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1-29-2016


2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI owner here.  Great car…..my family loves it.  We’ve had several different VW’s over the past 8 years, and really felt they’d turned the corner on quality and durability.  The EPA violation punched me right in the stomach.

I’ve worked in design engineering for consumer and industrial companies for 25 years, and cannot imagine a single meeting where a team member could have suggested gaming a compliance test and getting complete agreement from the rest of the development and management team.  How does a company with 270,000 engineers even develop this type of mentality and then keep it secret? Blows me away.



Jon Diaz
Jon,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’re depressed about the VW scandal. What is going wrong with the car companies? Toyota covered up defects and lied to regulators. GM covered up a defect that killed customers. Hyundai overstated its fuel economy ratings, and Ford overstated the fuel economy of its hybrids. This used to be an honest industry. Tough, yes, and even brutal at times. What we’ve seen happen in the last 6 years is very disturbing.

John McElroy
1-29-2016


Dear Autoline crew,
 
I love the AAH program and download it most every week. 2 of my top 10 favorite episodes of had Oliver Schmidt from VW on to talk about VW emissions testing. 
 
In fact, those shows were the first thing I thought about when I heard the news about VW admitting cheating the EPA tests.
 
It seems to me Oliver would be a logical central figure in deciding to cheat the EPA.
 
I'd love to hear your comments about Oliver in general and his appearances on the show.
 
Thanks,
Eric
Eric,

We too want to know if Oliver had any involvement in this. We certainly hope not. Oliver is a pal of ours.

It’s entirely possible he was kept in the dark, and we hope that’s what the facts show. We should have an answer soon enough.

John McElroy
1-29-2016


Watching AAH tonight (it's on too early now to watch live) and noticed some misapprehensions about the VW emission problems. First, VW has effectively admitted this software was used and affected diesels sold in Europe (11 million EA189 engines), so this was not just to cheat the EPA test. Second, the University of West Virginia study was of both the Jetta with simple NOx cat and a Passat with SCR. This cheat apparently affected both, so it's not because they did not use SCR in some engines. Apparently VWs SCR only meets standards in the lab as well. They also tested a BMW, and BMW is vigorous in pointing out that their car passed UWV's testing, which the ICCT who published the report is ignoring in expanding their accusations to other companies not tested by UWV. As reported by UWV, both VW systems do work, is just that for some reason VW has both systems deactivated during much (but not all) of real world driving. It's not a question of whether VW can pass the test, it's a question of what effect running the working emissions control system properly all the time has on performance and economy.

It appears that as soon as they developed the systems for Europe, they discovered that they had an unacceptable affect on some aspect of performance (engine power is measured with an engine test rig, so the emission cheat would not be active). Other automakers seem to have lived with it and worked on gradual improvements over the years (although EU6 did adversely impact fuel economy), whereas VW instituted this cheat, and used the software not just on the 11 million EA189 engines they admit have discrepancies, but on other group diesels as well (so it could affect Porsche, which uses a VAG V6 diesel in the Cayenne). VW claims the latest EU6 versions aren't affected, but if both previous European versions, and current US market engines turn off the emission system, how is it that the EU6 engines either don't need to turn off the emission system to maintain performance and they forgot to rewrite the ECU for the American models (especially as some models come from the same factories), or that it still does turn off the emission system but somehow manages to meet an even stricter EU standard than that which required the emission system to be running. And if as VW says other VW diesels use this system, how is it that VW can say it doesn't affect their emissions?

>Andrew Charles
1-29-2016


I've owned a 1982 Mercedes 300 D for 25 years and still going. Diesels were attractive because of the durability, good mileage, and low fuel prices. The only reason I have not bought a VW diesel is the gains made by gasoline engines have negated most of the mileage difference, fuel prices have gone
upside down, and VW cars have been a bit less reliable than Asians. Now what? My 300D cost about $17000 new, now you can't find anything from MB in that class for $50,000. Perhaps this will drive diesel prices down at the pump and my 300D can go another 100,000 or so.
1-29-2016


I understand that the German government is also investigating VW's diesel emissions. They're asking, quite reasonably, if VW's engines don't meet the US or CA regulations, how did they meet the EU's? It just gets worse, and that's not the end of it.
 
Question - if VW had to install an emission cheat because their engines didn't perform adequately with emissions control working, what effect will "fixing" the engines have on reported power output and fuel economy? If regulators are on the ball, VW will almost certainly have to restate both power output (part of European type certification), and fuel economy. That could mean both further compensation for buyers, and big impacts on both CAFE and the equivalent European corporate CO2 regulations. This is not just cheating on emissions. It's cheating on emissions in order to cheat on other aspects of engine performance.
 
By the by, didn't GM fire a bunch of engineers for a similar issue in India?
 
I bet a lot of powertrain engineers at Honda, Toyota, GM etc. who found it much harder to engineer their small diesels to meet regulations are feeling pretty good right now. For them this must be like retroactively receiving your Olympic medal because the first winner has been exposed as a drug cheat.
 
Andrew Charles
VW will definitely have to restate the fuel economy of its diesels, once it gets a “fix” in place. This will also hurt the driveability of the affected cars. No doubt most owners will not honor the recall once they discover their cars will drive like crap and get worse fuel economy.
1-29-2016


BMW's bloated new display fob is too big, does too little and is lagging behind its competitors. Why would I want to carry around another bulky screen when I already have a better system on my smart phone? My Lexus app does it all and more, and it uses the Lexus version of On-Star to work from any distance. It does all of the BMW functions such as start/stop engine remotely, lock and unlock doors (for your mate or someone to put or retrieve items from the car or if they lock the fob in the car) and reminds me if I leave a window open or door unlocked, and I get email service reminders. Unlike the BMW it can:

Show me the car's location on Google Earth if I forget where I parked or want to track a parking lot attendant (also available to police to find a stolen vehicle). I'm a senior, so this is my favorite feature.
Monitor a Guest driver (includes curfew alerts I can set for distance and speed limit - great for helicopter parents)

The car also links my phone to its voice recognition system when in the car so I can receive and make calls hands-free leaving the phone in my pocket. It also imports the address book for dial by name and a voice command to initiate navigation to any person by name.

On my wish list is control of the windows so that, if the car is safely in sight, I can let out the heat before entering the sun-baked car rather than just burn fuel starting the engine to get air conditioning since I seldom leave valuables in the car. (My Lexus is a hybrid, and I keep it in the ECO mode; therefore, starting the car does not give me full AC until the car decides it's time to run the engine to charge the battery. I don't think they thought about that since it's not an issue for the gas hog models.)

Seriously, would anyone who would appreciate a gadget like the BMW fob not already have a smart phone?

Dennis L. Green
1-29-2016


Hi John,

On Thursday's AAH, you said that the UAW might target FCA because they had the most Tier 2 workers at over 40-percent and with FCA being the weakest of the three (Ford, General Motors and FCA) and a potential strike at FCA would be like putting a gun to Sergio Marchionne's head to force him to negotiate quickly.

I think the folks at the UAW must have been listening to your comments especially the gun to Sergio's head as well as how the profit sharing at FCA sucks compared with what the people at Ford.

Mike Ma
1-29-2016


John,

Mr. Rosekind is full of political B.S., money, money, money that is all they know!  If you look at accidents and deaths, way less than 1 percent is from safety issues due to manufacturing!

Good Show,
Spanky
1-29-2016


John,


FCA (Sergio Marchionne) has made a very viable point with the combining and condensing. VW's former chief made this point years ago. While Mr. Marchionne has pushed for a GM partnership, perhaps he should be pursuing Honda instead. The two product wise will integrate nicely. Culturally not so much.



David Sprowl
1-29-2016


John, catching up with AAH Monday afternoon, and noticed your panel missed a big implication of the sharing model. You noted one driver for sharing was the desire to make better use of the capital investment in a vehicle by increasing its usage. However if you increase vehicle usage, from 8% to even 24%, you increase mileage, wear, tear etc. by the same amount. As a result you may be reducing personal car ownership, but you're expanding ownership by services which will turn over their fleets even more often than traditional rental companies, whose users rent a car for a day and then leave it parked most of the time. Things such as warranty, service and even model changeover periods are affected by typical usage rates. If a large section of the market goes from being used an hour a day by one person on average to perhaps 10 hours a day by a dozen people, that has a big impact not only on how you sell cars, but also how you design and engineer them. The impact on manufacturing volume may not be that great, but it may have a big impact on retail sales, manufacturing mix and engineering.

Andrew Charles
Andrew,

Great points, especially about how cars will have to be engineered and developed. Automakers will need all-new duty cycles for their testing since vehicles will rack up a lot of miles (kilometres) much more quickly.

John McElroy
1-29-2016


I am having trouble purchasing a car and I believe the dealerships I have done business with aren’t being honest with me.  I believe that I am dealing with a problem that may be industry wide- not just with one car manufacturer.  I have approached two dealerships.  With each dealership, I provided a specific outline of the vehicle I wanted.  The outline was made from the manufacturer’s online build application.  I am certain I didn’t ask for anything the manufacturers could not provide.  All of the options and accessories requested were advertised as available.  With each dealership, I told the sales person I wanted to place an order for a fleet purchase.  I told the sales person I would pay for the vehicle, in total, with cash.  I asked for the final total so, I could go to the bank and have a cashier’s check made for the amount of the purchase.  I was told that I could not have a final price until the vehicle arrived on the dealership’s lot.

Each dealership said the price could not be set until the vehicle arrived because, the promotional deals would change by the time the vehicle showed up.  Each dealership had me wait two to three months.  I received no further communication from either dealership unless I specifically tried to communicate with them.  After the wait period, I returned to the first dealership to tell the sales person I was no longer interested in the vehicle and, I was tired of waiting.  I reclaimed my $500.00 deposit from the first dealership and made a similar agreement with a second dealership down the road.

To date, I have consecutively visited three dealerships, placed three orders for vehicles, put down a total of $1000.00 in deposits and have no vehicle.  I received a refund of my $500.00 deposits from the first two dealerships I visited when I told them I was no longer interested in the vehicle ordered.

I don’t understand why this is a problem.  Each time I told the dealership exactly what I wanted and, was willing to pay in total, in the form of a cashier’s check, for the vehicle.  There was no risk to the dealership.  Is there anything that can be done to motivate the car manufacturers to produce the vehicle I ask for?  I would just go to another car manufacturer but, I believe I would only receive the same treatment again.

-Michael R. Molinari
You're right! Those dealerships are giving you the runaround. I would suggest calling ahead to see if anyone will give you the deal you want, instead of driving out there. You may also want to consider using a broker, or, if you're a member at Costco look for their concierge car buying service.

John McElroy
1-29-2016


Hi John,
 
It might be a good time to invest in General Motors especially if Sergio Marchionne goes through with his attempt to get controlling interest in GM as the stock may double in the next 18 months time.
 
Mike Ma
1-29-2016


I recently watched this After Hours show and wanted to comment:Hydrogen Fuel Cells ALSO are scamming the California lawmakers & taxpayers:

- The manufacturers are supposed to refuel their hydrogen tanks in 15 minutes or less, and in exchange they get 2 ZEV credits per car (worth several thousand dollars). I am currently leasing a hydrogen car, but it actually takes 20 minutes to fill.

So in other words manufacturers like Mercedes, Honda, and Toyota are claiming a "less than 15 minute refuel" but not actually meeting the claim, and deceiving CARB in the process. It's ALL a giant scam.

Troy
1-18-2016


Hi John:
I’m writing based on a comment that was made a few weeks ago when the president of Subaru America was on your show. The comment was made that the J D Powers scores were dropping. Let me give you my experience. I’ll preface my remarks with the fact that I am a long term Subaru owners who is driving their 5th Outback. My new Outback is a 2015 3.6R Limited with Eyesight. I waited months to receive this car because the demand was so high and the Eyesight system was allocated or on technical hold or something.

I’ve had this Outback for about 6 months and there are major problems with the electronics. Twice since I got the car the dashboard has lit up like a July 4th fireworks display while I was driving. The Eyesight shut down and every warning light illuminated the brake warning light was blinking red, the check engine light came on and every other icon or warning light was illuminated.

The first time this happened I was driving on the highway at about 65 – 70 miles per hour and all these lights came on, the cruise control which is tied into the Eyesight stopped working and I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. I was completely flabbergasted at the event. I called a local Subaru dealer and the service manager said it was too late in the day for me to get into their service department, but if the car seemed to be running ok just drive it home and take it to a local dealer the next day. I did just that and drove for about an hour to my home. The next morning I took the car to the local Subaru dealer at that point the car had about 6,000 miles on it.

The next morning the lights were still illuminated and Eyesight was not operational. The dealer was perplexed saying he had never seen anything like what was going on in my car. He said was unable to find any codes that would cause the electronics acting like they had. He told me that he had to reset the computer a number of times to get the electronics to reset and work correctly. Then I was told that my EZ-Pass was causing the problem by its placement on the windshield. I showed him the Subaru TSB that showed where the electronic toll transponder should be mounted and he agreed that it was mounted correctly. He told me that he didn’t know what caused the problem and he would report it to Subaru Technical Assistance. I also called Subaru Owner Technical Assistance who told me that the dealer had entered the problem with the Eyesight and electronics was caused by the placement of the electronic toll transponder. I explained the correct dealer diagnosis should be “I don’t know” but they said that wasn’t what the dealer put on his diagnosis, they would document my problem and let them know if it happened again.

Well last week it happened again. This time I was driving on a secondary road at about 45 miles per hour and the same thing happened. The same wild 4th of July display the same Eyesight and cruise control. The same light show with brake warning flashing and check engine and all the icons illuminated. This time I called Subaru Owner Assistance from the side of the road immediately after calling the dealer and making an appointment for the next morning to bring the car in. Subaru Owner contact center was very nice and offered to send me a $100 gift card for my trouble. I told them that was very nice, but a solution to the problem was what I really wanted. They told me to contact them after I brought the car to the dealer.

So I brought the car to the dealer early the next morning. All the lights were still illuminated except the brake warning light was no longer illuminated or flashing. The service writer at the dealer said I’ve never seen some of these light I don’t even know what they are. The dealer called me at 3 PM and told me the car was all set. When I got to the dealer I was told that the problem that caused all the lights etc. to illuminate was that the oil was so dirty that it blocked the oil lines/passages and caused the variable valve timing to malfunction and illuminate the Check Engine light which was designed by Subaru to cause all the warning lights to illuminate and the Eyesight system to shut down. This was caused by me not changing the oil at 5,000 mile intervals (the dealer stated 5,000 miles, Subaru’s recommended change interval is 6,000 miles between oil changes) but waiting to 7,500 miles. I was amazed by the stupidity of the explanation. The car has 15,000 miles on it the engine oil was changed at 7,500 miles with Mobil 1 Long Life (guaranteed 15,000 mile change interval) and the oil, which was changed again at the dealer on this visit, was not even dirty when I brought it in. The oil level is checked frequently and I never let it get down more than a ½ quart.

I looked at the service writer that was giving me the car back and she was looking sort of sheepish. I said to her that this was the most asinine explanation that I ever heard and it made no sense. I called Subaru Owner Assistance and spoke to the same person I had spoken with the day before and all he could say after blurting out “I have my car at 185,000 miles and I always run over the change recommendation and it runs just fine” was we will put this in your file and let me know if it happens again.

So my rhetorical question is: Does Subaru now make vehicles that are so super sensitive that waiting an extra 1,500 miles to do an oil change can cause catastrophic failures or are they looking for any excuse to put the blame on the owner to prevent a Lemon Law suit? The Eyesight failing is obviously a safety issue and deserves to be dealt with that way.

I have been a Subaru advocate for over a decade almost 2, but now I find myself seriously considering getting rid of what I perceive as a problem vehicle since Subaru appears to have disowned responsibility for design/programming failures. The most disturbing thing about this is Subaru and the dealer both trying to push the problem back as being caused by the owner when it is obviously a design/programming flaw.

I can understand why the J D Powers ratings are falling and will be sure to express my feelings in upcoming surveys I receive.

Thanks for listening. If you have a moment to comment I’d appreciate knowing your thoughts.

Oh yes one last thing, just for reference, in the ownership time of my 4 previous Outbacks I had a grand total of one warranty claim for an alternator that failed at 55,000 miles.

Michael
1-18-2016


John,

Heard your piece on the Union VEBA on WWJ today.

It's still not too late!  Please suggest that the big three also dump their Union retiree pensions to the UAW.  I was convinced this would happen in the current round of talks, and that the UAW would emerge as one of the country's biggest insurance companies.

FWIW, I am a GM salaried retiree whose pension was sent to Prudential a few years ago.  I'm pretty happy with that.

Keith
Why doesn't Cadillac name their vehicles using both alphanumeric and by name? For example, XTS and Deville? CT6 and Elmiraj? They get the best of both worlds and the market will decide which system works. Maybe in USA Elmiraj would resonate and in Europe the CT6 would resonate.

Robert Montgomery
1-18-2016


With all the car “hacking” going on, do you think that there will be consumer backlash to not wanting all this tech in upcoming vehicles? We have gone from some cars with all controls on a touch screen to many of those function being buttons and knobs again.  

Love the show
Shawn Priest
Shawn,

It’s too late. There already are multiple ways to remotely hack into cars, such as through the remote key fob, the tire pressure sensors, or the Bluetooth connection. You probably have to go back before 2007 to find cars that can’t be hacked. Many consumers don’t like the new technology, but that hasn’t stopped them from buying. Car sales in the US are running strong.
1-18-2016


I've seen some online chatter on the return of the Blazer to the US market. Said to be a performance model to help fill in the SUV gap and compete with Grand Cherokee. I was wondering if there was any truth to this? It seems GM has been moving to fill in some SUV and CUV gaps in their line up and this could be a easy addition since it is on the Canyon/Colorado platform.

I hope it's true. I often say that a Cadillac version of the Trailblazer would make sense. Cadillac needs the Escalade SUV, lambda base CUV, Trailblazer-like SUV, SRX CUV, and Traxx CUV to complete it's line up on the truck side. The Blazer would be the start that could end with the first V series SUV (think street hawk Grand Cherokee) when it gets to a Cadillac version.   
 
Thanks for your time
Gm Wolf
A Blazer for Chevrolet sure would make sense, especially since Ford is considering bringing back the Bronco. And we would hope Cadillac would get a version reminiscent of the GMC Typhoon from the early 1990’s, which had blistering performance for the day.
1-18-2016


What is up with the design of the liftgate on the new 2015 Lincoln MKC.  By putting the liftgate seems on the sides of the vehicle just look terrible.  The large liftgate gaps just jump right out.  I can’t stop looking at the gaps whenever I see the vehicle on a TV commercial  or in person.  It’s much easier to “hide” the seems in the liftgate design if the designers keep them on the back of the vehicle.  To me this isn’t going to help Lincoln gain any customer base in the luxury market….

Eric
1-18-2016


Hello John, your story started out about 99 dollar a month GMC Terrains, led to the conclusion we are in “Leasing Price War”.  This strikes me as truth as the manufactures with record build numbers need to scramble for share in the mature leasing environment.  The part I found deceiving is the manufacturing person you quoted as saying we don’t control the marketing dealers do.  Rebates, enhanced residuals, last days of month rebates to hit numbers, monthly bogeys to hit at dealer level to earn cash back to be profitable after selling many vehicles below cost.  And now GM encouraging dealers to dip below GMS to sell more rides.  Under GMS, we are not in Kanas anymore TOTO.  Prior GM would pull dealers right to sell to GM employees if under GMS favors were given. 
 
Moral hazard, monkey business, all about short term profits.  I have watched the lease cycle eat our lunch before.  This time with national lease penetration at 27 plus percent of new car sales (unprecedented and climbing)  hold on to your hat, the end is near. 
 
Your acceptance of the insiders “we don’t control dealer marketing” is either naive or bad reporting,  You have been around on the inside too long to be that gullible so I assume it was just a fluffy segment for the sheep to ruminate. When the next debacle occurs put the blame where it belongs, on the factory.  The dealers are just part of the flock. Baaaaaa

Ralph
Hey, just because I report what the automakers say does not mean I believe or agree with them.
1-18-2016


I was wondering how many diecast cars you have in your collection. I see the cars in the background of your show change continuously about how many cars do you have in your collection thank you. Love your show
Adrian
Adrian,

Thanks for your question. We have dozens of die cast models, some have not even come out of the boxes!
Hi John,

It's a terrible shame that those three classics were stolen this weekend from various parking lots. Especially the one belonging to the founder of Papa John's pizza. That one is simply heart wrenching because of what he went through to finally recover that car a few short years ago. :(

It's a good reminder though that regardless of how easy people may think it's getting for thieves to steal (or just gain control of) these new, connected automobiles with tons of gadgetry, the ones you really need to worry about are the low-tech, old-school rides. With those cars, anybody with a coat hanger could steal your car. But the technology packed into today's cars makes theft possible only to those with a higher degree of skill.

Regards,
MJB
This is why on Autoline Daily we said they should treat these guys like horse thieves. Find the nearest tree and hang them!
1-18-2016


I always view and enjoy the AUTOLINE SHOW.
John does a fantastic job. So knowledgeable, friendly,
and engaging.  I feel like I'm sitting with him and his
guests in the living room having a nice conversation.
 
Reason for writing;
Just saw the show with David Strickland as guest.
He is knowledgeable, articulate, and well spoken.
Hard to believe he worked for the FEDS. Most of them
are incompetent assholes.
 
Anyhow, I don't know how to contact Mr. Strickland so
please pass on my compliments to him.
 
And JOHN, I look forward to seeing you every Saturday here in North Hollywood, CA.
 
Jim Lynde
Jim,

Thanks for the kind words, and next time I see David Strickland, I’ll tell him you give him a gold star!

McElroy
1-18-2016


John and Sean,
 
Can you think of anything we can do to encourage car companies to correct the sorry state of New Car Owner’s Manuals?
 
I remember when they were a wealth of information on how to use the features of your car and how to perform simple maintenance.
 
Now, they are thick books full of silly “lawyer disclaimers” and “consumer rights and responsibilities,” (in English, French, and Spanish).
 
When Daylight Saving Time arrived, I checked the manual to see how to set my car’s clock.  The Index said nothing, so I looked under “Infotainment.”  They showed three or four different radios, none of which matched my car’s, and absolutely no mention of how to adjust the clock.
 
Just as I was about to give up, I noticed a “clock” button among the jumble on my car's radio!
 
This is a special frustration to me since I am a retired school teacher who spent 35 years trying to convince kids to “Read the Directions.”  I’m not sure what I’d tell them now!
 
Let's bring back manuals that help the owners!
 
Al DeGennaro
Al, we’ve been complaining about owners’ manuals for years but it all fell on deaf ears. You’re right about today’s manuals, which are typically well over 300 pages and are virtually useless. They are so full of disclaimers there simply isn’t enough room to print anything valuable!
1-18-2016


Hi John,
I really enjoy After Hours. 
In a recent edition, you mentioned that you were at a showing by (I think) Hyundai. They told you that they install chassis components to help in crash tests like the ones Ford puts in their crew cabs. Hyundai said they put them in both sides and that some manufactures only install them in one side. Did they tell you who puts them in one side? If so, who is it? 
By the way, I have an F350 Super Cab, the one that did poorly. Nice truck. We just returned from a trip with our 5th wheel from San Diego to Maine and back. 9260 miles, 47 days.
Keep up the great programs.
Charles
Charles,

Hyundai did not say which automakers do not put in the structure on the right hand side for small overlap crash tests.

BTW, thanks for sending the picture of your truck. Nice rig!
Hi... I have wanted a Volt since I first heard that they were working on one, and this new one sounds really GREAT!! We have also had two Honda hybrids, a Civic and an Insight which were really efficient and practical cars; and they made us true “believers’'... Not to be negative, now, but based on our past experience with GM products, I am very hesitant to get serious about a Volt although I really think it looks like it can be a winner... Do you know of any other companies that are planning similar products in the future?? I honestly wish them well, but I am afraid that there is at least two generations of us who have been “screwed” by buying GM products, let alone the loss on trading our GM cars prematurely just to get rid of them when they fell apart or spent too much time in the shop... Frankly, it will be a while before we will ever risk our money on a GM, but we will see if the Volt turns out differently... Again, will any other (i.e. non-domestic) car company be coming out with at car similar to the Volt any time soon??

Thanks, Tom
1-18-2016


Regarding infotainment on This Week... These bugs are the price paid for immediate ubiquity.

Apple, for example, requires USB to corral OEM partners into fewer bugs and faster speeds... also it charges the device, and most phones, including appl's still don't support wireless charging.
 
Part of the issue is that the engineering standards for cars (temp/vibration mainly, also volume/model) easily double or triple life-cycles... and automakers want or need what amounts to a cell phone built into a car... They want your data like Facebook wants your data, and simply pairing the user's phone doesn't share anything back to the OEM.

What is a cell phone? Arguably it's just an LTE sim... which enables internet data and therefore VOIP/Traffic/Media, but the aforementioned life-cycles dictates the UI will never be as quality as phones... so we're seeing a phenomena now where they try everything all at once... I.E. every aftermarket head-unit which comes with a CD player, Bluetooth, USB, AM/FM, and AUX jack...

It's unlikely phonemakers and carmakers will all agree on standards for data, charging, security, etc... so it may get esoteric before carmakers finally build a shallow wall and standardize software for themselves, allowing internet-based services to sweep the market with HTML5 or perhaps downloadable OS platform that works seamlessly the way websites or modern OSX Windows10 do both computer/mobile/(cars).

Noah
1-18-2016


Hi John, 
 
What do you make of the claims made in this clip
 
Michael J. Brown 
Basically, this report is accurate. The big fuel economy gains will not come from moving someone out of a Corolla into a Prius. It will come from improving the fuel efficiency of pick-ups and SUVs. Assuming someone drives 12,000 miles a year, if you move a pickup from 15 mpgs to 20 mpgs, you’ll save 200 gallons of gasoline a year. If you move a subcompact car from 30 mpgs to 50 mpgs, it will save 160 gallons of fuel a year. So the bigger impact comes from improving the least efficient vehicles.
1-18-2016


John,
It would be interesting to hear the OEM's views on the mid cycle review from the Traverse City meetings.

It would seem that with the ARB firmly set in their direction, the Chinese supportive of electrification, the potential by Tesla, battery price declines, and the clearly demonstrated progress made in LA air quality that the OEM'S should maybe argue for a relaxation of the rate of improvement, and not a fundamental change in the target.

I could see the case for more Credits for phevs with over 40 mile range....and some kind of incentives for multi standard 150kW+ dcfc infrastructure.

What is your view?

Dave Tuttle
Dave,

My view is that CARB ought to get out of the business of choosing technology and simply set an overall CO2 reduction target for automakers and their supply chain to meet. And then let them meet that target anyway they see fit, not just by measuring it at the tail pipe. CARBs ZEV credit scheme is Exhibit A for government over reach with costly, byzantine regulations.

Moreover, emission regulations should be based on a lifecycle, cradle to cradle basis, not tailpipe emissions. Tailpipe measures can be misleading, i.e., they ignore electricity that comes from coal, and hydrogen made with a substantial CO2 footprint.

John McElroy
12-22-2015


In 2007 you had a show that showed GM had developed a product that would eliminate the need to ever need auto body shops to fix fender benders. Whatever happened to that process? Is the show still on your website?
Yes, that show with former GM executive Alan Taub is still on our website.
 
He is no longer with the company and GM has not talked about its use of “smart materials” since then.
12-22-2015


AAH #297 - How Do You Stop a Rocket Ship?

John & Crew.... Check this out...
 
Brembo is even installing their brakes on these toy AUTOMOBLOX cars now. BTW.... These are of the highest quality and can be passed down for generations.
 
speedracer2007 - Tony Gauntner
 
PS....brilliant product placement... educate the kids when they're young.
Anthony,

Thanks for sending this info. Obviously Dan Sandberg from Brembo was excited to talk about this on After Hours.
12-22-2015


John, are you keeping up with Acura developments?

It’s been 12 months since the TLX entered the market, and absolute silence on when to and what to expect with the 2016 version

Mike Accavitti suddenly quits as head of Acura  

Honda announces the 2016 Accord WITH Apple Carplay and a bunch of other technical wonders.

Two rhetorical questions: Are we seeing the end of Acura? And Is Honda the new Acura??
 
Joe in San Antonio
Joe,

This is not the end of Acura, not by a long stretch. Acura sales are growing twice as fast as the rest of the market and it’s picking up market share. But you point out some key issues that they obviously need to rectify.
12-22-2015


Catching up after vacation I just watched the 7/17 AAH.  About the F-150 inventory, any idea about its makeup? I recently saw ads in my local paper for NEW 2014's.  Could the inventory be inflated by a bunch of leftovers that buyers are shunning while they wait for Ford to sort out production of the current model?



Rupasaurus
Ford built up inventory of the old trucks to tide it over until the new aluminum one was in full production. All automakers do this. So yes, the inventory numbers include both old and new. No one but Ford has the hard numbers on how much there are of each.
12-22-2015


I enjoy watching “Autoline” and have for years.  I drive a Ford C-Max and have read about Ford working on a hybrid F-150.  Do you have more info on this as if they are I am very intested in purchasing one in the coming years.
 
Thank you,
Francis
Some industry insiders say it is inevitable that pickups will have some sort of electrification. But GM tried selling a hybrid pickup some years ago and it was a sales dud.

We haven’t heard anything about a hybrid F-150. If anything is coming it would more likely be around 2020, when the fuel economy standards for trucks really get more stringent.
12-22-2015


I love Autoline's great info, guests and discussions but you could throw in a hot chick on occasion, ya know?
 
Is this story correct? Chrysler will buy back 300,000 RAM trucks?
 
Is part of the same action in which a $105 million fine was levied on Chrysler by NHTSA?
 
This story really made me appreciate my old Ford!
 
Keep up the good work!
 
Greg Helton
FCA says there are 200,000 Rams that it could repurchase.

And yes, this is part of the $105 million fine.

Sorry to say we don’t have a hot chick on camera.
12-22-2015


When doing body work on my Magnette, also a unibody, I found that multiple panels were blended to appear seamless with lead fill where the body panels came together with spot welds.  So, what appears to be a single draw, is really multiple panels welded and filled.
Ah, for the “good old days” of lead brazing.
12-22-2015


John the Mark never went away. It just got lettered to MKS, MKZ, MKC and so on. It's just how Cadillac got there lettered alphabet. CTS was the Catera, STS was the Seville, DTS was the DeVille. The one that confused me was the XLR was the Eldorado. So it should have been the ETS. When the Mark IX comes out it will be changed to MK9 I'll bet you. Think about it John!

OZ
You could be right, but….

I bet they keep the Continental name when it comes out, not MKS.

And all Ford’s internal documents call the car I referred to as the Mark IX.

Think about it. They could be getting rid of all those letters that no one has ever figured out.
12-22-2015


The Volt forum is lit up discussing whether or not the Gen 2 Volt will have a Universal Garage Remote, aka HomeLink.  A forum member said that John McElroy has confirmed with Chevy that it will have garage door functionality.  However, all other sources have said they have removed it from the new Volt.  I have been inside a couple 2016 Volts and see no buttons for this feature. 
 
Can you go back to your Chevy rep and ask them to be more specific?  If the 2016 has a Universal Garage Remote, then where is it?  We know it was in the 2011-2015 Volt and Chevy has said no features have been removed from Gen 2, however, I think this is one they pulled out.  Which btw, makes absolutely no sense since most of these cars are charged in garages.
 
Appreciate whatever you can find out.
 
Joe – Sterling, VA
Joe,

You’re right. Chevrolet did confirm to Autoline that HomeLink will be in the 2016 Volt. Keep in mind that you, and everyone else, has only seen a pre-production prototype of the Volt. No doubt the final production version will have HomeLink.

John McElroy
12-22-2015


Say John,



I remember reading somewhere that Ford is considering renaming the European Ranger as such and bringing it over the pond. Is this true? And if so, any guess as to why the name change? I would personally love to see that happen as we'd have more options in the segment now only occupied by the Canyon and Colorado in the domestic front for that segment of truck :)...



Best,

Elyas
We think there is zero chance of the Ford Ranger being imported to the U.S. market. It would incur a 25% import tax and that would kill it right on the spot.
12-22-2015


Hi John,
 
I'm sure you're already familiar with this vehicle, but would you agree that it was something of a pre-cursor to the modern day minivan?

Mike
Mike,

I am familiar with the Stout Scarab. Not only have I seen several of them, I even got a chance to drive one!

In shape and size it was definitely a precursor to the minivan.

McElroy
12-22-2015


I was in Pittsburgh, PA visiting relatives a couple weeks ago. I found this business called Autoline Collision Center while traveling through Creighton, PA. Creighton is about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. I have attached pictures of their signs.
 
Gary Ripper
 
Long time viewer and listener from when Autoline was on the Speed Channel.
Gary,

Thanks for the pics! (And for your long time viewership!)

John McElroy
12-22-2015


John McElroy:

ATW #1919 - 50 Ways To Control Autonomy
 
Yes, autonomous cars may soon supplant human driven ones.  On the other hand, I remember predictions decades ago of flying cars freeing commuters from the congestion of road travel.  Nobody seemed worried about how drivers who couldn't manage on roads would ever be able to fly huge numbers of machines through the air without roads, lanes, right-of-way laws, etc.
 
Your guests presented no vision of a future world in which all motorized road travel would be done in autonomous vehicles, but described the current state of the art.  They answered most of your questions in terms of mixing driven and autonomous cars. That's impossible.  Automated cars will automatically and necessarily develop their own driving parameters, which will not match the current, human ones.  The two types of driving cannot mix.
 
At one point, the conversation turned to licensing of drivers in an age of automated cars.  Are they serious?  If the car does all the driving, no one will need a license.  Parents will send their 10 year olds to the store for them, and let the car drive.  If Mom feels ill, she will simply tell the car to take the kids to school.
 
Mention was made of determining guilt in highway incidents.  Was it the driver or the car?  You can't have two different driving paradigms co-existing at the same time in the same place and be able to determine blame.  With totally autonomous cars the answer must always be that the car did it.   
 
Regarding adding more and more electronic "driver aids," the more you do for me the less I'll do for myself.  Drivers will not monitor their semi-autonomous cars' behavior.  It goes against human nature.
 
In the main, autonomous cars seem like a huge cash cow that is being promoted as a great advance in road safety.  The easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to increase road safety is finally to begin teaching drivers to drive!
 
My life's work has been understanding driving. My website has been up for about a year.  You are cordially invited.  I really believe you'll find it very interesting.
 
Best regards,
Kenneth L. Zuber, Director
Kenneth,

Thanks for your feedback. We generally agree with your viewpoints, except for the one which postulates that autonomous cars and human-driven ones cannot co-exist. Google has already racked up +1 million autonomous test miles on real roads with driven cars. Automakers and automotive suppliers have also had their fully and semi-autonomous cars on the road with not much of a problem. Google is also developing new algorithms that will allow its autonomous cars to behave more like human-driven ones.

John McElroy
12-11-2015


Hi John, 
 
In the most recent Autoline After Hours, you mentioned that the Silverado outsold the F-series because Ford also includes the sales numbers of its heavy trucks (that have no Chevrolet equivalent).
 
June 2015 US Sales
Chevrolet Silverado C/K Pickup: 51,546
 
Ford F-series: 55,171
Ford Heavy trucks: 966
 
Out of curiosity, what do you think those 966 Heavy Trucks are? Could it be the F650 and F750? 
 
Thanks,
 
A.M. Guerrero
Metro Manila Philippines
A.M.,

I think you’re right that the 966 refers to the F-650 and F-750.

We use Ward’s sales figures and while they don’t break out all the individual trucks in the F-Series, they show Heavy Duty sales of 966.

John McElroy
12-11-2015


I was a little disappointed that no one ask about the excessive oil consumption. Consumer Reports just scolded a few manufacturers including Subaru about this. Having used Subaru for company vehicles I know this to be true and their engines have low tolerance for over due oil changes. Heck if it were Chevy the media would be shouting Vega. But still a good show. Thanks

Don
12-11-2015


John:
 
Great show about Subaru. I think that Subaru has done an amazing marketing job capturing customers from many of the now deceased brands that had small dedicated customer bases. In particular Saab comes to mind as a group of dedicated owners that preferred non-traditional vehicles. In addition they have attracted a base of younger enthusiasts with the WRX and STI at prices that are reasonable for the capability offered. Their dedication to all wheel drive has made them the vehicle of choice in most of the major snow belt states as well as major winter tourist areas. I spend a fair amount of time in the Lake Tahoe area in the winter and I think every second car is a Subaru.
 
I love all your shows and appreciate the up to date info about the industry that you provide. Keep up the good work.
 
Michael  a/k/a Wine Geek
Michael,

Thanks for your feedback and kind words! Much appreciated.

John McElroy
12-11-2015


Hello,
 
Subaru's President and COO, Tom Doll, is probably not investing in a new factory because of worries that sales may nosedive if quality doesn't improve given how Subaru rank near the bottom of JD Powers listing of cars' initial quality.
 
Mike Ma @ San Francisco, CA
JD Power’s IQS has never been a good predictor of how cars will sell. IQS is just one measure of how good a car is.
10-23-2015


In an Autoline Daily video it was said that the Silverado outsold the F-150 in June 2015, however it did not. The Ford F-series sold 55,175, while the Silverado sold 51,548.

It's also important to note that Chevy is heavily incentivising Silverado's, while the F-150 is having the highest transaction prices per truck in history, so Ford is not incentivising them.
 
Carl
Carl,

You’re right that total F-Series sales topped the Silverado. However, “F-Series” is a broad label that Ford uses on more than the F-150 and 250 and 350. It’s also used on the 450, 650 and 750, which are substantially different heavy-duty trucks. The Silverado does not have any comparable models. So if you do an apple-to-apples comparison of light duty versus light duty, the Chevy Silverado was the best selling pickup in the US market last month.

John McElroy
10-23-2015


Mr. McElroy,
Thank you for shining a light on the sobering truth behind the new car sales numbers in the US.
 
With the labor participation rate at 1970’s levels, one must ask the hard question: If people don’t have full-time jobs, how do they buy automobiles? The answer lately increasingly seems to be by utilizing 72- or 84-month loans, leases and subprime loans. Those are not signs of a healthy and growing economy, nor an industry that can count on long-term success.
 
Our space needs less rah-rah cheerleading and more truth. Production capacity is up, unjustifiably so. Carmakers are going to once again slash jobs and close plants a la 2008-9. As the wise Yogi Berra once remarked, “It’s deva vu all over again,” and the industry has learned nothing it seems.
 
Sir, if you ever have the inclination, I’d like to see an article from you that reveals the ludicrous market cap of Tesla versus, for example, GM. How can a money-losing operation like Tesla be worth 65% of GM?
 
Best regards,
Doug Stringer
 
PS I also have to remark that Harry Wilson’s Money Grab is a beautiful strike at the heart of corporate greed. So many members of boards of directors are looking for bonuses based on rising stock prices. Well, it’s easy to raise your stock price by borrowing money at these artificially low interest rates and buying company shares. The grim reaper cometh. When interest rates go up, the obligations originally taken on will be nigh unto impossible to pay back.
10-23-2015


Hello John and Company:

I was reading someone's (everyone's) review on the Lincoln Mkc and the assessment was it was a good attempt but it still too much of an Escape. Now my issue with that thought was, the interior is obviously different, the exterior is different enough (it is a 2 box cuv) and the wheelbase and length was altered. The styling wasn't questioned especially with the clamshell hatch, so what is so inherently Ford. Now Porsche gives you a spiced up Audi and calls it a Macan and everyone falls all over themselves, Should Lincoln just lower an Mkc (Mercedes Gla) and drop the Mustangs 310 Hp 2.3 Ecoboost and just pretend it's not an suv? Different standards. 

Thanks for listening to my rants and as always, love the show. 
MIKE from Philly.
10-23-2015


McElroy-san 



I am surprised I haven't seen you mention anything about this yet. 
Come to think of it, I haven't really seen anything in the US media about it at all, but it is big news on this side of the Pacific. 



Stu 

An Ohio Yankee in the Land of the Rising Sun
Stu,

The US media has actually reported on this quite extensively. Autoline has not.

It has always been our policy to report on industry news, not the personal problems of individuals within the industry. There have been embarrassing episodes of domestic violence, drunk driving arrests, divorces, etc. involving senior executives which we have not covered. What people do in their line of work is fair game, what they do in their private lives is where we draw the line.

John McElroy
10-23-2015


John:
 
It appears that Peter D was right all along. After seeing some of your recent reports on Sergio wanting to Merge, and with GM of all things, does not make any sense. I have read several articles by your old buddy David Welch, and it looks like there is serious trouble ahead for FCA. Is it time for Sergio to pack his parachute and go by the way of Dan Akerson, Bob Nardelli?

Who would you put in charge? Ralph Gilles & Klaus Busse, the true believers or Dust off Bob Lutz, or ??? 

I know the government and the media would not be at all sympathetic to a 3rd bankruptcy scenario for Chrysler.

Hopefully a change will be before it is too late. I can't imagine a world without a full MOPAR lineup. It seems like the timer is ticking and it's not too long before this whole thing blows up.
 
Thanks,
Bradley G
Kouts IN
10-23-2015


John,

Any insight on why Mercedes, throughout their line-up, has chosen to design their Nav/Entertainment area as if it’s a dealer add-on to the car’s interior? I saw this at the Chicago auto show this year and couldn’t believe how that stuck-on screen ruined an otherwise nice looking interior. We’re in the market to replace my wife’s car this year, and Mercedes, despite its other attributes, won’t be in the picture simply because of that poor execution of the nav/entertainment screen.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Mark B,
Waukesha, WI
I would have loved to be at the design sign-off for this car. No doubt someone asked, "And where do we put the infotainment screen for this car?" To which I'm sure the response was a slap to the forehead and a loud exasperated "Doh!"

To me this is the only logical explanation of how that screen ended up being slapped on top of the dashboard.

John McElroy
10-23-2015


Dear Autoline


Just a thought but might fca's merger talk be entirely a play in Sergio's negotiating method with the UAW. Just like john said a merger would mean a loss of jobs as jobs are consolidated. So the threat of an impending merger and the loss of jobs would be the card Sergio plays to get concessions or the UAW to back off. So could all this merger talk be Sergio's biggest bluff so far to get what he wants?



Aaron
Good point, this could definitely weigh heavily on the UAW negotiations this summer. But we still believe the main reason why Sergio is proposing a merger with GM is to slash capital investment on the part of FCA.

McElroy
10-23-2015


Wow Mr McElroy, 

I've not had the opportunity to see your program before. 
Your questions and repartee with your guest was so informative and down to earth it was refreshing to experience an informative segment about current events that was absent the market placement and propaganda instilled direction and responses that permeate this information age on corporate sponsored media today. 
Hooray for pbs and kudos to you for your choice of guests and the informative and depthful segment which I felt was directed at me,...your questions brought me a well rounded understanding of those issues and though he has moved on, I hope we can have more people like Mr Strickland in positions like administrating automotive industry problems in the style that goes for the best solution and protects both parties from unfair judgment or skewed perspective which can easily be precipitated in the inflammatory environment which surrounds many issues like those you discussed today.

Thanks again, 

James
James,

Thanks for your kind words. We believe that the automotive industry is fascinating, important and relevant and we try to give a voice to those people who are shaping the dynamic that drives it forward.

Best,
John McElroy
10-23-2015


Dear John, 
I heard your commentary today on the growing popularity of the small crossover segment. You mentioned that most of the big players were involved, but specifically mentioned that Toyota was not. It is surprising to me that Toyota is the one that defined this segment with the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe 12 years ago!! But now, they have left it to the others!! I have never yet talked to a Vibe owner that didn’t really love their car. My wife has her second one currently. I wonder why Toyota is missing the boat?? Anyway, I enjoy your  commentaries every day at 6:53AM, and call to complain when you get pre-empted for no good reason!!    
Rex
Rex,

I’m sure Toyota is seriously looking into this. But a Vibe or Matrix type design would not fit what today’s buyers want. They aren’t looking for a hatchback car, but rather something that looks more like a mini SUV.

John McElroy
10-23-2015


Hi John,
 
Sergio Marchionne is confusing by not taking advantage of the resources he has with Ferrari as they have a lot of the things that Marchionne wants like gear boxes, composite materials technology and hybrid technology; the reason why GM CEO Mary Barra said no to a merger with FCA is that there's nothing to be gained (GM may be forced to buy back more of it's stock to prevent FCA from attempting a hostile takeover).
 
Mike Ma @ San Francisco, CA
10-9-2015


John,



Just test drove a Model S ..... wow !  Watch out Audi, BMW, Mercedes ... and it was only a 'regular' RWD, S 85. Next generation batteries with 400 miles will kill 'conventional' luxury cars. That is just based on performance, luxury, and value. Factor in environment and geopolitics and the old guard won't stand a chance. No wonder they are finally getting on the electric band wagon!



Regards, Tim Beaumont
10-9-2015


John, 
 
How can so much time and money be spent on making cars "SAFER?" When at the same time car companies are building and promoting these 600 and 700 horsepower rockets ships legal on the street. How about showing what happens when a 600 hp Cadillac going 150 mph broadsides a minivan with a family. All of the electronic gadgets and air pillows won't save those lives.  
 
Mark
10-9-2015


John,
I saw your broadcast of “Today’s Retailing” and while interesting, little mention was made of the customer experience in purchasing a car.  You did mention the time spent but it is the quality or lack of quality time spent buying a vehicle.  I have heard so many stories of people who loathe the experience because of the lack of respect, the condescension, the attack of the prey, and leaving the dealership completely defeated.  Yet, unfortunately, this is the model of the sales person.  A good customer experience just might affect the bottom line positively.
 
As a retired GM employee, I didn’t have to go through the sales combat because I have been eligible for the retiree discount without any other incentives.  Most of the prior buying experience was honest, to the point and under one hour.  I am close to the end of my 2 year lease (mistake!) and am looking at vehicles to purchase.  I visited my local dealer only to be subject to three hours of intimidation, coercion, and mistreatment by the salesman and his manager, even after I was completely candid about my visit that day.  I was there only to see price options and not to buy or drive.  I felt completely overwhelmed and crushed after three hours.  I mentioned my past experiences and how they were handled, but that went ignored as did my repeated request to only get a couple of prices. 
 
I no longer want anything to do with any kind of GM vehicle or the company in any fashion.  Although that pains me and maybe it is in my best interest to move on, I know I am one of many who have this experience.
 
Perhaps this management will change in the future?  A good strategy might include honesty and respect.
 
Thank you for your time in reading my, and others, concerns about the retail experience.
 
Mary
10-9-2015


I wouldn't want to see dealers go away.



I think they have good service departments. My ford dealer is trying to stay competitive with everything service related although the wait can be a pain.



But if someone figures out a way to cut them out, Katy bar the door. It seems like a race to the bottom with everything.



These arguments about manufacturers going belly up and dealers there for you as we'll as community supporters are maybe worth mentioning but will have little impact come decision time.



What bothers me is we are getting to a space so sophisticated, we will price many out of the market if we're not careful.



Mike R

Texas
10-9-2015


John, after thinking this over I throw my support to franchise dealers over company owned stores.  Reason:  I bought my first American car 15 years ago.  I was very unhappy with my dealer, to the extent I thought I would never buy another American car.  I switched dealers and since then my wife and I have purchased 3 brand new and 1 used vehicle of the same make.  The difference: the dealer.  I wonder what a corp. store would have done for me?  Service is #1 and it's what separates them.  If the company owns them all, what would the difference be?
 


Thank you,

Amado
10-9-2015


H vs EV: Well you can split h2o with Ti catalyst at 40% with CSP.... that's better than 20% of PV solar, but then you only get 40% efficiency in a fuel cell or ICE, vs 80% of electric motor... which the fuel cell also has to do, so it's 0.4*0.4*0.8 = 12.8% efficiency for hydrogen versus 0.2*0.8 = 32% efficiency for electric... and infrastructure costs are similar both on the CSP/PV side and the "fuel-fill station" side. End weight is similar, and end cost is similar. Both have closer to zero emissions.



While gasoline was originally matured by Ford (person) as a waste product from Rockefeller's refining of kerosene we know from various, say market pressures, it's maxing out; in the future maxing of these h and e fuels, we're looking at hydrogen being 5 times more dense than gas in a couple ways, versus electrons having basically ZERO weight or volume. New spark ev for example has 100kw charging capability, which means "100mph charges" to use Tesla's stupid nomenclature.

Noah
10-9-2015


John, wasn’t it about 100 years ago that drivers wore glasses or goggles somewhat similar to the Mini AR glasses? What goes around comes (back) around.
10-9-2015


I just finished watching “A Gas that’s Gas”. Hydrogen is not the answer for the automobile in the foreseeable future. Today 95% of all hydrogen made in the United States is made by burning natural gas. Natural gas is our cleanest burning fossil fuel, but still has a carbon foot print. The process of burning natural gas to make hydrogen is only 80% efficient. Next you have to compress it to 5000 to 7000 psi to get enough into a storage tank that can fit into a car to give some reasonable driving range. That takes an additional 10% to 12% of energy. So you have lost 30% to 32% of the energy you originally had and you polluted the atmosphere, but you get to say your hydrogen car is zero emissions!

Just think what will happen when the first hydrogen fuel car catches fire? Someone in the news media will run the film of the Hindenburg going up in flames and that will kill all sales of hydrogen cars in the eyes of the general public.

Can a hydrogen car ever explode? In a fire there is a safety device on the tank to bleed off hydrogen so it should not explode. But the escaping hydrogen will feed the fire. It may be impossible to put the fire out until the all the hydrogen is used up. When you have millions of hydrogen cars on the road they are going to get into accidents, will the safety device work every time? The storage tank is made to be several times stronger than it needs to be, but in a horrific accident will it always survive? Can a terrorist use a hydrogen vehicle as a car bomb?

The only way I can see hydrogen becoming a viable form of energy for a car is if we come up with a much more efficient way of making hydrogen. It would take a Manhattan style project and I do not see the funding for that happening any time soon. If we were making so much solar energy that we could not use it all during the day, then you could use that extra capacity to make hydrogen. But I do not see solar farms popping up all over the place, so that is not going be the case any time soon.

George
10-9-2015


Hi John, 
 
Long time viewer and occasional forum commenter here (MJB). 
 
I've enjoyed your show and the content it provides for years now.  
 
As an entrepreneur myself (though still currently working a 9to5 while moonlighting at night), I must say that I truly admire what you have accomplished with the entire Autoline 'empire' you have spearheaded.  You're clearly a well respected expert in your field.  I don't even know the half of what it has taken for you to have arrived where you are today.  Perhaps one day I'll have a chance to have a sit-down with you, if only for a brief few moments, and get some of that back-story.  We're in each other's backyards after all (I work in Farmington Hills).
 
Until then, I'd just like to offer my sincere admiration for the great job you're doing with Autoline. You are an inspiration! 
 
Oh, and Sean is doing a pretty good job too! Good job keeping it all in the family. 
 
Best Regards, 
Michael J. Brown
Michael,

Thanks for the kind words! I have a great team that makes me look good.

John
10-9-2015


Hi John,
 
I enjoyed the discussion of AAH's discussion of BMW losing 250-300 lbs in their next 7-series by integrating a composite core; but the fact that Cadillac's CT6 has a curb weight of under 3,700 lbs without moving to composites says the Cadillac is designed better (although Cadillac's CT6 with AWD and 400hp twin-turbo V6 might tip the scales at about 4,000 lbs).
 
Mike Ma @ San Francisco, CA
10-2-2015

 
I've been waiting for the new small SUV from Honda to come out called the HR-V (a.k.a. Urban).  Man was I disappointed when I saw the window sticker.  The factory sticker on the new HR-V had an MSRP as $22,800 but the dealer had tacked on their own sticker to it that raised the price to $28,600.  Car dealers in recent times have been upset because they are called "dealers" but here's a good example of why that term fits.  I would love to see vehicle manufacturers step in and stop the dealers from doing underhanded practices like this.  The only real fee I saw listed with the destination charge.  They added doc fees, maintenance fees...a total of $5800 of nonsense charges that got me completely out of the mood to purchase a new car.  I would love for Honda and others tackle this issue.  Dealers indeed...

Mitchell
10-2-2015

 
Dear John,
 
I enjoy your show regularly, but I've always wondered about something. Are those toy vehicles displayed on the shelves at the rear of your set? I am fascinated with toy vehicles, especially construction vehicles and several of those are definitely federal yellow, the universal color of construction.

Thank You,
Michael Young
Michael,

Yes, those are toy vehicles that have been provided to us by the car companies over the years. We actually have more than we can display and like to rotate them in and out over time.

Best,
John McElroy

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