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0:06 Ford & Mahindra Form New JV
0:52 Vehicle Discounts Up in Q3
1:27 Large Electric Bus Completes Durability Test
2:18 Citroen’s Glamping Van Concept
2:52 Nissan Reveals Funky Small EV Concept
3:45 EV Running Costs Are Half of Gasoline
4:42 All-New Lincoln Corsair Impressions
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This is Autoline Daily reporting on the global automotive industry.
FORD & MAHINDRA FORM NEW JV
Two years ago, Ford and Indian automaker Mahindra formed a strategic alliance and now the two are expanding on that collaboration. The two automakers are forming a joint venture to develop, market and distribute Ford vehicles in India as well as Ford and Mahindra vehicles in emerging markets around the globe. Mahindra will own a 51% stake in the new joint venture, which is valued at $275 million. Under the agreement, Ford will transfer its Indian operations to the joint venture but will retain its engine plant operations. The new joint venture is expected to be up and running by the middle of next year, as long as the companies receive regulatory approval.
VEHICLE DISCOUNTS UP IN Q3
As we reported last week, car sales in September in the U.S. will likely be down compared to a year ago. But according to Bloomberg, overall sales in the third-quarter were flat, the first-time in nearly two years automakers will avoid a quarterly drop in sales. However, automakers had to pile on the discounts to prop up sales. Average incentive spending in the third-quarter rose 6% to $4,100 per vehicle. But we’ll have more about sales over the coming days, as automakers report their numbers.
LARGE ELECTRIC BUS COMPLETES DURABILITY TEST
While we haven’t seen any passenger vehicles from Chinese brands in the U.S., there are Chinese vehicles out on American roads. Chinese automaker BYD offers a range of electric buses in the U.S. And now its 60-foot K11M bus is the first battery electric bus of its size to complete the Federal Transit Administration’s 15,000-mile durability test. Once the agency finalizes its report, transit agencies around the country will be able to purchase the bus.
CITROEN SHOWS GLAMPING VAN CONCEPT
Citroen is Europe’s number two manufacturer of motorhomes and it’s showing off a concept version based on its SpaceTourer van. For that go-anywhere lifestyle, the van features all-wheel drive and a pop-up roof that sleeps two or has room to store a bicycle. But with a multimedia cabinet that converts into a work station with TV screen, we’d call this more of a glamping van. Much like the vehicles seen at SEMA, this van is a great way to show potential customers just how far they can take their vehicle.
NISSAN REVEALS FUNKY SMALL EV
Nissan revealed a funky, new small city car concept, called the IMk. Old-school enthusiasts may like that it features a bench front and rear seat, but it also has plenty of futuristic touches. The start button and shifter are the only real physical controls you see… until the IMk is turned on, then the other controls light up behind the trim. Important information, like speed and directions, seem to float behind the steering wheel on a frame-less display screen. Other customized information is shown on holographic displays. But not everything about the IMk is way-off futuristic. It’s said to hint at the new direction of Nissan’s design language and it sounds as though a version of the grille, which Nissan calls the “shield” will make it onto upcoming vehicles.
EV RUNNING COSTS HALF OF GASOLINE
Running a car on electricity costs about half of what it costs for running it on gasoline. That’s based on the national average of $2.73 a gallon of gasoline and thirteen cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. That’s the national average, you may be paying more, you might be paying less. But based on those numbers, and comparing an EV to a piston engine car that gets 30 miles to the gallon, electricity costs the equivalent of about $1.36 a gallon. The price of electricity is going up in the US an average of about 1.5% per year. So at some point there could be a crossover where it’s more expensive than gasoline. But based on today’s rate increases, that day is a couple of decades away.
ALL-NEW LINCOLN CORSAIR IMPRESSIONS
Let’s talk about the all-new Lincoln Corsair because we just got a chance to drive it. And even though it shares a platform with the Escape, Lincoln did a good job of varying it from the Ford, both from a styling and driving dynamics standpoint. The Corsair comes standard with a modified version of the 2.0L four-cylinder offered in the Escape. We didn’t get a chance to drive that but we did spend our time in the 2.3L turbo that’s also available. It’s smooth and has good power with nearly 300 horses. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. There’s 5 selectable drive modes which change the driving dynamics of the vehicle and Excite mode was especially fun driving through twisty roads. The interior looks great, is quiet out on the road and the 24-way adjustable seats are comfortable. And the available Revel audio system sounds great too. Other new technology features include, Phone As A Key, which allows you to use your smartphone as a key. And several new driver assistance features have been added as well. The new Lincoln Corsair starts around $36,000 and is available now.
And don’t forget to tune into Autoline After Hours this Thursday. We’ve got Bob Kruse from Karma Automotive coming on the show to talk all about the revamped Revero and Steve Lietaert from Hella will show off some of its innovative lighting technology. That show goes live at 3pm eastern time on our website and YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us 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.