AD #3555 – OEMs Racing to Copy Tesla Gigacastings; Shelby Mach-E Not Sold in U.S.; MB EV Owners Pay For Performance

April 27th, 2023 at 12:05pm

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0:00 OEMs Racing to Copy Tesla Gigacastings
1:17 Honda Lines Up TSMC Chip Supplies
2:07 Rolls-Royce Expands Bespoke Ops
3:11 Porsche Wants Recycled Rare Earths
3:49 Shelby Mach-E Not Sold in U.S.
5:13 Smart Comes Out with Bigger Car
7:15 Mercedes Offers Performance Via Subscription
8:07 Aurora & Continental Have AV Tech for Trucks

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20 Comments to “AD #3555 – OEMs Racing to Copy Tesla Gigacastings; Shelby Mach-E Not Sold in U.S.; MB EV Owners Pay For Performance”

  1. phred Says:

    The “over the air” performance upgrades that Mercedes wants to monetize will be a great “hacking challenge” to unlock in the “private sector. Bring it on, Mercedes!!

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    On paying to “unlock” something that is already part of the car, it’s a big hell no with me. The only “subscription” I’ve ever done with a car is satellite radio, something I also use at home via the streaming app.

  3. Albemarle Says:

    With right to repair legislation, Tesla and others are going to have to sell these gigacastings to repair shops. There’s no bending back in shape, rewelding or fixing these castings. They need replacing if the car is to be repaired.

    I have to find a whole new group of YouTube channels to replace the welding, body work and engine rebuild ones I watch now. Perhaps 3d printing…

  4. Albemarle Says:

    I am quite happy having features that are only available to me if I pay extra, as long as I know before purchasing that’s the system. Monthly extras can be useful. I could see satellite radio if we were planning a long trip, or extra performance for the month my know-it-all brother-in-law visits, etc.. We do this with Netflix and other streaming services. Sign up for a couple of months and binge what you want.

  5. Norm T Says:

    The large aluminum castings were done by the German’s and Cadillac coming up on almost a decade ago now.

    “…An example of the aforementioned advanced casting can be seen in a ribbed aluminum casting, which begins at the shock tower and runs to the rear of the CT6. Hester explains normally this structural component would take some 35 pieces to assemble, but with the new casting technology, it’s one single piece. He also noted that there are no less than 13 high-pressure die-cast aluminum pieces in the structure of the CT6. Including the transmission tunnel… GMAuthority 2015

  6. ChuckGrenci Says:

    5, Norm, similar thoughts. My CT6 has what they called mega-castings. While laudable for Tesla’s ‘giga-castings’, I think Tesla borrowed the idea from previous experimenters. Granted they took the idea and expanded it, but following Tesla, is a slight misnomer.

  7. XA351GT Says:

    #2 I don’t see this much different from Tesla “unlocking” more capacity in the battery to increase range if you’re willing to pay for it. Akin to having a truck with dual tanks but not getting the key for the gas cap on one of them if you’re not willing to fork over $1000s more for what is already there. Also what stops any of them from taking it back even if you pay for it. How would most even know ?

  8. XA351GT Says:

    #3 They will make you only use “authorized ” repair centers as Tesla does know to protect their proprietary parts.

  9. ArtG Says:

    Based on how long it takes to obtain regular collision parts for Teslas (sheet metal), I can only imagine how long it’ll take to get a replacement megacasting.

  10. Roger T Says:

    I see why Smart is skipping ‘Number 2′. It would be a comical association of the stinky kind.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Can you buy the extra hp from Mercedes by the day? If so, it might be worth a few bucks if doing a track day.

    As far as power, I’m uninclined to pay extra for it, even if the hardware is different. I didn’t pay $12K extra for a half second quicker 0-60 from my Cayman, even though I’d get an extra half liter of displacement. Also, both of the Corvettes I’ve bought new had the lower power engines. Four seconds to 0-60 mph is plenty quick enough. Heck, 14 seconds, like the TDI Jetta wagon I had was quick enough for normal driving.

  12. wmb Says:

    @1-3.) While in most cases, paying more to unlock what I’ve already paid for is a firm “NO”, I can see a subscription service for self driving. Trips out of town to places unfamiliar destinations, or would require long hours behind the wheel, makes since to me. Maybe not a subscription, but, say $15 base price and maybe pennies per mile or the amount of time used? I wouldn’t use it but a few times a year, so paying it a the time of purchase might not make since, or be foreseeable.

  13. merv Says:

    2 same

  14. merv Says:

    11 does your current corvette have the z51 option?

  15. Bob Wilson Says:

    Tesla offers a “Premium Connectivity” for $9.99/mo but I carry a cell phone, $67/mo. I’m keeping the cell phone as I don’t need my car to be a ‘superman change’ phone booth.

  16. Lambo2015 Says:

    I think most consumers will not have a problem paying a monthly fee for a service. ie SAT radio, or other streaming type services. However the idea of unlocking features the car already has is an absolute no for me. Like most things if people dont support it it will die as the bad idea it is. It is only good for the manufacturer and offers no advantage to the consumer. Believe it or not if the car is capable you have already paid for the option. So for them to charge an additional fee to be so gracious to turn on that feature give me a feeling of extorsion.
    Beyond that where does it stop? Soon you pay 50K for a vehicle and if you want the wipers to work you pay a monthly fee? Or if you want the HVAC to work pay a fee. Its a shakedown for something you already paid for and just because technology allows for OTA updates doesnt mean it should be used for this. So be part of the problem and buy into this nonsense or avoid it and it will die along with the other bad ideas like in car record players.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 No Z51. I don’t track it, and would rather have the taller gearing of the non-Z51, and might be driving it when it’s cold, so wouldn’t want the summer tires. The Z51 package, with bigger brakes, better cooling and a few other things is a good value for those who track the car, but the standard setup is better for me.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    Interesting commentary.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 I’m not surprised. It would probably be somewhat better for him with a Tesla, unless there are waits for chargers at times. The bottom line remains that EVs are best for trips within range of home charging, and you NEED home charging. He should probably get a Prius, if it has enough room, and a RAV4 hybrid if he needs more room.

  20. JWH Says:

    Z51 – To each their own. Our 2016 has the Z51 package & since it hides in the garage in South East Michigan during the winter, no issues with summer tires. I also like the larger brakes, & MRC package.