AD #3650 – Ford, GM Lay Off UAW Workers; Tesla Cybertruck Hits 2 Million Reservations; Lambo & Ducati Demonstrate V2V Technology

September 18th, 2023 at 12:11pm

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Listen to “AD #3650 – Ford, GM Lay Off UAW Workers; Tesla Cybertruck Hits 2 Million Reservations; Lambo and Ducati Demonstrate V2V Technology” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 10:43

0:00 Ford, GM Lay Off UAW Workers
1:27 Fitch Says D3 Have Liquidity to Ride Out Long Strike
2:14 GM Compensation for UAW Workers
4:12 NIO Opens 1,800th Swap Station & Launches New EC6
5:52 Tesla Installed 50,000th Supercharger
6:11 Tesla Cybertruck Hits 2 Million Reservations
6:51 Chevy Equinox EV To Launch Soon in China
7:31 GM Halts Electric Van Production Until Next Spring
8:04 Lambo & Ducati Demonstrate V2V Technology
8:49 Mercedes Museum Helps Color Blind People View Exhibits

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29 Comments to “AD #3650 – Ford, GM Lay Off UAW Workers; Tesla Cybertruck Hits 2 Million Reservations; Lambo & Ducati Demonstrate V2V Technology”

  1. Ron Says:

    Thanks Sean. And welcome back home to the office. Water damage is always a pain to deal with, inside or outside.

  2. Albemarle Says:

    Thanks for the good show, mein host. Lots of different topics today.

    GM sure has a lot of battery supply problems. Six month plant shutdowns are a sign of very poor management. Are they giving big contracts to suppliers that just aren’t up to the task?

    I do wonder, however, how quickly they would scramble if the plant made pickups rather than EVs.

  3. GM Veteran Says:

    I have doubts about the accuracy of the “crowd sourced” reservation numbers. Its also curious that Tesla has not provided the actual number. In addition, if they ever get the truck into volume production, and announce actual pricing, it will be interesting to see how many reservation holders end up converting into buyers.

    The stories I have read from engineers about how difficult it is to produce the type of body panels the truck design includes now make me think it will be quite a while yet before it goes into volume production and that the price will be higher than many anticipate as a result of the costs associated with producing those panels. OR, Tesla will change the design of the truck enough to make it easier and cheaper to produce. With their cost reduction efforts on other products, this seems likely.

  4. Sean Wagner Says:

    I swear I heard you say “the advanced driver existence system” in the Geely segment. “Please renew your subscription NOW.”

  5. Sean Wagner Says:

    *NIO, darnit.

  6. GM Veteran Says:

    The “arrives at dealerships this Fall” will undoubtedly be amended for the Equinox. It is slated to use the Ultium batteries that they can’t seem to produce in any volume. This is a very serious problem for GM. The Cadillac Lyriq uses these batteries and production is WAY behind schedule and currently still flowing at a trickle as the batteries for them are being assembled by hand. The same batteries are slated for use in the Blazer EV and Equinox EV. Even if they divert the supply from the Brightdrop commercial van plant to other consumer vehicle plants, the flow of new vehicles will be agonizingly slow. This is a problem GM needs to get solved yesterday. The only EV they can build in any volume now is the Bolt because it uses a different type of battery that is readily available. If they don’t get this issue fixed, the next vehicles you will see delayed or launched with miniscule production are the Silverado and Sierra EVs.

  7. Lambo2015 Says:

    2 Million reservations according to a crowd sourced spreadsheet? Is Tesla no longer taking reservations? Sounds like more Elon hype than actual commitment.

    From a Reuters article from July 25th;
    “GM’s Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq SUV and BrightDrop vans has been hamstrung by ongoing issues at the Lordstown battery plant. That issue was stated as the automation equipment supplier is struggling with delivery issues. (whatever that means) GM in the meantime is building battery modules by hand on manual assembly lines, Barra said.

  8. DanaPointJohn Says:

    2M? Uh, huh…

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    By the time Cybertruck arrives, if it ever does, it may have regular painted body panels rather than stainless steel.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM needs to abandon plans to be EV only in a few years, since they don’t seem to be able to make more than a few dozen EVs, except for soon-to-be-discontinued Bolt.

  11. ChuckGrenci Says:

    10, I think GM has already abandoned plans for a quick EV transition. Even, Cadillac, that was supposed to be GM’s leader is still very heavily ensconced in the continuation of ICE vehicles. 2024′s on the way, and there is already reported that the ’25 CT5 is coming (refresh mostly, but still fairly modified from the ’24). It appears that Chevrolet is leading the way; though even there the transition is slow (at least not as fast as earlier alluded).

    Not going to say much about the strike, other than whatever has already been said, and that is, it surely looks like the workers are pretty well compensated for the job(s) that they do. GM’s and Ford’s proposals (haven’t seen from Stellantis) seems very generous.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How much do the car companies contribute to workers’ 401K’s, compared to what they contributed to the pension funds in the past? It must not be much, considering that the car companies, and companies in general, are doing away with defined pensions.


    7) Seems Ultium as a battery technology may have been released a little too quickly. A great design, but if you can’t make it in volume, it is not useful. Hopefully the “supplier issue”, whatever that is, gets wrapped up soon and cars can start being produced in volume. I do like the Lyriq from Cadillac. That would be an EV I would actually buy.

    As a side note, I was browsing Facebook marketplace and there was a Rivian R1T for sale. I had to laugh a little as it had 3000 miles on it and the seller stated that it does not work for the daily towing duty they needed to perform. I found it odd that the seller did not know that prior to purchase, but maybe they fell for the hype instead of reality. Either way, selling the Rivian for a loss based on the price and nobody wants it even at that price.

    Used cars in general are taking a while to find a buyer right now and it has to be an exceptional deal. Buyers are pulling back in the used car market. Technically they are pulling back in the new market but at a slower rate than the used market. Used cars seemingly collapsed overnight.

  14. GM Veteran Says:

    The Ultium battery production problem is only in the one plant here in the US that is supposed to be nearing full production by now. Two more plants are under construction but won’t come on line for at least another 1-2 years.

    Meanwhile, GM is building Ultium batteries in China with no issues. From what I have heard, the assembly line equipment is in place but the supplier is having a really difficult time tuning it so that it operates properly. No sense in building batteries incorrectly. I am sure they will get it fixed, but it is surprising how long it is taking.

    From a recent article:

    SAIC-GM operates two Ultium plants at production sites in Shanghai and Wuhan in central China. Since June 2022, the company has launched sales of three Ultium-based EVs – the Cadillac Lyriq crossover, the Buick Electra E5 crossover and the Buick Electra E4 Coupe. July 6, 2023

  15. Albemarle Says:

    By the time the Ultium battery gets into serious production, it will be older generation technology. Many battery designs are being revised every year or two.

    When you look at the mess most legacy and new manufacturers are living with, it would be a kindness to take half of them out behind the barn and put them out of their misery.

  16. Drew Says:

    15. You are disparaging at least a couple of hundred thousand hard working people.

  17. Albemarle Says:

    16 I apologize if I said anything to upset you. I meant that the current direction of the companies are not conducive to their survival. The very few people that provide direction for the company are the cause of the problems, not the white and blue collar women and men who implement managements demands.
    It appears to me that historically well run automotive companies that thrived in previous conditions cannot seem to make the changes needed to thrive in these new conditions. I used to believe that having a successful ICE business would give you an advantage in this time of change. I now realize that the very systems that made the company a success are the cause of their present problems.

  18. Drew Says:

    17. If your benchmark is Tesla and other EV newcomers, please understand that traditional OEMs have thousands of ambulance-chasing lawyers ready to pounce on every miscue. Yet, for some unknown reason, these lawyers and our government (until recently) have given the newcomers a free pass to sell unfinished prototypes to unsuspected “beta” testers.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 I wish Cadillac would do better with their car powertrains. A CT5 is substantially slower, and thirstier than a BMW 3 series, while weighing only 200 pounds more. They both have 2 liter turbos. The Cadillac has a 10-speed transmission and the BMW 8-speed. Even the slightly smaller and lighter CT4 is slower and thirstier than the BMW. Why? Do the Cadillacs have poorly selected gear ratios? Do the engines have bad head design? I don’t know, but it’s disappointing. The Cadillacs are thirstier than the BMW, both in EPA ratings and CR’s tests.

    What I’d like to see in the CT5 would be a good hybrid system, but that’s not going to happen.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17,18 The D3 seem to be counting on huge pickup trucks and SUVs to keep selling well forever, because those are the only products they take seriously enough to have best-in-class vehicles. If you count low volume specialty cars like Corvette, there is one that is the best ‘value’ of what it nominally competes with.

    Chrysler group will soon be dropping all of their cars. Ford has dropped all except Mustang, and will soon be dropping one of their best sellers, Escape. The Malibu hangs on, along with the CT4 and CT5, but how much longer?

    Yeah, the big trucks are where the money is, for now, but how much longer?

    18 Yep, it seems that Tesla can get away with anything, from calling level 2.5 autonomy “full self driving,” to eliminating the turn signal lever, which will make an already bad problem even worse.

  21. Albemarle Says:

    I think what Tesla has shown is that so much of the standard driver’s interface is not dictated anywhere with standards and has been adopted by convention. Next thing they’ll be using pushing and pulling on the steering wheel to replace the accelerator and brake.

  22. Drew Says:

    21. Some changes to HMI reflect clever “fresh eyes” while others reflect technology for technology sake. One tech of tech sake item is the power-deployed door handle. Another is the power folding/collapsing trans shift handle on the F-150 (it sounds cheap and a rotary device can easily accomplish the same result (allowing a flat work surface) and is deployed on nearly every other Ford product.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 Also, power glove box doors are another of the sillier technology for technology’s sake ideas.

  24. wmb Says:

    #17.) To your point, but what has me scratching my head is that, after close to fifteen years, none of the legacy OEM’s have come close or even matched the Model S regarding its horse power AND driving range. They produced vehicles with big horse power, but they have nowhere near the range. The Mercedes EQS AMG comes close, but when you compare that with the Model S Plaid, the Tesla has more power and fare fairly long range numbers, too! The CLA Concept seems to moving in the right direction, but while it may be getting set for ~400 miles, it looks like it’s how’re power numbers will close to or below 300. Let me be clear, subjective, objective, exterior styling aside, what the EQS and EQE lack in power and range, they more then make up for in perceived quality and the reputation and pedigree of their manufacture. I’m not saying that all EVs should have big power and ranges numbers, but I would have thought that, by now, a few of them would have come closer to to either matching or exceeding Tesla, not another upstart startup like Lucid! And again, to your point, it seems that ‘historically will run automotive companies that thrive in previous, cannot seem to make the changes needed to thrive in these new conditions.’ And that “the very systems that made the company a success are the cause of their present problems.” I’m coming to feel the same way, too! On the one hand, how many times have we seen one legacy OEM or tier one supplier, hit the market with a new piece of kit and a year or two later and a cross town rival has got a new or better one, or some new spin on the one produced by their original?! On the other hand, when it come to these EVs, the legacy OEMs, with all the building, engineering and manufacturing experience, are STILL fighting second, third or fourth place, 10 plus years later!

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 One thing that helps Tesla with performance and range, is lightness. From CR’s charts, the Model S tested was 1200 pounds lighter than the EQS. There are compromises there, but lightness will always help acceleration and efficiency.

    Tesla also has a lightness advantage with the Model 3 against the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and BMW i4, probably the 3′s closest competition. The Hyundai is 600 pounds heavier, and the BMW 1100 pounds heavier than the Tesla. The non-Teslas had enough power that they were actually quicker than the 3 Long Range in CR’s tests, but the 3 was much more efficient.

  26. Sean Wagner Says:

    25 Indeed – it was little noticed when the Model 3 was introduced, but its weight was just 10-15% above that of an ‘equivalent’ BMW.

    Which is why the Cybertruck, and similar extremely heavy EVs, just seem like a very dubious proposition to me, at least presently.

    For trucks, a battery pack the size of the longer-range Model Y, paired with a small, efficient (bio)diesel, may be the smarter, faster way to drive down emissions and fossil fuel use.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    19 Maybe BMW has better efficiency and power at the cost of durability. Sounds like the 2.0L turbo is a disposable engine. Or at least will require new heads after 70K miles.

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    26 To me the whole EV truck thing is just a matter of circumstances. They are making them because they sell well and have good profit margins. They are not the best candidates for an EV platform. In fact they are probably one of the worse vehicles to make an EV. Small to midsized cars make the most sense for an EV platform and even the CUVs work well. But anything with expectations of towing or hauling just doesnt bode well and I believe the EV truck market is going to be a bust. Lots of people think they want them until they do. EVs have their wheel house and large trucks and SUVs are not it. Not to say as batteries improve they cant work well but I think they are a fad.

  29. joe Says:

    As we know Elon exaggerates all the time. That one way he manage to up the Tesla stocks up to unrealistic proportion. Two million reservations for that ugly ugly truck is not believable.

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