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

12-3-2021


With gas prices being raised with no idea where it will top out confuses the market.  Is that reflected in the numbers you see in sales?
 
The Absurdistan demonrats have inserted uncertainty in every aspect of the economy with artificial mandates and 'green policies'.
 
r work
We’ve seen no impact on sales due to higher gasoline prices---yet. That could still happen if prices rise higher.

The real reason for high gas prices is that oil companies ran down their inventories last year when Covid shutdowns led people to drive less. Now that driving is up sharply, inventory is very tight. Also, hurricane Ida this past August wiped out 1.5 million barrels of production a day in the US, and those rigs and refineries are still being repaired. Meanwhile, OPEC+ (an illegal cartel) is doing its damnedest to drive oil prices higher.

“Green” politics could drive oil prices higher in the future, but so far they’ve had very little effect.

John McElroy
12-3-2021


European Car Of The Year Hyundai Ioniq 5.
 
Drive Australia Car of the Year Kia Sorrento.
 
Warwick Rex Dundas
Warwick,

I’ve driven them both, and both are worthy of the awards. The Hyundai Group is really on a roll these days.

John McElroy
12-2-2021


Dear Autoline,
 
Why do I feel like the arrival of low-cost, fireproof, long-range, long-life, high volumetric-efficiency solid-state batteries in production volume is like the Samuel Beckett novel "Waiting for Godot?"
 
So glad AAH is back from the holidays. Thank you Autoline for the gift of quality content, delivered weekly.
 
Scott from Asheville
12-2-2021


Hi John,
It’s interesting that some other OEMs appear to be emulating tesla’s mega casting but do they have the metallurgical knowledge that Tesla has from spaceX?

Dave
Looks like it’s Chinese EV startups that are buying these casting machines. They’re probably going in with their eyes wide open, meaning they probably have the metallurgy they need. Benchmarking tear-downs, info gleaned from the casting machine company, or even industrial espionage are potential pathways to getting what they need to know.

John McElroy
12-2-2021


A happy Thanksgiving holiday to the whole Autoline crew!
 
Automotive engineering has ruled the industry for the last century. Designers have always worked within the constraints of what can be engineered.
 
Will BEVs usher in a golden age of automotive design? With the almost overnight perfection of the BEV skateboard, will engineering become almost a given? Will designers be freed from most engineering constraints (non-safety-related)? 
 
As batteries dramatically improve, will the boring aero-mandated jellybean era fade? Given almost unlimited freedom with the tophat, and incredible flexibility with skateboard platforms, will we see designers deliver an astounding range of inventive and imaginative cars - in every size and shape possible?
 
Engineering is always fun and rewarding. But I wonder if designers will have way more fun than engineers for the coming century.
 
Scott from Asheville 
12-2-2021


This podcast presents interesting “What if?’ scenarios. Specifically, around the 33 minute mark, climate change is modeled with all transportation converted to electric. With this, the average temperature on the plant by the year 2100 has only been decreased by 2 tenths of a degree. (They imply there is no silver bullet solution.)

Jeff
11-29-2021


So by Chrysler sueing GM they just admitted to off shore accounts.  Haha
11-23-2021


This podcast presents interesting “What if?’ scenarios. Specifically, around the 33 minute mark, climate change is modeled with all transportation converted to electric. With this, the average temperature on the plant by the year 2100 has only been decreased by 2 tenths of a degree. (They imply there is no silver bullet solution.)

Jeff
Jeff,
 
Thanks for sending this. It turned me on to the Climate Interactive En-Roads climate model, which I was unaware of. Very interesting model that anyone can download.
 
We’ve said all along that light vehicles account for 13% of GHG emissions in the US. So going battery electric with all those cars, trucks and vans only solves a small sliver of the problem.
 
While this podcast discusses using a carbon tax, I personally prefer a cap-and-trade market for reducing GHGs. That’s the approach the EPA used to reduce sulfur dioxide and other pollutants to eliminate acid rain. The EPA slashed SO2 to nearly zero with no complaints from the utilities. You can learn more here.
 
Cap and trade is a true market-based solution versus using a carbon tax, which really doesn’t tap into the power of markets.
 
John McElroy
11-23-2021


We constantly hear about smart cars or autonomous cars but nothing about smart traffic management. How many times have you driven through town and got stopped at a traffic light where there is traffic your direction and absolutely none the other direction yet the light stays green for the other direction for several minutes? Or how many times have you been stopped at a traffic light and traffic all directions is stopped for a long period?
 
A quick note on autonomous cars, they will never be able to operate safely among cars driven by humans, humans will always find a way to outwit them. I also do not believe that autonomous cars will be able to operate safely without smart roads that they can communicate with.
 
David
States, counties and municipalities don’t have the budget to built smart traffic infrastructure, except for pilot projects.
 
Audi has the technology in its cars to tell you how fast or slow to drive to hit green lights.
 
AVs will be able to deal with human drivers and are already able to do so. And they are already able to operate without smart roads. Check out some of Cruise LLC’s videos of its cars driving in San Francisco.
 
John McElroy
11-23-2021


Good Morning Sir,
I have watched your show for many, many years and have enjoyed your tenure as the guardian of Detroit auto production.  I have to say that after the delusional presentation of President Biden and Ms. Mary Barra , I have a great need to inform you of the absolute devastation of the historical commanding lead of “THE BIG THREE” as leaders of the auto market in North America! These quotes from the , “experts” of the auto makers making plans for the “end of the decade” as they boil their future plans in the “cauldron of failure” is a Friggin joke!!  Do people in the industry not realize that TESLA and CHINA are already eating their lunch!!  How can this incredible historic industry be so naïve as  to their ultimate  annilation in the next few years!! Surely you have sounded the horn, however, it seems to fall on “deaf ears”, absolutely stuns the senses!!  Is their any route that can be initiated that will turn the tide of near term “carnage”!  Surely you recognize, “the dye has been cast’!
   I can hear the frustration in your voice as I suspect you can “smell” the repugnant odor of “absolute failure “ looming in the very near future!! Please tell me it isn’t so! A very concerned citizen of North America!  Thanks for your enduring, cautions optimism.         James
James,

You’re right, the traditional automakers are in the fight for their lives. They know it. They may not talk publicly about it, but they know it.

We haven’t seen their full response yet. They will not be in fighting shape until 2024 or 2025. That’s when we’ll see a full line up of EVs built on dedicated platforms, built in dedicated EV assembly plants, with batteries made inhouse.

EVs still account for only 3% of the US market. So it’s premature to say it’s too late for them. But the next few years will be critical.

John McElroy
11-23-2021


Hello John,
 
I just wanted to personally reach out and let you know that I watched Autoline After Hours 11/18/2021, and was very happy to see that Mike Sweers came on the show to talk about the new 2022 Tundra.
 
Special Thanks to you and Sean for the awesome production of Autoline, I’m a daily watcher and fan!
 
Take care and Happy holidays!

Eric
Eric,

Glad to hear you liked the show with Mike, and thanks for being a loyal viewer!

All the best,
John McElroy
11-16-2021


John,
 
I’ll offer an alternative theory for Ford’s selling its European luxury brands at the bottom of the market.
 
Ford had to sell at any price to get cash to avoid any legal restructuring (or bailout). Ford had a unique reason to avoid a bankruptcy proceeding (or bailout) in that the first thing the bankruptcy court (or private or public entity doing a bailout) would kill was the preferred situation of the Ford family.
 
As for Ford’s problems running the European luxury brands, I’ll also offer an alternative theory.
 
The big problem was that having Jaguar and Volvo caused Ford to sabotage the US brands to keep the latter at a lower level. Thus, Lincoln’s cars had to be artificially kept below Jaguar’s and Volvo’s.
 
Consider the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type. The S-Type was initially limited by European market considerations to a 4.0 V8. Ford gratuitously spent money to destroke it to 3.9 to keep the Lincoln a notch below. Imagine if the LS had been launched with a 4.4+ version or even the 4-valve Modular 4.6!
 
Speaking of self-sabotage and the 4-valve Modular 4.6, consider the stunning Ford MN12 Thunderbird that was sabotaged with a rental car interior and denial of the 4-valve so that a few old guys driving the Lincoln Mark VIII could feel better about themselves.
 
Perhaps you could dedicate a show to instances of self-sabotage. I can offer a couple more. And you can probably add a half dozen.
 
 
Will
New Haven, Connecticut
Will,

What you say is correct. But the big problem is that Ford was never able to make decent profits with the European luxury brands it bought. So when finances got tight it was a relatively easy decision to sell them off. Had they been profitable, there would have been no need to sell them.

John McElroy
11-16-2021


John,
 
Going into this show, I was wondering if Ford would also consider power generation.  Some years ago I was on a drive from Wheeling to Marietta where I was impressed by the coal generation plants, one after another, along the Ohio River.
 
On google earth, I can see the current distribution of coal to overseas shipping at the Port of Baltimore, arriving by C&O from points northwest.  This, while the use of our own coal is being limited.
 
I am happy you addressed the 'green fields' element to what Ford is doing, 'for the environment'.
 
There is a logical bust about this whole thing.  Carbon, a basic element of life on earth, is not a 'pollutant'.  Neither is carbon dioxide, in spite of a court ruling.
 
Nor does the atmosphere make things hotter or colder.  The atmosphere is 'acted upon', by geology and the sun, realms of superior mass (remember Einstein?).  Why such investments in lies?
Mind you, electrification makes sense to a degree, such as Toyota's approach.  And, also remember the Mazda engineer telling you, pure electric BEVs would not be as efficient as ICE, cradle to grave of the vehicle.
 
There were other aspects of this interview that also made it a personal experience.  There are a number of suburbs in Allegheny County Lisa could have come from to have had that 'gear head' experience.  Other issues involved CMU, and the accidents of mentorship, all personal.
 
I've never been to Motown, the closest was being in Sylvania, OH and often in Sandusky, but I listened to CKLW quite a bit as a teen.  And, I grew up as an aspiring auto designer, but didn't.
 
r-work
It is extremely unlikely that Ford will get into the power storage business. It’s going to need every battery cell it can get its hands on just to meet its own EV production goals. And that means it will not want to divert any cells to anything else.

John McElroy
11-16-2021


Hi John,
 
You and Sean are great.
 
You said 40% of Caddy dealers opted out, this article says 30%.
 
Upon review, should I still assume your 40% is the more likely value or am I even comparing apples to apples?
 
Thank you!
Michael
Cadillac had 920 dealers. It will end up with 560. That’s a 39% reduction.

John McElroy
11-16-2021


Your guest. Bob Just does not understand BEV

The coming volume of BEV is the change to the market share. Also, as the volume of ICE declines the profits decline even more. Tesla, 500,000 last year. Almost 900,000 this year and two million next year. The percentage change real fast.  

Thanks 

Ronald
11-12-2021


Hi



I am curious to know how the new US government infrastructure EV charging funds actually result in chargers being built.  Does the government provide loans, or pay companies to build chargers and install them?  Who owns and maintains the chargers, and who gets the revenue from charging?  I would like to know how this works.



Thanks for the great content!
The way this will probably work is that the federal government will provide grants to states that submit detailed plans of how they want to build a charging network in their state.

The states that qualify will use those grants to pay/subsidize public EV charging companies to build the charging stations. Those companies will own and maintain the chargers and will collect the money from EV owners who use them. The public EV charging companies will then have to pay the utilities for the electricity they bought at wholesale.

John McElroy
11-10-2021


Bonjour Jean,
  Going over my video it said 15,000 Wulings in Oct. 2021- well on its way to being #1 in EV sales (over Tesla)
  Wuling is owned by SAIC/GM/Wuling Auto sales
  EV sales are up in many countries in Europe, Asia, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South America.
  The "chip shortage" only applies to ICE manufacturers- not EV manufacturers- it sounds like an excuse for poor ICE sales.
11-10-2021


John,

All those batteries will need to be replaced at some point and the COST .. $8,000.00 - $12,000.00. Who can? They might wind up on a LUCKY AUTO sales lot.  They might lease well .. but after 5 years people might shy around them.

Sincerely,
John
Clarkston, MI 
Those batteries will probably outlast the cars they're in. Hybrid batteries have proven to be long lasting. There are Tesla's with over 400,000 miles on them with their original batteries. And while some batteries will have to get replaced, some ICE engines have to get rebuilt.

John McElroy
11-9-2021


You said that GM has built vehicles that are awaiting chips, and that those vehicles will be sold next year. Are those built vehicles model year 2021? And they will be sold in 2022? That will make for some interesting advertising and pricing.  
 
Neil G
Normal, IL
The trucks will sell the moment they come off the trailer. No advertising needed. Demand is through the roof and inventory is almost nonexistent. Customers will snap them up, especially considering there is no difference whatsoever between a ’21 and a ’22.

John McElroy
11-9-2021


Hey John
Pre-Covid you made a prediction that I thought was spot on and I wonder how you feel now?

You had predicted that we would have an electric car bust on our way to the inevitable electric car future.

You had said (I am going to paraphrase a lot here) with all the various makers jumping in full force and wide open throttle ahead, that there would be a glut at some point and that would cause a bust temporarily and then the dust would settle and the winners of the new electric future would emerge
 
But then we had the Covid induced Chip Shortage and other logistical issues
So now the makers literally can’t make cars fast enough to meet demand
Do you think this will actually prevent the electric car bust you (and I) thought was coming?

Will we now have a smoother transition into the electric car future as car makers can’t make too many cars now … so whatever they can make will sell just off demand if nothing else

Also, I really feel for FORD. They put their two biggest names in the electric market (Mustang and F-150) but can’t make the vehicles fast enough. Also they have certified hits with Bronco, Broncho Sport and Maverick as well, but can’t make these fast enough either … Nissan in a similar boat as they are refreshing and remaking key vehicles now and doing great but can’t capitalize like they could in an unencumbered market place.

And on the flipside, how many car makers will confuse 100% sales for selling cars the public wants? Are there going to be manufactures that simply because the cars they make are selling as fast as they come off the factory line, mistake that for making great cars … and continue down a path without corrections that maybe they should have had?

So for now the market with so much demand is rewarding raw production, and not rewarding the “better” vehicles over the lesser ones.

Thanks 
Ted,

What I said is that there was going to be a financial disaster as EV production ramped up faster than consumer adoption. I still think that will happen, but there will clearly be EV winners as well. What I didn't anticipate was the generous level of government subsidies. Essentially the government is going to cover the cost of the batteries, so OEMs have more leeway to price their EVs to sell and still make a profit on them.

John McElroy
11-5-2021


I commented a couple days ago regarding EV incentives and UAW content and want to modify my thoughts.  I support the conversion to EV’s, but I believe greatly enhancing green electricity production and electric conservation needs more emphasis.  Therefore, I believe the US should offer a $7,500 point of sale credit for the purchase of any US made EV and the remainder of the proposed $12,500 (I.e. $5,000/ EV purchased) be spent on green energy/conservation.  Auto manufacturers have a tremendous amount of engineering prowess that could be harnessed to help create the very energy their products consume.  Green hydrogen looks very promising.

Douglas
Douglas,

Thanks for your comments and observations. We’re going to publish your letter in Viewer Mail so that others can read it too.

John McElroy
11-5-2021


Dear John

I last bought a pick up truck in 1990. The Chevy S-10. It was a good vehicle for me. I kept looking for another one but they all went big. I do not need nor like a big truck.



I got real interested in the new Ford Maverick. Was all set to buy one until I saw the production schedule, very disappointing at the low volume. So, now I am not going to buy one of these trucks. I will wait the next two to three years for the electric model.

I do not want the maintenance waiting time required for a ICE engine. This is a big deal and requirement for me. So, sorry to say I will not be buying one of the Ford Maverick trucks. Ten years ago or even five years ago I would have bought one and been very pleased to have it. Not so today, I know it is the wrong truck for the time and me.   
Please keep us informed of what is going to happen with the ICE engine plants. GM stated that no employee will lose their job in EV transition. Wow, how disappointing when you need twenty to thirty percent less workers for a true EV product. Not to mention the gigapress change. Which says GM has no interest in changing to a better manufacturing process. Instead, they are content to go out of business and lose all the jobs. The modern consumer does not care if it is made with union labor. They want an electric product with a great charging network.



Thanks for all the work you do and your weekly TV show.

Sincerely, Ronald
Ronald,

Thanks for your letter. We’re going to publish it in our Viewer Mail section so others can read it too.

John McElroy
11-5-2021


Your reports of VW and now Ford comparing and forecasting against Tesla reminds me of studying in college about John Krafcik and Lean manufacturing. The Japanese took hold of the ideology and the American automakers fell behind (or something like that). Sounds like VW and Ford are not wanting to make the same mistake twice.
 
Regards,
Dana
Toronto Canada
Dana,

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

And you’re right, VW and Ford are smart to be running scared.

John McElroy
11-5-2021


Watch "Can GM catch tesla by 2025?" on YouTube

Jeffrey
Jeffrey,

Thanks for sending the link to this video. But it raises several questions.

The guy in the video predicts Tesla will be selling 5 million vehicles in 2025 based on its current growth rate. Tesla’s 4 assembly plants (Freemont, Shanghai, Berlin, Austin) will be capable of building about +2 million vehicles a year at full capacity utilization. So it will need more than 4 new assembly plants by 2025 to achieve his prediction. Is Tesla going to build that many new plants in the next 4 years?

The guy in the video compares Tesla’s global sales to GM’s US sales. When making predictions about 2025, wouldn’t it be better to compare global sales to global sales?

In another year or so GM will have 4 EV assembly plants in the US to Tesla’s 2. Even though GM’s plants are smaller isn’t it possible that GM’s US manufacturing footprint could match or exceed Tesla’s?

In 2025 GM will have 30 EV models available in the global market. Tesla will probably have 5 or 6 (not counting the Semi). Could GM’s 30 different models meet the needs of a greater number of consumers?

The guy in the video disparages the Bolt. Fair enough. But does he think that GM is not going to come out with compelling EVs going forward?

He also says GM’s average transaction price is about $48,000/vehicle, and that GM will have to figure out how to reduce cost to compete with Tesla. Is he unaware that because of the chip shortage GM has skewed production to its most expensive models? Isn’t it logical that the average transaction price will drop when the chip shortage ends and GM resumes production of lower priced vehicles?

Look, Tesla is a monster and GM may never be able to catch up, much less surpass it. But this is a shallow analysis of what could happen.

John McElroy
11-5-2021


The chip storage is not he fault of the consumers and we’re being asked to pay for it. Many dealers are adding up to $10,000 to new car prices called it “market adjusted value”. It’s just another word for price gouging. Why they’re allowed to get away with it I don’t understand. Even the vehicle manufacturers didn’t seem to care when I brought it to their attention. All they could say is talk to the dealer about it. Now since people had caught on the dealer changed the wording from “market adjusted value” to “dealer options” but does not list those options cannot tell what they are except for free oil changes. Prices are at some point going to get out of the average buyers range and price gouging doesn’t help.  We’ve turned into a society ruled by greed not customer service. Buyers be ware when looking for a new car. 
 
Mitch
Mitch,

We completely agree with you. Dealers are digging their own graves by marking up prices above MSRP simply because there is a shortage of vehicles. Having said that, most dealers are not doing this. But the ones that are, are going to suffer in the long run.

John McElroy
11-1-2021


Bonjour Jean,
              It's refreshing to see so many new EVs, but unfortunately not here.
      - a list of some:
                    Togg- from Turkey
                    Dacia
                    Renault
                    VW
                    Opel
                    Vauxhall
                    Izera from Germany
                    Sion     "             "
                    Skoda
                    Hyundai Ioniq 6
      I feel the old manufacturers are simply packing up.
Oh ye of little faith and much impatience.

In two years the market will be flooded with EVs from traditional automakers.

John McElroy
10-28-20121


John,  I started crunching the new Chevy 5.4 L engine numbers/specs and discovered something amazing... 5.4 liters comes out to about 333 cubic inches... Could this relate to the old 327 engine??  Yes; but not in the way you would think... The new block shares the same 4.4" bore: as the current C8 Corvette, but to spec out with a 333 cubic inches, this means the engine has a 3" stroke; which is the same as 1968-69 Z28 302 engine... I have experienced the 302 Z28 engine and have always considered it GM'S best preference engine of all time... The Legendary Trans/Am Races of the past with this engine, will live on in the Historic future... !! 

Jeffrey
Jeffrey,

You’re right, the new ZO6 has a 305 cubic inch engine, but here are the exact specs:

5.5 liters; 4.104 bore x 3.150 stroke. So very similar to the 302, but some differences.

John McElroy
10-28-20121


Why are American (gm & Ford) brands showing their models for so much time before sales dates?
 
Remember the PT Cruiser that was in front of the public for over a year before release?  Hyundai and Toyota plunks out new models like rabbits.
 
I like the Wagoneer exterior, maybe because in some oblique way, it reminds me of the IH [International Harvester] Travelall.
All automakers like to show off concept models or show cars to whet the customer’s appetite. And in some cases they do it to hopefully get customers to wait instead of buying a competitor’s product.

John McElroy
10-28-20121


Autoline,
 
I have been involved in vehicle electronics for over 40 years, spending most of that time at Chrysler.  I have been following the investigations in the group of Tesla crashes where the vehicle either with AutoPilot engaged or not.  Everyone seems to be focused on if AutoPilot caused the crash, I am concerned that the Automatic Emergency Braking System does not seem to be engaging.  I do not own a Tesla, but I know a quite a bit about the electronics and features of their vehicles.  I have also read the owner’s manuals for the Tesla’s, it states that the vehicles are equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking.  Now it also states that using the menu system you can disable that feature (why anyone would want to disable this feature is beyond me).  So the questions that need to be asked is 1.  Was that system disabled when these crashes occurred (may not be something recorded by the restraint controller).  2. If it was enabled, what did it do (if braking was applied, the restraint controller should have documented it)?  3. Was there any sign of deceleration, braking or torque reduction?  If 1 is yes, we’re done.  If 1 is No, then the other questions become important.
 
Automakers agreed with NHTSA to incorporate Automatic Emergency Braking in all new vehicles I think starting with the 2022 MY, a number like Tesla complied sooner.  The intent of that system is to reduce the severity, not eliminate crashes with other objects.  So my concern Is no one is really looking at the elephant in the room
 
NTSB findings.
 
If someone is interested in having a conversation on this subject or Automotive Electronics in general, drop me a note.
 
Dale Koch
Director EE
3IS, Inc
248 709 0679
Dale,

You ask some really pertinent questions. Maybe we can crowd source an answer from our viewers.

John McElroy
10-28-20121


The Lyriq front light pattern has for a while, reminded me of a costume from the Lion King.  Nothing wrong with that.  It just does.
The RAV4 looks to be inspired by Pok i mon imagery.
 
I had a rare look at the Lyriq rear today and noticed the lower corner lights which seemed to be an nod to Caddy tail fins of yore.
 
Fun diversions for a time such as this.
 
r work
10-28-20121


Hey guys,
 
I knew this was fake the moment I saw it, but whomever did this CG work did a pretty darn good job of it.
 
In my opinion, I think this car looks WAY BETTER as a Camaro than a Corvette.  Corvette has  gone through so many design iterations over the past few years that I don’t think it would hurt them too badly to just do as this mockup is suggesting, and let Camaro run with this styling, while Vette continues to find their true expression.  Because as much exotic road presence as the new Vette has, I still am just not feeling it as a Vette.
 
Check it out.

Michael
Michael,

As my mother always taught me, this is why they make vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Different tastes for different folks. I think the C8 is be best sports car I’ve ever driven. I love it!

John McElroy
10-28-20121


The Wuling Mini EV is $4000 in China and they are currently selling 1000 a day, to sell in UK it needs different styling like this Doking Loox
... we need... but this was 11 years ago and it has not happened... but they did get the look right - Put that styling on a Wuling call it a MG and you would have a winner. 

Richard
Richard,

That sure does look a lot more interesting than the Hong Guang.

John McElroy
10-21-2021


PLEASE TURN OFF THE COMMENTS SECTION, I HAVE HAD IT. THANKS JOHN
10-21-2021


I must note how enjoyable the Maverick show was.
 
Designers are fun.
 
I liked Rain Noe's story of his rural experience and the 'locals' truck stories.  Reminded me of an urban jobber who I talked with about his '80s Rabbit diesel pickup.  They do become identity objects.
 
r work
It really was a good show because of the conversation of Rain and Mark Williams. After the Maverick I had them walk through electric pickups from the Lightning to the Endurance (the Bollinger was the one that both would buy if they win the lottery), which creates some excellent exchanges.

Gary Vasilash
10-21-2021


3D PRINT BATTERY
Thanks for sending this link. We had not seen it. Our viewers are the best!

John McElroy
10-15-2021


Maybe a topic that could be discussed or your opinion, Which of the traditional automakers are doing the best job of moving to electric either by their actions or their stated intentions?
On the flipside, who is not doing a good job?
 Once again thank you for the show and personally responding to emails.
Shawn
Fairbanks, Alaska
Shawn,

Good suggestion! Thanks for sending.

John McElroy
10-15-2021


Tesla Model S Plaid pack is 95 kWh

Ingineerix – You Tube
Tesla Plaid pack
7,920 cells, size 18650
5 identical modules 72P22S arrangement each.
Module is 22 cells wide, 72 cells long – each long row is in parallel.
Electrically, the module matches the physical cell layout simplifying connections
Pack 72P110S)
Same BMS system as Model 3/Y.
Sustain 2300A output at max 462V – 1.0626 MW
Each module is 15 3/8" (390mm) long X 55 1/4" (1404mm) wide X 3" (76mm) high.
With coolant manifolds and lines, width 57 3/8" (1458mm).
Cells component of pack including cooling is 390x5=1950x1458mm
Pack data from BMS:
Beginning of Life Pack Energy: 99KWh - cells 12.5 Wh
Nominal Full Pack Energy: 95KWh - cells 12.0 Wh
 
Pack specific data
Charge Total: 1564.13KWh
Discharge Total: 1484.05KWh
Nominal Energy Remaining: 32KWh
Present SoC: 34.3%
Cell with lowest voltage 3.592V
Cell with highest voltage 3.598V
Pack is for sale!
Peter, thanks for giving us the details from this video. We love getting your input!

John McElroy
10-15-2021


Hey John;  I know you are a busy guy lately because I seem to see you at lots of venues.  Gary did a great job flying solo on Thursday but you were still missed because you always have probing and insightful questions.  I am literally astounded by the, so called, experts who do not understand the adoption rate of disruptive technology that Tesla has introduced into the transportation and energy sectors.  Talking about electric pickups selling at the rate of 60K to 70K by 2024 or 2025 is absurd, in my opinion.  I am hoping you can tell me what is going on because it is hard for me to believe that these guys actually believe what they are espousing.  What do you think?  Am I wrong about the rate of adoption being exponential?   Irvin
Irvin,

Ford says it has over 150,000 reservations for the F-150 lightning, and it just boosted production capacity to 80,000/year. Tesla has over 1 million reservations for the Cybertruck. Demand is far greater than the OEMs expected. Now we have to see how many reservations they can convert to orders. But it sure looks like the industry can sell 60K to 70K by 2025.

John McElroy
10-15-2021


Dear John:
 
Greetings, please explain how GM can make this happen? The media keeps repeating the line but incorrectly. 

We know it takes 3 to 5 years to develop new models. 30 new models is HOW many a year? It is 2022 so in 3 years they will produce 10 new models a year. NO it will not happen. When I went to the GM site it says the number is a GLOBAL number. 
Now, I guess, what they will do is announce the models, but production will not happen. So, please help your fellow reporters STOP reporting this lie.
 
From GM website,  
Product Facts:
• By the end of 2025, we will launch 30 EVs globally, and more than two-thirds will be available in North America. Cadillac, GMC, Chevrolet and Buick will all be represented, with EVs at all price points for families, work, adventure and performance.
Thanks,
Ronald
 
PS continue the great reporting... and Gary filled in for you okay this week.   NO, great show and really like the insight from all the guest.
GM is not lying. It can come out with 30 new EVs by 2025 including the Hummer that comes out this year.

Remember GM has 7 brands: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Baojun, Brightdrop, Buick, GMC and Wuling. That means each brand has to come out with one EV a year for the next four years. Almost all of them will be built off the same architecture with the same powertrain components. So it will not be hard to do. And most of them will be developed in about 2 years, not 3-5 years.

John McElroy
10-15-2021


Have they figured out how to defy physics or Is this political “Net-Zero Steel”?

What’s the cost? My recollection is that electric arc furnaces don’t run on air. What’s the business case beyond virtue signaling political hype?
 
Walter
The GM release says is will greenhouse gas reductions with this steel will come through “100 percent renewable energy and high-quality carbon offsets to neutralize remaining production emissions.”

The business case is that Wall Street will not fund companies that don’t have a robust ESG plan. GM is committed to be carbon neutral by 2040 and this is a step in that direction.

John McElroy
10-12-2021


Hello John and Sean:
 
I suggest you take at this article, and if you deem interest, share it with your viewers.
 
Regards,
 
Rick
Robots have been in factories for over half a century. Today, every auto assembly plant has 100s of robots. While this story says most the workers have been eliminated from one of Nissan’s assembly plants, it doesn’t offer any numbers. All the reporting on this story seems to be spoon-fed from Nissan’s press release. We need to learn more about it before we can come to any good conclusions.

John McElroy
10-12-2021


   With Europe looking to ban all Internal combustion engines, how do you see the future of 
exotic car brands like Ferrari? Much of the legend for many of them are their engines.
   Also was looking at when you think the used car market might get back to a more reasonable
pricing, and if so, are there going to be many who bought at the higher prices shell shocked at
The cars worth down the road?
 
 
Once again love the show
Shawn
Fairbanks Alaska
Look for the last ICE exotic cars to soar in price. People who buy Ferraris, et al, love the sound of a high revving, performance engine. As those cars go out of production their value will go up for collectors.

Used car prices will stay high until new car production gets back to normal. That will not happen until 2023. Even then, automakers will keep new car inventory tighter than it used to be, so that will keep upward pressure on used car prices.

John McElroy
10-12-2021


AAH #574

Part of the discussion was about Tesla and other EVs and how they are selling more each year as more charging stations are being built.  I agree with Gary that drivers still want to pull into a station for a 5-minute fill up rather than a 30-minute charge.   I would be interested in knowing the statistics on how many EV owners have two or more cars.  I would bet that the vast majority of EV owners have a second ICE car.  The EV would be used on day trips to and from work or stores, while the ICE would be used for trips and vacations. Therefore, I would expect that EVs do over 95% of their charging at home (to avoid the cost and time to charge at stations) with the exception being free charge stations or emergencies.  Of those who only own a one car that is an EV, I would bet that they rent cars for vacations and long trips rather than use their EV.

Bill Dilworth
10-11-2021


Your report today about needing fewer ICE production workers in the near future got me to thinking about the disposal of my ICE vehicle in the future. Sometime in the future we will reach a tipping point in EV sales and that may make my ICE vehicle less valuable

Chuck & Carol
You could be right, ICEs could lose residual value in the future. On the other hand, there may be diehards who want nothing to do with EVs and the rare ICEs could be worth a lot to them.

John McElroy
10-11-2021


EVs and Radiators

Actually EVs do use radiators.  The batteries and electric motors are often liquid cooled.  This is achieved with the use of radiators and/or chillers.
10-11-2021


I recently read a Instagram post by a company called Players Club. They are the exclusive distributor for the Wuling Mini EV, BAIC BJ80, and the Honqgi E-HS9 Lucy SUV in the U.S.  I’m seriously considering a Wuling for daily short trips to work then use the Accord for long distance trips. How can they do this?
Enjoy your content .
 
Dan Jones 
Dan,

Don’t put down a deposit just yet. The Hong Guang will probably not be legal on US roads with speed limits above 25 mph. It almost certainly will not meet US crash standards. That means it will only be legal in gated communities, college or medical campuses, and in residential neighborhoods. In other words, you’ll probably only be able to drive it where golf cars can go.

John McElroy
10-11-2021


Some comments: --- China power rationing may be cause of shift to quoting EV range from WLTP (~US EPAx0.8) to NEDC (~US EPAx0.7) --- Mission critical auto chips are in seatbelts, airbags, engine mgt, steering, brakes, lights - these will be using 45 nm and 90 nm 'wire' chips (???) to ensure they last 40 years. --- Battery mgt, navigation, media, self-drive, audio are not mission critical in that their failure does not lead to an accident if driver is watching the road. This is why CATL can get chips quickly made from thinner 'wire' (7 nm, 10 nm, 16 nm????).
 
Peter
Peter,

As always, you raise some really good issues we need to look into.

Best,
John McElroy
10-11-2021


Bonjour Jean,
    Because of Brexit/gas shortage, there is a 16X search for EVs in the UK & an increase in Europe & people are beginning  to question why pollute our environment.
10-4-2021


Here's a question for the Autoline crew... Why aren't car manufacturers required to post prominent warnings that "Autopilot" systems can kill you if not continuously monitored? Just as we warn that cigarettes can kill you.
 
Every time you activate that feature, you should legally acknowledge a bold full screen warning that the system must be continously monitored, can fail at any time, and that you accept full liability for accidents occuring under your supervision.
Scott,

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

John McElroy
10-4-2021


SPACE DRIVE

That name gives me a vision that this doesn't have to only be an X and Y context, but also a Z context.  
Is this moving to replace Air Traffic Control?
 
And, 'over the air update' can also be used to 'shut down all traffic' if everybody is linked.  What kind of purchasing agreement does that portend?
 
r work
10-4-2021


Hi John,
 
I stumbled upon this video of a die cast model of a Citroen DS and had to share it with you.  This guy modifies die cast models by outfitting them with working lights.  Pretty neat:
  
Regards,
Michael
Michael,

What a superb model, the detail work is incredible.

One correction, it’s a Citroen SM, not a DS. The SM, which had an engine from Maserati, was the model that followed the DS.

John McElroy
9-29-2021


Good day,
Interesting story of Polestar going public. Does this mean if their finances fall in order they could step from under Geely as a parent company and be self supported? If so, what does it mean for Volvo since they are an arm of Volvo at the moment? Would they leave Volvo and go it alone or help Volvo pull away from Geely as well? I know, only speculation at this point. It would be great for Volvo to be their own company again.

Best regards,
Dana (Ontario Canada)

p.s. Back in the day I kinda wished that Volvo would have bought Saab and made it their "entry level" and Volvo could have more luxury (as they are now) and now with Polestar being premium. Could be like the VW group sorta. 
Dana,

Though Polestar will be publicly listed, it will remain part of Geely. Same goes for Volvo, it will remain within Geely too. This is just a way for Polestar to raise some of its own money and for Geely to try and raise its own market cap.

Interesting idea about Volvo buying Saab.

John McElroy
9-29-2021


Hi John! 
 
Once again, I'm a huge Autoline fan. I keep wondering if in one of these episodes you're going to turn the tables on Gary and stump him with an auto history question?? He'll never see it coming! 
 
I saw in this video that Chinese EV automaker BYD is going to start retailing vehicles in the US market... and that apparently they're hiring!? 
 
This Seeking Alpha report lays out the formidable strength of the company. I hadn't realized this, but Warren Buffet took a 25% share in 2008. 
 
Food for thought. Thanks again!!
Jonathan,

BYD is impressive, which is why Buffet invested so big, so early.

There’s nothing stopping Chinese OEMs from exporting cars to the US, but they have to pay a 27.5% import tax. It can be done. The Buick Envision is imported from China and has decent sales.

But the Chinese will more likely find success in Europe where the import tax is 10%, and customers can qualify for generous sales incentives. It’s unlikely the US will provide sales incentives to customers who want to buy EVs imported from China.

John McElroy
9-29-2021


So John my questions come from enlightenment due to all the recent storms and power outages of natural disasters. Our electrical system in this country i read has been called fragile at best. Electrification of vehicles is being called the way of the future. Will we be seeing ads for the New Automotive Energizer Bunny? Buy an electric vehicle for $70,000, get a spare plug and play battery? Keep it charged so when the lights go out for weeks you can still power your car without electricity being available. Maybe keep a couple batteries charged at the home power station for emergency, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances? Buy an electric car and get a Generac home power system at half price?  I am now retired (from the auto industry I might add) and out of a retirement job, so my future plans no longer include a new car, especially one that is electric. If I were going to a new vehicle for $30,000, a trike motorcycle would be it. We should be pushing easier ways to get people onto motorcycles and scooters, which cost half or third new and are very fuel efficient. I see these vehicles as the AR-15 of the transportation industry. And even if I landed a retirement job in fast food making $20 bucks an hour an electric vehicle would not even show up on my wish list. But a horse would.

Bob
Conover, Ohio
Bob,

The road to electrification will not be easy. As you point out there are some major hurdles to overcome.

I like the idea of a horse. It could become your BFF!

John McElroy
9-24-2021


John,
 
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon (like graphite and diamond) and was discovered, not "invented".
 
Keith
9-24-2021


China just bought the rights to Afghanistan's lithium for batteries- prices will come down for EVs. (worldwide) Afghanistan is the only country that has lithium.
Ahem. You must not be aware of the lithium mines in the US. Or Chile and Argentina. Or Australia.

John McElroy
9-24-2021


Intel quoted as saying the Chip shortage exists because automotive chips are old tech and chip makers don't want to invest more in chips with 45 and 90 nanometre wires when 5 to 16 nanometre is the current bulk of industry production. Auto suppliers don't want to mess with highly reliable mission critical (safety) components. So rather than spend billions of new chip fabrication plants for old tech, Intel wants auto industry to spend millions on converting products to new chips - any number of chips can be had at 16 nanometre.
Peter,

Once again you are spot on!

John McElroy
9-24-2021


HELLO MR. McELROY, HOW ARE YOU??   I'm afraid it's DUMB QUESTION TIME AGAIN!!!  Sean mentioned on AUTOLINE DAILY last week that the chip shortage was getting worse, and the "BIG THREE " are now being forced to shut down more assembly plants, including the pickup truck factories, which I believe I've heard you say are the most profitable vehicles the carmaker have; so I'm wondering what exactly is the economic impact for both the automakers AND THEIR EMPLOYEES??? Do the hourly UAW assembly line workers get temporarily laid off?? Or do they call it a Furlough?? Do they receive a percentage of their pay while they're out??  What about the salaried, white collar guys???  ALSO, YOU MAY HAVE DONE A TERRIBLE THING!!! THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES MAY HAVE TO BITE YOU IN THE ASS!!!  YOU'VE HELPED TO CREATE THE YOUTUBE MONSTER CALLED SANDY MUNRO!!   After all, myself and A lot of auto fans had NEVER HEARD OF SANDY until seeing him on your show, AUTOLINE AFTER HOURS, and we literally FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM THERE!!! (BRO-CRUSH???) And now that he has his own show, which is Very Popular, it must be almost impossible for you to get him to take the time to be guest on your show again!!! ( I'm pretty sure you must take some pride in this phenomenon!!!)   Anyway, I do hope you keep trying to get him back on your show, or maybe you may have to go to his shop to get him on!! ( he's not to far from you, right??)   THANKS MR. MAC.  CHAS, PLAINVILLE, CT.  PS : For the last several weeks I've been watching your shows on YouTube instead of your site, to get you a few extra "LIKES" is that okay???
9-24-2021


Dear John & Sean,
 
Every year 1st Sunday in November   
 
From Hyde Park central London to Brighton on the south coast it is 52 miles with a halfway halt in Crawley Sussex. These were some of the cars in London last week   
 
  It typically takes about 8 hrs all the cars must have been registered in 1904 or earlier around 500-600 cars take part each year to commemorate the abolition of  a man having to walk in front of every car waiving a red flag to warn on coming  road users - all the roads were rolled grit - no tar sealing. Leave at one minute intervals from 6.00am 2 at a time 
 
I think you both ought to take part in one car do the event film the whole thing for Autoline. With the advertising potential you could borrow a car from the  British motor museum - I know they have a 1904 2 seater Wolseley of 6 horsepower single cylinder  which celebrities have used in the past and they have an annual entry for.
 
The British  motor museum is at Gaydon Warwickshire in the West Midlands on the same site as the Aston Martin main manufacturing  premises,.....as well as the Jaguar Heritage Centre with one example of every Jaguar model ever made.
 
So 'Autoline on tour' could make a series of TV shows  all on one site 
 
What do you think - it would all make good TV Gary could do the daily shows from Detroit while you both  and a small crew are away - you could doubtless drum up more sponsorship for it all on both sides of the atlantic 
 
Great PR for Jaguar, Aston Martin, The British Motor Museum the British tourist board maybe a US airline  and any other auto parts makers in business before 1904 still going today   
 
Here is a short bit of footage I shot 3 years ago gives you some idea welcome to use any of it.
 
This is the veteran era up to 1904   
 
Everyone's a winner 
  
Kind Regards


Richard
Richard,

We love the way you think and this would be a blast to do. But it may be a bit more difficult than you think to find the sponsors we would need to pull this off.

John McElroy
9-17-2021


John,
In light of efforts by China to control industrial standards, I really wonder if the Western Automotive World needs to come together and European and American automakers and regulators need to drive to harmonized standards otherwise the Chinese will set the standards which in all likelihood will favor Chinese brands. 

From my point of view, it would make for an interesting AAH discussion.
9-15-2021


RE:  Auto Line After hours
 
So Gary says that you walk into a Jeep dealership looking for a truck and the dealer says we are #1 on I.Q.S. list and it's a done deal.   Maybe, if they have the truck in stock with at least some of the options you want and at a decent price.  But with very low dealer inventories, I think a buyer would be more than willing (and less brand loyal) to visit the #2 and #3 dealers if they have in stock what you want at a decent price instead of waiting months for what you ideally want.
 
As an aside, I was just at my local Chevy dealership and spotted a 2021 3LT Corvette on the show room floor.  They want $40,000 above the MSRP!  Talk about a price gouge on an in-demand and mostly out of stock vehicle!
 
Regards,
Bill
Bill,

It’s so disappointing to see car dealers gouging their customers. Car dealers are the first to claim they need protection from startups that are selling direct to customers. They claim they’re the ones who provide the best prices since they have to compete against each other. But they take the first chance they get to jack up prices.

John McElroy
9-15-2021


Bonjour Jean,
    I've been following the European auto industry & their figures are out of this world.
    Their EVs are going to replace petrol/diesel vehicles sales in 24 months.- yes that soon!
    Sadly there are no US auto industry vehicles in their figures.
    Bad news for Germany, - they used to be the world's #1 leader in technological vehicles (BMW, VW, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, etc.), but now other European countries are passing them- (Norway, Sweden, etc.)-
   Can we open a European branch, because we have no news to cover here?
9-13-2021


I heard something about Blue gas, some stock thing, that will supposedly run in Flex Fuel vehicle, supposedly. I didn’t think much of it till I think I heard Mercedes say something about making ICE’s that will run on some type of liquid hydrogen fuel.
 
Is there something to this?
 
Is there a chance that we won’t have to live in a world without ICE?
 
Thanks
Robert
Low carbon liquid fuels could definitely extend the life of the ICE. But they will have to be available at every gas station and priced reasonably. It will take a massive investment to do this. Will the oil industry step up and do it? Possibly. But it will take a decade or two to pull it off.

John McElroy
9-13-2021


Hello John and Sean,
 
I have been following your reporting on the new Fisker Ocean and how Fisker is outsourcing the production. John, you have made a point to say how this is a different and innovative way for start ups to compete quickly.
 
Here is what I do not understand: How is this company's start up strategy different from Fisker Automotive's Karma back in 2008-2012?
 
In that company Fisker outsourced everything, from the engineering to the production. Engine from GM, battery A123, Q-Drive hybrid drive train supplied by Quantum Technologies, packaging and engineering design from temporary contract engineering staff with contract ending before series production, and actual production completed from Valmet Automotive in Finland.
 
That all sure sounds like the asset light model he is running through the media circuit now.
 
We all know how Fisker Karma ended up, maybe not just because of the outsource everything mindset, but the vehicle had plenty of issues from the get go. Its wiki article has plenty of documentation. 
 
What was the very first thing Wanxiang did when they bought Fisker and A123 out of their bankruptcies in 2014?
 
The tooling was moved from the factory in Finland to a new factory in Moreno Valley, California, USA. Wanxiang brought everything back in house: engineering, UI software, and production to try to get a quality vehicle to market. I am not saying the end result is that in the Revero, but interesting that the outsource of absolutely everything model was dropped instantly. 
 
So why the praise to Fisker now, for rehashing his failed business model again? I hope Foxconn and Magna read up on the nasty recalls and fun times Fisker had not even a decade ago, doing the exact same business and product. 
 
Rise of 3rd Party EV Manufacturing. "Foxconn and Magna have the capital. They have the reputation. We are not here to set up our own factory in the desert," says Henrik Fisker. 
(link from Michael J. Dunne's newsletter on China)
 
Keep up the great reporting! Love the show since 2013!
 
-Tyler from Columbus, Ohio
Tyler,

First off, the original Fisker was not a good car. The fit and finish was iffy and the powertrain was crude, to put it kindly. And as you point out it was engineered with temporary contract people.

While Valmet did assemble the cars that were built, don’t forget that Fisker bought the old GM plant in Newark, Delaware, so it was carrying that cost burden.

This time around Magna is doing the project management, engineering, and manufacturing. I’m sure the Ocean is going to be a much better product.

John McElroy
9-10-2021


Hello Team Autoline! I'm obsessed with your show. Phenomenal work. 
 
Curious if you have thought about doing a show that looks at Chinese EV companies like BYD that are vertically integrated (they make their own chips), and the challenge they present to domestic US automakers?
 
I think it could be a fascinating topic and there is so much to learn about what is going on in China from the standpoint of a future wave of imports that could rival Japanese brands coming to American shores in the 80s / 90s. 
 
Thank you so much! 
 
--Jonathan 
Jonathan,

Great suggestion. I’m on it!

John McElroy
9-10-2021


Dear sirs,
 
I have been following you (and also supporting you) for years now and there is not a better show about automotive news around in my opinion.



I wanted to point out you showed the wrong Renault logo on your Sept 9th episode of Autoline daily.
The correct logo can be found here.



The new logo is already present on new Renault models, such as Renault Megane E TECH



Keep up with the good job.
 
Best regards from Slovenia,
Simon Stegel
Simon,

Thanks for pointing this out. Duly noted!

John McElroy
9-10-2021


August 31, 2021



John,



You ended today’s report with,  “ join Gary and I…” 



You should have said, “ join Gary and me…”



Mr. Pearson

Fort Worth



P.S.  I love your shows and your son does an outstanding job.
9-10-2021


I enjoyed your analysis of the complexity of the new MB S-Class and I think that you touched-upon a critical issue that has been rampant across the industry for decades now. Despite the fact that *every* OEM and Tier 1 now states that "the customer is at the center of everything that we do", the feature design and decision making process can't quire reflect that - as made evident by the annoyance that you experienced with a pop-up / dialogue that appeared every time you started the car. 
 
Buttons are avoided because I don't know what they do, I can't remember (recall) how I once did something, pop-ups don't make sense, I don't realize that I am using a function the wrong way and on and on. Some of my favorites ...
• Why are there 3 or 5 levels of "Auto"?
• Why is there "MAX" anything?
• Why does the vehicle have 4-types of input (touch, voice, center controller, physical buttons, gestures, etc.)?
• Why are there 3 ways to defrost the windshield?
• Why are there Acronyms on any buttons? (LKA, LDWS, TCS OFF, etc.)
Some consumers might drive it right back to the dealership, some might return it after a week of annoyance and frustration, some might tell their friends about the silliness, and all will feel some degree of regret with their purchase and the brand. These moments matter and shape customer perception (as you know). 
 
These are topics that I write about often - while it is getting worse for some OEMs and better for others. Yet we humans remain more or less the same .
 
Kind regards.
Parrish
9-10-2021


Today I viewed the Autoline Daily that mentioned the complexity in the Mercedes S-class. My son has a new VW Atlas Cross Sport and in showing me all of the electronic goodies in the car was thinking the same things that were said in the program. It would probably take me several days of study to begin to use part of the electronic capability. Maybe it is a German thing.
 
Chuck Genrich
9-9-2021


Hi,
 
My impression is Tim Higgins was planning to write a book about Tesla going bankrupt or belly up... but Tesla did not die. So he used his notes anyway. Regardless, no need to buy his book as it provides no technical insights.
 
Bob Wilson
Tim is a business reporter, not a tech reporter. His behind the scenes look at what was and is going on at Tesla is well worth reading.
9-3-2021


bonjour Jean

Most Americans do not know that EVs can save them money/time. Save big time, by going electric. To fill most EVs is about 1/2 the cost of gas- free in some cases- yes, we need more chargers, but slowly they are being installed- about half that of gas stations- We NEED a course on electric charging stations- where to find them, etc.
Electricity is cheaper than gasoline if you charge at home. But at public charging stations, electricity can cost the same or even more than gasoline.

John McElroy
9-3-2021


John: FYI GM is now using its Kokomo facilities to store trucks because of the chip shortage. The irony is that not to long ago they build a world class FAB to produce ….chips.

E Carter
E,

You’re right, supreme irony! Thanks for sending.

John McElroy
8-25-2021


Just thought you’d be interested to know that Carmel is not pronounced like the California city with the second syllable emphasized (Car- mel’). Rather, the first syllable is emphasized. (Car’ – mel). I made this same error when I moved to the area 28 years ago. This isn’t very important. However, Car’-mel is the new location of Aptiv’s Indiana Technical Center which just happens to overlook one of the myriad of round-abouts mentioned. Carmel resides in Hamilton Count, Indiana which is a wonderful place to live and work. The traffic flow is amazing!
 
FYI, I’ve heard but can’t verify that the word round about is trademarked. The highway department must use other words such as Traffic Circle.
 
I enjoy your show. Thanks for sharing. bob
8-25-2021


Dear John
 
Please watch all the way to the end with the chart from James. I have never seen the chart before but I hope you have.
 
Ford has about 50 billion in short term debt. They will have to roll that over at a higher interest rate.  
I am very concerned with all the retirees what a shock it will be for them.  
 
How much production from Tesla CA is exported? When less is exported next year and Texas is in production, what happens to Tesla market share? It goes up!   
What is your projected volume for ICE next year?    
 
I believe it will be much smaller than this year. And 2023 will be smaller.  
 
Thanks. Look forward to your show tomorrow. 
Ronald 
Many arm chair analysts make the mistake of not separating industrial debt from finance debt. Ford and GM have in-house finance companies (Tesla does not). Ford Credit and GM Finance borrow a tremendous amount of money which they then offer to dealers to finance the cars they buy from the factory. And they offer financing to customers who want to buy or lease cars from their dealers. Both the fincos at Ford and GM make billions in profits on the money they borrow and lend.

So the analysis in this video is rather shallow and misleading. The finance debt at Ford and GM is very, very, very profitable. Others Tesla cheerleaders have made the same mistake in predicting that GM and Ford will go bankrupt because of their debt load. They are gravely mistaken.

John McElroy
8-20-2021


The electronic oil level readouts may be accurate but can cause an oil leak costing $1200 to repair.  I once had a Mercedes ML 320 which despite the electronic level sensor also had a dipstick.  A lot of good that did me!
 
I enjoy your show.
 
Craig
Houston TX
 
ps. Most modern day SUV's not based on trucks often have large exteriors and comparatively small interiors.  An interesting  comparison can be made between the first generation Mercedes ML and any of current day MB SUV's which will show how the ML had a relatively compact exterior and a commodious interior.  Succeeding models got bigger on the outside, smaller on the inside and were far better made.  I don't know if I should consider the R-classe to be a SUV or a station wagon.  I have one of these too, now with 135,000 miles.  Sadly sales in the US were halted in 2013 and the model had no comparable replacement from MB nor any other manufacturer with the exception of the Suburban based SUV's.  I'm a building contractor and the R350 has no trouble carrying a thousand pounds of tiles and maintaining a reasonable ride (rear air suspension).  A couple of years ago I drove my lightly loaded R350 without a stop from Edwards, Colorado to Amarillo, Texas (504 miles) cruising at 80 mph and at over 26mpg.  I expect its replacement will be a Cayenne which is a great drive but isn't a hauler.
Craig,

Great observation about SUVs.

Did you know that AM General build R-classes for Mercedes-Benz in Indiana and shipped them to China? The R-class never sold well in the US or Europe, but it did well in China. So when MB stopped making them it turned to AM General. MB probably didn’t want to make them in China with a Chinese partner as required by law there. It would have had to give its partner half the profits. By making them in the US and exporting them to China, MB could keep all the profits. Even though the vehicles were hit with a 25% import tax, MB just priced it higher to cover the cost. And Chinese customers bought every one.

John McElroy
8-16-2021


Thank you Sean and John for featuring the photo of Friday's mystery car - might be difficult for your US viewers but as always Autoline viewers are very good and very quick with everything you show them lots of them will seek it out.
 
It is a 1974 Enfield 8000 here are the details... it had an 8BHP electric motor - 6KW - had a top speed of 48 MPH and a range of 40 miles built in the Isle of Wight - a small island 2 miles off the coast of the south coast of England and a part of Hampshire.  
An early battery electric rechargeable car designed for city use. Later production was moved to Greece. It had industrial type lead acid batteries recharged overnight like those used in fork lift trucks and milk floats. Here in UK in 50s 60s 70s milk was daily delivered to your door in 1 pint glass bottles by battery electric milk float.

You have the best daily automotive news programme in the whole world bar none.
 
I make it a a strict rule never to miss any of your output - keep up the good work it is also greatly appreciated by those of us 3000 miles from Detroit across the Atlantic here in England 
 
Kind Regards



Richard
8-11-2021


Good day,
WOW! That Audi Skysphere is pretty Sexy! And convertible. And the wheelbase changing is pret... hey, I've seen this before. Audi took a page out of the Renault book. Remember the Morphoz concept car. Could this be the birth of Autobots. LOL!

Regards,
Mr. Dana
Toronto, ON Canada
Buckminster Fuller designed a car in the 1930s with an extendable wheelbase to improve the ride at highway speeds yet have good maneuverability in neighborhoods. But he never built it.

John McElroy
8-11-2021


John,
I got the impression that the automotive press and Ford loyalists did not like or love Jim Hackett. Looking at the roll that I perceive Ford to be on with what looks like a smart decision to exit sedans, invest in the Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, the Bronco, Maverick, and invest in Rivian, I think Jim Hackett has a darn impressive legacy keeping in mind the development cycle time in the automotive world.
What do you think?

Loyal Fan of A.L.D.,

Peter
Jim Hackett's legacy at Ford was getting the company to embrace customer centered design. This involves getting quick customer feedback very early in the design process, using simple inexpensive models (in some cases literally made from cardboard) and iterating the design quickly before committing to expensive prototypes. All of Ford's products starting with the Mach E benefited from this process and it really shows. Hackett may not have been a great leader and he had a hard time defining a clear strategy for Ford, but the customer centric design process has really benefitted the company.

John McElroy
8-11-2021


    The reason our auto industry is so far behind is because our MBAs, in the auto industry, did not look to the future, & figured China cannot  produce quality EVs, big mistake # 2.
    Our auto industry needs practical engineers, not MBAs, that do not know manufacturing.
8-6-2021


Hi John,

I agree with your comment that “Americans want instant gratification” when buying a new car. We have been trained to be that way by US auto industry and their ability to provide what we want and desire now and not in 90 days or two weeks. The reason it worked during the pandemic is that not many folks wanted to visit the dealerships and catch covid. I think what Ford strategy is missing is that Japan, Korea and China may decide not to play the game and increase their market share by having many models on the dealer lots to choose from.

BTW- You can loose market share only if you are catering to the upper class that buys to order butique marks like Ferrari, Lambo, Bentley Aston etc and were always willing to wait to get what they wanted and the profits on those cars are sky high. The average Joe is not going to wait 10 days or two weeks to get the F150 in the right color with right options. Buyers in Europe have always waited to get new cars and are fine with that process that they had for many many years. In fact in the old communist countries the wait was sometimes more then a year.   Only in America could you go to a car dealership and drive out with a new car on the same day. Now you are going to change that system?? Good luck! I say, Mr. Farley must be trying to sell snake oil to wall-street to get the stock price up! :-)….GOOD LUCK JIM

Regards,
Martin
8-2-2021


Hi Autoline.tv,
 
Couly you please help me get in touch with the Guest: Ernie Brink
 
He was in the Reviving The Rotary Episode a year back.
 
I would like to join and help Ernie take it further and make it a success. I have been looking for him and haven't yet found him.
 
I hope for positive feedback and thank you for this amazing episode.
 
Kindest Regards
Joshua
Joshua,

We forwarded your email on to Ernie and we bet he gets in contact with you.

(We have a policy of not handing out contact info about our show guests, but do forward on any correspondence that involves them.)

John McElroy
8-2-2021


Hello friends,
I am a faithful podcast listener, and love your show.
One nit I must pick, however, is the pronunciation of “Herbert Diess.”
His last name is pronounced “DEES” not “DICE.”
 
Thank you.  Danke!
 
Saludos Cordiales / Kind regards/ Freundliche Grüße
 
Jim
Thanks for the correction, we’ll try to remember to pronounce it correctly.

John McElroy
8-2-2021


As only an interested-outsider, today's discussion in-toto seemed to ignore the most "key" aspect/s of it all: the initial capital investment for any new model, the fixed manufacturing costs for a given model-year, and the greatly higher profit-margins on individual vehicles in a given model-year once those up-front capital costs have been recouped.
 
a. Unless completely discontinued, won't there always be a motivation by manufacturers of less-sales-than-expected vehicles to rely on retail (and sometimes dealer) financial incentives to increase numbers to at least get to the break-even point?
 
b. Even for successful high-volume vehicles well past break-even, with much higher per-vehicle margins, won't there always be a temptation to give back just a little thru financial incentives -- when per-vehicle gravy (and overall net income) are doing so well?
 
And while manufacture-to-order might lower the need for high-cost on-lot inventories (whose burden falls on DEALERS), won't there always still be the dual a&b issues above tending to increase motivation for "slap-together and ship" numbers -- and besides, don't manufacturer finance arms make a buncha money off financing those dealer inventories?
 
While everyone (internal & external) can applaud greater manufacturer discipline to NOT mindlessly escalate and further escalate financial incentives in "I'll see that and raise you" bids, won't a&b still prevail?
 
A further wild-card is the corporate business psychology from the WallStreet/investor/financier communities in boasting about production numbers and worldwide manufacturing totals (ala the recent decades of competition between General Motors, Toyota, VW, Renault-related, Nissan-related, Stelantis, etc.).
 
Pete
Pete,

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

Thanks,
John McElroy
7-30-2021


HELLO MR. McELROY, HOW ARE YOU, SEAN AND GARY V. DOING??       I am sorry to bother you again, but I was "forced" to write you as soon as I heard the news that former NICOLA CEO TREVOR MILTON  has been indited for fraud!!! While I don't wish to sound like I am revelling in this poor dumb bastard's ( SORRY!!! I ment "this poor gentleman's" misfortune) , I do feel that this is an appropriate and overdue action ( I know, the Justice Department can't move until a thorough investigation has been made!! ) .  I CERTAINLY am no lawyer or security's expert, and a lot of what I know about this case I have gotten from watching AUTOLINE DAILY and reading stuff on the web, but it  sure seems like the right thing to happen.  I have never understood how guys like Mr. Milton, and Steve Burns of Lordstown Motors can just walk away from the huge messes they helped to create, with millions of $$$ in their pockets, and a middle management guy like Volkswagon's Oliver Smidtt has to do real hard jail time in a Federal Prison as a fall guy and scapegoat for almost the ENTIRE DIESELGATE SCANDAL!!!  I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO HEAR ANY COMMENTS YOU MIGHT MAKE ON THIS SURPRISING DEVELOPMENT ON AUTOLINE AFTER HOURS THIS AFTERNOON!!!           CHAS, PLAINVILLE, CT.
7-30-2021


Great Show on whipping a dying horse, the ICE. You guys covered a lot of ground. I found Kyle very informative and the Bosch guy very full of himself and dismissive of BEVs
and clearly just doing a Bosch commercial. I thought your change in views on Tesla were logical and inevitable just like the BEV revolution.
NKLA is toast. They are done. Don't say the jury is still out, well maybe, but Milkinthem  will found guilty, and tell Gary not to compare Musk. Tesla actually makes more vehicles every 
year over 50% more, and they run under their own power and don't just roll down hills. 
7-28-2021


Hi John/Sean,

      Back in the 1950s and 60s my Dad went on these sporting events to get the best gas mileage in a certain class of auto, he had a lot of fun. Perhaps a show on the history or current events on this auto sport.

     In the 70s there was keeping to the “double nickels” and getting the most out of a gallon of gas due to oil crisis?

     Riding our motorbikes through the rockies where there is sparse population and even fewer gas stations my wife’s Vstar had a total range of 110 miles if not careful, like at Crater Lake National park had to top up before and after the park entrance talk about range anxiety. However there were electric plugs in the park but no gas. Perhaps a show on coping with range anxiety and how to conquer it in all types of vehicles including military where there can be a scarcity of fuel in war zones?

Keep up the good show and a variety of things all automotive.

Dave
7-28-2021


I'm sure all you guys and gals read the WSJ but I was particularly taken by this article which is the "other side of the coin" to what is typically covered regarding sales and advances in electric power trains.





-Kevin Hisel
Hello Kevin!
 
Thanks for sending the link to the WSJ article.
 
There’s no question that EVs will lead to job losses at the traditional OEMs. The UAW did a white paper on this two years ago, identifying up to 30,000 ICE jobs that will be lost in just Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
 
We did a great Autoline This Week show all about that report with the UAW’s director of research, Jeff Dokho.  
 
If the US develops a national supply chain for EVs including raw materials, maybe that will plug the jobs gap. But there’s no question that automakers and ICE suppliers are going to see a lot of jobs go away.
 
John McElroy
7-28-2021


This was an interesting discussion (AAH #564) and it is great to see progress looming in the recovery of rare earth material.
 
One of the issues that do not seem to get any visibility is on the investment that is going to be required to provide the charging capability of the electric companies. Green investment today seems to be exclusively wind and solar. As the winter storm in Texas showed us, those methods do not supply power at the same level as coal or gas.
 
There are also serious environmental issues with wind and solar. A serious and not discussed issue with solar is the land usage required to supply a sufficient level of power and it only works in daytime. Wind power works well in areas where there is a constant wind but it is a serious threat to the avion population. If the wild birds are gone we as a civilization will be gone!
 
Over 60 percent of fuel usage in North America is from commercial vehicles. These vehicles are the perfect application for hydrogen fuel and that industry is emerging with little government involvement. It will become viable because it can provide a relatively low cost solution for this segment.
 
It then begs the question, why the panic to go electric when the most viable segment of the market only represents about 40% of the usage. 
 
I am reminded of a statement by one of the nation's greatest economists, Thomas Sowell: "Throughout my college years I was a Marxist, I was a Marxist until I went to work for the government and realized that they weren't capable of accomplishing anything. That's when I became a capitalist!"           
 
Don L.
Don,
 
Good points, but maybe one correction. The Texas grid suffered because the utilities ignored warnings they had to winterize their generating plants. The state’s gas lines and coal plants froze and its wind generators stopped turning, while up here in Michigan we didn’t face those problems even though we had colder temperatures and a lot more snow. Our wind generators are designed to operate at thirty below zero.
 
As for hydrogen, take a look at the Autoline After Hours we did with Charlie Freese from GM Hydrotec.
 
You’re right, hydrogen is going to have a major role to play.
 
John McElroy
7-28-2021


HELLO MR. McELROY, HOW ARE YOU SIR???        THREE THINGS :  1) You got a letter from a guy about going back to your "After Hours" show's format of having the guest on for only the 1st half hour ;  HELL NO!!!  PLEASE!!! All of your guests are knowledgeable, have technical expertise, and some are interesting; very few are FASCINATING AND ENTERTAINING!!!  So when you DO get a SANDY MUNRO or BOB LUTZ on the show, and they want to talk,  PLEASE JUST LET EM TALK!!! EVEN IF YOU RUN OVERTIME!!! (I know, you already do!!! ) IT'S PURE GOLD WHEN YOU DO!!! ( just PLEASE, feed Mr. Lutz BEFORE THE CAMERAS ROLL!!! )  2) I don't understand why Musk would open up his Supercharger Stations to other brands when his company is having a HUGE increase in production of it's own cars and CyberTrucks coming soon from Giga Texas, unless it's to acquire more data, as you are always talking about;  3) Rivian hasn't delivered ONE NON COMMERCIAL TRUCK YET, but they need a second factory?? Maybe they could buy up Lordstown Motors for a cheap price, now that they're in so much trouble, and then since both companies use a similar hub in wheel motor, they could save money on the economy of scale, and Rivian would get that huge factory that's already built, and former Chevy laid-off workers in the area all ready to go!!!  THANK YOU MR. MAC,  CHAS, PLAINVILLE, CT.
Chas,

Great feedback. And what an intriguing idea for Rivian to buy Lordstown. I think Lordstown will probably not survive, so Rivian might be able to get it cheap.

John McElroy
7-22-2021


 Is it possible to explore the horribly unprepared emergency response services are dealing with battery fires? With this mad rush to "batterification" there isn't a comparative rush for emergency response. Morris Illinois just had  a building burn for over a full day spew highly toxic fumes from lithium batteries. They initially dumped water which just made it worse and ended up letting it burn having no viable alternatives available! Autoline just reported on a Tesla burning up. 
 Market saturation is minimal right now, what happens at 25, 50 or even 75%?  
 At what point does batteries burning for days negate their so called environmental benefits? 
 Hoping you'll deep dive into this one.
Sincerely, 
Larry
7-22-2021


I appreciated your guests emphasis and Gary's request for quantifying Built Ford Tough.
 
My fear with the Maverick has been that it is a 'head fake' design, that looks like a truck, but doesn't endure like a truck.
 
Future comparos with the Hyundai, the many reviews to come, and users feedback should test this.
 
I'm attracted to it as an oldster, though a minivan that swallows a 4x8 is still more appealing.
 
r work

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