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

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
5-24-2022


Dear autoline tv,
 
Am I correct in understanding that 'the star concept' is ONLY a computer model?
 
I bet, this 'zoom' format has made it a lot easier in accommodating guests.  No commuting.
 
Another question based on your insight:  Is this a good time to buy an ICE vehicle?
Is the average driver being priced out of the ICE market regarding the fuel price?
 
r work
r,

There is a physical version of the concept which is being built in China.

John McElroy
5-24-2022


I suggest that the public will gladly adopt Automatic Driving Assist Systems (ADAS) as long as it is free.  Car manufacturers quickly found out that lane departure warning systems were almost as detested as the initial seat belt interlock systems that prevented starting the car unless the driver's seat belt was fastened.  For reasons I have yet to discover, once windshields are replaced the ADAS system must be "calibrated".  All of the driver assist systems that use radar will require calibration if they are to perform as expected.  Should your windshield be replaced the ADAS system must be calibrated at a cost of $500 to $1,200 which will roughly double the cost of windshield replacement.  This cost is understandable as the ADAS calibration equipment costs between $10,000 and $40,000 and that is before the tort attorneys way in.  After the fact, the calibration can't be confirmed without repeating the same process.  Often vehicle inspection includes headlight alignment inspection which to some degree can be confirmed by the driver.  In fact an accurate headlight alignment can be performed if you have a level driveway, a garage door and a tape measure.  I would wager that while ADAS performance is well defined the available ADAS calibration systems which include computers as well as physical components do not have rigorous performance standards which would include acceptable tolerances.   It is doubtless that the manufacturers and their ADAS suppliers have laboratory level calibration equipment which is held to even higher standards all of which are far beyond technical competency of your average windshield installer.  
 
What I fear most is that ADAS systems will be approved by the states without requiring that ADAS systems maintain calibration and will be driven anyway.  A logical requirement would be that the calibration status of cars would be maintained by the states similar to that of vehicle emissions.  Obviously the windshield replacement companies will welcome the doubling of their revenue.  That is the Pollyanna version, what is more likely is that the sale of windshields and their installation will be executed on the black market and over time the majority of vehicles will be driven with ADAS systems out of calibration and what was once a welcomed safety feature will be replaced with a dangerous game of bumper cars driven by drivers who had never had the intent of paying the outrageous "calibration" charge.  Should the states attempt to force this issue I expect that legislatures will find it more palatable to outlaw ADAS that it is to force voters into paying hundreds of dollars for a feature they had no intention of using because they were "very good drivers" (ref. "Rainman").   The drivers of cars with ignition interlocks never intended to have a serious collision either.  
 
It is likely that adoption of ADAS systems will be  halted until a technology is developed that will robustly maintain calibration which might include self calibration.  As you might guess I follow the advance, and failure of automotive technologies and would welcome further discussion of this subject.  I have decades of laboratory experience in metrology, the science of measurement.  
 
Craig
Houston  Texas
Craig,

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

John McElroy
5-24-2022


Hello John;  just wondering if you have seen the EV numbers from Germany and the Tesla numbers from California.  Pretty amazing.  I was surprised when I found out that GM has been designing ground-up BEVs for a couple of years now.  Good for them.  I still think they, as well as Ford and Stelantis may end up in deep doo doo.?  Enjoying your Thursday shows but still think in-person adds something to the interaction of the guests and you guys.  The show with Mark Reuss was really great.  That is one of the most unfiltered and unrestrained conversations I have heard in some time, from a high level executive.  I think your many years of interacting with these guys really pays off when you ask them probing questions.  Great work.  Irvin
5-24-2022


Hi John,
On April 1, Autoline Daily. you reported that in South Korea the Institute of Basic Science says they can charge an electric car battery in 9 seconds. Have you got any more information on this or was that an April Fool's story?
Sincerely,
Ralph
Looks like that was an April Fool’s story.

John McElroy
5-19-2022


Autoline team,
 
Ford and Tesla have backpedaled expansion in India. India have 'Make in India' policy, and won't permit import of vehicles or parts from China unless far greater benefit to India from deal. 
 
China wants to take land from India by military means. Both countries have large armies in the Himalayas with high tensions between them. India will not do anything to assist China economically, unless India gets greater benefit. 
 
Companies are going to have to choose between India and China for manufacturing operations. 
 
The main RHD vehicle countries stand with the US against China - UK, Japan, India, Australia. So there is scope to separate production into LHD and RHD.  
 
QUAD v China is becoming an economic thing.
 
For auto companies, they will increasingly need separate supply chains for India and it's friends from those for China. Different brands will be needed.
 
Ford may need to close its R&D operation in Australia (Melbourne) if it chooses China over India/Japan/Australia/UK.
 
In the longer term, when China's auto industry is world class, China may tax the operations of US companies like Tesla to take their profits.
 
Regards
Peter
5-19-2022


Up and down the east coast of Australia in an electric car is possible.  But try going into the outback or even crossing the continent east to west and you are in trouble.
 
I spotted this story in Motor Trend about one novel solution – carry your own solar array in the car and stop to recharge frequently.
 
Electric cars have their limitations!!!
 
Warwick Rex Dundas
Interesting story. It sure would be great if one day PV panels on cars provide all the power we need. Until then!

John McElroy
5-12-2022


We are now back in the 80's as far as GM is concerned... rebadging one line or car for another line.
The new camouflage Cadillac CT6 is nothing more then a rebadged Chev Impala that they killed last year.
I grew up with Chev, Buick and Cadillac. I loved the passion and style.  It's gone and so am I. No more GM for me.
 
P.S.  Love your shows
 
David P 
One slight correction. The Impala was FWD, the CT6 is RWD. They’re completely different cars.

John McElroy
Yikes, that blowed up real good.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


I have a new Maverick on order, and I've been trying to figure out what it is. Ford calls it a truck. Truck guys call it a CUV with the back chopped off. Some call it a "trucklet". And Hyundai calls it a "Sport Activity Vehicle".
 
I think we should name this class of vehicles "Hobbit Trucks", and I'm offering that as an industry standard naming convention. Or "HT" for short. 
 
Love the channel and AAH is my favorite hour of the week. You guys rock.
 
Scott in Asheville
Hobbit trucks? That is hilarious. We’ll send the suggestion to Ford.

BTW, we love the Maverick. Coolest new entry to hit the market in a long time.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


Hi,
 
Just sharing:
 
1) EVs have a learning curve - they are not ICE cars so old habits have to broken and new ones developed.
 
2) Just copy Tesla - the late comers have figured out they should follow the Tesla example. The tragedy is BMW designed and built the brilliant BMW i3-REx which remains the backup to our Tesla Model 3. The subsequent BMW PHEV and BEVs remain a sad joke and the Toyota Prius Prime still leaves bad memories.
 
3) Charging network - the traditional OEM have yet to realize the 'SYSTEM IS THE SOLUTION.' So they remain vulnerable to 3d party, fast DC chargers that like mushrooms will magically appear with no engineering or help from the vehicle EV makers. Tesla knows better so I used one SuperCharger session, $11, for a 354 mile trip on Thursday, May 5. When traditional manufacturers establish 24x7, fast DC chargers at their dealers, they will have figured it out.
 
Good program if a little light-weight for me.
 
Bob
5-10-2022


Here in UK 8 out of 10 cars are bought on credit usually models chosen to max out monthly repayment capacity - with car prices now so high -

Car repossessions on the way ?

Kind Regards

Richard
Car repos may go up with higher interest rates. But the people who already bought cars are locked into lower rates.

In the US, at least, defaults represent a very small percentage of car loans, about 0.03%. It’s an annoyance, but not a big problem.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


Hi John and Sean,
From your Wednesday May 4 report, you spoke about Bridgestone making new tires for electric buses. You mentioned that Bridgestone claims less roll resistance. What does that mean? How does that work? If it is too much information for a quick segment report, maybe invite Bridgestone for an Autoline After Hours to explain roll resistance and other technical/design/build tidbits on tire manufacturing. Look forward to hearing your report. Thank you.
 
Best regards,
Dana
Toronto, ON
Tires with less rolling resistance are harder. They have stiffer sidewalls that don’t flex as much. When a tire flexes it’s using up energy. Less flexing = longer EV range (or better fuel economy with an ICE vehicle).

Good suggestion on this topic. We will get an expert from Bridgestone to go into more details.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


Here is an article about an interstate trip between Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s 2 largest cities.  In an electric car it can be a tedious exercise.  The same trip is one I have done many times.  I usually drive my Lexus GS300 and stop just once, at Gundagai for fuel, a pit stop and a bite to eat and drink.  This guy had range and charger availability anxiety.
 
The infrastructure is just not there yet.
 
Regards
 
Warwick Rex Dundas
Great article, thanks for sending. I’ve encountered similar problems. Anyone driving an EV long distance is truly a pioneer.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


If GM and Ford finances are doing so well, why are both of their stocks in the toilet? Ford went from around $25 a share to $14 or so, while GM fell from
around $65 a share to under $40. With all their talk about BEVs they still make a few percent of them as a part of their overall portfolio of cars, which is shrinking, as they are
selling fewer vehicles YoY year after year. Sure, with all their political clout they probably won't go bankrupt, but I see little positive for them and certainly would not be a 
cheerleader shaking the pom-poms for them. With gas through the roof and unlikely to fall and virtually all you make is gas vehicles, this does not bode well for companies
that rely on gas car sales, financing, and parts, for all their profits.
 
Besides which I remember another media company with a panel, laughing an joking about Tesla and their likelihood of
bankruptcy. I think they are called Blue-Sky Productions, and they were clueless about Tesla, at that time.
We were not clueless about Tesla. When we were predicting that it might go out of business, Elon Musk was trying to get Tim Cook and Apple to buy it. Cook refused to even meet with Elon. Tesla came that close to going bankrupt. Check out all the gory details in the book “Power Play” by Tim Higgins. Remember, at that point Tesla had lost billions and was a company that had one profitable quarter in all the time it had been in business.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


John and Sean, you probably already know about this, but in case you don't.
 
In a new book on his tenure as the head of Cadillac, John Smith recounts the birth of its most iconic product.
George,

There’s a glaring omission in this story of how the Cadillac Escalade came to be: the Lincoln Navigator.

The Navigator was equally controversial within Ford. Internally, it was referred to as the Town Truck, as opposed to the Town Car which was then Lincoln’s best seller. Two Ford execs even sought out my opinion about whether it would succeed or not (I thought it would). But despite the controversy over whether or not luxury buyers would buy a luxury SUV, Ford bit the bullet and launched it (1997).

Cadillac dealers went ape when the Navigator came out and became an instant success. It beat the Escalade to the market by about two years. The dealers demanded that they get something to compete with it and so GM did a rush job to give Cadillac something ASAP. The first-gen Escalade was little more than a gussied up Chevrolet Suburban.

If the Navigator wasn’t in the market, the naysayers at GM probably would have won the day and the Escalade would have never gone into production.

I’m surprised John Smith never mentioned this in his book.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


I’m sorry if you covered this in the past – why don’t we hear more about EV charging via solar energy?  If it’s on par with charging from the grid, theoretically an EV owner would have no ‘fueling’ costs indefinitely (besides upkeep), if he/she installed a solar car charger.  Am I missing something? – Just curious
Ricky,
 
We have reported on this. A couple of EV makers are putting solar panels on their cars.
 
Check out Aptera.
 
And Lightyear.
 
John McElroy
5-6-2022


Thought this might be of interest to you. I know they are doing something in the same vain in Michigan. 

• Lenexa, Kansas, will move forward with a pilot project to install concrete embedded with sensors and other technologies that could wirelessly charge electric vehicles that pass over it, reports the Engineering News-Record. Integrated Roadways will install its patented smart pavement technology at five intersections, and it promised to upgrade 20% of the city’s infrastructure during the 10-year project. 

Tim Driver..........
Tim,

Hey, are you listening in on our planning sessions? On Monday we’re taping a show about powered roadways, including the CEO of Integrated Roadways on the panel.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


John,
 
I just found out from major U.S.A. automotive electrical engineer, who lives down the street, that each vehicle manufacturer has its own unique charging plug line and female receiving unit! This is one time that the government should have made it mandatory that all vehicle manufacturers use the same charging connections.  I want the government to pay for the national defense and items for the common good of its citizenry. But, this is one time they should step up to the plate and communize the charging system of all vehicles.
 
I can see it now 4 Tesla charging stations in use with 3 waiting their turn while there are 4 Ford charging stations not being used! Just think how mad the Tesla folks will be! To say nothing of how many more stations that will have to be installed to accommodate all the different vehicle manufacturer’s hardware.
I can see a multimillion, possibly billion, dollar industry building adaptors to allow Tesla vehicles to use Ford outlets.
 
Larry
Macomb, MI
Larry,

Your neighbor is either making this all up or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Twenty years ago the SAE set the charging-plug standard (SAE J1772) for every automaker to use. All automakers use this standard and have pretty much settled on the CCS plug, except Tesla, which developed its own plug for its own proprietary charging network.

You can take any electric car to any (non-Tesla) public charging station and get it recharged. I’ve done it myself many times, with the different EVs I’ve tested from different automakers.

Tesla provides its customers with an adaptor so they can use the non-Tesla charging stations. And Tesla says it’s going to open its network for other EVs to use.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


Hello, 
 
I am reaching out on behalf of my grandfather, Fred Jast, and he would like to make this comment in regards to the use of generators to charge electric vehicles: 
 
"The four stroke gas engine and the four stroke diesel engine are the wrong engines to drive a 60hz two pole and a four pole AC generator. I have designed a 1 cylinder engine that can drive a four pole 60hz generator at 1800 rpm and the engine does 3600 powerstroke." 
 
He would like to have a talk in regards to his comment above with someone on your team. You may reach out to him either a reply back to this email or via mail to his attention at 4827 Birchland Pl, Temple City, CA 91780. 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 
 
Best Regards, 
Sabrina
Sabrina,

Thanks for reaching out to us about your grandfather’s engine design, but we really don’t have the technical expertise to evaluate it.

He should reach out to companies that really know this stuff like AVL, Riccardo or Roush.

John McElroy
4-29-2022


Hi Autoline, 
 
Love your show and watch every day.
 
We have had a great dealer experience with our local dealer - Sam Galloway Ford in Ft. Myers, FL.  We received our Mach E GT Performance Edition in early January (after 77 days in transit causing us to get the tax credit in 2022 instead of 2021, but not dealer's fault.)
 
The only issue we have had is an occasional charging fault (4 times).  Dealer said they have another Mach E with same problem which turned out to be the charger, so they have ordered us a new charger. Otherwise, the car has been fantastic.  Frankly, we were expecting more issues with this being Ford's first serious EV.
 
Our dealer added no ADM or other ridiculous fees, and in-fact allowed us to use a Z-plan due to a family member who retired from Ford, which saved us about 4% off MSRP.  I monitor a lot of different types of blogs, youtube channels, etc, and can't believe that dealers would continue with the large ADM practice with how much bad publicity it brings. There is actually someone online who began a spreadsheet to track which dealers are adding an ADM.
 
Can't say enough good things about Sam Galloway Ford and I actually thanked them for not being like "some" of the other Ford dealers.
 
Andy
Bonita Springs, FL.
Andy,

Great feedback, thanks for sending. And we’ll publish this in viewer mail on our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy
4-27-2022


John,
Do you think Google will ever get an ROI on what it has sunk into Waymo?
 
It has generated a lot of press releases but I think only FCA seems to have taken the bait.
 
Peter
Peter,

Waymo should be able to generate a good return on its AV investments, but of course nothing is guaranteed in life.

GM expects to generate $50 billion in revenue with Cruise by 2030 and one would think Waymo could do the same.

While Waymo charges for rides in Phoenix, it doesn’t publish its financials so we don’t know how it’s doing. Cruise will start charging for rides in San Francisco this year, and since GM does publish some financial info about it, we’ll soon know how this AV thing is going.

John McElroy
Mike,

The so-called “blood batteries” using cobalt from Congo that is often mined using child labor is a real problem. All automakers are aware of it, and have several efforts to deal with it. Automakers who source cobalt directly from Congo are increasingly using blockchain to verify that their cobalt comes from well established mines, and not the wildcat mines that use child labor. OEMs are also seeking out cobalt from other countries where child labor is not used.

Automakers are designing a new generation of batteries that use far less cobalt. GM says its next-gen Ultium batteries use 60% less cobalt.

Even so, China dominates the cobalt processing business and China has a policy of not criticizing other country’s internal policies even if they use child labor in dangerous jobs.

John McElroy
4-25-2022


Hi,
 
My understanding is all EV1s were leased and not available for sale. Attempts to buy them were refused by GM.
 
The Ultimum battery system would be more impressive if a minimum sized battery EV were designed and produced. Perhaps the next generation Bolt?
 
Bob
You’re right, EV1s were only available for lease.

GM announced that it and Honda are working on entry level EVs that will retail for $30,000.

John McElroy
4-22-2022


Hi,
 
I've owned a 2014 BMW i3-REx, 72 mi EV, and 2017 Toyota Prime, 25 mi EV while working 10 miles away, a 20 mile daily commute. The Prime was seldom used because the 5 miles EV on work days, 25 -20 = 5 mi, was not enough for groceries, lunch, or pharmacy without burning gas. In contrast, the BMW had 52 mi EV on workdays, more than enough for ordinary chores.
 
We traded in the Toyota Prime for a Tesla Model 3 and never looked back. The BMW remains our Tesla backup since it can cruise at 70 mph on the gasoline powered, range extender. But expansion of the SuperCharger network makes the BMW redundant.
 
Bob
Huntsville, AL
Warwick,

Very interesting stat that Toyota’s Australian sales are 32.5% hybrids. Here in the US it’s 26%.

Thanks for sending this. I really appreciate getting these reports. We’ll do something about it in Autoline Daily.

John McElroy
4-20-2022


I figured you didn't include the Hyundai ioniq electric because they don't offer a 2022 model year, but it would be great if you could mention it as well. I believe it's actually more efficient than the Model 3.

b.c.
b.c.,

You’re right on both counts. I did not include the old Hyundai Ioniq in my list of most efficient EVs because Hyundai pivoted to the Ionic 5. But you’re also right the older Ioniq is rated as most efficient by the EPA than a Tesla Model 3.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


Mark Reuss was one one your best guests ever. Great discussion
 
Kit
Cape Canaveral, FL
Agreed, that is a great show.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


I call these guys "Fudsters" for spreading FUD which is Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt like the Grid can't handle the load or where do charge? After 4 years and 60,000 miles, we have never been stranded.
 
Despite all the FUD efforts, Tesla has more money and less debt than the ICE industry and probability of failure is lower than the Big Three.
 
Take Care, Frank
Frank,

I’m not trying to spread FUD, only truth. I keep seeing YouTube videos predicting Ford and GM will collapse under their debt load. So I did a little calculation.

Ford’s total short term liabilities, not including Ford Credit, are $44 billion. Tesla’s total short term liabilities are $18 billion.

Ford’ short term liabilities as a percentage of its total short term assets is 58%. Tesla’s is 72%. So Tesla is carrying a comparatively heavier debt load than Ford.

The YouTubers focus on Ford’s total debt of +$200 billion. But they fail to realize that Ford Credit accounts for more than half of that. That debt reflects the loans that Ford made to its dealers and customers so they could buy Ford cars, trucks and vans. The loans will get paid off. Even so, they’re booked as liabilities. Ford Credit made a $4.5 billion net profit last year on that “debt.”

John McElroy
4-19-2022


John,
I know that my old Buick isn't exactly a Red Bull Formula 1 car, but neither of these vehicles tolerates ethanol in its gasoline very well. Both Red Bull cars crapped-out before the end of one race because of 'vapor lock' in the high pressure fuel pump. This season is the first time that ARAMCO has blended 10% ethanol into gasoline. My Buick tolerates e-10 just fine, but if memory serves me correctly, Generous Motors put the upper limit of ethanol at 10%. (Both ethanol and methanol are highly corrosive and easily damage seals not made specifically to handle that much hooch.)
If my hunch is correct and this 15% is harmful to any vehicle that was not specifically designed to be flex-fuel, now is the time for you to speak up to the national press. Please!
What do you think?
Clinton
Clinton,

Any car made from 2001 onward can take E15.

If E10 caused vapor lock in the Red Bull cars, shame on them. No one else had that problem.

BTW, ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, and RB should be able to take advantage of that. Sure looks like Ferrari has.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


Hello Sean,
 
Perhaps you have reported on this before, but it was new to me and shocking... 
 
Advertised price of used CPO car does not include the CPO cost?  At a car closing the cost of being a CPO car is an additional charge over the advertised price? 'Yes' according to the GM Buick GMC dealership in Highland Michigan.
 
When seeing this charge I said, so you list the car color blue but upon arrival the car is black. They say, yes it's black now but for an upcharge of $500 we will paint it blue.
 
Is this a regular practice now? So 'no haggle' pricing but they can add on this nonsense?
 
Would love your insight on this.
 
Thanks, Will
Will,

Most dealers are taking advantage of tight supplies to raise prices of new and used cars. It doesn’t surprise us at all to see that they’re doing it with CPO cars.

This will come back to haunt them. People are not going to forget that dealers took advantage of them the first chance they got.

John McElroy
4-8-2022


Being an industry veteran,  I have been watching and following autoline for about 20 years. This is the first time I dare to ask a question because this issue has become important to many of us motorhome owners. 
 
Years ago there were many cars, SUVs and trucks with auto transmissions that are also flat towable. However in recent years the weight and cost reduction in the induction forced many automakers to eliminate the transfer cases in their 4x4 systems. Nowadays if a motorhome owner want to flat tow a 4000 lb vehicle w/o speed limit, he or she has only Jeep Cherokee or 2 dr Wagner to choose, nothing else An lightweight EV is ideal for a RV owner to tow and can be plugged in the campground overnight to charge up. However there is not a single EV on the market that is flat towable.
 
With the recent huge RV boom and popular class B motorhomes and younger owners are more environmentally conscious. The flat towable EV could be an important market for the automaker to tap into. SInce GM is starting a completely new EV strategy, I wonder if I should point out the potential market to the auto industry. 
 
The flat towable vehicles have been a popular topic in many motorhome owners forums. Most of the owners share my frustration about being ignored by the automakers. For example, there is not a single Toyota vehicle with autotrans that is flat towable
 
Respectfully,
Chi
Great point! We’ve got Mark Reuss coming on Autoline After Hours and we’ll ask him about this.

Thanks,
John McElroy
4-8-2022


I caught the podcast and honestly I do not think factually it was fairly presented in a number of ways.
 
1. Overall job numbers have been fairly steady on the monthly average– and these recent numbers are reflecting dues paid impacted by how the companies managed the chip shutdowns in December. The LM2 is a snapshot on Dec. 31 and does not actually fairly represent membership given how it is compiled.
2. The actual cost all in per vehicle last I saw that CAR calculated is only 7% of the cost of the product overall.
3. Your example on discipline did not include the fact that legally there is a duty of representation of all members on disciplinary matters.
4. I’m not aware that the 25% absenteeism you cited is or ever has been accurate – it’s rumor and hearsay. Companies actually under the contract can hire more temporary workers if absenteeism hits a certain threshold and they haven’t come to us at that threshold. That is even the case currently.
5. The absenteeism issue you argue is a headscratcher right now given the industry juggling over supply chain issues. It just is not what you portrayed it as.
6. Organizing is a lot more complex than what you portrayed. That is why the PRO Act is being pushed. Captive audience meetings and other anti-union tactics make it difficult for workers to succeed not just in auto. So too does turnover and temporary workers at non-union plants.
7. Musk currently has an NLRB ruling to reinstate workers he fired and other union avoidance tactics on federal appeal. The NLRB ruled he must take corrective action and he appealed. I wouldn’t say he was taunting. His tweet doesn’t match his legal filings. You have to admit there is a chilling effect when you fire workers for exercising their legal right to organize. I’m honestly surprised you failed to objectively recognize that significant fact and hurdle with Tesla.
 
I’m honestly disappointed in that podcast which no doubt you would expect. But in fairness, I don’t think it was objective or fair. I’m surprised you didn’t reach out ahead of time at least for accuracy input. It seems like there were a lot of loose anecdotes to me that don’t really capture the complexity of the topic you were discussing.
 
Given the significant jobs already announced and coming on line this year is one of growth already. It seems to me a very unfair piece that lacks key objective facts – even for an opinion piece.
 
Brian Rothenberg
United Auto Workers
Director, Public Relations
4-8-2022


Very interesting shows as of late with questions on dealerships, right to repair.
You know my take as the auto industry is like a 3-legged stool: suppliers, manufacturer, dealerships. If all the legs are of unequal length, someone is not getting
their fair share, (suppliers) while another group gets too much (dealerships). Meanwhile corporate is angry with dealerships charging way over MSRP and will 
try to stop it with nasty notes. Realizing that won't work Ford wants to cut out the dealerships entirely on their most in demand electric products. As if the dealerships
will lay down and let Ford roll over them. Meanwhile GM wants suppliers to foot the bill for the increase in shipping costs, which have gone up 3x.
It's a Perfect Storm alright, and this wobbly little stool is going to be washed away. 
 
Plus, the solution of just passing costs to consumers will ultimately result is a consumer revolt which will drive down sales of all cars to heretofore unseen levels, except for the depression.
And their factories are antiquated and inefficient as is their corporate structure. But that's another story. 
4-8-2022


Hi John,
 
I guess you have heard about Felicity Ace the  large cargo vessel carrying cars has sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, thirteen days after a fire broke out on board. 
It made me sad to see all the cars go down to the bottom of the ocean and I started wondering if our current underground garages in many buildings of large cities for parking vehicles have the safety features to extinguish Lithium batteries on fire? I understand that today probably many of these garages have safety sprinkler system and foam based fire extinguishers such that gasoline vehicle fire could be put out, but what about all the safety upgrades that would be needed for EVs to park there? I think this would be a great topic for one of your after hours show. BTW- I love them all keep up the great work!
 
Best Regards,
Martin
 
Will all these parking garage places look a little like this cargo ship?
Blame it on Autopilot is the new “the devil made me do it.”

John McElroy
4-5-2022


To John McElroy
 
Did I miss the episode covering the info below
 
 
Going vertical.
Datasheet   3-31-22
 
Tesla is forcing yet another shift in the automotive world: less reliance on suppliers. As Reuters reported Thursday, several leading automakers developing electric vehicles plan to bring more sourcing, manufacturing, and software development in-house, mimicking the trailblazing Tesla’s approach. The shift toward vertical integration follows a decades-long practice of gathering parts and technology from suppliers across the globe, often in countries with lower labor costs. Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz have all made moves to curtail supplier dependence in recent months.

From the article:

The investments by automakers in mines, motors, and batteries are a departure from decades of handing control over development and production to suppliers, who could produce steering controls, semiconductors, and electronic components at greater scale and lower cost for multiple vehicle manufacturers.

In the new world of electric vehicles, however, investors have decided that Tesla's approach of buying raw materials directly, building its own batteries, and engineering its own software is the winning strategy. Tesla's market capitalization has soared back above $1 trillion in recent weeks, outweighing that of Toyota, Volkswagen, GM and Ford combined.
 
Build or buy? Automakers chasing Tesla rethink dependence on suppliers
Reuters     March 31, 2022 
 

Automakers racing to develop battery-powered, software-driven vehicles to compete with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) are confronting a new challenge: what technology to build themselves, and what to keep buying from suppliers....
 
Regards,
Rich
We’ve been covering the growing interest in vertical integration over the last two years. Here’s an example of a show where it was discussed.
 
John McElroy
4-5-2022


John, in some way and at some time in the future, I'd like to see Autoline explore temporary installations of supplemental battery packs to extend range (for that occasional coast to coast family trip), as well as removals of optional battery packs to lighten battery weight for more efficient inner-urban daily commutes (most of which are <50 miles roundtrip).
 
Tesla's initial gov-funded battery-swap experiment didn't go too well -- and was limited to a single pack per vehicle.  Nowadays, with so many urban Chinese living in apartments without dedicated charging stations, their government is committing more and more resources to battery-swap facilities and processes -- again, limited to a single pack per vehicle, so far.
 
Within your and my lifetimes, we probably won't get to standardized battery-pack sizes using a "best" technology/formula in the USA.  But I do think it likely that future designed-from-scratch BEVs are very likely to have more commonality to their power packs installed in horizontal pancake form between front & rear wheels and between left/right guard-rails/rocker-panels/chassis-frames/unibody-segments.  Whether we call it skateboard, floorpan, or whatever.
 
Which brings me to the idea of supplemental packs to add range or (upon removal) to lighten weight.
 
Although vehicle body mass/weight would vary some, the overall vehicle geometry would essentially remain the same -- with minor lowering of center of gravity.
 
IF home chargers transition to cordless automatic under-vehicle units, I could forsee an under-car unit that could raise/lower supplemental batteries for the DIY owner, while white-gloved folks could rely on local vehicle-service shops and/or auto-dealer maintenance/repair shops.
 
Pete
 
P.S.  My writing this down was provoked by GPratts talk about battery-pack size/weight broadcast locally earlier today
Pete,

What an intriguing idea, you should patent it!

We’ll definitely start asking about this. It sure makes the idea of battery swapping more compelling.

We’ll also publish this letter.

Best,
John McElroy
4-5-2022


John, I heard you say the Subaru’s have the most annoying seat belt chimes. I have no experience with those, but the Subaru drivers are the most annoying drivers I have had the misfortune of driving around, now I will just blame the annoying chimes of getting them raging before they even hit the road!
Ha! We will publish this letter.

John McElroy
4-5-2022


John,
 
You guys do a great job and I really enjoy the new opinion segments on YouTube, specifically last week's episode on the UAW.  You described the pros and cons well and with good examples.  
 
Second, I'm going to the Austin Gigafactory grand opening this week and would be happy to provide any information or try to ask specific questions, if you'd like.  I'm certainly not an insider, employee or other restricted party, but if there are tidbits you or Gary would like to know about line speeds, gigacastings, paint shop, etc. I'd like to help out.  Given the delivery numbers, everyone should be in a good mood!
 
Anyway, thanks again for releasing great shows daily along with the After Hours episodes.  Using podcasts and YouTube is perfect too; video for the designer guests and audio for the journalists or vendors.  The high quality of the guests make each episode valuable!
 
Thanks,
Alan
Columbia, SC
Alan,

Thanks for the offer. And the answer is YES! We’d love to get any info you can provide. Bring a notebook and take plenty of notes.

Since the plant is in a ramp up phase, production numbers, line speed, employment, etc. are probably not where they will end up. But anything you can send us, including your impressions, would be worthwhile.

John McElroy
4-5-2022


Time to build a Tesla EV: 10 hours
Time to build a VW    EV: 30 hours
 
Remember GM’s Bob Lutz saying in 2018 that Tesla would never be able to scale up and be cost effective too ? “Headed for the graveyard”:
 
Bob Lutz apparently didn’t pay much attention to Zip2, PayPal, and SpaceX. 

Regards,
Dave
Dave,

Everyone’s quoting those 10 hours versus 30 hours number, but what they should be referring to is 10 labor-hours versus 30 labor-hours. It does not take VW 30 hours to run a car through its assembly plant. The 30 labor-hour number refers to the fact that VW needs more people to make its cars.

BTW, the best US ICE plant according to the Harbour Report back in the day was Ford’s assembly plant outside of Atlanta. It made the Taurus and Mercury Sable with 18 labor hours.

These comparisons get really tricky. The only way to do a good apples-to-apples comparison is to go into the plants and look at the amount of direct labor that’s getting counted. Does Tesla’s labor hour content include seat assembly, for example? Does VW’s include stamping and molding? Unless you know what work is being counted, these comparisons can be wildly inaccurate and misleading.

Re: Lutz. He got a lot of things right and a lot wrong. He usually ‘fessed up to what he got wrong. Remember, when he said those things about Tesla in 2018, the company was practically bankrupts and Elon was trying to get a meeting with Tim Cook to get Apple to buy him out.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


Good to see back in the studio. It probably feels a bit odd.
I think your earlier comparisons to Ford innovation, vertical integration, and other such similarities, accurate. But come on. The Model T was a single model produced for almost two decades, and Tesla has three with many variations. 
 
One of their aims at Tesla has been to minimize the need for superfluous additional models or model changes which are wasteful, and unnecessary and Tesla is all about efficiency. They championed and have improved upon the OTA update system forcing others to mimic them. Which few have yet to accomplish. When there is a King many want to see him fall especially if his pedigree and family are new to the realm. But he has an army of followers and magnificent machines the like of which the world has never seen. Many have flocked to his banner, and even those that formerly opposed now follow in his wake. Or as Alfred E. Newman would say: "What Me Worry."
Don’t forget that Ford made several variants of the Model t: coupe, roadster, sedan and truck. They all shared the same platform, kind of like the Tesla Model 3 and Y do today.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


Would EV's get better range with less powerful motors? It seems like a lot of EV's are ridiculously overpowered.
Yes, less powerful motors would help increase range a bit. So would using one motor instead of two or more. Check out the Mazda MX-30 as an example of a single, low power BEV. But performance is a key selling point for a lot of EVs, and right now that’s what BEV buyers are going for.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


 Dodge Vipers crushed
 
This story and videos will make any car guy cry.
The horror, the horror!

John McElroy
4-4-2022


why can't the U.S. do more with methanol production? See the link and what Geely and Denmark are doing.
Methanol and ethanol are transported by trucks, not pipelines, because they absorb water easily. Gas stations need different storage tanks and pumps for methanol. So the infrastructure costs are a hurdle.

Also, most methanol is made from coal or natural gas. Green methanol will cost more.

Green methanol may be used in ships, but it will not catch on in cars or trucks.

John McElroy
3-29-2022


The full name of CATL is Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, based in China. Then there is ATL, or Amperex Technology Co. Limited based in Hong Kong, and owned by TDK. In the 1950's to 1980's there was a Amperex Electronic in NY, owned by Phillips, that made vacuum tubes. 
 
I'm confused. Amperex is odd name to be used randomly. What is the connection between these different Amperex's?
Good question, and we can’t find an answer. We do know that CATL was spun out of ATL. Is it possible that ATL acquired the Amperex name from Philips?

John McElroy
3-29-2022


Hi John/Sean,
 
John, you have more industry insight than anyone else I know.  I’m sure you know things that you’re not really privy to speak about to the general public.
 
I have it from a very reliable source that in the future there will be cars that drive by antigravity, levitating only a short distant off the ground.  The technology, at this point in time, is in its relative infancy, but present nonetheless – being worked on heavily by our military.  How much have you heard about any of this?  Anything you can share?
 
Thanks,
Michael
Michael,

I haven’t heard a thing about levitating cars. But I always felt that gravity would one day prove to be the ultimate energy source: it’s available 24/7 with zero emissions.

John McElroy
3-29-2022


John:
 
I enjoyed your piece on electric vehicles.
 
Not spending billions for dedicated plants and dedicated platforms when there’s no confirmed market makes good business sense. Aside from your point about the manufacturers making “a strategic mistake” by not dedicating EV production before there was a proven market, I had one other point that seems to differ from what you were saying.
 
GM was not the only “traditional” manufacturer who shifted to a dedicated EV platform more than “about a year ago.” I’ve seen plans from Ford where they had dedicated plans for EVs about two and a half years ago. Not the Mustang Mach-E GE1 platform, but the dedicated GE2 platform was outlined in 2019. GM’s plan to make high-priced, low-volume models first makes sense for their Ultium architecture, but it seems that Ford’s plan shows a range of high volume models coming from dedicated platforms. Ford’s F-150 Lightning will be converted from the ICE platform, but will be assembled on its own assembly line and only for a couple of years until the dedicated Lightning arrives in a greenfield plant.
 
Sam Fiorani
3-29-2022


Hi John,



Keep up the great work, I enjoy watching your show daily.



As you know we are now in women’s history month in a country/world that is pushing hard for equality for all. While talking with my 8 year old son, he asked what car companies “allow” women and “people who are not white” to be lead engineers or the “boss” (quotes are done to emphasis his words, not mine). He has an older sister who is both a car nut, and about to graduate with her bachelors degree in engineering this year that brought up the discussion, as we want her to experience a company and industry that helps her thrive. We where disappointed to see only General Motors has made progress to an all inclusive board and executive team. Are you going to do a show this month on women in the auto industry so we can see first hand if this is correct? I’m curious if we missed something? 



Thank you,

Jos F
Jos,

We’ve done a lot of shows about women in the auto industry, and we’ve had a lot of women as guests on our shows. So we’ve covered this issue extensively.

Thanks,
John McElroy
3-29-2022


Electric hybrids are nothing new, they're very old, 100 years old. They've been around since the 1900 freight trains.  Amtrak electric hybrids. There's aircraft carriers with nuclear reactor hybrids. Plugins, everything's a plug-in hybrid. Why not? If you can plug it in, why not? It's all plugged into a generator somewhere somehow anyway. The car the future is a plug-in hybrid. You need to plug in, you need the petrol generator diesel gasoline, and you need the electric motor
Andrew,

Thanks for sending the link. We’ve reported on what GM was doing in the Salton Sea area but were not aware of all the geothermal plants that are there.

John McElroy
3-25-2022


We certainly need something like this here in UK  with such congestion difficult to find parking space even in supermarkets and  Gasoline at  £7,50    $ 9.80 a gallon here
Well who knows  - surely someone will put one of these in to production soon  what with parking  and the cost of fuel & taxes etc 
Richard,

Thanks for sending the pic of the Volpe, and of Lewis (Hamilton) in his latest garb!

John McElroy
3-23-2022


Thought this topic might make a good story for Autoline

Recently I have noticed new car headlights I am guessing cars with active high beams are making it very glaring to drive.  Have also noticed many aftermarket lighting both bulbs and additional lights that are excessively bright.  I am 48 years old and have 20/15 vision and I find these new lights make a lot of glare for me.  My parents in there 70's are now avoiding night driving despite not having any vision problems.  For years we were stuck with what I thought were outdated sealed beams.  In time we progressed to halogen bulbs and projector beams and all seemed fine.  I really think manufactures need to tone down their new lighting systems and we need to close the loop hole on off road lighting products that are being source from Amazon and being used on public roads. 

Been a viewer since 1999!  Very much enjoy your programs and coverage.

Keith
3-23-2022


You are rating top ten auto makers by profit. I’d like to see the top ten cost of advertising budget compared to Tesla.
 
Thanks Jim
3-23-2022


Greetings, John McElroy.
 
I like your program on WWJ 950am.   I have a small request regarding Ford and GM.   Both companies are abandoning the affordable vehicle segment.   This is driving me crazy.  I don't see how Ford and GM expect to obtain a loyalty model?  How will they even survive and not go out of business abandoning loyal customers?  The bottom line for me is; both Ford and GM has saying they don't need my business and they are not going to sell me a vehicle I want or need. 
 
This 2022 is the first time in my entire life I purchased a vehicle from a non-America car company.  My Ford dealer sales person would not even make eye contact with me or my wife when I we were looking for a new vehicle.
 
Is Ford and GM using the chip shortage as an excuse to gouge customers by only selling very expensive vehicles?
 
Maybe you can pose my issues as a" question" to your listener base to get ideas and see if other listeners have the same feeling?  Maybe spend a couple of weeks exploring this issue? 
 
Maybe I am the only person that thinks Ford and GM are not going to be around in the future?
 
Thank You for your time,
 
Gary
Canton, Michigan
Gary,

I agree that cars are getting to be too expensive. But don’t forget the Ford Maverick which has a base price around $20,000. And the Chevrolet Malibu which starts around $24,000. Those are very reasonably priced vehicles.

John McElroy
3-23-2022


John,
 
The issueThe issue was not technically “servicing EVs”, but providing premium level service to Cadillac EV owners.
 
Note that most of those dealers have retained GMC (soon to get EVs) and received the all-EV Hummer franchise. Thus they will have the technical ability to service EVs.
 
My understanding is that a Cadillac dealer will have to provide extra EV amenities such as a minimum number of chargers for customer use and special roadside assistance for Cadillac EVs in their franchise area. Smaller dealers can’t afford that.
 
For many dealers, the writing clearly was already on the wall. My former Cadillac-Buick-GMC dealer had a drab waiting room right off the shop. Hardly the lounge off the showroom one would expect of a premium brand.
 
Will
Will,

Great feedback, we’ll publish this in Viewer Mail so others can see it too.

John McElroy
3-23-2022


I purchased a Mach E from a traditional dealer. Transaction was professional and friendly. I’m retired and can remember back in the day when it could be cumbersome.
Thanks for the feedback, Philip, much appreciated.

John McElroy
3-11-2022


I hope you are going to revert to the in-person show format in the near future.  Your on-line show is good but not as good as when everyone is together for the discussion.  I also liked the shows where the "expert" stayed the full hour.  I just thought I would throw in my two cents for what it's worth.  Anything that helps me get back to what passed for normal in 2019, and helps me rid my mind of the words, covid, variant, masks, and all of the unconstitutional BS of the last two years is what I want to see.   It's amazing how badly Ukraine has had it throughout history.  I hope that changes sometime soon.  Maybe 40 or 50 A10's would go a long way toward fixing their current problem.?   On a lighter note; what's on tap for Thursday?   Cheers,  Irvin
3-11-2022


Excellent work John Autoline remains essential  5.00pm viewing here in UK  every day  I never miss even one.
 
With the pandemic,  the shortages , a whole layer of workers  who  took the cue to retire all at once  - now the brutal senseless Russian attack on Ukraine which may well spread  to other European countries yet . US nuclear bombers are on UK  air base runways right now we have seen pictures .
 
Russia quite rightly is being cut off from the rest of the world with both imports and exports .  Their two big things being the export sales of natural gas and oil  and  metals and minerals . In fact they are far and away the biggest world sources of many strategic metals and minerals . They are the suppliers of  all the ingredients of  BEV  batteries for cars . This sudden total shut down of availability for instance sent the price of nickel up 5 fold yesterday morning to £100,000 per ton on the London Metal Exchange . Likewise all other metals are above all time highs . Russia has 90% of the world's Titanium  stocks .Lithium up 300% etc 
 
This situation will certainly go on for months it might go on for 10 years or more 
 
Car prices new,  have gone up very strongly in the last 3 years   BEV cars are already 28% more in price than ICE cars . The new huge price hikes in Battery  ingredients might add $10,000 to the price of a new BEV . 
 
All these world events herald a cost of living crisis for the world . Gasoline  price per US gallon  hit $10/gal yesterday here on forecourts in UK.
 
 This will all trigger a world recession, sales of non essentials will vanish as people pay for food,   energy  and housing . There will be  business bankruptcies, unemployment,  eviction from homes.   
 Demand such as it will be  -  will be for small light fuel efficient cheap to buy  and run new cars 
 
...Something  world car makers have abandoned in favour of the 4000 lbs  gas guzzler. and heavy battery pack ..........Now they really are all geared up to make all the wrong cars from here onwards . Bad times ahead look highly likely now.
 
Keep up the good work  - It would be nice to see you all back in the studio in armchairs with better picture and sound quality and real exhibits in front of you .
 
Still very cold here .
 
Kind Regards



Richard
Richard,

Good to hear from you, though I fear you’re right, the auto industry in the EU and US could be headed into a recession.

Hopefully we can put an end to this madness in Ukraine sooner than later. But as you point out, this could drag on for a decade.

John McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv