Listen to “AD #3049 – Biden's Huge Infrastructure Plan; Chip Shortage Hits Ford's F-150; Hyundai Teases Santa Cruz Pickup” on Spreaker.
Follow us on social media:
0:07 GM Offered to Design Next-Gen Zamboni
0:38 Kona N Not What You Think
1:00 IIHS Teams Up With Denture Company
1:28 3-Cylinder Owners Cry Collusion
1:46 Lamborghini Makes Reverse Lambo Doors
2:54 VW Buying EV Credits From Tesla in China
3:33 Biden Rolls Out Huge Infrastructure Plan
4:16 ITC Rules in SK’s Favor on Patents
5:26 Chip Shortage Hits Ford’s Cash Cow
6:16 EVs Won’t Be Profitable for Years to Come
6:45 Hyundai Teases Santa Cruz Pickup
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM OFFERED TO MAKE NEXT-GEN ZAMBONI
General Motors is at the top of the news today. Remember when NHL teams helped GM ramp up mask production to fight the pandemic? Well, GM offered to return the favor by designing the NHL’s next-generation Zamboni. But sources tell Autoline a fight broke out over exclusivity rights and GM CEO Mary Barra ended up losing a tooth. When asked about the incident, Barra responded, “This ain’t nothing. You should see the other person.”
KONA N NOT WHAT YOU THINK
Everyone thought that Hyundai was going to release a performance version of the Kona — the Kona N. But it turns out we got it all wrong. Hyundai is actually making a short film based on the movie Conan, which will feature action shots of the Kona. Hyundai says it’s sorry for any confusion, but urges people to check out Kona N anyway.
IIHS TEAMS UP WITH DENTURE COMPANY
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety smashes up a lot of cars. But those crash tests create an awful mess that has to be cleaned up. So, the safety gurus got the idea to team up with a denture company and turn smashed up car grilles into blinged-out grillz for people to wear. Here you go, just to give you an idea of what they look like. I know, I know, some of you think it’s an improvement.
3-CYLINDER OWNERS CRY COLLUSION
Whoa! Here’s a crazy story. Car owners in Europe with 3-cylinder engines are suing automakers and spark plug manufacturers. They’re crying collusion. Spark plugs are typically sold in packs of four, and the 3-cylinder people feel they’re getting screwed.
LAMBORGHINI OFFERS REVERSE LAMBO DOORS
Lamborghini has been around so long that it’s got quite a few aging owners. And they can’t contort their body to get into their cars anymore. So, Lambo is coming to the rescue. It now offers Reverse Lambo Door Kits. It got so much good feedback from the Huracan, which doesn’t come with Lambo doors, that the marketing guys decided they were leaving too much money on the table.
And that’s the top of the news on this first day of April. We’ll be back in a moment with what’s really going on.
VW BUYING TESLA EV CREDITS IN CHINA
Volkswagen wants to be the Number One EV maker in the world. But for now it mostly sells gasoline powered vehicles. Reuters reports that the German automaker and its joint venture partner in China, FAW, are buying EV credits from Tesla in order to comply with stricter emission regulations. No word yet on how much it’s spending but sources say the automakers are offering 3,000 yuan per credit or a little more than $450. Last year, FAW-Volkswagen sold 2.16 million vehicles in China, most of which were gas powered.
BIDEN ROLLS OUT HUGE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion infrastructure plan contains a big chunk of money to pick up the pace with electric cars. It includes $174 billion to install 500,000 charging stations by 2030, as well as point-of-sale rebates on EVs, not just tax rebates. He wants to convert all federal vehicles and public school busses to electric. And he wants to develop a domestic supply chain to make batteries and motors, so the U.S. is not dependent on Asia. The auto industry and the UAW strongly back the plan. And now the fight to implement it begins in Congress.
ITC RULES IN SK’S FAVOR ON PATENTS
LG Chem won a preliminary ruling against SK Innovation for stealing trade secrets. But it also sued SK for violating its patents. But this time LG Chem lost. The U.S. International Trade Commission just ruled in SK’s favor. Remember, SK has threatened to leave the U.S. if President Biden doesn’t overturn the ITC’s original ruling. It’s said this latest ruling could have bearing on the two company’s other disputes, but we don’t know what that will be. We’ll keep you posted when more info comes in.
CHIP SHORTAGE HITS FORD’S CASH COW
It seems like we say this everyday but the chip shortage is getting worse. Ford announced production cuts at two of its plants that build the F-150. It will halt production at its Dearborn plant for two weeks starting on April 5th and it will idle production at its Kansas City plant next week. And it won’t run any overtime shifts at the two facilities through June. That’s a big blow to the automaker as the F-Series is a money making machine. On top of that, Stellantis, Nissan, GM, Honda and Volkswagen have recently announced production cuts in North America. AlixPartners estimates that the chip shortage will cost automakers $61 billion in lost sales this year.
EVs WON’T MAKE PROFIT FOR YEARS TO COME
When will automakers start making a profit on electric cars? Bloomberg reports that it probably won’t happen until the second half of this decade. While automakers make a decent return right now on expensive EVs like the Porsche Taycan, battery costs need to drop to $60 per kilowatt hour for them to be profitable at the low end of the market. Bloomberg reports batteries cost about $140 per kilowatt hour right now.
HYUNDAI TEASES SANTA CRUZ PICKUP
Hyundai revealed some teaser pictures for its all-new Santa Cruz pickup, which goes into production this summer in Alabama. I’m sure a lot of you are happy to see it retains a good deal of the concept’s styling. There’s not a lot of details, but we can tell you it sits on an ICE-based platform and will have all-wheel drive availability. Here’s another thing. You know how BMW calls its utilities SAVs or Sport Activity Vehicles, instead of SUVs. Well, Hyundai is not calling the Santa Cruz a truck, but rather a Sport Adventure Vehicle. We know Hyundai plans to package this truck in ways we haven’t really seen in the segment before. So, look out for those announcements too.
Before we sign off, make sure to catch Autoline After Hours later this afternoon at 3 PM eastern time. It’s all about design; past, present and future. But that’s it for today. Thanks for watching and we’ll be back here again tomorrow.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
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.