September 16th, 2016 at 12:17pm
To watch this episode on YouTube click here.
- Tesla Battles Suppliers
- German States Sue VW
- Why Hyundai Wants Luxury Brand
- Volvo is Wagon Its Tail
- Lexus Spider Web Seat
- IDSA Design As a Change Agent
On today’s show…suppliers say that Tesla is starting to act like a mean old car company….Lexus turns to spider webs to make your tush more comfortable….and how the public is undergoing a psychological change when it comes to autonomous cars. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily for September 16th, 2016.
WHERE’S IÑAKI WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Tesla is starting to look more and more like an old-line car manufacturer. It’s getting into nasty disputes with more and more of its suppliers. Early this year Tesla sued German supplier Hoerbiger over problems with the design of its “Falcon Wing” doors on the Model X. Now Tesla says that Mobileye tried to to stop it designing its own Autopilot system. For its part Mobileye says that it is going to drop Tesla as a customer. That’s unprecedented, for a supplier to try and stop an automaker from developing new technology. And its unprecedented for a supplier to publicly announce it’s dropping a car company as a customer. Wait, it gets worse. Other suppliers privately tell Autoline that Tesla is beating them up for lower prices. One supplier vice president told us, “Tesla doesn’t care about technology anymore, all they care about is price.” Looks like the bloom is off the rose. Tesla is starting to sound more like the General Motors of old than like a Silicon Valley startup.
GERMAN STATES SUE VW
Speaking of car companies in trouble, Volkswagen is going to face off against some very powerful antagonists in court. Bloomberg reports that BlackRock is going to sue the automaker for not divulging its diesel emission scandal when it first learned that it was under investigation. BlackRock is the largest private investment group in the world. That means it has very deep pockets and has the ability to take VW to the mat in court if needed. And it’s not just BlackRock. So far, 450 lawsuits have been filed against the company. VW says the claims are unfounded. But now Reuters reports that two German states, Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg, are also going to sue VW. Their pensions funds hold VW stock and they lost millions when that stock plunged after VW finally went public that it was under investigation.
Still to come…Lexus is inspired by spider webs to make more comfortable seats.
WHY HYUNDAI WANTS LUXURY BRAND
There are some new cars on the road that you might not recognize. They’re from a brand called Genesis. And if that name has a familiar ring to it, that’s because for the last few years it’s been one of Hyundai’s luxury models, that is until the South Korean automaker decided to put all its chips on the Genesis name.
Erwin Raphael, General Manager, Genesis
“This is a brand new luxury brand. This is completely separate from Equus. Hyundai, our parent company, had two luxury vehicles, one was Genesis and the other was Equus, and it was time we felt to really execute luxury properly we needed to have a separate brand so we could focus on luxury customers properly and focus on a luxury product. And that really is what the Genesis brand is about.”
To hear more about this new luxury brand, the Genesis dealer body and its flagship sedan the G90, go to our YouTube channel for an in-depth feature from our own Katie Gritzinger.
VOLVO IS WAGON ITS TAIL
With the Paris auto show right around the corner more automakers are revealing what new products they’ll have on display. And now Volvo is the latest, taking the wraps off the V90 Cross Country. Compared with the regular V90, the Cross Country comes standard with all-wheel drive, a higher ride height and a chassis that’s been modified to handle off-road driving. Production of the V90 Cross Country kicks off this fall in Sweden.
LEXUS SPIDER WEB SEAT
And you’ll find more than just new cars in Paris. Lexus is showing off what it calls the Kinetic Seat Concept. As you can see, the back and the bottom feature a spider-web pattern which helps disperse a person’s weight to make longer rides more comfortable. It also helps stabilize your body, to help steady your field of vision. It’s also somewhat environmentally friendly, the webbing is made from sustainable sources, not oil based materials and it’s slimmer compared to a regular seat, which helps cut weight from a vehicle.
Coming up next, the public is undergoing a psychological change when it comes to autonomous cars.
IDSA DESIGN AS A CHANGE AGENT
As we keep saying, autonomy could be the most transformative technology to hit the auto industry in a 100 years. But are people ready to accept it? On Autoline This Week we were at the national conference for the Industrial Design Society of America. We were talking about design as a change agent and in the following clip my panel discusses how society is going through a psychological change in regards to autonomy.
(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
To learn more about what the panel has to stay about design as a change agent, you can watch that entire discussion right now on our website, autoline.tv or you can find it on our YouTube channel. And we also posted a separate video with audience Q&A that has a lot more information.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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