Listen to “AD #3245 – China Cuts EV Subsidies; GM Converting Old Plant to Make BEV Parts; Ford Reveals Bronco Raptor” on Spreaker.
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0:11 China Cuts EV Subsidies
0:39 Chinese OEMs Raise EV Prices
1:18 GM Making Big EV Investment
2:02 GM Converting Old Plant to Make BEV Parts
3:08 Ford Reveals Bronco Raptor
4:22 Cadillac Debuts V-Series Escalade
4:59 RNM Alliance to Announce EV Investment
5:54 NTSB Questions Human Error in Accidents
6:42 Jeep Wrangler 4Xe Sales Confusion
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
CHINA CUTS EV SUBSIDIES
We start out today in China where the government is cutting back on incentives for electric cars. China offered modest incentives to consumers, but it’s cutting them 30% right now and will eliminate them altogether by the end of the year. Those incentives ranged from about $600 to $850, but the market doesn’t need them anymore. China already passed the tipping point for sales of electric vehicles.
OEMs IN CHINA RAISE EV PRICES
So what are EV automakers in China doing? They’re raising prices. With government subsidies going away, they need to raise prices to maintain their profit levels. Gasgoo reports that Tesla raised them the most. The price of the Model 3 went up more than $1,500, and the Model Y went up $3,300. Interestingly, the Chinese government is not taking away subsidies for electric cars capable of battery swapping. China sees battery swapping as a technology that will keep it as the global leader in electric cars.
GM MAKING BIG EV INVESTMENTS
Now we move over to the U.S., where GM is quickly ramping up its move into EVs. The Detroit News reports GM will announce a $6.5 billion investment tomorrow to make EV battery cells and electric trucks in Michigan. That could create 4,000 new jobs. GM will build a new plant to make battery cells with LG, and it will reportedly convert its Orion plant to make electric trucks. The Orion plant is where the Chevrolet Bolt is made, which suggests that car could be going away. It suffered a series of embarrassing battery fires, which forced GM to stop production, which still hasn’t resumed.
GM CONVERTING ICE PARTS PLANT TO EV STATORS
In a separate move, GM is converting a parts plant in western New York to make stator modules for EV motors. That plant has been around since 1910 and currently makes parts for IC engines, including radiators, AC condensers and oil coolers. It’s a good example of how some traditional component plants are getting retooled for the EV revolution, and that will protect their jobs.
FORD EXPANDS RAPTOR BRAND TO BRONCO
When Ford has a hit on its hands, it really knows how to expand the brand. We spotted a version of the Bronco with big fenders, knobby tires and a vented hood right before Christmas, so we were not at all surprised to hear that Ford is coming out with a Raptor version of the Bronco. Under the hood is a version of Ford’s 3.0L twin-turbo V6 which will deliver more than 400 horsepower. It also features a fully-boxed frame, bash and skid plates, a ton of suspension upgrades seen here in blue and yellow, FOX performance shocks, Dana axles front and rear and 37-inch tires. The latter two increase the SUVs width by nearly 10-inches. The Bronco Raptor is only available as a 4-door, which required extra reinforcement around the B- and C-pillars. But that also helped increase torsional rigidity by more than 50%. The interior is highlighted with splashes of orange accents and carbon fiber. Orders open up in March, but the first slots will be offered to original reservation holders. Deliveries kick off this summer.
CADILLAC COMING OUT WITH ESCALADE V-SERIES
Speaking of performance SUVs, Cadillac is coming out with a V-series version of the Escalade. Although, we highly doubt anyone will be taking this behemoth to track days or autocrosses. While Cadillac didn’t share many details, it does sound pretty good ripping through the gears in a promotional video it put out. And we would note it does have the nearly 670-horsepower 6.2L supercharged V8 from the CT5 Blackwing that probably fits very nicely under the hood of the Escalade.
RENAULT-NISSAN-MITSUBISHI TO MAKE BIG EV INVESTMENT
We’ve heard a lot about their future plans separately, but not much about what the Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi alliance will do together. However, there should be an announcement coming, possibly as soon as Thursday. Reuters reports they’ll announce a 20 billion euro investment or about $23 billion over the next 5-years on EV development. That will span 5 common BEV platforms and more than 30 new models by the end of the decade. And that would be enough to cover about 90% of the vehicles the Alliance manufactures.
NTSB QUESTIONS HUMAN ERROR IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
Are traffic accidents mostly due to human error? That’s the common wisdom, but others say that poor infrastructure is to blame. The chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, Jennifer Homendy, says we need to stop blaming human error for 94% of crashes. She says that’s leading to a culture that accepts traffic deaths, rather than being enraged by them. She says we need to focus on the factors that cause an accident, like road conditions and infrastructure. So NHTSA will change the wording on its website, sort of. NHTSA will now describe the cause of accidents to something along the lines that the last event in the chain of events that led to the crash was largely due to human error 94% of the time.
JEEP WRANGLER 4XE PHEV SALES CLARIFIED
When it comes to plug-in hybrids there seems to be some confusion about the sales of the Jeep Wrangler 4Xe. Christian Meunier, the CEO of the Jeep brand, was quoted as saying they represent 25% of U.S. Wrangler sales. But other industry sources say it’s more like 11%. Our sources say that last year, Jeep sold about 23,000 4Xe’s in the U.S. But if we use Mr. Meunier’s percentage, that means Jeep sold over 51,000 4Xe’s. If that’s accurate, it’s a pretty good number. Remember, the 4Xe was available in very small numbers for the first 5 months of 2021.
BOLLINGER COMING ON AFTER HOURS
Starting a new car company is really hard to do. And even if you have a great business plan, you need to adapt and adjust to whatever the market throws at you. As you may know, Bollinger was going to do a series of electric off road vehicles for upscale retail customers. Not any more. Now it’s going to develop commercial vans and trucks. Why the change? Well, join us for Autoline After Hours this Thursday, when Robert Bollinger will be our special guest for the show. You know, you can tune in to other webcasts to get an armchair expert’s opinion about a company. Or you can tune in to Autoline and get it right from the CEO.
And with that we wrap up today’s report. Thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.