AD #2726 – Ford Wants Cybertruck Rematch, PSA-FCA Merger Looks Like a Go, Audi to Cut Thousands of Jobs

November 26th, 2019 at 11:46am

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Runtime: 8:38

0:08 Ford Wants Tug-of-War Rematch with Cybertruck
0:49 GM Will Have Hard Time Proving Lawsuit Against FCA
1:36 Despite Lawsuit, PSA-FCA Merger Looks Like a Go
2:26 California DMV Rakes in Millions Selling Driver Info
3:08 Audi Will Cut Thousands of Jobs
3:54 BAIC Wants a Bigger Stake in Daimler
4:41 Honda Reveals All-New City
5:46 GM Bringing Book by Cadillac Back
6:54 You Said It!

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56 Comments to “AD #2726 – Ford Wants Cybertruck Rematch, PSA-FCA Merger Looks Like a Go, Audi to Cut Thousands of Jobs”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For the Cybertruck vs F-150 thing, they need to use a 4WD Ford, weighted up to whatever the Tesla weighs, with the same tires, and whatever engine it would take to be traction limited in low range. It might, or might not take more than the 2.7 turbo to be traction limited in low range, but I suspect one of the bigger engines would spin wheels in low range, low gear.

  2. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Kit – When Ford said it wanted to do an apples-to-apples comparison, I took that to mean electric truck vs. electric truck. I think Ford would want to put the Cybertruck up against its electric F-150 prototype.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Those truck tug-a-wars mean nothing. It really comes down to traction and weight. How about hitch up a 10,000lb trailer and do a 1/4 mile drag race with a 10% incline. More real world results.

    That’s why with the DMV or anywhere else that really doesn’t need it I never give my correct cell number. Although I don’t recall the DMV ever asking for a phone number.

    Congrats on Honda making the touchscreen look like it belongs in the car.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 Thanks, Sean. I was thinking a current production F series.

  5. Buzzerd Says:

    I agree the tug of war things are kind of dumb. There are so many variables their only purpose is to give fans something to cheer about.

  6. Wim van Acker Says:

    @Sean: 40,000 GM vehicles (10,000 + 30,000) not sold is a loss of $3BB??? Check this out: $3BB/40,000 = $75,000. These are my figures. Please explain yours.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 I agree that tug of war things are dumb, but I think a tug of war between electric and gas vehicles of equal weight, equal number of driven wheels, and the same type tires could be entertaining. It would be interesting to see which happened first, smoking electric motors, controllers, or batteries, fluid boiling out of a torque converter, tires melted off the wheels, or a discharged battery, etc.. You might need a wide lane, and a fairly long “distance to win” for the event to run to completion.

  8. Wim van Acker Says:

    @6 So $75,000 less profit per vehicle. GM does not even make $75,000 of revenues per vehicle. I suggest you check your figures and your logic.

  9. Dean Romanski Says:

    The cyber truck is huge! Compare the size even in the photo, what will the actual production vehicle look like, I bet Tesla’s truck weighs a t least a couple of thousand pounds more than the F150. Seeing is believing if Musk can deliver on his promises including price, we are still waiting for the $35,000 Model 3.

  10. ChuckGrenci Says:

    The ‘cyborg’ comparo was just about as lame as Ford’s pulling the million pound train; pointless. And Kit I think you are just as right as Seam; I believe power and weight being equal or similar would yield both vehicle just sitting there spinning all the wheels.

    p.s. Autoline, perhaps you shouldn’t have led with the Tesla segment (that’s about all Elon had in mind in the first place; free publicity). Maybe, in this case, you shouldn’t have fed the troll.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    6&8 also using that figure if 40k vehicles account for 3 Billion and GM normally sells 8.4 million a year means they should typically make $630,000,000,000 a year or 630 Billion. The math doesn’t seem right. And I still don’t believe GM lost 40K in sales.
    Again which vehicle did they deplete all the inventory? The answer is none.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Unless shifts were added/dropped before and/or after the strike to “adjust inventory,” there would be loss of maybe ~200K units production from the strike. How that would affect profit or loss is much more complex to know. They ultimately will sell fewer cars, since they made fewer cars, but paid out less in wages during the strike, may or may not have few incentives, etc. Who knows how that will actually affect the bottom line? Probably no one.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    They will sell fewer cars because they made fewer cars? That makes absolutely no sense when you have inventory.
    Its like sand passing in an hourglass as long as they have sand up top the flow can continue at the same rate no matter how much or little sand is on top. Those vehicles can still be moving and selling regardless of the strike and in fact as you pointed out. Those vehicles move without the overhead of paying workers.
    Sure I can understand a level of drop as inventory gets low and maybe the particular vehicle a customer wants isn’t available but that might account for a very small percentage as most dealers share inventory and can usually get what you want even if its not on their lot.

    Sorry I’m just not buying this huge loss to GM and I’m sure they will massage the numbers to show a loss but I fail to see how. So they can continue to say they have a loss but until its explained with facts that actually make sense its just numbers thrown out haphazardly.

  14. Drew Says:

    GM managed the financial risks of the strike. First, they built up inventory of their most profitable vehicles prior to the strike and did not follow FCA’s deep discounts. Second, OEM revenue is recorded when the vehicles are shipped to dealers, so GM pre-recorded profits as they built-up inventory in 2Q and early 3Q. Their 3Q profit incurred the worst effect of the lost production. 4Q should be close to back on track.

  15. Drew Says:

    @15 – I agree.

  16. Drew Says:

    Oops, 13, not 15.

  17. Kevin A Says:

    Not paying the workers? I thought that GM gave them a ‘new contract signing’ bonus that was greater than the wages they would have make during the strike.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Sorry, but what you said makes no sense. You ultimately sell the number of cars you make. They don’t throw them away. At some point, they are sold, even if they sit around a long time, and are deeply discounted.

    As I alluded in #12, unless they added extra shifts to increase inventory before the strike, or added shifts to replenish inventory after the strike, they made ~200K fewer cars than they would have without the strike, and will sell ~200K fewer cars than if there hadn’t been a strike.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Yeah, that’s true, at least for the “seniority” workers.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Off topic, but I just read a magazine test with a rather surprising result. It was Road & Track’s “Performance Car of the Year.”

    https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-comparison-tests/a29640493/2020-performance-car-of-the-year/

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    18 Kit I get what your saying but they had inventory and yes they did build ahead and increased inventory prior to the strike. They never ran out of vehicles which means cars were available for people to buy even 6 weeks into the strike. So building or not building cars they had product available to consumers.
    Carrying inventory costs money so reducing inventory was a good thing.
    So the building of cars or not building cars is completely disconnected from the selling of cars thru inventory. That inventory allows for fluctuations and those 6 weeks saw a fluctuation in building but not to the point that inventories were depleted. Not sure I can make it any more clear.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    Pickup Tug of Wars may be silly, but Musk likes the free publicity and loves to jab the old established car makers. A David vs Goliath sort of thing.

    Note he took on Ford’s biggest cash cow and the perennial, undisputed industry’s best seller, not some loser like the Nissan Titan which sold 3 units in 5 years or something like that. You can’t accuse Musk of Cowardice.

    But if you asked me to find a contest more stupid than this Tug of War, (Seinfeld Contest excluded), I sure can point out the Lincoln Town Car vs Caddy Fleetwood (or whatever) large sedan wars in the 80s, I believe, when Moron no 1 boasted that his Lincoln was “longer” than Moron no 2′s Caddy. Talk about blatant compensation! AND the funny thing was, those two “giants” not only were rather lightweight for their size, they had an unbelievably small wheelbase, which really ruined their looks from the side, with 4 foot overhangs left and right. Talk about cornering the ‘sucker’ markert segment!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 Elon should have at least used a 4WD Ford, and it would have been better publicity than the generally bad publicity he got with anyone who knows anything about vehicles. Given that his wedge, with all those batteries, is almost definitely heavier than the Ford, the Tesla still should have “won” the tug of war, without it being such a blatantly unfair comparison.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    6, 8 Good points, but you are too hard on Sean, he did not make these calcs and come up with the numbers, these were from news stories, I don’t recall who exactly said it, maybe it was GM sources, maybe analysts, or other Auto Journalists but it was not Sean who came up with this nonsense.

    First of all, not having the opportunity to sell 40,000 vehicles is NOT a loss or a cost, it is what is called an “Opportunity cost”, what could have been.

    Second, GM had planned for this strike way ahead of time and had bloated its already uhealthy, obese inventories. IF anything, it purged itself during the strike and should have emerged in much healthier shape. So I strongly agree with Lambo in 11 and 13 AND Drew in 14.

    And another thing, Sean and John, please do not repeat again this old wive’s tale that “60 days inventory is ideal”, Toyota made mincemeat out of this with “The Lean Way” and 20-40 day inventories, saving BILLIONS, and being copied by many successful automakers (not infested by the corrupt and greedy UAW), even PORSCHE, decades ago, learned the lesson and physically tore down parts shelves and reduced inventories. The books about this came out 20 years ago from MIT!

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 So you, like Lambo and Drew are implying that they ran a bunch of overtime to build up inventories before the strike? If true, they lost fewer units of production than I was saying, but they lost more money from the strike than they might have.

    Yep, small inventories are better is some ways, but I would have been happier with Toyota, if I’d had a choice of color other than grey when shopping for my Camry hybrid, especially since the two dealers I went to seemed very unwilling to order a car, even though, I assume, they could, since they are from Kentucky.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.wardsauto.com/dealers/generation-allegedly-hated-vehicles-now-buys-them-aplenty?NL=WAW-04&Issue=WAW-04_20191126_WAW-04_147&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_4&utm_rid=CPENT000009061197&utm_campaign=23265&utm_medium=email&elq2=7e4c32aa67af4328b80a9b3c6e8ee102&utm_source=27624

    And here is another fairy tale that was torn to shreds, that apparently the vast millennial generation, over 20% of the US’s 330 mill population, or over 55 million people, don’t care about cars.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 I am saying GM never lost $ 3 billion because of the strike. It did not even lose $1 billion. If you buy this fairy tale, show me where this kind of money went out of GM without the same or more $ coming in, and then I will agree it was a “LOSS”.

    Also look at Wim’s simple arithmetic, what do you have to say to that?

    GM did not even have the so-called “ideal” (NOT!) 60 day inventories, it had many more. An Efficient Carmaker can have 20 day inventories and still satisfy the customer.

    And as far as your Camry, was your house on fire? Why did you need to buy it that very same day, you could have ordered it and waited even 6 weeks to arrive just as you like it, colors, options etc. I have done that even when I only had a bicycle and no other vehicles, in April 83, when i ordered the tiny Pontiac 5 speed with the specific outside-inside color combi and gauges etc I wanted.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I wasn’t in a particular hurry, but I didn’t want to drive all over the state to find a dealer that would order a car, and sell it for the same, or near the same price as the one they had in stock. The one I bought has the exact options I would have ordered, except color. Of course the available options on the car, a Camry LE hybrid, are few.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    Large inventories are horrifically expensive, it is easy to do the math, using even the average transaction price of $37k or so, and the usual big 3 60-100 day inventories, sometimes more, say even just 60 days and $40k, calculate how many billions you lose by selling your vehicles 2 months after they are made. Very easy to do, what is GM’s rate on return on its investments? 10%? if it had that money, (and it sells 250,000 vehicles a month, so 500,000 vehicles * 40,000=20 billion, invest the money at 10% and the interest is 2 billion a year, or, for 2 months, more than $300 million!

  30. Larry D. Says:

    I believe the reason for “Big 3″s excessive inventories all the time is the threat of strike from the UAW, number one reason, and second, whenever the topic was brought up in the Autonews forums, many dealers complain that if GM and Ford and FCA practiced “lean manufacturing” or the “Toyota Way”, their customers would complain not having the exact colors and options on the lot for their immediate gratification.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 With me, it’s not “instant gratification,” but unless I’m buying a GM car with my retiree price, dealers won’t order a car and sell it for the same price as one in stock. At least Toyota dealers I’ve dealt with won’t.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30 If “big 3″ companies could start and stop plants as needed, it would be much easier to control inventory, but with the current union contracts, they have to pay employees, even if laid off. Can Toyota shut down a US plant for a week if they want to? I don’t know.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    32 UAW contracts, at least in the past, made it very expensive for the Big 3 to cut production when demand was not there, hence the big inventories, which also shield against strikes, but strikes only happen every so many years when the contracts are renegotiated. I remember articles saying it would cost the Big 3 more to produce less vehicles, so they made more than the demand, and then they had to sell them at low prices with discounts etc.

  34. cwolf Says:

    32) Kit, I’m not certain, but I don’t know why UAW workers can’t be idled for a week without pay. I know unemployment doesn’t kick in until the beginning of the second week. The only received worker pay by the company are those bargained for in the contract, like Holidays or sick days. When I was in trades, I used to take voluntary layoffs for 2-3 weeks (esp. before/after holidays)when things were slow in one area or another of the plant. I was without pay for the first week, but after that I received 80% of my wage. Of course I got full pay for the Holidays.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    11 GM makes 3, not 8 million cars a year.

    20 I took a look and noticed the apples and oranges in the test, I looked at HP and prices, and noted the Miata and an even cheaper, much uglier, entry. I noted that all HPS were modest, nothing over 630 or so, in the day of cheap 700-800 HP FCA vehicles. But I would never imagine they would bother adding a FWD to a bunch of real cars, much less that the ugliest, cheapest car of the bunch, and FWD to boot, would win.

    I should have time to do a few test drives when I get back in 4 days, and if the local dealer has a copy, I’ll see what is the big deal about this flawed and ugly winner.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 I may be many years behind on how it works. I retired in 2001

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 GM sells about 3M a year in the the US. They build about 10M a year, globally, if you count the joint ventures in China.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 They obviously wanted to get attention with that result. I suspect, though, that the Hyundai drives very well for a car of that type, probably better than a GTi, any Mini variant, any Civic, etc. I’ll see if the local Hyundai dealer has a Veloster N, or whatever it was, and take a test drive.

  39. Larry D. Says:

    37 r u sure GM builds 3 mill in the US and… 7 outside? Even now that it sold Opel after 20 billion in losses over the decades? I doubt it makes more than 1-2 mill overseas total.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    38 I’ll be very surprised if it drives better than a GTI or Golf R. Among FWD cars, they are probably the best handling and feeling-wise.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    39 I actually meant sells, not builds, in the US. With all the plants in CDN and Mex and all over that make cars imported in the US, I bet GM builds much less than 3 mill a year in the USA.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 From what I find, they sell about 3M in the US, and about 10M globally. I haven’t tried to find how many they build where. Don’t they build a lot in the Chinese joint ventures?

  43. cwolf Says:

    36) kit, I’ve been retired for about 3-4 years and saw a big change, tightening of the rules, starting in my later years.
    I’m sure what I have to share will only feed the union bashers, but the ol’timers showed me how to work the system to maximize wages while gaining more time off just by understanding company policy and the union contract.
    O/T was based upon the low man on the totem pole and shift premiums were 5% extra for working 2nd shift and 10% for third. If you were called in unscheduled you received an extra 4 hours pay. And if you worked more than 8 hours, you received time and a half wages. Working Holidays paid triple time. Well… when
    voluntary layoffs were announced before or after a holiday, I planned to be one the bottom of the O/T list. I would then temporarily move to a higher paying shift for the Holidays, …Often working up to 18hrs/shift throughout. I was called in to come in early as many days as I could stand the lack of sleep.
    At the end of the Holidays (Christmas thru New Years) my gross was over $9K in less than a week! Uncle Sam got most of it. But I still had 3-4 weeks of voluntary layoff ahead of me @80% pay- 1 week.
    I only did this once to see if I could. It’s a killer on your body!
    I know of the old guys who have done this who use to ski the Alps for two months and still have an income. And no one used any of our vacation time.
    I’m sure the are schemers today, but I’m sure it’s become a lot more difficult and not many bright enough to truly understand their contract.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 The most recent FWD “sporty” car I’ve driven, other than my Mini, was a Fiesta ST, which was a fun car. A Golf R is 4wd.

  45. Don Wagner Says:

    The tub of war was won by the vehicle with the higher TORQUE, not power. Easily the EV won.

    All the arguments above about GM’s inventory are wrong the way I have understood how the industry works. Suppose I am interested in buying or leasing a particular vehicle with the options I would like to have. I visit a dealer to find that vehicle, either in their inventory (NOT GM’s!), or I have the salesperson order that vehicle from the manufacturer, this time GM. The dealer’s inventory has already been sold by GM and the costs and physical vehicle involved are their responsibility, not GM’s. GM doesn’t have an inventory if all goes well. Oldsters like me might remember when Chrysler built up a sales bank and hoped the dealers liked those vehicles. If not, Chrysler gave special “deals” to move them into dealer inventories.
    What’s the length of a Lincoln as compared to a Cadillac have to do with the subjects of today?
    And thousands of orders for that Tesla abomination? The world is insane.

  46. Don Wagner Says:

    Tug of war, sorry.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 Thanks for the info. A lot sounds like what I remember, but some has changed, but I was salary, so I don’t know all details.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 For a tug of war, it’s traction that matters, as long as you have enough torque at the wheels to spin the tires. Traction depends upon weight of the vehicle, number of driven wheels, and stickiness of the tires. Torque at the wheels is torque at the engine/motor times gear reduction. It is the same with a motor having 100 pound-feet of torque geared down 100 to 1, and a motor with 1000 pound-feet of torque geared down 10 to 1. That is, power, not torque is what matters.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    45 I thought it was crystal clear, it has everything to do with today’s top story, the stupid contest “tug of war” between the tesla Truck and the F 150.

    As for the Truck being ugly, it is not, it is weird, and could look much better with minor styling revisions, it is at least a fresh design and not yet another brick with (literally) a ton of chrome on its face.

    And the price sure is right, for an enormous vehicle that sits 6 and can take your motorcycle in its bed and can pull 14,000 lbs. $39,900? I thought the X was weird, and it was priced at 100k or more, and it did far, far better than I ever expected. (my fav tesla is the Model S)

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I read a few other reviews of Road & Track’s “performance car of the year” Hyundai, and while most generally liked it, they weren’t as enamored with it as R & T. The thing they all seemed to like was the versatility of the drive modes, and the handling. It has adjustable damping, which other cars in the price range don’t have, and it apparently works pretty well. For refinement, and especially for space, the GTi is better, but a little pricier. It seems that R & T was really looking for attention, in naming the Hyundai their performance car of the year.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49 The $70K one tows 14000 pounds, and the $40K one tows 7500 pounds. Of course, I’ll believe it when I see it, with these prices, and if something looking like that is actually produced.

    Batteries, which something that big will need a lot of, and maybe stainless steel will need to get a lot cheaper for those prices to be real.

  52. Lambo2015 Says:

    Larry here is where I got the 8.4 M vehicles number.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/225326/amount-of-cars-sold-by-general-motors-worldwide/

  53. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Kit, found this video on three electric motorcycles; the Zero, an Italian race bike (can’t remember the name) and the Harley Livewire. Pretty nice review and even a road demo of the Harley at the 13 minute mark. The Zero looks like the best deal (as you alluded). Check it out, if interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMY5ob30GN0

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 The Zero shown was quite a bit pricier than the one I rode last spring, but it probably faster, and has a bigger battery. The one I rode was fun. I’m not sure they used the longitudinal motor in the Harley, unless they just wanted bevel gear noise. The bike seems to work, but is heavy. I don’t know the weight of the Zero I rode, but it felt pretty light.

  56. Big Jim Says:

    Lambo2015′s math percentage was off by a factor of 100. Rookie mistake.