Listen to “AD #3248 – Tesla's Spectacular Earnings; 4xe Adds $12K to Grand Cherokee Price; Stellantis Takes Majority Stake in China” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Tesla Reports Spectacular Earnings
3:02 Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance EV Plans
4:07 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe Pricing
4:57 Range Rover Reveals PHEV Details
6:49 GM To Go On Hiring Offensive
7:19 Ford Forms New China JV
7:40 Stellantis Takes Majority Stake in China JV
8:18 Ford Develops Video Game for Mach-E
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA REPORTS SPECTACULAR EARNINGS
Tesla posted its latest earnings and we can’t come up with enough superlatives to describe the numbers. So let’s boil it down to one word: spectacular. Despite a chip shortage that crippled the rest of the auto industry, Tesla boosted its production by 70% and sold nearly 1 million EVs. Revenue shot up 70% to nearly $54 billion. Net profits soared 665% to $5.5 billion.
We could bore down more into the numbers, but here are some of the nuggets that Elon Musk dropped on last night’s earnings call.
– If you add up all the losses that Tesla racked up over the last decade and offset them with its most recent profits, Tesla is now profit positive. To quote Elon, “I think it makes us a real company at this point.”
– He says Model Ys with the structural battery pack and the 4680 batteries are rolling down the line in Texas and the first deliveries will happen this quarter.
– Musk says they’re looking at new locations to build more plants and will announce them towards the end of this year.
– He expects significant growth in 2022, comfortably above 50%.
– He thinks Full Self-Driving will become the most important source of profits for Tesla. To quote him again, “My personal guess is that we’ll achieve Full Self-Driving this year, yes, with data safety levels significantly greater than present.”
He says FSD might end up being the biggest increase in asset value of any asset class in history. Translation: FSD is going to boost Tesla’s value more than anything has boosted the value of any company, ever.
He says Tesla’s most important product development this year is the Optimus humanoid robot. He says it could be more significant than selling cars, because these robots would eliminate any labor shortage.
Some analysts were expecting more information about the Cybertruck, the Semi, or even the Roadster, but Musk says that since the company is capacity constrained, it doesn’t make sense for it to introduce new models right now. He says launching a new model now would take a lot of expense and effort and would not increase sales. So that makes it official that the Cybertruck and Semi are not coming out until next year at least.
RENAULT-NISSAN-MITSUBISHI ALLIANCE EV PLANS
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is behind the eight ball when it comes to the EV revolution. But now they’re making up for lost time. They’re investing 23 billion euros in electrification and mobility over the next 5 years. By 2030, the Alliance plans to have 35 BEVs that will be based on 5 common platforms. One of those vehicles will be Nissan’s new entry-level vehicle for Europe that replaces the Micra. It’s based on an Alliance small-vehicle platform and will be built at Renault’s new EV manufacturing complex in France. They’re aiming to secure global production of 220 GWh of batteries to power all of their EVs. Nissan is also said to be working on an all-solid-state battery and Renault will lead the way on a common electrical architecture, which will spawn its first software defined vehicle by 2025. One of their main goals is to have 80% of their vehicles come off shared platforms by 2026.
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE 4XE PRICING
Jeep revealed pricing for the plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has 25 miles or 40 kilometers of range. It will carry a starting price right around $59,500, including destination but before any incentives. The 4xe package also comes on Trailhawk, Overland, Summit and Summit Reserve trim lines, which pushes pricing up over $76,000. And since I know you’re wondering, it’s about a $12,000 markup for a similarly equipped gas-only Grand Cherokee. But as we reported yesterday, the 4xe accounted for 25% of Wrangler sales last month and if the Grand Cherokee 4xe could achieve even half that it would be a success.
RANGE ROVER PHEV DETAILS REVEALED
A number of you viewers have said you wished automakers would come out with PHEVs with greater EV range. Looks like Land Rover was listening to you. It’s coming out with a PHEV version of the Range Rover. It has a 38 kWh battery pack and 105 kW electric motor, which is paired to a 3.0L 6-cylinder gas engine. While Range Rover says it’s rated at 113 kilometers or 70 miles of EV-only range on the WLTP test cycle, it deserves a real pat on the back for admitting it really gets 88 kilometers or 54 miles of range out in the real world. The new Range Rover P440e is available to order now in the UK with a starting price of about 103,500 pounds.
We invite you to tune in to Autoline After Hours this afternoon when our guest is Robert Bollinger. We’ll dive into how and why the company pivoted on its strategy, and how he sees the market for electric vehicles. Greg Migliore from Autoblog will also be on the show, so join John and Gary for some of the best insights into what’s going on in the automotive industry.
GM PLANNING HIRING OFFENSIVE
General Motors is aiming to have an all-electric lineup by 2035. And to help make that a reality, the automaker announced it’s planning to hire 8,000 new tech workers this year. Some of those employees will also help develop software, fuel cells and self-driving technology. Last year, GM hired 10,000 people globally and it’s spending $35 billion through 2025 to create these new technologies.
FORD FORMS NEW JV IN CHINA
Ford is really lagging in China so it’s forming a joint venture with Jiangling Motors Corporation to make and sell more SUVs and vans. But Ford will only own 49% of the JV. Ford will sell the vehicles through a network of 181 showrooms located in major cities in China.
STELLANTIS TAKES MAJORITY STAKE OF JV IN CHINA
While Ford will be the minority partner in its joint venture, Stellantis is taking a majority stake in its JV with Guangzhou Automobile Group, or GAC. Stellantis will increase its share from 50% to 75%. Starting this month, China is allowing foreign companies to take a majority stake in existing joint ventures. Before this, foreign companies could only own up to 50%. No doubt other foreign automakers will take more control, because as they increase their ownership, they get a bigger slice of the profits.
FORD DEVELOPS VIDEO GAME FOR MACH-E
Over the last several years, Escape Room games became more and more popular. That’s where a group of friends must solve puzzles in a certain amount of time to escape out of a room. So Ford of Europe has created its own version for the Mustang Mach-E that has players deliver a package to an unknown destination. The app-based game gives tasks to players over the sound system who then must solve clues and directions to win. It’s currently only a working concept that’s meant to showcase how gaming can help people get familiar with the car’s functions. And that sure beats trying to read the owner’s manual. Ford also envisions something like this could help riders pass the time while their vehicle is charging at a station or it could be used in autonomous vehicles.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for joining us today and we’ll be right back here again tomorrow.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.