0:31 GM Sells More Pickups Than Ford
1:28 Genesis Switching to Build-to-Order Model
2:59 Ex-Tesla Employee Makes Damning Claims
3:49 BMW Shows a “Concept” at Goodwood
4:47 Fusion Name Will Live On, Likely as Wagon
5:54 Why VW Won’t Electrify the Jetta
On today’s show… Ford is killing the Fusion sedan but its name will live on… Genesis sales are plummeting but the company says that’s all according to plan… and GM passes Ford in overall pickup market share in the U.S. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
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GM CLAIMS PICKUP CROWN
The Ford F-Series is by far and away the best-selling pickup in the U.S. But when you factor in mid-size trucks, GM is on top. Through the first six months of the year, GM sold over 478,000 pickups, up 12% from last year. Ford sold 451,000 trucks during the same time period, which is a 5% gain. Last year, the two companies were tied in pickup market share but Kelley Blue Book reports that GM’s is now at 34%, 2% ahead of Ford. But GM’s time on top could be short lived. The company is boosting sales by clearing out inventory of old GMC Sierra’s and Chevy Silverado’s, to make way for the new versions which come out later this year. And the Ranger makes its return to the U.S. next year, which should help put Ford back on top of the pickup battle.
|Pickup Truck Sales YTD|
GENESIS MOVING TO BUILD-TO-ORDER MODEL
The luxury brand of Hyundai, Genesis, is watching its sale plummet in the American market. But that’s all according to plan, says Kyung Soo Lee, the president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He says Genesis is going to move to a build-to-order model, where cars are only built once customers order them. Genesis sales fell 52% last month and are down 27% for the year. Lee says he’s deliberately working down inventory to get ready for the build-to-order model. According to data from Wards Auto, inventory of the Genesis G80 is down 62% compared to last year. G90 inventory is down 36%. Genesis is also slashing its U.S. dealer count, as it transitions away from Hyundai dealerships and moves to stand alone stores. “You can’t sell Genesis next to Elantras,” says Lee. Genesis will announce its new dealer lineup in a matter of weeks. And only those dealers will be allowed to sell its current cars and the brand new G70.
Still to come… BMW creates a lightweight concept of the M2 for the Goodwood festival.
EX-TESLA EMPLOYEE MAKES DAMNING CLAIMS
Last month Tesla CEO Elon Musk accused a former employee of sabotaging the company, saying he wrote a computer program to access proprietary information, sent material to three unidentified entities and attempted to cover his tracks. But now that employee has his own accusations. Martin Tripp, who was a process engineering technician at Tesla’s Gigafactory, not only says the company inflated Model 3 production numbers by as much as 44%, but alleges Tesla installed batteries with holes in them, placed battery cells too close to one another and didn’t properly secure them. Tripp is in the process of hiring a lawyer, but is having trouble finding someone that will represent him and has even started a GoFundMe page to raise money for a legal team.
BMW SHOWS “CONCEPT” AT GOODWOOD
Many automakers use SEMA to highlight how customers can trick out their rides using aftermarket parts, but BMW will be taking its talents to Goodwood. The M Performance Parts Concept, which is based on an M2, will make its debut at the Festival of Speed and features two main ingredients: carbon fiber and Alcantara. The grille, hood, roof, side panels, tailgate and rear diffuser are all carbon fiber. And that’s just on the outside. The handbrake and seats are also made of carbon fiber and are wrapped in Alcantara, as are the door panels and steering wheel. But it’s for more than just show. The aerodynamics have been improved and weight was reduced by more than 60-kilograms or over 132-pounds. The M Performance Parts Concept will make the march up the hill at Goodwood, which kicks off today and ends on Sunday.
IT’S ALL IN A NAME
The Ford Fusion will live on… though in name only. According to a report in Bloomberg, Ford is going to use the “Fusion” name for a wagon it’s designing to compete with the Subaru Outback. It will maintain the same mechanical underpinnings as the current Fusion sedan, but with a raised, hatchback body. And the move makes sense to us. Despite Fusion sedan sales falling off a cliff, the name, which Ford spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting, still carries awareness with customers and the automaker is doing nearly the exact same thing with the Focus in the U.S. The only version of the Focus that will live on is a raised hatchback, called the Focus Active.
Coming up next, Volkswagen explains why you won’t see an electrified version of the Jetta.
JETTA DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ BATTERIES
Volkswagen is spending billions of dollars to electrify its lineup but it’s not giving up on the internal combustion just yet. Recently on Autoline After Hours we were joined by Daniel Shapiro, the Product Manager of the Volkswagen Jetta. And he explained why the company doesn’t have any plans to electrify the vehicle.
(Clip from AAH # can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours this afternoon when we’ll have a Panhard Dyna Z16 in the studio. Joining us is Ken Nelson, an expert in unusual cars, who will explain what this thing is all about. So, tune in at 3PM eastern time on our website Autoline.tv, for some of the best insider discussions 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.