Listen to “AD #3193 – Mercedes-AMG Unveils New SL Roadster; Tesla Triples VW’s Profit Per Vehicle; Toyota Reveals More bZ4X Details” on Spreaker.
Follow us on social media:
0:08 Volvo Launches IPO
0:26 Peugeot Introduces Electric 208 In Brazil
1:03 SK Innovation Invests in Solid State Battery Startup
1:34 Hyundai Partners with Solid State Battery Startup
2:03 Tesla Triples Volkswagen’s Profit Per Vehicle
3:52 Mercedes-AMG Unveils New SL Roadster
6:12 Honda Expands Battery Swapping Business
6:55 Toyota Reveals More bZ4X EV Details
9:05 You Said It!
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
VOLVO LAUNCHES IPO
Volvo launched its IPO today on the Stockholm market. The company’s shares jumped 22% after its debut which puts its valuation at $22 billion. EV stocks are red hot again. Both Tesla and Lucid posted big gains this week.
PEUGEOT INTRODUCES ELECTRIC 208 IN BRAZIL
And now EVs are starting to make their way to emerging markets. Peugeot just launched the electric version of the 208 in Brazil. The small hatchback is powered by a 50-kWh battery, a 100-kW electric motor and has a range of 340 kilometers or about 210 miles based on the WLTP cycle. But the little EV is priced at $43,400, which suggests to us there will not be a lot of buyers because the ICE version of the 208 costs about $18,000 in Brazil.
SK INNOVATION INVESTS IN SOLID STATE BATTERY STARTUP
The high cost of batteries is one reason why solid state batteries keep getting a lot of attention. South Korean battery maker SK Innovation is investing $30 million into Solid Power, a solid-state battery startup in Colorado. Solid Power is also backed by Ford and BMW. Solid state batteries promise to be cheaper, lighter, faster to charge, and store more energy than lithium-ion batteries. But they’re more difficult to make.
HYUNDAI PARTNERS WITH SOLID STATE BATTERY STARTUP
Difficult to make or not, Hyundai and Kia are partnering with Factorial Energy to test solid state batteries and maybe even manufacture them. Factorial says its solid-state batteries can extend driving range by 20 to 50% compared to lithium-ion batteries. The startup is based in Massachusetts and has Former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and former Ford CEO Mark Fields on its advisory board.
TESLA TRIPLES VOLKSWAGEN’S PROFIT PER VEHICLE
Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess is trying to light a fire under his management team to catch up to Tesla. As we reported last week, Diess actually invited Elon Musk to call into a meeting with VW’s top executives. Here’s a key reason why Diess is so worried. VW is significantly behind Tesla when it comes to how much revenue and profit each vehicle generates for the company. Tesla generates nearly $50,000 in revenue for each vehicle it sells. Volkswagen generates a little over $27,000. Keep in mind that Tesla barely sells any vehicles priced under $40,000, while the bulk of VW’s, SEAT’s, and Skoda’s sales are less than that. On the other hand, most Audi’s, Porsche’s, Bentley’s and Bugatti’s are priced much higher than that. Also, these numbers do not include the significant revenue that VW generates with its finance arm. We’re just looking at pure automotive revenue. And here’s the number that worries Diess the most. Tesla generates nearly $7,000 in profit for every vehicle it sells, while VW generates about $2,000. So if Diess truly wants to catch up to Tesla, he’s got some heavy lifting to do. He’s got to get VW to more than triple how much profit it makes for every vehicle it sells.
|Source: Company financial reports
MERCEDES-AMG UNVEILS NEW SL ROADSTER
Mercedes pulled the wraps off the new AMG SL roadster. The vehicle was developed independently by Mercedes-AMG, including its completely new 2+2 vehicle architecture, which features a lightweight composite aluminum chassis. It says the design gives the structure a lot of rigidity, which translates to better driving dynamics and more comfort and allowed designers to give it the sporty body proportions it wanted. And the new AMG SL is a low-slung car with a long hood and a short rear end. Thin lamps and large air vents are other sporty cues you notice right away. At some angles the rear end reminds us a little of the Porsche 911, but with the top up we’re also getting some classic car vibes. It’s kind of hard to describe, but there’s something about the angle at which the top meets the body at the rear. Not sure if that’s what the designers were going for, but they for sure were trying to look to the past with the two power bulges on the hood, which are meant to be reminiscent of the first SL generation. At launch, there will be two versions of the SL; the SL 55 and SL 63. Under the hood of the SL 55 is a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes about 475 horsepower and helps this two-door go from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. The SL 63 also has a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 but it makes 585 horsepower and does 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. Both feature a 9-speed automatic and, for the first time in the car’s nearly 70-year history, AWD. To further help keep all that power under control is rear-wheel steering and a newly developed suspension system that is highlighted by a multi-link front and rear axle. The AMG 63 takes that another level up by replacing the mechanical anti-roll bars with active hydraulic units that automatically adjust to road conditions and driving style. We’ve tried to hit the main highlights, but there’s a lot more information on the new AMG SL and we’ll provide a link to the press release if you’d like to learn more.
HONDA EXPANDS BATTERY SWAPPING BUSINESS
Honda continues to work on growing its portable and swappable battery business. These are small, 1.3 kWh lithium ion battery packs, that weigh a little over 10 kg or about 22 pounds and are meant to power all sorts of things, like motorcycles. And it’s now got a swapping station under development that would not only be a point of service for users, but also be used to reduce the load on the grid and Honda is studying how it could provide power back to the grid in the future. Beyond that it announced a new battery sharing service for three-wheeled taxis in India, which are also called Rickshaws and Tuk Tuks. That initiative kicks off in the first half of next year.
TOYOTA REVEALS MORE bZ4X EV DETAILS
Toyota is betting heavily on hybrids and fuel cells, but it’s not totally ignoring pure battery electric vehicles and has revealed more information about what it has coming up. It’s going to launch 7 electric vehicles by 2025 that were developed on a new dedicated platform, designed alongside Subaru. These vehicles will be part of a new bZ series of models, which stands for Beyond Zero. The first of those is the bZ4X. We’ve seen a little bit of its styling before and now we also get a good look at the interior. It has a large center display screen and a unique, forward-mounted instrument cluster as well as the option for a yolk steering wheel. There will be both front- and all-wheel drive versions. The FWD has a 150 kW or 201 horsepower motor, while the AWD has 160 kW or 214 horsepower. That means Toyota is not going after performance with this model. The FWD bZ4X will do 0-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds and the AWD does it in 7.7 seconds. Battery capacity comes in at 71.4 kWh and it’s estimated to return 500 kilometers or 310 miles of range, which, if it hits that, would make this a very efficient EV. But that is aided by a roof mounted solar panel. Look for the bZ4X to be launched worldwide in the middle of next year.
YOU SAID IT!
And now it’s time for You Said It. The all-new Corvette Z06 sure got a lot of you interested. A 670 horsepower, 5.5L flat-plane crank engine was all anyone could talk about. But LTK asked “Where is the manual?” Unfortunately LTK, for the first time in the Z06’s history there’s no manual. And it probably won’t ever get one. Even though manuals are more fun to drive, they create more emissions, lower fuel economy and shift slower.
Frank Meinert says good luck trying to get a Z06. He says “I naively went to the local Chevy dealer. The salesman informed me that they have been accepting deposits for two years. Based on the number of deposits and their best guess at their allocation, if I put down a deposit now, I will never get a Z06. The car looks phenomenal but apparently it is unobtainium.” We agree Frank, it’s almost impossible to get a Stingray or any Corvette model for that matter.
We’ve talked about Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells. But Wim van Acker wants to know “What does the 4680 stand for?” Wim, the number stands for its size, 46mm by 80mm.
And lastly Kevin A has a question about car dealers. He says “I hear a lot of talk about ‘dealer rights.’ What actually constitutes a dealer? Just trying to understand what other OEMs could do to level the playing field with Tesla not having to have dealers.”
Well, Kevin, each state has its own franchise laws. Those laws also state that automakers which sold cars through dealers must always do so. They cannot sell direct to consumers. That would seem to allow Tesla and other startups to sell direct because they never used the franchise system. But powerful dealer lobby groups in many states have successfully limited what Tesla can do. And there is no legal way for traditional automakers to try and sell cars without using the dealer franchise system.
But that’s all for today, thanks for watching and have a great Halloween weekend.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com
Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.