AD #2714 – BMW OTA Updates Unlock Vehicle Functions, VW Teases New EV Concept, Could DoJ Take Over the UAW?

November 8th, 2019 at 11:59am

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Runtime: 10:09

0:07 Ford Sweetens UAW Labor Deal
0:53 Could U.S. Justice Department Take Over the UAW?
1:29 GM Strike to Hurt November Sales
1:56 Car Sales Down in Mexico & Canada
2:17 European Automakers May Avoid U.S. Import Tariffs
2:55 DoJ Subpoenas Automakers Over CA Emission Standards
3:46 BMW Offers OTA Updates to Unlock Vehicle Functions
5:26 VW Teases EV Crossover Concept
6:00 Continental Shows New Camera Tech
6:57 Viewer Feedback on Camaro’s Future

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43 Comments to “AD #2714 – BMW OTA Updates Unlock Vehicle Functions, VW Teases New EV Concept, Could DoJ Take Over the UAW?”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    I could see the OTA updates becoming just another streaming service. Pay a monthly fee to get certain options on your car. Stop payments and the options get canceled. Which I believe would be a horrible use of OTA but I’m sure some bean counters have already thought of this.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding BMW’s OTA add-ons, I certainly don’t like the idea. It would mean every buyer would pay thousands of dollars for extra hardware, most of which I wouldn’t want to pay to have “turned on.”

  3. Kevin A Says:

    Sean, Re: Corvette as a separate brand. If Corvette was spun off as a separate company, how much would it be worth? Based on the relative size compared to Ferrari, if GM could get the same stock multiple for Corvette as Ferrari does, aren’t we talking about Corvette being worth more than GM is now?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Corvette has been a Chevy for 65 years, so as far as I’m concerned, it should remain a Chevy.

    Also, a Corvette should remain a two seat sports car. There are plenty of Chevy trucks already. If they want a performance CUV, make a proper SS version of one they have. They can do that successfully, if they want to.

  5. buildmore2doors Says:

    If I were in charge of GM (and nobody wants to see that) I would make the next Camaro a modern day version of the Isuzu VEHIcross, a very sporty 2 door cross over very capable of going off road or just handling the snow and ice we get in southeast Michigan. The first manufacturer that comes out with a design like that gets my money, but of course it has to have only 2 doors and a solid body, not like the future Ford Bronco with the removable and eventual squeak inducing hard top. In other words, a more affordable version of the future Land Rover Defender.

  6. Drew Says:

    Given the way BMW rapes its customers for Apple CarPlay with monthly subscription fees, we can rightfully speculate that BMW will charge its customers for the OTAs…. and possibly re-charge CPO customers for features that were previously functioning.

    Volvo and MB are similarly greedy. Volvo charges $200/ year for remote start (after the initial “subscription” expires).

    No thank you. No thank you On Star, Sirius/XM, BMW, Volvo, MB, Tesla… I refuse to be your “drug addict”.

  7. Albemarle Says:

    Personally, when selecting a vehicle, I like choices, but not to the extent of a company like Porsche. Three trim levels with different ‘includes’ and I can decide if I want to pay for adaptive cruise in order to get a sunroof. I don’t like picking a trim level then having to spec a dozen options.

    I believe (do not know) that the multi-option sales technique hurts resale value too. You can’t just look at a trim level and know what the car has included. Many of these options are expensive to add but are completely discounted as a used car.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Chevy had something like that until about 2005, called Blazer. It was longitudinal engine, RWD or 4WD, manual or automatic, and 2 door or 4 door.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 I liked specing options, back when you could actually do that, with six engines, 3 transmissions, 6 interior color choices, 6 body styles, etc. Those days have been gone since the early 70s, though.

    The only Porsche I have seriously looked at is the Cayman, and if I ordered one, I would pass on nearly all of the options. It’s crazy how many options they have, though, which many buyers get, running up the price many thousands of dollars.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 Kit you should probably look at a Dodge Challenger. 5 engine choices, 17 different Interiors, 14 different exterior colors, 4 different hoods, 6 different stripping packages, 4 different brake packages. 2 transmissions and 4 different bodies.
    I think the Charger probably has just as many too.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 Yep, Challenger has more powertrain choices than any other car in the US market, and other choices you mention. That is why it is still selling, even after all these years. I wish other cars had so much choice. Especially, I’d like to have interior color choices other than black, grey, and biege, which is it in most mainstream cars.

    As far as “different bodies,” I was thinking more of 2 door sedan, 4 door sedan, 2 door hardtop, 4 door hardtop, convertible, 4 door wagon, and in some cases, 2 door wagon. To me, Challenger has one, 2 door coupe. Yeah, they have “wide body,” etc.

    Charger has all, or almost all of the engine choices of Challenger, but the last I knew, it was automatic only.

  12. Ed Says:

    Adding features that can be turned on and off by the mfg after purchase…? Just like software, and a bad trend. If I buy something it is mine. Allowing the mfg to do that proves you do not fully own your own vehicle. Like an HOA…( um excuse me but we are turning your toilet off until you pay again on your own house.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10,11 I guess Challenger and Charger could be considered one car, available as a 2 door and 4 door.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    I am with Buzzerd on the Camaro, kill the stupid brand, make it a Corvette 2+2, AND make the Corvette, which has evolved into a PREMIUM vehicle, a Separate Division. As Kevin keenly put it, the Corvette Division may be worth as all the rest of worthless GM put together.

    Supercar makers have all both 2 and 2+2 versions, and many famous ones around the world also have or had even 4 door versions. There is sure nothing divine about the Corvette being a Chevy or having just 2 seats.

    Another explanation of Ford giving the UAW even more than it asked (huh?) is that it may be going bankrupt soon, under the clueless and disastrous ‘leadership’ of Humpty Dumpty Hackett, so who cares?

  15. Larry D. Says:

    PS no Corvette owner or enthusiast says “I drive a CHEVY”. They do not even say “I drive a Chevy Corvette”. Everybody says “I drive a Corvette”, or “He or she owns a Corvette”.

  16. Terrence Quinn Says:

    This column always leans in the direction of total EV. I, for one, will not jump in that swimming pool until a number of issues are addressed: That includes very high speed charging stations (10 minute max for 80% charge), including the power infrastructure to feed those, which is a huge capital challenge in itself, and not yet seriously addressed. Plus, lots of those chargers dispersed around the country, not just California, so you don’t get stranded. Plus a long duration battery warranty, say 200,000 miles, since most modern I/C cars can last that long without a major repair cost. Absent all of his being in place, the electric cars will always be a novelty. You have to worry for car companies that are heading 100% in that direction. It could be fatal for them if everything doesn’t all come together.

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    15 Maybe they say Corvette if they are that concerned about what other think. Generally the good people I know say go move the car or the truck regardless of what it is. I find it kind of pompous to say go move the Mercedes or the Denali. Just comes off as bragging like a spoiled brat. I expect they only use grey poupon.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    16 I’m with you on that one. I keep saying that EVs are a niche market and appeal to a select few. Take away the mandates the subsidies and all the other crutches and then see how they falter. the thing about technology is it has to start somewhere and EVs have made incredible progress. So they have their place and will continue to grow and evolve but its crazy for manufacturers to be thinking in terms of EVs only. That is at least 20 years away.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 People don’t say “I drive a Chevy” about a Suburban either.

    As far as making 2 plus 2 Corvette, unless they change everything, it would not work well. Corvettes have always had plastic body panels, and for years, they have used space frames with plastic body panels. That is not space efficient, and would not be compatible with making a four seater. Yeah, they could use a steel unibody, but then it wouldn’t be a Corvette. People have been waiting 40 years for a mid engine Corvette, and now they will have it. I haven’t heard anyone, including those active in Corvette clubs, who have been lusting for a Corvette truck or sedan.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    17 my point was that I have NEVER heard a Corvette owner say “I drive a Chevy”, for obvious reasons. If you drive a Lexus, you don’t say you drive a Toyota.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    19 using the same logic one would be against the mid engine Corvette. Since it did go to the mid engine and it is much better, nothing else is sacrosanct either, the plastic body or the 2 seats.

    Porsche sold 1 million 911s and counting, at $100,000 each in today;s $, and made $20,000 profit on each one on average. I bet it would never have pulled it out if the 911 was a strict 2 seater.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 An EV battery warranty being a lot of years, as much as miles, would help sell me an EV. Most batteries, including lithium ones used in cars, seem to deteriorate and fail with age, as much as with charge/discharge cycles.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    The other reason they do not say “I drive a CHEVY Corvette” but just a Corvette, is that the name is 100% sufficient and does not need any help for the audience to find out what it is.

    However, if you drive one of these obscure losers, the Sonic or the Spark, you have to explain that it is a Chevy.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I sometimes call my Corvette my “plastic Chevy” to certain people, who think it humorous.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 Yeah, I certainly agree that everyone knows a Corvette is a Chevy.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    23, 25 NO, that is not what i said, and MANY around the world do NOT know the Corvette is a Chevy AND they could care less if it is or is not, for obvious reasons.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Yeah, many around the world would not know a Corvette is a Chevy, as many in the US would not know a Polo is a VW, or a Ka is a Ford.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The C8 helped make a better Chevy V8.

    https://link.roadandtrack.com/click/18555183.58069/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cucm9hZGFuZHRyYWNrLmNvbS9uZXctY2Fycy9mdXR1cmUtY2Fycy9hMjk3MTU2NzcvYzgtY29ydmV0dGUtbHQyLWVuZ2luZS10ZWNoLWFuYWx5c2lzLXNwZWNzLz9zb3VyY2U9bmwmdXRtX3NvdXJjZT1ubF9yZHQmdXRtX21lZGl1bT1lbWFpbCZkYXRlPTExMDgxOSZ1dG1fY2FtcGFpZ249bmwxODU1NTE4MyZzcmM9bmw/5669c599487ccdfa428b45e8Cbcca7367

  29. buildmore2doors Says:

    8 Yep, I owned the GMC version, the Jimmy, total POS, I was constantly at the dealer for warranty work, I literally was on a first name basis with the service manager at Sellers GMC in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The Jimmy wasn’t the least bit sporty except in looks, it’s brakes were way too small and weak for the weight of the vehicle, the outside mounted spare tire and wheel on the 2 door models constantly squeaked from it’s holder rubbing against the hatchback which it was mounted to, and the four wheel drive system wouldn’t engage half the time I wanted it to. Not to mention it left me stranded on I96 when the fuel pump quit on it at 42,000 miles and GM wouldn’t help with one dime of the $500 to fix it, even though I worked for them at the time. By far the worst overall vehicle I ever owned.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    Home (in the hotel) after an exhaustive but very rewarding 6 hour continuous walk on the streets and sights of Shanghai

    Outstanding Metro with 22 lines and many more planned. My terminal was 90 KM from downtown, but the fare was a mere 10 yuan ($1.50)

    The Skyline from the Bund, Pudong, which was a bunch of empty fields 25 years ago, is now the most spectacular in the WORLD. Dozens of 100 story new skyscrapers, 30 story high “TV Screens” and the new 2,600 ft Shanghai Tower truly dwarfed them, even if they are 100 stories high.

    To return to the show’s topic, saw a ton of interesting cars, several Teslas that looked like Xs or tall Model 3s (they looked too small to be an X), MANY Mercs E 300 L (with an extra 5″rear legroom), gorgeous, all in shiny black contrasting the chrome. A major league Jerk revving up some Lambo in downtown Shanghai, I wish they gave him a $10,000 ticket. Several Buicks, sedans and vans and large vans, many porsche Cayennes and Maycans, but no 911s, and a recent Maybach, imposing in black of course too. (not the maybach that did not sell, the Mercedes-Maybach post 2014.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 You must have been kind of unlucky. At least, I knew a number of people who had them, with little trouble, at least the later ones with the 4.3 engine. I friend still has one, a bravada (4 door) with over 200K miles, and still doing ok. I think it may have full time 4wd, which would rule out one of the problems you had.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 At night in Shanghai in 1994, you’d see welding going on up in the air, almost any direction you’d look from my hotel. That would be part of the skyline you see now. I assume that the Bund might be the one area that hasn’t changed much, with the buildings of the European banks, etc. I’m sure the roads in the area are much different now.

    I guess that E300L is sold only in China. If you want the “L’ other places, you need to get an S-Class.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    32 The landmark Bund buildings did not change at all, and I seemed to be the only one who took a few minutes and looked their way, and consulted my excellent guide for the names of those I forgot. But 99.99% of the thousands did not look at old Shanghai but across the river. Few were non-Chinese, most were internal tourists from China and seemed they had to take photos of everything, incl. buildings not on the river considered heritage. Including a church and a catholic convent.

    The giant cranes were still around in 2006 and even yesterday, but fewer of them.

    Downtown Shanghai roads and buildings must not have changed much, as they are from the 30s and 20s many of them. Some mansions on Sinan Road have been developed into super-expensive restaurants with 500 yuan a plate. Or you can have tea with snacks for 1-200. I saw young chinese families sitting there.

    There was a strong army presence at the time I went to the Bund (5 PM). First I noticed a hall below the waklway where there were about 100-300 soldiers with their dark green uniforms and white gloves waiting, then they came out and walked around. Not sure what they were doing. There was strong police presence in the Bund, as the thousands of tourists make it a good target for terrorists.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    33 I meant guide book, not guide. And the other Porshes were Macan, not Maycan or Cayman.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.topgear.com/car-news/big-reads/power-shift-battery-swapping-our-way-across-china

    These guys complain that the break to swap the battery is too short for them.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 Interesting. Now, if there was a way to have standardization of these batteries. That seems unlikely, though. There is only limited standardization, even of 12 volt lead-acid car batteries, with probably 30 different ones.

    34 When I was in Shanghai, there were always a few soldiers walking the sidewalks in the downtown area, but I never saw a large number of them in one place.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    36, re 34, I asked today and these are not army soldiers but some kind of police, my assistant told me (he just became an assoc prof here). He told me some time ago there was a fatal accident in the Bund, it seems about 15 people were trampled to death and since then there has been more police presence there.

    There were guards back in 2006 in some places, one of them looked interesting and I walked right in, which really alarmed the guards and they tried to tell me with gestures that entrance was forbidden.

    In the parking lot of my hotel there were two black mercedeses, a “Carlsson” E (must be a swedish aftermarket kit) and a rare big Maybach “S560″. The way they misuse the numbers lately I wonder why they did not call it the “800″, since it must cost an arm and a leg and have AMG-like performance too.

    His BYD plug-in hybrid with the 80 KM electric range he bought for only 170,000 Yuan, or, at 6.5Y/$, $26k US.And it is a rav4 sized SUV or maybe slightly less, although it feels quite roomy. Fit and finish is very good, the interior very tasteful, could find nothing wrong with it.

    A big change over 2006 was that you don’t see crappy little cars and buses and minibuses in Shanghai, the old ones must all have been scrapped or shipped to some poor province.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    There was a review in a recent Motorweek video of a bunch of sporty little LExuses, the one with the V8 made 472 HP and sells at a rather low $65k (for a Lexus), the 4 and 6 are not much cheaper at $48k and $51k and make 200+ less HP. But the exterior styling sucked, there was that spindle grille up front, and apart from that, the stupid coupe could have been a Nissan for all I know.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 That Lexus, RC-F, actually got pretty good reviews from Car and Driver and Top Gear, except for the infotainment system. While not particularly sporty driving, it is quiet and comfortable, and like most Lexi, the build quality is very good. Neither mentioned the exterior styling much, because it’s a given that it isn’t good.

    I’m surprised they still sell the car, with US sales of only 3358 US sales in 2018, for the 4, 6, and 8 cylinder versions combined. It sells even less well in Europe.

    http://carsalesbase.com/european-car-sales-data/lexus/lexus-RC/

  40. JWH Says:

    Corvette – Opposed to making it a separate brand, 4dr, crossover, etc. & I refer to Corvette as a Chevy (Chevrolet) or occasionally a Plastic Pachyderm.

  41. ChuckGrenci Says:

    40, As of late, and I’m referring to the C5 and up; they should more be referred as; “the Plastic Fantastic”. Opinions may vary, but the Corvette has been ‘top tier’ for a long time.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41 Later C4s were pretty good from a performance perspective, but were seriously “rough around the edges” in a number of ways. My only Corvette, other than the C7, was a 1996 last-year C4.

  43. JWH Says:

    #41 & 42 -Corvette’s have always been a good value. I had a 1970 L46 (350cid 350HP) that was my daily driver in whatever weather SEM threw at it. Somewhere I have the invoice for $4400 out the door including tax & plates. I was a development engineer at Chevrolet Engineering when I purchased it.

    Current one is a 2016 Z51 which is quite a good vehicle. I did digress into a 240Z & later a European model 1979 928 which I did a direct import in 1985 & kept for 30 years. I’ve looked at the C8 & have nothing against it – Just that the C7 is barely broken in with <6000 miles on it.

    Have a good holiday.