SEPTEMBER 25, 2019
Monday, September 23, 2019 at 12:29PM
Editor

  GM and the UAW. Editor-in-Chief's Note: This every-four-year pissing contest between the U.S. automakers and the union is debilitating and soul-sapping. The posturing, the sabre-rattling and the media jostling is damn-near pointless. There are no winners here either. No matter when it settles, everyone loses, big-time. -PMD

  The UAW. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Trying to negotiate a new contract with GM and the rest of the automakers when the entire superstructure of the UAW is tainted with fraud and corruption is a fool's errand. The rank and file of the UAW have to know that they're part of a giant scam and have been played for years. But they're also stuck, at least through these contract negotiations, and they can't do a damn thing about it. Will there be hell to pay after these negotiations are finished? I'd like to think so, but then again the go-along-to-get-along mentality is pervasive. It would take a grass roots revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since the UAW was first formed. I would love to see it, but the likelihood of it happening is slim. And none. -PMD

arrowup.gif  Honda. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Look who's smiling now. Honda never walked away from building cars, and now they're reaping tremendous rewards because of it. The Honda Civic, in all of its iterations, continues to post eye-opening sales. It is leading the compact car segment (over the Toyota Corolla) by nearly 20,000 units this year. The Civic(s) posted sales of 34,808 units last month, a 26 percent gain.

  Nissan, Carlos Ghosn. Editor-in-Chief's Note: According to a report from Bloomberg, Nissan Motor Co. and former CEO Carlos Ghosn agreed to pay a combined $16 million to settle a U.S. regulator’s allegations that the automaker failed to disclose millions of dollars in compensation that the ex-chairman was due to receive. Nissan was fined $15 million, while Ghosn had to pony-up a $1 million penalty, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a Monday statement. From 2009 until fiscal year 2018, Ghosn, with substantial assistance from his subordinates, took part in a scheme to conceal more than $90 million in compensation from investors, according to a complaint filed Monday in Manhattan federal court. Ghosn, with the assistance of director Greg Kelly, decided to structure the payments after his retirement to avoid public disclosure. Ghosn, meanwhile, remains in Japan awaiting trial on finance-related charges. He was arrested last November and has repeatedly claimed he did nothing wrong. Really? The hubris is almost incomprehensible. Time of your life, eh, Carlos? -PMD

  BMW. Editor-in-Chief's Note: The German automaker is going to stop production of its i3 electric/extended-range electric car. We liked the car a lot, but it was never able to move out of the curiosity zone. Maybe that was because other than its avant-garde design theme - which was exceptionally well done - it didn't perform all that well as an electric vehicle or as an extended-range electric vehicle with its auxiliary on-board engine. Another case of shoulda-coulda-woulda in the car business. -PMD

  Alfa Romeo. Editor-in-Chief's Note: A perusal of the future product forecast in Automotive News for Alfa Romeo is sketchy, at best. The operative words used were "could" and "may." As in could or may happen, depending on the alleged future Alfa product in question. Not Good. -PMD

  Jeep. Editor-in-Chief's Note: The Jeep brand advertising campaign that featured actor and musician Jeremy Renner was a non-starter from the beginning. In fact, it pegged our "Wince Meter" right out of the gate. It may have delivered some attention to Renner, which was nice for him, but it did absolutely zero for the Jeep brand. The bottom line? This was pure, unmitigated advertising crap. -PMD 

(Lamborghini images)

Thirty-six Lamborghinis produced between 1964 and 1991, as well as contemporary models, took part in the second edition of the “Lamborghini & Design” Concorso d’Eleganza. The event, organized by Lamborghini Polo Storico, was held from September 19-21 between Venice and Trieste, paying tribute to the creative genius of the great Italian architect Gae Aulenti (1927-2012), born close to Trieste and internationally renowned for representing Italian design and architecture around the world. Nina Artioli, Gae Aulenti’s granddaughter and curator of the architect’s archive, talked about some of the moments of Aulenti’s life, followed by the awards ceremony. The judges gave the title of Best in Show to the Lamborghini 350 GT, chassis #102, owned by a Swiss collector, and winner of Class A “Front Engine Dawn”. The car, restored with the utmost care and completely respecting the original features, is one of the pillars of Lamborghini’s history as it was the first car to be sold by the car manufacturer to a private customer. Today, this 350 GT - #102 - is the oldest existing Lamborghini production model.

The 1964 Lamborghini 350 GT, chassis #102.
The 1968 Riva Aquarama Lamborghini, the only Riva motorboat to have been fitted with Lamborghini engines and the former personal boat of Ferruccio Lamborghini (hull #278).

(Audi images)
The new Audi RS 7 Sportback has been tweaked to be more aggressive looking. It is 1.6 inches wider than the regular Audi A7 Sportback, but it only shares 
the hood, the roof, the front doors and the tailgate with the base model’s body.
Special RS displays use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details of tire pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached. The optional mild-hybrid system also shows some RS-specific information. The flat-bottomed, fully perforated RS sport leather steering wheel with new large RS aluminum shift paddles features multifunction buttons, which the driver can use to enable the new Audi drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. 
The 4.0 TFSI V8 in the new Audi RS 7 Sportback produces 600HP and delivers 590 lb-ft of torque between 2,050 to 4,500 rpm. It will sprint from 0 to 62.1 mph in 3.6 seconds, with the top speed electronically limited to 155.3 mph. This can be increased to 174 mph with the Dynamic package and 189.5 mph with the Dynamic package. The mild hybrid system consists of a 48-volt main on-board electrical system. The belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. If the driver releases the accelerator at a speed between 34.2 to 99.4 mph, the drive management will select one of two options. Depending on the driving situation and the settings in Audi drive select, the new RS 7 Sportback will either recover energy or coast with the engine switched off. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the belt alternator starter will start the engine again. MHEV technology allows for start-stop mode at speeds below 13.7 mph. As soon as the vehicle in front of the new RS 7 Sportback starts moving, the engine will start — even if the brakes are applied. With the MHEV-technology it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.8 liters per 100 kilometers. The RS 7 Sportback also has a cylinder on demand (COD) system. In higher gears at low to medium loads and engine speeds, it will deactivate cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 by halting injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The new Audi RS 7 Sportback will arrive in the U.S. in the late spring. No price information is available as of yet, but this just in: it will be very expensive.

  

 




AE Song Lyrics of the Week:

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends
 

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Wake me up when September ends

"Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day





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