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0:07 Big Demand for New Bronco
0:36 Miles’ Mustang Fetches Record Price
1:14 Virtual World Used to Train Young Drivers
2:36 EV Conversion Kit for Ford F-550
3:03 Ford Expands Partnership with Mobileye
3:27 Ford Tourneo & Transit Connect Active
4:12 Mary Barra Expects Recovery Early Next Year
4:28 Munro’s BMW i3 Teardown Analysis Now Dirt Cheap
5:07 Americans Will Drive Less in The Future
5:58 Pratt & Miller Creates Robot to Disinfect Airports
6:42 Corvette Racing Wins Last Two IMSA Events
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
And there’s a lot of news involving the Ford Motor Company today.
BIG DEMAND FOR NEW BRONCO
It looks like the automaker has a smash hit with the new Broncos. Shortly after it started taking $100 deposits, the reservation page crashed because there was so much demand. Ford dealers say the interest in the Bronco has exceeded their wildest expectations. Ford will not say how many people put down deposits, but we hear that the first year’s production is already sold out.
MILES’ MUSTANG FETCHES RECORD PRICE
The movie Ford Vs. Ferrari may have helped one Mustang collector get a better payday. Ken Miles’ prototype 1965 Shelby GT350R sold at auction for $3.85 million, the most a Mustang has ever sold for. Miles was a key figure in developing the Ford GT40 that won LeMans, but tragically died during testing of one of the race cars. Just for comparison, a concourse level ‘65 GT350R typically sells for a little over $1 million.
VIRTUAL WORLD USED TO TRAIN YOUNG DRIVERS
Speaking of racing, Ford of Europe is turning to virtual racers and their games to help teach young kids how to drive. The automaker has been doing in-person training since 2013, which has seen 45,000 young drivers from 16 countries participate. But with the current environment, Ford is switching to the virtual world. Team Fordzilla drivers use the multiplayer format of the game to set up certain scenarios, like hazard awareness, and make sure they’re done at realistic speeds. This might be more useful than you think. Ford commissioned a survey that found 33% of young drivers had already watched online tutorials on how to drive and about half said they felt like video games improved their driving.
EV CONVERSION KIT FOR FORD F-550
We’re not quite done with Ford news yet. A company by the name of Lightning Systems is offering an all-electric powertrain for Ford F-550 chassis cabs. The system features a total power output of 180-kW and a 128-kWh battery pack, which returns over 100 miles of range. The best part is, old buses can be retrofitted with the system.
FORD EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH MOBILEYE
Ford is updating its Co-Pilot 360 driver assistance system with upgraded camera-based technology from Mobileye. The system, which will be available globally, will be equipped in Ford’s next-gen vehicles, including the new F-150 and Mustang Mach-E. As part of the deal, Ford will display Mobileye’s logo in its SYNC touch screen menus.
FORD TOURNEO & TRANSIT CONNECT ACTIVE
And in our final bit of Ford news, it introduced Active versions of its Tourneo and Transit Connect vans in Europe. The Active trim adds rugged, SUV skid plates and cladding, as well as an optional mechanical limited slip differential and a raised ride height. The interior features exclusive seat trim patterns and stitching and Active badging. Ford will start delivering the new Tourneo and Transit Connect Active vans by the end of the year.
MARY BARRA EXPECTS RECOVERY EARLY NEXT YEAR
Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, says she thinks the auto industry is starting to recover and expects the U.S. economy to return to 90% of pre-pandemic levels early next year. But she also says that there’s a lot of uncertainty.
MUNRO’S BMW i3 TEARDOWN ANALYSIS NOW DIRT CHEAP
Sandy Munro is hoping he can help inspire the next Elon Musk to develop an electric car. So he’s slashing the price of the benchmarking study he did on the BMW i3. That study, which is 23,793 pages long, covers everything from how BMW made the body to the battery and electronics. It has cost analyses and assembly processes. Sandy Munro says it cost over $2 million to do the study, but he’s now selling it for only $10. You can download your copy at munrolive.com.
AMERICANS WILL DRIVE LESS IN THE FUTURE
Automakers are struggling to sell vehicles during the pandemic but it will remain that way even after it’s over. A new study from KPMG says working from home and online shopping will result in Americans driving up to 270 billion fewer miles a year, even if there is a vaccine. Since people won’t be driving as much, it could result in one million fewer vehicles being sold each year. Researchers expect 14 million vehicles will be taken off U.S. roads and vehicle ownership will decline to less than two vehicles per household. This will hurt dealers and mechanics, who won’t have as many vehicles to service. But there is one silver lining, demand for commercial vehicles is expected to increase due to the surge in online shopping.
PRATT & MILLER CREATES ROBOT TO DISINFECT AIRPORTS
Business travel was decimated by the pandemic. And people will only go back to flying if they think that crowded airports are truly safe again. So Pratt & Miller developed this autonomous robot to disinfect airports. They call it the LAAD, or Large Area Autonomous Disinfecting vehicle. It uses an electrostatic sprayer to spread disinfectant in the air and on surfaces that people will touch. And its sensors make sure that it completes its coverage. So far the LAAD has been tested at an airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But Pratt & Miller says it can be used at convention centers, shopping centers, stadiums and other large areas.
CORVETTE RACING WINS LAST TWO IMSA EVENTS
Pratt & Miller is an impressive company that works on all kinds of technology from aerospace to military to automotive. It’s also the company that runs the Corvette Racing team for Chevrolet. And in the past two IMSA races, at Daytona and Sebring, those C8 Corvettes finished first and second. Corvette Racing has now won 101 races since it was formed in 1999.
And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching.
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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.