AD #2531 – GM & Amazon Could Invest in Rivian, Most Congested Cities, Ford May Move Production Out of Britain

February 13th, 2019 at 11:42am

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Runtime: 6:32

0:15 GM & Amazon Could Invest in Rivian
1:54 Tesla Contests Autopilot Report
3:02 Honda Urban EV Prototype
3:15 Honda Shows Off Small EV Ute
3:38 Ford’s Lane Keeping Bed
4:30 Most Congested City in U.S. & World
5:12 Ford Preparing to Move Production Out of Britain

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27 Comments to “AD #2531 – GM & Amazon Could Invest in Rivian, Most Congested Cities, Ford May Move Production Out of Britain”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Still not liking the front view of the Rivian; take the good stuff, redesign the styling then maybe you’ve got something (oh, but don’t make it look like the new Silverado).

    I’ve given the new music of Autoline Daily these couple of days, and some of the format tweeks but this doesn’t work for me. Creature of habit I guess. Or it could just be old-man curmudgeon.

  2. Mac Says:

    Jim Hackett’s sagacity continues to amaze me. Great Britain is the only European country where Ford makes any money; if they had any fiscal sense, they’d pull out of the EU and focus solely on GB. Bill Ford has to be pulling his hair out trying to figure out how to rationalize his choice of Hackett as CEO.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 Ford’s UK operation, and sales, depend on free flow of parts and cars between Britain and EU countries on the continent. Brexit appears to be turning into an unmitigated disaster for the British economy.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    1 Absolutely agree, the front of the Rivian does not impress me at all. Its interior is nothing to write home about either.

    If the deal goes through, it will save Rivian by providing a much needed cash transfusion, but most likely it will be a waste of that cash for both GM and Amazon. I don’t share Sean’s optimism about this Rivian’s dominance in the EV Pickup Segment.

    As John predicted in a recent AAH, hundreds of EV makers will come and go (ie, go bankrupt) in the next few years, and only a handful will succeed. I doubt Rivian will be one of them, while Tesla, on the contrary, has passed the most difficult test in 2018 and survived, without external sugardaddies like Amazon and GM. In fact, if I were Ford or GM or esp. FCA, I would be in talks with Tesla, not Nicola, Rivian, Fisker, Karma, or whatever other upstart who has no clue what difficulties lie ahead for them.

    Re Moscow being most congested in the world. Surprising, but it may be. However, even if they lose 210 hours to congestion, it makes little difference, because it does not distract them from any productive activity. When did anybody see any product with “made in Russia” on it? As I said yesterday, the vast country is one giant gas station. Pity, because Russians are both intelligent, talented, and well educated.

  5. Brett Cammack Says:

    I believe that they are only pulling *production* out of GB and that amounts to a pair of powertrain factories.

  6. XA351GT Says:

    Good to see GM still isn’t finished ruining brands. With their track record in the last 20 years that is the last thing I would want as a brand. Let’s see Olds, Pontiac, Saturn Hummer, Saab , Opel , Vauxhaul , to a degree Holden. That is quite a track record for destroying brands. Could possibly include Isuzu and Daewoo as well.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    The AAH with the Caddy XT6 will be interesting, even the first half. Motor Trend called the XT6 the new flagship, as it has almost as much room as the far bigger and heavier Escalade, but is much more efficient and affordable. That model should help Caddy out in its sales problems.

    To continue the discussion from yesterday on the Supra with the BMW engine and the Toyobaru and other Mutts:

    The Toyobaru sold poorly NOT because people do not like cars but SUVs.

    The Toyobaru was a silly, half-assed effort between two successful companies that produced a RWD sporty coupe. The obvious rivals are the Mustang, the Camaro, the Challenger, maybe the Miata, plus some far more upscale german offerings. The Toyobaru is not even close in smooth styling that all these others have, and as far as its anemic powerplant, it is several classes below the domestics. The rivals of the Toyobaru do not have any problem reaching their modest sales goals (this is not a cash cow sector like midsize sedans where you got to sell 300,000 a year to be profitable).

    And re the Supra, Toyota has had sporty Lexus models for a while and none of them needed a BMW engine, I still do not see the need to bastardize the product. I predict Supra sales will be even more anemic, since whoever likes the BMW engine will go get a Z4 or a 3 or 4 or even 1 series instead.

  8. bradley cross Says:

    Tesla sugardaddies were Mercedes and Toyota.
    I love to see GM come out with a new Hummer that was an EV. The new Chevy Hummer H500 Or if they were bold Cadillac H500 pickup truck.

    If Honda can produce a quirky EV runabout that has interesting design it might be a winner. But its a fine line between Nissan Cube and Scion XB

  9. Rick Wakefield Says:

    What does a bed with a movable conveyor belt have to do with the automotive industry.???
    I may have to watch this episode again to figure that out.!!!!

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 The Russian products I’m familiar with, are some very specialized model airplane engines and related hardware, the best in the world for a few types of competition. Of course, that doesn’t do much for the Russian economy, because the global market for these items is a few hundred a year.

  11. Lex Says:

    It looks like Rivian took the GM Skateboard drive unit idea from GM Design which was shown back in the year 2000 and perfected it! I have got to believe that this is why GM is closing plants around the world. It wants to be the next Tesla.

    GM had this technology 20 years and did nothing with it (EV-1). GM probably believes it can build several sexy Tesla fighters by partnering with Rivian and Amazon. There is nothing techno sexy in the GM line up, and if they did they would screw it up!

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 OK, the 86/BRZ doesn’t sell poorly because it is a sports car rather than something else, never mind that no sports cars sell well these days. At least the 86/BRZ outsells the 370Z.

    Anyway, they did not intend to compete with Mustang et. al. It is small, light, and fantastic handling car. That’s what it was intended to be. Yeah, people whine about not having enough power, even though its performance is comparable to the current Miata. Still, they should sell it with the engine from the WRX, for those who want more power. Now that the car is 7 years old, though, it’s probably too late to salvage it.

    There is little doubt that Toyota worked out the deal with BMW for the Supra, partly or mostly because they wanted an in-line 6, part of what defined all previous Supras. Yeah, the new Supra probably won’t sell well because the front end is ugly. Sports car buyers care more about such things than those who buy Lexus CUVs.

  13. Lex Says:

    The New Honda Passport is priced within $500.00 of the Honda Pilot. This is going to cause Pilots to be heavily discounted once the Passports hit the showrooms in all of its various trims. Speeching about trims. Honda how about adding a chrome trim piece between the rear tail lights and moving the reverse light off the rear bumper and onto the rear lid on either side of the rear license plate on the Passport. It would make a big difference and look way better!

    What is Honda going to do to solve it’s oil dilution problems? Why doesn’t Honda just take it’s tried and true 2.4 L engine and make that the standard engine in all CR-V trims! They could even add a turbo for extra power.

  14. Lex Says:

    What kind of sheets do you need to buy for that conveyor belt bed? It might work really well in a “No Tell Motel”! LOL

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 The 1.5t is a little quicker, and gets a little better mpg than the 2.4, but there’s little difference in either case.

    Yeah, they really need to figure out that oil dilution thing. I’d think it could shorten engine life a lot.

    14 Kevlar sheets?

  16. Larry D. Says:

    10 interesting, would not have guessed. I had a high school classmate whose father worked in Moscow at an embassy and he sold me a watch once, gold with 29 ‘jewels’ but it was too delicate and after a few bumps on walls it stopped working. Looked good, but its case had a bad smell. I assumed it was tough as a tank, maybe. That fellow returned to Moscow and when I mentioned to another classmate that he has become an “Oligarch” there, he told me I had no idea how accurate my term was.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    12 the Z’s heyday was 20 and 40 years ago, but it still looks better than the Toyobaru.

    If they did not intend to compete w the Mustang/Camaro/Challenger, which was their segment and how many annual sales does it have? Looks like very slim pickings. “small light and ‘fantastic’ handling reminds me of the Miata (first two) and any Tesla ( the handling part). The WRX is another vehicle I don’t get, sports cars should not look that nerdy and ugly. I guess this is the Japanese school of design. if you see a ton of them, you get used to it eventually. I, like Lambo, am now not offended by the Lexus Spindle Grille any more. Saw several that looked good in black vs the chrome, and good fit and finish helps too. Smaller spindles on the ES look even better.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 The Z hasn’t changed much in the last 15-20 years, and I tend to forget that they still make them. They do, though, at least through 2019 model year.

    The WRX is a sporty car for the great white north, where the AWD can be useful. I don’t see many of them in Florida. For some reason, it is now sold only as a sedan.

    I suspect that Mustang/Camaro/Challenger still have a lot of brand loyalty going on, like big pickup trucks. The closest recent competitor not from a “Detroit three” company was the Genesis coupe, but it was somewhat smaller than Mustang and Camaro, and a lot smaller than Challenger. While it drove and performed decently, it, understandably, didn’t sell very well.

    I dislike the spindle less than I once did, for the most part. There are exceptions, though, like one of those big SUV things. Maybe the one I’m thinking of is the Lexus Land Cruiser.

  19. Drew Says:

    @16 – I also had a gold Soviet Poljot watch from the Cold War era. It came from Dad’s uncle, who was trapped behind the iron curtain from the mid 50s until 1968 (when the family “payed” to get him released). He was not allowed to take anything from the USSR, except the clothes on his back and the watch. He gave me the watch as his 2nd act after landing at the airport (his 1st act was to kiss the ground… ala the Pope). As one would expect of a consumer product born from communist central planning with little competitive/market pressure, quality was lacking… it kept poor time. But then again, some Swiss and British watches have prices unaligned with their quality, too.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bought a cheap mechanical watch when I was in China in 1994, and functionally, it was worse than the Soviet watches. It only ran at all for a few days. It was plated “pot metal,” not gold, so no expensive metal was wasted in its manufacture.

    As we all know, watches are now obsolete; if you want to know what time it is, you look at your phone. Some people, myself included, still like watches, especially mechanical watches that make no sense at all. I have a fairly expensive one that I bought in 1983. Even then, cheap quartz watches kept better time than expensive mechanical watches. Just recently, I bought a Swatch Sistem 51 watch, a self winding mechanical watch that looks like a typical Swatch plastic case watch. They are entirely robot assembled, so they can make them in Switzerland and sell them fairly cheaply.

  21. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Just want to mention a couple of items I didn’t see today or the last week.
    1. Ford has recalled 1.48 million F-150s for sudden unplanned downshifts. I think the article said there have been accidents.
    2. Ford also is recalling 27,000 Lincoln Continentals for doors opening while in motion. Bad door latches.
    3.Ford again: 4,200 Ford Mustang, Lincoln Nautilus and Navigator for blank instrument panels. No accidents.

    And I didn’t see a story recently about why Tesla laid off more than half the delivery department. Something about back orders filled.

    From the show MotorWeek, the Jaguar iPace was chosen as the best overall vehicle available.

    And some sadness: The Mars rover Opportunity has been declared dead after 15 years of exploration on the surface. A dust storm it’s said. Has wheels (6), so a reasonable story for Autoline. An AV no less!

    Last, the Rivian lights remind me of Little Orphan Annie in the comics. And I agree with Larry, interior too many straight lines. Where are the A/C ducts? Wasted space ahead of armrest.

  22. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Almost forgot. Another publication has spy shots and video of the 2020 Porsche Tayman small 4-door sedan. Supposed to be an EV, but there is a lot of sound in the video. Supposedly a production version of the 2015 Mission E. Comments not happy about the production looks. High performance, fast charging system.

  23. Ziggy Says:

    @4, here are some very affordable and supposedly high quality amphibious all terrain vehicles made in Russia and sold throughout most of the world, checkout the Pelec and Tinger aatvs at and I actually test drove the smallest Pelec, the Mini III, this past December, they have a dealership in Philadelphia. I’m still waiting for the Tinger guys to come up with a dealership in the USA, so far the closest they have come is Great Britain. Any other AATV enthusiasts out there in Autoline world?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21. It’s sad that opportunity is finished, but it had an impressive run. It was supposed to last 90 days, and it kept going for 14 years. Amazing.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    19 My gold watch was also a Poljot (in Russian alphabet it read like “POLET”, and I suspect I overpaid for it. I ordered it from my classmate thinking he would get it in the black market and pay a few cents, but when he gave it to me (it was new, in its case, with instructions in Russian) he asked for the full price at the official exchange rate, which in 1969 came up to over $12, which is close to $100 in today’s $. But it was a good quality watch. You had to wind it every day or so.

    20 In 2006 the cheap watches in Shanghai all had batteries. They did not really look that good up close, and when you took them in your hand they felt very lightweight for their bulk. They were very cheap, maybe 30-40 yuan ($1 was 7-8 yuan at the time). But the Chinese colleagues told me that the price of those watches in yuan approximates the number of days they will work until they are junk. Your mechanical watch must have been different and may have lasted longer.

    In 2016 the watch vendors on the roads of Shanghai had disappeared.

    I still like to wear a watch and its steel band. Many of my watches were Seikos, both I and my parents were very satisfied with them, the old ones were kind of ‘kinetic’, did not need much windup, and the latest one I bought in 2006 also (in the US) for about $200, silver with dark blue (almost black) dial, needs a new battery every 5 years or so and is very solidly made.I think I am on my 3rd battery now. Has day of the week (in about 6 different languages) and date on the display.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    21 Re the Mars probes, if I am not mistaken, they lasted far longer than expected, so the scientists got a ton more data from them than they hoped to get. But the one who takes the cake is Voyager, which went in space as I entered grad school in 1977, and was working for many decades and zillions of miles further out than it was designed for. The computer on that thing probably had a millionth of the speed and memory of your hand held calculator. It was both very reliable and very lucky.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    22 The Tayman is not a small sedan, it is a huge vehicle with 600 hP that will try to steal sales from the more upscale Tesla S versions. I would be interested to see its price. It may have less interior room than the cavernous S (which used to have an extra seat in the trunk for a total of 7 passengers) but it is not small by any means.

    23 The Soviets made their own bad cars and later in the late 60s FIAT gave them some outdated versions of its 60s 124/125 small sedan, with 1500 cc engines from 1953, I believe, and the y made a ton of them in Togliattigrad, where they built the factory, named by coincidence for an Italian Commie. Those were the infamous “Ladas”. Had thick sheetmetal, some auto illiterates (sure not engineers) bought them for this reason, assuming they would be safer in a crash.