AD #2943 – Tesla Reports Strong Q3 Earnings; GM Still Backs Nikola Deal; ZF Improves Its Rear Wheel Steering System

October 22nd, 2020 at 11:56am

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Listen to “AD #2943 – Tesla Reports Strong Q3 Earnings; GM Still Backs Nikola Deal; ZF Improves Its Rear Wheel Steering System” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:31

0:07 Tesla Reports Strong Q3 Earnings
1:39 More Tesla FSD Details
2:40 GM’s Cruise Wants Vehicles Without Pedals or Steering Wheel
3:24 U.S. Vehicle Registrations Correction
4:25 Why Off-Roading is Becoming More Popular
5:36 More GMC Hummer EV Details
7:45 GM Still Backs Deal with Nikola
8:14 ZF Improves Its Rear Wheel Steering System
9:01 JLR Using Aerospace Sensors to Test Parts
9:40 Ford Mondeo Going Hybrid Only

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33 Comments to “AD #2943 – Tesla Reports Strong Q3 Earnings; GM Still Backs Nikola Deal; ZF Improves Its Rear Wheel Steering System”

  1. Cycles Says:

    A small correction about charging the Hummer at 800V. What I suspect is happening is that the system has essentially two 400V packs that normally run the vehicle in parallel. For fast charging it seems they can connect the packs in series for charging. Currents get very high which becomes the limiter to charging speed. By connecting in series this doubles the voltage and power without current that would require huge cables and cooling.

  2. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Cycles – Hey, thanks for the feedback.

  3. wmb Says:

    So is this the GMC HUMMER GM’s direct and indirect response to the Raptor and TREX? LOL Three things are for certain:
    1.) They will sale everyone they make and will have trouble meeting demand.
    2.) Dealer mark-up will be through the roof!
    3.) Unlike the Bolt/Volt, GM will make money on each one they sale.
    Anyway, it’s nice to hear that Tesla has such a robust financial war chest, but how much will they use to significantly update the styling of the Model S and X, and when?

  4. Bob White Says:

    FYI Tesla stock wasn’t up 20% but 2% in after hours trading.

  5. John McElroy Says:

    #4. When we were preparing the show today Tesla was up 20% and later dropped.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    In case anyone is interested I found this article on ZEV credits.

    Explains how a Tesla model S gets 3.3. ZEV credits vs a Leaf that only gets a 1.8 ZEV credits per vehicle sold. The range contributes to the credits and as of 2019 in states like Cali the percentage was 7% meaning for every 100k vehicles they sold the needed to have 7000 ZEV credits.
    What I found interesting is the ICE vehicles are not given a ZEV score similar to what they do with the BEVs. So you can sell a 45 mpg Civic or a 15 mpg SUV and they equally account as a singular vehicle requiring 7% ZEV credits.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    I guess I enjoy driving too much. 10K for self driving makes this an option I would not even consider. I don’t find driving difficult or tiresome and if I have to pay attention and have my hands on the wheel anyway I might as well just drive..
    Seems like buying a ticket to Disneyland for $100 and for an additional $20 they will have someone else ride the rides for you.

  8. GM Veteran Says:

    Couldn’t agree more Lambo. I would much rather spend some cash on a 4 wheel steering system, and pocket the leftover funds to spend on road trips, or to buy more Workhorse and Nikola stock!

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That Mondeo hybrid wagon might be nice, but we’ll never see it in the US.

    I’m with others about the self driving. What’s the ppint, if you have to stay awake and have your hands on the steering wheel?

  10. Larry D. Says:

    8 HAHAHAH… buy… Nikola stock? Why don’t you just throw your meager savings in the ocean?

    Apparently those who worked for BANKRUPT GM learned NOTHING from their very painful experience. GM should be FAR FAR FAR more careful in choosing its partners.

    Remember the deal GM had with FIAT? I think that was before the bankruptcy. It was an IDIOTIC idea, and when FINALLY the idiot CEOS realized it, and opted out, there was a clause in the agreement that forced GM to PAY FIAT TWO BILLION US Dollars. In total, the IDIOTIC deal cost GM $4 billion.

    Apparently some learned NOTHING from this very painful experience.

    Nikola is a CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE. I am not saying that for OTHER outfits i Despise, like VOLVO-GEELY or Ford or Hyundai or Genesis, because I don’t have any evidence for fraud, just stupidity and incopmpetence.

    GM AGAIN and very foolishly, forced by the STELLAR success of TESLA, thought it should disguise its BEVs under a Tesla-like name, and what more obvious than NIKOLA, Tesla’s first name? TOo bad it turned out to be a bunch of CRIMINALS.

    Cut your losses and get out. You will thank me later.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 I agree with the self driving 100%, but it may have its use when I’m 95, IF I am impaired and I don’t want to be driven around by a human driver, I could use the help and it may even be worth the $10k, IF you use it for several years.

  12. GM Veteran Says:

    When the Toyota-Hino, Kenworth and Hyundai fuel cell semi trucks are fueling up at the Nikola hydrogen stations and the Nikola plant is running permanent overtime to fulfill their order backlog, I will be smiling as I spend my stock windfall on a new vehicle with 4-wheel steering.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    Those Q3 145,000 and 140,000 Tesla production and deliveries, were they just for the US or do they include deliveries and production in China, Europe and all the rest of the world?

    Whatever they are, that’s an annualized 560,000-580,000 units.

    Compare this to the 50,000 or so VOlvos sold in the US every year.. and VOlvo had man more models than Tesla. And not one was a pure BEV.


    11) That is the problem with FSD. It is not autonomous driving like you and millions of others think. It is augmented driving. At 95 years old you better be prepared to operate the steering wheel and brakes at a split second notice. If you are impaired and unable to drive normally you will not be able to use FSD.

  15. GM Veteran Says:

    Those are worldwide sales and delivery figures, the only kind Tesla publishes. So, when you do an apples to apples comparison, Volvo still outsells Tesla, as I mentioned last week here. And the model count is pretty close. I believe Volvo has five and Tesla has four. Oh yeah, and Volvo makes a real profit.

  16. Lambo2015 Says:

    15 Damn you GM vet spilling real facts.

    The interesting thing about ZEV credits was it was an incentive for automakers to build Zero emission vehicles. For a number of ICEs they had to also build a % of ZEVs. Doesn’t seem to make sense for companies like Tesla or any other pure BEV manufacturer to even get ZEV credits as they don’t build any ICE vehicles.
    They just keep building ICE vehicles and buying credits from companies that don’t. So again the consumer is paying more to subsidize Tesla even when you don’t buy a Tesla. I percentage of your ICE cost was probably buying credits from Tesla.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    Very good point Lambo. I had not thought of it that way before.

  18. Bobby roach Says:

    Is the Mondeo the Fusion wagon that Ford was going to produce to compete with the Outback. Or is that “kaput?”

  19. Bobby roach Says:

    Is the Mondeo the wagon that was rumored to be produced to compete with the Outback? Or is that “kaput?”

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 I think it’s kaput. I think they were also talking about a Outbackized Focus, which won’t happen. It’s looks like Ford is nothing but trucks for the foreseeable future, except Mustang, and soon the e-thing.

  21. Bob Wilson Says:

    According to the web link:

    “chief engineer Al Oppenheiser admitted:”

    “Interestingly enough, we don’t have a vehicle yet. We’re building our first test vehicle as we speak; the vehicle you see in the video is our display vehicle.”

    I’m reminded of Nikola and the down hill coasting truck.

  22. Larry D. Says:

    A preview of Friday’s show:

    This may remind you of the late, failed Saturn initial marketing gimmick, the famed “no haggle price”? GM has resurrected it for the most unlikely product, the $113k “Hummer” BEV that does not look one bit like the REAL Hummer H1, not even like its copycat H2 and H3 lesser siblings

    Do you think this will really work? Saturns initially were little econoboxes with prices around $10k.

    I know of NO buyer of any luxury car, and I assume it is true of even this non[-luxurious atrocity the $113 silly toy, who will accept to buy it at that price, (make it 133k with options). Instead he or she will ask for a big discount and if they get it they will feel smart, regardless that they sure are not, nor do they have even elementary GOOD TASTE.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    15, 16 and similar posts.

    Now I know why Barnum said, ‘a sucker is born every minute’.

    ANd in the case of bankrupt GM there is REALLY NO EXCUSE to carelessly partner with 100% (THIS is a fact, Lambo, NOT the PIE IN THE SKY of GM VET you WRONGLY and FOOLISHLY think is fact), CRIMINAL Trevor Milton.

    Not after the schysters at FIAT robbed it, LEGALLY, of $4 billion, when GM wanted out of the SILLY agreement it signed with the maker of CHEAP and 100% UNreliable JUNK in Europe.

  24. Sean Wagner Says:

    Volvo of course is a long-established brand and was turned around rather recently, to great success, and astonishingly quickly.

    The new Chinese owner left the Swedes to do their thing under then new CEO Håkan Samuelsson, and he’s quite proud of their collective performance.

    I also remember the sniping of (ex) Opel people about Detroit constantly stymieing independent decision-making.

    ZEV credits also are meant to be a disincentive for legacy manufacturers to continue on as before. It’s about speeding up the transformation.

    Tesla actually had operating cash flow less capex (free cash flow) of $1.4B in Q3. The margins on the cars they build is comfortably positive.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    Ιn Italy, the E 500 goes for barely over 20k EUros, but this base version has a pitiful range of about 115 miles. Still, this is even more than the range of the E Mini.

    AND in Italy you get 4,000 Euros from the Govt if you scrap an old car to get the E 500. So one can go buy a worthless beater that can;t even drive for $50, and make 3,950 Euros (close to $5,000). So after the scrap benefit, you pay 16,000 for the base model. THis makes it almost half-price compared to the E-MINI in the US.

    If you like the retro styling (better than your average Hyundai at the same price) and don’t mind the joke of a rear seat and the limited cargo space, this would be a great little car to go shopping with, and parallel parking would be a breeze in tight places.

    And being a BEV, I expect the reliabiity to NOT be as atrocious as in FIAT-ALfa dirty ICE’s.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    24 You use the word “VOlvo” (chinese owned by Geely) and the words… “great success” in the same sentence?

    VOlvo has done TERRIBLY in the US market in recent years. Its market share is 0.5% on average. THis is FOUR times smaller than TESLA, even tho Tesla has much fewer models, and even tho none of the VOlvos so far is a PURE BEV (much harder to sell for everybody except Tesla!). And 8 times smaller than even SUBARU>

    So I am very puzzled. WHat little success, let alone ‘great’, are you talking about? It has been a big FAILURE in the US market.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    22 Hey Larry maybe you haven’t heard but this non[-luxurious atrocity $113k silly toy you speak of no one willing to buy without haggling has its first year of production already reserved. So suck on that fact that you again are very wrong about.

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    24 If ZEV credits were meant to speed up the transformation then giving them to pure BEV manufacturers does just the opposite. It does allow traditional manufacturers to conduct business as usual, building the cars people actually want but now they have to add a cost to buy ZEV credits from manufacturers like Tesla. If they truly wanted to speed things up only providing ZEV credits to manufacturers that built ICE vehicles would have forced them to build more ZEVs and not just buy credits. Also credits would have been even more valuable due to the scarcity of them.
    So basically what it does is allow BEV companies to be subsidized by all the other ICE manufacturers. Not saying its wrong cause it does help push toward a cleaner environment but I find it hilarious that folks like Larry think Tesla could survive without ZEV credits and subsides. Governments around the world are pushing EVs and without their assistance Tesla’s business model would be shot. Good for them this assistance is available for now.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 Larry, you still don’t seem to understand that most EVs, even Teslas, with the “supercharger network,” are usually 2nd or 3rd cars, and are used mainly as commuter cars. For people with home charging, huge range doesn’t matter for this use. When you were writing about your trip to China a while back, you mentioned in positive ways the use of short range EVs for commuting.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    28 Seriously, I don’t seem to understand the obvious? ANd you are quoting me WRONG, the cars in CHina I mentioned were NOT pure BEVs but PLUG-INs and they got the same benefits and breaks as the pure BEVs.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 29, not 28.

  32. Sean Wagner Says:

    Tesla booked 397 million USD from “regulatory credits” in Q3 2020 (see That compares to automotive revenues of 7.6b USD and an automotive gross profit of 2.1b USD.

    Does anyone know if that includes European payouts, say by FCA?

    I think what such an instrument of changing penalties/boosters provides is elasticity – compared say to a mandatory number like China’s 25% by 2025 (which amounts to over 6 million EVs going by 2019 numbers).

    Similarly, it would have changed calculations if the US federal tax credit for EVs was based on one common “bucket” rather than allowing every manufacturer (plus fudges) to move 200’000 eligible cars.

    Be that as it may, the point for these “accelerators” is that there’s a sunset.

  33. Sean Wagner Says:

    24 Larry
    Volvo has come a long way in a very short time. Did you even read my comment in its entirety?

    I heard Hakan Samuelson speak in Geneva, where one does have somewhat more of a European and global perspective.

    Volvo was always a niche brand, but they were circling the drain before Geely came along.

    I think that they’ve made enormous strides since then (not long ago!) – while their EVs fall short of Teslas in practicality and price, they have a character that will appeal to some.

    It’s not realistic to think one enterprise’s prodcuts will be everyone’s choice.