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0:07 Hyundai Paves Way for New Leader
0:41 Peugeot Coming Back to the U.S.
2:11 SEC Goes After Elon Musk Again
3:18 Next-Gen Porsche Macan Going Electric
3:43 Volkswagen Creates New Software Division
4:27 New Kia Soul Updates & Impressions
This is Autoline Daily reporting on the global automotive industry.
HYUNDAI PAVES WAY FOR NEW LEADER
Hyundai is paving the way for a new leader. Euisun Chung was just named CEO of the company. He’s the son of Chung Mong-koo, the head of the group. If the board approves the promotion next month, he’ll be one of four CEO’s at the automaker. Euisun Chung became the de facto leader last year after he was named Executive Vice Chairman. And this latest move puts him one step closer to succeeding his father who is 80 years old and hasn’t appeared in public for nearly two years.
PEUGEOT COMING BACK TO THE U.S.
A few years back, PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, revealed plans to gradually return to the U.S. market. The first phase was launching a mobility service called Free2Move, which it did in Washington DC last year. The next goal is to become a full retail brand within the next 10 years but it didn’t have a timetable for that. Until now. PSA CEO Carlos Tavares revealed that the company will start shipping Peugeot’s from Europe or China to the U.S. in 2026. Peugeot wants to return to the U.S. so it doesn’t rely so heavily on Europe, which accounts for 80% of its sales. It’s also struggling in China, where it lost over $330 million and saw sales drop by a third last year.
And be sure to tune into Autoline After Hours this week. Our special guest is Bob Krempke, who’s a historian of the Ford Motor Company. If you have any questions, send them our way to email@example.com or message us on social media. That’s this Thursday at 3PM eastern time.
SEC GOES AFTER ELON MUSK AGAIN
Elon Musk certainly hasn’t made any friends at the SEC. He first came under fire for Tweeting that he was thinking of taking the company private and had the money to do so. And then for calling the agency the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.” Now the SEC is asking a judge to hold Musk in contempt for violating the terms of their settlement. It stems from a Tweet on February 19th where Musk wrote “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.” The SEC claims that could be seen as material information about the company to investors and per the terms of the settlement Elon is required to seek pre-approval from the company for social media posts and other written communication that could be seen as such. Tesla shares plunged nearly 5.5% (at the time of this writing) on the news and some analysts say there’s a possibility Elon could be barred from running Tesla or any other public company.
PORSCHE MACAN GOING ALL ELECTRIC
Porsche has announced that the next generation of the Macan will only come as an EV. It will be made in Porsche’s plant in Leipzig, Germany and like the Taycan, will feature 800-volt battery technology and be based on it’s Premium Platform Electric architecture. The electric Macan is due to roll off the production line at the start of the next decade.
VOLKSWAGEN CREATES NEW SOFTWARE DIVISION
Volkswagen is shaking up management responsibility a little bit as it has created a new division within the group. Digital Car & Services will be responsible for creating software that can be used by all VW Group brands in the areas of digital services and intelligent mobility concepts. Christian Senger, who used to head up VW’s e-Mobility Product Line, will take over the division, which will take effect on March 1st.
KIA SOUL UPDATES & IMPRESSIONS
We just got the chance to drive the all-new Kia Soul. But before we get to our impressions let’s look at what’s new. The first thing you’ll notice is the styling has been updated. It’s a bit sleeker and not as boxy as the previous models but you’ll still instantly recognize it as a Soul. At the rear, it’s boomerang shaped taillights really stand out and there’s even some variation in styling between the trims. And the new Soul’s wheelbase and overall length are slightly longer than the outgoing model. The interior features mood lighting on the door panels which can be customized to display different colors. And it comes with a 7-inch or a 10.25-inch infotainment screen depending on the model. A retractable 8-inch head-up display is also available but it really didn’t add much to the vehicle and doesn’t project the info onto an easy to read spot. Two engines are available, a 2.0L four-cylinder that can be mated to a six-speed manual or Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission, which is the company’s version of a CVT. A 1.6L inline turbo four-cylinder is also available, and that’s mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Combined fuel economy ranges from 27 to 30 MPG depending on the setup. We drove the 2.0L with the IVT and the 1.6L. Both are smooth and have good power but as you might expect the turbo is a bit more fun to drive. It’s also good at handling twisty roads. The new Soul starts at about $18,500 with the manual, with the IVT, it starts just under $20,000. The top trim GT-Line with the turbo and DCT starts at about $28,500. The new Soul will be hitting dealerships in the next few weeks but the electric version won’t be available until later this year.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and we’ll see you back here 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.