October 28th, 2009 at 12:00pm
Ford says it will likely end up selling Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely. Consumer Reports released its annual reliability report and praises Ford’s ratings. General Motors comes up with technology to convert exhaust heat into electricity. All that and more, plus John answers viewer questions in the “You Said It!” segment.
Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .
Here are today’s top headlines. Ford confirms Geely will get Volvo. Consumer Reports praises Ford. GM comes up with the technology to convert exhaust heat into electricity.
Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.
This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, October 28, 2009. And now, the news.
Although it says no final decision has been made, Ford says it will likely end up selling Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely. Ford says Geely “has the potential to be a responsible future owner,” a curious phrase. And Ford says even after Geely buys Volvo it will continue to work with the Swedish automaker in terms of component sharing, engineering and manufacturing.
Audi says it will pass its sales targets in China this year (subscription required). According to the Wall Street Journal, Audi has sold 118,000 vehicles in the country and expects to pass its 130,000 unit target by the end of the year. The company also said that by either 2012 or 2013, China will pass Germany as the automakers number one market.
Consumer Reports released its annual reliability report and there were a few interesting findings. The front-wheel-drive versions of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan and even the V-6-version of the Chevy Malibu rated higher than the V-6 Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. And the Lincoln MKZ rated better than the Acura TL and Lexus ES. Even though the domestics beat the Asians in a few categories they still dominated the list with 36 of the top 48 most reliable models being Asian.
A few years ago we had Dr. Alan Taub from GM on Autoline. While he was in the studio he demonstrated some of the advanced technologies the company was developing. Some of the coolest stuff he showed was memory metal, and how it can change shape as its temperature changes. A few weeks ago we had him on the show again, and he talked more about what GM was working on, but he couldn’t share many specifics. Well, now the company made a big announcement about a project it’s working on using memory metal to build a device that can turn exhaust heat into electricity. The system could be used on conventional vehicles, but its use on hybrids is the most interesting. The company’s R&D received a $2.7 million federal award Monday to help with the project.
Bridgestone is best known for making tires, but it also offers a range of other products from bicycles to golf balls. Well, the other day Bridgestone announced that it’s coming out with an e-book. Overall, the device is 5.8 millimeters thin, but what separates it from other e-book readers is that the whole thing is flexible.
Coming up next, it’s time for my comments to your comments.
And now it’s time for some of your feedback.
This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.
Nick Stevens wrote in to say, “Brazil’s economy is not doing well because of the stupid ethanol. It’s because of the enormous amounts of iron ore it exports…and the recently discovered far greater deepwater offshore oil reserves, that are guaranteed to make it a major net oil exporter for years to come.”
Nick, the only reason that Brazil will be able export all that oil is that it doesn’t need it for itself. Why? Because of all that stupid ethanol!
C-tech wrote in about the UAW rank and file opposing more concessions to Ford. He asks, “Who is out there selling the plan and educating the rank and file?”
Great question. It would seem like the union’s leadership has not done a good job of leading on this one. Of course, it’s hard to tell what’s going on inside the union. They rarely talk to the media. We have an open door policy but the union has only made its president Ron Gettelfinger (Pt. 1 here, Pt. 2 here) available to us once in the last 10 years.
And finally, some of you commented on me being back after vacation. Bajabusta paraphrased the lyrics from an old TV show saying, “Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.”
And RIGHTKNIGHT170 posted this comment, “The DUDEMEISTER Johnny Mac Hath Returnith!!”
So, in the immortal words of actress Sally Fields when she won her Oscar, “You love me, you really love me!
OK, enough of that. Here’s an important announcement.
And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.