Listen to “AD #2816 – Lots of Good News for Tesla; Porsche Improves the 911's Active Aero; IMS Opens Up Its Archives to Fans” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Tesla’s Stock Shoots Up
0:53 Tesla Posts Strong Sales in China
1:22 Missouri City Wants Tesla’s Cybertruck
1:54 Zoox Settles Lawsuit with Tesla
2:30 GM Starts Making Ventilators
3:06 GM to Make Masks in Mexico
3:50 Porsche Improves the 911’s Active Aero
5:35 IMS Opens Up Its Archives to Fans
6:21 Cadillac Keeps Blackwing Name Alive
7:41 GM’s Infantry Squad Vehicle
9:22 Porsche Designer Shows How to Draw the 911
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This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
There’s lots of doom and gloom all over the auto industry but Tesla sure does have a lot of good news going for it.
TESLA’S STOCK SHOOTS UP
Goldman Sachs put out a buy rating on Tesla stock, which closed at $709 a share yesterday. Goldman says that’s because of Tesla’s lead in electric vehicles, a sector which it sees as enjoying long term growth. Goldman set a price target of $864, or 48% higher than yesterday’s close. It expects Tesla to achieve 20% compounded annual growth over the next 5 years. Tesla stock is up 96% since mid-March but it’s still off the high of $917 from mid-February.
TESLA POSTS STRONG SALES IN CHINA
And Tesla’s sales in China are coming in strong. While Tesla only reports global sales on a quarterly basis. The China Passenger Car Association says Tesla sold 10,160 cars in China in March, which puts the company close to its target to sell 150,000 cars in China from its plant in Shanghai. Tesla accounted for nearly one out of three EVs sold in China last month, which is an amazing accomplishment.
MISSOURI CITY WANTS TESLA’S CYBERTRUCK
Meanwhile, back in the ‘States, the city of Joplin, Missouri laid out a billion dollar incentive package for Tesla. It wants Tesla’s assembly plant to make the Cybertruck. A month ago Elon Musk said they were scouting for sites to make the truck and that it would definitely be in the eastern half of the U.S. The city’s Chamber of Commerce tweeted out the proposal to Elon Musk, but so far it looks like he hasn’t responded. No doubt this tweet will trigger a flurry of other offers from other cities and states.
ZOOX SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH TESLA
And Reuters reports that Zoox, the autonomous vehicle startup in California, settled a lawsuit with Tesla. Zoox admitted that four employees it hired away from Tesla took a bunch of documents when they left Tesla. Tesla accused the former employees of stealing proprietary information for developing warehousing, logistics and inventory control operations. Zoox has to pay Tesla an undisclosed amount of money and subject itself to an audit to make sure none of Tesla’s trade secrets are being used.
GM STARTS PRODUCING VENTILATORS
In the U.S. we’ve gone from an acute shortage of medical equipment to fight the coronavirus, to being on the verge of having a mountain of surplus material.
GM started mass producing ventilators at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana. It’s partnering with Ventec to make them and in less than a month, they secured the necessary parts and components and came up with a new manufacturing process to build them. They got nearly $490 million from the U.S. government to build 30,000 ventilators by the end of August. And GM says it has the capacity to build more ventilators if needed.
GM MAKING MASKS IN MEXICO
GM announced it’s also making lots of masks in Mexico. It will produce 1.5 million masks a month at its plant in Toluca by the end of this month. And it’s aiming to make 9 million masks over the next six months. The masks are for GM employees in Mexico and some will be donated to hospitals. GM is also producing 1.5 million masks a month at its facility in Warren, Michigan.
PORSCHE IMPROVES THE 911 WITH ACTIVE AERODYNAMICS
In Aerodynamics, low drag equals high speeds while high downforce improves cornering speeds. But low drag and high downforce conflict with each other, so Porsche improved its Active Aerodynamics system on the new 911 Turbo S to try and get the best of both worlds. It has three active elements; cooling air flaps in the front, which are all-new, as well as a variable front spoiler lip and a extending and tilting rear wing, which have both been improved. The cooling flaps at the front corners are always adjusting and are controlled by an intelligent energy management system that balances cooling requirements with the electric power required to operate the radiator fan and the aerodynamic benefit of the cooling air flaps. The front spoiler has more surface area than previously and has three segments that can extend and retract depending on the situation. The rear wing is not only lighter but is larger and has additional positions it can move to. One of those is a Wet position. In this mode, all active control systems are set to maximum driving stability and if the driver slams on the brakes at high speed the front and rear spoiler will move to their maximum downforce settings for aerodynamic braking. Overall the new Active Aerodynamics system in the 911 Turbo S increases downforce by 15%. And the system is even sensitive enough to adjust when the sliding roof or convertible top is open. The 911 was the first Porsche to use Active Aerodynamics in 2014 and now all of its models use it.
IMS OPENS UP ITS ARCHIVES TO FANS
Here’s something for any racing and history buff looking to pass time. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened up its archives to fans, which dates back 111 years. Every Tuesday for the next 13 weeks, IMS will release a new decade in chronological order. The information will take fans through the track’s history by highlighting some of its biggest moments, like how it was originally a 5-mile road course and oval hybrid track. There’s pictures, video and written accounts to go through and one of IMS’ historians will share his vast knowledge on some of the subjects. This week is all about the track’s start in 1909.
CADILLAC KEEPS BLACKWING NAME ALIVE
Do you remember Cadillac’s Blackwing engine? It’s a 4.2L twin-turbo V8 that makes 550 horsepower and has only been used in the CT6-V. But as we know, there’s not going to be another generation of the CT6. While we’re not likely to see the engine ever again, the Blackwing name will live on. The automaker announced that the ultra-performance versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V will carry a Blackwing badge, where the name ‘Blackwing’ sits below the standard V-Series logo. These models will feature specially tuned chassis, vehicle control technologies, engines and offer a manual transmission.
Speaking of Cadillac, be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours tomorrow which goes live at 3 pm eastern time. We’re going to take a deep dive into Cadillac’s CT4-V and CT5-V and Blackwing program with Brandon Vivian, who is Cadillac’s executive chief engineer. Chris Paukert from Roadshow by CNET will also be on the show, so join me and Gary Vasilash for some of the best gear head insights in the business.
GM’S INFANTRY SQUAD VEHICLE
In 2017, GM revived its Defense division. It was first created in the 1950’s but the automaker sold it to General Dynamics in 2003. A few years ago, GM saw an opportunity to use the technology it was developing to help the U.S. military. On Autoline This Week, Mark Dickens, the Chief Engineer of GM Defense talked about the projects it’s working on.
Mark Dickens, Chief Engineer, GM Defense
“We’ve had a really great opportunity as we kind of balance between, personally I have a foot in both the commercial aspect as well as the defense aspect. And there’s been a recent opportunity here to apply all of this to an infantry squad vehicle, which is a cool opportunity to take a ZR2 Colorado, that we took and we developed it off-road, rock climbing, overlanding. And then we took it and we applied a bunch of racing components to it. We raced it in the desert, we commercialized those products and now we took the body off that race truck and we put a nine-passenger military body on it. So, we’ve been now selected as a prototype vendor for that. And we’re competing with that into the contracts we have going forward. But I’ll tell you what we’re seeing is that commercial aspect, that we can take commercial off the shelf parts, that vehicle is 70% commercial off the shelf parts. So, we’re able to take things like that and apply them into the military space.”
You can watch that entire episode right now on our website, Autoline.tv or on our YouTube channel.
PORSCHE DESIGNER SHOWS HOW TO DRAW THE 911
Before we go, here’s a good way to pass some time. Porsche introduced a new series called #GetCreativeWithPorsche and in the latest installment its Head of Design, Michael Mauer, gives a tutorial on how to sketch the 911 from scratch. He first recommends to start with the wheels to help define the wheelbase and proportions. The next step is to draw the line between the wheels and then you can start to build up the outline. He then adds in the daylight opening or DLO, which is the side glass, followed by the front headlamp and more detail at the rear end. And from there you start adding in more detail. Once that’s complete, it’s time to add shadow and contrast and if you want you can ad color. Just click the link in today’s transcript or the description box below to get the full instructions on how to sketch the 911.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great day.
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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.