AD #2535 – New Ford Focus ST Details, Brexit Could Devastate British Industry, Tariffs Would Increase U.S. Built Vehicles

February 19th, 2019 at 11:51am

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Listen to “AD #2535 – New Ford Focus ST Details, Brexit Could Devastate British Industry, Tariffs Would Increase U.S. Built Vehicles” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 6:39

0:07 China Sales Down, Despite Heavy Discounts
0:34 Ford Hires New Chief Lobbyist
1:07 Europe to Regulate Heavy Truck Emissions
1:54 New Ford Focus ST Details
2:46 Bet on the Icy Demise of a Saturn
3:36 BMW 3 Series PHEV Range Increases 50%
4:22 Brexit Could Devastate British Industry
5:14 Tariffs Would Increase U.S. Built Vehicles…

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21 Comments to “AD #2535 – New Ford Focus ST Details, Brexit Could Devastate British Industry, Tariffs Would Increase U.S. Built Vehicles”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    Very interesting show and news today.

    a. China. MIT’s “Technology Review” in its latest issue, which is entirely dedicated to China, has some interesting numbers your ‘analysts’ should study:

    $14,000 is the cost of a license plate of an ICE car in Shanghai. $0.00 is the cost of an electric-vehicle plate in the same Shanghai. so your “analysts” prediction that EV sales will be hurt, IMHO, are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    More supporting stats from MIT’s mag: In just 6 Chinese Cities., 21% of the PLANET’s EVs were sold in 2017, and the number, under the above pressure, will only grow.

    Further stats: 487 is the number of EV companies that have launched in China since 2013. While 400 of them may drop dead, similarly to many of the US EV upstarts like Rivian, Fisker and the lot, 87 healthy EV companies is a huge number and a major factor.

    Further EV Chinese stats. 59% is the percentage of the Planet’s Lithium-iron batteries made in CHINA. Despite Tesla’s gigafactories in the US and all that jazz.

    Finally, car prices in China are far higher for the same models than in the US and the discounts you mentioned are only understandable and appropriate, even if there was no need to help sales.

    As I have posted before,

  2. Larry D. Says:

    1. Obviously I meant Lithium-ION and not… Iron above.

    b. Moving on: Focus ST: I really would care less about ‘performance’ versions of cheap econoboxes which were not designed for that power and handling. They are not even RWD, as all proper performance cars should be. Europe can have them.

    The only European models we don’t get here I would be interested in would be the luxury cars, including flagship models, with small engines. BMW and MERC almost NEVER import in the US the less expensive versions of their flagship and other models, with smaller powertrains. This was true for decades, and the extreme case was when the S class in 2007 was offered in the US with the ‘smallest’ engine being the huge 5.5 lt V8. Ludicrous, given our puny speed limits.

    This has recently changed, and you can see huge 7 series with 2.0 lt coffeemaker engines, BUT they are plug-in hybrids with extra EV motors and the I4s have a dozen turbos, and, most importantly, they lose 100% of the price advantage they used to have over the larger engine versions.

  3. Ron Paris Says:

    What an absolute crying G-D shame that the Focus is no longer available in the US. As far as I’m concerned, this is the canary in the coal mine for affordable, well-designed performance cars in this market. I just bought a 2018 Mazda 3 GT hatchback which was a smokin’ value as Mazda clears out the old to make space for the 2019s (which I do not care for!), but the pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer for fun to drive hatches in the US and I for one would have gladly ponied up another 10 grand for a shot at a 2019 Focus ST!!

  4. Larry D. Says:

    back to a. More stats about China’s EV plans (note what I cited before too, that China has 100,000+ EV chaergers while the US only 44,000).

    The most amazing stat in the MIT mag is that China has three times as many planned battery plants capacity than the rest of the world combined (!!!!).

    china- 130.4 GWH, Rest of the world, a puny, embarassingly small 42.4 GWH.

    In addition, FIVE of the top 10 Wo4rld EV makers are CHINESE companies. Tesla is no 1 with 154,123 vehicles in that list (must be 2017 data), then BYD (CHINESE) with 137,436, then Renault-Nissan-Mitsu with 131,606 (mostly leafs) and BMW with 96,513 and BAIC (CHINESE) with 91,029 etc etc.

    China is the No 1 World EV producer and user, ans it ia government policy there that it will continue to be so. And they have the trillions and the power to enforce that policy. “Analysts” take note.

  5. Richard Piper Says:

    Sadly, the industry outlook here in the U.K. is really depressing. The Honda plant was not seen as the most vulnerable and only 25 yrs old. Unfortunately Honda’s market share in Europe is less than 1% as whilst their cars have a fantastic reputation for reliability their design suitability for the European market has lost its way. Honda’s are no longer distinctive but they are expensive against the competition and new CRV no longer offers a diesel variant – the most common option for SUVs. Civic now too big to compete with the Golf and Focus. New trade deal between EU and Japan removing tariffs was the final nail in the coffin. Much the same thinking would have influenced Nissan in deciding not to build the next generation X-Trail in the U.K. Ex GM plant now owned by PSA looks to be the next assembly plant for the chop plus the Jaguar factory.

  6. Terry Quinn Says:

    “And with a combined system output of over 250 horsepower the car can do 0 to 10 km/h in 6-seconds. The new 330e will go on sale in July.”

    I think I could beat that running.

  7. Albemarle Says:

    Pretty sure Ford would have sold the new Focus ST in North America if it was selling well. This car, like the Fiesta ST are wonderful on narrow curvy roads; ideal for Europe, but, like the Subaru STI, a real droner on an expressway.

  8. Buzzerd Says:

    Would more cars get built in the US? Or would more get built for the US market and less for every where else, 6 of one half dozen of the other but with less choice possibly. It wouldn’t be that different than Brexit. Instead of a real wall you are building an economic wall around your country.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2.b. The Focus ST was not intended to compete with Porsches and Corvettes. It competes with Golf GTi, Civic Si, some Mazda 3 versions, and performance versions of a number of European hatches we don’t get in the U.S. Except for the sedan-only (a mystery why) Civic Si, these cars are practical hatchbacks, that are sporty enough to be fun, and civilized enough to work well as every day transportation.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 What is likely to happen with BMW in the UK, especially MINI?

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7, 8 Focus would almost definitely still be sold in the U.S., if they could just import them from whichever plant would be cost effective. They’d probably sell enough of them in the U.S. to be worth “federalizing” the Focus, but not nearly enough to assign a U.S. assembly plant.

  12. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Terry Quinn – When I first read your comment I thought to myself, “I’d like to see that.” Then I realized you were pointing out a mistake in the transcript. Thanks for bringing it to our attention and it’s been fixed.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9 I am quite aware of the kind of car the Focus ST is, I am still not in the least interested in driving one, much less owning one. It is a “me too” Golf GTI, which was the First of the breed, and the GTI (as well as the more potent Golf R or sth) are still sold here, and they look much better inside and out, and drive better, so for those interested in the segment, the loss is negligible, unless they belong to the group that considers the Focus a Domestic and the Golf an Import and they would never buy an Import. (I know some of them personally).

    And BTW, if I ever wanted one of these because of their small size for their convenience as city cars, I’d wait to get a decent EV in the segment (the Model 3 is probably too big and heavy for this, but the smaller E VW would be perfect for the job).

    And a properly designed EV in this size class would beat the living daylights off any Golf GTI, Ford Focus, or … (for comic relief) Hundai Veloster N or whatever they call their ‘performance’ version of this abomination, both in acceleration and, especially, in handling. And I could at the same time lecture the ICE ‘hot hatch’ (oh how i hate this term) owners for polluting the place.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    6, 12 if this was a pure EV properly designed hot hatch (and not the Bolt), 6 sec 0-60 MPH would also be considered very, very slow.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 The GTi is more civilized, and has nicer cabin decor than the Focus ST, but it is a generation newer than outgoing Focus. The new one, that won’t be sold here, might catch up with the VW on those things, (or yeah, it might not).

    A friend bought a first-year Focus ST, 2012 I think, and still has it. Part of why he bought it over the VW was convenience of dealers, in case it needed service. Also, the transaction cost was considerable lower than for a similarly equipped GTi. For those who like certain types of cars, it’s nice to have more than one to chose from, or zero to chose from in the US. if you like RWD wagons.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, choose from, not chose from.

  17. Bob Wilson Says:

    The link shows 4,000 cars being exported to Europe from San Francisco. Kinda nice to see USA built cars headed the other way.

  18. ChuckGrenci Says:

    BMW, Volvo (and others) export quite a few auto overseas. Just the two I mentioned ship out of Charleston, SC (just across the river from my locale); of course we see a lot of incoming as well (all types of cargo).

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 I think BMW and M-B are the biggest exporters. They make CUVs, for which the US is the biggest market, and the US plants are the only production sites for some of models.

  20. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    19) I think you are right. I found these sites with some aggregate data that provides some insight. Couldn’t find any sites showing a breakdown by manufacturer though, at least for 2018.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/exports/vehicles-not-railway-tramway

    It includes motorcycles and other off road vehicles(like construction equipment) so it is a bit too large of a pool of data. Still kind of interesting to see who the largest trading partners are.

    http://www.worldstopexports.com/car-exports-country/

    Kind of interesting to see who globally exports the most passenger vehicles. China doesn’t even make the top 15.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/587701/leading-import-countries-german-motor-vehicles-by-export-value/

    And a site of where Germany, the number 1 auto exporter, is sending all their vehicles.

    I wish I could find something more specific to actual company exports from the USA. Sorry about that.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    19 there is a huge difference between the exports M-B and BMW make from their US plants and the exponentially growing exports from a 100% American company, Tesla, exporting cars with 100% american design and production, where the PROFITS go to the USA and not to Stuttgart of Munich.”

    So regardless who exports more today and who is no 1 5 years from now exporting vehicles from the US to the rest of the world, TESLA’s monumental success stands alone.