By on June 23, 2014


Welcome to While You Were Sleeping, a roundup of the auto news from the recent past. We’ll be expanding and changing this report based on reader tastes. To begin with, it will feature just the hits that we didn’t cover with individual articles.

And The Second Most-Traded In Car Is A Segway: General Motors claims that the Toyota Prius is the most frequent trade-in for the Chevrolet Volt. Another statistic: Volt owners average 63 percent of their time in EV mode. Which means that they’re only annoyed by the Volt’s less-than-stellar gas mileage in normal mode 37 percent of the time, I suppose. Volt owners have saved more than 25 million gallons of gasoline, enough to run the Gulfstream V private aircraft of our betters an amazing 2800 days. That is enough to cover Al Gore’s jet itinerary at least five times! The figures were based on a looking at 300 Volts in California.

The First Guy To Try It Was The Emperor Nero: So-called “neutrality agreements” leave the door wide open for unions to organize an employer without opposition using whatever methods they feel are required. But do they equate to an actual taxable or illegal subsidy for those unions? Navistar’s decision not to oppose a third attempt to organize their 650 workers at a Tulsa schoolbus plant might fall afoul of judicial oversight based on recent court decisions elsewhere. But why would a company beat the union twice, as Navistar did, then roll over? Sources point to a relationship between the new Navistar CEO and the UAW. They “negotiated contracts together” at GM. Was he paid off? Threatened? Or has he learned that a union can be a remarkably pliable partner in the modern capitalist era?

Because That’s All They Can Sell: There’s a new Aston Martin Lagonda afoot — even as our own reader doctorv8 has his William Towns original rotisserie-restored. Sources told CAR that the production run could be fewer than 100 units. Styling is said to be angular, as was the styling of the Eighties Lagonda. Power would come from the disgraceful Rapide. The emirs will no doubt buy a few, but the rest of the world is likely to yawn.

Maybe It’s Because They Can’t Agree On How To Pronounce It: Aluminum construction is sweeping the industry, from the original Audi Space Frame A8 to the new F-150. But the Koreans haven’t chosen it for their upscale hardware despite doing test builds of an aluminum-panel K900. The new Genesis actually dials back the use of Al in its construction, gaining 390 pounds in the process. Cost is the key, experts say — and with lower volumes for their upscale vehicles compared to the Germans, there’s less of a chance to amortize expensive production techniques or absorb the massive price premium commanded by aluminum over good old steel.

This Means The End Of Those Videos Where The Cops Are Chasing Criminals And All Of Them Are Driving What Appears To Be A VW Fox: Brazil and Argentina are opening their borders to tariff-free imports from Europe and elsewhere, a process that could take fifteen years or more, together with a lifting of quotas for Mexican imports to those countries. “This will consolidate the current process of technological updating of this region’s products” opines Just Auto. In other words: VW has used its ability to manipulate the governments of South American countries for decades now, and they’ve used it to reap massive profits while saddling customers with ancient hardware. But there is an end to every story.

Alright, ya’ll, that’s While You Were Sleeping for Monday, June 23, 2014!

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22 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: June 23, 2014...”

  • avatar

    Like it. A great, wide-ranging recap with links.

    Thanks. Please keep it coming.

  • avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    I am rust

  • avatar

    Jack, after reading the actual DFP article the key quote giver is an anti-union lawyer who works for employers citing the Reagan to Bush Era where the NLRB was packed by conservatives. Conveniently ignoring the modern history being written today and the all but acknowledged future trajectory. But enough of my own views…It then goes on to point out the court rejected an Union over their support of a slots law that would have helped a Casino they had unionized. Not exactly a smoking gun in terms of some sort of secretive coercion and force…

    Anyways, it appears the Navistar agreement has more to do with the power players at both firms having been friends, so if the B&B are so “works Council” friendly it should be right up there alley.

  • avatar

    I think most GV owners wish they could get that sort of fuel burn. At (an unrealistically optimistic) 400 gallons/hour, running two Rolls-Royce BR7109 engines for 2800 days straight would require 26,880,000 gallons of Jet-A. GVs typically book 450-500 gph (usually 500-550 for the first hour and 450 for subsequent hours), so at 450 gph, those 25,000,000 galllons would get you 2,314 days of operation. And yes, I’m suspending reality and pretending a BR710 will run on mogas. :-P

  • avatar

    Brazil may have just saved Ford’s Cuatitlan Assembly plant from closure.

  • avatar

    I’m sorry, but this is forum clickbait…

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    I wonder how many people Murilee would kill to get that disco dashboard..

    And this one’s even better, LHD..

    Those LEDs are frickin PIMP.. Just need goldtone in there somehow..

  • avatar

    Are 300 Volts in California really representative? Those in less temperate climates are surely spending more time in gas powered mode (even slightly), due to climate controls and temperature effects on battery efficiency.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth


      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Not as much as you’d think, at least in Texas. Mine’s on about 92% electric.

        AC doesn’t really kill efficiency until you get well into triple-digits, and/or sit in lots of traffic. In the 90s F I see 1kW being used at a stoplight with AC in ‘Eco’, which is adequate if you do a remote start and park in shade or under cover.

        I reckon Volts in areas that get a lot of cold will do demonstrably worse as far as range goes, I reckon a proper New England winter will get them down to the mid-20s on battery-only for a good 2-3 months out of the year, and low-30s for 4-6mo. But then, it’s really up to the buyer to determine whether or not the vehicle fits their use case well.

  • avatar

    Was that the car Damon Killian drives in The Running Man?

  • avatar

    no, Killian was chauffeured in an Maserati Quattroporte.

    Oddly enough I just watched the Running Man on Amazon prime a few nights ago. Not one of Arnold’s best works…

    • 0 avatar

      Thx for the info.

      Which is better, The Running Man or Raw Deal? From a filmmaking standpoint I’d say Raw Deal by a hair.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d take Raw Deal by a wide margin. Running Man had a good premise (and the Steven King story is even better), but I just can’t stand the cartoony villains chasing Arnold. It was even worse that the WWF.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    The Aston-Martin Lagonda das looks like something out of Loren Greene era Battlestar Galactica.

    Near my office in LIC Queens, NYC there is a vintage import car repair shop. For years just from walking by the shop. Like clockwork every few months there is a white Lagonda parked there for repairs. It usually has the hood up and the dash apart. Probably electrical work. I don’t know how the owner copes with the cost repairs or he thinks it is the price of owning a cool car.

  • avatar

    The Autonews aluminum article fills a big product planning hole I’ve always wondered about. While I’ll continue to buy Asian (though Tesla is what I really want) in the near future, I always wondered why they are so slow to embrace non-steel bodies, extended wheelbase designations, and few engine option choices.

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