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5-12-2022


We are now back in the 80's as far as GM is concerned... rebadging one line or car for another line.
The new camouflage Cadillac CT6 is nothing more then a rebadged Chev Impala that they killed last year.
I grew up with Chev, Buick and Cadillac. I loved the passion and style.  It's gone and so am I. No more GM for me.
 
P.S.  Love your shows
 
David P 
One slight correction. The Impala was FWD, the CT6 is RWD. They’re completely different cars.

John McElroy
Yikes, that blowed up real good.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


I have a new Maverick on order, and I've been trying to figure out what it is. Ford calls it a truck. Truck guys call it a CUV with the back chopped off. Some call it a "trucklet". And Hyundai calls it a "Sport Activity Vehicle".
 
I think we should name this class of vehicles "Hobbit Trucks", and I'm offering that as an industry standard naming convention. Or "HT" for short. 
 
Love the channel and AAH is my favorite hour of the week. You guys rock.
 
Scott in Asheville
Hobbit trucks? That is hilarious. We’ll send the suggestion to Ford.

BTW, we love the Maverick. Coolest new entry to hit the market in a long time.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


Hi,
 
Just sharing:
 
1) EVs have a learning curve - they are not ICE cars so old habits have to broken and new ones developed.
 
2) Just copy Tesla - the late comers have figured out they should follow the Tesla example. The tragedy is BMW designed and built the brilliant BMW i3-REx which remains the backup to our Tesla Model 3. The subsequent BMW PHEV and BEVs remain a sad joke and the Toyota Prius Prime still leaves bad memories.
 
3) Charging network - the traditional OEM have yet to realize the 'SYSTEM IS THE SOLUTION.' So they remain vulnerable to 3d party, fast DC chargers that like mushrooms will magically appear with no engineering or help from the vehicle EV makers. Tesla knows better so I used one SuperCharger session, $11, for a 354 mile trip on Thursday, May 5. When traditional manufacturers establish 24x7, fast DC chargers at their dealers, they will have figured it out.
 
Good program if a little light-weight for me.
 
Bob
5-10-2022


Here in UK 8 out of 10 cars are bought on credit usually models chosen to max out monthly repayment capacity - with car prices now so high -

Car repossessions on the way ?

Kind Regards

Richard
Car repos may go up with higher interest rates. But the people who already bought cars are locked into lower rates.

In the US, at least, defaults represent a very small percentage of car loans, about 0.03%. It’s an annoyance, but not a big problem.

John McElroy
5-10-2022


Hi John and Sean,
From your Wednesday May 4 report, you spoke about Bridgestone making new tires for electric buses. You mentioned that Bridgestone claims less roll resistance. What does that mean? How does that work? If it is too much information for a quick segment report, maybe invite Bridgestone for an Autoline After Hours to explain roll resistance and other technical/design/build tidbits on tire manufacturing. Look forward to hearing your report. Thank you.
 
Best regards,
Dana
Toronto, ON
Tires with less rolling resistance are harder. They have stiffer sidewalls that don’t flex as much. When a tire flexes it’s using up energy. Less flexing = longer EV range (or better fuel economy with an ICE vehicle).

Good suggestion on this topic. We will get an expert from Bridgestone to go into more details.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


Here is an article about an interstate trip between Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s 2 largest cities.  In an electric car it can be a tedious exercise.  The same trip is one I have done many times.  I usually drive my Lexus GS300 and stop just once, at Gundagai for fuel, a pit stop and a bite to eat and drink.  This guy had range and charger availability anxiety.
 
The infrastructure is just not there yet.
 
Regards
 
Warwick Rex Dundas
Great article, thanks for sending. I’ve encountered similar problems. Anyone driving an EV long distance is truly a pioneer.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


If GM and Ford finances are doing so well, why are both of their stocks in the toilet? Ford went from around $25 a share to $14 or so, while GM fell from
around $65 a share to under $40. With all their talk about BEVs they still make a few percent of them as a part of their overall portfolio of cars, which is shrinking, as they are
selling fewer vehicles YoY year after year. Sure, with all their political clout they probably won't go bankrupt, but I see little positive for them and certainly would not be a 
cheerleader shaking the pom-poms for them. With gas through the roof and unlikely to fall and virtually all you make is gas vehicles, this does not bode well for companies
that rely on gas car sales, financing, and parts, for all their profits.
 
Besides which I remember another media company with a panel, laughing an joking about Tesla and their likelihood of
bankruptcy. I think they are called Blue-Sky Productions, and they were clueless about Tesla, at that time.
We were not clueless about Tesla. When we were predicting that it might go out of business, Elon Musk was trying to get Tim Cook and Apple to buy it. Cook refused to even meet with Elon. Tesla came that close to going bankrupt. Check out all the gory details in the book “Power Play” by Tim Higgins. Remember, at that point Tesla had lost billions and was a company that had one profitable quarter in all the time it had been in business.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


John and Sean, you probably already know about this, but in case you don't.
 
In a new book on his tenure as the head of Cadillac, John Smith recounts the birth of its most iconic product.
George,

There’s a glaring omission in this story of how the Cadillac Escalade came to be: the Lincoln Navigator.

The Navigator was equally controversial within Ford. Internally, it was referred to as the Town Truck, as opposed to the Town Car which was then Lincoln’s best seller. Two Ford execs even sought out my opinion about whether it would succeed or not (I thought it would). But despite the controversy over whether or not luxury buyers would buy a luxury SUV, Ford bit the bullet and launched it (1997).

Cadillac dealers went ape when the Navigator came out and became an instant success. It beat the Escalade to the market by about two years. The dealers demanded that they get something to compete with it and so GM did a rush job to give Cadillac something ASAP. The first-gen Escalade was little more than a gussied up Chevrolet Suburban.

If the Navigator wasn’t in the market, the naysayers at GM probably would have won the day and the Escalade would have never gone into production.

I’m surprised John Smith never mentioned this in his book.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


I’m sorry if you covered this in the past – why don’t we hear more about EV charging via solar energy?  If it’s on par with charging from the grid, theoretically an EV owner would have no ‘fueling’ costs indefinitely (besides upkeep), if he/she installed a solar car charger.  Am I missing something? – Just curious
Ricky,
 
We have reported on this. A couple of EV makers are putting solar panels on their cars.
 
Check out Aptera.
 
And Lightyear.
 
John McElroy
5-6-2022


Thought this might be of interest to you. I know they are doing something in the same vain in Michigan. 

• Lenexa, Kansas, will move forward with a pilot project to install concrete embedded with sensors and other technologies that could wirelessly charge electric vehicles that pass over it, reports the Engineering News-Record. Integrated Roadways will install its patented smart pavement technology at five intersections, and it promised to upgrade 20% of the city’s infrastructure during the 10-year project. 

Tim Driver..........
Tim,

Hey, are you listening in on our planning sessions? On Monday we’re taping a show about powered roadways, including the CEO of Integrated Roadways on the panel.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


John,
 
I just found out from major U.S.A. automotive electrical engineer, who lives down the street, that each vehicle manufacturer has its own unique charging plug line and female receiving unit! This is one time that the government should have made it mandatory that all vehicle manufacturers use the same charging connections.  I want the government to pay for the national defense and items for the common good of its citizenry. But, this is one time they should step up to the plate and communize the charging system of all vehicles.
 
I can see it now 4 Tesla charging stations in use with 3 waiting their turn while there are 4 Ford charging stations not being used! Just think how mad the Tesla folks will be! To say nothing of how many more stations that will have to be installed to accommodate all the different vehicle manufacturer’s hardware.
I can see a multimillion, possibly billion, dollar industry building adaptors to allow Tesla vehicles to use Ford outlets.
 
Larry
Macomb, MI
Larry,

Your neighbor is either making this all up or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Twenty years ago the SAE set the charging-plug standard (SAE J1772) for every automaker to use. All automakers use this standard and have pretty much settled on the CCS plug, except Tesla, which developed its own plug for its own proprietary charging network.

You can take any electric car to any (non-Tesla) public charging station and get it recharged. I’ve done it myself many times, with the different EVs I’ve tested from different automakers.

Tesla provides its customers with an adaptor so they can use the non-Tesla charging stations. And Tesla says it’s going to open its network for other EVs to use.

John McElroy
5-6-2022


Hello, 
 
I am reaching out on behalf of my grandfather, Fred Jast, and he would like to make this comment in regards to the use of generators to charge electric vehicles: 
 
"The four stroke gas engine and the four stroke diesel engine are the wrong engines to drive a 60hz two pole and a four pole AC generator. I have designed a 1 cylinder engine that can drive a four pole 60hz generator at 1800 rpm and the engine does 3600 powerstroke." 
 
He would like to have a talk in regards to his comment above with someone on your team. You may reach out to him either a reply back to this email or via mail to his attention at 4827 Birchland Pl, Temple City, CA 91780. 
 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 
 
Best Regards, 
Sabrina
Sabrina,

Thanks for reaching out to us about your grandfather’s engine design, but we really don’t have the technical expertise to evaluate it.

He should reach out to companies that really know this stuff like AVL, Riccardo or Roush.

John McElroy
4-29-2022


Hi Autoline, 
 
Love your show and watch every day.
 
We have had a great dealer experience with our local dealer - Sam Galloway Ford in Ft. Myers, FL.  We received our Mach E GT Performance Edition in early January (after 77 days in transit causing us to get the tax credit in 2022 instead of 2021, but not dealer's fault.)
 
The only issue we have had is an occasional charging fault (4 times).  Dealer said they have another Mach E with same problem which turned out to be the charger, so they have ordered us a new charger. Otherwise, the car has been fantastic.  Frankly, we were expecting more issues with this being Ford's first serious EV.
 
Our dealer added no ADM or other ridiculous fees, and in-fact allowed us to use a Z-plan due to a family member who retired from Ford, which saved us about 4% off MSRP.  I monitor a lot of different types of blogs, youtube channels, etc, and can't believe that dealers would continue with the large ADM practice with how much bad publicity it brings. There is actually someone online who began a spreadsheet to track which dealers are adding an ADM.
 
Can't say enough good things about Sam Galloway Ford and I actually thanked them for not being like "some" of the other Ford dealers.
 
Andy
Bonita Springs, FL.
Andy,

Great feedback, thanks for sending. And we’ll publish this in viewer mail on our website so others can read it too.

John McElroy
4-27-2022


John,
Do you think Google will ever get an ROI on what it has sunk into Waymo?
 
It has generated a lot of press releases but I think only FCA seems to have taken the bait.
 
Peter
Peter,

Waymo should be able to generate a good return on its AV investments, but of course nothing is guaranteed in life.

GM expects to generate $50 billion in revenue with Cruise by 2030 and one would think Waymo could do the same.

While Waymo charges for rides in Phoenix, it doesn’t publish its financials so we don’t know how it’s doing. Cruise will start charging for rides in San Francisco this year, and since GM does publish some financial info about it, we’ll soon know how this AV thing is going.

John McElroy
Mike,

The so-called “blood batteries” using cobalt from Congo that is often mined using child labor is a real problem. All automakers are aware of it, and have several efforts to deal with it. Automakers who source cobalt directly from Congo are increasingly using blockchain to verify that their cobalt comes from well established mines, and not the wildcat mines that use child labor. OEMs are also seeking out cobalt from other countries where child labor is not used.

Automakers are designing a new generation of batteries that use far less cobalt. GM says its next-gen Ultium batteries use 60% less cobalt.

Even so, China dominates the cobalt processing business and China has a policy of not criticizing other country’s internal policies even if they use child labor in dangerous jobs.

John McElroy
4-25-2022


Hi,
 
My understanding is all EV1s were leased and not available for sale. Attempts to buy them were refused by GM.
 
The Ultimum battery system would be more impressive if a minimum sized battery EV were designed and produced. Perhaps the next generation Bolt?
 
Bob
You’re right, EV1s were only available for lease.

GM announced that it and Honda are working on entry level EVs that will retail for $30,000.

John McElroy
4-22-2022


Hi,
 
I've owned a 2014 BMW i3-REx, 72 mi EV, and 2017 Toyota Prime, 25 mi EV while working 10 miles away, a 20 mile daily commute. The Prime was seldom used because the 5 miles EV on work days, 25 -20 = 5 mi, was not enough for groceries, lunch, or pharmacy without burning gas. In contrast, the BMW had 52 mi EV on workdays, more than enough for ordinary chores.
 
We traded in the Toyota Prime for a Tesla Model 3 and never looked back. The BMW remains our Tesla backup since it can cruise at 70 mph on the gasoline powered, range extender. But expansion of the SuperCharger network makes the BMW redundant.
 
Bob
Huntsville, AL
Warwick,

Very interesting stat that Toyota’s Australian sales are 32.5% hybrids. Here in the US it’s 26%.

Thanks for sending this. I really appreciate getting these reports. We’ll do something about it in Autoline Daily.

John McElroy
4-20-2022


I figured you didn't include the Hyundai ioniq electric because they don't offer a 2022 model year, but it would be great if you could mention it as well. I believe it's actually more efficient than the Model 3.

b.c.
b.c.,

You’re right on both counts. I did not include the old Hyundai Ioniq in my list of most efficient EVs because Hyundai pivoted to the Ionic 5. But you’re also right the older Ioniq is rated as most efficient by the EPA than a Tesla Model 3.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


Mark Reuss was one one your best guests ever. Great discussion
 
Kit
Cape Canaveral, FL
Agreed, that is a great show.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


I call these guys "Fudsters" for spreading FUD which is Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt like the Grid can't handle the load or where do charge? After 4 years and 60,000 miles, we have never been stranded.
 
Despite all the FUD efforts, Tesla has more money and less debt than the ICE industry and probability of failure is lower than the Big Three.
 
Take Care, Frank
Frank,

I’m not trying to spread FUD, only truth. I keep seeing YouTube videos predicting Ford and GM will collapse under their debt load. So I did a little calculation.

Ford’s total short term liabilities, not including Ford Credit, are $44 billion. Tesla’s total short term liabilities are $18 billion.

Ford’ short term liabilities as a percentage of its total short term assets is 58%. Tesla’s is 72%. So Tesla is carrying a comparatively heavier debt load than Ford.

The YouTubers focus on Ford’s total debt of +$200 billion. But they fail to realize that Ford Credit accounts for more than half of that. That debt reflects the loans that Ford made to its dealers and customers so they could buy Ford cars, trucks and vans. The loans will get paid off. Even so, they’re booked as liabilities. Ford Credit made a $4.5 billion net profit last year on that “debt.”

John McElroy
4-19-2022


John,
I know that my old Buick isn't exactly a Red Bull Formula 1 car, but neither of these vehicles tolerates ethanol in its gasoline very well. Both Red Bull cars crapped-out before the end of one race because of 'vapor lock' in the high pressure fuel pump. This season is the first time that ARAMCO has blended 10% ethanol into gasoline. My Buick tolerates e-10 just fine, but if memory serves me correctly, Generous Motors put the upper limit of ethanol at 10%. (Both ethanol and methanol are highly corrosive and easily damage seals not made specifically to handle that much hooch.)
If my hunch is correct and this 15% is harmful to any vehicle that was not specifically designed to be flex-fuel, now is the time for you to speak up to the national press. Please!
What do you think?
Clinton
Clinton,

Any car made from 2001 onward can take E15.

If E10 caused vapor lock in the Red Bull cars, shame on them. No one else had that problem.

BTW, ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline, and RB should be able to take advantage of that. Sure looks like Ferrari has.

John McElroy
4-19-2022


Hello Sean,
 
Perhaps you have reported on this before, but it was new to me and shocking... 
 
Advertised price of used CPO car does not include the CPO cost?  At a car closing the cost of being a CPO car is an additional charge over the advertised price? 'Yes' according to the GM Buick GMC dealership in Highland Michigan.
 
When seeing this charge I said, so you list the car color blue but upon arrival the car is black. They say, yes it's black now but for an upcharge of $500 we will paint it blue.
 
Is this a regular practice now? So 'no haggle' pricing but they can add on this nonsense?
 
Would love your insight on this.
 
Thanks, Will
Will,

Most dealers are taking advantage of tight supplies to raise prices of new and used cars. It doesn’t surprise us at all to see that they’re doing it with CPO cars.

This will come back to haunt them. People are not going to forget that dealers took advantage of them the first chance they got.

John McElroy
4-8-2022


Being an industry veteran,  I have been watching and following autoline for about 20 years. This is the first time I dare to ask a question because this issue has become important to many of us motorhome owners. 
 
Years ago there were many cars, SUVs and trucks with auto transmissions that are also flat towable. However in recent years the weight and cost reduction in the induction forced many automakers to eliminate the transfer cases in their 4x4 systems. Nowadays if a motorhome owner want to flat tow a 4000 lb vehicle w/o speed limit, he or she has only Jeep Cherokee or 2 dr Wagner to choose, nothing else An lightweight EV is ideal for a RV owner to tow and can be plugged in the campground overnight to charge up. However there is not a single EV on the market that is flat towable.
 
With the recent huge RV boom and popular class B motorhomes and younger owners are more environmentally conscious. The flat towable EV could be an important market for the automaker to tap into. SInce GM is starting a completely new EV strategy, I wonder if I should point out the potential market to the auto industry. 
 
The flat towable vehicles have been a popular topic in many motorhome owners forums. Most of the owners share my frustration about being ignored by the automakers. For example, there is not a single Toyota vehicle with autotrans that is flat towable
 
Respectfully,
Chi
Great point! We’ve got Mark Reuss coming on Autoline After Hours and we’ll ask him about this.

Thanks,
John McElroy
4-8-2022


I caught the podcast and honestly I do not think factually it was fairly presented in a number of ways.
 
1. Overall job numbers have been fairly steady on the monthly average– and these recent numbers are reflecting dues paid impacted by how the companies managed the chip shutdowns in December. The LM2 is a snapshot on Dec. 31 and does not actually fairly represent membership given how it is compiled.
2. The actual cost all in per vehicle last I saw that CAR calculated is only 7% of the cost of the product overall.
3. Your example on discipline did not include the fact that legally there is a duty of representation of all members on disciplinary matters.
4. I’m not aware that the 25% absenteeism you cited is or ever has been accurate – it’s rumor and hearsay. Companies actually under the contract can hire more temporary workers if absenteeism hits a certain threshold and they haven’t come to us at that threshold. That is even the case currently.
5. The absenteeism issue you argue is a headscratcher right now given the industry juggling over supply chain issues. It just is not what you portrayed it as.
6. Organizing is a lot more complex than what you portrayed. That is why the PRO Act is being pushed. Captive audience meetings and other anti-union tactics make it difficult for workers to succeed not just in auto. So too does turnover and temporary workers at non-union plants.
7. Musk currently has an NLRB ruling to reinstate workers he fired and other union avoidance tactics on federal appeal. The NLRB ruled he must take corrective action and he appealed. I wouldn’t say he was taunting. His tweet doesn’t match his legal filings. You have to admit there is a chilling effect when you fire workers for exercising their legal right to organize. I’m honestly surprised you failed to objectively recognize that significant fact and hurdle with Tesla.
 
I’m honestly disappointed in that podcast which no doubt you would expect. But in fairness, I don’t think it was objective or fair. I’m surprised you didn’t reach out ahead of time at least for accuracy input. It seems like there were a lot of loose anecdotes to me that don’t really capture the complexity of the topic you were discussing.
 
Given the significant jobs already announced and coming on line this year is one of growth already. It seems to me a very unfair piece that lacks key objective facts – even for an opinion piece.
 
Brian Rothenberg
United Auto Workers
Director, Public Relations
4-8-2022


Very interesting shows as of late with questions on dealerships, right to repair.
You know my take as the auto industry is like a 3-legged stool: suppliers, manufacturer, dealerships. If all the legs are of unequal length, someone is not getting
their fair share, (suppliers) while another group gets too much (dealerships). Meanwhile corporate is angry with dealerships charging way over MSRP and will 
try to stop it with nasty notes. Realizing that won't work Ford wants to cut out the dealerships entirely on their most in demand electric products. As if the dealerships
will lay down and let Ford roll over them. Meanwhile GM wants suppliers to foot the bill for the increase in shipping costs, which have gone up 3x.
It's a Perfect Storm alright, and this wobbly little stool is going to be washed away. 
 
Plus, the solution of just passing costs to consumers will ultimately result is a consumer revolt which will drive down sales of all cars to heretofore unseen levels, except for the depression.
And their factories are antiquated and inefficient as is their corporate structure. But that's another story. 
4-8-2022


Hi John,
 
I guess you have heard about Felicity Ace the  large cargo vessel carrying cars has sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, thirteen days after a fire broke out on board. 
It made me sad to see all the cars go down to the bottom of the ocean and I started wondering if our current underground garages in many buildings of large cities for parking vehicles have the safety features to extinguish Lithium batteries on fire? I understand that today probably many of these garages have safety sprinkler system and foam based fire extinguishers such that gasoline vehicle fire could be put out, but what about all the safety upgrades that would be needed for EVs to park there? I think this would be a great topic for one of your after hours show. BTW- I love them all keep up the great work!
 
Best Regards,
Martin
 
Will all these parking garage places look a little like this cargo ship?
Blame it on Autopilot is the new “the devil made me do it.”

John McElroy
4-5-2022


To John McElroy
 
Did I miss the episode covering the info below
 
 
Going vertical.
Datasheet   3-31-22
 
Tesla is forcing yet another shift in the automotive world: less reliance on suppliers. As Reuters reported Thursday, several leading automakers developing electric vehicles plan to bring more sourcing, manufacturing, and software development in-house, mimicking the trailblazing Tesla’s approach. The shift toward vertical integration follows a decades-long practice of gathering parts and technology from suppliers across the globe, often in countries with lower labor costs. Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz have all made moves to curtail supplier dependence in recent months.

From the article:

The investments by automakers in mines, motors, and batteries are a departure from decades of handing control over development and production to suppliers, who could produce steering controls, semiconductors, and electronic components at greater scale and lower cost for multiple vehicle manufacturers.

In the new world of electric vehicles, however, investors have decided that Tesla's approach of buying raw materials directly, building its own batteries, and engineering its own software is the winning strategy. Tesla's market capitalization has soared back above $1 trillion in recent weeks, outweighing that of Toyota, Volkswagen, GM and Ford combined.
 
Build or buy? Automakers chasing Tesla rethink dependence on suppliers
Reuters     March 31, 2022 
 

Automakers racing to develop battery-powered, software-driven vehicles to compete with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) are confronting a new challenge: what technology to build themselves, and what to keep buying from suppliers....
 
Regards,
Rich
We’ve been covering the growing interest in vertical integration over the last two years. Here’s an example of a show where it was discussed.
 
John McElroy
4-5-2022


John, in some way and at some time in the future, I'd like to see Autoline explore temporary installations of supplemental battery packs to extend range (for that occasional coast to coast family trip), as well as removals of optional battery packs to lighten battery weight for more efficient inner-urban daily commutes (most of which are <50 miles roundtrip).
 
Tesla's initial gov-funded battery-swap experiment didn't go too well -- and was limited to a single pack per vehicle.  Nowadays, with so many urban Chinese living in apartments without dedicated charging stations, their government is committing more and more resources to battery-swap facilities and processes -- again, limited to a single pack per vehicle, so far.
 
Within your and my lifetimes, we probably won't get to standardized battery-pack sizes using a "best" technology/formula in the USA.  But I do think it likely that future designed-from-scratch BEVs are very likely to have more commonality to their power packs installed in horizontal pancake form between front & rear wheels and between left/right guard-rails/rocker-panels/chassis-frames/unibody-segments.  Whether we call it skateboard, floorpan, or whatever.
 
Which brings me to the idea of supplemental packs to add range or (upon removal) to lighten weight.
 
Although vehicle body mass/weight would vary some, the overall vehicle geometry would essentially remain the same -- with minor lowering of center of gravity.
 
IF home chargers transition to cordless automatic under-vehicle units, I could forsee an under-car unit that could raise/lower supplemental batteries for the DIY owner, while white-gloved folks could rely on local vehicle-service shops and/or auto-dealer maintenance/repair shops.
 
Pete
 
P.S.  My writing this down was provoked by GPratts talk about battery-pack size/weight broadcast locally earlier today
Pete,

What an intriguing idea, you should patent it!

We’ll definitely start asking about this. It sure makes the idea of battery swapping more compelling.

We’ll also publish this letter.

Best,
John McElroy
4-5-2022


John, I heard you say the Subaru’s have the most annoying seat belt chimes. I have no experience with those, but the Subaru drivers are the most annoying drivers I have had the misfortune of driving around, now I will just blame the annoying chimes of getting them raging before they even hit the road!
Ha! We will publish this letter.

John McElroy
4-5-2022


John,
 
You guys do a great job and I really enjoy the new opinion segments on YouTube, specifically last week's episode on the UAW.  You described the pros and cons well and with good examples.  
 
Second, I'm going to the Austin Gigafactory grand opening this week and would be happy to provide any information or try to ask specific questions, if you'd like.  I'm certainly not an insider, employee or other restricted party, but if there are tidbits you or Gary would like to know about line speeds, gigacastings, paint shop, etc. I'd like to help out.  Given the delivery numbers, everyone should be in a good mood!
 
Anyway, thanks again for releasing great shows daily along with the After Hours episodes.  Using podcasts and YouTube is perfect too; video for the designer guests and audio for the journalists or vendors.  The high quality of the guests make each episode valuable!
 
Thanks,
Alan
Columbia, SC
Alan,

Thanks for the offer. And the answer is YES! We’d love to get any info you can provide. Bring a notebook and take plenty of notes.

Since the plant is in a ramp up phase, production numbers, line speed, employment, etc. are probably not where they will end up. But anything you can send us, including your impressions, would be worthwhile.

John McElroy
4-5-2022


Time to build a Tesla EV: 10 hours
Time to build a VW    EV: 30 hours
 
Remember GM’s Bob Lutz saying in 2018 that Tesla would never be able to scale up and be cost effective too ? “Headed for the graveyard”:
 
Bob Lutz apparently didn’t pay much attention to Zip2, PayPal, and SpaceX. 

Regards,
Dave
Dave,

Everyone’s quoting those 10 hours versus 30 hours number, but what they should be referring to is 10 labor-hours versus 30 labor-hours. It does not take VW 30 hours to run a car through its assembly plant. The 30 labor-hour number refers to the fact that VW needs more people to make its cars.

BTW, the best US ICE plant according to the Harbour Report back in the day was Ford’s assembly plant outside of Atlanta. It made the Taurus and Mercury Sable with 18 labor hours.

These comparisons get really tricky. The only way to do a good apples-to-apples comparison is to go into the plants and look at the amount of direct labor that’s getting counted. Does Tesla’s labor hour content include seat assembly, for example? Does VW’s include stamping and molding? Unless you know what work is being counted, these comparisons can be wildly inaccurate and misleading.

Re: Lutz. He got a lot of things right and a lot wrong. He usually ‘fessed up to what he got wrong. Remember, when he said those things about Tesla in 2018, the company was practically bankrupts and Elon was trying to get a meeting with Tim Cook to get Apple to buy him out.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


Good to see back in the studio. It probably feels a bit odd.
I think your earlier comparisons to Ford innovation, vertical integration, and other such similarities, accurate. But come on. The Model T was a single model produced for almost two decades, and Tesla has three with many variations. 
 
One of their aims at Tesla has been to minimize the need for superfluous additional models or model changes which are wasteful, and unnecessary and Tesla is all about efficiency. They championed and have improved upon the OTA update system forcing others to mimic them. Which few have yet to accomplish. When there is a King many want to see him fall especially if his pedigree and family are new to the realm. But he has an army of followers and magnificent machines the like of which the world has never seen. Many have flocked to his banner, and even those that formerly opposed now follow in his wake. Or as Alfred E. Newman would say: "What Me Worry."
Don’t forget that Ford made several variants of the Model t: coupe, roadster, sedan and truck. They all shared the same platform, kind of like the Tesla Model 3 and Y do today.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


Would EV's get better range with less powerful motors? It seems like a lot of EV's are ridiculously overpowered.
Yes, less powerful motors would help increase range a bit. So would using one motor instead of two or more. Check out the Mazda MX-30 as an example of a single, low power BEV. But performance is a key selling point for a lot of EVs, and right now that’s what BEV buyers are going for.

John McElroy
4-4-2022


 Dodge Vipers crushed
 
This story and videos will make any car guy cry.
The horror, the horror!

John McElroy
4-4-2022


why can't the U.S. do more with methanol production? See the link and what Geely and Denmark are doing.
Methanol and ethanol are transported by trucks, not pipelines, because they absorb water easily. Gas stations need different storage tanks and pumps for methanol. So the infrastructure costs are a hurdle.

Also, most methanol is made from coal or natural gas. Green methanol will cost more.

Green methanol may be used in ships, but it will not catch on in cars or trucks.

John McElroy
3-29-2022


The full name of CATL is Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, based in China. Then there is ATL, or Amperex Technology Co. Limited based in Hong Kong, and owned by TDK. In the 1950's to 1980's there was a Amperex Electronic in NY, owned by Phillips, that made vacuum tubes. 
 
I'm confused. Amperex is odd name to be used randomly. What is the connection between these different Amperex's?
Good question, and we can’t find an answer. We do know that CATL was spun out of ATL. Is it possible that ATL acquired the Amperex name from Philips?

John McElroy
3-29-2022


Hi John/Sean,
 
John, you have more industry insight than anyone else I know.  I’m sure you know things that you’re not really privy to speak about to the general public.
 
I have it from a very reliable source that in the future there will be cars that drive by antigravity, levitating only a short distant off the ground.  The technology, at this point in time, is in its relative infancy, but present nonetheless – being worked on heavily by our military.  How much have you heard about any of this?  Anything you can share?
 
Thanks,
Michael
Michael,

I haven’t heard a thing about levitating cars. But I always felt that gravity would one day prove to be the ultimate energy source: it’s available 24/7 with zero emissions.

John McElroy
3-29-2022


John:
 
I enjoyed your piece on electric vehicles.
 
Not spending billions for dedicated plants and dedicated platforms when there’s no confirmed market makes good business sense. Aside from your point about the manufacturers making “a strategic mistake” by not dedicating EV production before there was a proven market, I had one other point that seems to differ from what you were saying.
 
GM was not the only “traditional” manufacturer who shifted to a dedicated EV platform more than “about a year ago.” I’ve seen plans from Ford where they had dedicated plans for EVs about two and a half years ago. Not the Mustang Mach-E GE1 platform, but the dedicated GE2 platform was outlined in 2019. GM’s plan to make high-priced, low-volume models first makes sense for their Ultium architecture, but it seems that Ford’s plan shows a range of high volume models coming from dedicated platforms. Ford’s F-150 Lightning will be converted from the ICE platform, but will be assembled on its own assembly line and only for a couple of years until the dedicated Lightning arrives in a greenfield plant.
 
Sam Fiorani
3-29-2022


Hi John,



Keep up the great work, I enjoy watching your show daily.



As you know we are now in women’s history month in a country/world that is pushing hard for equality for all. While talking with my 8 year old son, he asked what car companies “allow” women and “people who are not white” to be lead engineers or the “boss” (quotes are done to emphasis his words, not mine). He has an older sister who is both a car nut, and about to graduate with her bachelors degree in engineering this year that brought up the discussion, as we want her to experience a company and industry that helps her thrive. We where disappointed to see only General Motors has made progress to an all inclusive board and executive team. Are you going to do a show this month on women in the auto industry so we can see first hand if this is correct? I’m curious if we missed something? 



Thank you,

Jos F
Jos,

We’ve done a lot of shows about women in the auto industry, and we’ve had a lot of women as guests on our shows. So we’ve covered this issue extensively.

Thanks,
John McElroy
3-29-2022


Electric hybrids are nothing new, they're very old, 100 years old. They've been around since the 1900 freight trains.  Amtrak electric hybrids. There's aircraft carriers with nuclear reactor hybrids. Plugins, everything's a plug-in hybrid. Why not? If you can plug it in, why not? It's all plugged into a generator somewhere somehow anyway. The car the future is a plug-in hybrid. You need to plug in, you need the petrol generator diesel gasoline, and you need the electric motor
Andrew,

Thanks for sending the link. We’ve reported on what GM was doing in the Salton Sea area but were not aware of all the geothermal plants that are there.

John McElroy
3-25-2022


We certainly need something like this here in UK  with such congestion difficult to find parking space even in supermarkets and  Gasoline at  £7,50    $ 9.80 a gallon here
Well who knows  - surely someone will put one of these in to production soon  what with parking  and the cost of fuel & taxes etc 
Richard,

Thanks for sending the pic of the Volpe, and of Lewis (Hamilton) in his latest garb!

John McElroy
3-23-2022


Thought this topic might make a good story for Autoline

Recently I have noticed new car headlights I am guessing cars with active high beams are making it very glaring to drive.  Have also noticed many aftermarket lighting both bulbs and additional lights that are excessively bright.  I am 48 years old and have 20/15 vision and I find these new lights make a lot of glare for me.  My parents in there 70's are now avoiding night driving despite not having any vision problems.  For years we were stuck with what I thought were outdated sealed beams.  In time we progressed to halogen bulbs and projector beams and all seemed fine.  I really think manufactures need to tone down their new lighting systems and we need to close the loop hole on off road lighting products that are being source from Amazon and being used on public roads. 

Been a viewer since 1999!  Very much enjoy your programs and coverage.

Keith
3-23-2022


You are rating top ten auto makers by profit. I’d like to see the top ten cost of advertising budget compared to Tesla.
 
Thanks Jim
3-23-2022


Greetings, John McElroy.
 
I like your program on WWJ 950am.   I have a small request regarding Ford and GM.   Both companies are abandoning the affordable vehicle segment.   This is driving me crazy.  I don't see how Ford and GM expect to obtain a loyalty model?  How will they even survive and not go out of business abandoning loyal customers?  The bottom line for me is; both Ford and GM has saying they don't need my business and they are not going to sell me a vehicle I want or need. 
 
This 2022 is the first time in my entire life I purchased a vehicle from a non-America car company.  My Ford dealer sales person would not even make eye contact with me or my wife when I we were looking for a new vehicle.
 
Is Ford and GM using the chip shortage as an excuse to gouge customers by only selling very expensive vehicles?
 
Maybe you can pose my issues as a" question" to your listener base to get ideas and see if other listeners have the same feeling?  Maybe spend a couple of weeks exploring this issue? 
 
Maybe I am the only person that thinks Ford and GM are not going to be around in the future?
 
Thank You for your time,
 
Gary
Canton, Michigan
Gary,

I agree that cars are getting to be too expensive. But don’t forget the Ford Maverick which has a base price around $20,000. And the Chevrolet Malibu which starts around $24,000. Those are very reasonably priced vehicles.

John McElroy
3-23-2022


John,
 
The issueThe issue was not technically “servicing EVs”, but providing premium level service to Cadillac EV owners.
 
Note that most of those dealers have retained GMC (soon to get EVs) and received the all-EV Hummer franchise. Thus they will have the technical ability to service EVs.
 
My understanding is that a Cadillac dealer will have to provide extra EV amenities such as a minimum number of chargers for customer use and special roadside assistance for Cadillac EVs in their franchise area. Smaller dealers can’t afford that.
 
For many dealers, the writing clearly was already on the wall. My former Cadillac-Buick-GMC dealer had a drab waiting room right off the shop. Hardly the lounge off the showroom one would expect of a premium brand.
 
Will
Will,

Great feedback, we’ll publish this in Viewer Mail so others can see it too.

John McElroy
3-23-2022


I purchased a Mach E from a traditional dealer. Transaction was professional and friendly. I’m retired and can remember back in the day when it could be cumbersome.
Thanks for the feedback, Philip, much appreciated.

John McElroy
3-11-2022


I hope you are going to revert to the in-person show format in the near future.  Your on-line show is good but not as good as when everyone is together for the discussion.  I also liked the shows where the "expert" stayed the full hour.  I just thought I would throw in my two cents for what it's worth.  Anything that helps me get back to what passed for normal in 2019, and helps me rid my mind of the words, covid, variant, masks, and all of the unconstitutional BS of the last two years is what I want to see.   It's amazing how badly Ukraine has had it throughout history.  I hope that changes sometime soon.  Maybe 40 or 50 A10's would go a long way toward fixing their current problem.?   On a lighter note; what's on tap for Thursday?   Cheers,  Irvin
3-11-2022


Excellent work John Autoline remains essential  5.00pm viewing here in UK  every day  I never miss even one.
 
With the pandemic,  the shortages , a whole layer of workers  who  took the cue to retire all at once  - now the brutal senseless Russian attack on Ukraine which may well spread  to other European countries yet . US nuclear bombers are on UK  air base runways right now we have seen pictures .
 
Russia quite rightly is being cut off from the rest of the world with both imports and exports .  Their two big things being the export sales of natural gas and oil  and  metals and minerals . In fact they are far and away the biggest world sources of many strategic metals and minerals . They are the suppliers of  all the ingredients of  BEV  batteries for cars . This sudden total shut down of availability for instance sent the price of nickel up 5 fold yesterday morning to £100,000 per ton on the London Metal Exchange . Likewise all other metals are above all time highs . Russia has 90% of the world's Titanium  stocks .Lithium up 300% etc 
 
This situation will certainly go on for months it might go on for 10 years or more 
 
Car prices new,  have gone up very strongly in the last 3 years   BEV cars are already 28% more in price than ICE cars . The new huge price hikes in Battery  ingredients might add $10,000 to the price of a new BEV . 
 
All these world events herald a cost of living crisis for the world . Gasoline  price per US gallon  hit $10/gal yesterday here on forecourts in UK.
 
 This will all trigger a world recession, sales of non essentials will vanish as people pay for food,   energy  and housing . There will be  business bankruptcies, unemployment,  eviction from homes.   
 Demand such as it will be  -  will be for small light fuel efficient cheap to buy  and run new cars 
 
...Something  world car makers have abandoned in favour of the 4000 lbs  gas guzzler. and heavy battery pack ..........Now they really are all geared up to make all the wrong cars from here onwards . Bad times ahead look highly likely now.
 
Keep up the good work  - It would be nice to see you all back in the studio in armchairs with better picture and sound quality and real exhibits in front of you .
 
Still very cold here .
 
Kind Regards



Richard
Richard,

Good to hear from you, though I fear you’re right, the auto industry in the EU and US could be headed into a recession.

Hopefully we can put an end to this madness in Ukraine sooner than later. But as you point out, this could drag on for a decade.

John McElroy
3-11-2022


John,

This might make an interesting topic for a tech update segment.  I read stuff like this all the time from automotive press writers, and yet, I don't think its correct.

Here is a recent example from an article about the new Hispano Suiza:

"The car he ordered is the performance-oriented Boulogne, with a 80-kWh, 700-volt battery pack sending 1,114 horsepower to four electric motors on the rear axle. That’s good for a 2.6-second 0-62 mph run, according to company officials."

In an EV, is the horsepower really coming from the battery pack?  I thought it was dependent on the electric motor and the capacity or output ratings it has.  I know they aren't really in horsepower but that is what most of us can relate to.  In any case, I don't believe its correct to equate a horsepower rating to a battery.  Is that correct?

It seems that you could put any size battery in a given EV and the horsepower would not change, just the range would.  Is that right?

Color me frustrated.  The switch to EVs is bringing a few new concepts for all of us to acclimate to and it would be great if the automotive journalists would help by using proper terminology and providing accurate statements about the vehicles and their components.

Obviously, I am not talking about you or anyone at Autoline Detroit.  Your reporting has always been highly accurate and a great example for others to follow.

Appreciate your input on this!

GM Veteran
Nick,

All a battery does is store electricity which can then be tapped to run through an electric motor. The motor generates horsepower and torque, the battery does not. So you’re right, you cannot equate hp to a battery.

You can increase the output of the electric motor by increasing the voltage and amps. More volts and amps = more horsepower.

If you put a bigger battery in a car, the car will not go faster if the voltage and amperage remains the same as the smaller battery. In that case a bigger battery would only increase range.

Here’s the cheat sheet I put together for gearheads like me to try and understand electric terms:

Kilowatt hours (kWh) = how many gallons in the gas tank
Voltage = fuel line psi
Amps = fuel flow rate

I’m sure electrical engineers will laugh their heads off at this comparison, but it helps me keep things straight.

Hope this helps,
John McElroy
3-11-2022


It's curious that for many years now, China would not allow any car manufacture to sell cars in China unless they are partnered with a Chinese manufacture with, in most cases, a minority ownership.  Now Autoline informs us that companies like GM can build, sell and 100% own vehicle manufacturing in China.   What is the change of heart?  Could it be that now China wants to sell their homegrown cars in the USA without a partner? 
 
Regards,
Bill D
NJ
Bill,

China wanted foreign automakers to teach its automakers how to be real car companies. Mission accomplished. Now it wants to see Chinese OEMs be able to fly on their own.

And to your point, it doesn’t want to see reciprocity laws in the US, Europe, Japan or Korea that force Chinese automakers to find a partner if they want to sell in those markets.

John McElroy
3-11-2022


Good day John and Sean,
A couple of questions on today's Autoline News.
 
You spoke about GM's sales in China, you mentioned Cadillac (doing well) and Chevy (not so good), but you didn't say anything about Buick. How is Buick doing?
 
In the segment on Top Chinese OEM's by production, you mentioned Ford at 3.9 million vehicles produced and Changan at 1.9 million vehicles produced (some of which are made for Ford). Do you know if the Ford portion of the 1.9 million is included or excluded in the 3.9 million?
 
And some auto humor. In the segment on the Hyundai and IVECO joint venture, I think the Hyundai semi concept shown looks like ROBOCOP. LOL. Maybe it can be his ROBOmobile (Batmobile).
 
Best regards,
Mr Dana
Toronto, ON Canada
Mr. Dana,

Thanks for the questions.

Buick is sinking in China. In 2017 it sold 1.2 million cars. Last year that dropped to 820,000.

Yes, the total Ford sales number includes what Changan and Jiangling made for Ford in China, about 620,000 vehicles.

And thanks for the humor, too!
3-11-2022


The power companies say we typically have not had a problem so far and don't anticipate one in the future. This is based on the current take rates for electrical vehicles. The government position is using power from charged vehicles to meet high demand periods. Basically the position for both is that someday a miracle will occur!
 
With current events the gas prices are headed to $7+ a gallon and electric auto sales are poised to go through the roof. My primary concern is that lending institutions will begin to refuse to support petroleum powered vehicle sales since their resale value will immediately drop like rock. 
 
There are about 150,000 gasoline stations in the US, each with 6 to 12 pumps. The miles per tank and miles per charge are rapidly becoming equal. This is the magnitude of availability that recharging facilities will have to support.
 
The government wants everyone to drive electric cars to save the environment. Drilling and refining petroleum apparently only creates emissions if it's done in the United States. Electric vehicles have advantages and some disadvantages. If the market was allowed a choice the electric automobile would establish itself at the rate its market performance deserved. It appears that's not what is going to happen!
3-11-2022


Hello,
Your YouTube clip on '' Here's  why killing of the Internal Combustion Engine will be painful & costly''
 
I am working on converting an internal combustion engine to an external combustion engine using steam, now before you jump to any conclusions, let me add it will be non polluting. Efficiency wise my steam generator is at least twice more than conventional boilers.
 
So ice May not be extinct soon, my purpose of using ec engine is to generate electricity not for mobility, this way the ice industry can be saved as well as other departments like exhaust also, it could be a massive Job saving & investments. 
 
I want the industry to work jointly on this and make this possible. As it is I am already running a two stroke engine but am facing condensation & lubrication problem. 
 
I also believe that this technology has to be taken out of my hands to develop & progress.
 
Is it possible to pass on my email to people concerned in auto industry? vruboiler@gmail.com
 
Regards,
Virendra Gandhi,
Vidyut Renewable Urja.
Virenda,

We’re not sure who we would send your email to, but we will publish it in the Viewer Mail section of www.Autoline.tv so that others can read it too.

Best,
John McElroy
3-11-2022


John is the explainer-in-chief. His new solo videos are so great in explaining, in layman's terms, the ins-and-outs of the business. He has a unique set of talents: knowledge, communication skills, writing ability, and charisma. I'd love to see more of this series. It's terrific.



Thanks so much for a very compelling suite of shows—AAH, Daily, this new series (needs a name), and the granddaddy, ATW.
3-4-2022


One thing you didn't mention of Farley's plan was to sale vehicles, on order.
 
They plan to not have inventory on the lots.  So, no lots?
 
And will that solve the shifts in the market?
 
r work
Ford will probably need dealer lots as points of distribution for EVs. It’ll be easier to ship cars in bulk to the dealers’ lots, then let customers pick them up there, or deliver them to their homes.

John McElroy
3-4-2022


John,
 
I live in San Francisco Bay area and our electricity increased 11% at the beginning of the year to .28 kWh. On March 1, PG&E got an additional 9% increase which translates to .308 kWh. Thats 20% this year so far with more to come later this year. Yes, it is still cheaper than gasoline when used for vehicle travel per mile, but for how long? and it makes the idea of moving to an EV to escape the high cost of gasoline somewhat of a non-starter when you look at it strictly from a cost basis.
 
George
George,

Yikes, those are sky high prices. Thirty cents per kilowatt hour is more than 50% higher than what most of the nation pays. Of course, gasoline prices in California are far higher than in most other states, so EVs still have a bit of an advantage. Even so, price hikes like that for electricity is not going to help sell more EVs.

John McElroy
3-4-2022


Hi Guys,

Great work on all podcasts, please don’t ever quit.

Question, do you guys think that Jim Farley’s move to split Ford Model E out from the ICE division is a move to circumvent the dealer-model like Tesla did?

If so, does this mark the beginning of the end of the dealer-model?

Thanks for all the info,

Michael
Michael,

Excellent question, and I've been wondering the same thing myself. What I think that's likely to happen is the Ford Model E, the EV side of the business, will be treated as a new legal entity. That could allow it to write new franchise agreements with the dealers who decide to sell EVs from Model E. And that franchise agreement will require them to pretty much behave in a direct sales model way. All they'll be is the distribution and service point for EVs. They won't handle inventory, sales, financing, etc. But let's see what actually develops.
2-25-2022


John, doesn't the "S" in MSRP stand for suggested? In my book this would mean Dealers are free to charge above or below the MSRP.
 
My guess is the NADA  will be ready to push back against Manufactures that threaten Dealers on their out the door pricing.
 
One persons view that current car prices are gouging the public is another persons view this is simply supply and demand playing out.
 
The USA has a very mature auto market. The majority of folks don't need a new car or truck, but they may want a new car or truck. If the folks that truly needed a new vehicle were the only ones buying, the demand would drop and the prices would go down some IMO.
 
Instead of saying Dealers are gouging, maybe it is just as true as saying consumers are hoarding.
 
Tom      New Orleans
Tom,

This kind of predatory pricing, where dealers take advantage of their customers, is going to end very badly for dealers. Automakers are hopping mad. Ford and GM sent cease and desist orders to their dealers to stop charging over MSRP. And they’re already cutting the allocation of new cars to the worst offenders.

Ford dealers pocketed $3.6 billion in additional profit in the last year by overcharging their customers. Ford is not going to stand for that. Look for changes to come---soon.

I just heard one horror story of a life-long Mercedes customer, who was quoted a price for a G-Wagon that was $125,000 over the MSRP. After pointing out that he was a loyal customer who had bought multiple cars from that dealership, they lowered their surcharge to “only” $50,000. He walked and vowed never to buy a car from that dealership again.

That’s not the free market at work, it’s price gouging, pure and simple. And consumers are furious.

This predatory pricing is the best argument I’ve ever heard for a direct sales model that bypasses dealers altogether. Car dealers are digging their own graves.

John McElroy
2-25-2022


In your discussions about consumers embracing EV's, I think you don't give enough credit on how designs, features, and marketing can sway the public in that direction. Getting people to buy the latest design with the latest features is what marketing does. 
 
Neil G
Normal, IL
2-18-2022


#3258 "Freedom convoy"
In order for history to judge you more favorably, you may want to re-examine your comments about the issues on the "Freedom Convoy". While I also want to auto industry and other industries to have a free flow of materials for production and distribution, it is important not to discount the efforts of people to resist medical tyranny.

John
Tom,

We firmly support the rights of people to protest. But they don’t have the right to damage the livelihoods of other people. The Anderson Economic Group estimates the bridge shutdown has cost Michigan autoworkers and others $51 million in lost wages.

John McElroy
2-18-2022


My kind of show.  Really interesting!  Jeff Schuster is beginning to see the S curve adoption of BEVs but I believe his perception of where the world is presently located along the curve, and the speed at which we will move up the curve is incorrect.  When I hear talk about what the dealers and manufacturers will offer for sale and how fast they will make it happen it literally makes me laugh. Ultimately, consumers run the show.  They are beginning to see the total cost difference in owning a BEV vs an ICE vehicle.  Almost none of the people doing industry analysis, forecasting future trends, and advising companies where the global market is going, understand how much of a powerhouse manufacturer Tesla will become in a very short period of time.  When Jeff said that Tesla would be in the top 5 in the next 5 to 10 years, that got a chuckle out of me.  Tesla will be the dominant vehicle manufacturer in the world by 2025 or 2026, at the latest, and still years ahead of everyone else in the industry,  Jim Farley and Herbert Diess may be the only legacy auto CEOs that understand where they are in this disruption and they are definitely scared of what they see coming their way.  They have to deal with billions of $$$$ in stranded assets and try their best to change the culture so they can run efficiently enough to compete.  I wish both of them well as there are a lot of jobs at stake, but honestly, I think they are in deep doo doo.  IMHO   I like the show format better when an interesting guest stays the hour.   Cheers,  Irvin
Irvin,

Great feedback, we’ll publish it in Viewer Mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
2-18-2022


Tesla is ahead of current projections, but I was heavy on the back end as I thought it would take a few years to ramp up Austin and Berlin. Plus, now It does not look like the Model C, or mass market inexpensive car may not come for many years. It would break down to around 2.0 million cars produced a year in 2025 in the U.S. as it would probably require a new factory as you suggest, to produce 3 million, though they may keep expanding TX. I don't think they will ever build in MI. Too old school for Tesla.
2-18-2022


Carlos Ghosn and the Culture Wars that Upended an Auto Empire (Greimel & Sposato, Harvard Press, 2021) provides a pretty definitive examination of both Carlos personally and the wider Renault-Nissan Alliance.
 
While most of your featured/mentioned volumes are usually glossies on marques, engines, styling, or racing, plus the personalities involved, the Ghosn affair was large in the not far past automotive press, and also provides key perspectives on the more and more internationalized cross-border auto manufacturing industry/alliances in a smaller and smaller world.
 
Even the brief review/synopsis in the 27Jan22 issue of THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS is highly informative and fascinating.
 
PSN
 
P.S. The book is particularly helpful in deciphering Japanese social norms in law enforcement, judicial system, and business nationalism -- not too long ago still described as Japan Inc. and inscrutable
 
P.P.S.  If memory holds, you weren't silent in the past when covering the controversy/lies at the peak
Peter,

I appreciate the suggestion to cover what Carlos Ghosn is up to these days. I agree that it’s a fascinating story, but I have no interest in helping him tell his side of things.

You may have noticed that no one in the auto industry has come to his defense, not even offering an encouraging word. That’s because no one likes him.

Even though he was treated completely unfairly by Nissan and the Japanese legal system, he also committed a lot of financial chicanery to enrich himself. If not for that he would have emerged from this scandal unscathed.

I interviewed Ghosn on two occasions. I would describe his attitude during his time with me as one of open disdain. Today of course, he’s eager to talk to anyone in the media. I personally have no interest in talking to him.

John McElroy
2-18-2022


Watch "GM is intentionally CRIPPLING the HUMMER EV sales" on YouTube

Jeffrey
Jeffrey,

This is another click-bait video, with a silly premise: that GM is intentionally crippling Hummer EV sales because it really doesn’t believe in EVs.

GM is going to ramp up EV production next year by 350,000 vehicles. Ooops, this guy never mentioned that, did he? Then it’s going to ramp that up to a million EVs by 2025. No word about that either, was there?.

GM has one US assembly plant to make Hummers and Lyriqs. That plant is still in the ramp up phase and yet GM is going to boost its production 6x this year over what it previously announced. It is close to completing its battery plant in Ohio but it’s not finished yet. So to say it should dramatically boost production right now, when the infrastructure is not in place, suggests this “expert” doesn’t understand the automotive business, or jut cares more about viewership than accuracy.

GM is spending $35 billion to develop 29 EV models, to convert more four US assembly plants to make EVs and to build another US battery plant by 2025. It will probably spend than much again from 2025 to 2030. That tells me GM is all in when it comes to EVs.

John McElroy
2-18-2022


Ref:  AAH 589
 
It would be interesting to hear James' opinion on any setbacks there may be in the march to all electric vehicles if the republicans regain the Presidency and/or possibly Congress too.   This scenario seems to be more plausible  now than it was just a year or two ago.  Since a lot of the government regulations are just executive orders that could be reversed, how much does James feel the move to EVs would be effected with a new administration?   Sure the auto industry is fully committed to EVs and would not be deterred by an administration change but would the mix of EVs and ICE vehicles be changed.  Would he believe the timeframe to all EVs be push much further out?  Would incentives on the hood of each EV be eliminated?
 
Regards,
Bill Dilworth
2-18-2022


Good programme John.
 Here in UK  gasoline  is today $9.25/US gal, electricity has tripled in price in the last 48 months - natural gas  is 4 times the price it was 2 years ago.
Public charging stations charge between 4 times and 8 times the cost of domestic electricity than when home charging  so that electric energy per mile  charged in public is no cheaper than gasoline . On top of this we have   to pay between £300 and £600 annual licence to use the roads. As BEV  avoid fuel duty we have just heard  electronically collected charge per mile of  25 cents US/mile   will be applied to all road vehicles by mandatory on board black box which will also monitor your speed and record details of every journey. .. and direct charge your bank account .
A pity many involved in BEV industry  have become like religious zealots with minds close to any alternatives to Lithium ion. Lithium by the way  price is up 300% in last 12 months there is a shortage of cobalt ,nickel  and copper  output is  limited at present . Scarce minerals that  countries can hold the world to ransom  with.
Here 70m population with 40 m road registered vehicles currently 2 % are electric 98% still  ICE  - there is no hope at all of  100% battery in just 8 years time . 
40% of all cars in UK are parked in public streets with no way of home charging .
The roads in UK mainly a narrow single carriageway  2000 year old cart tracks that were tarmaced in the 1930s and with all roads lined with parked cars both sides of the road   - autonomous vehicles are completely impractical on all but airport shuttle buses or  delivering people from long stay car parks .
Car manufacturers are putting all their eggs in the basket of  battery cars . A recession is on the way . Car prices are way too high with far too much expensive equipment - too big too heavy  there will be a  crisis  in car sales  after the current windfall money is gone and massive inflation hits people on the ground  - car makers will have all the wrong models and  bankruptcies and mass lay off s certain .
None of this has been thought through.
Kind Regards



Richard
2-18-2022


John;  Well I have to say that show was exceptional.  James is clearly knowledgeable and he is very good at making statements that make clear what he is trying to get across.  I did pick up some apparent bias on two occasions, near the end when he said he had confidence that the domestic car manufacturers could make a high performing electric vehicle and when he failed to mention the Cybertruck during the pickup truck conversation.  Since Tesla has the highest performing production car in the world, and Tesla is a domestic car manufacturer, and the Cybertruck has one million plus reservations, it's obvious to me that he, like so many others, just can't give Tesla their due!  Maybe he is trolling for a job in the Biden administration?  Lindsay should think about where the cost of ice vehicles is going when the volumes get cut to 25% of what they are presently.  He seems to be thinking that BEVs can't come down in price.?  And, last but not least, this S curve adoption will be consumer driven, not government driven.  What a difference from when Sandy was on a couple of years ago!  Can you spell bandwagon?  John, please continue to be objective as you are one of the few journalists out there who is.    IMHO,  Irvin 
2-18-2022


John I've just seen a supposed break down of US EV sales for 2021, with the model y just ahead of the model 3 and far ahead of the Ford Mustang Mach E. Only problem is adding up the models have Tesla sales of under 400k, far less than the reported 600k+. Is someone counting sales of vehicles Tesla can't deliver for 6 months or more, or counting production exported to Europe, or are there sales missing from these figures? If Tesla really did only sell under 400k, that would be a crushing scandal dwarfing Chrysler's and BMWs past misreporting.
Tesla does not break out sales by region. It only reports global sales, which was 936,222 last year. Inside EVs reports Tesla sold 360,916 cars in the US last year. Wards Intelligence reports it sold 299,186.

John McElroy
2-10-2022


My name is Lester Jones and I became interested in transit in the early 80’s  Transit was a mess. Much was proposed but the only action taken was to create car pool lanes. These lanes still exist but they are very underutilized. Still, there is no mass transit for commuters.
I have an electronics and programing background am interested in creating a useable Rapid Public Transit system. Why are we discussing European traffic?  Although I have traveled the roads of France and some in Germany and Spain,  I do not visualize how PATSi could function in Europe. However, to be clear, the PATSi system can be the most innovative transportation advancement since Dwight D Eisenhower created the Interstate Highways. In fact PATSi utilizes that highway system for passengers to have local, mid-range, and long distance travel.
PATSi travels at freeway speeds, uses Natural Gas + Battery for low emissions, carries 8 passengers in safe isolated compartments, has electronics and outlets in each and costs .30 cents per mile. Fast, Safe, Comfortable, Engaging and affordable. .
PATSi runs on the passengers schedule. The passenger will be boarded within a maximum of 15 minutes after purchasing a ticket and will not stop more than one time in their journey. Passengers will also be selected based upon destination, in order to minimize stops. This makes total travel time more predictable.
In essence my presentation is about “the highest and best use” of our highways. It changes the underutinozed car-pool lanes into a high speed method of fast, safe, and affordable travel.
If this fits your format I have an opening 5 minutes, a nine minute video of the PATSi system, after which I can take questions.
Lester,

Thanks for your letter and telling us about PATSi, it certainly sounds interesting.

We get a lot of ideas and suggestions that are submitted, but our interest is in reporting on products and services that are already developed, not just in the idea stage. If your concept progress to that, please let us know.

John McElroy
2-10-2022


Carbon Capture Technology To Remove 99% of CO2 From Air

The research team’s results showed that an electrochemical cell measuring 2 inches by 2 inches could continuously remove about 99% of the carbon dioxide found in air flowing at a rate of approximately two liters per minute. An early prototype spiral device about the size of a 12-ounce soda can is capable of filtering 10 liters of air per minute and scrubbing out 98% of the carbon dioxide, the researchers said.

Scaled for an automotive application, the device would be roughly the size of a gallon of milk

Chuck
Chuck,

Thanks for sending this to us, sure looks interesting!

John McElroy
2-10-2022


Greetings Autoline:
 
I enjoy your daily and weekly shows on YouTube.   Thank you! 
 
I started watching about two years ago and I keep coming back.  I have learned a lot from your shows.   I have worked in manufacturing my whole career and I love the auto industry.  
 
I appreciate your realistic coverage of the transition to EVs.   My wife and I have owned dozens of ICE cars over the past fifty years.   I recently bought a Tesla Model Y.  
 
This is why I continue watching: 
- I want to understand the automotive industry now, and how it is changing.   
- I want GM and Ford to succeed.  
- I want the European and Asian automakers to succeed.   
- I want to know about the new cars from China that are now being sold in Australia.
- I enjoy seeing John recently on Sandy Monroe’s show.   
- I would love to see you interview Alex Voigt about German Automakers, Labor Unions and Government Policies.
- I own Tesla stock and I want objective coverage of their progress.  If they are making mistakes or doing well, I want to know from you.  
 
One of your most memorable shows for me was after the cybertruck was unveiled.  You interviewed a Detroit newspaper columnist on your weekly show.  He asked his panel of truck owners about the cybertruck and they were interested in how it could save them money.  They did not reject it because it was different.   That is original reporting and it is helpful.  
 
Sometimes, it seems like your experts are holding back about serious problems on the horizon for the global auto industry.   Please help us understand what they are seeing and what can be done to minimize the problems.   
 
Maybe we need an episode about the State of The Global Auto Industry, continent by continent.  
 
See you every day on YouTube.  
 
Please keep up the good work, 
 
Brian
Las Vegas, Nevada
Brian,

Thanks for the great feedback. We’re taking this to heart. On today’s Autoline After Hours we’re taking a deep dive into some of the serious problems on the horizon for the auto industry.

Best,
John McElroy
2-4-2022


Hi - many EV cars claim to be able to recharge their batteries 1400 to 1700 times.  How does topping up an EV battery each night figure into that limit?  Should an owner wait until the battery is at 20% to extend the battery life span?
Absolutely zero EVs claim to be able to charge their batteries 1400-1700 times. They don’t need to. The average car that gets scrapped has 200,000 miles on it. The average EV today gets around 250 miles of range. That means over its lifetime it will be recharged 800 times.

Battery experts suggest keeping a battery between 20% and 80% of charge. If you do that, most batteries should last the lifetime of the car.

John McElroy
2-4-2022


Hi Friends!
 
I've been watching you all for several years now. I never miss a show! I have a 2021 Ram 1500 Limited. I had to wait nearly 6 weeks to get into the service department for warranty diagnostics. Truck has under 6000miles. Dealership ordered 'control arms' as the fix to my suspension squeaks/rattles. First they were on backorder. As of today the second week of April, the parts are set to arrive.
 
I'm curious as to if this is isolated or more widespread. Keep up the great work. I learn a ton from you all every day! I know warranty repairs are a thing and even new stuff breaks or is damaged in transit but the amount of time is staggering.
 
Thanks,
 
John
John,

Your experience matches what we’ve heard from other people. In the same way that there’s a shortage of new cars, there’s also a shortage of repair parts.

John McElroy
2-4-2022


Gents
 
The turnover of executives and changes of strategic direction at VinFast indicate a company that is likely to suffer badly from its rushed decision making and overly aggressive growth ambitions.
 
Having been until recently a motor scooter maker and now an ICE and electric car maker that was first of all planning to grow in the Asian region it is now planning to launch in the second quarter in the USA market and Canada soon afterwards.
 
Along the way they have:
 
1. Bought and then sold within a year the GM proving grounds in Australia and fired the engineers it hired there for vehicle development
 
2. Hired the former Opel CEO who then departed for “personal reasons”
 
3. Hired a Canadian to develop a strategy for entry into the Canadian market who has now resigned after a short time to “pursue other opportunities”.
 
Sure sounds like internal chaos to me.
 
Regards
 
Warwick Rex Dundas
Warwick,

You make great points (as always!).

John McElroy
1-26-2022


The price of gasoline (government subsidies included) is a potential tool that governments could use to get people out of their ICE vehicles.  A gradual withdrawal of government subsidies on gasoline is one way that could happen.  In addition, as demand for gasoline begins to taper downward, the price of gasoline could go up to maintain profit margins.  Just a few thoughts…
1-26-2022


Hello Gary and John,
 
Long time listener, first time caller. Just listened  to the podcast with with Tim Jackson. I just had to send an email about the interview panel. Good grief the verbal acrobatics were impressive.
I bought a VW ID.4 last August from our local VW dealership. Keep in mind, I've bought two previous cars from this dealership. I hated the experience this time. I took almost my entire Saturday, about 5 hours. Afterwards I couldn't recall why I went back there! I agree that service departments are the reason for dealerships to stick around. But, there are plenty of independent repair shops that can step in. I think John was correct in his comment about Amazon and Apple. People obviously love direct sales. If Vroom would have sold me a new car with low APR financing I would have bought from them!
I have to say I think Mr. Jackson sees the writing on the wall but has to fight back against direct-to-consumer. With the wealth of information available online and through YouTube reviews and Instagram (think Jason Cammisa) I almost don't need a test drive.
Mr. Jackson had a nifty story about Henry Ford and the legacy of old dealership agreements. Let's face the facts, Henry hated dealing with consumers. He was focused on two things: producing the cheapest way possible and owning his supply sources so he wasn't relying on outside suppliers.
Tim also mentioned about being one of the first to install an EV charger. My dealership doesn't make the single charger available outside of service hours. So scratch that perk!
As you eluded to, most consumers already know what they want. Paying over MSRP is a reality like the Cox survey showed. This is why consumers will move away from dealership. My decision to not buy a Tesla  was based on cost and the car design. It had nothing to do with an available dealership.
In closing, we used to mail-order from Sears & Roebuck. Then there were local stores, now it's online. Direct sales is the future! Alexa St. John is right, the model is changing. I loved John's example of airline tickets.
 
Thanks for letting me rant. Keep up the great shows!
Cheers,
Jason
1-26-2022


Hi John and Sean,
Did I miss something? What's the deal with some of the car companies naming their concepts "Vision"? Lamborghini, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes, Karma, Sony, Aston Martin
 
Best Regards,
Mr Dana
Ha! Good point. We hadn’t picked up on that. Give yourself a gold star.

John McElroy
1-26-2022


Did you ever hear what happened to the Kandi minicars that were supposed to be sold in the US? There was a bit of hype just over a year ago, but nothing since. They now have an off-road only pickup as well but it does seem they didn't actually get full approval for on-road use for the cars and are selling them as NEVs instead, which might mean they don't get any of the touted incentives. Not sure if they even found any dealers.
Andrew,

You’re right. The Kandi cars you’re referring to, the K23 and K27, are NEVs: neighborhood electric vehicles. They are not allowed on the open road. They can only be legally driven in gated communities, college campuses, or streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The off-road pickup, the K32, comes with only 26 horsepower, which suggests it’s not rated for on-road use either. We asked the company for more clarification.

John McElroy
1-24-2022


My wife saw a car in Camarillo, CA. It had Apple logos front and back. Do you have any info on this?
Larry,

That sure looks like a picture of a Genesis G80. Though Apple was in talks with the Hyundai Group about manufacturing an EV, Apple abruptly dropped Hyundai when it leaked info that it was talking to Apple. I’m not sure I would read anything into the Apple logos on the car. Anyone could have stuck that on their G80. It would be very interesting to know if the car had a manufacturer’s plate on it, but you can’t tell from this picture.

Thanks for sending. Maybe there’s something to it.

John McElroy
1-24-2022


I have been watching the show for quite some time and I enjoy the topics discussed. What is so surprising though is that all we discuss is what companies do and all the technological advances in the are of autonomy.
What we do not talk about is that level 5 and even a reliable level 4 vehicle can not exist without Clear Vision. An area that nobody is spending time to address. Edge detection of object using LIDAR and cameras is lost with lens occlusion and even with redundancy of sensors autonomous systems cannot operate.
I imagine these scenarios:
An autonomous vehicle following another vehicle in a MI dirt road
A park autonomous vehicle overnight with 8 inches of snow.  A remote command is sent to the vehicle to pick you up but the vehicle cannot “see”
Ned I say more?
 
Billions of dollars are spent on LIDAR and autonomy programs as well as digital twin development but nobody is addressing the real environmental requirements to make autonomy a reality.
 
Kind Regards,


D. A.
Demetris,
 
Actually there is a lot of work going into keeping sensors clean. Our most recent report on this came out of our coverage from CES, where a company called TTP is using ultrasonics to keep sensors clean. Here’s the link.

John McElroy
Andrew,

The Wuling Mini EV survives the crash so much better than the other cheap EVs. It would be interesting to find out if GM’s safety people had any input on the design.

John McElroy
1-24-2022


Mr. McElroy 
 
I would like to say that I very much look forward to Autoline each week. I’ve enclosed a video which may prove interesting
 
Paul 
This video from the Manhattan institute raises some good issues. Solar and wind and batteries are not the only answers to the world’s energy needs. We need multiple sources of energy.

But the video also assumes that nothing is ever going to change. It ignores that battery cost is coming down fast and there’s a new generation of batteries coming this decade that does not need rare earth minerals, or raw materials that have to be imported to the US.

Electric generation from solar and wind has essentially zero variable cost. Same goes for hydro power. Once the installed cost is paid for, they generate energy for free. With oil and gas, your variable cost goes up every time you want to generate more energy, because you have to use more oil and gas.

Keep in mind that the Manhattan Institute is mainly funded by oil and tobacco companies. This video attacks solar and wind, and promotes oil and gas. It doesn’t even mention hydro or nuclear. That’s not surprising, knowing where it’s funding comes from.

John McElroy
1-19-2022


John, Sean, and Gary,
 
Attached is an example of why people dislike dealers. It is an order to "reserve" a Toyota Highlander hybrid. I like Toyota hybrids, but their dealers are the worst. ~$1200 of Doc Fee, Doc Stamp, Elec Filing Fee? What BS.  It's the same with multiple Florida dealers I've checked, and was the same before Covid, except that they'd knock a little off MSRP. With my C8 Corvette, it was MSRP plus sales tax, and nothing more. 
 
Another major annoyance with Toyota, is that they won't let you order cars. You can order a MINI from the UK and a Porsche Cayman from Germany, but can't order a Toyota from Indiana. At least that's what I've been told by multiple dealers. Maybe you can get a guest from Toyota on AAH to explain that. I wish there were non-Toyotas I'd want as a daily driver/utility car, but there's nothing else that I like as well as the Toyota hybrids for that use.  
 
Regards,
 
Kit Gerhart
Kit,

It’s disgusting to see some car dealers take advantage of their customers because inventory is tight. On Autoline After Hours, Tim Jackson, the CEO of the Colorado Auto Dealers Association, even criticized dealers for doing this.

Strange that Toyota won’t allow US customers to order the car they want. In Japan, I believe that’s how they do it.

John McElroy
1-19-2022


Please PLEASE don't invite Tim Jackson to AAH again. He would not answer your questions, and would not shut up. Putting it mildly, he was not an asset to your show. 
 
Thanks. 
1-19-2022


Hi,
 
The last time I bought a car from a dealer, it was 'three rings of h*ll.' The first contact were non-technical employees whose goal was to show off and handle test drives of the dealer lot, dogs. The second contact was a 'sales' employee whose purpose was to negotiate an initial price. The third contact was the 'sales manager' who could make a best and final offer. Three rings of dealer h*ll wasting my time.
 
Worse was walking in with my bank financing and insurance only to face more delays trying to up-sell warranty and other nonsense. The worse was 'wait here a minute' while the paper critter went off to do more time delaying nonsense.
 
Your 'dealer rep' did a fine job but no one challenged him on how much many customers HATE the dealer experience. In the world of online purchases, the labor intensive and irritating dealer experience belongs in the 1950s.
 
Bob
Retired engineer
Huntsville, AL
Bob,

Thanks for sharing your experience. We’ll publish this in viewer mail so others can read it too.

John McElroy
1-19-2022


John;  First of all I believe you made a statement during the show that was factually incorrect.  FSD does transfer with the vehicle during a private sale.  When the new owner places the car into their Tesla account everything stays intact and transfers to the new owner.  Also, comparing Tesla's FSD to the GM Cruise system is about like comparing a two year old child's abilities to Elon Musk's.  FSD is being developed to actually think like a human and make appropriate decisions based on what it perceives is needed to safely get to its destination.  I believe that if you dig into the facts about what Tesla is trying to do you will eventually agree with me that there is no comparison between these two systems.  Those who get this are betting on the future when they purchase FSD software.   Respectfully submitted,  Irvin    
Irvin,

Thanks for the correction on private sales with FSD. My understanding is that FSD does not transfer with 3rd party sales, i.e., through car dealers.

FSD is pretty good, but I still prefer Super Cruise since you don’t need to keep your hands on the steering wheel. When GM comes out with Ultra Cruise next year I think it will match FSD in every way. And if Tesla does not go with a driver monitoring system that allows you to use FSD hands free, then Ultra Cruise will be better.

John McElroy
1-19-2022


Good show even if Tim sucked the oxygen out of the room the first half.  I just wanted to say that Alexa's point about generational changes has a lot of validity. However, since I am part of the Silent Generation it isn't all generational. The dealers have only themselves to blame for the stigma attached, and rightly so, to buying a car from them.  I have purchased more than 30 new vehicles during my lifetime so far, and I have almost always been either annoyed or pissed off with the amount of my time they wasted because neither the paperwork nor the car was ready, even though they knew exactly when I would  be there.  No tears for them here.  Love my Tesla. 
1-19-2022


With 69% in the US saying that they would prefer and ICE vehicle over an electrified vehicle it's going to be hard sell to get people to move move to EVs. Cost and charging seem to be the BIG issues for most people. With demand of Lithium, Cobalt, and Nickel go up and in turn driving cost of those materials up, it's hard to see any downward movement is price of Lithium batteries. Let's hope sodium ion can provide an alternative. Then add in supply chain transition issues. In my opinion, by 2030 if you add up all sales of HEV, PHEV, and BEV we might be able to hit 50%, but for BEV we will be lucky to hit somewhere in the 20% range in my opinion. 

Here is the direct link to the Study.
 
George
George,

Consumers in the US don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to EVs. That will change over the next three years when there will be plenty of electric compacts, midsize, full-size trucks, SUVs, CUVs and sedans.

Once consumers have a lot more choice of vehicles, and ones that offer better range and faster charging than they do today, their acceptance of EVs will grow dramatically.

John McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv