Car News In the Rearview: Elio? How About Eli-no

Hello, my name is Daniel Susco, your bespectacled
curator of the museum of the past week’s automotive news, and this is our weekly gallery,
In the Rearview. First up, I was struck by one headline this
past week: “Is Hyundai Done Making Electric Vehicles?” The answer, of course, is no. In fact, surprisingly, Hyundai is doing the
absolute opposite of that—it’s designing a new platform on which to build a whole line
of electric vehicles. This is a surprise because Hyundai has been
one of the several automakers who has invested heavily in hydrogen vehicles. This concession to hydrogen’s main competitor
in the alternative-power game is a big point in the battery-electric vehicle column. Anyway, speaking of things going away, here’s
a good question: Whatever happened to the Elio. The Elio was a tiny, inexpensive three-wheeled
car-like-thing that Paul Elio promised to sell at $6,800 and get up to 84 mpg on the
highway. However, that was back in 2009; since then,
the Elio company has amassed a deficit of over $123 million, over 65,000 reservations,
about $100,000 in the bank, a long list of delayed production dates, and precisely zero
cars delivered. At least it seems that if you make an adequate
reservation deposit, you get a t-shirt. So hey, even you never get the car for the
money, at least you get a t-shirt. Then, following that hopeful note, I just
found out that for a while, there, since I live in Ohio, I was technically allowed to
run a red light if the signal isn’t working, like how a motorcycle can run a red if the
sensor won’t turn the light to green. It is now gone for those on four wheels—now
only the bike riders. In sales news, one automaker that is delivering
cars, surprisingly, is Mitsubishi. The Japanese automaker has seen steadily dropping
sales for years, not helped by a shoddy reputation and a hefty emissions cheating scandal. However, now that it is under the steading
guiding hand of Nissan and God Emperor Carlos Ghosn, Mitsubishi’s sales have climbed to
more than 100,000 vehicles for the first time in 10 years, led by the Outlander and Outlander
Sport. Speaking of sales, the world of plug-in vehicles
has reached a new height, led by a delivery push by Tesla to put up big numbers by the
end of the quarter. Meanwhile, the Volt continues to be the top
plug-in hybrid, followed by the Prius Prime and a sudden, surprising surge in sales from
the Nissan LEAF ahead of the release of a new generation. It’s a shame that plug-in sales only make
up one or two percent of the total vehicle sales in America. However, I think it says something that all
of the plug-ins in the top five are sold more or less nationwide. In news that is actually a surprise, Buick
has revealed the newest vehicle for its lineup, the Regal TourX, which is clearly a wagon. While Buick is protesting that the TourX is
a crossover, it feels like a man in a sitcom shouting “This isn’t what it looks like!” It isn’t like I wouldn’t buy it if I had
the money, but if you call a chair a chaise-lounge, it’s still a place for you to rest your
butt. Buick, if it looks like a duck, and quacks
like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. Finally, the News Wheel is currently twice
as awesome as usual, because we are giving away an INDYCAR Unplugged board game, at the
same time as we are still giving away those tickets for the New York International Auto
Show. The ticket giveaway still ends on April 12th,
while the board game giveaway stops on the first of June, so don’t miss out on either
one. Thank you for watching! For more on any of the stories I mentioned
in the video, visit us at the News Wheel, and as always, make sure to like and subscribe.