AD #2045 – Hack-Proof Cars Could Come Soon, PSA Wants to Buy Opel, Mercedes Taps Horse & Buggy Styling
February 14th, 2017 at 11:48am
To watch this episode on YouTube click here.
- Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet
- PSA Wants to Buy Opel
- Ferrari’s Revenue Breakdown
- China Blocks Korean Battery Makers
- Why We Need Autonomous Cars
- Experts Say Hack-Proof Cars Coming Soon
On today’s show… the experts say hack-proof cars are right around the corner, PSA tells General Motors that it would love to buy Opel and China retaliates against South Korean battery makers over an American missile defense system. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
GEE, THAT’S ONE SWEET G
The Mercedes G-Wagon is already pretty opulent. But Benz is firing up the way-back machine to make it even more extravagant. Meet the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet. Landaulet is a body style that goes back to the horse and buggy days where the back half of the roof folds down. In this case it’s electrically controlled. Inside passengers are bathed in luxury. A glass partition between the driver’s and passenger’s compartment, keeps the nosy chauffeur out of any indiscrete discussions. The rear seats fully recline with leg rests. There’s folding tables and 10-inch display screens. But make no mistake this vehicle will still be very off-road capable. The 4-wheel drive system can be locked in the front, center and rear and also features portal axles, which move all the drive components above the wheel centers for more ground clearance. And to power out of those really sticky situations, it comes with a 630-horsepower twin-turbo V12.
PSA WANTS TO BUY OPEL
Alright, time to get your shocked face ready. A spokesman for PSA–Peugeot and Citroen–told Reuters it’s, “exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel.” The two companies already share production of some SUVs and commercial vans, but the move would give PSA more than a 16% share of the European car market. A deal could be announced within days. Even though GM continues to make progress with Opel, it lost $300 million last year. Meanwhile, Ford posted a $1.2 billion pre-tax profit on its European operations and that has got to goad GM to do something about Opel.
And we’ll be back with more right after this.
WHERE FERRARI MAKES ITS MONEY
Yesterday we reported on Ferrari’s financial earnings for 2016, noting that the company made a 53,000 euro profit for every car it sold. But one of our viewers, Wim Van Acker, pointed out that Ferrari does more than sell cars and wanted to know where the company gets all its revenue. So here goes. Ferrari generated €2.1 billion selling cars and spare parts. It earned €338 million selling engines to Maserati and to the Formula One teams Toro Rosso, Sauber and Haas. It earned €488 million on sponsorships for its own Formula One team and on branding rights for merchandise. And it made €99 million on other operations including financial services. So roughly one-third of all of Ferrari’s income comes from operations outside of selling cars to customers.
|Ferrari Revenue, 2016|
|Cars & Spare Parts||€2.1 Billion||+5%|
|Sponsorship & Branding||€488 Million||+11%|
CHINA BLOCKS KOREAN BATTERY MAKERS
Very interesting article in Ward’s about Beijing Hyundai dropping the Korean company LG Chem as its battery supplier for its upcoming plug-in hybrid. Instead, it’s going to use batteries from a Chinese company called Contemporary Amperex Technology. Ward’s cites analysts who believe LG Chem and another Korean company Samsung SDI were denied battery certification in China because of politics. South Korea agreed to deploy a U.S. anti-missile defense system, known by its acronym THAAD, and China is opposed to that deployment. Since then China slashed the number of visitor visas for South Koreans and stopped several commercial deals involving South Korean companies. China is also actively promoting its domestic companies getting into electrics and plug-ins.
Coming up next, cyber experts say that hack-proof cars are right around the corner.
WHY WE NEED AUTONOMOUS CARS
General Motors is providing the U.S. Congress with some hair raising statistics to bolster its argument that we need autonomous cars. GM says that 10 percent of vehicle fatalities and 18 percent of injuries in crashes are due to distracted driving. That means roughly 3,500 people are killed every year by distracted driving, and nearly 400,000 are injured. GM says more than 30 percent of fatalities involve a drunk driver, which translates into 10,500 fatalities. And is says 28 percent of fatal crashes were speed-related. Vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children and adults ages 4 to 34 and 94% of all accidents are caused by human error. Congress is now debating what kind of legislation is needed for autonomous cars.
MAKING HACK-PROOF CARS
But autonomous cars are not going to be accepted by the public unless we can prevent hackers from taking control of them. Here’s the good news. A growing number of technologists believe that hack-proof cars are just around the corner. On our television program Autoline This Week I talked to three technologists at the CES show about cyber technology and here’s what Peter Rawlinson, the CTO of Lucid Motors had to say about it.
(Clip from Autoline This Week can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
What these experts say is that it’s impossible from preventing a hacker from getting into your car, but you can then prevent him from doing any damage. It’s called early detection and mitigation and it’s all about having the right “keys” to get in. The way I describe it is that it’s like catching a hacker, locking him in a metal cabinet, and then putting that in the basement.
And that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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