AD #2779 – Chevy Launches Menlo EV In China; Japan Forms Coronavirus Task Force; Lucid Partners with LG Chem

February 24th, 2020 at 11:44am

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Runtime: 8:13

0:08 Japan Forms Coronavirus Task Force
0:46 Lucid Partners with LG Chem
1:21 Chevy Launches Menlo EV In China
2:12 Audi, Jaguar & Mercedes Cut EV Production
3:18 Lyft To Use Digital Ads
3:53 Put Your Fingerprint on Your Porsche
4:42 Lordstown Motors to Use Hub Motors
6:04 New Escalade Borrows Escala Design Elements

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49 Comments to “AD #2779 – Chevy Launches Menlo EV In China; Japan Forms Coronavirus Task Force; Lucid Partners with LG Chem”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I agree on the reason for cut production on those high dollar EV’s. Not a battery shortage; buyer shortage.

    That Lordstown EV truck is looking better and better; hope to see how it makes out.

    Nice exit (from today’s show); I appreciate that teaser.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    A. That Chevy Menlo EV may look a bit busy, but looks much better than the Bolt.

    B. AUDI, JAGUAR & MERCEDES CUT EV PRODUCTION I had a good laugh about their lame excuses. Tesla, with far superior product, is kicking their collective posteriors all over the world.

    More later. Going to a free lunch to hire our next two tenure-track colleagues

  3. Lawrence Says:

    “…blend the look of a crossover with..” a what?
    But that Menlo’s got too many doors.

  4. Joe C. Says:

    Nice tease at the end of the show. I was at Spring Mountain raceway when they launched the C6 a few years back. Great fun sliding it around the track especially the Z06!

  5. Lambo2015 Says:

    Chevrolet Menlo is a good looking EV. Why that isn’t being offered in the US makes no sense. Not sure what the subsidies in China are but if they could offer that here below 30K it would probably do well.

    The Lucid air is a sharp looking car too. Hopefully for them and all these other EV start-ups including Tesla EV demand will increase. As I would have to agree with Sean that Audi/Jag/MB are using batteries as an excuse.

    Makes me wonder if any of the expert forecasters have ever done a study on the affects of EV sales not taking off. What will happen to the auto industry and all the billions of dollars being spent to develop EVs if we’ve hit the peak already. If no further battery breakthroughs happen and we have essentially the best range that can be had.

  6. bradley cross Says:

    Menlo looks great but in the US we need to see what the Cadillac BEV SUV looks like; to be revealed in April.

    Still not sure why Lucid is building a new US factory; I’d assume there a plenty to spare in the US. I mean, it does not need to be that large for their volume.

  7. Phred Says:

    AS for the “teaser” ….. those drivers need more time on a drag strip. For the hub motors….think unsprung weight, mud and dirty water with sticks and stones!

  8. Bruce Melton, Says:

    Lordstowm Motors: Hubmotor Costs-Repair & Maintenance
    What is the projected replacement/repair costs for Hubmotor damaged due to collision, potholes, etc.?

    In addition, substantial unsprung weight added to each wheel will be result in more substantial struts/shocks to deal with added mass.

  9. Lex Says:

    I believe GM is attempt to re position itself to be a more premium OEM. The elimination of Holden, which in my opinion was way overdue, points to this conclusion. The closer or sale of Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, Opel, Hummer and Vauxhall are proof of GM’s concentration on premium brands and models.

    Chevrolet is only kept around to battle against Ford and Ram. GM will also collapse one day when the EV revolution is realized and Tesla and other foreign EV makes will take a majority of the North American if not all of the global automotive market.

    The Chinese OEM’s will use the Japanese automotive game plan of 50 years ago and erect US based assembly plans as a way around import tariffs. While installing only Chinese leadership. They will employ US workers and promote themselves as eager to work with the American Government and population. In this way ingratiating themselves into the North American Market crushing the domestic auto makers.

    The data collection from these Chinese made EV’s using 5G technology will make these OEM’s very profitable in North America.

    Unless Elon Musk is grooming one or two or three of his off-spring to take the reins of Tesla, Space X and Solar City his achievements will be a distant memory like those of Nikola Tesla, sorry to say.

    The Chinese OEM’s with their new found wealth generated in North America will simply buy up all of Tesla’s stock just like they are trying to do with Mercedes Benz, IMHO.

  10. ChuckGrenci Says:

    7, Phred, those C8 launches were using the launch control that is built into the car. Sub 3 seconds to 60 speaks pretty well for the launches seen.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8 Also, I wonder if they are just motors mounted in the hub, with gear reduction. Most hub motors I’ve read about are that way, better for efficiency, and and they use less exotic materials. High rpm motors can be much smaller and lighter to make the same amount of power, compared to wheel rpm motors.

  12. Lex Says:

    Now that the United Kingdom has extracted itself from the European Union (Brussel’s Domination). The US Administration should consider offering to the UK to join USMCA as a way to strengthen both the UK Economy and build upon USMCA free trade agreement with supportive allies.

    This move would be a clear sign of support to our allies that the United States is open to share it’s markets and prosperity with like minded countries.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 There is actual talk of post-Brexit UK joining TPP, but not NAFTA 2.0. It would be a good fit, with cars, with Japan, a huge RHD car market and producer in TPP.

  14. wmb Says:

    With those automakers having had to cut production for whatever the real reason is, I hope they’ve learn the clear lessen that their lack of sells seems to suggest. That, to the average buyer, it doesn’t matter how fast the vehicle is from 0-60, if the vehicles MGPe’s aren’t close to Tesla’sz(or your regular ICE vehicle)! I don’t think the Porsche Taycan has much to worry about, for its high price makes it affordable to a select few. Therefore its limited sells should be in keeping with the automakers expectations (but the Audi E-Tron GT should take note)! But, IMHO, what has been the biggest let down with the EV’s from the legacy OEM’s, is the time of refuel and the range as compared to Tesla. If and when they can crack that nut greater sells may not be far behind.

    Lastly, I don’t get why Lucid Motors had to go through the trouble of building a new plant for their one vehicle, yet Lordstown just retrofitted one that was recently closed? Both GM and FCA (and i think Ford too) have closed plants in the recent past, so why couldn’t they had used one of those? Weren’t they having funding issues not long ago, as to one of the reasons that it has taken so long for them to bring the Air to market? Taking the money they now have to retrofit and update an existing plant would costly less and take less time, one would think, then to build a new one from scratch, wouldn’t it?

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 Interesting take on things however I tend to be a bit more optimistic. I’m not so sure that GM shuttered divisions to steer toward being a more premium builder. They certainly needed to eliminate lots of redundancy and poor selling divisions. Sure there is more profit typically on the higher end vehicles but right now the big three domestics bread and butter are trucks and SUVs.
    I do agree with your dismal prediction of what the Chinese will do in the coming years. Apparently we learned nothing from the years of handing over almost 1/2 of our automotive market to Japan and Korea. Hopefully your wrong about Tesla but who knows?

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 “Chevrolet is only kept around to battle against Ford and Ram.”

    …and Jeep, with the half dozen or so SUV/CUVs that Chevy sells. Well, probably Chevy is also prepared to expand their car offerings again, when the market changes.

    It seems that, for the most part, few brands is better than many brands, so GM has about the right number. At least few brands works for Toyota, M-B, and BMW. VW, though, likes lots of brands, including 3 or 4 “mass market” brands in Europe.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    The fingerprint on the hood of the Porsche is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in quite awhile. Who would really want that? Even so, who would pay $8 grand to have it applied? Spend that money on some pricey Porsche options that you will actually use and enjoy!

    Sadly, there is always going to be at least a few individuals with tons of liquid cash to spend that want the latest thing, regardless of what it is. I expect to see a few of these tooling around South Beach in the near future.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 Maybe Lucid just wanted to be the southwest, rather than somewhere in the great white north, where most of the vacant plants are located. Just a thought.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 You can, or at least could until recently, order a Porsche any color you want, if you have a paint code. If there’s a color you’d really like on a Porsche, such as Mopar Plum Crazy, that could be a lot more worthwhile than the silly fingerprint thing.

  20. ChuckGrenci Says:

    17, GM Vet, totally agree about the fingerprint. Two questions, how do sell your car with such personalized aspect to it and why wouldn’t you just take it to vinyl outfit that does graphics so it could be removed (a lot easier than paint).

  21. Bob Wilson Says:

    Sometimes, a custom paint job can enhance the trade-in or used value of a car. A finger print ain’t it.

  22. Drew Says:

    The Menlo has a lot of Nissan styling influence, imho.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    17,19,20,21 Yeah! If I saw someone with that on their hood, I would probably laugh inside. I was thinking the same thing about a vinyl wrap shop could certainly do that much much cheaper and it could be removed for selling.
    Now if it was a collector car or a movie car owned by a famous actor and had their print and was sighed too maybe, but I doubt they would.

    18 Yeah or maybe Lucid has plans for a drastic enough manufacturing process that retrofitting was more expensive than building new. Plus I doubt their new plant is anywhere near the size of any old shuttered plants so they may not have wanted the extra unused space.

  24. Lambo2015 Says:

    23 Plus Lucid may have been offered a sweet deal by local and state governments to build a new plant there. Might be tax free for the next couple years or state might have even helped with free property or building expenses. Hopefully whatever they were promised they get in return or we will certainly hear the screams of AZ tax payers if they fail.

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    24 I did find this;
    “Lucid hasn’t yet received any incentives from Arizona but could qualify for nearly $8 million in grants and $43.7 million in tax credits, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority.”

  26. Bob Wilson Says:

    I appreciate the info about other EVs but having bought a Model 3, I’m not in the market for a replacement. Our BMW i3 is also working just fine and it is 6 years old.

    Specifications and requirements count. Sheet metal art doesn’t “crank my tractor.”

  27. cwolf Says:

    I don’t think any of the Detroit 3 are going to vanish. I believe most automakers, making the transition from engines to EVs, are just waiting until battery and technology cost can be done at a profit. They, like many of us, take note of Tesla’s dominance that has cost them dearly each and every quarter. It will be of no surprise Tesla next quarter profits will be far worse. And that you can take to the bank!

  28. cwolf Says:

    My wife actually mentioned she would buy an EV as strictly a city car if it went 200 MPGe and cost $20K. But I need garage room for the completely restored 69 MGC. Now I’m looking at a 58 Morgan…. really sweet!
    Talking her into renting another garage might work!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Your wife’s EV could be parked outside if need be, to allow garage space for your collector cars.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s interesting how well Tesla does at selling electric sedans, while Jaguar and Audi can’t sell electric crossovers, the body style of choice in the US. There are reasons, of course, mainly price (model 3), superchargers, and cult following. Also, efficiency of Teslas is better, substantially so in some cases. I have a hard time finding real information about why some, like Taycan, are so horribly inefficient. Can the motors be that bad?

  31. Bob Wilson Says:

    My web link is to a Jalponik, $33k, Tesla Model X. Lightly used with slightly over 400k miles.

  32. Sean Wagner Says:

    I would think twice before affixing the sales-flop label on any ole EV. It’s worth going into some detail, as the models are few and markets still vary greatly.

    Let’s take the Audi e-tron: it’s been a remarkable sales flop in Germany [!] up to now. However, Norway is gobbling them up, and December sales in the Netherlands [where special conditions applied] were excellent too, where it finished in second place of all vehicles, though still lagging far behind that month’s number one, the Tesla Model 3.

    The popular little VW e-up! is facing significant delivery delays too.

  33. Lambo2015 Says:

    32 Yes all EVs sell while incentives are in place. The question will be, can they survive on their own merit? Or how long will tax payers be willing to subsidise wealthy peoples car purchases?
    People tend to take the tax credits right off the price in terms of cost and its not the case. If the EV is $40k with a $7k tax credit the price isn’t 33K. They still need to fork out 40K or finance it. Then that first year of ownership they get a 7K tax credit and continue to pay a loan for 40K for the 5 or 6 years.

    It will come down to either battery costs dropping significantly more, or a continued support system by federal and state governments. If they cant get the price down and incentives dry up I’m concerned EVs will see a huge drop in sales.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 That was interesting. It appears that they have a very good “secret warranty,” replacing many thousands of dollars of high voltage battery and rear drive unit for free, at over 300K miles. It said the battery may have had unlimited mileage warranty at that time, with no mention of degradation, rather than the current 8 year, 150K mile warranty, with retention needed to be below 70% for the warranty to kick in.

    I was surprised that the 12 volt batteries lasted only about a year. They must not do a very good job of keeping those batteries at near full charge. They should last at least 5 years. I’m assuming the 12v battery is lead-acid, but it should last a lot longer than a year, whatever it is. I was not surprised about the trim related things. That has never been a strong point with Tesla, and using the car as a taxi wouldn’t help.

  35. Larry D. Says:

    28 cwolf Says:
    February 24th, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    “My wife actually mentioned she would buy an EV as strictly a city car if it went 200 MPGe and cost $20K. ”

    Seriously. What was the last time she bought a new car? 1983? The average ICE car goes for $37k.

    Also, what POS ICE car can she get for $20k? A lousy Nissan Versa, a Hyundai Elantra or a Kia Rio?

    Are you, with a straight face, also expecting the BEV to get 200 MPGe? WHAT EXISTING BEV has as high MPGe? Not that loser ugly Bolt for sure.

    So, you and your wife need to SOBER UP and learn the FACTS.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    28 ALSO, as I posted here recently, in China there is a BEV (NOT a Chinese maker, but a cheap French Renault Dacia version) which only goes for $8,000 US. Maybe if they make it US street legal it will go for $15-20k. IT is not a small car either, it’s a compact crossover type car. But you can bet your farm it does not get anywhere close to 200 MPGe. WHERE THE HELL did you unearth this number from???? I bet you have no clue what an MPGe is.

  37. Larry D. Says:

    29 He is not serious, or his wife is not serious, if she was the one who actually came up with those RIDICULOUS requirements.

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    35 36 37 I don’t think that is a ridiculous requirement at all. In fact I think many people would consider an EV if they offered 200 mile range and was in the low 20s. That 36k average transaction price is inflated by the surge in trucks and SUVs that push the average car price beyond what most people are willing to pay. Even at 4% interest and 5 years a 36k loan is roughly $663 a month.
    Lets face it EVs are currently an inconvenience in comparison to an ICE. They offer no cost advantage, they offer no advantage on trips. They only offer a vague and variable benefit to the environment and some offer better acceleration at a huge expense in range. So for most consumers they should be cheaper as they don’t have much to offer other than change.

  39. cwolf Says:

    U are right Larry, my wife knows nothing about EVs except for the pictures she sees but that’s OK.
    She thought the Renault Twingo was cute and would serve her needs as a run around town car.
    I give her credit for having an open mind…..unlike yourself.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:


    200 MPGe is not going to happen, except for a very tiny, narrow, low machine of some sort. As far as $20K, or at least low $20s, that should be doable with today’s technology, for a car intended to be only a city car, with maybe 120 mile range, and adequate, but not exceptional performance.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    40 Tell them. Lambo too.

  42. cwolf Says:

    I thought Larry’s comment was a bit uncalled for but it got me thinking. I believe what my wife was getting at was having just a good enough city car where she didn’t have to worry about running out of juice before the end of the day.
    My wife is highly educated and became a director for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies, so she puts a lot of thought into her decisions. My point is that she probably represents the majority of people, and women that know very little about EVs. Until the populace learns more about them, they won’t buy them! I think it would be accurate to say that most EV buyers are men….and perhaps more of a status symbol or boy toy. And maybe this is why many believe the ICE will be around for several more decades and one more reason why making EVs is not profitable. Tesla has been in the game longer than anyone and they still can’t make a profit.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    This ridiculous 200 MPGe request reminded me of GM when it claimed that the Volt would get “230 MPG”. We had a team of engineering and business students, supervised by one engin and one business school faculty (not me), who made a presentation of their work with the Volt team during the summer, back in Sept. 2011 or so, and the students repeated that 230 MPG figure, and I could not resist asking them in the Q and A, how did they derive that the Volt will actually get 230 MPG, and they of course had no clue, they mumbled something like GM guys ‘gave them’ that number. After the Q and A, an irate lackey we have to do corporate relations came to me and complained that I had given those clowns a hard time!

  44. Larry D. Says:

    That 2011 Volt was EPA rated 37 MPG on gas only and 94 MPGe. (see Wikipedia article). AND I bet if this was an exam and I asked Either of the Cwolfs to correctly define MPGe, both would fail miserably (if they could not look it up), as would 99% of the US population.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Volt will get infinite mpg, if you don’t drive it very far between charges, and don’t count the electricity. That 230 mpg must have been based on some idea of “average” use, and considering the electricity to be “free.”

  46. Larry D. Says:

    45 I think the MPGe Should of course count the electricity and its much lower price should result in a far higher equivalent MPG, the correct MPGe.

    Any MPGe calc that ridiculously ignores the cost of electricity is worthless.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    45 Whatever it was based on, nobody had a clue under what assumptions they got it, and the corporate relations lackey who complained to me was afraid that GM would not support a team next year, I assume. These teams are paid like kings, clueless students getting $4k a month, we require it from the employers, and many of these ‘projects’ are of little value to the sponsors, except showing they are nice.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    46 The MPGe is based on energy equivalency of watt-hours used to charge the car, vs watt-hours of energy in a gallon of gasoline.

    Here’s the EPA ratings for both generations of Volt.

    To come up with that 230 MPG, they must have done about 80% of their driving on “free” electricity, and 20% on gas.

  49. Lambo2015 Says:

    48 Guess they didn’t take into account that the Volt has a preprogrammed setting to use a certain amount of gas to prevent stale gas being in the tank. So you couldn’t run on electric all the time even if you stayed within battery range all the time.