AD #2931 – Piech Auto Shows Off EV Sports Car; Another Takata Airbag Death; Tesla Adds More Capability to Autopilot

October 5th, 2020 at 12:02pm

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Listen to “AD #2931 – Piech Auto Shows Off EV Sports Car; Another Takata Airbag Death; Tesla Adds More Capability to Autopilot” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:58

0:07 Honda Confirms Another Takata Airbag Death
0:55 Ford Announces Active Version of The EcoSport
1:44 Automakers Still Struggling with Inventory
3:02 Tesla Adds More Capability to Autopilot
3:22 Tesla Acquires German Battery Company
3:49 EV West to Offer Tesla Motor Conversion Kit
4:30 Porsche Taycan Sales Strong In U.S.
5:13 Magna Makes Getting into Third Row Easier
6:20 Piech Automotive Shows Off New EV Sports Car
7:18 Land Rover Defender U.S. Specs

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37 Comments to “AD #2931 – Piech Auto Shows Off EV Sports Car; Another Takata Airbag Death; Tesla Adds More Capability to Autopilot”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    I’d bet not even ONE person in 1,000 knows what the hell an Acura “TLX” is. Even I, a Honda fan, am not sure if this is a civic or accord or CRV or Pilot clone, and neither do I care what it is. Neither do care the vast majority of American Car Buyers, who made Acura, the first and initially very successful Japanese Premium brand (i would not really say “luxury” for these Hondas), a failed brand with pitiful sales for decades.

    \It’s time for Honda to face the facts and close the stupid brand down and stop losing billions. Same for Infiniti, and above all Genesis.

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I’m pretty sure that 30,000 dollars is NOT on par with other crate engines (even if you change out your transmission as well); I only see buyers of this trying to make a statement that they are converting to electric. And as you mentioned Sean; then there’s the batteries.

  3. bradley cross Says:

    Just saw a review of TLX on youtube and it was a mixed bag. Sadly any new sedan they have will have to win on price/exterior-design. Hopefully Acura is focused on their upcoming MDX update; that is obviously more important.

    Is Piech hoping to get bought out by a large real car company? Lets hope their magic battery is real.

    I saw Infiniti is becoming Nissan plus; whatever that means. My Infiniti has been great BTW but I would not buy their current models unless it was a screaming deal.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    2 30k sounded way too high to me too. FOr just a bit more you can buy a brand new Model 3, the entire vehicle.

  5. Bob Wilson Says:

    The Tesla article about passing through a green light dates from a June article. Since I drive all the time with that feature, my Model 3 (Version: 2020.36.11) still requires a driver input, pressing the shifter lever down or touching accelerator. If you’re late, the aggressive regeneration makes it feel like a sudden, strong brake.

    Blue Sky Production needs a Tesla, Model 3 or Y, for low-cost, business travel and ‘fact checking’. Just remember, there is a Tesla learning curve to get the max. Shawn would be a great presenter to make an article and video about the Tesla learning curve. Then for fun, teach the other senior members of the staff. Even Gary V.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From that Ford press release, it looks like Ford is going to turn the ST moniker into a useless boy racer trim package. The “active” package is body cladding and taller ride height, the better for rolling over when cornering too hard. The late U.S. market Fiesta and Focus STs were actual sporty performance versions of the regular cars, with more power, better suspension, and, uh, manual transmissions. A friend has a Focus ST, which is a fun car to drive, but utilitarian, with its hatchback body.

    $30K for an electric motor, and no batteries? Someone’s got to be kidding.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    Sean not sure what the last crate motor you bought was, but that EV motor is only on par with buying something like a Hellcat crate motor. Granted you don’t need a transmission but the EV needs a battery. This is for the few select builders that have deep pockets.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I drove through the local FCA dealer yesterday, and they seem to have a good inventory of Gladiators, but no Wranglers. They must have the production mix wrong on those. Also, the only Challengers they had were V6, 4WD, no R/Ts, or any of the expensive supercharged ones.

  9. Kevin A Says:

    Sean, Isn’t the Acura TLX based on the ‘Euro-Accord’? I thought that was common knowledge. Certainly, everyone knew that the US and Euro Accords were no the same vehicle.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    3 With Piech being the largest shareholders in VW I doubt they are looking to get bought out. If they did I’m sure it would be to VW or one of the subsidiaries of VW.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1. Acura MDX sells ~50K/year in the U.S., similar to the competition form M-B and Audi.

    No Acura sedans have done much, though, since the original one called Legend. I never understood the appeal of that one, a front driver, mostly shared with Rover of the UK.

  12. Bob Wilson Says:

    My apologies. I found a more recent Twitter post with a snapshot of the 2020.40 release notes about the newer traffic light logic.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9 Previous TLX models were clones of the European Accord, which is in fact much smaller and narrower than the US Accord, but costs much more just because it is a stupid
    “Acura”. A colleague owns one of these, but with the “X” in its name, most makers imply an SUV. So poor choice of a name as well.

    The Current TLX as I saw in Wikipedia is not the narrow European version, since its width is listed as 73+”, which is plenty wide.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    “low” inventories (in fact 50 day inventory is HUGE even before the CV for SUCCESSFUL and PROFITABLE makers such as SUBARU, BMW, LEXUS, Merc, Porsche and Audi and others who followed Toyota’s LEAN revolution (at Porsche the Toyota consultants, decades ago, actually used SAWS to cut storage furniture in HALF to make the point),

    “LOW” inventories are not good because makers do not have to sell their surplus crap dirt cheap and lose $ and depress used prices too,

    THey are always good because they ALSO reduce the obvious cost of TYING UP YOUR CAPITAL in the IDIOTIC storing of valuable vehicles, sometimes millions of them, for MONTHS before they are sold. Somebody PAYS for the interest on that capital, and it is just one line of aritmnetic to find out how many BILLIONS that is when you have the so called “ideal” 60 days inventory, and much worse when you have the usual 80,90, and 120 big 3 inventory levels.

  15. SteveO Says:

    9 & 13 The 1st Gen 2015-2020 TLX is based on the US Accord platform, and the 2021 model is apparently built on its own platform. You may be confusing the TLX with the 2003-14 TSX, which was based on the smaller JDM Accord.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The current TLX is very close to the Accord in size, so is probably related. They have different engines, though. The Acura uses n/a 4s and V6s, while the Honda uses turbo 4s. I see that the next TLX will use turbo 4s and V6s.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15. You could even get a wagon version of the TSX, and a manual transmission in the sedan. The wagon was automatic only, though.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    15 Alphanumeric names rarely are any good, but Acura’s are especially bad. TO call a Sedan ‘anything-X’ is a particularly idiotic idea, since most makers (Merc, BMW, Caddilac) correctly use the X for CROSS-overs and SUVs.

    By using the X for sedans, Acura succeeded in making their names like the.. unknown Xs we had in Algebra.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18. Huh? Merc uses GL, like GLC, GLE, GLS, GLA, GLB….

    I certainly agree, though, that using X for sedans makes no sense, as using a 350 number for a 2.0 liter engine with 250 hp makes no sense.

  20. SteveO Says:

    18 & 19 Let’s not forget the Mazda MX5
    as well as the Jaguar XK & XJ series cars. It’s true that more recently, the X has come to signify off-road capability, both real and imagined.

  21. Drew Says:

    First, the Piech Automotive EV Sports Cars looks a lot like a 10-year old Austin Martin.

    Second, I don’t think a 50-day supply should hinder overall sales. The 60-day benchmark is a very old metric, dating back to when nameplates were offered in numerous body styles, powertrains and trims. There were many more color variants. So, dealers needed to stock more vehicles to reasonably cover that diversity. For the past 30+ years, nameplates are much more narrowly focused (except full-size pickups). So, dealer inventory does not need as many units. A 50-day supply is plenty. IMHO, 45 days should be the new benchmark.

    Third, if not even 1 in 1000 people know “what the hell an Acura TLX is” and that is part of the basis for commenter #1 to declare Acura a failed brand… I’m willing to bet not even 1 in 100,000,000 people know what the hell a Larry D is…. making a Larry D a failure, too. :)

  22. Brett Cammack Says:

    About 90% of new Chevrolet LS crate engine models are < $10k. Some are well under $10k. A couple of the hairier-chested ones go for up to $15k.

    $30k sounds like something uber-exotic like the Mopar "Helliphant" motor or such.

  23. Wim van Acker Says:

    @18, 19: BMW uses “X” for its AWD sedans.

    Et cetera.

  24. GM Veteran Says:

    14 – the flaw in your final point is that the manufacturers don’t own the inventory at the dealerships. The dealers do, using floorplan financing provided by the manufacturer or a large bank. So, they don’t lose billions when their dealerships carry 60-100 days supply of vehicles.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20. The Chevy Citation et. al. and the earlier rear drive Nova, etc. were also “X” cars. I think that was more an internal code than for marketing, though.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The near-zero interest rates make the cost of having dealer inventory much lower than at most earlier times.

    21. Yeah, there is so little choice now, that dealers don’t need as much inventory to have a white, black, and two shades of grey copy of all of their CUVs. A lot of people still order Corvettes, and probably the “performance” versions of Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger. From my experience, dealers don’t want to order other cars, like Camrys, even though it should be possible, and get a car in 4-6 weeks from Kentucky. It takes about 10-12 weeks to get an ordered Porsche 911, Boxster, or Cayman, but I suspect a lot of people order them to get what they want.

  27. Norm T Says:

    Honda’s Takata bloodshed continues…

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    About one fatality a year from Takata air bags, with 56 million recalled inflaters. I guess I wouldn’t worry about it much if I had one, but I’d probably pull the fuse, just in case.

  29. Al.c Says:

    Just don’t tail gate

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28. Yeah. If you don’t crash, the thing won’t even go off, or at least it’s not supposed to.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    19 Right, I may have been thinking of another makers. The GL in Mercs probably stands for “Gelandewagen”, or off-road vehicle.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    23 I just thought of that, but at least BMW does not use it in the main name but only as a suffix to indicate 4wd.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    24 I was 100% aware that somebody would claim that since the maker does not own the inventory, they do not care if some other sucker pays the interest.

    That is why I CLEARLY wrote “SOMEBODY” pays the interest, when you have ridiculous 4 month (1/3rd of a year) inventories, of tying up their capital waiting and depreciating on the lots before it is sold.

    WHy is this so difficult to understand, that bloated inventories are a curse and cost BILLIONS of $ to SOMEBODY, who cares if it is GM or its dealers, YOU WILL PAY FOR IT WHEN YOU BUY THE STUPID UNPOPULAR CAR that has been sitting 4 months.

    ANd even if you do not pay for it when you buy it because it is discounted to sell because it is a DOG, the Dealer will not get poor, he will charge you an arm and a leg for SERVICE and PARTS when you need them. SO THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH, and 120 (and even ‘optimal’ (LOL) 60 day inventories COST THE INDUSTRY AND THE CONSUMER BILLIONS. OK?

    JUST LOOK AT TOYOTA AND ITS PROFITS vs BANKRUPT GM. Look at their stock prices, TOYOTA being worth 6 times GM even after I bailed it out, against my will. WHO has the 40 day and who has the 80 day inventories? Is it the PROFITABLE one or the BANKRUPT one?

    SO please DO NOT tell me again that GM does not pay for its incompetence and inefficiency and its PRE-CV19 bloated inventories.

    If you want to have ANY credibility left.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    26 While interest rates are ridiculously low currently, there is a difference! Your bank may give you an insultingly low interest rate on your savings account, maybe less than 1%, and next to Nothing for your checking account, BUT, when you go get a loan, you will be lucky to get less than 4% for a long term mortgage, and the riskier Dealer may, depending how healthy his dealership is, still pay an arm and a leg for his loans.


    Days supply has to be balanced against time to deliver replacement inventory. We have not reached a point in technology where new cars instantly appear on dealer lots when we wish them to. The 60 day benchmark is because it generally takes 60 days from order to dealer for delivery. Sometimes longer depending on the vehicle and manufacturing location. Dipping below 60 days means that a dealer will not have inventory available when they need inventory.

    If they have a 2 day supply on hand that is great because inventory on hand is moving quickly and prices are the highest they will ever be. It is bad because replacement inventory is not arriving quick enough for the next customer. The next customer will have to wait 58 days for their Camry to arrive. That customer may wait for it, or they may not and go to a competitor that has a vehicle they need in stock resulting in a lost sale.

    Now, if an OEM was to reduce the time from order to arrival at the dealer, they could lower the 60 day supply threshold. Nobody has yet to figure that out though.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 My experience, wanting to order a Camry LE hybrid in 2018, was that the dealer wouldn’t do it, or at least the car would cost ~$2000 more than buying the one they had. I would have been perfectly willing to wait 6 weeks for an ordered car, like I did with my 2016 Corvette.

    With the Toyota, I could have checked multiple dealers, which I didn’t want to mess with, so I bought the silver one, equipped exactly as I would have ordered, except for the color. One thing nice about the silver, compared to the fairly dark blue that I would have ordered, is that the silvers doesn’t show dirt much.

  37. wmb Says:

    It’s funny to me that, maybe about 20 years ago, people were raving about the BMW M5 making 400 hp with a tricked out V8. Today JLR’s Defender gets 3/4′s that power with a base engine, with have the amount of cylinders!