AD #2344 – More OEMs Slashing Car Production, Why Tesla Isn’t Going Away, Ford Helps the Blind on Road Trips

May 1st, 2018 at 11:30am

Runtime: 6:25

0:29 Will April Sales Go Up or Down?
1:10 More OEMs Slashing Car Production
2:10 Tesla to Report Record Losses
2:33 Why Tesla Isn’t Going Away
3:17 Could the Chinese Buy GM Korea?
4:09 Military to Have AVs First
4:59 Ford Helps the Blind on Road Trips

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26 Comments to “AD #2344 – More OEMs Slashing Car Production, Why Tesla Isn’t Going Away, Ford Helps the Blind on Road Trips”

  1. Michael Shipley Says:

    And the blind person using Feel The Viewer the first time, immediately got car sick.

  2. WineGeek Says:

    The American OEM’s are abandoning the world market to the benefit of the Chinese. Much of this is the due to the US’s obsession with quarterly results and lack of long term planning and goals. We need to start thinking on a longer term basis. Perhaps allocating part of the quarterly profits to a reserve account for long term development and R&D. The US OEM’s need to have the ability to be at the forefront of the industry not trailing the Chinese.

  3. GM Veteran Says:

    Sales. How bad is Fiat doing you ask? So bad that even with four distinct models, they are being handily outsold by the much more expensive Alfa Romeo brand, which features only two models. FCA needs a plan for Fiat to support the dealers that invested in unique, standalone facilities based on Sergio’s passionate sales pitch. I have to imagine that the percentage of those dealerships that are profitable has to be very low. FCA may start losing those dealers and locations to another brand that provides a better business case.

  4. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    The military A/V’s are a great place for the technology to mature. Anything to lessen the casualty count is worth every penny spent. The one shown for carrying wounded soldiers seems to lack protection for the wounded patient. I assume/hope that feature will be included with the final design.

  5. MJB Says:

    While I certainly understand the trend toward producing fewer passenger cars, I for one will likely always drive one.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    That’s great they have a 700 billion dollar budget to back up the desire for AV military vehicles. Will it require that much ? Prob not but you can bet that’s what will get spent as many people will suddenly become very rich.

  7. MJB Says:

    #4 – Agreed. I can only hope that the promotional image shown of the ‘wounded soldier’ AV was just so that people could see at a glance what its use is. Otherwise he becomes an even easier target for the enemy.

  8. ARHPG Says:

    Tesla has such beautiful, innovative cars and may not “go away,” but the company simply can’t operate too much longer with the huge, multi-million dollar, quarter-after-quarter losses and likely few big-time investors willing to inject more money in the company’s operations. Things will simply have to change. Elon Musk—bright as he is—hasn’t a clue about how to efficiently compete in the mass-production automotive business.

    In my opinion, what is needed for Tesla is a modern-day, 21st century Walter P. Chrysler to be brought in to transform the company’s operation—much like he did at Buick in 1911-1919, Willys Overland in 1920 and Maxwell Chalmers in 1921. Chrysler understood manufacturing efficiency and had was a brilliant manager; this efficiency is lacking at Tesla, a company apparently without the know-how to assemble quality cars efficiently and cost-effectively. This is why Chrysler was the last true car company in American to achieve long-term success and Tesla will fall by the wayside unless someone intervenes.

  9. Lex Says:

    The success of the Honda CR-V and new 2019 Jeep Cherokee are both fine examples of what Americans are looking for in day to day transportation. These are car based CUV’s. Mazda’s CX-3 and 5 and GM’s Equinox and Terrain are also fine examples. The secret to success is refinement! I mean to say no more than 4 trim levels and no more than 4 powertrains, with one of them being an battery electric. VW has the right idea with their MQB platform which allows multiple models to be built off the same platform. Their is no need to build a single EV powered model like the Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt or Bolt. OEMs need to be flexible to take a standardized platform (Models / nameplates) and drop in either a Gas, Diesel or Electric power plant into them. Production of EV models should be based upon orders received with strict delivery dates to avoid a Tesla Model 3 fiasco. This would allow inter-changeable body and interior parts while mechanicals would differ. The badging of the vehicle would be the only external differentiator. Why not have a Chevy Bolt with an ICE which runs on either gasoline or diesel? This would save GM a huge amount of money in the long run in retooling and allocate more dollars to R&D.

  10. BobD Says:

    I’m curious if someone else bought Tesla, would the fanboys still be so excited, or would they quickly fade? Likewise, would those 400,000 people who put down $1000 deposits still want a Model 3 if Musk was no longer running the show. And if those buyers loss their $1000 deposits in the bankruptcy, would they ante up more money to get in line again? I’m not sure Tesla’s brand equity would survive once reality sets in and the fanboys are not there to ignore the quality issues that would have already killed other startups.

  11. Len Simpson Says:

    China RULES, guys, bad metallurgy and all

    A 1K load of batts is STUPID

    Nissan’s ICE gen & 48V system will eventually be recognized as the best & simplest EV design, don’t understand why it’s not here already

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 What 48V system? If you are talking about the Note E-power, it has a ~300 volt battery, since it uses a Leaf motor. It’s just a small, about 1.5 kWh ~300 volt battery, giving a few seconds of range between ICE startups at highway speed. The battery capacity is similar to that of regular “compact” hybrids, like Prius and Ioniq.

  13. omegatalon Says:

    Car sales are poor if you’re not building the right type of car consumers want because Toyota sold 35.264 of their Camry in MAR 2018 while Chevrolet managed less than half that number at 14.707 for the Malibu and Ford who does want to kill off production of their Fusion sold 16.103 units.

  14. John McElroy Says:

    #10. Fantastic questions!

  15. ARHPG Says:

    #10. Perhaps this is the reason that no one has stepped up to Tesla to try to remedy the problems: without Elon Musk—and that special mystique je ne sais quoi quality about him—people might quickly lose enthusiasm for the brand.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    If Tesla goes under,( and I for the life of me don’t know why this is taking so long to happen), I think the ‘Elon Illusion’ will go away,and the assets and tech will be sold off.

    His ideas/dreams are cool,but the execution was a bust.He can’t blame it all on the robots,too many/maybe not checked right,who knows.Bottom line,he can’t deliver the goods.

    I would think even the most ardent fan boies would have awakened to see this.But then again,a fool and his money…

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 Tesla might be bought by someone, if they go bankrupt, and can be bought for what it is really worth, rather than its current “value” of more than that of Ford or GM.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Tesla were bought by a legacy car company for a few cents on the dollar, they could fix the manufacturing problems, and sell the cars “the regular way.” They would have a different customer base than now, possibly me, if a non-Chinese company bought them.

  19. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    IMO until you can charge the battery full in the time it takes to fill your gas tank and continue on down the road, most people will buy/lease ICE cars/trucks. Hybrids are closer to the solution but they still don’t command much share of the market. The typical family of “middle” class income can’t afford a second car to fill in when the EV won’t do the job.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most “middle class” families I know have two or more vehicles, and an EV work work well as one of the vehicles for those in single family houses, with a place to plug in. A car like a Chevy Bolt would work for all of my driving, except for a twice-a-year trip between Florida and Indiana, with one major problem. There is no place to charge an EV at my Florida condo.

  21. phred Says:

    If Elon Musk and his team can’t make Tesla Car Company be successful???? Why or How would a Chinese company turn it around to make it profitable?

  22. Kate McLeod Says:

    I’m not so sure about Tesla’s brand equity. It’s tainted and,
    with him at the helm I think there’s more taint acomin’.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Chinese companies know how to manufacture things, like most of the consumer products we buy, so might be able to fix what is wrong at Tesla, an inability to mass produce cars.

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    #23 There are many companies out there that could resolve Tesla’s inability to mass produce cars. The Chinese do know how to manufacture “things” cars included recently. But the economic structure is much different. The Chinese have very low labor costs they can afford the throw bodies at a problem and manually install parts that are often times automated here in the US. So their solution to Tesla’s problems may not be very cost effective.
    IMO Tesla tried to look at things differently and try a new approach, which is an honorable endeavor however 100 years of proven and perfected assembly process is hard to beat. Things like line buffers which contradict minimizing WIP are needed and prove to be more valuable than their downside. What Tesla really should have considered was launching the model 3 like all other manufacturers and then implement their new ways in steps to see what works. Too much at stake to try something new right out of the gate.

  25. Dan Says:

    Ah, how could Tesla go bankrupt when Elon Musk is worth some 20 billion dollars? He has a nearly endless amount of cash to keep pumping into the business to keep it going.

  26. Ed Says:

    Tesla: seems counter intuitive, they are stopping / slowing production of the suv and luxury car for an entry model car. ( not a crossover or cuv)
    But lately all we read is how all others are cutting entry level cars and ramping up production of suv and trucks .
    I know someone just got the Tesla suv, $108000.
    Not a run of the mill purchase.