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0:07 VW Drops Golf From the U.S.
1:16 VW Fined for Missing EU CO2 Standards
2:01 Tesla Sales Fall in Europe
2:31 Tesla Registrations Spike in California
4:04 Autoline Learns About EHang
5:08 BMW M Division Getting an EV
5:47 Ford Sharing Connected Car Data
7:27 Opel Electrifies Its Combo Van
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
VW DROPPING GOLF FROM THE U.S.
The Volkswagen Golf is an icon in the industry. It’s usually the best selling car in Europe and one of the best in the world. But yesterday VW announced it’s dropping the Golf in the American market. Last year VW sold fewer than 15,000 in the U.S. Fortunately, it will keep selling the GTI and R versions of the Golf, probably for two reasons. First, VW grosses $5,000 more per GTI and $15,000 more per R than a normal Golf. Second, GTI and R owners passionately support the brand and you don’t want to lose customers like that. This is just another example of how the passenger car segment is shrinking. VW already dropped the Beetle and the CC, and we wonder if the Arteon will be the next to go. Last year VW only sold 3,600 of them in the American market. But the Jetta and Passat look safe. They have decent volume and in fact, sales of the Passat went up 62% last year despite the pandemic.
VW FINED FOR MISSING EU CO2 STANDARDS
Speaking of VW, it was fined yesterday for missing Europe’s CO2 standard. It didn’t miss it by much, only half a gram per car, but the fine was €100 million, or $120 million. That European CO2 standard is pretty strict. Automakers have to pay €95 for every gram over the standard for every car they sell. Right now cars can’t emit more than 95 grams per kilometer. In 2025 it drops to 78 grams and in 2030 it drops to 60. And right now, unless someone comes out with low-carbon fuel, you can’t meet 60 grams with just an internal combustion engine.
TESLA SALES FALL IN EUROPE
Tesla’s sales in Europe fell by 10% last year and it’s losing EV market share as traditional OEMs introduce new EVs. So it’s cutting the price of the Model 3 by about three to four thousand euros, depending on the model. In Germany, the Standard Range Plus model is now just under 40,000 euros. Over the last year the dollar slipped 10% versus the Euro, so the drop in revenue in dollars is even more pronounced.
TESLA REGISTRATIONS SPIKE IN CALIFORNIA
But while Tesla has slumped a bit in Europe, its sales are soaring in California. According to data from Cross-Sell, a research firm that collects title and registration data, the EV maker’s registrations in the fourth quarter of 2020 were up 63% in the Golden State, compared to the prior year. The jump was fueled by the Model Y, which accounted for more than half of its registrations.
AUTOLINE LEARNS ABOUT E-HANG
As I’m sure you’ve likely seen, we’ve been reporting on the stock performance of automakers and suppliers. And yesterday viewer M Beliv on YouTube posted, “E HANG was 53% up yesterday. Almost 100% up since last week.” EHang, a provider of autonomous aerial mobility, trades under the name EH on the NASDAQ and is currently valued at roughly $74 per share. Only a few months ago in November it was valued at a little more than $9 a share. That’s a much bigger change than most of the stocks we’ve been reporting on. But as we said at the top of the story, we’ve been focusing on automakers and suppliers. E Hang was not on our radar because it provides aerial mobility. But it’s on our radar now and we’re considering adding others like it to our Stock Index. So, this is kind of a long way of saying, if you think there’s any companies that might be missing from our list, let us know. We might just add it.
BMW M DIVISION GETTING ELECTRIC CAR
Tuesday’s show featured a story about BMW’s M division setting a sales record last year. As noted, it will have 3 more launches this year, so we expect another record. Now we know one of those vehicles will be fully electric thanks to confirmation from the chairman of the M division. He didn’t reveal what the vehicle will be, but BMW only has 3 new EVs that we’re aware of, the iX3, the iX and i4. Most reports are putting their money on the i4 getting the M treatment. Good news is, we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to find out.
FORD SHARES CONNECTED CAR DATA WITH OTHER AUTOMAKERS
Last year Ford started equipping some of its vehicles in Europe with a feature called Local Hazard Information. A modem inside the vehicle allows it to connect with other Ford connected vehicles and share information, like slippery roads ahead, a broken-down vehicle or poor visibility. Now a number of automakers, including BMW, Mercedes and Volvo, have agreed to share this data amongst their connected vehicles. And others will be able to join in too if they want. I’m sure you can see how this will improve safety out on the road. But it’s also another opportunity for automakers to generate more revenue. Ford will offer the modem free for the first year after the purchase, but after that owners have to pay a licensing fee. And we say expect more of this. Whether it’s connected services or ADAS features, automakers are going to start charging customers to unlock them.
One of our goals at Autoline is to give you insight into companies that are on the leading edge of automotive technology. Gentex is one of those suppliers and we have the head of R&D, Neil Boehm, coming on Autoline After Hours this afternoon. Lindsay Brooke from SAE Engineering will also be with us, and you can catch all the action at our website or YouTube channel. The show goes live at 3 pm eastern time.
OPEL ELECTRIFIES ITS COMBO VAN
Opel introduced the electric version of its small Combo van. Called the Combo-e, it’s equipped with a 100-kw electric motor and a 50-kWh lithium-ion battery which provides a range of 275 kilometers based on the WLTP cycle, or about 170 miles. It can seat up to five people, depending on the configuration, it’s available in two wheelbases and has a payload of 800 kilograms or about 1,760 pounds. The Combo-e arrives at dealerships this fall and by the end of the year, Opel’s entire light commercial van lineup will be electric. And in case you’re wondering, Opel’s British subsidiary Vauxhall, will also sell the Combo-e.
But 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.