Follow us on social media:
0:07 BMW Top Luxury Brand In 2019
0:42 FCA Effectively Funding Tesla’s German Factory
1:17 Tesla Has Higher Market Value Than GM & Ford Combined
1:54 NACTOY Winner Predictions
3:35 GM China Develops Capacitor-Assisted Battery
4:10 Toyota Introduces GR Yaris
5:07 Nissan Teases Skyline 400R Sprint Concept
5:24 Skoda Reveals Vision IN Sketches
5:58 Volvo V90 Impressions
Visit our sponsor to thank them for their support of Autoline Daily: Bridgestone.
This is Autoline Daily reporting on all aspects of the global automotive industry.
BMW TOP LUXURY BRAND IN 2019
BMW is once again the top luxury automaker on a global basis. The company sold over 2.5 million vehicles in 2019, including MINI and Rolls-Royce. That was just ahead of Mercedes-Benz, which sold 2.34 million passenger vehicles last year. And Audi trailed behind its German rivals, with over 1.8 million vehicles sold in 2019. Despite a slowdown in the global car market, each of the German luxury brands were able to increase sales last year, thanks to strong sales in Germany, China and the U.S.
FCA EFFECTIVELY FUNDING TESLA’S GERMAN FACTORY
Last November, Tesla announced plans to build a plant in Germany, which will make the Model 3 and Y, starting in 2021. It would seem like a big investment for the EV maker but it actually won’t have to spend a dime on it. That’s because FCA’s deal to pool its fleet with Tesla in Europe to meet emission standards will effectively fund the factory. That’s according to a report from Robert W. Baird & Co. The deal with Tesla could cost FCA nearly $2 billion through 2023, which would be enough to pay for the factory.
TESLA HAS HIGHER MARKET VALUE THAN GM & FORD COMBINED
And that’s not the only good news for Tesla. Reuters reports that the stock market value for Tesla is now worth more than General Motors and Ford combined. The EV makers stock is closing in on $500 a share, which puts its market capitalization at nearly $89 billion, $2 billion more than GM and Ford, which are at $50 billion and $37 billion respectively. Tesla’s stock has more than doubled in the past three months thanks to a surprise third quarter profit, getting its factory in China up and running, as well as better than expected sales in the fourth quarter.
NACTOY WINNER PREDICTIONS
The winners of the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year Awards will be announced on Monday. And on Autoline This Week, John and three of the NACTOY jurors predict which vehicles will win the award.
“So, Drew we’ll start with you. In the Utilities, Lincoln Aviator, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride. What do you think is going to win?”
“I’ll say Palisade.”
“I’ll go Telluride.”
“I’m tending to say Telluride but it’s not necessarily what I’m voting for. I think it may (win).”
“I think that’s the way it’s going to go as well. Ok, now let’s talk about the trucks. Mike we’re going to start with you. There was the Ram Heavy Duty, the Ford Ranger or the Jeep Gladiator.”
“You know it’s another tough one and I don’t know where I’m going to vote but I’ll go with the Jeep right now.”
“Yeah I think so too. Now we didn’t get into the cars because a week ago we did a whole show just on that. The finalists are the Corvette C8, Toyota Supra and Hyundai Sonata. Paul?”
“Somebody had to say Sonata, right Drew?”
For a more in-depth analysis of the finalists, you can watch that entire discussion right now on our website, Autoline.tv or you can find it on our YouTube channel.
GM CHINA DEVELOPS CAPACITOR-ASSISTED BATTERY
General Motors’ China Science Lab won an award for an interesting battery it’s working on, called a capacitor-assisted battery or CAB. It’s built on a hybrid cell architecture that uses a capacitor as a power assist to a lithium-ion battery cell, which helps offset the negative effects temperature has on a battery. Two global battery manufacturers already have a license to mass produce the batteries, which will first replace lead-acid batteries for stop-start systems, but it’s looking for synergies for pure EVs as well.
TOYOTA INTRODUCES GR YARIS
In the past, we’ve gotten some pretty awesome production models solely for the reason that some production-based racing series require a certain amount to be sold to the public. It feels like it’s been a long time since that happened, but Toyota is doing just that with the new GR Yaris. You may scoff at that at first, but how does a small 2-door, all-wheel drive Yaris hatchback with nearly 270 horsepower sound? Pretty good, right? All that power is generated by a turbocharged 1.6L 3-cylinder engine, which is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The car also gets unique body-work, which is made from both aluminum and carbon fiber as well as performance suspension, brakes and seats. I don’t see any indication the GR Yaris will be sold outside of Japan, where it will carry a price between roughly $36,000 and $41,500.
NISSAN TEASES SKYLINE 400R SPRINT CONCEPT
Speaking of sports cars from Japanese automakers, Nissan is going to show off the Skyline 400R Sprint Concept at the Tokyo auto show. We like the look of the car, which rocks 20-inch wheels and a 400-horsepower twin-turbo engine.
SKODA REVEALS VISION IN SKETCHES
Skoda also released design sketches of a vehicle it’s working on for the Indian market. Called the VISION IN, it’s a compact SUV that features rugged styling. It hints at a production model that is being made exclusively for the Indian market, which will start running down the production line later this year.
And coming up next, John is here to tell you all about one of the cars he recently test drove.
VOLVO V90 IMPRESSIONS
We get to test a lot of cars and while we post our views of those cars on social media, we thought we ought to include that in Autoline Daily. I just got out of a test drive of a Volvo V90. It’s a handsome car from every angle, well-proportioned with a stable stance. Inside it’s warm, inviting and comfortable. But I’ve got a few suggestions on how to make it even better. The backup camera is very dim in nighttime conditions. Either it needs brighter backup lights or a better camera. The sun visors don’t extend when you flip them over to the side glass. And with the winter sun so low in the sky, I was getting a lot of annoying glare in a lot of driving situations. Overall, I got 22 miles to the gallon, which was only slightly better than the Chevrolet Silverado V8 with dynamic fuel management I recently drove. Volvo is doing a great job with its product lineup but with a few tweaks, they could even be better.
And if you haven’t done so yet, be sure to check out our coverage of CES, which was made possible by Magna, Gentex and Bose. I got to experience a lot of cool new technology from automakers and suppliers at the show. So look for my interviews on our website Autoline.tv or you can watch them on our YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us again back here on Monday.
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.