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

1-10-2017


I took my car in for service and a recall  and these unethical people put somebody else old used oil in my car , then lied and said my car was driving bad because of the RECALL program.
I want to share my story  in your publication and get some advice on how to settle  this problem.
They did this to a 2014 chevy spark. My question is did that dirty lifeless oil affect my engine?  PLEASE HAVE YOUR EXPERT ANSWER.  I watch your tv show here every Sunday in California. E-mail me the answer too.
 
Karen
Karen,

There is not enough information here for us to understand what the problem is. We suggest that you contact your zone manager to resolve any dispute with your dealership. You should be able to find the proper contact information for the zone manager in your owner’s manual. That info is typically at the back of the manual.

Good luck!
The Autoline team
1-10-2017


Hey John. I am a long time viewer and recently wondered if you know what it would take to get Autoline on the Velocity Channel. The longevity of Autoline is a testament to the quality of your programming.  I watch a good bit of programming on the Velocity Channel and the one thing that is missing is the kind of content you provide.  Have you considered trying to get Autoline on Velocity?
Carl,

Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll look into it!
1-10-2017


I caught John McElroys story about the new Continental as aired on WWJ.
 
Great report that needs one correction. Lincoln HAS been airing national TV Commercials about the Continental. They are winter themed. A little girl riding i think a train and the father is driving his Continental and there's snow falling.
 
Thanks.
Jonathon
Jon,

Are you sure you’re talking about the 2017 Continental? The reason I reported that Lincoln has not done any TV advertising yet is because that’s exactly what the people at Lincoln told me. They said we are just weeks away from their first TV ads airing. They have a big campaign with Mathew McConaughey coming.

John McElroy
1-10-2017


Hi John,
 
Congratulations from Newfoundland on show number 2000! I look forward to every episode.
In my opinion, GM or any other vehicle manufacturer should not be able to promote or sell EVs that loose significant range over time. The fact is, they are not cell phones or laptops.  People depend on their vehicles and if properly maintained, they should perform like new for their entire expected service life.  238 mile range reduced to 143 miles or even as low as 86 miles in colder climates? Now that’s ‘highway’ robbery!
Seriously! Would anyone buy a Honda Civic if the fine print stated that, in 8 years, it may only get 18.6 MPG or as low as 11.2 MPG in colder climates? I think not.
The regulators need to step in here. If the battery technology is not robust enough, then it’s not ready for those range claims.
 
Thanks,
Scott Furlong
1-10-2017


on your comments about the Lincoln MKS, MKZ, MKX vehicle names...i think they are actually acronyms for "Mark" or at least that's how it started out.
remember the "Mark 5,6,7,8" " the MK moniker on the car started out as an abbreviation for MARK, but everyone referred to it as MK and not MARK. 
what do you think?
 
Rob Michel
Mark,

You’re right. That’s what Lincoln said when came up with the “names” for its cars. The M harkens back to the “Mark” that it used on its coupes. Nonetheless, their names are a mishmash that even the people from Lincoln sometimes have a hard time keeping straight.

One of the reasons why the Lincoln Continental is now outselling the Cadillac CT6 is that everyone knows what a Continental is and no one knows what a CT6 is.
1-10-2017


Several years ago you had an engineering guest on the After Hours program telling how he was gaining the laid off engineers from military projects.  Fortunately, these last years have kept engineers busy, and it looks like they will again have more military and possibly medical opportunities competing for them again.
 
So, to protect the INVESTMENT and 'tooling' that has been made to meet the current regulations, stretching out the timeline makes sense.
The suppliers and OEMs will be able to perfect and optimize solutions rather than rush the first but not best solution to market.
 
rwork
 
ps:  In architecture, I am more and more finding automotive finishes and products finding their way into building materials.  I've also had to go to the NAPA and Eastwood catalogues for heat shields.  It pays to be an auto enthusiast.
 
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas and thanks for the feedback. Good to hear that being an automotive enthusiast pays off in other fields.
1-10-2017


Hi John,
 
Your viewers comment about "crippling" the auto industry is not referring to total sales, he is referring to the unemployed American auto worker.
 
Alan in Oregon
There’s no question that a lot of American auto workers lost their jobs. But those jobs are never coming back because the Detroit automakers are far more efficient today than they were a decade ago. During the Great Recession in 2009 GM, Ford and Chrysler permanently closed 19 assembly plants, representing roughly 4 million units of capacity. And yet today they are building more vehicles than they ever did in the past. That shows just how much slop there was in the system and explains why GM and Chrysler went bankrupt, and why Ford nearly did. The real culprit for that mess was uncompetitive UAW labor contracts, not policies of the U.S. government.
1-10-2017


Whats up guys! I have a quick question for you. Why would jeep cancel the Jeep Grand Wagoneer? It seems to me that would be a big mistake on jeeps part. It's obvious they could and should go up market. If I was them I would go right after range rover! If the architect is the problem would it not be worth the money to develop an all new architect specifically for the wagoneer? I believe they could make their money back easily because the profit margins on that car would be phenomenal.

P.S. I love the show and I watch it everyday!

Thanks JR
JR,

We completely agree that Jeep can move more upscale and should go after the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover.

You’re absolutely right that Jeep would easily recoup this investment and go on to make big profits. Why it got so far down the line before discovering that the Grand Cherokee platform was not big enough is a real puzzle. Maybe the real reason is that the money was invested in Alfa Romeo instead. But whatever the reason, the Grand Wagoneer was delayed and will eventually make it to production.
1-10-2017


I have applied and have a patent pending on a new crankcase evacuation device which works much better than any PCV system specially when motors are supercharged or turbocharged, since you seem to be a honourable man would you be interested in getting involved in getting this item to market and of coarse we would agree on how to share the cookies? I think the turbo and super manufacturers would really like this device which has no moving parts and increases vacuum with engine speed I made it to solve serious oil smoking in my modified turbo motor under high boost and it immediately stopped  blowing oil past the rings under pressure. So I have the piece and you know the parties lets make lots of money let me know..
Thanks for the offer, I have dollar signs in my eyes!

But regrettably I have to turn this offer down. It would put me in a position of having a direct financial interest with companies that I cover as a journalist. My credibility is worth more to me than any remuneration I’d make selling this to them.

Best of luck with your endeavor,
John McElroy
1-10-2017


John,

  Recently a viewer asked about how MPG was calculated on cars with multiple drive modes. My question is a little more general. There are numbers listed for city and highway as well as combined. How is the highway mileage calculated? Different states have different highway speed limits. Is the highway mileage calculated at 55MPH, 65MPH, or 70MPH? Fuel consumption can vary greatly at different speeds and with how much and what type of highway traffic your in.

Second question. With so many buyers under water on trade ins what type of financing was used to purchase trade ins? Were the leased? If so then banks were way off on residual values. Or is the market that far off on those that can only purchase used cars? Banks are reluctant to issue loans on anything over 100K and more so when the car is over 5 years of age. Are they that far off on what people can afford? With the average age creeping towards 12 years of age, that would put many trade ins at over 100K.
 
Regards,

David Sprowl
First question: The EPA mainly uses a driving test called Federal Test Procedure 75 to determine fuel economy. The test simulates different driving conditions in city and highway driving. The cars are tested on chassis dynamometers for apples-to-apples comparisons. The EPA also uses different adjustment factors to make its label as accurate as possible for most drivers. The city MPG number counts for 55% of the combined number; highway driving accounts for 45%. Most drivers will get within 1 to 2 mpgs of the combined number.

Second question: Many people take out 6- or 7-year loans to buy a new car, but do not want to keep the car that long. When they go to trade it in, many find that they still owe more than the car is worth. In many cases, they simply roll what they owe on the old car into a new loan to buy a new car. They go deeper into debt, but that’s their choice.

With leasing, residual values are already calculated into the monthly payments. A lessee cannot be underwater. He or she can break the terms of their lease, but that’s not being underwater.

When it comes to used cars most banks and large lending institutions are reluctant to offer loans. But there are plenty of independent loan operations that will lend money, usually at fairly high interest rates.
1-10-2017


Dear Autoline:

I'm noticing more and more that people are driving around with their headlights on at night. These seem to be newer vehicles. I'm wondering if these are newer vehicles that have the instrument clusters that are lit up all of the time. Rather than just coming on with the parking lights and headlights. Consequently when people are driving around in the daytime and then it turns to dusk, they do not turn their headlights on.

I ask you, if auto manufacturers are going to have instrument clusters that are lit all of the time, shouldn't this require automatic headlights?

Ernie K
Is there a typo here? Don’t you mean that you see people driving with their headlights off?

This is not a new problem and has existed well before we had computer screens on the instrument panel. But you may have a point that more people fail to notice their headlamps are not on because the IP is lit up.

Some people also drive around only using their Daytime Running Lamps, not realizing they’re not getting the full amount light they need.

GM offered headlights that turn on automatically and got some kickback from deer hunters who complained they couldn’t drive up to their blinds with the lamps off and were scaring the deer away.
12-9-2016


John , on Friday 11/18 on news radio 950 you stated that the big three did not have the plants to produce more units in this country because the sold, closed ,or in the case of Wixom bulldoze the domestic capacity and would have to build new plants at a cost of billion plus. Why then is it fine for Ford to build a new plant in Mexico to produce the Focus. This is why you and the rest do not understand why Trump won. Take a trip up north and look a the closed down towns and villages. They need to go up 75 3 hours ,turn left or right for 30 minutes find a small town and put a plant there. We have had it with our jobs being shipped out of the country.If thing cost more they need to reduce the labor at the upper management level. Thanks Scott.
Scott,

Ford is moving the Focus and C-Max to Mexico because it can’t make a profit on those cars with UAW labor costs. Besides those small cars are selling poorly since the market is moving to crossovers and pickups, the very products (Bronco and Ranger) Ford will put in the Michigan Assembly plant to replace the Focus and C-Max. Not one job will be lost at that plant and it’ll finally make the kinds of products that people are buying.

By the way, you could eliminate the cost of upper management and it still would be uneconomical for Ford to make small cars in the US under the UAW agreement. GM can continue to build small cars at one plant in Michigan (Orion) because it can use more entry level employees at a lower wage rate. Ford hit its cap and cannot hire more entry level workers like GM can.

Mexico has 10 free trade agreements with 47 countries, making it an ideal place to export from. It makes sense for Ford to export small cars from Mexico to countries around the world, which would be uneconomical to do from the US.

John McElroy
12-9-2016


I found this article very interesting.  Feel it runs counter to many of the talking points Autoline has stated regarding the subject.
  
It’s possible you have already seen it, but just throwing it out there just in case.
 
Regards.
 
Jason Hulbert
Jason,

The premise of this article is that autonomous cars will not be ready in five years because of legal and legislative issues that have to be resolved. The author raises a legitimate point about the “moral dilemma.” If an autonomous car has to choose between mowing down a group of school kids or killing the occupants in the car, which will it do? Who will write the code to determine what it does? What are the legal ramifications for the automakers and its suppliers that created that autonomous system?

Here’s the problem with that moral dilemma. It can never be resolved. You’re always going to end up killing someone. I guess the only solution is to never get out of bed in the morning.

Here’s the problem with this argument. We don’t have to wait for autonomous cars, they’re already here. The public is already using them in pilot tests currently running in Singapore and Pittsburg. Ford has them running on its engineering campus and GM soon will. Google has already racked up 2 million test miles.

Even more importantly, there’s another moral dilemma that is even more imperative. All the studies show that autonomous cars have the potential of eliminating 90% of all traffic fatalities at some point in the future. In the US alone that would translate into 30,000 lives saved every year. To delay autonomous technology because of a “moral dilemma” that can never be resolved, in my opinion, is in itself morally unacceptable.

John McElroy
12-9-2016


I've listened to your show for a while now and really enjoy your interviews with Toyota like Mr Swears (or however he spells it)
 

Hey, I'm wondering if one of you could get him to promise a date by which we will NOT see a diesel tundra by? I'm really getting tired of their false promises that they will finally deliver one. If VW really screwed it up for everyone, we'd really like to know that it will never come so we can stop googling it.
 

Also, tell them the new Prius looks stupid. Why does it look so sad from behind? Great show guys and keep up the good work!



Sincerely,

Tom Brouillette
12-9-2016


John, I wonder what type of attention will be placed on electric vehicles after the Tesla wreck in Indianapolis. The battery exploding the way it did could  be a greater danger to driver and passenger than the accident. What happens if this happens in a dry drought area. 
 
Love your shows DB, GM, Ret
DB,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention because I wasn’t aware of the accident. But from what I found online, it looks like these people would have been killed no matter what they were driving. Though the battery did catch fire and exploded, it’s very likely that the gas tank of a conventional car would have done the same. The impact of the car into a tree was terrific.

The number of car fires, by the way, is enough to set your hair on fire. Last year there were an average of 476 car fires every day just in the United States! And as bad as that sounds, that’s much less than before. In 1980 there was an average of 1,249 car fires a day, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

So when you put it into that kind of perspective, I don’t think that Teslas or electric cars pose a greater danger than conventional cars.

John McElroy
12-9-2016


 John,



I am a long time viewer of your shows and know that you are a great resource. I have a nephew that wants to pursue an education in the autonomous vehicle field. He is considering IUPUI motor sports engineering in Indianapolis. Just wondering if you have any other ideas?



Thanks

Dan Kobussen
Dan,
 
It’s great to hear you have a nephew interested in getting in the automotive industry. This industry needs young, new talent! I think that pursuing a path through motorsports is actually a great way to go. Motor racing teaches discipline, quick decision making, and fast turnaround.
 
But you asked for other ideas so here goes. Stanford University is offering an online class in autonomous engineering. It also gets into artificial intelligence, which is all the rage in autonomy right now. Here’s a link for more info.

Also, Carnegie Mellon is recognized as one of the pre-eminent schools when it comes to autonomy, so I would recommend looking into that as well.
 
Hope this helps,
John McElroy
12-9-2016


Hey John and Sean-
 
Just watched your Autoline Daily with the LaCrosse. Thanks for taking the time with the car to review.
 
One point of clarity – the LaCrosse does not have Magnetic Ride Control. The Dynamic Drive package includes 20-inch wheels, HiPer Strut front suspension on FWD models, which eliminates torque steer, and Continuous Damping Control. That CDC system adjusts the damping control electronically with valving changes, not with magnetic fluid. The Sport button adjusts the algorithm for that continuous control to bias toward more stiffness and also tights up the steering.
 
Also, an opinion and different viewpoint on “Buick making a big mistake with its sedans” . . . Just as Regal buyers who want a softer ride would not opt to upgrade to the GS model, LaCrosse owners who want a softer ride will not opt to pay extra for the Dynamic Drive package. It’s an option that’s there so we can appeal to a broader range of customers including those who want a more spirited drive and the more dramatic look of 20-inch wheels. We expect many buyers (and especially those who share our daily commute on Michigan roads) will opt for the smooth and refined ride of the LaCrosse with 18-inch wheels, and the 20-inch cars will help us grow in areas like LA, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami. Overall, our sedans will continue to deliver on the sense of well-being we offer our buyers and we’ve made sure that a stiffer ride is a choice, not a requirement.
 
Cheers,
Stuart Fowle
12-9-2016


Dear Mr. John McElroy,
I attended the “OESA and Harbour Results Inc. 2016 Automotive Tooling Update” last week. I was very impressed and intrigued by your presentation. Thank you for your time.
 
I came into contact with full on ride sharing for the first time in Indianapolis that next weekend as we were there for the High School Marching Band Grand Nationals competition. I have two high schoolers in marching band and as we walked the streets of Indy, I couldn’t help but notice all of the “Blue Indy” cars parked on the streets. I thought of your presentation and realized how this is impacting us much more than I realized, living in rural West Michigan. (Crazy).
 
In any case, shame on me… I did not take very good notes during your presentation as I was counting on receiving a copy of your slides. I understand that you did not make your slides available however I was wondering if I could appeal to you for a copy to share only with my colleagues here at the Die Cad Group.
 
I understand if it is not possible but I thought that it cannot hurt to ask.
 
Please let me know.
 
Either way, thank you again for a very interesting presentation.
Sincerely, Mike
Mike,

Thanks for your interest in my speech. I’m getting a lot of requests for copies of that presentation, but for now I’m not making copies of it available.

Sincerely,
John McElroy
12-9-2016


John,
I hear you and others on Autoline constantly say E-KO for Turbo charged engines. The correct pronunciation is E-CO a abbreviation for the word Eco’nomy. Listen to Eric Loeffler the Ford guy you and Gary spoke with at the LA auto show to hear the way he pronounces the word.

Luv your shows...

Jay in Mtn Home, Ar
Hold on, people pronounce “economy” both ways. E-conomy and Eh-conomy. Ford itself says E-coboost for its engines and the Eh-co Sport for its new crossover.
12-9-2016


Just wanted to drop you a brief note about the last 2 After Hours shows. Both have been fantastic! Keep up great work John!

Lutz talking about the lifespan of the auto industry as we know it being maybe 20 years followed by the Trump election possibly extending the life of the current industry was very entertaining and uplifting.

Warmly,

Eric
Eric,

Thanks so much for the feedback. We love getting industry insiders on the show so we give the audience great insights into the industry that they can't get anywhere else.

John McElroy
12-9-2016


Wake up NADA! You've been lining your pockets all these years. In the end dealers only selling points are warranted repairs and recalls. Market value BS.  
 
Mike R
12-9-2016


John / Thank-you for having Bob Lutz on AAH once again. Every time he is on your show it is like getting an education in the auto industry from an insider. An amazing man. 
 
Don Bronn
Don,

I was blown away by Lutz. I really like him sharing all the tooling costs, because executives never share that. And I was amazed at his outlook for car sharing and autonomous cars. He is still up to speed on everything that is going on.

John McELroy
12-9-2016


Hi John,
 
I saw a story about the possibility of Buick getting a version of Chevy's Volt; do you think if they build such a car, it would be an exclusive for China's market?
 
Mike Ma @ San Francisco
The Volt EV will be marketed in China as a Buick and in Europe as an Opel. But all are the same car.
12-9-2016


Hi guys,


Excellent show with Mark Fields from Ford. I enjoyed his candour about wanting and needing to make profit and not apologizing about margin. He spoke directly to investors.



Certainly in my opinion the best and most thoughtfully managed of the big three.



Thanks for the show.



Regards

Ian Hendrie
Ian,

Thanks for the feedback. I’m with you, Mark Fields is one of the most impressive auto executives in the auto industry today.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


Hi John,

I'm kicking myself for missing yesterday's broadcast of Autoline After Hours; but something Bob Lutz said made me wonder whether his Fisker derived super car was the right one based on his comments on how only autonomous cars will be allowed on the street as it might be easier to update an EV to autonomous than a gas powered car although I think Congress would never pass a law to eliminate non-autonomous cars from the road as I can imagine them saying you couldn't build or sell new non-autonomous cars.

Mike Ma @ San Francisco
11-28-2016


John:
  At a time where the entire country much less the world is unsettled and angry about day to day life I want to take a moment to bring up something that in the big scheme of things is pretty minor…but I must for my own needs to complain. You have recently reported that truck and sport “futility” vehicles (yes my personal problem…moving on) are shown to have poor performing headlights. I’ve wondered for years why here in Colorado a very high number of such vehicles run around with either their high beams on, or turning their high performance auxiliary driving lights on. I’ve quizzed some owners of why and they don’t understand that those lights are not DRLs (day-time running lights-yes I know you know what I mean…just making sure I’m being correct). I’m old enough to have read my R&Ts closely about the engineering of extra lighting systems in whoever’s added lighting systems, (Bosch/Lucas/etc.) fluting, reflector systems and so on. I may not be an engineer but a studied lover of our machines we drive. Ok I’m getting carried away (sorry) but as the daylight part of the day shrinks and I’m spend my day driving into misused lighting system blinding me I felt I had to reach out to someone who has the background to understand the real reason those lighting systems are applied to the automobile. How do we get people to understand they are being rude and at least in Colorado breaking the law.  
 
Thank you for listening…maybe autonomous systems will bring light control back to legal…say like the sensor Cadillac’s Autronic-Eye had in the mid to late 50’s and 60’s to “dip” the head lights…
 
Rick Glesner
People driving with their high beams on, or their fog lights, is an age old problem. Maybe it’s a bigger problem in Colorado, but in most places it’s just an occasional nuisance.
11-28-2016


John,
I think a lot of Bob Lutz.. but he would acknowledge that there is much room for debate.

Autonomous vehicles:  We met at the Darpa Urban Challenge in 2007... I think the burden will be on the hardware and software to come up with AVs that can co-mingle or operate with human driven cars... I just don't think it will be a knife switch with all cars being autonomous.

With the data logging/black boxes on AVs the bugs will be found and fixed... and deducing which vehicle/driver is at fault for an accident will be FAR more clear.

I do not believe that AVs will be similar boxes. Vehicles are fashion, passion, ..and transportation. As long as people can afford their own car they many times will still want to own one.  This doesn't mean that car sharing won't be significant.. it will.. but its base will be in locations that are under-taxi'ed (or with poor taxi quality of service) plus more easy specialty rentals (convertible for the weekend, big SUV for road trip...etc).

I can see BRT (bus rapid transit) using AV or some kind of more customized personalized mass transit with AVs in some cases but that may be as a substitute for building a new subway/rail system in cities like Austin. 

Tesla: I've led engineering teams in Silicon Valley, Austin and elsewhere.. the startup mode is to drive the team for an aggressive schedule goal but expect it to really slip to be later.  The mentality is that if you don't drive the effort hard, it will achieve a slower time to market.  So, given the track record is always a year or so late, why should anyone expect a different behavior for the Model 3?  It's not Tesla that has the problem in this regard.. it's the people who don't understand Silicon Valley or Tesla.

Frank Markus brought up one of the important points on the Model 3 vs Bolt... the Supercharging network.. plus Tesla being a premium brand, and styling.. PLUS Autopilot, no dealers to deal with, Over the air updates..
 
GM deserves a lot of credit with the Bolt but it needs to have a performance AWD Focus-RS equivalent to halo and gotta-have-it factor.

Bob Lutz is also wrong on the Tesla Hardware2 announcement.. Elon said they were shipping all new production with the new hardware with software to come.. and for a while the Hardware1 autopilot cars will have more function until the new hardware2 software is developed and validated and delivers more function.  and dynamic inductive charging (embedded in roadway) isn't likely to get popular for a long time.. Just use a PHEV or BEV wSupercharger network.  I've talked to Texas DOT and they aren't hot on the idea of spending precious infrastructure $ on dynamic inductive charging (what is the billing system? what technology, price, efficiency?)

Also, keep abreast of the coast to coast roadtrip that Elon is planning in a hardware2-autopilot car (perhaps a Model 3 pre-production) combined with their "charging snake"
The idea is that the driver will not take control nor have to touch a charging/fueling hose throughout the trip.


--
Regards,

Dave Tuttle
How do people become involved in the Honda program?

ATW #2033 (Part 1)
ATW #2034 (Part 2)

D
I would contact Erica Miller, Columbus State Community College in Ohio.
11-28-2016


One of your shows reported China is getting serious about the quality and volume of small EVs. Electrification expands the variety of vehicles and their price points. 
 
We will see a huge variety of vehicles from 2 to many wheels for people and freight transport. Many for local travel only. 
 
Electrification allows them to be sold like washing machines. 
 
A house could end up with 6 electric vehicles in various types of storage, and the key occupants get driverless public transport to work and when visiting a large CBD. 
 
A vehicle is generally the second most expensive object we get to own. While various services will develop that do not require ownership, ownership will remain high. 
 
Vehicle costs have been falling in real terms - this will surely continue. 
 
Electrification and automation are the two keys to ongoing profit in the 21st century.
 
Regards
Peter Egan
11-28-2016


Hey love the show, 
 
I'm curious about something. Canada has just signed a free trade agreements with the EU. Does this eliminate the chicken tax for vehicles shipped to Canada? Also does this mean Canada will be able to get access to vehicles sold only in Europe? As a Canadian I look forward to that!
 
Bo
Bo,

The free trade agreement between Canada and the EU will not affect the “chicken tax” because that is a U.S. tax for non-NAFTA countries.

Canada will be able to get vehicles that are only sold in Europe provided: they meet Canadian emissions and safety regulations (which they can easily meet) and as long as European automakers are willing to ship cars to a market that is smaller than California (which they will be reluctant to do).

The big automotive advantage in this trade deal, if there is one, actually goes to Canada because it means any vehicles made in Canada that are shipped to the EU will not get hit with a 10% import tax.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


John and Gary,

I have been scratching my head over GM's China situation for quite some time.  I know each vehicle they sell there is sold through a company where a Chinese partner company is roughly a 50% owner, which means to me that the profits are also split roughly 50/50.  I have noted the strong sales of vehicles there, but also know that a good portion of them are the small Wuling vehicles that likely have very little margin.  Still, they are selling a large number of Buicks, and now increasing their sales of Chevrolet, Cadillac and Baujun vehicles, (again splitting the profits with their partner companies).

However, I have not been able to figure out how much money GM makes in China.  Making this more challenging is that GM lumps their China results in with some other Asian markets. 

But from the copy below from today's Automotive News update on GM quarterly profits, it appears that all of their profit is coming from the North American market.  They must not be making much at all in China if the relatively small losses in Europe and South America canceled it out.  And in the last line, it appears that international operations, including China, only made $271 million for the quarter, despite the fact that GM now sells more vehicles in China than in the U.S. 

So, do you have any idea how much money GM makes in China?

GM Veteran


"GM posted adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $3.54 billion, a fifth consecutive quarterly record post-bankruptcy. It earned an adjusted $3.5 billion in North America, up 5.9 percent, while modest losses in Europe and South America canceled out income from international operations and GM Financial.

China strong

Strong sales in China -- where deliveries rose 9 percent to a record 2.7 million vehicles -- sent earnings in international operations edging up 0.7 percent to $271 million for the quarter."
Neither GM nor Ford make much profit in China. I wonder if they're using their Chinese operations for design and engineering that would otherwise get charged to North America? Otherwise they sure are putting a lot of effort into a market that delivers extremely thin margins.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


John and Gary,

I think JD Power should change the name of their latest survey so that
it no longer includes the word Reliability.  Its misleading to
consumers.  Having an infotainment system that is challenging to use is
not going to result in your car breaking down and leaving you stranded
on the side of the road.  It also does not mean a trip to the dealership
service department, since it is merely complicated to use and not
actually broken.  When consumers hear the word Reliability, I think
these are the things that come to mind.

Another odd thing about this survey.  According to the press release,
they surveyed approximately 500,000 owners.  The eligible vehicle model
years spanned 2000 through 2017!  This makes very little sense when it
comes to things like infotainment, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity,
ease of smartphone pairing, and similar items that seem to make a big
difference to a vehicle's and brand's ranking in this survey.  With the
pace of innovation over the last 5 years, let alone 15 years, it does
not seem ethical or reasonable to include 10+ year old vehicles a survey
that gives so much weight to infotainment technology.

However, from a reliability standpoint, it does.   So, perhaps they need
to separate "reliability" from "ease-of-use" and have two surveys. 
Can't believe they haven't done it already, since that is how they make
money!

What do you think?

GM Veteran
GM Veteran,

I could not agree more. A frustrating connectivity issue related to design has nothing to do with reliability.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


John,

Enjoyed the Tesla discussion on Autoline After Hours and the parts discussion.  Interesting points about who will really drive automated systems: car manufacturers or parts suppliers.

As for Autopilot 2.0, the newly made vehicles with the new hardware will have Autopilot 1.0 enabled around December after the initial validation.  The big news is that Autopilot 2.0 will be running in the background as an "armchair driver" continuously learning how to drive AND it will provide alternate endings to any crashes.  So at some point in the future, Tesla can say we've shadow driven X million miles and would have avoided these XXX of crashes.  Assuming all that works out, a compelling case could be made to the regulators with real world data comparing Autopilot vs. Actual Pilot.

By running its ‘Tesla Vision’ software on all those cars in ‘shadow mode’, just to test the system and collect data, Tesla’s software will get more driving experience in one day than the average human driver in two lifetimes.  


As for Paint it Black as the demo sound track, Musk's ex-wife has a role in HBO's West World and the first episode's climactic scene featured a symphonic version of Paint it Black.  Perhaps a coincidence but my bet is they are related.

Keep up the great work!!

Alan
11-28-2016


John:
 
Is this continuing proof that Marchionne was right – very few automakers can afford to go it alone?   A few months ago, Ghosn grabs 34% of Mitsubishi; now Toyota snaps up the chance to team with Suzuki.  The two companies said that “spiraling costs to develop next-generation drivetrains, autonomous-driving systems and new information technology are spurring such erstwhile rivals to consolidate, cooperate and share the ever-increasing burden.”   Exactly what Sergio said was happening.
And wait til all the new players come into the market – like Geely, which is proposing a whole different business model. 
 
Ah, the times…they are a changin’
 
Mike
There's no question that we will see a lot more consolidation in the auto industry. And then, wait until we see the impact of the movement to mobility services. We're in for massive disruption.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


Dear Mr. McElroy,

My name is Sofia Prada, I'm 19 years old and graduated from high school in 2015. I have always been attracted to engineering. 

I’m interested in the automotive industry because it offers a wide range of specializations. I am aware that this industry is actively looking for new engineers since there may be a shortage in the near future. 

Since you are a very well informed person, I would like to know if there are companies or universities that are willing to offer scholarships or financial aid for students like me. 

I am very excited to begin studying and enthusiastic about working. 
Thank you for your time.

Best regards, 

Sofia Prada
Sofi,

There are so many universities that offer scholarships for students like you I would not know where to begin. Of course, it all depends on your grades and test scores.

Many professional organizations also offer scholarships, and so do companies.

I would suggest doing a lot of online research as well as contacting your high school counselor. I have no doubt you'll find plenty of opportunities.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


John,

I recall you doing a report on a free piston engine a while back after several reports you did on opposed piston configurations.

Today, I am seeing  all sorts of press coverage for Aquarius Engines. Is this a different company than what you’ve reported on?

Will
Will,

This is not the free piston engine we reported on. We've done shows on Achates and Eco Motors who have developed similar engines. Let's hope they make it into production because they sure look promising.

John McElroy
11-28-2016


John: 
 
My brain is on overload after reading this, especially after the demise of Coskata.

This could be a game changer, with all the talk of of increased compression ratios for higher efficiency, this would be a good thing for E-85 usage. According to an old interview with Gale Banks. a Ethanol engine would get equal if not better mileage than a gas engine with higher compression ratio's 
Decreasing CO2 levels while making a fuel is almost incomprehensible and very exciting!    
 
Thanks,
Bradley G.
Brad,

This is definitely very exciting and hopefully will come to fruition.

Thanks for sending this along, even though we had seen it already. Our viewers are a good source of information, so please feel free to send other info in the future.

Best,
John McElroy
11-2-2016


The UAW show needed you to provide a counterpoint. It sounded like a tribute to Hillary while panning Trump because of the perception she would be better for the unions. The unions need to be taken to task for pushing an agenda that is unsustainable. The cars become too expensive or get made off shore. As long as the Dem party open borders free trade agenda is rolled out wages and benefits will equalize to a world standard. Maybe it will be $20 an hour plus medical, but it won't be this Cadillac plan with $50 an hour and a smorgasbord of benefits with a nice pension. At least be intellectually honest and push back.



Thanks,



Mike
11-2-2016


Hello John,
 
Was watching your show today and your autonomous car topic. The car is the last symbol of American individualism and that is driven by 100 years of marketing those products that express individual identity. This is why we spend $60,000.00 for a vehicle that essentially does the same thing as a $30,000.00 vehicle and has exceptional styling. We understand the risk of getting out on the road and we are willing to take that risk because it fulfills 3 basic objectives. First, a personal carriage setting where you parked it, waiting to take you to your desired destination. And the joy of buying and driving that dream car will be gone. Now, you know that you can get in your car drive anywhere in North America, without notifying anybody. I think that's part of being FREE and living in a FREE society. Other arguments will be: will I have to give up my old manually operated vehicle and or pay for a costly conversion. And what about the period when you will have millions of manually operated vehicles on the road with autonomous vehicles, I will not fill safe in an autonomous vehicle with the way some people drive their cars today. I can assess and evaluate changing conditions around me and decide what to do moment to moment because I have control over my vehicle. Not so in an autonomous vehicle.
 
Also keep in mind, every device is hackable and yes, hackers will be able to target your vehicle and crash it or use it to injure pedestrians walking down the sidewalk. With a little imagination, you can see the flaws in such a system.
 
My other reason for contacting you was because I believe there is a thing called "natural progression" in improving automotive safety that has been overlooked. A device that is simple and can reduce fatalities and injuries but there seems to be no desire to add it to our motor vehicles, especially from our government agencies who's charge it is to improve road safety on our roads. 900 or more are dying on our roads in Illinois. The count is 831 as of today and two months to go.
 
What is it? It's a forward facing brake light or Front Brake Light, mounted in front of the review mirror and connected to the car or truck brakes. It offers several significant advantages that the motorist would appreciate.
Also go to www.frontbraklight.com 
 
Thanking you in advance for your time.
 
Sincerely,
 
Nathan Wright
Nathan,

Who says you’ll have to give up your manually operated car? No one has ever said that, except perhaps in urban legends on the internet.

And who says old cars and autonomous ones can’t co-exist on the roads? Google has racked up 2 million test miles on public roads.

And who says humans, who cause 95% of all traffic accidents, can drive better than autonomous cars? Thanks to lidar, autonomous can see far better than any human being. They can see around blind corners, in darkness and fog, and you can’t do that.

I find that most people who object to autonomous cars have never been in one and really don’t know how far this technology has progressed.

As for the forward facing brake light, it’s been evaluated by automakers, suppliers and safety agencies and rejected. It causes too many “false positives.” Motorists approaching an intersection will tap the brakes, causing an oncoming car to think it’s going to stop, when all it does is continue through the intersection, causing an accident.

Respectfully,
John McElroy
11-2-2016


John,



It's simple, don't take my Tesla autopilot away.  I know it's Beta and not perfect however I still love it.  Don't take my 911 away either for all the dynamic reasons I love my 911.



God Bless you,



James
We get it. As long as you use Autopilot properly, it’s a great feature to have. And we love hearing the combination of owning a Tesla S and a 911!
11-2-2016


JOHN U GOT TO GET HOLD OF THIS GUY THE SPECS ON THIS CAR IS AWESOME....11 HP FUEL CELL 200 MILE RANGE VERY SLIPPERY
DESIGN......CAN U GET HIM ON YOUR SHOW?

YOU LEASE THE CAR AND THE FUEL ETC. 580 KILOGRAMS=1278.68 #LBS 8.5 KW FUEL CELL
Al,

Thanks for sending this link. We never heard of Riversimple before, but the car they’re working on is fascinating. Moreover, it looks well built and designed. If we can get anyone from the company on Autoline, we will.

John McElroy
11-2-2016


We always hear that because American demand for trucks and SUVs is so high, and the profit so large, that American carmakers will continue to produce them in the US. Why then, when I visit my local GMC dealer, do I find that all their Sierras were assembled in Mexico with majority Mexican parts? Why should I even bother trying to "buy American" anymore if not even a truck is made here?

Thanks,

Matt J
Matt,

Shop around. GM makes trucks in Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana. You should be able to find a version of the Sierra you want that was made in Flint.
11-2-2016


John,

This is Don from New Jersey! You know how they say you should never buy a car the first year it comes our right? How about that VW CrossBlue it has been supposed to be coming out for the past 3 or 4 years! I mean this has to be the longest time in history Volkswagen has taken to develop a car!

With the diesel that was a disaster they have to get this right! How is it possible Audi has 2 shiny new SUV's yet the VW made in Tennessee is taking longer than it took to make the great Pyramid at Giza?


Let's all start singing the CrossBlues!!!

My Jetta Lease is up in May 2017! I hope I won't still be singing the CrossBlues and have to go to a boring Japanese or bumbling Merican crossover!
Don,

You make a great point. Audi has two shiny new SUVs, yet VW does not. Thanks for pointing that out!
11-2-2016


John, 
 
I watch Auto Line weekly and now I'm NOT! Having spent time with Dennis Williams the President of UAW showed your left leaning intent! Spending time endorsing Hillary Clinton!? Dennis made it clear that we have a trade deficit with Mexico and then to endorse Hillary! Democrats have controlled the inner cities in this country for years and all of them are dangerous and filled with people who desperately need a way out! The Democrats have limited access to good educational options, they have restricted employment opportunities for high school age students, they have encouraged families to marry the Government! Dennis said he paid attention to the Republican debates; however, his comments about "hands" demonstrated the fact that he didn't listen to our ideas. Reduce taxes, school choice, renegotiate NAFTA, and put America first. What Dennis and all these Labor Boss' don't want is someone who will challenge their meal ticket! The poor! Hillary will tax this country to death! she already said so! Her past proves her distain for this country and the American people. Do your own research! 
I couldn't have been more disappointed by this past interview! 
 
Your former viewer, 
 
Ross Goodwin  
Ross,

We feel it’s important to interview all the major players in the automotive industry, including the president of the UAW. Our job is to keep our viewers informed with what the leaders in the industry are saying, where they agree with them or not.

We never have, and never will, only invite guests on our shows that we agree with. One of the reasons why Autoline viewers are some of the best informed in the industry is because they get first-hand access to competing points of view.

Respectfully,
John McElroy
11-2-2016


John I've heard repeatedly on Autoline that FCA's sales manipulation only involved around 4500 vehicles. To my ears that sounds like you're saying sales of only 4500 vehicles were manipulated, which is patently untrue. The net effect on sales over the entire period may have been that small (the net difference in sales at the end of the scheme will not have been much more or less than the net difference in the very last month, so 4500 is a reasonable figure), but the scheme involved several thousand vehicles every month, and many hundreds of thousands of vehicles over the entire period. For September 2015 alone at least 7,227 vehicles were involved. Not a single nameplate did not have its sales altered every month. In August 2015 just under 5 thousand vehicles were added to Ram pickup sales alone under this scheme, and company wide nearly 15,000 vehicles (14,703 in total) were either reported as sold that month, but not actually delivered till later, or had been reportedly sold earlier, but not actually delivered to a customer until then (and so appear in the most recent sales data, but not when the August 2015 sales were first reported). And that is net across all dealers — reported sales of vehicles not actually delivered, less sales of that model delivered in August but previously reported as sold in an earlier month. There will have been plenty of times dealers were encouraged to fabricate additional sales to make up for vehicles that had already been reported as sold in a previous month, so the number of actual vehicles whose sales were misreported in any given month is probably far higher than the revised figures suggest. We only have three months of revised monthly sales data for each model, but based on those months, I can guess that at least 150,000 individual vehicles every year were reported as sold in a month earlier than they were actually delivered to a customer.
Andrew Charles
Andrew,

Thanks for this information. I was not aware the 4500 figure was a monthly number. That makes a huge difference!

John McElroy
11-2-2016


John,
 
Went to lunch with my dad who retired 21 years ago and has a defined pension retirement plan.  He said his previous employer, Allied Signal, was purchased by Honeywell who spun off his division to Berkshire Hathaway.  Berkshire sold their DPBP to an insurance company to remove the liability from Berkshire's books.  
 
Now for the fun part: if the insurance company goes bankrupt, the former employees are only entitled to a maximum payout based on the retiree's resident state's rules.  In South Carolina, that amount is $300,000.  Most other states are $250,000.  This would be a massive loss for recent retirees.  He mentioned GM sold their retirement liabilities during bankruptcy but I didn't know about the insurance company's bankruptcy impact.  I assumed it would fall to the Federal PBGC.  
 
Have you heard anything about this contingency?  I can send references if you are interested in digging into it more.
 
Have a great weekend,
Alan
Alan,

Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware of the issue if the insurance company goes bankrupt. But that retirement plan is actually an annuity and my understanding is that it is not backed by the PBGC. Even if it went to the PBGC it would be capped at $56,000/year.

In the GM case, employees were also offered a lump sum payout that they could invest on their own instead of staying in the pension plan. Reportedly 30% of GM employees opted to go this route.

Best,
John McElroy
11-2-2016


While the new NP300 has replaced both the 1 tonne D40 and older D22 models globally, Nissan North America still sells the old D40 generation. So far only Mexico gets the single cab NP300 work truck, dual-cab NP300 Frontier and the old 1/2-tonne Frontier in the V6 Pro4X (4x2 or 4x4) model. Perhaps Nissan North America thinks Americans need a V6, since the NP300 comes only with 2.5 L 4-cyl QR25 or diesel YD25 engines, or that the 1-tonne Frontier sold in Mexico would compete with the Titan XD if they brought it to the US.

Andrew
10-18-2016


John,
 
Heard your report on the Post Office needing new delivery trucks. A couple of comments:
 
The Post Office currently has 1996 Jimmies and 2000/01 Explorer chassis for their delivery vehicles with bodies made by Utilimaster.  They keep them in service for 24 years.  At least that is their plan.
 
I know because I work in Ford Service Engineering and I spend a lot of time at the Post Office garage on Greenfield in Dearborn, trying to help them get parts to keep them in service a little longer.  Tough to do when they are right hand drive and those Explorers were exported to Great Britain, Australia and Japan.  A lot of unique parts to right hand drive vehicles.
 
Not for public knowledge is that the Post Office vehicle purchase contract with Ford required us to supply service parts for 24 years.  We in Parts & Service would never agree to those terms, but the fleet sales guy signed the contract anyway, and now we are stuck until 2024 with keeping parts on hand.  We have a special code in the computer system so any Post Office part has to be manually reviewed before it can be obsoleted.  Normally, the computer system monitors sales, model year, etc. and automatically obsoletes parts when it meets the criteria.
 
So, whoever gets the next contract, I’m sure the Post Office will require a 24 year parts commitment.
 
Gerry
Gary,

Great info, thanks for sending. When the Post Office first contracted Grumman in the mid-1980’s to build its aluminum-body delivery trucks it said they would have to last for over 20 years. I never thought it would happen, but here we are today and they’re still on the road.

I’m sure you’re right, the PO will want whoever makes these things to service them for 24 years. But with automotive technology changing so fast these new trucks will be hopelessly out of date in a decade.

John McElroy
10-18-2016


Excellent show on Health of the Auto Industry (just catching up on it).  While the Fiat rep was not your most dynamic or knowledge, the rest of the show was very interesting.  I do think truck lovers will want a hybrid, but under different vocabulary.  Once they mate an electric motor to add even more torque, the Ford marketers turn it into a "massive rear wheel power drill".  The water cooler conversation will continue to turn from HP to Torque.
 
Also, the auto show discussion was enlightening and I agree with the trend away from most shows and towards a controlled environment.  The Apple/Tesla style fanboy audience is annoying and hopefully has reached it's peak.  Musk is shifting gears a bit and presenting today for Space X at a large industry conference.  But the Tesla reveals will still be slide shows for a while.
 
Anyway, keep up the good work.  Always look forward to a lunch break entertainment about the auto industry.
 
Alan
10-18-2016


John,
Given all the fracas about diesel cheating, do you think MB will bring the new 2017 350 Bluetec to the USA? It seems to been in limbo since May.
Also, I am a happy owner of a 2015 VW Toureg 3.0L TDI. I guess it pollutes more that the regulations call for but between cleaner diesel fuel, the urea system in the car and this generation engine, is it still the cleanest diesel ever? 
The SUV is a pleasure to drive, has great range and gets nice MPGs.
 
Thanks,
Peter
Mercedes seems to be backing away from diesels in the US market, but time will tell if it drops them entirely. Other automakers continue to introduce new diesels to the US.

It is highly unlikely your 3.0 liter diesel is the cleanest ever since it was designed to circumvent emission standards in certain driving conditions. More than likely BMW, Mercedes, and General Motors have cleaner diesels.
10-18-2016


John,
Just saw AAH and enjoyed the video and discussion of the new 4WS system being developed by ZF.  Hopefully they will be able to bring it to market through an OEM at a reasonable price.  If so, I think it would become a pretty popular option.

I worked for a company that used to produce marketing events for GMC and one of those events was to highlight the capabilities of Quadrasteer.  In preparing for the event, we had several discussions with GMC marketing execs and a couple of gentlemen from Delphi.  Now, remember, this is the OLD GM.  The Delphi guys were not pleased with the pricing and knew that it would kill the option because the take rate was destined to be so low at that price.  They told us that the GM finance folks wanted to recoup the up-front engineering charges from Delphi in the first two years on the market and that is why the price was so high.  That was typical of the type of thinking at GM in those days.   

The other interesting thing to me was that it was only available on the pickups and the heavy duty SUV's (3/4 ton Suburbans and Yukon XL).  This is because the Delphi system would only work on vehicles with leaf springs.  The clearance was not appropriate on vehicles with coil springs, which included the light duty Suburbans and Yukon XL, not to mention the Tahoe and regular Yukon. 

One last thing.  You may remember that each truck that had Quadrasteer also had orange lights on the rear fenders and across the top of the truck at the windshield.  Adding Quadrasteer made the trucks a little wider, just wide enough that they were over the maximum width for normal passenger vehicles.  So, they were considered commercial vehicles and federal regulations mandated the orange indicator lights that you usually see on tow trucks, snowplow trucks and other commercial style vehicles.  A lot of people were not pleased that they would have to have those on their truck if they wanted the Quadrasteer option. 

The technology worked great, but was very complex.  I often wondered if there might have been a way to engineer a simpler system, like the totally manual version Honda had on the Prelude about 20 years ago.  It was light, inexpensive and did not require power.
 
Great show as usual!

GM Veteran
GM Veteran,

Really good feedback!

Interestingly, ZF says that its 4WS does not increase the track of the vehicle, so it would not need additional indicator lights. Also, they say they’re sure they can get the cost down.

John McElroy
10-18-2016


Looking into the future when all automobiles on the roads are autonomous; they will recognize each other and avoid all collisions, including collisions with pedestrians. All pedestrians now will feel totally invincible knowing that all automobiles will stop to avoid hitting them. Therefore, they will be able to jaywalk (and text) safely anywhere they want, bringing automobile traffic to a complete stop. Let’s hope the auto makers don’t program the cars to blast their horns every time they are interrupted in traffic.
 
Ralph Norek
10-18-2016


Do you all remember the flat front Jeep pickup from the mid fifties with 4 wheel steering?
 
In any case, this makes the urban tank more practical.
 
r work
Did the Jeep Forward Control have 4-wheel-steering? We can’t find any reference to that. Cool truck, though.
10-18-2016


I’ve been getting over 60 miles per charge on my 2017 Volt. It is quiet, smooth and beautiful inside and out. I would rather have this car than an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus…..
I also hauled a 6 foot ladder and a bunch of stuff to California from Arizona. A great car. I definitely recommend everyone shopping for a car to give the Volt a good look. I’m Impressed!

Regards,
KRTRW

Kyle
Kyle,

Thanks for the feedback. 60 miles per charge is very impressive.
10-18-2016


Having just watched your Sept 15 show when you mentioned Baojun motors I took a look at their models. I was wondering if they asked Honda if they could rebadge the Honda Pilot as the Baojun 730?




Chuck
10-18-2016


What if they brought back the Cadillac Style ads?  Over 65 age bracket is growing fast.  They are very affluent.  Cadillac sold A LOT more vehicles back when they were proud to BE Cadillac.  Is that what is missing for them?  Your thoughts?



Call me Dynaride thanks!  Will
Anything that creates desire in the heart of the buyer is a good thing. Desire can be created by a lot of things, but not the lowest monthly payment, the lowest interest rate nor the biggest rebate. So Style ads? Yes! But I wouldn’t aim them at the +65 year old set. As they old saying goes, “You can sell an old man a young man’s car, but you can’t sell a young man an old man’s car.”

John McElroy
10-18-2016


Hi John,

Level 3 autonomous vehicles will be a big winner, for the lawyers that is. When a level 3 car gets in an accident culpability will be the issue.  Should the driver have hit the brakes?  Should the computer have steered around the danger?  It will be an endless do loop of litigation. The lawyers will love it. It's a loser for everyone else involved.

Richie B.
10-18-2016


Hi John!

Just read that VW set a new top speed record for the Beetle at the Bonneville Salt Flats of 205.122 mph using a heavily modified Beetle with an engine that is production-based, but also heavily tweaked.

Reading about this makes me wonder about the priorities of VW management.  This in no way will sell more Beetles and has nothing to do with developing production automobiles.  Its hard to believe that they are devoting corporate funds to activities like this while asking their suppliers for significant cost savings to help pay for the cost of recalling (and possibly repurchasing) diesel model Volkswagens.  With the huge expenses ahead of them related to the diesel debacle and the development funds that need to be allocated to stay competitive in new areas like autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel systems, its hard to believe that VW has not instituted severe budget austerity measures.

I wonder if their PR staff even knew about this speed record attempt?

GM Veteran
GM Veteran,

We could not agree more. This is not going to help sales and the company needs to save every penny it can under the current crisis.

Maybe they thought this would divert peoples' attention from Dieselgate, but it sure looks like a superfluous exercise.
10-18-2016


Dear AAH,
Although an outsider to auto industry, I have been a huge fan of AAH for years never missing a show. I have found it entertaining, informative and even relative to my industry. Thankfully my awareness and education, due to AAH, has grown greatly permitting me to observe the following.
Please know that I have been a die-hard Ford devotee buying or specifying dozens of FORD vehicles the past 25 years. Allow me to borrow from the colorful language of Jim Farley—F**K FORD!!!
Ford’s significant support (millions of dollars) of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is reprehensible. After stepping out of historic prejudice by appointing Mark Fields to head Ford, suddenly they have capitulated. BLM is arguably the most racist, disruptive, and contra USA valued group in the country today. They represent significant danger to our law enforcement organizations; and FORD has the unmitigated gall to want to supply police with FORDS?
Help me Mr. McElroy, where does a domestic car fan go? Government Motors still has blood on its hands by not repaying the tax payers millions, Ford has lost its way and FCA is now foreign. ( Looks like KY Toyotas, OH Hondas , TN Nissans and even GA KIAs will be gaining my business henceforth.)
Just had to vent!
‘Love your shows; Daily, weekly and AAH. Clearly, you are a great talent in automotive journalism. Main line media could learn a great deal from you!
Sincerely,
Jim
 
PS What ever happened to the Auto Extremist? I miss Peter’s pithy comments.
 
James (Jim) Anderson
Jim,

Yo dude, chill. You’re making a mistake that many people make. The Ford Motor Company did not announce support of Black Lives Matter. It was the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation has nothing to do with the FoMoCo. It is a wealthy foundation that pursues many philanthropic causes including human rights, but it has zero ties to the automaker.

Though it was the Ford family that created and provided the funding for the Ford Foundation back in the 1930’s, the two severed ties many decades ago.

So…you can go back to being a die-hard Ford fan!

John McElroy
10-3-2016


John :
 
I try to keep up and be knowledgeable with FCA vehicles. I visit my dealership at least once monthly, but they snuck something right by me. I just noticed that all the 2016 and now arriving 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee's with the 3.6 Liter Pentastar engine are No longer Flex Fuel capable. It appears that they still currently are E-85 compatible engines in the RAM trucks for the time being. Has the government phased out the EPA credits for FFV's? Living in Indiana E-85 is $1.49/gallon currently, far more than 20% less than Regular, I would much rather give my money to our farmers for E-85, and get a little less mpg's, than give it to OPEC.


What gives? I can't find any relevant information on this.

I'm Corn-fused (sorry, pun intended)
 
Bradley G.
Brad,

You nailed it. The EPA is phasing out flex-fuel credits for E-85 compatible vehicles. Automakers built E-85 vehicles solely to get those credits to meet the CAFE standards. Now that the credits are going away, they don’t see the value in adding the extra cost needed to make those vehicles capable of running on E-85.
10-3-2016


Dear John,
 
I have notice in your very well presented and interesting automotive news program that underneath of the Tesla logo batch, is a sentence saying: “Where´s Iñaki when you need him?" Could please let me know more details about it?
 
Best Regards,
 
Iñaki Fernández
Dear Iñaki,

The Iñaki who we referred to was Iñaki Lopez, the vp of Purchasing for General Motors in the 1990’s, who was famous for ripping up supplier contracts and bullying them to lower their prices. Hence the reference to Tesla starting to beat up its suppliers for lower prices.

It certainly was not in reference to you!

Sincerely,
John McElroy
10-3-2016


Good morning John et al:
I feel like saying “me again!” Every Monday morning on my commute to Community College of Denver I listen to the previous weeks Autoline After Hours. Always interesting and educational…but…there is always a “but” isn’t there? I can be put off by the panels lack of understanding of the 3D design environment. It really embarrassing to be standing in a light rail car and be so taken back by some ill-informed statement that I accidentally say an expletive out loud. I missed which panel member stated that you “just scan the item and send that to the 3D printer”…wrong, wrong…and oh by the way…WRONG. I’ve written before about this lack of understanding the design sequence, without the underlying 3D solid modeling you have nothing to 3D print. With 3D scanning all you get is a point cloud that at best is scatter shot. That point cloud must be placed into software that will clean up the point cloud and prepare it to be opened in a 3D solid modeler. Then when that is cleaned up it can be saved as a .STL file (stereolithography file). This is nowhere as simple as many make it sound. I and my program are just too far away from your studio, but I’m sure there will be a community college in your area that has the expertise in these areas to clear up your knowledge gaps.

So this afternoon find and thank a 3D CAD Jock for their skill.

Rick Glesner
Chair of Engineering Graphics/Mechanical
Community College of Denver
Rick,

Thanks for your feedback. You certainly know a ton about this technology and it’s good to get reminded of all the steps needed to use it.

But sometimes, and especially when you’re doing a show where you’re keeping the conversation flowing, you don’t want to get bogged down in explaining every step of every process.

It’s the same with video production. You have to plan a show, invite the guests, bring in the studio crew, shoot the show, create all the graphics, do all the rendering of any animations, edit everything, encode it and post it. But when I talk to the crew I’ll say, “Let’s shoot a show and get it posted.”

Now I’m not saying we know every step in 3D scanning and printing. But even if we did, we’d still use the shorthand.

Sincerely,
John McElroy
10-3-2016


Guys, we are missing the greatest benefit of autonomous driving technology...women will finally be able to safely put make-up on while the car drives them to work.
 
Heck, Mabelline/Revlon ought to get into some partnerships with the OEM.
Man, if I told my wife that she’d punch me in the eye!
10-3-2016


Maybe the AC condensation capture that the Ford engineer developed can be used to feed the Bosch Waterboost system.
 
Neil G
10-3-2016


Honda seems to be a slow learner when it comes to airbag and other safety issues.  I called Honda customer service about my 2014 Ridgeline airbag and ask who made the passenger side airbag they refused to tell me.  I will assume it's a Takata airbag and some time in the future it will also be recalled, after several people have been hurt or worse. Can anyone get Honda's attention ?

AL
10-3-2016


In an Daily Report a statement was made about the Chevy Bolt’s battery will last 230 miles.  At what speed does the Bolt last 230 miles?  I’m sure the batteries will last longer if driven 30 MPH than at 65 MPH.
 
Jim
The Bolt will travel 238 miles based on the EPA test cycle, better known as FTP 75, the same Federal Test Procedure used to calculate the fuel economy of cars. Yes, it will go much farther than that if driven at slower speeds.
10-3-2016


What happens to autonomous cars when they break down and they don't have a steering wheel, or any other controls?  How do you push them to the side of road?  How does the tow truck operator align the wheels to put it on the flatbed?
Great questions. And when we get answers from the autonomy experts we’ll let you know!

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