AD #2446 – Smart Reveals Forease Concept, Musk Settles Suit with SEC, VW And Microsoft Partner on Digital Services

October 1st, 2018 at 11:34am

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Runtime: 7:03

0:26 Musk Settles Suit with SEC
1:04 Weekend Racing Results
2:33 May Mobility Expands in Michigan
3:14 Smart Reveals Forease Concept
3:57 Ford Introduces New Mondeo Hybrid
4:49 Nissan Updates the Altima
5:46 VW And Microsoft Partner on Digital Services
6:17 RIP Tony Swan

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31 Comments to “AD #2446 – Smart Reveals Forease Concept, Musk Settles Suit with SEC, VW And Microsoft Partner on Digital Services”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    RIP Tony Swan, condolences to his family, I always enjoyed reading his articles and watching him on Autoline with interest.

    Musk did settle fast, the fine was a joke, pocket change, he should pay it out of his own pocket and not out of Company funds, just as a gesture. When you are worth at least $2 billion, 20 million is less than 1%.

    I wonder if Musk was allowed to buy his own shares on Fri when they dropped 14%, and sell them back today when they are up after the settlement. I hope not!

    In other news, racing-yawn, May Mobility – bigger yawn, Smart Concept- Is it available at Toy Stores? Amazon delivers by mail?

    Ford Mondeo Hybrid. Mondeo was/is the Fusion name overseas. Since Hackett, in his infinite wisdom, axed all Ford Cars in the US, you will not be able to buy a US version. Not that it overhwelmed me with its specs.

    Nissan-Altima I’ll let Hertz know. And VW -MS partnership- who cares.

  2. WineGeek Says:

    Great to hear Ford is going to introduce new vehicles, but why not some revised designs rather than a Taurus derivative that is a rehash of past vehicles. Some new design might help them stay competitive.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    1 Whoa! Was I off by a factor of 10!

    Musk’s net worth (just googled) is already 18-23 billion, so the 20 measly million fine is not 1% but less than 0.1% of his net worth!

  4. Brett Cammack Says:

    Wish I could buy a Mondeo Estate. Gorgeous!

    They should’ve left the Taurus name dead. The only brand identity it had by 2000 was that of a soulless rental appliance. Zip for brand equity.

    If David Halberstam were still with us, he’d be sharpening his pencils to write “The Reckoning: II” Still about Ford, but Koreans instead of Japanese.

  5. Albemarle Says:

    Good show Sean.
    I understand why Mercedes ordered Valtteri to move over. F1 is not a sport, it’s a corporate placement event. No wonder most Finns prefer rally.

    If May Mobility’s test is a success it shows that people will trade speed for price. They’re not ‘running around’ so much as sauntering around. Ideal for cities under 30,000 people; not so handy with 200,000.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 The Mondeo is not a Taurus derivative. It is the “D segment” car that Ford sells around the world, and still sells in North America as Fusion. Maybe we will see the new one in the U.S. someday, if Ford survives its Trucks R Us makeover.

  7. Buzzerd Says:

    I can imagine the meeting when the Roval idea came out.
    ” so wait, what? you want our cars to turn RIGHT once in a while????? Now slow done there skippy”

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Mercedes F1 must expect to have multiple DNFs during the next few races. Hamilton didn’t have the driver’s championship clinched, but it would take a whole lot of bad luck for him not to win it, even without the team denying Bottas that race win.

  9. Lex Says:

    Thank you Tony Swan for all your insight to the automotive industry!

    I am glad to hear that Nissan is not going any smaller than a 2.0L Turbo in the Altima. I think other OEM’s should follow Nissan. I am thinking of the 2018 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain case in point. GM should eliminate the 1.5L Turbo engine in both of these models which would simplify manufacturing and increase customer acceptance of Turbo charged engines. If you walk onto a Chevy or GMC lot it is hard to find a 2.0L Turbo in your color or with your desired features. The customer will either settle for the 1.5L Turbo to get the color or feature they are looking for or stroll across the street to a different OEM’s dealership. GM should drop the 1.5L Turbo and concentrate all your efforts on the 2.0L Turbo like you have with the Buick Envision IMHO.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 2.0 turbo engine in the new Altima is the complex, variable displacement joke, that provides mid-pack performance and mpg in the QX50, against direct competitors in CR’s tests.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    Why wouldn’t you move over to let your TEAMMATE by? If you have no chance of winning the series why not? That’s part of the reason for having a teammate. Yes you want to win the championship but you are also racing for your sponsors, the biggest being in this case Mercedes. Pretty much all professional sports are business first, that’s the way the keep the lights on.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Some people, maybe a lot of people buying vehicles like Equinox don’t mind giving up some power, for 15% better mpg and a $2K low MSRP. Also, like other car companies, Chevy gets some extra money, beyond the $2K extra for the bigger engine, by putting the 2.0 only in the top two trim levels. That’s marketing.

    Honda takes that a step farther, by requiring that you get an Acura if you want a CR-V with the bigger engine.

    11 These guys like to win races. Yeah, Bottas is lucky to be with the best team, but he’d still like to win a race that he deserved to win. With a 40 point lead, and only 5 races to go, it is highly unlikely that things would go so wrong that Hamilton would not win the championship.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    Re the long-term trend towards smaller and smaller engines, I just saw an article abiut the 2019 Jeep Renegade (which is no lightweight Toyota Yaris), it will have a ridiculous 1.3 lt, and it will make 177 HP and 200 lbft. (did not say RPM), and it replaces an equally Dwarf-y 1.4lt 4. The (dubious) record for US engines I guess is that Foed 1.0 lt Ego Boost or whatever Joke., with 123 HP and 125 lbft.

    In contrast, I saw a video the other time of an ancient BMW with a 48 (not 4.8, 48!) liter engine they stole off some WW I Bomber plane.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 The 1.4t in the outgoing Renegade is the Fiat engine used in the 500 Abarth, the Fiat Miata, and probably other vehicles. It is 160 hp. Maybe that new 1.3 is a rework of the same engine. Yeah, the Renegade is not particularly light, at 3360 pounds, 20 more than a four cylinder Camry.

    A small engine that drives pretty well, is the BMW 1.5 turbo used in Minis. As far as efficiency, though, not so much. A four cylinder Camry gets slightly better mpg, both EPA numbers and CR tests, and the Camry is much bigger, and abut 550 pounds heavier than the Mini.

    I bet that 48 liter engine was really low rpm.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 As most people here would know, the Mini 1.5 is a three cylinder.

  16. PHILIP Says:

    Soon as I read RIP Tony Swan I said WHAT!? to myself. Surprising and sad news. [Long time reader of Motortrend and Car & Driver]

  17. XA351GT Says:

    That NASCAR ROVAL race was awesome. I love road racing and seeing these big cars being flung around was great to see. It made my day ,no scratch that year when Jimmy Johnson screwed up and put himself out of the playoffs. If he had held his position he would have made the next round with ease. They go to Dover which had historically been one of his best tracks he has 10 of his 83 wins there. Now ,because he was greedy he could win every race until the end of the year and finish no better than 13th in points. I saw a desperate move from a driver with doubts he can ever win again. icing on the cake was all this gave my favorite driver Ryan Blaney the win and automatic advance to the next round.

  18. Marshy Says:

    Please provide an update on the autonomous vehicle in February. Interested to see how it fairs in winter in MI.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Re 1 and 3, I was expecting Tesla shares to be higher on the news of the settlement, which removed a big uncertainty (Investors hate uncertainties!), but even I was amazed how much it rose!

    As of 3:10 PM today ET, Tesla is up a whooping $45.04, or 17.01%. ON Fri it fell 14%. It regained all it lost and 3% on top of that.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    14 Don’t remember the RPM but it was an unruly beast, did not sound smooth at all. It was a bomber plane engine, so it would not be as slow RPM as today’s giant ships are (60 RPM. Not 600 or 6,000, but 60. Slow VLCCs and even faster containerships. 1 rev a second, but the propeller is 30 feet diameter, so a point on its tip travels a long way in 1 sec. (about 100 feet)

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 I would have watched some of that race, if I’d known it was partly on a road course, but I didn’t know that until after it was over. I’ve been paying little attention to NASCAR, since they started their stupid, confusing “playoffs,” instead of just adding up the points to determine a champion. The “chase” was silly enough.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 I found an article about it. Maximum rpm, 1700. That was a big engine, but I found that a later V12 airplane engine, the Rolls-Royce Merlin was not small. It was 27 liters, and some versions ran 3000 rpm. They were geared down to turn big props, and keep the tip speed to not over ~.85 mach.

  23. Barry Says:

    Tony Snow was a true gentleman and a leader in the automotive news. It’s to late to thank him personally but I hope he knew how much his knowledge sharing was appreciated.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    18 Tesla held on to its gains at market close.

    Even Ford went up a bit, due to the new US-C-Mex trade deal. A rising tide lifts all boats…

    But Clueless Hackett declared (out of the blue?) that “Ford is not in a crisis”. Reminds me of Nixon’s “I am not a crook”…



  25. Larry D. Says:

    23 Look at the Video not only for its entertainment value, but also to see the Future US Car Buyer.

    In striking contrast to the typical Lincoln Driver around here, who is an old lady in her 70s or 80s, or an equally elderly man, the driver of the Tesla 3 was a very young man. Probably a grad student or recent graduate. These were the people who allegedly hated cars and would not buy them, making shared services popular in the future. It turned out they do love cars, but not their grandma’s Lincoln, and not when they had no $ to buy them, but now that they do, they choose to buy at the cutting edge of technology, with plenty of electronics in it.

    I am not picking up on Lincoln. Actually once when i was returning, very tired, from overseas flights at 2 AM, and was picked up by a brand new – looking Lincoln Town Car, (about 5 years ago), and sat in the passenger seat (I tried the rear bench before and it is not comfortable! it is like a swollen bench, does not cuddle you), that front passenger seat was the most comfortable I have ever sat on/in.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    Today we will see the September US car sales data, and they have started to come in. GM will have to tells us its exact quarterly sales, and Tesla too, sometime, will publish 2rd quarter data.

    But Ford is already out with its numbers, and it is a DISASTER. Down -11.2% from last Sept, despite its heavy reliance on cheap rental fleets (49,171 out of a total 197,404). While SUVs were off only -2.7%, Pickups were sharply down -9.9% (the F-150 is Ford’s cash cow) and cars, predictably, down a huge -25.7%. Not surprising when Hackett is discontinuing all of them.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 I meant 3rd, not 2nd quarter, of course.

    It just got much worse for Ford. Last month it fell to third place, behind Toyota. in September, and in striking contrast to Hackett’s Ford, and despite the Great Sergio Marchionne’s passing, FCA US reported 199,819 vehicles sold in September, passing even FORD, and the highest September sales in 18 years, with both Ram and Jeep each posting record sales. And while hapless Fiat fell 46% (to just 1,185 vehicles, as if they were rare Ferrari sales!), Alfa rose 29%, Dodge was up 41% (!) and Chrysler was down 7%.

    So will Ford end up 4th in September, behing FCA and way behind Toyota? Shocking, and a preview of things to come, as it discontinues its cars and sales plummet much more.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    Sorry for yet another post, but today is BIG news day in Auto Sales.

    TESLA just announced that it produced 53,239 Model 3s in Q3. That is just the Model 3, does not include Models S and X, both of which are quite popular around here, I see at least a couple of each every day (but no 3 yet). TESLA also said, in case anybody asks, yeah, they produced as many, but how many did they deliver to the customers, that they delivered 55,840 “of the vehicles” to the customers. Not sure if this means just tesla 3s, drawing from their inventory. Most likely.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    27 One more, clarification from CNBC:

    TESLA Delivered a total of 83,500 Vehicles during the third quarter, or 80% more than they delivered in ALL of 2017.

    It Produced 80,142 vehicles, of which 26,903 were six-figure Model S and X’s.

    These are HUGE numbers. Maybe the stock price has expected them, if not, it will rise further.

    it is accelerating construction of a factory in the world’s biggest EV market, CHINA, to minimize the impact of the Tariffs.

  30. Lambo2015 Says:

    #26 Ford just seems to be lost when it comes to company direction. Yeah they have a great selling truck but beyond that its like they have no idea what to pursue. Mobility, Autonomy, Electrification, conductivity? Its like they are not really sure of the future market so lets dab a little into everything and neglect our current market share other than trucks. I’m sure they would like to gain some of the big SUV market from GM’s Escalade, Tahoe, Yukon with the Navigator and Excursion but what Ford missed was unlike their big bold trucks the SUVs are families and driven more equally (maybe even more) by women and the big bold truck look shared with the F-series dosent appeal in the large SUV segment. Which is why GM outsells Ford 3 to 1. Hopefully they will get some direction soon before they are reduced to nothing more than a light truck manufacturer.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I guess the Model 3s are going to Florida. I’ve seen 5 or 6 model 3s, well at least 3 (different colors) but have never seen an X.