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0:08 Twitter Deal Tanks Tesla’s Stock
0:59 GM’s Tantalizing EV Details
3:28 U.S. Vehicles Spew Out More Particulates
4:12 VW Amarok Built Off Ford Ranger
5:09 Will Ford & VW Make Mid-Size Pickup EVs?
5:55 Dodge to Revive Hornet Name
6:25 Chrysler to Make EV Minivans
7:25 Firestone to Use Guayule Tires at Indy
8:03 Honda’s Bargain EV Prices in China
8:37 Lucid Gets Big Order from Saudi Arabia
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TWITTER DEAL TANKS TESLA’S STOCK
Yesterday, some of you in the comments section wondered why we didn’t cover Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter. That’s because we didn’t consider it to be an automotive story. Well, overnight it sure turned into one. The stock market reacted very badly to the news, sending Tesla’s stock down $121 a share, for a 12% drop, which wiped out $125 billion in market capitalization. That’s nearly three times what Elon Musk is paying to buy Twitter. Many investors are worried that Musk will have to sell shares in Tesla to buy Twitter. Others are worried that running Twitter will distract him from running Tesla. But others will see this as a golden opportunity to buy on the dip.
GM’S TANTALIZING EV DETAILS
General Motors reported its first quarter earnings yesterday, and the numbers are sort of interesting. It sold 831,000 vehicles globally, up 1%. That generated nearly $36 billion in revenue, up 11%, and it posted a net profit of almost $3 billion which was down nearly 3%. But what was really interesting was GM’s conference call with Wall Street analysts, where we picked up some interesting details.
GM has 140,000 reservations for the Silverado EV, which is much higher than previously disclosed. The Hummer EV has 70,000 reservations, also higher than previously announced. And 60% of these potential customers are new to GM.
While the Bolt EV just went back into production GM expects to sell 50,000 of them this year, with 40,000 of those in the US.
GM has locked up long-term contracts for the raw materials and batteries needed to sell 1 million EVs in the U.S. in 2025 and is looking for upside opportunities to get even more. It says those EVs will generate $50 billion in revenue by 2025, and $90 billion by 2030.
The Chevrolet Equinox EV will debut this fall with a $30,000 MSRP, which already accounts for higher raw material and battery costs. That’s also ten grand cheaper than comparable crossovers from competitors.
We have a link to the transcript of the earnings call in today’s transcript and description box so that you can read the whole thing if you’d like to.
U.S. VEHICLES SPEW OUT MORE PARTICULATES
Vehicles in the U.S. spew out way more harmful particulate emissions than comparable cars in Europe and other parts of the world. That’s because Europe mandates particulate filters on gasoline as well as diesel cars. The filters cost automakers around $200. According to British testing specialist Emissions Analytics, the Ford Escape puts out 95% more harmful particulates on cold starts than its European counterpart, the Kuga. And luckily for U.S. automakers it’s a pretty simple change because the EPA is looking into requiring particulate filters for a new set of rules coming in 2027.
VW AMAROK BUILT OFF FORD RANGER
Even though Volkswagen is getting ready to launch an all-new Amarok pickup, it will continue to produce the first-gen truck for select South American markets. But the two models will have practically nothing in common as the new one is based on the 4th-generation Ranger that launched last year. And with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look, WardsAuto is filling in all the details. As you might expect pretty much everything is shared with the Ranger; suspension, interior and its range of gas and diesel 4- and 6-cylinder engines. The Amarok will have its own, unique styling, inspired by the original, as well as its own hood, headlamps, fenders, door skins and display graphics. However, that too is based on Ford’s SYNC 4 operating system. The new Amarok will be built alongside the Ranger in South Africa.
WILL FORD & VW MAKE MID-SIZE PICKUP EVs?
And there may be more to Ford and VW’s truck partnership. Scott Keogh, CEO of VW of America recently said the company is actively looking into the development of an electric truck. And Ford CEO Jim Farley at the kick off of Lightning production yesterday said it’d be coming out with another electric pickup. And this is not the next-gen F-150 Lightning. So, a tie-up on electric trucks could be in the cards. Keogh referred to an electric pickup as a “chance of a lifetime” and a “huge opportunity for the brand.” For Ford, it might finally be a chance to make a dent in the Toyota Tacoma’s dominance of the mid-size truck segment.
DODGE TO REVIVE HORNET NAME
Classic car enthusiasts may be happy to learn that Dodge is reviving the Hornet name. The Hornet was a compact car built by AMC in the 70’s. But like other classic names drug up for a new model, the new Hornet will be a compact crossover, based on the Alfa Romeo Tonale. As long as the chip shortage doesn’t hurt its debut, CEO of Dodge Tim Kuniskis says it could launch this summer.
CHRYSLER TO MAKE EV MINIVANS
And sticking with Stellantis, Chrysler CEO Christine Feuell says it’s safe to say an electric minivan will be in its future lineup and it’s looking at ways of “rethinking what the minivan should be and needs to be.” But interestingly, that still includes Stow N Go and flexible seating, even though EV batteries are typically housed in the floor.
FIRESTONE TO USE GUAYULE TIRES AT INDY
Bridgestone wants to commercialize the use of sustainable natural rubber in tires by 2030. And it’s turning to Indy Car racing to help make that a reality. The tires are made from guayule, a shrub that grows in the American southwest, which Bridgestone has been researching since 2012 and currently grows at a research farm in Arizona. The guayule tires will first be introduced at the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge at the end of May and they’ll make their debut as an alternate tire at the Nashville grand prix in August.
HONDA’S BARGAIN EV PRICES IN CHINA
Yesterday, we reported that Honda is launching two BEV models in China with joint venture partners Dongfeng and GAC. Well, now we know pricing, at least for the Dongfeng version. The e:NS1, which is available now, costs between $27,000 and $33,000, including subsidies, which is about $1,300. The GAC version, called the e:NP1, will be available to order starting next month.
LUCID GETS BIG ORDER FROM SAUDI ARABIA
EV startup Lucid just received its largest order by far. Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase up to 100,000 vehicles over a ten-year period. The government committed to buying 50,000 cars with the option to purchase 50,000 more, which includes the Air sedan and other future models. Lucid will deliver the first models in 2023, which will be built at its plant in Arizona and its future plant in Saudi Arabia. It’s not too surprising to see the country make a big commitment like this. The country’s Public Investment Fund is Lucid’s largest shareholder with a 61% stake and as we just mentioned, Lucid will also manufacture EVs there.
WILL GEARHEADS REALLY GO ELECTRIC?
All this news about electric cars is fine and good, but are hard core gearheads really going to go electric? That’s the topic on Autoline After Hours tomorrow. Mike Musto, the director of new media with Hemmings and Henry Payne, the car critic with the Detroit News will be on board, so join John and Gary for what promises to be a very controversial topic.
But that’s a wrap for today. Thanks for joining us.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.