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As a regular viewer of your program, and the owner of a 2017 VW Touareg, I was very interested in a recent program during which you stated that in addition to the cheating on diesel powered cars, VW has been found to have cheated on certain gas engine tests as well.  One of the vehicles stated to be involved was the 2017 Touareg!
I went to my VW dealer for answers, realizing that my resale value would be diminished.  They told me that they had heard nothing on this issue and that it probably was "fake news".  I asked them to question their company up channel. 
Today, they informed me that the answer was the same.  Company has no information or guidance on the matter.
Can you help me with specifics and recommendations on how I should proceed.  You stated that VW had set aside around $96 million to cover a class action law suit on this cheating.  I am stymied!!
Thanks, Chuck Magsig, Nashville, Tennessee

It is reprehensible that your VW dealer would call this fake news. This story was all over the news and you can easily do an internet search to get all the info you need. To save you some time, check out this article from Bloomberg.
But your dealer may be correct that this will not affect the resale value of your Touareg.
John McElroy

Hello and Greetings from Shenzhen,

Some time ago you had a guest on your show who said: "Every sold Tesla removes the need of 4 new ICE car sales”. How does that work? I have totally forgotten the explanation and cannot find the episode. 

Thanks for the great show,


I don’t recall us saying anything like that. What I have said in the past is that one shared car (Uber, Lift, Zip, etc.) replaces the need for up to 15 other cars.

John McElroy

Dear Autoline Network,
 This is Matthew Gamcsik and I wanted to thank you guys so much for using the photos of the Chevrolet Corvair that I sent in to the people at Autoline Network. I also thank you for helping me identify a year that the Corvair was made. As always, I have enjoyed seeing everything Autoline Network covers on anything having to do with the automotive industry. Keep up the great work.
 Matthew Gamcsik
Thanks, Matt!

John McElroy

Hi Mr.Mcelroy,

Heard your story on EV batteries and how to recycle them.
Can’t believe they didn’t think of that during
Design stages.
Why couldn’t the batteries be used for back up on traffic signals, streetlights during power outages ?
Just a thought ....
I enjoy listening to your spot every morning when I take my son to school.

There's a lot of talk about using used electric car batteries for electricity storage and backups. One issue is that at this early stage there aren't many used EV batteries available. Even so, so far no one wants to buy used EV batteries.

John McElroy

I just had to drop a note to say that I truly enjoyed this week's program. Your guests were great and gave so much information about USMCA. I could have listened to these guests for a lot more than 27 minutes (and I'm sure you would have too.) How about having this group back again in a few months with any updates?
Many thanks for all your work bringing valuable information. You and all your staff are awesome!

We’re glad you liked the show and we will definitely have those guests back again once the USMCA starts to move through Congress.

John McElroy

Seems like everyone is aware that BEV's are on their way except the consumers. I read about the 1 million mile battery Tesla has claimed but also something about a Lithium Carbon Dioxide battery that is something like 7X capacity. If that is true, we finally have a game changer. Please, I would love to hear more about this.
All kinds of different battery chemistries are being developed, including solid state batteries.

None of these alternatives are in high volume production and will not be for years, if they even make it to production.

Li-on will be the dominant chemistry for at least another decade.

John McElroy

John: Just starting to read this book
, but it looks like Ed Niedermeyer might make a fascinating interview subject on a future AAH.


We’ve had him on in the past, we just need to get him to Detroit to come on the show.

John McElroy

With Tesla "over-the-air" updates, studies and reports are going to be out-of-date. So I would like to suggest getting a Blue Sky Productions, corporate car:
1) Tesla Model 3 or Tesla Model Y in six months.
2) End-of-lease or low mileage used to minimize cost ... you can write it off as a business expense as the tax credits are modest.
3) Long range or Performance, avoid Standard Range Plus unless an exceptional deal.
4) At least basic AutoPilot
Like the 'long range ownership' tests of Edmunds and Consumer Reports, you'll be in a position to double-check your vehicle against various Tesla reports. You'll be at the 'bleeding edge.'
Retired engineer
Huntsville, AL

In your conversation with Jason Torchinsky on autonomous driving
, you focused on high speed driving. What about in bumper-to-bumper city driving? For my brother in LA, a traffic jam on I-405 is a daily occurrence.  It takes him an hour to go 8 miles. A slow speed bump into the car in front of him is the biggest concern. Level 2 should be able to handle that.  And it would seem to reduce his stress for an hour.
Neil G
Normal, IL
BTW - Rivian is having a show-and-tell in Normal on Oct 13.  And they are hiring. Caterpillar and Komatsu both have manufacturing facilities within an hours drive. As when Mitsubishi came to town, Rivian may be hoping to recruit from those companies employees.

I haven't heard anyone address the power coming from the coal power plants to run electric cars. Does this make sense?
Betty Jane

This topic has been covered extensively. Powering electric cars with electricity generated by coal is not a great way to do it. But the use of coal is dropping dramatically as natural gas replaces it. Natural gas still emits greenhouse gasses, but at a rate far lower than coal and gasoline. Though there are environmental challenges with electric cars in the long run they’re cleaner than traditional internal combustion cars.

John McElroy

You have said many times that GM has a 12% absenteeism rate
. Of course, that is over all.  I would expect that there are some workers who are absent 50% of the time, and others who are absent 5% on the time. Of those chronically absent, what can be done about it.  Is it because they just don't feel like showing up, is it because of lack of child care, or ...? I think this deserves a closer look at the absenteeism causes.
Neil G
Normal, IL

Scheduled absenteeism, which is when you have a doctor appointment or need to tend to a sick child, or whatever, is an everyday fact of life. Every factory faces that. But because it’s scheduled, it’s manageable. Scheduled absenteeism tends to run about 3% daily.

Unscheduled absenteeism is when people simply don’t show up to work and you had no idea they were not coming in. GM has a 13% rate of unscheduled absenteeism, or what I call AWOL absenteeism.

The union protects those AWOL workers. It’s almost impossible to fire workers who are chronically AWOL. The non-union transplants don’t tolerate that kind of absenteeism. And while GM has tried to address the issue with the union, obviously it hasn’t resolved the issue.

John McElroy

In a recent show you say
gas costs twice as much as electricity in order to run your car and gave 30 mpg as the average, it's more like 25 mpg, furthermore why not
simple compare MPG-e, which for many evs is in 110 range, closer to 4X less expensive than gas. 25 miles X 4 = 100. So you're way off in saying that's it's only twice
as expensive to run gas instead of electricity.

If you compare the fuel cost of driving 100 miles, a 30 mpg car costs twice as much as an EV, using the national average price for gasoline and electricity. It's a very simple comparison that anyone can understand.

John McElroy

Just sharing my experience as my "thanks" for your Sandy Munro programs on the BMW i3 and Tesla Model 3, we own both.
In 2016, Toyota decided their driver assistance, TSS-P, would not be in the most efficient Prius model, the Level 2 ECO. A test drive of the next upscale, Level 3 Prius revealed it would not exceed 96 MPG on my test track, inadequate! So they offered it for $29,000. The next day, I bought an end-of-lease, 2014 BMW i3-REx for the same price because of the Sandy Munro program. With the Range Extender engine, the BMW i3 had its own, gas powered, charger.
Six months later, a broken motor mount bolt put the BMW i3 in the shop for three weeks. But I'd test driven a Prius Prime, plug-in hybrid and flew 1,200 miles to get one for $28,000 and drove it home with TSS-P. As backup for the BMW i3, the 3 year old Prius became 'driveway art' with only 16,000 miles.
Sandy's second program on the Model 3 convinced me it was the way to go. Tesla dropped the price in 2019 so for $39,000, I got a Standard Range Plus Model 3 with AutoPilot and traded in the Prius Prime for $18,300. After 6 months, the Model 3 has 13,500 miles ... and climbing. The BMW i3 is parked under a cover and driven every two months for a fresh tank of gas, cycle charge the battery, tire inflation, and general lubrication.
Sandy Munro's presentations on AutoLine Daily sold both the BMW i3-REx and Model 3. The BMW-REx carries its own, gas charger, and the Tesla SuperCharger is half the cost and twice the speed. Furthermore, we are on our 4th release of AutoPilot which is why I'm loath to buy Jason Torchinsky's book, "Robot, Take the Wheel" because the AutoPilot part is dated.
No one should drive on a NASCAR track without training and the same is true with AutoPilot. Self-taught AutoPilot will scare the daylights out of most but being a retired engineer, I like a challenge and now with God, is my co-pilot.
Huntsville, AL

What a great story, thanks for taking the time to send it in!

I’ll also forward it to Sandy.

John McElroy

We all know EVs lose money. We all know they're gonna keep losing money or barely making money until battery costs drop. What we don't know is when that will happen, for several reasons. I would love to see an AAH where AutoLine invites some luminaries in battery development to the show to discuss the near and medium term prospects for EV batteries. A few possible guests would include...
• Jeff Dahn, the Tesla-allied battery testing guru
• The CEOs of several solid state battery startups (Solid Power, Ionic Materials, Sila Nanotechnology, Enevate, Quantum Scape, Linear Labs, and more)
• For sure somebody from VW - since they claim to be making a profitable EV in 2020.
• Ford, Rivian, GM EV development leads?
I know most of these folks will say "no". Most of them don't want to spill competitive timelines and secrets. But the EV story is all about batteries. If you could get even a few qualified insiders to talk in very general terms about where we are and where they see batteries going and when - well that would be a very insightful show.
Love AutoLine. You guys rock!
North Stonington, CT
PS: I don't drive an EV, but I want to...

You have an excellent suggestion, but right now we can’t get any of the battery experts to say anything on the record.

I was at an SAE conference on powertrains two weeks ago. It was an excellent conference with lots of EV and battery experts from industry, academia and government. And they were from the US, Europe and Asia. But none of them will speak on the record. In fact, I’m not even at liberty to say who was at the conference or which companies or agencies they work for—those were the ground rules for me to be permitted to attend.

But I may have a chance of getting the CTO of CATL to come on the show early next year…which is after he retires! And we’ll keep working on getting some others.

John McElroy

Hey John,

I first wanted to tell you guys how much I enjoy your show. As a lifelong "car guy", I enjoy seeing the daily insights you provide into the industry.

I've had the misfortune of losing much of my hand function to an autoimmune disorder, which was the reason behind my Tesla Model 3 purchase back in April. My hands get numb and painful after just a few minutes grasping a steering wheel, which made autopilot the primary reason for the purchase. I'll admit it takes some getting used to, but I've been very happy with it so far.

The first thing that stuck out to me was your remark on how the system is "not intuitive at all". The act of driving isn't intuitive to a 16-year-old who first slides behind the wheel, which just means it's a task that takes time to learn. Autopilot doesn't completely change the driving experience, but it is enough of a difference to require a learning curve as well. It took a few weeks behind the wheel before I was comfortable with the system, but now after five months, managing the system is as comfortable to me as activating the turn signal. I don't think anybody realistically expects to get into the driver's seat and be comfortable with autopilot operation in a day or two, that's just not realistic.

Mr. Torchinski's criticism of the system is valid, and the system makes it deceptively easy to stop paying attention over time. The system will get confused from time to time and alert the driver to take over, but that alert is far from a subtle nudge. The flashing red icon and loud, high-pitched chirp would grab the attention of even the most distracted operator, and the system doesn't abruptly "let go" and leave the driver on his own. Mine will moderately brake and retain steering control until I take over, which takes a second or less. I now have about 9600 miles on my car, with probably 75% of that on autopilot, and I can't recall the system putting me in a dangerous position. The data Tesla publishes on autopilot safety backs this up.

Autopilot also has some advantages over a human driver using the Mark 1 eyeball. I think the biggest of which is how rapidly the system react to changing speed of the vehicle in front of me. This thing will brake almost instantly after the leading vehicle does, and will aggressively maintain following distance even during a panic stop. When I'm on autopilot and traffic in front of me locks the brakes, I consciously pull my foot back from the accelerator pedal, cover the brake, and let the system manage space in front of me. Each time it's happened I've been impressed, it reacts far faster and more aggressively than I ever could.

While you and Mr. Torchinsky highlighted some of the concerns behind level 2 and 3 automation, there are significant benefits as well. You guys ran a spot recently regarding the importance of data collection and analysis in the development of self-driving technology, and these intermittent levels of automation allow for efficient collection of such data. I don't recall the specifics, but you mention the massive advantage Tesla had over other competitors in this area, so I think the more we see level II and three automation, the faster and safer full self driving technology will be when it finally arrives.
Just a few long-winded thoughts from a daily viewer and car geek, please keep up the great reporting!

Isanti, Minnesota

I really appreciate your comments and the fact that you would take the time to write them.

You make a great point that it took you a while to get used to the Autopilot system.

I test drive about 100 cars a year, so I often don’t have the time to “get used to” cars that have some idiosyncrasies or unique features. But I also feel that anything related to safety should not take long to learn. For example, I found that I got used to the Cadillac SuperCruise system the first day I used it, though admittedly it took a couple of hours.

I see that Tesla is now including instructional videos of how to use Autopilot that you can watch in your car before you try to use it. That’s a smart idea, and no doubt this system will only get better over time.

John McElroy

Hi John,
I am a linguist in few languages and in my spare time, I comment on youtube. I have not subscribed or liked any video, so as to remain unbiased.
I am currently doing marketing online, via the use of the comment sections of youtube, by either commenting regarding developments of a company or responding to other comments, which I do a few hours a day in my spare time and in several languages, mainly regarding companies that I am interested in or believe that they have superior information presented via youtube. 
I am approaching Autoline because I note your quality and reach being ahead of other auto content channels, or news channels.
For example, I would champion Autoline both in the comments section of its videos as well as on company channels that would be interested in following up on my comment, by resorting to checking what I say and watching Autoline. I can also collaborate via Autoline suggesting content for me to base comments on, and even which channels to focus on.  This may lead or not lead to viewership and subs increases, versus competitors and increased sponsorships. I would charge say 500 dollars per month to supplement my current income, for say an hour a day by following developments and commenting on them, which I did as a hobby in the past, but which I now want to transform into a source of income, in terms of such an arrangement payment could be via PayPal. 
Since the UAW strike and Williams battery tech are currently hot topics right now, my work would involve commenting, and I would comment on dozens of channels per month regarding what Autoline has to say about topics of general interest, and so forth, as per the news each day or week .... I comment anonymously as Victor Hugo and note that I do get numerous replies and debates ensue, which draws attention to the subject, which in this case would be what Autoline says about the UAW strike or Williams batteries, etc. and hence viewers watching Autoline, I comment in regarding debatable topics that I see on other channels.
I believe that it would be worth the investment on Autoline´s part and result in a marginal gain for the channel.
Just as a random example:
Since the Supra is among the hot topics, with Papadakis, Adam LZ, TJ Hunt, Matt Rojana, Schmee, Carwow, etc. below is a random example of how I would engage a competing or associate channel and I would go on to say how AMS got 3rd spot among track prepped vehicles being stock, etc.  
And for the purposes of a demo of random example below on Jackie Ding´s Supra crash:
Victor Hugo
3 horas atrás
you didn´t put proper tires on it like AMS Performance, and how is Fiona?
Jackie Ding
2 horas atrás
Funny you mention, we have the same tires and wheels set up as AMS. Also Fiona just had a nosebleed
Victor Hugo
1 hora atrás
@Jackie Ding Yokohama A052 tires?
Victor Hugo
1 hora atrás
so you had the Titan 7 wheels, SPL suspension, and square setup with the Yoko AO52 275 all round tires ... like AMS Performance?

Hi John

I recently was watching your show about the Citroen DS. I posed a question in the live chat with my Youtube account, which was "letsgetverydrunk". When reading the comment you read out loud the name of the account. I just wanted to apologize for any embarrassment I may have caused you.
I made the account in 2006 when I was 16 years old, and never looked at the username again, since the account is anonymous and I don't really post content.
Once again, sorry for any embarrassment I may have caused.
Love the show, love the guests.
Kind regards / good weekend

M. de Bie
M. de Bie,

Thanks for your letter and consideration.

While it doesn’t bother us at all or cause any embarrassment, there may be other viewers who don’t like it.

Even so, we appreciate your comments.

John McElroy

Hi guys,
Love the show as always. I found this on reddit and thought it showed the power of Over the air updates. I think Volkswagen and other company's struggling with public image could really help if they could improve or change features of already sold cars. What do you think will happen? 

Over the Air updates require an electronic architecture that can accept them, including modems on discreet ECUs that control major components. Currently GM can do some limited OTA via OnStar and BMW can update maps in its navigation system. But that’s all we’re aware of.

All automakers are developing new electronic architectures that can handle OTA updates, but thery’e still several years away.

John McElroy

Hi John,
    I want to say You,Gary,and your Guests brought a 70 year old man to tears. That was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for Me. And one main reason I have been a Loyal follower of "everything" on Autoline.
    Thanks Again...........................................Dale Leonard,Cleveland,Ohio

We meant it sincerely. It was from the heart.

And here’s to you making a speedy recovery!

John McElroy


You’re going to have to wait a while.

Clear Motion is not in production with its suspension system. It’s still several years away before that happens. Moreover, it’s unlikely this will be available as a retro-fit item as it will have to be engineered into each specific vehicle that adopts it.

This is technology that was developed by Bose, and while Bose tried to pitch it to automakers, none of them ever went with it.

John McElroy

I found your guest Joe McCabe of Auto Forecast Solutions, to be incredibly glib, dismissive of the progress of evs, and unconvincing, besides
sporting an off putting and pushy manner, like some smarmy used car salesman trying to sell you the extended warranty on the vehicle.
An example of glibness in that, Oh Toyota could have gone the easy step into evs...sayeth Joe. Stop It. You're talking to intelligent adults not your typical audience
of boneheads. They, Toyota didn't and they haven't developed an ev. They were wrong not to and are losing business as a result, did you forecast that.
Their own answer was the lame we were battery constrained, though they never did anything about it. 
So bottom line for me is, don't put a lot of credence into what Joe has to say. 
It's over for diesel Joe, get a clue. 
Tesla is by far away winning, if they are unicorn they are prancing rampant. Say it ain't so, Joe. Have to start calling him clueless Joe. 
Maybe you should call yourselves AFS (legacy).

Thanks for your comments, we’ll publish them in the Viewer Mail section of our website.

John McElroy

You have been touching on some of the subjects that I have been harping on the last few years:
Some of Chevy and GM losing market share can be attributed to poor marketing.  Aside from Corvette, GM has done a poor job marketing their high output engine cars such as Impala and Camaro while FCA Chrysler has done a great job yet having older "long in the tooth" models such as Challenger & Charger.
Dropping Cruze and soon the Impala are big mistakes not only long term but doing this has certainly not helped things with the UAW & Unifor, so this explains a lot of why Chevy market share is dropping.  I also don't get the fact that my local Chevy dealer and others have had very few Impalas in inventory for a long time along with few incentives and high prices which hurts sales.
GM bemoans the fact that car sales have been dropping but yesterday I was talking to my Chevy salesman and he said Equinox leases are less than Malibu leases so GM is pushing SUV/CUVs a lot.  Trax of course is the cheapest SUV and they don't push the el cheapo Sonics and Sparks which I would never buy or lease anyway.  
One more update to the other big mistake I see with GM is lack of Hybrid models.  Rumour has it the Malibu hybrid which few people know about is on the chopping block.
Yet Ford will soon have an Escape hybrid and that new Toyota Corolla hybrid has outstanding gas mileage > 50 mpg.
What will GM/Ford/FCA Chrysler do if there is a war with Iran, and oil goes to over $150 a barrel?
I do remember the '70's and the Big 3 did not do very well then with the oil embargo etc.
Rob A.

Thanks for sending us your thoughts. We’re going to publish this in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it, too.

John McElroy

Hey John,
I’m sure you’re already well aware of (and on top of) this..  But I felt compelled to share anyway.
(Those are some fantastic renderings!)
Take care!
That place is going to be awesome. It makes me wish I could work there.

John McElroy

I enjoy your daily updates.  Just getting into the Thurs broadcasts, but I like them too. 

I’m writing to get let you know that I’m going to attempt a SoCal to OKC trip in a Bolt this Thanksgiving.  I have an ICE truck, but I’m so challenged by seeing if it’s even possible in an EV, I just have to try it.  I’m only 6 mos into ownership and have never charged away from my garage.

I’ll use primary and alternates, just like an IFR flight plan.  Taking along a full-size spare.  You should see the inside of the tire.  It’s covered in substance like 1/4” thick fly-paper.

This is the part where you confirm the subj: line and wish me well.  And just maybe, I’ll come back with a few stories.



In CA.

We love it!

You’re an EV pioneer, just like the auto pioneers of 100 years ago.

Let us know how it goes. And while it will take you longer to do this trip than in your truck, it will be more of an adventure.

John McElroy

It's disruption in the auto industry, it's plain but not so simple. At times your panel sitting around talking about new products or turnarounds,
or business as usual, reminds me of the ghost dancers, of the American Indians, who believed they could dance away the invading Europeans.
It did not work. Legacy auto is laying off thousands of workers, factories are closing, peak auto has hit, and peak ICE is over. It's just a matter of time. 
You’re right, it is a matter of time. But that time is probably about a decade away.

John McElroy

I just got done listening to the Sema episode. I liked Henry Payne insight in taking his Telsa Model 3 on a road trip and not getting the mileage that the car said it would. I recently watched a YouTube video from The fast lane car trying to tow a light camper trailer with the Model X. The fast lane car use the better route planner to plan their route. They suffered some major range anxiety along the trip and ultimately had to throw the white flag on trip. It's going to be hard to get truck enthusiasts to get on the electric band wagon. I just hope that Rivian and the electric F150 will do better towing and not have as drastic decreases while doing truck things.
Thank you,

Hello Mr. McElroy, How Are You Sir???  Missed you On "After Hours" this week, but Gary did a good job.   One of the topics brought up was the big announcement by Amazon that they are going to purchase 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Rivian, starting as soon as Rivian assembly line gets up to full scale production in 2021.  While this is a HUGE CONTRACT COUP for Rivian, isn't just a forgone conclusion, since Amazon has sort of pre-paid for these trucks with their $700 million dollar investment in Rivian already???  Does this order virtually guarantee Rivion's success, since it apparently is already the best funded new vehicle mass production company in the history of automobiles???   How many other mass users of delivery vehicles will now follow Amazon's lead and order Rivians??? And what does this do to other start-up electric vehicle companys like Workhorse and yes too, Tesla's electric trucks???  And On the Trump Administration's sticking a knife in the California Air Resources Board's hart (see you'all at the Supreme Court, boys and girls!!!! )  While you and Gary have talked about how much easier and cheaper it would be for all automakers to have one emission standard nationwide, is there any way in hell Trump and the feds would accept the California rules for the whole country???    THANK YOU Mr. Mac, no reply necessary, just some food for thought,  Chas, Plainville, Ct.

Just sharing our experience.
It appears our Tesla Model 3 gets a 'trigger' signal from the cellular network. Then the car reaches out to Tesla over a local WiFi network to initiate a virtual private network (VPN) for the bandwidth needed for firmware and navigation map updates. Sad to say, the VPN blocks recording "interesting" data.
About every other day, we see charger activity when Tesla reaches out to the car. We think they are downloading "interesting" data which probably includes when we kick ourselves out of AutoPilot and the quality of our driving. Of course Tesla AutoPilot limits the speed to +5 mph below 50 mph. Above 50 mph, we can keep up with traffic. 
Tesla probably sees where I stop to shop and dine BUT there is no evidence Google ads are using this data to tempt me towards other vendors. 
retired engineer, Huntsville, AL

Great feedback, thanks for sharing!

John McElroy

Hello Gary/John/Sean
After watching yesterday’s AAH and the segment about emissions I have a question about China’s emissions regulation. Gary mentioned that China will have one of the most stringent requirements for 2020 timeframe.
My question is does this only apply to passenger vehicles? I know that countries like China and India have millions of scooters and motorcycles many which are two stroke and probably pollute multitudes more than a much larger car.
It would be very interesting to see a comparison of emissions produced by a modern car and a typical scooter or motorcycle (maybe a two stroke and 4 stroke).
Also what is being done regulation wise to encapsulate the cycles into emission regulations?

In China almost all the scooters are electric. They use lead acid batteries to hold down cost, and since they’re not driven long distances, it works fine. Besides, shopping malls and supermarkets all have dozens and dozens of outlets where the scooters can plug in while their owners shop.

In India, the situation is different, but electric scooters are starting to catch on and the government is starting to incentivize the move to battery power.

John McElroy

I live in Birmingham AL, and the nearby Mercedes plant in Vance is planning to start producing a BEV before the end of the year. They are building the production line and there is a nearby battery plant. I’ve tried to get information on the battery technology they will be using but I’ve been largely unsuccessful. Do you know which company’s battery technology Mercedes has adopted and if the batteries will be cylindrical or pouch? Is there any information about the motor(s) and battery management Mercedes will be using? 
Many thanks
Mercedes hasn’t specifically divulged the information about the EV propulsion system it will use at that plant, this link may have some of the information.
John McElroy

Hi John, 


You made a comment recently on the Tesla tent which is actually a fabric building built by Sprung which started in Alberta but is all over the world.

Check out all the buildings they do a lot of business for military and mining applications. Particularly in Arctic and Antarctic situations. On their website a section on the Tesla factory. 


Saw a church in California turned out particularly spectacular.

Long time viewer , keep up the good work David

Thanks for the info and the website URL. Good information!

John McElroy

You are 100% correct when describing sacrifices made by creditors, dealers, white-collar workers, Stock, and bondholders. All true and all quite devastating back then. Not to mention the fatal sacrifices many vendors were forced to make. Many had to close shop and thousands lost their jobs. Why the favored treatment by the Obama Administration toward the UAW?  Simple.  UAW Worker dues constitute the enormous perennial UAW campaign contributions made to the DNC.

John sits behind a stupid Camera all day and has the nerve to attack hard working Americans. Fuck you John you lazy piece of shit, how about you get your hands dirty and renovate your ugly old ass studio you stupid geezer.
Don’t have the guts to sign your own name, huh?

Former UAW Local 600 worker at Ford Rouge
Former UAW Local 182 worker at Ford Livonia Transmission
John McElroy

  I tried to watch your program today. I'm a gear head and I've been around for awhile. After about two minutes into the program I had to change channels like I usually do when you come on before I puked. I have never witnessed some much bull shit on any automotive program including Motor Week.
Todays automobiles are the most unreliable and unsafe vehicles ever built.  
  .Most of all it's the lies and bull shit these auto company reps. spout on your program.
  You should be ashamed.

Ashamed? We’re very proud of our programs and that we’re able to get the top people in the industry to come on and discuss what’s going on and why.

Moreover, we’re going to continue doing our shows. We have a big audience that keeps on growing, and the reason more people continue to tune in is because we’re an excellent source of automotive information.

Meanwhile you can go on believing that all automotive execs do is lie and BS and that cars in the past were safer and better made. The rest of us will get on with moving the industry forward.

John McElroy

Good Day John.
Watched your After Hour show with Mr. Ralph Gilles.
Found it interesting. I submitted the question regarding the Chrysler Star verses the wing.
In 1957 the 1957 Dodge (swept winged Dodge) was my favourite car. I also liked the 1957 Chrysler Imperial. The "geniuses" at Chrysler got rid of the Star and replaced it with a Wing. Got rid of the Imperial name and replaced it with "300". Heard that the Chrysler brand may go the way of the DeSoto and the Plymouth.
Mercedes has the Three-Point Star. Audi, the Four-Rings. Jaguar, The Cat.
Aston Martin the Wing. Question is. Why would Chrysler give up the Five-Point Star which I believe would look great in the centre of a grille instead of the Wing which I believe you said you preferred to "The Corporate  Star. 
The KIA Stinger is a vehicle I am seriously considering purchasing. I don't like SUV's , vans or trucks. The hatchback design is still a car and with the rear seatbacks down would afford me the ability to move stuff. My hope is that KIA gets rid of that side scoop eyesore or at least body colour it.
Watch Autoline quite often. Enjoy the show.
Best Regards,

Thanks for the memories! (and your question)

John McElroy

I thought doom & gloom was appropriate for the Frankfurt Auto Show. Trying to put on a brave face in the cone of the coming perfect storm, and one without a sharpie. Just bad news all around.
Though Merkel is trying to help as she's hurting at the same time with a carbon tax, coming into the mix. Yeah, Porsche is basically saying, sure we can make an electric vehicle that competes with
Tesla, but it will cost an arm and a leg. Great insightful shows as usual. 
Thanks, Bob!

John McElroy


Show just blew by for an hour.  All of you did a phenomenal job with
questions and commentary.  Ralph is just extra special car guy at FCA.
Super show, so glad you were able to get him on again.

Warm regards

Electric car buyers need not think low running costs will last. 
Here in UK Gasoline is $6.80per US gallon..... 80% of that is tax that goes to central government for healthcare, education, Police welfare etc (only 5% of the tax goes to road provision) On top of that there is an annual vehicle license fee of between $250 and $620 depending on engine size.
At present electric cars pay no tax at all for either license or on electricity for charging.
Now - government is not going to tolerate that soon. Typically now a gas powered owner uses 400 gallons per year pays  $2200 in fuel tax plus a further $400 in road license tax total $2600 per year in taxation to government in running a gas car. So soon Electric powered car owners will be hit with either an annual license fee of $2600 or a compulsory black box  measuring recording and reporting to tax authorities by radio in their car which charges them 30c extra for every mile they drive each year - just to replace the lost taxation they are currently dodging.
This will not make battery powered cars attractive when already they are typically double the price - certainly of a small gas powered car and they will be faced with battery renewal after 8 years use at a price that will exceed the then value of the vehicle making it an economic write off.
Kind Regards


Thanks for your letter and all the info. We’ll publish this in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy

John, it’s hard to miss that Bridgestone is a major advertiser on your video shows. How about getting a lead Bridgestone tire and technology guy/gal to come on Autoline After Hours to update us on what’s new and “on the horizon” in tires. Sincerely and regards, S.C. Osprey
We’ve asked, but it hasn’t happened so far.

Bridgestone is one of those terrific sponsors that isn’t supporting Autoline merely to try and get its execs on our shows.

John McElroy

Q: Is Sandy Munro going to tear down a VW ID.3, or will he wait for the US-built ID.4? As the first attempt by a mainline automaker to really design an electric platform from scratch, I'm interested in his opinion of the MEB platform, compared to what he's learned about the Teslas.
No doubt Sandy would love to tear down an ID3 or ID4. But he’s going to have to wait over a year to get one.

John McElroy

Dear Autoline:
There is a subject that I would like you to address publicly, and that is vehicle sales brochures.
Over the past few years it has become harder and harder to get a manufacturer to mail out a
sales brochure. Some still send out a full and complete brochure, others may send a little fold out
pamphlet. Recently I contacted BMW USA to request a brochure and was shocked to hear they do
not offer any brochures at all now. [Not even online for download] Absurd!
I am old school. When shopping for a new vehicle I narrow my choices down to a handful of choices
and then contact the manufacture and request a brochure. I prefer being able to look over the brochure
see the pictures and compare all the options and specifications side by side.  
When a manufacturer says "You can get all the details at our website" I tell them a lot of good that does
me sitting on my living room couch.
When I am in the market for a new vehicle I use car reviews and sales brochures to make my buying
decision. I never set foot in a dealership showroom until I have chosen the make, model, and picked
every option that I want.
Thank you for listening.
Novi, MI

John, Gary,
Mobility as a service is up against some deep-rooted human factors and even economics. 
In a few city centres like Manhattan Island, mobility services may prosper despite the road congestion autonomous vehicles will cause while curb-crawling for customers. Uber apparently does well in cities like Sydney Australia for trips to the airport, getting home from parties, etc, but people don't go grocery shopping with Uber. 
Even in the world's largest cities, few people live, or regularly go into, the crowded core of the cities. Most people live in the suburbs where there is space for a privately owned vehicle - in a garage or on the street. India sells 30 million motorbikes per year - it would be surprising if the country did not have 500 million motorbikes.
Companies are renting electric scooters that cost $400 to make in China. Lots of cheap electric local travel vehicles are being developed in China for getting around crowded cites. Retail prices for them will end up being low, and owning multiple vehicles for different purposes will be common.
The US has 280 million vehicles but only 17 million new sales. Used car sales are 3 times new sales. Vehicles are reliable and repairable. A $2,000 used car still gets the travel job done if that is all you can afford. The thing that gets out of date fastest with vehicles is the car radio/audio/phone system. Surely, it will not be long before the after market starts supplying heavily computerised replacements that come with over the air updates, and perhaps even some passive safety enhancements. 
Going somewhere with a young child requires an appropriate seat for the child. At this point most people buy a vehicle for convenience and consistent child safety.
Most people in world will not get to buy a home, but virtually everybody will be able to afford to buy a mechanical means of transport even if it is just a second-hand motorbike/scooter. Not owning a means of transport is effectively saying I'm poor or cheap. 
I think people will own a car if just to do 2,000 km a year driving to a grocery store. While people shop on line, there is nothing like going to shops with a large array of stuff and making on-the-spot decisions. Getting groceries delivered suffers from a mutually convenient time for deliveries. If they are left at a centre full of lockers, you may as well just go late night shopping. 
While there will be peaks and troughs for vehicle sales, and the type of vehicle people own may change radically, I don't see our desire to own a vehicle changing much.

I was so surprised to hear you mispronounce Taycan on your webcast. Watch "How to pronounce Taycan." on YouTube


That’s how the Germans pronounce it. They also say “Mertseedies” as in Mercedes-Benz. We don’t pronounce it that way either.

John McElroy

Some Kia & Hyundai models with come with a Dry DCT, and drivers report having the same problems as the Ford Focus & Fiesta - inability to accelerate, early wear, etc.  Owners forums offers many similar stories to what the Detroit Free Press reported.
This PDF refers to the Hyundai DCT being "Dry".
Neil G

Thanks for sending this. There are consumer complaints, but mostly from 2016.

John McElroy

FYI – You missed a big story
Best Regards,
This class action lawsuit was filed by Hagens Berman, a law firm that specializes in class action lawsuits, you know the ones where the lawyers make millions and their clients gets very modest sums of money.

Let’s see what the courts decide.

John McElroy

Just catching up on my Jennings Motor News August 2019 edition.
Great item on page 38!
60 year old electric power company ad predicting driverless highway travel! Swivel front seats, game table, etc.
Thought it might warrant a mention since there is so much activity around electric cars in recent years.
Phil V

We’re guessing you mean Hemmings, not Jennings. But thanks for the heads-up on this article.

John McElroy

I find the buzz around Rivian's skateboard humorous in light of my interest in the GM EV1 and 2002 beautiful skateboard.
I am stunned at how long it has taken the entrenched automotive industry to match Tesla (which I think they have not yet done - maybe 2021).
I'd love to hear Sandy Monro's compare and contrast of the 2002 AUTOnomy skateboard v. Rivian's.

Hey there John,
I just thought I’d comment on that little side note you made at the end of the August 30th AD show about the UAW human resources center downtown.  I always wondered about that campus.  I don’t at all doubt the employee head count you gave.  I’ve never noticed any activity outside the facility.
In fact, I just recently completed the design + a set of renderings of a proposed mixed-use residential tower for the owner of the historic Roberts Hotel right next to the UAW center.  Not once during my several hours spent collecting site data (right next door) did I notice so much as a single vehicle pulling up to or leaving the UAW H.R. Center.  Even back when the UAW acquired that prime waterfront property, it couldn’t have been cheap.  Umph!
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Thanks Michael, this confirms my one visit to that facility. There were only a handful of people in that mssive building.

John McElroy

Hello Mr. McElroy, How Are you?   Have you noticed the latest photos of the supposedly "production ready" Porsche Tycanne(Tincan?)  YUK!! I WAS SHOCKED AT HOW BAD THE FRONT END LOOKS!!!  Those HEADLIGHTS, UGLY!!!  What the HELL HAPPENED???  I thought the Mission-E concept was BEAUTIFUL!!!  I wouldn't have changed a thing!!!  I do know that when a car goes from concept to mass production, some changes HAVE TO BE MADE, for both ease of manufacturing and safety reasons but MY GOSH, IT LOOKS TERRIBLE!!!  It's almost as bad as an I-3, which to me looks like the illegitimate love(hate?) child of an AMC GREMLIN AND A YUGO!!!  And it's already got over 20,000 pre-orders?? I wonder if Porsche showed these people the photos of the final car before they ordered??  Please check this out for me, maybe I'm wrong, and owe Porsche a BIG APOLOGY!!!  Also Mr. MAC,  I know you're always talking about TESLA'S inability to make a profit, but I've always wondered, How much does it cost TESLA to build a nationwide Supercharger system that they keep adding stations to every month?? And giving away FREE ELECTRICITY to all non Model 3 cars??  Have they ever published any figures on that??  THANK YOU Mr. McElroy, look forward to seeing you on After Hours soon!!!   Chas O

I could not agree more about the Taycan. Why did they even show the Mission–E? I’m surprised that Porsche lost so much in translation from show car to production car.

Tesla does not break out how much it spends on the Supercharger network and free electricity. But in a way that’s kind of how it advertises its products. And while traditional automakers spend billions on advertising Tesla spends none, so it’s kind of a wash.

John McElroy

Why under play Sandy's qualifications??
- He did disassembly analysis for BMW's i3 car.
- Improved the battery's small design
- He is committed to researching and dismantling all products.
- Analyze the materials, functions, and costs of each link
- Finally, the "chicken ribs" and the parts that need improvement are selected.
- During his tenure as a senior automation specialist and assembler (DFA) design specialist at Ford Motor Company
- Saved billions of dollars for Ford
- Many of the world's top 500 companies are his clients.
- He himself is called the "father of lean design"
- In the United States:
CEO of Munro, USA
Chairman of NASA MI SATS
NASA Head of National Advanced Manufacturing Center, NASA
American Society of Automotive Engineers
American Society of Manufacturing Engineers
American Detroit Engineers Association
Received many "Innovators" awards from NASA's NASA.
And the US authoritative science and technology innovation award
Appointed as a professor and advisory board member of more than a dozen well-known universities including:
Stanford University, Oxford University, University of Michigan, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wow, I’ve known Sandy for decades and didn’t know he was all this. Thanks for sending.

John McElroy

I enjoy watching your interviews.  Hackett has been at the helm for over 2 years and has promised to achieve a global revamp of the company.  There appear to be some green shoots taking root on the turn-around, Its time to get him on for an interview.  The future of Ford is on the line.
Thanks for your consideration,

Good suggestion. We’ll put in the request.

John McElroy

Dear John;
When you had Jim Baumbick from Ford on "Auotline This Week" I wish you would have asked him why they didn't use EPLM to develop a decent transmission for the Focus and Fiesta instead of hiding a faulty product and selling it to their valued customers.
Ralph Norek


Whatever happened to Jim Hall from 2953 Analytics, haven't seen him for 
years... retired? Hope he is in good health.



Jim is doing fine. He now works for General Motors and as such really can’t come on the show anymore to talk about what’s going on in the industry.

I’m actually going to a party at his house on Saturday and I’ll tell him that you were asking about him.

John McElroy

Dear Mr. McElroy,

Peace and Good.

Find here a description and pros and cons of axial flux electric machines. My questions: are there electric or hybrid vehicles using or about to use axial flux machines? What has been holding axial flux machine application? It was patented by Nicola Tesla in the late 18 hundreds.

Keep on with your excellent work.

Best regards

Eduardo Roma Burgos.

We need to learn more about these axial flux machines. We’re not familiar with them but will start asking around.

Thanks for sending this.

John McElroy

I have read some press on the Lincoln Aviator plug in.  Lincoln's big accomplishment 18 miles on a charge. That is big to be sure, but it is all in the marketing. Years ago we conditioned the buying public on MPG. The higher the better. So when I see a range of 50 or 18 on a single charge my thoughts are associating that range with an MPG where the battery holds 1 and that's the mileage I get. I can't help but think OEM's doomed themselves by creating "range anxiety". Instead inform me that with 8 or 10 gallons I can travel greater distance in a commuter car, a luxury ride, or I can pull XXXXX pounds long distance with just a smaller quantity of fuel. And if green is where we fell its at tie it into a healthier climate. In short sell me on what that $$$ battery can do for my operating cost of the vehicle.
My 1 cent thought for the day
David Sprowl

Good point. Automakers might be able to sell more plug ins if they did a better job of informing consumers what that battery can do for their operating cost.

John McElroy

“Any automaker that wants to sell electric cars in the U.S. will have to make the motor, transmission and battery pack including cells in the U.S. Right now, the USMCA is tied up in Congress, but if and when it’s enacted, it is designed to create an electric car supply chain in the U.S.”
Do you mean Canada and the US? Since Canada also meets the $16 threshold.
Yes Canada also meets the $16 an hour thresh hold. But with most North American auto production being in the US that’s where the EV supply chain would end up.

John McElroy

John:   Not to beat a dead horse but I saw an article saying GM is considering dropping the Malibu hybrid.
While I am not in the market for a Malibu, any way GM could put the Malibu hybrid drivetrain in the Equinox and Terrain at least as a FWD version if not AWD as well?
GM is taking a big gamble thinking only Autonomous and Electrics are the wave of the future...besides Corvette and Cadillacs.
GM will either end up being much much smaller or go bankrupt again in the next recession which is coming soon.
Vehicle sales are already softening, especially with and even high priced vehicles.
which is why I still dont like GM dropping the Cruze.   they should have kept making it in Lordstown both sedan and hatchback...and dropping the Impala and the Cadillac made at Poletown make no sense either.
Rob A.

Tengo un Audi S5 v6 B8 333cv del año 2012 con compresor. Se le podría poner un supercharger electric entre el filtro de aire y el compresor? Tenéis algo para mi coche?
Si, seria posible, pero ya tienes un compressor y no valdria la pena.

John McElroy

Is there any chance you could get Jim Hall to come back for a future episode of Autoline After Hours?  I saw him in a previous episode when talking about Jim Dunne. 

Jim now works for General Motors and can no longer publicly spout out his opinions about the automotive industry.

John McElroy

I finally caught up with last week’s AAH.  I think you did a great job on a tough and tragic topic (Ford’s DPS6 transmission).  You demonstrated a better understanding of the issues than Phoebe Howard.  Early customer complaints were easy to confuse... unfamiliar shift feel vs. a bonafide quality issue.  
Phoebe’s reliance on engineer communications is too easy to lean on (and jump to premature conclusions) for two reasons:
1.  Every new model development has prototype test issues, involving differing technical opinions about severity, root causes, and corrective courses of action. Every!
2. The genesis of the DPS6 came from Europe, where the shift characteristics are very familiar in a market with a very strong mix of manual transmissions.  As the transmission migrated east “across the pond to the New World”, some American engineers assessed its shift feel attributes relative to a conventional automatic transmission with a torque converter.  You appropriately noted the inherent difference between a dual clutch tranny and a torque converter tranny.
The purpose on this note is threefold:
1.  Thank you for your fair and thoughtful comments on this subject, including your accolades to Phoebe for this career-defining report.
2. While Ford could have done better in many ways, someone should call-out the FREEP for their editorial over-reach — interjecting their retorts in Ford’s response.
3. This is not the 1st time new powertrain technology experienced growing pains and gave an OEM a black eye.  I predict it will happen many more times as regulatory (CAFE/CO2/GHG) pressures will push other new technologies out to consumers before all design/manufacturing failure modes are understood.
Thank you, Sean, and your team.
Andy Sarkisian

Thanks for your feedback. We’ll publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy

I am 47 years old.  Whenever I saw a C6 or older Corvette, “yeah that’s an oldman’s car”. Got a bit excited about C7.  Now seeing C8, only a few years after C7, “this could have been a C7!” I think. “Why not an all- electric as a C8?!”  GM is slow to react to the trend. 

A BEV ‘Vette would have been hugely more expensive. Once the cost of the batteries come down the doors will open for mass acceptance of electric cars.

John McElroy

Mr. Mcelroy, everytime you speak about EV's, you give the impression that everyone has a 'hard-on' for them.
Not a chance.
We are Americans who love our freedom to drive,  and until you can drive 400 miles, re-charge within 10 minutes, then drive another 400 we say no.
You run out of gas, you can walk a few miles, get a gallon, fill the tank, and away you go.
EV's sure can't do that.
I do love listening to you. Keep it up.
Next, i'll tell you why most every person i know hates the idea of a fully autonomous car.
thanks, clint

Thanks for your feedback. We always like to hear from our viewers!

John McElroy

I purchased March 2011 a 2011 Ford Focus SE and it has been driven every day since and not a single problem. My car has a hydraulic transmission. However, the new 2012 model came out after the end of April and had an electric transmission and lots of problems since.
Bob Topley 

Rivian is planning a store at their factory in Normal IL. Now Tesla is planning a store and service facility in adjacent Bloomington, just a few miles from Rivian. Is this an offensive or defensive move by Tesla?
Neil G
Bloomington, Illinois is about in the middle of a circle drawn around Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Des Moines. So it’s a great location. But you may be on to something that Tesla is trying to elbow Rivian out of the way.

John McElroy

Will overlapping a “classic “ last generation model with a newly introduced one become more of a prevalent strategy?  Have combine this with stretching out the new product cycles an extra year or two? 
If they can both be Mfg on the same line, wouldn’t the margins for the classic while the new gen model skins off the less price sensitive buyers?

The Vehicle Affordability Knowledge Gap
Consumer research reveals many consumers just don't understand, or are unrealistic about what vehicles they can actually afford.

Read in Forbes: 

Shared from Apple News
Some people only care about price. If they don’t like the price of a new car, they’ll happily buy a used one. A classic new model can be just what it takes to convince them to buy new instead of used.

For fleet buyers, new shiny sheet metal means nothing. They don’t care about style, just cost and functionality. A “classic” fits their business model perfectly.

The Ram pickup Classic is not built in the same plant as the new Ram, but the Dodge Caravan (a classic model) is built in the same plant as the Chrysler Pacifica.

I don’t think that making classic models will become an industry trend, but some automakers may use the strategy when the opportunity arises.

John McElroy

I agree that GM should continue the C7 alongside the C8 (more on that below). However, the recent auctioning of the final C7 clearly confirms they will not.
My guess is the second shift is more associated with slower line speed when producing C8 than with increased production rate.
However, there is another possibility. It could be that GM intends to flood the market the first year and then drop down to a more sustainable rate. This would reduce the amount of dealer markup, etc.
There is another benefit to this flooding the market. When C8 production drops, there will be capacity to produce another car. Perhaps a car based on the C7. Perhaps more of a grand tourer (whether under the Corvette name or as a Cadillac).
You’re right. The C7 is going out of production. I talked to a source at GM who said they believe there will be enough demand for the C8 that they’re adding a second shift. He added that the Bowling Green plant has run on two shifts at times in the past.

I think that second shift will probably last two years max. Most sports cars see a huge spike in demand, then a quick fall off.

John McElroy

Hey John,
Have you seen this?  Could Dearborn be far behind?

Volvo will never leave Sweden, just as Ford will never leave Dearborn.

This is just a CEO trying to send a message to Swedish politicians.

John McElroy

Hi, John.
Paul Eichenberg had my attention when he was talking about the changes coming upon the auto OEMs and their first-tier and second-tier suppliers.
As someone who has worked in the powersports (motorcycle) industry for several years, I have a question:  If the auto industry is going to face such a dramatic change and/or upheaval, how do you think that will affect other producers of consumer products (motorcycles and side-by-sides, etc.) that have relied on internal combustion engine technology?
Just a couple of side notes:
I can tell you that the Japanese powersports industry fell dramatically in the 2008-2009 Great Recession, and most of us feel it permanently changed the U.S. and European markets. In the U.S., I think we’re lucky if our yearly sales volume is 10-15% of what it was in 2005, and most Americans in this industry accept this as the "new normal."
Worse, I think the powersports executives in Japan do not understand all the cultural changes that have taken place in the American market, and they naively think they’re going to find some kind of magic to turn it all around.
Best regards,

Electric motors are going to threaten ICEs in every category where they’re used. ICEs will likely be around for another 30 years, but it will all depend on the cost of EV batteries. If someone cracks the code on getting the cost down to parity with ICEs, then opening the floodgates for electric vehicles of all sorts will happen much sooner.

John McElroy

Only Tesla will develop self driving cars. Roads are for visual recognition. Not lasers such as Waymo uses.
Geofencing is absurd! Any road construction or detour and it is dead in the water.
I understand your little show depends on ICE vehicles, but their future is dim.
EV’s will replace and end car dealerships and if GM, Ford and German and Japanese don’t join the EV train they are history. None will catch Tesla. They have the data, technology that GM does not have and as he said, they have army men. Tesla has navy seals.
Try not to be so biased against the future.
You can keep your show on covering Tesla and talking about RIP GM, Ford etc.

R Head.

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