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0:08 GM Accelerates EV Production Plans
0:37 Ford’s Spain Plant to Produce Next-Gen EVs
1:07 Toyota Slashes Production…Again
1:30 Toyota & Redwood Partner on EV Battery Recycling
3:02 Volkswagen Teases New ID. AERO Electric Sedan
3:42 Peugeot Aims New 408 Fastback at SUV Buyers
5:58 IIHS: Pandemic Lockdowns Made Risky Driving New Normal
7:10 BMW Introduces 1st Ever M3 Wagon
8:15 Porsche Struggled to Incorporate Brand DNA In the Cayenne
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM ACCELERATES EV PRODUCTION PLANS
General Motors is accelerating plans to boost EV production. The automaker announced it will idle its Factory Zero Detroit-Hamtramck plant for the next four weeks, so it can prepare to expand production. The plant currently builds the Hummer EV pickup and in the future, will produce the SUV version as well as the Silverado EV. GM says the move to boost EV production is coming sooner than it initially planned.
FORD’S SPAIN PLANT TO PRODUCE NEXT-GEN EVs
And speaking of EV production, Ford announced that its plant in Valencia, Spain will produce EVs based on its next-generation EV architecture, which will include more connected vehicle technology. But it didn’t say when EV production will kick off in Spain. Ford is also investing $2 billion to build EVs in Germany starting next year. The company is aiming to sell 600,000 EVs annually in Europe by 2026.
TOYOTA SLASHES PRODUCTION…AGAIN
And in other manufacturing news, Toyota is once again slashing production. The automaker announced its cutting global production by 50,000 units in July and now only expects to make 800,000 vehicles. This is in addition to cuts Toyota announced last month. And it’s all go to do with a shortage of semiconductor chips.
TOYOTA & REDWOOD PARTNER ON EV BATTERY RECYCLING
Let’s stick with Toyota for the moment. It’s partnering with Redwood Materials to create a sustainable, closed-loop EV battery ecosystem. The collaboration will focus on the collection, testing and recycling of Toyota’s hybrid batteries for raw materials. It will also develop second-life uses for repurposed or remanufactured batteries. If the name Redwood sounds familiar that’s because we’ve talked about it before. The company was established by former Tesla co-founder JB Straubel. And last year, Ford invested $50 million in Redwood to help it expand it manufacturing footprint.
VOLKSWAGEN TEASES NEW ID. AERO ELECTRIC SEDAN
4-door sedans are a dying breed but Volkswagen isn’t ready to give up on them and just revealed design sketches of an all-new electric sedan, called the ID. AERO. It will be built on its MEB platform, like VW’s other ID. vehicles, so you can expect a similar layout. It will most likely offer several battery sizes, depending on the market, with the largest having 77 kWh of usable space and the option for AWD. The ID. AERO will first go on sale in China in the second half of next year, which is the same time production will start for the North American and European markets.
PEUGEOT AIMS NEW 408 FASTBACK AT SUV BUYERS
Peugeot thinks customers are getting tired of high-roofed, boxy SUVs, so it converted the 408 sedan into a vehicle that looks like a mix between a sedan, SUV and wagon. It hopes to lure consumers looking for something different. The 408 is a lot lower and longer than Peugeot’s 3008 SUV and has a sleeker design. The grille is the same color as the body to blend in with the front end. It will initially be offered with three powertrains, two of which are plug-in hybrids, one with 182 horsepower and the other with 228 horses. The third option is a gasoline engine with 131 horsepower. All the engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. An all-electric version will be available a few months after the vehicle launches in the beginning of 2023. And to support all of its driver assistance functions, it’s equipped with 6 cameras and 9 radars. The 408 will be built in both France, for the European market and in Chengdu for the Chinese market.
Do car designers really need to use clay models to design new cars, or can they do it all digitally? That’s the topic on Autoline After Hours this Thursday. The designer John Manoogian will be joining us, and so will Doug Grieg, the CEO of a company called Tarus that makes clay milling machines. So join John and Gary as they dive into one of the most controversial topics in today’s automotive design.
IIHS: PANDEMIC LOCKDOWNS MADE RISKY DRIVING NEW NORMAL
During pandemic lockdowns in 2020, risky driving increased out on U.S. roads because a lack of traffic emboldened drivers to step on the gas. But even after lockdowns were lifted, a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that trend continued. It analyzed data from the Virginia Department of Transportation and found that the chances a Virginia driver was going at least 10 MPH over the speed limit was up over 50% between March and June of 2020, compared to 2019. But the IIHS says speeding continued into 2021 and speed-related deaths were up 5% last year. Other risky driving behavior also continued. The number of passengers killed in crashes without wearing a seatbelt rose 3% and alcohol-related deaths were up another 5% compared to 2020. With the increase in traffic deaths, the IIHS says more needs to be done to prevent speeding like automated speed enforcement and road designs that slow traffic.
BMW INTRODUCES 1ST EVER M3 WAGON
Automotive enthusiasts seem to love sporty station wagons and for the first time ever BMW is offering an M3 version. Equipment-wise it’s the same as other M3 models. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. AWD is standard and with 375 kW or 510 horsepower the M3 Touring will do 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. That same sporty character is carried over to the design, both inside and out, as well as the chassis and suspension. Obviously, the biggest change will be the amount of space. The M3 sedan has 13 cubic feet or nearly 370 liters of cargo space, but the wagon has 500 liters or over 17.5 cubic feet of rear room with the seats up. Production of the M3 Touring kicks off this November.
PORSCHE STRUGGLED TO INCORPORATE BRAND DNA IN THE CAYENNE
Porsche, a brand once known for only making 2-door sports cars, struggled to incorporate its brand DNA into its first ever SUV, the Cayenne. I mean, just look at these early design sketches. There’s a lot less tying it to Porsche’s other models than the vehicle it came out with. This is just some more of the great information coming out of the company as the SUV celebrates its 20th anniversary, including that, internally, the project was called ‘Colorado.’ It took about 5 years to completely design and develop the Cayenne, which was pretty standard for the time, but getting things like the front-end right proved difficult. Porsche’s design boss at the time spent an entire year on the headlights alone. The doors were also difficult because there’s not a lot of room in front of or behind them, so the doors really define the side of the vehicle. And it even talks about compromises it had to make on the interior. We’ll provide a link if you’d like to learn more.
But that’s a wrap for today, thanks for making Autoline a part of your day.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.