AD #2302 – GMC Unveils the New Sierra, U.S. Car Sales Drop in February, Volvo XC40 Walkaround

March 2nd, 2018 at 11:50am

Runtime: 9:57

0:32 Trump Boosts Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
1:05 U.S. Car Sales Drop in February
1:25 Pickup Truck Sales Drop
1:48 Luxury Brands Post Increase
2:55 GMC Unveils the New Sierra
4:11 Jaguar Reveals More I-Pace Details
5:28 Volvo XC40 Walkaround

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone , Dow Automotive Systems and Lear Corporation.

»Subscribe to Podcast |

5661 rss-logo-png-image-68050 stitcher-icon youtube-logo-icon-65475

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website:

36 Comments to “AD #2302 – GMC Unveils the New Sierra, U.S. Car Sales Drop in February, Volvo XC40 Walkaround”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Man,the front end of the new gmc is fugly.I also have to wonder how much use that carbon fiber bed will actually see,being that it’s only offered on the top two trim lines.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    John couldnt help but notice the Volvo speakers were not removed but relocated to the upper portion of the door by the handle. They look much smaller than the typical 6″ rounds.. How has this affected the sound system?

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Tariffs? Do these estimates of $300 million in material costs for Ford and $200 million for GM come from paying the tariff or is that the increase to buying American steel and aluminum?
    Personally I would gladly pay an extra $200 per vehicle to use American steel and help bring jobs back here to the US.

  4. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    The new GMC front grill is butt ugly! So many of these grills in recent years seem to want to be outrageous just for the sake of just that. Give me the new face of Dodge/Ram over the GMC. The drop in car sales to me show the pricing has reached a level where people are saying a big no to having the next shiny new car. One trend to me I wish would change is having to get the overloaded with tech models to get the nicest interior materials. The used car market will be the winners when people go there to buy those instead of new.

  5. Lex Says:

    Great Walk around on the Volvo XC40. It looks good but how is the performance? It resembles a Swedish/Chinese version of the Jeep Compass.

    What I really liked was your Autoline Baseball Cap. I would love one for his Winter. We are having a Nor-Easter here on the NYC Metro Area.

    I have put off getting a new vehicle since Honda has a smaller Pilot “Passport” in the works to hopefully debut at the NY Auto Show.
    On days like today I might just stop waiting and get a new Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited in the “True Blue” color to navigate the snow and ice.

  6. M Campbell Says:

    That February full-size truck sales for GM and Ram are both down significantly is surely related to the February announcements from GM and Ram of new generation full-size trucks.

  7. Lex Says:

    @ Frederick Schmidt

    I think the new grill on the GMC Sierra is far better that the new face of the Chevy Silverado.
    The bed and tailgate features make it very versatile. I must agree with Sean that the interior could have been executed much better.

  8. buzzerd Says:

    I like the new split tailgate on the GMC, looks pretty handy. Grill looks fine to me. Over my life time I’ve found that most of the time that manufacturers adjust or change the fronts of their trucks there is always that segment that declares them ugly, seems to take about a year before they become the norm and then the next design gets declared ” ugly”.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 If these tariffs actually happen, they will mostly raise prices, not bring back American jobs. The American steel mills are shuttered, or in many cases, torn down. Companies are not going to build new steel mills, which wouldn’t even become operational during Trump’s reign.

    I like the appearance of the Sierra ok, but, to me, the “nostril” front end of some Ram trucks is atrocious. I guess that is part of a trim package, and should go away with the Ram redesign.

    Yep, as M.C. stated, one would expect sales of GM and Ram trucks to be down, with the next generation coming soon. Less obvious, is why the Nissan pickups, generally considered worst-in-class, did so well.

  10. gary susie Says:

    Could it be the weather here in the northern states that caused the sales drop? Its been horrible this year.

  11. Brett Cammack Says:

    Surprised that the Ridgeline isn’t holding it’s own. The new one is quite appealing. I’d consider one.

    Somebody at work bought what I presume is an Audi Q3. I thought it was an Outlander Sport until I saw the grill and the rings.

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    #9 In 2016 the 12 largest steel producer in the world was Nucor Corp of the US. The 24th largest supplier is United States Steel Corp. So there are places here in the US to buy steel.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Steel and aluminum are ‘strategic metals’ and the United States needs to maintain a healthy metal’s production capability. I live in S.C. and there are Nucor Steel and Century Aluminum very close to me (with Georgetown Steel trying to get back into production). With these other countries “dumping” I think the U.S. needs to do something; whether tariffs are the answer, I don’t know, but action is required to keep our struggling metal production viable.
    The U.S. sells a lot of ‘tech’ but as other countries catch up (some already have), we need to have a base of other industries to maintain competitiveness and one of those should be metal.

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    I really like the new tailgate on the GMC. That was a really quick shot of the many configurations I had to go back and watch it a second time. It looks like many features I wish my truck had.
    As for the dash, its a truck and when they share most everything (climate controls, touch screen, radio, basic vent layout) with all the other trucks which are supposed to be rugged and tough. How do you now make it elegant and refined without a complete redesign using all new switches and controls?
    Personally if you want a elegant truck look in the Cadillac brand and keep GMC as a working truck.. They always fail when they blurr the lines between divisions.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, 13 How near full capacity are these mills running? I don’t know, but will try to find out.

  16. Wim van Acker Says:

    @12 Sure, but the world’s leading steel producer is 5 times larger than Nucor and 7 times larger than U.S. Steel. The world’s fifth largest steel producer is still two times larger than Nucor. One would expect the world’s largest steel producers have a cost advantage based on economies of scale.

    This is just based on overall production, while the comparison should be done on cold rolled steel production and production capacities. Of which I don’t have the figures. But my simple comparison shows the size differences in the global steel industry.

  17. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Century Aluminum just went to half production because they can’t buy electricity at a good enough price (they want to buy on the open market) but the utility is blocking. (but that’s a whole different story)

    Georgetown Steel has been up and down (from producing to shutting down production completely) for the last decade; foreign competition is one of their nemeses. It has also changed owners a couple times.

  18. Ctech Says:

    Not a fan of the shark fin as it blocks visibility, otherwise the Volvo looks nice.

    Since many people have already replaced their vehicle and now have 5 year loans, it doesn’t surprise me that the SAAR is dropping.

  19. Albemarle Says:

    I think that ‘dumping’ product on other countries is wrong. But it isn’t dumping if you are just selling it for less than local manufacturers. Dumping is where you sell into a country for less than you sell anywhere else, including the home country.

    87,000 people in the steel industry
    950,000 people in automotive manufacturing, just one of the steel customers
    Make steel and aluminum more expensive. Let’s see how the steel industry can add more jobs than even the auto industry will lose.
    There are no easy answers.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nucor does not make new steel. They melt scrap. I remember the news about one of the plants opening in a “corn field” near Crawfordsville, IN. It turns out that only about 1/3 of the steel “made” in the U.S. is from ore, coke, and limestone, etc. The rest is recycled scrap. This trend has been going on for many years.

    My father retired from a now long-defunct company in Kokomo, IN, that melted scrap, first using open hearth furnaces, and then electric arc furnaces. It was not good to be downwind of the plant, especially with the open hearth furnaces.

    Here is some info about the U.S. steel industry. From multiple sites, I found that the U.S. steel industry is now running at 70-some percent of capacity.

  21. BobD Says:

    “Dumping” is the term used when a single company/county is producing a product at below market costs and usually is subsidized by a government to drive other manufactures out of business. I don think this applies to the global steel market where there are a lot of counties that have companies that have figured out how to produce steel more efficiently than in the US. While it may be justified to maintain US supplies for steel for “security” reasons, it likely would be much cheaper and better for the US economy for the US government to incentivizes/subsidize US mills to remain in business, rather than to impose tariffs that drives up consumer costs and hurts the US economy. It is very naive to think you can “fix” a free market commodity by applying tariffs. Someone needs to take a macro-economic 101 course. Tariff wars always end with everyone losing.

  22. BobD Says:

    One other observed feature on the Volvo trunk storage that John didn’t point out, was the three prongs that become exposed when the floor is folded up. These are for “grocery” bags to hook on. Perhaps other vehicles have these, but I’ve not seen them before, but I’ve thought about the need for them to keep all those bags upright in the trunk. Much better than the nets some vehicles have for restraining those bags from sliding/rolling around.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Harley-Davidson, Levis, and Jim Beam could suffer.

  24. cwolf Says:

    I agree with BobD about his “dumping” comment, but IMO think those countries who subsidize their steel industry are the same people determining market cost. Perhaps it would be more fair to limit the amount of steel they export and add a surcharge equal to the amount of their government subsidy. If the US subsidizes our steel industry, it is we folks who are paying the tab just as if were a tariff.

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    #20 The average price of a car or truck in the US is currently $33,560 so an extra $200 for steel is less than 1% of the cost. You’ll pay more floor mats. If that promotes more steel being bought/manufactured in the US and hopefully entices some expansion here then its a good thing. Manufacturers may have to blow out the cobwebs and moth balls and start producing steel to full capacity.

  26. Lambo2015 Says:

    23 That article seems funny as “The European Commission has called Trump’s plan a blatant intervention amounting to protectionism” yet no one seems to think China requiring partnerships and limiting the amount of imported vehicles isnt protectionism. ha ha

  27. Lex Says:

    @ 26 Lambo2015

    I totally agree.

  28. Jim Haines Says:

    Swedish flag on a Volvo these days should be listed as false advertising by customs when they hit the ports LOL

  29. cwolf Says:

    Maybe it’s a good idea just not to buy anything we know to be Chinese owned! All they do is pilfer someone else’s technology!

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, 26, 27 We’ll see what happens if the tariffs are implemented, but most of what I’ve heard for years, including in econ classes, is that protectionism is generally counterproductive. We mught add 5000 jobs making steel, at the cost of 100,000 jobs in the auto industry.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 Would all of these people want to quit buying iPhones? Yeah, Apple is a U.S. company, but Foxconn, which makes most of their products, is not.

  32. Bob Wilson Says:

    Tariffs worked great just before the 1929 stock market crash and Great Depression. Herbert Hoover would be proud.

  33. Dan Says:

    More stupidity from trump. You know other countries will reciprocate and increase tariffs as well. It will cost us more to buy foreign goods and to sell our products overseas. Inflation increases and we all lose.

  34. Ukendoit Says:

    14) I agree, that cool tailgate segment could have had more detail. After watching a few times, I went to the link in the transcript (also on my name here) and there is more detail and a great video showing the many configurations. I heard RAM had patented a highly configurable tailgate that opened traditionally or like dutch doors. I don’t know what all the features of the RAMgate were to be, but it looks like GMC beat them to the punch.

  35. Ukendoit Says:

    It was a few days ago that I saw this show, now after my comment I watched the GMC segment again and it looks like the same video. On the link it is slower though and has a voice-over description of the different positions.

  36. veh Says:

    “These are for “grocery” bags to hook on. Perhaps other vehicles have these…”

    My Dodge Grand Caravan has them on the back of the front seats. Very useful

    I covet that tailgate step on the GMC. Getting into the bed of our F-150 is a PITA