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12-7-2018


Hi:
 
Wondering if you might consider discussing this on After Hours?
 
Now GM is killing sedans/cars.  When they are done the domestics have officially given up on "cars" as most of what is left is selling on memories from the 1960s.  But maybe the 1960s are where they need to look deeper.
 
Find a Falcon sales brochure from 1963.  Off the Falcon platform Ford sold:
 
2-door sedan
4-door sedan
Convertible
Wagon
2-door hardtop (pillarless coupe)
Ranchero
Small Van
 
Why can they not base say a sedan, hatch, small truck, etc off an SUV platform today and serve what is still 1/3 of the market? 
 
Just a thought, would love to hear the panel discuss.
 
Thanks!
 
Shawn
It’s amazing how many body styles Ford built off the Falcon chassis, which, by the way, is what the original Mustang was built off.

And they do that today. Ford makes the Focus sedan and hatchback, Escape/Kuga, C-Max and Transit Connect off the same architecture.

But look at what’s happened to the body styles you list here:

2-door sedans and hardtops now represent a mere sliver of the market
Convertibles have almost disappeared
Wagons have miniscule sales
Ranchero styles simply vanished because barely anyone bought them.

Automakers can and do build multiple body styles from one architecture, but they are not going to invest in body styles where they have little or no chance of making any money.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


Dear Autoline,
 
Great show. It gives a fantastic view of the US and international auto market.
I come from Denmark (Scandinavia). Here, Norway, Holland, Germany and so forth the electric market is beginning to start up.
I’ve been in the electric car market (on sellers and buyers sides) for 8 years now and I still see extreme poor knowledge from the importer side in terms of vehicle performance and climate/environmental pros and cons. But especially on charging standards and solutions. 
All by one (almost) are years behind knowledge wise. Talking for instance infrastructure requirements, charging box capabilities, charging rates, availability and access solutions.
Not do you know much about the EVs out there, but charging is a huge black hole.
There are several charging operators out there and how do you interact with the DSOs etc?
 
I could be very interesting to get a international perspective on that - wouldn’t mind to join.
 
Kindest regards 
 
David
David,

Thanks for your letter. Very interesting and informative.

You’re right. There is very little knowledge on the sales side about charging. But it goes beyond sales people at dealerships. I was talking to a senior public relations executive at Jaguar about the need for more Level III chargers and he asked me, “What’s a Level III charger?”

The entire industry has a long way to go.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


Hey John
 
I thought I’d send you a quick email on my thoughts on this terrible situation at GM. The reasons in my opinion for this shutdown are multifaceted and are primarily at the doorstep of the current administration’s poorly executed policies in regard to trade and taxes:
 
1. $700 million in tariffs on steel (if the numbers I have seen bandied about are close to accurate). Why would GM want to see their costs increase by $700 million a year with a tariff that is probably illegal and only increases the disparity in manufacturing costs above what it already was.
2. A corporate tax reduction that was rushed through and failed to correct the inequities with the advantage the manufacturers have with moving manufacturing offshore. Give the manufacturers a giant ongoing windfall without ever addressing some very basic tax loopholes that incentivize offshore production. Not a great investment of the taxes paid by the line workers at GM and other manufacturers.  
3. A claim that turned out to be an outright lie during the campaign that new factories would be coming into these areas without taking any action to promote the actual actions whether by legislative or other means to promote new manufacturing within the US.
 
What a shame to see our middle-class being pushed down by greed and stupidity, this is not new it has been a long term mistake and it continues at an increasing pace by the current administration.
 
Michael
Michael,

Thanks for sending your letter. We very much appreciate getting input from our viewers and we’re going to publish this in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


Hi,



Based on your report earlier in the week about Nissan dismissing and prosecuting Mr. Ghosn, did Nissan do something underhanded or just threw the book at him?



I’m curious if I need to add Nissan to my do not buy list along with the cheater diesel empire. 



Thanks for an awesome show as usual!



Jeff
Here’s my take on why Carlos Ghosn was thrown in the slammer.
Nissan wants a rebalance in the power structure of the so-called “Alliance.” As the larger, more profitable, technologically superior “partner” it wants more say.
The French haven’t been listening.
So Nissan took a hostage: Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Charged on some tediously-technical, financial reporting, whatever.
Probably some branch of the Japanese government, perhaps MITI, is also hovering behind the scenes.
What they want: get Nissan equal equity (more if possible).
If agreed, then Carlos goes free (but probably banned from Japan for life).
If no agreement?
Then the flawed marriage simply fails over time.

John McElroy
12-7-2018


It is not surprising that automakers are dropping cars. New cars are terrible regarding usability. Visibility is horrible and trunk openings are so small making the trunks almost unusable. That is the reason that our last new car was a 2012 Ford Escape. It has great visibility and a big tailgate that opens wide to a big and usable storage area. 
 
Our other car is a 2003 Lincoln Town Car. It has great visibility and a large trunk with a large opening. It is a very practical and comfortable car. 
 
We are both in our 70"s and these things are important to us.  
 
Thanks for you great shows and keep up to good work.
 
Bobby and June
12-7-2018


Caught you on the radio, on NPR question on Trump v. GM. Direct from the horses mouth, huh.
I wonder sometimes how it feels to be in the eye of the storm, having a front row seat to view the unprecedented automobile disruption unfolding before your very eyes.
-- 

Little Bob
LB,

Sometimes it feels very uncomfortable knowing what’s about to hit the auto industry and having to talk about it publicly. Some people think you’re callous and uncaring for calling it like it is. But the public is far better off knowing the truth and preparing for it, rather than getting blindsided.

This disruption is far from over. In fact, it’s barely just begun.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


Hi John,
 
How does this kind of stuff happen as I remember when Ghosn was considered as being a wonder-boy of sorts; but I guess it was done by cooking the books and appears Ghosn might be getting essentially a life sentence because 10 years in prison has to be a killer.
 
Mike @ San Francisco
12-7-2018


John,



Just watched your short segment discussing Borgwarner become a parts supplier for EVs.  Your comment on suppliers like Borgwarner are making it much easier for start-ups is something I hadn't thought of.  How about an AAH episode with Borgwarner to discuss in more detail on what they are doing for OEMs and start-ups?



Thanks for your continuing excellence on auto news!



Larry K.
Larry,

Were you eavesdropping on our latest editorial meeting? We’re working on doing exactly what you say, get B-W’s EV expert on the show, going over the ABC’s of designing EV powertrains and where they see the market going.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


How about doing a segment, maybe on AAH about the likely effects of Brexit on the British auto industry. There are a lot of vehicles, and parts going back and forth across the channel, and around the world from the UK. I'm curious about what is likely to happen.

Thanks,
Kit Gerhart
Kit,

Not a bad suggestion, but right now the Brexit issue is in such a state of flux that we really need to get some indication of where it’s going before we can talk about the impact on the industry.

No doubt we’ll cover it in an upcoming show when we have a clearer idea of what’s going on.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-7-2018


Hi John, love your show and have been watching for years. I've never communicated before - by cyber terms I'd be referred to as a "lurker". LOL
 
What does it take to get Mazda USA to sell the sharp looking Mazda 6 wagon/estate in North America???  To make the request even more interesting, the manual transmission version of the vehicle! Recently you stated that all or most of your vehicles were stick shifts. Well, there are a lot of us 3 pedal types out there too, even though I guess we don't make our voices heard enough to the corporate automotive marketing and sales folks. You have an educated audience, we're not ignorant of the fact that the drive train might have to be certified by the EPA to sell on our shores (although I believe it would be the same as the sedan that IS sold here already), and that the body might have to also conform to North American crash standards, and the supply chain would then have to accommodate spare parts specific to the wagon/estate. Other manufacturers (Buick, Volvo, Volkswagen etc.) have seen fit to offer wagons, why can't Mazda as the product already exists overseas? There is even a Facebook page entitled "Mazda 6 Station Wagon for Canada & the USA" with supporters who wish to buy this vehicle. It's like a ready, pre-sold market of car buyers saying to Mazda "take my money". I'd order the Soul Red Crystal Metallic hued Grand Touring version, with ventilated seats, and moon roof to go with the manual transmission.
 
Another sore point, why do many manufacturers that even offer manuals assume that we want the "poverty" version of a vehicle if one chooses a gearbox? In other words, choosing to shift yourself precludes the ability to get desirable options such as moon roofs etc. We do indeed want it all, just the additional ability to develop a synergy with the vehicle through ratio choice! We will not be relegated to 2nd or apparently 3rd class status for our driving enthusiasm!
 
Thank you and keep up the great work!
 
Save the stick shift!
Wayne
Wayne,

I’m with you. I wish Mazda would sell the Mazda 6 wagon in North America. But the sad reality is outside of us, few people are interested in wagons. That could change, in fact I think wagons could make a resurgence. But right now everyone who sells wagons in the US only sells a handful.

As for manuals, it’s the same story. Very few people buy them. Some automakers believe only people looking for the lowest price want a stick. Others only offer manuals on their high performance cars, where there are still a few of us who will buy them.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-16-2018


Why did the side view of the car, in you daily episode 2475, instantly remind me of a early 2000's Chevy Monte Carlo SS??
WOW!! and all the designers they have.
 
Love ya, keep up the good work.
 
MepCoRe7
11-16-2018


First I would like to say how much I enjoy your daily videos.  They are really informative and hit the spot for automotive junkies like myself.  My question is in regards to the second and third lives of BEVs.  Not many people want to buy a car with high miles.  It has been proven that ICE vehicles can last well over 300k miles if desired.  The same can't be said about BEVs.  Is this the elephant in the room nobody is talking about or is there a plan in place?  At what point will a BEV be deemed unfit for use and recycled?
 
Thank you for your time.
 
Keith
Keith,

So far EV batteries have proven to be quite resilient. Same goes for the li-on batteries in hybrids. Automakers are deliberately limiting the amount of discharge they allow, so the batteries will last a long time. In fact, automakers believe the batteries could outlast the cars and are looking at repurposing them as electric storage units for homes and utilities.

But so far this is all conjecture because we’re going to have to wait another decade or so to see if their projections prove to be true.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-16-2018


John, Gary,
 
OEMs have reasonable strategies in play for a SAAR of 16 million. Getting rid of unprofitable vehicles (small cars) helps maintain profitability. Ford is going to import the Ecosport from India. Other manufacturers also see India as a place to sustain small vehicle design, supplier relationships and manufacturing know-how. 
 
Indian Railways runs over 9,000 freight trains per day which help subsidize more than 20,000 passenger trains per day, and pay its 1.3 million employees - 1 in every 1,000 of the country's population. 
 
India's PPP GDP is 4 times its nominal GDP which hides industrialization (dollar value of industrial output appears small) which is 26% of its GDP. 
 
Its PPP GDP is predicted to exceed the US in 25 years. Its GDP growth rate is ~6.5% - very similar to China. India is driving its economy at what we could call break-neck pace as it sees China as a serious strategic threat. 
 
The really profitable sector of those 9,000 freight trains per day is hauling coal and iron ore across the country from mines to industrial centres. This speaks to deep industrialization, if not large compared to China.
 
India will contribute to world auto industry growth, and will certainly help the large OEMs sustain small vehicle know-how and volumes.
 
India is much more friendly to foreign auto investors than China. Its probably more bureaucratic, but its legal system is modeled on the UK system.
 
Unlike Gary, I don't have its auto industry stats to hand. The growth rate is as important as the gross number.
 
Regards
Peter Egan
11-16-2018


Ok, I live in a large city (Jacksonville fl). There is an enormous Safty issue among almost every manufacturer. This is an issue of the way every manufacturer approaches the daytime driving lights as a feature for safety. 
 
The problem shows it’s ugly face as the sun goes down. Most drivers see their dash lights on, can see adequately due to their “daytime running lights” on, and yet, unless they actually hit the switch, they DO NOT HAVE ANY TAILLIGHTS!  Traffic approaches these vehicles in the dark and cannot see them. The driver is totally unaware of this danger. As I drive up beside these cars, they clearly have bright dash lights wrongly giving the impression that they have their lights on. 
  If y’all get anyone’s ears at the NTSB or any other agency that cares, please bring this to their attention. If investigated, I’m sure it would dig up many fatalities due to this unnoticed flaw. 



Love your show and thanks,

Thomas
Thomas,

You raise a fantastic point. We’ll start asking around to find out if anything is being done about this.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-16-2018


I’ve been keeping an eye open for the 2019 GM 1500’s while driving around. Other than sitting up front and center on the car lots, I can’t remember seeing a single one in the wild. Without trying, it seems like I see the 2019 Rams are everywhere.  It seems like the GM’s are getting at least equal coverage pimping them on various YouTube channels. 



When do the numbers come out that might show Ram is giving GM a spanking in latest generation sales or are there any preliminary numbers floating around?



I wonder if that dinky infotainment screen is hurting GM sales or if buyers are drawn to the much larger screen on the Ram. 



Thanks,



Dan
11-9-2018


I’ve been keeping an eye open for the 2019 GM 1500’s while driving around. Other than sitting up front and center on the car lots, I can’t remember seeing a single one in the wild. Without trying, it seems like I see the 2019 Rams are everywhere.  It seems like the GM’s are getting at least equal coverage pimping them on various YouTube channels.



When do the numbers come out that might show Ram is giving GM a spanking in latest generation sales or are there any preliminary numbers floating around?



I wonder if that dinky infotainment screen is hurting GM sales or if buyers are drawn to the much larger screen on the Ram.



Thanks,



Dan
11-9-2018


I almost did not watch the show with NADA head as, those guys are really the enemy, in many ways, a lot of them just add costs. But when he said that automated driving did not reduce accidents, I almost spit out my coffee.
You being the professional that you are, chuckled impishly, and very politely pointed out that studies show that they are much, much, safer, but then left it. Which was fine, I thought.
The guy simply indicated that he either just accepted what others had told him or for whatever reasons was completely ill informed on this well known and integral point. In other words his knowledge of the industry and where it is going in this arena, is nonexistent. In my view this is inexcusable but predictable, predicated on the general lack of knowledge of NADA and its members in regard to evs, autonomous driving, and other aspects of the coming transportation revolution.  
They are like the three proverbial monkeys, and evs and Tesla are the evil, so the don't see them, hear  them, or speak of them.
 So, anyway, great job.
---Little Bob 
11-2-2018


Just need to say, homebuilders, contractors, are independent businesses and not unionized.
A homebuilder/contractor may have helpers but they also hire subcontractors for building systems who are also independent businesses.
 
Building a house is not a factory endeavor.
 
Also, the house doesn't look that big.
 
r-work, aia
11-2-2018


I've gotten two comments labeled 'waiting for moderation' after the posting comment number (from Friday's Autoline Daily).  One difference noted was the waiting for moderation comment was associated when I posted under ChuckGrenci;  a similar post under Chuck Grenci, (note space) went across with no problem.
 
I don't feel the content was abusive or derogatory, but if it was, I apologize; perhaps this e-mail is a just note stating the occurrence and just was related to my user name.  If so, disregard, and I'll be more careful (with username) in the future.
 
Thanks always for a great show,

Chuck
Chuck,

The only reason you got that message was because you changed your user name. All new users need to be approved before their messages get posted. No need to apologize for your content, we welcome your comments.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


You seem to be automotive snobs.  I watched the program today and learned about a F-1 race yet no mention of the Las Vegas Drag Races yesterday.  NHRA crowned it top fuel champion with a prize of $500K.  I'd like to have you show how many people in the US watch F-1 vice Nascar and NHRA.  I'll bet there are far fewer F-1 watchers than NHRA.
I've been to F-1 and Nascar races but neither compares to a nitro burning top fuel dragster.
What do you have to say?
 
Steve
11-2-2018


Dear Mr. McElroy,
 
It is extremely rare to see any reporter, local or national, reporting on ANYTHING who is as professional as you are when you perform the Autoline Daily reports.  No anchor or a field reporter in the U.S. matches your ability and skill.  It's entertaining just to see your professionalism at work.  You are one of the few public personalities who actually respects your audience and does not condescend.
 
Sean is very fortunate to have you as a teacher and coach.  With you an his guide he will inevitably get to you level.  He is already better at reporting than 90% of all reporters everywhere, national and local, because his old man is, "the master".  Blessed kid!
 
Jack
Jack,

Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated!

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


I just watched Autoline's episode on Detroit PBS, about FCA's hybrid (eTorque) powertrains.  Autoline selected some excellent guests for this, and it was great watching the guests from Keebler Auto and Ward's Intelligence engage Mr. Spohn from FCA Powertrain in such a lively discussion about this particular application of hybrid powertrain technology.
 
One thing that has been touched on, but might warrant its own episode, is the topic of higher CAFE standards and how these can spur greater APPLIED creativity to achieve greater energy efficiency in vehicles.  It is quite obvious that pickup, SUV and car standard powertrains and chassis have far more energy-efficiency features than one saw 7 years ago.  Whether that be standard: auto stop-start, turbochargers on smaller displacement engines, mild hybrids, cylinder deactivation or weight decreases through different materials (e.g. Mg alloys, Al bodywork).
 
My question are: how much of this was driven by CAFE, does it make the N.A. auto industry more competitive internationally, and would loosening CAFE requirements lead to these efficiency features being abandoned ?
 
Richard
Richard,

Yes, these fuel efficiency technologies are very much driven by CAFE and CO2 regulations in the US. In Europe, and other world markets, including Canada, fuel prices are much higher than they are in the US. So car and truck buyers in those countries are more willing to pay for these technologies since they know they’ll earn that money back by spending less on fuel.

Despite the Trump Administration’s plans to freeze CAFE standards at 2020 levels, none of the automakers we’ve spoken to plan to back off. They will continue to introduce more fuel-saving technologies.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


Could you do a segment on Ford's research into canabis parts and fuel source? This was mostly from the 40's when Henry Ford built a car from canabis, its on YouTube but the fuel part is more secretive. 
The stories of Henry Ford making a car or gasoline from hemp, are grossly exaggerated. Don’t believe everything that you read on the internet.

Henry was a fanatic for using soy. He experimented with body panels made of plastic derived from soy, most famously hitting a plastic trunk lid with an axe. He drank soy milk and ate soy ice cream, and insisted that all the guests who visited his house do the same.

Up through the 1980’s, just north of the headquarters for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan there were soy fields that were actively farmed.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


John,
I heard you make a quick comment on AAH today.
Knocked out by the new Hyundai Santa Fe
I am seriously thinking about purchasing one myself. 
Can you elaborate a little as to what you like about it ?                   
Never miss your x-lent shows... for years now.
Jay in Ar.
Jay,

I drove the Hyundai Santa Fe at the NACTOY test days. It was the Ultimate model.

Here’s a summary of my notes.

Very solid vehicle, quite quiet. Amazingly smooth 4-cylinder engine. Excellent ingress/egress, especially through the rear doors. Best thigh support of any rear seat amongst the NACTOY vehicles.

Really cool looking cloth headliner.

Excellent rear tailgate opening: big and wide and deep, with massive luggage space.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


Hi Guys (8 friends on BCC list)
 
Buried in this podcast is talk of a Honda S2000 2 seater sports car with Chevy Bolt Batteries & Tesla Traction Motors with custom controller beating the performance Tesla Model 3's in Drag races. This is happening in Canada! This is something we need to see get started here in Michigan to bring High Tech EV Automotive back to our State and Flint area. Everyone I meet says the transition to EV's it is going to happen, but I don't see it here in Michigan. Actually, Michigan Government seems negative to EV's. The tax dollars for my Tesla Model 3 went directly to California.
Frank,

LG makes battery cells in Holland, MI. It makes battery packs in Hazel Park. GM makes battery packs in Brownstown Township, and electric cars in Lake Orion. Townsend Ventures makes EV batteries in Michigan, as does A123. And Dow make battery components. This is just a short list. There is a tremendous amount of R&D and engineering on EVs taking place in Michigan.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


I’ve often heard reported that the “big” 3 had paid off their loans after the 2008 crisis. That may be true for the U.S. but here in Canada the taxpayers are now writing off $2.6B CAD loan+interest from FCA because they have not paid.



Also GM still owes us $1B that doesn’t look good for collecting. 



Please report that on Autoline!

Bluezzer
Bluezzer,

Make no mistake, the US government ended up losing billions on the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Part of the problem is that the stock in those companies that the US and Canadian governments got never appreciated very much.

The only good news is that if GM and Chrysler went bankrupt it would have cost both governments a lot more money than they lost on the loans.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
11-2-2018


Hi John,

I did not know that, at least for GM I had heard from several sources that they had paid off their loan well ahead of schedule. 

As for the stock, if they don’t break even on those, the governments knew they were taking a chance, especially on a large number of shares that’s likely to dilute the value for quite a while. 

However I’m speaking to not paying off the initial loan. This is leaving everyone from baby to grandparents with a debt for helping them remain "competitive". That’s not going to encourage those that were thinking of buying domestic again (like just did with a Volt). 

I realize you have to remain partial, but I love those little jokes you and Sean squeeze in at the end of a story. Maybe you can suggest FCA take 1/3rd of that $7B Magneti Marelli money and pay off their debt!

Bluezzer
10-15-2018


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.
10-15-2018


John,
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. 
Don,

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
10-15-2018


Hello,
 
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.

Larry
Larry,

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.

Best,
John McElroy
10-15-2018


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
10-5-2018


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.
Thanks
Greg
10-5-2018


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.
Bob
Upper Minnesota
10-5-2018


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
9-28-2018


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 Vault.com, 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,
 
Alexander
Alexander,

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
9-28-2018


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.
Benjamin.
Benjamin,

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

John McElroy
9-28-2018


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.

Chuck
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
9-28-2018


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.  
 
Regards,

Dave
9-21-2018


Gentlemen,
 

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?
 
Thanks!
 
Barry Rector
Indy
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
9-21-2018


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! 
 
Best,
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
9-21-2018


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

PS:
LOVED today's AAH show with Bob Lutz!

Surya Solanki
9-21-2018


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
9-21-2018


John

Super show!  Bob is terrific and great sense of humor.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Regards
C
9-21-2018


John,

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.
 
Crazy.
 
LB
9-21-2018



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
9-21-2018


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.
 
Regards,


Dave
9-14-2018


John,

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,

Ralph
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.

Ciao
9-14-2018


Hey!
 
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
 
 
Stephen
Excellent suggestion. Thanks for the heads-up.

John McElroy
9-14-2018


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,
Mike
Mike,

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
9-14-2018


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.

Steve
Steve,

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
9-14-2018


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
 
Blake
All my cars are manuals.

John McElroy
9-14-2018


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
Dale,

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
9-14-2018


John,
 
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?
 
Will
New Haven, Connecticut
Will,

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
9-14-2018


John, 
 
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.
 
Barry
9-14-2018


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.
 
-DG
DG,

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

John McElroy
9-14-2018


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.  

George
George,

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
9-14-2018


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?
 
Thanks
Darryl
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
9-14-2018


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....

Daniel
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
9-14-2018


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 
Michael,

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

John McElroy
8-28-2018


where does Ford stand in Russian sales?

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

John McElroy
8-28-2018


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.

r-work
8-28-2018


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
8-28-2018


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.

Frank
Frank,

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
8-28-2018


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
8-28-2018


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,

-Maura
8-28-2018


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

Mike

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv