AD #2673 – Cox Auto Makes Huge Investment in Rivian, Toyota Develops New Small Car Platform, UAW Could Go After GM Arlington Plant

September 11th, 2019 at 12:00pm

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Listen to “AD #2673 – Cox Auto Makes Huge Investment in Rivian, Toyota Develops New Small Car Platform, UAW Could Go After GM Arlington Plant” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 7:52

0:07 Cox Automotive Makes Huge Investment in Rivian
0:50 Honda Joins with Germany’s Ubitricity
1:36 Former LED Maker Improves Battery Efficiency
2:55 Toyota Develops New Platform for Small Cars
3:37 Ford’s Credit Rating Slashed
4:36 Ward’s Rates 10 Best User Experiences
5:32 UAW Could Go After GM’s Arlington Plant

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33 Comments to “AD #2673 – Cox Auto Makes Huge Investment in Rivian, Toyota Develops New Small Car Platform, UAW Could Go After GM Arlington Plant”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Given the inventories of most products they have, the biggest harm to GM from a strike would be delaying getting the C8 into production.

  2. ChuckGrenci Says:

    1, Kit
    I was thinking similarly. The Corvette needs to complete its promise and get built (and delivered) in a fairly compact timeframe. It is already going to be another five or so months before the first one hits the streets (using the present timeframe).

  3. Larry D. Says:

    1 C8 volumes are tiny compared to those of the Silverado and Suburban-Tahoe-Escalade-Yukon etc. GM will feel very little of this. It depends on the demand for the c8, but if the past is any indication, Corvettes always had big inventories.

    a 90 or more day inventory, if well managed, means that they can endure a strike of not just one month, but two. 30 day inventories are typical of the most efficient and successful automakers, while the so called “optimal” 60 days is an old wife’s tale for more than 30 years now. This is a major way Toyota and those who copied it are so profitable. “LEAN” manufacturing.

    The $0.35 bill investment of Cox in Rivian is significant but sure not huge. I will believe in the Rivian trucks when I see their actual sales numbers, and then wait a year to see if they are sustained, if any.

    The most important news today are the public charge points on the streets/pavement next to the parked cars, so even those who live in high rise apartments can now also use a BEV, as suburban homeowners already can. BIG breakthru.

    PS the Mustang inspired EV will NOT be a Mustang, but a CROSSOVER.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    2 Huh? I saw a red C8 yesterday parked on the street, and I believe it had a regular license plate, not one of these temp/test/ factory ones.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    low C8 inventories will be great for the Chevy Dealers, who already are overcharging for the C8 big way.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not sure how it is in Germany but I know in Detroit if your going to charge your EV at a light pole they had better figure out how to lock up what looks like a very expensive power cord.

    You could be right John, but I’m not sure refreshing existing models is going to be enough to make a huge difference.

    When it comes to infotainment systems I know all makers are trying to go with symbols for everything to make them universal and not tied to a particular language. But man some of the new features and the symbols they come up with can be confusing. Especially since each manufacturer can use whatever they want. At some point the touch screen is going to have what language and provide descriptions for each icon. Personally I hate the symbols especially when its on the intermittent wipers with the increasing triangle. Most cars the thin area of the triangle means light rain and long pauses between wipes. I recently was in a car (sorry don’t remember the make) where it was opposite and the thin area was less gap between wipes and the thicker part of the triangle was long pauses.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3,4,5 The C8, without a strike, will not be in normal production until December or so. As with every new Corvette, and this one more than most, there are thousands of people waiting to buy one.

  8. Albemarle Says:

    The lamppost charging fits right into the European landscape. While many households in house based duplexes without parking could use the technology in North America, we have far more people in condo and rental high rises with parking garages that are still disadvantaged.
    There’s now rules for new construction in many places that will handle the recharging problem. It does nothing however, for all those living in condos with nosy, interfering, methuselah condo boards that are against spending any money for upgrades.

  9. Phred Says:

    The new Toyota small car platform has a critical design “FLAW” . The emphasis on low seating height!! Why do you think the mini SUV market is so “HOT”? You do not need to crawl into and out of the seats!! The passengers and driver all sit upright and are comfortable.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    8 sounds exactly like my condo board and their outrageous and unfair fines.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 A very poor decision to make the seats so low, practically prohibiting all kinds of seniors and not with kneee pain to use them. This is a dinosaur design from the 80s, like in my 1991 Civic Hatch, very low seating position, and also low ground clearance, I always had to worry when on vacation and excursions in unpaved roads to see forests etc, when the car seemed to rub its body against the rocks and pebbles on the ground. And then some are surprised at the popularity of crossovers…

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. Ford, they should have a pretty good group of crossovers, and they will sell a lot of them as police trucks, but probably not make much money on those.

    The Lincoln Nautilus, the one based on the Ford Edge, got a pretty good review from CR. The new longitudinal engine Explorer, if they did it right, might be pretty good. It’s closest competition in size and price would be seriously aging, and heavy Dodge Durango.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9,11 That platform is designed for places where Ford Fiesta and VW Golf are the best selling vehicles, rather than monster pickup trucks, as in the US.

  14. ChuckGrenci Says:

    3,4,5,7
    There are no production C8′s out (see Kit, production due to start in December, see me, first deliveries probably won’t be till February). The 2020 allocation for C8, if not already full, is nearly so. While the volume of C8 is not that important to GM, more negative coverage is not needed or wanted either. If you are familiar with the CT6-V, which was a limited run and already supposed to be delivered has left purchasers left unfulfilled (first expected deliveries were projected for March/April) but were and still are in sequester due to EPA ‘holds’. They may be released soon (but haven’t still been delivered to customers).

  15. Larry D. Says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivian#Facilities

    I checked out the Rivian specs, and all three versions use over 100kwh batteries, the top one 180 kwh, and all make over 400 hp, the top making 700 hp, and have accelerations 0-60 from 4.9 to 3.2″.

    No prices are listed but I bet they will not be cheap, so I don’t expect them to have Model 3 kind of sales volumes. More like Tesla X volumes.

    Anybody know more about this?

  16. Larry D. Says:

    13 it is a very inefficient design to have the seats so low, not only from the point of view of the significant discomfort of those who sit in them, the poor safety of a vehicle sitting so low, when any crossover can climb over the hood and kill the passengers, and also because the most efficient design is a CUBE, especially if we are talking about slow-moving econoboxes, so the higher the height the cheaper it is to make a car of the same volume. Height is the cheapest dimension, which is also very true for Cargo Ships as well, but they have depth constraints from shallow ports and channels. Length, on the other hand, is the most expensive dimension.

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    13 Well anyone that still wants a sedan in the US will likely have to buy an import. So I’m thinking there is still a market even if it is still shrinking. With everyone else dropping out their sales may go up.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 700 hp and 180 kWh sounds seriously expensive, unless prices of batteries come down a lot by the time i actually goes into production, if ever.

    GA-B is the platform used for the current Corolla and Prius, and maybe some others. We’ll see what other products come from that platform, but “low” is relative, it would seem. Yep, for space efficiency, tall is good. For fuel efficiency, long and low is good, but for a vehicle used only at low speed in a city, aero drag doesn’t matter much.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Already, if you want a “mainstream” sedan, it will be a foreign nameplate, unless it’s a Malibu, Sonic, (I think they still make it}, Charger, and for a few more months, Fusion. Many of the foreign nameplate sedans, including most Accords and Camrys sold in the US, are assembled in the US.

  20. Gary Patrick Says:

    As someone in the automotive retail industry who does business with multiple Cox subsidiaries (Autotrader, Dealer.com, KBB, and Manheim), I’m a little uncomfortable with them investing in a manufacturer who may someday become a competitor to the brand I represent.

  21. Terry Quinn Says:

    Let’s see. Parking your electric car on a street overnight in New York City. What is wrong with that picture?

  22. Albemarle Says:

    20.
    I would think someone stealing your charge cord would be the least of your worries.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    20 So because the street lights are spaced farther apart than parking spots what is the chance you’ll get the one right next to the post like shown in the video? Unlikely.. So when you have your cord draped along the curb to reach your car and someone trips over it, who is liable?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22. They could make the parking spots by the light posts EV-only. It might be hard to enforce initially, but if they towed a few vehicles, the word would get out quickly.

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    23 So in a city like NY where parking is already an issue you want to reserve 1/4th of the parking spots which account for only fraction of sales to EVs only? Don’t see that happening.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 They’d need to reserve them in numbers corresponding to the number of EVs that would use them. Yeah, it might be difficult to implement some places.

  27. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I just saw that GM is recalling 3.4 million trucks for brake problems. Anyone hear specifically what is going on with the brakes? The reporting that I saw seem a little vague.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 I saw something about a vacuum pump, which sounds like a source of extra suck if there isn’t a normal amount from the intake manifold, like running full throttle, and then needing lots of braking.

  29. ChuckGrenci Says:

    28
    Thanks Kit. I found some new info this morning: “The problem behind the recall is the vacuum brake assist pump that these vehicles use. The issue is that the pump output can drop quickly and result in a loss of brake assist for the vehicle.” The fix appears to be a recalibration of the Electronic Brake Control Module.

  30. NormT Says:

    The GM truck recall only effects 2% of actual cases. But they are doing a blanket recall on them anyway.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    13 I don’t know (and sure I do not care) about the Fiesta,

    but I know for a fact that the Golf, which, despite its horrible reliability, is a bestseller in Europe,

    but never in the US, where people prefer sedans (which have NOTHING to do with the bogeymen monster trucks you mentioned)

    like the Civic and the Corolla, which sell 30,000 and sometimes 40,000 a month, compared to the hatch Golf’s pitiful 5,000-8,000 a month,

    That current Golf, at a comfortable 57″ or more height, while it is supposedly in the same category as my 1991 Civic 3 door hatch,

    is far different as far as the topic I was discussing was concerned, ie, the seat height from the floor.

    The Civic had a height of only 51″, like a sports car, a whole half foot or 6″ shorter than the Golf, which makes ALL the difference.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 Fiesta is the best selling vehicle in the UK, Golf in Germany, and F-150 in the US.

    Yeah, the Golf is taller than older cars that size, especially Asian ones, and the current Golf is two inches taller than the Mk1 Golf. The current Golf and Camry are the same height, not that they are very similar otherwise.

  33. veh Says:

    20 that is actually an interesting point…conceivably data could be manipulated on their products to favor Rivian, if they ever produce at scale. I think that’s a long way away, though

    But I wonder why Cox decided to put money into a manufacturing company; all their other entities are data. KBB doesn’t even have a book any more.