AD #2770 – Nikola Shows Badger EV Pickup; EVs Beat Out Manuals for 1st Time; Carlos Ghosn Hires Hollywood Agent

February 11th, 2020 at 11:53am

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Runtime: 9:38

0:08 Jeep Needs Ad Success to Translate Into Sales
1:18 Nikola Shows Badger EV Pickup
2:20 EV Sales Beat Out Manuals for 1st Time
2:55 Carlos Ghosn Hires Hollywood Agent
3:53 Camo Audi A3 Hints at New Design
4:37 Audi Offers Free Virtual Factory Tour
5:10 Hyundai Provides DoE with NEXO FC Vehicles
6:06 Using Wright’s Law to Predict Tesla’s Performance
7:16 BMW X5 and X6 Get New Diesel Engine
8:09 Hispano Suisa to Show Production Carmen EV

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83 Comments to “AD #2770 – Nikola Shows Badger EV Pickup; EVs Beat Out Manuals for 1st Time; Carlos Ghosn Hires Hollywood Agent”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A hint that manual transmissions are truly endangered, is that you can’t even get one in a Mini any more. When I got my 2010 Mini, I heard that Mini had the highest, or near the highest take rate of manual transmissions of any cars sold in the U.S. Now there are none.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    A. Ghosn Fairy tale movie: The DVD will be filed under “Fantasy” movies in our local library, or maybe “Fakumentary”. The actor that will play the little Lebanese-Brazilian born fraudster who claims he is French, will be Danny De Vito. Their heights match.

    B. Jeep. I like Bill Murray far better than that McIdiot clown who peddles Lincolns and believes he is so cool, and I hope he shook down FCA for many millions for the ad.

    C. The legendary lux car maker of the 30s was called “Hispano SuiZa”. Is this new one called “Suisa” for copyright reasons, or was it a typo?

  3. Larry D. Says:

    2 oops. I meant Joe Pesci, not Danny De Vito. Pesci specializes in playing crooks. De Vito is way too short even for Ghosn.

  4. DaFron Says:

    Carlos Ghosn Movie Title: Ghosn, Goin’, Gone

  5. Larry D. Says:

    d. re that “Badger”, impressive numbers, but no price or production plans given. I bet it will be well into six figures, sell 1 unit a month, (if any) so it can be 100% hand-made.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Ghosn movie should be called “Zoom Zoom from justice” and played by Rowan Sebastian Atkinson. Otherwise known as Mr Bean. Basically because of looks.

  7. Brett Cammack Says:

    5
    Darn you, Lambo! Ya beat me to it! :)

  8. Larry D. Says:

    5 That would be too flattering for Ghosn. But there is more resemblance with Rowan than with Pesci and deVito. Will it be a comedy?

    Atkinson is almost as big a car nut as Jay Leno, he had a huge and excellent collection, but may have sold some recently.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    The Badger looks nice minus the side marker lights at the top of the wheel arches. No doubt that will go away in the production version.

    Not a big surprise on the manual transmission as many sports cars including exotics have started to switch to automatics with paddle shifters. Even that latest Goldwing motorcycle can be had with an automatic. Not sure on the take % but would be curious.

    Impressive Audi is offering a virtual tour. Many manufacturers don’t allow cameras in their plants to maintain privacy when it comes to their manufacturing processes and procedures. No doubt any concerns in that area have been edited out. Still cool though!

  10. stryder Says:

    For the movie title, how about “Ghosn, Ghosn, gone!”

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    9 Thumbs up. Good one!

  12. Dale Leonard Says:

    Joe Pesci to play Carlos and title the movie. The 21st. century version of John Z. DeLorean

  13. Drew Says:

    I immediately thought of Joe Pesci, too. Title: Can’t Escape Dat-sun!

  14. Michael Says:

    The bad guy from executive decision starting Kurt Russell. Fraternal twins

  15. TheNickThomas Says:

    “Ghosn In 60 Seconds”

  16. Larry D. Says:

    I mentioned Pesci first, but I am sure Atkinson looks much more like Ghosn.

    11 Delorean made a losermobile, but has nothing in common with that ugly rodent Ghosn. Seriously, Ghosn looks like a Garden Gnome, DeLorean was a playboy. Let’s get real.

  17. Dale Leonard Says:

    It’s sad that this generation never learned to drive a manual transmission. I have been driving manuals for over 50 years. I have 2 1994 Ford Rangers with 5 speeds,am buying a third,and looking for a fourth. I refuse to drive an automatic as a manual keeps you mentally aware and you use all 4 limbs keeping you active.If anything I’m doing my part to “Save the Manual’s”

  18. Michael Says:

    Correcting early comment Carlos Gohson should be played by bad guy from executive decision starring kurt Russell

  19. Larry D. Says:

    14 even in the 70s most people in the US could not drive a manual. I remember. some otherwise brilliant young women in particular thought their inability was just because they were female!

    In contrast, by necessity, everybody drove manuals outside the US (better mpg, cheaper to buy).

  20. Dale Leonard Says:

    Another title : Ghosen in the Wind

  21. Larry D. Says:

    But as we discussed before, back then automatics were really poor. Today they have all the advantages of the manual and more, and few of the disadvantages.

  22. Dale Leonard Says:

    15: In my High school in the 70′s there were kids driving manuals the automatics and I even taught 3 girls to drive a manual and to this day all 3 are still driving them. One persons opinion but I simply prefer them myself. Especially in the snow.

  23. Jim Head Says:

    Mr. Bean. Dude, Where’s My Carlos?

  24. Dale Leonard Says:

    It should read: There were more kids driving manuals then automatics. Sorry ay 68 I mess up now and then in my typing. Sorry

  25. David Sprowl Says:

    I buy a pickup truck for the bed space. Price is the number 1 factor for me. Jeep fails in that aspect. Wonder if FCA will use the platform and revive the Dakota with lower pricing?

  26. Larry D. Says:

    22 For most compact and subcompact cars in the 80s and 90s, manuals were a no-brainer, those who had good 5-sp manuals, you got the good MPG shifting to 5th gear early, and you could have the acceleration by downshifting, to compensate for the meager HP they had then. As long as you did not do a lot of stop-go. And you saved $1-2k in the price with the manual, which would be $3-4k in 2020 $.

  27. DenMor Says:

    Great looking truck that Nikola Badger!

    The partnership is with FCA. (that not so little Franco-Italian company)

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    14 Not that you probably worry much about anyone stealing your 94 Ranger but buying a manual is a great theft deterrent.
    I had people ask to borrow my car until they learned it was stick and then pass. I made sure all my kids knew how to drive stick. Good skill to know.

  29. DanaPointJohn Says:

    “Ghosn, Ghosn, Gone!”, starring Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbach or Bradley Cooper. The easy picks are Joe Peschi and Rowan Atkinson, but maybe go another direction as this is a real story of intruque, that these other actors could pull-off better.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 In addition to the Gold Wing, Honda has some smaller bikes with automatics, a something 700, and the Africa Twin. I don’t know the take rate on any of them, but they seem to work pretty well. Then, there are the scooters with the belt CVTs, like my SilverWing.

    A few young people still drive manuals, including two kids on a HS robotics team I work with. Here is a fairly recent compilation of manual transmission cars still sold in the US. They make you go through a bunch of pages to see it, though.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g20734564/manual-transmission-cars/

  31. Ukendoit Says:

    I agree, the manual has been a great deterrent from people asking to borrow a vehicle. I’ve always driven a stick up until my last vehicle, a Grand Cherokee which didn’t offer the option. My 2017 RAM has an automatic on the column, and with both vehicles (and most any that I drive) I find my right hand hanging on to the shifter as if I’m going to row through the gears.

  32. Brett Cammack Says:

    I wonder if they could get a promotional deal going with Ricola and market a trim package called the Nikola Ricola Honey Lemon Badger Edition.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Gladiator is just too pricey, starting at ~$10 more then the competition, and it’s easy to run the price up a lot from there. For your extra ~8K-12K over a Colorado, Ranger, or Taco, you get 2 more cylinders, 2 more doors, and 4wd, whether you want those things or not. Still, it costs too much, and you can load them up to $60K, still $50K+ after the big incentives. For that money, you can get a Corvette or Porsche Cayman. Yeah, I realize that those vehicles have different appeal.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 The steering column is such a sensible place to put the shifter of an automatic, it’s unfortunate that more vehicles don’t put it there. My Camry hybrid would have room for two more cup holders, or more useful, another sizable cubby, if it had the shifter on the column instead of the console. Those console shifters are “sporty,” though, or that’s the intent..

  35. GM Veteran Says:

    34 – In the interest of freeing up interior room, the current trend toward push button shifters is happily picking up steam.

    Automakers looking to shave costs could stop offering those stupid paddle shifters. Honestly, does a minivan or a 4 cyl midsize sedan need paddle shifters? I would love to see a survey of owners of those vehicles, specifically how often they use them and if they even know they have them. I know two people who got them on their cars and had no idea what they were for.

  36. Bob Wilson Says:

    Theme song:

    The falling leafs drive the window
    The autumn leafs of red and gold
    . . .
    Since you went away the days grow long
    And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
    But I miss you most of all my Gosh
    When autumn leafs start to fall.

  37. rick bradner Says:

    Agree with Dana Point John; Robert Downey Jr.
    got to call it “Ghosn in 60 seconds…”

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35 My ’57 Chrysler and ’64 Dodge Dart had push button shifters, which worked pretty well.

    I rarely use the paddle shifters, even on my Corvette. They are probably cheap to do, though, so they put them in all kinds of vehicles where they’d rarely, if ever be used.

    The ultimate stupid “feature,” though, is CVTs with a “jerk” function, to simulate a regular automatic. That about is stupid as it gets, deliberately compromising what a CVT is good at, picking the exact best ratio for efficiency and acceleration, depending on the position of your right foot.

  39. XA351GT Says:

    That Nikola I would say by looking at the grille will be tied to RAM .

  40. bradley cross Says:

    Jeep might have found the limit to pickup pricing. Will they reduce it in the future or have to add a whole bunch of features.

    EV Sales rising is expected but at $30K+ it will take a while to get real volume. Can battery pack prices come down fast enough. If not its Tesla as usual. Looking forward to seeing more EVS soon but at what prices?

    Ghosn might actually be getting short of money, seems clear he was getting very greedy.

    Lets see if Nissan can kick him out of their property in Lebanon.

    Movie title: Escape in the Music Box

  41. Larry D. Says:

    MAkes sense for FCA to fund that truck. Desperately needs mpg credits etc and has spent millions buying them from Tesla in the past.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    40 400,000 Teslas sold in 2019 is very real volume. The Model 3 is a mass produced affordable vehicle that can be made profitably. Sub-$30k BEVs are already available from VW and its subsidiaries.

  43. GM Veteran Says:

    I just noticed that the new Escalade will continue to have the worst shifter in the business, mounted in the center console. This, despite Chevy and GMC going to push buttons on their new full size SUVs. I have to assume that this is another dumb move to try to convince consumers that Cadillac is just as good as BMW because they mimicked their shifter. Well, the BMW shifter is stupid too. Not sure why anyone would pick the Escalade over the Navigator, a much classier expression of full size luxury.

  44. GM Veteran Says:

    42 – how is it that the Model 3 is made profitably? Without the sale of their credits, Tesla would not have a profitable quarter yet, much less a full year. And that is even using their non-standard accounting system. When you lose money on each vehicle you build, you can’t “make it up in volume”.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 There’s an e-up! sold in the UK for 23,195 pounds, about $30,000 US with some kind of government credit of 3500 pounds available. The WLTP range is 162 miles. Without the VAT, I guess it would cost about, what, $24K US?

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I suspect the console shifter is for “tradition,” kind of like in a Corvette, or a Camry. Those of us old enough to have been driving in the 1960s, know that console automatic shifters became popular in “sporty” versions of many American cars, including a 1966 Dodge Coronet 500 I had.

    As far as Escalade and Navigator, both are about the last vehicles I would ever buy, but if I did have a 6000 pound tank, I’d rather have the Escalade’s 6.2 V8, than the Navigator’s turbo V6.

  47. veh Says:

    I offered a European colleague of mine, an enthusiastic car guy, the opportunity to drive my previous F-150, which he eagerly accepted. He got behind the wheel and looked confused–”how does this work? I’ve never driven a column shift vehicle before”

    Always interesting to see the market differences!

  48. merv Says:

    38 my dad bought a new edsel in 58 that had the push buttom auto in the center of the steering wheel,which i thought was pretty extreme at the time.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    47 The only column shift European car I have experienced was a slow, smokey, 4 cylinder Mercedes diesel a college room mate had, probably from the early ’60s. It had a 4-speed manual on the column. The forward gears were as you’d expect, but I don’t remember how you put it in reverse.

  50. Albemarle Says:

    Instead of playing Ghosn as a villain, I would paint him as a victim. I would cast Jean Reno (Ronin) in the role.
    Title: Blindsided.

    In a world where corporate ownership meant total control
    One man outside the system built an empire than threatened the establishment
    etc.

  51. Albemarle Says:

    I really like the camo look of the Audi A3. Wonder how long before people replicate the look on their own cars?

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    51 There will probably be a lot of camo wrapped Cybertrucks. It looks like some of of war machine already.

  53. Lambo2015 Says:

    I remember driving an old 1971 Chevy truck with a 3 speed on the column. Was a little strange at first since I learned stick on the typical center console. But it turned out to be very easy and was nice to free up the center seat where someone could sit without getting their knees banged by a shifter. After all it was back before the extended cab became so popular. So even squeezing in 4 people on the old bench seat wasn’t too bad.
    But hey I still wish the bright light switch was on the floor rather than the stalk. With hardly any more clutch vehicles they should bring that back.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    53 I learned to drive a manual with a 1950 Plymouth, 3-speed column shift.

  55. Rector Says:

    Joe Pesci as Ghosn staring in The Great Ghosn Escape.

  56. Bobby T Says:

    34,35: I agree that the shifter belongs on the column, freeing up more space in the console. Even the knobs that have replaced shift levers-on some cars seem to take up too much space. Packard had electric push buttons in 1956. They were mounted on a stalk that came out of the right side of the steering column where the lever would have been. I do remember hearing from the safety guys at Ford that shifter on column made it harder to get good column collapse in an accident, but I agree that the main reason for the change was probably to achieve a sporty look. I had paddle shifters on an Explorer. Never used them.

  57. Bob Wilson Says:

    Favorite joke: the perfect anti-theft device is a manual transmission.

    Bob Wilson

  58. ChuckGrenci Says:

    My first purchased vehicle (used, and from a very pretty lady because she was mid-twenties and I only nineteen; but that’s another story): 1966 Pontiac Tempest with a “three on the tree”, sure loved that car.

    If you’re talking Ghosn’s car-life story, I’ll go with any of the proposed actors, but will have to go with “Greed” as the title (this guy has got wads of money already, and now wants ‘movie’, life story money too?………sheesh)

  59. Larry D. Says:

    44 It absolutely, 100% is made profitably. What are you doing in this site? DId you not listen to the dissecting of Model 3 Porduction by Munro and Associates????

  60. Larry D. Says:

    45 42 There’s an e-up! sold in the UK for 23,195 pounds, about $30,000 US with some kind of government credit of 3500 pounds available. The WLTP range is 162 miles. Without the VAT, I guess it would cost about, what, $24K US?”

    Not sure what the VAT is in the UK, but other EUrozone nations have 23% and 24%, really high VAT.

    The Up! is a very cute, boxy but efficient design, two classes smaller than the Golf (Polo is between), and in the UK with its narrow streets and high gas prices and all kinds of penalties for ICE cars entering London, it should sell well. If it cannot sell in the UK, not sure where else it can.

  61. Larry D. Says:

    50 “Instead of playing Ghosn as a villain, I would paint him as a victim. I would cast Jean Reno (Ronin) in the role.”

    Will fit perfectly with my suggestion it is classified as a “Fantasy” or “Fauxumentary” DvD.

    I have seen Ronin more than once, but do not remember that role or actor.

  62. Larry D. Says:

    59 PS and if it can make it at a profit at the Fremont plant in CA, imagine how much more profitable it will make it in its Shanghai Gigafactory, which is already producing model 3s and later Model Ys.

  63. Larry D. Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Cf_NYq9mY

    Great detailed description video for the Model Y.

    While I am not interested in this segment, it seems a very good offering. Maybe it will also cannibalize the sales of the much more expensive Model X. BTW I think it will be on sale almost one year earlier, this year, instead of 2021 he mentions.

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    63 From the estimate in the video, it looks like the Model Y will be 4 inches less tall than a RAV4 or CR-V, with the 1950 Plymouth I learned to drive a manual with, about midway between in height.

  65. ChuckGrenci Says:

    I predict a slowing of EV sales; perhaps some sales scavenging of Tesla’s own owners to buying the “Y”. Some growth, for sure, but I dont see exponential growth in the US.

  66. Larry D. Says:

    65 As we said many times, the US is not the number one BEV market in the world, and soon it will be the third one even for Tesla. CHina is by far the biggest BEV market, then Europe will soon become no 2.

    But I predict the Model Y will do extremely well, it’s common sense. The Model X was really unaffordable, and there is a huge pent up demand for a roomy crossover BEV such as the Y, which will also be priced right. I expect it to do REALLY well everywhere, even though I am not interested to buy it myself.

  67. Larry D. Says:

    64 That’s because the RQAV4 and CRV have far greater ground clearance than the Y. I expect the Y to be roomier than both, and the interior height to be about the same. I am still amazed the Y will be offered with three rows of seats, given it is only as long as a Model 3 (BMW 3-series kind of length)

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think the 3rd row in the Y would be rear facing, both for better head room with the sloped roof, and for access through the hatch. Any way they do it, the 3rd row will be for small people, or very short trips, and there won’t be much cargo space with the 3rd row in use.

  69. Larry D. Says:

    https://insideevs.com/news/392372/us-tesla-sales-graphed-through-q4-2019/

    I checked to see the breakdown in 2019 Tesla sales, how many in the US and how many overseas, and already, before the China and later the BErlin Gigafactory add another million Tesla production, it sold only 192,000 units in the US and the diff, 367000-192000=175,000, overseas.

    The US market is by no means saturated, so I expect rapid growth both in the US with the Model Y on sale only weeks from now, and especially in China and Europe.

  70. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Will Tesla make RHD cars in Shanghai, to sell in Japan, Australia, and other RHD markets?

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chinese GP postponed

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.chinese-grand-prix-postponed-due-to-coronavirus-outbreak.3g2y5Ngyrk1MbNxQB9hj4s.html

  72. Larry D. Says:

    70 So far Japan, who is ideal for BEVs, does not seem to import too many of them. Is India also RHD? That would have far more potential down the road to make RHD versions.

    https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/sales-volume-of-tesla-in-japan-model-3-explosive-power-seen-in-the-graph

    Interesting graph with monthly Tesla sales in Japan, and how they took off when the Model 3 arrived.

    I’d bet the Model S is too big for most of Japan’s narrow city streets.

  73. Larry D. Says:

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/auto/auto-news/elon-musk-explains-why-tesla-cars-may-not-come-to-india-anytime-soon/articleshow/70492810.cms?from=mdr

    and here is my answer for India. Not anytime soon. The corrupt jerks in power there, total econ illiterates, have very high import duties (CHina also has some, but India’s are far higher).

  74. Larry D. Says:

    re 73 think it’s worth building one more Gigafactory in India, preferably near Bangalore, where all these prosperous IT guys live. They probably will have a strong demand for the cars. The Q is can they be made in India with as high a quality as in China and the US?

  75. Kit Gerhart Says:

    72 Yep, India is RHD. Do many people there buy expensive cars?

  76. Roger Says:

    More likely what hurt Gladiator sales was Jeep dealers demanding $10,000 to $20,000 over list price when it was released. Even thought the Gladiator is now available at a discount, potential customers were turned off by price gouging, so they made a better, and smarter buying decision and went with a competing product.

  77. joe Says:

    When it comes to Tesla, people write absolute nonsense. As it is now, the price of a Tesla share is at an unrealistic price, and for someone to predict it will go up to those insane prices is comical. I know the Tesla fans boys will say differently, but those fans don’t think logically.
    I predict when GM comes out with those many electric cars due by 2023, GM will blow away Tesla. Wait and see.

  78. Larry D. Says:

    75 Since 10 years ago or more we hear about India’s vaunted 150,000,000 or so “middle class”. I doubt all of those ‘wealthier’ Indians can afford even a Model 3, but I’m sure few can afford it if it is imported and has all these tariffs.

    77 Your prediction is even more worthless than the average prediction, which is bad enough, because it is only based on your pure WISHFUL THINKING and ignores blatanly GM’s DISMAL FAILURES in the BEV and even plug-in to date. I have no indication they will do any better in the future, therefore I think a second bankruptcy of GM is FAR more likely than…. GM beating Tesla. In your dreams only. AND meanwhile, the train has left the station.

    Once more, with feeling:

    “Those who gaze in crystal balls, eat broken glass”

  79. Larry D. Says:

    https://thedriven.io/2019/10/03/tesla-model-3-outsells-total-of-all-other-new-electric-cars-in-new-zealand/

    Here is a link about NZ. I found it looking for Australia sales. Model 3 cleans up in NZ as well. No 1 BEV there.

  80. ChuckGrenci Says:

    71, Kit, and on the postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix; I believe this to be the prudent thing to do. While the F1 race is months away (2), the Coronavirus is nothing to be fooled with and just the logistics of all that movement in an unsettled climate would be foolhardy. Other countries should at least determine that a spread (through attendees) would be virtually impossible (so a cool off period should definitely be inserted into the equation, and that goes for any major events around the world).

  81. Larry D. Says:

    https://electrek.co/2019/08/14/tesla-model-3-down-under-australia-new-zealand/

    In Australia, there are Tesla Stores and the cheapest Model 3 goes for $48k+ US

    I bet Tesla makes RHD versions for these markets.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    80 Yep, it definitely makes sense to postpone. I was a little surprised that they did it this early, but there is probably no chance that the outbreak will be over, so the earlier the announcement is made the better, both for the teams and the organizers.

  83. JWH Says:

    Sean – In the transcript & the video you commented that the BMW X5 & X6 diesel is direct injection. I’ve always been under the impression that diesel engines are direct injection by necessity, & that it’s only gasoline engines that can be port injection or direct injection.

    Manual Transmissions – I remember when I initially got my drivers license in Arizona in the mid-60′s, if you took the test in a vehicle with an automatic, your license was restricted to “Automatic Only”. Of course I made sure to take the test in one of our MT vehicles.