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0:07 Hino Cheating Goes Back Further Than Thought
0:59 Stellantis to Pay $300 Million for Diesel Cheating
1:43 BYD Expanding EV Lineup to Germany & Sweden
3:10 Stellantis Invests in New IC Engine
3:50 BMW Expands i4 Lineup with New Lower Cost Model
4:54 Ford Explorer Refresh Done in China
7:06 Hertz Customers Prefer EVs
7:54 Nikola Buys Battery Supplier
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
HINO CHEATING GOES BACK MUCH FURTHER THAN THOUGHT
Earlier in the year, Toyota’s commercial vehicle subsidiary, Hino, admitted to cheating on emissions, which led to the company recalling 47,000 vehicles and Japan’s transport ministry revoking certifications on four of Hino’s engines. At the time, Hino said the misconduct started in 2016 but a new internal investigation revealed it went back much further than that. It found the company was falsifying emissions and fuel economy data all the way back to at least 2003. The investigators blamed the company’s corporate culture where engineers did not feel comfortable challenging superiors. In response, Hino says it will create a new corporate governance system in the next three months.
STELLANTIS TO PAY $300 MILLION FOR DIESEL CHEATING
But Hino isn’t alone when it comes to cheating on emissions. The U.S. Justice Department sentenced FCA, now part of Stellantis, after it pleaded guilty to installing illegal software in diesel engines to pass emissions tests. The automaker will pay a $300 million fine and it must conduct a review of its compliance with the Clean Air Act along with its inspection and testing methods and submit a report as well as two follow up reports. The investigation involved more than 100,000 diesel powered Jeep Grand Cherokee’s and Ram 1500s built between 2014 and 2016.
BYD EXPANDING EV LINEUP TO GERMANY & SWEDEN
Chinese automaker BYD is continuing its overseas expansion. Last week, it announced plans to launch three electric vehicles in Japan next year. And now the company is expanding in Europe and has partnered with a dealer group to distribute and sell its BEVs in Germany and Sweden starting in October. BYD already sells its Tang electric SUV in Norway. And it previously announced it will launch its vehicles in the Netherlands in September. In addition to Japan and Europe, BYD is also expanding into Australia in February.
STELLANTIS INVESTS IN NEW IC ENGINE
While automakers are rushing to come out with electric vehicles, ICE powered cars aren’t dead yet. Stellantis announced it is investing nearly $100 million to upgrade its Dundee, Michigan engine plant and two other factories to build a new turbo engine. The 1.6L, inline four-cylinder turbo with direct-injection will be used to power two future hybrid vehicles that will be sold in North America. The company is aiming to kick-off production in 2025 but it did not say what models will use the engine. Stellantis already uses a version of the engine in Europe.
BMW EXPANDS i4 LINEUP WITH LOWER COST MODEL
BMW is expanding the i4 lineup with a lower range, less powerful version of the EV. The new i4 eDrive 35 is equipped with a 70.2 kWh battery that provides an estimated 260 miles of EPA range. It’s a single motor setup that produces 281 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the i4 eDrive 40, which is already available, features an 83.9 kWh battery with 301 miles of range. It has 335 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. BMW will start producing the new model at the end of the year in Germany and it will arrive in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2023 with a starting price of $52,395 including destination charges.
FORD EXPLORER REFRESH DONE IN CHINA
The Ford Explorer is getting a refresh and for the first time ever it was designed outside of North America. It was actually done in China. Why China? It may surprise you to know that the SUV has been on sale in the country since 2012 and China is the Explorer’s largest market outside of North America. Ford says Chinese consumers prefer a higher degree of sophistication, luxury and premium refinement and we think that’s reflected in the design. It’s less rugged. Compared to the current model, the grille still flows into the headlamps, but the little wingettes at the side have been lopped off, which squares up the grille. Chrome L-shaped accents in the lower air vents adds some sophistication in our opinion and C-shaped rear taillights remain part of the Explorer’s style, but additional lighting now extends from the top of the C-shape and into the liftgate. While we only have these design sketches of the interior for now, we can tell you it features new seats that are wider and have bigger bolsters and I’m sure you couldn’t miss the massive new display screen, which is 27-inches. No word yet on when the new Explorer goes on sale.
HERTZ CUSTOMERS PREFER EVs
Customers prefer EVs to ICE vehicles. Well, at least that’s true of Hertz renters. As you may know, Hertz started adding Tesla Model 3s to its fleet last year. Since that time Teslas have been booked for over 160,000 days and, despite costing more to rent, customers are rating their experience with them higher than the other vehicles in its fleet. And Hertz’ EV lineup is only going to continue to grow. It expects its initial purchase of 100,000 Tesla Model 3s to be completed by the end of the year, it recently started buying Tesla Model Ys and also ordered 65,000 Polestars.
NIKOLA BUYS BATTERY SUPPLIER
Nikola once seemed destined for the scrap heap, but now appears to be on a better track. The electric truck startup announced that it’s going to buy one of its battery suppliers, Romeo Power, for $144 million in stock. Nikola had previously announced that it wants to start making its own battery packs and says the move will allow it to accelerate the development of its truck platform. Nikola says it’s still committed to a dual-source battery pack strategy and has deals with LG and Proterra, but since Romeo Power is located in California it’s helping to lock up Nikola’s domestic supply chain.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for tuning in 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.