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0:07 Toyota Won’t Make Corolla’s in Alabama
0:35 VW Beetle Production Ends
0:53 Diesel Sales Continue to Climb
2:25 Bentley EXP 100 GT
4:23 Acura to Give MDX & TLX the NSX Treatment
5:51 Barn Find Revealed
6:40 Thieves Hit Daimler’s Car2Go in Chicago
7:32 Make Money Getting People to Fix Takata Airbags
This is Autoline Daily reporting on the global automotive industry.
TOYOTA WON’T MAKE COROLLAS IN ALABAMA
As we mentioned in yesterday’s show, passenger car sales continue to plummet in the U.S. So now Toyota is scrapping plans to build Corollas at a new plant it’s building in Alabama. Instead, it will make a new, yet-to-be announced SUV at the facility, which is scheduled to open in 2021. Toyota will continue building the Corolla at its plant in Mississippi. Corolla sales are down nearly 5% in the first half of the year.
VW BEETLE PRODUCTION ENDS
And Volkswagen is doing the same thing. It just built the last Beetle at its plant in Puebla, Mexico yesterday. And now it’s going to build a new compact crossover called the Tarek, beginning in 2020. It’s a modified version of a model it sells in China called the Tharu.
DIESEL SALES CONTINUE TO CLIMB
Sales of diesel engines continue to climb in the U.S. market, but only in pickup trucks and commercial vans. Automakers sold over 280,000 vehicles with diesel engines in the first half of the year, up 7% from a year ago, while the overall market was down 2%. Ram does the best job of selling diesels despite an embarrassing recall involving accusations of cheating on emission regulations. About one in four Rams sold has a diesel engine. Ford actually sells more diesels in its F-Series, but has a lower take-rate than Ram. The Silverado has the lowest take rate while GMC is second only to Ram. These diesel engines are extremely profitable for automakers. They charge anywhere from $6,000 to over $9,000 for them.
|U.S. LD Diesel Trucks H1, 2019|
Be sure to tune into Autoline After Hours this afternoon. Our special guest is Paul Eichenberg, a strategist on electrification, autonomy, connectivity and mobility. Join John and Gary and Joe White from Reuters for some of the best insights as to where this auto industry is headed. That’s 3pm eastern time on Autoline.tv.
BENTLEY EXP 100 GT
Bentley gave itself a pretty sweet 100th birthday present: a wild-looking all-electric car that is its vision of a future Grand Tourer. Despite only having two doors, the EXP 100 GT is a massive 19-feet long and nearly 8-feet wide. That allowed designers to give the car some very interesting proportions. The front overhang is nearly nonexistent while the rear has a long sloping tail. The front end is sure to be polarizing for some, but light that flows across the grille, through the Flying B hood ornament, down the hood and onto the cabin as you approach the car will sure draw your eye away from the design. Bentley believes future battery technology will offer five times the conventional energy density and says a car like this could have a 435-mile range and be recharged to 80% in 15-minutes. It also features 4 electric motors with a combined 1,110 lb-ft of torque, which rockets the car to 100 km/h in under 2.5-seconds. While the EXP 100 GT may seem like a far off concept, you may remember Bentley showed the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept in 2015 that later became the styling inspiration for the all-new Continental GT in 2018. So, we wouldn’t be surprised to see cues from the EXP 100 GT make it on upcoming Bentleys. The only thing we don’t like about this concept is the name: EXP. Anyone remember the Ford Escort EXP that was made in the 1980’s? You don’t remember? That’s good because it was kind of a forgettable car.
ACURA TO GIVE MDX & TLX THE NSX TREATMENT
Here’s some good news. Sales of the NSX are up 62% so far this year. Here’s the bad news. Acura only sold 151 of them. That means there’s plenty of extra extra manufacturing capacity at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio where the hybrid supercar is made. So the automaker decided to make versions of the MDX and TLX using the same hand-built process and quality control checks as the NSX. A body-in-white is first pulled off the manufacturing line at the main plant and sent to the the NSX plant. Then technicians install the interior, drivetrain, suspension, wiring harnesses, and electronics. The TLX PMC Edition will be the first to launch and combines options from the A-Spec and Advance Packages, which normally can’t be done. It also features an NSX-exclusive red paint color. Only 360 of the TLX will be made and will cost just under $51,000, which is not too bad considering a fully loaded TLX already approaches the $50,000 threshold.
YES! THAT’S A BUICK
Yesterday we showed you these photos of an old car that an Autoline viewer saw while walking around the city of Riga in Latvia. In fact we got a response from Edgars Kronbergs who said, “Hey, I’m from Riga, and I’ve seen that very car. Can’t wait to find out what it is.” So we asked you and a number of you got it right. Steve W, MERKUR DRIVER, dbcrn859, and dlwatib all correctly identified this as a Buick, specifically a 1940 Buick Special. The give away was the badge on the trunk. Even though there are pieces missing from it, there’s enough there that we could match it up with Buick badges from that time.
THIEVES REINVENT MEANING OF CAR SHARING
Car sharing is a convenient way to rent a car for a short period of time but it’s also apparently a good way to steal a car or in this case dozens of cars. Back in April, thieves stole about 75 Mercedes CLA and GLAs from Daimler’s Car2Go car sharing service in Chicago. According to Bloomberg, when employees tried to retrieve the vehicles, the thieves claimed them as their own. Car2Go eventually had to suspend service in Chicago and get help from the police to retrieve the vehicles. All were eventually recovered but some had been stripped of doors, seats and other parts. But the vehicles were mostly used for joyrides, some of which were posted on social media. And this just shows how vulnerable car sharing can be.
MAKE MONEY GETTING PEOPLE TO FIX TAKATA AIRBAGS
Automakers are pulling their hair out trying to get owners to replace the defective Takata airbags in their cars. They sent them letters and postcards and emails, made phone calls and even went knocking on doors. But 15 million cars still need fixing, even though the fix is for free. So a company called Carma is working with Toyota and using social media to get people to fix their car. Even you can do it. You download Carma’s app, and you post messages on social media with a special link about the recall. If someone uses your link and gets their Takata airbag replaced, you get $55. You can post as often as you want to try and make as much money as you can and you can find the app at carmaprojecct.com.
That brings us to the end of today’s report, thanks for watching. And don’t forget to go get your free Slurpee today.
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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.