AD #2064 – Fewer Americans Buy Green Cars, Toyota Spruces Up the 86, Alfa’s Plan to Win Over Customers
March 13th, 2017 at 11:57am
To watch this episode on YouTube click here.
- China Might Back Off EV Goals
- Fewer Americans Buy Green Cars
- Chevy Gets New Class 6 Truck
- Intel Buys Mobileye
- Toyota Spruces Up the 86
- Honda Back in the Winner’s Circle
- Alfa’s Plan to Win Over Customers
On today’s show…China could back off its goal for electric cars…at the same time that fewer Americans are buying green cars…and Intel makes a major play for autonomous cars. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
CHINA MIGHT BACK OFF EV GOALS
China has very aggressive goals for selling electric and plug-in cars and has some of the most generous subsidies in the world. But now it’s considering backing off its sales targets as automakers say they are too tough to meet. China’s goal was to have 8% of all sales be electric by next year, rising to 12% by 2020. But last year sales of EVs and plug-ins only reached 1.8%, according to Reuters. China has also started phasing out its EV subsidies, with the goal of eliminating them by 2020. And now it may delay or reduce its sales goals for those cars.
FEWER AMERICANS BUY GREEN CARS
And it’s a story that could be repeated in the U.S. market. Automakers would love to see the Trump Administration eliminate California’s mandate for Zero Emissions Vehicles, or ZEVs. California is mandating that 15% of all vehicles be ZEVs by 2025. But fewer Americans are buying green cars. The market for hybrids, plug-ins and electrics is a small and shrinking segment. While sales of electrics and plug-ins are up, sales of hybrids are falling fast. As a result, the entire “green car” segment is losing sales and market share. In 2013 the segment accounted for 3.7% of the U.S. market, last year that shrunk to only 2.8%. What seems to be happening is that hybrid owners are simply migrating to plug-ins and electrics. In other words, the segment is not attracting new buyers. That could start to change as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 become available across the country. They’re the first affordable EVs with at least a 215 mile range. But unless they achieve significant gains in market share for the EV segment, it’s hard to see how automakers can achieve California’s ZEV mandate.
|U.S. GREEN CAR SALES|
|Source: Wards Auto|
And we’ll be back with more right after this.
CHEVY GETS NEW CLASS 6 TRUCK
Chevrolet’s commercial business has seen seven straight months of year-over-year market share gains and now it’s offering a new class 6 truck. Called the 6500XD, highlights for the cab forward truck include a 5.2L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, a 6-speed Allison transmission, Dana axles, 8 wheelbases and bodies of up to 30-feet long. The trucks should be available by the end of the year.
INTEL BUYS MOBILEYE
Mobileye, one of the leading companies developing autonomous technology, just got bought by Intel for $15.3 billion. If you’re wondering why the tech company is interested in Mobileye, here’s a big reason. Intel estimates that the market for self-driving technology will be worth $70 billion by 2030. Mobileye is currently working with BMW and Delphi to develop autonomous cars.
TOYOTA SPRUCES UP THE 86
Sales of Toyota’s little sports car, the 86 are going nowhere. In 2014 it sold 14,000 of them when it was branded a Scion FR-S. Last year it only sold 2,500 branded as the 86. So in an effort to boost sales it’s offering a special edition of the car, called the 860. It’s only available in Supernova Orange or Halo White paint and Toyota will only make 860 of each color. Other exterior additions include black body stripes, spoiler, mirrors and wheels. It also gets LED foglights and a aerodynamic underbody panel. Unique interior touches come in the form of black and orange stitching on the seats, steering wheel, shift boot and parking brake lever and there’s a special center console placard. Pricing for the 860 Special Edition starts a little over $30,000 including destination charges, which is about 3-grand more than a base 86.
HONDA BACK IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Honda seems to be having severe problems with its Formula One engine program. Early testing with the new McLaren F1 car have been plagued by problems. But it’s a different story in the IndyCar series. Yesterday Sebastien Bourdais took his Honda powered Indycar from last to first at the opening race of the series, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida. In fact, Honda took 7 of the top 10 positions. That signals a good start for Honda. Last year, Chevrolet won 14 of the 16 races in the series.
Coming up next, a look at Alfa Romeo’s plan to make customers aware of the brand.
ALFA’S PLAN TO WIN OVER CUSTOMERS
Alfa Romeo left the U.S. market over twenty years ago. But now the brand is back and is looking to compete against the big players in the ultra competitive luxury segment. On last week’s Autoline After Hours we were joined by Pieter Hogeveen, the Director of Alfa’s North American Operations. And he shared how the company plans to make customers aware of the brand and how it can win them over.
(The AAH preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
To learn more about Alfa’s return to North America, you can watch that entire show right now on our website, Autoline.tv or just look for it on our YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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