AD #2698 – GM & UAW Reach Tentative Deal, NHTSA to Revamp 5-Star Rating, Tesla Gets China Approval

October 17th, 2019 at 11:45am

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Runtime: 7:22

0:24 GM & UAW Reach Tentative Deal
0:57 NHTSA to Revamp 5-Star Rating System
1:26 FCA Fined for Missing Fuel Economy Target
2:01 New Toyota Yaris Will Not be Sold in U.S.
2:21 Toyota Reveals Tiny BEV
2:59 Continental & 3M Team to Help AVs
3:46 China EV Policy Backfires
4:37 Volvo Shows Electric XC40
5:13 Tesla Gets Approval to Make Cars in China
5:29 Ford Lays Out Charging Options for EV Owners

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60 Comments to “AD #2698 – GM & UAW Reach Tentative Deal, NHTSA to Revamp 5-Star Rating, Tesla Gets China Approval”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    China’s bungled EV policies are, as stated “… a perfect example of the law of unintended consequences.” They’re also more evidence that central planning will never be a substitute for free markets. When will we learn this? And so what is China’s response? Task the very same regulators with “scrambling to fix their policy.” Brilliant!

  2. Larry D. Says:

    A. “CHINA EV POLICY BACKFIRES”. I just looked at the link, has lots of details,

    but I just want to point out that China would increase its oil imports anyway and eventually become the number 1 oil importer in the world,

    an unenviable position held by the US for decades (some years we paid half a TRILLION for our oil imports).

    Only if China finds NEW and HUGE oil reserves can it reverse this trend, especially when its economy starts growing fast again.

    B. I could not believe my eyes that even today, on top of yesterday’s VOlvo gimmik, we have yet another story about this utterly insignificant automaker owned by Geely in China.

    C. Tesla’s Shanghai Gigfafactory, I don’t want readers to get the impression the plant has a “goal” to make 1,000 cars a week. This is just the BEGINNING numbers, as they rapidly ramp up to 500,000 a year, or more than 1,000 a day, not week.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    From your Link:

    “Tesla intends to produce AT LEAST 1,000 Model 3s a week from the Shanghai factory ****by the end of this year****, as it tries to boost sales in the world’s biggest auto market and avoid higher import tariffs imposed on U.S. cars. ”

    1 In case you have no clue, China is already the world’s number 1 BEV country and, despite the mature US and the fast growing European BEV markets, it will continue to hold that title.

    The number of charging stations in China is more than its gas stations, while in the US it is less than half.

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    So did Tesla get pre-orders in China like they did here in the states? It would be interesting to know if they have the interest prior to production that they had here.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The US is quickly becoming the world’s wasteland in small car offerings. First, we learn that the next generation Fit won’t be sold, and now, we learn that the promising next generation Yaris won’t be sold in the US. Soon, the very mediocre Hyundai Accent will be the best small car available.

    I understand the manufactures’ decisions, given the sales numbers, and the increasing cost/difficulty with importing cars that sell in low volume in the US, but with dirt cheap fuel, I guess that goes with the territory.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 Model 3s were selling fairly well in China before, and with the Shanghai plant running, the price will go down a lot. They should sell a lot of cars. I assume they will export from the Shanghai plant too.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    5 those two together did not sell 10k units a month. Nobody will miss them. They were NOT designed for the US roads and market. they are for Japan and Europe. We have OTHER sedans from TOyota and Honda for the US and they do GREAT. Accord Camry Corolla and esp Civic.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    7 con’d VW (Polo, UP!) and many other makers have Yaris and Sub-Yaris sedans that sell millions overseas, but STILL it makes no sense for them to import them here.

  9. cwolf Says:

    Should the real question be,” Will Tesla make money selling 3′s ?”

  10. Larry D. Says:

    9 NO.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 GET A CLUE. AMAZON lost money for TEN YEARS while its stock SKYROCKETED and Bezos is the US’s top billionaire. Will you EVER get a clue about BEVs?

  12. Albemarle Says:

    The $80m fine FCA paid is less than $20 per vehicle sold. I don’t think it’s a problem of lack of expertise to meet the standards; I believe it’s just a business decision to pay the lesser of the fine or the fix.

    Since gas prices are so low in the U. S., there is little consumer and no government demand for better fuel economy.

  13. Larry D. Says:

    9 Guess what. The BEV wars are over, and TESLA won by a mile. I would be really amused to see Lutz’s 99 year old face when somebody tells him that.

    AND Tesla has become the ONLY US (AMERICAN!) Automaker in 50 years to succeed beyond ANY hope to sell its excellent cars ALL OVER THE WORLD, when your GM had HUMILIATING DEfeats trying to sell Caddy’s in Japan, remember?

  14. Buzzerd Says:

    @9- pretend he doesn’t exist, best way to go. It’s hard, like a bad rash. A really annoying invasive rash that serves no real purpose.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 The people who would buy them will miss them, and I know some of those people. FYI, for people who drive mainly in town, small cars work very well, being easy to maneuver and park, in addition to having low operating costs.

  16. cwolf Says:

    We will see on the 23rd just how well Tesla is doing. Actually, I wish the China plant exceeds the number of cars estimated. If their main seller is the 3, they need volume and lots of it. Tesla has so many irons in the fire, Model y for ex., they need to show they have the cash to keep moving forward… so prolly safe to guess profits will be small if not in the hole.
    From what I’ve read, Elon is tapped out and his stock is down 20% for the year.
    I would rather be IN a Tesla than in Musk’s shoes right now.

  17. ChuckGrenci Says:

    So with electric sales tanking (for now) in China, does Tesla come in, gobble up sales and leave China’s electrics looking for a market. And does the government legislate electrics as they did in the beginning and decide this is the way it shall be in China so there will be demand for all.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    17 I’m curious if China has beefed up their infrastructure to handle this potentially huge influx of EVs. Can they actually handle a million EVs in the next couple years?
    If mandated and supported by the government it will be interesting to see if they can support the useage. Could be a good learning tool for many other countries.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 They’ll need charging stations. As far as generating capacity, they might already have it, if the charging is done at off-peak times.

  20. cwolf Says:

    On a related topic:
    EV’s really haven’t been tested in cold, foul weather for extended periods. Has anyone thought about the impact it will have on the drive motors? Of all the motors I replaced over the years I know at least they don’t last as long in harsh conditions.

  21. Wayne Says:

    @14 Well said! I am getting to the point of stopping watching ALD and reading the comments after 10+ years due to this. TOO annoying!

  22. Larry D. Says:

    20 what in the world are you talking about?????

    There are MILLIONS, if not BILLIONS of miles driven in the coldest weather by the half million Tesla owners ALONE and I have seen and shared VIDEOS where they whine and beach about how their precious range fell off by 30 miles (from 320 to 290 or something).

    On what planet do you live? DO you still drive a horse and buggy?

  23. Larry D. Says:

    21 Can’t handle the truth?

    9 WHy don’t you pretend the whole world does not exist either, if the facts depress you. Including MUNRO and Associates who gave you the good news (for you, very bad news) about the VAST superiority of the Model 3 over all your Bolts, Jolts, and Dolts?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 They lose a lot more than 10% of their range in cold weather, especially if you use cabin heat, but if the nominal range is twice what you need for your commute, that really doesn’t matter, except that your electric bill will go up. Of course, ICE cars get worse mpg in the winter too.

  25. cwolf Says:

    21) I’m with you, Wayne!
    Sharing facts and asking reasonable questions doesn’t deserve infant-like responses.

  26. cwolf Says:

    No kit, I’m not talking about the loss of range in winter. I’m referring to the durability of the actual motors when subjected to water, mud, salt, ice and snow long term.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    24, NO, not necessarily “a lot more”. If it is not 10% it is 15%. I distinctly remember 30 miles reduction for a car that has over 300 miles range. It was used for daily commuting in the snow, and I thought the whining by the owner was utterly unjustified. He sounded more like a spoiled brat, if anything.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    25 not if you have asked the same loaded questions 100 times, I had replied with evidence 99 times, and you keep asking the same questions.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I was replying to #22, suggesting a cold weather range loss of 30 miles for a car with ~300 mile nominal range.

    Yeah, they really need to seal up the bearings, and the electrical stuff to keep them reliable, especially in the land of road salt.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Read this:

    I’ve seen the same thing, using other tests. Using, or not using cabin heat makes a huge difference.

  31. john Says:

    After decades of fighting against fuel efficiency and emissions regulations automobile manufactures suddenly do an about face (re California) even though they can’t meet the current regulations. Automobile manufacturers are running headlong into converting their lineup into BEVs despite little evidence the majority of the buying public is interested. Time to pull back the curtain and ask why.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 Here’s what CR found, using a Model 3 and a Leaf in cold weather.

  33. Larry D. Says:

    The answer to all the worries about potential (largely imaginary or not) long term BEV problems:

    Long time ago I was invited for an interview at the Managerial Econs dept at the HBS, and at that time there was a big controversy about DC-10 Planes, which had several accidents and many considered them much more unsafe than the Boeing equivalents. (Airbus did not even exist back then). So one practical fellow gave the simplest answer: Just look at the INSURANCE Rates for both planes, if the DC-10 is so much more unsafe than the Boeing, it should eventually have much higher rates.

    So, for those who have had all kinds of worries about BEVs, (it used to be the battery life in the past, now we have new varieties), the simplest answer (I will nickel and dime it for you in case some of you stubbornly refuse to learn from the above), is to look at USED BEV Prices.

    And as you all have heard from me 1000 times already, as much as I would love to buy a used Tesla S, I refuse to pay three times the price of a Magnificent used Mercedes S class for it!

    Model Ss have been around for 7 years already and more than 100,000 have been sold, and their used prices are VERY high, you can barely find the smallest battery model for $35k!

    So? So don’t pretend to worry too much about all these issues, they would have come up already but obviously they have not.

  34. Lambo2015 Says:

    Its been proven that many ICE cars are more efficient with the A/C on than with the windows down. The wind drag exceeds the loss of using the A/C. Heat however is basically a by-product of the ICE and provided at no detriment.
    So in some respects it seems like owning an EV could be like a step back in time if you have to shut the A/C or heat off in order to get to your next fill-up/charge.
    It would be frustrating to spend 80K on a car that I sweat or freeze in during extreme weather conditions to reach the destinations that were achievable during optimal temperature.
    I watched a Youtube video where they drove a model S From LA to Vegas and during part of the trip they had to shut off the climate control and drive at 55 while people were honking and flying by at 80mph. Just saying.

  35. Albemarle Says:

    31 I agree. The auto industry must have money to burn to spend all this engineering expense on exotic future markets that have no developed demand. Just think of the millions wasted by companies like Audi playing with personal helicopters. I guess auto design and manufacturing is too boring for words and they have money to burn.

  36. Albemarle Says:

    32. I agree with CR. We plan on half range in our Bolt in the winter. We do use the heater because we have the range. I understand that some newer cars like the Hyundai Kona are a bit better with winter range. But it’s not just the cold battery; it’s snow tires, snow on the road, and more wind too.

  37. Lambo2015 Says:

    33 Larry that indication means very little. The Teslas have a following much like Jeep. The wrangler for all intents and purpose is actually a poor vehicle when it comes to ride, comfort, fit and finish, MPG. However when you look at how it retains its value its unexplainable. A ten year old wrangler can be 2 and 3 times the price of a vehicle with the same purchase price. They hold their value despite all their deficiencies. For right now Tesla and specifically model S are in that same boat with even less used ones available. See what the 7 year old model 3′s will be. I don’t believe that will hold the value like the S has.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34 Cabin heat is what really hurts range of EVs. Most, or all of them use resistance heating. Some Teslas capture waste heat from the motors, controllers, etc., but there’s not much waste heat to be had with an EV. Also, heat pumps are impractical in cold weather, or at least the system would need to be very large, compared to what is needed for A/C.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 DC10s had an ok safety record, after they figured out those pesky crashes in the 70s with the cargo door problem, and that engine falling off. Still, they had a worse safety record than most competing airliners, but all airliners are so safe that plane-related crashes are almost a non-issue, except maybe 737 MAX, with a much higher crash rate than its near-competition, and infinitely higher fatality rate than the most direct competition, A320neo and A321neo.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    Have been listening to Bob Lutz and after the C8 discussion, which was quite good, he talked about EVs and how GM and Nissan and all others EXCEPT Tesla got it wrong, and how Musk had a stroke of Genius or how exactly he said it, for doing the obvious, starting with the top model to get the ‘early adopters’. SO far he talked ONLY about the Model S. I wonder what he thinks about the vastly better selling Model 3, which is really the Ford model T of BEVs! He just said it sells well and the Model Y is ugly (which I don’t say, but the Y sure looks less sleek than the 3, it looks like a 3 whose roof was raised 3″)

    I also was thinking that the other automakers have another disadvantage. When they ask you what you drive, and you want them to know, 100%, it’s a BEV, only Tesla will give you that certainty. If you say I drive a Porsche Taycan, or a Jag alphanum BEV, you will need to explain it is also a BEV.

  41. Dave Foley Says:

    I’m glad to see NHTSA giving out fines, and updating crash test technology. It gives me hope that at least we can say there is ONE government agency that is still doing its job, in spite being part of the Trump era. So many of the others have abandoned their actual duty, and rolled over simply to increase corporate profits.

  42. Bob Wilson Says:

    From Autoline After Hours, Lutz believes EV technology is just “ordering components from catalog.” If so, anyone can make a Corvette C8 by ordering parts from a J. C. Whitney catalog.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    42 I don’t follow your logic. Is the C8 a BEV?

  44. ChuckGrenci Says:

    42, Sorry Bob, that analogy is way-too big a leap. And the other Bob probably did speak a little too figuratively (but alluded closer to the actual) than you did.

  45. Lambo2015 Says:

    42 In some respect building any vehicle is as basic as ordering parts from a catalog. Take a look at a factory 5 web site and you’ll see how to order everything you need to build a Shelby Cobra kit. You just assemble in your garage. Building an EV version would be just as simple if not easier due to not having components like gas tanks exhaust, shift linkage.
    But I’m sure Lutz was speaking of production assembly plants and the level of modular construction of an EV compared to the complexity of an ICE. Just look at how many companies have popped up trying to get in on the EV market. They assume they can build a car because the EVs are assembling a chassis with a battery and a couple electric motors that are purchased. You don’t have the investment on an engine and transmission development and plant. Setting up and engine assembly plant alone can be 600M. Castings and machining and meeting emissions and tons of other governmental requirements. An EV is kind of plug and play in a very basic sense. However players like Dyson just realized its still very complicated to design and build a chassis. Its a hard business to get into requiring a large investment. That’s why many of the small EV companies are looking to buy existing vehicles or chassis from a known manufacturer and just put their EV powertrain in it.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think Bob L.’s point was that the “character” of an EV has little to do with who made the motors, and that EV motors are, or soon will be a commodity item available to anyone with money.

    Other than maybe the motors being more efficient than most, it is the rest of the design that makes Tesla cars what they are.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    I think John got Bob Lutz halfway where he should be in appreciating Tesla’s EPIC successes, and next year when he has him back I bet he will do the other half.

    This time Bob repeated what I have been saying many times here, how the Model S OBLITERATED the best in the field, the German LKuxury makers in their own home court, selling more than the S class the 7 and the A8 COMBINED, IN EUROPE.

    But next time he can explain to you the far more CONSEQUENTIAL success of the Model 3 and its 10 times the Model S sales volume, the first and only killed of the 3 and 4 series, and so much more.

    Bob is getting there, give him some more time.

  48. Lambo2015 Says:

    46 The other part of that discussion was how Lutz said the spectrum has narrowed from the huge disparity that used to be between a Ford or Chevy and some of the luxury brands. I totally agree as I can remember in the 80s or 90s getting into a luxury car was a huge step up from the basic Olds, Buick or Chevy. Now the chassis is more refined, body structures are stiffer and ride comfort fit, finish and reliability are much closer. I would say the gap now is interiors and they are gaining ground there.

    It was a good show to watch if only they could hide the snacks till afterwards. Yeah it gave the show a very relaxed vibe but with earbuds I could hear every crunch and swallow Bob made.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    47 Bob’s admissions will convince the BEV deniers here even more, given he is a guy who confessed his favorite car is the 6,000 lb dinosaur breadvan on stilts Denali, when he has Ferraris and Lambos and ZR1s in his garage.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    46 The biggest difference between Tesla and the other EV makers is that they are able to sell them at the same price of their ICE rivals, and NOT DOUBLE, which is what GM did with the VOlt and Bolt, Nissan with the Leaf, etc. It is real hard to sell a Cruze at double the price just because it is a plug in, and same with a Sonic Hatch – Bolt.

    ANd they were able to do it because they racked all their brains to no end and optimized the design as much as possible (Insert detailed Munro comments here)

  51. Larry D. Says:

    Surprisingly, even in Europe they are choosing larger cars, far larger than the two sizes smaller Yaris and Fit that will not be sold in the US any more. This Octavia is a Passat equivalent by Skoda, and they also have an extra length “Skoda Superb” version. The article says how popular it is there, the wagon version especially is the best selling wagon in all of Europe.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51 Are most of the Skoda wagons diesel with manual transmissions? That last time I was in Europe, about 10 years ago, most of the many Passat wagons were.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    48 Nearly all of the convenience and safety gadgets, except “autopilot” and “super cruise” have found their way into mainstream cars. The main thing you get with a Lincoln over a Ford, or a Lexus over a Toyota, is a nicer interior. In some, or many cases, the cheaper brand has better controls.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    From the 90s to the 2010s diesels were the majority of cars sold in Europe, even in the tiny models like the sub-golf Polo, I have neighbors in the summer home who have Polo diesels. There are many Skoda taxis, many Octavias and some Civic-sized Fabias, I believe, and all of these have been diesels. Governments there taxed gas far more than diesel fuel, and they encouraged it, but now they have changed policy and will encourage EVs.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    54 PS and yes most cars in Europe are still sold with manuals, I assume to save $. Automatics there were a rarity 10 years or 20 ago, but now they are slowly making inroads, starting with the larger cars, luxury cars, and Jeeps I suppose.

    It was interesting to read in that Skoda article that the Octavia was very successful in India, especially the low-power smaller engine cheaper versions, no point driving a 911 Turbo there where highways are used by cars, 50 cc scooters, pedestrians and lots of skinny cows, moving at 5 MPH.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51 Maybe part of Europeans buying larger cars, is that all cars are getting more efficient. An extreme case, is that my Corvette gets 29-30 mpg at 75-80 mpg, while my 1970 VW Beetle got about 22 doing the same thing. In town, the Beetle, with its 15 second 0-60 time would do a little better than the ‘Vette, but not a lot better.

  57. Larry D. Says:

    56 At the TU Berlin where I have visited three times, my host, one of the 8 faculty there (whose large group was doing as much work as the others combined)always had Opels, went from a Kadett to an Astra, now he’s 86 and I don’t know what he drives. Another colleague there was doing lots of consulting (the students gossiped about him doing too much of it) and drove a 300 HP 750il V12 during my first stay, I teased him about it, the year being 1988 and before unification, where would he drive it, around Berlin, but he explained he took it to Austria and Bavarian autobahns, then he moved to another v12, the 850i coupe, another had a small Merc 190 and was pleased about its efficiency, would drive it south and return with the trunk full of fruits and veggies, those two passed away.

  58. Larry D. Says:

    57 and PS the third time my host, although German, always drove Citroens and was always complaining about cars then (1999) having too much power and going 300 KPH, his son drove some sort of souped-up original Beetle.

  59. Larry D. Says:

    I just went to Google maps to find out where exactly is the Chinese Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai (Pudong), and got the precise address too, and it is less than 17 KM (10 miles) away from my office there in November. Should be a fast visit if they allow it.

    3, Zheng Jia Lu, Fengxian, China,121.7629558,2603m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x35ad7a2e64f44f4d:0x1b43eb48f9a87498!8m2!3d30.8752243!4d121.7717102

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59 The factory is about 70 km southeast of the hotel where I stayed when in Shanghai in 1994.