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0:07 Sales Will Take Years to Fully Recover
1:09 JLR Borrows Money from the Chinese
1:52 GM Scrambling to Make Pickups
2:43 Correcting Yesterday’s Math Mistake
3:00 New Bronco Will Debut in July
3:30 White-Collar Workers Staying at Home
4:17 IIHS Says AVs Shouldn’t Favor Rider Preference
5:05 Bosch System Reduces Motorcycle Emergency Response Time
6:01 Toyota Refreshes the Hilux Pickup
7:01 Toyota Forming Fuel Cell JV in China
7:37 The SEMA Show is Still a Go
10:08 IndyCar Gets Back to Real Racing
10:36 Photoshoppers Love the New BMW 4 Series Coupe
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This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
IT WILL TAKE YEARS FOR SALES TO FULLY RECOVER
While global car sales look like they’re starting to recover from the pandemic, it could take until 2025 for the auto industry to fully recover. Alix Partners says the industry will sell 32 million fewer vehicles by the end of 2022 than it would have without the pandemic. The global drop in sales this year alone is the equivalent of eliminating the entire European market. Even worse, the industry has added $72 billion in debt just since March of this year. Alix Partners warns suppliers that they have to get their break even points down to Great Recession levels. It also says that Europe has reached a “moment of truth” where automakers will miss CO2 targets this year by 21%. Unless there’s some political solution, Alix Partners says automakers in Europe will face fines of 10 to 14 billion euros.
JLR BORROWS MONEY FROM THE CHINESE
Jaguar Land Rover is one of those automakers that’s borrowing money to get through the pandemic. But the iconic British company is not getting money from the British government. Nor is it getting any money from India, which is where Tata, the company that owns JLR, is based. Instead, it’s getting financial help from China. Reuters reports it secured a three-year $705 million loan from several Chinese banks, the first time it’s borrowed in China. JLR now relies heavily on the Chinese market. Sales there used to account for 25-30% of JLRs total sales but in the last two months it’s grown to 50%.
GM SCRAMBLING TO BUILD MORE PICKUPS
In the U.S., sales of pickup trucks seems to be one of the few bright spots, and General Motors is scrambling to boost production. The 41 day UAW strike last fall left GM with low levels of inventory and the pandemic shutdowns lowered them even more. Right now there are only 38 days of supply of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup and only 29 days of the GMC Sierra. Ford has 72 days of the F-Series while Ram has 71. At the beginning of the year the total amount of inventory for all automakers was 3.5 million vehicles. Right now it’s about 2.5 million. That’s a lot of vehicles, but dealers need more than that or it’s going to hurt the sales recovery.
FIXING YESTERDAY’S MATH MISTAKE
A clarification here. Yesterday I reported that ICEs outsell EVs by a million to one in the U.S. Several of you caught that mistake. What I should have said is that ICEs outsell EVs by a million vehicles every month.
|U.S. Sales by Propulsion System
FORD BRONCO WILL MAKE JULY DEBUT
A lot of enthusiasts can’t wait to see the all-new Ford Bronco but they’re going to have to wait another month. Ford will unveil it in July. The Bronco, which was originally produced from 1966 to 1996, will hit the market next year and will be built at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. Ford will also debut the new F-150 later this month in an online event.
WHITE-COLLAR WORKERS STAYING AT HOME
And speaking of Ford, the Detroit Free Press reports that most of its white-collar employees will not return to the office until September. The original plan was to have salaried employees return in July, but Ford still needs to work on revising workplaces against spreading Covid-19. And it’s a similar situation for GM and FCA, who aren’t in a rush to bring salaried employees back and will let those who can work from home continue to do so.
IIHS SAYS AVs SHOULDN’T FAVOR RIDER PREFERENCE
Autonomous vehicles are not going to eliminate all traffic fatalities says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While human error accounts for over 90% of all traffic accidents, self-driving vehicles will only be able to prevent about one-third of them if they favor rider preference. Even though AVs will not get distracted and blow through a stop sign or get drunk or fall asleep at the wheel, the IIHS says they will not be perfect. Here’s our Autoline Insight. They may not be perfect but AVs will still save a lot of lives. Even using the IIHS estimate, AVs would save over 300,000 lives globally every year, and would send millions of fewer people to the hospital.
BOSCH SYSTEM REDUCES MOTORCYCLE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIME
A motorcyclist is 20-times more likely to die in an accident than a car driver, so Bosch developed what it calls Help Connect. It’s an emergency call system for motorcycles that can cut emergency response time in half. The system takes information from Bosch’s motorcycle stability control unit, which is programmed with a crash algorithm that enables the inertia sensor to detect an accident. That information is sent to a Bosch Service Center via a Bluetooth smartphone app and then they contact emergency services. The system does not require additional hardware, so integration is pretty simple. Riders can also provide medical information when they first sign up and add other people to be contacted in the event of an accident. Help Connect will first be available to customers from Germany.
TOYOTA REFRESHES THE HILUX PICKUP
Toyota is giving the Hilux pickup a new look that it says offers greater prestige and on-road presence. The big change is a much larger grille that looks like it was copied and pasted right from the 4Runner. The truck you see here ihas what Toyota calls its Invincible grade, which comes with unique interior and exterior accents as well as skid plates. Under the hood is an optional new 2.8L diesel engine that is nearly 3-seconds faster from 0 to 100 km/h than the current 2.4L engine. The new engine can be paired with a 6-speed manual or automatic and all-wheel drive. To improve on-road comfort there’s new front and rear shock absorber tuning, improved leaf spring design and new bushings. The interior hasn’t changed much, but it does get a new 8-inch center display screen. Sales of the new Hilux kick off next month.
TOYOTA FORMING FUEL CELL JV IN CHINA
In other Toyota news, Reuters reports the Japanese automaker is forming a fuel cell joint venture in China with Chinese companies. It’s partnering with FAW, Dongfeng, Beijing Automotive, GAC and Beijing SinoHytec to develop fuel cell systems. Toyota will invest $46 million into the JV and hold a 65% stake in the company.
THE SEMA SHOW IS STILL A GO
Most auto shows this year were cancelled due to the coronavirus. But not the SEMA show in Las Vegas. It will happen in November as scheduled. But organizers are taking precautions to keep visitors safe. We spoke with Tom Gattuso the VP of Events at SEMA and he talked about the safety measures it’s taking for this year’s event.
Tom Gattuso, VP of Events, SEMA
“There’s a lot of different layers to it. Much like SEMA is a trade association for the automotive industry, there’s a trade association for the trade show industry. And there’s also really prominent stake-holders and thought-leaders in that industry that we’re connected to. So, we’re watching things on a global level. But we’re involved in these task forces with these associations, where they’re getting together with people in legislative positions and health care and that type of thing to shape what trade shows are going to look like, not only here in the U.S. but also internationally. So, we’re part of some of these task forces, we’re actually creating some of our own work groups with other stake holders in Las Vegas, as well Indianapolis for the PRI Show. We’re connected in this network where we’re really sharing this information. So, we’re going to see some of things that are going transpire and we’re going to develop some best practices. Third week of June, end of June, we’re going to come out with our initial safety plan on what the show is going to look like, what the expectations are going to be. But we can’t really make November decisions with June information. So, we know that’s going to be early and our plan is to update it in July, and then August and then the third week of September. So, the people that are attending the event or participating in the event will know exactly what to expect when they get on site. We’re really actually excited from a from a trade show nerd perspective. My title is Vice President of Events, but it really should just be Trade Show Nerd because I spend a lot of my time in that space. And I’m really energized to figure out how people are safely moving exhibitors and attendees through convention halls, watching some things that are happening with other events and really being a thought leader and a trailblazer on what Las Vegas is going to look like from an event standpoint. Not only in 2020, but even beyond that.”
You can watch that full interview right now on our YouTube channel.
INDYCAR GETS BACK TO REAL RACING
NASCAR was the first professional sporting series to get back in action and motor racing fans will be eager to know that tomorrow night the green flag will fly at the first Indycar race this year. They’ll be racing at the Texas Motor Speedway with practice, qualifying and the race all taking place on one day to minimize travel and time at the track. And like NASCAR, there will not be any fans allowed at the track.
PHOTOSHOPPERS LOVE THE NEW BMW 4 SERIES COUPE
There’s something about that gargantuan grille on the new BMW 4-series that just seems to make some people want to play around with Photoshop. Yesterday we showed you these renderings that were posted by Kevin Hisel on Facebook. And now our viewer Richard Piper from the United Kingdom sent us this one, to which he added a couple of rabbit ears and two big bunny teeth.
And so to wrap up today’s report all we can say is “That’s all folks!”
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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.