0:30 Geely Buys Stake in Daimler
1:05 Driving A Sports Car Is Good for Your Health
2:15 Fuel Cells Making Progress
2:59 Luxury SUV Sales Leaders
4:19 You Said It!
On today’s show…a Chinese automaker buys a chunk of Daimler…Ford says it has scientific proof that driving a sports car is good for your health…and John answers your questions and comments in You Said It! All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
GEELY BUYS STAKE IN DAIMLER
Chinese automaker Geely, the parent company of Volvo, just bought a stake in Daimler. Reuters reports its likely less than 3%, because anything over that level requires a regulatory disclosure in Germany. Geely wants an alliance with Daimler to get access to its EV technology and to establish an EV joint venture in Wuhan, China. However, Daimler is hesitant to form a partnership with Geely. It already has a joint venture with BAIC. And It rejected an offer from Geely in November for a 5% stake in the company.
DRIVING A SPORTS CAR IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Feeling a little down in the dumps? Then buy a performance car. A study done by Ford shows driving a sports car daily is one of the best ways to boost your sense of wellbeing. Using medical equipment, the study measured periods of peak excitement, what Ford calls “buzz moments,” during a number of activities. And found that driving produced more “buzz moments” than things like watching a sports game or a passionate kiss with a loved one. And only ranked second to riding a roller coaster. The study is all part of looking into how vehicles can better understand and respond to drivers’ emotions. But the next time someone tells you, you don’t need a sports car, just tell them it’s good for your health.
When it comes to luxury SUVs one company stands out above all others and we’ll tell you who, right after this.
FUEL CELLS MAKING PROGRESS
Fuel cell vehicles face an uphill climb, but they are making some progress. According to Information Trends, from 2013 through the end of 2017, only 6,475 fuel cell vehicles were sold globally. And California accounts for half of those sales, followed by Japan. Even though fuel cells are way behind BEVs, the researchers say fuel cells will become more popular in the long run, once more hydrogen refueling stations are built. We recently learned that ExxonMobil is researching how to manufacture hydrogen at gas stations to get around the infrastructure issues. They says it’s far easier to strip hydrogen from gasoline than to get it from water.
LUXURY SUV SALES LEADERS
The people have spoken. They want SUVs and crossovers. And that’s especially true in the luxury segment. Automakers make more profits on these vehicles than in any other segment, so who’s doing the best? Lexus sells more than anyone else, by far, thanks to the strength of the RX. Mercedes doesn’t sell as many but has more models straddling a wider price range. Audi looks like it’s going to catch BMW, and Cadillac should do better after the XT4 is unveiled next month. You’d think that Land Rover would do better but it doesn’t have as many dealerships as the others ahead of it. The full chart is included in the transcript of today’s show at our website, www.Autoline.tv.
|BATTLE OF THE LUXURY SUVS|
|U.S. MARKET, OCT-DEC, 2017|
|BRAND||# MODELS||SALES||% CHANGE|
Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!
YOU SAID IT!
lambo2015 saw our report that battery electric cars account for only 0.7% of the U.S. market, but regulations stipulate they must hit over 15% by 2025. He wants to know “So what will regulators do in 2025 when BEVs struggle to achieve 5% of sales and manufacturers are making cars no one wants?”
I think the industry is headed for a disaster Lambo. Around 2021 or 2022 there will be over 120 different BEVs hitting the market in the U.S. I just don’t see consumers buying all those electrics. That means there will be massive incentives and prices will collapse. There will be headlines all over the world the electric car mandate is a failure. In China many automakers will have to buy large amounts of credits to meet the law because it’s unlikely that even the Chinese consumer will adopt EVs fast enough to absorb all the manufacturing capacity being thrown at electrics. Now, having said that, I believe the world will still go electric over the long term because EVs are generally more fun to drive.
Kit Gerhart wants to know, “Does Ferrari make money from their F1 team, or only spend it?”
Kit, Ferrari makes a profit on its F1 team. It receives far more support money from F1 than any other team. Some estimates are $180 million a year. That’s nearly $100 million more than F1 gives to McLaren. This is why some of the lower teams are complaining about the system. Why race if you know you never have any chance of getting on the podium, much less winning? Even though each team can raise its own sponsorship money, that’s really hard to do.
buzzerd saw our video with Sandy Munro with his critique of the Tesla Model 3, especially about the process of emergency workers cutting into the car after an accident. Sandy talked about whether or not emergency workers would even know where to cut. Buzzerd says ”You had a firefighter call in and say his department had detailed drawings for all the cars…. well, my department employs about 200 men and I can tell you we don’t have and have never had any type of information like that.”
Tesla does make that information available online. But I suspect your fire department is like most others. They aren’t aware its available, haven’t downloaded it, and when seconds count to save someone’s life, this is a problem.
Dan Sanger also has a question about the Model 3 video. “It’s kind of strange that you’re only highlighting what you see as flaws. I’d like to see some coverage of engineering advancements, too.” All I can tell you Dan is stay tuned. More to come.
John Denison says “It’s very sad that Autoline has lost its objectivity — Why the anti-Tesla sentiment and not other makes?”
John, where have you been? We critique all kinds of cars, pointing out the good and the bad. It’s been an eye opener for me that any criticism of Tesla produces the most angry backlash from its supporters. The Model 3 is a car that is underdeveloped, was rushed to market before it was ready, and is struggling with a manufacturing process that was poorly conceived. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a car company botch the launch of a car as badly as Tesla has. And look, I want them to succeed. I think it would be cool to have an upstart crack open the market and be successful. And here’s a word of advice to all you Tesla fans. You don’t do the company any favors by patting it on the back for a job poorly done. You should demand excellence from this company and see that it delivers. Otherwise it’s not going to survive.
And with that we wrap up today’s report. Thanks for making Autoline Daily a part of your day.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.