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0:29 China Could Snap Growth Streak
1:12 Tesla Names New Chairman
1:40 Ford & GM Invest in eMobility
2:48 Plastic Nut Wins Automotive Award
3:42 Toyota Turns to Hydrogen for Plants
4:44 Biggest Market Share Gainers in U.S.
On today’s show… Toyota comes out with a hydrogen furnace… car sales in China could drop for the first time in decades… and why in the world would plastic nuts get a big automotive award? All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the voice of the automotive industry.
CHINA COULD SNAP GROWTH STREAK
Is the party over in China? We’re not talking about the Communist Party. We’re talking about China’s car market. It’s been the engine of economic growth for the global automotive industry for over a decade, but now Bloomberg says new car sales could be down for the full year. That’s the first time this has happened in over 20 years. And it’s an across-the-board drop, affecting SUVs as well as passenger sedans. Automakers now face mandatory market share goals with electric cars, just as the market is slowing down. But China is considering cutting the sales tax on cars with 1.6 liter engines or smaller to stimulate demand.
TESLA NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN
Tesla named an existing board member, Robyn Denholm, as its new Chairman. She’s an Australian with extensive business experience, especially in the high tech field. But she also worked for Toyota in Australia earlier in her career. Elon Musk had to step down as Chairman as part of the company’s settlement with the SEC, after he tweeted about having the funding to take the company private.
FORD & GM INVEST IN eMOBILITY
Every time we turn around it seems like car companies are going beyond cars. Ford just bought an electric scooter-sharing company called Spin which operates in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S. And remember, Ford already has an e-bike sharing service in the Bay Area, called GoBike. General Motors just announced its building an e-bike and is offering a $10,000 reward to whoever comes up with the best name for it. Automakers want to become mobility companies that offer any kind of transportation, especially for the last mile. Bikes and scooters are part of that strategy.
The Toyota Mirai runs on hydrogen and pretty soon, so could Toyota’s factories. That’s coming up next.
SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT
Every year for the last 48-years the Society of Plastics Engineers has come together for its Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. So, while it’s obvious that plastics have played a key role in the automotive industry for a long time, there’s still great advancements being made in the field. The Society just announced the most recent winners and here’s a unique application of plastic that caught our eye. FCA is using a self-tapping composite nut on the Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Unlike the metal nut it replaces, the plastic version has self-healing properties that allow it to maintain torque and clamping force, even if it gets stripped. It’s used in 121 locations on the Pacifica, which saves a total of just over 2-pounds and $3.25 per vehicle.
TOYOTA TURNS TO HYDROGEN FOR PLANTS
Toyota produces some very efficient vehicles and soon its plants that make those vehicles will be more efficient too. The automaker has developed the world’s first general-purpose hydrogen burner for industrial use. It figured out a way to slow the combustion process and lower flame temperature, which results in zero CO2 and greatly reduced NOx emissions. The burner will first be used on the forging line at one of Toyota’s plants in Japan and then will replace more natural gas burners at other plants within the Toyota Group.
By one metric Fiat-Chrysler is the best performing car company in the US market, and we’ll tell you why after this.
BIGGEST MARKET SHARE GAINERS
When it comes to figuring out which automakers are doing the best job selling cars, one of the best measuring sticks is market share. It’s so important that automakers fight for every tenth of a percent of share. So let’s look at who’s winning the war so far this year in the American market. Only 7 out of 20 automakers have captured more market share this year, with FCA at the top of the list. It’s gained nearly one point of share, which is almost unheard of. Tesla is next, having picked up half a point. Then come Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, VW and Volvo, which all picked up one tenth of a percent of share. Everyone else either stayed where they are or lost market share.
|2018 U.S. Market Share Gainers|
As you all know, Autoline After Hours comes on later this afternoon. We’re going to have Mike O’Brien, the head of product planning at Hyundai, joining us for that show. Greg Migliore from Autoblog will also be on board. What are the hotspots in the market where Hyundai wants to place its bets? Well, tune in and find out. And if you’d like to ask a question, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, share it on social media, or leave us a voicemail at 1-620-288-6546
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and we’ll see you 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.