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0:07 Chip Shortage Cripples U.S. Sales
0:47 Toyota Tops the Sales Charts
1:21 EV Sales Stall in August
1:37 Update: Tesla Could Catch BMW
3:11 Leaded Gasoline Production Ends
3:54 Stellantis Gets In-House Finance Co.
4:33 Industrial Debt Different from Finance Debt
5:55 Kia Sportage Developed Exclusively for Europe
6:46 SEAT CUPRA Is Electric Rocket
7:25 BMW Motorrad Concept for Future Motorcycle/Scooter
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
CHIP SHORTAGE CRIPPLES U.S. SALES
We knew this was going to happen and now it finally has. The chip shortage eliminated so much inventory that sales are starting to fall fast. Ward’s Intelligence reports that sales in the U.S. market in August dropped to an annualized rate of only 13 million vehicles. Automakers sold one million cars, trucks and vans last month but that was a big drop compared to last year or even the month before. Remember, back in April the SAAR, or annualized rate, hit 18 million.
TOYOTA TOPS THE SALES CHARTS
Toyota topped the sales charts. While General Motors only reports sales on a quarterly basis, industry sources say Toyota easily outsold GM. Those sources also say Stellantis was hot on GM’s heels. Ford came in way behind them and had the Hyundai Group breathing down its neck. In fact, the Hyundai Group outsold Honda. Whoever thought we’d see this? Chrysler almost catching GM? The Hyundai Group surpassing Honda? This chip shortage sure is shaking up the market.
|Top 6 OEMs, U.S. Market, August 2021
|Source: Wards Intelligence
EV SALES STALL IN AUGUST
Sales of electric cars also stalled out due to the chip shortage. While they were up nearly 40% from a year ago, they fell 16% compared to July. And their market share is stuck at 2.6% of the market.
UPDATE: TESLA COULD CATCH BMW
Yesterday we reported that Tesla could catch BMW in sales by the end of next year. That prompted Autoline viewer Kevin A to ask if we were comparing Tesla to the BMW brand, or the BMW Group. And the answer is the brand. We did not include Mini or Rolls-Royce. Mini sells about 300,000 cars a year, Rolls sells fewer than 4,000, while BMW sells about 2 million. We think that by the end of next year, Tesla could be on a 2 million unit a year sales rate, and that would put it even-steven with BMW.
GET THE LEAD OUT
Leaded gasoline is now, literally, a thing of the past. The last refinery in the world making it, located in Algeria, has run out of its supply. The fuel was mainly used in Africa and other low-income countries. Leaded gasoline has been linked to causing heart disease, cancer and other ailments, plus it’s very harmful to the environment. Leaded gasoline has been banned in the U.S. and Europe for decades and in 2002, when more than 100 countries were still using it, the UN launched a campaign to get rid of it. And now nearly twenty years later, you’re not going to be able to get it anywhere.
STELLANTIS GETS IN-HOUSE FINANCE CO.
Bloomberg reports that Stellantis wants its own finance arm in the U.S. market. The details will be coming out later today. Currently Stellantis uses a finance unit called Chrysler Capital. But that is actually owned and operated by the Spanish bank Santander. Automakers love having their own captive finance companies because they’re so lucrative. Those fincos lend money to dealers to build their dealerships. Then they loan money to the dealers to buy cars from the factory. And then they loan money to customers so they can buy or lease cars from the dealers. It’s the best racket in the industry.
INDUSTRIAL DEBT DIFFERENT FROM FINANCE DEBT
And here’s some of our Autoline Insight. Maybe you’ve seen some of these YouTube videos with arm chair analysts predicting that GM and Ford are going to go out of business because of their high debt load. What they fail to take into account is that there is a big difference between industrial debt and finance debt. Industrial debt is the kind of debt needed to finance capital expenditures like factories and equipment. Finance debt represents the borrowing by the captive fincos so they can lend money to dealers and customers. GM and Ford make billions in profits making those loans. So, far from driving them to the brink of bankruptcy, that debt is going to keep them healthy and strong.
KIA SPORTAGE DEVELOPED EXCLUSIVELY FOR EUROPE
We’ve got a few reveals ahead of next week’s auto show in Munich.
First up, Kia officially unveiled the Sportage it specifically designed and developed for the European market. It’s built on the company’s new N3 architecture. And it’s available with a number of powertrains, including mild, full and plug-in hybrid gasoline variants. Each one of them feature a 1.6L four-cylinder under the hood, which can be mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission or a 6-speed manual. There’s also a 1.6L diesel option, that is also available as a mild hybrid. It gets the transmissions. The interior highlight is a large 12.3-inch touchscreen. And it’s available with a number of safety and driver assist technology.
SEAT CUPRA IS ELECTRIC ROCKET
Next up is CUPRA, the high-performance brand from Spanish automaker SEAT. It’s showing off a sporty, all-electric concept called the UrbanRebel. Even though it looks like a race car, it’s the company’s vision of a future EV for urban driving. The UrbanRebel delivers up to 320 kW of peak power and can move from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds. And since SEAT is part of the VW Group, the concept is based on VW’s MEB architecture. The automaker plans to come out with a production version in 2025.
BMW MOTORRAD CONCEPT FOR FUTURE MOTORCYCLE/SCOOTER
And last but not least, BMW Motorrad took the wraps off a somewhat futuristic looking electric motorcycle concept. Called the CE 02, as you can see it’s not quite a traditional motorcycle or scooter. It’s aimed at a younger audience, 16 and up, who have never ridden a motorbike before. The company didn’t reveal how big a battery it has but says it has a range of about 90 kilometers or 56 miles and has a top speed of 90 km/h or 56 MPH.
NISSAN FRONTIER ON TODAY’S AUTOLINE AFTER HOURS
Nissan made a big mistake leaving the Frontier pickup in the market without updating it for 17 years. Even though the company saved a ton of money by not investing in the truck, it lost half its customers. Now it hopes to lure them back with an all-new Frontier. So what were the big changes? That’s what we’re going to get into on Autoline After Hours this afternoon when Melaina Vasko from Nissan comes on the show. She played an important role in determining what they had to do to improve the Frontier. If you’ve got questions you’d like us to ask her, tweet them to us or drop an email to email@example.com.
But that’s it for today’s show, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.