-efficient car or truck. Dealers pay the rebates out of pocket, then must wait to be reimbursed by the government. But administrative snags and heavy paperwork have created a backlog of unpaid claims.

    Schienberg said the group’s dealers have been repaid for only about 2 percent of the clunkers deals they’ve made so far.

    Many dealers have said they are worried they won’t get repaid at all, while others have waited so long to get reimbursed they don’t have the cash to fund any more rebates, Schienberg said. ..”

  44. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Does anyone think that the automakers are going to bring back rebates? or are they gonna let Uncle Sam keep having clunker plans year after year to clear out their lots full of undesirable junk? by the way, John and staff do a great job everyday, thanks a lot.

  45. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Thor,

    Then say what you mean and don’t leave it open to interpretation. It was obvious to me and everyone else that you were claiming NO brake and/or rotor wear on a 1000 mile trip, because that is what you said. I would hope that a moron such as yourself could at least figure out that we can’t read your pee-sized brain. By the way, thanks for the comment on your bodily functions …… we all needed that little bit of info I’m sure.

  46. Richard Tait Says:

    You know, when these broadcasts first started I was here with episode number 1. Guys like Pedro were here too. We made comments and we gave our opinions, but we rarely argued. And if we did, we soon ended it when we saw how far off base we were getting. I knew it would happen that discipline would fall the more viewers that came along. This is no fault of John’s because we are, after all adults and shouldn’t need an overseer to keep us in line. Gentlemen, I call on everybody here to exercise restraint with personal attacks and name-calling.

    To respond to Pappy’s comments as showcased in today’s “You Said It”, it’s really a shame when viewers make intelligent people like John have to explain themselves. John knows that it is the majority of the world that uses the metric system and since this is a web-based show it will be viewed by people from all over the world. I should know, I’m in Jamaica where we use metric. Even so, if John wants to convert mpg to cubits per sydharbs then he is entitled to. It’s his show. I appreciate the effort and I commend John for it. Keep it up brother!

  47. pedro Fernandez Says:

    I agree with Richard 100% Everyone has different tastes that’s why we have choices in everything, yes, even cars. To me reliability, economy are important, to others, it’s performance, looks. Name calling and insults demean this forum and is disrespectful to a nice, decent man like John.

  48. G.A.Branigan Says:

    WOW…what a shame this has degraded so.People are entitled to their opinions.People also like to be talked to,not at.What seems to make sense to one doesn’t equate to being right either.We are all different and should respect other peoples views without taking it to a personal level.I too have been here since day one,and it has grown.

  49. Max Christensen Says:

    To Everyone,

    The last few comments from Richard, Pedro, and G.A. were right on target! In reading back over today’s comments, this whole thing really degraded into something ugly, and I personally apologize for my part in it. Several of us were not being very adult in our manners.

    We all have our opinions and comments, and it should be kept strictly to that level. And to repeat what G.A. said, “People prefer to be talked to, not at.”

    And John, I did not intend to demean your forum such as what has happened today. Thank you John, for the opportunity to voice our comments!

  50. Richard S Says:

    I enjoy hearing from knowledgeable and thoughtful people about cars. I may even have a few preferences of my own but I am not particularly interested in YOUR car. Can we notch down the rhetoric a few pegs and get back to the reason we are all watching and looking at this – the cars and the industry. John: thank you for all your insight and hard work. Been watching and listening to your cogent and thoughtful programs for years.

  51. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Hope this forum returns to civility, if we can just remember that one man’s jewel is another’s crap. Then we can just have good discussions about this subject, after all we’re all here because we like cars, all kinds. Except if you own a Corsica/Beretta you have my sympathy.

  52. John Says:

    John McElroy,

    A few days ago we were hearing about a steel shortage.

    Now we hear about re-hires and overtime.

    Where is the steel going to come from ?

  53. Tom Martin Says:

    I think 52 comments is a record on Autoline Daily.

    Well, now it’s 53!!

  54. C-Tech Says:

    I went to prize fight and Autoline Detroit broke out!

  55. Thor Says:

    ” Pedro Fernandez Says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Does anyone think that the automakers are going to bring back rebates? or are they gonna let Uncle Sam keep having clunker plans year after year to clear out their lots full of undesirable junk?”

    Uncle Sam can’t give htem a dime if he does not pick OUR pockets. It is our $ these clowns are getting. And it really, really pisses me off that the RATIONAL people, who did their DUTY and bought high or medium MPG Cars do NOT qualify for the program, but only those who frivolously bought the LOW MPG Breadvans on Stilts POS SUVs did.

    And as to whether these people ever needed to really own an SUV or a pickup, the proof is in what they are buying instead! The top 5 are SMALL and Medium size cars. At last update, no 1 was the corolla, 2 the civic and 3 focus, and the even smaller Fit and the ultra-high MPG Prius (I got 50-62 MPG in CA in April and June, over 4 days) also made the top 10.

    Which means that MOST of these people did NOT need the Pickups or the SUVs in their business, ie legitimate owners of these hogs.

    Now at least we will have one benefit, the fleet will be more efficient and use less fuel which will further bring down gas prices (or will not let them go as high as if they bought the same inefficient hogs)

  56. Thor Says:

    I just saw my Automotive News email and there are several headlines claiming that all $3 billion cash for clunkers have already been exhausted, and any dealers making NEW deals should STOP doing so, because there is a good risk they will never be repaid the $4,500 per vehicle scrapped!

    “Dealers at risk in making further clunker deals, NADA says
    Neil Roland
    The National Automobile Dealers Association warned members that they may not be reimbursed by the government for any more cash-for-clunkers deals, arguing that some transactions could take place after the program’s $3 billion has been depleted.”

    I bet John will talk about this in 3 hours.

    I also appreciate this daily newscast here, otherwise I would not bother to check it out and comment on it.

    John, you and your associates/substitutes are doing a good job, BUT the realities of the electronic news cycle are such, that most of us already know these news, so you could improve the broadcast by not acting as excited when you report them, but assume we already know the news, and use your limited time to offer us your comments and opinion on the news.

  57. Tom Says:

    I think I am dumber for reading most of this crap

  58. Thor Says:

    57 comments so far. John’s sponsors should appreciate.

  59. Max Christensen Says:

    I for one appreciate John’s enthusiasm, and I think it would be wrong for him or anyone else to assume that everybody out here already knows the news. Not everyone has 24/7 access to a computer, blackberry, etc. nor the time to wade through all the news even if they have the access.

    Granted, with all the various modes of getting news these days, it’s difficult to keep the content fresh and “new”, and what we see reported here is just a sliver of what’s going on in the word, but this is an EXCELLENT compilation of what’s happening and what’s exciting in the world of cars!

  60. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Even though we can get the same news,it’s Johns insight that won him an emmy.That should not be forgotton .

  61. Thor Says:

    GA: What insights? Could you offer his most memorable one?

    I had no idea John won any Emmys, but I do not put much stock in all these Awards shows. They are really lame (not to use a more politically incorrect word-hint: most non-females watching the Oscars)