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0:10 Will VW AG Transition to a Holding Company?
1:08 Foreign OEMs Boost NEV Sales in China
1:59 Stellantis CPO Has 10-Year-Old Cars w/ 120,000 Miles
4:00 Ford Raises Price on F-150 Lightning Pro
4:40 Ford Offers Performance Kit for Explorer ST
5:23 New Mustang to Race in Bathurst 1000
5:55 Porsche Praises Mercedes-Benz
8:03 Toyota Unveils All-New IC Engine
9:24 Hella’s Phygital Shield
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
WILL VW AG TRANSITION TO A HOLDING COMPANY?
Well that didn’t take long. The Volkswagen Group allowed Porsche to partially spin off and do its own IPO, and now Porsche is worth more than the VW Group. 85 billion euros in market cap for Porsche to 77 billion for VW. Think about it. A small company that sells about 280,000 cars a year is worth more than its parent company that sells nearly 9 million vehicles a year. As we reported yesterday, VW’s CEO Oliver Blume wants all the company’s brands to prepare for an IPO. He calls it a training exercise, but that’s got some analysts thinking that VW AG may turn itself into a holding company and let each of its brands run themselves independently… kind of like how General Motors operated from roughly 1920 to 1970–when GM was great.
FOREIGN OEMS BOOST NEV SALES IN CHINA
When it comes to New Energy Vehicles, Chinese automakers are gobbling up market share in their home market. Automakers sold over 478,000 battery electric and plug-in hybrids last month, and 405,000 of them came from Chinese automakers. But Gasgoo Research says foreign automakers tripled their sales of NEVs last month, and are starting to fight back in this all-important segment. VW’s NEV sales shot up 146% as the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.6 are starting to catch on with Chinese customers. But Tesla still dominates. It accounts for half of all the NEVs sold by foreign automakers in China.
STELLANTIS CPO HAS 10 YEAR OLD CARS WITH 120,000 MILES
Cars are getting to be too expensive for too many people. Over the last two decades, automakers in the U.S. have priced 5 million households out of the new car market. They’ve been forced into the used car market, but even used car prices are out of reach for a lot of people. So Stellantis is expanding its CPO, or Certified Pre-Owned program, in North America, and this is kind of a shocker. It used to only offer CPO vehicles that were one to five years old and had a max of 75,000 miles on the odometer. But the new program, called CPO GO, offers used vehicles from all of its brands that are 6 to 10 model years old and have between 75,000 and 120,000 miles on them. All vehicles must go through a 125-point inspection and they’re backed by a 3 month, 3,000 mile limited warranty. But it sure is shocking to see what automakers need to do to make used cars more affordable for people who can’t afford new ones.
FORD RAISES PRICE ON F-150 LIGHTNING PRO
Two years ago, when Ford announced that the base price of the F-150 Lightning would be about forty grand, we were delighted. Well, that was then. Now Ford is raising the price of its entry-level version of the electric F-150 due to “ongoing supply chain constraints, rising material costs and other market factors.” Other market factors means they know they can get away with a big price hike. The Lightning Pro will now start at just under $52,000 an increase of $5,000. But if you’ve already got your order in, they’re not going to sock you with the extra cost.
FORD OFFERS PERFORMANCE KIT FOR EXPLORER ST
Let’s stick with Ford for the moment. Its Performance division is now offering a calibration kit for the Explorer ST that adds even more power and torque. It takes the SUVs twin-turbo 3.0L V6 from 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque up to 430 horsepower and 467 lb-ft. It also optimizes the 10-speed automatic and improves throttle response across the rev range. Better still, it doesn’t void the vehicle’s warranty and the kit itself, which costs $825, has its own 3-year 36,000 mile warranty.
NEW FORD MUSTANG TO RACE IN BATHURST 1000
And speaking of Ford performance vehicles, it revealed the race version of the new Mustang that will compete in Australia’s Supercar series. There’s not a whole lot of details on the car, but it will be powered by a production-based Coyote V8 that makes over 600 horsepower. Its first race is the Bathurst 1000, which kicks off this weekend. As for the road-going version of the Mustang Down Under, Australians will be able to get their hands on the 7th generation Mustang late next year.
PORSCHE PRAISES MERCEDES-BENZ
Geez, as we reported earlier in the show, Porsche does an IPO, to become more independent. And the next thing you know, it pals up with Mercedes-Benz. Let me explain. Porsche put out a press release talking all about the extreme importance of aerodynamics with electric vehicles. Like, at roughly 80 km/h or about 50 MPH, aero becomes more important than the rolling resistance of the tires. And that, in the WLTP test, wind resistance accounts for 30-40% of the losses in an EV, but it’s probably more like 50% in real world driving. However, the Porsche press release also dedicates a decent chunk of space to the Mercedes-Benz EQXX concept. Porsche talks quite glowingly about the car and even has quotes from a Mercedes aerodynamics engineer. You almost never see something like this unless the companies are specifically partnering on a project. But this Mercedes engineer also talks about one of the most interesting ways of reducing aerodynamic drag. He says they’re testing how to use vibrations from speakers to influence the separation points for wind blowing over the body of a vehicle. That acoustic aero trick reduced the drag coefficient by 7% on an SUV. All cool stuff. But we bet that the people at Audi might be a bit miffed that its sister company Porsche is singing the praises of Mercedes-Benz.
TOYOTA UNVEILS ALL-NEW IC ENGINE
Piston heads, rejoice! We’ve got another all-new internal combustion engine to report about. And this one comes from Toyota. It’s swapping out the 3.5 liter V6 in the Highlander and replacing it with a new 2.4-liter turbocharged four. Customers are going to lose some horsepower. The turbo 4 generates 265 ponies, while the V6 generated 295. But they’re going to get more torque–310 pound-feet for the 4, versus 263 for the V6. Toyota says the new engine will also reduce NOx and nonmethane organic gasses by 50% as well as reduce CO2 emissions. And it expects the EPA to rate the 2023 Highlander at 25 miles to the gallon, about 1 mpg better than before. We don’t hear a lot about new IC engines these days. We already reported on the all-new inline 6 that’s going in the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. But engine experts tell Autoline that after engines like these make their debuts they’re not aware of any clean-sheet engine designs that are being developed. Automakers will continue to update their existing engines, but they’re not designing any new ones.
HELLA’S PHYGITAL SHIELD
OK, here’s a new word to add to your vocabulary. Phygital. Ever hear of that before? Well, if you haven’t now you’re going to start noticing it all over the place. It’s about combining the physical and the digital world. Phygital. And what triggered our reporting on this is that the supplier Hella is bragging about its new phygital shield that’s going on the front ends of 8 EV models from unnamed German luxury car builders starting in 2025. Even though they’re unnamed, we’re pretty sure they’re referring to Mercedes, BMW and Audi. The phygital shields have sensors embedded in them like radar and sonar, as well as lighting that can create a brand identity. They’re actually pretty sophisticated. They’re made with 8 different layers of plastic and foil including a polyurethane outer layer that can self heal. If its gets scratched or pocked with stone chips, the polyurethane will flow to cover that up, just by parking the car out in the sunshine.
SCHAEFFLER’S JEFF HEMPHILL ON AAH
Speaking of suppliers coming up with cool technology, that’s what we’ll be talking about on Autoline After Hours this afternoon with Jeff Hemphill, the CTO of Schaeffler, which is transitioning from being a traditional ICE supplier to becoming a full-blown BEV one. That is going to be a great topic to dive into. Mike Austin, a senior research analyst with Guidehouse will also be joining us. So join me and Gary Vasilash for the show that helps you understand the inner workings of the automotive industry.
With that we wrap up today’s report, and we thank you for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.