Listen to “AD #3249 – GAC Did Not Agree to Stellantis Deal; New Hydrogen Transportation System; Gordon Murray Reveals New T.33” on Spreaker.
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0:07 GAC Shocked by Stellantis Announcement
0:50 Stellantis Pays Italian Loan Early
1:14 Great Wall Makes Big Brazil Investment
2:52 Rivian Production Picks Back Up
3:27 IHS Markit Sees Continued Chip Shortage
4:13 Schaeffler Develops New Hydrogen Transportation System
5:38 Cadillac Blackwing Engines Discovered on Parts Site
6:36 ZF Helps Improve Safety of Big Trucks
7:23 Gordon Murray Reveals Sleek New Supercar
8:21 You Said It!
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GAC SHOCKED BY STELLANTIS ANNOUNCEMENT
Looks like we have one of those situations where there was a failure to communicate. Yesterday, we reported that Stellantis is taking a majority stake in its joint venture with Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group or GAC. But today GAC says that’s news to them. Shortly after Stellantis announced plans to increase its stake in the JV from 50% to 75%, GAC released a statement saying it didn’t agree to the deal and only learned about the plan from Stellantis’ press release. Stellantis declined to comment on GAC’s statement. But something tells us this is not the end of the story.
STELLANTIS PAYS OFF ITALIAN LOAN EARLY
And in other Stellantis news, it announced that it’s repaying a loan early from the Italian government. It repaid 6.3 billion euros loan to Intesa Sanpaolo, which is Italy’s largest bank. The loan, which it received in June 2020, was used to help the automaker weather the downturn caused by COVID disruptions.
GREAT WALL MAKES BIG BRAZIL INVESTMENT
Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor is making a huge investment in Brazil. It’s investing $1.9 billion over the next ten years. It bought an empty plant from Daimler and will build electrified vehicles beginning in the second half of next year. The plant will have an annual capacity of 100,000 units. Part of that investment also includes strengthening its supply chain in Brazil and opening an R&D facility. Great Wall plans to introduce 10 models within the next three years, four battery electrics and six hybrids. All of them will be equipped with Level 2 driver assistance systems and 5G connectivity. The first model launches in the fourth quarter of this year and in addition to Brazil, the models will be sold in other Latin American countries. Chinese motorcycle manufacturers already dominate the market in South America and Chinese automakers hope they can do the same thing.
RIVIAN PRODUCTION PICKS BACK UP
Rivian had to stop making trucks temporarily this month as it ran into production snafus. It ran into Covid outbreaks, supply chain shortages and manufacturing process problems. But now Bloomberg reports it’s resumed production and is making about 200 R1T trucks a week. Meanwhile speculation is growing that Ford will start to sell off its $8 billion worth of Rivian stock, but not for another three months. Ford is locked into holding onto that stock until May.
IHS MARKIT PREDICTS LONGER CHIP SHORTAGE
Everyone says the chip shortage in the auto industry should start to ease by the end of this year. But IHS Markit says ‘hold your horses.’ It predicts there’s going to be a shortage of analog chips at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. IHS says demand for analog chips will jump 26% by 2023 due to electrification, ADAS and infotainment systems that use them. But it says that new production capacity is not coming onstream fast enough. That’s because most new investment, about 86% is going into making the newest tech microcontrollers, not mature analog chips.
SCHAEFFLER DEVELOPS NEW HYDROGEN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Hydrogen may be the fuel of the future, but it has some hurdles to overcome. Hydrogen is usually transported in gaseous form under high pressure, or in liquid form under extremely cold conditions in special containers. That makes it expensive to ship. But the German supplier Schaeffler is working on transporting hydrogen in liquid form at room temperature. The technology behind it is called LOHC, or liquid organic hydrogen carriers. It uses Benzyltoluene, which is an oily, organic substance that chemically bonds with hydrogen and allows it to be transported in liquid form with no need to cool it down. Schaeffler says this could lead to the development of a hydrogen infrastructure that is safe and cost effective. And because Benzyltoluene is organic, it’s environmentally sustainable. Interesting factoid here. Did you know that toluene is one of the T’s in TNT?
CADILLAC BLACKWING ENGINES DISCOVERED ON PARTS SITE
The top-of-the-line twin-turbo Blackwing engine, not to be confused with what’s under the hood of the current Blackwing cars, is a 4.2L V8 that makes an impressive 550 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque, but it was only available in the CT6-V for two model years. However, The Drive discovered that you can still buy the engine on GM’s Genuine Parts site for Cadillac. It sells for a whopping $34,700, including a core charge. And if you want to buy the transmission that came with it, the whole package would set you back about $40-grand. Here’s the other thing. These are not crate engines, they’re meant for service use, i.e. a customer that smashed up their car or blew up the engine. So, it would take some haggling with a local Cadillac dealer to get one.
ZF HELPING IMPROVE SAFETY OF BIG COMMERCIAL TRUCKS
You can expect to see more stories about safety improvements for big commercial trucks. There’s a number of driver assist features that are being mandated for commercial vehicles that start in the middle of this year and run through 2024. One of those is the Moving Off Information System or MOIS, which basically monitors the front of a big truck for any pedestrians. ZF has developed a system that will first give the driver a visual warning on a head-up display and if that is not enough to get their attention an audio warning is provided. A technology like this is considered to be especially useful during initial take-off since it can be hard to see what’s right in front of a big truck.
GORDON MURRAY REVEALS NEW T.33 SUPERCAR
You may remember famous designer Gordon Murray’s T.50 supercar. The one with the fan on the back. Well, now he’s coming out with another supercar, the T.33 that uses the same 3.9L V12 in the T.50, which produces about 600 horsepower. But there’s no fan. Instead the T.33 adopts what is called Passive Boundary Layer Control aerodynamics. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what that means but Murray claims the system is 30% more efficient than a conventional ground effects supercar. And it’s also pretty light by today’s standards. The T.33 tips the scales at a little over 2,400 pounds or about 1,100 kilograms. Whether rowing through the 6-speed manual or blipping the 6-speed paddle shift the T.33 sounds like fun time.
WHAT’S WITH AUTOMAKERS AND THEIR ‘VISIONS?’
An Autoline viewer has a question about car names. Mr. Dana wrote in to say, “Did I miss something? What’s the deal with some of the car companies naming their concepts “Vision”? Lamborghini, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes, Karma, Sony, Aston Martin.” And they’re totally right. We’ve been told it’s really hard coming up with a new car name because so many have been used. And while Vision is a good description for a future vehicle, it seems to us that some of these automakers are lacking a little vision of their own when it comes to vehicle naming.
But that’s it for today and this week. Please like, comment or subscribe. It really is a big help for us. Thanks for tuning in and have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.