AD #3154 – Audi grandsphere concept; Automakers Cut More Production; German OEMs Face Lawsuit Over Emissions

September 3rd, 2021 at 11:40am

Audio-only version:
Listen to “AD #3154 – Audi grandsphere concept; Automakers Cut More Production; German OEMs Face Lawsuit Over Emissions” on Spreaker.

Follow us on social media:

Instagram Twitter Facebook

Runtime: 9:52

0:08 Chip Shortage Forces More Production Cuts
1:02 German Automakers Face Lawsuit Over Emissions
1:35 BMW Commits to CO2 Reduction
2:06 CATL Puts Tesla in Its Crosshairs
3:09 Genesis Reveals Electrification Plans
4:03 Mercedes Tests New Method to Charge Electric Buses
4:48 Audi Unveils Sleek grandsphere concept
6:32 How Nissan Improved the Ride of The New Frontier

Visit our sponsors to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone, Intrepid Control Systems, Magna and Schaeffler.

»Subscribe to Podcast |

5661 rss-logo-png-image-68050 stitcher-icon youtube-logo-icon-65475

Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com

42 Comments to “AD #3154 – Audi grandsphere concept; Automakers Cut More Production; German OEMs Face Lawsuit Over Emissions”

  1. Kevin A Says:

    I have to say that the Audi concept is a beautiful car, but somehow completely anonymous as well. It could be any make and somehow that makes it less interesting. Am I wrong to think that?

  2. Don Sherman Says:

    Frontier discussion makes no sense. With TWO levels of isolation between the road and the occupants, achieving a superior ride with body-on-frame should be EASIER than with unibody.

  3. Don Sherman Says:

    Frontier discussion makes no sense. With TWO levels of isolation between the road and the occupants, achieving a superior ride with body-on-frame should be EASIER than with unibody.

  4. WineGeek Says:

    When will the US manufacturers start to produce their own chips? This is ludicrous that one factory in Taiwan shuts down and the entire world of automobile manufacturing is in chaos.

    The lack of planning and stupidity of all auto manufacturers to allow themselves to be dependent on one factory and one manufacturer is mindboggling.

    WAKE UP! What is this was a war and we couldn’t build tanks

  5. WineGeek Says:

    Here ! Here to Genesis. My look ahead for what it is worth is that fuel cells are the future. No pollution at all an “internal combustion” type engine now if they could only cure the refueling problem.

  6. Rey Says:

    #5 wineG , good luck finding fuel/hydrogen in places other than Calif , that fuel will hever scale from renewables, cheapest way is from Nat Gas reformation, maybe you been listening to too many Trevor Milton / Nikola pitches.

  7. motorman Says:

    just in time inventory does not look like a smart idea now. storage space for the chips should not cost very much and that was the reason for just in time inventory.

  8. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Both the Genesis and the Audi (concept), while looking at their grills, reminded me of the ‘Cheshire Cat’; not a good look (for me).

    Intel is the only chip manufacture left in N. America (as told by CBS’ 60 minutes) and they haven’t kept up with the technology (again, according to the report from “60 Minutes”. Catching up will take years; thus the continuation of the chip shortage (or at least one reason that it is dragging on).

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    6 You should probably watch your idol Sandy Munro on this clip about solid state Hydrogen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brEm4mEizns

  10. John McElroy Says:

    #2. Don, As you know, BOF vehicles have that “jiggle” ride that you feel as the flexing, jounce and rebound between the body and frame. Nissan pretty much got rid of the “jiggle.”

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    8 See that’s the part I don’t understand. Its not like technology changed overnight. There were chips being made prior to the CV shutdown and the only excuse I keep hearing is the production capacity was shifted to make laptops and gaming consoles and appliances. So as things did open back up and summer hit with no kids in school (virtually or not) lessening the need for laptops, why haven’t the chip manufacturers caught up?

    Even more frustrating is as a supplier we often times have to identify high risk suppliers. If we have a part we can only make one machine or get from one supplier we need to put in contingency plans. Apparently no one identified chip supplies as a potential risk? Huge failure on their part. I find it hard to believe we could not develop a chip manufacturer here in the states in the time this has been going on. I believe the Ford willow run assembly plant was able to convert from making cars to making B24 bombers in less than a year. Completely different product and was kicking out a whole plane every hour. Today we cant make a microchip in an old chip plant after 18 months.

  12. Drew Says:

    BOF construction is not the cause of traditional truck ride issues. The main ride quality compromise comes from stiff springs for payload capacity. Look to the Ram 1500 and Lincoln Town Car for proof. The Town Car was BOF and had a cloud-like ride. The Ram is regarded as the best riding full-size pickup, but it used coil springs (in lieu of leaf springs) to achieve that feat at the sacrifice of payload.

  13. John McElroy Says:

    #8. Chuck, 60 Minutes is wrong. I know for a fact that OnSemi and Texas Instruments both make chips in the US for automakers and suppliers. I’ll bet there are others too.

  14. Bobby T Says:

    #11, Lambo not only that, but they had to build a brand new plant (it wasn’t converted from car production). I’m reading a biography of the great architect Albert Kahn. The Willow Run bomber plant was one of his last projects. He died in 1942.

  15. Merv Peters Says:

    another great week of autoline,thanks

  16. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Thanks John for clarification on chips. They also said the highest tech chips weren’t made here either, but in Taiwan, so maybe doubting that too? Needless to say it is a very convoluted problem so I can see why there isn’t a more quick solution. I was skeptical of the earlier delays in the beginning too.

  17. Sean Wagner Says:

    Samsung has a big, modern chip manufacturing plant in the vicinity of Austin. I’m sure they were chuffed when electricity in Texas went out.

    But the majority of advanced plants are located in Asia now, and with “chips”, it’s not as simple as cutting and bending and casting and riveting anyway.

    Intel shareholders were quite satisfied for a while thanks to all the buybacks keeping up appearances. It’s just unfortunate the competition elsewhere feels like, well, competing. Great jobs for creative scientists and process engineers and technicians too.

    The machinery and methods required for cutting-edge stuff have become ridiculously intricate, to the point there’s only ONE company in the world (ASML in the Netherlands) that supplies some of the vital machinery.

    But the stuff made on that process isn’t relevant to the automotive sector’s basic requirements as far as I know – Japan has quite a few of the small, older factories using simpler methods making the cheap and cheerful chips cars require in vast amounts now. A fire in one was bad enough – then a plant in Malaysia got closed due to COVID.

    By the way, Genesis wants to sell 400’000 vehicles globally in 2025, I think. What are the goals over at Cadillac and Lincoln? Hyundai/Kia is now part of the New Big Three – together with Toyota and Volkswagen Group.

  18. Sean Wagner Says:

    Just to add, TSMC in Taiwan has indeed become the leader in large-scale, advanced-process chip manufacturing. They don’t design anything themselves, but build others’ designs under contract. Intel basically let them have the graphics chip manufacturing business a generation ago (margins were felt to be too low), and they took it from there. I hope this is a little bit useful.

  19. Rey Says:

    #9 lambo , Sandy is A manufacturing “lean design” engineer, he was shown the Fuel Cell gizmo, whether it will work or not is anybodys guess, but there no beating the simpleness of BEV drivetrains, just have to make the best and cheapest batteries, and @ scale, ICE is over a century old, and will be legislated out of existence, sooner or later, like in a decade, if you follow the news.
    Unfortunately for GM when it comes to batteries , they don’t know positive from negative.

  20. Norm T Says:

    There is allot of risk that Intel did not make about two decades ago and now they play catch up but have no plans to supply auto chips from the two new chip factories.

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/8/31/22648372/willy-shih-chip-shortage-tsmc-samsung-ps5-decoder-interview

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Wikipedia has an article listing semiconductor fabs, but it’s not very up to date. It lists GM’s Fab III as open, but it closed about 4 years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants#Open_plants

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Why is only GM getting the bad press about battery fires, when Hyundai also uses the LG Cells and has had fires?

  23. Bob Wilson Says:

    About CATL home electrical systems, a very small Chinese market (apartments and few private homes) means they are totally dependent on offshore markets. Worse, some Tesla investors sued claiming their home system electrical systems were a fraud.

    Please don’t inflate Tesla home solar and power walls into a major revenue stream. CATL is welcome to the market as a ‘loss leader’ is always welcome. But I’ll buy Tesla first.

  24. Sean Wagner Says:

    1 – Kevin – I like your characterisation of the Audi’s design. The rear roof element is a little unusual, but the idea of giving futuristic EVs such a long hood doesn’t sit right. While the interior looks entirely forgettable too.

    To me, the Tesla Model S still stands as one of the very best modern designs, though the front restyling wasn’t optimally executed, and I wish the taillights looked a little more upscale, never mind the servicable interior. Tesla couldn’t lose by standing up a team making bespoke interiors. Instant money-spinner and attention-grabber too.

    By the way, Wolfgang Egger, who once was Audi’s chief of design, now works for BYD.

    Chip Shortage – So many different chips and sensors go into a car nowadays. I wonder if there’s some data that delves a bit deeper into their makeup.

    22- Kit – Good question. Has Hyundai actually had any fires, or was it merely a recall? It seems there were none in the US. In Europe it’s a non-issue, and the market share of new BEVs has surged to double-digit ranges in a few important countries like France and Germany. Remarkable.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 It looks like Hyundai has had some fires, maybe mostly in Korea.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hyundai-motor-electric-recall-idUSKBN2BG3ET

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 Hyundai doesn’t sell EVs where I live, so their total US sales may be very low. That would reduce the number of fires.

  27. Sean Wagner Says:

    It seems they’ve discontinuied sales of the Kona EV in South Korea. Interesting. It’s still selling reasonably well in Europe.

  28. cwolf Says:

    I was coming home from dinner last night and saw an El Camino at first glance.
    As I got closer, I couldn’t believe it! It was a Cadillac! My guess it was a 1975-1976 model. I heard of them before but never saw one.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Would it be a “home project,” or would limo/hearse companies have made them?

  30. Ukendoit Says:

    I hadn’t heard of the Cadillac trucks, but out of curiosity I looked into it. From what I’ve found, it looks like it was a factory authorized (or possibly not authorized) conversion available from some Cadillac dealers. Some pics showed an in bed trunk like the Honda Ridgelines.
    https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2011/05/17/lost-and-found-overflow-the-many-species-of-the-cadillac-pickup

  31. Lambo2015 Says:

    19 Cant help yourself can you? GM Evs has nothing to do with the article about Sandy Munro and him picking hydrogen as the direction he would head if he was in charge of Toyota.
    There have been all kinds of examples where the government had plans to mandate or legislate something out of existence. So I wouldn’t bet on all these ICE bans holding to there current date. They can always move and sure many automakers stating they have no plans to produce anymore ICEs after 2025 or 2030 is just as easy to say “due to market demands our plans changed and we have moved that date out”.
    In the next 10 years lots could change and if the Hydrogen discs get improved they could become a serious contender to EVs.
    The question no one can really answer is what will be the better choice in the long run. Maybe batteries are about as good as they can get for the next 30 years and maybe HG has lots of opportunity and that’s just how I look at it. So just saying I don’t put all my eggs in one basket and Evs may not pan out to be the best solution in the future. Or maybe they are the answer for a few years and then something better comes along. I’m just not sold that EVs are the best solution. I think they are only marginally better than ICEs when all things are considered. We humans have a long history of jumping on the bandwagon of what we think is a great solution or product only to discover years later it was actually worse for us in the long run. So I wont rule out ICE improvements and HG development quite yet.

  32. Craig A. Wolf Says:

    30) Yeah, they were factory authorized. From what I could find, I think they were made in Australia. Seeing one here makes me wonder if someone in the states also made the conversion. Something like 250 were made.

  33. Craig A. Wolf Says:

    I read an interesting article about a potential and different type off EV problem…it being automatic up-dates.
    Claims of an up-date shutting down a vehicle while it was being driven on the highway, another occurred when someone had to rush to the ER but couldn’t. This is why dealerships demand they are done at the dealer by appointment. And scores of EV owners could not flee the recent floods due to the power outage and lack of travel distance.
    Then, there are claims many up-dates have taken away from the cars performance, battery charge rates and/or distance available. One service writer even went as far as to say up-dates have been used to lessen various functions to the point where owners are lead to believe they need to trade their EV in for one better and more costly.
    Sounds hard to believe but then again…..

  34. cwolf Says:

    30) yeah, they were factory authorized. About 250 were made. I gather they were modified in Australia but wonder if some were made here in the US

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, 32 Interesting. I’ve never seen an EldorCamino, but years ago, I saw a Cadillac station wagon/estate car on display that had, reportedly, belonged to Elvis.

  36. Rey Says:

    #31 lambo you so funny, the Govt legislators will backtrack on legislations and mandates regarding EPA and ICE are so dumb, that’s Detroit thinking that will kill them, yes Detroitshould have gone BK 10 YEARS AGO that way there would be new blood,as current leadership is stagnant,maybe in less than 10 years Detroit will have to learn Mandarin,as they might have to answer to Chinese masters, because they are stuck in ICE like you.CHEERS!

  37. Rey Says:

    #31 Today Tues sept 7 news of gas leak in Fords Flat Rock plant displaces 1000 people, and Ford give hotel vouchers and some coupons.LOL F stock @$12/ $hare , and TSLA UP @$750++ up some $20. Oh you like disasters like Oil spills in Louisiana ? Well, it seems like you do as you want to keep pumping and using that toxic stuff for you Fossil cars into 2030 and beyond.

  38. Rey Says:

    #31 lambo , Go read Nikkei Asia , it seems like Honda and GM are collaborating to build EVs, shows you where BEVs are going and they have to join forces or be decimated by Teslas lead in BEVs, not to mention the coming Chinese wave of BEVs and their established auto giants like BYD Geely and startups, Go educate yourself about EVs

  39. Lambo2015 Says:

    38 Go educate this!

  40. Rey Says:

    #39 lambo, lost cause maybe your grand kids will be driving BEVs ,LOL

  41. Lambo2015 Says:

    Rey its not a lost cause to have common sense which obviously escapes you.
    I would own an EV tomorrow if I had a place to charge at home and one was available that had a 200 mile range in the midst of February weather and it was not less convenient and more money than a comparable ICE. That doesn’t exist so its a no go for me. That doesn’t mean I’m against them but they don’t make sense for me right now. Maybe you should educate yourself on financial planning and ROI.

  42. Rey Says:

    #41, my ROI in Ontario real estate is thru the roof and so with TSLA , NKLA is a scam , that not with a 10 foot pole GM and F are stuck and going nowhere fast.