AD #2858 – EV Charging Stations Blooming; Mahindra Loses Copyright Lawsuit; Ford Moves Just Bargaining Chips?

June 15th, 2020 at 11:42am

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Listen to “AD #2858 – EV Charging Stations Blooming; Mahindra Loses Copyright Lawsuit; Ford Moves Just Bargaining Chips?” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:26

0:07 U.K. to Unveil EV Buying Incentive
0:41 Worldwide EV Charging Stations Expanding
1:14 Lotus Going Upscale with EV Push
2:03 Nikola Hits Stock Exchange Thanks to Reverse Merger
4:02 Mahindra Loses Copyright Lawsuit with FCA
4:59 Mahindra Wants to Give Up SsangYong
5:19 Vehicle Teases from Ford & Nissan
5:46 Ford Production Moves Just Bargaining Chips?
7:02 Designing Vehicles for Virus Protection

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48 Comments to “AD #2858 – EV Charging Stations Blooming; Mahindra Loses Copyright Lawsuit; Ford Moves Just Bargaining Chips?”

  1. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Reverse Merger is starting to sound a lot like a “shell game” (only legal), which maybe it shouldn’t be.

    H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) is fairly innocuous, at least at the 3% that is sold over the counter (it can even be used as a mouth rinse; perhaps, the use specified would use a more potent (higher percent) solution. And, as one of our Autoline viewers mentioned in an earlier show, the use of ultra violet light as a sterilizer may do well in killing germs but it is a major contributor to degradation of interior materials through fading and actual material breakdown.

  2. lambo2015 Says:

    Reverse Merger; Hey if people want to invest in a company that hasn’t produced anything, I say let a fool and their money soon be parted. So is the stock Vector? Or were they able to change the name?

    Mahindra settlement seems a bit of a reach. I mean there are many vehicles with that boxy style. Mercedes G class, Suzuki Jimny, and with a sweeping broad statement of boxy styling then certainly Bollinger can also expect a lawsuit.

    Ford announcements; absolutely! a pre-bargaining move.

    Maybe mass transit can install the peroxide sprayers?

  3. Wim van Acker Says:

    @1: First time I heard about Reverse Merger was when I lived in Europe, thirty years ago. This makes Nikola a publicly listed company. Because of it Nikola will have to comply with all laws and regulations of publicly held companies, and non-compliance is very expensive, as we have seen. Therefore I do not know why this is called a shell game, suggesting that this is shady. Just not knowing it does not make it shady.

    You can do this with a limited liability company as well. In the Netherlands, where my sister and I have family businesses together, the process to set up an LLC takes longer than a new business of ours could wait for. So we bought an existing LLC which was in compliance with all laws and regulations but otherwise inactive, through one of the Big 4 auditing firms. You pay a small premium, put your assets and business in it, get the business going and you have to continue to be compliant with laws and regulations. Not shady, just a pragmatic way to get business done.

  4. Roger Blose Says:

    If the Ford Police Interceptors are going to heat up their interiors to 133.4 degrees to kill the fungus, you can simply leave your windows rolled up in the sun for a 150+ degree kill off. Consumers Report said it should work just fine.

  5. lambo2015 Says:

    My experience with Hydrogen Peroxide when in comes in contact with our bodies enzymes it foams. So who is going to sit in that uber with the foamy white seats?
    Not to mention its a antibacterial and Corona is a virus not bacterial. Not sure I would count on that to sterilize an interior. They’ll probably just end up making car interiors out of molded fiberglass and vinyl with everything waterproof so the interior can just be hosed off with a bleach water mixture. Like the back seat of a police car. (so I’ve been told) :-)

  6. Roger Says:

    Going all electric will be the death kneel for Lotus. [Are you listening Jaguar?]

  7. ArtG Says:

    5. NIH; “The effect of H2O2 on adenovirus types 3 and 6, adenoassociated virus type 4, rhinoviruses 1A, 1B, and type 7, myxoviruses, influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, strain Long, and coronavirus strain 229E was studied in vitro, using different H2O2 concentration and timec of exposure. H2O2 in a 3 percent concentration inactivated all the viruses under study within 1–30 min. Coronavirus and influenza viruses were found to be most sensitive. Reoviruses, adenoviruses and adenoassociated virus were relatively stable. H2O2 is a convenient means for virus inactivation.”

  8. XA351GT Says:

    So is FCA going to go after Suzuki for Jimny/Samurai or Toyota for the Land Cruiser or the Land Rover? As they all had the boxy shape and flat fenders look to them when they were out. To go after Roxor which isn’t a road going vehicle seems a bit stiff.

  9. XA351GT Says:

    Lotus, I have a idea let’s sell even more expensive cars that no one will buy. In the last 10 years I’ve seen 3 Lotus on the road.

  10. XA351GT Says:

    So if Nikola and Tesla merge will they call it Nikola Tesla?

  11. wmb Says:

    Two things of interest with Lotus going up market. The first one is funny to me, in that, when a former CEO wanted to make that move (and introduced a line of concepts to support that move [making it a mini Porsche]), many booed and hissed at the idea (the thought of making that move with little to no capital to support it, can get that reaction) and he was eventual let go! Now, under Geely stewardship, up market we head once again! The other thing, and thus is what has me scratching my head, while Lotus, Volvo and Polstar are suppose to work together, supporting synergies between each other and, most importantly, benefiting from economies of scale, Polstar was suppose to be the luxury, EV, sports car specialist of the three brands! Lotus moves up market would seem to be all over the space that Polstar was to had in the Geely Group. Maybe Polstar is to be the Bentley to Lotus Ferrari (exotic EV supercar?), but it seems like there could possibly be some serious overlap in the two brands line up, potentially.

  12. MJB Says:

    In response to Mark Phelan’s point, “…because ‘suppliers’ want to figure out, is this a concern that people will still have a couple of years from now or is it short-lived?”

    I can answer that now. It is short-lived. COVID-19 will not be a threat of any magnitude as we enter 2021.

  13. Wim van Acker Says:

    @12: we will take your word for it :-) I personally do not know since I am not knowledgeable about public healthcare and infectious diseases. What are your credentials? Please share with us where you graduated as an infectious disease doctor or where you graduated in Public Healthcare, and what degrees were in. Your long term working experience developing tests and vaccines will also be interesting. That way we can all direct our COVID-19 questions to you. Please let us know.


    Is the UK going to allow the incentives only on UK produced vehicles that are BEV or Plug in? Otherwise they are just transferring UK tax payer dollars to other countries.

    It would be the same question I would ask of any country instituting a CFC type of program. For instance in the USA, I would allow rebates on vehicles which have a minimum of 75% USA content(Not North America Content). We need to stop the practice of using our tax payer dollars to incentive the off shoring of tax payer jobs.

  15. Wim van Acker Says:

    @14: that would be great. Which vehicles have a 75% U.S.A. content?

  16. Drew Says:

    Regarding Ford’s announcement related to the Edge and Nautilus, you said “Last year it made 200,000 SUVs and that’s not the kind of operation you walk away from.” Yet, the leader of desk furniture did just that… walked away from well-over 200,000 units of Fusion/MKZ. WCF-II needs to wake up quickly…. or learn to speak German.

  17. GM Veteran Says:

    Seems like it will be more challenging to “add lightness” to Lotus vehicles that now will have to carry around heavy battery packs. Mr Chapman’s engineering dictate sounds like its fading into the history books.

    Nikola Corp currently makes electrically powered wave runners and side by sides, though I don’t know how many they have sold so far. Definitely niche products.

    In Nikola’s case, I’m not sure that Vecto IQ, the company they merged with, was bankrupt. I think it was already public, so they merged and then changed the name to Nikola Corporation and changed their Nasdaq symbol to NKLA.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14,15. Exactly zero vehicles even have 75% US/Canada content. I’m not sure if this link works, but Dodge Caravan had the highest for 2020 model year, at 74%.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17. I agree on Lotus. They were able to maintain their niche of very light, but rough around the edges street legal track toys, even after they switched to Toyota engines, but going electric? I don’t see it for Lotus.

  20. Wim van Acker Says:

    @18, 14: The links works for me, that is great intel, Kit.

  21. Drew Says:

    The NHTSA domestic % content data is incomplete. It reflects the value of parts, not labor, not test & development, not tooling & facilities. It does identify the country for assembly, engine, and transmission. Thus, dyed-in-the-wool Americans need to make their own adjustments for the country of assembly, engineering, etc.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21. Yeah, I know it’s not perfect, but do you know of anything better? I’ve looked, but more comprehensive data is hard to find.

    I suspect many, or many “buy American” fanatics don’t have a clue about any of this, and consider a Mexican assembled Ford Fusion with 26% US/Canada content, to be more “American” than a US assembled Honda Odyssey with 70% US/Canada content.

  23. Drew Says:

    22 – That Fusion may be more American than the Odyssey when you factor the source of R&D and which economy reaps the profit.

  24. Wim van Acker Says:

    @23: due to the low profit margins of all automakers, the profits are the smallest element of the value added. Part of the total profit made of say Honda will be made by Honda U.S.A., but again, the overall profit is the least important component of the value chain. That is one of main reasons for the very low market caps of OEM’s, as well as one of the explanations for new OEMs like TESLA and Nikola having much higher or similar market caps, respectively, as OEMs which actually produce vehicles in large volumes. So, the traditional OEMs have a relatively low value for investors, but a huge value for society (labor, suppliers, service providers, auxiliary services (the doctors, dentists, handymen, hairdressers of those employed by OEMs and suppliers)).

  25. Larry D. Says:

    3 In the US (and in MI) the process of starting an LLC is a matter of an hour or so of paperwork, a $150 fee, and a $25 annual renewal fee thereafter. In short, it’s a breeze.

    I had to start my “…Transport Research” LLC in 2018, ready for the new allegedly “tax cut” law that prohibited us to deduct ANY “employee business expenses” as U profs, so the LLC was some solution to that. Previously, the same high-level consulting big and small I do in my LLC, I’d do as a consultant, since we were allowed to consult a full day per week, and most did not even come close to that volume.

    The 2018 law did considerably simplify my taxes and almost halved the fee I pay annually to HRB premium, from $700+ to $400, but my taxes sure went UP, as major deductions were totally or mostly eliminated. (even the state and local tax deduction has a cap of only $10k, utterly and ludicrously low, since those taxes add up many TIMES that for me and my colleagues.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    In BEVs, China is WAY ahead of the rest of the world, and EUrope is falling way behind and should get a grip. I did see a ton of charging stations when i was last there for the full November 2019, BUT today’s stat that 60% of the PLANET’S new BEV Chargers were installed there was still astounding.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    Ford may axe the next Gen Edge, today’s Autonews PM claims. One Ford product deletion I agree with.Too damned many SUVs and crossovers cannibalizing each other.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    23 What profit? The Fusion looks great from some angles (not all), and sold a lot of copies. Do your really think Hackett would take the hatchet to it years ago, if it made a profit?

  29. Larry D. Says:

    This morning the CNBC webpage claimed stocks were supposed to open 500 pts down, but now that I took 1 minute to do my daily porftolio check, they actually were up again! And despite all the gloom and doom of the media, the unemployment rates and the reduced GDP growth for this and the next quarter, some of my most important funds, such as the stellar Biotech, is at a 52 week high!

    Earlier I attributed this to cash that burned idiots pockets, who, in a normal economy, would have blown it in Casinos, Srip Clubs, Dog races, horse races, and the like, but I think there must ALSO be an influx of OVERSEAS billions (if not trillions), as the US $ is ALSO not only the currency of record in the world, but also the SAFE HAVEN when things are not ordinary, as they sure are not currently.
    PS my Biotech fund also heavily invests in Big pharma companies.

  30. Larry D. Says:

    The crooks at Mahindra lost the FCA suit.

    Serves them right.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    10 right… the biggest BEDV company, who made more than 1,000,000 high-priced high-tech high-performance BEVs, TESLA, will “merge” with these ridiculous CLOWNS of Nikola who made NONE??? LOL.

    If I were Musk, I’d offer Nikola ONE US DOLLAR (a worthless 2020 dollar at that) to buy it, and if not, I’d sue their a$$ off for their copycat name, and, like MAHINDRA, they will LOSE.

  32. Drew Says:

    28 – All modern vehicles make an economic profit. The bottom feeders start to sink when corporate overhead is allocated on a per unit basis. If the allocation is based on volume, then high volume, low price vehicles bear more than their fair share of the burden. It’s a slippery slope to discontinue such vehicles, because that corporate overhead will grow on a per unit basis.

    Fundamentally, there is not a lot of overhead in building office furniture. If Hackett can get his face out of “theory” books, he might better see the path to oblivion before it’s too late. And the solution is to attack the overhead… needing to cut spending on overlapping products and cut one or two particular “suits” on the 12 floor. JMHO

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With the Edge gone, Ford will only have 5 SUV/CUVs. Actually, that is fewer than some other companies. Chevy and Toyota have 6, or will for the 2021 model year. Still, I’d think 5 should be plenty.

    29. Will US currency remain “safe” with the ballooning debt, which started ballooning even during the “best economy in history,” before Covid?

  34. Tony Gray Says:

    FCA and Mahindra should have taken that to People’s Court and saved all the legal fees.

    Anyone with half a brain saw the Roxor as a blatant ripoff of a CJ5/7. That thing was more of a copy than the Chinese Land Rovers.

  35. Drew Says:

    @33 – Ecosport, Escape, Escape-based Brocoette, Bronco, Edge, Explorer, Expedition. Presently 5… going to 7… and I agree 5 is enough for a mass brand. 3-4 is enough for a lux/premium brand.

  36. cwolf Says:

    All the attention to anti-virus a vehicle is a total joke. And I still wear a mask what little i go out. Hydrogen peroxide will dry out a car’s interior, esp. leather!

    Top strategists cautioned today their investors from investing in retail strategies in bankrupt companies and things like the reverse mergers with hopes that stock rallies prior to liquidation. They included companies having over valued stock prices and little or no profits to show for it. These complex strategies do not behave as expected long term and do not have a favorable history.

  37. cwolf Says:

    Larry, the only reason the market reversed itself in a positive direction is because the Feds move to expand the stimulus program through buying corporate bonds. Corporations may again just share it with the top dogs rather than using it with purpose. Still, the DG was up only 158 points… ppppft!!
    Your investments in health related areas should remain on solid grounds.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35. Yeah, the Bronco and Broncoette will probably overlap Edge a year or two, before it goes away. I just read some more about the Bronco, which is going to be officially revealed in July, to go on sale in the fall. It looks like it will truly go after the Wrangler, with removable doors and roof, a trucky body on frame setup, and probably available manual transmission.

  39. MJB Says:

    @13. :) I expected as much. Which is fine. I won’t reveal anything. And no one need take my word for it. Just wait and see…

  40. Wim van Acker Says:

    @39: “you won’t reveal anything” ahhhh, cute.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12,13,39. Covid case are spiking in Florida, and a number of other states.

    Yes, we shall see what happens.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    33 I am not a currency expert, but my common sense and observation of the world does not show me any challenger to the US Dollar as a safe currency. The Yuan is nowhere close, and as for the Euro, the Yen and the Pound, they are far inferior.

    I share your concern about the National Debt and the budget deficits (many confuse the two), it is your Corrupt CONGRESS that has the right to spend, and has done so most irresponsibly.

    Essentially the parents (the corrupt Congress persons) saddle their grandchildren with it, a most immoral act too.

    As with most previous so-called tax cuts (where only the tax RATES, NOT the tax REVENUES) are cut, the US GOvernment invariably had much HIGHER Tax receipts than under the higher rates, for many and mostly obvious reasons. The same happened with the 2018 tax ‘cut’. BUT the irresponsible and corrupt (legal corruption, lobbying etc) Congress spent EVEN MORE than these increased receipts, and THEN the CV-`9 hit, where we HAD to spend trillions to deal with our voluntary shutdown.

    PS I would like to see a serious statistical estimate, as to how many of the 120,000 or so US deaths ATTRIBUTED to CV-19 would not have happened anyway due to the three or more underlying conditions the usually elderly victims had in their health file. MY guess is at least 100,000 of the 120,000 would have happened soon even if the CV never existed.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    37 It certainly is NOT the “only” reason, but it sure is one reason. Once in 1,000 “Debbie Downer” posts, you have cited a valid reason.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    42, 33 con’d Eventually, as a consequence of huge Government deficit spending, the US dollar will lose more of its value, compared to the US dollar today or 30 years ago, when it had serious byuing power. BUT the other currencies will drop the same, if not more, amount, so relatively to them it will still be strong (which is actually not good for US exports).

  45. Larry D. Says:

    I don’t expect this opp to last very long, so if you own 12 cars and have not much use for one or two of them, now is the time to get rid of them, as parts shortages hamper production and inventory bottlenecks make new cars unavailable for sale, raising the prices of used ones.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A college friend just replaced a Prius V with a Tesla Model S. Here is the start of an email report he sent to some of us. It’s kind of interesting. He lives in the Seattle area.

    “Got the Tesla S yesterday. Made it home alive, but should have had several hours of simulator training first.

    It’s no more luxurious than a Prius, and not much quieter. Cabin storage is less than that of the Prius. Rearview mirror visibility is poor.

    Headrest is fixed. It’s OK, I guess, but I’d prefer to be able to turn it around as I did on the Prius V.

    Paint is fancy, but clearcoat application is amateurish and appears to have been done in a dusty environment. I have done much better in my garage.

    Tesla systems are better integrated and much more sophisticated than the Prius’s. Cruise control follows the person ahead down to zero speed, as at a stoplight, then resumes going forward when he does. That should be nice in traffic. Cruise control has other modes which seem wonderful, but which I have not yet mastered. For example, the car knows the speed limit, and can track it (with user-set offset). Autosteer is, curiously, only a minor convenience compared to the cruise control.

    Steering wheel controls are right where I hold the steering wheel. Consequently, I am often awakened by the radio coming on.

    There should be no range anxiety. We got the long range version, about 375 miles. I passed four Tesla fast charging stations on the way home from Portland. There are now plenty of these stations on any road we travel except I-94 across Montana and No. Dakota, and a string of stations is coming there. Stations near here had plenty of vacant stalls yesterday. I’ve heard they often are at capacity in South California. The machine is currently being charged by the charger that came with the house.”

  47. lambo2015 Says:

    39, 40 I’m not in the medical field and have no experience in global healthcare. I do (like many) hope that CV will disappear much like each seasonal flu virus does. Sadly it will probably be replaced with another one about the time this one goes away. We all have forgotten about the Rotavirus back in 2008 that the WHO estimates killed 453,000 children under the age of 5. No one knows for sure not even the experts but I would be reluctant to invest in a vehicle sterilizing feature.

  48. Brett Cammack Says:

    One can only imagine the damage done to FCA’s good name because of all those thousands of customers that bought a Roxor thinking it was a Jeep.

    (sarcasm off)