AD #2447 – FCA Management Shakeup, GM Test Tracked Radio Habits, BMW Reveals New 7th-Gen 3 Series

October 2nd, 2018 at 11:33am

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Runtime: 7:55

0:28 FCA Management Shakeup
1:20 GM Test Tracked Radio Listening Habits
2:27 New BMW 3 Series Sedan
3:32 More Infiniti Project Black S Details
4:25 Kia ProCeed Transforms Into a Wagon
4:45 New Mercedes B-Class Looks Less Van-Like
5:57 Dissecting Cadillac’s Luxury Strategy

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33 Comments to “AD #2447 – FCA Management Shakeup, GM Test Tracked Radio Habits, BMW Reveals New 7th-Gen 3 Series”

  1. ClassicBob Says:

    Hardly a “management shakeup” at FCA. Manley kept familiar faces in play so not to “shakeup” investor confidence.

    It would have been nice to see fresh faces emerge from Jeep and RAM divisions, rather than Bigland going back to RAM (he became RAM’s “step-in” boss after Fred Dias jumped shipped). And I’m surprised Manley didn’t promote one of his capable “right hand” men after all his years at Jeep.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While I respect Bob Lutz’s opinion on Cadillac, it seems to me his analogy of trying to surpass the Germans (by Cadillac) that this almost reflects the same up-hill battle Lincoln is facing if they are going to battle against Lexus. I think since both domestics are competing in this fiercely combatant category that GM’s strategy is more to my liking (shooting for the performance comfort segment and not the softer cushy ride route). JMO

  3. MJB Says:

    Ahhh, New BMW 3-Series, I’ve got the 2013 Lexus GS 350 on the other line. They want their rear ‘hockey stick’ lights back. ;)

  4. Brett Cammack Says:

    The 3-series isn’t bad, but I want to visit wherever that footage was shot. Amazing scenery.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    @4- end of video reminds me of the Stelvio Pass. For me, better bang for the buck would be to tour Germany, Switzerland, Italy and rent a 3 series.

  6. Bradley Anderson Says:

    KIA please sell the Proceed in the United States with AWD and NO LIFT KIT and NO PLASTIC WHEEL ARCHES.

    BMW please downsize the 3-series back to the early 90s.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I agree, except forget the AWD. I gave up ice racing years ago.

    The 2 series replaced the 3 series years ago, as spiritual successor to the 2002. Not only has the 3 continued to grow, but I just read on the AW site, that it will be automatic only. So much for “ultimate driving machine.”

  8. Lambo2015 Says:

    Lutz comments are dead on. No matter what Cadillac does, it will take years to share the prestige that Mercedes and BMW carry even if they do produce a better car. Which is why Cadillac needs to make sure they stay at a lower price point than the competition. Plus they need to stay away from sharing any body designs with their GM counterparts. The more separation from Chevy & Buick the better. Even if they share platform and powertrain’s the public needs to see completely different exterior bodies and world class interiors.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    #7 Cadillac did the same thing as the original CTS was supposed to compete with the 3 series and with each new model they grew bigger until the CTS was really on par with the 5 series. In fact it grew so much it made the STS obsolete and GM launched a new smaller model the ATS.
    Crazy how they keep making them bigger until they need to launch a newer small model.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    I have zero problems with BMW making the new 3 series essentially what the 5 series was in the 1990s. Because, for those who want a smaller BMW, there is a TON of them, and they are called the 1 series and 2 series, and their corresponding SUVs the X1 (of which I see a TON every day!) and (is there an X2?)

    The new 3 is what the customers want, and it is very well designed. While it is bigger in volume, it is not heavier, and its cd is an excellent 0.26.

    However, BMW and Merc and Audi have been clobbered and will continue to be Clobbered, not by Caddy or Lincoln or .. Acura and Infiniti (what jokes) but by the MIGHTY TESLA.

    Which already clobbered the 5 series and 7 series and the S and E class and the A8 and A6 sales with the S, some SUVs with the X, and now, much more, the 3 series- C class – A4 gang with the unstoppable Tesla 3.

    (see yesterday;s show for the unbelievable success Tesla had in the 3rd quarter).

    So somebody tell Bob Lutz, who is too busy talking to see these comments, that there IS a 100% American Company that has kicked the living daylights off his “Old Europe” regulars, Merc, BMW, and Audi, and others too (Accord and Civics are often traded in for Tesla 3s).

    because they have a superior and innovative and high performance product!

    While automakers are whining that their sedan do not sell and Hackett has raised his white flag of surrender and killed ALL Ford’s sedans,

    There is an AMERICAN company that has no problem selling 10s of 1000s of them, and for VERY high prices, the Tesla 3s on sale today go from 50k to 78k (hi perf version).

    What say you, Bob Lutz?

  11. Larry D. Says:

    Today September sales are in, and ALL so far except FCA (and of course Tesla) were clobbered.

    Hackett’s Ford is now officially the FOURTH automaker, behind not only GM (who did poorly, as did the second Toyota), but also FCA!!!!!!

    And by the time Hackett stops selling the sedans, make it 5th or 6th, behind Honda and Nissan !!! a Scary thought!

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 There are those of us who think BMW’s (except MINI), should be rear drive. That rules out the current 1 series and X1. The current 2 series does fit where the 3 once was, and is still available with a manual transmission, at least through 2019 model year.

    There is an X2, which is on the FWD/AWD platform. It seems to be a slightly smaller, but pricier X1. I don’t see the point. From photos, it doesn’t seem to be as ugly as some of the tall, lifted hatchbacks from MB and BMW.

    Speaking of lifted hatchbacks, I still haven’t seen a Tesla X. I’ve spent most of the last year in Florida, so I guess most of them must be going up north. I see some S’s, including on I-95, and am starting to see Model 3′s locally. I haven’t seen a Model 3 on the interstate yet.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    12 I also believe not just BMWs but all premium cars should be RWD. I don’t like these phony FWD Merc CLAs that are “all hat and no cattle” either. I have not been following all the many BMW offerings, but when I see (frequently) X1s on the road, they are anything but small, I could have easily assumed they were X3s if they did not have the X1 badge. I believe the X2 is in the style of the X4 and X6, more coupe-ish, less room, lower roof.

    After the white X I saw in great detail on Sat, I saw another (dark blue) on Sunday, just from the back, then I had to stop at a light and lost it. I did not like the X when it was initially unveiled by Musk himself (got about 12 photos of it) but I changed my mind after I saw the all-white X on Sat.

    The X has minivan proportions but Tesla has succeeded in making it looking nothing like a minivan, it does not have lots of ground clearance. AND if Tesla can sell all these minivans in disguise for six figures, when the old Detroit makers cannot even sell them for one-third that, they must be doing something right.

    A friend who lives in the Palo Alto area was telling me how almost everybody in his suburban neighborhood had a Tesla S, typically next to a Range Rover in the same driveway. But CA has a huge % of EVs. And if I lived there, esp in LA, it would be a very good choice to drive along the (Endless! 22 miles long) Sunset Boulevard twists and turns in a low center of gravity Tesla S.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 The Tesla S probably works for 90% of those Palo Alto peoples’ driving, just charged at home.

  15. GEORGE RICCI Says:

    14 I live in Silicon Valley and most Tesla owners charge at the Tesla Super Charging Stations.

  16. Drew Says:

    I’m not a fan of the new 3-Series styling. The bodyside sculpting seems less Teutonic (muscular, clean) and more Kia-compact generic.

    RWD vs. FWD luxury cars. The highest growth sector has been FWD…. Audi, Tesla, squirt-sized BMW and MB.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 Tesla’s are RWD and AWD, as are “real” Benzes and BMW’s. Yeah, other than Tesla, I guess the growth in MB and BMW sales has been CLA, GLA, and X1.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    #10 Larry the number from Tesla are impressive and kudos to Tesla for making a great EV. However IMHO the EV market is limited and the US outside of California isnt as eager to have an EV as it may appear there. Folks living in cold climates that see a 40% reduction in range due to the cold are not going to be easily sold.
    Tesla is doing great filling the orders that it had taken from more than a year ago. Lets see how sales go once those orders are filled. How many people are still putting in orders? Has that number been released? So regardless of the superior quality or perception that buyers have Tesla vehicles its still a limited market in the US. It would be a huge shift but if Tesla would offer a hybrid I could see them give Merc, BMW and Audi a real headache.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. If you have an EV with 200 mile range, a round trip commute of 20 miles, and can charge overnight at home, losing 40% of range in cold weather doesn’t matter. I still think initial price is a big thing limiting EV sales to multi-car households.

    If Tesla ever decides to do a hybrid, they need to hire some people from a major car company to help. A hybrid powertrain is MUCH more complex than an EV, and it is much harder to get acceptable cabin noise level when you have an ICE, than when you have only a nearly silent electric motor.

  20. Lambo2015 Says:

    #19 yes there a lot of other factors besides reduced range. Just pointing out that in a highly dense city like L.A or San Fran EVs are allot more attractive. If you remove all the people that do not own a garage or a place to charge at home. Remove all the people that cannot afford a 60K+ car. Remove the people that just do not want an EV and then divide whats left among all the EVs and you have a limited market.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Vehicle price, and lack of a place to charge, are the reasons I don’t have an EV as one of my csrs. If I had a place to charge at home, I still might consider a Bolt, or a Tesla 3, if they actually start selling base cars for $35K.

  22. Lex Says:

    I totally agree with Bob Lutz concerning the image of Cadillac. It will never have the brand cache that either MB, BMW, Audi or even Tesla invokes in being a luxury vehicle. The first three are well established but Tesla has something special in their sauce that makes them different and I believe it is Elon Musk.
    Elon is to Tesla as Steve Jobs was to Apple.
    I hope that one of the Musk children will be ready on day to follow in their father’s footsteps.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    I just checked my emails and got a preliminary sales report for the September Auto sales from Autonews (usually at this time it is final, but somehow Audi did not report sales yet. I wonder if they suffered from the tesla 3), and even Autonews, which last month put Tesla sales at a laughably low 6,000 or 7,000, now they reported them as (probably still low-ball) 21,700, of which 18,000 is their estimate for September tesla 3 Sales. (I’d think the X and S combined sold much more than the 3,700 remaining in the estimate)

    More shocking is the news that for the first time EVER, a tesla car made the TOP TEN best selling cars in the USA, and it was not no. 10 either, it was No. 6! It sold more units than Hackett’s Ford Fusion (15,878), Nissan Sentra (16,795 of which probably 16,790 were fleet sales) and much more than Nissan Altima (11,867) and Chevy Cruze (11,277) who are nos 7 to 10.

    The best selling cars above the Tesla 3 were the 1. Camry, 27,640, 2. Accord, 25, 357 (and if you omit the substantial Camry Fleet Sales, the Accord handily beat it), the Civic at 24,806 and the Corolla at 20,797 (and Civic beat it handily even without fleets), and then the Elantra which never was a big deal but is a new model, at 19,923.

    Simply Amazing.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    PS Tesla in September outsold not only Jaguar+ land Rover, Volvo, Mitsu each by a factor of 2+, it even outsold Mazda, which barely sold 21,000 (21,257!). Auto Journalists always praise Mazdas, but the dog (consumer) is not eating the Dogfood.

    in the next months Tesla sales will surpass also those of BMW Group (29,459)and Mercedes-benz (plus Smart) 30,715, and then, unless it has serious problems, the next targets will be Subaru (4% market share) and VW group(about 4% too)

  25. Larry D. Says:

    18 I never said EVs are for everybody, sure not at this time, with their infrastructure still at less than 50% compared to gas stations, and with charging times still long. But there are some no-brainer EV owners for whom it makes ideal sense, these are the long commuter couples who split the distance and each have a 100 mile commute a day. Even with a 200 mile range Tesla or other EV, and even in the winter, range is not a concern for them, and they can charge overnight or/and, usually for free, at work.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    16 highest growth may be true, but it does not mean that these POS are luxury cars, they are a ripoff. Real cars are RWD, as Clarkson (formerly of Top gear) often said.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 I googled and found Audi sales too, 19,350 for Sept, all the many Audi models sold less or much less than the 3 Tesla models who sold 21,700 (or much higher according to other sources)

    I just checked the “inside EV” site often quoted here, and they claim Tesla sold 22,250 model 3s alone in Sept, as well as 3,750 model Ss and even more, 3,975 Model Xs, for a grand total for September of 29,975. If accurate, this is more than the Whole BMW group, with MINI And Rolls added to it, sold, at 29,459, and almost as many as the Mercedes Group at 30,715. (maybe they will beat it in October!)

  28. Larry D. Says:

    Other EVs did much less well than the tesla 3. The prius prime sold 2,213, the Volt 2,129 (and it is not a pure EV either), the Botl, 1,549, the Leaf, a new model, a measly 1,563, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 637. Don’t forget the Fiat 500e, it only sold 94 units, so Marchionne’s ghost should be relieved, they lost only $15,000*94 instead of $15,000*21,700!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Tesla outsells JLR, Mazda, and Mazda, all of which have many more models that Tesla’s three. That’s impressive.

    I just checked CR’s test info on the Model 3, and while it is taking sales from 3 Series, C-Class, A4, the 3 is a performance car, more than a luxury car. The 3 far out-accelerates the most common versions of the Germans, but in “comfort” categories, like ride, noise, and rear seat comfort, it comes out less well than mass market cars like Camry. Considerable wind noise at highway speed was the noise issue, I suspect they are working on that.

  30. Lambo2015 Says:

    Larry you are quoting sales of a vehicle that is just recently been made available and Tesla is filling back orders. Tesla took orders for the model 3 like 2 years before its release and yes it has great interest. But they are just now up to rate and filling orders for cars that may have been placed over a year ago. Once Tesla fills the back orders lets see how the sales go.
    Had Tesla launched and been able to produce the 3 at their projected rate when it went on sale and not taken pre-orders, it still would have great initial sales volume numbers. The real tell tale sign will be how well sales continue once the back-orders are filled. Will they even get 5000 orders a week? Time will tell.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 I really think you give this EPIC achievment, which has not even one parallel in history (an independent automaker being so successful), way too little credit.

    First of all, the Chevy Volt and Bolt were once brand new vehicles. Why did they became monumental failures both, despite all the support from GM’s big pockets (plus my taxpayer’s subsidy of $7,500?

    Second, by the time the 500,000 orders are (if ever) fulfilled, Tesla will have many more new vehicles to sell, that will be both more affordable AND in segments that are popular (CUVs etc).

    Third, did you notice that the $50,000-70,000 Tesla 3 (the 35,000 versions are coming next year) beat such vehicles as the Ford Fusion, which sells for half that? Which other automaker ever achieved that? Not even Merc and BMW!

    i could go on and on and on, but I have posted too much here already.

    This is transformational. Musk is the Henry Ford of the 21st century. he redefined the Automobile and its infrastructure.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The $35K Tesla 3 should help keep them going. Then, within a few years, there will probably be a next generation 3 that has the virtues of the current one, but might not be noisy and ride bad. Early buyers might want to trade for one of those.

    As far as Bolt, it got off to a bad start when new, because they didn’t even sell it most places. Also, dealers that had them didn’t know anything about the car, and of course, it costs too much, for what it looks like.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    #31 Not discrediting Tesla and I agree they have made a huge impact on the industry. They have taken a fairly new technology and made it available unlike any other automaker. The Tesla vehicles are attractive with best in range and acceleration. The competition has failed as they always do when its something out of their normal wheelhouse.
    When Ford, GM, Chrysler tried to build small cars they were always econobox cheap junk. None of them offered a good well equipped small car. So yes the BMW 3 series and Euro cars filled that gap. Then when trying to build “green” EVs they launch ugly econo cars that people do not find exciting. Tesla made a car that was attractive sporty and electric. Nothing is in the same category. Not just US makers either the EVs from all current makers are pretty boring. Wrong approach IMO.
    Anyway my point was not that Tesla isnt doing something incredible but their sales are going to be great until the 4 or 500,000 pre-orders are filled. Then will the sales continue or will it fall off a cliff. Time will tell and yes they will most likely have other vehicles close to launch by time those orders are filled. Since it should take 18 to 24 months to finish filling those orders.
    500,000 cars of any model is incredible sales and had they been able to produce that many in a single year they would have knocked off the best selling car most likely. So yeah many great accomplishments it will just be interesting to see what happens in two years.