Scion is dead -- here's why (AutoComplete, Ep. 4)In a surprise move, Scion is killed off by Toyota, VW's latest attempt at a Dieselgate recall and the new engine we expect in F-150.
[MUSIC] Welcome to Auto Complete. Episode Four for February 4th, 2016. I'm Brian Cooley, Editor at Large of Road Show. Soon to be joined by Tim Stevens, Editor in Chief of Road Road Show. And this is our weekly news podcast. Digesting what's going on at the intersection of cars and tech. We're starting off here with one that is kind of a shocker. Scion is dead. It's the end of that brand within the Toyota Family of brand. Lexus Toyota Scion is now just gonna a two-legged stool, not a three-legged one. They are going to absorb some of the Scion models into Toyota and make them Toyota cars. So here's the rundown starting with model year 2017. The FRS, [SOUND] good. The IA And the iM will move over and become Toyota batched models, as well as, the C-HR that is coming and the tC, which was actually a favorite of mine, gone. That is not gonna carryover beyond the 2016 model year, those will be the end of the tCs. I know we've got a lot of Scion buffs out there. They've got a cult following, and if you wanna get a TC, you're gonna wanna get it ASAP. We're also taking a look at what's going on with the reasoning behind this, and it's simply low sales. I mean, Scion was supposed to be a really booming sort of a younger person's On up to what you'd currently characterize as millennials slice of the Toyota product family, it started off real strong and edgy. Remember their advertising was really niche, they kinda made the car a cultural statement as much as it was a car sponsored lots of events, music events, cultural events things like that. But then it started to get lost. They actually had a lot of older people buying the car. Which to be honest, didn't do them any good on the street. You judge a car by who drives it in some cases. And I know a lot of older demographics loved Scions because they were cool, they were cleanly styled and they were well priced. A lot of them are very practical, too. Look at the XB. I mean, a great, practical, boxy vehicle that appealed to a lot of people. So they had some issues with who it appealed to. The bottom line is it didn't appeal to enough people. Last calendar year, 56,000 total cars were sold. That's Kind of nothing in the world of Toyota. That's two months of Camry alone. So it just wasn't turning enough volume to maintain a whole separate brand, and all the infrastructure, and company division, I'm sure, that goes with that. A couple of days ago, February 2 Was a deadline for VW to submit another plan to fix it's emission spewing diesels to the California Air Resources Board and the US Federal EPA. Now that plan has been submitted No details about what it proposes have been revealed. That means we don't have much information, I'm afraid, for those of you who own one of these effected cars as to what VW suggest this time they can do. I say this time because they were already turned down rather flatly in January by the EPA, which called their first proposal, let me get the words right here, substantially deficient. In federal legalese that means that sucks go back and do it again. By the way, related to this but a separate agency, the US Department of Justice at the top of this week went ahead and has filed a suit against the VW Group about the 600,000 cars mostly Volkswagens quite a few Audis in there as well. That were sold into the US market in knowing violation of US emissions rules. So that's separate from the EPA in California that are working with the company to figure out a fix that would be retroactive to your car. That's why we keep an eye on this. Now in Germany, Germany, Audi is making progress on this separately. They now have launched a recall that will start in March, as we understand it, for 580 thousand cars in the German market. If you're one of our German viewers that have the EA189 Nine model engine. That is the two liter turbo diesel. This is going to be before they do the 1.6 liter cars. That'll be release a little bit later, the recall plan for those. And the rest of EU Has yet to be announced in terms of the Audi recall to fix those engines, as well. By the way, about 8.5 million of the total 11 million VW group cars that are emitting more than they were suppose to were sold into the European Union. The United States, as much as it's getting a ton of headlines here. At a relatively small slice of those vehicles. Related to diesel emissions, this is interesting. Chrysler is in the news, Fiat Chrysler Automotive. They say that their diesels are compliant, no problems in those, but they're going ahead to fix them anyway. What do they mean? They're going to do a voluntary recall. If you have a recent late model Fiat Chrysler automotive product that's got a diesel engine, and put in new engine software that will bring that car up to the latest standards that are called Euro Six. Euro Six is the most stringent standard globally right now for diesel emissions. Took effect in September of last year Pretty new stuff. Took full effect then. And beyond the firmware that they're offering, voluntarily, you don't have to get it, they're also going to go forward with new cars and more fully embrace scrubbing catalyst technology. Those are the cars- That have the urea injection system, where you add urea to a tank that gets sprayed into the exhaust system as emissions come out. And that works as a catalyst to cut down diesel emissions even further, a system that they don't use in every car. But they're going to embrace it more aggressively going forward. And of course, interestingly, Volkswagen group cars didn't use this. And everyone was scratching their head saying, Wow, how does VW get such great low emissions and not using urea catalyst scrubbing technology like everyone else? Well, they didn't. They just Said they did. Ok lets find out whats going on new at the road show right now by the way if you're new to our site welcome they're only a few weeks up and operation here. Road show is CNET's new wall to wall amazing new automotive site i've hope you've found it and enjoy it if you found our show today through it. Lets go to Tim Stephens whose our editor and chief get the latest on what we have cooking this week Tim Hi Brian. I'm sure I'm gonna be missing you again. I'm actually not too far away. I'm down here in Los Angeles on assignment, riding a motorcycle that Honda had to pull out from their museum just for us. For me and for a very special mystery guest who will remain an mystery. Till that video posts in just a couple of weeks. Sorry to be a tease, but I think this is gonna be a good one. I did wanna give everyone an overview of all of the content that's posted on the site this week, in addition to all of the news that you've been running through. We have Emmy's first take of the new Nissan Ultima as well as her first impressions of the brand new Porsche Boxer Spider, which she had to go all the way to Hawaii to drive. Don't you just feel so sorry for her. Well you have my full review of the Lamborghini Orecon, a $230,000 V10 Super Car which is absolutely fantastic. Beautiful styling, great performance, great handling, great technology. It really is the complete package. Carfection went riding with Charles Morgan, yes the Charles Morgan. To find out which is his Porsche 911 of choice, the answer might surprise you. We have a new rivals video where we're bringing together the best compact SUVs on the market to see which one is worth buying. We have the Mazda CX3, the Honda HRV, and the Jeep Renegade. But if you're not looking for a new car we also brought together a gallery of the best used compact SUVs available for $16,000 or less. So if you're looking for something used, some great choices in there. If that weren't enough, well we've got a retrospective of all the best Scion models that ever went to market and some of their not so great models too. The brand is sadly going away and we wanted to take a look back at the highs and some of the lows. We have all of that and lots more great content available at the roadshow.com so check it out but for now Back to you Brian. Okay, thanks Jim, appreciate the update. Let's talk about the Prius now. Do you remember a couple years ago Toyota was talking about how the Prius could almost become a line of cars unto itself, almost separate from Toyota. It was that big, selling that well, of course that was back when gasoline Cost a lot more, flash forward a couple years forward and now there are some rumblings that are being reported by Automotive News that they may actually look another time at whether they want to continue the Prius C, which is the baby Prius, and the Prius V, which is the big boy, kind of the small crossover. Prius. All of them, of course, hybrids. And they're not selling all that well, and the forecast for the low fuel prices this year isn't gonna help. Now, the standard Prius still sells very well and that will certainly soldier on and have along future by any estimation. They've sold about 1 million prius cars total into the US in history. About 66% of them Or that standard car. Let's see the worst selling is the Prius Plug In, the one that has extra electric range. That one has not sold all that well at all by Prius standards, about 43,000 so far in what three model years I think on the market. So just a little idea of what's going on with Prius on the efficiency forecast Related in a similar way, what's happening with Ford and their power plants, they could be more efficient and more powerful in their trucks. If you look at the F-150 lineup right now, you've got a ton of cabs, three different cabs, two different bed lengths, a lot of different trim levels Whole bunch of engines but what's missing? A diesel. That may change. The word now is that Ford is looking at launching a diesel soon into the F-150. Perhaps as soon as next model year. This according to a research note from an analyst at Auto Pacific which watches the motor market from a financial point of view. And the likely engine would be a three liter V6 turbo diesel, that is currently sold in vehicles in Ford of UK's lineup. So the UK diesel would come over here, have some modifications I'm sure, be planted in as a new option Fairly soon into the F-150 and the powering out through a 10 speed automatic that Ford has been developing with General Motors. So that's an interesting power train combination for you F-150 fans out there. We'll keep an eye on how likely that is to come to market and when. Okay quick break When we come back we'll tell you what Porsche thinks of self driving, at least the principle part. And also, why Tesla is kinda thumbing its nose at the state of Michigan when Auto Complete continues. [BLANK_AUDIO] Welcome back to AutoComplete, episode four. I'm Brian Cooley, editor at large of Roadshow at theroadshow.com. We are CNET's brand new, major automotive website that's all about the future of technology, And cars. And what's happening now is a little bit of technology allergy at Porsche. You think about them as the ultimate car you want to get your hands on. Right? I mean the car do you want to drive all the time. But then look at how many Panoramas and SUVs they sell, that's the backbone of the company. And you realize they aren't just a sports car maker. So, certainly they would want to embrace some degree of self driving, for those kinds of vehicles. Well, maybe not. In fact, the Porsche's CEO Said in no uncertain terms to a German periodical this past week, quote: "And I found the ones in your pocket. Not on the road." Looks like he's not convinced! So while other carmakers, certainly German carmakers, are among the most aggressive on self-driving, as of this moment Porsche's CEO is making it sound like they just aren't going there. Even though a lot of other performance and luxury cars from BMW and Mercedes definitely are. Porsche may end up being a remarkable hold out Or they may change their tune if the market tells them they want at least some driver assist in Porches. At least in some, maybe not the 911, but I think they're kind of fooling themselves if they think that driver assist in a Cayenne is a non-starter. Tesla has got an interesting move in Michigan. As you know they've been battling in a lot of states to get the ability to sell, Directly to consumers. Some states don't allow it at all. Michigan's one of those. And there was a big batch of testimony at the FTC last week in the episode that we told you about. Well, Tesla's done this. They've gone ahead In Michigan, where they don't allow factory direct car sale and applied to new factory direct car sale. They're applying for Tesla to be a seller of cars and get that Michigan license. Now you'd say, why are they doing that? I mean they know it's absolutely not going to happen. Apparently, it Might be setting up a lawsuit. That's one of those things where you have to get a no before you can then go to court and try to change that. And this is apparently what's going on here. They're not really having any faith they're going to set up a dealer by any expectations, but they want to test the limits. Of what the Michigan law will say and how it will be phrased and what the denial will look like before they, it seems, maybe launching some illegal action to make it happen. To sell directly to consumers in Michigan. Michigan being notable of course. being the heart of the auto industry here in America One that it will not be beating in that heart in Michigan will be the Cadillac ELR. It has now been whistled dead relatively soon by General Motors. Now this is the kind of swoopy two door Cadillac coupe that is powered by the guts of the Chevy Volt platform. About an $80,000 car when it arrived. They've cut it recently To about a $70,000 starting price point, but I can tell you from our point of view it never made any sense. Not at 80 and not at 70, just, it isn't there. And the market seems to agree. They sold about 1,000 of them last year but here's the upshot The ELR will not be migrating to the new Volt platform, the new second generation Volt that recently came out. That's the definite. That means they're not going to evolve the car any further. They will keep selling it for apparently a couple of model years, but then after that it may be dead end for the ELR. So if you want one I recommend you get one. And the sales by the way not going the right direction. Last year sales were down 22%. Now we've heard about companies have to change their name because they were called ISIS. And in the last year or so that didn't work really well. Those big pharmaceutical company a number of other products and non-profits have change their name. Probably saw those stories. Here's the latest like that. No about ISIS, but about the Zika. Name. You know the Zika virus is floating around. Well guess what Tata was about to announce at the big Delhi auto show that's kicking off in India, a car called the Zika. Not, KA, CA, it's an acronym for zippy car apparently. Well They're changing the name of that. So if you were looking forward to the Zika arriving, and by the way, it's supposed to be kind of a real breakthrough car for them, a stylish subcompact with some nice touches that you don't always associate with some of the lower end tata vehicles. It's gonna need a new name. Now, if you're doing to the Delhi auto show, and again it start on the Fifth. Friday, February 5th. If you're watching this relatively close to our podcast time. Let me know what they're calling it on the show floor. Because Zika is not gonna be the go to market name. And yet they're going to the Auto Show right now. And they don't expect to have another name for several weeks so it'll just be called Car X but Tesla's got that staked out with Model X so forget that. Anyway, that's what's going on in automotive and technology at the intersection of the boat this week, thank you for watching Auto Complete. Make sure you catch us with all of our new content busting out every hour. At theroadshow.com. I'll see you next time we catch you up. I'm Brian Cooling, thanks for watching. [MUSIC]