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11-24-2014

When I bought my Hyundai 3 years ago, I said "give me the stripped-down model", because I could see their infotainment system was already behind the curve and a waste of money. And I tested a lot of cars. They all were clunky and out-dated tech when compared with my phone or tablet, no matter what the system.

Just give me a port and a place to dock my smart phone. Is this so hard for them to understand? Apparently, it is, as we are still getting antiquated tech and, believe it or not, we aren't even getting buttons and knobs like we should.

Why are car-makers so obtuse about these things? They can never keep up. GIVE ME A PORT!

Ken Silva
Phoenix, AZ
Ken,

You’re going to get your ports! Automakers had hoped to continue selling $2,000 infotainment systems but are finally coming to the realization that it’s ticking off car buyers like you.

The problem is that it takes about three years to develop a car. Everything has to be validated and sourced by Job One. But even before the first car rolls down the line, the consumer electronics industry is already onto the next generation.

What automakers hope to do now is give you a port and put more capability in the cloud. They still want to control any info that relates to operating the car, but turn the rest over to independent info providers.

McElroy
11-24-2014

I just watched your segment on factory installed do it all stereo systems and a brief mention of an apple and android system. I have an older truck that didn't have the blue tooth or the navigation system. I fixed this by ordering a pure android radio off of ebay. It was as easy as installing any other aftermarket stereo. It has built in Bluetooth navigation backup camera and all the bells and whistles of a modern stereo and all the features of my android phone to include ease of use. This makes it easy for everyone. If you know how to use your phone then you would have no problem using your stereo and all its features. I think if your going to do a story about the complaints of the factory installed integration that you should put a little more interest in the systems that are out there, factory or not, that work with little to no problems to give those that are watching an idea of what is working.

Chris
Chris,

Great feedback. Thanks for sending this. We can’t cover it all and it really helps when our vast viewer base chimes in with story suggestions and other information.

McElroy
11-24-2014

I agree with the comments on the program dated 11/23/14 regarding the electronic peripherals.

I purchased a 2010 Silverado 2500 HD to pull a fifth wheel trailer and one module. The On Star system failed within the first twelve months. GM has replaced the antenna and one module. I have gone through numerous diagnostic tests and downloads where I had to leave the vehicle running for at least ten minutes. The last two months the diagnostic OnStar report has advised of a problem that requires further test and downloads. In addition the CDMA system will not work in 2015. GM still will not tell me what the solution will be nor how much it will cost. I have been programming computers since 1963. I have built a home theater system that is the envy everyone who sees and hears it. I have no ‘12:00’ flashing electronics in my home. OnStar just plain stinks.

I will never subscribe to any of those interface systems again.

Harry Plath
11-24-2014

Dear John and company,

You are the greatest!!!

I would love a special on hydrogen fuel cell cars. Reviewing all the cars and Technology. Thanks for all the education on cars and the automotive industry.

Jordan Grancell
11-21-2014

Dear John, Gary & Drew,

I think Volkswagen performs poorly in the US (although I believe they do much better in Canada), for two reasons:

1) Perception of poor reliability with poor and expensive service, and

2) Watered down 'US' models, and lack of the halo performance variants available in Europe.

I loved my 1976 VW Scirroco 5 speed manual, but would think twice about buying another VW today.

Regards,
Tim Beaumont
11-21-2014

Hi! Love the Autoline shows, keep up the good work! I have a question:

When a new car model is launched, is the mid-cycle refresh content already established well in advance? Do OEM’s willingly reserve some design or technology features for this refresh so they know they still have some excitement left to inject later, or do they simply react to customer feedback after the car goes on sale?

Thanks!

Jean-François
Québec, Canada
We're glad you like the Autoline shows!

Developing a new car typically takes around three years. Including suppliers, there are probably 1,000 engineers and technical people involved. And there are thousands of parts they have to develop. Automakers don't save cool technology for a later date. Otherwise competitors will beat them to the market. But sometimes not everything can be ready for the launch date.

Once the new car is launched they will start planning immediately for its mid cycle refresh. And they will plan to do modifications, improvements, and add new technology that couldn't be incorporated in time for Job One. And they will also respond to customer feed back or other issues from the field.

John McElroy
11-21-2014

Love your shows, website, etc. Just wanted to say how much I think Gary V. is a wonderful addition to your After Hours show. Great improvement and I’ll leave it at that. Sean is really doing a nice job these days as well. He has come a long way and gets better every show he is a part of. Thanks as always for the great daily and weekly insights. Keep up the good work.

Bill Eichenberger
Thanks for the great feedback. This is what keeps us coming into work at the crack of dawn everyday.

John McElroy
11-21-2014

Regarding connected cars and security/Reliability ....

I have to ask:

What consumer benefit is there to having the airbags be anything but a stand-alone system?
What consumer benefit is there to having the multimedia be anything but a stand-alone system?
What consumer benefit is there to having the autonomy be anything but a stand-alone system?

Shouldn't these be sealed systems?

Either are engineers are making Rube Goldberg machines for giggles.... or is it just OEMs' data gathering for marketing purposes... and creating security/Reliability risks in the process?

NMR
11-21-2014

Hey John,

I was just watching Woodward Live and you mentioned your affection for half tracks. Back when I was a young man and that’s been a while. My Father bought one. The Family was in heavy construction and he purchased a WW II Studebaker half track that was outfitted with a Quickway Crane. It was a half track Truck Crane. It was cool. It was a single passenger because the right side of the cab had been modified as a cradle for the boom of the crane. I remember that the hood was amour platted steel about 1/2” thick. It was a chore to check the oil. It was hinged in the middle so it was winged, but it probably weighed 50 or 60 pounds. The really cool part was the transmission. It was a four speed, but the shift pattern was unique. Third was where fourth usually was and fourth gear was in the usual third gear location. This put the shift lever near the dash in high gear so there was more room for a passenger riding in the middle. I thought it was cool, but you can imagine my trying to figure it out the first time that I drove it. You’d shift from second to what you thought would be third to lug the engine. It was mentioned on the show that the tracks would be tearing up the street. These tracks were rubber pads, very similar to some of our heavy equipment of today. We used to drive it around just as if it were rubber tired. You never worried about getting a flat. Boy, when you think back on some of the stuff we used to do in the old days, huh? It would probably get us put in jail today, but back then it was just another day in the office. Thanks for the nostalgic moment when you mentioned “half tracks”, thought I’d share some of the trivia of yesteryear.

John Gonia
Great story. Wish I had a half track when I was a kid... or even now!

John McElroy
11-21-2014

Great web site! I especially enjoy the Autoline Daily production. Just wish I had the time to watch the Autoline Weekly and Autoline After Hours shows.

Many years ago (late 1970's) I recall reading an article, I think it was in the SAE magazine, about what happens to the "rubber" that gets worn off of tires. While shopping for tires recently, I got to thinking about this again. Did a short web search, but there doesn't seem to be much information about this issue. However, I did find this short article.

Thought this might be a good subject for a technical segment.

Also, in researching tires, I noticed that tire manufacturers are using more "natural" ingredients in their compounds. An example is the new Michelin Premier A/S that uses sunflower oil. And I've read that some tire manufacturers are using walnuts in their compounds.

Thanks,
Rick
Thanks for the link, interesting article.

John McElroy
11-21-2014

Hello Mr. McElroy,

Have you heard of these car buying services? The Car Haggler, Shawn Spiegel (thecarhaggler.com). A new “Concierge” service for people who want to buy a car but hate the dealership negotiation experience.

Not sure where he gets his deal thru? Carsdirect.com, TrueCar, Costco, etc? So far as a USAA member, which they use TrueCar, they have been unbeatable on 4 transactions in the last few years.

Have a good day,

Guy Martineau,
Tampa, FL
11-21-2014

Hi Guys,

I'm in the market to purchase a new vehicle soon and the 2015 VW Golf and the Golf GTI both are options for me at the moment. I've been checking their website regularly since the summer when the cars were released so that I could configure and build my own car so I could have an idea of what it cost me with the options I had in mind. However, VW's website is not offering an option to configure my own car but rather an option to "Find a Match." And of course none of the matches for the standard Golf or GTI is what I'm looking for. This is useless for me since I now have to decipher why one car costs more than the other and if it has all the options I want it's not in the color I want.

Well anyways I'm not looking to find a soulmate I'm just looking to buy a piece of machinery the way I want it, which apparently VW won't let me. Thankfully there are lot of other good options and good websites out there for me.

Thanks,
Rob Peters
Does this help explain VWs lackluster sales?

John McElroy
11-21-2014

Hello John,

I have been hearing rumors that Lincoln might be showing off a surprise model or redesign sometime soon, have you heard anything and don't you think Lincoln needs a flag ship vehicle just like Lexus has done with the LFA, and Acura with the new NSX, hope to hear your thoughts.

Rick Ce
Yes, Lincoln does have some sort of new model coming and they will unveil it to the media on December 2.

McElroy
11-21-2014

John,

Excellent, informative, well rounded program. I have an idea that you might pass along to your automotive contacts. It concerns the background color of today’s dashboards. I love the black backgrounds and how they look. Unfortunately as I get older I’m having trouble seeing the readouts. Could an optional white background be offered? It seems like an easy option and one that would be greatly accepted by the growing aging public. The black while looking cool, absorbs too much light. Thanks. I thought of writing to individual auto makers and then the light bulb came on and I thought of you.

John Gonia
John,

I think this is an excellent suggestion. We’ll publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website so that others in the auto industry can see it too.

McElroy
11-21-2014

John,

Technology & fuel efficiency requirements are clearly leading to higher vehicle prices while salaries remain mostly stagnant. At the same time, vehicles are getting more reliable & more repairable. These trends should lead to new vehicle purchases that are “less necessity” and “more discretionary” going forward. Would you agree that the auto industry will see more extreme boom and bust cycles in the future as a result?

A2RangerRick
Boom and bust cycles have been part of the automotive industry for over a century. I don’t think that will change, but I don’t see the cycle becoming more extreme.

McElroy
11-21-2014

Hi,

I watched the episode yesterday, and as usual it was a really good one. Very interesting information. John M., you were critical of the MT COY, but if you read how they choose their car of the year carefully, you will see that they have very specific criteria in different areas on how to choose the car. And it's not always unanimous (I look forward to watching their video discussion on COY award). I say this because your comments on why you would choose something else were very vague, as opposed to carefully considered criteria.

Sincerely,
Vittorio (LA, CA)
11-21-2014

Someone over there deserves a raise. I used to be able to skip right past all your ads in the podcast. Now, I am forced to watch them, as I don't know where they are going to pop up or how long they are going to last. My free ride is over. Yes, someone there is smarter than the average bear.

Ken S.
Phoenix, AZ
Sorry, Ken. We’re trying to make it as painless as we can!

McElroy
11-21-2014

No, no! It's not painful at all. There is no free ride. I don't expect no commercials. I'm impressed with the way you've done it.

Ken S.
11-21-2014

John,

The naming controversy gets a new chapter.

So, you remember the Acura Legend. And the Japan-based marketing executives that thought the name Legend had too much public recall because people would come ask where they could buy a Legend, rather than thinking of the brand Acura. (Seems as though this would be a good problem to have, but that was their rationale.)

Anyway, they changed Legend to RL and now the newest version is called the RLX.

However, they apparently did not have the same issue with buyers in Japan, because they never changed the name and also did not establish the Acura brand there. So, this car has been the Honda Legend in Japan all this time. And, the new version that is just coming to market will retain the name Honda Legend.

Seems to be a testament to the staying power of a good model name. Kind of like Cadillac and Lincoln not changing the names Escalade and Navigator.

GM Veteran
11-11-2014

Although there have always been engineers/inventors involved in the 125-year history of the "automobile," I have the impression that today's set of global auto manufacturers (major manufacturers & major OEM suppliers), with all the electronic chips, pollution controls, efficient transmissions, communications/entertainment, and constant upgrades to ICE engines and other modes of power, do actually employ more engineers per 100,000 vehicles than ever before.

On one show or another, I'd like to see a chart starting at 1920, coming forward in 10-year increments. Initially, we likely only have data on domestic US manufacturers.

I'd also enjoy seeing the same for sytlists/designers, as well as the number of workers per 100,000 vehicles over the same periods.

PSN
Pete,

That would make a great graphic. But none of the car companies, and I mean none of them, will give you an accurate number of the engineers they have. Same goes for the stylists. They keep those numbers close to their vest.

McElroy
11-11-2014

Cadillac needs to set their dealerships up as separate entities and improve the sales and service experience. Many dealerships in the Northeast are Buick GMC Cadillac abc the sales experience is not competitive with other luxury brands. When you go to a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus store the treatment and presentation as well as the actual purchase is as pleasant experience at the Cadillac dealership it is an adversarial transaction with the typical mass market business manager trying to screw over the customer. I looked at an ATS and would have taken it home but walked out of the business managers office and purchased a BMW 3 series down the street for more money.

Michael Gelven
11-11-2014

Hi John,

Yesterday I listened to the most recent episode of After Hours (#265 – Taking a S.W.O.T. at NASCAR) where you said you think that Chevrolet should axe the SS and Caprice due to very low sales.

Is this just glib talk or really what you think they should do?

While yes, the sales are quite low, these cars do serve their market niches seemingly well.

Looking at it from a business perspective I really do not see the justification for killing off these models prematurely. Most of the development was done by Holden in Australia, and then Chevy had to do the work to badge engineer them (slightly changed body styling), and certify them for the US market (emissions and safety). The effort to bring them from down under to the American market was probably not huge, but it's an investment which has already been done.

Now that they have vehicles in the field, there has to be some fixed cost to supporting customer vehicles (dealer training, parts stocked in distribution centers, etc) and the incremental cost for each car, I can imagine, would not be that huge.

I don't think these models will net Chevy a lot of profit, but I really don't see the case to kill them off before they'd typically be retired (I think the Holden equivalent will go the way of the dodo after MY2016)

In my industry (data center network switching), I have only really seen products killed before First Customer Shipped, and it seems to be mainly because even if you have a dog of a product, there will be a trickle of sales, and even if you ship just one unit, you're on the hook to support it.

Of course there are nuances to every industry, so I am betting there is something I am just not seeing--but what could it be?

As always your insight to the auto industry is appreciated.

Kevin from California
Look, I love the SS and would proudly own one. But it's the second worst selling car in GM's lineup, second only to the Cadillac ELR, which is a total sales dud. I'm sure Chevy is losing money on every SS it sells. Now, if these paltry sales are helping Holden, then maybe it makes sense from a corporate standpoint. But the new GM can't afford to continue to make the mistakes of the old GM, i.e., selling cars at a loss.

McElroy
11-11-2014

Hi John,

Now that there are electric compressors that do not have the leaking seals on the pulley shafts, the concern for what type of fluid should no longer be a concern and the most efficient fluid can now be used as in our refrigerators.

Has this topic been discussed and will the government allow it the switch as I do not know if the existing rules cover all refrigeration units?

Watch all the shows even the extra time on AAH.

Al
Al,

Hi this is Sean McElroy from Autoline. I saw your comment about air conditioning refrigerant and thought I could give some insight. While you're right that electric compressors have reduced the amount of refrigerant that will leak out around the pulley shaft, you have to remember that it's impossible to completely eliminate leaks in an a/c system. It will leak through the seals and over time every vehicle will lose its charge. Also, not every vehicle has adopted electric compressors, so the concern for refrigerant type is still there. We also have to keep in mind that accidents will happen. The a/c condenser is mounted even in front of the radiator, so in a front end accident it's most likely to get punctured and the refrigerant can be exhausted into the atmosphere that way. Again, causing concern for the type of refrigerant we use. I think there will always be a need for a refrigerant that's the least impactful on our environment and as a secondary factor that's also efficient. Thanks for being a faithful viewer and please feel free to write back with any additional questions or comments.

Cheers,
Sean McElroy, Associate Producer and ASE Certified Tech.
11-11-2014

Hello Autoline team,

Hey guys I saw you did a video for the Elio motor company in May of 2013 and was wondering if there was any new news to report on, I know you all get information to your viewers at a great speed and I love that, but I wasn't sure if you just decided not to report on it or if the information just wasn't out there for you all to report on. Hope to hear from you all soon.

Thanks for making great videos everyday for us viewers,
Skylar Peters
From what I could find in an article written a few days ago, Elio is waiting on an $185 million federal loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program, so it can stick to its under $7,000 price tag. As you may remember that's the same program that gave out money to the likes of Fisker and since some of those companies have gone belly-up the program hasn't given out any money in 3 years. Elio has put in an application to get the loan and is has currently made it through the first of three rounds to obtain it. The company is now targeting to come out with the vehicle in 3rd or 4th quarter of 2015. Here's a link to the article that I found.

McElroy
11-11-2014

Had to laugh at John when he said nobody drives (a Ferrari) at top speed. My friends and I have driven EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE WE HAVE EVER OWNED SINCE AGE 16 AT ITS TOP SPEED. That goes for rentals, too.

When researching states to live in 10 years ago, my first call was to the DMV to ask about registering a component car. When the police chief drove by my open garage, he stopped to check out my car and asked in quiet tones, "How fast have you had it up to?" I leaned in and asked, "Within (state)?" "Uh huh." "152MPH." His eyes got big and I said, "Don't worry, it was outside the city limits."

I laugh at 30-something automobile journalists who complain of rough riding empty HD3500 diesel pick ups (Autoblog podcast) and spend most of their time yammering about $3,000 infotainment systems that have a half life of six months.

A 72 year old retired JD Powers exec and Acura dealer principal stopped me on the sidewalk of my little town yesterday to compliment me on driving a manual transmission car that's been modified for speed. He drives a Mustang GT 5 speed.

My buddies and I are all over 55 years of age. We've learned that age and professional decorum/attire helps tremendously with confusing young cops into handing out verbal warnings on the rare occasions we do get pulled over.

Car guys are still out there. Look harder and get on the gas, John! (I can mail you the secret location of a dead straight 8 mile two lane highway with no cross roads that dead ends at a natural gas producing facility. Nobody works on Sundays and there are only 6 deputies covering the 7,000 square miles surrounding it. Do I know how to pick a place to live or what?)

Keep up the great work.

Sam Spade
All I can say is: Awesome! It truly is safe to drive fast as long as you use common sense and pick the right place at the right time.

BTW, I’d love to see that map!

John McElroy
11-11-2014

Sorry John,

But the gasoline price in 1990 was around $1.16/gal, which was up from about $1.00/gal of the late 80s. $1.60 would have been abhorrent as is $3.00 now. Fortunately, the price is declining toward that 'fair value' closer to the 1990 price equivalent which will hopefully keep inflation low.

r-work
11-11-2014

John,

Found the story of Man U players snubbing free Camaros and Corvettes interesting. I agree, you would think they would want to at least sample them out of curiosity.

It reminded me of another sponsorship snub that took place here on our shores. Not long after Buick signed Tiger Woods as a spokesman, they presented him with a customized Regal GS, complete with carbon fiber trim pieces and other non-catalog enhancements. He politely said thank you and then gave it to his Mom! He continued driving his 911. The Buick executives were surprised and not at all pleased. I don't know what made them think a single guy in his late twenties would want to drive a Buick. Perhaps they should have reviewed their own demographic data before scheduling the press conference.

GM Veteran
11-11-2014

I am sure that the Achates motor is well thought out and might get some traction. However, why do you think that it is not just another "going to change the automotive industry" idea that in the end will just be ignored by the industry? It seems that these types of ideas come along every so often. Wasn't the rotary supposed to kill off the typical motor of the day?

Chuck Genrich
The rotary never lived up to its hype, and cost more to manufacture. The Achates motor, if it hits all its targets and is truly a lower cost motor, will have a much better shot at getting into mass production.

McElroy
11-11-2014

I'd like to see the two retired CA college professors (in their 70s and 80s) who sought parts and spent 30 years restoring a wrecked 1954 Ferrari 375MM Spider convertible. Along the way they sold used Ferraris, restored and sold other cars, and spent more than $1 million on the restoration. The car is one of only 14 ever made -- 2 of which are known to have been destroyed. The car is for sale, but the boys refused to accept $8.5 million.

PSN
11-4-2014

So nice to see Peter De Lorenzo. He was a perfect guy to have on this panel. I miss hearing his take on things. I hope he turns up from time to time.

I do read The Auto Extremist regularly. And that's the high octane truth for today!

Gavin Smith
11-4-2014

I stopped reading Consumer Reports back in the 90s when they rated the Chevy S10 Blazer as poor quality and the GMC Jimmy as good. They were the same truck built on he same line with a different grille for Pete’s sake!

Alimonytony
11-4-2014

John:

I could not have been more excited to see you got the "Band" back together. There is a certain chemistry between Jason, Yourself and Peter D. It was most enjoyable to watch. I am waiting for a reunion tour.

Thanks,
Bradley G.
11-4-2014

I would first like to say glad to see Peter D is still allowed in the studio. I miss hearing his commentary on Autoline After Hours. I'd really like to see him come back on there more frequently, maybe once a month. I don't mean to take anything away from Gary, what a great person, but Peter's perspective and uninhibited opinions are something else.

Interesting interview this week with Jason Vines. I'm surprised by his rankings of executives he has worked with and his overwhelming commitment to Jacques Nasser given what Jacques did to Ford during his tenure. The only thing about that time I agreed with was PAG. Had Ford allowed PAG to operate the way VW allows some of its divisions to operate maybe it would have worked.

Unfortunately due to other decisions Ford had to sell off PAG to fund the Way Forward and One Ford strategies. Otherwise Ford might have been the first of the Big Three to file bankruptcy.

Patrick Dean
11-4-2014

Dear Mr. McElroy,

I love the Autoline site and watch it each day for the latest news. I live in Los Angeles and was wondering if there were any volunteer opportunities to work with Autoline during the upcoming LA Auto Show. I am an impassioned automotive enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge about the industry.

Thank you for considering my attached resume. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,
Donald Lee
Donald,

Thanks for your interest in helping the Autoline crew at the LA show and we genuinely appreciate your offer. We get these requests frequently and while we wish we could invite all our fans to come join us, we are unable to comply since the auto show organizers are quite strict as to whom they allow into the show for the media days. And this is true for all the auto shows, not just the one in LA. We even get supplier executives and other notables asking us to help them get media credentials, but we have to politely turn them down, too.

Sincerely,
John McElroy
10-31-2014

Autoline,

Your comments regarding Consumer Reports reliability rating not relating to sales only indicates that many people buy based on emotion rather than facts.

We rely on Consumer Reports data regarding reliability, but then combine that with IIHS crash data to narrow our vehicle purchase choices.

We may not purchase the vehicle that we think has the best looks, but we use safety, reliability, and then comfort in driving as our metrics for purchase.

We have also always ordered all our vehicles since we have yet to find one on a lot that had everything we wanted in a vehicle.

Thanks for the great show and for providing unbiased information.

Thanks,
ppgnho
You’re right, most car purchases have to do with instant gratification. Congratulations on being one of the most rational car buyers I’ve ever come across!

Best,
John McElroy
10-31-2014

Wanted to correct you John - Caterham is named for a village in Surrey, not pronounced "Catter-ham" but "Cater-um". I guess a moot point now as sadly it's pronounced "de-funct"!

Chris Orchard
10-31-2014

Sure miss Peter. I can see where his pull no punches style might be bad for business but miss it just the same.

Michelle Krebs- I know she's been on lately but it had been awhile. Something about her I really like and hope she will be regular at least maybe once a month.

Cafe Standards- I heard someone report the average transaction price to be around 20 grand. Is there any chance automakers are about to price themselves out of business?

Are the masses going to pay for all this innovation being forced upon us?

Maybe the average trade in will go to 15 or even 20 years.

I just couldn't stomach buying a new truck so I got a 2004 F150 that was a really nice 1 owner trade in. Sounds like the new Chevy/GMC smaller trucks might have been a possibility though.

I'll be looking for a replacement for my wife's Kia Sorrento in a couple years.

I enjoy all your programs by podcast.

Oh yeah, miss Peter.

All the best from Texas
Mike Rodgers
10-29-2014

Hi John,

I disagree with you on CR's report, although I do not agree with many of their articles.

The majority of new car buying decisions are made by women and often are based on how it looks or the color.

The inconvenience and cost of repairs means more to me than styling. I expect and enjoy driving a car for years with only planned maintenance. I believe in this modern age having things go wrong is so 20th Century.

My favorite brands are Toyota and Honda and I think total global sales speaks volumes. All you have to do is look at values of 5 or 10 year old cars to see a trend. The public is not stupid.

Love your work.

Alan in Oregon
10-29-2014

I've just stumbled upon Autoline, and I’m glad that I did! The discussion was factual, insightful, and very engaging. Your guests were obviously expert in their field and unafraid to discuss technology and engineering at an advanced level. I will be watching for the next episode on WGVU, our local PBS affiliate.

Keep up the good work.

Dan Moran
Muskegon, MI
Dan,

We’re glad you like the show. If you can think of anyone else who might appreciate it, please let them know.

Best,
John McElroy
10-22-2014

John,

Michigan Gov. Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Law. This has only strengthened my desire to purchase from Tesla. Disgusting bully behaviour on the part of existing auto manufacturers and dealers. They must be really afraid, especially with solid state batteries looming on the horizon to address lingering range concerns.

Regards,
Tim Beaumont
10-22-2014

John,

I would not be a fan of Lexan windows in my car. What if the window had to be broken in an emergency to retrieve the person(s) inside? If the car was in an accident and the doors would not open and on fire, that would be a serious problem. Also in water often times the doors are very difficult to get open. I will take safety glass, thank you.

Hugh in E TN
10-22-2014

John,

The car manufacturers may be on to something with LEXAN car windows. LEXAN was used for the Apollo spacesuit "bubble helmets" used on the moon. The plastic is supposed to be tough when it comes to breakage. You mentioned there may be a noise suppression problem using it, so it will be very interesting to see what will come of it for cars.

Don Bronn
10-22-2014

Dear Mr. McElroy,

I'm a 61 year-old "car guy", and a fan of your show. I learned to drive at 15 years of age, in a Peugeot 404 station wagon with a 4-speed manual, on a dirt track that my parents allowed me to cut-into our small field. When I turned 16, obtaining my driver's license was "job 1"! My understanding of (and ability to repair) a car's mechanical and electrical systems became a source of pride, fun, friendships and income opportunities. To this day, I celebrate the automotive aesthetic, even though I rarely get greasy anymore.

My 17 year-old son - on the other hand - still does not have his license. His world revolves around a hyper-competitive academic environment and numerous extra-curriculars, The Computer and The Internet....MineCraft, League Of Legends, etc., etc. Visits with friends are mostly "virtual," with Skype providing the rendezvous. When an actual physical gathering does take place, it's most likely in an Ann Arbor basement, around a game of Dungeons & Dragons - not under a shade tree, pulling an engine out of an old Toyota.

To sum-up, my son is largely ambivalent about cars: they are little-more than "transportation appliances" for him and most of his friends that do drive.

John, you've touched upon this issue in some of the Autoline episodes I've watched, but I think this topic deserves further exploration. There are many factors at play here, and I have my own opinions as to the myriad of causes and potential industry responses. But while paying lip-service to this trend, it's my sense that the Automobile Industry (unfortunately) largely has "their heads in the sand"...at their own peril.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for producing a great program.

Andrew Morrill
Andrew,

Thanks for sending this in. You’re right, we probably need to do a show on this. Let me start thinking about how.

John McElroy
10-22-2014

Marchionne & His 5-Year Plan. If marketed/advertised correctly 2016 could be a big year for the Indianapolis 500 as it will be the real Centennial Anniversary as the 100th Running of the Race. If my memory/history is accurate the only and failed attempted by Ferrari or Fiat at Indianapolis was in 1953. I'm theorizing here and thinking aloud so bear with me and allow a bit of wiggle room...

What if Marchionne attempts to replicate Henry Ford II aka "Hank the Deuce" and goes old school pulling a 1,2,3 finish at Indy in 2016 similar to Ford at LeMans in 1966.

I think doing it under Fiat brand/image would be more advantageous than Ferrari as it could use the triumph to market a new luxury line of Fiat's to compete with Merc/BMW/Audi/Lexus/Cadillac. That is if they actually have the team and platforms or cash/financing to acquire a brand with the bones/structure for a competitive luxury line-up.

As for Chrysler.... "Stick a Fork in It" Everything the brand has ever stood for post-1945 does not comply with the Global Platform Strategy now in place by Ford/GM. There is simply no other way to be competitive as a BIG BRAND therefore Chrysler's brand identity and value can be compared to Linoleum both figuratively and literally.

Edit: Upon further research Maserati won the 1939 and 1940 Indianapolis 500 with Wilbur Shaw at the wheel. Maserati would be a good fit as well. This might be the reason the brand has went "radio silent" over the past 12-24 months???

Feel free to paraphrase and use amongst peers or on the show. Also for the record I'm 28 years old, and like to think I'm biggest car-nut under 30. I say that jokingly but to the same point, I've never met anyone my age who is half as interested, and I mean genuinely interested in "almost anything" and everything automotive related.

Thanks and as always I thoroughly enjoy the show.

Ryan Spear
10-22-2014

John,

Why is the state government mandating dealer Documentation fees? Isn't this best left to the buyer and the dealer as part of the negotiation? Is this a gift to the dealers by taking the DOC fee's out of their hands so they can say it's the law while they take your money.

Mike
10-22-2014

Love your show, but... the show on retail/wholesale not so much. You let the shill for the dealers/franchise system dominate the discussion, constantly spinning. I know your show doesn't like a lot of debate, but I think a counter point was needed.

Barry Beck
10-22-2014

John McElroy...

It remains to be seen what happens to the new aluminum Ford F-150. The truck looked great on the channel 7 news hour the other night. They had an AIRSTREAM travel trailer hooked up to it, but how will it handle and how well will it handle with a package that is bigger; say a 5th wheel?

Forty years ago this Airstream was the mode of transportation/travel; it was top of the line, high-end. Nowadays the 5th wheels are more numerous and getting much larger and have expanded sides for a bigger living area, and they are heavier.

There is a saying among the boys that pull these monster trailers... "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch"

Again, it remains to be seen how well it is received by these truck drivers.

Sincerely,
John I. Pyke
10-22-2014

Forget the midsize pickup. We weekend DIY'ers want a small pickup. It should be car-based. I'd accept a Fiat Strada, Holden or Ford Falcon Ute. Think El Camino, Ranchero, or even Subaru Brat. It should be good for daily commute and an occasional trip to Home Depot a few times a year, and fit in the garage. We don't want or need a truck, just a car with the back cut off. Why can't we get one?

Avlisk
Phoenix, AZ
10-16-2014

John,

I think the anti - Tesla legislation, prohibiting direct sales of Tesla cars will be counter productive. The public will not take long to realize this is ultimately a restrictive trade practice to impede competition from a superior product.

Rather the dealer organization with foresight will be approaching Tesla about franchise opportunities, the possibility of which was suggested by Elon Musk. As much as one may dislike a franchise system, perhaps there is no other better alternative for the mass market.

Regards,
Tim Beaumont
10-16-2014

Hi John, being a Brit ex-pat, I still love “right hand drive” and enjoy driving over there when I visit. That’s what we always called it – i.e. the driver “drives” on the right side of the vehicle, nothing to do with the drivetrain. We always used to refer to those weird foreign cars as “left hookers!"

Keep up the good work,
Rgds. Chris
10-16-2014

Hey John,

If the dealer franchise system is so good, why do they need the FORCE of government to prevent Musk from doing it his way?

Vincent A. Joy
As I understand it, it’s not the force of government, it’s the force of law. Franchise protection laws have been around for a very long time. They were enacted to prevent abuses by unscrupulous franchisers. To sidestep these laws, Tesla is appealing to state legislatures to create an exemption for it. And since the franchise laws differ in every state, Tesla has to seek exemptions from all fifty of them.

McElroy
10-16-2014

Nicole was fabulous. So nice to have an attractive woman doing the show all week VS John (no offense John) or other men. Love your shows. Keep up the good work.

Many thanks,

Bill Eichenberger
Automotive enthusiast extreme
Dang! Maybe I should consider dyeing my hair.

McElroy
10-16-2014

John,

Just viewed your lightweighting show on Autoline This Week, and it was a great show. One of your guests mentioned that Honda has not embraced the use of advanced adhesives in their manufacturing processes. So the obvious question is why not?

Joe Pastor
Apparently, Honda’s engineers in Japan do not have much experience in using structural adhesives. Some of them think that using adhesives is not as strong or safe as welding. And since Honda’s existing welding techniques work fine, their attitude is “why change?”

But they will change. Honda is getting a lot of experience using structural adhesives to make the Honda Jet. Also, the upcoming Acura NSX will likely use a lot of adhesives since it will be using different types of materials in its construction.

McElroy
10-16-2014

John, just wanted to say your guest host, Nicole Geverink, did an excellent job this week on the Daily show. See you next week!

Amado Arceo
Saginaw, MI
10-16-2014

Tesla P85D. Sold.

Goodbye Audi, Lexus, Volvo, Cadillac, BMW.

Looking to buy myself something nice to supplement my current 14 year old cars, a 2001 Audi allroad and 2001 Toyota Highlander.

Great show,
Tim Beaumont
10-16-2014

John,

I love the idea of the Hydraulic Hybrid system, but where is it? To date I have seen only 1 UPS truck with "Hydraulic Hybrid" printed on it.

HelicopterJay
They may be slow in coming, but in the meantime check out the website www.lightninghybrids.com



McElroy
10-16-2014

Hello,

I am an avid listener and find your show extremely interesting.

I have just started business school and although I am a physician I have decided to do my marketing term paper on the auto industry.

My project is to look at a specific company. Diagnose their problem and come up with a solution and marketing plan.

I could choose Cadillac but I feel they have great product and will be fine with consistent quality cars and marketing.

I instead chose Lincoln as my company. I feel that they have a long way to go to be relevant.

My question is do you have any suggested resources outside of Google that would help me find data on this brand? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Dill
Dill,

I sure do have a suggestion! Do a “Lincoln” search on the Autoline website. And be on the lookout for the AAH and ATW results that come up. You’ll see interviews we’ve done with some of the top executives, designers and engineers at Lincoln.

McElroy
10-16-2014

John,

It is interesting that so many of the vehicle recalls (especially domestic OEMs) are for model years when there was such an emphasis on cost cutting. But nobody seems to have made the connection or chooses not to mention it. There is a level of cost for most items that one truly can’t drop below for the long haul. If you do, it will someday come back and bite you in the wallet. Vehicle systems and components fit into this category.

RML B-ham
Richard,

Wow, now that you mention it, this seems perfectly obvious. Thanks for pointing it out.

McElroy
10-8-2014

Love the Paris Show Coverage! I want to congratulate all of you for coming up with the idea of making each interview into a separate segment. This is sooo much better than scrolling through everything to pick out the segments that are of interest to me. Good work.

Thanks,
Gavin
10-8-2014

Forget the midsize pickup. We weekend DIY'ers want a small pickup. It should be car-based. I'd accept a Fiat Strada, Holden or Ford Falcon Ute. Think El Camino, Ranchero, or even Subaru Brat. It should be good for daily commute and an occasional trip to Home Depot a few times a year, and fit in the garage. We don't want or need a truck, just a car with the back cut off. Why can't we get one?

Avlisk
Phoenix, AZ

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autolinedetroit.tv