Listen to “AD #3244 – Dodge Looks to Hire “Chief Donut Maker”; Renault Sued Over Copycat Logo; Sony Looks for More EV Partners” on Spreaker.
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0:08 Renault & Geely Plan to Build Hybrids in South Korea
0:40 Bosch & Mahle Already Carbon Neutral
1:16 Chinese Startup Sues Renault Over Copycat Logo
2:22 Mercedes Partners with Luminar
3:02 Sony Looking for More Partners for EV Project
3:33 Dodge Looks to Hire “Chief Donut Maker”
4:49 Glickenhaus Reveals Cryogenic Hydrogen Powered Race Truck
5:43 ZF Merges All Vehicle Motion Components into One Unit
6:49 Ford Makes Ranger Bed More Versatile
7:52 Acura Creates Anime Series That Features New Type S
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
RENAULT & GEELY PLAN TO BUILD HYBRIDS IN SOUTH KOREA
Well, here’s something different. A French company is going to team up with a Chinese company to make cars in South Korea. Renault and Geely are going to make hybrid cars in South Korea. They’ll be based on Geely’s compact vehicle architecture and use its hybrid technology. That same architecture is also used by Lynk & Co and Volvo. The new vehicles will be built by Renault-Samsung at its plant in Busan starting in 2024. They will be sold in South Korea and exported around the world.
BOSCH & MAHLE ALREADY CARBON NEUTRAL
Germany wants to be the global leader in achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, and two big German auto suppliers are well ahead of the curve. Bosch achieved carbon neutrality in February of 2020 and Mahle did it last year. This includes all their manufacturing facilities, and both companies say the next step is to achieve it with their entire supply chain. Maybe one reason they’re so far ahead of everyone else is that neither Bosch or Mahle are publicly traded companies. Both are owned by charitable foundations.
CHINESE STARTUP SUES RENAULT OVER COPYCAT LOGO
If you go back about a decade ago, several western automakers sued several Chinese automakers for their copycat designs. Now it’s sort of going the other way. HiPhi, an electric Chinese startup, is suing Renault for using a copycat logo. HiPhi has a logo that looks like a vertical line with brackets on each side of it. Renault uses a logo that looks a lot like the HiPhi logo, but dialed to the right about one quarter of a turn. Renault uses this logo for its new mobility business unit called Mobilize. Sure looks to us like HiPhi has the upper hand in this lawsuit. HiPhi came out with its logo in 2018, while Renault’s came out in 2021.
MERCEDES PARTNERS WITH LUMINAR
Luminar keeps notching up contracts with automakers to sell them lidar. It just added Mercedes to the list. The automaker has an SAE Level 3 system, which debuts on the S-Class and EQS this year. It’s expanding that with Luminar and will put its lidar units on its other cars in the future. Luminar already has deals with Volvo, SAIC and the self-driving startup, Pony.ai, which is backed by Toyota. Luminar, which is based in Orlando, Florida was started by Austin Russell, who is now 26 years old and reportedly worth $1.6 billion.
SONY LOOKING FOR MORE PARTNERS FOR EV PROJECT
We’re learning more details about Sony’s move to make its own electric cars. Earlier this month, it showed off an electric SUV prototype at CES based on the sedan it revealed two years ago. Now Reuters reports that it’s looking for more partners to make them. It’s already working with Magna, which built the prototypes at its factory in Austria. And it has partnerships with Bosch, Valeo and a Hungarian autonomous startup called AImotive.
DODGE LOOKS TO HIRE “CHIEF DONUT MAKER”
Dodge is looking to hire someone for “the Greatest Automotive Job in the World.” Their title will be Chief Donut Maker and basically, they’ll go around to different events, decked out in Dodge gear, promoting the brand. Anyone can sign up. It’s asking for a video, no longer than two minutes, that shows why Dodge should hire them. The top 10 finalists will then be thrown into a series of eliminations that test their talents and it will all be aired like a reality TV show. The final episode will reveal Dodge’s new Chief Donut Maker. Not only will that person get to drive around an SRT Hellcat, they’ll also earn $150,000 a year and they don’t have to quit their day job.
GLICKENHAUS REVEALS CRYOGENIC HYDROGEN POWERED TRUCK
Glickenhaus is showing off a cryogenic hydrogen powered race vehicle it plans to race at the Baja 1000. The company didn’t reveal many details about the truck but it did have a pretty amusing press release about why it feels fuel cells are a better application for larger vehicles than batteries. It did say it’s creating its own refueling infrastructure because it doesn’t have a source for cryogenic hydrogen for testing or to run the race. Only a few places in the U.S. are using cryogenic hydrogen which includes NASA and the military. But Glickenhaus says it welcomes the challenge and is even planning on making a street legal version of the truck.
ZF MERGES ALL VEHICLE MOTION COMPONENTS INTO ONE UNIT
Pretty much every automaker that doesn’t offer over-the-air updates is working on doing it. One way to get there is to have a central computer, or domain controller, rather than have individual computers for each component. ZF is launching a product it calls cubiX, which merges everything related to vehicle motion, including steering, braking, suspension and powertrain, into one control unit. And it can plug in components from any supplier, not just ones from ZF. We’ve talked a lot about how automakers will charge customers for vehicle upgrades right from the center screen. Well, it’s technologies like this that enable that. Systems will be able to go from one extreme to the other, from comfort to performance, at the touch of a button. Think of it like an extreme version of drive modes that you have to pay for. ZF’s cubiX platform can also be optimized for ADAS and autonomous functions. And it says it will be entering volume production soon with a Chinese OEM.
FORD MAKES RANGER BED MORE VERSATILE
Hey, let’s be honest. The reason most people love trucks is you can throw practically anything in the bed and take off. And since truck owners are using the vehicle for way more than hauling tools and equipment, Ford tried to add as much versatility as it could into the new Ranger. First, it’s now wide enough to fit a European pallet between wheel arches. A side step was added behind the rear wheel, it features an easy-lift tailgate, two clamp pockets allow work items to be held securely against the tailgate and there’s a lot more tie-down points. Two technologies we like are the ability to control all the lights, including the headlights, puddle lamps, license plate and box lights, from the center screen or a smartphone app as well as a power source in the bed, which features a 12-volt socket and 400-watt inverter. Those interested in the new Ranger will have to wait a while. Deliveries aren’t expected to start in Europe until early next year.
ACURA CREATES ANIME SERIES THAT FEATURES NEW TYPE S
Everybody likes to watch cartoons, right? So, as part of its sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival, Acura released a four-part anime series that follows the journey of a young racer named Chiaki. Each video is about a minute long and they feature Acura’s all-new Type S lineup. We kind of wish they were all looped together, but it’s worth four minutes of your time.
And that’s a wrap for this week. I hope you have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.