John's Journal: John McElroy's multimedia blog about the automotive industry

Blog Archives

How Automakers are Achieving World Class Manufacturing Capability – CAR MBS 2014

August 4th, 2014 at 6:19pm

Jay Baron, President & CEO of the Center for Automotive Research, recaps Day One of the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars.

AAM Introduces Electric AWD Technology – CAR MBS 2014

August 4th, 2014 at 4:53pm

John McElroy talks to David Dauch, Chairman, President & CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing, about the company’s innovative electric all-wheel drive technology revealed at the 2014 CAR Management Briefing Seminars.

Why Acura NSX will use a Zirconium E-Coat – CAR MBS 2014

August 4th, 2014 at 2:59pm

Honda North America Senior Vice President Jon Minto explains why the company will be using an innovative zirconium E-coat on the new Acura NSX. Also, learn how Honda is reducing energy use by 40% through its new mass-production paint process.

GM Manufacturing uses Laser Scanning, Google Glass – CAR MBS 2014

August 4th, 2014 at 1:39pm

VP of North American GM Manufacturing Cathy Clegg talks to John McElroy about some of the innovative processes GM is using to improve its manufacturing operations.

Seat Time: 2014 Audi S6 quattro S tronic

August 3rd, 2014 at 4:00pm

Audi S6

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Volkswagen Group
Make: Audi
Model: S6 quattro S tronic
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: BMW M5, Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes E63 AMG
Price: $73,400 (base); $81,470 (as tested)
Made in: Final Assembly: Neckarsulm, Germany; Engine from Hungary, Transmission from Germany
Drivetrain: 4.0 TFSI V8 engine (420horsepower) with quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with sports rear differential; Seven-speed S tronic transmission
EPA Ratings: 17 city, 27highway (20combined)

Final Impression:

Audi S6 InteriorAudi has been on more than a roll in recent years. It’s actually gaining ground on the traditional luxury leaders and leaving our homegrown U.S. competitors in its wake. And it’s no wonder with products like the S6. You can actually go up and down the lineup and use nearly any vehicle as a metaphor for its astronomic sales rise, but having been behind the wheel of an S6 recently, let’s talk about the quality of this particular car.

I’m not sure that we even need to address the inside, do we? Audi has been known for its interiors forever: the supple leathers, the sleek designs, the wood accents — all those elements mesh into an outstanding and comfortable cockpit. Add in the company’s telematics package with Google Maps, Internet hot spots and a high-quality phone and audio interface and this cabin is better equipped than the majority of apartments in Los Angeles. Now if they can only figure out a bathroom complement, people might start living in their Audis, not that we want that… but when was the last time a bathroom had 420 horsepower (probably not since the Space Shuttle, eh)? The S6’s 4.0-Liter V8 is equipped with a seven-speed S tronic that slides easily from gear to gear as your V8 transports you past all those luxury car wannabes on the freeway.

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AAH #252 – Kicking Truck Tires with Ford’s Matt O’Leary

August 1st, 2014 at 3:10pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Will Sergio rob Chrysler to feed Fiat?
- Defending the dealer franchise system.
- How CAFE could become a bitter cup of coffee.

SPECIAL GUEST: Matt O’Leary, Vehicle Line Director, Ford
- Ford is the truck master, but will it ever start making semis again?

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Lindsay Brooke, SAE.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

Seat Time: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC Wagon

July 29th, 2014 at 9:09am

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC Wagon

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Daimler AG
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: E350 Wagon
Type: Sport Wagon
Competitors: Volvo XC70, Acura TSX Sportwagen, Cadillac CTS wagon (BMW 5 Series wagon, Audi A6 Avant — currently unavailable in U.S.)
Price: $58,600 (base); $73,275 (as tested)
Made in: Final Assembly: Sindelfingen, Germany (Engine & Transmisson from Germany)
Drivetrain: 3.5-Liter V 6 Engine w/ Direct Injection (302horsepower)
EPA Ratings: 19city, 26highway, (21combined)

Final Impression:

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC Wagon InteriorThe station wagon was once an unquestioned icon of American car culture. From the ’60s Woody Wagon to the Griswold’s Family Truckster to the even Simpson’s animated Canyonero, it was the moveable feast for a variety of U.S. families. But then the minivan became de rigueur followed closely by the crossover, leaving the wagon wandering for 21st century relevance. But thanks to Europe, the station wagon never fully disappeared from American roads. Volvo and VW continue to lead the way with the German luxury brands adding models to the station wagon stable until there was only one. So when the LAST LUXURY WAGON STANDING — a Mercedes-Benz E350 — showed up in the Autoline driveway it was time to evaluate the state of today’s station wagon.

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AAH #251 – 2014 Automotive Fantasy Draft

July 25th, 2014 at 3:39pm

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It’s that time again! Join us for the Autoline Automotive Draft as some of the best minds in the auto business assemble their fantasy car companies. This year’s event features some all-new challenges; team owners will have to choose at least one executive from outside the auto industry, choose a premiere vehicle and even fire an executive during the course of the contest.

2014 Roster:
Gary Vasilash, Basic Motors
Aaron Bragman, Ursus Motors
Paul Eisenstein, Motor City Mammoths
Jeff Sabatini, Automobiles Portlandia

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

Get Ready for the 2014 Automotive Draft!

July 23rd, 2014 at 9:00am

Once again it’s time for our panel of expert journalists to assemble their fantasy car companies. See what’s new for 2014!

Check out the 2014 Categories and Rules»

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AAH #250 – Lawyers, Luxury & Life After Sedans

July 18th, 2014 at 5:15pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- GM CEO Mary Barra gets grilled in front of the U.S. Senate… Again.
- Are B-segment CUVs and luxury cars set to boom?
- VW announces its CrossBlue SUV will be built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Keith Naughton, Bloomberg; Michael Robinet, IHS; Bill Visnic, Edmunds.com.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

Stitcher-Icon-1 YouTube

Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!