0:29 Honda Insight Details
1:22 Mid-Size Pickup Sales Soar
2:32 Cars and Cognac
3:18 Audi Uses Video Game to Train Dealer Employees
4:02 Ford Adds Street Smarts to Bicycle Jackets
5:04 New Build Process Needed for AVs
On today’s show…mid-size pick-ups are the hottest segment in the U.S. market…Ford creates a smart jacket for bicyclists…and making autonomous cars means a whole new build process. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
HONDA INSIGHT DETAILS
Honda wants electrified vehicles to make up two-thirds of its global sales by 2030 and the soon-to-be-released Insight hybrid will help. It’s based on the Civic, but only shares the roof and rear quarter panels. It actually looks more like a baby Accord. One thing that stands out is all the surface treatment to the body panels, which helps give movement to the design. Power comes from Honda’s two-motor drive unit, which is paired to a 1.5L Atkinson cycle engine. It puts out over 150-horsepower and nearly 200 lb-ft of torque. It’s rated up to 52 miles-to-the-gallon combined and we were able to get over 51 MPG in mixed driving with the AC blasting. We’ll be able to report on our driving impressions, pricing and on-sale date next week.
MID-SIZE PICKUP SALES SOAR
Sales of smaller pickups are outpacing the rest of the car market so far this year. While the overall market is up about 1%, the midsize pickup segment is up nearly 20%. We’re talking about trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline. They’re all up by double digits except for the Honda Ridgeline, whose sales have plummeted 22% from a year ago. Next year Ford and Jeep are coming out with smaller pickups. So, we’ll have to see if that expands the segment, or just slices it up thinner. But right now, mid-size pickups represent the hottest segment in the market.
|U.S. MID-SIZE PICKUP SALES, JAN-MAY 2018|
Still to come…Rolls-Royce puts a new spin on “Cars and Coffee.”
CARS AND COGNAC
No doubt you’re familiar with “Cars & Coffee” events where automotive enthusiasts get together on Saturday mornings. Well Rolls-Royce just hosted what it calls “Cars and Cognac” at the Soho Farmhouse in the UK. The event was attended by Rolls-Royce owners, who enjoyed a night of fine dining in a room adorned with all things Rolls-Royce. During the event, Rolls’ Spirit of Ecstasy watched over patrons as they were taught by a Cognac sommelier or expert, on how to best enjoy the tasting of fine liquors. At the end of the night, this “eminent group of individuals”, were either chauffeured home or stayed at the Farmhouse. Somehow or other our invitation must have been lost in the mail.
AUDI USES VIDEO GAME TO TRAIN DEALER EMPLOYEES
Everyone loves getting a new car but they hate the dealership experience to buy one. So to make the process more pleasant, Audi is training its service and dealership employees in Germany with a digital game to help them improve customer interaction. The employees use an avatar to move around a 3D world and are able to communicate with virtual customers or colleagues. They’re also encouraged to try different strategies to find out what works best and learn from their mistakes. They can also track their progress with other dealership colleagues. This is a supplement to standard training but anything that can make the dealer experience more enjoyable is welcome.
FORD ADDS STREET SMARTS TO BICYCLE JACKETS
Ford’s Smart Mobility Innovation office in London just developed a smart jacket for cyclists. The jacket has turn signals, brake lights, a smart phone pouch and haptic vibrations for integrated navigation. The navigation system sends riders onto bicycle-friendly routes rather than busy roads. Ford’s “Share the Road” campaign ties in with the smart jacket, as the company aims to increase harmony between cyclists and motorists. Right now, the jacket is still a prototype and Ford is in the process of securing a patent for it.
Building autonomous vehicles is going to be a lot different than manufacturing traditional cars, and we’ll take a look into that, right after this.
NEW BUILD PROCESS NEEDED FOR AVs
Autonomous vehicles will completely transform the auto industry but one area it will impact that isn’t discussed as much, is manufacturing. Automakers will need to change the production process for self-driving cars. On Autoline This Week, we’re joined by Abe Vadhavkar, from the Center for Automotive Research and he talked about how build process will be different.
(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
You can watch that entire discussion right now on our website, Autoline.tv or you can find it on our YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.