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I love Daily but it's getting to be almost a joke that you guys will run 
any random video package you get that features some pie-in-the-sky 
autonomous/electric concept vehicle some intern with a video rendering 
program threw together.  None of these products will even make it to the 
planning stage let alone production and seeing them on a respected show 
like Autoline Daily is an embarrassment.

I was on interstate 81 on the way back from Texas to New Jersey and saw a car transport truck. It had a load of SUV'S that had a logo that looked like a Holden or Vauxhall logo, and on the door "Acadia". 
Unfortunately I did not think quick enough to see which side the steering wheel was on. So with factories closed in Australia, GM is making Holdens here and shipping them overseas. 
Checking the Holden website,  there is a new Acadia model due to arrive soon. Just like the Holden badges people were putting on their Pontiac G8s we will see them on GMC Acadias here.
Don B. 

Thanks for sharing this. We weren’t aware that GM was making Acadia’s in the US and shipping them to Australia. Looks like the Equinox gets the same treatment.

John McElroy

I am watching your show on autonomous vehicles and every time I hear about how great this will be,  but I don’t hear anything about who or what is driving this market.  Show me the studies that show that the general consumer,  not the handicapped, the site impaired, or the special needs,  is asking for this technology?  BTW,  all of these groups are great reasons to develop this technology.  However,  if I want to go to the store,  am I going to hail a rideshare to take me to the Meijer’s and back?  I don’t want to wait.  At the same time,  I would not want to trust the programming of an autonomous vehicle.  From a programming standpoint,  as a technologist that has supported the most mature operating system in the world,  the IBM MVS/z/OS operating system,  I have put thousands of fixes on these systems.   How is WAYMO or any other autonomous vehicle company going to assure that that this software has no bugs.  Tesla has already made this clear that no software is bugless.
I agree with Lindsey that I will never give up the driving experience.  The author said that 80% of crashes are user error.  Autonomous vehicles will not affect that until all vehicles are autonomous.


Thanks for your letter. We very much appreciate hearing from our viewers. We’ll publish this in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it, too.

John McElroy

Golly, Gee Willikers, what is happening with low sales of Bolts, not even going to match last years production.
Now what could possibly be the cause of such a catastrophe. Hint: Rhymes with Model T.

Little Bob

I just watched your episode on auto technology

Jada Smith was the most honest and interesting guests you have had on the show. How refreshing to hear an auto exec say i guess i don't understand your question. 
I could listen to her speak on technology for hours.

Hello Gentlemen,

Thanks for Autoline!

About cruise controls:

Does anyone else find Ford cruise control interfaces hard to use without taking one's eyes off the road?  The newer F150 and the older MKS I've driven have a set of buttons on the steering wheel.  But how do you find the right buttons without looking?
(Otherwise, I consider Ford products to be very good.)

By contrast, the GM cruise control (at least, in a Grand Prix) is a stalk on the column designed for feel: push-in the end button to activate, lever upward to set, then up again to increase or down to decrease, all while keeping eyes on the road.

About horns:

For cars in general, I prefer the horn controls from the 1980's: small buttons mounted in the steering wheel spokes, activated by thumb.  They allowed easy, precision control, from a tap to a blast.

Nowadays, with the steering wheel's center (airbag) pad as a huge horn button, I have to punch it with my palm to get any honk, and then it usually blasts.  Producing a polite horn tap is difficult.

Thank you.
Upper Minnesota

Having just watched a portion of your program this morning I had to comment on this. I am leasing a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica that has the top of the line radio with an 8” screen. It has all of the apps already loaded in it but not the software. They want me to pay an additional $600 for the software to activate the GPS. If they have any hopes of me purchasing a Chrysler product next time, they had better change that. This is such a sore spot with me, even though I have been driving their products since before 1980, I will look elsewhere if this is still being done. The technology is there to connect my cell phone to the system so that I could view it on the 8” screen and hear the directions through the car speakers. And the maps on the cell phone are updated without me doing anything. The cell phone, apps and all, didn’t cost near as much as that high tech radio.
By the way, I’m older than the Millennial and the Baby Boomers. Some of us older folks still admire the modern Technology.
I just recently received a survey request from Chrysler having to do with the seating in future Pacifica’s and when they learned my age they thanked me and signed off. I haul people in it every day. I have used it many times for carrying large items requiring the folding of the seats. I think my opinion should matter to them. I will probably still buy a few more cars before I die. I have many relatives who lived to be 90 and 100. I’m only 74. One year too old to be a Boomer.
Jack Baker

Hi John,
First and foremost, I want to thank you for putting on a great AAH episode with Bob Lutz the other day.  I had called in with a question for Bob, but unfortunately, there was not enough time for you to get to it on the program.  However, I think you may still be able to answer this same question, which I have expanded upon a bit in this email.
I’m currently a Sophmore at Bentley University in Waltham Massachusetts, and as you might expect, I have an enormous passion for the automotive industry.  Ever since I started watching Autoline’s programming in December of 2012, I have certainly learned a lot about the business. I’m hoping to make a career out of this passion once I graduate in three years and am currently looking at majoring in management and, through the advice of my career counselor, am considering a concentration in supply chain management.
However, after doing some research on, I discovered that there are very limited opportunities for career advancement in that field.  With this in mind, I’m wondering if this information is also applicable to the automotive industry, or if the nuances of the business allow for further career advancement into high-level positions (possibly even upper management) within an automotive OEM?  I’ve also looked at product management as another potential option and saw that the opportunity for career advancement is much higher in that field, although there are admittedly some aspects of that line of work which I may not be suited for.
I hope that you can answer this question and if not, I hope that you can possibly point me to someone who can.
All the best,

Supply chain management is a critically important skill to have in the auto industry, especially because today’s industry is so global. It plays a major role in the Purchasing Department at every OEM and supplier. The VP’s of Purchasing have enormous influence in these corporations. They are involved in every aspect of the business and wield enormous budgets. GM’s VP of Purchasing, for example has a budget of over $100 billion.

If you’re good at this and want to pursue a career in the auto industry you’ll have no problem finding a job in a career with a lot of upside potential.

John McElroy

I retired from the Calif. Hwy Patrol after 31 years.  I think a show or portion of your show on OEM installed cameras would be an excellent topic on accident reconstruction, liability and court usage for tickets.  Can’t understand why there is not an option to purchase these cameras with a recording capability currently.
You have a GREAT show!!
Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll look into it.

John McElroy
Good Day:
My name is Benjamin,I live in Vancouver Canada and have been a follower of your show for quite some years now.
I know many people are excited and talking about the increased interest in electric vehicle and stuff.
There are still many areas where compact ,efficient internal combustion engine are still needed.Examples are in drones, power generators etc.
I have developed a multifuel engine which looks similar to the wankel rotary engine, but with some design and mechanical differences.Some areas are in compression ratio,and power delivery. These series of engines have compression ratio greater than 50,and can be lowered to run on low CR fuels as well.The other area is in terms of power delivery;These engines don't have the gears and the eccentric shaft of the Wankel, as a result , the rotor rotates at shaft speed. The rotor fires three times for every shaft rotation instead of once for every shaft rotation as in Mazda rotary engine.I Have some prototypes to show,so it not just a paper concept.
Since you guys are into automotive, engine etc. I was wondering if there is a way to arrange for an interview with you guys.
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.

Please send us more information, with pictures and video, please.

John McElroy

I believe that most, if not all, auto enthusiasts know that EVs offer very quick acceleration. Does the average driver actually care that EV car x is 1.2 seconds 0-60 quicker than EV car y? I think that it is just another marketing item. You might consider dropping that info from your presentations.
I have seen at least one auto add showing a heads-up display (though they do not mention it). With the increased use of full and semi-autonomous vehicles I would like to see more HU displays showing speed and expected route of the vehicle. It would help to know that the car's expected path matches what I think it should be.

Does the average driver care if a car is 1.2 seconds quicker 0-60 mph? No. They have no idea what those numbers mean. But if you put them in that faster car, they will feel it instantly. They will know that when merging onto a busy highway, accelerating across a busy road, or having to pass a slow vehicle on a two-lane road, the faster car feels safer and makes the feel more confident.

John McElroy

I think a lot of Bob.. but where does he get so much of his misinformation?
Tesla has the installed in south Australia (ON Schedule for once) the largest grid storage system in the world.. the control system is a competitive advantage.
They are supply limited for power walls.
The Tesla semi prototypes are running around the country giving demonstration drives as well as hauling loads from the gigafactory to Fremont.
I’ve talked to a key manager from peterbilt.. they are so far behind in battery technology.. “they are an integrator”.   They have to buy their battery pack, software, motors, ADAS system.  Meanwhile Tesla will have a cost, performance, and durability advantage and will offer a 1Million mile Powertrain warranty.    Trucking is looking at costs and if Tesla can deliver a meaningful lower TCO then what loyalty will they have?   I don’t buy it that a freightliner will be so biased to freighliner. 
They are not “equally capable” competitors.
No mention of the gen2 roadster which can smoke the new mid engine corvette
I just don’t think he really understands batteries, power electronics, motors, control systems.
He does have a few good points about Elon.  Elon needs to get through the stupid situation that he has created.   It might be the rapper girlfriend named Grimes that is a bad influence.  All the bad behavior seems to be since he started dating Grimes.  



On the Autoline This Week program, I-CAR stated that the repair of a KIA K900 front end crash was $34,000. Why so much? Is this a cause for concern for potential buyers?
Barry Rector
The Kia K900 costs so much to repair because of all the sensors packaged in the front end and due to the cost of replacing extremely expensive LED headlamps.

Most buyers are completely unaware of the repair costs on any car.

John McElroy

Hi John, 
I'm an avid viewer of your show, Autoline After Hours, from New Delhi, India. I recently read your Tesla review for Wards Auto and my question regarding that is: 

- Is Tesla's infotainment system really the best in the industry? I mean, I'm sure you've driven the latest German cars, so in your opinion, the Tesla set-up is better than BMW's iDrive, Audi's MMI and Mercedes' MBUX system?
If yes, then why is it that more auto journalists don't talk about this?! I mean, I never even paid much attention to this cuz it was never mentioned in most comparison tests! 
Keep up the great work and I hope you do more live streams! 
Surya Solanki
Auto journalists don’t talk about this because most of them have never test driven a Tesla, which does not make its cars available to most of the automotive media for test drives.

John McElroy

Thanks for the reply! Very interesting! I never thought about this aspect! 

LOVED today's AAH show with Bob Lutz!

Surya Solanki

Bob Lutz still has some great insights - "profitless prosperity" - the chronic illness car companies have trouble shaking off.

Tesla - we should agree Bob is a great bomb thrower, helped by a lack of homework and inconsistency about Tesla. Bob says Tesla is a great brand - built by John saying they're great cars and Henry buying one. 15 circuit boards and software is half the value of  a Model 3. Sure it can be copied, but the Tesla lead is 3 to 5 years. 

The electric architecture is reflected in its focus on sub-assembly automation. A Tesla, like most other cars, costs about $2000 to run down the general assembly line (its starts with a painted body) - the hardest thing to automate -  and as Tesla now acknowledges, not worth doing.  

Model Y should see a stunning improvement in the cost of the electrical architecture. 

Tesla Semi and Roadster will just deploy Model Y electrical architecture in niche vehicles - halo products.

Model Y and the Tesla 'truck' will be the vehicles produced in gigafactories around the world. Model Y will surely be produced in GF1 in Nevada as a proof of concept.

Peter Egan


Super show!  Bob is terrific and great sense of humor.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.


Your recent show on new-vehicle repair costs with John Van A. was outstanding. It’s a topic that interests everybody—consumer and industry people alike.
How’d you like to replace a headlamp module that combines LEDs, HID, and perhaps a radar and/or lidar sensor….tucked inside an all-aluminum front fender assembly that’s adhesively bonded to a magnesium front-end module? This will be reality for many fender-benders.
I remember a study that CSM did when I was there in the early 2000s on headlamp-module technology. We had engineers in from Mitsubishi US who brought a headlamp assembly from their Diamante near-luxo sedan. Back then the retail price at a dealer was $1500, and you couldn’t get the part anywhere but a dealer.

Watched the show today with Delphi employee
As a 3-pedal analog driver I thought the show was interesting.
I like the idea that my car could tell me if the obscured traffic light ahead was about to change but some of the other autonomous features were not something I would want. As a good example, the vehicle I now drive automatically cycles the rear wiper when the shifter passes "reverse" within a set time period of when front wiper is used.  This is incredibly annoying when front glass has dew but rear glass is dry and I am forced to hear the blades drag across unlubricated glass.
Will these new "do everything" cars have any option to customize settings or are we destined to have one designers choices crammed down our throat as we now do with smart phones?
As I have mentioned before, your show needs a "analog driver" counter-point person to ask these questions. Your show has gone too far to the side of "look what the manufacturer overlords are doing for you, be grateful", instead of a news program.
I just do not ever see a opposing question offered in response.
Byron Kauffman
Daytona Beach

I just received my Dual Motor Tesla Model 3 last Friday.
I’ve never owned an AWD car before.
The surefootedness in the rain is awesome.
It is a quick car that can put a smile on your face without tail-out white knuckles. 
I drove a friends RWD Model 3 and it was certainly  fun but I’m glad I waited for the dual motor.
I guess this must be like what a BMW iX or Audi Quattro or Mercedes 4-matic must feel like except that this driveline has far lower rotating mass so it is super responsive and has no slop. I bet dual motor will make awd a much more popular option in performance cars in the future especially in PEVs. I can see why Tesla just raised the price to $6k for AWD to help limit demand while they ramp volumes and get profitable.   All X and S come as dual motor in the base model now but I doubt Tesla should make the entry Model 3 have dual motor as standard from a cost standpoint. The attractiveness of AWD might drive up the average sales price some with a somewhat richer mix though. 
It is so smooth it is a joy to drive. The steering feel and handling I like.
They spent a lot of time thinking about how to make things functional while simple. I thought I would really want a HUD but it’s just fine and no big deal with the speedo somewhat to the right. And at night it was interesting to observe how the dash right in front of the driver has no lights.  This might actually be better since the center display is dimmed and it might reduce eye strain from adjusting to different light levels. The driver can focus on the road. The Headlights are good and bright compared to my other cars.
The premium pkg Stereo can jam pretty well. The streaming service is good. I haven’t missed Apple car play actually (which was surprising).
The nav is great since it automatically incorporates traffic info on the screen and is responsive. Very intuitive to use like an iPad.
..Now experimenting some with autopilot.
I’m still learning when to double check the Tesla app to ensure “walk away lock” has really locked the car.  
It has always unlocked fine when I grab the handle but I’m still nervous with the delay to lock when walking away. I like the card idea for valet and as a backup for the phone but I might pay $200 more for a key fob since I have to bring house keys with me anyway. Not a big deal though.  
It is tough to see how a LEAF or a Bolt EV or other PEV in this price range can compete (or even gas Luxury performance gasoline sedans) unless there is simply a strong brand loyalty/preference or lack of home charging infrastructure by the potential buyer.   
I’m lowering the max SOC to about 75 to 80% to minimize long term battery degradation but it still seems to give me about 250 miles of range every day. This is about comparable to my 328i (but the gas car only has this range right after I buy gas and not every day). 
It will be interesting to see how the Model 3 sales mixes evolve. I could see a huge number of base $35k cars sold instead of Leafs and Bolts. But I bet they can upsell a lot of folks at least some features. A good percentage of middle to slightly higher priced configurations like mine with dual motor premium package and 19” wheels. Then maybe 10%(?) performance versions with the 20” wheels.



It has been a long time since we’ve talked in person or by email…..but wanted to jot down a few comments re:  your recent article on your Tesla experience.

- As to be expected, a stunningly well written article:  easy to absorb, understand, and most clear as to your feelings and analysis.

- And yes, Tesla is light years ahead of its competition in numerous areas… the vehicle “knowing” that it is YOU approaching, getting the vehicle ready for launch, the acceleration, the personalization for audio and HVAC, the wonderful exposure of the front glass back to the B pillar… lots of good stuff.

- The challenge as you point out, for Tesla is the challenge to achieve world class quality.  And at least in my opinion, they are currently a long way away with no discernible way to achieve this required level of quality.  Certainly understandable when you think of Tesla's stunning learning curve versus the automotive pros that have doing high quality assembly for some time.
- And because of this world class quality hurdle, I frankly don’t believe that they will be able to move above their penetration into early adopters.  To me, the sweet spot of acceptance, e.g. Camry type vehicles, is populated by crowds of buyers who will be impressed with the gee-whiz nature of the design, but totally unaccepting of the “squeaks and rattles” inherent in the design today.  IMHO.

It frankly has my continuing wish that Elon Musk find a way to save face and license his great technology or even sell it outright to the correct OEM, e.g. Mercedes or Audi, who can carve out a real and sustainable, high quality vehicle that cements the stunning ideas of Musk and Tesla into a world class vehicle with world class design, ideas, and manufacturing quality.

End of soap box.  No need to answer.  But wanted to express our opinion.

Thanks again for all you do from your pulpit….a huge help to get automotive types to think differently!

Best regards,

Why did China Inc become the preferred supply chain? Is it because BlackRock, Goldman Sachs have much to do with it? Undoubtedly much. America doesn't need to be tied to the whipping post.

Trump is challenging the designed route. The financial levithan is upset. They are managing a smear campaign against Trump. A populist. Trump was a Democrat until 1987 then Reform, now GOP but really an Independent. He probably has skeletons. Who doesn't.

Building in America creates jobs. Has the multiplier by doing it in America first. GM has a sustainability problem. Trump is not going to allow GM to use China as it factory.

Stay tuned. If necessary, Trump will speak directly to the nation. This is a world struggle on par with a world war.


I just had a thought. You may be aware or not, but HENRIK FISKER will be in Detroit around November 5th for the trustbelt conference probably discussing his latest futuristic electric vehicle.
Would there be a chance to book him for an interview?? I think that would be great to see on autoline! thanks
Excellent suggestion. Thanks for the heads-up.

John McElroy

Hi John,
First I’d like to say that I have been listening to you for years on WWJ and have always enjoyed your insights into the automotive industry.  My Son-in-Law Craig Trudell covers the industry for Bloomberg as well and really enjoys his job.
I have been a Chevrolet Service Advisor in the past and have owned a Chevrolet Volt and a Nissan Leaf.  I currently own a Mitsubishi PHEV.  I enjoy electric cars and hope to get a fully electric vehicle when the lease on my Mitsubishi runs out.
Much has been said about Tesla and their network of Superchargers across the country.  This helps reduce range anxiety and allows for people to travel greater distances in their electric cars.  Unfortunately everyone else is left scrambling to keep it local or finding that level 2 charger that will propel them a little further perhaps.  I realize that GM will be expanding their electric vehicle efforts in the years to come which is a good sign for Detroit and the industry as a whole.  However, extended range charging will still be a problem from what I can see.  So, my thought was this…..  With GM’s VAST dealer network why couldn’t they put in a Level 2 charging station similar to Tesla’s at ALL of their dealerships?  If not all dealerships maybe in 100 mile intervals.  That would give them nationwide coverage and allow people to travel in GM electric vehicles all over the country!  They will need to reconfigure the on-board charging systems to accept a faster charge rate but it will be well worth it I believe.  I have not heard of anyone mentioning this and while expensive to put in place it seems like a no-brainer.  Has this ever been brought up before?  If so I must have been asleep at the wheel……HA.
Thanks for listening,

I believe all Chevrolet dealerships that sell Volts and Bolts already have Level II chargers. Nissan dealers have them for the Leaf. Other dealerships that sell EVs generally have them too.

But these days Level II is not good enough. People don’t want to park their car for 7 to 8 hours at a dealership. You want Level III chargers and they are expensive, over $50,000. But they’re starting to pop up in public places and in another five years they will be common all across the country, and in locations that are generally more convenient to get to than dealerships.

John McElroy

In the issue of Autoline Daily, Sean summarized several racing series results to include F1, Indy, and NASCAR.  This past week was the largest NHRA event at Indy yet you act like NASCAR is worthy of coverage but not NHRA.  Why the bias?  Are you too good for drag racing but are happy talking about round and round racing.  I suspect more people watch NHRA than watch F1 or Indy Car.  How about being fair in your coverage?  Love to hear from you.


Thanks for pointing this out. We have reported on NHRA races in the past and will continue to do so in the future. We just missed that one.

John McElroy

Hi John,

I know you are old and have one foot out of the industry already but you need to be corrected on the wrong info you are spewing. The United States has the most Manual Porsches than anywhere else. We are the reason Porsche brought back out the seven speed manual. Also I have owned 10 cars in my young life of 33 years old and have only owned a manual transmission equipped car. I have never had a hard time selling them because of the transmission. I understand you are agenda driven and want all cars to become autonomous but can you leave your agenda at home? Let’s try to tell the truth for once. Currently drive a Nissan 370Z manual and already have a down-payment on a Genesis G70 Sport manual. Take. Care
All my cars are manuals.

John McElroy

Hi John,
    I really appreciated the discussion of Standard Transmission decline,after my phone call,especially the comment from your guest that he is still driving a 28 year old vehicle with a stick,and your comment as to how much you also enjoy stick.
    It's so sad that no one desires this transmission anymore as I feel it keeps you more engaged with your vehicle. I am 67,learned at 15,and have been driving and enjoying stick ever since.Hence the recent purchase of another 1994 Ford Ranger with a 5 speed.
    Looking at the stat's the U.S. and Canada are the only area's where stick has declined as it's offered throughout the rest of the world. I wish I could import a new 2019 Ranger as I could not only have my standard transmission but also a diesel.
    I remain a loyal AAH and Daily viewer and just wanted to thank You and Your Guest for the wonderful conversation.
    Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day Holiday
    Dale Leonard   Cleveland,Ohio

Thanks for calling in and for sending this email. Those of us who continue to drive and enjoy a manual transmission are a vanishing breed!

John McElroy

What do your little birds tell you about GM’s Zora, rumored to be the mid-engine Corvette?
GM must begin commercial use by December 22, 2018 or lose its trademark application. It has used all available extensions of time.
Recent reports I’ve heard suggest 2019 as the introduction date, but you recently reported that it might be 2019 as a Caddy. Either way, I doubt GM would let the mark go abandoned.
They may have to do something of a gimmick to make minimal but real commercial use.
Is there a racing series GM is involved with where by December they can designate the cars as Zoras? Else, they might release a special run of 100 or so Zora edition 2019 Corvettes.
Any thoughts?
New Haven, Connecticut

Excellent detective work, bravo!

GM races Corvettes in IMSA’s GTLM category and in the WEC’s LM GTE Pro category. But it’s unlikely it would unveil the mid-engine Corvette Zora as a race car before the end of 2018. Instead, it would want to make a major media splash at or before a major auto show. How about a mega press conference the week of December 16th just a couple of weeks before the Detroit auto show?

John McElroy

I continued to be bothered by the approach to the need for high octane gas (95) and it becoming the one and only fuel as proposed.
How about this idea? Give me regular gas 87 octane WITHOUT ethanol, and let them ADD ethanol/additives at the pump to get 95? Maybe there’s a technical reason why not, I’m curious. (maybe that is the new “E-##” fuel)

I am skeptical about the real savings, besides supposed “economies of scale” that will be generously passed down to us, our whole existing fleet of 87 octane cars will see no benefit whatsoever for the 95 octane. So the “payback” from the more expensive higher octane is only going to work for the people buying a new car designed for it.

Hi John,
I was listening to last weeks After Hours this morning and there was a brief side discussion regarding how Americans and Chinese differ on autonomous vehicles. You guys were discussing it through a technology lens, and were confused as to why Americans didn't seem to embrace tech while the Chinese are. What if you consider it culturally instead? America is extremely individualistic, and driving a car is an expression of freedom and independence. In China, its kinda the other way around. You don't aspire to drive a car, you aspire to be driven in one. Hence all the long-wheelbase models for chauffeuring the owner around. Self driving cars would be a way for the masses to achieve that. Meanwhile in America, giving up control of the car gets conflated with giving up freedom (even though its mostly the freedom to make a mistake and crash).
I don't really have much to base that off of, just a guess based on what little I know of Chinese culture (and its very little).
Anyway, take care and keep the shows coming. I've been watching/listening to AAH for about 9 years now. Not quite from the very beginning, but close to it.

Great feedback. Thanks for sharing your insight. I think you’re on to something with this.

John McElroy

RE: AAH #433

Ralph Gilles was on autoline a few years ago and said Sergio wanted Penske to sign up for a long term contract but Penske only was willing to sign for a short term.  


You have an excellent memory, and I love it when our viewers remind us what our guests have said on our own show!

John McElroy

Simple question, can autonomous cars break the speed limit? On highways where doing the speed limit can almost be dangerous, will an autonomous car keep up with traffic, or stick to posted limit?
Nothing has been determined yet. But AVs will likely be regulated to obey the highway speed limit, though in some cases will be allowed to exceed the limit for passing maneuvers.

John McElroy

How does an autonomous car react to a blowout? or for that day the car will refuse to drive? I'm not ready to release all control to a car just yet....

If it’s a blowout at speed, the car’s stability control would kick in. Then it would safely pull to the side of the road and park, then send out a message to the fleet operator that it needs the tire changed.

John McElroy

Hi John,
What’s the chances that Canada doesn’t have a deal with Trump and potentially lose all of the automobile business to the United States and Mexico?
Mike @ San Francisco 

Nil. Canada will cave and give Trump what he wants. Losing its auto industry would be a massive blow to Canada.

John McElroy

where does Ford stand in Russian sales?

Through July of 2018, Ford sold 32,757 vehicles in Russia, up 14.4% from a year ago.

John McElroy

I did not see Jetta in the Elantra refresh,  I saw Chevrolet in the bulbous form of the nose.  Hyundai pulls it off though as Chevy never could.  This also follows the styling theme of the hydrogen model shown in the previous clip.  So, that's the future look apparently.


Here’s my question:
How much of the new infotainment and drivetrain technology will we see in the 2020 TLX?   Surely you can give us a small hint??
Joe Pastor/ San Antonio
PS  I’ve driven the new RDX, and it is as transformational a redesign of any Acura product I’ve ever experienced.  Well Done!

John, thanks for asking my question yesterday; just heard it on the replay.
The TLX is due for a redesign in 2020, which was the basis for my question.  In addition to adapting all the new RDX features, there’s strong rumors among TLX owners (me included) that Acura is bringing back the front double wishbone suspension they dropped for the current  TLX.   Another example of Acura pushing the “precision performance” theme in their new products; I think these guys are serious.
Lastly, I’ll be going to this year’s LA auto show because I think the 2020 TLX will be introduced at this show.
Thanks again, John…Joe

Hi John
Haven't touched base recently, but your recent comment on recycling batteries caught my eye. 
I have followed Jehu Garcia for a couple years as he takes on various projects including powering his VW bus he calls Samba, various other Cars, Skateboards, Powerwalls and more from recycled batteries. He even did power systems and took them to Peurto Rico He is not an engineer, but is a good DIY learner and freely shares his knowledge. Here is one of videos and there are many more on YouTube.


Thanks for sending, very interesting how this guy can do an EV conversion so cheaply with used batteries. But this is not recycling. This is re-use. Which is very good. But what happens to these cells after they’ve been used up in their second life? No one is doing true recycling of EV batteries.

John McElroy

OK, alternate theory time!

Looking at recent photos of the mid-engine car GM is testing, it sure looks a lot like the Cadillac Cien to me.  The body lines are very similar, especially in the back half of the car. 

Since Cadillac has been pursuing a performance image for quite awhile now with its V-series cars, and have had a number of very good years in racing recently, why not bring out a high-performance halo car.  Before he was let go, Johan de Nysschen was talking very convincingly about a halo car.  His quote was: de Nysschen previously said the vehicle will “stun the world,” and added the world “does not need another large-box conventional sedan.”

The Cien is also an option in the Gran Turismo game, a model that looks even more like the prototype below, each one sporting a rear wing.  The car companies do have input on what the Gran Turismo models look like, so maybe the Corvette rumors are little overplayed.

GM's strategy could look like this: Launch a mid-engine halo car for Cadillac with a very high performance envelope (for Cadillac).  Think normally aspirated V8.  Then follow that a year later with a higher performance mid-engine Corvette, with maybe two levels of V8 and supercharged V8 performance ala Z06 and ZR1.  

That would mean a higher level of overall production in Bowling Green to help pay off the investment they just made there.  Maybe this is why GM has not made any confirming statements about what this car is. 
This is a great letter, and would even make a good reader for Daily.

John McElroy

Hi John,

Saw you at Eyes on Design but never had the chance to say “hi”.

Loved reading the story about the first Mustang sold that is still owned by the original owner and learning about your Dad’s Mustang in Argentina.

My sister and I had the 75th Mustang ever produced. A 1965 (1964) black Mustang hard top with manual transmission.

My Dad had bought it used drive it for a while and then told us he had sold it rather than getting around to fixing it up as planned. He bought a Cougar.

Christmas Day 1976 our next door neighbors in Denver called us to come over and to just come through the garage.

As we headed over, the garage door rose and there was a glossy black restored Mustang with bows all over the windshield. We loved that car. Dad even put a glasspack muffler on the car so it sounded cool too.

Sadly, my younger brother totaled it when we were in college.

Only letter he ever wrote to us began “The good news is I am okay. The bad news is your car is not.”

Cheers to the Mustang,


Thought this article and perspective was right on! 
Thanks for being such an advocate and voice for the industry.

Hello John. I’m sure you’ve heard about achates and their opposed piston opposed cylinder engines. Their fuel economy claims are incredible. Went to their public breakfast meeting a couple months ago. It all sounds really legit. I’m anxious for more info as must be many others. Future show topic?? Mike

We've done several shows on the Achates engine, most recently in March.

But we will not do another show on this engine until we get to drive a vehicle with it installed.

John McElroy

I have heard that ON STAR is now available on non GM cars if this is true do you know where any devices can be purchased and do you know how much or is On Star the only place the devices can be purchased
                                                               Thank you for your time
There used to be an aftermarket rear view mirror called OnStar FMV that could be retrofitted to a lot of non-GM cars. But it was discontinued four years ago.

John McElroy

Hi i have new design fo engine
You will not hear about inline or v engine even Achates Power
The problem is i don't know what to do
Is the best way to get patent and what i shoud do if the patent didn't work
Can you help ,it will be revelationary
You need to build a working model to prove it works. Then you should get a patent. Then you should approach automakers or suppliers with your idea.

John McElroy

This may require a friendly investment analyst:
1) Does Tesla going private force a 'margin call' on short sellers? 
The short seller has already sold the stock borrowed from the brokerage house. But once Tesla becomes a private company, future sales are only via the in-house stock sales. The in-house stock sales can be limited to employees and possibly large investment houses and excluding brokerage firms.
2) Can going private mean some favored, non-employee, stock owners can join the private, Tesla exchange and further reduce the cost?
Elon's letter to the employees says their stocks remain unaffected by going private into a Tesla managed stock selling and buying exchange. If Tesla can identify other, existing stock holders as 'acceptable' and exclude the bad actors, the actual cost to go private should be a lot lower.
Bob Wilson

Great questions.

If Tesla goes private it will definitely force a margin call. It will also wipe out anyone who bought short options.

I think we need to know exactly how Elon wants to structure this deal before we can speculate who can or cannot buy stock or some form of ownership in the company.

John McElroy

Driver assistance features are proliferating at a rapid pace. However, there are no regulations or industry standards yet for what is a good system. This is the first comparison test that I have seen. All are high end vehicles, which makes me wonder what the capabilities are for the lower line vehicle systems being touted as major safety improvements? It’s sort of a “free for all” right now. How good are the sensors, brakes, tires, reaction time, needed input from the driver, etc? Something to research in looking at any new vehicle today. This would make a good show for Autoline After Hours.
I listen to Autoline Daily every day. Thanks and keep up the good work,

Thanks for sending the link. This could make a great topic for Autoline After Hours.

John McElroy

I’d love to see some follow up on the Mahindra Roxor.  It seems yet again Mahindra may not be as welcomed here in the states as Rick Haas stated on your show.  It appears FCA doesn’t seem to like the idea of their crates full of “Offroad Jeeps” showing up here. 
Avid Watcher


Love the show. Keep up the good work.

My question, is it possible to import a car that is not sold in the US market? Not a fancy super car, just a regular car. I really like the new Touareg but since it’s not US bound, how can I get my hands on one? 

Thanks and have a great week,

Yes, you can import a car on your own. But you have to jump through some hoops. There is a lot of info about this online, but a good start is the official US Customs website which directly addresses how to do it.
John McElroy

Hi John,
Love your show. 
I recently became aware of the vast difference in retention value between two discontinued Japanese cars . The Honda S2000 and the Mazda RX8. 
Both are small Japanese sports cars. The difference is the engine.
I guess the rotary is doomed. 
Just my thoughts.
Alan in Oregon

It’s not just the difference in the engines. It’s the brands. All Hondas hold their value better than Mazdas.

John McElroy

I want to purchase a good used car for my grandson that will last him his last year in high school to college completion.  So I decided to mine a searchable universe of 43,414 used cars (Carmax) to see what higher mileage cars are on the market thinking they obviously have proven themselves.
Here is what I found:  The highest mileage cars at 129k miles consisted of a  09Scion XB,  084 Runner, '12 Dodge Challenger, '14 Ford Escape, '12 Dodge Avenger and a '10 Jeep Liberty.  What no Camry, Corolla, Accord or Civic?  In luxury brands the highest milage BMW had only 89k miles, Mercedes 74k, Audi 72k with LandRover Volvo etc even lower.
So what information should be drawn Dr. Data?  It seems cheap domestic automobiles that no one seems to buy hold up better amongst some formidable competition!   Am I missing some other explanation that a keen calculating auto analyst might have. 
Love your show
Glenn W

First let me say that you are obviously a good grandfather. Your interest in your grandson’s transportation is commendable.

Second, to your point.

First of all, there is no correlation between used cars available on Carmax and quality, reliability and durability. Rather, it simply indicates what is on the market.

If I had, say, a 2012 Dodge Avenger, I’d probably want to get rid of it regardless of how many miles it has on it.

One could make the argument that the reason why there aren’t Camrys, Corollas, Accords, or Civics on the list is simply because people are still driving them. Consequently they aren’t on the market. Or they are simply sold directly by the owner without the middle man.

But let’s look at your list of high-mileage vehicles. Note that there is a 1984 (!) 4Runner on the list, which happens to be a Toyota product. And the second-oldest, the ’09 Scion, is also a Toyota. FCA has more on the list, but in all cases they’re younger.

Good luck in finding a car for your grandson. Were I in your position, I don’t think I’d opt for something that has less than 100,000 miles on it—regardless of make—unless it came with a really, really good warranty.

Thanks for writing.



Gary S. Vasilash
Automotive Design + Production

Co-host: “Autoline After Hours”

John and Gary,
If both of you were on the Tesla Board of Directors and each asked Elon Musk a question, what would it be? 
My question would be: “From a public statement standpoint, can we start under-promising and over-delivering?”
John McElroy

“When are you going to turn over your manufacturing operations to people who really understand manufacturing?”
Gary S. Vasilash

Hi John
I saw an article you did about batteries and in that article you touched on the early days of the humvee prototype. This was a 4 wheel drive vehicle produced by Chrysler and general dynamics.This vehicle you showed in the article was kind of boxy and had a 360 motor and had an option of a diesel in the beginning. In the article you said this was in the early 80's. I have a proto type vehicle that was done by Chrysler, general dynamics with paperwork and a certificate of origin that was built in 1976. This looks to be an earlier version of that vehicle. As far as i know this is the only one left. I have boxes and boxes of spare parts and experimental goodyear tires. the vehicle is still running and in incredible condition. i also have all the tops and side curtains that were built for it. I have not found anyone who knows anything about this vehicle ever being built.
 I was involved with off road racing in the early 80's and this vehicle looks to have many of the off road attributes we used in baja back in those days.
I am reaching out to you to see if you have any more knowledge of this vehicle or know any one that was involved with this project that could help with the history of it. I think this is a great piece of the evolution of the military vehicle.
This little explanation you did is the best piece of info that i have got about this vehicle.
I know this is a stretch and I'm sure you are very busy but if you have the time to e mail me or contact me with any info it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you and sorry for rambling. Super excited to have found this.
Thanks for your email, you seem to truly have a bit of history in your hands! Can you send us some pictures that we could run in Autoline Daily?
I don’t have any more info on the prototype I saw than what we reported in Autoline Daily. I took that picture at the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan in the early 1980s.
I’m not sure how you could find out more info on your vehicle. Anyone who worked on that has since retired. You may want to try contacting chrysler retirees and see if they would get the word out to their members to see if anyone of them worked on it.
John McElroy

I am sure you will be reporting if not leading with the Tesla financials released yesterday.
One request.  TSLA reported $2.2 billion in cash.  Could you let us know if that includes all those Model 3 deposits they should still have?   Nobody in the media ever seems to tell us.

Yes, Tesla’s $2.2 billion in cash includes $942 million in deposit money.

John McElroy

Liked your broadcast today.  FYI most medium duty trucks (class 4-7 have automatics standard) Class 8 are approaching 60%, with some Mfgs north of 80%. Most automatics in class 8 trucks are what they call manual automated transmissions. They are less expensive but have 2 pedals instead of 3 and are very fuel efficient. They shift when the load/road conditions tell it to, maximizing fuel economy and driver comfort. Driver comfort is very important in driver recruitment and retention as you touched on in your recent broadcast touch on turn over and platooning.


Thanks for the feedback! Very useful.

John McElroy

Hi John

After driving a Model 3 for a month, all Range Anxiety (RA) is gone including my wife who is just my co-pilot. We have made 2 trips to Traverse City and 1 to Newberry with side trip to Grand Marais with no issues. Charging in garage is set to 250 to 275 miles (could go as high as 310), but keep it lower to help with battery life. On last night in Newberry, we stayed at a 1898 B & B and plugged into 120 volt to get a little extra range for trip to Gaylord SuperCharger. Apparently blew a fuse while sleeping & woke up to find we were a couple miles short to make Gaylord, so drove a little slower and made it with 25 miles to spare.

I would like to recommend you find a M3 to drive for a month and get some first hand experience. Jury-rig a 240V, 30A charger at home an see how long it takes for the RA to go away. You will experience the pleasant feeling of one pedal driving and Adaptive Cruse control that auto sets to the speed limit. In 9,500 miles, I have only used the brake pedal a few times. Maybe Sandy M can put one of his M3's back together?

Best Regards, Frank

Hi John
I love to watch your show all the time.  I recently bought a model 3 and enjoy it immensely. 
On several occasions  you mentioned that driving an ev that is powered by coal is not better that driving ice car.  You never mention that evs are 90% efficient vs ice car is only 20%.
And if your going to include the source for an ev you have to include the source of an ice car which is gas.  How much pollution is created in getting gas to the gas station.  Are oil spills included in the numbers?  I say this because I am concerned about the environment in light of the massive global heat wave were experiencing lately.  An electric can be charged using renewable energy but a an ice cannot.  We are lucky that we live in a place where 90% of our energy is being generated by green energy.
Keep trying

Why aren't the American Car companies: GM, Ford, plus Tesla?   .. .not just GM & Ford
And how long will it take for some of the 400+ Chinese OEMs to consolidate all the electronics as Tesla did and have a huge cost advantage?   
How long will it take the incumbent OEMs to re-architect their electronics as Tesla did and achieve the savings?
Or maybe GM, Ford, or Volvo's Chinese operations create a highly cost competitive EV that starts to be imported to the US... and perhaps with high performance AWD powertrains and long range.
GM has already started with a Buick and Cadillac CT6 PHEV imported from China.. 
Or if Trump negotiates away all the tariffs including the chicken tax..  how about a full sized 45 mile AER PHEV pickup version made in China at the same price as a conventional version? 

The US automakers should quit whining about tariffs and switch production of parts and automobiles to the US.
The tariffs would then not be a factor any many more Americans would be employed as opposed to the predicted loss of jobs.
They are whining because they will lose their ability to use cheap foreign labor to pad their profits.

Before the 'shorts' get too excited by the Model 3 stockpiles in California, we must remember that the less mature Telsa production facilities are producing made-to-order vehicles in batches of similar/same vehicles. They then must go to a sorting yard so that vehicles for a certain destination can be batched together for transport.
It would be great if you had retired Ford/GM/Chyrsler execs able to give production comparison comments when people get excited by this or that development in the worldwide industry.

Am about to enjoy your electric Corvette show this evening.  You guys are great!
Anyway,  there's a lot of hype about EVs lately... zero emission BS.  As you know,  we get about half of our electricity from coal fired power plants.  My question is,  about how much coal will this electro Vette consume on average. 
Recently,  the VW I.D. R won the Pike's Peak Hill Climb here in Colorado Springs where all of our electricity is generated by a coal fired power plant.  That VW ran on  100% burnt coal. Hardly "zero emission" vehicle. 
TTYL got to get back to this show... 

AAH discussion this week - Trade, vehicle electronic architecture
Canada and Mexico are in the Trans Pacific Partnership. Many of these countries also have a trade agreement with China. The US has been way too aggressive on investor-state relations clauses. Australians who are interested in trade issues were rather pleased Trump pulled the US out of the TPP as investor-state clauses were junked in the final agreement. It's not that they are not a good idea, but that some companies used them to force governments to not to change health, environmental and other policies for the benefit of their communities. Investor-state clauses allow companies to seek compensation when a new law/regulation drives up cost or restricts a sale. 
Australia has a trade agreement with Hong Kong which has investor-state provisions. A major US tobacco company forced the Australian Govt to arbitration in Hong Hong by buying a small cigarette manufacturer in Hong Kong and using it to challenge our cigarette packaging laws. Trade can't get done if corporate trolls are threatening national budgets with billion dollar compensation packages. I think China influenced the outcome of that arbitration as it did not like where it was going.
As per the panel discussion, there are national differences in automotive design tastes. There are also differences in governance. The US is alone in describing itself as a nation of laws - if its legal its OK. No other nation takes such an extreme position as the US.  The rest of the world sees itself as nations of people and territory. Governmental authorities intervene in what is seen as legal abuses. The aim in Australia is a law making mechanism responsive to circumstances.
While Trump is leading the way, and while the US is admired for many things, a majority of the world's economy does not want to go down some key long-established US paths. Russia's US Treasury holdings are now down to $15 bn from $130 bn. Putin is using his leverage over Trump to get out from under the US economic yoke. China is sending more money elsewhere and investing surpluses in its Belt & Road and other initiatives. Trump is a big excuse for countries to economically diversify away from the US. 
The US can influence foreign governments due to US dollars and banks being central to international trade. The EU and China currencies will surely become reserve currencies as a result of the Trump first policies.
Tesla has a silicon valley funding model. It's valuation is now low at two times revenue. With job cuts and investment delays, it will surely make real profits in Q3 and Q4. As a back up, the delay in Model 3 sales, so as not to hit 200,000 deliveries to Q3, has pushed revenue to this month (Q3).  Q2 will be a bad profit number for Tesla due to managing US deliveries to maximise tax credits for customers. At the Q2 conference call early August, we should expect Tesla to announce a big cash drop from Q1 end to Q2 end, but a significant recovery during July. By opening Model 3 orders to anyone in the US, Tesla is increasing deposits from $1,000 to $2,500 when a car is ordered. These customer loans also improve cash position.
The solar factory in New York is leased (hire-purchase???). Tesla Energy has slowed growth this year to ensure cashflow positive growth.
Tesla will surely have an outside company finance its factory in China so it won't have to outlay big sums until equipment needs to be installed. Tesla may not need cash for new factories for a year. 
Centralised Model 3 electronics and software are stunning. We should expect more circuit board consolidation in the Model Y. Underfloor is not a great place for circuit boards - BMS circuits easily ruined.
Alas, no other vehicle manufacturer has adopted the same architecture approach, so there are currently no other manufacturers queuing up to buy it, apart from learn from it - it will take them a decade and several model cycles to adopt a similar electronic architecture. Perhaps, Silicon Valley is the only place where a company could centralise electronic architecture.
Perhaps in 10 years, there will be 6 or 7 companies supplying centralised electronics for all BEVs in the world - Tesla, Bosch, Continental, Google, Apple and a couple of Chinese companies. Decentralised ICE electronics will likely stay due to investment required to change architecture.
Electronic architecture might be the straw that breaks the ICE commanding position in vehicle sales.

I’ve been hearing that many Uber and Lyft drivers who develop a steady customer base drop the ride sharing service and essentially become private chauffeurs for this customer base. As far as I know this is taking place in my home state of Rhode Island but if by chance it does go on nationally, does this have any effect on the auto industry, particularly with regards to everything that’s going on with mobility services?


Thanks for writing about this. I think a lot of Uber and Lyft drivers would like to cut the company out and get the full fare from their rides. I think we could even see peer-to-peer services pop up that would enable this, maybe through something like Craig’s list. And this could affect car companies that will offer their own ride sharing services, because it could pull some potential customers away from them.

John McElroy

First, great show. I love your entire roster of shows. I have been
watching for years. And Lord willing, I will watch until your last show.
Now, I have not yet heard of a car maker that failed because they made
bad vehicles. What killed those companies was bad "back room" business or
"the business of running the business". Even making truly innovative
vehicles has never saved a car company run poorly.
It is not a mistake to admit you were wrong about the Model 3 was
actually profitable. However, it is a mistake to think it is going to
save Tesla. "Wall Street" will not continue to dump money on Tesla
without a return. Especially, when it becomes obvious that Tesla will not
be the last man standing during the transition to BEVs. And that
transition is not going to the be the "all-consuming tsunami" they think
its going, or want it, to be. 

Interesting segment on the Tesla tear-down, as they all have been.  But a question.
Is the "30% Margin" just on what the estimated cost of parts is, or does that include an estimate for labor and amortized tooling?
It seems to me that if I am analyzing the stock that is all the difference in the world.  30% "off the line" margin probably works.  But if that is just parts, I am guessing 1/3 to 1/2 of that margin gets eaten by labor alone.  Then tooling costs, R&D, etc. eat more than the rest.
Curious if you know?



Munro’s profit estimate of the Tesla Model 3 includes all parts and materials, labor and amortized tooling. It does not include R&D, general, sales or administrative costs.

John McElroy

I think the Tesla Fremont Factory is nearing peak production. If you google the Fremont Assembly GM and Toyota had a Production Output of 1,072 vehicles daily. According to the Bloomberg Tesla Model 3 Tracker Tesla is building 5,168 divide that by 7 that's 738 Cars per day, now if you add 2000 Model S and X per week. 2000/7 = 285 Model S and X's per day. 738 + 285 = 1,023 Total Tesla Cars per day. No wonder Tesla built that tent anyway just a thought.
What do you guys think?
Your math is good. Most assembly plants make about 1,000 vehicles a day. You can get more with overtime and more lines, but unless Tesla has something up its sleeve, it’s probably close to max production.

Elon keeps bragging that Tesla is going to out-manufacture the traditional automakers. So far the results have been embarrassing for Elon and Tesla. But with new designs there could still be a way to dramatically improve car assembly. Will Tesla be able to do it, or will we have to wait for someone else? Right now it looks like we’re going to be waiting a while.

John McElroy

Autoline used to be my favorite show since it was only radio. 
For at least a solid year the show has lacked "auto" content. 
No excitement about new vehicles, just endless analist types that drone on about electric-limited use-on demand curbside rental-self driving drone mobiles. 
Your show is digging its own grave by killing enthusiam for driving. 
I live for driving but watching "Autoline" makes me want to step in front of a bus.

Take a look at these links and see if we’re getting our mojo back.

Autoline Daily #2391

Autoline Daily #2392
John McElroy

PSA sold Panhard to Auverland in 2006, the new Panhard (formerly Auverland) was acquired by Renault Trucks Defense (subsidiary of Volvo Group) in 2012. The Arquus name was adopted May 24. Among their vehicles are military versions of the Ford Ranger (Acmat Trigger) and Everest (Acmat Trapper), replacing an older model based on the Nissan Frontier. The Panhard models (some formerly Peugeots) seem to have been dropped following the acquisition by Volvo in 2012, but the Auverland armoured 4x4 developed before the acquisition of Panhard remains as the Dagger.


Good afternoon,

First off great show really enjoy it I’ve been listening to you guys for a few years now and used to wake up early on Sundays when I was in middle school to watch you guys in the morning on speed tv. Now I’m in college working towards a mechanical engineering degree and want to get into the auto industry and really considering San Diego and been juggling places and leaning towards Detroit and the surrounding are but was wondering what advice or ideas do you guys have regarding this and something to look for when considering where the industry is going.

Thanks for your advice

Isaiah Lopez

Your timing is good. The auto industry is desperate to hire young engineers.

I would suggest that you also get some electronics and coding as part of your mechanical engineering degree as you will greatly increase your chances of getting hired quickly.

I don’t think it matters whether you get a degree in San Diego or Michigan, but schools in traditional automotive areas are more likely to know the kind of curriculum the automakers are after.

John McElroy

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