AD #2516 – GMC Unveils New Sierra HD, 2018 European Electrified Sales, Subaru Halts Production in Japan

January 23rd, 2019 at 11:53am

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Runtime: 7:48

0:27 GMC Unveils New Sierra HD
1:13 2018 European Electrified Sales
2:43 New Porsche 911 Can Detect Wet Roads
3:42 Opel Zafira Switches to PSA Platform
4:31 Protecting the Mustang Shelby GT500’s Wheels
6:03 Waymo Picks Michigan To Build AVs
6:45 Subaru Halts Production in Japan

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38 Comments to “AD #2516 – GMC Unveils New Sierra HD, 2018 European Electrified Sales, Subaru Halts Production in Japan”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Sean, do you know whether the hood scoops on the HD Chevy and GMC are functional. If they are fine, if they aren’t, as far as I’m concerned they should be skipped. And, offhand, I think I like the GMC’s ‘face’ better than the Chevy.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    Saw yesterday’s show and comments but was too lazy to participate (too busy too). It was ironic that Chinese Geely, who owns Volvo (the Volvo who gets more ‘employee of the month’ awards than sells cars in the US) made its chinese crossover look like a… BMW instead of a Volvo. Why the lack in confidence, I wonder?

    Good that Ford will offer a less than full size truck (calling it ‘smaller’ would be an oxymoron). Too many 5′ 1″ secretaries here, who don’t even live on a farm or need a pickup for any other reason, drive around in F 150s. Hopefully next time they will buy a pickup their own size.

    Talking of obese trucks and SUVs, I saw an article about the Lincoln so called “Aviaror” ( an Explorer clone) pricing, and you will not believe it, it tops at NINETY thou, yes, $90,000+!

    Either the US $ has become utterly worthless, or something is wrong with the suckers who will buy this thing. probably the price includes a $10k discount on the hood so they can believe they got a “good deal”. Seriously? A $80k Explorer/ Really? The Expedition size Navigator tops $100k. This is S-Class Money. Seriously? Laughable.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    2 obviously I meant the “Aviator”. BTW has anybody heard of a more ridiculous name for a 5,000 lb Hippopotamus? Reminds me of the expression “when pigs fly” (when Hippos Aviate)

  4. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Chuck – Yes, the hood scoops are functional.

  5. Brett Cammack Says:

    If I had one of those Mustangs I would live in mortal terror of potholes. I expect the replacement cost for one of those rims is staggering.

    I suppose the old saying, “If you have to ask what it costs, you can’t afford it.” applies here.

  6. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Brett – A quick Google search reveals that a Carbon Revolution wheel that looks similar to the GT500 is about $12,000. Oh, and that’s just for ONE.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think GM should try “retro” styling for their pickups. Would SSR-like styling work if scaled up 30% for what are now called standard size pickup trucks?

    If the civilian gussied up Explorer will cost $90K, how much are we tax payers paying for the police version? I hope we are getting a better deal than those who might buy the Lincoln.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably most people who buy Mustangs with those carbon composite wheels will replace them with aftermarket wheels, and reinstall the carbon ones only when they sell the car.

  9. Drew Says:

    I’d love to see a comparison of EU diesel sales versus EU electrified vehicle sales over the past 3 years. When will the latter exceed the former in sales?

    The new Zafira is a warning sign about PSA’s acquisition of GM Europe. They converted a well-differentiated product into a badge-engineered product. I doubt the sales will be incremental. If the plan is to convert all those unique Opel products into re-badged PSA products, the $billions spent would for the eventual closure of a former competitor.

    Larry, we all know you LOVE Tesla. But I am confused about your rant on the new Aviator. It’s priced less than a Model X, will have more 3rd row seat room, and it’s PHEV won’t have range anxiety… a particular issue this time of year in the northern climates (reference Henry Payne’s critique of his Model 3). Until Elon builds his over-hyped $35k versions of the Model S, put a sock in it!

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean any more info on how a PHEV doesn’t pass Co2 emissions?

  11. Roger Blose Says:

    The problem with the GT500 wheels is that they are super lightweight and the suspension is dialed in to the much lighter unsprung weight. Changing to a heavier aluminum wheel is a problem with these 20 inch wheels. Carbon fiber wheels are pretty to look at but no thank you!

  12. Lambo2015 Says:

    Glad to hear that Waymo will be building in Michigan, and testing in Michigan weather using roads that rival any cobblestone test track.

  13. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Thanks Sean for the hood scoop clarification. Being a heavy duty, I think they should drop the chrome and just use a painted edge with black lovered inside (but that’s just an opinion).

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    When I saw the title “Protecting the Mustang GT500 wheels I expected to see some new product that would replace the locking lug-nuts. As I would think having them stolen would be a major concern if they are as expensive as I suspect they are. Instead I learned they need to be protected from melting. I would also pass or as previously mentioned replace and just save the carbon wheels for when I sold it.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    9 You know way too little. I actually could not stand Tesla fans only a year ago or so. I also have a very low opinion of hippopotamuses SUVs and Crossovers, including your Model X. The only Tesla I would seriously consider would be the Model S, and versions of it are now going down from $40,000 (lowest used price a year ago) to $35,000 now to less than $30,000 next year. I can wait more than that, too, my Mercedes DIESEL will run forever, especially at the very low rate I use it here.

    But if you, with a straight face, consider the Explorer with Bling “Aviator” (and despite the risiculousness of its name) a “good bargain” at its $90,000 LUDICROUS price, or even at the $80,000 the desperate Lincoln dealer near you will let you have it, be my guest.

    I sincerely prefer that YOU contribute to Ford’s bottom line (if any) than me picking up the tab when it goes Bankrupt, as did your other beloved automakers, GM and Chrysler, 11 years ago.

  16. Phred Says:

    Could you conduct a program to analize the EV model(s) technology segmentation (hybrid, battery, fuel cell, etc) for the buying customer with pros and cons?

  17. Drew Says:

    Let’s do apples to apples. Someone spent $70-110,000 to buy the Model S new so you can shop for it at $30-35,000 a few years later. Wait a few years, a used Aviator can be bought for the same $.

    We should let the free market to determine winners and losers. And it is a tough market with technology complexity, extensive/complex regulations, lots of competition and shifting customer needs. As a result, OEM margins are thin. Consequently, I praise any OEM that can survive, and I don’t blame any OEM for seeking success in higher margin segments. And I never will celebrate any bankruptcy (everyone loses).

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like “strong hybrids” are taking a lot of the lost diesel sales in Europe, which makes complete sense. The big cities have heavy, stop and go traffic, the ideal situation for hybrids, at least for the many people who would have no place to charge an EV.

    A few years ago, Prius did not sell at all well in Europe, even when it was Toyota’s only hybrid, when a diesel with almost the fuel economy and similar space cost a lot less. I suspect Prius is now selling somewhat better in Europe, and Toyota and Lexus now have a bunch of hybrids in different shapes, sizes, and prices, that probably make up a sizable chunk of that 515K “strong hybrids” last year.

  19. Drew Says:

    Kit, my decision model goes as follows:

    HEV – If the majority of the drive cycle is urban or suburban.

    PHEV – Same as HEV drive cycle, plus access to a high amp overnight charger.

    Diesel – Best for hauling heavy loads and/or primary highway drive cycle.

    EV – Same as PHEV, but rarely (ie., don’t) drive long distances.

    Conventional ICE gas – when the teenager in you can’t resist that sweet exhaust sound of a Corvette, Mustang, or Challenger.

    When quick charging stations become common across the land, the above criteria will change.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 I assumed that there would soon be badge engineered Opel/Vauxhall products after PSA acquired GM Europe, and maybe the MPV was a good place to start, but I wonder why, exactly, PSA wanted GM Europe. Did they need more manufacturing capacity?

    The last I knew, Opel/Vauxhall had a 6-7%, and declining market share, down substantially from years ago. I doubt that the GM Europe nameplates have a lot of marketing value.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    18 Hybrids did poorly in Europe for decades because the policy of most EC nations was to have much cheaper prices for diesel fuel than for gas. They taxed gasoline to the nth degree not really because it is so bad to the environment (diesel is worse, but it is still priced much less than gas. In my summer home area, gas is $1.65/liter and diesel only $1.30/liter). So not only the trucks that are ideal for diesels got diesels there, but also the tiniest cars, the VW Polo (smaller than Golf), I see diesel Polos all the time there.

    The Prius is actually too big and especially too expensive there (remember they have a 24% VAT in Europe, while here our sales tax is from 0% to 6%), so many buy the smaller ( and much worse) Prius C which they call the Auris Hybrid there.

    The daughter of an old friend there wanted a new car, she just had a baby, and I begged her to consider a large, MUCH SAFER USED car than the new cars she was considering (she was afraid the used car would break down etc) so she ended up buying that Auris Hybrid or Prius C instead.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Drew, With me, for now, it’s HEV and conventional ICE, one or more of each.

    If/when I have at-home charging available, both pure EVs, and especially, PHEVs would be on my shopping list. My Prius would have been the PHEV Prius Prime, if I had a place to charge it, even though I would have needed to go to another state to buy one.

    unless I towed big trailers, I’d be uninclined to buy a recent diesel, given the need for urea fluid, and expensive oil changes, etc. Older ones, like the 1.9 Jetta TDI wagon I had, and Larry’s older Benz diesels are a lot less hassle than new ones, but they foul the air quite a bit. Whether the smelly and smog producing emissions matter much depends on whether you are driving in cities, or mostly in the middle of nowhere.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 The last place I drove in Europe was France, and diesel was a little, but not a lot cheaper than gas. In addition to that, though, diesel cars, at least when I owned one, got about 40% better fuel economy than equivalent gas cars. The diesel Citroen C4 I rented in France got near 50 mpg for the ~600 miles I drove it. Probably a gas one would have been in the 30s.

  24. Drew Says:

    Kit, I completely agree with you. In the US (well, at least the part of the country east of the Mississippi), the fuel premium and the acquisition option price premium for a diesel makes no sense for all, except those hauling heavy loads/RVs for long distances.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In my area in Florida, diesel now costs 36% more than regular gas. Even if there was no price premium for buying a diesel, in most cases, you’d be unlikely to save money driving one.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    Speaking of tiny hybrids, here in the US there was a 3-door black Honda Hatch with an idiotic alphanumeric name which had no meaning and which I did not even try to remember. The tiny car resembled the old very tiny Honda CRXs of the 80s-90s but in a current, obese version. I bet Honda sold even less of this loser than.. Volvo sells cars in the US, lost a TON of $ on it and all the other low-volume losers it made in the past (I’ve lost count), and who paid for the losses? Those who buy the best selling Accords, Civics and CR-Vs, and to a lesser extent Pilots and Odysseys.

    The above would be reason enough for me NOT to buy an Accord or a Civic. Not when my $ pays for the silly production model choices of the Honda Bigwigs.

  27. JWH Says:

    Carbon Fiber Wheels – Understand the concerns regarding damaging the pricy CF wheels, however, having run Blackstone Tech CF wheels on my Ducati & Aprilia, I loved the looks & the positive impact on performance. Improved turn in, & lower moment of inertia was great for acceleration & stopping. Ran them for 6 to 8 years before the bikes/wheels departed, & they looked like new when leaving. My only experience with automotive CF wheels is minimal (GT 350R). I would love a set on the Corvette, although its not on the schedule. Long way of saying that IMHO the benefits are worth the risk of damaging. Realize we all have different opinions.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 That Honda hybrid was CR-Z. It came out about the same time as the 3rd generation Prius. I checked it out, briefly, before buying my 2010 Prius. The Honda was a little quicker than a Prius, but thirstier, noisier, and, of course, much less roomy than a Prius.

  29. Drew Says:

    I can appreciate the CRZ as the spiritual successor to the CRZ. As a 2-seater, it’s market was limited. And as you noted, Kit, the fuel economy did not live up to hybrid expectations.

    It’s a wonder how Honda let their fuel efficiency reputation (earned in the 80s and 90s) lapse… allowing Prius and some Korean vehicles take the lead.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new Accord hybrid is competitive with the Camry hybrid in both mpg and acceleration, but unless I forgetting something, it’s the first Honda hybrid to really be up there with the better ones.

  31. Cozy Cole Says:

    Hi Guys, pick up a copy of the feb issue of car and driver. they finished their 40K mikle test of a 17 GT350! front carbon wheel $4175 each, rears $3517 each. One other interesting item, 21.5 extra quarts of oil added! One spirited drive through a mountain pass they emptied the gas tank in 151 miles. It definitly is a track car. Sean whats that little hair sticking up from the back of you head? Cozy

  32. MJB Says:

    Just returned from the Detroit Auto Show, and boy-oh-boy am I ever excited about that new Lincoln Aviator!

    I liked it when you guys first showed pics several months ago. But now that I’ve seen it in person inside and out… WOW! Both my wife and I are loving it. Especially how they’ve got the one at the auto show outfitted (interior and exterior colors).

    -Sorry, Larry D. I know you’re no fan of this vehicle. ;)

  33. Drew Says:

    Yes, the new Accord hybrid is competitive and it’s battery package doesn’t rob as much trunk space as before. And the HMI is better than the prior gen Accord. But I like the style of the prior gen Accord… the new one caught some of the design illness from the overdone Civic. So, Honda remains off my shopping list.

    It seems all the Japanese brands (except Subaru) have a death wish with shock-value ersatz design. I thought Mazda was immune until I saw the new 3 hatch. JMHO

  34. Drew Says:

    Oops, 29 should read the I like the CRZ as the spiritual successor the the CRX.

  35. w l simpson Says:

    This old wrench don’t understand why 1/2 tonners got so BIG ! & I believe 48V Phevs will eventually rule over EVs simply because they need gasoline , which pleases the oil barons

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 For Range Rover price, I’d rather have a Range Rover, but the Aviatar is probably more reliable.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Maybe Toyota uses funny styling to avoid antitrust suits. Just think how Camry would dominate the mainstream sedan market, if it looked better.

  38. Drew Says:

    37 – I believe the Japanese styling fad (“geez, look at me because I’m trying so hard to be different that it doesn’t matter that ‘different’ is bad… boy, I’m starting to sound like deLorenzo) started at Nissan. I have a tendency to blame Carlos for importing it from Renault (I see very ugly Renault styling roots in the last couple of generations of Versa).