Follow us on social media:
0:06 Quick Payoff for GM Heavy Duty Investment
0:50 Tariffs Could Create A Lot of American Jobs
2:04 Barn Find
3:42 Tesla Denied Tariff Exemption
4:16 AutoDrive Challenge Winner
4:50 New Safety Technology Could be Mandated
6:01 Alpine A110S
6:49 Magna Develops New Seat Foam
This is Autoline Daily reporting on the global automotive industry.
QUICK PAYOFF FOR GM HEAVY DUTY INVESTMENT
General Motors is investing $150 million at its Flint Assembly plant in Michigan to boost production of the heavy-duty versions of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. The investment will increase production by 40,000 units annually. Let’s do some simple math. Forty thousand trucks at an average retail price of $50,000 translates into $2 billion more in revenue. Assuming a $15,000 profit per vehicle, that means $600 million drops to the bottom line. You’ve got to love these heavy duty trucks. In only three months, GM will pay off its entire investment.
TARIFFS COULD CREATE A LOT OF AMERICAN JOBS
The Trump Administration’s threat to slap tariffs on imported passenger cars has automakers and dealers up in arms. But John Murphy with Bank of America says those tariffs could create a lot of American jobs.
(Clip from ATW #2813 can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
John Murphy goes on to say that while the tariffs would create manufacturing jobs they would also cause job losses in other parts of the economy. That episode of Autoline This Week premieres on July 4th, so keep your eye out for that show.
TOPLESS MODEL MAKES VIEWER MISERABLE
Teddy is one of our viewers who lives in jolly old England and he sent us this picture along with a request. “Hi Autoline, please put me out of my misery, I live here in London, England and everyday I go pass this top-less parked in someone’s yard. Please can you tell me which car is this?” Teddy, we don’t have a lot to go on here because so much of the car is covered up, but it sure looks to us like it’s a 1956 Cadillac Series 62 convertible. But maybe you have a better eye than us and know exactly what it is. Let us know. And if you come across any weird, wild or cool cars or trucks out there, send us pictures, we’d love to share them.
From the company that revealed the secrets of the Tesla Model 3, Munro & Associates will host an Electric Vehicle Conference on Friday, June 21st at its headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Munro will provide a deep dive into the Motors, Batteries, and Electronics of the Tesla Model 3, BMW i3, Chevy Bolt and Jaguar I-PACE. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite or at leandesign.com. Hurry, only 100 spots are available.
TESLA DENIED TARIFF EXEMPTION
We recently reported that both GM and Volvo asked for tariff exemptions on the Chinese-made vehicles they’re importing into the U.S. Both requests were denied by the Trump Administration. And now it’s Tesla’s turn. It wanted exemptions on the Model 3’s computer or the “brains” of the car as well as its large center screen, which are made in China. But Reuters reports that Tesla was turned down. The company previously warned that the tariffs increase its costs and hurt its profitability.
TORONTO WINS! NO, NOT THE BASKETBALL TEAM
Last week’s After Hours was all about the SAE-GM AutoDrive Challenge, where 8 universities are competing to develop autonomous cars. It’s a three year competition and we just got this year’s results. The University of Toronto scored the most points, and it also won last year’s competition as well. Even so, this competition is grooming a new generation of autonomous engineers from all these universities, and we’re pretty sure all the participants will be rewarded with job opportunities when they graduate.
|AutoDrive Challenge Results|
|University of Toronto||884.96|
|North Carolina A & T State||522.98|
|University of Waterloo||330.23|
NEW SAFETY TECHNOLOGY COULD BE MANDATED
Earlier this month, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, that would mandate automatic engine shutoff and automatic park technology in vehicles with keyless entry. A version was introduced in the Senate earlier this year as well. The engine shutoff technology automatically shuts the car off after a certain period of time, in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. At least 4 people have died this year, after letting a keyless ignition car run in their garage. And the automatic park technology immobilizes the car if the driver exits it and leaves it in gear. According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2014, 142 people died in roll away accidents. Some automakers already offer the technology and earlier this week, Toyota said it will add it to its vehicles starting in 2020.
ALPINE PUTS THE S IN SPORTY
Renault has come out with a new sportier version of the Alpine A110, called the A110S. Its nearly 290-horsepower is about 40 more than the current models and allows the car to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4-seconds. New coil springs are 50% stiffer and lower ride height slightly, the shocks have been tuned, the sway bars are 100% firmer and it has sporty wheels and tires. Unique elements include an optional matte paint finish, orange and carbon fiber accents throughout the interior and exterior and an optional carbon fiber roof. The A110S launches in October with a starting price of 66,500 euro.
MAGNA WANTS TO BUTTS IN COMFORTABLE SEATS
We always like shining a spotlight on the new technology being developed by suppliers since they generate 80% of the value of every vehicle. Magna Seating has come up with a new technology for the foam in seats that’s called FreeForm. It provides a seamless surface so that seat covers fit more snugly, it allows the foam to be tuned for more comfort, and for those hot summer days it’s breathable.
(Clip of Dino Nardicchio, Global Vice President of Advanced Technology Engineering, Magna talking about FreeForm can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
Magna says the FreeForm technology could be in vehicles as early as next year. To get more details we have the entire interview with Dino on our YouTube channel, just do a search for Autoline Network.
But that wraps up today’s report, thank you for watching and have a great weekend.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
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.