AD #2912 – GM Will Make Nikola’s Pickup; Mercedes to Earn Billions from Data; Kia Closes U.S. Sales Gap with Hyundai

September 8th, 2020 at 11:39am

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Listen to “AD #2912 – GM Will Make Nikola's Pickup; Mercedes to Earn Billions from Data; Kia Closes U.S. Sales Gap with Hyundai” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 8:37

0:07 GM Will Make Nikola’s Badger Pickup
1:07 Stock Market Likes GM & Nikola Deal
1:42 Mercedes Expects to Earn Billions from Data
3:05 Kia Closes U.S. Sales Gap with Hyundai
3:55 Parents Spend 4-Days/Year Getting Kids in Cars
4:59 Hyundai Developing Battery Ecosystem
5:54 Tesla & Volkswagen Collaborating?
6:47 Volvo Moving Sales Process Online
7:32 Wuling’s MINI EV Now Best-Seller in China

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32 Comments to “AD #2912 – GM Will Make Nikola’s Pickup; Mercedes to Earn Billions from Data; Kia Closes U.S. Sales Gap with Hyundai”

  1. Rey Says:

    So GM is going to be building the Nikola Badger, and Nikola is going to use the Ultium battery packs as well. Looks like Trevors claim that they have leading edge battery technology is all BS!

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Not that familiar with the Kia/Hyundai vehicles and what they share or better yet what they don’t share. However I wonder if Kia is closing the gap simply by the vehicles they offer and really nothing to do with marketing.

    Diess and Musk could simply be friends but joint ventures have to start somewhere and having an ally in one of the largest automakers in the world cant be a bad thing. If they both saw an advantage to collaborate on something I’m sure they will. One thing that could really help Telsa that VW has is dealerships. Just saying.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    The time it takes to kids into the car certainly has changed over the years. When I was a kid it was just jump in and stand on the center hump in the backseat. This gave you a clear view of the road and the windshield you would likely go through in an accident. This is what you looked at since we didn’t have DVD players or tablets. No headsets and we all listened to whatever my dad had on the radio which might even been Am radio at that time. So getting into the car for a trip was pretty simple. As I had kids the seatbelt laws applied basically to infants and the child seats were cumbersome and had to be buckeled in each time. This was time consuming and could cause the meltdowns Sean spoke of with no movement and we didn’t have the DVD players yet. Now the child car seats clip into a base and takes about 5 seconds to install. However the toddlers can be harder and now like Michigan requires children up the age of 8 and under 4’9″ to be in a booster seat. All good things for safety but yea it has made the prep a bit more involved.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    By most accounts, Kia has the slightly better version of their new 3 row crossover. Kia and Hyundai have some models that are near-clones, but some are not shared, like Soul, Sedona, and Stinger for Kia, and for Hyundai, Veloster.

  5. TR Says:

    In Korea, the Hyundai brand is seen as the better of the two and nostalgic patriarchs will see to it that Kia’s US sales never eclipse Hyundai’s.

  6. Larry D. Says:

    I know the VW boss is a major admirer of Musk and Tesla BEVs, but recently he made some claims that the VW BEVs will be better etc. SO far his words are not matched by his deeds. The ID4 or whatever is far inferior to any Tesla, a boring EV, not a sports car, along the lines of so many others who tried and failed.

    Show us the money, VW Boss, is what I say.

  7. Larry D. Says:

    5 Hyundais are generally more upscale than Kias. which does NOT mean they should sell more units, upper end vehicles always sell much fewer copies than lower-end, except of course the accursed sub-compacts who should never have been brought to the US market, and the Big 3 always lost money with them, most recently with the much advertised FIesta, whose sales were more like a SIESTA, leading to its early demise.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    And of course no show would be complete without another insignificant story from the Public Relations department of the 0.5% US market share loser VOLVO (owned by CHinese Geely).

    I dare anybody to do the stats, and find out howe many stories there were about 14% share TOYOTA (in the US)vs the 28 times Smaller VOLVO.

    You can BET you did not have 28 times as many stories. I would bet you even had MORE VOlvo stories than Toyota stories, incredible as it sounds.

    WHat happened to “one unit sold, one vote”?

    WHy is the VOLVO marketing dept so much better than Toyota’s?

    Do Auto Journalists have a thing with VOLVOs like Political ones have with the idiots in the Dem party (89% voted DEM a few decades ago, by their own admission. I bet it is now 99%)

  9. Kevin A Says:

    Larry, It’s never been ‘one unit sold, one vote”. It’s always been ‘the loudest voice gets all the space. You, of all people, should know that.

  10. Bob Wilson Says:

    Even frenemies can be polite and chat. A TSLA stockholder, Musk should have called the ID.3 “Great” and not mentioned any but obvious shortcomings.

    As for Trevor and GM, Sandy Munro said Detroit wants to outsource the car and stick their badge on at the end of the line. This will be proper penance for the EV1 and kill off hydrogen tool cells.

    I put in a TSLA buy order for half the price I sold some TSLA shares pre-S&P500 run up. No one knows the exact future but we can make educated guesses.


    8) Amazing what changing Volvo to Tesla can do to your rant.

    And of course no show would be complete without another insignificant story from the Public Relations department of the 1.0% US market share loser TESLA.
    I dare anybody to do the stats, and find out how many stories there were about 14% share TOYOTA (in the US)vs the 28 times Smaller TESLA.
    You can BET you did not have 28 times as many stories. I would bet you even had MORE TESLA stories than Toyota stories, incredible as it sounds.
    What happened to “one unit sold, one vote”?
    Why is the TESLA marketing dept so much better than Toyota’s?
    Do Auto Journalists have a thing with TESLAs like Political ones have with the idiots in the Dem party (89% voted DEM a few decades ago, by their own admission. I bet it is now 99%)

  12. George Ricci Says:

    GM and Honda teamed up many years ago to develop hydrogen fuel cells. Honda has been selling a few hydrogen cars, but GM has not done anything until now. For hydrogen Semis to work Nikola will need to make hydrogen much cheaper than what it costs now. Nikola is using Norwegian hydrogen systems developer NEL ASA. It remains to be seen if NEL ASA can greatly reduce electrolysers hydrogen production costs.

  13. Gary Susie Says:

    Well said Kevin.

  14. Larry D. Says:

    ” As part of the deal Nikola will give GM 11% of its shares worth $2 billion”

    Worth 2 billion today, zero (in the fine GM tradition) a few years from now. WHat a ‘deal’.

    GM had 1,000s of engineers (admittedly not that good ones) at “GM research labs” incuding former students of ours. Why could’t they earn their salary and come up with the ‘innovations” that Nikola allegedly did, so GM would not have to waste $2 billion TWICE?

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think there may be an EV in my future, an accursed subcompact that, according to Larry, no one should bring to the US. It is the Mini EV. It has lousy range, takes an excruciating ~7 seconds 0-60, doesn’t have much room, except for two people, but…
    It drives much like a gas Mini, only more silently, it looks good (to me), the interior is decent, and the MSRP, pretty well equipped, is ~$30K, and it is eligible for the $7500 tax credit. It would work well for my general “running around” when in Indiana in the summer, and I could just plug it into a regular 120v outlet in my garage. Most of the time, it would have adequate charge for my local driving, and if it didn’t, I could drive something else. I’ll be looking into ordering one to arrive in mid-May.

  16. fstfwrd Says:

    @11 +++


    15) Congratulations on the future purchase of the Mini EV. Sounds like a fun little car for a daily situation. Pricing at 23K (after the tax rebate) is not bad really, very affordable. Good choice for those who want electric but don’t necessarily need high range every day or can afford to have a second car.

  18. Carl Says:

    The Hyundai and Kia story was a shocker. Kia has many more dealerships compared to Hyundai and I see 20x more Kia’s on the road.

    You sure to didn’t get your numbers crossed?

  19. Larry D. Says:

    Watching the interminable evening news before an Agatha Christie-Poirot movie, I see the locals got 3 fully electric buses, large 12+ meter affairs, with all kinds of useful features as charging phones and free wifi, made by BYD, chinese company which makes millions of good cars and SUVs I have seen, and which claims it is the biggest maker of electric buses on the planet.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 It sure wouldn’t work as a “do everything” car but will be a fun car for most trips. It’s definitely not for road trips, with barely over 100 mile range.

  21. Bob Wilson Says:

    20 – My transition from Toyota was/is an end-of-lease, 2014 BMW i3-REx. Around town, 72 mi EV and a 640 cc motorcycle engine driven generator for cross country, motorcycle segments but out of the weather and bugs. Replacement cost is in the low, $20k range.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 My Toyota will be staying. The electric Mini would be to replace the 2010 petrol Mini, and maybe one of my two wheelers. As I get older, I do less riding, but I seem to ride the two bikes about equally, so I wouldn’t know which to sell.

  23. joe Says:


    Saying that GM has not done much with fuel cells until now is totally wrong. GM has done a great deal more with fuel cells that Honda. Check it out before you say something you know little about.

  24. cwolf Says:

    10) Bob, I hope your TSLA purchase pans out for you.
    IMO, I would have waited until after the election or see what happens as their German factory nears completion. The quick purchase and sale of stock by several Tesla big shots has marketers concerned, which is rare. Add the lack of profits when credits are removed, continued stock over evaluation, less demand for selling credits, plus growing competition adds more to the huge risk with maybe smaller or no gains. Keep that rabbit foot near!

  25. cwolf Says:

    Fresh Larry, I am sure there are plenty of GM engineers who have transferred to other companies, like Tesla and Merc.
    There is absolutely no doubt in many of our minds, if there are any GM engineers lacking of talent, they are from YOUR department and your class. Bet once they dump all you planted in their heads, they became achievers!

  26. GEORGE RICCI Says:

    23. Joe, How many fuel cells has GM sold and to who? The agreement with Nikola marks the first commercial use of GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell system.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Can someone explain the point of fuel cells? It takes lots of energy to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen. Why not just feed that electricity into the grid so you can burn less coal? Yeah, the overall efficiency of a fuel cell vehicle might be fairly good, but the complexity is crazy, with the fuel cell itself, the 10,000 psi tanks to hold the hydrogen, the batteries you need to store energy for acceleration and climbing, beyond what the fuel cell can produce at a given time. Then, you still need the regular EV stuff of motors and power electronics.

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    27 I’m not that familiar with fuel cells but it does sound to be very involved for the benefit that is gained. Complexity is rarely a good thing and although hybrids seem to work pretty well I struggle with a dual power source. All the systems needed for an ICE and a battery and additional components for an electric power source. Just more things to diagnose or break not to mention the added weight which adversely affects both systems of propulsion.
    To me that is also the problem I have with people trying to push EVs as a cost savings. Gas is pretty cheap and yes we all know that can change but right now its about $1100 a year to drive 15k miles on gas. I have no doubt that by the time EVs are 15% of US sales electricity will cost rise to the point that having and EV will cost about $1100 a year to charge. So the only real advantage is emissions as long as our electric is being generated by green power sources. Even a hybrid is going to cut what? 50% of my fuel cost so I save a whopping $500 a year in gas. To me that savings isn’t worth it considering that most hybrid models get a smaller engine than their non-hybrid counterparts and that’s felt the most on the hwy. They probably make great around town vehicles but I do a good portion of both city and hwy and want something that performs well in both situations. So although Hybrids seem to be the best mix to provide decent improvement in city MPG and still have long range I’m just not sold on the added complexity and cost for the benefit gained.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hybrids, at least the ones I’ve had, are fairly complex electrically, but the drive train is very simple mechanically, with no clutches of any kind, nothing but gears.

    The biggest thing that makes no sense to me about fuel cells, is that you need to store the hydrogen in tanks at 10,000 psi to store a useful amount. Then, there is the little thing of hydrogen not being available anywhere, except a few places in California. Maybe a bunch of hydrogen fueling stations will pop up in a few years for all of these over-the-road trucks that are going to be built, but I’m not holding my breath.

  30. JR Says:

    @27 I think of fuel cells as an alternative energy storage system (battery). Instead of charging, you add energy by producing hydrogen. Then the fuel cell in the vehicle converts the hydrogen back to electricity to propel the vehicle. One advantage is that is is cheaper to add hydrogen storage tanks to vehicles than batteries, and quicker to refuel.

  31. Brett Cammack Says:

    Fuel cells can be super practical if you happen to have industrial process that produces a hydrogen gas byproduct.

    I remember reading about GM creating several tractor trailer rigs that were fuel cells and the equipment to feed the energy back as electricity to the local grid. One of the refineries down in Texas City had a couple. They supplied much of the electricity the refinery used for practically free as they used to just burn off the hydrogen with a flare as a useless byproduct.

  32. Stephen Says:

    Whatever the efficiency of fuel cell engines, the issue is how to generate low-zero carbon hydrogen. The magic answer is electrolosys but nobody has found a commercial way of achieving so bar regular research lab innovations. The alternative is the same fossil fuels generating hydrogen as a byproduct. Its akin to fueling lighting lamps with whale oil. No matter how efficient its still whale oil…

    As for GMs investment decision, I can only either presume that GM are way behind what they are presenting to the public, that GM wants the fast agile skills Nikola seems to have, that Nikola had the pitch of the century, that GM has few alternatives to a deal with other car makers willing to share its BEV tech. So GM goes for a startup. If pickup buyers ever move to BEV then GM could be toast (so will Ford). GM has always played the wall-st share rise game and they see how Tesla has flourished while GMs share price stagnates. Not going to help at the end of year bonus time if share performance is related.

    Geely is one of the very few chinese buyouts thats worked without damaging the brand it bought. Volvo is in the news over say Toyota as its one of the few minor car makers who has publicly announced its transition away from legacy ICE power and succeeded in selling into the US where mighty VW and all the other non-german car makers have failed to so do so. What has Toyota done since hybrid power apart from some niche hydrogen car tech. Volvo is seen less than a boring wagon car maker and has competed with the mighty germans and US SUVs