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0:32 UAW Uses Non-Union Labor to Build Former President’s House
1:14 Supplier Linamar Partners with Protean Electric
1:49 FCA Reports Good Q3 Earnings
3:03 Hyundai Announces New Design Leader
3:43 Ford & VW Talk AVs & EVs
4:02 Continental Works to Alleviate Traffic Jams
5:03 Ford & GM Lost Millions on Mobility Services
On today’s show… where there’s smoke there’s fire and there’s a lot of smoke around Volkswagen and Ford right now… the UAW builds a retirement home for its outgoing president using non-union labor… and Hyundai goes for another European to run its design operations. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the voice of the automotive industry.
BAD LOOK FOR UAW
Well this sure looks bad for the UAW. The Detroit News reports the union is building a retirement home for former President Dennis Williams using non-union labor. In fact, they may not have pulled a permit for some of the work. On top of that, the construction is going on at the same time the UAW is being investigated by the FBI for lavish spending on fancy trips and luxury items for union executives. The UAW says it hires union labor when it’s available, and that the retirement home is owned by the UAW and not Dennis Williams. But it’s hard to believe the rank and file workers will be satisfied with that explanation.
LINAMAR PARTNERS WITH PROTEAN
Canadian manufacturing company Linamar is forming a partnership with Protean Electric to build hub motors. That’s where electric motors are moved out to where the brakes normally are, just inside the wheel and tire assembly. And they could revolutionize how electric cars are made. Linamar is a well established supplier and it would not enter into this agreement unless it felt confident of getting orders to start building them. The in-wheel motors improve efficiency because they eliminate gearing, transmissions, driveshafts, axles and differentials.
FCA REPORTS GOOD Q3 EARNINGS
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made some pretty good money over the last three months. It sold over 1.1 million vehicles in the 3rd quarter, up 3% from last year. Thanks to selling a mix of more expensive vehicles, revenue jumped 9% to nearly 29 billion euros. That boosted its operating profit 13%, but its net profit fell 38%, largely due to a 700 million euro fine FCA had to pay to Uncle Sam for cheating on its diesel emissions. Otherwise, FCA says its net profit would have been up 51%. Even though this beat Wall Street’s expectations, and despite announcing a special 2 billion euro dividend, investors yawned. FCA’s stock dropped nearly 2% yesterday.
|FCA Q3, 2018 EARNINGS
Once again Hyundai is showing a preference for European designers and that’s coming up next.
HYUNDAI ANNOUNCES NEW DESIGN LEADER
Hyundai just announced that Luc Donckerwolke will take over as head of design when Peter Schreyer retires. Schreyer led a revolution in design at Hyundai and Kia which transformed the looks of their vehicles. How interesting that the proud Korean company now wants seasoned European veterans overseeing its design. Schreyer, a German, started his career at Volkswagen, and had a major influence on Audi. He made his way over to Kia in 2006 and was eventually named one of three presidents of the company. Donckerwolke is from Belgium and spent a good chunk of his career at VW, working with Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini.
FORD & VW TALK AVs & EVs
We know that Ford and Volkswagen have been working on some sort of big partnership. Now Reuters reports they’re in talks to develop self-driving and electric cars. An alliance like that could save the companies billions of dollars in research, development and manufacturing costs and could be announced before the year is out.
CONTINENTAL WORKS ON TRAFFIC JAMS
Traffic congestion in urban areas is a growing problem and the supplier Continental believes autonomy and ride sharing can help alleviate traffic jams. It’s currently testing a prototype autonomous pod called the Continental Urban Mobility Experience or CUbE for short. It seats six people and can be summoned with a smartphone app. The vehicle is made by French company EasyMile but the rest of the sensors, control units as well as communication and networking technologies were developed by Continental.
Automakers hope to make a fortune on autonomy and mobility services, but right now they’re racking up massive losses and that is coming up next.
GM & FORD LOST MILLIONS ON MOBILITY
GM and Ford are investing heavily in autonomous cars and mobility services, but so far they’re just piling up a bunch of red ink. GM lost $534 million on Cruise Automation so far this year. That‘s 17% more than it lost last year. Ford lost $364 million on its mobility efforts, but it did earn $18 million in revenues from Chariot, Ford Commercial Solutions, City Challenges, Transloc and Autonomic. And maybe it made some money delivering Domino pizzas in autonomous cars. Here’s our Autoline Insight. Both GM’s and Ford’s mobility businesses are in their infancy, so it’s no surprise they’re losing money. We give them a lot of credit for posting these financial numbers at such an early stage. It’s a gutsy move. Over the next few years we’ll really have to watch where these numbers go. Because if they start posting big growth in revenue, Wall Street is going to sit up and take notice. And that could drive the price of their stock up higher than it’s been in decades.
Hey, don’t forget to join us later this afternoon for Autoline After Hours. We’re going to take a deep dive into the all-new Chevrolet Silverado because we have Tim Herrick, the chief engineer on the truck as our guest. Bob Gritzinger from Ward’s Intelligence will also be there. If you have questions you’d like to ask send it to viewermail@Autoline.tv, or you can always contact us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Then join John and Gary, on our website or YouTube channel, for some of the best insights into how the auto industry actually works.
And that’s it for today, see you 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.