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0:07 GM Sues FCA
1:13 FCA Will Fight Lawsuit
1:27 Why GM Is Not Going After the UAW
1:55 UAW President Resigns
2:13 BMW, VW & Daimler Fined for Steel Cartel
2:56 Mustang Mach-E Gains Publicity
3:42 Tesla to Reveal Cybertruck Tonight
4:32 Continental to Slash ICE Jobs
5:10 NACTOY Finalists Announced
5:50 Hyundai Ioniq Updated
6:21 Vision T is Hyundai’s PHEV Concept
6:55 Hyundai Tests Mid-Engine Sports Car
7:29 Lincoln Dealers to Get New Look
7:54 Maybach Puts Its Touch on GLS SUV
9:10 Details of the Kia Seltos
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GM SUES FCA
In a stunning development yesterday, General Motors filed a racketeering lawsuit against Fiat-Chrysler. GM accused the late Sergio Marchionne, the former CEO of FCA, of bribing UAW officials to get better labor contracts. GM says that gave FCA lower labor costs which put GM at a competitive disadvantage, which cost it billions of dollars. Under a RICO, or racketeering lawsuit, GM can sue for three times its damages. Here’s our Autoline Insight. Even though GM did not say how much money it would sue for, we suspect that it will sue for billions. FCA has $15.9 billion in cash right now. If that’s the target of this lawsuit it could financially cripple FCA, and could even put its proposed merger with Peugeot in danger. At the very least, this lawsuit will hurt FCA’s bargaining power with Peugeot in negotiating a deal.
FCA WILL FIGHT LAWSUIT
FCA says it’s astonished by the lawsuit, considers it meritless and says it will fight it vigorously. Even so, both FCA’s and Peugeot’s stock dropped sharply on the news.
WHY GM IS NOT GOING AFTER THE UAW
Some people may wonder why GM is not suing the UAW over this corruption. We think there are two reasons. First, it could absolutely paralyze operations at the union, which in turn could hinder GM’s ability to operate its plants efficiently. Second, the U.S. Department of Justice is likely to go after the UAW on racketeering charges so there’s no need for GM to pile on.
UAW PRESIDENT RESIGNS
Meanwhile Gary Jones, the president of the UAW resigned yesterday just as the union’s executive board voted unanimously to expel him. Jones is accused of stealing $1.5 million from the UAW.
BMW, VW & DAIMLER FINED FOR STEEL CARTEL
What is going on in the auto industry? There just seems to be so much corruption. Germany is fining BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler 100 million euros for forming a steel cartel. Regulators accuse the automakers of regularly meeting with steel makers and processors to collude on setting steel prices.
MUSTANG MACH-E GAINS PUBLICITY
That live-streamed extravaganza that Ford threw to publicly unveil the Mustang Mach-E sure generated a lot of attention. At its peak, 140,000 people watched live on social media. Yesterday Ford told us it generated over 6.3 million views, but that number keeps growing Ford told us 637,000 people watched on YouTube but as of this morning the number was over 900,000 and is probably headed to a million. The unveil is also generating views on Twitter and 450,000 on Facebook.We asked Ford how many people have put down a $500 deposit on the Mach-E, and as soon as they tell us, we’ll tell you.
TESLA TO REVEAL CYBERTRUCK TONIGHT
And of course there’s another big reveal taking place tonight in LA, when Elon Musk pulls the wraps off Tesla’s new pickup truck, the so-called cyber truck. No doubt that will also generate massive views on social media.
Speaking of the Mach-E that’s what Autoline After Hours is all about this afternoon. We have Dave Pericak, who oversaw the development of the car, and Chris Walter, who headed up the exterior design, coming on the show. We’ll be talking about why Ford decided to make it a Mustang and how they went about making sure it would drive like one. Eric Noble from the Car Lab, EV expert John Voelker and Bob Gritzinger from Ward’s Intelligence will also be on the program.
CONTINENTAL TO SLASH ICE JOBS
We’ve been warning that all these electric cars are going to cost a lot of jobs because EVs use fewer components, which means you don’t need as many workers to build them. So it comes as no surprise that the German supplier Continental will cut 5,000 jobs involved in ICE components by 2028. The job losses will come from several plants in Germany, Italy and the U.S. And this is just the beginning. Look for a long list of automakers and suppliers to announce job cuts over the coming decade.
NACTOY FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
The finalists for 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year were revealed. So without any further ado here are the finalists. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Supra are battling for Car of the Year. The Utility of the Year finalists are the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride and Lincoln Aviator. And the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator and Ram Heavy Duty are the truck finalists. The winners will be revealed on January 13th in Detroit.
HYUNDAI IONIQ UPDATED
Hyundai had a number of auto show reveals. Let’s start with the Ioniq. The Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and Electric versions all receive updated interior and exterior styling as well as new technology features. But the big changes of note are with the Electric. Battery size increased from 28 kWh to a 38.3 kWh battery pack. Range went from 124 miles to 170 miles.
VISION T IS HYUNDAI’S PHEV CONCEPT
The company also took the wraps off the SUV concept it teased last week. Called the Vision T, it’s a plug-in hybrid but unfortunately no powertrains details were shared. This is more of a design showcase but it does include one interesting feature. When the vehicle is stationary, the grille is closed but when it’s in motion, each individual cell of the grille moves in a prescribed sequence, not only does it provide a unique design effect, it’s also functional and helps optimize the vehicle’s aerodynamics.
HYUNDAI TESTS MID-ENGINE SPORTS CAR
Lastly, Hyundai showed a sports car prototype, called the RM19. It’s a mid-engine, rear drive sports car that has a 390-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Hyundai says the RM19 is a development platform for future N brand products, including a potential halo car.
LINCOLN DEALERS TO GET NEW LOOK
Lincoln decided it’s time for its dealers to update their stores. And here’s the architectural design it wants them to follow, featuring white materials offset by black accents, long and low horizontal lines, and plenty of glass. And note the EV charger out front that is stylized to look like the Lincoln logo or some might say Tesla’s Superchargers.
MAYBACH PUTS ITS TOUCH ON GLS SUV
The Mercedes GLS is already a very nice vehicle, but now it’s even more luxurious. Maybach put its own unique touches on the large SUV, which includes heaps of chrome, big wheels and tires, vertical bars in the grille and a mesh pattern over the lower air inlets. If that’s not luxurious enough, electronically deploying and illuminated running boards welcome passengers into the cabin. There you’ll find sheets of high-grade leather and wood, large infotainment screen and instrument cluster and all seats are electrically adjustable, heated, ventilated and equipped with massage functions as standard. Under the hood is a 4.0L V8 that makes 550 horsepower and is matched with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The Maybach GLS goes from 0 to 60 in an estimated 4.8 seconds, but it likely feels much slower thanks to its AIRMATIC suspension that’s been tuned for maximum ride comfort. This luxuriously big SUV goes on sale in the U.S. in the second half of next year.
DETAILS OF THE KIA SELTOS
Here’s more info on Kia’s newest small CUV, the Seltos. In the U.S. it will be powered by either a 2.0L non-turbo or a 1.6L turbo 4-cylinder engine. The 2.0L makes 146 horsepower and is mated to a CVT, while the 1.6L makes 175 horsepower and gets a 7-speed DCT. All-wheel drive is also an option. Moving to the interior and depending on the trim, customers can choose from a 3.5 inch or 7 inch instrument cluster and have the option for a 10 and a quarter inch display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As well as a host of driver assistance technology. The Seltos goes on sale in the first quarter of next year. Complete pricing will come out later but Kia says the lowest trim with AWD will start under $22,000.
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.