AD #2871 – Subaru Refreshes the Crosstrek; Ford Slashes Vehicle Development Time; Harley-Davidson Struggling

July 10th, 2020 at 11:47am

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Listen to “AD #2871 – Subaru Refreshes the Crosstrek; Ford Slashes Vehicle Development Time; Harley-Davidson Struggling” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:46

0:07 Ford May Close U.S. Plants Due to Engine Shortages
1:02 Employees Want Ford to Stop Making Police Vehicles
1:46 Harley-Davidson Struggling
3:26 Racing Series for Electric Scooters Kicks Off In 2021
4:16 Electric Parking Brake Repair Now Less Expensive
4:54 Subaru Refreshes the Crosstrek
5:33 Opel Updates Its Logo
6:12 Ford Slashes Vehicle Development Time
8:21 Barn Find Revealed

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46 Comments to “AD #2871 – Subaru Refreshes the Crosstrek; Ford Slashes Vehicle Development Time; Harley-Davidson Struggling”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    As far as Ford selling Police vehicles; his quote: “The issues plaguing police credibility have nothing to do with the vehicles they’re driving,” Hackett said. As with most objections to certain products, it’s not the tool, it is the fool using it.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There’s no way Ford will quit selling police vehicles, but I wish they would. Without Ford, more police cars would again be cars, rather than trucks.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Harley-Davidson needs to, somehow, make bikes that appeal to those other than 70-some year old baby boomers who won’t be buying any more bikes. Not only will they not be buying new machines, but a lot of used ones in perfect condition will be on the market as owners give up riding.

  4. Dale Leonard Says:

    Why would Ford employees want to lose more jobs by stopping production of Police Interceptors? This makes no sense as it’s not what a Police Officer drives,it’s how he conducts himself. Plus Ford would loose billions of dollars they can’t afford to lose.

  5. Wim van Acker Says:

    @3, Harley Davidson: I do not know why they have not been able to conquer new customers. They have a very cool product line up:;format=json;i=1;lang=en;q1=bikes;sp_cs=UTF-8;sp_staged=0;x1=primaryCategoryCode

    Now, I am not an expert: I am not a motorcycle rider and I actually failed my motorcycle driving test 35 years ago in Europe. After having passed my driving test for passenger vehicles and for trucks in one try I thought I was invincible. I was not :-)

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5. Harley has no “adventure” bikes like V-Strom and Africa Twin, no dual sport bikes, and no sport bikes, AKA “crotch rockets.” Those are what the under 50 riders are buying. Heck, some of we older people ride bikes in one of those categories, like my KLR650.

  7. clem zahrobsky Says:

    Maybe Trump is correct,stop building stuff outside the USA just to save a few bucks. With all the automation I would guess manual labor is a small part of the cost of manufacturing.

  8. Roger Blose Says:

    Every Ford employee who signed the ” stop building police interceptors” letter should be fired immediately for incompetence. This huge profit center for the company generates thousands of jobs including in Chicago. Why not stop producing Ford ambulance and armoured car chassis while they are at it so more will die and crime will increase. During the last NYC riots, the city lost over 35 police vehicles. Keep those jobs and plants rolling!

  9. Wim van Acker Says:

    @7: Trump is wrong at that for two reasons: 1 we live in a capitalist economy in which politicians have a limited say in the dealings of companies. Company management runs the company with good and bad outcomes. It is a free market and I want to keep it that way. 2 Until three months ago unemployment was 3.7%, so close to frictional unemployment. There has not been for years a labor force to take on more production in the U.S. That is the quantitative part. The qualitative part: we have neglected skilled trades, engineering and sciences for many decades. You cannot run modern production with people who have been educated in Communication, Social Sciences, Psychology, History or English.

  10. Ziggy Says:

    Why doesn’t Harley make dirt bikes anymore? Seems like a good market to get back into, I am sure some future dirt bikers would love to have an option to purchase an American made off road motorcycle as long as the quality and performance were on par with the Japanese and European bikes. When I was riding they had the AMF dirt bikes, but I didn’t know anyone that owned one so I can’t say how good or bad they were. Anyone on this forum have one?

  11. Ziggy Says:

    Ford made the right call as far as the police vehicles, their silly employees that think otherwise should be the first to be laid off when the next round of reduction in force comes. ALL lives matter, treating any one race differently than the rest is the definition of racism.

  12. Phred Says:

    The Ford Police Car “problem stems from a very loud but very small militant group that is against a lot of market realities.
    The HD motorcycle market problem is their own making for “old school” design and marketing focus. Not every potential buyer is thrilled to hear “Badass” as a tag line.

  13. Lurker Says:

    Unfortunately, it’s going to be impossible to get a real discussion going around race and social equity with everyone in the comment section being 50yo+ white men. But I appreciate your efforts to try to spark the discussion anyways!

  14. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Harley Davidson tried to move into the 21st century with the water cooled V-Rod; snooze reaction from the Harley community and outclassed by the foreign competition. I thought it was cool, but Harley put a premium price on it too and it didn’t catch on (they are doing similar with the electric entry; just too expensive). Harley offers a cacophony of models, but they are so similar that the varieties don’t translate unless you are a die hard fan and can appreciate the differences.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10. Weren’t the old H-D badged dirt bikes made under contract by someone in Italy? I’ll try to look it up.

    14. The V-Rod didn’t do well, and also, Buell, as an H-D brand, didn’t do well. I thought Harley fans might be inclined to buy a Buell as a 2nd or 3rd bike, just to have something different, but within the “family,” but it didn’t work out that way.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14. For the “performance” crowd, the V-Rod had a tough road. Even now, a Hayabusa has an MSRP of ~$15K. If still made, a V-Rod would probably cost almost twice that, and wouldn’t be even close in actual performance.

  17. Roger T Says:

    HD has such brand equity, the problem they’re trying to solve is how to increase volume without diluting transaction prices. Sounds like they need new product for new segments at reasonable price points along with clever marketing.

  18. ChuckGrenci Says:

    13, Hey Lurker, I can’t quite figure exactly what you are inferring, but us old folk are merely separating business from politics (in the case of Ford police cars); seems you’re implicating age discrimination into your argument which is similar to which you accuse us of. State your facts (which you failed to include in your post) and then we’ll talk.

  19. Buzzerd Says:

    Harley is in a tough spot, the customer base doesn’t embrace anything new and there seems to be a bit of a wall, you’re either a Harley rider or something else. A lot of that was of there own design and now it’s coming back to haunt them. They have a couple ADV bikes coming, let’s see if they sell.
    Ford stop selling cop trucks ??? Yea. That will fix everything. Maybe JohnDeer should stop selling tractors to farmers because cigarettes kill people. Not exactly the same but best I could come up with.


    All FORD employees that asked to stop producing police vehicles, will be the first ones to be laid off . Let’s see if that will change their mind !! Common sense is out the door !!

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19. It’s hard to say what Harley should do. They have the obvious problem of selling bikes that appeal mostly to aging baby boomers who won’t be buying many more bikes, but if they made a sport bike, modern “adventure tourer,” etc., would they sell? Cadillac has gone after a younger market with some very good sporty sedans, but they aren’t selling well. Harley might have a similar probably getting new customers, no matter what they made.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    9 Europe has performed very poorly, and has more tariffs than the USA. CHINA is not even capitalist.

    Otherwise, a very boring two days, news-wise.

  23. Buzzerd Says:

    21 They had Buell that they killed. Lots of unhappy people with that. In comparison Indian seems to have free reign with their customers to build modern engines that Harley can’t give away. Indian also sells a lot less bikes. Indian is also eating Harleys lunch at flat track. Harley sold image almost more than bikes and now a lot of people have moved on from that image.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Harley would sell a few bikes to new riders, as a result of their training classes. Where I am, Harley beginning rider classes are easier to find than MSF classes.

  25. Drew Says:

    @19 – I love your analogy.

  26. cwolf Says:

    My brother gave me a Harley 90 about 15 years ago. It took me 6 months to get it up to snuff, but I rode that thing through woods, farm fields and on our Michigan dirt road for years without a problem. My son and I beat the crap out of that thing. It was in indistructable!

  27. cwolf Says:

    I don’t let BLM extreme comments bother me any more than The silly Right wing gun totters attending BLM demonstrations. These people are just going overboard to point out the fact that too many police officers don’t treat everyone equally. This has been an ongoing problem and there is a better way….

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 Was it a 2 stroke?

  29. cwolf Says:

    28. It was a 2 stroke , Kit.
    Was long ago, but it couldn’t have been more than 8-10 HP and had a 4 speed gear box. It was fast for its size and a lot of fun. I just used it to visit neighbors or to get me to a woods to ground hog hunt. I think they are gaining value.

  30. kevin a Says:

    Harley once sold bikes made by Aermacchi of Italy. Mine was a 250cc 1 cyl. It was odd, (small engine, big bike feel) but lack of reliability killed it for me.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29. I looked up those small Harleys. Some were called “Hummer.” I wonder if GM paid H-D for the name. I found that some were made in the US and some in Italy by a company I hadn’t heard of.

    Back before the four stroke bikes were high tech, with 4 valve, and a few 3 and 5 valve heads, two strokes had a lot more power than similar displacement four strokes. A four stroke 90 the same vintage as your bike probably would have had only about 2/3 as much power.

    I remember kind of the start of higher tech, at least in street bikes. I had a 1977 Yamaha RD400, which was considerably quicker than competing four strokes. That changed in 1978, with the Honda Hawk. I friend got one, and we did impromptu drag races a number of times, and the Hawk with its 3 valve, high rpm engine was very close to my two stroke RD. You had to rev the Honda. The power peak was probably at 9000 rpm or higher. With mild mods, like expansion chambers and a little port work, the RD400 would be a lot quicker than the Hawk, but stock, they were very close.

  32. DWD Says:

    Sean, Hau Thai-Tang stated “if you read between 20 to 30% reduction in terms of time speed to market and ENGINEERING COST that’s associated with it.” That does not necessarily mean the complete reduction is in time since it mentions cost. Also, since there is no current development time given then we don’t know how this compares to others.

  33. ChuckGrenci Says:

    My first two motorcycles were 2-stroke: 1974 KE-175 (Kawasaki) and a 1973 YZ-250 (Yamaha). Loved the ‘din’ of the 2-cycle and especially the power coming from a pretty low cc volume. Ah, good times (a long time ago).

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 500 two stroke triple. It’s a wonder I survived it. It was a 1973, a little “tamer” than the earlier ones, but still, wheely-prone, and not great handling.

  35. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Kit, wasn’t that the Mach 1. Remembering it was a straight line bandit (the Hyabusa of its day), then came the 750 (Mach 3, I think) even faster.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34. The 500 was called H1, Mach III. The 750 was H2, Mach IV. The smaller ones, 250, 350, and 400 were S1, S2, and S3. I don’t know how they arrived at those names.

    My ’73 had an optional double disk front brake, a good thing for a new rider, because the extra 15 or so pounds on the front end made it a little less wheelie prone. All of those bikes were gas hogs. I got only about 30 mpg, and I heard that the little ones did even worse.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35. The engines in the Kawasaki triples had very narrow power bands. It took some clutch slipping to get going, then it came on very strongly from ~6000-8000 rpm, Since the 500 was my first bike, I didn’t realize that it was not “normal” to need so much clutch slipping to get a motorcycle going, until I’d had other bikes. Then, years after I had mine, I rode one, and thought something was was wrong with it, since it was so wimpy at low revs, but I wound it up a time or two, and it was strong. I’d just forgotten what they were like.

    Those bikes needed a gear or two more than the 5 they had. First gear was too tall to start off easily in normal riding, and top gear was too short for either very high top speed, or gas mileage. As I remember, the engine turned nearly 1000 rpm/10 mph in top gear.

  38. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Thanks for the nomenclature clarification on the “Kaws” (its been a long time since following those bikes). I do remember that those 2-cycles would have to ‘get on the pipe’, meaning the sweet spot of the power band, but when it did, it was hang on tight. I raced the YZ-250 motocross and had a lot of fun ( back in the day).

    ps F1 qualifying was wet and wild; all three sessions using full wets (tires). Hamilton and Verstafin, one and two.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37. Thanks for the F1 info. Since I can’t get it on TV when I’m up north, I didn’t see it, and hadn’t checked the results until now. It would have been interesting to watch. It looks like McLaren is the “best of the rest,” so far.

    The Kaw triples were piston port, which are inherently very “peaky,” if tuned to make much power. The Kaw 250 and 350 twins, which preceded the triples, were rotary valve, as were most of the Kawasaki two stroke singles. They have much flatter power bands, as do reed valve two strokes. I found that the later, water cooled YZ250s were reed valve.

  40. ChuckGrenci Says:

    F1 podium: Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen. Compared to last week, pretty boring (a little action towards the last coupe laps); both Ferrari’s out on lap one (they crashed themselves out).

  41. XA351GT Says:

    If Ford employees want the company to stop making cop cars they should then step up and leave the company as without those sales they won’t neither the volume or income to keep them. If I was Ford I’d fire everyone of them.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Departments should quit buying Ford cop “cars,” since Ford doesn’t even build cars any more. They should use Chargers for highway duty. In towns and cities, where the police vehicles spend a lot of time standing still with A/C and some electrical stuff on, they should use Accord and Camry hybrids. They use very little gas when stopped, even with A/C and electrical load, and use less than 1/2 as much gas as even the hybrid version the Ford Explorer police trucks when being driven in town. Camry and Accord hybrids are reliable, and are as quick as a Crown Vic, which was apparently quick enough for police duty.

  43. Bob Wilson Says:

    “Tesla Tops Toyota” articles at $1,129.18/share are dated Jul 1, 2020. On Friday, TSLA closed $1,544.65 and at least one article suggests a TSLA ‘short squeeze’ (see web link.) A ‘short squeeze’ is when a ‘margin call’ forces SHORT holders to buy TSLA stock “right now.”

    July 22 in about 10 days, Tesla will report Q2 financials. IF Tesla reports a profit, they might join the S&P500. Some have calculated the S&P500-like funds would need to buy ~25 m in TSLA stock which would force TSLA stock even higher and more margin calls. Last I checked, there are ~14 m TSLA stocks held SHORT versus ~148 m available, the stock float.

    I’m a retail TSLA owner since $300/share and have a plan. But Tesla employees with at least 667 shares are technically millionaires. Of course if they sold, the price would go down. We live in interesting times.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43. Yep, we indeed live in interesting times. We are in a worsening pandemic, and may be entering Great Depression 2.0, but the stock markets are doing quite well. Tesla, which makes about 0.5M total cars a year in Fremont and Shanghai, and loses money most quarters, has a stock value of more than Toyota, which makes more than 8M vehicles a year, and generally makes money.

  45. veh Says:

    42 “Departments should quit buying Ford cop “cars,” since Ford doesn’t even build cars any more”

    They’re just following the trend…my tiny little suburb with no dirt roads or hills has nothing but Explorers as police vehicles. They used to manage just fine with Crown Vics. Everybody’s on the SUV bandwagon these days.

  46. Joe G Says:

    The Ford employees who say stop building police vehicles should quit, IN PROTEST. If one of them (or their family) have an injury or are the victim of a crime, they should avoid calling 911, IN PROTEST. I recently saw a video of a police officer stating that the local ‘defund the police’ protest scheduled in his city requested a police presence, for their safety. You can’t make this stuff up.