Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv
Note: Your name and/or email may be read on the air.

11-23-2022


Hi John,
I'm curious about the Autoline take on what appears to be the introduction of a North American Fiat 500E at the L.A. auto show on the 17th of this month.  I know that the 500E has been a top EV seller in Europe for several months but is this too little, too late for the NA market?  With virtually no advertising/marketing in the US, the Fiat brand seems to be present in name only and I just don't see how this could be anything other than a Hail Mary attempt at penetrating the entry level, low cost EV market in NA.  What do you guys think?
Thanks
Charlie
Charlie,

100%. Small cars like the 500 just don’t sell well in the US. It will give the dealers something new. And it will have a relatively low price. But sales will probably be very modest at best.

John McElroy
11-15-2022


I'm sorry John but once again you are completely full of shit.  The Celestiq is an ugly, overpriced piece of shit.  Cadillac has never been or ever will be the standard of the world.  Not to mention who, with half a brain, would ever pay 300k for a caddy?  No one.  The thing you don't understand is GM has NEVER listened to what they customer wants in it's entire history.  They just ram their own garbage down people's throat, telling them what they want.  They also make up awards and give them to themselves.  Let's not forget the bailout.  Stop sucking GM's flaccid dick you hack.  

Greg
Greg,

We are going to cheerfully publish your letter so that others can read it too. That way, everybody will know what an uncultured, vulgar, no-nothing you are.

All the best,

John McElroy
11-4-2022


I'm curious about Autoline's opinion. As several OEMs chase (or avoid) the latest woke trends, are they risking associating their brands with a political ideology? Are they looking at Tesla and saying "maybe polarization is good for sales".
 
I'm reading the news about brands suspending their Twitter advertising, and it has me wondering about this risk.
 
Thanks Autoline!
Automakers are loathe to take political positions unless it’s something that directly affects their business, like fuel economy standards. They know that if they take a position on something, they’ll alienate half of their customers. So they avoid political statements altogether.

Most OEMs are temporarily pausing their advertising on Twitter, probably for two reasons. First, Elon could be about to make Twitter politically radioactive. So they’ll wait to see if that actually happens. Second, why would they spend millions on Twitter and help out Elon? Imagine if General Motors bought CNN, or Fox. Every other automaker would instantly suspend their advertising with those media outlets.

John McElroy
11-4-2022


Hi John,
 
Today's speaker at our Chrysler retiree's breakfast (retired from Powertrain) declared that each Tesla consumes such quantities of rare materials for its batteries that could instead be used in many hybrid vehicles.
 
He implied that if the goal is lowest impact on the environment, a fleet of hybrids in USA would give a better net impact than a fleet of BEV's.
 
Has Autoline heard this argument before?  Should I be asking folks at CAR this question or Sandy Munro's guys?
 
Thank you,
 
Dave
David,

This is exactly the argument that Toyota has made.
11-4-2022


Great subject for your show... Netflix: Fugitive: The Curious Case of Carlos Ghosn.
 
- A
Saw it, it’s excellent! Required viewing for anyone interested in the auto industry.

Most telling moment, when Louis Schweitzer says Ghosn’s excuses were bullshit.

John McElroy
11-4-2022


John -

I’m a long time listener and avid fan of your show. I want to make it clear that I’m a 55 years old white haired owner of two hearing aids driving an ICE vehicle kind of guy.

I very much enjoyed the recent podcast with John Smith and talking about his history with GM/Cadillac. I was amazed however when the discussion came to the future viability and future business viability of EV Vehicles how you once again missed an important point.

When John looked back at his career and his love for the Cadillac brand he often talked about the emotional cues of buyers.

However when you discussed the business liability of EV‘s you never once mentioned the environment. Young people are energized by this so dramatically that it’s amazing you continually miss this salient and so obvious fact.

People want to buy great vehicles but they also want to live in A world with less pollution and they feel that this is how they differentiate from old folks who “don’t get it “. When you talk about legislation it’s always about the dollars and cents of it and never about the necessity of it in terms of fighting climate change.

Even if you strongly believe that climate change is a hoax and that it’s all a liberal left-wing conspiracy, the business case is still incredibly clear but that the environment is a very important driver for this market.

Keep doing what you do, but get ahead on this issue even if it’s not what you grew up with in the industry

Best,

John
John,

Thanks for your feedback. We’ll publish your letter in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
11-4-2022


Why was the Model T So Successful?
 
Most people attribute its success to the price but there were other cars that were initially in the same price range. The Model T was by far the best designed and with the extensive use of high strength steel the most durable and reliable of the low priced cars.
 
There were other significant issues that contributed to its success: 
1. Ford had the most dealerships 
2. It was simple to repair and a significant number of people in those times could do it themselves. Unlike other companies Ford insisted that all dealers have a service department available to repair cars for the customer who chose not to repair it themselves.
3. Ford developed a dealership and parts system that no one else could compete with.
4. Ford’s strategy that any design changed part must also fit the existing Ford cars was brilliant! He did not need vast warehouses of obsolete parts so the customer could keep their car running. The dealers were obligated to keep a supply of all parts on hand and Ford had District Representatives that would keep track of dealer compliance. If a dealer ordered a part he got the latest version fresh off of production tooling.
 
There are dozens of companies today designing leading edge electric vehicles with no plan of how to keep them running. You will buy your car from some palace-like showroom and drive off into the sunset and nothing will go wrong, go wrong!! Tesla, and I truly respect Musk, was able to survive their lack of service because early adopters will typically tolerate this to prove to the world they are smarter!!
 
Subsequent new entrants will not have this customer tolerance! There is going to be as big a fall out of auto companies as there was in the early 1900s. The survivors will not necessarily be the latest whizbang but the companies that can keep their customers' cars running. This will require some new service concepts, and not necessarily created by the people currently with the most service experience! 
 
Just Remember: Once upon a time, Henry Ford was an inexperienced upstart!!     
 
Don L
11-4-2022


I really enjoyed hearing John Smith — but my view is that he is out of touch with up and coming car buyers.   

My 30+ yo daughters and their friends really want electric cars. They can’t afford them, but they certainly want them.

AC
AC,

I don’t think that John Smith is out of touch, but I do think events will prove him wrong and that EVs will sell well.

John McElroy
11-4-2022


Hey
 
Is there anyway you guys could talk about EV vs ICE efficiency? For example, the wiper blades on a Tesla are mostly tucked under the hood to reduce drag. The bumper barely has any pockets/gaps where air could get held up at such as a fake grill or emblem/logo. They could build or indent the logo into the hood. 
 
They maximized aerodynamic performance, and the old fashioned automakers don't seem to grasp the idea of designing a vehicle that slips through the air with ease. Furthermore, ICE vehicles look like the were designed without efficiency in mind.. it's like they didn't care. It's common sense! Land or water, a round ball will travel with less resistance than a square cube. Duh! 
 
ICE vehicles could be much more efficient if designers held this as a top priority, but they choose not to.. why?! 
Two problems that affect efficiency, #1weight and #2 aero. If we can help push this enough, then ICE vehicles won't have a chance. Lets hit them where it hurts! Gas companies will be fine in the end anyway, our planet won't.
 
And Sandy Munro needs to be on for this talk as well!! It's a must.
 
Btw, I'm taking an online course on electric vehicles. It covers business, policy, and technology when switching to EVs. 
 
Thank you, I really hope you make this conversation happen! 
 
Jeremy
Hopkins Minnesota.
Automotive Mechanic
Jeremy,

Thanks for your feedback, good topic.

We’re also going to publish your letter in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

Best,

John McElroy
10-26-2022


Hi John, still listening and enjoying the autoline after hours podcast, one of my favorite parts is after the main guest segment is over. When your panel discusses recent news, annoucements and trends, i think you could do a whole show just doing that (once a month or quarter for example), its nice to hear the panel interacting and hearing different opinions and insights …anywho keep up the great work ..thanks Mike
10-24-2022


Whenever someone claims Tesla needs a low cost EV, the bitter memories of a 1980 Chevette come to mind. It so spoiled our impressions that my wife forbid me from even looking at another GM vehicle. Besides, Tesla does not need to steal sales from the wildly successful, profitable, low cost EV leaders, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt.

Thanks to a combination of manufacturing, procurement, and design improvements, inflation is making the Model 3 into the entry EV. BTW, trade-in of my last Toyota Prius Prime, meant my 2019 Model cost $24,000. Is that low enough to be an entry EV?

Bob
Retired Engineer
Huntsville, AL
10-24-2022


Hello John,
 
I just finished watching the discussion with Bob Hall.  He has experienced a lot during his automotive journey.  I like; Marketing is hard, they make you buy something you don’t want.  Sales are easy, they sell you something you do want… good storyteller!
 
Thanks for the Miata story,
 
Pete
10-24-2022


I see all these new 'battery factories' are going to green fields away from city populations.
 
It looks like an economic and environmental disaster in the making, 'in the name of the environment'.  
 
Does government propaganda dictats extend to the auto press?
 
r work
Battery plants are quite clean, cleaner than assembly plants for example.

Maybe you’re referring to the mining and processing of raw materials for batteries. That’s an issue. But ICE vehicles also require a tremendous amount of mining for that platinum, palladium and rhodium that are needed for the catalytic converter. These are very expensive and rare materials that require extensive earth-removal to get to them.

John McElroy
10-24-2022


Just want to send a quick comment on the new Flagship Caddy: love 99% of it. Only problem I have is that it'd look much better as a sedan. You can even see the 'hidden' sedan in some of the angles. Too bad they sacrificed the styling for aero.
If the Celestiq was an ICE car, maybe they would have gone with a more 3-box sedan shape. But in the EV era, aerodynamics rules the day.

John McElroy
10-24-2022


Hello I recently purchased a Mach-E2022 it has had problems since day one I have the car for 11 days before it malfunctioned. I want to get for to buy the car back, please advise?
Sorry to hear you’re having problems with your car. If you want to have Ford buy it back you’ll need to see if you qualify for the Lemon Law which varies from state to state.

You’ll need to show that you gave the dealer and Ford ample warning with a written notice that you had a problem with the car. You have to show you gave them the opportunity to fix it. You need to be able to show they were not able to fix it.

We recommend that you contact the Better Business Bureau’s auto line. It has helped millions of customers with the Lemon Law.

John McElroy
10-24-2022


This is all you can do here  - do you do this in US?   
 
Kind Regards


Richard
There are hill climbs in the US, but with the exception of Pike’s Peak, you don’t hear much about them.

However, there is a tremendous amount of 4x4 off-roading which is very popular on our side of the pond.

John McElroy
10-20-2022


Hey guys,
 
With car designers now able to focus on content / design details that could potentially make each model a home run, instead of having to share development dollars  with expensive / complicated ICE drivetrains, are we in the second Golden Age of car design?
 
Thanks,
 
S10 Baja
BEV powertrains eat up more development dollars than ICE powertrains. But BEVs give designers more flexibility, so we will see a Golden Age of car design. In fact, it’s already started.

John McElroy
10-20-2022


Just a thought!
Perhaps a metric we should begin to look at is a “Convenience Parity” or the difference between gasoline and electric auto issues like:
1 Time to charge versus time to fill
2 Cost to fill vs cost to charge  
3 Availability of charge points vs # of gas pumps
4 Repair site availability
5 Cost and time to repair
6 Cost and availability to tow 

Don
Don,

Those are good metrics. But the charge time and # of chargers is changing so fast it would have to be constantly updated!

John McElroy
10-20-2022


Hi John,
I'm surprised you have not covered the Nord Stream Pipelines feeding Germany being taken out.
How will this affect the German Auto manufactures including Tesla?
 
Alan
Grants Pass, Oregon
Alan,

Since Russia already cut off all gas supplies to Germany and those pipelines were not being used, the sabotage is not going to affect automotive production. But the gas shortage has every automaker in Germany scrambling for alternatives.

John McElroy
10-20-2022


Hi Sean,
 
I have really enjoyed the show over the years. I am a big fan of old American muscle cars and EV‘s. (Odd mix, I know)
 
My question for Tim Kuniskis (Head of Dodge)
 
Q: Why are two of the most popular Muscle cars from Dodge, (Charger and Challenger) being made in Canada? 
 
(If Tesla can do it in high cost, California, why can’t the Big 2 1/2 do it in Michigan.)

Thank you!

Victor
Victor,

Sorry we didn’t get to your question on the show, but here’s the answer.

Stellantis (even FiatChrysler previously) allocates vehicles to assembly plants based on its product cadence and which plant is available for retooling. So products move from plant to plant over the years.

The only plants that don’t change are the main Jeep plant in Toledo, OH that makes the Wrangler, and the truck plant in Warren, MI probably due to its big size.

John McElroy
10-20-2022


I've been meaning to respond to John's YouTube video that asserted that legacy automakers use far more CPUs and that this puts them at a competitive disadvantage relative to Tesla.

I'm not in the automotive industry, but I am an EE and have been employed to design electronics for several decades now.

This 'fewer CPU' notion is a recurring topic on Autoline, so much so that it prompted me to undertake a comparison between Tesla and Mazda(SkyActiv) that I posted in a tiny corner of the Internet last year.

The summary of the above link is that Tesla has quite a few CPUs.... more than a recent Mazda.

Moreover, a centralized CPU doesn't help with reducing wiring
complexity. Bosch's CANbus was a major innovation when it was first introduced (late 1980s if I my memory serves) because it allowed fewer wires between several 'islands', each with its CPU. Running discrete wires to an entire car from a centralized point is not efficient; that's why modern automakers segment designs into 'front body control' and 'rear body control', for example.

Moreover, a centralized CPU doesn't help with reducing wiring
complexity.  Bosch's CANbus was a major innovation when it was first introduced (late 1980s if I my memory serves) because it allowed fewer wires between several 'islands', each with its CPU.

It wasn't that many months ago that Tesla fanbois were claiming how creative Tesla was to "replace microchips with microcontrollers" due to chip shortages. Microcontrollers are CPUs, so if Tesla's superiority is due to having fewer CPUs, surely this would have been a huge step backwards.

This is not intended as criticism; I enjoy Autoline immensely.  I'm just a bit skeptical of this fewer CPU notion.

Peter
Peter,

Great feedback. We’ll publish this in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
10-18-2022


I wish that Charger EV design would have been an earlier ICE redesign a few years ago,
BUT, this new model does demonstrate what 'legs' that second gen Charger (around '69?) design had in terms of form purity that could endlessly be reinterpreted.
 
AND, I don't like EV's for the long distance recharge issues.  So, If I could, would not buy one.
 
r work
10-18-2022


Dear John & Sean
 
Watched after hours last night ( airs here 8.00pm- 9.30pm)
 
Oh dear  new cars are getting dreary , faceless and plain ugly - far too big far too heavy .
 
Here in UK all land is privately owned - you cannot go off road anywhere at all unless you own the field . Range Rovers are only bought in order to impress others that you own a country estate - in reality most drivers  live on a modern housing estate in a tiny modern box . London now has a 20mph blanket speed limit  enforced by number plate recognition cameras  - each time  3 points on your licence (12 gets you disqualified for a year ) and £100 fine . Many motorways have already been lowered from 70mph to 60mph  - in Portsmouth  city the speed limit is 10mph . So you do not need 500BHP  or even 200bhp 
 
 Pick ups are of no interest to UK drivers at all  - they are a vehicle that would mark you out as a builder.
 Charging points in UK are a total nightmare  and totally hopeless way to get around the country  - a 3 hr journey turns in to  a 6 hr journey hunting for a charger that fits your car  and is in working order -  most are not,   two cars in front of you might add 3 hrs to the wait . Electricity cost in UK is already up by 300% in the last 12  months  and public chargers double that cost again - now as expensive as petrol.
 
Anyway what I am interested in is the 2022 Delorean  - you gave it the briefest of mentions last night 
 
Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company – formed by British engineer Stephen Wynne, who acquired the rights to the original firm’s name and branding in 1995 – earlier previewed its modern-day take on the mid-engined DeLorean DMC in a cryptic tweet confirming limited details.
 
Perhaps you could do a piece on what is going on there .
In the early 1980s John Z Delorean  got a grant of £80million  from UK taxpayers    - £350million in todays money  to build the plant in the middle of the terrorist zone in Northern Ireland 
 
As you no doubt recall  it is likely the  breaches of law etc resulted in Colin Chapman having a heart attack and dying  in December 1982 at 54 years old  very nearly 40 years ago now 
 
Incidentally here is 5 min film  I shot this past Saturday at a Lotus gathering   

Keep up the good work  - never miss it 

Kind Regards


Richard
10-18-2022


Your last AAH episode on EV logistics got me to thinking.  Right now I see new charging stations popping up.  They are usually one to six units sometimes in front of retail but more often now at the remote areas of large parking areas.  The latter would be a red flag for me.  I would not want to be exposed for a half hour sitting in a higher end electric vehicle waiting for a charge.  Persons doing this would be too easy a mark in this time with rising crime rates.
10-18-2022


VinFast has quietly updated their website for each vehicle, the VF8 and the VF9, with battery inclusive pricing. The FAQ has also been updated, with the specific question "Do you have options to buy the vehicle and battery to avoid the Battery Subscription?" now having the answer of "Yes, it is the customer's choice to purchase their VinFast vehicle inclusive of the battery at the full retail price or to purchase at a lower price by enrolling in a battery subscription program with a fixed monthly payment"
 
My assumption is there has been so much 'hate' about the battery subscription initially being the only option that they listened to the criticism and decided to change their minds and offer pricing for the entire vehicle purchase. Thought this was newsworthy. My son and I watch Autoline Daily everyday on YouTube after work/school. Keep up the good work.
 
Thanks,
 
Mike from NC
10-18-2022


Back to 1965. That was the year my dad bought the only new truck he ever had.  A Ford F100 Base model.  He would never consider an automatic transmission or power anything.  "Too much to go wrong" he said.  The only reason he got the optional rear bumper is the dealer threw it in with the Dealership name cut into it via a hot wrench.  No peeling that off!  Over my lifetime I was fortunate to be able to afford luxury, sports, specialty and aspirational cars. Whether foreign or domestic, the thrill of ownership was often dulled by the frequency of needed repairs or hassles of pot hole blow outs of low profile tires for these complex vehicles.  So in the golden years of driving Nan and have chosen to eschew such vehicles and in particular avoid range anxiety of electrics.  We will ride off into the sunset in our base models with non-turbo engines and proven powertrains. No turbo, multiple drive & self leveling suspensions with auto park and auto steer ever again.  "Too much to go wrong".  Dad was right.

Glenn
10-18-2022


After hearing about the car seat heaters and remote start using your key fob, from BMW and Toyota, what are your thoughts on this? Are there features that you would be fine paying a subscription as a service for?
 
Is there a way that this can work out without it feeling predatory? Say for instance all cars come from the factory with all options but they are locked until either paid for or subscribed to.
Might some sort of economy of scale be beneficial to said car companies?
I think there will be loads of backlash and many might opt for trim lines that might have those features that we may be forced to pay for, but all the companies need to do is just stop offering these.
I'm all for companies to make a profit but at what cost to their band are they willing to go?
 
Thanks again
Shawn
Fairbanks Alaska
Shawn,

I currently subscribe to four different newspapers, two streaming services, and have a monthly charge for my phone, for an internet connection and for cable. I’m sick of paying for “subscription services” and I think that automakers are going to face a consumer backlash unless they have something mighty good to offer.

John McElroy
9-21-2022


Hey John 
 
Here’s my question for you, what are your thoughts on this …
 
Since every car that is made is selling out due to supply chain issues, are there some conclusions the manufacturers are making that are flawed and will trip them up in the near future?
 
Best example is, what is the terminal limit on consumer interest or people’s logistical  ability to have an electric car?
 
If all the manufacturers go to 100% electric but the ability or interest is capped at even 60% then what happens??
 
Will used ICE vehicles end up having a vastly increased demand and thereby keeping their prices much higher?
 
What will happen to the people who used to be the third or more owner of a car (at the 7-10 year mark of life) that need the ICE because they can’t support EVs (live in apartments  and don’t have overnight charging ability for example) and they are used to buying those vehicles in the $10,000 or less range but that market dries up because all ICEs retain values higher and out of their price point? Will we end up with a Cuba-like car subculture of used ICE vehicles?
 
And as a result would used EVs not really have a market for the third or more owner of a car and as a result those would have a much lower value at the 7-10 year mark ??
 
Would love to have an Afterhours discussing the future of the used ICE and Ev market 
 
Thanks so much for all you and your team do 
 
Ted
Macon Ga 
Ted,

All automakers say their “goal” is to eventually go full electric. But if enough customers stick with ICE, that’s what automakers will build for them.

However, as emission and fuel economy regs get tighter, the cost of ICE vehicles will go up. And as their sales volume goes down the cost of making them will also go up, and that will be passed on to customers. Meanwhile, the cost of making EVs is going to be going down. We’ll likely see a crossover point by the end of the decade where BEVs cost less to make than ICE cars.

As for used ICE values, let’s see what the market decides. If there’s enough demand for a shrinking number of used ICE vehicles, prices will go up. But it’s also possible that IC vehicles will lose their residual value as more consumers decide they want an electric.

Great topic, thanks for suggesting we do a show about this on Autoline After Hours.

John McElroy
9-21-2022


Hi John, could you please ask Tim if the U.S. market will see a small to midsized truck. Could Dodge send the trucks in the South American and Mexico plants to the U.S.  Thank you from a longtime viewer Joe K.
Joe,

Tim is the wrong guy to ask about this. He runs Dodge.

Mike Koval runs Ram, which handles the truck side of the business.

John McElroy
9-21-2022


Hi Sean,
 
What is up with so many videos of electric cars doing smokey burnouts? Emission free huh? I am already down on them because they require 8 times more mining mother earth to build and they last about 8 years then there must be a whole bunch more mining to produce another battery. And since they are heavier they produce more tire particulates, which is 1000 times more toxic than the particulates coming out of an ICE car tailpipe. And now smokey burnouts seem to be a sales pitch! That is disgraceful.
9-21-2022


Hello:
 
Here are a couple of things you may not know.  
 
1.  Do you know that in California some of the best charging stations are at boat marinas?  Boaters use them to charge up their boat batteries and other appliances.
 
2.  Google "liquid speed bumps".  
 
Thanks for listening.
 
RA 
9-21-2022


Car companies are rushing headlong into EV production. Governments are pushing the move, often for political reasons driven by CC activists. We've drunk the EV Kool Aid, and are we headed for disaster?

1. We are still largely fossil fuel based in generation (60% in the US). Wind and solar don't match the demand load to charge EV's at night so we need huge storage that we don't have.  

2. We dream about the perfect battery, but we can barely meet the demand for batteries now and we will need to fix generation, transmission, resource mining, manufacturing, electricity storage, charging infrastructure and probably a bunch of other things that we don't know about. We're pretending this will work.

3. Governments are usually wrong and car company executives will say whatever will garner them favor.

4. While we fiddle with EV's the problems get bigger. In the past we have ignored nuclear generation which could have given large amounts of electricity free of CO2. In the same way we now ignore PHEV's because they have an ICE component, but that approach would give a gradual transition to electric transportation. It would give the infrastructure time to build. Also, why lug around 1,200 lbs of scarce batteries in an EV for the odd time we drive 300 miles when we could get away with 120 lbs in a hybrid and build ten vehicles that could run electric for the average daily drive?   
 
We need some sober second thought here and we need to look very hard at what we can do.  We've repeatedly failed to meet CO2 reduction goals so why keep doing the same thing?  Yes we can build an EV, but does it make any sense in the real world?
 
Tony H
Tony,

Thanks for writing to us and being so detailed.

We’ll publish your letter in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

Best,
John McElroy
9-19-2022


Hi John,
 
I listened to After Hours Thursday and was surprised that you as such a motorhead did not recognize Paul Gentilozzi. He was/is a racer that found support from Oldsmobile in Trans Am via his team then called Rocketsports racing a Cutlass bodied car.
 
In 1991 GM decided to consolidate all auto racing under one group headed by Herb Fishel as part of Profit Improvement Initiative 14 of the 26 key actions they needed to reduce cash burn. We had a group VP as our champion. I think it was Mike Mutchler.
 
Anyway, Herb was much disliked by the other division chiefs, but he got the assignment to create what at that time became known as the GM Motorsports Technology Group. As one of my assignments I got to add being Herb's 'bag man'. My job was to figure out the budgets and manpower each division devoted to racing programs. Only Chevy and Buick had much dedicated staff. Pontiac and Oldsmobile used mostly contractors, some with questionable ethics.
 
One of those programs was Rocketsports and Paul Gentilozzi. Another one was Irv Heorr. We were able to up their game with an all new Olds Aurora race engine and purpose built race car bodied as an Aurora for IMSA GTS. About that time I left to become manager of Design, Mockup and Dimensional Management for the soon to be produced EV1. You will recall that the original IRL engine offered in 1997 was an Oldsmobile Aurora somewhat different than the road race version.
 
Having worked for Herb since 1986 I can tell you stories that even Herb does not know and will probably never be told.
 
Now, my own motorhead as been spun 180 degrees since buying two Teslas and I am all about EVs. If you ever want to hear some old racing tales from inside Chevy and GM i'd welcome to chance to squeeze in a lunch. I live in Rochester Hills not far from Sandy Munro's shop.
 
BTW - If Michelle Krebs wants, I will drive her to Cincinnati in my Tesla and show her how easy it is Matt DeLorenzo made some really good points about affordable EVs, too.
 
I listen to Sean everyday and After Hours Thursday by podcast.
 
Sincerely,
Dick A
Dick,

Thanks so much for sending this. Lots of great information! And it’s always the best when you hear things like this from someone who was on the inside.

If I ever find myself with some free time, I’d love to hear some of the war stories of GM Racing.

Best,

John McElroy
9-19-2022


Did you ever give an explanation/tour of your updated Autoline Daily automotive memorabilia?  Maybe I missed it?  Is the “centerpiece” an artists interpretation of a Citroen DS-21?  A Citroen, really? LOL!  How about some automotive “royalty”, maybe a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO…
 
Pete
Pete,

That painting you refer to is a water color of my 1968 Citroen DS that a GM designer, Christos Roustemis, did for me.

John McElroy
9-19-2022


Would like to suggest a more comprehensive review TESLA SCRAPS PLANS TO BUILD BATTERIES IN GERMANYon the product mentioned in the July 28th episode. The two companies working together Siemens and ConnectDER. Main question is it possible nation wide home charger electrician company Qmerit install the devices. City codes and regulations for home and apartment owners could make this more viable option. This would serve the personal charger Level (2) we need at home more affordable. This could make for a great episode on "Autoline After Hours".
 
Thanks,
 
Rick K
9-6-2022


Dear John and Gary;
A couple of questions / comments
 
My Bolt EUV has three separate cooling systems. Where is the waste heat supposed to be dumped if not through a radiator and “grill”?
(FYI The three are Cabin HVAC, Traction Battery environmental controls, and electronics cooling.)
 
From Sandy Munro’s POV, which is more important, building a car with a couple of castings or being able to repair the car after a “minor” accident? Should a vehicle be designed for the ease of fabrication or the ease of repair? Can you have both?
 
Speaking of repairs, How do you think the current dealership model will continue when the shops no longer have any work to do except rotate tires and change the cabin air filters? (The only time my i3, or Bolt, or Bolt EUV have been back to the dealers were for recalls)
 
On charging EVs. “Folks” keep singing the praises of the Tesla charging “network”.  If their network is so great why are there Teslas charging at Chargepoint and Volta stations?  When asked how long does it take to charge my car I say a minute to plug it in. I have to drive to a gas station for my other car which once connected to the pump can get 500 miles of range in less than 10 min. I doubt I’ll ever see the day any EV will be able to match that.
 
I’ve been driving BEVs since 2015. I take a trip trough the western US almost every year (except the COVID ones) and only this year have I seen any EVs out on the open road miles from the nearest city or town. For many years the most Teslas I saw “on the road” were all on car carriers. From casual observation the most popular car on the roads here are Semi’s and Subaru Outbacks.
 
Something else to think about. With all of the automation being installed in today’s cars what are the manufacturers proposing for those vehicles where cell carriers decided to turn off service? E.g. 3G is gone so none of the original BMW i3’s telematics work. None of the Chargepoint stations near my house show up on the Chargepoint app due to the 3g sunsetting. My current Bolt is 4G but when that goes bye bye what replacement path is there short of buying a new car?
 
Enjoy your shows,
 
Lee W
Lee,

Thanks for your letter and all the great questions you raise.

We’re going to publish this in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
9-6-2022

 
John and Gary,
 
I watched your interview with Sandy Munro last week again and as always with great interest with your YouTube presentations.
 
I was first introduced to Sandy on your show some years back and when he started his presentations, I have been a avid follower as I have been of Autoline Daily + your weekly shows.
 
As always, I found Sandy’s input of GREAT value even though he can go off script.
 
Sandy is a strait shooter and appears to not suffer fools lightly and he is my type of person with unbelievable experience who will admit if he is wrong.
 
Regarding the discussion around the demographics of BEV and TESLA take up I found interesting.
 
I am the HAPPY owner of a Right-Hand Drive TESLA 2021 model 3 [ with FSD – yet to arrive ] which I purchased in December 2020. I believe it was the or one of the first shipments out of Shanghai.
 
I am 82 years young the TESLA M3 is the SMARTEST and SAFEST vehicle I have ever owned. The Me does much of the driving for me. Not sure how many persons in my age group drive TESLA’s but I cannot be the only one.
 
I still run a SMALL BUSINESS @ https://www.microfilm.net.au/ but might consider retirement in the next few years.
 
Is the TESLA 2021 model 3 the best or most luxurious car I have ever owned or driven. NO, it is not.
 
My previous vehicle was a 2012 Chrysler 300C Diesel which was a much larger & more luxurious vehicle & in my estimation the best car I have owned or drive,
 
I have driven a Mercedes, Cadillac but both disappointed. I drove a Buick Electra as a Chauffeur in San Francisco in 1966 and it was the second-best car I have driven or owned. I also had two GM Australia V8 Statesmen which I enjoyed but the 2012 Chrysler 300C Diesel. Was the best in my opinion.
 
Will I ever go back to a ICE vehicle . A BIG NO. Why? I have 23 Solar panes on my unit and a TESLA PowerWall2 and I power my TESLA 2021 model 3 at night at a special tariff rate after 11:00pm. *0% of my power for my unit and TESLA 2021 model 3 come form the SUN so the TESLA operating cost are NIL to ZERO.
 
Keep up the EXCELLENT work that you & Gary do as it is most appreciated even here DOWNUNDER.
 
Regards, Laurie
Laurie,

Excellent feedback, thanks for sending.

We’re so glad you liked our show with Sandy Munro, and congratulate you on your Model 3 purchase.

John McElroy
9-6-2022

 
Just heard your Daily episode from the other day where you were talking about how many people who paid a mark-up wouldn't ever go back to that dealer to buy another car or get their car serviced there. Implication being that they were very unhappy with the transaction. But there is another explanation: people buying from non-local dealers.
 
It's not unusual for enthusiasts to go well out of their way to get the car they want, even going out of state. If it is an in-demand model, it's easy to think that the 10 or 20 closest dealers to them might not have one in the right color/trim combo or any allocation slots to order one in the couple weeks. But someone, somewhere probably does. So they buy that, pay through the nose for the privilege. Since it's so far away, they have no intention of getting their car serviced there and it's unlikely that they'll buy a new car from there either. So they can be perfectly happy with the transaction & not plan on interacting with that dealer ever again.
 
I doubt that would be the case for everyone, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't represent a significant chunk of over-MSRP buyers.
 
-Davin
9-6-2022

 
My question is:
 
When did people start thinking it is ok to walk into traffic?
 
We were not brought up that way.
 
Even in bright sun, glare can hide pedestrians.  Get back to training traffic avoidance!
 
r work
9-6-2022

 
John:

How long is it going to take for people to realize that electric cars
are NOT going to save the planet?

When I see that electric cars are your main topics I just DELETE the
email and go on to the next.

Between the mining for materials to make batteries and on down the line
from there they are NOT any better than ICE'S.

This is just another plan by the globalist elites to control how much we
travel and how far we travel.

Our country has been taken control of by IDIOTS!

Glen Martin

PS: Being a retired welder then welding inspector it reminds me of coal fired power plants. after installing scrubbers on the coal fired furnace's and getting the Stack output down to zero particulates and only some steam on cool days they decide to close them down because they are harmful to the planet. So our tax dollars pay for wind generators (that don't work in subzero weather) and then we have to pay for the electricity they generate!
Glen,

We cover EVs and everything related to them because that’s what the auto industry is investing so heavily in. If the industry gets into something different from that, then we’ll cover it too.

I respectfully disagree that BEVs are not cleaner than ICEs. Take a look at the life-cycle analyses from independent companies such as Riccardo, AVL and even the IEA, the International Energy Agency. They all show that EVs are significantly cleaner than ICEs, including everything.

John McElroy
9-2-2022

 
Hi,
  
Mike Ramsey is not Sandy Munro by his Tesla comment that "those [Tesla rjw] cars definitively won't become autonomous." If he had provided any engineering or technical data to support his denial of Tesla capabilities, I would have been interested and enlightened. Instead, he made a flat statement that my 2019 Tesla Model 3 is incapable of autonomous driving. Yet in the past four weeks, I completed four, 720+ mile, 17-18 hour trips between Huntsville AL and Coffeyville KS and have 'fingerprint' evidence that it does work.
  
Mike violated Dr. Deming's rule that you must bring data or otherwise it is just idle speculation. He did not bring data to support his condemnation of Tesla self-driving efforts. I'm in the Sandy Munro / Dr. Deming camp ... 'show me the data' as I have recent, ~3,000 mi., +76 hours of AutoPilot butt time. 
 
Bob Wilson
9-2-2022

 
A price of a base EV could be below the latest US rebate threshold. But add in optional equipment, it could be above. What if you purchase a base model to keep the price below, and then buy the options afterwards? Buy the vehicle without the fancy wheels to keep the price down. When you take delivery, swap for the optional ones. Battery swapping is designed into Chinese Nio's. Buy with the short range batteries and swap to long range. Tesla's FSD is another example. Buy the vehicle without, and then install it via OTA.
 
Neil G.
Normal, IL
Neil,

No doubt automakers, dealers and customers are going to try every trick they can think of to qualify for the EV credits.

John McElroy
9-2-2022

 
Hi John and Sean,
Regards to episode AD 3387, traffic accident segment. "Why are fatalities and accidents going up with modern auto technology"? A thought that crossed my mind and I would be interested to know, what model year of vehicles are these accidents happening with? If the data is available, maybe break it down by decade. If the majority or large portion of the accidents are happening with vehicles w/o driver safety tech, that could explain a lot. Along with; speeding, distracted, and impaired driving. Thanks for your time.
 
Cheers,
Mr. Dana 
9-2-2022

 
Sounds like ArgoAI didn't make it. When that came out, I thought, if you do it in Pittsburgh, you can do it anywhere.
Argo is still going strong, It’s testing Ford AVs in Miami, Washington DC and Austin. In 2025 it plans to open an AV service with VW in Germany.

John McElroy
9-2-2022

 
Dear John:
 
Thank you for having Sandy Munro on your show (again) this week.   Unfortunately he was very talkative and did not give you and Gary a chance to ask the questions that you wanted.   I have not see him that talkative in a long, long time.   You must be old friends.
 
for having Sandy Munro on your show (again) this weekI have an interesting GM video that I would like your thoughts about  the plan and future.
 
It really gives good focus on how to manage new products and reach the SCALE that is required for profit.
 
As you have seen the refresh every year and new model every 5 or so is now looking very outdated.   As cars become more electronic, the updates have to happen monthly with the over the air updates.
 
Thanks 
Ron
Marion NC
 
A loyal viewer.
Ron,

I disagree with the conclusions of this video. Legacy costs killed GM, not its model range. In 1965 when GM had nearly 50% of the US market, its model range was more complicated and overlapping than it was in 2008 when GM went bankrupt. In fact, no automaker can achieve 50% market share without a degree of overlap and inefficiency. That’s the price you pay to achieve such market dominance.

Also, the point that GM’s global sales fell from 2017 to 2021 ignores the fact that GM got rid of Opel, and pulled out of Europe, Russia, India and Indonesia, and ignores the impact of Covid and the chip shortage that brought down sales of every car company in the world.

John McElroy
8-29-2022

 
John:
 
I don’t believe in Consumer reports anymore; It has changed hands 3 times and seems like pay off is the menu. I even cancelled their subscription
 
Sorry
Robert
8-29-2022

 
Hi, I just thought you might want to hear about a recent experience my father just had when picking up his new Ford mustang Mach-E at Sunrise Ford in North Hollywood California. 
 
Back in February 2022 I surprised my father by placing a pre-order for the new Ford mustang Mach-E premium. 
  Several months later, 6 to be exact when my father’s new Mach-E arrived at the dealership and he got a call from his sales rep at Sunrise Ford that his car had just arrived. My father then told the sales rep that that he was going to pay cash for the car and was eager to pick it up right away.  The sales rep then ask my father to give him a few days to get the car ready for him and then arranged a day and time for the pickup. When my father arrived to pick up his car a few days later they approached him with additional paperwork right away and told him that they added and additional cost to the sales price of $1,500.00 for a new LowJack system that they had just installed on it. They totally did this without his permission or his knowledge! This extra cost was in addition to the already added 1,000 dealership ordering fee. 
   When my father told the dealership that he did not want, wish for or need that LowJack system on his New Mach-E and would like them to now please remove it, they said they would not do it. They told him that he could either pay the $1,500.00 for the LowJack system on the car or just walk away from the deal. They told him he could Quote; “Take it or leave it!”
 
  Also my father learned that this LowJack system installed on his new Mach-E came with a control box that was mounted to the cars dash panel right next to the steering wheel. This keypad had several buttons on it and it was also used as a combination keypad that he would need to enter every time he got into the car otherwise his car would not start. 
  My father then asked them to please turn that feature off as it was to much of a hassle for him to use. My father is 88 years old and this would just not be easy for him every time he got into his car and wanted to use it. So the dealer did show him how to disable that combination key entry feature by putting the LowJack system into Valet mode he said. Additionally the dealership refused to remove that LowJack control keypad mounted to his new Mach-E’s dash panel. 
   My father is understandably concerned that the dealership may have drilled holes through his Mach-E’s dash to mount that LowJack control box but the dealership would not tell him if they did that or not. 
 
  Overall my father’s experience was just horrible they made him an 88 year old man feel like he wasn’t valued at all and that in fact they didn’t even wish to sell him the car. After hearing about this experience at Sunrise Ford I will personally think twice before ever purchasing a car through a Ford dealership for myself, especially at Sunrise Ford. 

RadTech
RadTech,

Thanks for your story. This just makes you scratch your head and wonder why any establishment would treat a customer this way. Car dealers will regret how they’ve taken advantage of their customers. This is going to come back to haunt them.

John McElroy
8-29-2022

 
Sandy is magic for honesty.  Thanks.
 
There appears to be a major disconnect between automakers and the availability of charging.  How can so many models be out but without a sufficient charging network?  There is zero charging where we are at in semi-rural areas.
 
When does Sandy feel inductive charging will happen with vehicles?  This would be the game changer, as many rant about how to charge when in cities and condo/townhome areas.
 
love the show!
 
JD
8-29-2022

 
I have watched videos from several sites.   Some are saying the battery requirements don’t kick in until 2024.  That would make a HUGE difference.  Is this so?   Some look like they are taking a picture right from the printed bill.

Dave Padley
It’s true. Domestic content requirements for EV batteries don’t kick in until 2024.

John McElroy
8-29-2022

 
John
Again a great show with Sandy he’s a hoot.  I do believe he got his inspiration from you and Sean for his you tube channel. Congratulations !
Regards
Chuck
8-26-2022

 
John.                                On October 18th 1978, in my Hometown of Lima, Ohio: I took delivery of one of the very first Fox Body & turbo 4 cylinder 2.3 Liter "Lima Engine Plant" cars ever made. I was showing it a to a friend, whose father happened to be a Engineer at Ford LEP, he went ballistic, when he saw that there was not any oil temperature gauge... stating "We only signed off on this engine, with that stipulation" So I did magazines research which "not Internet" was only available at the time...Literally unused here: I found out that in Europe, about 2/3's of all cars were running Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil; by then... Several months later, my next door  neighbor, who worked on the line, at the Lima FEP, came up to me with a question... He said "Jeff what are you doing to that car; the boys and me at the shop have been talking and we were wondering... Why your car engine has not blown up yet ?? You are young "22" and run the shi=p out of it; every single one has blown up other than yours. We even had to shut the engine line down... I let him know; was running Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil and he informed Ford LEP; which did nothing at the time, about this issue... !! Thanks J. Bond.              PS. Sandy Munro was at Ford Lima Engine Plant; starting up a different engine line, there in mid 1980's... !! 
Great story, thanks for sharing.

John McElroy
8-26-2022

 
Hey John I was listening to this podcast and the host ( Little Car / Big car ) stated to ford was based in the us but is a British car company not an American one. How true is this ?
Pure rubbish. The Ford Motor Company was started by Henry Ford. It is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, and incorporated in Delaware.

John McElroy
8-26-2022

 
Hello Autoline Folks
 
Big fan of your shows and reporting on the automotive industry. I was just wondering why I have not heard any news on the Detroit Auto Show the N.A.I.A.S. I would think that there would be a lot of hype and build up of the upcoming show this fall. Do you guys and gal’s have the scoop on anything going on with the show. Maybe you could mention or talk about this on one of your shows.
 
Thanks
Cliff
Grand Blanc MI
Cliff,

Great question. The NAIAS organizers haven’t released much information that we think would be valuable for Autoline viewers. No doubt the floodgates will open up soon. The one piece of info that we do have is that Ford is going to unveil the next generation Mustang at the Detroit show.

John McElroy
8-26-2022

 
Hi,
 
There were two brief discussions about quality of Tesla, Ford, and other manufacturers. IMHO, this Munro video would be an excellent start to understanding the Tesla approach. 
 
BTW, there are three different model years for the Model 3 and each is better than the previous one YET the external styling did not change. The drivetrain and body did:
 
Enjoy your new time-off, assignment. Must be great to have a job that others (like me) would consider a vacation.
 
Bob Wilson
8-25-2022

 
Had to comment on the completely false stories you put out.  You said there are “153 days of VW ID.4” so therefore clearly it’s failing and no one wants them!

LOL.  Fake story.  No dealer within 50 miles of Seattle can GET ONE.  They’re sold our for 2022.  There are NOT piles of ID.4 sitting at dealer lots.  That’s simply fake reporting on your part.  I’ve BEEN to four VW dealers in the Seattle area, they have NO cars on the lot to sell, and it’s a 6 to 8 month wait to get one.

Since you folks know of this MAGIC pile of unsold VW ID.4s….would you PLEASE email all of the dealerships in Washington State and tell them where all these cars are, because the silly dealerships can’t seem to find ANY. 

P.S.  Your complete misunderstanding of the story is that you took “153 days of ID.4” to mean there was that much production unsold sitting in some lots.  No.  All of the VW ID.4 produced are ALREADY spoken for, already sold.  They may be “in transit” and not at dealer lots, but that’s not because no one wants them but because of backups in some supply chain final parts, software, shipping times, etc.   You are simply 100% WRONG, fake story, that there are piles of unsold VW ID.4s.   OR…..if you’re right, that means EVERY single dealership in WA state is turning down sales and lying about not being able to find any ID.4s to sell just because … well … I don’t know WHY a car dealer wouldn’t want to sell a car.  LOL
David,

You don’t seem to have the actual inventory numbers while we do. VW has more ID 4 inventory in the US now than it did a year ago. But those cars are stuck at the ports. They need some kind of re-work, which VW will not identify. It’s not a chip shortage, it’s a problem with the cars.

BTW, look at ID 4 sales in Europe and China, they are way below VW’s sales projections. When all this gets sorted out you’ll see that the ID 4 has not been well received in the market.

John McElroy
8-25-2022

 
Shows of late have been very good. I would give you an "A" alluding to your one show.
Still ,Tesla falls to 20% market share? When will that be exactly, not this decade. I think your guest was a bit too cavalier, especially with that prediction, and your and Gary were a bit remiss in not asking for a time frame. (though Gary never would).
Both guests were very knowledgeable, and Will said he did not know one particular answer since it was not his area of expertise. That is always a good sign unlike people like Trevor Milikinthem, who had an answer for everything.
I don't want to be all doom and gloom on the industry but selling cars for more money and dealerships raking in the cash is not a recipe for success, due to Wright's Law, which Tesla is following to the letter.
 
A thought I had was it would be fun to do something like "Motorweek: does in doing a retrospective. I.E., taking old clips of former predictions and see how they stack up today. Say from 5 years ago. As you have pointed out a few times at one time all the experts were saying FCEV's were the future. That is not happening, nor will it ever in my opinion.
8-25-2022

 
John. My son Josh: took delivery of  brand new in 2018, Kia Rio EX Hatchback 1.6 L 4 cylinder, non-aspirated, 11.1 compression ratio engine,  6 speed automatic... Interestingly; it came factory with a large Group 35 AGM Battery, from a South Korea Company called "BANG"... I read on the Kia Forums most Kia's come factory with a AGM Battery... Josh runs premium Shell; because of engines high compression ratio  *though not required by Kia.... Last Friday traveling to Lima, Ohio we got 46 MPG average; but most other times, constantly 44 MPG Hwy... !! The Kia Rio is a stylish, fast and sporty, 4 door hatchback, simular in looks, to the most recent Euro 2017 VW Scirocco reiteration... !!                                       

PS: American Kia Dealerships do not have access to BANG AGM Batteries; which put Kia customers in the lurch on Battery replacement... 
8-25-2022

 
I'm not all that surprised at Fiat's success with their 500e. The ICE 500 has always sold well, and although production ends soon, it is the currently the longest selling model in the EU with a very long production span.

The "e" got glowing reviews from the motoring press on it's launch and it's won several awards from many magazines. It's a great design that Americans can't appreciate.
 
Never underestimate Fiat. Though loathed here, they are #1 in Brazil and Argentina, and enjoy solid sales around the world.
 
It's a pity Americans won't buy anything smaller than a house on wheels.
7-29-2022

 
Hi John,
I just finished watching today's Autoline After Hours. Very interesting and informative as usual. I have a few comments:
a) Regarding the frunk in EVs. If the space is not required for necessary components or accessories, why not use it for storage? That is similar to door pockets which didn't exist years ago when there was a large void behind the inner door panel. Comparing the frunk in the Ford Lightning to the Rivian, I would hate to load a heavy object into the Rivian frunk with such a high lift-over.
b) When discussing the Scout electric, Craig Cole mentioned charging as "pennies on the dollar" compared to gasoline for an ICE vehicle. As popularity of EVs increases, how long do you think electricity rates will remain as low as they are now? I wouldn't be surprised to see the cost per mile for electricity to be close to present day gasoline prices when 50% or 75% (??? or more) of vehicles are EVs; considering how much upgrading will be required by the utility providers.
c) A humorous story regarding the rugged off road vehicles like Jeep, Bronco, and the future Scout. I saw a local (Winnipeg, Manitoba) Toyota FJ Cruiser with vanity license plate "UCK EEP". If you transpose the model name "FJ" into the plate, it tells you what that Toyota owner thinks of Jeep.
 
Keep up the good show,
Ralph N
Ralph,

We really value your feedback, so we’ll publish this in Viewer Mail on our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy
7-29-2022

 
Hi Guys,
 
Big fan of the YouTube shows...I watch daily, well, daily!
 
Check out this ad from a local dealer here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (the capital of Canada) for a 2022 Toyota Venza Limited. List price is $CDN48,000. This one is going for a whopping $67,000!!!!
 
Here is the link.
 
Cheers...Jim
7-29-2022

 
It has been my consideration that if many legacy car makers today are
going to continue to exit into the future, they will be well served to do
SOMETHING other than making automobiles. Things they have done before. 

Chrysler, now part of Stellantis, used to make ROCKETS (...or at least
major parts of them) and was, in 1969, in contention to build a SSTO
(Single Stage To Orbit) for NASA. With Chrysler's, and several other car
makers', futures in overt or just relative jeopardy, would it not be
advantageous to seriously consider doing something else. After all,
Hyundai is diversifying their portfolio of works with a gusto.

This might probably make for an interesting show topic in not "on air"
question.
7-29-2022

 
Greetings John:  I have a couple of comments about DETROIT THREE SUPPORT CHIP ACT.  The most glaring, unprofessional comment came from Tom Libby, when he was talking about Tesla's quality, when he said that he heard that a Tesla was delivered with tape holding a trim piece on.  First of all, Sandy Munro has stated that Tesla's quality is now on par with the Germans.  That should pretty much settle that issue, in my opinion.  Secondly, for a professional who is citing statistics to emphasize his points, about what is happening in the US auto market, and then to throw a dig at Tesla by saying that he heard second or third hand about trim being taped in place, certainly calls into question his objectivity and makes it look like he has a possible bias against Tesla.  Last comment; the legacy auto makers will never get the efficiency, continuous innovation, and interdepartmental communication enjoyed by Tesla unless they change their company's culture, which is never going to happen.  So instead of catching up to Tesla, as they keep saying they will, in fact, they will continue to fall further and further behind in technology and innovation until they go out of business.  The government will support them for a while, but I think their demise, within the next 5 to 8 years, is inevitable.  Just telling it the way I see it.     Irvin
Irvin,

Thanks for your feedback, we’ll publish this in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
7-29-2022

 
Hi,
 
The Magna guest did a fine job on his area of expertise but he was way too weak on EV technology. For example, he frequently spoke about cobalt but did not mention LFeP batteries. I kinda think you' all somewhat ambushed him about EV technology for which he was ill prepared.
 
Afterwards, you' all did a fine job about EVs including bringing up LFeP batteries. However, I want to share a sweet spot to consider.
 
Many experienced NMC/NMA/NCA battery EV owners only charge to 67 - 70% SOC to preserve the EV capacity for cross country drives. In contrast, LFeP batteries excel at 100% SOC coupled with fast DC charging network. That other stealth Tesla advantage, the SuperCharger network, makes their EVs fully useful for both city and highway driving. LFeP is a perfect match because they relish 100% SOC charging.
 
Bob W
7-29-2022

 
Hello John,
 
You did a nice job on the potential VW Scout.  I recall that truck and wanted one… no money in my teenage years.  Wasn’t the original Ford Bronco around the same period and original Chevrolet Blazer (just bigger)/  All three were good value, the SUV craze really wasn’t as popular as Pony Cars…
 
Pete Pryce
Pete,

Actually the Scout beat the Bronco to market by about 4 or 5 years if I remember right.

Thanks for writing!

John McElroy
7-29-2022

 
John and Sean,
 
I never knew this car existed
I remember this car but did not know the back story. Thanks for sending this article.

John McElroy
7-19-2022

 
Hello,
 
I apologize in advance for this request as it is  most likely not a common one but I am hoping someone at Autoline can lend some assistance.
 
I recently stumbled across your great video on YouTube “Autoline After Hours #258 - The Secrets of Chevy's Legendary Small Block V8” with host John McElroy.
 
This video, dated September 19, 2014, had Dr. Dave Cole as the main guest speaker. During the podcast, John McElroy mentions an article Dr. Cole wrote years ago “The untold story behind GM's legendary Small Block V8” on the topic of the development of the small block V8 at GM, particularly the engineering team put together by his father Ed.
 
I am in the middle of the restoration of my (second owner) ’71 El Camino SS and have been doing some research on the SBC. I have been reading about Dr. Cole’s father Ed and have become quite fascinated with the story behind the history of the SBC.
 
I would love to get a copy of the aforementioned article. If anyone at Autoline has any idea where I might find it, I would greatly appreciate it. I really do hope this article is still around!
 
Thank you,
 
John Woods
John,
 
This may be what you’re looking for.
 
Hopefully, you can still get it.
 
John McElroy
7-19-2022

 
The show with Peter Brock had everything: history, pathos, emotion, and that never say die attitude, which is one of the things that makes America great, if you have the talent to prove it
and he did. The surprise was he just got that award. I guess it is a lifetime achievement award. Great show, I would pull it down off the wall, and say that's what I want. 

Little Bob
That was a great show. Note that we didn’t really ask a lot of questions. He just ran with anything we asked him, and we got pure gold out of it.

John McElroy
7-19-2022


Thank you for the Peter Brock interview!
 
r work
Glad you agree. That was a fantastic show.

John McElroy
7-19-2022


Hey guys.
 
With the electric components becoming a commodity of sorts, will that usher in a new golden age of automotive design? 
Without the need to spend excess amounts of money to have the next best engine, drivetrain, etc, will design finally take the front seat in priority for money spent and focus ?
 
The LYRIQ should be the new standard for all GM divisions / programs.
 
Thanks,
 
S10 Baja
It’s already starting to happen. The Lyriq and Celstiq, Ionic 6 and EV6 are leading the revival in automotive design. We’re going to see a lot more of this because of the very reasons you cite.

John McElroy
7-19-2022


Kudos on your new studio look for Autoline Daily. I like that you change some of the background depending on daily stories. But I am confused by your report on GM and Pilot and the new charging stations. Your report makes it sound as though Pilot operates rest stops throughout the US. I am very familiar with their truck stops but have never seen a Pilot rest stop. Maybe it is just a semantic issue. 
 
Chuck
GM calls them travel centers.

John McElroy
7-11-2022


NEW ENGINE TECH
Very interesting tech. Thanks for sending.

John McElroy
7-11-2022


How is Hyundai/Kia doing? They seem to be introducing a lot of new models which has to be costly. Their profit per vehicle is low, sales are down. ~ John K
The Hyundai Group is doing quite well. Sales are down, but so are just about everyone else’s.

You’re right that the Group needs to boost its profit margins. That’s what the Genesis brand is all about.

John McElroy
7-11-2022


Slowly improving are very good words to use about dealer inventory. Here in Southwest Missouri all of the dealer lots are the definition of a vast wasteland. The used inventory is improving but all of the lots I see have, at most, two or three new cars. Also, I have not seen a car transporter for over a year.
 
Chuck Genrich
Chuck,

Good point. The inventory numbers are an average. So some dealers have more inventory than others.

John McElroy
6-29-2022


Can 3d printing be a substitute for a clay model?

Thanks,
Bob
Can 3d printing substitute for a clay model? Nope. The beauty of clay is that is can be smoothed or scraped to finesse the design. Can’t do that w/3D.

John McElroy
John, Gary,

The OEM supplier industry has done a lot of development work on powertrain and battery systems.

A discussion would be worthwhile on whether we will see the auto industry bifurcating so that we get:
--- companies that specialise in vehicle bodies that serve customer needs but they have bought in the entirety of their powertrain/battery/suspension/instrumentation/media/nav systems
--- and companies that want to make as much of the vehicle systems as possible for brand and profit reasons.

Do many vehicle owners really care about the bits they can't see or touch??

Sandy Munro has just shown that Chinese vehicle makers Xpeng and Polestar (?) have sealed their vehicles under the hood. Only thing visible under the hood is the cap for windscreen wiper water. Sandy says the makers should save themselves money by having the water cap behind a flap on a front quarter panel and bolt down the hood. The hood could be part of a large panel that includes the quarter panels and nose of the car - the E-Type Jag is an example of this approach although it had the front panel hinged.

For the Chinese makers, no frunk and no access under the hood for anything but the water cap, means they can hide all the vehicle systems from the vehicle owner. This indicates they don't think customers want to know what's under the hood, or maybe it's a Chinese Communist Party thing that they don't want customers to know what is under the hood. Would westerners accept a sealed hood?

It means that as long as the Chinese makers can fit everything under the hood, they can minimise R&D on their vehicles. However, the purpose of R&D is to cut production costs and improve vehicle efficiency and performance.

Sandy Munro would be a good guest for this subject.

Regards
Peter
Peter,

Great feedback, as always.

John McElroy
That Jensen has taken the spirit of its mid-70s Interceptor and re-worked the rearend into sumpthin now called the Lucid Air?! A bit science-projecty to me.

However breathtakingly beautiful John M may find its other 3 views.

Pete
Pete,

Maybe the Jensen Interceptor was part of the inspiration for the Lucid Air, but the Lincoln Cosmopolitan seems to have influenced the rear roof line.

John McElroy
6-29-2022


Ford, Ford, new kind of Ford. Car of tomorrow, Ford Ford!

That was the opening ad for Tennessee Ernie Ford Show.
 
And, As I keep saying how much the Lucid Air reminds me of the Lincoln Cosmopolitan...
I think you’re right. The Lincoln Cosmopolitan looks like it could have been part of the inspiration for the Lucid Air!

John McElroy
6-29-2022


Hello John and Sean,
 
Given our "just in time" and chip shortage auto production environment we are stuck in, it seems to me that auto manufacturers would now try to be a bit more forthcoming on any new technologies and models coming down the pike.  Up until now, any potential buyer who has attempted to get answers from a dealership knows all too well that salespersons have never been told any information about upcoming models/designs because any honest dealership employee might feel compelled to tell the truth to an inquiring customer.  In essence, if the dealer and staff are not told anything about the future, they cannot be put in a situation of holding back information about an upcoming model they may know about. Instead, dealers can steer the customer's question away from what is coming, to why they should buy a vehicle in their current inventory/lineup.  
 
For an example, while there are little to no new Subaru vehicles on any dealer's lot, auto enthusiasts and the auto press know that Subaru has been consorting with Toyota on several upcoming models beyond just the BRZ. Rumor is that a "new" hybridization of Subaru models is on the way, presumably with a real "Prius-like" hybrid design and not the plug-in version currently found in the Subaru (Crosstrek) lineup. 
While I completely understand the corporate logic of "don't tell the dealerships anything because it will result in lost sales,"  given that there are "no" cars on the lot for sale, it seems that maybe Subaru would want to broadcast what is coming down the pike.  Why?  Because at $5 a gallon for gas, and as an uninformed customer,  I can only assume that Subaru will be offering me more of the same gas powered products in the future while at the same time, companies like Kia come out with a hybrid Sportage and soon the new Niro.  Again, at $5 a gallon for gas, Subaru is going to lose my business to Kia who has and will have a 53 mpg hybrid.  So to me, the manufacturer's old game plan of "know nothing because I tell them nothing" when there is a lot full of vehicles still to be sold may no longer apply in a "just in time" production environment, especially one that is coupled with a painfully expensive gas price environment. 
 
Your thoughts?
 
My best to everyone on the Autoline team.
 
Jim
St. Petersburg, FL
Jim,

Thanks for the feedback.

Keep in mind that the turn-over with sales people at car dealerships is horrific. Most last about 6 months and go somewhere else. So even if Subaru dealers told their sales people what’s coming up, half of them who knew it would be gone in just a matter of months.

John McElroy
6-23-2022


Hello and good morning,

    

Wanted to know Ive been watching your show since you started out in 
the very beginning and I appreciate it greatly!

    

In Autoline Daily #3349 it was mentioned that the Model S or any of 
the Tesla Cars were banned from being in China... lest they spy on their 
top level people. The comment rang a bell in my head. The NYTIMES ran a 
big article about how the Chinese GOVT is spying on its own people, 
through their devices, through Facial Recognition Cameras, using their 
wifi sniffers and various other kinds of device sniffers to connect the 
person to their information. They also dont just have a few cameras.. 
they have 1,000s of cameras.. exclusively trained on people and sorting 
them into all kinds of catagories with their main information tagged on 
them.









So, why should the Chinese Govt be scared or not want to be spied on.. 
when they are doing the very same things... to virtually everyone else 
in the industrialized world?




Mike from Delaware
Mike,

Great point! We’ll publish your letter in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
6-23-2022


John,
 
I just read through the recent Viewer Mail, and your response to a guy who test drove a new Subaru and hated the lane keep, beeping, etc.  I feel the same way.  Luckily, it can all be turned off with the Toyota Highlander I bought a few months ago, and stays off, rather than defaulting to "on" with each drive.  I don't know if Subarus and others are that way, but they should be.
 
Kit Gerhart
6-20-2022


Mr. McElroy
Thanks for your continued efforts to provide a topical and informative show to folks who continue to have an interest in all aspects of the automotive industry. Your selections of guest speakers and topics are always informative and entertaining. As a native of Detroit, many years removed, I find your show one of the best sources to keep me informed on a diverse array of automotive topics. I also appreciate your style and delivery.
It makes me think if Johnny Carson was an engineer and wanted to do a serious show about the industry.  High praise indeed!
Thanks again for many years of education & entertainment, and a hope for many more!
Tim Barnett
J,

Thanks for the kind words, and I especially like the Johnny Carson analogy!

John McElroy
6-17-2022


I recently test drove a Forester with all the nannies operating where pulling on to a highway was truly bazaar with prompts ringing, wheels breaking and tugging of the steering, and I was doing a normal signaling for lane changes!
 
I hate this stuff
I completely agree. All that dinging, buzzing and steering wheel tugging is annoying and distracting. Subarus and Kias seem to be the worst, in my experience, with Toyota not far behind.

John McElroy
6-17-2022


"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine". I nominate this REM treasure as the new auto industry anthem. Low volume for OEMs? No problem, OEMs are seeing record profits. No inventory for dealers? No problem, dealers are marking up in-demand vehicles by tens of thousands.
 
Now we just have to find the appropriate theme song for automotive consumers. I propose that Autoline Daily should challenge viewers to nominate the best anthem song for automotive buyers in 2022.
 
Thanks guys. Autoline continues to rock.
 
Scott in Asheville
6-16-2022


I think that there's one big story in that report which went completely under the radar of most of the press regarding the NHTSA report from Autoline Daily 3346.

On Thursday, NHTSA said it had discovered in 16 separate instances when this occurred that Autopilot “aborted vehicle control less than one second prior to the first impact,” suggesting the driver was not prepared to assume full control over the vehicle.

CEO Elon Musk has often claimed that accidents cannot be the fault of the company, as data it extracted invariably showed Autopilot was not active in the moment of the collision.

Tesla is doing basically the same that Volkswagen did in the dieselgate scandal - using computer algorithm to detect when there's a situation that will be problematic for the corporation and changing the mode to avoid looking bad in the statistics.

Personally, I find it insulting that such an outrageous behaviours are being swept under the rug to protect corporate interest simply because it's a domestic brand lead by an extremely influential individual. If VAG or BMW would dare to do something similar - they'd be already sued for billions of dollars.

Regards,

~Martin
Martin,

Thanks for your letter. You make a great point. We’re going to publish it in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
6-14-2022


Is there a service where I can get the price paid for a pre owned vehicle?



I'm interested in buying a used Porsche 911 and in addition to CarFax info, I want to see the prices paid by previous owners.



Thank you

Regards,  John
We’re not aware of anyplace that provides what people previously paid for a specific car. The best you can do is an internet search about what people have paid for a 911 from the same year with the similar number of miles on it and in a similar condition.

John McElroy
6-14-2022


Dear Autoline, 
 
Mary Barra was quoted today as saying GM is targeting a 95% reduction in chips used per vehicle. Sounds like there is a story behind that quote? How do you reduce chips by 95%?
 
Thanks,  Scott from Asheville
You go with centralized computing in your cars like Tesla did a decade ago.

John McElroy
6-10-2022


Problem with deer vs. Auto crashes

This is not a solution but it's a deterrent. There is a little plastic whistle that can be installed on the front of the vehicle called a deer whistle. They're not expensive and available on Amazon and other sites. The idea behind them is that it creates a high-pitched sound that makes the deer stop in it's tracks to see what the sound is so instead of stepping in front of the car in the dark. Instead the deer stops on the side of the road. I live in the country where there are lots of deer and it's a constant problem. A friend of mine has lived here for 10 years and he's hit a deer every single year he's lived here. I gave him some deer whistles and he put them on his wife's car and she says she can actually see the deer stop and listen. Maybe you could be a conduit to spread the word.  Thanks!
Reed,

I’ve bee aware of these deer whistles for years. Decades, really. All the data shows they don’t really work. If they did, this problem would have been solved a long time ago. In fact, they would have been mandated as a safety device.

John McElroy
6-3-2022


Hi John/Sean,

     First I want to start off by thanking you for representing the whole automotive industry especially my neighbour who has a GM franchise [he’s 81 silly man].

     Saw John on the youtube channel “solving the money problem” with Steven Mark Ryan in which John said that Tesla could not possibly produce 20 million cars per year by 2030. In which the producer proceeds to take apart John’s thesis a bit at a time.

     A few outliers like the factory in Austin is arguably the largest building in the world by volume, which could be the most efficient car factory in the world? Joe Justice suggested that, that factory could produce 10 million cars a year using the Agile system. Not to mention Tesla Toronto Automation which is making automotive and battery making equipment. Tesla Grohmann in Germany has also tripled in size. What are both these companies doing. Not to mention the whole automotive equipment manufacturers coming out of Israel lie AEV, GM’s Advanced Technological Center in Hurzliya , BGN, Technoplast, ETE motors to name a few. All these could be expanded to stories for Autoline.

     Joe Justice also suggested that Berlin could produce 10 million cars a year when built out.

     Originally when Tesla announce another plant in Shanghai they were mentioning another free trade zone 10-15 km away but then just expanding the existing one??

    Plant in Indonesia ? with more nickel.

     Looks like India is dead.


    Keep up the good work on your show it’s a pleasure watching.

Dave

ps in 1900 who would want anything faster we have the fastest steam locomotives ever?
5-26-2022


Total vehicles on the road

On the one hand, there are reductions in new vehicle production. On the other hand, the average age of vehicles on the road is increasing. Which is the greater force? Are there more vehicles on the road now than there were in 2019?
 
Neil G
Normal, IL
The latest data we have is from 2020 from Wards. There were roughly the same number of cars on the road in 2020 as in 2019, But before that, the car park in the US was growing every year. Wards reports there were 267 million light cars and trucks in 2020. The average age is going up because fewer people bought new cars and held onto the ones they already had.

John McElroy
5-25-2022


Re: Rising interest rates

That is interesting John, 2/3rds of people here  have fixed rate for mortgage for 3 or 5 years (out of a 25 to 40 year full term) on home purchase then the lender can impose whatever new terms they like.
The other 1/3 will see their repayment rate rise from tomorrow morning - a gamble some are prepared to risk.
 
Here in recent times because the monthly repayment rate can be reached on Range Rovers, Porsche, Ferrari etc by people with relatively modest income the schemes are more like renting because in practice you never own the car or have any equity in it really because interest rates have been near zero  with all the money printing governments have pushed out to banks, credit has been so slack. This has really boosted high end car sales over last 7-10 years.
 
As with USA here some agreements have a fixed rate of interest for 1 - 4 years typically  now 5.5%, as that expires - or more likely they change cars it will be at new and much higher rates - typically for the sort of people already over reached. In previous recessions  in 70s and 80s here it became a bloodbath of negative equity and handing in keys.
 
Who knows I think we will see later in the year. Younger people ( I am 72) have only known low rates and buy everything on credit (fills me with horror - I would not sleep at night)
 
18 deg sunshine and everything just come in to full leaf here  - after 6 months of icy cold north wind - what a relief.

Never miss a bulletin, keep up the good work .

Kind Regards


Richard
5-25-2022


What about the people that don't believe in climate change but are fed up with the sky high gas prices in record profits from the oil companies that's why I want BEV,  and I don't believe in climate change.
 
Bob
5-25-2022


Hi John, Sean,

     

Recently Tesla said that they would not be producing a less expensive car. 

     

However, what about a car, with the footprint of a Golf or Mercedes Model A, with a drag coefficient of 0.20, 300-500 HP,  AWD which would beat anything in that category hands down but would sell for $50-70K. It would be the size where one could find a parking spot in congested areas like Detroit downtown or “small car” parking spots. 

     

Just speculating, I’d buy one.




Yours Dave T
5-25-2022


John,
 
Regarding your AD #3305,  a 4/22 filing in the litigation against Musk shows a breakdown between Musk and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) over funding. This may explain Musk's recent statements defending his tweet: "...Funding  secured."
 
An interesting issue may be the relative timing of a PIF investment in Tesla competitor Lucid. But I have not looked into dates of when the investment occurred and when it became public.
 
4/25 story:

Detroit News storyPrior cited on Autoline.tv.
 
Court filing.

Court docket.

Background re. PIF and Lucid.
“The listing represents the fruits of a well-timed 2018 investment in Lucid when it was struggling for survival.”

Will
 
New Haven, Connecticut
5-24-2022


Good Morning,
 
I  really appreciate your daily features and topics.  I have been a long time follower of yours.  You both do a great job.  My wife and I bought a new car and were really interested in a PHV, however, they were not available without a significant premium added to the manufacturers price coupled with a long wait time.  We settled on a RAV4 Hybrid and are very pleased with it.  
 
We could not even consider a BEV because we live in rural, western Illinois.  There are a total of two charging stations int he city.  We frequently drive to Quincy, 125 miles round trip, and Springfield, Illinois, 195 miles round trip.  Range anxiety is real in the heartland,  The infrastructure is not in place yet.  Will it come? Certainly it will, but it’s not quite ready for prime time.  But there is some work to do before the support system is ready for mass usage.  The charging systems need to be standardized.  Every charger must fit every car.  I don’t ever worry whether a gas pump will fit my car.  They do.  The same must apply to charging systems.  The Tesla charger must fit the Hyundai, the Ford, etc.
 
A question that hasn’t been addressed has to do with the generating electrical power. Illinois is closing down two huge coal-powered electric plants.  They aren’t being replaced.  That is a potential problem. California and other areas already have rolling blackouts during the summer.  If the world is trending towards electric vehicles, shouldn’t the country be adding sources of electric energy, not taking plants down?  Just asking the question.
 
Keep up the good work.
 
Jim
Macomb, IL
Jim,

Good letter. We’ll publish this in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv