0:30 Tesla Suspends Model S & X Production
0:49 Uber Settles Out of Court
1:02 World Sales Drop
1:23 VW Considers Truck IPO
2:15 SF Motors Touts 1,000 HP
2:56 Bullitt Is a Pricey Mustang
3:17 EU Mandates eCall
4:17 Are Design Clinics Helpful?
On today’s show…Holy Moly, electric cars with more than 1,000 horsepower!…Tesla hits the panic button over Model 3 production…and we tell you what automotive designers think about design clinics. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily, the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
HEY YOU, START BUILDING MORE CARS!
Tesla is suspending production of the Model S and X today as it struggles to boost production of the Model 3. If Tesla misses its target of making around 2,500 Model 3’s a week its stock could take a pounding from Wall Street. So it’s all hands on deck.
UBER SETTLES OUT OF COURT
Uber settled out of court with the family of the woman who was killed by one of its autonomous vehicles. Financial details were not revealed, but settlements like this usually involve two to three million dollars.
WORLD SALES DROP
Weak demand in the U.S. and a big drop in China caused world vehicles sales to slip in February. WardsAuto reports automakers sold 6.9 million vehicles, down 2% compared to the year before. However, when combined with January, total sales are up 2.6% for the year.
VW CONSIDERS TRUCK IPO
In another sign that Volkswagen needs cash in its rush to develop electric cars, it’s looking into spinning off its heavy truck division. That would include Volkswagen Truck & Bus, MAN and Scania. Analysts say an IPO could bring in more than $12 billion for Volkswagen, which had to pay out more than $30 billion in fines, buybacks and make-goods over its diesel emission cheating scandal.
OMG, how would you like to be able to park 1,000 horsepower in your driveway? That’s coming up next.
SF MOTORS TOUTS 1,000 HP
We’re getting a first look at the electric cars coming from SF Motors, called the SF5 and SF7. It’s also teasing what could be a CUV. SF says they have 1,073 horsepower and 300 miles of range. The SF5 goes on sale next year. The batteries are being developed by Martin Eberhard who developed Tesla’s battery pack based on 18650-type batteries. We think the front end is reminiscent of the new nose going on the Ford Fusion. SF Motors is a Chinese-owned company, with headquarters in San Francisco and manufacturing plants in China and Mishawaka, Indiana.
BULLITT IS A PRICEY MUSTANG
We now know what it will cost to feel like the King of Cool. The new Bullitt Mustang is priced at about $47,500 including destination charges, which is more than $11,000 on top of a Mustang GT. Orders for the Bullitt are open now, with sales starting this summer.
EU MANDATES eCALL
Vehicles that can talk with other vehicles and the infrastructure will greatly improve safety and now the European Union has mandated that all new vehicles built after April must have an automatic emergency call function, called eCall. If a vehicle’s airbag control unit is triggered, an emergency alert is sent out with the vehicle’s exact location. The alert can also be sent manually if someone were to witness a serious accident. It’s believed eCall could reduce response time by 40 to 50% depending on where the accident occurred.
What do car designers think about holding design clinics with consumers? We’ll take a look at that, right after this.
ARE DESIGN CLINICS HELPFUL?
For designers, creating a new style for a brand isn’t an easy task. How do you know what the public will actually like? On Autoline This Week, John sits down with designers from Jeep, Buick and Ford and discussed the pros and cons of holding a clinic to gauge the public’s reaction to a new design.
(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.
To learn more about how cars are designed, you can watch that entire show right now on our website, Autoline.tv or on our YouTube channel.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us again next week.
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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.