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0:07 U.S. November Sales Expected to Rebound
0:47 Another UAW Official Resigns
1:21 Porsche’s Android Auto Decision May Hurt It
1:55 Elvis Album Cover Car Revealed
2:48 Elon Musk Claims 200K Cybertruck Orders
3:31 Ford to Build Mustang Mach-E in Mexico
4:27 VW Introduces Viloran Van
5:12 Toyota Launches Granace Luxury Van
5:56 Mercedes To Premiere GLA Online
6:28 Hella Develops Air Particulate Sensor
7:22 Ford’s Response to Mustang Mach-E Name Complaints
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This is Autoline Daily reporting on all aspects of the global automotive industry.
U.S. NOVEMBER SALES EXPECTED TO REBOUND
After stumbling in October, car sales in the U.S. are expected to rebound this month. According to Wards Intelligence, the seasonally adjusted annual rate in November will hit 17 million units, up from 16.5 million in October. Total light vehicle sales are projected to hit 1.4 million units, up 1.3%, compared to a year ago, but sales will largely depend on holiday incentives and how well GM can rebound from that UAW strike. The automaker lost an estimated 10,000 sales in September and another 30,000 in October.
ANOTHER UAW OFFICIAL RESIGNS
Another high-profile UAW official resigned. Vance Pearson, the Region 5 Director of the union, who was on paid leave, stepped down from his position effective immediately. He was charged in September with embezzling union funds, money laundering and mail and wire fraud. Last week UAW President, Gary Jones also resigned. We think they should have manned up and quit a long time ago. Or the union should have fired them. All we can say is, what took so long?
PORSCHE’S ANDROID AUTO DECISION MAY HURT IT
Well, many Porsche customers in China could be making the change from Apple to Android. Porsche has persistently kept Android Auto out of its cars, but that may have come back to bite them. Apple won’t have 5G devices until the 2020 phones are released, and a customer survey by Porsche discovered that 40% of customers will switch to Android phones. If Porsche wants to maintain its sales in China and elsewhere, it needs to start making its cars compatible with Android Auto.
ELVIS ALBUM COVER CAR REVEALED
Last week we showed you this picture from viewer Rob who asked if we knew what car Elvis was sitting in on the cover of ‘A Date with Elvis.’ Cadillac would seem like an obvious guess, but it’s actually a Lincoln. A 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III convertible to be exact. The steering wheel is what really gives this car away. Thanks for sending the picture to us Rob and if you run across something interesting send it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may just see it on a future show.
ELON MUSK CLAIMS 200K CYBERTRUCK ORDERS
Production isn’t scheduled to start for another two years, but that’s not turning people off of Tesla’s Cybertruck. And apparently, neither are its polarizing looks, which as we pointed out last week was probably partly a result of holding down tooling costs. On Sunday, only three days after the truck’s reveal, Elon Musk tweeted it had 200,000 pre-orders for Cybertruck, which requires a $100 deposit. It would be interesting to compare that to Ford’s $500 pre-orders for the Mustang Mach-E, but we’re guessing Ford may not want to say how many deposits it got if it’s way below what Tesla got.
FORD TO BUILD MUSTANG MACH-E IN MEXICO
Speaking of the Mach-E, most people are not aware yet that it’s going to be made in Mexico. No doubt there will be a firestorm in the U.S. when Mustang enthusiasts hear that, but there’s a good reason why Ford is building it there. First, Mexico has free trade agreements with Europe and China. And the Mach-E will be exported to those markets. So even if the United States gets in a trade war with Europe and the one with China heats up, Ford will still be able to export Mach-E’s to those markets with no tariffs. Second, the Cuautitlan plant in Mexico is sitting empty, after it stopped making Ford Fiestas. It’s much easier to retool a plant if it isn’t making anything. And third, if you dedicate a plant to making electric cars, you can reduce the labor content by 20-25%. Ford didn’t have any other empty plants and that’s why the Mach-E ended up in Mexico.
VW INTRODUCES VILORAN VAN
Volkswagen has big plans in China. It introduced five new vehicles there this year, and it will have another five next year, all with the hopes of selling more than 3 million vehicles in China for a third consecutive year. It introduced another new model, a minivan, called the Viloran. It’s actually quite big, being 5 inches longer than a Chrysler Pacifica and has seating for up to 7 people with two reclining captain’s chairs in the middle. Under the hood is a 2.0L engine mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen will make the van with local joint venture partner SAIC, but will make a crossover version of the Viloran with its other partner FAW.
TOYOTA LAUNCHES GRANACE LUXURY VAN
Toyota is launching a new van called the Granace. It can sit 6 or 8 passengers and offers plenty of room and luxuries. The premium grade 6 seater gives you seats similar to those massaging seats you see in a shopping mall, plus added leg room for reclining. Getting an 8 seater fits two more passengers but has less room and tech inside. In typical Toyota fashion, the van gets an oversized grille and a very square rear end. LED headlights and taillights are standard as are Toyota Safety Sense, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Granace goes on sale in select global markets December 16th.
MERCEDES TO PREMIERE GLA ONLINE
Speaking of new vehicles, Mercedes is going to reveal one like it never has before. The world premiere of the GLA will only take place on Mercedes’ own digital platform on December 11th. There’s not a whole lot of information, but it will be taller, a little bit shorter and have more driver assistance technology than the outgoing model.
HELLA DEVELOPS AIR PARTICULATE SENSOR
Particulate matter, or PM, is a dangerous pollution, especially when those particulates are 2.5 micrometers or less. You can breathe them in, where they embed themselves deep in your lungs, and can cause cancer. That’s why the German supplier HELLA developed a particulate sensor. It says a premium European manufacturer, either Mercedes, BMW or Audi, will start using it in China at the end of 2020. Two sensors will be used. The first controls air quality inside the vehicle using air filters. The second sensor measures PM outside the car, for display and automatic air recirculation control. And it can be used for route planning, to avoid areas of high pollution. As we keep pointing out, suppliers play a major role in developing new technology for cars.
FORD’S RESPONSE TO MUSTANG MACH-E NAME COMPLAINTS
When it comes to the Mustang Mach-E, hardcore Mustang fans aren’t thrilled that the Mustang name is being used on a four-door electric crossover. On last week’s Autoline After Hours, Dave Pericak, the Global Director of Ford Icons, had this to say to fans who are disappointed by the name.
Dave Pericak: “I think first and foremost, I’ve been a part of Mustang for many years at Ford. We’re not replacing anything, this is the message that needs to get out there, right? We’re expanding the family- so there’s no replacement going on, we’re adding a pony to the stables.”
John McElroy: “And, like you said, this is the Mustang team that created this.”
Dave: “And that was my next point. They need to trust us, right? Because the same team that’s been bringing us the Mustang that everyone loves is the team that brought this to life. So, we know Mustang, we understand Mustang, and we’re not walking away from anything. In fact, we’ve got future product plans that I can’t comment on right now, [and] we’re gonna keep the icon alive, so they should be happy.”
For more about the Mustang Mach-E you can watch that entire show right now on our website, Autoline.tv or you can find it on our 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.