AD #2472 – Nikola Develops European Semi, Ferrari’s Earnings Don’t Look Good, Hyundai Has Big Problems in China

November 6th, 2018 at 11:28am

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Runtime: 5:53

0:27 Ducati Introduces eAssist Mountain Bike
0:51 Nikola Develops Fuel Cell Semi for Europe
1:27 Automakers to Sell Same Chinese Model
2:39 Ferrari’s Earnings Don’t Look Good
3:24 Hyundai Has Big Problems in China
4:32 Brazil Market Clawing Its Way Back

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42 Comments to “AD #2472 – Nikola Develops European Semi, Ferrari’s Earnings Don’t Look Good, Hyundai Has Big Problems in China”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    While the Ferrari numbers may have not been stellar, all I saw was ‘green’ (in the chart, meaning plus numbers); what’s wrong with that. There is something to be said for homeostasis; sure beat the alternative.

  2. phred Says:

    Thank you for the explanation of the “numbers” for the markets and manufacturers. The Chinese manufacturing landscape appears to be full of sinkholes and landmines that favor the local subsidized companies. How will this arrangement be able to penetrate the USA market?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that brand names, at least with mass market vehicles, are more important in China than in the U.S. To me, Nissan and Hyundai are about equal, but it looks like Nissan is much more highly thought of in China.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t quite understand Ducati making electric mountain bikes. They really don’t seem to fit with Ducati’s claim to fame, V twin engines without valve springs.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    Ducati has figured out they need more than 2 cylinders, check out their new superbike.
    It looks pretty wicked, but BMW and Aprilia are also bringing out their new wicked machines.

  6. Bob Wilson Says:

    Nikola Motors is likely under funded given how much it cost Tesla to develop and produce their Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

    Tesla spent billions of dollars to get everything working which they’ve done three times. In contrast, Nikola Motors has no existing models in production. Worse, their USA plan is to contract with a ‘glider’ company which means infantile problems get replicated on the line before correction.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    Another example of laws not keeping up with technology when it comes to the Ducati bike. Most trails in state parks do not not allow any motorized vehicles. Not sure how the E-bikes will fall in there but it would be pretty disappointing to spend 7K on a bike you cant ride in your local park.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    Good show, Sean.

    a. “Nicola” Motors? Did Tesla Sue these copycats or they dont’t have a case? Anyway, Imitation is truly the sincerest form of Flattery. More seriously, I have seen articles claiming that Electrification of Vehicles in Europe will start with the commercial ones, instead of the US, China, Norway etc where the private cars lead. And given Kit’s point about most people in Europe living in apartment buildings and not having access to plug-in their EVs, it makes sense to start with fleets of taxis, Buses, Delivery Vans and Commercial Trucks instead.

    Ferrari has been a huge profit machine over time. Unlike Maserati and especially ASTON MARTIN which recently had an IPO and it was clobbered!

    Brazil is a nation of 200 mill people. In three months, they sold a meager 136,380 cars??? The US with 50% more population sells 4.5 MILLION cars every 3 months, and CHINA, which is frequently mentioned in the same sentence with the much inferior Brazil, India etc (BRICS), 7 million, and they are not cheap Hyundais either!

    2 China is not ready to export cars in the USA, but it does not need to either, it has a huge internal market to satisfy, which is not the case in other manufactured goods, which it must export.

    3. I agree, I would never call some run of the mill Datsun-Nissan an “aspirational” vehicle, except if one aspires to bad quality and unreliability. And yes, there may be lucky people who bought a Nissan and lived. I am talking about the averages here.

    Ducati bike: in my first visit to China in May-July 2006, I saw many electric scooters on campuses, usually driven by young women, with another woman in the back holding an umbrella to protect their skins from the sun, apparently. I was interested in how much they were selling for, and it was as much a non-electric mountain bike is here, or less. $500 US or so.

  9. BobD Says:

    So other than the Ducati decal applied to the otherwise Thok produced e-bike, what is the point? Seems like a great way to dilute a brand name, not that others have not done it before.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 Thanks for the link. That looks quite impressive, but I’m sure not cheap.

    I just looked it up, and the 1100cc version is $27,495 US., less than I would have guessed.

  11. Wim van Acker Says:

    @8: “China is not ready to export cars in the USA”: It is. The Buick Envision is produced in China and exported to the U.S. And the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in Hybrid. And the Volvo S60 Inscription.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 There are several Nissans, mainly Rogues and Altimas, in my condo parking lot, and they come and go under their own power. Nissan has never had anything that interested me, since the rear drive Maxima long ago, but their products don’t seem that terrible. Most of them rate “average” in CR’s reliability surveys. Surprisingly, no Nissans made their “10 least reliable cars” list, but two Hondas did, Odyssey and Clarity

    During my one visit to China, Shanghai in 1994, there were few, or no electric scooters, but zillions of 2-stroke mopeds and small scooters. On non-windy days, the air was blue with 2-stroke smoke, enough of it to make your eyes burn. I’m sure the air quality is much better now, with electric bikes replacing most of those 2-strokes.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    11 Wim: You misunderstood me. Perhaps I should have said “China is not ready to export its OWN cars in the USA”. You know, like Hyundai and Kia, Korea IS exporting its own cars in the US for 30 years, with mixed success.

    But even if I consider “chinese” the Buick, Caddy and Volvo models you cite, their sales, even the three together, are utterly insignificant, and I bet, despite the low labor costs, they do not make a dime of profit to their makers.

    Over in Europe you take Chinese-owned VOlvo seriously, but in the US Volvo sales are terrible, less even than Lincoln’s, three to four times smaller than Tesla’s! It was not always like that, but poor quality and unreliability of recent Volvos have killed it in the USA.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    12 ” There are several Nissans, mainly Rogues and Altimas, in my condo parking lot, and they come and go under their own power”

    I’m speechless. Congratulate the lucky owners for me. My rental Altima Hybrid had a huge oil leak with barely 1,000 miles on it, BTW.

    Nissan vehicles are always inferior to the competition in their segment, not just from japan and Germany but domestics too. Their advantage is their price. (comparatively). One of them, the Versa, is an awfully low quality econobox, but it sold twice the units that the far more intelligently designed Honda Fit sold. I don’t assume that most car buyers have good taste, or know what they are doing either.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    12 You visited it too early. But 10 years after my first visit, in 2016, also in Shanghai but different locations, I do not remember seeing a single electric bike, but cars were all over the place, new and not inexpensive.

    Also speaking of the Clarity, isn’t it the fuel cell vehicle? Despite its alleged unreliability, it has amazing sales, 2,000+ units last month, and this is higher than either the Bolt or the Volt! I wonder how many of the 2,000+ are in CA.

  16. Kevin Anderson Says:

    Seriously, is there a non-Larry D version available?

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 In CR’s reliability survey, the Nissan Sentra is “average” reliability,” but “much below average” in owner satisfaction. I suspect that says something about the relative crudeness of the car, rather than its breaking all the time. The only times I’ve been in Sentras were when I used taxis in Guadalajara, Mexico a few years ago. I don’t know of those were the same Sentras sold in the U.S., but they had really crude interiors.

    15 When I was in China, the vast majority of the cars were taxis, most of the VW Santana, I think the same basic car as first generation Passat, called Dasher in the U.S. There were also some nice cars, many of them Audis, as I remember. They probably belonged to the party bosses, or the higher ups in business.

    There are three different Honda Clarities, a plug-in hybrid, a pure EV, and the fuel cell thing. The vast majority are the plug-in hybrid, which is the one CR has data on.

  18. Buzzerd Says:

    @16 love it, thanks for the laugh.

  19. Wim van Acker Says:

    @13 Your point was that China is not ready to export their cars to the U.S. and your adjusted definition of Chinese cars as “China is not ready to export its OWN cars in the USA”: so all Nissan’s, Toyota’s, Honda’s, Hyundai/Kia’s, BMWs, Mercedes, Volkswagen and FCA’s made in America are not American cars then? Only the GM and Ford products made in the U.S.? I am fine with whatever you say, but believe it is not consistent.

  20. merv Says:

    a mountain bike with a motor? something wrong with that thinking,I’ll keep pedaling mine,thanks

  21. Wim van Acker Says:

    @20: yep, like swimming while driving a power boat :-)

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I suspect most of those sold won’t see many mountains, but will be used as expensive, low speed commuter bikes.

  23. John McElroy Says:

    #15. Honda sells a fuel cell version of the Clarity, as well as a BEV and a plug-in hybrid. According to Wards data, last month’s impressive sales of 2,100 Clarity’s breaks out this way:

    0 Fuel cells
    68 EVs
    2032 Plug-in hybrids

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    #16 Thumbs up! I found its just best to read first who posted then just skip those.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Chevy Volt seems the closest competition to the Clarity plug-in hybrid. They have similar electric-only range, similar mpg on gas, and similar acceleration. Also, the pricing is similar. The Honda is a little roomier for people, but the Volt, being a liftback, is better for carrying “stuff.”

    Quite likely, the Honda dealers do a better job of selling the Clarity, resulting in the sales numbers.

    Sorry about mentioning the Clarity so much. It was not mentioned in the show, but I got side tracked, and brought it up because of its high unreliability in CR’s survey.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    23 John, thanks for the details. I like Hondas better than any of their similarly priced competitors, but I wish they did not use the same Clarity name for either a Fuel Cell and a pure EV and a Plug in, three quite different animals. Your data of zero (!) of these being fuel cells confirms my own comments about the wasted billions for 30 years now (and they always are “ten years from now”, which later became “twenty years from now”, and I can’t believe automakers are still wasting millions on them) and also reminds me of Elon Musk calling them “Fools Cells”!

  27. Larry D. Says:

    21 After my reply 13 there should be no doubt whatsoever about what i said and explained.

    A Ford focus made in Mexico is NOT a mexican car. A Buick made in CHina is not a chinese car. I clearly meant China is 100% NOT ready to export its OWN cars to the USA. And if you still do not see that this is exactly what I meant, and explained again and again, you are not being honest.

    THIS has obscured my far MORE important point about China, which has to do with the US tarrifs on it. China needs to export all kinds of things to the West and the US to continue its growth, BUT in the case of cars, as I already underlined, it DOES NOT need to, because it has a huge internal market for new cars, AND in fact its market, for several years now, has surpassed by far the previous biggest market, the US market (about 17 mill new cars vs about 30 for CHina)!!!

  28. Larry D. Says:

    16 this is the SECOND time you have tried to make this TOTALLY OUTRAGEOUS suggestion, concealed as a humorous remark. I do NOT ask for any of the commenters here I disagree with to be removed from the forum. because I RESPECT the Freedom of Speech we have in this country, which you seem to take for granted.

    24: Your loss.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    19 I still consider the BMW X5s and the Mercedes SUVs made in the US as 100% BMWs and MErcedeses. They sure have little in common with cars from Ford and GM. Same for Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys, despite the fact that these specific vehicles have a very high percentage of “US Content”, which blurs the issue.

    But seriously. Do you consider a Ford Fiesta and Focus “Mexican Cars” just because they are only ASSEMBLED in Mexico?

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 You were banned from this forum, were you not, during one of your many previous lifetimes here. You add a lot, but come on, keep it more civil.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 Very few people can handle the truth. Especially about the US automotive industry, who used to dominate the world, and then lost home games to the imports decade after decade, with GM going from a 55% market share to bankruptcy, and Ford now doing even worse. A company which has a 55% market share in any other industry dominates the market, and usually the Anti-trust laws are invoked to prevent it from squashing the competition. With GM, the exact opposite happened.

    Caddy and Lincoln used to own 90% of the US luxury car market. Now together they are less than 15%.

    When I joined the forum a few weeks ago, with the one exception of EV fan Bob Wilson, everybody had it wrong with Tesla. I was 100% vindicated (and I was not a tesla fan 2 years ago, but I am open to the FACTS)

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 Actually, GM’s top market share was 50.7% in 1962. There was talk of splitting GM up at the time, via antitrust laws, but it didn’t happen. Part of the argument against it was that a Chevy and Pont/Olds/Buick/Cad would have even higher market share than the existing GM.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    #32 Yes GM used to dominate the US market, but its no surprise to anyone that they would have a fraction of that share when you open the doors to a world market. Yes part of that loss was due to the complacency they had, and failure to improve their products. The huge impact that the Japanese had on the market was actually a good thing as it forced the domestics to step up their game. However when you change the game you cannot expect the same results. Having a smaller market share is not as simple as “they suck” as some would elude. You increase the players and simple math would tell you, your share of the pie gets smaller. Not much different as to what the airline industry did to the railroads. Things change. I know you understand this Kit and I appreciate your respectable comments.

  34. Bob Wilson Says:

    A minor, semantic nit:

    ” redundant braking, steering, batteries and fuel cell, which will allow it to have true Level 5 autonomy.”

    The technologies listed have little to do with “Level 5 autonomy.” Now ‘drive by wire’ would simplify bringing in Level 5 autonomy but the other technologies, not so much. Knowing if they are going with someone else’s autonomy would be news along with what sensors will be used.

    Bob Wilson

  35. Larry D. Says:

    32 Actually (truly actually) GM market share in 1962, even though still above 50% (!), was NOT its peak, which, if you read the above article, was even higher than my approximate, and from memory, 55%. But regardless if it was 60%, 55%, or 50%, my important points, that you and Lambo so desperately tried to negate, are still 110% valid. (now bite my ankle by stating that 110% is not possible)

  36. Larry D. Says:

    from the link I quoted. Read the whole thing before you knee-jerk defend the indefensible.

    “At one time, General Motors had a 60% share of the U.S. market. By 1980, GM’s split of the market had fallen to 46%. That was all in the past. I mark the modern failures to stop the descent as beginning with the GM management change in 1992 and the reigns of Chief Executive Jack Smith and his successor today, Rick Wagoner. ”

    With so many strong competitors in today’s auto market, it was inevitable that GM would lose some ground, but it is truly amazing that GM’s board of directors has accepted a nearly 30% drop in market share with barely a whimper.”

  37. Larry D. Says:

    33 Nice try. The Japanese and German competition may have been great, but for whom?

    1. For the Japanese and the Germans who cried all the way to the bank. Sure. And remember my other important point, the Germans actually had a much bigger win over the domestic luxury makers than the Japanese had over the Domestic Economy cars. I repeat, Lincoln and Caddy at one time owned 90% of the market, now they have 15% and no baby boomer or younger buyer gives them the time of day.

    2. For the buyers of Economy and Luxury cars. Sure.

    3.For the UAW workers? Not at all. 100,000s lost their jobs over time!

    4. For the US domestic car dealers? Not at all! Many went broke. In fact, GM and Ford closed down 1,000s at one time, over their protests. or was it Chrysler?

    5. For all the Suppliers who used to give the domestics parts? Not at all!

    The correct question is, what was the impact of the disaster at GM, Ford and Chrysler for the US economy AS A WHOLE?

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35. “At one time” What “one time” might that have been? The Forbes article didn’t say. Maybe in the 1940′s, if at all?

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, 36 Here is some actual market share data.—u.s.-market-share-history?X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, 39 That Forbes articles seems to have been loose with the facts. At least I’d trust AutoNews more than Forbes, re. things like car market share.

  41. Lambo2015 Says:

    Larry I actually agree with your points in 37 yes it was great for the Japanese and Germans as the horrible quality, complacency and the refusal to build decent small cars with good fuel economy is what hurt the domestics. When gas prices went nuts the Japanese and Germans already had good quality cars that had small 4cyl engines and GM, Ford and then Chrysler were still trying to build huge cars with anemic engines. So yes it was good for the buyers then, but more importantly now. The domestics now build cars just as well as the Japanese and as reliable as the Germans. Because of this competition. So yea it wasnt a good thing for suppliers, workers, dealers and the US economy then.
    Sometimes it takes a kick in the teeth to realize you cant sit back and produce garbage just because you are fat and happy like the Domestics were. I dont believe they would be building the quality cars they do today had it not been for the competition.
    But a loss doesn’t mean defeat and although the domestics have a much smaller slice of the pie it doesn’t mean they are still producing junk.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The thing I remember about earlier Japanese cars, is that they had good 4 cylinder engines, but they rusted badly. My sister had a ’70s Dodge Colt (Mitsubishi) and her friend had a Toyota Corolla. Both were RWD/manual transmission. I don’t remember either having any mechanical problems, but both rusted badly with the Indiana road salt, worse than the domestics of the time, and those weren’t very good, compared with today’s cars.