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8-18-2017


My new Mazda CX-5: "bumpers" front and rear, do not extend beyond the body's sheet-metal. Isn't that Zero "protection." Tell me why.



Tom KRUG (KROOG)
It’s all about styling.
8-18-2017


Often talked about North America preference for sedans, and European for estates, wagons. But, why? How will this affect makers global production?
 
Thx, Tim
Estates are more popular in Europe than in any other major market. But it’s not as if they dominate sales in Europe, far from it. As in the rest of the world, CUVs and SUVs are the fastest growing segments. Automakers will continue to come out with new estate models as long as sales hold up, but fewer automakers are going this route and are turning to CUVs instead.
8-18-2017


What happens if HCCI Sky-Activ X engine is a big hit for Mazda? Will that affect plant need analysis of John?
Even if Mazda’s semi-HCCI engine is successful, it’s unlikely to significantly boost sales. Mazda’s sales problems have little to do with the engines it offers or the fuel efficiency of its vehicles.
8-18-2017


RE: Continental’s Wild New Wheel Concept

Hi all:
  I have to be he umpteenth person to point this out but everything new is really old. I've found in my years of doing drafting/3D design work that all engineering is built on the shoulders of others. As James Burke points out in his series "Connections" the things of life are small "inventions" woven together.  In the late '50s and early '60s Porsche tried their own take on the disk brake. 
 
Rick
Rick,

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

John McElroy
8-18-2017


Could it be sedans are not flying off dealer lots is because Tesla has 500,000 customers standing in line?  I have 250,000 miles on my 2010 Prius.  I'm not on the Tesla list yet, just waiting to see what happens.



Mark
Interesting theory. Through July, U.S. car sales are off by 300,000 vehicles.
8-18-2017


Hey John,
 
We traded emails around the time our autonomous driving platform launch. I'm enjoying Autoline. Just fyi in case you might be interested in this as a panel for your show: Bob Lutz keynoting at this next month in Plymouth. I know Lutz has gotten enough press for several lifetimes but might be interesting to hear the whole "lion in winter" at a geeky system/software event. Also there will be Mentor CEO Wally Rhines, who himself has spent most of his life around the chip design industry. (Here's his recollection on working on one of the first microprocessors at TI back in the 1970s
 
Anyway, a lifetime car guy riffing with a lifetime chip guy
on Autoline could be cool. 
 
Just an idea from a former Michigander in Japan for a year. 
You were great at the Design Automation Conference a few years back btw. 
 
cheers,
geoff
Geoff,

This is a pretty good suggestion, but we already have Bob Lutz scheduled for a shoot at the end of this month for Autoline This Week, all about passenger drones.

So we wouldn’t want to have him on again so soon. But we’ll keep this suggestion in mind for the future, because it’s a good one.

John McElroy
8-18-2017


John and Sean,
 
I just drove a pre-production Honda Clarity Electric car. They are using the same car to make the Hydrogen, Electric, and Plug-In Hybrid (out by the end of the year) version of the car. Using the same car is a big problem for the electric version as there is not enough space for batteries. The batteries are placed down the center tunnel and into part of the truck. Truck space is the same as the Hydrogen version. They did not disclosing a kWh number for the battery, but did say the range would be 89 miles. They claimed that that was not an optimistic number but a real life number that most people will be easily able to achieve. Also they said that when your range dropped to zero, you can drive an addition 15 mile before it would totally quit.
 
You can not buy the car, you can only lease it. Three year lease at $269 a month, $1999 at signing, 20,000 miles a year. The electric version has 10 less horsepower than the Hydrogen version.  
 
I think they are going to have a hard time selling this car with the Bolt and Tesla 3 having twice the range and the styling of the car is nothing to get excited about.
 
George from Sunnyvale
George,

Great feedback, thanks for sending this. We truly appreciate the feedback we get from our viewers, especially when they scoop us!
8-18-2017


John, Gary, Sean,

I sat in a Bolt EV the other day. Very nice, great reviews, but .... what a shame it does not have electric seats. I think it is a bit a of a marketing mistake. I believe most buyers are probably looking at a second vehicle primarily for urban use with occasional long hauls, and would pay for the amenity. I would.

Regards, Tim (2017 Tesla Model S P100D, 2001 Audi Allroad, 2018 Subaru Forester XT Touring)
8-18-2017


*In response to previous viewer mail from 8-4-2017*

May I disagree with my auto guru on this one as it seems Hyundai was nearly first to the CUV game.  They supplied 'late to the game' BMW with their X3 didn't they?  They started the mini CUV with the Kia Sportage too.

In comparos, Hyundai often gets the 'value' prize, which doesn't necessarily mean favorite.  Either their CUVs Santa Fe and Verazono (or whatever) have become invisible or maybe it's a canary in the mine.

rwork
8-4-2017


John and Gary,



Long time listener here! Big fan! Loved the recent podcast with Larry Dominique. Listening to his take on mobility reminded me of Amazon's strategy of integration. It used to be that Amazon predominately used UPS and USPS to deliver and distribute goods. However in Minneapolis (where I live) it is more typical to see goods delivered by an Amazon truck directly from their distribution center. It continues with the development of Prime Air, Amazon Restaurants, etc.



PSA seems similar, through a Free to Move (PSA Prime) membership I can access car sharing, leasing, public transit, etc. PSA is the gatekeeper like Amazon, and eventually they become the provider of the content as the customer builds a relationship with them. I think it is fascinating and they may be ahead of other car makers in this respect.



Thanks for the great podcasting!



-Joe
Joe,

Good insights. We love it when we can learn from our viewers!
8-4-2017


Do you think the Hyundai slump is due to Mr Kim and his threats to the South Koreans?
 
r-work
No, Hyundai’s main problem is that it missed the sudden shift to CUVs and it’s making too many passenger cars.
8-4-2017


It sounds like the interviews for today's AAH have already happened. But if they have not, here is my question for the CARB representative.
 
Premium gasoline in California is 91 octane. The rest of the country has 92 or 93 octane. This is a problem as the auto companies have to tune for 91 octane. Now the auto companies are asking for higher octane fuel so they can make more efficient engines to meet the ever increasing fuel mileage regulations. There needs to be ONE standard for the all the US. What is CARB position on this? 
 
George from Sunnyvale
George,

Thanks for sending in your question. You guessed right. This week’s After Hours was recorded. We were at an industry conference with access to a lot of interesting people, so we took advantage of that. Next week, we’ll be back to our live webcast.

Best,
John McElroy
8-4-2017


Hi John,
 
I found Robert Davis' comments of how Mazda thinks there will be room for internal combustion engines; but when countries around the world will only accept 'zero emissions' one has to wonder what type of future these engines can really have as it's 23 years.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
Countries may be bold about banning ICEs in the future. But the politicians talking about banning them will not be in office when it has to be enforced. Let’s see what actually happens.
8-4-2017


Hey Guys. Really enjoyed your interview yesterday with Robert Davis. WOW! Mazda has the right focus-------the whole environment not just individual pieces. Referencing the need for premium fuel to allow for the next batch of improvements to the ICE, have we forgotten about DIESEL fuel? Thirty percent more energy than GGE and  a super high cetane rating just to mention a few benefits. Let's not condemn the DIESEL . It may be a piece  of Mazda and Mr. Davis' view of what's needed to help in that " whole environment solution" ! Thanks and keep up your fantastic interviews and diversity. Youngblood Cleveland OH
8-4-2017


Hi John,
 
The next biggest thing in the auto business is the design and development of better high-density batteries.
 
This article which I just read made me think of what Sandy Munro said just a couple of weeks ago about how Boron will play a critical role in the next generation of high capacity battery technology.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
8-4-2017


Having just watched a Tesla Model 3 test drive on USA Today.com I was struck by my first impression. And you know what they say about first impressions. From a visual standpoint I would easily opt for the Model 3 over a Bolt. If I am what I drive, the Model 3 has a stronger positive statement. Several weeks ago, on Autoline After Hours, David Welch stated that he finds all SUVs/Crossovers boring. I think that will be the case for many with the Bolt. I would like to see some comprehensive price information on both cars. In my experience, most buyers do not buy the base vehicle and I think that is the Bolt and Model 3 pricing that I have seen. I will be interested in the average price paid after six months of sales. I think that it is going to be closer to 45K than 35K which is going to put the final cost somewhere in the 37-38K region. I am also waiting for some substantial real world test drive reviews and especially your impressions after both cars have been on the road for several months.

On a second note, what happens when EVs become far more numerous? Without a big uptick in charging stations are we going to see confrontations about who gets to plug in next? I have a friend in Atlanta who does not drive her Leaf to work due to a concern about charging station availability due to the number of EVs where she parks. What will people do, run outside to see if a station is available, somewhat like recharging the parking meter every two hours.

Chuck Genrich
8-4-2017


Hello all,

Just wanted to thank you for your excellent programming in the Autoline family of podcasts.  I listen to it through Apple podcasts.  Very informative and enlightening.

I have been an auto parts advisor for 16 years at a Big 3 dealer.  It is good to hear an unbiased view of what is happening in the larger automotive industry in North America and throughout the world.  I believe that our dealers continue to live in the 1970's and are incredibly resistant to change.  New technologies and new methods are not being embraced by the good ol' boys, and I believe that no dealer or company is too big to fall if massive change takes place.   We need global and local leadership in the industry, and I do not believe we are getting it nor will we get it in time.

And going through your older podcasts, I agree with you -- this is China's century for gain in many industries, including automotive.

More to come.  Regards.

Joel Scott
8-4-2017


(In response to a previous letter from 7-21-17)

John,
Yea me too as far a Chinese auto companies. Oddly enough there is a group of suits offing 40K/acre to farmers in Noblesville, IN. They are trying to piece together 2200 Acres for a "Major economic development" few things take that kind of space and the politicos are tight lipped. Great Wall has suggested interest in a US facility.

D Sprowl
8-4-2017


There is a high level of trust by consumers regarding their privacy when using "smart" network connected devices. For those who don't care whether their physical location away from home can be determined, who have no information that they discussing or things that they do that they don't mind strangers knowing, this may not be a problem.

That trust is not justified by reality.  The technology that they trust is being used to rob unoccupied homes, steal identities (1/4 of all American adults have experienced some level of identity theft in the past 10 years) and corporate information. 

Anyone who says you that they can collect information from vehicles while assuring individual privacy is misleading you through very careful phrasing. What they are talking about is stripping identification from data at some point after it has been collected. 

Automotive data cannot be anonymous from the point of collection.  The example of a dealer being able to advise an owner that a battery is failing based on information remotely transmitted from that vehicle perfectly illustrates that the data collection process is not anonymous, and there is no intention of making it so.  

The customer permission that is being spoken of will be buried in contractural details that few if any consumers will ever read. The software will be licensed, not sold. This is no different from other software licenses. If you use the software, you agree to its operation and any changes that the publisher wishes to make. If you do not agree to the whole, the entire software will be disabled, as far as you know. 

Regardless of whether the data is collected by wifi, cellular data or at dealerships through the dataport, the identity of the origin is easily determined. All radio transmission contains an ID number that is tied to the vehicle, the ODBII port provides a similar number.  All these are tied to the VIN number, which is connected to the owner through state vehicle registration- public information.

This is no more anonymous than the video scanning of license plates at stop lights and  on toll roads to issue tickets for violations.

Unless the companies that collect information have public transparent processes, they cannot be trusted to anonymize data as part the intake process. 

The concern should be about purchasers being unable to purchase a new vehicle without an active data collection system and unable to examine, block and scrub data unrelated to the mechanical operation of the vehicle at the vehicle.  

Vehicular data systems need to be operated and testable like smartphones by their owners.  If not, there is no way to assure data and personal privacy.

Personal cellular devices can be configured to disable GPS and restrict access to data within the device by the owner and the effectiveness determined using 3rd party software and network probes. All that must be involuntarily publically revealed about the device identity is the IMEI and the called number, and this can be mechanically disabled if desired when not actively transmitting.  All other information requires cooperation of the cellular carrier. The audio and IP traffic can be encrypted and/or tunneled by the device owner.  

Vehicle autonomous operation should not depend on a system transmitting anything other than a low power laser, acoustic or radar signal, and containing information other than a VIN-type number. For public open road operation signals should be transmitted by the individual vehicle or an area traffic management system,  not in response to interrogation.  

It has already been demonstrated that vehicles that can be "updated" remotely can be hacked to change their operation. There is no assurance that the data collection system cannot be hacked to transmit information without the knowledge and consent of the owner. 

Given the Dieselgate, Takata and NSA scandals, the auto industry and the government have a long way to go before they can be trusted with realtime data collection and customer monitoring.

P
8-4-2017


John,

GM China E100 EV - is perfect local transport at the right price - the start of a local transport revolution.

Finally, we have an EV that ticks all the boxes for local travel. At $5300 it is a steal. I assume the non-subsidised price would be about $15,000. While battery size was not given, I expect it will be about 25 kWh.

I expect a very wide variety of local travel options will develop from walking and cycling to electrified everything from electric-assisted cycling, scooters and motorbikes of every type, three-wheel and four-wheel cars, fully autonomous 3 and 4 wheelers, various local and regional geo-fenced hire of everything from bikes to cars many of which will be autonomous. We will also have buses and autonomous buses doing local services.

Then we will have longer distance options with a smaller set of vehicles with the addition of trains and planes. Hyper loop is just maglev in a low-pressure tube. The US north-east corridor is prime country for deep underground 400 kmh maglev - the cost will be far cheaper than the ground-level Amtrak upgrade proposals - and fully weatherproof.

Regards

Peter Egan
7-28-2017


Been following your show since it was radio only.
I still feel the missing item on your panel is a regular car person. You only cover industry point of view and the show position is industry centered so there is no counter-point.
I grew up the son of a mechanic/car dealer. We only spoke "car", so I see this show from the perspective of a car person, not industry insider.



The most recent show talked about monetizing data without really asking the person spending $40,000+ for that car if it is ok to use that data for possible compensation.  It used to be that I could step into any car in the dark and before the starter disengaged I had the radio and climate set and was on my way. Now I spend 20 min in a airport parking garage just trying to learn basics so I can drive away.

The industry is so busy adding features that they have not bothered to ask buyers if they want them.

I drove a friends 2017 Buick yesterday and could not wait to get rid of it because of the endless stream of warnings as I drove down a standard local 4 lane road.


Autoline needs a "regular guy" point of view.



Byron
7-28-2017


With the new management team at Ford, do you thing Ranger production will be pulled forward, like the original Ranger was.


Michael
It’s unlikely Ford will pull the Ranger program for North America ahead. It has to retool the Wayne Assembly Plant which is still building Focus’s and C-Max’s and has committed to building them there for at least another year. Of course, those plans were set under the old regime. The new team could decide differently, but so far there’s been no indication of that.
7-28-2017


Mr. McElroy,
 
   So Autonomous Vehicles are almost infallible, as you told me in a previous email? I chuckled when I saw the story about an Autonomous Volvo tangling with a kangaroo in Australia. I am in Quality Control at Roush and will always question Autonomous Vehicles as there will be a situation where the car will not be able to react to. It only takes once for your parachute not to open while sky diving. To me, Autonomous Vehicles have to be 100% fool proof before I embrace the technology.
 
Thank you for your time as always,
 
Andrew Mooney
No, I said that +90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and that autonomous cars would have a much better safety record.

I’ve driven Volvo’s Level II system. It’s not very good.. It’s an enhanced adaptive cruise control with some steering assist that requires you to keep your hands on the steering wheel. I would not call it an autonomous system

John
7-28-2017


I would love to see a comparison of a base Regal, Camry SE and Accord Sport since they are priced within $500 of each other.  My guess is the Regal will be the better car with higher quality rankings, but due to perception, will never come close in sales.
 
Sincerely,
Jos
7-28-2017


I think that the “concern” that GM and the unions are expressing about their sales slumpthe “concern” that GM and the unions are expressing about their sales slump is vastly under estimated.
 
I’ve been seeing a series of financial analysis reports about the coming financial meltdown rooted in the over $1 trillion of auto loans on the books many of which are sub-prime.  Not a housing bubble this time, but an auto loan bubble “Carmagidon”.  Again, those toxic loans are polluting larger bundle of loan packages being re-sold around the financial markets.
 
Here’s a link to some of their views.  It’s by former US budget director David Stockman.  You should get him on your show and have a lengthy conversation.  Would be very eye opening for your audience.
 
Kelly
7-28-2017


Good day.



I do not understand when car manufacturers talk of improving fuel
efficiency on IC engines, what happened to the VW 200mpg concept car and the MYT engine which no single car manufacturer adopted?



Regards



Fortune.
VW’s 200 mpg car was a small 2-seater and those don’t sell very well. Plus it would have been very expensive to manufacture.

As for the MYT engine, the history of the auto industry is littered with revolutionary engine designs that claimed superior performance over existing engines, but never made it into production. In +120 years of development only three engines have made it into production: the gasoline piston engine, the diesel piston engine and the Wankel. And for all practical purposes the Wankel is dead.
7-28-2017


I should have asked you to discuss Peter's 'Death of Wonderlust' article regarding autonomy. I'm sure Hagerty has an answer to that.

Also, has anybody done wind tunnel testing of early 'aero' designs? I think of those testers finding that running boards have an aero advantage.
7-21-2017


I greatly enjoy your website and watch many of your shows. I routinely watch After Hours and doing so I've noticed what seems to me to be a bias against Tesla Motor or a least against Elon Musk. Would you please give me some insight as to why that is if, indeed my observations are correct.
 
In closing, I must say again the I truly do enjoy AutoLine Daily.  Thanks for great, informative, and entertaining web programming.
 
Sincerely, DW 
DW,

I wouldn’t say we’re biased against Tesla or Elon Musk. Yes, we’ve been very vocal about how Elon has exaggerated about and overpromised on so many things. We’ve said that at some point Tesla had better earn a profit if it’s going to be a viable, sustainable company. And we’ve also discussed how crazy, over-valued the stock is.

But we’ve also said how much we admire what Elon has achieved and talked about how good the Model S is (the X, not so much). We’ve also talked about how the Model 3 could be a game changer for the entire automotive industry, not just Tesla.

Like most topics on Autoline After Hours, we talk about the good and the bad, and both sides of most issues.

John McElroy
7-21-2017


Hi John and Company,
 
I understand the need to give incentives to the electric vehicle people because the new technology can't seem to stand on it's own with the car buying public.  However, when you and Sandy Munro talk about TCO and electric vehicles being on par with IC engines because the cost of fuel in Europe is around $7 a gallon, that begs me to ask the question why is the cost of fuel so much higher in places like Canada and Europe?  Well the reason is taxes.  If EV sales start to increase to 10 or greater % of total sales, where are these governments going to get their funds to keep their roads and other social programs viable.  I'm an engineer, an electrical engineer to boot, and I am fascinated with the progress being made to transportation using EVs, but giving these products a big tax advantage is only hiding the True Cost of Ownership.  Why are other forms of propulsion discriminated against, i.e. fuel cells and hydrogen.  I would think that with the amount of energy transportation uses, electric will place a greater demand on the making of electricity, transporting it, and then getting it into the cars, that the TCO would be greater for an electric over other forms of propulsion.  What do you think?  Is the electric car really here to stay?
 
Al Jadczak
7-21-2017


Warming up to hideous... regarding the new Camry and Odyssey.  In some respects, they are even handsome.  The first photos were a bit shocking.
 
As for the new Accord.  Nice.  
 
I hope they can work that magic on the TLX.
 
r-work
7-21-2017


John,
 
Recently BWI announced a new factory for the US. Would you be surprised if Great Wall or another Chinese manufacturer set up shop in the US? or say the midwest?
 
David Sprowl
I’d be very surprised to see any Chinese OEM build a plant in the US before it established itself in the market. First you have to crawl. That means lining up a dealer network, building a parts distribution system, launching an advertising and marketing campaign, importing a bunch of cars and seeing if American car buyers have any interest. If they do, then you can think about building a plant. Taking the “build it and they will come” approach is mighty risky.
7-18-2017


Can you give me some insight as to the thinking of auto manufacturers when it comes to paddle shifters. Last year I bought a new Honda Pilot with the 9 speed transmission. I was a little surprised to find it equipped with paddle shifters. Just who are the buyers who are going to dump this SUV/crossover into sport mode and use the paddle shifters? The money and effort spent on this item could be better used elsewhere in the car.


Keep up the good work.



--
Chuck Genrich
Chuck,

We completely agree with you. Paddle shifters are a sop to enthusiasts in the media who might otherwise criticize a car because it doesn’t have paddle shifters. It’s all about street cred.

The only time where the paddles make sense in a vehicle like the Pilot is in snowy or slick conditions where engine compression (via downshifting) is better than applying the brakes.
7-18-2017


John:

In the following article, attorney Steve Lehto talks about a pending class action legal settlement for owners of 2012-2016 Ford Fiestas and Focus with the "Powershift" DCT transmission. Do you know what changes were made o this transmission in the 2017 model year to take it out of this settlement?

Ron Paris-
The most likely answer why 2017 models were not included is that this lawsuit was filed in early 2015. That means 2016 models were already in production, but not the 2017’s.
7-18-2017


Great job John,
 
Jack Roush.....What an icon!! Have ALWAYS had the utmost respect for this man and am often reminded of his existence when seeing his name plastered over the back of a rumbling Mustang. Would love to hear Jack Roush & Bob Lutz talk about the future of electric cars.
 
Regards,
 
Steve Henderson
7-18-2017


Hi John,
 
Can you imagine wireless charging technology for electric vehicles or hybrids.. it would mean not needing a huge battery as something like the battery in the Chevy Volt would be more than sufficient.
 
You start up and once you're on the special streets with this capability, the car syncs with a computer and charging begins.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
Others are already working on this.
 
Scania
 
Renault
7-18-2017


John, listen to you often.  When the monthly sales reports come out and it is reported that GM sold xxxxxx cars, are these sales by the dealers to customers or sales by GM to its dealers? 
Dave Knipper
Dave,

The sales that your hear reported are sales from dealers to customers.

Sales from the factory to the dealer are generally only published in a company’s annual report.

John McElroy
6-28-2017


John,

Can you help explain something to us?  I realize there are sensitivities.  Perhaps Sandy Munro could provide some independent benchmarking.
 
In the past, the Detroit 3 gave what turned out to be weak excuses why the Japanese had a quality advantage, why they couldn't meet advancing emissions & safety regulations.. and now they say that they can't create American jobs by keeping profitable Focus mfg in the US ?



How can Toyota make Corollas profitably in the US (in Mississippi?) and Honda make Civics in Ohio...but Ford can't make money building Focus in the US with 2-tiered UAW wages?

Enquiring minds want to know...

Regards,
Dave
I think this move to China all comes down to capital expenditures, or rather, avoiding them.

Why Ford ever thought it needed a brand new $1 billion plant in Mexico to make compact cars is a real puzzle. Even tooling up an existing plant in Mexico would require a significant investment. So shipping cars from an existing plant in China that already makes the Focus is a no-brainer from a capex standpoint.

Moreover, if you believe that car ownership is going to plummet in the next two decades it makes no sense to invest in any new brick and mortar.

Ford made 188,000 Focus’s and C-Max’s at the Wayne plant last year. It’s capable of making about +250,000 on straight time. That’s under 80% capacity utilization, and the rule of thumb in the industry is that 80% is the break-even number. Not even two-tier wages help much.

Toyota’s Mississippi plant is nearly a million square feet smaller, and is capacitized for 177,000 cars a year. Last year it built 182,000. So it’s operating at over 100% capacity, and that’s how you make money in this business.
6-28-2017


John,
Good points.. thanks for the insights.

I was under the impression that the Escape was also on the same platform (if it isn't, a fair question is why isn't it?.. the CRV is on the Civic platform isn't it?,  The RAV4 on the Corolla platform)

I would think Ford has spare Brick & Mortar building space in the US and the robots, line, tooling are the big capex items that can be better amortized if they share a platform between Focus/CMAX/Escape.

Plus, I'd like to better understand how Elon Musk is claiming to know new ways to substantially reduce capex.

It will be interesting to hear how the Michigan voters who supported Trump will react to the China move and how long it takes for them to be upset that the President isn't beating Ford into submission for building the Focus in China.

Regards,
Dave
6-28-2017


 HI  just thought you might like to see a guy who knows his stuff he has most of the F1 teams with his heat exchangers also Porsche O.E. Supply  a lot of the Australian super cars the racing fords at Le Mans and a few more  REGARDS TO ALL AT AUTOLINE LOVE THE PROGRAMS THANKS 
Alan,

Thank for this information, we weren’t aware of it.

All the best,
John McElroy
6-28-2017


John,
 
A most informative show - Michigan's Automotive Recovery . Canada is also big in the aviation industry. 
 
While the 75 km San Jose to San Francisco corridor is essentially Silicon Valley, Michigan's partnerships reveal a North East technology corridor about 1200 km long and 500 km wide - from Chicago to Montreal to Boston to Washington to Cincinnati and back to Chicago and all the cities in between. 600,000 square km of North American innovation.
 
Tokyo is about 2,000 km from Beijing and Shanghai which are about 1000 km apart. This is a competing economic region. Hopefully, Beijing will soon realise a united and democratic Korea is more asset than threat within this technology triangle.
 
Regards
 
Peter Egan
6-28-2017


Here is a bit more detail on how they plan to reduce wiring.  Would love your take on how that translates to faster, easier production.  
 
“The wire harness on Model 3 is 1.5 kilometers in length. The wiring harness on Model Y will be 100 meters. And that’s a redundant wiring harness.”
Wiring harnesses are some of the most awkward components to handle on an assembly line. You need both hands to install them. They flop around and can be quite stiff in cold weather when they’ve been sitting in a delivery truck. They run from bumper to bumper and go in every nook and cranny in a car. Wiring harnesses and their connectors are typically the Number One warranty problem, or close to it. Reducing the length and mass and connectors would be a real plus. Once again, Tesla is really onto something.
6-28-2017


John
 
I found Sean’s segment on Ford’s back up system interesting.  I and most people don’t have the big bucks for a large vehicle like the Expedition for backing a trailer up.
 
As Sean said, most people have difficulty backing a trailer up.  It’s really not that difficult if you place your hands in the right position.  Most people place their hand at the 12 o'clock position, or there abouts,
and look over their shoulder and steer left to go right or right to go left.
 
It’s much easier to put your hand at 6 o’clock and steer right to go right and left to go left.  Lessens the difficulty.  You just adjust the input and go slowly.  A lot cheaper than 70,000 Expedition.
 
JD Cluff
6-28-2017


Hi John I just got hosed...I went over miles by about 5000 miles on my lease and bought out my 2014 VW Jetta 1.8 T 5 speed SE model. The residual at the end of the lease was 10,500....I was curious what the trade in value was worth went to a local dealer 4500...!!! They then said well okay we can go to 5!!! I was like holy smokes Batman!! Volkswagen cars are now basically worthless in the used market. There is nothing I can do but drive it a year before I can get a new car. I am done with the brand it is dead to me.
I want an SUV next maybe get next gen Acura RDX coming out in 2018 or the new GMC Terrain Denali. I liked the Honda CRV but I am scared of the long term longevity or lack their of from a CVT. I did hear good things about the new 9 speed auto in the Terrain though..It might actually be more reliable than the ZF 9 speed they are using in the Acura's now since they are already reporting some issues with Pilot and MDX.
Anyway I am done  with VW group forever and this includes Audi...This depreciation hit was like a pancake block from a German Panzer Tiger tank...!!!!
 
(angry)Don from NJ
6-28-2017


I am not sure why the culture of VW is SO stilted. The gentleman that you had on the show just spouted the organized talking points which of course is his job. He's spent too much time in Europe which is VW's typical way of doing things.  He should have known if a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood would fit in the car. The designers should have made the point. That's how you fit into this market. Also he didn't mention towing capacity which means to me it may be low. Those two things need to be on the tip of his tongue. How typical VW. They don't get it. 
 
Years ago when I owned a Rabbit (Golf) I ran into this myopic view of the world. By the way I thoroughly enjoyed the car but not the corporate culture. I don't doubt that the Atlas is a good vehicle but VW secretly expects us to adapt to them. In the case of the Golf they are right but when you are in the SUV market, they haven't nailed it yet but maybe with the Atlas. 
 
Gavin Smith
6-28-2017


Hi John,

Until it's possible to make Hydrogen almost on demand where an individual
drives up to a refueling center and there's no Hydrogen in storage; the
person connects a pump to the vehicle and Hydrogen is generated with a very
small carbon footprint because it uses electricity and an alloy which
creates the artificial leaf effect.

Mike @ San Francisco CA
6-28-2017


Hi John,
I thought it was interesting that supply for the Mustang from the Little Rock plant has freed up.
Maybe now demand has leveled off for left hand drive markets they have ramped up
right hand drive production. Australian Mustang sales exploded for May 1351, (April 639)
by comparison MX5 sales May 169 (April 124). To put that in perspective Mustang outsold the Honda Civic!!
I expect mustang sales will level out though in the medium term.
In the Australian market medium sized trucks are the two top selling vehicles, Toyota Hilux (Tacoma) and Ford Ranger.
After that two litre hatchbacks/sedans are the big sellers, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Hyundai i30 (Elantra GT)
Ford outsold GM Holden for the first time in a long time but both are behind Toyota, MAZDA!!! and Hyundai.
You always lament Mazda's weak sales in the US market, here in Australia they are a volume seller with the Mazda 3 often
the top seller.
Anyhow John just a few observations on the Australian car market.
Keep up the great work!
Regards Tom C  Melbourne Australia
Tom,

This is great information for us to get. Thanks for sending this update on the Australian market. Very interesting.

John McElroy
6-28-2017


Dears John and Gary, congratulations for the spectacular show you do, you two and the whole team and guests do teach me a lot!
I am want to give an special praise for John, the best interviewer I ever saw in my life. You do have the precise balance between making great questions, letting people talk and way in every once in a while when necessary. That’s is a remarkable ability.
About the tv show what could I say? The best TV auto show for auto enthusiasts like me.
I just turned 48, I have worked for Ford Brazil, GM Brazil inside Allison Transmission, and now I am working for BYD Auto, as Sales, Product Planning and Infrastructure Director.
GM gave the initial spark when I had contact with the Allison Hybrid propulsion system, later miniaturized and used by GM, DCX and BMW in many great vehicles. Now I am pure electric and HPEV guy because of them.
Brazil has in revenue service ( for almost 1 year ) the very first all electric mass production refuse truck, even before our HQ in China and it is terrific! Manufactured in China and tropicalized in Brazil! Sure now China has thousands, but the compactor in revenue service started here!
Despite the 5% miles traveled with electricity in US within 13 years, it might well happen, these things are growing in a much different rate now than 10 years ago, it is exponential growth, in not 13, I bet that with 26 years the figures will certainly happen.
I love you all!
Only the best,
CASR
Ps: I never watch you live, usually hear you during my highway 137 miles daily round trip to work,  via podcast, but,  I love to see you guys on the screen!
6-28-2017


Hello, It's always funny when your guest don't understand what is really happening. The reason wall street isn't in love with GM is they know that after the bailout not only did GM not have to pay some $20 billion dollars they owed but they got $20 billion more to write off on future profits. Wall street knows that GM is getting close to having to pay taxes on their profits. The worry about incentives is a media joke Mark Fields said not to worry about them because we have raised the vehicle prices high enough to cover that cost plus more. I have talked to some of the guys that worked at EPA is Ann Arbor back in the 70s and 80 and they remember Honda's cheating with the switch under the hood but we can't seam to find it in print anywhere. I did a walk through at NPR in AA the other day and it's funny just how many vehicles were from Japan and Korea. Most of the teachers aren't buying American either. I'm off the soap box for now.

Thanks Bob
6-28-2017


As an unabashed Lincoln fan with 2 Towncars in the driveway, I can't tell you how encouraging it is to see Lincoln step up and step out. The new Navigator is a real statement vehicle. Unlike the Cadillac Escalade which is a tarted up Chev for all intents and purposes, this new vehicle moves the bar way up. I always liked Navigators but this new one is the one we have all been waiting for. I can't wait to see the drive tests.  
 
What I liked about your guest was that he said that Lincoln concentrated on the driver/passenger experience over everything else. It probably won't be the fastest SUV but it will be close enough. What will be the distinguishing metric is how will it be to live with and I suspect you will have to spend a lot more to have a chance at a better experience. 
6-28-2017


John,
 
You frequently comment on the mis-named “ride sharing” or car-sharing (whether uber/lyft with drivers; street rentals such as zipcar, or autonomous vehicle versions of either of those) killing the new car market.
 
For now, I’ll set aside autonomous, because fully autonomous really would be a game changer.
 
uber/lyft have a unique counter-market dynamic. The supply of drivers is key. If the economy is good, the driver supply drops. If the economy is bad, the driver supply increases. The success of uber/lyft has largely been to the supply of drivers created by the 2008 to present depression or at least malaise. IMHO, only fudged inflation numbers have avoided an official depression. Thus they represent a service whose success may be inversely proportional to the overall economy.
 
So here’s the issue. If the economy and auto market start booming, the supply of uber/lyft drivers drops and the cost of uber/lift service rises. They do not negatively affect auto sales.
 
However, if a further downturn hits the economy and auto market, the uberl/lyft supply increases and that may increase downward pressure on the auto market. Thus, uber/lyft will not cause a crash in the auto market, but they may exacerbate one caused by negative economic factors.
 
Will
Will,

You’re probably right. And this is why Uber is heavily investing in autonomous technology, and why Lyft will probably rely on AVs from General Motors.
6-28-2017


Hi John,
 
    First off I have been a loyal Autoline viewer, especially Autoline After Hour's, since the early 100's show numbers and I know there was a business reason for going to 3 PM versus the old 7 PM time slot but I really felt the old time slot was really an after hours show.
 
    To me it was more relaxed, especially when in came the cooler, and everyone cracked open a beer. I'm sure some people may have been offended by the adult beverages but after hours was just that like happy hour.
 
    Plus with the show being at 7 PM I was able to always catch it live and if I had a question or comment I would be able to call it in. With the new time slot, even though everyone knows the show topic, it's hard to pose a question if I can't catch the show live. I make this point as I am a cancer patient and my Doctor appointments at times cause me to have to watch it after the show has been over and I discover I would have asked a question or made a comment. [ Note: A lot of times I can't get a decent signal on the Hospital Wi-Fi ]
 
    As I say it's just my personal opinion but I remain a loyal listener and almost never miss an Autoline Daily.
 
Take Care, Dale
Dale,

Thanks for your feedback. I liked the later time slot, too. But those became late nights for the crew and that’s why we moved to the 3pm slot.

Hope you beat that cancer! And thanks so very much for your loyalty.

All the best,
John McElroy
6-14-2017


...what do I know.

I liked your balanced commentary.

God bless Ford, and God bless the United States of America


ps:  'drive train' is not an insult, just not his definition.
6-14-2017


Mr. McElroy,
 
   I do not think i am giving away secrets here. I work at Roush and know of the Autonomous Vehicle Program. Hearing you again on the radio, I am still not sold on this technology.
 
   I may be over thinking this but, how does this technology compare to human vision? My point of reference on this has to do with rural areas and especially areas prone to snow. We have have areas where the road is dry but up ahead you see an icy/snowy patch. A human would take action but how does the car react? How is an Autonomous Vehicle going to free itself from being stuck in snow? I see this as great for the sunnier climates but not we where live.
 
   I maybe over thinking this for now as this technology is in its infancy. I am just a consumer asking the questions I hope the developers are asking themselves.
 
Sincerely.
 
Andrew Mooney
Andrew,

AVs will have vision far superior to any human. They will use radar, sonar, lidar and video cameras. They will be able to see a deer running through the woods long before it jumps onto the road in front of a car. With vehicle to vehicle communication they will literally be able to “see” around corners and through buildings. They will automatically hit the brakes if someone is running a red light in front of you.

They will have advanced warning (from other cars) of ice patches and slow down before getting to them. They will be programmed to rock back and forth to get out of a snow bank or automatically call a tow truck if they can’t get out. The developers are using AI to teach autonomous vehicles how to learn to drive in almost any situation.

It’s understandable that people are skeptical of this technology because so few people have actually ridden in an AV. The reason is that they are still under development. But in another 4 or 5 years you’ll probably get a chance to experience this technology first hand.
6-14-2017


Dear John & Gary,
 
I wanted to write in to thank both of you plus everyone who collaborates on Autoline.  I have not missed Autoline Daily or Autoline After Hours since discovering the website a number of years ago (please feel free to share with your advertisers).  In fact Autoline and Blue Jays baseball are the only scheduled entertainment I regularly watch, so thank you once again for getting me through the long Canadian winters.   
 
I am writing in response to Autoline After Hours #378 and Ford’s termination of CEO Mark Fields.  As a former employee of Franklin Templeton Investments and current employee of Sun Life Global Investments I have had the privilege of having exposure to some of the most talented portfolio managers and analysts that work in the investment community.  The auto industry is always ignored and usually for good reason seeing as how the industry is highly capital intensive, cyclical and in the case of the Big 3 mismanaged for decades.  I can only recall two instances where auto OEM’s have been areas of interest; Toyota after the unintended acceleration issue and tsunami rocked the company in 2011 and more recently with Tesla surpassing Ford and GM in market cap. 
 
Having also recently read American Icon, Overhaul, Once Upon a Car and The Toyota Way, I can’t help from concluding that Ford may be reverting to a dangerous and seemingly shortsighted strategy of attempting to appease Wall St.  The automotive industry seemingly sits in an unwanted asset class that for the most part does not interest investors.  As a whole automotive is ignored by more defensive “value” investors that prefer stability, brand loyalty and low manufacturing costs associated with sectors such as consumer staples; think Proctor & Gamble.  Alternatively “growth” investors want little to do with a capital-intensive mature industry when their capital can be easily deployed in the tech sector where comparatively little upfront investment is needed and growth can be exponential in theory.  As a result of the factors listed above and many others, auto valuations should lag the broader index and more attractive sectors such as tech. 
 
Hence the reason why auto OEM’s are trying to re-position themselves as mobility providers as opposed to auto manufacturers; to John’s point last week both GM and Ford seem to be on the cutting edge in terms of this transformation.  Unfortunately for Mark Fields, transformations of this magnitude take years and he seems to be a sacrificial lamb in this instance.  From an outsider’s perspective Ford is on the right track to transition to a mobility provider and unless Ford plans on drastically changing their strategy I see little to no net benefit to this management restructuring and layoff announcement. 
 
Day traders and some retail investment flows may react by this headline news causing a short-term movement in the stock price, however, institutional investors will not be swayed by the announcement and are more likely to view this as troublesome since it indicates there may be further structural issues at Ford.  More worrisome is that Ford’s actions reflect a dangerously short-term shareholder mindset that is pervasive in corporate (North) America. 
 
Both GM and Ford have been continuously improving their product portfolios since the financial crisis in 2008 and both companies have made tremendous strides in producing fleets of desirable cutting edge vehicles such as the Chevy Bolt (which I believe will be a sales disappointment simply because Chevy is on the badge).  Only if Ford and GM can navigate through the next downturn successfully will their stock prices reward their fiscal discipline and innovation they have displayed since 2008.  Let’s also not forget that companies raise funds in two ways: through issuing equity and raising debt.  Last I checked Ford’s credit rating was upgraded once again in February to Baa2 which indicates investor confidence that isn’t being reflected in the stock ticker. 
 
I hope the recent announcement doesn’t result in a major shift in Ford’s strategy; I would hate a see an FCA like focus simply on trucks.  The optimal strategy in any business model is to maintain diversification, which Ford appears to be doing with the current line up of cars, SUVs, trucks and with the push in to mobility services and autonomy.  In the investing community it is considered that the four most dangerous words are, “this time it’s different”, I would argue that those words could be applied to any industry as history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.  We all know a recession is coming at some point, I hope Ford’s announcement is a business decision based bettering the internal strength of the organization and not stock price manipulation.
 
Thanks – Dan
6-14-2017


As I recall, Mulally saved Ford the last time from Bill's social sensitivity.  Now, with all of Bill's new pet projects bringing down the bottom line again, his biggest asset is being blamed.
 
Get rid of Bill!  Let him just be a Ford figure head, like the queen.
 
r work
6-14-2017


I’m not sure I agree with Ford on letting Fields go. They had him going in multiple directions from the beginning.
I will say Ford has been extremely slow in bring out the US versions of the ECO Sport and Ranger. management may feel they are missing the market.


Michael
6-14-2017


Hi John,



I can clearly see the advantages of vehicle autonomy, especially in large urban areas where public transportation is available to augment the need.  However, for a suburban or rural area, I see some significant barriers to overcome.



As an example, performing a weekend warrior project, I realize I need materials from my local home center right away; the water is off in the house while the toilet is being fixed.  In the past, I jumped in my CUV and bought what was needed.  However, now I have embraced the car sharing concept and need to find transportation.  It could be a while before something becomes available and/or my vehicle arrives.  What a frustration!



How do the autonomy inventors see meeting this need?



Regards,



Doug Watson
Doug,

The vision for ride sharing is that you’d never wait more than 5 minutes to get a ride, even in any suburban area. That’s not going to happen overnight. But in another 10-15 years it could become quite common.
6-14-2017


John,
 
Just watched the show - Friday night Australian time - a great discussion and great to get a production worker's views. 
 
Definitely have Brian Pannebecker back on - perhaps in the lead up to the 2018 elections. His name appears to be German in origin - like Trump's. I wonder if there is an angle there - Trump shaped by his ancestry in central Europe like many Americans in the northern states. His wife is fresh of the plane central European.
 
Thanks for discussing my second question in the show. As you asked it, the global industry will think about it, if they weren't already.
 
On Gary's point about brands - they are key as per your discussion of luxury brands. But I recollect people in Australia being concerned about the cars Ford and GM were importing into Australia from Asia factories. But, once we realised all their vehicles lived up to the brand quality no matter where they were made, we bought them in droves, and now no volume vehicles are assembled in Australia. Mercedes SUVs for the world are assembled in the US, we don't care they are not German made.
 
As with Foxconn assembled phones, we won't care who assembled the volume fleets. At the bespoke end of the market, the factory will still matter.
 
(((Ford has retained design, engineering and test centres in Melbourne to support manufacturing activities in the Asian time zone. But surely, also, to have these key activities in three different baskets around the globe for risk mitigation and idea generation. Also, Melbourne and Cologne are likely very comfortable cities for Michigan born and bred engineers and designers.)))
 
Regards
Peter Egan
6-14-2017


Hello John, 
 
Let me start straight off I love your show and never miss an episode. 
My question is ....is the US government hypocritical? I'm from winnipeg manitoba Canada so this is an outsiders point of view wanting to know your take. Trump pulls the USA out of the Paris accords, as I understand it was based on the USA curbing it's contribution to pollutants in the atmosphere and doing their part in emissions control. Yet...last year penalized volkswagen billions for emissions to the environment. 
 
Is this a case of do as I say.. not do as I do?
 
My thanks,
 
Bo Pohajdak 
Bo,

Trump’s reasons for pulling the US out of the Paris Accord are purely political, and most US citizens disagree with him.

VW was fined for deliberately breaking the law, repeatedly lying to investigators and trying to cover up what it did.

The Paris Accord addresses emissions that can lead to climate change, the EPA standards address emissions that are known to cause respiratory illnesses and cancer.
6-14-2017


Subject: The Downside of Electric Cars!
 
From an unknown source; you may want to research this.
 
I always wondered why we never saw a cost analysis on what it actually costs to operate an electric car. Now we know why.
 
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 3 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 the damn 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. 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 1/2 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) $116 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 = $010 per mile.
 
The gasoline powered car costs about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000........So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay 3 times as much for a car, that costs more than 7 times as much to run, and takes 3 times longer to drive across the country.....
Somebody doesn’t know how to read their electric bill. No one in the world pays $116 per kwh. Ok, so this is probably a typo and what the author meant to say $1.16 per kwh. But even that is bogus.

In Michigan, where we are based, residential rates are $0.13 (thirteen cents) per kwh, including all taxes and fees, and that’s typical throughout the country. This highest rate in the US is in Hawaii at $0.37.

There’s a reason why this story is from an unknown source. It’s pure BS, or in today’s parlance: fake news.
6-14-2017


John,
 
I just got back from vacation. We drove a loop of the south east down to FL and back up to IN. We noticed heavy truck traffic. What I found curious was a overwhelming number of new or newer trailers being pulled be 90's to early 2000's tractors. It made me wonder if truckers have found it more cost effective to refurb/repair older tractors rather than by new ones. For what ever reason older tractors are on the road en mass.
 
David Sprowl
6-14-2017


John, I've either watched or listened to every After Hours since late 2009. Some 350 consecutive episodes, give or take. And all of them have been from the first minute to the last (and when I watched live, that included the little bit pre- and postshow). I applaud your show for being mostly apolitcal, except when the situation demands it (such as discussing emissions or safety regulations). But even then ... you, your cohosts, and your guests keep things based in fact and reason -not political partisanship. This guest broke that long running history.

I got through maybe half the discussion with the guest, then skipped ahead to the news portion. The exact moment was when he mentioned something along the lines of 'crooked Democrats like A, B, and Clinton'. It was at that point that I realized that he no longer had anything to say that I was willing to listen to. Until then, even though I disagree with keeping union benefits (including collective bargaining) without paying your dues, I was interested in hearing his perspective. But not after he made his hypocritical partisanship evident with that one remark.

Anyway, looking at your upcoming guest list, it seems like this show was an isolated blip not part of a more political trend. Hopefully it will be another 350ish episodes until I have to skip past a guest like this.

-Davin
6-14-2017


Interesting guest with a different point of view.  He certainly deserves credit for standing up to the UAW.

Alan
6-14-2017


Dear Autoline Daily,
 
Please help me figure out how this $7T in mobility services will materialize.  If we take the 3.17 Trillion miles driven in the US in 2016 and the IRS claim that in 2016 a vehicle costs $0.54/mile to operate, we get $1.7T in “mobility” spending in 2016.  That is less than ¼ of the $7T your sources are claiming.  I know I’m missing something in my back-of-the-envelope calculations, but am I really missing 75%?
 
Thanks, and I love the show!
 
Pete
Pete,

We’re talking on a global basis. And that’s where the 75% gap gets filled.

John McElroy
6-2-2017


Hello John,

I'm a long-time fan of your automotive reports.  You always seem to find something new or interesting in the industry - always a good listen.  



Today I'm writing to know a little more about the VW diesel scandal.  EVERYBODY has reported that VW did something wrong and should pay the price.  But what line of what FMVSS did VW actually violate?  I was just wondering if VW was clever, finding a legal but not ethical solution or if they just completely ignored a requirement of law. 



By the way, if there is no language that prohibits software from recognizing when a vehicle is being run on an EPA test and subsequently modifying its operation, then the government should bear part of the blame for this oversight, don't you think?



Retired automotive engineer,

Ken Shepard
Ken,

FMVSS refers to safety regulations, and in this case we’re talking about emissions regulations.

The US EPA has always tried to have lab tests mimic what’s happening out on the road. Volkswagen designed its software to recognize when a car was undergoing a lab test and have its emissions equipment work perfectly. Then, once it recognized it was no longer being tested, it spewed out very high levels of contaminants. That’s not just unethical, it’s against the law.

VW was very aware that it was breaking the law and did its utmost to mislead the agency. That’s why the Department of Justice got involved and why VW was hit with such high fines.

John McElroy
6-2-2017


Good day,
John, John… I’m sure the “think tanks” back when public transit came on the scene said the same thing. And with ALL the various ways to get around (taxi, Uber, bus, tram, light rail, subways, high speed rail) we STILL are buying cars. I live in Toronto. In the morning I have a lovely 30-40min commute for a distance of 64km (40mls)(I bought a great Chevy Cruze diesel for the great fuel economy, Chevy diesel plug), but in the evening a dreadful 2hr commute. And with ALL of the fore mentioned modes of transportation less high speed rail (of which has recently been brought up in parliament) there is still a large amount of people buying and driving cars here. Don’t get me wrong I agree that there will be some impact, but not to the extent of zero cars sold to individuals, dealerships ceasing to exist. I can speak for my self, I LOVE driving outside of my evening commute, the freedom to come and go as I please, listen to what I want on the radio, etc. Oh don’t forget shopping, be it groceries or large ticket items and vacation… Uber is not going to drive me to Ohio to visit family. Nah, auto industry as far as passenger vehicles are here to stay. They may have to re-invent themselves to cope, but not going extinct. I’m just saying. Great show!
 
Mr. Dana
6-2-2017


Hey John,
 
I disagree with the mindset that this mobility service model is best for most people.  There are many who have no use for such mobility services.  For example, I have a nephew and his wife who currently live in a 3rd floor apartment with their one young child.  The stroller lives in the back of their Ford Escape, the car seat is buckled in the back seat, and I’m sure a big diaper bag stays in the hatch much of the time.  Do you really think they want to haul all that stuff up and down three flights of stairs every single time they want to go anywhere? Plus they would have to get their daughter used to a different vehicle for every trip!  Finally his employment is unpredictable in location.  This year he commutes to a project about 50 miles from their apartment in his Chevy Cruze.  How much extra will they have to pay for super high-mileage use?
 
Add to this example:
1) My friend the architect with hard hat and measuring gear in his trunk. 
2) My friend the video producer with an Expedition full of camera gear. 
3) My friend the civil engineer with work boots, hard hat, and a perpetual change of abuse-resistant clothes in her trunk.
4) Our business with a trailer-towing F350.
5) A smoker.
 
Admittedly our son the college student would be very well served having a vehicle on demand instead of a car sitting in a parking lot behind his dorm.  I just don’t think that >70% of the population will switch to the mobility service model.  I‘d vote <30% if I had to pick a number.
 
Thank you for the thought-provoking segment!  I appreciate your show!
 
Pete van der Harst
Pete,

Superb observations. Thanks for sending this in.

John McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv