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0:07 Tesla Reports 2019 Results, Stock Jumps
1:21 Tesla’s Sales & Financial Numbers
1:56 Model Y Range Greater Than Expected
3:14 Lincoln Confirms Rivian-Based EV
3:39 UPS Buys 10,000 Arrival Delivery Vans
4:25 Mercedes May Drop F1 Constructor Role
5:15 Lordstown Truck Sparks GM Impact Prototype Memory
6:06 Global Production Down Again
6:35 Frankfurt to Stop Hosting German Auto Show
7:09 Head of JLR Retires
7:42 President Signs USMCA
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This is Autoline Daily with today’s global automotive news.
TESLA REPORTS 2019 RESULTS, STOCK JUMPS
Tesla reported its financial earnings yesterday and it’s stock jumped $65 a share in pre-market trading, which ought to tell you all you need to know about the numbers. While Tesla posted a net loss of $775 million for the year, it turned a modest profit of $132 million in the fourth quarter, and that’s what got investors excited. The feeling is that most of Tesla’s money losing days are behind it and Q4 is a harbinger of what’s to come. With the Model Y going on sale in March, with the Chinese factory up and running, and with the company likely to unlock its FSD, or full self driving mode for Autopilot sometime this year, the feeling is that 2020 will be the year when Tesla truly becomes a financially viable company. Even Tesla seems to think so. Up to now its financial earnings report looked like a memo with some charts scattered throughout it and all the financials buried at the bottom. But the latest report looks like the kind of slick annual report you get from traditional automakers. The only thing missing are pictures of company officers and board members with toothy smiles.
TESLA’S SALES & FINANCIAL NUMBERS
Let’s run through the numbers. Tesla sold 367,656 cars, up a whopping 50% and generated revenue of $24.5 billion, though that also includes $1.5 billion in revenue from its energy storage business and $594 million from selling EV credits to other automakers. It posted an operating loss of only $69 million, and as already noted, a net loss of $775 million.
|Tesla 2019 Financial Earnings|
|Operating Loss||-$69 Million||-$388 Million|
|Net Loss||-$775 Million||-$1 Billion|
MODEL Y WILL HAVE MORE RANGE THAN EXPECTED
Tesla also announced that the driving range of the all wheel drive Model Y will be greater than expected. Originally Tesla thought it would be about 280 miles. Instead, it now says the EPA range will be 315 miles. That means it can travel 4 miles per kilowatt hour, which is about 40% greater than the newest EVs from traditional automakers.
The race is on in the auto industry to create Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles. But Level 2 is where the money is at. And that’s the topic on today’s Autoline After Hours because our special guest is Aaron Jefferson, the VP of Electronics and ADAS at the supplier ZF, which has recently introduced its own Level 2 system. Also joining John and Gary for the show is Stephanie Brinley from IHS Markit. So tune in at 3PM eastern time today on our website, Autoline.tv, when the show goes live.
LINCOLN CONFIRMS RIVIAN-BASED EV
The first vehicle to come out of Ford’s partnership with Rivian will be a Lincoln. The companies announced they will co-develop a new fully-electric vehicle based on Rivian’s skateboard. The new vehicle is part of a $500 million investment Ford made in Rivian last year. Lincoln didn’t say when the vehicle will be available but it did promise that “it’s going to be stunning.”
UPS BUYS 10,000 ARRIVAL VANS
Electric commercial vehicle startup Arrival is getting another boost. Less than two weeks ago Hyundai/Kia announced a 100 million euro investment in the company and now UPS says it’s going to make a minority investment as well as order 10,000 vehicles. The two companies will co-develop the electric delivery vans, which will be used to test Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems to improve safety and operations, including autonomous maneuvers in UPS depots. If the tests go well UPS will order more vehicles. But this is not UPS’s first dive into the electric market. In 2018, it purchased 1,000 electric delivery vans from Workhorse.
MERCEDES MAY DROP F1 CONSTRUCTOR ROLE
Mercedes has pretty much dominated Formula One for the last 6 years, but Autocar reports it may not be a team owner after the 2020 season. As we’ve been reporting, parent company Daimler has cut its profit outlook several times in the last year and a half and it’s going to spend billions of dollars on electric and autonomous technology. Racing is an expensive sport that eats up a lot of resources and expected rule changes due in 2021 would likely raise the costs needed to maintain a competitive edge. But it wouldn’t be out of F1 altogether. Mercedes is expected to stay on as an engine supplier. Still it would be a shock to see a team that’s won every driver’s and constructor’s title since 2014 walk away as team owner.
LORDSTOWN TRUCK TRIGGERS MEMORY OF GM IMPACT PROTOTYPE
There was a comment from a viewer yesterday who thought the Lordstown electric truck looks a bit like an F-150, but former Autoline intern Jonathan Bergman wrote in to say he was reminded of another vehicle, the GM Impact Prototype. That car was developed by EV company AeroVironment and debuted at the LA auto show in 1990. It later became the inspiration for the EV1, a vehicle many people thought GM should have never killed off. Jonathan says it’s the silver paint and thin taillights of the Lordstown truck that made him think of the Impact. So, what do you think? Is he right?
GLOBAL AUTO PRODUCTION DROPS
Has global auto production peaked for a while? That’s what the CEO of the supplier Bosch says. The company forecasts automakers will build 89 million vehicles this year, a decrease of 2.6%. It would be the third straight year in a row global production has dropped due to slowing demand in China, Europe and the U.S. And Bosch doesn’t see things turning around anytime soon, it doesn’t expect any boost in production before 2025.
FRANKFURT WILL STOP HOSTING GERMAN AUTO SHOW
After nearly 70 years, the city of Frankfurt will no longer host the German auto show. The VDA auto association, which runs the show and represents the German auto industry, said 2021 will be the last year Frankfurt hosts the event. The VDA is in talks with the cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Munich to host the show and it will pick a winner in the next couple of weeks. It’s a bit of a surprise but auto shows around the world are struggling and this is the latest example of trying to mix things up.
HEAD OF JLR RETIRES
The head of Jaguar Land Rover, Ralph Speth, announced he’s retiring. He’ll leave that post in September when his contract runs out. Speth has been CEO of the British automaker since 2010. But he won’t be leaving the company entirely. Speth will stay as a non-executive chairman of JLR and he will remain on the board of Tata Sons, which owns the automaker. JLR says its formed a search committee to look for Speth’s successor and will name one in the next couple of months.
TRUMP SIGNS USMCA
Good news for the auto industry. President Trump signed the USMCA, the new trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, that replaces NAFTA. But there’s still one more hurdle before its implemented. Canada still needs to approve the deal, which is expected to happen quickly. Mexico has already approved the agreement. But this is good news for automakers and suppliers since it gets rid of the uncertainty they were facing. And now they can make investments accordingly.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and we’ll see you right back here 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.