0:32 GM Wants Major Cost Reductions in Korea
1:13 F1 Halo vs. IndyCar Windshield
2:19 Mercedes-Benz Unveils New AMG G-Class
2:51 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Slightly Refreshed
3:00 Toyota Teases New Sports Car Concept
3:11 Tesla Model 3 Interior Impressions
4:50 EVs Still Face Cost Challenges
On today’s show… GM is pulling out of operations around the world and now South Korea is feeling the pressure… Mercedes shows off the performance version of the new G-Class… and we’ll tell you why batteries may not replace the internal combustion engine in the next 40 years. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
GM KOREA FEELS THE PRESSURE
General Motors is retrenching worldwide from money losing operations. So far it’s sold off its operations in Europe, stopped manufacturing cars in Australia, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and South Africa, and stopped selling cars in India. Now South Korea in its crosshairs. Reuters reports it lost $1.8 billion there over the last three years. GM will close one of its 4 assembly plants in South Korea and wants major cost reductions at the other facilities. GM also does a lot of engineering and R&D in South Korea, but mainly for small cars and the company doesn’t make much money on small cars.
HALO VS. WINDSHIELD
IndyCar and Formula 1 are experimenting with new safety devices to protect drivers from flying debris, but each series is taking a different approach. Starting this year, Formula 1 cars will have what it calls a halo protection bar. While F1 says, it provides the best overall performance, it’s kind of surprising, since there’s still gaps where debris could hit drivers. IndyCar is testing a windshield to protect the cockpit. It’s made by PPG Aerospace out of a material it uses to make canopies for fighter jets, but it will not be mandated until next year at the earliest. But then there’s the matter of esthetics. We think the F1 halo looks pretty dorky. What do you think, halo or windshield?
And we’ll be back with more right after this.
MERCEDES UNVEILS AMG G-CLASS
Mercedes will unveil the performance AMG model of the G-Class SUV at the Geneva show. Styling touches include an AMG-specific grille, flared wheel arches, side exhaust pipes and 21- or 22-inch wheels. Under the hood is a new 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes about 580-horsepower. It gets mated to a 9-speed transmission with AMG-specific drive modes as well as the newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension.
MAYBACH S-CLASS SLIGHTLY REFRESHED
M-B also slightly refreshed the Maybach S-Class, with a new grille, two-tone paint job and unique interior combinations.
TOYOTA TEASES RACING CONCEPT
Toyota teased this picture of a modern racing concept and said it’s bringing its most iconic sports car back to market. Can anyone say Supra?
TESLA MODEL 3 INTERIOR
All week long we’ll be showing you the latest that Munro & Associates found in its benchmarking study on Tesla’s Model 3. Here’s the latest
(Clip from Tesla Model 3 interior can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
We’ll have more to show you all week long on what Munro and Associates is learning from its benchmarking study on the Model 3.
What did Don Runkle mean when he said the Chevrolet Bolt EV has a $12,000 gas tank? That’s coming up next.
EVs STILL FACE CHALLENGES
Don Runkle was our guest on Autoline After Hours and one of the things he talked about is the challenge electric cars face. Keep in mind that Runkle was a key player in bringing the GM EV1 electric car to the market and was the chairman of the US Automotive Battery Consortium to develop EV batteries. Even so, he’s very skeptical that batteries will replace the internal combustion engine in the next 30 to 40 years. Except, he doesn’t call them batteries, he calls them the gas tank.
(Clip from AAH w/ Don Runkle can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Runkle has a lot more to say about future technology and the automotive industry and you can watch that entire show on our website or YouTube channel. And then don’t forget to join us this Thursday for Autoline After Hours when John and Gary give you some of the best insights as to what’s happening in the automotive industry.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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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.