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4-9-2019


HI Mr McElroy
An idea for your radio show came to me. I have listed a truck online. I have some issues selling it to my surprise. I just think my vehicle type are sold more at the dealers.
 
Anyhow, a thing going on Graigslist, is you get the emails like below. When you send the VIN and history report you never hear back.
I did some basic googling and this type of "scam" is newer. The people use your history report to sell their cars online in other states.
 
have fun with this topic, be a good consumer alert type one!
 
Shawn


Shawn: "Hi I am available today to show truck. Let me know."

Potential Buyer: "Okay, When do you suggest we (my mechanic and I) come for a test drive? Do you have maintenance records for the vehicle that we can look at when we come over?
 
What about a vehicle history report? Do you have one? If you do, Please send it to me as soon as you can.
 
If you don't, be kind enough to pull one so i can see the exact condition of the vehicle. I made payment for a car in the past only to find out it was previously damaged. The seller hid this information. I am just trying to be careful here.
 
I am ready to pay for the vehicle when i come for the test drive, no doubt about that, but i need to be certain of the vehicle's condition first.
 
Just in case, you can get a report online at  www.vincheckpro.info  for less than $7 so my mechanic and i can get a clear picture of the vehicle's history before coming over. I ran a VIN check there before when i wanted to sell my Lexus. 
 
Kind Regards."
4-9-2019


Hi Mr. McElroy, How Are You Sir???  Regarding your "Pie Day" After Hours Show : 1) WHAT???  No Apple or Cherry Pie for your guests???   2) On the subject of no new Ice Engines being developed (that's totally new engines from the block up ) the first thing to come to my mind, and I was surprised you or Gary didn't ask : does that mean the Acateas (sic?) two pistons per cylinder engine is doomed??? From your past shows about it, I had the impression that this engine could be a game changer, revolutionary gas engine for future cars and trucks, and was undergoing full development for large scale manufacturing. Do you think its  just coming on stream a little too late to be adopted???     Thanks for reading this.   Chas
Chas,

What we were talking about on After Hours about no totally new engines being developed applies to traditional manufacturers. Companies like Achates and others will continue to try and get the industry to go with a new design.

John McElroy
4-9-2019


John,



I am not sure that Trump really wants to implement the 25% tariff either but is using it as a bargaining chip to get fair trade. He wants China to lower their tariffs and restrictions to match ours. It’s not fair that US makers can not import to China but China can import to US. That strategy has worked to get a better deal with Mexico. He wants to get a better deal with China and the EU. Let’s face it, they won’t change unless you threaten them with something.



Len
Len,

The US exported 278,600 vehicles to China in 2017, which is the most recent available data from Wards. China exported 43,700 to the US.

John McElroy
4-9-2019


Dear John McElroy,
 
 
I am not an engineer. I have 40 years of vehicle sales experience as a GM dealer and as a Harley-Davidson Sales Manager.  I have the answer as to how an automobile manufacturer could successfully sell cars exclusively through the Internet.  They would start with a basic platform car, truck or SUV. Have the price point start at $20000.00.  They would build a component vehicle. Each component would be easily exchangeable. I would call this a plug and play component vehicle.  This would be a vehicle that could be repaired by watching a simple YouTube video example of a component exchange.  The vehicle would have an onboard diagnostic system to monitor each component. For complex diagnostics, the vehicle would have WI-Fi capacity to communicate directly with technical service at the manufacturer.  
 
When a component failed, the diagnostics could be sent to the manufacturer. The manufacturer could then ship the replacement component and the customer could make the exchange.  There would be no need to return the failed part to the manufacturer for verification because they would already have the data to substantiate the repair (unless the manufacturer wanted the component back for failure evaluation).
 
Every maintenance and/or repairable component would be user-friendly.  As examples: headlight bulbs, all filters, sensors, sound speakers, power window motors, etc. would be fully accessible as exchangeable components including easy access to each component. If it’s a fossil fuel vehicle, the oil change would be performed via a manufacturer supplied kit. The kit would include a catch pail that would be hooked to an accessible hose that would then need a simple value to open to allow the oil to drain from the vehicle into the catch pail.  The new oil and filter will be included in the kit. The container the oil filter comes in will also serve as the disposable container for the old filter.  As soon as the filter would be loosened from it mount the oil feed would shut off and the filter would close thereby containing and minimizing any oil loss.  The oil and filter change would be performed by the customer. Even maintenance repairs like tires and brakes could be component exchanges and performed by the customer if they choose to do so.  
 
Part of the reason for the basic low price component vehicle would be to entice the young buyer to adopt the concept.  They are the future of the industry and they are also the ones who in many cases don’t want to own a car that exists today.  At least some of why they don’t want ownership is because of cost. This vehicle would dramatically reduce ownership cost.  It also would dramatically reduce the manufacturer's cost because they would have no franchised dealer associated costs.
 
There would also need to be a network to facilitate the customer’s trade-ins. Perhaps a direct connection for the customer to existing whole auto auctions networks like Manheim Auto Auctions.  
I’m sure that to make this a successful business model there are more factors to be worked through but this is a basic foundation for an Internet exclusive manufacturer to customer vehicle sales process.
 
Please forward a 5% royalty fee based on all profits earned from the use of this idea to Joseph Basinait. (contact information included in this e-mail which will also serve as proof of the submission of my idea to your program).
 
Thank you for your insightful programming!

Joseph Basinait
Joseph,

Thanks for your letter. We’ll publish it in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it, too.

John McElroy
4-9-2019


After spending a career in the military I have little sympathy for Lordstown workers who whine about having to relocate to keep their jobs at GM. Virtually all active duty military have to do that every 2-3 years for as long as they are on active duty. Maybe this highlights just how little the average American knows about their military.

Chuck
4-9-2019


Hi, Talked with John a few years back about great movie and car scenes, just watched this yesterday and I forgot how great this chase scene was, enjoy Cheers!
“A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” is one of my all-time favorite movies!

John McElroy
4-9-2019


John, 



Just watched ATW and found it very interesting. I have not always agreed with your statements that auto shows were on the decline and it became clear during your show why. When you look at it from a journalist prospective you could say that because of the lack of reveals. But I don’t think that auto shows were meant for the journalists but as Steve stated, as have you, they are for the buyer. Reveals are for the journalists and can be done anytime and anyplace and it would not matter to me because I can’t go. However I like to go to the shows for the reasons Rod and Steve stated, to be able to compare vehicles and crawl around them. And I think Jason had it right. You don’t generate interest by talking to journalists but by creating a rememberable event that gets lots of exposure to get the customers excited to go.  And I don’t think that event and the product reveal has to be the same. Let’s face it you guys aren’t buying that many vehicles, but you do help by providing an outsiders look at them. And as Steve said, the show is only once a year and the consumers are buying all year long. And this is their chance to comparison shop.



Moving the Detroit show to June should help one of my pet peeves. Going to the show to see the new model that was just revealed but will not be starting production till summer and only having a model up on a pedestal. I want to get in and feel how the vehicle fits and I see that they will have more vehicles available for that.



Len
Len,

You’re right, auto shows are for buyers. But the problem is that automakers are dropping out of auto shows. There were 10 brands missing from the Detroit show. That’s 30% of the total brands in the market. Automakers have also been skipping other major shows in Frankfurt and Paris.

They’re skipping shows where they don’t think they’ll get a lot of media coverage because they have nothing new to reveal. So media coverage plays a big role in which shows automakers will exhibit at.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


I was at Sebring when they tested ME vette. Sounded like a V6
Phil,

Thanks for sending your observation. I wondered if it might be a flat crank V8.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


Mr. Sherman commented that wages at UAW facilities are too high, and are uncompetitive. Contrary to his assertions, Workers at Lordstown took pay cuts to work there, which wasn’t fully-disclosed to them, prior to their transfer to that facility. Big Three Workers took a pay freeze for years, Temporary Workers we’re allowed, Pensions were eliminated for new workers, Health care was outsourced to the UAW, and new workers had their Health Care benefits reduced. How can that be justified or explained, when Executive pay and Perks has skyrocketed, and nearly all German Autoworkers are Unionized, have high wages, full benefits, full Pensions, and full Health Care benefits? Mr. Sherman is repeating Management talking-points.
3-8-2019


Hi, John.
 
Regarding the Japanese automakers who are considering leaving the UK for the EU:
 
If the EU can make a free-trade agreement with Japan, which is on the other side of the world, they can certainly make a similar agreement with the UK, which is only 10 miles across the English Channel, and so can the Japanese OEMs.
 
This is pure political BS from the European Union elitists, because they want to punish the UK for leaving the EU.
 
I’d appreciate if you and your discussion panel would address this matter, because it’s something many people are overlooking
 
Thank you and best regards,
 
Ron
Orange County, California
Ron,

You make a great point. The only problem is, it took the EU 6 years to negotiate and implement a free trade agreement with Japan. If they got started today, it would probably take the UK, the EU and Japan until 2025 to reach a new agreement. But none of them are even talking about doing this. Automakers in the UK can’t sit around waiting. They have to take action now. I’m afraid that the British motor industry will be gone by 2022.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


John,
If EVs are about the same overall complexity to build, doesn't this refute some of the projections that showed large manufacturing job losses from moving to EVs?
The union councils in Europe, the UAW, Korean unions, and Chinese government all might be quite comfortable with this situation. 
Dave,

What I think they’re worried about are all the jobs that will be lost with ICE’s, transmissions and all the componentry that goes with them (mufflers, spark plugs, etc).

EVs will not affect stamping, molding, and assembly jobs, etc.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
3-8-2019


Well I was just not going to even pontificate on your view of FCV, informed by experts, taking over, but Tesla and other ultrafast charging networks
have blown a hole you could drive a truck though in that FCV theory, which was already full of holes, but the one thing they could cling too, was fast
fill-up time. Now that has become a moot point, as no matter how much improvement comes for FCV they will never be cost effective compared to BEVS.
Heck I can throw up  a dozen solar panels for $6k and have free fuel, for like 25 years, and power my home at the same time.
Love the shows, keep up the good work, and to your staff, too. 
3-8-2019


Gang:
  I was looking forward to the Autoline Afterhours to hear what the insider had to say about the history of FOMOCO. I'm not trying to be pedantic but a bunch of half truths and lies by omission isn't doing history any favors. Attached is a list of the books in my personal library about the history of the Ford and other companies that intersect with that history. I would love to have your find the Karl Ludvigsen of all things Ford...heck maybe Karl is the right fellow. Or Mr. Dominguez. Even the resent "dust-up" about trying to hide Henry's anti-Semitism is again trying to recast history...maybe even trying to "revise" history.  OK enough complaining. I do really like the show and learn much from all of you. Do keep up the good work. It's just this time the guest knowledge left me disappointed.

Rick
Rick,

Thanks for your input. We agree. Karl Ludvigsen is an amazing source of historical automotive information and insight.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


Hello:

Saw the piece on Tesla closing all their stores.  Was wondering if:

1.  You have heard where Tesla owners will get service and where factory parts will be sold?

2.  Might they be getting into regulatory issues selling new cars with no "physical presence" in some states?

Thanks!

Shawn
Tesla handles it's service and parts with mobile vans that go to customers' homes. Presumably, in areas where it closes it's stores, that's how it will deliver cars to customers.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


Hi Gary,

In AAH #453 a couple weeks ago you mentioned how many EV chargers we have now, and how we might need to ‘geometrically increase the number of EV chargers’. Remember though, most EV owners charge at home (some businesses even offer charging for their employees too now), and rarely even need a ‘public’ charger. I have a 2017 Chevy Volt Premiere, love it, I only have about 50 to 60 miles of EV range (depending on time of year). Virtually ALL my local driving is electric only, and I do ALL my charging at home. The only time I even really burn gas is when I take a long trip (on average I prob only add about 7 gallons of gas every 3 or 4 months). I leave the house everyday with 50+ miles of range in the battery, and 300+ in the gas tank.

Imagine EV’s with 300 or 400 miles of EV range (charging at home). I actually wonder what will happen to traditional gas stations that depend on people having to stop there weekly for gas, that then buy the [junk] food and coffee they sell in their stores. And charging times will improve I think as batteries improve and we go to higher voltages. Local batteries at the chargers will also help mitigate loads on the local ‘grid’. Problems to be addressed for sure, but I think not a major road block, so to speak, to EV adoption.

Anyway, I think the number of “public” chargers will not be that great. The number and quality of chargers for long distance EV travelers I think will be more important.

This started out as just a quick email to you Gary. But I just got an idea for a suggestion for a guest to have on AutoLine After Hours: George Hotz from Comma.ai (). …so I cc’d John on this email too.

Now, for under $1000 you can add Level 2 driving to many cars. Last July I bought one of his EON’s and installed his OpenPilot open source self-driving software on it, and installed it in my Volt. I also enabled my Volts WiFi hot spot (just $20/mo.) so the EON had internet access almost all the time (also good for [Free] Google Maps satellite view on my Volts center display using [Free] Apple CarPlay too!! So cool :D …who needs a $65,000 Tesla for Level 2 driving and satellite view of maps? LOL).

Having even “Level 2” driving is amazing. It’s like once you have Adaptive Cruise Control, its like “why would I go back to ‘regular’ cruise control?!?”. On a recent trip up to Plattsburgh, NY for 3 hours the car drove itself up I87, the only time I took over was to change lanes a couple times. But I use OpenPilot DAILY, even on regular (non-interstate) roads. It is amazing how much I have it enabled. It even uses my cars built-in ACC radar to see cars in front of me. And the last couple updates added some really nice new features (to long to list here….from enabling driver facing camera to using GPS to know the local speed limit of roads, plus more). But the tracking and steering are so good now it almost seems like a human is steering the car. And even with the current hardware I know there are more really cool improvements to come with just software updates.

Anyway, I think George would be an interesting guest to have on. I think he could provide some interesting insights into the current state of “self-driving” and where this is going in the near future. I guess my thought on the matter is that it’s not that important WHEN Level 4 or Level 5 gets here for most of us, what’s important is that we are at least on a path to get there (and safer roads and cars). And we surely are. …there are probably some good stories to cover as we see Level 2 keep improving [almost monthly], and as we progress our way to Level 4 and 5. And mind you, George is not a huge company with billions of dollars of capital behind him. I think he is doing this out of his house! A true automotive pioneer.

I've included a Dropbox folder of few pics and videos shot with my cell phone (poor quality I know! lol), one of these days I’ll get a camera mounted over my shoulder for better video, in these videos my hands were entierly off the wheel [the yellow triangle is the cars radar seeing the car in front of me], two videos even show how well OpenPilot did with roads that had a lot of snow on them:

I am a cautious driver, and always ready to take over from OpenPilot. But it is astonishing how good it is.

I am probably going to buying a new RAM 2500 later this year too (no practical EV pickups yet), to pull a camper. I REALLY want to be able to add OpenPilot to it too, for those long road trips across country!

BTW  Thanks John for your fair and honest EV coverage. I used to follow several EV YouTube channels, but got sick of hearing about the “EV1” and how GM and every other car maker besides Tesla sucks. There are a few good EV YouTubers, but too many are just Tesla fan-boys…

Thanks,
Jeff
Jeff,

Thanks for your letter and suggestion to get George Hotz. He would make a great guest. Since he's in California and we're in Detroit it may take a while for us to connect, but we'll look into it.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


Hi John
 
With more companies using internet sales (Amazon,  WayFair, Order Terminals in McDonalds, etc..  and Now Tesla. I got to believe that the Big Three will eventually have to follow suit to survive. Any thoughts of having this discussion on one of your shows? 
 
I am sure you are aware of the new pricing on the Model 3, are you tempted? It is interesting that my M3 will be getting some additional range with no additional cost. The original  M3 RWD LR is the most efficient (310 to 325 miles) and has all performance to keep us happy. It appears like new buyers are getting same car cheaper, but we do get the $7500 tax credit, so doesn't upset us. 
 
Having Michigan not allow Tesla to sell cars at Tesla showrooms is not going to slow them down with this change and Tesla will be increasing Mobil service at at homes or places of business. In 18,650 miles, the only problem I have had was a 4G cellular module last summer which was replaced  at our Fenton Lake home. 
 
Take Care, Frank
Frank,

I think Tesla is making a mistake by eliminating most of its stores. How can potential customers get a test drive? They can’t. How can owners get their cars serviced? Not in any timely fashion. My friend Henry Payne, who owns a long-range Model 3, had to wait about four months to get a sensor replaced.

No other traditional automaker will turn to online sales, as they are prohibited from doing so by franchise laws.

I agree with you that Michigan made a mistake by banning Tesla from selling cars in the state unless it uses franchised dealers. I personally believe this is restraint of interstate trade and that the state will lose a lawsuit filed by Tesla.

John McElroy
3-8-2019


Near the end of AAH 453 Extra, it was a cringe moment when Henry Payne said about the California Police : "Yeah, they are real Nazi's out there."

Neil G
2-25-2018


Hi John,

It would be interesting to hear from someone in manufacturing why the Audi E-Tron weighs what it does. Apparently it weighs more then the overly complicated tesla model x. Maybe glass roof?

Also, thanks so much for your thoughtful show. I have really enjoyed it.

Another question, does it feel like the industry has taken a 180 on electrification over the last few months?

Thank you so much for your time,
Martin
2-25-2018


Hi
I saw your online show about the Tesla Model3, great show! Thanks.
So im abit unsure, Monro sayd that its a gold car from skateboard down but not very good mechanicly? I understud like doorgaps and stuff like that is shit, but i dont care abut stuff like that. I wonder if this car is going to be as longlasting provided good care, but probably utalising the cars motor and roadgrip from time to time. 
Im currently driving around in a Toyota Corolla GLXi 1,6 with tree speed auro trans 91 model😊
Love that car course of its ability to drive not standing in a shop sucking my money.
But the gas prize and ferry taxes are so redused with el car in norway that its cheeper to get a model 3. 
The way i got Monroe is that the tings needed for car to work for intended use (moving people and cargo from a to b when i need it) without hanging around the service senter bleeding chash like a crasy. 
From a buyers point of view should I buy or not?
 
Best regards from norway
Willy Gausnes
Most Tesla Model 3 owners seem very pleased with their purchase. You probably would be too.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Full disclosure on the Subaru Legacy:  My son is an automotive designer and is on the team that designed the Legacy's new electronic screen that looks like an Ipad.  So of course I'm proud of him and couldn't wait to see it.  
Aside from that, I do like the design of the head and taillights, the way they swoop into the fenders.  I like the grill as it looks a bit more aggressive.  Overall the exterior is smooth and has good lines.  
The Legacy was on a spinning floor and not accessible to walk up to but from what I could see I also liked the look of the interior.  It was a two tone interior and I really like two tone colors.  The dash, seats and console looked comfortable.  The front seat bottoms had an extension that would support a person's thighs.
A quick story about my son, he and I were at your Autoline After Hours on Woodward in 2009 when you had Ed Welburn and his yellow Camaro there.  We met Mr. Welburn, Jim Wangers and others that night.  At the time my son was a student at College for Creative Studies.  We had a great time.  
 
Thank you!
 
Amado
Amado,

Let us know what you think about the new Legacy.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Remember when you were a kid and saw a Frisbee for the first time, then soon you saw lots of them, and got one yourself. Well Tesla is a bit like a frisbee, but a lot more
expensive, and not every kid can get one. So maybe more like a slot car, though that craze  died, I don't think the one for full sized evs will.
It only seems long, because people don't change vehicles everyday, but little by little ev counts will swell, and once smitten, people don't go back.
Take your own experience with the Model 3, I don't doubt you said "Wowsir" a few times riding or driving in it.
I think you should get one btw. Treat yourself, you deserve it.
 
Good shows as always, and changing with the times, as you do keep on top of things, evidenced by your upcoming electric drive propulsion show.
25% tariffs coming, twisting the knife in the backs of the auto industry. Tariffying Trump!
All the Best.
2-25-2018


Hello, Autoline Crew!



Just wanted to say thank you for being impartial when it comes to political stuff. 



You mentioned that Brexit thing going on and didn't say it was bad or good but did mention you were saddened to possibly see the English auto industry go smaller. 



Thank you for being simply a "news" source. That's hard to come by and that's how news places should be, reporting the facts, not enforcing a viewpoint. 



Thanks and may God bless you guys!
Thanks for the positive feedback, we really appreciate it.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Hello Mr.McElroy, how are you, sir?    Well, You Did It Again!!!   Another Great After Hours Show!!!   That Jason Vines is another very fascinating guest ( just like Sandy Munro!!! ) you've had!!!  The Borg-Warner guy I have to admit, was a little dry and over my head on some stuff, but Mr. Vines MORE THAN MADE UP FOR THAT!!!   I think his next book should be about Carlos Ghosn's tragic fall (setup??? ) from grace.  Did you notice between Ghosns and poor Mr. Machionne's death, the heads of two of the top seven largest car company's in the world were replaced in less than a six month period??? ( and the VW ceo too???)   Also, I am sorry to admit that I didn't realize that Henry Paine is also an artest and illustrator????   I know you only had so much time, and you were having a lively debate with Mr. Vines, but I was hoping we'd get an update from Henry on his ongoing ownership experience with his Tesla Model 3!!!  Please have him back soon for that!!!  And wouldn't it be an interesting show to have Sandy Munro and Jason Vines on at the same time????   Might have to be a 2 hour special!!!!   Thanks John, say hi to Dr. Data for me!!!      Chas
Chas,

Thanks for the great feedback. I’ve forwarded it to Jason so he can read it too.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


John, I just watched this weeks episode and thought I would throw in my two cents. On what is holding sales at 17M I think Jason had the best answer and that is the cars are lasting longer. Look at the number of vehicles on the road today versus 2000 and see if that number hasn’t followed the population. 



As for the effect of prices I think it will pass. Right now everyone wants all the new stuff which is being added with big margins to recover development cost. But as those features reach 100% penetration their cost will drop as they go from delighted to expected. That was the case with airbags, I remember when it was a fortune to put in front airbags, now every vehicle comes with multiple airbags at probably the same cost. I already see that in the Ford Fusion where the 2019 I’m waiting on has more stuff standard yet at about the same msrp as my 2016.



I enjoyed hearing from Jason and plan on checking out his books.



Len
Len,

Thanks for your feedback. You’re right, longer lasting cars is a factor in a lower percentage of Americans buying new cars. But I still maintain many of them would get new cars if prices for new weren’t so high.

And you’re also right in that is was great having Jason on the show!

John McElroy
2-25-2018


I think GM is interested in working with Rivian because of the shortage of talent. I would guess that GM had more engineers working on just the new Silverado than Rivian has working on a whole new technology. If you were a recent graduate, would you rather work for huge GM or small Rivian? The "cred" you would get at a party would be hugely different. And there is the prospect of great riches from stock options when Rivian goes public?
 
Neil G
Neil,

Good feedback, we’ll publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Hi John
 
My name is Dave and I was watching your show last week when all of you had a hard time accepting EVs because they had limitations in the winter.  I used to be a petrol head like yourselves but since I bought a Tesla model 3 I will never go back to owning a gas guzzling car again.
Living in Ottawa Canada I know what winter weather is all about.  Now if you are going to go electric Tesla is your only viable option right now.  Their advantages are range on their vehicles and their fast charging network which is second to none. 
 The reasons why I love my model 3  in winter.
1. The car can detect slippage at 1/1000th of a second.
2. You can preheat your vehicle parked in the garage without gassing yourself.
3. Even at -35 degrees Celcius the car worked vs an ICE car which could suffer from having a dead battery.
4. You charge your battery to 90% while your sleeping giving you 450 kms(summer range) or 250kms(winter range) every morning at a price that is 6 times cheaper than gas.
5. EV's are not for everybody but if you live in a urban area and have a home where you can charge overnight then there is no better way to drive.
 
P.S.  One of the comments you made last week that the manufacturing of an EV is 70% more harmful to the environment than an ICE car.
So the only difference is the battery.  Tesla's gigafactory in Nevada when completed will be totally operational on the Sun.  Plus you guys forget to mention how much pollution it takes before the gas gets in your tank.   If you factor in oil exploration, gas refineries,  gas transportation to gas stations,
oil spills and oil changes its not even close.
 
Have a great day.
2-25-2018


Stop-start issue. 
Hello John, I recently purchased a Chrysler Pacifica. So far we are very happy with the vehicle.
We drove both a version with stop start and one without. We went without stop-start. The fuel economy savings with stop-start was only 1 MPG better in the city. Without stop-start we saved thousands of dollars on the purchase.
 As a car guy I was very dubious of the engine stopping so offend in the city and restarting with no oil pressure and using the starter motor many times more offend than a conventional set up. 
I get the feeling that Auto companies are so focused on meeting ever higher CAFE standards that long term reliability has taken a back seat.
Glad I still had an option to bail out of the PC device. The dollar savings on fuel with the stop-start was negligible, but my potential future cost of replacing batteries, starter motors and possible engine bearings was not. 
 
Tom
Did you get the base L model? It seems to be the only one available without stop/start. The technology really pays off if you drive in a lot of stop and go traffic or spend a lot of time at red lights on your commute. It also is designed to last the life of the powertrain.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Hi,
 
It was stunning to see the progression this show took from the first to the second half. The show starts with the Cadillac engineer introducing a XTsomething, and ends with a discussion about a possible Rivian-GM partnership. Cadillac is supposed to the tip of the spear for electrification for GM! The tip of the spear introduces an utterly forgettable CUV on the show - the XT6 -(made to fill a hole in the Cadillac product chart?!? The vehicle is special because .. . . it has vertical lights?!?). In the second half, you all had this exchange: 
 
Gary (as devils advocate): "GM knows electric cars . . . . GM knows trucks. . . . what the hell does GM need Rivian for?"  
John: "Chevrolet can't sell an electrified vehicle." 
 
GM's current road map is toward an all electric future! If Chevy can't sell an electric vehicle, and we all already forgot about the Cadillac placeholder (a nice CUV, but the exact opposite of a Tesla or a Rivian), then how in the world is GM supposed to transition their brands toward electric? The Cruise video was really impressive, but further highlights GM's branding problem. John - here is my question for you: What GM brand could be compelling with cool self driving tech in an electric car? Can you think of one? Chevy? Cadillac (eye-roll)? This is GM's biggest problem, in my opinion. What do you think?
 
-Brian
Brian,

Right now EV enthusiasts love Tesla, but are not that interested in EVs from traditional automakers. The sales tell the story.

Not one GM brand will appeal to them. In time, maybe a decade from now, when EVs become more common and embraced by people who are not EV enthusiasts, maybe GM’s brands will have a chance. BTW, this is a problem faced by all traditional OEMs, not just GM.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Hey there John,
 
My name is Chris….I’m a huge fan! Anyway, I just want to give credit where it’s due. I always used to hear you say/ask….”Why won’t they just design trucks with the frame of a truck, but the design of a car?!”. Now with those Ford F-150 bed louvers that make F-150’s look a little more car-like on back order, and with Ford touting this new ‘Fusion Active’ concept (which I believe will be an SUV fully designed like a car)…..it’s becoming a reality! Good call!
 
Christopher
Chris,

Thanks, I love that you remembered this!

John McElroy
2-25-2018


Hi John,

This rumor struck me as very exciting and probably the best thing I've seen recently out of Detroit. Take a look.

Marty
Marty,

An impeccably placed source at GM told me they are doing nothing with Tesla.

But you probably saw the news that GM is likely going to do something with Rivian.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


I just watched this weeks after hours show.  The thing that I believe was missing is the HYDROGEN power train subject?
 
Has hydrogen dropped out  of the conversation or what?  Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure,  I don’t have deep pockets for an electric vehicle, or any desire to own one.
 
I think hydrogen is a better answer, than any talk of battery technology. Batteries and electrics have little to no future.  Lets see some real money spent on hydrogen and across the nation for infrastructure.
 
I’d buy a hydrogen vehicle today if the fuel was available. One filling station in Toronto, an hour away just doesn’t do it.
 
Are you planning any programs that may address the future of hydrogen, or is it dead?
 
jd
Hydrogen is not dead, but hydrogen vehicles are extremely expensive, more costly than battery electrics.

John McElroy
2-25-2018


After watching the lastest AAH I was struck that you have not touched on charging infrastructure lately. If there are 80 - 120 new EV models on the horizon where are the buyers going to charge them? Better yet where would those how do not own homes (some 27%) charge their cars? I have yet to see an apartment building with chargers in their parking lot.

Chuck
Chuck,

You raise a great issue. Apartment dwellers may be some of the last adopters of EVs. But the EV charging infrastructure is being built. Tesla already has a pretty good setup for its customers and Electrify America (part of VW) is spending $2 billion on charging stations as part of the diesel emission cheating settlement. In 3-5 years you’ll see them everywhere.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


Hello John,



I just read an interesting article about Continental producing tires, made from Dandelions. The dandelion would be a alternative raw material source, to the rubber tree in the tropics for tires. Go to www.taraxagum.com for more information on the project.



Thanks,

Oakcabin
We knew about Continental’s R&D efforts into using dandelions, but weren’t aware that they were actually putting it into production. Thanks for sending, we always love learning from our viewers.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


I am catching up on my Autoline Daily episodes and saw that Sean announced on the Feb. 1 show that the Subaru Legacy would be making it's debut at the Chicago Auto Show on March 7.  The debut is Feb. 7.  I know you went to the show last year.  I'll be heading down this weekend.  I'll have to check the Subaru out.  Thanks!
 
Amado
2-8-2019


The South Korean battery specialist is said toThe South Korean battery specialist is said to put additional 9.4m dollars into its battery factory in Holland, Michigan, to complete the installation of a fifth production line by August 2018.
This step is due to raising EV demand. In Holland, LG Chem produces batteries for the Chevrolet Bolt, among others. Thanks to the fifth production line, production capacity shall climb to 3 GWh annually.
2-8-2019


I should have gotten this question in sooner; when we look at the cost of "EV", how much do we subsidize the cost of gasoline? With tax breaks and special accounting rules only oil companies get, TRILLIONS on wars....that are really about OIL.
 
Thanks
Jeff
Jeff,

Thanks for your feedback, we always like hearing from our viewers. We’ll publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website so that others can read it too.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


I thought the best part was when you praised Tesla, the worst was when Phoebe said Ford produces more F-150 in a week, or a day, than Tesla produces in a year, and no one
batted an eye, to explain how uniformed she is. Though she is right that this will will be a bad year for American auto AR 15.1million. Clinging onto truck sales and large Suv's as your panel suggests.
Though the Ranger is a big hit, it takes sales away from the bigger trucks, where more money is made. In the ev spaces. U.S legacy auto will fall further behind, as your special guest says, despite claims to the contrary.
The U.S. becomes more of a walled garden of trucks and Suv's. The Koch Brothers dream becomes a reality. But it's more like a nightmare.
As regards your ev Armageddon Theory, it's bass akwards as we say down South. Demand is there just not that many evs are being produced, as the companies lack the capacity to
do so. Most have already sold-out their production for the year, they just can't produce that many vehicles. Constrained by battery pack availability.
Little Bob,

Thanks for your feedback as always.

One point to consider. It’s not a lack of inventory that’s holding back EV sales, it’s a lack of buyers. Last month the Nissan Leaf had 97 days’ worth of inventory on dealer lots, the Chevrolet Bolt had 183 days.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


Hello from a long time podcast viewer who was born in the Motor City.
 
Issue:
 
2018 Discovery Sport, ZF 9 speed
 
When motor is cold transmission won’t engage into reverse for two seconds or so after letting go of brake pedal.  My family is pressing on the gas to get car moving in that two seconds and the car accelerates super-fast without warning requiring one to slam on brakes.
 
Others are having the same problem.
 
LR USA says this is normal and per design.
 
Thanks in advance!
 
Tim
Tim,

Thanks for sending this in. We’re going to publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website so that others can read it too.

Even if LR is right and that this happens by design, then it’s not a good design.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


I enjoyed the conversation regarding Tesla on the last Autoline After Hours.  I live in Columbus Ohio and a Tesla sighting may occur once or twice in a day.  Sometimes none.  When I see a Tesla I admire the styling, think of how the driver must feel in such an upscale vehicle that is rare around here and then think how I am glad they own it and not me.
 
I will never own an electric vehicle just for styling or status.  In fact if I live long enough I plan on skipping the battery electric vehicle cycle and hope to buy a fuel cell vehicle when perfected.
The one entertainment device I am glad I never bought was the HUGE video disc players when they first came out.  I will skip battery electric cars and wait for more practical technology.
 
Glenn W.
Glenn,

Thanks for your feedback. I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait a while for a FCEV, unless you figure out how to make hydrogen in your garage!

John McElroy
2-8-2019


Hi John, just watched your showjust watched your show which was great as always. I had a few thoughts on several of the topics. First on the pot hole issue, the problem there is the formula to distribute the money. Right now any additional money raised must be distributed state wide based on an existing formula. So the last increase was a windfall for out state counties and little made it to the metro area where it is needed. 
Here is my take on ice vs. hybrid vs. phev vs. bev. I had thought that phev was the way to go but I now agree with you and GM that the cost is too high and who wants to plug in for 30 miles. As for the hybrids I think they are a good value for what you get. Start with a basic ICE and add turbo, direct injection, variable timing, cylinder deactivation and 10 speed trans and you’ve added quite a bit of cost. However take that basic ICE running the Atkins cycle and add a couple motors with an eCVT and you get better performance and efficiency/mileage then the “ecoboost” high tech ICE. BEV’s will grab hold when the car companies start designing them from the tires up as a BEV like Tesla did. The problem with the Leaf and Bolt is they are models that few want even with an ICE. If Tesla redesigned the Model X with cost in mind to bring the cost down I think it would sell better. Ford is now shipping 90% of the Fusions as hybrids. They can’t be losing too much money on them. Look at VW’s approach, they are going to build BEV’s on a dedicated architecture. Take what was highlighted in one of your shows about Nissan, they dropped the V6 engine to simplify and reduce weight. To design a chassis to except either a ICE or BEV is to compromise both. I would make my first BEV a CUV which is the hottest market segment. I think if Elon had taken the Model 3 concept to Ford to build in partnership where Ford was responsible for the body and Tesla did the electronics and motor it would of been delivered on time and at a lower cost.



Len E.
Len,

Good feedback, thanks for sending.

But one correction. Fusion hybrids account for 35% of Fusion sales, which is still a pretty good number.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


John::
 
This article sums up my concerns with GM and others maybe putting too much emphasis on electrics:
 
40% drop in range in cold weather and 20% drop in hot weather and Li batteries lose charge in the cold if the vehicle sits outside in the Winter.  Electrics may be great in moderate climates such as California and they are being mandated in other countries such as China and Europe but not good in Michigan unless as a 2nd vehicle.
 
GM needs to still focus on traditional reciprocating gas engines and hybrids at least for the next 15 to 20 years.  They now have switched to spending 70% R& D on electrics and only 30% on traditional engines.  I also don't like that they went to a lot of turbos, yes these get more power out of smaller engines and are OK for sporty mid to smallish sedans but there are added complexity and durability concerns and I don't see these really getting significantly better mileage like the Equinoxes my family drives.
 
I also see GM wants to spin off Cruise, I think GM management may be finally realizing the high cost of developing Autonomous vehicles and it will be many years before fully Autonomous vehicles become profitable.
 
Autonomous vehicles for now just a money pit for GM and others.
 
Rob A.
Rob,

Thanks for your letter, we appreciate getting your feedback.

Two things to consider:

1. Most EV owners charge their cars overnight at home. So they leave the house every morning with a “full tank.” That helps mitigate reduced range in cold and hot weather.
2. GM is not looking to spin off Cruise because it’s a money pit. It’s looking at doing an IPO that will rake in a fortune for GM, which is Cruise’s largest shareholder.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


John,
 
My cousin asked me if I was aware of a fire problem with BMWs.
 
Have you heard anything?
 
ABC appears to be the main outlet hyping it in the last day or so and they are doing really shoddy reporting.
 
Previously, there were issues with diesel BMWs.
 
The recent ABC hype does not address the obvious diesel v. gasoline question.
 
Will
 
New Haven, Connecticut
Will,

There are 476 fires every day in the US involving cars, trucks and busses. So it’s actually a fairly common occurrence. That’s not to say BMW doesn’t have a problem.

But be careful with ABC’s reporting on anything to do with automotive safety, they regale in it. And don’t be taken in by them citing the Center for Automotive Safety as a source. The Center is little more than a front for the plaintiff’s bar. It literally sells “how-to kits” to lawyers on how to sue automakers.

Fear of litigation has definitely forced automakers to improve safety. But our automotive safety is no better than Europe’s, which does not have anywhere near the level of litigation that we do.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


John:
 
Not to bring up an old term from the past but GM is using the old "whip sawing" tactic with both Unifor and the UAW as both  CAMMI & Lordstown have "sister" plants in Mexico that make the Cruze and Equinox/Terrain..
 
Unions dont have much leverage either when the vehicles they make at these plant are not selling too well.
 
With just in time production these days the UAW and Unifor can strike some of the parts plants and cause problems which I think Unifor just did a week or two ago in Canada.
 
I wish Unifor & UAW would finally be able to work together with these companies to keep jobs here in the MidWest but I guess we are not entirely there yet.  Stuff like the FCA  UAW training funds getting stolen does not help this.
 
One of my colleagues said that we will find out in 3 years if what GM is doing is either brilliant or suicidal.
 
I would rather fish with more lines in the water, continue to make traditional vehicles and gas engines certainly doing more refresh than redesigns and GM needs to be careful with all the money they are sinking into Autonomous and Electric Vehicles.
 
I did hear Valeo is putting effort into HVAC for electric vehicles since heating & cooling passengers will reduce battery range..not to mention LIthium batteries like my cell phone battery loses a lot of charge when left outside in the car when it is cold.
 
One more thing I wanted to mention is that it is "Deja Vu All Over Again!" with ride sharing companies like Maven and Lyft and Uber.
 
Remember when both GM and Ford both owned rental car companies I think Hertz for Ford and Avis or National for GM?   I thought it was a great way for both GM and Ford to make money on rentals and move iron.   They unfortunately made some mistakes like push some really cheesy cars & they needed to keep the cars maintained so they did not put their best foot forward and of course going back to my earlier monkey see monkey do statement they followed each other both buying rental car companies and selling them.
 
Exciting times in the Auto industry, hard to believe the Camry  I think has the most US American parts content.... new Ranger pickup just in time to saturate the mid size pickup market.
 
Bob A.
2-8-2019


When I look at the logo on the front of the Wuling Baujun 530, I see the old Chrysler Eagle logo, but looking the other direction.
 
Neil G
I dunno. One’s a horse, the other’s an eagle.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


John and Sean,
 
This is sort of related to a recent unsigned viewermail letter about noise.  Do you know if the "performance exhaust" available on C7 Corvettes, and some other recent performance cars, is even DOT legal on public roads in the "loud" mode?  If it is, it shouldn't be.  To me, the standard Corvette exhaust is fine.  It's loud enough to sound good when you get on it, but quiet enough that you barely hear the exhaust at steady speed, which is how I like it.  As a result, I ordered my 2016 'Vette without the noisy exhaust option.
 
Anyway, I find the optional Corvette exhaust to be obnoxiously loud in the "loud mode," and wonder about its legality on the street.
 
Thanks for any info you may have.
  
Kit Gerhart
Kit,

Good question, we’ll have to look into it.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


Hi John,
 
I’ve been asked to write a short article on Rick Haas for the the University of Michigan website that showcases the university’s engagement with the city of Detroit, and I could use your help. Would you be willing to give me a quote with your view on the significance or impact of Mahindra’s tech/engineering operation in Southeast Michigan? How significant is their growth? Is the industry taking notice? Is the India-outsourcing-to-the-US unique, to your knowledge? 
 
I want to characterize them accurately, and your expertise will keep me between the guard rails. Thanks in advance.
 
Best,
Dave Wilkins
Dave,

The fact that Mahindra set up a design and engineering center, as well as manufacturing in southeast Michigan speaks volumes about the technical capabilities and talent that the metro Detroit area offers. That center even designed a minivan that will not be sold in the North American market. Clearly, Mahindra decided it was better to do that work in Detroit than with its own engineers in India, or anywhere else in the world.

But Mahindra is not the only foreign automaker to recognize the opportunities that metro Detroit offers. Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai-Kia and Volkswagen-Audi have engineering campuses in the region. Several other automakers including Mercedes, Subaru, Mazda, Lotus, Isuzu, Changan, and Guangzhou, also have engineering labs and offices in the area. Many Tier 1 suppliers, from Europe, Latin America, Japan, Korea and China have significant engineering and business centers in the metro region as well.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
2-8-2019


Some time ago, you mentioned recycling Li-Ion batteries and thought this might be of interest. Dagogo Altraide does a good job on putting together YouTube presentations and thought this one might be of interest to you.
 
Ruby now is at 17,500 miles and everything is doing fine. Love driving her as much as ever. Took her to Evannex in Dearfield yesterday for a Tesla "Cars and Coffee" event. Last year there were 4 Teslas and this year the number increased to 166. I went to meet a few of the YouTubers including Trevor Page from Model 3 Owners Club in Toronto. Podcast Partners Eric and Ian were also there. 
 
I was also interested in getting information on special protective coatings. There were a bunch of examples of coated cars to see first hand.
 
Instead of including my photos, here is a link with photos better than mine and with discussion. 
 
By the way, stopped by the Delay Beach Supercharger station on the way home and there were only about 5 cars charging of the about 20 total available. Had a Taco in the Delray Beach Marketplace (took about 30 minutes) and returned to Sebring. 
 
Best Regards, Frank
Frank,

Thanks for sending these links, especially for recycling of EV batteries. But what this video shows is that this EV battery recycling is still in the research phase and most batteries are going to the landfill. Ironically, that’s not true of lead acid batteries, which are almost 100% recycled, because there is market demand for the lead, which is cheap and easy to extract.

Market demand will be a huge factor in the success of recycling EV batteries. Even if this research is successful it doesn’t guarantee EV batteries will be recycled unless there is enough market demand for the raw materials that result from the process.

Today we have the technical know-how to recycle the plastics used in cars. But almost none of it is recycled because virgin plastic is substantially cheaper. And none of the glass in cars gets recycled, despite decades of research trying to find a solution. Glass is not recycled because of plastic laminates, tinting and defrosting materials embedded in the glass.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


John:
 
I never thought this would happen, but I wonder how soon GM's US market share around 17% will drop below that of FCA which is near 13.5%.  GM had over 48% share in 1962 and it keeps dropping.
 
GM ditching rather than doing low cost refresh (like FCA with Challenger/Charger/300) on its car lines I feel is a big mistake.  For example, take a look at the dated front of the Impala.  It looks like the front of the Chevy Traverse from 2014!
 
I don't think GM has thought through the simple fact that lower market share means less revenue.
 
GM management also thinks they can keep raising prices (new vehicle and leases) on all of their vehicles to maintain margins.
 
That wont fly either in today's tougher sales environment, especially if they don't update their products!
 
Yes, another sad chapter in GM's history.  Stay tuned, there will unfortunately be more plant closings to come.
 
Rob A.
GM finished last year with 17.1% share, versus 12.9% for FCA. Toyota (14.1%) is more likely to catch GM than FCA, but your point is well taken. FCA has done a brilliant job with the old Charger/Challenger/300 which, by the way, get a major refresh later this year.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


I saw a thought-provoking piece in this morning's Free Press, John.  It was an opinion piece by Brian Dickerson, and evaluated a road fix proposal advanced by former Michigan politicos Messrs. Emerson and Sikkema, calling for a gradual fuel tax increase.  The idea of using a larger fuel tax as the basis for funding road repair in our state struck me as both sound and fair this morning, as it has all along.
 
What's your view of the proposed solution?

Mike
Taxing fuel will be a loser in the long term. The United States now uses 1/3 less gasoline than it did 20 years ago thanks to fuel efficiency improvements in cars and trucks. Electric cars are going to accelerate that trend, and they don’t pay any fuel tax at all. Ride sharing will also have a big impact. So fuel taxes will have to go up continuously as we use less and less gasoline and diesel. Getting the public to go along with a fuel tax increase is almost impossible, which is why we’re so underfunded today.

The long term solution is a tax on every mile driven by a vehicle. There will be more miles driven in the future and so the more the roads are used, the more funding they’ll generate.

In the short term, Michigan should devote every penny from the sales tax on gasoline to improving roads and bridges. Right now that 6% sales tax on gas mainly goes to schools. Our schools are also underfunded but I believe it will be a lot easier to raise taxes to improve schools than it will be to raise the tax on gasoline.

John McElroy
2-8-2019


An interesting read.  I have no idea if he knows what He’s talking about.
 
jd

Interesting Take on Electric Cars



"As an engineer I love the electric vehicle technology.  However, I
have been troubled for a longtime by the fact that the electrical
energy to keep the batteries charged has to come from the grid and
that means more power generation and a huge increase in the
distribution infrastructure  Whether generated from coal, gas, oil,
wind or sun, installed generation capacity is limited.  A friend sent
me the following that says it very well. You should all take a look
at this short article.

IF ELECTRIC CARS DO NOT USE GASOLINE, THEY WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN
PAYING A GASOLINE TAX ON EVERY GALLON THAT IS SOLD FOR AUTOMOBILES,
WHICH WAS ENACTED SOME YEARS AGO TO HELP TO MAINTAIN OUR ROADS  AND
BRIDGES. THEY WILL USE THE ROADS, BUT WILL NOT PAY FOR THEIR
MAINTENANCE!
In case you were thinking of buying hybrid or an electric car:

Ever since the advent of electric cars, the REAL cost per mile of
those things has never been discussed. All you ever heard was the mpg
in terms of gasoline, with nary a mention of the cost of electricity
to run it . This is the first article I've ever seen and tells the
story pretty much as I expected it to.

Electricity has to be one of the least efficient ways to power things
yet they're being shoved down our throats.  Glad somebody finally put
engineering and math to paper.

At a neighborhood BBQ I was talking to a neighbor, a BC Hydro
Executive.  I asked him how that renewable thing was doing.  He laughed, then got serious.
 
If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, he pointed out, you
had to face certain realities.  For example, a home charging system
for a Tesla requires 75 amp service.  The average house is equipped
with 100 amp service.  On our small street (approximately 25 homes),
The electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three
houses with a single Tesla, each.  For even half the homes to have
electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded.

This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles.  Our
residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius
elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged
to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems
with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have
to renovate our entire delivery system!   This latter "investment"
will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead end road that
it will be presented with an 'OOPS...!' and a shrug.

If you want to argue with a green person over cars that are
eco-friendly, just read the following.  Note: If you ARE a green
person, read it anyway.  It's enlightening.

Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors and
he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted
only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.
"Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran
on the battery.  So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the
16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.

It will take you 4.5 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph.  Then add 10
hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5
hours.  In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging
Time) would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of
electricity.  It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.
The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned ,
so I looked up what I pay for electricity.

I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16
per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.
$18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the
Volt using the battery.  Compare this to a similar size car with a
gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg.  $3.19 per gallon divided by 32
Mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car costs about $25,000 while the Volt costs
$46,000 plus.  So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to
do the math, but simply pay twice as much for a car, that costs
more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to
drive across the country."
JD,

This stupid urban legend has been making the rounds for several years. Did you notice no one signed their name to this?

Does who-ever-this-is live on Mars? He says he pays $1.16 per kwh. Really? Here in Michigan I pay 13 cents per kwh at home and 11 cents per kwh at work, and that includes everything: electricity, delivery charges and taxes. Check your own electric bill, I’ll bet it’s very similar.

So when he claims it costs him $18.56 to charge the battery in a Volt, the real cost is more like $2.08. He says the Volt only got 25 miles range, but it’s rated at 53 and I know owners who get that (at least in warm weather). So the cost per mile is more like 4 cents, not the 74 cents cited.

Also his recharging times cited are with 110-volt outlets. Most EV owners have put 240 v chargers in their garages which cut the time by more than half, and while travelling they have access in many locations to Level III (440 v) that charge far faster.

This is just an anti-EV screed that was probably planted by the Russians to make the US government look bad. None of it is true.

John McElroy
1-30-2019


I enjoyed today’s show with Volvo featured and their plans for electric cars.
 
It occurs to me with all the rush to develop electric cars by all the major car manufacturers an important component is not being addressed. Where is the source of all the electrical energy to power all these vehicles’? The power grid will not support a major influx of vehicles’ without major infrastructure construction. It has been years since a new power plant was constructed and if started tomorrow would probably take 10-15 years before a kW was generated.
 
How about a show discussing this topic?
 
Scott
Scott,

We’ve actually covered this before. The electric utilities say they can handle millions of electric cars with the grid as it is.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
1-30-2019


Hi John,
 
I heard your article on WWJ 950 on why so many people don't get a motorcycle even though they want to. I fall into this category, I am 64 retired have had ten motorcycles and my wife gets livid when I even look at one. As much as I love motorcycling I too am aware of the risks but anything fun comes with risk but distracted driving has raised the (uncontrollable) risk level to stop my purchase. I think the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has a very important role to play here that in till now has ignored. If the AMA wants to expand its sport they should go after distracted driving with the same gusto that MAD went after drunk driving and get strict distracted laws passed. I am on the roads everyday and see distracted driving constantly and feel this is a much bigger issue for autos and motorcycles than alcohol or pot and we should have laws with equal severity. The AMA knows the ropes here with its success weakening the helmet laws, With the future of motorcycling on the line they should take no prisoners. While we are at it we need to get rid of post and cable guardrails used on expressways or as I refer to them as cheese-grader guardrails which comes to mind if you hit one on a motorcycle.
 
Thanks Mike
Mike,

Great feedback, especially your points about the AMA and post-and-cable guardrails!

Driver distraction is a dead serious issue.

John McElroy
1-30-2019


Having grown up a few miles away form the GM tech center, I have always rooted for GM. However, it seems like the company almost never quite gets the right things right.  For example, the new Chevy pickup is good, but not good enough.  It’s the company bread winner and should receive GM’s greatest efforts.  I’m afraid Ram is going to eat Chevy’s lunch, because the people at Ram sought to delight customers with more cohesive style and a great new interior with top level materials.  Chevy’s style is “Meh,” and the dashboard is a warmed over version of the previous model.  Ram’s increasing market share indicates they are on the right track.  Mileage is very close as is the price, so it boils down to decisions during design.  It can also be said of the new Cadillac CT6; the auto press seems underwhelmed.  Why can’t GM hit a home run or even a triple?



Doug
Doug,

I agree. GM’s recent designs are competent, but not scintillating. The new Cadillac XT6 is underwhelming. It’s almost as if they’re playing it safe, instead of playing to win.

John McElroy
1-30-2019


To whom it may concern,
     
I'm writing to bring your attention to a growing trend created by the automotive (and motorcycle)
industries. That of increasing noise pollution in our quiet communities due to "exhaust note". All Americans
deserve quiet, safe, and sane neighborhoods, our urban environments are noisy enough without inconsiderate
vehicle owners going out of their way to make it noisier in worship of their vehicles and need for attention.
 
The recent marketing tactics of exhaust note, horsepower, and 0 to 60 times by the industry has created a car
culture of Americans who think more of their cars, and perceived freedom to modify their exhausts to get more
of an aggressive sound, than they do of the lives of their fellow Americans. Indeed, these days right off the
showroom floor many high performance vehicles come equipped with loud exhaust systems. Many of these vehicles
can't even be driven to their full potential unless by breaking the law. And many owners are happy to do so.
They blast through our communities showing off their horsepower, 0 to 60 times, and exhaust note. Companies
like Borla and Magnaflow prosper by making our communities noisier. And of course that is the bottom line,
profit. Never mind if these products destroy the quality of life of other Americans as long as one can profit.
 
I wrote "perceived freedom" because it is in fact against the law in many states to modify exhaust systems for
a louder vehicle. But law enforcement are too busy dealing with more pressing duties and it's too
difficult to do field tests on suspect vehicles. Would't it make more sense if the American people that are
addicted to and worship their cars be polite and police themselves? Why should civility, respect, and consideration be imposed by law enforcement in the greatest country on earth?Do we love our country in the sense that
we would set aside selfish behavior for the sake of others, or do we love our country because we can be
selfish and treat other Americans lives like they don't matter just as long as we can do whatever we want?
 
Thank you for your time and consideration in reading my communication.
1-30-2019


John and Sean,
 
Just finished watching Autoline This Week - Wards 10 Best Engines. During the show the topic of who had the most efficient electric car came up. The correct answer is the Hyundai Ioniq (136 combined), Tesla 3 Long Range (130 combined)m Hyundai Kona (120 combined), and Chevy Bolt (119 combined). Here is a link that will show the comparison.  
 
George
George, thanks for sending!

John McElroy
1-30-2019


Went to use my spare FOB that I keep in my garage to move my 2014 Dodge Journey to clean the snow.  The battery was dead on the FOB so the vehicle could not be started. There should be a key slot to use in cases like this like they have for the door. I will never by another vehicle that has a push button FOB start.  Also the car makers call them FOB's but when I leave the vehicle with the car running the message on the instrument panel states "The Key has Left The Vehicle", why?.  Very sad, I have been driving for over 60 years but these car makers have to much time on there hands to make something simple complicated not to mention expensive, it cost me over $200.00 for an extra FOB when I brought the car.  Dominick
Did you consult your owner’s manual or look for a YouTube video about how to solve this problem? There is a key hidden in the fob you can remove to unlock the driver’s door, and if you push the Start button with the fob the engine will start, even with a dead fob.

John McElroy
1-30-2019


It's to bad the Toyota Supra is under-powered and automatic only. How can Mr.Toyoda say it's a sports car without rowing the gears?
1-18-2019


Hi John, I watched the Sandy Munro's Tesla Deep Dive After Hours and it was difficult to stay attentive throughout the show.  It seemed to me that Sandy was a bit agitated with the American Auto Manufacturers that they have a ton of BS engineers, but they are just not as good as Tesla's.  I can say that GM has engineers looking into the best solutions for electric propulsion and that their designs will be turning heads with great reliability durability and efficiency in the new vehicles they are working on.  It almost appears that you all have drank the kool aid and are now in lock step with Tesla. I guess that all car companies should close up shop because there is no better company than Tesla.  I also wonder why Autoline did not cover the battery fire on a Model S that happened on December 19.  When a GM Volt caught on fire, a month later after a crash test, the government made GM recall and fix all Volts for this problem.  That news was fully reported.  I guess that it is OK to let customers do the testing of vehicles for Tesla, and if someone looses their life while driving in autopilot well that was the drivers fault for not following directions.  I cannot defend companies like GM for their bone headed moves that turn the public against them, but they still design and build great cars that stand the test of time.  The same is true for Ford and FCA.  I would like to know how some of Sandy's people loved the Model 3 so much they went out and purchased one of their own.  I thought that you had to put down a $1000 deposit and then wait a year or longer before you get your car.  What is going to happen to the money people put down for a $30,000 Model 3?  We all know that these cars will never be built.  The big problem with sales of the Bolt is the bow tie on the grill.  Just about every review I have seen on the Bolt is that it is a very good car.  By the way, the report you had the other day on Nisan testing paint using a weatherometer was a good one only that GM has been doing this since the 70s.    Oh well, keep it coming, I still watch everyday.
We agree with you that GM makes superb cars and trucks. But when it comes to electrics nobody is even close to Tesla. As much as I like the Bolt, the Model 3 is a more interesting car. Having said that, the Bolt’s I drove have cost about $40,000, while the Model 3’s I’ve driven were about $50,000, so they should be nicer.

You no longer have to wait a year to get a Tesla. Some people are now getting theirs in weeks. And we will probably see Tesla Model 3’s priced under $40,000 sometime this year.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
1-18-2019


John, having David Welch on the program with Sandy Munro was perfect. With Sandy coverning the mechanical side and David bring the financial expertise  they were a perfect match.

Chuck Genrich
Thanks Chuck, we agree. David adds a lot to the discussion and that’s why we asked him to join us for that show with Sandy.

John McElroy
1-18-2019


John:
 
Yes, assuming GM is killing the Cruze completely, closing both plants in Ohio and Mexico is yet another GM poor decision.
 
GM could have made the station wagon Cruze and brought back a sporty Cruze to goose sales.  They did make a diesel Cruze that was a nice effort but too expensive so with low gas prices and VW DieselGate it never gained traction.
 
That new Regal station wagon looks great, but the dealers do not seem to be promoting it much and it is very expensive, dealers seem to be only pushing pickups and SUVs.  Don't understand why GM is purposely not promoting their cars including Impala.  I guess GM wants to squeeze a few more bucks out of their customers.
 
GM continues to stumble rather than being aggressive with better marketing and pricing instead they go the Hare Kari route and fall on their sword again giving up more market share.
 
I have been in the Auto Industry for almost 40 years and the Cruze is by far the best small car GM has ever made.
 
So Sad.
 
Rob 
1-18-2019


Dear Mr. JOHN MCELROY :   Hi there, how are you?   First, please let me say how Shocked, Stunned, Honored and Humbled I was to actually receive and email from a great, famous, and important auto journalist like you!!!!  I tried to send you a reply yesterday, but I don't know if the DAMN thing went through!!! (I am pretty much computer illiterate, and can't even spell Lincoln!!!,)    Anyway, I was so very pleased you found it amusing, because I was afraid you might be insulted, and I certainly didn't mean it that way!!!  OF COURSE!!! I watched your show yesterday with Mr. Sandy Munro, and it was a GREAT SHOW!!!  WHAT A GREAT WAY TO KICK OFF "AFTER HOURS " FOR 2019!!!  THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR DEVOTING YOUR WHOLE SHOW TO HIM!!!!  INTERESTING, FASCINATING, INTELLIGENT, DOWN TO EARTH, PLAINSPEAKING, SHOOT FROM THE HIP GUY!!!   I look forward to seeing him again on future shows!!!

Chas
1-4-2019


Much more detail on the Volvo ozone conversion radiator coating story.  
I thought this was interesting at the time and then never heard much
more about it.

Turns out there is more to the story.  Still, . . . not sure why all
automakers aren't using this today.  In climate improvement, every
little bit helps!

GM Veteran
GM Veteran,

As the story says, the Premair catalyst/radiator added cost with not a lot of benefit. If it was truly a cheap solution to reducing pollution all automakers would be doing it.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
1-4-2019


John, Gary,
 
Great show to kick the year off. Important to listen to to the mics go dead. 
 
The Chinese are coming as Sandy said, but President Xi has hobbled innovation by having the Chinese Communist Party look over everybody's shoulder via the web. Why take risks when they could land you in gaol for life.
 
Best discussion of Tesla I've seen so far. Would love to see more of Sandy's insights into Tesla. In the meantime, American ingenuity is expressed via Youtuber 'Rich Rebuilds' - learn a lot about Teslas from his vids. Rich has another defining American quality that is a key to success - optimism in the face of adversity and bureaucracy, while not being full of yourself. I bet he is a guest on your show one day.
 
Regards
Peter
Peter,

Thanks for your feedback once again. We’ll see if we can track down this Rich fellow.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
1-4-2019


Autoline,
 
The episode #477 was a brilliant discussion and greatly appreciated having Sandy on the show again. I have only one comment, Tesla Super Chargers... I do not see how any manufacture from the Big 3 or Germany will hinder Tesla sales until there is a national charging network that can support them.
 
Taycan and e-tron are great cars but if you had one today, try to drive it from Detroit to LA. 

Best Regards,
 
Kyle
Kyle,

You’re absolutely right, Tesla has a major charging advantage right now. But in 3-4 years this will probably change.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
1-4-2019


DEAR MR. JOHN MCELROY: HOW ARE YOU? HOW ARE YOUR BOYS, SHAMUS+AMOS?(OPPS! SEAN!!)  HOPE YOUR HOLIDAYS WENT WELL!!  RESPECTS AND CONDOLENCES OF YOUR LOSING BATTLE WITH THE COMB-OVER(GARY'S AIN'T GOING ANY BETTER!!!).   I wanted to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU LET SEAN GIVE US ON DAILY, THAT SANDY MONROE WOULD BE YOUR FIRST GUEST ON AFTER HOURS NEW YEAR'S SHOW!!!  THAT GUY IS ONE INTERESTING AND FASCINATING SON ON A GUN!!!  HOPE HE'S ON THE WHOLE HOUR!!!  I GUARRANTEE YOU I WILL NOT MISS THAT SHOW!!!! Also, liked your interview with the Lincholn Lady, Joy Falotico.  Two things that bothered me though 1) while I love Jean Jennings and Paul Brian(gotta admit I love Lauren Fix a little more than Paul!!) was he wearing flesh-colored panty hose or no sox??  Sonny Cricket he ain't!!!  2) I know you must of had a lot more questions for Joy and did have to "share" her with your panel, but I assume your getting mail from every truck nut in the country who's HEAD EXPLODED when they heard the hybrid Aviators's gonna have 600 lb/ft. of torque!!!  I'm sure they're all begging you to find out at the Detroit Car Show how long it will take for this powertrain to "trickle down" to the Navigator, Expedition, but ESPECIALLY the pick-up trucks!!!   I'm guessing it will be exclusive to the Aviator for 1 year, then the big SUV's, then the Raptor before the mainstream trucks, but I think that will be one THE MAJOR STORIES FROM THE DETROIT 2019 AUTO SHOW!!!!  THANK SO MUCH FOR ALLOWING MY COMMENTS TO REACH YOUR SITE!!!   CHAS, Plainville, Ct.(yeah, just as boring as it sounds,sorry Mr Musk!!!)
Chas,

Thanks for your letter, I really got a good laugh from it. Time for me to see a hair stylist!

You’ve got good instincts about that hybrid powertrain making its way to the F-series. Let’s see if they uses NAIAS to make the announcement or keep their powder dry for another day.

John McElroy
12-21-2018


Let's face it the dealership model is broken, on both ends, and it's about time that this antiquated model of getting cars to people is put out of its misery.
Of course it won't go without kicking and screaming. They are deeply dug in politically. Just look at Texas, all the branch water & whiskey, cigar smoking, good ole' boys, that call
the shots, but even they will eventually succumb to a superior model, which is direct sales, as in Tesla, who were  virtually forced into, what will turn out to be, the new paradigm for selling cars.
You guys joke about the big rings and watches, salesmen, but then have them on your show to talk about the direction of car sales in the future, as inside experts.
 
Having car salespeople on the show is like going to talk the buggy whip manufacturers and asking them about the new fangled horseless carriages that are all the rage.
Bottom line: Dealers have  few defenders and no defense.
Merry Christmas.
I guess it's ok to say that again, though I never stopped saying it in the first place.


Little Bob
Little Bob,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’ll publish your letter in the Viewer Mail section of our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.
12-21-2018


John,
How does it make sense to stop Cruze production?  Weren’t sales still above 100k per year?
Meanwhile, GM is still buying back stock at a time it is laying off employee to save money.
Is this just a pre-emptive move to gain a stronger position before the next UAW negotiations?   How does this make sense in the big picture ?
 
“The scope of the stock buybacks dwarfs the estimated $5 billion, GM expects to save with its plans to close manufacturing plants in North America, critics have noted.”
 
Dave 
Cruze sales will probably be around 150,000 this year, down 20%. But you only need one shift to make that, and the Lordstown plant can’t be profitable on one shift—not selling entry level cars, that is.

GM stock stinks, and buybacks are considered a way to return shareholder value, theoretically boosting the share price over time. I don’t agree with this approach, but that’s the theory. GM could possibly face a hostile take-over if it didn’t do this.

No question GM’s move will give it enormous bargaining power against the UAW in next year’s contract negotiations. But that’s not why it’s making these moves.

GM needs about 12 assembly plants to make all the vehicles it sells in North America. It has 17 plants. Three of those 17 assembly plants are now “unallocated.” Clearly there’s room for two more to go on the chopping block.

Buckle up, this is just the first indication of the massive disruption about to hit the auto industry. Ford will drop the next bombshell.

John McElroy, President
Blue Sky Productions, Inc.

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