Listen to “AD #3255 – Want A Ford? Get Ready to Wait; Why Automakers Want Legacy Chips; Dongfeng Copies Hummer Design” on Spreaker.
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0:08 Want A Ford? Get Ready to Wait
0:35 Ford Lost Most Production Last Year
1:21 Chip Legislation Making Its Way Through Congress
1:58 Why Automakers Want Legacy Chips
3:29 Jaguar Will Not Outsource Its BEV Platform
4:16 Rolls-Royce Redesigns Spirit of Ecstasy
4:53 Dongfeng Copies Hummer Design
5:46 Faurecia And Hella Join Forces
6:21 UAW Workers Get Profit-Sharing Bonanza
7:19 Cool 1960 Skoda Race Car
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
WANT A FORD? GET READY TO WAIT
Hope you’re not one of those people waiting in line for a Ford Maverick pickup. Or a Ford Explorer, or a Lincoln Aviator. Or even an F-150. Ford is being forced to temporarily close several assembly plants because it ran out of chips for them. And that means anyone waiting to get one of those vehicles is going to have to wait even longer. Though everyone thought the chip shortage would be easing up at this point, these shutdowns show that it’s far from over.
FORD LOST MOST PRODUCTION LAST YEAR
And a study from LMC Automotive shows that Ford lost the most production from last year amongst the major automakers. Because of the chip shortage it lost over 1.2 million vehicles in global production. Volkswagen, General Motors and Toyota all lost over a million units. Stellantis lost almost a million, and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance lost over 800,000. Interestingly, LMC says that automotive production in developing countries in South America, Africa, and southeast Asia rebounded far faster last year than they did in the U.S., the EU or in China. That’s because they make lower tech cars that don’t need very many chips.
|2021 GLOBAL PRODUCTION LOSSES TO CHIP SHORTAGE
|Source: LMC Automotive
CHIP LEGISLATION MAKING ITS WAY THROUGH CONGRESS
Meanwhile, legislation in the U.S. Congress to provide subsidies to on-shore chip production is moving forward. The Senate OK’d a bill last year, and the House OK’d it last Friday. Now they have to resolve the differences between their bills. No doubt there’s going to be a lot of partisan bickering before a final bill is enacted. But there’s a good chance that Congress will provide $52 billion in support for bringing a lot more chip production back to the United States. This will likely include $2 billion to support production of legacy chips that the auto industry uses.
WHY AUTOMAKERS WANT LEGACY CHIPS
Here’s some of our Autoline Insight. A lot of people wonder why the auto industry wants to continue using legacy chips. “Why don’t they just use the latest chip technology?” That’s a question we hear a lot. Here’s the answer. The legacy chips are used on a lot of safety related equipment. Air bag sensors. ABS. Stability control. Those chips are tested and validated under the most intense procedures. They’re designed to last for the life of the car, or about 15 years. It’s what they call automotive grade. The latest chips used in consumer electronics are not automotive grade. Not even close. We ask you: when was the last time you had a smartphone or laptop that lasted 15 years? Probably not many of you. And that’s why automakers want to keep using those legacy chips that are tried and true.
JAGUAR WILL NOT OUTSOURCE ITS BEV PLATFORM
Jaguar says it will only sell electric cars from 2025 onward. But right now, the I-Pace, its only BEV, accounts for just 3% of sales. So, it’s coming out with a family of “distinct cars with no overlap,” says CEO Thierry Bollore. Jaguar originally planned to outsource the design of its EV platform, but it’s now going to build it in-house. Bollore says that’s because Jaguar wants its own unique proportions and doesn’t want to share style or design with any other automaker. We think that’s a blow to Magna and Foxconn. Jag’s new platform is called Panthera and will share battery sizes, electric motors and software across a family of BEVs to boost scale and bring down cost.
ROLLS-ROYCE REDESIGNS SPIRIT OF ECSTASY
It’s been around for over a century but now Rolls-Royce’s famous hood ornament, called the Spirit of Ecstasy, is getting a makeover. She will sit atop the Spectre, the first-ever BEV from Rolls, which should be out by the end of next year. Previously, she stood with her feet together, legs straight and tilting at the waist. Now she looks like she’s leaning more forward with one leg in front of her and looking ahead. Thanks to those changes and a reshaping of her robe, the Spirit of Ecstasy is more aerodynamic than before. The new figure is also much closer to the original drawings of the model.
DONGFENG COPIES HUMMER DESIGN
Uh-oh, looks like one Chinese automaker is still into copycat designs. Dongfeng wants to come out with an electric version of its M50 Warrior. Sure looks an awful lot like a Hummer H1 to us. The electric version will be built on a new architecture and come in three trim levels with up to 1,072 horsepower. 0-60 can be done in under 5-seconds and with a 140-kWh battery pack it will be able to travel up to 310 miles. Production is scheduled to start next year.
FAURECIA AND HELLA JOIN FORCES
As you all know, we here at Autoline cover all aspects of the automotive industry. And there’s big news in the automotive supplier segment today. The French supplier Faurecia bought a controlling stake in the German supplier Hella. They’re forming a new joint venture called FORVIA, which will become the seventh largest supplier in the world. However, Faurecia and Hella will continue to operate as two independent companies and will continue to market and sell products under their current brands. But FORVIA will have strategic oversight over both companies.
UAW WORKERS GET PROFIT-SHARING BONANZA
General Motors and Ford posted big profits in the U.S. last year, even with the chip shortage. And that means UAW workers get big, fat profit-sharing bonuses. UAW-GM workers are getting $10,250 in profit-sharing, while Ford workers are getting an average of $7,377. Stellantis will announce its profit-sharing numbers later this month. You know, those are pretty good payouts. And that makes us wonder why the UAW doesn’t make that a big part of its effort to organize the transplants? It’s been spectacularly unsuccessful trying to organize any of the foreign automakers in the U.S. The union always tries to make its organizing efforts about racial justice or social justice. But it hasn’t worked in 40 years. So it should change its tactics in how to unionize those plants. Here’s our Autoline Insight: show them the money!
COOL 1960 SKODA RACE CAR
Before we go, check out this cool old race car that Skoda reconstructed. It’s called the 1100 OHC Coupe and raced between 1960 and 1962. Skoda is in the Czech Republic and you sure didn’t see many race cars coming from behind the Iron Curtain back then. It features a lightweight truss frame with aluminum body panels and was powered by a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that produced 92 horsepower. But it only weighed 550 kilos or roughly 1,200 pounds. So it had a pretty good power to weight ratio. Only two were built and both of them were destroyed in road accidents after being sold to private buyers. The reconstructed car was remade from original documents and even fitted with components from those wrecked cars. There’s a lot more detail and you can click the link in the transcript or description box to learn more.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.