AD #2821 – SEAT Tests Workers to Restart Production; Byton Takes Drastic Action to Survive; GM Shutting Down Maven

April 22nd, 2020 at 11:43am

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Listen to “AD #2821 – SEAT Tests Workers to Restart Production; Byton Takes Drastic Action to Survive; GM Shutting Down Maven” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:25

0:07 IHS Markit Slashes Global Sales Forecast
0:34 Hyundai Miscalculated Impact of Virus
1:02 SEAT Will Test Workers to Restart Production
1:51 Byton Cuts U.S. Workforce in Half
2:30 PSA Execs Reduce Compensation in Shares
3:06 GM Shutting Down Maven
4:08 Lordstown Delays Its Electric Pickup
4:36 VW Makes Tutorial for DIY VR Headset
5:12 Hyundai Recalls Sonatas with Smart Park
6:40 How to Attract Young Talent to the Repair Industry
8:00 Opel Testing All-New Mokka Electric
8:26 Evoque & Discovery Sport Get Plug-In Variants

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26 Comments to “AD #2821 – SEAT Tests Workers to Restart Production; Byton Takes Drastic Action to Survive; GM Shutting Down Maven”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    “When will the cost of batteries come down to the point that EVs cost the same as ICE vehicles?”


    Please. The above is the WRONG question. I know that in the past most buyers base their costs on FIRST cost, ie the purchase price of a vehicle, and not, as they all SHOULD, the LIFE CYCLE COST of the car with EVERYTHING included. But you are much more well informed and econ literate than they are, and should ask the RIGHT question, ie,

    “when (if not ALREADY) will the total LIFE CYCLE COST of a BEV will be lower than that of an ICE vehicle”?

    And that total cost should include ALL operating costs, insurance, repairs, if any, depreciation etc etc.

    MANY buyers (I did this myself once, 40 years ago) would compare a Civic or Accord with their GM (or Ford or Chrysler) rivals, and, esp in the 80s, the domestics were 20% or so cheaper, so they SEEMED like a good bargain.

    However, if we compared expected LIFE CYCLE COSTS, the domestics would last fewer miles, would have higher op costs, higher repairs, higher depreciation, and at the end you saved NOTHING, much less… 20%, AND the alternative was far better to drive, far smoother manual transmissions etc.

  2. Dave Says:

    Excellent response Larry , “Lemon Aid” Got started in 1972 because a Toyota Corolla which was an excellent car versus a Vauxhall Firenza which average life was 2 years and 1 in 10 lost their muffler driving off the lot were similarly priced so somebody had to get the information out to protect the consumer

  3. Larry D. Says:

    2 thanks!

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There is still one big unknown about the life cycle cost of an EV. How many batteries will need to be replaced after 10-15 years, and how much will they cost? Up to that point, EVs should have low repair costs, and, of course, have very low routine maintenance costs, not needing oil changes, except for maybe one change of gear box oil over the life of the car.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 Firenza was the Oldsmobile brand “J” car in the U.S. Did both Vauxhall and Opel use the name in Europe, or just Vauxhall?

  6. Larry D. Says:

    2 Are you in the UK or in Australia or NZ? We don’t have any Vauxhalls here but they are GM clones from what I know. 2 years is pretty steep. The GM I bought new in 1983 lasted 11 years but only had 65k miles when it dropped dead. Sold it for parts for $375 (1994 dollars, ie about $1,000 in today’s $) and got me a 1990 Accord coupe 5-sp. for only $6,500 from its 1str owner.

    Speaking of mufflers, one good thing about the reliability of all my luxury cars to date is that the exhaust system never had a problem, while in the Accord and the GM vehicle I had to replace parts of it every 1-2 years. partially due to the weather here, rust, and driving conditions (short trips). In contrast, the civic exhaust in my summer home, we bought it new in 1991 and never failed until it got totaled in 2016.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    4 At least in Teslas, batteries consist of 1,000s of laptop batteries, arranged in “bricks” of 50 batteries each, I believe. One probably does not replace the full battery but one or more bricks.

    We have very extensive experience about large car batteries, first in the Prius and other hybrids for 20 years, and in a million Teslas over the last 8 years (say on average 3-4 years) and the fears about the batteries were found to be very exaggerated. Still they have very long warranties (if you buy a new Tesla).

  8. Larry D. Says:

    7 the laptop I use now has become obsolete because it cannot run Windows 10 and thus i can’t use Word or Excel, and I will soon need to replace it. I hate to do so because it still runs great, original battery, bought about 10 years ago for a mere $400 brand new (A Lenovo, a Chinese IBM PC) and it still has its original, hard used battery.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 I found that the Vauxhall Firenza was sold in the UK from 1971-1975, so was not related to the Olds Firenza sold in the US. The Vauxhall one was probably rear drive.

  10. bradley cross Says:

    I thought Autoline stated previously that recycling BEV batteries at scale is not yet cost effective. Perhaps its because of different designs.

    Some Tesla’s have had their batteries replaced but only Tesla knows the percentage. Most likely its the older models (S/X) and perhaps the newer models (3/Y) will have much lower replacement rates.

    And yes total lifetime cost is hard to communicate since its such a change to how folks normally think.

  11. John McElroy Says:

    #1. AAA does an annual total cost of ownership for cars. Let me quote from their latest results, which they posted in January: “New research from AAA finds that over five years and 75,000 miles of driving, the annual cost of owning a new compact electric vehicle is only slightly more expensive – about $600 annually – than its gas-powered counterpart.” So, at least according to the AAA, an EV is not cheaper to own over its lifetime.

    Here’s the link to the full release:

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 Teslas use cylindrical cells, 18650 in Model S, and somewhat larger 21700 in Model 3, and probably other Teslas in the future. Those numbers mean 18mm diameter and 65mm long, and 21/70mm for the bigger one. No laptops that I know of use cylindrical cells; they use flat cells, as do phones. Some of the power tool cells may be like Tesla uses.

    I’m hoping tomorrows AAH guy will discuss the relative advantages of the two types, other than packaging, where flat cells have an obvious advantage for laptops. The cylindrical cell is generally not be as good for packaging, but I think Tesla uses that “wasted space” for running coolant for the batteries, so it’s not really wasted.

    New Tesla S and X have an 8 year, 150K mile battery warranty, the warranty being for 70% retention. It’s 8 years, 100K miles for Model 3 and Model Y.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    11 Thanks, but if I remember well, that AAA study was really terrible, and the worst thing was, while Tesla has sold 1 million BEVs and all others TOGETHER much less than that, in their infinite wisdom, AAA did NOT use a COMPETITIVE BEV like the Model 3, but, if I remember well, that loser the Bolt. The study was also full of holes and very simplistic assumptions, ie, garbage in, garbage out. These results are frankly not worth the paper they are printed on.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    I was right, unfortunately. They ‘selected’ three losers:

    “The 2019 electric vehicle models selected for this study were: Chevrolet Bolt (LT), Hyundai Ionic Electric (Base), Kia Soul EV (+), Nissan Leaf (SV) and Volkswagen eGolf (SE).”

    Obviously they WANTED the BEV to have an alleged higher cost. IF they were fair, they had available, since 2017, the mass market Model 3, whose price is very similar to that of the 3 series of which it is a rival and a killer. IF they used a successful BEV like the Model 3, it would beat the living daylights of the 3 Series, and this is NO mean feat, since 20 other rivals failed to dethrone the 3 series from the top of its price segment for decades.

    But the above is one more explanation why Tesla’s stock is closer to $1,000 (I don’t check it daily, so if it is $600 today, don’t shoot) while Ford is $5 (again, do not check its price even weekly).

    So I will make a bold but very educated prediction here, based on the above, if anybody did a fair study of a 3 Series vs the Model 3 that is the right comparison, the Model 3 would have FAR (I stress FAR) lower LIFE TIME COSTS.

    Mark my words and let me know when the above is verified.

  15. Larry D. Says:

    14 correction, not three but five losers above.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    12 I believe these (different than my laptop’s) batteries are still arranged in ‘bricks’ of some number of them per brick (I remember 50 but could be wrong) and you can’t replace one of them but the whole brick it belongs to. Still much better, of course, than replacing the entire 20,000 or so little batteries.

    I recently saw a rather idiotic sketch in a rerun of a SNL episode where a fake ad featured the mercedes “AA” class, which runs on about 50,000 AA size batteries. They spent a lot of $ on the gimmicks and gadgets of that car in the sketch, but the funniest it got was only in the beginning, with the coincidence in the name of the BEV.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 There weren’t 5 year old Model 3s in 2019, when they’d been sold for less than two years. You kind of need 5 year depreciation data to determine overall cost for 5 years.

    Then, still, the big unknown is cost for the total lifetime of the car. What will happen with the 12 year old Model 3s with 150K miles and bad batteries? Will they be parted out? Will owners spent a few thousand dollars to have the batteries “analyzed,” and replace bad bricks or cells? Will people spend $20K to replace the battery with a new one? (probably not). The cars will need to be around a lot longer before we know any of this.

  18. Brett Cammack Says:


    Have someone install Ubuntu Linux and Open Office on that old laptop. (if you are not comfortable doing it yourself) You can get a bootable CD to test-drive Ubuntu on the laptop before you decide to install or not.

    The on-line versions of Office 365 work fine on my old Toshiba with Windows 7 Home Ultimate.

  19. Ed Says:

    About total cost of a vehicle, the guys on YouTube with TFL had a new 3 series, it had a fender bender, the cost and time associated with a simple repair vs a regular ice car is amazing. Takes forever, few “authorized” repair locations , and the price is many times greater. When you figure in a fender bender the Tesla cost is huge , and you may not have use of the car.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This afternoon, SpaceX successfully landed a booster, after its 4th flight.

  21. Bob Wilson Says:

    #19 – My 2014 BMW i3-REx had a motor mount bolt break. The warranty repair spent just over three weeks in the service department because some parts had to come from Germany. Happily, the replacement motor mounts and bolts are substantially better, solid metal instead of the smaller diameter bolt and structural plastic piece (see bolts in web link.)

    Over half of the TFL problems were insurance company vs repair company. I never understood why they didn’t trailer (or drive since it was still drivable) to a Tesla Service center and let them solve the problem. Today, I count three Tesla Service centers in the Denver area.

    A new model car from a new company, there are going to be challenges keeping them rolling. So when I broke the passenger-side, wheel bearings, I bought the parts and fixed the car myself but then I’m a retired engineer.

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    #20 – I watched the web streaming launch in my Model 3 while getting a charge at Whole Foods. Whole Foods has awesome WiFi at their chargers which finished loading the latest map update. Thanks Elon, great job!

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 I’m still impressed with those booster landings, even though I’ve seen a few “in person,” though this one was on the barge, so I only saw it on the stream. The really cool one was the first Falcon Heavy launch, at dusk, where they landed both boosters on land about 10 miles away, where I could see, and hear them.

  24. Roger T Says:

    which is the good one. cracked me up

  25. Ctech Says:

    One of the reasons I left dealer repair is the current flat rate system. There is no financial safety net for techs, it encourages bad management to believe increasing profits means simply adding more techs, and the system is often manipulated to reward favorites. Good luck convincing dealer principles and OEM middle management to invest in technicians other than lip service.

  26. Jonathan Says:

    Byton cuv looks good but the corona virus “accident” makes the likelihood of many americans buying one much less likely.

    Trade wars like never before loom large.

    Btw thank goodness ride sharing will finally end…next up to take a pause hopefully will be autonomous vehicles.

    Super cruise is awesome but tesla system is down right scary.