AD #2490 – Japan Files More Charges Against Ghosn, Ford Layoffs Could Dwarf GM, Sales Down But Still Strong

December 4th, 2018 at 11:29am

Follow us on social media:

Instagram Twitter Facebook

Runtime: 6:19

0:28 Japan to File More Charges Against Ghosn
1:03 Admin. Wants to End All EV Subsidies
2:11 Integrating Sensors Can Reduce Repair Costs
3:10 Ford Layoffs Could Dwarf GM
4:17 Nov. Sales Down, But Still Strong

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

»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:

47 Comments to “AD #2490 – Japan Files More Charges Against Ghosn, Ford Layoffs Could Dwarf GM, Sales Down But Still Strong”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    Thanks Morgan Stanley for the very obvious statement saying, “There are bigger forces at work driving global OEMs to rethink the fundamental idea of supporting increasingly obsolete segments, propulsion systems, and geographic regions.” So basically business as usual, making sure you have the right product, adapt to EVs and manage your global market.

  2. phred Says:

    Thank you for the continuous information on the car sales distribution. Now if passenger car sales are dropping that large % where is the relational % increase in vehicle sales? I do not see a “sea of pickups” currently on the LA freeway in place of passenger cars.

  3. John McElroy Says:

    #2. Phred, I was just in LA for the auto show and I saw a sea of CUVs and SUVs everywhere I went.

  4. XA351GT Says:

    Good I hope they end the subsidies . The government shouldn’t have to bribe you to buy something you don’t want.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2. I see a sea of pickups, and CUV/SUVs in both Florida and Indiana.

  6. XA351GT Says:

    #2 and #3 If that is all the manufacturers are wanting to make are CUVs, SUVs and trucks it doesn’t matter what the consumer really wants . You get what they decide you need. In the 70s they decided everyone needed FWD or they wouldn’t be able to drive in snow ( Even though people had done it for 70 years) Then it was AWD/4WD Or you couldn’t go anywhere in snow. Then it was no wants Station wagons so here is your minivan . Now that minivans have become no longer wanted by soccer moms we get CUVs and SUVs rammed down our throats. Make a car that people can afford and want to buy and you’ll sell them. Just as they told everyone no one wants a 2 door coupe here is your 4 door sedan funny now is the only “cars” left in some brands are their 2 door coupes ( Mustang , Camaro, Corvette, Challenger).

  7. MaxC Says:

    In Iowa, almost every household has a pickup. My wife has a 2017 Ram, while my nephew has a 2019 Ram and his wife is looking at the new Gladiator.

  8. buzzerd Says:

    @6- I don’t see anyone deciding for us, fact is cars aren’t selling. They haven’t stopped making them yet sales are down huge numbers. Same with two door cars, if people were buying them they would be making lots but…
    I get some of the arguments for ending subsidies on electric cars but don’t the same arguments apply to the fossil fuel subsidies? will they be ending them also? Hmmmm I’m thinking probably not.


    It is a sea of CUV/SUVs in Michigan also.

    I think the subsidy needs to be ended as well. As we applaud TESLA for their sales success, lets also take note that this is with a decreased subsidy. Proving to me….You do not need the subsidy to make the electric car purchase viable to the consumer of those products.

  10. ChuckGrenci Says:

    #4 Got to agree with XA, and besides “bribing” these subsidies are a hidden tax or fee on all of us.

  11. buzzerd Says:

    @9- so you’re saying manufacturers don’t want to sell you are car and in fact plot not to sell you a car?

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    #6 The manufacturers are not deciding what we buy. They strive to make what people want and that’s obvious by the sales. Where it gets a little cloudy is the subsidies and are they helping EVs or is the market there without them?
    I don’t want the government telling us what we should be driving via the EPA or any other agency. I also don’t feel our tax dollars should be used to favor a product. If they wanted to provide grants to the automakers to develop an EV that’s one thing but if it doesn’t sell then don’t force them to make it.

  13. buzzerd Says:

    oh, didn’t notice the upper post.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Putting the radar for AEB/adaptive cruise behind the mirror makes sense, if it will work as well there. In my Toyota, the radar, in the nose of the car, is clearly in a position to be first to the scene of a frontal crash. It’s hard to believe those sensors are very expensive, though, given the number of low end cars that now have them standard.

    6 Yep, people aren’t going to buy what you don’t offer. The only real station wagon in the U.S. market that is not an expensive, “premium” brand is the Golf Sportwagon. There are a few others that are close, but have mandatory 4wd, a lift kit, and stupid body cladding. As far as 2 door coupes, yeah, not much out there, just the “pony cars,” and Corvette. The rest are mostly very small and/or expensive. The closest to a “mainstream” 2 door car I can think of in the U.S. market is Honda Civic.

    By not offering 2 door cars, companies lose, or move to the future a few sales, but save on tooling. If they made 2 door Priuses, I probably would have bought one, instead of the 4 door, especially if it looked better, which wouldn’t take much. I did buy a 2 door MINI and a 2 door Corvette.

  15. buzzerd Says:

    @11 but again, the government is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry so should they stop that also?

  16. Lex Says:

    I guess Subaru got it right the first time with putting it’s Eyesight camera based system behind the top of the windshield!

  17. Lex Says:

    These soon to be idle North American automotive plants will be prime targets for Chinese OEM’s looking for manufacturing space. The Chinese figure that President Trump will be out of office by the latest 2024, if he get re-elected in 2020. By that time the Chinese will have a well formulated game plan with assets and lobbyist temping Congress and Senate with large campaign contributions to see things their way. Once that happens GM and Ford will go the way of Studebaker and Hudson.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hudson is now part of FCA. They merged with Nash and Kelvinator to form American Motors, which was bought by Chrysler.

    Yeah, that’s a stretch to call it part of FCA, but some Chrysler car clubs consider Hudson, Nash, and some other extinct brands as “part of the family.”

  19. Larry D. Says:

    EV subsidies. One big reason they should be ended is because they are a Reverse Robin Hood! Meaning, the average family income of those who get the $7,500 is $170,000++, which is more than twice the family income of the rest of the population! They sure do not need the subsidy! In addition, there was a letter in Automotive News from some person who lives on fixed income, modest SS payments etc, and for them, the subsidy is USELESS because their total taxes, if any, are far below the $7,500, which is a tax CREDIT.

    Ford layoffs could Dwarf GM? This reminds me of the story with Bobo, an unruly third grader, and his teacher. Bobo comes to class and the teacher notices his left hand is extremely dirty

    “I have never seen a dirtier hand in my life!” she exclaims. You will be severely punished for this!” says the nun-teacher, grabbing her ruler.

    “If i show you a dirtier hand, will you let me go?”

    “You can’t”! she says

    “Here!” he says, showing her his other hand!

    Ford and GM… bad and worse.

  20. W L Simpson Says:

    Good thing that China uses English to full advantage , so we don’t have to accept Chinese as the international language ,since they have displaced US as the New World Power , using money and brains instead of war.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    John/Sean: Good job reporting the sales, however the only legitimate sales rises were the 17% at FCA and the almost 10% at Subaru (which, BTW, is on a 87 month streak of month to month records!), and not at GM, which allegedly rose by 1-2%, because GM, like Tesla, does NOT publish monthly sales, and the Ward’s GM number is just an estimate. Next month we will know for sure, for both, the total 2018 sales.

    Wards and you do a better job reporting Tesla sales, even though your numbers are 4,000 units below their 21,700, because their number is a lazy estimate taking the 3-month numbers and dividing by 3, which is a very low ball estimate IMHO. The more detailed estimate from the EV sales site has only estimates for the S and X so far, which did quite well in Nov. But Volt and Bolt also did very well, 3,000-almost 4,000, despite the fact (or because?) GM is discontinuing the Volt soon. On the Contrary, the new Nissan Leaf had lousy sales of only 1,000 or so.

  22. Dwight Barnes Says:

    Do the following names ring a bell with any of the posters that have been contributing to this forum for years:

    Bob D
    and perhaps even more aliases.

    In my humble opinion, all these posters were the same guy and he may be back. I hope I am wrong. His style of writing gives him away every time – domineering.
    If you did not agree with his mantra, you must be berated online.
    I have been watching and reading this great site for many years as many of you have. I still recognize current contributors that were posting five and six years ago.
    I consider this forum a great site for open exchange of opinions and knowledgeable input. It must stay this way.

    If you are uncomfortable reading this post – remember that it is only my humble opinion.

    Dwight Barnes

  23. Larry D. Says:

    Total Tesla sales should be closer to 30,000-36,000 a month if they can make 30,000 model 3s alone, adding 3,000 for each of the X and S. At 36,000 not only will they double Audi sales, they will also exceed the sales of ALL BMW and MINI model sales put together, as well as all Mercedes Sales. BTW, they already exceed all of Mazda sales.

    Re the cars on the streets, the last time I drove in CA was 9 years ago, and it did NOT look like a Sea of Pickups. Even here in MI, in my small university town, the vehicles are a cross section of everything, plenty of prii and other hybrids, EVs and plug-ins, many compact and mid-sized cars, many of them more than 10 years old but plenty of new Civics and Camrys and Accords. There are pickups, some legitimately needed by people who live in farms, and there sure are lots of CUVs and SUVs, not because buyers are somehow insane or uninformed, but because they offer MANY advantages that sedans do NOT offer. Especially the high seating position making entry a breeze, good visibility, and above all UTILITY when shopping large items, which only a minivan can exceed.

    I do not blame the automakers for building not just what the consumer WANTS, but what they will actually BUY AND pay a good price for, not sedans they have to put $5k on the hood to move! BUT I question the extremity of their decisions, they could do it more gradually and should have started long ago than wait until it is a crisis situation.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    7 What “fossil fuel subsidies???” it is 100% the OPPOSITE. My electric bill would be far smaller if the stupid utility did not waste hundreds of millions in alt and renewable energy, especially some EYESORE solar panels (normally these look good, but the ones on my commute have their ugly back side on the street). And the PITTANCE oil subsidies were NOT for big oil but for the small independent oil cos to compete with Big oil!

    What other subsidies are you talking about? Give us a link if you really have some evidence.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    19 You are extremely premature. This reminds me of the 80s where everybody and his mother-in-law were sure that JAPAN would replace the US as the no 1 economic powerhouse. China, IF it continues wisely, MAY succeed, and become the world’s no 1 economy, but this will not be in your lifetime.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 If there are subsidies, lower income people should be allowed to take it over multiple years, taking part of the inverse Robin Hood factor out of the equation.

    If, and I say if there is a case for subsidies at all, they should not expire based on sales by an individual company. There is no reason Audi or Jaguar should have a built in advantage over Tesla, and soon, GM.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:


  28. Larry D. Says:

    OK that EV sales site finally gave us a number for the Model 3 in Nov., 18,650, plus 2,750 model S and 3,200 Model X (I am amazed the minivan-proportioned Model X sales even better than the S!), for a total Tesla Nov 2018 sales of 24,600 units, way higher than not only Audis but also ALL of Mazda models put together.

    As for the darling of Auto Journalists, Volvo, the.. nominee for.. Auto of the Year award, ALL car and SUV Volvo models put together, had barely one third of Tesla’s sales.

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Sorry ,but I have to disagree with a few of you. The manufacturers do decide what and why we get certain types of products. FWD was foisted on everyone , because they were cheaper to make and build as a small car. Everything else is due to content . The bigger the vehicle to more stuff can be added which runs up the cost. As far as EV subsidies why should or any other taxpayer help pay for someone else’s car? I don’t remember someone dropping $7500 in my lap to buy anything. If people really want a EV they will buy it they don’t need taxpayer help. If they do they need to buy something they “can” afford . This is in line with the subprime mortgage fiasco. People bought homes they couldn’t afford and tax payers got burned on that too. Time for people to live within their means.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    25 just as I mentioned many times, the subsidy is almost ZERO (we are talking 26 bill in a multi-Trillion $ Industry), AND it is NOT “Big Oil” that needs the subsidy, it was put in law to help the small INDEPENDENT oil cos to compete with Big Oil. The Major Oil cos have repeatedly said they do not need these tiny subsidies, and I an not even sure if they even accept them.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    27 you do not disagree with me, even though you may believe you do. I clearly stated that, unless the CEOS are total morons, they make the cars people NOT JUST WANT to buy but are WILLING TO PAY A PRICE that will make the makers a decent profit. If they made every niche car everybody ever wanted, they would be total fools and would go bankrupt much faster than (some of them) actually have!

  32. Drew Says:

    @13 – Kit, a few other affordable wagons or wagon-like…. Subaru Impreza 5-door, Buick Regal TourX, and Volvo V60.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 Yeah, those are close. I kind of excluded the TourX because it is “Outbackized” with the lift kit and mandatory AWD, and the Volvo because it is kind of pricey, but the ones you mention are close to what I’d have in mind as a wagon. The TourX could be, if they’d just sell it to us, the same way they sell in in Europe.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Small cars went to FWD because of the much better packaging efficiency. Have you ever seen a pre-BMW Mini up close? They are amazingly roomy, for such a tiny car. They wouldn’t be good in a crash, though.

    As far as cost, I’m not too convinced. Was a 1975 Rabbit/Golf cheaper to make than a 1975 Chevette? I kind of doubt it.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 Car companies that can get away with charging an extra 30% for a name plate, like MB, BMW, Audi, and Lexus have a number of niche cars, like multiple two door coupes and convertibles, nice, but pricey hatchbacks, and with MB and BMW, weird, ugly tall body lifted hatchbacks.

  36. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 As much as some people here have begged for a station wagon they just don’t sell. Look at Cadillac in 2010 they sold the CTS in a 4 door, a coupe, a wagon and all three bodies were offered in RWD or AWD and also with high performance Vee versions. The wagon and coupe both last just 4 years.
    If you ask the average consumer if they want RWD or FWD they would probably say they don’t care or don’t even know the difference.

    #27 Transaxles are more efficient and fuel economy requirements drove their popularity not the automakers desire to build them. During their inception they achieved @ a 30% gain of putting power to the ground over a RWD set up. Manufacturers were not thrilled as they struggled with torque steer issues and reduced turning radius. Sure it offered packaging advantages but also unbalanced the cars. Very heavy front ends and squirrely light rear ends. So they marketed it as an advantage in the snow which prior to traction control it was. All the weight over your drive wheels and you cant hardly get the car to drift without using the E-brake.
    Demand drives what is being built and offered. A few niche markets are supported but the sales are so small not every maker is going to make that investment to take a small part of an already small pie.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 From my experience, and my own car buys, people who want wagons want “affordable” wagons, and want good fuel economy. While I liked the CTS wagon, it didn’t qualify on either of those counts, and I never considered buying one. My last “daily driver” before a Prius was a wagon that did qualify on both counts, a 2004 Jetta TDI, with a manual transmission. Because wagon buyers wanted mpg along with utility, the Jetta wagon had a very high take rate of diesels, before the cheating fiasco.

    Transverse engine, front drive improves packaging efficiency in smaller cars, but that is less of a factor in larger cars. FWD is better than RWD in snow, though, with or without traction control. I first experienced that when I replaced my Plymouth Duster with a Dodge Omni.

    Most people are not aware of the difference in dynamics of nose heavy FWD cars from RWD cars. Now, torque steer in almost a non-issue, even with higher powered FWD cars, and the average CamCord driver does corner hard enough to experience the understeer/push of most front drivers. Still, RWD has an advantage with “purists.”

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 “Transaxles are more efficient and fuel economy requirements drove their popularity not the automakers desire to build them.”

    Did it really? Here are some fairly similar size cars with 2.0 liter turbo engines, one FWD, and two RWD. Maybe the packaging and snow traction advantages. even on larger cars, is why FWD is almost universal on “mainstream” cars sold in the U.S. Yeah, the BMWs’ premium gas could account for their slightly better mpg than the Honda.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35. That’s “does NOT corner hard enough to experience the understeer….

  40. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Completely off subject, but on our (wife and I) way home around 3 this afternoon from lunch, TWO Waymo vehicles (converted Chrysler Pacificas) crossed our path in Walled Lake, (MI). One crossing West Park Drive east to west into a sub division while we were stopped at the light at South Lake Drive (heading north east). The other coming toward us and turning left to go east on West Park Drive. Both had drivers, or at least persons (one a woman, the other didn’t see gender) behind the wheel. Could have been testing or actually transporting people? Sean or John, any news about Waymo doing testing in the Oakland County suburbs? Interesting to actually see one of their vehicles out on the road rather than in the news about their viability or not, or videos.

  41. Ed Says:

    #14, can you list specifically a single fossil fuel subsidy?

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:


    There is $27B worth. See link in #25. No, there are no specific line items shown, but there are subsidies.

  43. Lambo2015 Says:

    #36 Yes Kit is actually did. Your looking at 2018 cars and the FWD advantage over RWD isn’t as big now. When FWD first came about it was about the efficiency of the powertrain and weight reduction which FWD did both which equals MPG. GM played with the idea with the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado which was FWD with a big old V8, but nothing else was really produced in the US until the gas prices went up. Meanwhile in Europe the 1959 mini (huge hit) was FWD and by the 1970s Peugeot and Renault had adapted that design as well, all with small 3 and 4 cyl engines.
    So in 1978 the gas prices in the US drove the acceptance of the FWD platform already popular overseas in the UK and Japan so the domestics saw the advantage with launches of vehicles like Dodge Omni and Horizon, By 1980 GM launched the Citation Ford the Escort by 1982. So yes it was mainly driven by the pursuit of better fuel economy.

    As for your desire to find a wagon with good fuel economy I would suggest looking for a restored Ford Escort the 1983 thru 85 versions were offered with a 2.0L diesel. Or accept that no automaker is going to build a wagon to sell 1000 units a year.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41. Yes, a 4 cylinder Citation got better mpg than a bigger, heavier Nova with a bigger engine that it replaced. Being FWD was not the main reason the Citation got better mileage. The point of the BMW/Honda chart was that, in cars of similar size and power, FWD and RWD are similar in fuel efficiency.

    I’ve mentioned before, but it would be fantastic if Europe and North America would standardize on safety and emission regs. Then, people in the U.S. who want a car that sells well in Europe, but not “federalized” for import could buy one, without waiting for it to be 25 years old.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember an advertising point of the Toronado being the flat, or nearly flat floor in the back. They may have also advertised its being good in ice and snow. Yeah, efficiency was not a strong point, with its, 425 V-8.

  46. Ed Says:

    #42 referring me to a link with no direct statement listing
    Any subsidy, there is still no reference from you. Directing a hard question to a partisan website with unsubstantiated
    Statements not pertinent to the question shows you still do not have an answer to the question.

  47. Jonathan Brown Says:

    Another excellent show sean…thank you…the shift to cuvs is quite amazing. I believe halo vehicles will shift to sport cuv s tather than two seat sports cars in the not to distant future.

    Ending ev subsidies should be done along with ending subsidies to oil companies…