AD #3489 – Tesla’s Eye Popping Profit Margins; Gasoline Demand Peaked, Now Falling; Pickup Owners Shift to SUVs

January 23rd, 2023 at 11:44am

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Listen to “AD #3489 – Tesla’s Eye Popping Profit Margins; Gasoline Demand Peaked, Now Falling; Pickup Owners Shift to SUVs” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:46

0:08 Gasoline Demand Peaked, Now Falling
1:03 Unions Tell Biden To Keep “Made in USA” As Part of IRA
1:58 GM Funds V8s, Quits Battery Plant with LG
3:42 BMW Moves Forward with Solid State Batteries
4:36 Tesla’s Eye Popping Profit Margins
5:47 Aptera Unveils Launch Edition
7:20 Pickup Owners Shift to SUVs
8:09 NHTSA Finds No Defect in Ford Explorers
8:52 Geely Teases Sleek Electric

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39 Comments to “AD #3489 – Tesla’s Eye Popping Profit Margins; Gasoline Demand Peaked, Now Falling; Pickup Owners Shift to SUVs”


    GM/Ford/Ram went on price palooza during the pandemic as they prioritized chips to favor their highest priced truck trims. It is any wonder people decided to switch to cheaper SUVs?

  2. Norm T Says:

    GM = Gotion!

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Trucks have become more and more SUV like as the beds keep shrinking and cabin size grows. It’s not that common for them to have only a 5.5 ft bed. Plus, as mentioned above the price has become even closer to a full-size SUV. The mid-size and small trucks like the Santa Cruz its even worse with not even a 4 ft bed.
    If you’re not hauling dirt or a fridge, the SUV can work just as well and if you buy a trailer, then you can still haul everything the truck can and have room for 6-7 people. With seatbelt laws and child seats being so large the third-row vehicles will always be needed for families with 3 or more kids.
    Plus you never know how many friends you have until you own a truck.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised that there will be another generation of Chevy V8. The first generation small block lasted almost 40 years, but there have already been 4 more generations over the subsequent 30 years. I suppose the upcoming one will be a little more efficient, a little lighter, and maybe a little more powerful, but can it be that much better than the current one?

  5. Albemarle Says:

    To work under a cloud for years only for Ford to learn it’s others drilling holes and mounting stuff that is the problem. These specialty companies certainly know how to charge for their work; too bad they are not competent at sealing up the holes they drill.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    So either GM was just supporting the environmental agenda with some off the hip news, when they announced they would not be developing anymore new gas engines back in 2020 or they are just realizing that’s not very realistic.
    I hear this is for a new small block V8 which is slated to be built in Flint. Considering the amount of people running out to buy Lyriqs and Hummers this is probably a good move.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    5 Yeah what a mess. Who would have guessed that if you drill holes or get in a crash that affects the rear seal you might get a leak? I hope Ford charges back NHTSA all the time and money wasted on this including money for the bad press..
    Seems like someone didn’t due even the slightest due diligence before raising a flag.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 NHTSA did the investigation as a result of 6,500 consumer complaints. They didn’t just decide to investigate Explorers for the fun of it. Yeah, maybe they should have figured things out quicker, or maybe those 6500 customers should have known something, since they were the ones who hired the holes to be drilled.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I only took one pickup truck for me to determine that they don’t make much sense for a lot of us. I bought one, mainly to “see what I was missing,” because so many people around me had them. I found that I wasn’t missing very much, by not having a pickup. When I need a new refrigerator, about every 35 years, I just have it delivered. I have a 4×8 tilt trailer for the rare occasions that I need to move a lawn tractor, etc.

  10. Lambo2015 Says:

    8 Yeah NHTSA did the investigation but Ford did agree to do some service work such as reapplying sealant and reprogramming the climate control system. So no doubt they were working on their own within Ford end to find the culprit. They dont just sit back and wait for NHTSA’s findings.


    6) gm stated that they would be “electrified” not full BEV. Everyone misconstrues the word “electification”/”electrified” with BEV including most major auto journalists. Electrified simply means that there will be some form of hybrid to augment ICE all the way to a full BEV. Expect to read that these new V8s will be paired with a hybrid technology whether it is P1, P2, P3, or P4. FYI the E-Ray corvette is a P4 hybrid for reference and is considered “electrified”.

  12. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Lambo #6 – It’s not a demand issue for the Lyriq and Hummer. Combined they had well over 100,000 reservations.


    10) I was at the dealership when this was all going on. There were many consumer vehicles that complained about this. It was not just upfitted vehicles. Those persons complained even after the “fixes” were completed. No complaints have been made on the new explorer with the ranger based platform whether it is upfitted or not. Also, lots of Tahoes/Suburbans were upfitted during this time period using the same methods, and zero complaints.

    The truth will never be known, but it is not an upfitter problem to me. They are being blamed, but for my money and family, I just wouldn’t buy that model of explorer. Those model years of Explorers are kind of junky anyhow. So that helps in making sure that I would not buy one.

  14. Drew Says:

    @13. The Explorer has not been on a Ranger platform since 2003.

    The vast majority of the exhaust fume complaints came from unfitted vehicles in Texas. The TV mag rags added to the hysteria, triggering every hypochondriac and nervous mother of a newborn to question the quality of their new vehicle. TV mag rags shoot first with assumptive questions.

  15. Drew Says:

    @13. The Explorer has not been on a Ranger platform since 2003.

    The vast majority of the exhaust fume complaints came from unfitted vehicles in Texas. The TV mag rags added to the hysteria, triggering every hypochondriac and nervous mother of a newborn to question the quality of their new vehicle. TV mag rags shoot first with assumptive questions.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 Could there have been exhaust leaking under the hood, getting sucked into the cowl vent?

  17. ChuckGrenci Says:

    6,12 I saw an article that said Lyriq deliveries were delayed due to quality holds, and these were coming to a close. Over at the Cadillac forum I frequent there are a lot buyers waiting for their deliveries. There is very good demand for both Lyric and Hummer.

  18. GM Veteran Says:

    There may be a different headline on gasoline consumption in the next couple of years. Think about how many large and gas thirsty SUVs and pickups have been sold over the last five years, especially during the chip shortage. Now, think about how many fuel efficient compacts, hatchbacks and midsize sedans that were discontinued during that same period. As older vehicles are retired, the mix of vehicles on the road will lean more in the direction of those less-efficient large vehicles. Even with some EVs displacing some ICE vehicle sales going forward, this vehicle mix situation could lead to an increase in gas consumption, even if only for a couple of years.

  19. Roger Hiles Says:

    Just wanted to point out that the Reuters chart of EV profitability really shows VW’s gross profit moving from $6800 to $6000 since 2020 and BYD moving from $15000 to $5000. The color of the dots and numbers shows the year. It’s confusing .

  20. GM Veteran Says:

    Tesla’s recent price cuts, ranging from $6,000 to $13,000, will certainly bring their profit per vehicle back down to earth. They are now officially feeling the effects of competition in the EV market segment, one they have had mostly to themselves here in the US until now.

  21. Wim van Acker Says:

    @11: sorry for what shows my lack of knowledge, but what does P1, P2, P3, or P4 stand for?

  22. merv Says:

    4 I’m excited to hear more v8′s are coming. They keep make more power,use less fuel and are cleaner at the tail pipe,so why not?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 I was wondering the same thing and found this. It’s pretty long and seems to assume front drive with 2wd, but it explains the different Ps.

  24. Wim van Acker Says:

    @23 thanks, Kit. I am afraid that is above my pay grade :-)

  25. Lambo2015 Says:

    11 Yes GM stated a push to electrification and thats different than what my comment was about. Back around 2020 Ford and GM both announced they had no plans for any future Gas engines. Basically were stating they would let what they already developed run its course and make improvements but would not spend money on any more development of gas engines. Sean even reported that here. Not sure on the exact date. But many here pointed out then it seemed a bit premature to not plan for any gas engines. So here we are maybe 2 years later and they are going to dump 600+ million into development of a new gas small block V8. Just shows they were saying what people wanted to hear but realize they need some new engines to get to 2035. Which is great.

  26. Roger T Says:

    Aptera – although super exciting to see it closer to finish line, the launch edition will not be Tesla supercharger compatible since it’s not DC fast charge capable. Max charge speed will be 50 some miles per hour, level 2. Bummer but I’m sticking with it regardless.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering how the new Chevy V8 will be different. Everything I find mentions it only being used for trucks, not Corvettes. Camaro is going away, probably before the new engine is ready.

  28. wmb Says:

    I just wonder if Tesla wonder better off if Mr.Musk appointed some one else to be CEO, to run the company, but he remained chairman of Tesla’s board of directors. I don’t know if this would make a difference or if this is not already the case. Right now, Elon is recognize the individual running Tesla, but it has seem that his attention is directed in a hundred different directions. Tesla is doing great now, but I can’t help but wonder how much more it could be doing, in the one in charged making all or most of the decisions had doing just that, as their full time job! Tesla is by far the tip of the arrow on the BEV front and have made a LOT of money doing so. Yet, while they have made considerable more money then Ford, GM, the VW Group and others, when you look at what each of these three OEMs, for example, have had to manage from a operations standpoint (all the new products [from the designing, engineering, r&d of the different platforms and architectures, not to mention the engines, transmissions, wiring harness and basic safety and emissions systems, along with the ever evolving infotainment systems], updating of existing product, having manufacturing operations all over the world [with some units having very little in common with those assembled in other regions], dealing with differing rules and laws regarding manufacturing, emissions, active and passive safety requirements from various regions and parts of the world, offering vehicles of every size in permutation, from super mini, all the way up to heavy duty), Tesla only has 5 vehicles on the market. The Model S, after 10+ years, it was updated. The semi, while now on the road, it, the Cybertruck and the sports car have been delayed for several years. Yet, with the type of capital that Tesla has, or has had, again, I wonder how much farther the company would be, if they had some one putting the interest of Tesla first, as their full time occupation. Don’t get me wrong, Tesla is hear today as a result of what Elon and others had done! Yet, it can not be denied that Mr. Musk has a lot of his plate from SpaceX, his train and now Twitters!

  29. Bob Wilson Says:

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Musk and his hobbies are doing just fine.

  30. DanaPointJohn Says:

    Confession: I am not a battery scientist. Why is it taking so long for solid state batteries to get into the testing phase, let alone production? I had read at one point solid state batteries held a charge but when quick charged would overheat. Can anyone shed light on what challenges they are facing?

  31. phred Says:

    Three wheeled cars? What happened to the Elio three wheel car company that developed their own new engine and has shown prototypes several times? They took deposites and actually sold places in line for complete cars. Any deliveries?

  32. phred Says:

    Just realized the the “new” Kia logo is actually from Star Trek! It is Klingon !!

  33. matttheviewer Says:

    Would be great to see an Autoline After Hours devote some time to the new interest GM has in developing and marketing V8 engines. Who will buy them (power hungry Millennials/Gen Z’ers)? How will they affect car pricing? And how long might the “V8 Horsepower Party” continue?

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla’s web sites are very strange, not showing inventory at the store near me. There are several new cars there for sale, but a search for inventory on the Tesla site using my zip code only shows cars in Orlando, ~50 miles away and farther.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 The new GM V8 is apparently just to replace the existing one in big pickup trucks and SUVs, unless it is used in Corvette and CT5 V.

    “Middle age” people are who buy most V8 powered vehicles. The average age of large pickup and SUV buyers is about 55, from a few articles I found. Here is one about pickups.

  36. Lambo2015 Says:

    31 Phred; Elio was a day late and dollar short. They developed a 80 mpg car when gas was cheap, and electrification was just starting. By the time they garnered enough money to finally produce some prototypes gas was back down to $2 a gallon and EVs were hitting the market. Plus, just like many of the EV start-ups learned, getting into production takes a huge amount of money and they didn’t have enough. They wasted too much money/time trying to develop their own engine and in the end was going to buy one from BMW I believe. By that time, it was too late and if people were going to buy a three wheeled car for fuel economy, they had a half dozen EVs to choose from.
    Personally, I liked their design and was hoping they would make it. Not enough to place a deposit (thank goodness) but I really thought they would change it up and go electric and keep the basic design. I don’t know if they even had production tooling made but if so, it would be a great starting point for an EV start-up.
    The car was so aerodynamic I bet it would get some good range as an EV.
    To answer your question I dont believe they ever made any deliveries. I dont believe they ever made a single production vehicle other than maybe a few for testing but nothing that got sold to the public.

  37. Lambo2015 Says:

    36,36 Cont- Sorry I responded from memory and without checking but apparently Elio is going electric. Most recent info on their web site says they are planning to go electric and offer the car for $14,900. I mean they started taking deposits back in 2013 and after so many delays just stopped updating the web site in 2019. I hadnt checked it in a couple years. But I guess Paul Elio is still alive and kicking, and still trying to get a car into production. I would imagine investors will be hard to come by at this point but I hope he pulls it off.

    Oh I was wrong I guess the gas version was supposed to be powered by a Geo Metro 3 cyl engine. which they were still planning to try and launch an Elio G (gas and then the Elio E (electric) but have since given up on the G version all together. Either way its gonna be a tough battle and I wish them luck.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36,37 Elio had, in fact, originally planned to have a custom 3 cylinder engine designed for them by IAV.

    It never made sense, even if they’d stayed with gas, when there are similar size engines used in small cars, like Suzuki/Geo as you mentioned, and vehicles like CanAm Ryker. One Ryker version uses a 900cc Rotax triple.

  39. Lambo2015 Says:

    38 I guess the last update to the Elio web site was Sept of 2021 so maybe not doing so great at getting launched an EV. 15 months and no new news. My guess is they are done. Like I said though, seems like it would be a great opportunity for a start-up to maybe get tools and equipment for pennies on the dollar. Change the name and pick up where they left off and offer a cheap EV.