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6-19-2015


Hello John,



First time commenter!



It seems to me that if Sergio wants to expand his product line he ought to be paying more attention to launching Alfa Romeo successfully. Alfa is a venerated make in Italy, has high quality, attractive looking models and, I believe, if properly marketed could become more than moderately successful in the united States.



Rudy Boniface

Retired Ford executive in Europe
Rudy,

You make a great point. If Sergio can make Alfa even half as successful as he’s made Jeep, he will not need another partner.

McElroy
6-19-2015


Just wanted to comment on all the additional ads you have started using on the daily news.  I have been a long time viewer of Autoline Daily but will have to stop watching due to all the ads.  I know you have to balance this out but in my eyes you need to keep the daily portion of the news free from this distraction.

Thanks,

Chris
Chris,
 
We have only added two advertiser logos and taglines. That’s it. We’ve added 6 seconds.
 
About 3 minutes into the show we run a billboard with 4 advertiser logos and taglines. That lasts for 12 seconds.
 
Then about 6 minutes into the show we run one 15 second ad.
 
I think we’ve done a remarkable job of balancing the advertising messages with the editorial content.
 
John McElroy
6-19-2015


John,
A few times you have commented with surprise that the "MALIBU" name is on the front doors of the new Malibu; something you have never seen before. Chevrolet Impala had "IMPALA LS" or "IMPALA SS" on the front doors on the early 2000s and my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT has "GRAND PRIX GT" on the front doors. Just a couple of examples; there are probably more.
Ralph Norek
6-19-2015


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

Thank you, 
 

Amado 
6-19-2015


Here is a topic for your next no-holds barred AAH discussions: Will Autonomy and Vehicle Sharing Kill Automotive Styling?



My theory:

As people are less invested in a vehicle, they will care less what it looks like.  Already many consumers that simply see a car as A to B transportation care very little about styling.  This is what led to the dominance of plain vanilla midsize sedans.  Reliability and Durability were far more important to these consumers than Appearance.  



As we move toward full Autonomy in the years to come, people will have less interaction with their vehicle.  Will they care as much if its attractive if they are not driving it?  Does it matter what your car looks like as you read the paper on the way to work?  I think it will become an experience closer to riding the bus.  Who cares what a bus looks like?



Vehicle Sharing will contribute too.  Since most people won't own their vehicles, they won't care as much what they look like.  For the companies that own them, practical issues will trump styling desires.  Similar to a fleet manager, it will come down to ownership costs and operating efficiency, not appearance.  The companies will get a better deal if they buy lots of one type of model and so consumers will have less choice.  If all of the cars available are plain white 4 door sedans, it no longer matters which one you choose.  And consumers won't complain because they will enjoy the cost savings too. 



Except for enthusiasts like us and people who will insists on owning their own vehicles, the future does not look too bright for attractively styled cars.  



GM Veteran
I see it differently. Autonomous vehicles will put a lot more emphasis on interior design since “drivers” will be free to do a lot more in their cars. Mid-century, when most vehicles will probably be autonomous and traffic accidents become as rare as plane crashes, passengers will be free to “get up and move about the cabin.” This could lead to a revival of custom coach works, which will tailor interiors to the owner’s specific tastes and needs, with no FMVSS constraints.
 
Car sharing will not likely lead to only bland cars. Zip Car points out that the millennials which use its car sharing service prefer to get “cool” cars like Minis and BMW’s, not just anything on the lot.
 
I think fashion will never go out of style. Whether pulling up to the curb at a swanky event or just visiting friends, most people will prefer to be seen in something that reflects their personality and status, even if they don’t have to turn a steering wheel or push on pedals.
 
John McElroy
6-19-2015


Thinking a little bit about the discussion surrounding Sergio Marchionne and FCA looking for a partner in the industry he isn't totally off base. When you analyze how capital intensive the auto industry is with regards to development and production of powertrains alone it puts things in perspective. 

However, instead of a full blown merger FCA should be looking more at partnerships or outsourcing to use economies of scale on certain applications. An example of this already exists with the Cummins sourced engine in the heavy duty Ram Trucks. Maybe a better example is the ZF sourced transmissions found in several luxury manufacturer vehicles. How many vehicles have a ZF 8HP unit in it? 

Maybe I'm off base with my thinking, but I think this would benefit FCA to look for partnerships to reduce the capital investment required by FCA and still maintain pace with the overall industry. Maybe this would help them improve their standing from down towards the bottom of all the quality and satisfaction survey rankings? 

Maybe then they could sell more vehicles instead of leasing so many. Most people I know that purchased a FCA product did so only because they were able to get one of those $200/month lease payments or something. Whereas a comparably equipped Ford would have been $300/month. 

Regards,
dean7698
5-8-2015


Hello Autoline, as I listened to one of your recent podcast, where you had members of the Automotive industry explain how the Dealership has such an important part in the community, I felt compelled to write about what I feel is an injustice that shows how hypocritical their statement actually sounded. It is a well known fact that upon purchasing a certified pre owned vehicle you are told that the vehicle is covered until a certain miles/months period and they will tell you at the point of sale that the certification stays with the vehicle for that length even if it changes ownership. What they will not tell you is that if you decide to trade in the vehicle during the certification period,  your vehicle will not receive credit for being certified and will be appraised just like any other used vehicle. What's more is,  if you list your vehicle on Auto Trader,  it will not appear in the Certified section, even though the vehicle' certification will be passed on to the next owner. If you ask Auto Trader to list it as such,  which I did,  they will deny you that opportunity,  citing an agreement they have with automotive manufacturers and dealers. I fail to see what the difference will be for a buyer to purchase my vehicle versus the one being sold at the local dealer since they are both certified by the same manufacturer...  If the dealerships are not happy with the labels they have "earned"  over the years,  and are too busy fighting Tesla for trying to make the customer their priority,  perhaps implementing such "customer friendly"  practices might be the first stop to recovery of image.

Thank you,
Borislav
Borislav,

Certified cars are inspected and approved through a specific process that is approved by the factory. If someone buys that used car, and drives it many more miles, and perhaps does not maintain it, or perhaps even damages it, and then decides to sell it on their own, how can it possibly retain its “Certified” rating? It would be fraudulent for the owner or any online selling site to present if as “Certified.” BTW, this would be true even if the owner did not drive it many miles and kept it properly maintained.
5-8-2015


Greetings John,



Such a blast watching your updates from the floor of the NY auto show and hats off on an always stellar coverage. On that note, I think Mr. Bentley Head Honcho is being a wuss. If you are not confident enough at a very worthy competitor ( who by the way was gracious enough letcha use "Continental" name plate), your lack of confidence will make your clientele think twice, no good for ya smh!!! Just my two cents worth and have yourself a lovely Holiday weekend, good sir :D!!!



Best,
Elyas
5-8-2015


John,
California look...
You say how much you like the chrome letters on the door of the new 2016 Malibu. Take a look at the door of the Titan truck on display  behind you on the set.
 
My Best
Jay,
Mtn Home, Ar
5-8-2015


John,


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



Regards, Tim Beaumont
5-8-2015


Hello,
 
Cadillac's new CT6 probably uses Terocore 16301 bonded to the aluminum as it was reported on your program of how this material can give aluminum the same tensile strength of steel of similar thickness as this could explain how Cadillac is able to build such a large car while maintaining weight to a minimum.
 
Mike Ma @ San Francisco, CA
5-8-2015


John,



As I was listening to one of your ATW #1909 guests (one of the heads of Sellers Auto Group), something she said struck a connection for me.



She mentioned a web service/online account, where customers can start some of the “deal process” via their own account. What she described seemed similar to what Dan Gilbert and Quicken financial started a few years ago.



When you go through the house financing process with Quicken Loans, you are assigned a web account, where to can send received private & secure messages from Quicken.  Further, Quicken and you can upload/download private/secure documents, which helps to “quicken” the loan financing process.  In the end, many customers can run through the house refinance process (initial contact, to closing date), in about 3-6 weeks. It is amazing what they have done in this space, which is heavily regulated - similar to the car financing experience.



Seems like this could open a door for auto dealers, to align with Quicken (“Quicken Loans for Auto”?). Or, maybe Mr. Gilbert may be the next new billionaire to the auto retailing space. No end to the potential here.



Thanks for your show … long time listener (I’m 40, but grew up listening to your brief on 950 AM WWJ radio).



Regards,

Eric Moody

Delaware, OH
5-8-2015


John, 
 
How can so much time and money be spent on making cars "SAFER", When at the same time car companies are building and promoting these 600 and 700 horsepower rockets ships legal on the street? How about showing what happens when a 600 hp Cadillac going 150 mph broadsides a minivan with a family. All of the electronic gadgets and air pillows won't save those lives.  
 
Mark
5-8-2015


John,
I saw your broadcast of “Today’s Retailing” and while interesting, little mention was made of the customer experience in purchasing a car. You did mention the time spent but it is the quality or lack of quality time spent buying a vehicle. I have heard so many stories of people who loathe the experience because of the lack of respect, the condescension, the attack of the prey, and leaving the dealership completely defeated. Yet, unfortunately, this is the model of the sales person. A good customer experience just might affect the bottom line positively.
 
As a retired GM employee, I didn’t have to go through the sales combat because I have been eligible for the retiree discount without any other incentives. Most of the prior buying experience was honest, to the point and under one hour. I am close to the end of my 2 year lease (mistake!) and am looking at vehicles to purchase. I visited my local dealer only to be subject to three hours of intimidation, coercion, and mistreatment by the salesman and his manager, even after I was completely candid about my visit that day. I was there only to see price options and not to buy or drive. I felt completely overwhelmed and crushed after three hours. I mentioned my past experiences and how they were handled, but that went ignored as did my repeated request to only get a couple of prices. 
 
I no longer want anything to do with any kind of GM vehicle or the company in any fashion. Although that pains me and maybe it is in my best interest to move on, I know I am one of many who have this experience.
 
Perhaps this management will change in the future? A good strategy might include honesty and respect.
 
Thank you for your time in reading my, and others, concerns about the retail experience.
 
Mary
5-8-2015


Hi John,
 
After the Detroit Auto show in January, I E-Mailed you asking why you did not cover Tesla. You indicated it was not a new model and you had never been loaned a Tesla to drive. So I E-Mailed Tesla and suggested they provide you one for evaluation. I said I believe you are objective and would give a fair analysis.
 
On Autoline after hours a week or two ago I heard you say you have now driven a Tesla. If that is true, what is your opinion and will you ever talk about it?
 
Love your show,
Alan Andrews in Oregon
Alan,

I have driven a Tesla but only because I was at an industry conference where there were test drives available to attendees, though not for members of the media. But one of the Tesla employees at the event, a big Autoline fan, recognized me and allowed me to take out one of the cars. It was fantastic, and the S is truly an impressive car. But a half hour test drive on the streets of San Jose is not the same as the week-long test drives we get with other cars, where we really put them through the wringer, and that’s why I never did a report on Autoline about it.

John McElroy
5-8-2015


John,
 
I was amused to hear you say how new and unique placing the name Malibu on the door of the new model is. As you were saying that, I could not help but chuckle at the fact that you were sitting in front of a Titan, with its name clearly spelled out on the door. Maybe you were referring to passenger cars as opposed to trucks?
 
Keep up the great work. Enjoyed the NY auto show report. That Lincoln concept looks really good, very elegant.
 
Dan
5-8-2015


I wouldn't want to see dealers go away.



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



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

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



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



Mike R

Texas
5-8-2015


I thought this was an auto site but I was treated to some political/religious/homosexual news! It is all about the money John. The auto makers feel there is more profit to be made to come out against RFRA. And NASCAR too! Of all businesses pretending to be tolerent NASCAR takes the cake! You can spray booze all over victory lane, get busted for driving drunk, smoke cigars, take drugs to make your tallywacker erect and you can still work for NASCAR. But if you smoked a little weed 3 weeks ago you get fired. Then there is Apple. Their CEO is openly gay and has come out and blasted Indiana's new law but he continues to sell millions of dollars worth of Apple's products to countries that execute gays. Appears he is not so pro gay he is willing to lose millions by boycotting countries that execute gays. Why no tolerence for gun owners and anti-vaxxer's? We can pot shame Snoop Dog and Willie Nelson but we can not fat shame Kelly Clarkson. There seems to be a double standard when it comes to tolerence. And THAT is what we need to fix.

Will
5-8-2015


P.S. on yesterday's comment on the Continental, I agree with CT6 being a better overall design, but I do like the rear design of the Continental over the CT6. The 4 is a bit of a shock, but it's in the Impala.  
 
Don't you think the 25% tariff is long out of date and not warranted???  How about a response, why send our best technology to their factories to be used against us some day?
 
rwork
4-27-2015


Hello John,

I hear you on the radio every morning on the way to work. I'm a car guy, a tool maker, and the way I see the car industry is going all the cars look alike. I drive a Ford Edge. A nice car (station wagon) but you know there are so many brands 
out there that all look the same, like station wagons. I had to put a green foam ball on the antenna, so the Wife and I can find it at Meijer. When I was a teen you could tell one car from another from a mile away. They had class and were stylish, what happened?? Look around the parking lot, you will see what I mean. All the same. Well that's how I see it.
 
Robert J Fuerneisen
4-27-2015


Enjoyed your podcast on infotainment systems -  as an automotive engineer that worked in electronics - I always thought that the dealer should make it programed for the buyer by age - let the screen look like a 60's car if you want - and never get rid of the knobs for the radio - and GPS systems are miss leading as you saw from the guy that drove off of a bridge and killed his wife - 
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gps-may-have-told-man-to-drive-off-indiana-bridge-cops/ar-AAacOJs - besides, the barking women telling you when to turn, geez - a good paper map works for me. And, I have a wife - LOL

Mark
Royal Oak
4-27-2015


Glad to see Lincoln is finally getting serious. 
Hard to keep dealers engaged when the product line is 
weak. Would love to see some out of the box thinking.
 How about a New luxury laden Thunderbird by Lincoln
 and Mustang based Cougar by Lincoln?
 Don't do anything Retro, just fresh.



Retired Ford Designer
John,



Thanks for the Burt Bacharach song. I’m old enough to remember when melody was still a mandatory ingredient in music.



MV



PS

LA is great, big freeway put a hundred down and buy a car...
4-27-2015


Greetings John,



Such a blast watching your updates from the floor of the NY auto show and hats off on an always stellar coverage. On that note, I think Mr. Bentley Head Honcho is being a wuss. If you are not confident enough at a very worthy competitor (who by the way was gracious enough to letcha use the "Continental" name plate), your lack of confidence will make your clientele think twice, no good for ya smh!!! Just my two cents worth and have yourself a lovely Holiday weekend, good sir :D!!!



Best,
Elyas
4-27-2015


Dear Sirs,
 
The new Lincoln Continental DOES NOT look like a Bentley, It looks like a Jaguar, with a little Kia bump to the bottom of the grill.
 
I don't think all of that reflective interior chrome will remain, and I think the side trim with the name is a bit too big. Plus, I hate the wheels. How about smaller chrome hubs that curve up to a small dome with the logo, and white walls?
 
rwork
4-27-2015


John,
Watching the AAH with Andrew and reading the new Malibu news... it seems that GM was very smart in developing their new Voltec Gen2 powertrain.

Not only do they have the best PHEV on the market with the 2016 Volt, but they may have also in one move put themselves ahead of Toyota's or Ford's HEV powertrain. I wonder if they may create a lightweighted Prius HEV fighter (maybe an HEV Volt derivative with a radically smaller battery and lower cost)?

What a royal blow to Toyota it would be if the next gen Prius is introduced with 55mpg and then GM trumps them with a 56mpg HEV!
 
..plus..
- more volumes to mfg lower costs
- Malibu HEV can already meet 2025 CAFE? (isn't 54.5 about the same as 45 unadjusted?)


If you have another opportunity to ask questions:
- given the 2016 Volt uses a 1.5L and the Malibu HEV uses as 1.8L engine, are there common mechanical interfaces (or bolt patterns) architected into the Voltec Gen2 HEV/PHEV transaxle in the same way the Chevy small block V8 had/has the same bell housing pattern? So, does this make it easily adaptable for a 2.0L or larger 4 cylinder for Impala or other vehicles?
I wonder how might this fit to create lower mfg cost, higher mpg, or performance AWD platforms the way Audi creates Quatto S and RS derivatives?

Regards,

Dave Tuttle
4-27-2015


Amen John!



I have been saying for years that driver training in this country is woefully inadequate. A friend of mine that was raised in Germany said that our driver's ed training is a joke compared to what is required there. And, it cost about $400 to get his driver's license when he obtained it 20 years ago. Not sure what they cost now but I would  wager it has gone up.



Considering the harm that can, (and is), be done with an automobile, our country should really consider beefing up the training requirements. Most high school students don't take Physics and thus have no clue about the forces at work behind concepts like momentum, inertia, centrifugal force, etc. Or how to avoid the negative aspects of them, or how to retrieve control of a vehicle once it begins to be lost. It would be nice to see Michigan take the lead on this issue, though I doubt that will happen.

Nick
4-17-2015


John,

The word police are at it again. Surprised that Wards would bring this issue up. When customers can walk into several different "automobile stores," find the exact same vehicle for the exact same price, then I guess they can be called stores. Until there is no more dealing to be had, they are dealers!
 


Amado Arceo

Saginaw, MI
4-17-2015


John,

Will you ever have Mistre Chip Drake on AutoLINE After Hors? We hear of him all the time.


Marion Kershavelin
Маринин Кирилишен
Marion,

Thanks for your interest in Chip Drake. He is the producer of our Autoline After Hours and Autoline This Week shows. Sometimes, but very rarely, he does appear on camera. Most of the time he is in the control room, overseeing the production of the shows.

Best,
John McElroy
4-17-2015


Hello Mr. McElroy,

Love watching your show every Monday. Interesting people from all types of industries.

I went through an apprenticeship program growing up in Germany many years ago and have my own small business here now.

Teaching young kids a good trade is vital to the future and I applaud the efforts of your guests. I do the same in my shop.

Mr. Hackel started saying kids should not look into law enforcement instead to check out manufacturing options. Superintendent DeVault thinks that way, too.

I think everybody should go into public office. Just Googled this info about Mr. Hackel and did not bother to search for Mr. DeVaults records because they probably will be the same:
"Under information obtained by The Macomb Daily through the Freedom of Information Act, Hackel will receive a lump sum pension payment of nearly $376,000, a monthly Sheriff's Department pension of $6,240 -- more than $74,000 a year -- and an annual executive salary of $139,000." (Public record)

This is what is wrong with this country!

Best regards,
Kai Schulte
4-17-2015


ALD Pi Day

Don’t know who on the staff wrote the script for the subject segment, but kudos to them. I’m sure they had fun!
 
The pi based pricing information was most interesting, if not surprising. One can only wonder if the marketing gurus or pricing strategists knowingly went there?!

Glenn
4-17-2015


Hi John,
 
Did you do a story about the newly announced Sprinter Van plant in South Carolina?
 
It is quite a noteworthy event and ties into your recent program on Mexican manufacturing. 
 
I have bookmarked your ‘Mexico’ show but when I started watching it I got a little nauseous when that executive started gloating about how Mexican wages have stayed cheap while China has apparently been too soft on workers by awarding them pay increases.
 
If you remember Ross Perot’s far-sighted prediction of a "sucking sound” as America jobs went south under NAFTA you might also remember that he was half wrong about one other prophecy. At the time he felt American wages would stagnate until eventually the Mexican workers would catch up to US wages. Even though union* and non-union US autoworkers have been hammered with pay cuts the past decade the Mexican system is so bent that 21 years into NAFTA they have not even come close to catching up.
 
Mexico is on course for annual production of around 5 million cars in a couple of years while consuming only 1 million cars per year. Imagine if the USA produced vehicles in the same proportion. Would 80 million cars made in the US every year seriously disrupt the balance of the global markets?
 
Of course we Canadians are truly the odd men out with an autoworkers union that still tries to respect the principal of equality and refuses to accept Third World wages. Did you know there is serious talk of GM pulling out of Oshawa in a couple of years?

* I really find it difficult to believe the current UAW meets the objective definition of a labour union.
 
Mike Vorobej
Ottawa
4-17-2015


John McElroy

  The USA, Britain and Germany all used gasoline aircraft engines with water methanol injection to produce war emergency power or WEP during World War II. In most American fighter’s this was done by moving the throttle past the normal stop or detent to the war emergency power condition. The water methanol or occasionally water ethanol tank typically provided 5 to 7 minutes of time running at the higher power setting.

  The water and methanol was used purely to lower combustion temperatures allowing the engine to run at higher boost pressures than achievable without water methanol injection. Some German fighter engines also used nitrous oxide injection. For the Merlin engine used in the P 51D Mustang the maximum supercharger pressure was 90 psi but with water methanol injection the boost could be raised to about 105 psi. For the air cooled radial engines like the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines the boost pressure could be raised from about 70 psi to about 90 psi. The additional strain on the engine required that engines used in the over boost condition be more frequently overhauled. The Allies primarily because the USA had considerable ability to modify the octane ratings of gasoline had a big advantage over the Germans.

  Power ratings for these World War II engines were often referred to as normal and wet; the wet ratings are for engines using water methanol injection.

Ray Aurand
4-17-2015


Hi John,

Just wondering what you guys think of the new Volvo XC90?  Would love to hear your comments

.

Abhi

Halifax, Canada
Abhi,

We have not driven it yet, so we don’t have any comments so far.
4-17-2015


John,



Jake Fisher was spot on with his information about automotive multimedia devices. The user interfaces are mostly poorly designed, and they are unreliable. 

(To the critics of CR's methods, yes they are observational surveys, but they are well done and statistically sound. Justification is beyond the scope of this email, but for those interested, reference Seeing Through Statistics, 4h Ed, by Jessica M Utts).



I would take exception with one comment. 

While it is probably true that most buyers desire these systems, the automakers are being a bit sly and deceitful. One is often required to pay a huge up-charge for these systems, which are bundled with a much more common desirable 'option'. Some examples I have come across on web builds are: presets and more electric adjustments for both driver and front passenger seating, lumbar support for the front seats, back up or front and side cameras, and sound system upgrades.



And in a related complaint, BMW wins the prize for brand arrogance, not only because of the above, but due to that ridiculous electronic shifter, that glorified nest of buttons. Perhaps mastery conveys entrance into some mystical society... 



Seriously, though, lack of standardization of controls, in general, is becoming known as a safety issue. 



Recall the unfortunate accident where a new owner of a Mercedes SUV is thought to have unintentionally driven into an oncoming train in New York state, and died along with train passengers. The unfamiliar shift pattern is being investigated as a contributing factor, http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/did-a-merecedes-shifter-contribute-to-the-fatal-metro-n-1684219528.



The government may intervene if the automakers do not voluntarily ameliorate these problems.



Great show,
Tim Beaumont
4-17-2015


John:

Finally, someone, as alluded to by your story, is giving credit where it is due regarding high tech stuff. As far as technological complexity and sophistication are concerned, the technology coming from Silicon Valley pales in comparison to that of coming from Detroit's car companies. It's been that way for the last 30 or so years.

Thanks for getting the word out. Keep up the good work!!!!

John Zupanc
4-17-2015


Hello John,
 
Please tell Marshall that we Baby Boomers are very much excited about the prospect of autonomous cars. Our generation could be the first that in our dotage trades in the normal driver's license for an autonomous car only driver's permit.
 
Hey all drivers should like this. Then you may not have to put up the turn signal on the car in front of you blinking mile after mile.
 
Boomer1946
4-17-2015


Hi john,



Very interesting to hear on your Autoline Daily program that Ford is said to be working on a light duty diesel for the new F-150. With the success Ram is seeing with their light duty diesel and with the folks in Dearborn working to bring one to market, could GM dust off the power plant they shelved a few years back? I remember a show you did with the folks from Wards, where there was talk of the 4.5 ltr Duramax as a ten best engines, if they'd have brought it to market.



All the best,

Aren
4-9-2015


You may already know this. I ran into a friend the other day that was installing the aluminum welding equipment at the Ford Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky. He told me that the company he was working for has just signed a contract to install the aluminum welding equipment at the Chevy Truck Plant. This is their next project shortly after the Ford plant is up and running. It looks like those Chevy "High Strength Steel" ads are going to be short lived!

Don L
4-9-2015


Hi John,



Just watched your programme for the first time and found it very interesting. I noted comment about Renault and the other brands from France. They certainly did need to up their game and, to be fair, a survey in the UK last year (WarrantyDirect) now rates them at # 2 for lack of warranty claims…which places them behind the Japanese, but just ahead of the Koreans. That places them well ahead of the Germans and other European manufacturers, although it should noted that Skoda (Czech Republic) wasn’t included, and here in New Zealand that brand has a lot of respect (kinda pricey though).



Regards to all,


Barry Watkin
Auckland, NZ
4-9-2015


Hi John,
 
I finally got time to watch the Z06 Afterhours show and your discussion on Flow Cells got me thinking on what do you do with the fluid? I looked up how these devices work and they are very similar to a normal battery in that you have 2 chemicals that come together in a solution that causes electrons to be emitted and absorbed. I would assume, since there is no perceptual motion machines, the electrons used to create electricity would come from the fluids. So, unless you put those electrons back into the fluids through a reverse process, charging, you would have to remove the fluids and replace them with new fluids. If you have to drive around with 500 gallons of fluid that adds about 4000 lbs to the vehicle and has to be pumped out and then replaced. I see no advantage to using this system in a car. The use of super capacitors to store regenerative energy from braking could help, but the battery, if sized properly, could produce all the energy needed to propel the car. I would think that some kind of charging system could be developed to reuse the fluids and could be plugged into shore power. However, a 6000 lb. car make no sense to me.
 
Great show, love those Corvettes, I think I will keep my 94 and drive the wheels off it.  Someday I may have a new one, who knows, maybe a mid engine one.
 
Al Jadczak
Lake Orion, Michigan
currently in Gilbert, Arizona enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures
4-9-2015


Hello John, 

 

Enjoyed very much your show about CPO's. Very interesting and informative. To your knowledge is Ford the only manufacturer at this time to offer the lifetime roadside assistance that was mentioned by Todd Fites? That is such a great incentive to purchase a CPO for a young driver. Its certainly something to consider.
 


Thanks,

GB, 
Houston 
GB

We’re not aware of other automakers offering roadside assistance on their CPO cars, but we’ll check into it.
4-9-2015


John,

Forgive this poke at ALD; on Monday you bragged on the streaming coverage of all 12 hours of Sebring without ANY advertising breaks: what about the now increased number of advertising breaks in 7 – 9 minutes of ALD?! Maybe give us a break once a week?

Glenn
Glenn,

You make a valid point, but consider that motor racing is the only sport that breaks away from the action for commercials. And you see the same commercials over and over again for at least four hours. In TV coverage of NASCAR I would estimate that 40% of your viewing time is for commercials and promotions. On Autoline Daily you’re subjected to less than 30 seconds of commercial messaging, or about 6% of each show.
4-9-2015


“To top it off, Chevy power took home the top spot in the Prototype Challenge class.”
 
John, you do know that Prototype Challenge is a spec series with an Oreca chassis and Chevrolet engines, right?
 
Sean P. Walsh P.E.
Arlington, VA
4-9-2015


John,
 
Autoline always thinks out side of the box, watch the last two minutes of this Nightly Business Report dated March 23, 2015. Start your Car with your eyes.
 
May'be this will be the way of the future. Keep up the good work.
 
Thanks
Oakcabin
Thanks for sending, we had not seen this.
4-9-2015


Hi john,



Very interesting to hear on your Autoline Daily program that Ford is said to be working on a light duty diesel for the new F-150. With the success Ram is seeing with their light duty diesel and with the folks in Dearborn working to bring one to market, could GM dust off the power plant they shelved a few years back? I remember a show you did with the folks from Wards, where there was talk of the 4.5 ltr Duramax as a ten best engines, if they'd have brought it to market.



All the best,

Aren
3-31-2015


John,

The word police are at it again. Surprised that Wards would bring this issue up. When customers can walk into several different "automobile stores,” find the exact same vehicle for the exact same price, then I guess they can be called stores. Until there is no more dealing to be had, they are dealers!

Amado Arceo
Saginaw, MI
3-31-2015


Dealers or stores? Really, how about HOSTAGE TAKERS? They get you in there and won't let go of you. If you bring a trade, guess what, it disappears. The problem is word of mouth is the best or worst advertising. Isn't their a saying, lipstick on a pig is still a pig? Struck a nerve? You bet!

All the best, Mike R,Texas
3-31-2015


About 3 years ago, it was about 80 Yen to the dollar. Two years ago it was about 90 Yen to the dollar, a year ago it was about 100 Yen to the dollar, and now it is about 120 Yen to the dollar. That is a 50% depreciation. Does this give cars made in Japan a significant disadvantage over those made in the US? Will we see car price changes, or content removed, in Japanese sourced cars because of it?

Neil G
Normal, IL
Yes, the depreciation of the yen gives Japanese automakers a huge advantage. Will you see lower prices or higher content? No, you will see bigger profits.
3-31-2015


John:

Have you seen this? This would make a great Auto Line Detroit program... bringing local copyright lawyers and auto repair guys to discuss this emerging topic. Also, your show could be expanded to include auto injury lawyers and the driverless car folks together to discuss emerging legal issues resulting from driverless cars. The cars might be driverless, but there could be a team of lawyers in the trunk!

Best Regards, Joe Neussendorfer
Detroit Press Club Member
This is much ado about nothing. First, shade tree mechanics have been modifying cars for well over a century. Second, there is nothing illegal about modifying purchased products or software as long as it is for personal use. Besides, we’d love to see anyone try and enforce this. Only in America would lawyers and politicians wring their hands over such an inconsequential issue.

McElroy
3-31-2015


John,

Two serious frustrations about the US auto industry: 1) Can we please have station wagons back? Something like my 2001 Audi allroad V6 twin turbo AWD? And although the diesel would be nice, I really do not want a manual! The Aisin or ZF 8-speed would be great. No jerky double clutches, unless they include a torque converter, such as the recent Acura/Honda. 2) Think we could have a stand alone delete option, and price reduction, for all the 'connectivity?’ I like the 'autonomous' safety features, but I really do not need to text, phone, or scroll through multiple menus on MMI or iDrive or Sync or CUE, etc, while at the wheel. A smart phone or Garmin is fine, and data should be entered before one sets off on the road. And perhaps we should try a paradigm shift to emphasize personal responsibility while earning the privilege to operate a motor vehicle. I suggest 'piloting' rather than 'driving.’ Maybe ask 'the execs' next time they are on.

As always, Great show, Tim Beaumont
We love what you’re saying about station wagons, but the only way they’ll ever make a comeback in the US market is if more people start to buy them. Last month Audi sold a paltry 181 allroads. And those sales were down 35% from a year ago!
3-25-2015

John,

I saw this a couple months ago and was going to send it to you, but got busy here I guess and ended up not. I found the aspect of another big market for electric batteries interesting. And as someone who rides and follows motorcycle news, I had no idea the electric scooter market was this big!

It may also help explain Ford's announcement last week about its interest in electric bikes??

Best,
Jeff Woodin
Wynantskill, NY
3-25-2015

John,

I just finished watching the Oliver Schmidt AAH. Great show. It's so interesting to contrast the tech culture to the auto culture. Part of the tech culture I grew up in was "trying to change the world to be a better place.” Really listen to Elon Musk on this. It's part of being in an inspiring and "bigger than yourself" environment and culture. It's obvious that many OEMs are just creating PEVs to meet government regulations and don't have their heart in it. In the tech community PEVs powered by domestically sourced zero emission electricity is the solution to a number of the world's big problems. Apple has $178 billion available to do anything it wants. EV powertrains are relatively simple and modular. They can learn how to design 5-star FMVSS cars and sell online as Tesla did. Don't underestimate the tech culture that is striving to make the world a better place. This is an inspiring vision. This is probably a larger source of disdain of the tech world against Detroit than folks may realize. Also just think of the synergy between Apple and Tesla on creating a pervasive DC fast charging/supercharged network across the country. I may try to write an IEEE paper on why it makes a lot of sense for Apple to create an EV.

Regards, Dave Tuttle
Dave,

You’re absolutely right that people want to be part of a culture that is “bigger than yourself.” Or buy products from companies trying to achieve that. The OEMs all talk the talk, but most of them don’t walk it.

BTW, what do you make of the Quant flow cell cars? They run on liquid salt! Any feedback on them?

McElroy
3-25-2015

John,

I really enjoyed the interview on Autoline After Hours with Oliver Schmidt particularly the part about in house component development. I also listened with interest when Sean reported VW's R&D spend. What I do not understand is why VW/group has such mediocre reliability ratings? Being the owner of two VWs and two Audi's, I can testify first hand to mediocre reliability. My Toyota 4Runner, admittedly much less fun to drive, has a far lower cost of ownership because nothin ever breaks. What gives with VW? The words and money don't equal the results.

From Switzerland, Peter
Peter,

What you ask about is one of the most puzzling aspects of the VW group. On so many fronts the group is so powerful, but consistently comes up short in reliability. If we had an explanation or solution, we’d be rich! Clearly this is a key reason why VW’s sales in the US market are so weak. The residuals of VW’s cars are so poor that their lease rates are sky-high, at least where the company does not subsidize them. Yet, on the other hand, Audi is doing quite well. If VW can solve its reliability issues—watch out!

McElroy
3-5-2015

Hi John

Just watched Joe Hinrichs on the ATW show. I'd say that he represents Ford well. He is a good spokesperson and knows his stuff. The man also gives the impression of being an average guy, not a put-on.

We watch all your shows on a regular basis and do enjoy all.

Cheers,

Jay Mtn Home, AR
3-5-2015

John,

I have two ideas for you. What if you did video versions of the SEAT-times you post on the Autoline website? The Bentley Flying Spur would have been a great opportunity. We don’t see these cars here in Azerbaijan ever. They could really become popular with watchers of your shows! Also, what if you brought the two generations on the After Hours show? You, your sons Seamus and Sean would be for a good show! Many peoples here would like I think if they have the internet!

Marion Kershavelin
Marion,

Thanks so much for your suggestions. We like the idea of video versions of Seat Time, and will try to figure out the best way to do it.

Best,
John McElroy
3-5-2015

Greetings from the Great White North!

I thought it quite bizarre that it is just now that the French Renault is coming out with an SUV. That got me thinking, SUVs aren't that popular in the European market as they are in North America. Another added quandary, why is it that the French name plates are noticeably absent from a large majority (if not totally) of the North American markets? It cannot be lack of manufacturing facilities (well, for Renault at least) owing to its alliance with Nissan... What gives, John?

Elyas from Winnipeg
Renault, Citroen and Peugeot all sold cars in the US and Canada up through the 1980’s. But their quality wasn’t very good, which led to sinking sales, which led them to abandon these markets.

McElroy
3-5-2015

Hey John,

Before you go instructing your viewers to do something illegal, you better make sure they understand their own state laws. Many states make it illegal to alter the reflectivity of a vehicle's license plate, or to interfere with the capabilities of a speed measuring device in any way. Make sure they check their own state laws before proceeding or they could find themselves with a bigger fine than just from speeding.

Matt
Hatfield, MA
3-5-2015

Regarding putting slicks on a Transit, mentioned on AAH Thursday night, I'm reminded that there have been a number of custom high-performance Transits and other vans. There's the Transit built by TWR to test the powertrain for the Jaguar XJ220, since boosted to a reported 640 PS, the Transit Supervans based first on the original GT40 and later a C100 Group C chassis (the latter really just Transit shaped fibre-glass shells on a racing chassis), and most recently the one-off Ford Transit SuperSportsvan from 2011, with the biggest 200 PS diesel in the smallest swb Transit body. They're the efforts Ford UK cooked up for publicity efforts, but I'm sure you remember the days when GMC, Chevy and Ford vans were customised, not just with wild paint jobs and interiors, but fat rear tyres and high performance V8s. Just the thing for SEMA.

Andrew Charles
2-27-2015

Dear John McElroy,

I am currently going to school for a bachelors in Business Administration and General Management and am very interested in the automotive field as a career. I am an avid watcher of Autoline and the industry as a whole.

The reason why I am emailing you is to see if you can ask the automotive executives how they got to where they are today (career path) and what changes they would have made if they did it over again.

It would be fascinating to hear their stories and see if they have any advice for young students just getting out in the market and looking at the automotive field for a career.

Thank you for having an enjoyable show and look forward to watching for years to come.

Sincerely,
Blaid Butler
Blaid,

What a terrific suggestion. I can’t promise I will do this every time, but I’ll make a point of bringing this up when appropriate.

John McElroy
2-27-2015

Hello John,

I just got around to watching last week's Autoline After Hours with Oliver Schmidt. As we discussed after your first episode with him, having him back was a must do.

Excellent all the way around and maybe you can Skype with him later in the year once he is back in Germany. I bet his perspective after a few months at VWHQ might produce some very interesting comments.

Thanks,
John Faulkner
John,

We’re glad you enjoyed that show. We like your suggestion of Skyping Oliver in once he’s back in Germany, but we get the feeling he’ll be working on top secret projects and may not make him available.

McElroy
2-27-2015

John,

Like I said in one of your previous shows, the way to the future will be fuel-cells. Norway has put in a hydrogen infrastructure, and now you hear that the Japanese companies are building their own hydrogen fueling stations. I give great credit to the automobile industry for forging ahead on their own when it comes to the age of new propulsion. Hopefully, it will be their vision and tenacity that saves our environment and planet.

Jim Thykeson
Venice, FL
2-27-2015

Hi John:

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the return of Oliver Schmidt to the AAH studio last night. He’s obviously a very knowledgeable guy who has strong opinions and a great dry sense of humour. And, as a bonus, he sticks around for the entire program. Invite him back anytime!

Regards,
Steve Read
Steve,

Oliver is one of our favorites and we’re glad you see it that way too!

McElroy
2-27-2015

Will TowerSec's software prevent Tuners from modifying a cars ECU to get more horsepower?

Ben
No. Towersecs’s software identifies software commands that are illogical or dangerous, such as unlocking the doors while driving down the highway, and prevents them from happening.

McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autolinedetroit.tv