AD #2542 – BMW & Daimler to Develop AV Tech., Ford Offers 5.0L Supercharger Kit, Lamborghini Chops Top on Huracan

February 28th, 2019 at 11:42am

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Runtime: 7:13

0:07 BMW & Daimler to Jointly Develop AV Tech.
0:33 Apple Trims Staff for Self-Driving Program
1:10 Hyundai Will Spend Billion on New Tech.
2:14 Ford Offers 5.0L Supercharger Kit
3:12 How Mahindra Partnership Helps Ford
5:07 Mercedes Refreshes the GLC
6:05 Lamborghini Chops the Top Off the Huracan

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60 Comments to “AD #2542 – BMW & Daimler to Develop AV Tech., Ford Offers 5.0L Supercharger Kit, Lamborghini Chops Top on Huracan”

  1. Dave Says:

    GLC – great little car no wait that was Mazda

  2. Lex Says:

    I want to point out another blunder by GM.
    The New Chevy Blazer appears to be a slightly larger version of the Chevy Equinox with no real benefit to consumers.

    I believe GM should have taken the Chevy Colorado and enclosed the rear bed in the same way Honda took the Ridgeline (Pilot) and enclosed the rear bed to extend the passenger compartment which is being offered as the New Honda Passport.

    A totally enclosed Colorado would have been a better off-road vehicle than the New Blazer IMHO.

  3. Albemarle Says:

    With announcements like Hyundai’s, you have to wonder what vehicle prices would be like for a standard daily driver if all this r&d spending on AI and EV was left to the suppliers. The current focus may be the correct one, but we will never know as there is not a single mainstream car company that isn’t following the herd.

    Perhaps a company that was willing to risk not being a me-too manufacturer could be making a killing in the market by letting suppliers do the r&d and by selling now at thousands less than their competition. Heaven knows, car prices could use a break.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 If suppliers did the R&D, wouldn’t the expense just be passed on to the OEMs, resulting in the same effect on car prices?

  5. Larry D. Says:

    3, 4 Some “R&D” $ are much more wisely spent than others. Automakers will never see the billions they wasted, utterly unnecessarily, on “Fool’s Cells” research, for decades. And the AV craze with its own wasted billions is even worse.

    The continuous upward creep of new car prices has dealers worried, especially as new car sales are beginning to drop already (and if not for Tesla’s stellar 2018 growth, we would have a steep decline in new car sales that year), and buyers wise up to the steep depreciation of most models and the excellent discounts they get on off-lease, low-mileage, certified-used vehicles. Used car sales, in contrast, increased substantially in 2018.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    Cheerleader Jim Farley of Ford (formerly of Toyota) can claim all kinds of pie in the sky re Ford’s deal with Mahindra, but he would be wise to study the history of this CROOKED company, and how it irresponsibly told US dealers to upgrade their stores, spending millions, and then did not do anything it promised and all these millions were wasted.

    I would never deal with these crooks.

  7. ARHPG Says:

    Somewhat off topic here: tomorrow should prove to be an eventful day for Tesla. The $920 million bond is due.

    To quote Bloomberg, “Tesla Inc.’s share price was already nowhere near the necessary level to help convert its $920 million in bonds to stock. Elon Musk’s contentious tweets killed any last-minute hopes that a miracle rally was near. His electric-car company is on the hook to settle the March 1 convertible bond maturity in cash, the largest debt payment to date in Tesla’s almost 16-year history. To make some of the payout using stock, the shares would have had to reach a volume-weighted average price of $359.87 for the 20-day trading period that began Jan. 29. The figure was about $306.91 as of Tuesday, the final day of that span.”

    There is plenty of money to pay this bond, but this will diminish operating capital and thwart aggressive R&D expenditures, one would think.

  8. Brett Cammack Says:

    All I want from Mahindra is a Jawa motorbike.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    7 Musk has a net worth of $19-20 billion, and still rapidly growing. I am sure he can afford 5% of it to pay the bond.

    8 You would be infinitely better off with a Honda motorbike. Or a BMW.

  10. Albemarle Says:

    4 The supplier will get their money, that’s for sure. But, the OEM would have a choice of technology, not just what they have spent $billions on, (and refuse to let go of because the stock market would kill them). Even if the OEM did the r&d, they would be pricing their r&d spend into the new cars. The big point, I think, is that in the meantime before this valhalla future, the OEM is selling new cars like a bandit, and banking big profits. I also believe that suppliers are more efficient at R&D.

    But the manufacturer would also be putting the r&d cost onto th

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 Does Mahindra have something to do with Jawa, which is Czech?

  12. Albemarle Says:

    10 sorry for last line. Scrolled out of the box

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, 11 I looked it up. Yeah, it looks like Mahindra bought the rights to the Jawa name, at least for sales in south Asia.

  14. Albemarle Says:

    13 Mahindra seems to like doing that. I think the Indian market would look so very different that a manufacturer would be glad to license. And so we have Jeep…

  15. ChuckGrenci Says:

    2, Lex
    The New Chevy Blazer is actually produced on the XT5, Acadia platform but I do agree with you that the Colorado should have been used as the under pinning of the new Blazer. Then they could have resurrected the slogan: Like a Rock (and it would have been); tough as the original.

  16. Lambo2015 Says:

    #2 & 15 Yea its disappointing that GM is bring the blazer back in nothing more than another version of the Acadia. With so many makers already flooding the market with their version of a tiny and small CUV then a SUV in XS, S, M, L, XL and even XXL It would have been nice to have something completely different with ties to the original blazer with something unique like a removable top and tailgate rather than hatch.

  17. ARHPG Says:

    9. I agree 100% that Musk can afford it, personally, as his net worth is now around $21.4B as of January, 2019. But Tesla is a public company, not a private company as SpaceX, so Musk is less inclined to tie up that much personal money. Perhaps if Tesla was at the brink (which it has been in the near past), Musk might sell some of his stock. The big issue is that this bond depletes a lot of much-needed capital as Tesla refines existing models and develops new versions.

    Tesla also recently caught it on the chin with *Consumer Reports* removing the Model 3 from the “recommended” list. If this isn’t fixed soon (e.g., in the fashion that Toyota quickly fixed the Lexus GX 460′s instability problems), this could harm Model 3 sales. The old “kiss of death” from CU; manufacturers usually have learned the lesson from Suzuki.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    #3 Its been about a year ago that I said the same thing here. All the OEs are dumping tons of cash into the development of AV and EV technology when they could save those billions of dollars in an account and with the compounded interest they could buy the supplier that develops the best technology. Or at a minimum tie up an exclusive partnership. But I suppose share holders would question that sit back and wait strategy. The problem with most of the OEs is they try and develop the technology with a particular vehicle in mind where the suppliers develop a more plug and play system that will work for all vehicles. Just seems smarter.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Nobody buys a Tesla for its reliability, or because CR recommended it. CR readers buy Camrys, Corollas and Prii… (the last one is suffering huge sales drops recently, from 20,000 a month at its heyday to less than 3,000 last Jan)

    I doubt the bond date will have any huge effect on Tesla, but I could be wrong.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    17 Teslas (and even Jeeps too) are impervious to CR complaints, as sales numbers (and their lofty prices) obviously prove. A comparison between a Tesla and a dirty ICE vehicle is like comparing an ICE car to a horse and buggy with all the inconveniences it entails . Teslas are supercars in EV clothing, to get similar acceleration you have to cough up $200k for a luxury ICE car. They are a drug to their buyers.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    18 interesting point. After all most of what the automakers do is really assemble cars from the parts supplied by their suppliers.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    You can get a ton of free publicity by making outrageous claims…

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #15,16 If they thought the new Blazer could compete with Jeep Wrangler, it would make sense to make it “trucky” using the Colorado platform, and with a removable roof, etc. I’d think that would be hard to do, though, given the following Jeep has in that market. Still, if Blazer is only a styling exercise, does it make sense to make it at all? If in substantially increases the total Chevy CUV sales, I guess it does.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 That sounds like the atomic airplanes that were going to make oil burning jets obsolete.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 Corvettes also have sub-par reliability, but very high owner satisfaction in CR’s surveys.

  26. Maverick Says:

    #2, #15, #16 An “enclosed Colorado” already exists in the Asian market as the Trailblazer. And yes, I wish it come back to the US with the 2.8 Duramax.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    23 Should GM be afraid to take on Jeep? Not one other maker is willing to make a convertible truck like SUV since the weak offering of the Suzuki Samari/sidekick or GEO tracker thing. Sure Nissan tried the Murano cabriolet but that was not really and ORV and not a competitor of the wrangler.
    Wranglers are widely popular despite their rough ride, loud interiors, Death wobble, and mediocre engines. Certainly with the demand for SUVs and trucks GM could weasel in on some of those wrangler sales with a good convertible trailblazer sized Blazer. The versatility of the wrangler being a 2 door/ 4 door hard top soft top and now a pickup is license to print cash and no one is willing to challenge them.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I suppose if they really got it right, appearance-wise, a “trucky” Blazer could establish sort of a cult following that Jeep has had for decades. The only area where a Jeep Wrangler is exceptional, is off-road capability, and probably no more than 5% of buyers ever use that capability. Still, they sell like crazy, even though they are noisy, ride bad, are thirsty and unreliable. What’s not to like?

  29. Lambo2015 Says:

    #27 I’ve owned both and the Wrangler was fun. Only used it for traveling/camping trips. I towed it behind the motorhome. Basically because I never would have considered it for daily use. It was a 98 with a anemic 4cyl that struggled to keep up with Hwy traffic. But take the top off doors off and lower the tire pressure and it was a great vehicle for Silverlake sand dunes.
    The trail blazer was the extended version with the V8 and weighed in at hefty 6200lbs. Also took it to the sand dunes and it actually did amazing even better than many modified lifted 4WDs. I though the weight would be a disadvantage but I was impressed with its capability. GM did offer this truck with a removable rear roof in the Envoy XUV version. I don’t think it sold very well and I remember people having issues with leaks. Was kind of a dumb design anyway as it only opened up over the area that would have been the third row. I guess so you could haul a small landscape bush or 4 ft tree.
    I just think if they would make an easy removable hardtop it would be popular as you said if done right.. Something they struggle with.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That Envoy XUV reminded of a Studebaker wagon near their end with a roof like that advertised with a refrigerator in the back. It made no sense to me. When I need a new refrigerator every 30 years, I just have it delivered.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The $35K Model 3 is now available to order, with estimated delivery in 2-4 weeks. They must be caught up with the orders from those willing to pay higher prices.

  32. Bob Wilson Says:

    Well I find it easy to switch from an investor to a customer.

    The $3,750 tax credit is good through the end of June so the key is to place the order with enough lead time to get the car by then. The tax credit applies to the 2019 taxes filed in 2020.

    I ran the configuration tool:

    * $39,500
    * blue paint
    * dynamic cruise control and lane keeping

    Placed my order at 7:33 PM (CST). Put the $2,500 on the lowest rate card. WOOOPEEEE!

    Bob Wilson

  33. ARHPG Says:

    20. “impervious to CR complains?” Hardly. Just look at what happened to the top-selling Suzuki Samurai sport utility in the late-1980s after the “stability” incident during Consumer Reports’ testing and subsequent “Unacceptable” rating. Although this testing was challenged in court by Suzuki, unit sales of the extremely popular Samurai plummeted from 88,000 in 1987 down to less than 6,000 in 1989 and continued to drop, all because of the “Unacceptable” rating and publicity by Consumer Reports. The Samurai was subsequently removed from the US market as a result of this testing. This is serious stuff.

    Granted, Tesla’s loss of “Recommended” rating isn’t anything as serious as “Unacceptable,” but it is unflattering nonetheless. I also suspect that a large number of potential buyers of Teslas are serious Consumer Reports readers and pay attention to the ratings, unlike the narrow-minded, “fanboy” Tesla lovers who are incensed by any criticism of the brand. “Teslas are supercars in EV clothing,” is an inane and unrelated comment and indicative of this sort of irrational thinking.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32. Will the Model 3 be a replacement for your i3 or Prime, or will it be an additional car?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 The Samarai was replaced by the Sidekick/Vitari/Geo Tracker, which was much less prone to rollover, and sold ok for a while. A friend had a Tracker for several years, until the driver’s door rusted and fell off from the ravages of the Induana road salt. The tiny Samarai is still popular with some off-roaders, but I have seen one on the streets in years.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Should be “haven’t seen one in years.”

  37. Bob Wilson Says:

    #32 – The Prime will find a new home: (1) least depreciated, and (2) BMW i3-REx is more fun.

    All three cars have sufficient, long legs and I’ve figured out the NEMA 14-50 puzzle (aka. If I have to drive something other than the Tesla, the BMW i3-REx is the closest.

  38. Larry D. Says:

    33 You understood NOTHING of what I wrote in 20, which you nonetheless refer to. Apples and Oranges. I was speaking about TESLAS and even JEEPS, not…. stupid SUZUKIS!!!

  39. Larry D. Says:

    31, 32: Unbelievable. How did they manage that? They were just saying the other day they were trying hard to bring their price down. It happened far sooner than I expected.

    Now even at 1,000 a day, they will not be able to make them fast enough.

    Talk about not just keeping your promises, but far exceeding them!

    32 How many miles do you do a year? (all card together)

  40. Larry D. Says:

    24, 22: Yet this idiot is referred to as a “Professor”, and not in some “Tin Roof University” community college, but at… Stanford at that! And an “economist”. Obviously not an engineer…

  41. Larry D. Says:

    34, you took the q from my mouth.

    37, now you just install solar panels and will never need gas again ever. and the extra KWH, you can sell back to the utility.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    25 I’d guess the same for Mustangs and Camaros. Porsche 911s have surprisingly good reliability in some surveys, though.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    There were some more news from Tesla yesterday.

    Besides the big one

    ” Tesla announces $35,000 Model 3″,

    there was this
    “plans to close most physical stores and galleries”

    and this

    “And get this: ‘You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund’”

    Full article at Autoblog

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    So if Tesla is producing 5k vehicles a week and you can order a car today and have it within 2 to 4 weeks tells me they have filled most of their back orders. They have to be within 10k to 20K of filling the backlog. I thought they had like 500K pre-orders. They haven’t built 400k cars so the math doesn’t add up.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 Camaro and Challenger are in the top group of “owner satisfaction,” but Mustang is only in the 2nd highest group. Surprisingly, Challenger did best of the “pony cars” in the reliability survey, with “average” reliability.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I saw that about the 7 day return policy last night on the Tesla web site, and it wasn’t hidden. It was on the page where you fill out your personal information if you want to order a car. Here are the details of the return policy.

    In most cases, I doubt that you would be able to get the 7 day test drive for free. I suspect you would have a hard time getting your sales tax back in most states, and there could be other unrecoverable expenses. Still, I’m impressed that they do that. I’m wondering what they will do with the very low mileage used cars, especially if they are shutting down most of the stores, where they could have sold them at a “demo car” discount. Maybe they will sell them online, and have a list of what is available.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    44 I suspect a lot of those depositors will now be ordering the cheaper cars, but they don’t seem to have any advantage over those who did not make deposits. They just lent Elon $1000 for a year or two interest free. Maybe those who made deposits will be in front of others in the queue, though.

  48. Larry D. Says:

    46 I never said it was hidden. Did the Autoblog article say that?

    44 I see no reason for anything to not add up. I am only curious if they managed to make the Model 3 at a slight profit or they decided to offer it and lose some $ on each anyway, to kill the competition etc.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 No, the autoblog article didn’t say it was hidden, but I was surprised that was as conspicuous as it was on the Tesla site. In reality, though, it won’t be used much, both because most people will know what they are getting and like the car, and because there would be significant nonrecoverable costs in retuning the car.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 cont.
    I doubt if many people will buy the actual $35K car. Most will want a non-black color, the nicer interior that goes with the extra range version, the “autopilot,” etc., and run the price up enough to (maybe) make money.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    50 There is already a $2k option over the 35 that gives 20 miles more range, still lower 0-60 times, and an upgraded interior, that is a better deal than the $35k.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51 Yep, that is what I was referring to, and which I would get if buying one.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    44 It makes 1,000 vehicles a day, but I bet it also makes them over the weekends, for 30,000 a month. And this may be expanded further if necessary. Then later we have the China factory with 500,000 a year, or another 42,000 a month or so.

  54. BobD Says:

    So is the 20 mile more range and lower 0-60 times a simple “software” unlock? Basically a way to extract a little more money for $0 extra build cost? Not saying that is necessarily bad.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    54 It also has an upgraded interior that I doubt can be done over the air. $2k is nothing relatively for this car, even for cheap cars today. I know some Tesla have big batteries only parts of which are activated, and the rest is an option you pay for if you want to. This never made sense to me, to install expensive batteries and not be sure they will be used.

  56. Lambo2015 Says:

    53 If I had put $1000 down over a year ago and was still waiting for my vehicle, I would be pretty upset that people can get online today and have their car within 2 to 4 weeks.
    Even at 30k a month Tesla has only been running at that rate for a few months. So what have they shipped in total maybe 100k vehicles. So if they actually had 500K pre orders then those remaining 400k orders should not be filled for another year or @13 months. That’s how the math doesn’t add up..

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    55 I bet all of the battery cells are used, so they will all see the same charge-discharge use, but are charged less fully, and discharged less low, for the lower range version. As far as the 0-60 time difference, that would be very easy with software. I’d think software hackers might be able to figure out how to “hop up” the cheaper versions of the car, but maybe it wouldn’t be easy.

    I look forward to the MPGe ratings for the two newest Model 3 versions. The rating for the mid-range version didn’t make much sense, being lower than the faster, heavier version.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56 According to Bloomberg, about 213K Model 3s have been delivered.

  59. Lambo2015 Says:

    58 ok so even with 213K models shipped out they should have almost 300k orders to fill which would still put you 10 months out if your just added to the waiting list. Either people are getting bumped out with new orders which isn’t good or Tesla doesn’t really have all these pre-orders.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59. I suspect we will know within a few weeks.