March 12th, 2013 at 11:38am
China is offering more generous subsidies to customers that buy EVs, and it’s not just the central government offering them. One of the worlds largest oil and gas companies says diesel will be the #1 fuel by 2020. Cadillac has really started the year with a bang. But the sales gain is coming exclusively from two new models. All that and more, plus we take a walk around the exterior of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the head of Jeep design.
Welcome to Autoline Daily, we’re glad you’ve joined us, now let’s get to the news.
CHINA DOUBLES DOWN ON EV’S
Sales of electric cars have been a huge disappointment all around the world and since China wants to dominate the EV market, the government will soon roll out new policies to subsidize the cost of developing EVs and to provide more generous subsidies for consumers to buy EVs and alternative cars.
BEIJING EXEMPTS EVS FROM LOTTERY
And it’s not just the central government. The city of Beijing announced that EV buyers now will be exempt from entering a lottery to receive a license plate. Beijing started a lottery system to limit the amount of new cars sold in the city, in an effort to reduce pollution, but that caused the cost of plates to skyrocket to many thousands of dollars. In addition to skipping the lottery, EV buyers get subsidies up to $19,000 from the city of Beijing.
TESLA DELAYS MODEL X
And in other EV news, Tesla announced it’s delaying the launch of the Model X until next year. According to the LA Times, production of the EV was scheduled to start at the end of this year, but is now being pushed back to next year. Tesla says it’s focusing on the Model S and believes it can sell more of that model this year than originally expected. I think that’s a smart move. It preserves cash and let’s them concentrate on ironing out any problems with just one car in the line-up.
DIESEL #1 FUEL BY 2020
And while electrics try to find their footing, ExxonMobil says that by 2020 that diesel will be the worlds #1 fuel. Because of an expanding global economy, it says transportation-related energy demand will jump about 40 percent from now to 2040. Most of this demand is driven by commercial trucks, ships and trains which are primarily diesel. The report also says that diesel will represent about 70 percent of all fuel demand through 2040. I’m not so sure I agree. We are about to see a dramatic increase in the use of compressed natural gas and liquid propane autogas for commercial vehicles in the United States. And if it catches on here, I think it will catch on globally if only because natural gas and propane provide significant CO2 reductions compared to diesel.
CADILLAC UP STRONG
Cadillac has really started the year with a bang. Sales are up 32 percent so far this year. But Cadillac’s sales gain is coming exclusively from two new models, the ATS and XTS. If not for them, Caddy’s sales would actually be down nearly 39 percent because all the carry over models dropped in sales. The good news is, Cadillac has a lot more room to grow. Right now the brand really only has five vehicles in its line-up, compared to roughly a dozen each for BMW, Mercedes and Audi.
THE SEATBELT SHIRT
Some people just seem to have problems with regulations and authority. A company in China came up with a tee-shirt that has a diagonal black stripe across it that makes it look as though you are wearing your seatbelt. The shirts cost about $8, which is actually about the same as the fine you get for not wearing a seatbelt in China. But something tells me that if you do get pulled over wearing one of these shirts there is no talking your way out of a ticket. Or to flip around an old saying, no shirtee, no tickee.
Coming up next, let’s take a comprehensive look at the styling of that new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
2014 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE STYLING
(Styling walk-around of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Speaking of design at the Chrysler group, join us this Thursday night for Autoline After Hours, when our guest will be Klaus Busse, who runs interior design for the automaker. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, for the best insider information in the business.
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.