AD #2288 – Mercedes May Leave Detroit Auto Show, Top European OEMs, Tesla Model 3 Analysis

February 12th, 2018 at 11:39am

Runtime: 7:51

0:30 Trump Wants to Cut Fuel Economy Standards
1:28 Mercedes May Leave Detroit Auto Show
2:24 Ford Boosts Large SUV Production
3:20 Porsche Offering 3D Printed Replacement Parts
4:27 Top European OEMs
5:17 Tesla Model 3 Analysis

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45 Comments to “AD #2288 – Mercedes May Leave Detroit Auto Show, Top European OEMs, Tesla Model 3 Analysis”

  1. Vic Maslanka Says:

    Mercedes opted out of the Washington Auto Show this year (2018). BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc., were there. No Cadillac either.

  2. lambo2015 Says:

    EPA and NHTSA Should continue to raise the bar and set “realistic” goals for MPG. However I don’t agree with them dictating what consumers buy or manufacturers build. This is a free market society and when they stipulate a certain percentage of vehicles to be hybrid or BEV they basically are forcing products. Let the consumer decide if BEV’s will be 20% of all vehicle sales.

  3. Victor West Says:

    Change the date for the Detroit show. Arctic winter and CES proximity are undercutting the show.

  4. DK Says:

    #2 The way I read the bit on CAFE the standard sets a level that is more or less technology agnostic. Then someone is doing an analysis based on the performance of various technology to guestimate what the technology mix would need to be to hit that standard. The standards don’t state that 61% needs to be this or that technology.

  5. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Detroit in the winter….who wants to go there when the weather is terrible, and when is Detroit a place anybody would really want to visit? Put the show in warm weather location that doesn’t have the crime issues like Detroit. Its not 1960 anymore. Do people really care about auto shows anymore?

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like the auto shows are, basically, becoming obsolete. The main reason I have gone to the shows, is to see all of the production cars, without having to go around to 20 dealerships, and to see a few concepts. If some of the major OEM’s are going to skip the shows, what’s the point of going?

    We need to increase the gas tax a dollar or two a gallon. That would provide money for infrastructure, and also, provide encouragement for people to buy vehicles that serve their transportation purposes, rather than to make sure they use their share of the world’s resources, before they are gone.

  7. phred Says:

    There must be a “Major” story behind Mercedes leaving the NA Auto Show at this moment of “booming sales”.

  8. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Here is a suggestion, have the Auto Show at Westworld in Scottsdale Az. Works well for Barrett-Jackson…plenty of auto enthusiasts travel there for a type of auto show. I am sure there are plenty of other places that would work well too.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Orlando would be a good place for the “big” auto show.

  10. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Orlando…I like it!! Lets keep the suggestions coming. Maybe the decision makers will wake up and go soemwhere that is nice..not an old city.

  11. Doug T Says:

    You mention that Volkswagen AG includes Rolls-Royce, but isn’t that BMWs? Bentley is Volkswagen.

  12. Danny Turnpaugh Says:

    #6 maybe you want to pay $1 or $2 more per gallon for gas but some people don’t have that much extra income to spend on gasoline, if government would spend it wisely a
    ..25 – .50 tax increase would do a lot of building if they use it wisely but the swamp creatures in Washington don’t have any common sense. That’s both political parties

  13. GM Veteran Says:

    While it may shrink in size and importance, the Detroit Auto Show isn’t going to be relocated to another, warmer climate. Those cities already have their own auto shows. The support of the Big 3 helped transform the Detroit Show into the North American International Auto Show back in 1989. Its also the most expensive show of the whole year, by a pretty big margin. That is why brands like Porsche have dropped it. They are putting that money into other marketing efforts. Mercedes-Benz probably looked at their sales in this market versus the cost of the show and that caused them to re-evaluate their participation. The same thing goes for the other brands that have abandoned the show – Mazda, Volvo, Land Rover, etc.

    The international press is what makes the Detroit show so important. But, their attendance has been dwindling in recent years too. CES is part of it, but the main thing is the cost/benefit analysis. The Detroit Show could revert back into a large regional show as it was before 1989.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Raising it that much,(gas tax) will put many people in dire financial straits,including me. It will also feed projects other than what the gas tax is already supposed to do,which isn’t being done.

    You can’t tax people out of their jobs because they can’t afford to buy gas. And people that live out in the country will once again be screwed with higher gas prices,and the subsequent higher energy costs.

    Raising taxes doesn’t work.I left my home state because of the ever increasing taxes,yet nothing has changed back there in the last 18 years.

    More tax revenue means more money for pet projects that ALWAYS happen.

  15. Lisk Says:

    When it comes to auto shows, Detroit and LA are the big two. Washington, New York, and Chicago get a lot of pub, but they are just glorified local shows. If Detroit starts loosing their clout, this could be the end of all shows. If manufacturers don’t see any major impact by Mercedes missing the show, more and more will drop off and pretty soon they’ll all be gone.

    To Sandy Monro: how dare he offend the Tesla-ites? Doesn’t he know how much Elon’s Musk-ateers love their Tesla’s? You know, the ones they can’t get, they can’t get serviced, and they have to sign a nondisclosure agreement when they take delivery? Sandy this is really informative, and it all kinds of reinforces what those in realityland already suspected, but to the 400,000 who drink the coolade won’t believe anyway.

    I wonder what the cost for the 3D printed parts will cost and will the parts be exactly like the one they are intended to reproduce?
    In the world of Corvette restorations, complete accuracy of finish/stampings/castings is a major deal.

  16. lambo2015 Says:

    #5 I believe the advantage of having the NAIAS in Detroit in Jan. was to allow people to shop indoors at one huge location thus avoiding the cold weather. Just like the boat and camper shows. So moving it to summertime people will just go to the dealerships. Its in Detroit because what more appropriate place than the motor city, which was home to the original big three.

  17. lambo2015 Says:

    #11 You are dead on. Raising the gas tax would not improve roads or infrastructure. It would be just like when they said lottery money would benefit public schools. ha When in reality what happened was if a school got 500k in federal funding before hand. They got 500K in federal funding afterwards too. The money just came from lottery and who knows where the old funding went. The schools didn’t see an increase.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, 14, 17
    I wasn’t too serious about raising gas tax by $2, all at once, but the federal tax hasn’t been raised at all in 20-some years. That said, even if it were raised $2, gas would be no more expensive than it was in parts of 2007-2008, and little more expensive than at times more recently.

    As far as how the money is spent, the law makers could make an actual law to spend gas tax money only on highways, or on highways and other infrastructure. Yeah, they haven’t done that, historically, but they might, if they were sufficiently concerned about being voted out of office.

    Realistically, gas tax should be raised gradually, so people who bought gas hogs they didn’t need while gas was cheap would not be affected too much during the life cycle of their current vehicle, but might consider a more efficient vehicle in the future. Some of this was discussed in 1980, when a certain John Anderson ran for president.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The advantage of having the “big show” in a place with a warmer climate, would be that people would rather go there in the winter, if they didn’t already live near the location of the show. One advantage of Detroit, though, is that the area probably still has the highest concentration of auto industry people in the U.S.

    Regarding “indoor events where it’s cold,” do Super Bowls in places like Minnesota draw as big of crowds as when they are in, say, New Orleans? I’m sure the game itself sells out, wherever it is, so that’s probably not a good comparison.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Lottery money, and federal money? There is no federal lottery, at least that I’m aware of.

    The money from state lotteries is spent different ways, depending on the whims of the state legislatures.

  21. RGENIEC Says:

    It does not matter what the fuel efficiency requirements are for the federal government. California and CARB states lead the way. All auto manufactures will have to comply with California or they will lose the ability to sell in the state. California makes the rules for the country.

  22. Steven Says:

    @#6 Kit Gerhart
    Kit, I agree with you about raising the gas tax, but only if we can guarantee that the money will be used for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. And maybe raise the registration fees on larger vehicles while lowering them on smaller more efficient cars. Here in So Cal, it is amazing how many big SUV’s as well as Hummers and 5 passenger trucks are running around with only a driver. Maybe not to two dollars, but an increase is long overdue. Let’s do it while gas is relatively cheep.
    OK, now the rest of you can put down your guns, I be quiet.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit is it fair to penalize the carpenter or landscaper who drives a truck everyday because his job may have him hauling building material or sod? The folks that have a boat or trailer that cant be pulled with a Prius. Live on a farm or work on construction sites where you basically need a pick-up and those jobs are not always the best paying where a $1 or $2 increase in gas affects them dramatically.

    I dont know of any federal lottery either but I know the feds reduced public school funding by the amount that state ran lotteries increased it. So the schools got the same the funding moved from less federal more state and who knows where the federal money went?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Lambo, the carpenter or landscaper might need to raise prices slightly. Also, even those people could, in most cases, use more efficient vehicles. The guy who built a garage for me in Indiana didn’t need a Dodge pickup with the V-10. Yeah, that’s an extreme case, but even though he used the ultimate gas hog for his business, a $2/gallon increase in fuel cost probably would have increased his cost of doing business well under 1%.

  25. Albemarle Says:

    I’ve never seen a government that spent tax dollars for what they said they were going to.

    I am really glad no one has paid Sandy to study my Subaru Forester. I like it very much, and don’t want my happy bubble burst.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    Kit thats great if you work for yourself and can raise prices to offset your increase in fuel consumption but many people specifically construction workers where their job sites often times do not have a nicely paved road or parking lot. Its a construction site with holes and trenches being dug that would ruin most passenger cars. They drive a truck to work and get paid the same regardless of fuel prices.
    Same for those people with more than three kids and need a third row vehicle, or need to tow anything over 3500 lbs. They are stuck with a big vehicle and will not just get more money from somewhere because prices go up.

    Besides the problem with companies adding a fuel surcharge is those never fluctuate down as quickly as they go up. So it costs everyone more money.

  27. MJB Says:

    #3 – As much as it pains me to admit it, maybe you’re right about the date of the show. CES proximity is stealing our thunder (I’m a Detroiter). I believe it was actually foretold by John himself a couple of years back that something like this would inevitably happen. However, it kinda sucks that the new kid on the block (CES) gets to move in on NAIAS territory, then call the shots.

    #5 – I’ll excuse your ignorance because you, like so many others globally, have only your news outlets from which to glean heavily biased commentary on the state of affairs in a city you don’t live in.

    Not trying to start a flame here, but I just happen to take it a bit personally when people trash-talk the city I was born and raised in. But I suppose it’s akin to consumers who still think Chrysler products are all garbage. Yes, they have worse reliability than just about everyone else not named Range Rover, but they’re still FAR BETTER than they were just 20 years ago.

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    #25 you make a good point and Ive often wondered about even consumer report type ratings. When someone spends a lot of money on a vehicle or gets something exotic. When asked how they rate the vehicle might they rate it like 95 out of pride and maybe overlook some defects simply because the car brings them joy? Taking an entry level car with the same level of defects as an exotic (Tesla)would it rate the same by the owner?
    Thats why I think Sandy’s report is so important. Its completely un-bias and based on metrics and data that can be compared to other vehicles and not based on owners opinion which can include feelings, pride, emotion.

  29. Roger Blose Says:

    How about we all buy our cars and trucks from the federal government so they can tell us what we will need! And the big three can sell 100% fleet sales to Uncle Sam, smooth out production, cut costs for marketing, and slide into the ocean. Yikes we are doomed if you like cars!

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 A few people need big vehicles. A lot more people buy them. Things are “different” in European countries with high pump prices, one of the differences being that few 5500 pound trucks are used to drive one person to work, or to Aldi’s. Tbere are construction workers in Germany too, and they somehow get to work, many in VW Polos or similar.

    Yeah, I’m not going to convince many people here of the good points of higher fuel tax. Also, I completely agree that an abrupt, big fuel price increase, whether due to a tax increase, or market forces, would hurt some people.

  31. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Here in NJ last year we had an increase in the state gas tax…not a damn thing has been done to repair/update our roads. To get a damn pothole fixed in my county, you have to go to the county website and tell the boys where the hell it is!! i guess they don’t drive the roads with potholes. When social spending comes under strict control the leftover money should go to roads/bridges etc. If then and only then any tax increase might be needed but I doubt it. Give the pigs at the government trough more money, it will continue to go down the rat hole never to be seen again.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 CR’s survey results seem to generally make sense. Some expensive vehicles, like Land Rover come out poorly in reliability, while others, like Lexus do well. The catch-all “would you buy the same car if you could do over,” the reliability and satisfaction don’t necessarily correlate. Some years of Corvettes weren’t too reliable, but have high satisfaction. Nissan Sentras are reasonably reliable, but have low satisfaction.

  33. aliisdad Says:

    #2… Well said..Totally agree!!

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    31 Yeah! I think CR is a good starting point but its also like asking truck guys which is better a Ford GM or Dodge and you’ll get plenty of stories of the amazing feats and horrible experiences with all three. Then a few Toyota guys will jump in with their praise for the vehicle. So after pages of opinion and various states of reliability and satisfaction what you can really believe is a report like Sandy’s. That with actual warranty data is a better indicator than owners surveys. Mainly because there is a wide range of how people care and use their vehicles. You’ll always have that guy thats towing his 5k lb boat with his minivan and then complains that XXXX brand makes crappy transmissions.
    Personally I’d say most automakers are on a pretty level playing field anymore and produce similar quality vehicles. They all have a few less than favorable engines and some do a bit better on perceived quality. But how that vehicle is maintained and serviced makes a larger difference than manufacturer. IMO

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Pickup trucks is the one market segment where brand loyalty is still a big thing. Well, tbere are two segments, the second being “pony cars.” I suspect owner satisfaction in the CR survey is good for all of the “Detroit 3″ pickups, and all of the pony cars. I’ll check later.

  36. gary susie Says:

    As for Tesla if one doesn’t point out your mistakes how do you ever improve yourself. 2 Raise gas taxes $2 and you will take alot of people out of the economy like seniors who are on a fixed income.

  37. WineGeek Says:

    I’m certainly glad that California leads the way on fuel economy standards. IF Trump had his way we’d be back at big cars getting 10 MPG and all the rest of the world would be laughing at us even more than they are now.

  38. Ctech Says:

    The NAIAS in Detroit was created out of the Detroit Auto Show which before 1987 largely showcased AMC, Chrysler, Ford, GM, a few foreign brands, and industry suppliers. It looks like it will return to its core. As long as there is Autorama, I’m good.

    If you take a step back and look at the big picture, the U.S. needs to raise the fuel tax by a quarter or 2 to fund road, bridge, and overall transportation improvements. If not there will be greater traffic and someday soon bridges collapsing around the country. This will benefit everyone.

    When I look at just Chevrolet sales figures for the U.S., 2,065,879 and then the numbers for European companies, how is it that GM does not make more money?

  39. hgrunt002 Says:

    I think what’s got Tesla fans going, is that is what *appears* to be enthusiasm in pointing out the Model 3′s flaws…but they’re probably not daily listeners who don’t realize that it’s objective.

    If possible, I’d love to know how the 3′s emergency responder features and training comapres to other hybrid/EV cars that Munro has benchmarked!

  40. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While I can agree that the Federal gas tax should be raised (if ear-marked for infra-structure), one must realize that a fuel tax is regressive (taking more of a percentage of moneys from the lower income folks), that perhaps $0.25 or maybe $0.50 should be the limit. I realize that even my monetary suggestions are slightly arbitrary but seem more in line with what might be accepted (to convince the public that the need is worth the sacrifice). With the annual gasoline sales of approximately 450B gallons for 2017, and the feds getting a quarter/half dollar on all of them, that would inject a healthy boost to the transportation “piggy-bank”. The government needn’t get to greedy to quick as these will be re-occurring funds (so immediate commencement of road projects/etc. could get underway.

  41. Bob Wilson Says:

    Curious, I found at least two additional sources criticizing the Model 3 fit and finish. The first is Nov 10, 2017 “Bernstein analyst finds Tesla Model 3′s fit and finish ‘relatively poor’ after test drive” and the second a YouTube owner review confirmed the asymmetric trunk alignment:

    However Jameson Dow Jan 8th 2018 in “The Electrek Review – Tesla Model 3, a promise delivered” reports:
    “The car, as best I’ve observed so far, has very few issues in this regard. Exterior quality is very good. Panel gaps are generally consistent.”

    The four reports suggest ‘fit and finish’ inconsistencies that vary on a car-by-car basis. If important, buy some other sheetmetal art. Owner of two plugin hybrids, battery only cars have no attraction.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 I agree that fuel tax is regressive, which I don’t like, but with the current bunch in Washington, it might be the only possibility to get money for infrastructure, I’d favor higher income tax rates on high income people who truly have the “ability to pay,” but we know how that’s going. Anyway, as I said, I was not serious about a $2 fuel tax increase, but a smaller increase would help, and most people wouldn’t notice, or could “break even” if they wanted to, at least for highway driving, by slowing down a little.

  43. Michael S Says:

    John, is one of the reasons that so many automakers are pulling out of the Auto Show because of the costs at Cobo? How does Cobo compare with others?

  44. Marshy Says:

    I love the Sandy data. Keep it coming. Would be interested in seeing it on other products.

  45. veh Says:

    “And if Mercedes pulls out, you have to wonder if BMW and Audi would follow suit.”

    My fear as well. Something needs to change…people propose June as an alternative date (not a bad idea) or combine with SAE in April (meh).

    I hope this is just a temporary swing of the pendulum and automakers figure out that a big auto show benefits from a synergy that the individual “media events” don’t get. The single model reveals disappear after a day; social media moves on quickly to something else.