0:30 Ford Shops Its South American Unit
1:15 Magneti Marelli Buys Autonomous Tech Company
1:56 Toyota Details Electrification Strategy
3:07 Faraday Future Completes 1st Body-in-White
3:43 Tesla to Boost Model 3 Production
4:18 New Tesla Update Includes Atari Games
5:14 July Sales Results
On today’s show… Tesla says it will build 6,000 Model 3s a week by the end of the month… automakers post a slight gain in sales in the U.S…. and Toyota shares details about its electrification strategy. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
FORD SHOPS ITS SOUTH AMERICAN UNIT
Under new CEO Jim Hackett, Ford announced a global restructuring plan, which it said would take 5 years and cost the company $11 billion. It’s already getting rid of most of its passengers cars in the U.S. market to cut costs and now it’s trying to get rid of another money-losing operation. According to sources, the automaker has started shopping its South American unit to FCA and Volkswagen. However, Ford denies the report. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see it leave the region. Despite $5.8 billion in sales last year, its operations there haven’t turned a pre-tax profit in 6 years and has lost $4.2 billion in the market over that time.
MAGNETI MARELLI BUYS AUTONOMOUS TECH COMPANY
We recently reported that FCA plans to spin-off its in-house parts company, Magneti Marelli, and in a move to help bolster the company, Magneti announced it’s buying a French autonomous tech company called SmartMeUp. SmartMeUp focuses on “perception software” for autonomous vehicles, which includes software that processes sensor signals and tracks objects around the vehicle. SmartMeUp has also developed Smart Corner technology, which uses sensors in the headlights to guide autonomous vehicles. Magneti Marelli says the expertise and tech they will acquire from this deal will be key for the future of autonomous vehicle development.
TOYOTA DETAILS ITS ELECTRIFICATION STRATEGY
Recently we told you about Toyota’s Class 8 hydrogen-powered semi-truck and now we have more details about the company’s overall electrification strategy from WardsAuto. One of the main technologies Toyota is working on is solid-state batteries, which it hopes will help bring EV costs down. In the early 2020’s the automaker will have 10 battery electrics in China, which will then be introduced to Japan, Europe, and the U.S. Toyota is targeting sales of 5.5 million electrified vehicles globally by 2030, with more than 1 million of those zero-emission vehicles. It also says it expects to sell 30,000 fuel cell vehicles a year globally after 2020.
Still to come… Faraday Future takes another step towards competing with Tesla.
FARADAY CLOSER TO DELIVERING 1ST VEHICLES
Faraday Future, the upstart electric vehicle company, has completed the first body-in-white of its FF 91 electric SUV. The FF 91 was revealed at CES in 2017 and has a claimed zero to sixty MPH time of under three seconds. The luxury SUV has been in testing for the last two years and is already taking orders for delivery. Faraday Future is backed by Chinese investment and has a factory in Hanford, California. The first FF 91s will be delivered at the end of this year through the middle of 2019.
TESLA TO BOOST MODEL 3 PRODUCTION
Tesla burned through less cash, about $160 million, than analysts were expecting in the second quarter and that sent stock of the electric car maker up over 5.5%. The reduction of cash flow comes as production of the Model 3 picks up and Tesla says it expects increase its weekly number of Model 3s to 6,000 by the end of this month. It says that would translate to about 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3s in the 3rd quarter, which would be a big jump in what it has produced so far.
NEW TESLA UPDATE TO INCLUDE ATARI GAMES
Elon Musk also revealed on Twitter some of what customers can expect with its next software update. Interestingly, it will include fully functioning games from the classic Atari system, one of which will be controlled by the car’s steering wheel. A “party & camper mode” allows its cars to maintain airflow, temperature, some lights and more for 48 hours or more while parked. And the update will also include a dash came and an improved Autopilot system.
Automakers posted a slight gain in sales last month in the U.S. and we’ll dive into the numbers, right after this.
JULY SALES RESULTS
Automakers reported their U.S. July sales numbers and while the market did soften a bit, they aren’t too bad. According to WardsAuto, carmakers sold 1.36 million vehicles on a daily selling rate basis, which is up slightly from the year before. However, the SAAR dipped to 16.68 million units, which is down from June’s 17.2 million figure, but it’s pretty much the same as July’s 2017 SAAR. And passenger cars continue to tumble. The segment dropped by over 86,000 units compared to last year. But crossovers, SUVs and pickups remained strong, posting a 4% gain in July. Amongst the full-line manufacturers, GM posted a nearly 1% increase, while Toyota’s sales fell 2%. Ford was up ever so slightly, but FCA had a real strong month with a 10% increase in sales. Honda dropped 4% and Nissan’s sales tumbled nearly 12% last month. Overall, sales are up 1.3% for 2018 in the U.S. and while it’s not much, it’s not too shabby, considering most analysts were predicting a drop in sales this year.
|U.S. July 2018 Sales|
|U.S. July 2018 Sales|
|Top OEMs in July|
And don’t forget to tune into Autoline After Hours this afternoon. John and Gary are at the
Center for Automotive Research’s MBS conference and will be talking to Andrew Lund, an engineer from Toyota and Jeff Stout from Yanfeng Interiors about the new trends in automotive technology. So tune into the show at 3PM today on our website, Autoline.tv, for some the best discussions in the auto industry.
And speaking of MBS, be sure to check out our coverage of the conference. John is talking to the experts about new technology and issues facing the industry. Look for those interviews on our website, Autoline.tv.
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.