Listen to “AD #3235 – Tesla Facing Battery Shortage? EV Startups See Big Drops; Ford Warns Dealers About Upcharging for Lightning” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Tesla Delays Due to Battery Shortage?
0:55 EV Startups See Big Drops
1:37 Ford Hires Audi’s Top Sales Exec.
2:46 GM Recognizes Cali’s Standard-Setting Authority
3:23 Tesla Raises FSD Price
3:50 Luxury Brands Have Good Sales Year
4:41 Ford Warns Dealers About Upcharging
6:03 Stellantis Vans Going All-Electric in Europe
6:38 Audi Enters Range-Extender Into Dakar Rally
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
ARE TESLA DELAYS DUE TO BATTERY SHORTAGE?
When Tesla unveiled its electric semi in 2017, Elon Musk said it would go into production in 2019. And when the Cyber Truck debuted late 2019, Musk said it would go into production in late 2021. So how come they haven’t gone into production already? According to the CEO of a company called Voltaiq, it’s because Tesla can’t get enough batteries. Voltaiq is a battery design and testing company that works with many major automakers. Tal Sholklapper, the CEO of Voltaiq, says Tesla can’t get enough batteries to introduce those new models. And it’s not just Tesla. He predicts the next shortage to cripple the auto industry will be a battery shortage. Even with all the battery plants coming online, there won’t be enough capacity to meet demand.
EV STARTUPS SEE BIG DROPS
Uh-oh, the stock prices of EV startups are getting hit hard. And it’s happening across the board. Last Friday Rivian closed 50% down from its peak in November. Fisker is down 31% and Lucid is down 24%. Even the Chinese EV startups are getting hit, with NIO down 37%. Now the question is: has the bubble burst, or is this just a temporary correction? While these startups achieved impressive market caps, none of them are making money. And investors may be getting worried that traditional automakers could clobber the startups as they start to come out with competitive electric vehicles.
FORD HEADHUNTS AUDI’S TOP SALES EXEC
Ford headhunted Audi’s top sales executive in Europe. Martin Sander is going to become head of Ford’s operations in Germany and General Manager of passenger vehicles for all of Europe. Sander worked for the VW Group for 25 years and was most recently senior VP of Sales in Europe for Audi. He’s being tasked with leading Ford’s transition to electric and connected vehicles in Europe and will be based in Cologne, Germany, where Ford is going to build an all-new electric passenger vehicle next year.
GM RECOGNIZES CALI’S STANDARD-SETTING AUTHORITY
A few years ago, General Motors was among a handful of automakers that backed the Trump Administration’s effort to prevent California from setting its own emission standards. But now GM is reversing course and recognizing California’s authority to set its own standards. By doing so, GM is now eligible for government fleet purchases by the state. California stopped purchasing vehicles from companies that backed the Trump Administration in its emissions battle. GM is also accelerating its own EV efforts and plans to have a zero-emission light-duty fleet by 2035.
TESLA RAISES PRICE FOR FSD
Tesla is once again boosting the price of its Full-Self Driving advanced driver assistance feature. CEO Elon Musk tweeted that it’s raising the price to $12,000 on January 17th, only in the U.S. Back in 2020, Tesla raised the price of FSD from $8,000 to the current $10,000. Musk said that the monthly subscription price for FSD will also rise once it becomes widely available.
LUXURY BRANDS HAVE GOOD SALES YEAR
While most automakers saw weak sales last year, Tesla posted an 87% increase. And it wasn’t the only one that had a banner year. So did Rolls Royce and Aston Martin. Rolls posted a 49% increase in sales. It sold 5,586 luxury cars around the world in 2021. Aston Martin saw sales rocket up 82%, largely thanks to its first SUV, the DBX. Aston sold 6,182 vehicles in total.
FORD WARNS DEALERS UPCHARGING FOR F-150 LIGHTNING
Customers who put down deposits for the all-electric F-150 Lightning are hopping mad. Ford has over 200,000 reservations and plans to double production of the pickup because of the high demand. But customers are complaining that some dealers are demanding that customers make additional deposits or payments on top of the $100 reservation they already paid. So Ford’s head of sales in the U.S. and Canada, Andrew Frick, fired off a letter to dealers warning them not to upsell reservations and threatening to not send them F-150 Lightnings. Ford is also protecting dealers by forcing owners to sign an agreement not to sell their electric truck within one year of purchasing it. If a buyer does try to sell it within one year, they could face legal action including blocking the transfer of the title.
This is going to be the hot topic on Autoline After Hours this Thursday. Should car dealers be free to mark up the prices of cars by thousands of dollars just because inventory is tight? We’ll have Tim Jackson, the president and CEO of the Colorado Car Dealers Association on the show. Tim is a strong advocate of franchised dealers and this is going to be a spirited show. So join John and Gary for some of the best insights into what’s going on in the automotive industry.
STELLANTIS VANS GOING ALL-ELECTRIC IN EUROPE
Stellantis is starting to go all-electric with its van fleet in Europe. Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall will only offer electric versions of their light-duty vans to retail customers. And of those four, it looks like Citroen is the only one that will still sell ICE versions to fleet customers for the time being. But it’s important to remember that this switch to electric is for two models for each brand and those models are all the same, except for styling. So, it kind of makes sense that they all would go all-electric.
AUDI ENTERS E-REV INTO DAKAR RALLY
Speaking of EVs, one way to advance any technology is to take it racing and Audi is competing in the Dakar Rally with a unique vehicle. The RS Q e-tron actually uses a range extender, like the Chevy Bolt. But the gas motor never provides power to the wheels, it’s just used to charge the battery. The electric drivetrain does the rest, providing enough power to do 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds on the sand. The Dakar Rally is now halfway over and Audi has done quite well with the three vehicles it entered. It has six podium finishes in the various stages of the race; one 1st place, two second and three third. That’s pretty impressive for a vehicle program that only started 15 months ago.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for joining us.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.