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0:27 Toyota & PSA Expand Partnership
1:00 Fiat Makes Big Investment in Italy
2:17 Dan Ammann Named CEO of Cruise
3:03 How Will You Spend Your Time in An Autonomous Vehicle?
4:19 Next-Gen Mustang & Continental Update
4:43 Nissan Reveals New LEAF NISMO Race Car
On today’s show…Toyota and PSA expand their partnership…GM shakes up management at its self-driving unit…and what would you spend your time doing in an autonomous car? All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the voice of the automotive industry.
TOYOTA & PSA EXPAND PARTNERSHIP
Toyota and PSA, the parent company of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, are expanding their partnership in Europe. Beginning next year, PSA will supply Toyota with a compact commercial van which will be sold in Europe under the Toyota brand. The two companies have collaborated on commercial vehicles since 2012. Toyota also agreed to take full ownership of a plant in the Czech Republic the two companies jointly operate. The plant currently makes the Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo.
FIAT MAKES BIG INVESTMENT IN ITALY
And speaking of production in Europe, Fiat announced a big investment for its plants in Italy to try and save jobs. Pietro Gorlier, the new head of FCA’s European operations, said it will spend nearly $6 billion over the next three years on new models and engines. Fiat plans on launching 13 new or refreshed models by 2021 and will focus on developing electric and hybrid models. It also wants to create a common platform to build its vehicles on, for more flexibility and to save money.
And if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out our coverage of the LA Auto Show. John shares his thoughts on some of the most important reveals from the floor of the show. You can find that coverage in the Autoline on the Road section of our website or on our YouTube channel.
Autonomous vehicles will free up time for passengers, so what will they be doing? We’ll have more about that, right after this.
DAN AMMANN NAMED CEO OF CRUISE
General Motors self-driving unit Cruise is shaking up its management. GM’s President Dan Ammann, is taking over as CEO of the company. Kyle Vogt, the co-founder of Cruise and who had been running the company, is now President and Chief Technology Officer. Honda and Japan’s SoftBank, recently made huge investments in Cruise, which pushed its valuation to $14.6 billion. So now that the company is worth so much, GM probably wanted someone with a financial background running Cruise. Plus, this will allow Vogt and his team to focus on developing the technology while Ammann handles the launch of the autonomous, ride-hailing service which is scheduled to kickoff next year.
HOW WILL YOU SPEND YOUR TIME IN AN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE?
And with all the talk of fully autonomous cars, have you ever stopped to wonder what you’d do in a vehicle if you didn’t have to pay attention to the road? Market research company, Ipsos surveyed 130,000 car owners in 9 different countries to see what they would do. The large majority of people in North America, Europe and Asia say they would still spend most of their time paying attention to the road. Next would be personal communication, like talking on the phone, followed by sleeping, relaxing and doing work. I think this survey sheds some light on how little trust people have in autonomous cars right now. As we spend more time and get used to AVs, our trust will grow. And I think it will be really interesting to see how different a survey like this is 5, 10 or 15 years down the road.
Coming up next, Nissan has a unique way to get people interested in its EVs.
NEXT-GEN MUSTANG & CONTINENTAL UPDATE
A quick little update here. Back in June we said the next-gen Mustang would be coming in March of 2022 and Lincoln would axe the Continental in 2 years. Well, AutoForecast Solutions reports, that production of the new Mustang is being pushed back a little, to May of 2022 and the Continental will actually stick around until the end of 2021.
NISSAN REVEALS NEW LEAF NISMO RACE CAR
And speaking of updates, Nissan revealed the new version of its LEAF NISMO RC electric race car. Styling has been updated to better reflect the road-going LEAF EV, which also donates its lithium-ion battery and power inverters to the race car. It now features all-wheel-drive with electric motors mounted at the front and rear. Combined they produce 240 kW or a little over 320-horsepower and nearly 475 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than double the power and torque of the previous model. It also does 0-100 kilometers-per-hour in 3.4-seconds, which is 50% faster. Nissan says it plans to build six LEAF NISMO RC vehicles to deploy around the world, so that fans can experience them firsthand. It’s a unique way to get people interested in your EVs.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching, have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here again on Monday.
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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.