AD #2715 – California Slashes EV Incentives, Mercedes Consolidates Proving Grounds, Mitsubishi Teases Updated Mirage

November 11th, 2019 at 11:50am

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Listen to “AD #2715 – California Slashes EV Incentives, Mercedes Consolidates Proving Grounds, Mitsubishi Teases Updated Mirage” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:15

0:07 China Considers Cutting EV Subsidies Again
0:46 California Slashes EV Incentives
1:45 Mercedes Consolidates Proving Grounds
2:32 1955 Hill Valley McDonald’s
3:11 Lyft Expands Autonomous Testing
3:41 Ford Tests 3D Knitting Seat Covers
4:40 Magna Improves Door Latches
5:20 Mitsubishi Teases Updated Mirage
5:39 PSA & FCA To Keep All Brands
6:14 Carbon’s Unique 3D Printing Approach

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39 Comments to “AD #2715 – California Slashes EV Incentives, Mercedes Consolidates Proving Grounds, Mitsubishi Teases Updated Mirage”

  1. Lambo2015 Says:

    Elon had better hurry and start delivering cars in China while there is still a market. I wonder if this news has affected Tesla stock? They certainly have to be concerned with a 45% drop.

    John great observation on the FCA/PSA merger. Spot on!

  2. Jon M. Says:

    Oh that rascally Marty McFly! The only thing that would have appeased Doc Brown as a result of the spy shot is that it didn’t appear until 2019, well beyond the possible effect on 2015.

  3. Bill Warner Says:

    The McDonald’s shot with the DeLorean was more likely 1956….not 1955 , unless the 1956 Ford next to it was brand new, 4th quarter 1955. Just showing you I pay attention.
    I really enjoy your daily reports.

  4. Phred Says:

    When you combine auto companies one is always cannibalize.Just ask any one who worked at American Motors…”What happened to you?”

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    I watched the show about the 3D printing, pretty amazing what they are doing. There sure are some smart people in this world.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the FCA/PSA deal goes through, there will be a lot of job losses, especially in Europe, even if they keep all of the brands. Some Opel/Vauxhall models are already becoming badge engineered Peugeots, or nearly so, and more of that will happen with Fiat.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 You know your mid-’50s Fords better than I do. I can tell a ’55 and ’56 Chevy or Plymouth when I see them, but not the Fords.

  8. ChuckGrenci Says:

    John/Sean: on the 3D printing AAH (I watched but was wondering about something). At one point, I think one of the moderators asked if the sequence that was shown (growing the part) was real time. Dr. DeSimone said, no it was speeded up. Did he ever reveal how fast the sequence was sped up. I ask because he also stated that his process could be 10, 100 or even faster than current 3D printing.

  9. buildmore2doors Says:

    I just wanted to say a big Thanks to all of our veterans on Veterans Day, without your sacrifice our great country would cease to exist.

    Really liked the story on the ball bearing door latches, as a former human factors engineer I know how important it is to make machinery user friendly, and as a mechanical engineer it is nice to see something new without a dozen wires sticking out of it.

  10. John McElroy Says:

    #8. No he did not mention how fast they sped up the video. If you’ve ever seen other industrial 3D printers, they are as slow as molasses. If you see Carbon’s printers they don’t look that fast, but they are much quicker than everything else out there.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Those latches sound like a great idea. Now, if car companies would get over the gimmicky handles used to release them. Tesla and Jaguar come to mind, but I’m sure there are others. How about those simple, recessed ones like on a 1957 Chrysler? I’ll try to find a picture.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Like on this car:

  13. GM Veteran Says:

    Did we catch a brief glimpse of the new Ford Mustang-influenced EV in that piece on the 3D knitted seat covers? As the woman turned the fabric, the Ford logo appeared and then a vehicle image that doesn’t look to me like any current model Ford. Check it out at 4:33.

  14. Bobby T Says:

    7,11: The easy to spot differences between a ‘55 and ‘56 Ford are the grille on all models and the sweep spear on the Fairlane. The ‘55 grille has round parking lights and the ‘56 has oblong ones. The ‘56 Fairlane sweep spear has ribs on the horizontal part and is wider than the ‘55. There are many other differences, but that should be enough to tell them apart. That ‘57 Chrysler is one beautiful car but I like the handles on my Flex better: just grab and pull.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    So China, with the trillions and trillions in US treasuries, and the 12 trillion US dollar Economy, and you say this with a straight face, China is worried it paid three lousy billion in EV subsidies? Seriously?

    $3 billion means $1.60 for each Chinese Citizen, PER YEAR. Seriously, guys? Are you sure you passed Arithmetic 101 in first grade, or did you draw Camaros on your notebook instead of paying attention?

    Shi Jin Ping, CHina’s Supreme Leader (for life too!) will be having the laugh of his life if anybody tells him the above.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    As a resident of Michigan, who does not even allow Tesla to sell cars here directly and avoid the fat dealer middleman, my heart goes out to the poor Silicon Valley Billionaires who will not be allowed any more to go out and buy two EVS at once AND get two subsidies, but just one. What a tragedy! Sophocles should be alive to write it.

    CA is already saturated with BEVs. AND they Can STILL Buy a Model 3, can’t they. AND a Model Y later. Neither will cost more than $50k, let alone 60 (base model)

  17. Larry D. Says:


    Seriously, is this ALD or Saturday Night Live? Kudos for the Laughs! I am sure that Humpty Dumpty Hackett, with this bold move, has revolutionized the automotive landscape, and his face will be in the Auto Hall of Fame, maybe 1,000 steps below Elon Musk’s. Here is to dreaming, Humpty!

  18. Larry D. Says:

    Happy Vet’s Day (also happy Pet’s day). Actually it is already Nov 12 in CHina. I told you, it is REALLY Advanced.

    I noticed my neighbors in the $500 Billion Shanghai Economy are scrambling to come up with that $1.60 per capita, PER YEAR, so China can continue to give out $3 billion in BEV Subsidies.

    Still, as that congressman said, “A billion here and a billion there, and soon we are talking about real money”

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 I found some ’55 and ’56 Ford pictures, so now I’ll know how to tell the difference, at least from the front. With the Chrysler door handle, you just put your fingers in the lower part, palm up, and pull. My first car was a ’57 Chrysler. Those cars look good, had great powertrains, but rusted badly, even before there was much road salt.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 China probably still has the much bigger incentive for EVs, essentially free registration, and permission to bring them into the cities.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    20 China does not mind ICEs in the poor rural areas, but does not want them in the big cities (and there are a lot of them, with 5-10 to 22 million population each).

    Not only do they have to pay a $15,000 license fee to use an ICE in Shanghai, (and similar in 5 other huge cities like Beijing etc) they may not even get a slot, they award very few of them, if any, and have some lottery scheme to award them.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    But the loophole is that a Plug-in Hybrid also counts as a clean vehicle and saves the $15,000 US and is allowed to operate here in Shanghai, as my assistant who bought that BYD Rav4 sized plug-in crossover last year (for only $26k US) told me

  23. Larry D. Says:

    VW EV plant in China also starts trial production (they will eventually make 600,000 a year there, even more than Tesla’s 500,000)

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22. That’s a big loophole, if there is no way to assure that they have enough range for city commutes, or if they are even plugged in.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    While the Chinese invade Europe with the first of several EV exported there.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    24 Commutes here are short, the secretary with the Caddy XT5 has a… 6 KM commute. And many live within walking distance of work, it;s not like in the US.

    At noon I will have lunch with my colleague/assistant who will then drive me back to the hotel, and will ask him if he can recharge it at home, and how many times (if any) did he put gas in it.

    I bet in downtown Shanghai with the 50 story apartment buildings and the 100-150 story Business hi rises, they cannot recharge on the street, but maybe they built 20-story underground garages with plugs. I would not put it past the Chinese, they really like to build, and build big, and it has not changed in 2,500 years.

  27. Bobby T Says:

    18. That was senator Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois, who besides being quite an orator, apparently also had a sense of humor.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I saw Dirksen from the senate gallery in about 1966 when visiting a college friend in northern Virginia, and “touristing” in DC.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    27 Thanks, I supposed it was Proxmire with his golden fleece awards.

    I just came back from lunch, my colleague/assistant cannot plug-in at home, so he uses the U parking plugs, they are not 100% free, he still has to pay something (very little, he told me) for the electricity. His commute is only 9 km, so the 80 km range on electric is more than sufficient and the battery is always full on weekdays. he has done 12,000 km in one year, so he also takes it on long trips.

  30. Bob Wilson Says:

    The end of December will see the last Federal tax credit disappear for Tesla purchasers. My expectation is a 2019 Q4 sales bump as 2020 Q1 purchases were moved forward. The 2020 Q2 numbers will tell the tale of Tesla sales in the USA going head-to-head with everything else.

    TSLA the company will still get emissions credit revenue … as long as other companies sell vehicles that need emissions credits.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 People will probably “move forward” some Tesla purchases to get the tax credit, but I can’t imagine the tax credit’s going away will affect sales much, long term. The $3750 credit is only about 6-7% of the total sale price of a typically equipped Model 3, with sales tax, and less than 5% of the price of an S or X.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Elon really wants to sell more cars in the US, he needs to come up with a system to make Billy Bob’s Used Cars in Waco TX a franchised dealer, while adding little additional cost in selling the cars. Well, maybe he should start in Austin and San Antonio, but it would seem that you could have franchised dealers, by state laws, without having a fancy showroom and shop, and not add much to the price of the cars.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    31 Tesla should take a page from the Elio sales plan. Since Elio was not planning to set up a huge dealer network they partnered with Pep Boys. They would be the service and sales centers had they ever made it into production. Tesla could license an already existing service centers like Midas, Goodyear, etc and make them dealerships. I would think they could still retain the same no haggle pricing similar to what Saturn did. Kick a few hundred bucks to the service center to deliver the cars and they make their money on repairs as a certified service center.
    Either way I’m with you Kit and doubt that tax credits will have much affect here in the states. The people that want an EV will buy one regardless of a 6 or 7% tax credit.
    My concern for Tesla and VW is they have plans for large volumes of EVs to be sold in China with their new plants and we might be seeing the peak of sales this year with a gradual decline after 2020.

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    15 I’m pretty sure the folks at AD not only paid attention in math class but probably also drew Camaros in their notebooks. The problem they face is people not paying attention to what they report on. China paid 3 billion in 2017. That’s two years ago and when EVs were just getting started. If sales doubled in 2018 then again in 2019 your talking 12 Billion. Which I could see why the government would start to be concerned with how much they were subsidising as sales continue to grow.
    Like many people here we are talented enough to do math and sketch cars and can do it without being insulting.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Yeah, using an existing chain like Midas would be simpler, and probably better than using one-off businesses like I said in #32.

  36. Lambo2015 Says:

    35 Maybe Bob knows, but what do you do if you buy a Tesla and have a mechanical problem? Especially if you bought in a state like Michigan? Specifically, warranty work and if your model-3 is broken down along side the road do you have to have it towed to another state?

  37. cwolf Says:

    33-35) Tesla will need a sales plan like the ideas you suggested, but Musk and his ego may have a different idea.
    Never the less, I expect Tesla will have a decent Q4. They have more orders for the more profitable cars, like the S. If they are able to meet their annual prediction, Tesla just may prove they can hold a profit while making capital investments.
    One the other hand, after the New Year will tell all.

  38. Brett Cammack Says:

    I wonder how many millions Tesla saves every year not having to deal with emissions compliance testing.

  39. Bob Wilson Says:

    #36 – I’m going through that problem now. I live in Huntsville but the nearest Tesla service is in Nashville, 122 mi away. Like BMW, they seem to have delays getting some parts like the HW 3 computer for full self driving.

    The Model 3 is usable but things like tires and wheels Tesla service asked me to work with local tire shops. Sad to say some shops seem terrified of Tesla’s … which is fine by me. More fun for me.

    One way to create independent Tesla mechanics is to let retired engineers fix their own cars.