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0:07 GM Announces Electric Silverado
1:03 Inventory Levels Could Keep Sales Down
1:54 Electric Mopeds Can Replace Other Forms of Mobility
3:12 Jeep Compass Refreshed
4:24 Mercedes CLS Lightly Refreshed
5:17 Ford App Offers Travel Recommendations
6:31 Continental Using Simulator to Develop Tires
7:30 Automotive Startups Have Banner Day
8:02 Segway Developing Hydrogen Powered Motorcycle
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM REVEALS IT WILL MAKE ELECTRIC SILVERADO
GM made it official. It’s going to make an electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado. But this is not a conversion of the existing Silverado. Instead, it will ride on GM’s Ultium platform and be built at its Factory Zero plant in Michigan alongside the Hummer truck and SUV. The models rolling out of that plant will be for both retail and fleet customers, so we expect a number of build combinations. GM estimates they’ll have a top range of over 400 miles. According to Autoforecast Solutions, the electric Silverado will go into production late in 2022, and GM has an initial target to make 38,000 a year. As you would expect with a volume that low, it will make and sell both ICE and EV Silverados at the same time.
INVENTORY LEVELS COULD KEEP SALES DOWN
If automakers in North America can figure out how to overcome the chip shortage, sales could go through the roof. But that may not happen if inventory continues to drop. And it’s still dropping. In the U.S., there are 1.3 million fewer vehicles in inventory than there were a year ago. Even worse, there were 266,000 fewer in March than there were in February. On average automakers only have 39 day’s worth of inventory. Some are tighter than that. Subaru only has 24 days and the Chevrolet Colorado is down to only 8 days. Normally automakers like to have about 60 days of inventory on dealers’ lots to provide customers with plenty of choices.
EV MOPEDS CAN REPLACE OTHER FORMS OF MOBILITY
Does it make any sense to get in a 4,000 pound vehicle to drive a mile to get a quart of milk? Flux Mopeds doesn’t think so. It wants people to use electric mopeds instead. And instead of towing a car behind an RV, Flux says a better solution is bringing this cool looking electric scooter that can drive 50 miles at speeds up to 38 MPH. Best of all it only costs $2,400. Is an electric scooter for you? We’ve got Matt Brueggeman, the founder of Flux coming on Autoline After Hours tomorrow afternoon. So we invite you to join John and Gary as they explore the world of micro mobility.
JEEP COMPASS REFRESHED
Jeep just revealed an updated version of the Compass. Styling changes are mild, but the front bumper has been massaged and the front and rear lighting signatures are new. Also note how the fender flares can now come in body color, which tones down the rugged look a bit. Jeep designers toned down the rugged look of the interior as well. That’s highlighted by what looks like a brushed aluminum bar that runs around the dashboard and a new steering wheel design. The center display screen, which comes in sizes from 8.4 – 10.1 inches, was pushed higher on the dash and it also features a 10.25 inch digital instrument cluster. The new Compass even features Jeep’s Level 2 autonomous system, called Highway Assist, which will keep you in the lane on the highway and adjust speed, but won’t make lane changes. Power will still come from a range of internal combustion engines, including plug-in hybrid variants. According to the The Detroit Free Press, he new Compass is expected to launch in Europe this year and come to the U.S. sometime next year.
MERCEDES CLS GETS MILD REFRESH
Mercedes gave the CLS sedan a mild refresh. The biggest change was made to the look of the lower front fascia, but there’s a new grille design as well. It also comes standard with its AMG Line package, which includes a specific bumper, side trim, chrome front splitter, unique air intakes and 20-inch wheels. The only real change to the interior is new trim and material options. The new CLS hits U.S. dealerships early next year. However, bigger upgrades, like its latest generation infotainment system and advanced driver assistance features, were made to the current CLS. So, if someone is in the market for a car like this, unless they really loved that AMG Line package, they would be better off going for what’s already out there.
FORD APP OFFERS TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS
Ford has a new app called Mappo that offers travel recommendations based on books, movies, music and more. The app contains over 30,000 point-of-interest cultural references in more than a dozen cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The points aren’t just marked on a map, they also contain content such as quotes, book clips and trivia. Users can even upload points-of-interest in their own cities that Mappo hasn’t supported yet, and add quotes or other info for the site. The app is available to owners with vehicles equipped with SYNC 3 or 4.
CONTINENTAL USING SIMULATOR TO TEST TIRES
Using simulators to develop new vehicles is nothing new in the auto industry but now the supplier Continental is going to use a dynamic simulator to test tires. It features a life-size cabin that allows professional test drivers to react and respond as they would in the real world. The simulator can test a specific tire model for any vehicle model, plus it allows the tires to be tested in any driving situation or on any surface. Not only will the simulator help speed up tire development time, it’s more environmentally friendly. The company estimates that it can save up to 10,000 test tires per year and reduce real world tests by 100,000 kilometers a year or a little more than 62,000 miles. Continental will start using the simulator at is European test center in Germany starting in the middle of 2022.
AUTOMOTIVE STARTUPS HAD A GOOD DAY
The Autoline Global Stock Index was as flat as a pancake yesterday. Literally no change up or down. But some of the startups had a banner day. Velodyne, the lidar company, was up over 12%. XL Fleet which does EV conversions of electric trucks gained more than 11%. Canoo, which took it on the chin last week, was up 9%. Lucid Motors gained 6% and Lordstown was up 5%.
SEGWAY DEVELOPING HYDROGEN POWERED MOTORCYCLE
A few years ago, Segway, the company best known for its two-wheeled personal transporter, unveiled an electric motorcycle called the Apex. Now the company is showing off a hydrogen powered bike called the Apex H2. It has 60-kW of power, moves from 0 to 100 km/h in four seconds and has a top speed of 150 km/h or about 93 MPH. As you can see from the pictures this is a concept but Segway plans to deliver the bike in 2023 with a starting price of $10,700.
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.