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0:07 Stellantis Earnings Look Pretty Good
1:14 BMW Posts Strong Earnings But Warns of Volatility
2:42 Hyundai Gives Santa Fe a More Rugged Look
3:24 Lincoln Teams with Shinola for Aviator Concept
3:54 Bridgestone Buys Fleet Management Company
5:56 Geely Concept Hints at Future Direction
7:33 Acura Celebrates Final Year of the NSX
8:23 Aussie Company Converting TRXs to RHD
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
STELLANTIS HITS STUNNING MARGINS IN NORTH AMERICA
Stellantis reported its earnings for the first half of the year and the numbers look pretty good. It sold 3.2 million vehicles, took in more than €72 billion in revenue and posted a net profit of nearly €6.8 billion. One interesting point. Even though Stellantis sold nearly twice as many vehicles in Europe than it did in North America, it made significantly more profit in North America. Stellantis reports that on a pro forma basis it hit an impressive 11% operating margin overall, but in North America the Chrysler Group hit a stunning 16% margin. So what does pro forma mean? In this case it sort of means, “let’s just pretend.” Remember, the merger between PSA and FCA didn’t take place until the middle of January. So pro forma means, let’s just pretend the merger actually started on January 1, and here’s what the numbers look like if we do it that way.
DESPITE STRONG SALES BMW WARNS OF VOLATILE 2ND HALF OF YEAR
BMW also released its earnings for the first half of the year and its numbers look pretty good too. The automaker sold more than 1.3 million vehicles, including MINI and Rolls-Royce. It brought in more than 55 billion euros in revenue. Its earnings before interest and taxes topped 8 billion euros and it posted a net profit of 7.6 billion euros. And while those are good numbers, BMW’s chairman, Oliver Zipse, warns that the second half of the year will be more volatile for the company because of rising raw material prices and the chip shortage.
HYUNDAI GIVES SANTA FE A MORE RUGGED LOOK
Over the last year or so, we’ve seen a number of automakers come out with trim packages to give vehicles a more rugged, off-road look. And now it’s the Hyundai Santa Fe’s turn with the introduction of the XRT package. Some of its features include front and rear black lower bumpers, silver front and rear skid plates, exclusive side steps, 18-inch dark alloy wheels plus a black grille, mirror housings and roof rails. The Santa Fe XRT starts at $32,300 with front-wheel-drive and it’s about two grand more with all-wheel-drive. And both are arriving at dealers now.
LINCOLN TEAMS WITH SHINOLA FOR SPECIAL AVIATOR
Lincoln created a more upscale version of the Aviator with the help of Shinola, a Detroit based design brand that makes watches and leather goods. Lincoln designers incorporated Shinola’s style into the seats, instrument panel and in the console, which gives it more of a bespoke look. Lincoln will display the vehicle at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later this month. And while the company is calling this a concept, it could easily sell these.
BRIDGESTONE BUYS FLEET MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Everybody is getting into mobility services these days, even tire companies. Bridgestone just bought a company called Azuga that handles fleet management, so it can offer cloud-based solutions for real-time vehicle operations and data analytics. That could help fleets reduce fuel consumption, traffic accidents and wear and tear on their vehicles. With the acquisition of Azuga, Bridgestone gets more than 6,000 fleet customers in North America. Bridgestone also recently invested in Kodiak Robotics which is developing Level 4 long-haul trucks.
And here’s Paolo Ferrari, the President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, with more details about why it wanted to acquire Azuga.
(Clip with Paolo Ferrari can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
GEELY CONCEPT HINTS AT FUTURE DIRECTION
Geely is showing the direction its design could take in the future with the Vision Starburst concept. It’s a sleek sedan that uses a lot of light to create emotion. This is highlighted by thin light bars that envelop the wheel arches. You’re drawn inside by similar design elements that are picked up on the entire dash and even into the doors. Overall it has a very futuristic look. And one thing we find very interesting is that the Vision Starburst doesn’t have headlights. Instead, designers feel in the future headlights will be replaced by some sort of vision system and the Starburst features two lidar units that rotate upwards in place of the headlights. While it won’t produce this car, Geely will incorporate elements into future models.
ACURA CELEBRATES FINAL YEAR OF NSX
For the first time ever a Type S version of the NSX will be sold outside of Japan. But, unfortunately, that’s because it’s a limited edition version that’s celebrating the end of the 2nd generation of the supercar. Just 350 examples of the NSX Type S will be sold around the world as it enters its final year of production. They’ll all be made at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio and will feature an enhanced version of the car’s twin-turbo V6 engine and hybrid all-wheel drive system. That’s about all the information we’ve got until the car makes its debut on August 12th. While this is the end of this NSX, Acura says it will continue to pursue sports cars in the electrified era.
AUSSIE COMPANY CONVERTS TRXs TO RHD
The Ram TRX is one bad-ace off-road truck, but it’s currently left-hand-drive-only so that means some countries will not get a chance to experience this beast. However, thanks to viewer Warwick Rex Dundas we know that Australians can now get their hands on a TRX. A company by the name of Australian Manufactured Vehicles or AMV is converting them to RHD and selling them in the country. These trucks are not backed by the factory, so AMV had to make a few design tweaks to the interior to get everything to line up, which means it’s slightly different from the original. Apparently there is another company that is backed by the Ram Truck brand that plans to bring the TRX to Australia but currently this is the only option. And it’s not cheap either. A TRX in the U.S. ranges from about $70,000 to $100,000, but the Australian TRX starts at $150,000 and can reach close to $200-grand, depending on the options.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.