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0:08 Ford Battles GM Over Trademark Infringement
1:04 NHTSA Opens Formal Investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot System
1:42 Tesla Expands Supercharger Network in China
3:01 Design Students Create Futuristic Lincoln
3:54 Rimac Nevera Unofficially Fastest Production Car
4:34 Mystery Car Revealed
6:14 Bidding War Over Veoneer
7:05 Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV Still Red Hot in China
8:19 Mose Nowland Passes Away
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
FORD BATTLES GM OVER TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
It is so disappointing to see automakers sue each other over trivial matters rather than battle it out in the marketplace. General Motors is suing Ford for trademark infringement. It says that Ford’s use of the name Blue Cruise for its hands-free driving system infringes on GM’s trademark of Super Cruise. So now Ford is asking the U.S. Trademark Office to remove GM’s trademark for Super Cruise and even its trademark for Cruise, which is GM’s autonomous car company. It’s kind of strange that GM was able to trademark the word Cruise. Generally, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not allow common words to be trademarked. Seems to us both companies would be better off spending more time working on the chip shortage, Covid outbreaks, and the transition to EVs.
NHTSA OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO TESLA’S AUTOPILOT SYSTEM
Tesla has been criticized for problems with its Autopilot system and now the Feds are getting involved. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a formal investigation. The agency says its identified 11 crashes since 2018 with Teslas on Autopilot or Traffic Aware Cruise Control that have hit parked emergency vehicles. The system didn’t detect flashing lights, flares, an illuminated arrow board or cones warning of hazards. The investigation covers all models built between 2014 and this year.
TESLA EXPANDS SUPERCHARGER NETWORK IN CHINA
Meanwhile, Tesla keeps racing ahead building its own EV charging system in China. It now has 7,000 Superchargers in China at 900 stations across the country. It just started rolling out its V3 Superchargers which have 250 kW and can add 250 kilometers or 155 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Tesla opened its first Supercharger in Shanghai seven years ago and is now manufacturing the chargers in China.
DESIGN STUDENTS CREATE FUTURISTIC LINCOLN
Lincoln wanted to know what its vehicles might look like in the future so it challenged transportation students from ArtCenter College of Design in Southern California to design a Lincoln for the year 2040. The students were told their goal was to come up with a beautiful gliding human sanctuary and four vehicle types needed to be represented; a two-passenger, a four-passenger, a four-passenger with elevated ride height, and a six-passenger vehicle. Lincoln is now displaying one the four vehicles, a futuristic four passenger car called Anniversary, during Monterey Car Week. It’s a very low slung vehicle with a really long hood and an elongated rear that almost has a bit of a boat-tail vibe. It’s said to connect the present and past with the ability to display digital images on the dashboard.
RIMAC NEVERA UNOFFICIALLY FASTEST PRODUCTION CAR
There may soon be a new title holder for the world’s quickest production car. The Rimac Nevera, an electric supercar, was able to run the quarter mile unofficially in 8.5 seconds at over 167 miles per hour. The Tesla Model S Plaid does a claimed 9.2 seconds in the quarter mile and the Dodge Challenger Demon clocks in under 10 seconds. While those are impressive machines, with over 1,900 horsepower, it’s no wonder the Nevera is so fast. And if you’re wondering why the name Rimac sounds so familiar, it recently bought a controlling stake in Bugatti.
MYSTERY CAR REVEALED
The classic car knowledge of Autoline viewers will never cease to amaze me. Our mystery car from last Friday was quickly revealed to be an Enfield 8000. The small, somewhat goofy-looking car is actually a 2-seater EV. It was introduced in 1973 and was powered by a 6 kW or 8 horsepower electric motor, which provided a top speed of 77 km/h or about 48 MPH. The advertised range was around 64 kilometers or 40 miles. The Enfield was a bit of a mutt too with suspension parts from the Hillman Imp, doors from MINI and rear axles plucked from Reliant three-wheelers. Only 120 were sold in the UK during its lifetime.
BIDDING WAR OVER VEONEER
When the Swedish supplier Autoliv spun out its ADAS business unit as a separate company it hoped to unlock more stockholder value. And wow, did it ever. That business unit, now called Veoneer, is caught up in a bidding war between Magna and Qualcomm. Magna offered $3.8 billion for Veoneer and thought it had the deal locked up, when Qualcomm came out of nowhere offering $4.6 billion. ADAS, or advanced driver assist systems, is turning out to be a major growth sector in the auto industry. Now the question is, will Magna come back with another offer? And Autoline has heard through the grapevine that there could be another major supplier that is about to come in with a third offer. Stay tuned, this story is far from over.
WULING HONG GUANG MINI EV STILL RED HOT IN CHINA
The Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV continues to stun the experts. In the first half of the year, over 157,000 Chinese customers snapped up the car. It’s outselling the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y combined. And at this rate it could rack up 300,000 sales by the end of the year, which no one expected. Even more interesting is that the dinky electric car is getting most of its sales in smaller cities in China, not in the big cities like Shanghai. With a base price a little over $4,000 just about anyone can afford to buy the Mini EV.
Can traditional automotive manufacturing make the transition to electric and autonomous cars? Can the Motor City transform itself into the Mobility City? That’s what we’ll be talking about on Autoline After Hours this Thursday. Our guest is Trevor Pawl, the chief mobility officer for the State of Michigan. There’s a lot riding in this. Success means a prosperous future. Failure could lead to economic ruin. So join John and Gary this Thursday afternoon for Autoline After Hours.
MOSE NOWLAND PASSES AWAY
And we have some sad news to report. Mose Nowland, the former Senior Motorsport Engineer at Ford passed away. He spent 57 years at the company and worked on cars for Le Mans, Indy, NASCAR and drag racing. We were fortunate to have him on Autoline After Hours, not once but twice several years back and here’s him talking about some of the engines he worked on.
(Today’s AAH clip is only available in the video version of the show.)
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.