Listen to “AD #3492 – Tesla Posts Record Profits; Porsche's Retro EV Concept; CR: Ford BlueCruise Better Than Autopilot” on Spreaker.
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0:00 Tesla Posts Record Profits
1:10 Akio Toyoda Stepping Down
2:00 Manchin Adamant EV Subsidies Only For “Made in USA”
3:37 Renault EV Retrofit Kit for Old Cars
4:30 Ford Expands Pick Up & Delivery Service
5:15 Porsche’s Retro EV Concept
6:46 Consumer Reports: Ford BlueCruise Better Than Autopilot
7:38 Peugeot Going 100% Electric by 2030
8:32 NIO Hits 60,000 Swaps/Day
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA POSTS RECORD PROFITS
Everyone waited anxiously for Tesla to post its earnings last night. Would all those price cuts they’ve done hurt the bottom line? Did the lockdowns in China cripple sales? Did Elon Musk’s Twitter crusade distract him from running the car company? Well we got the numbers and while they narrowly missed Wall Street’s expectations, Tesla still set all-time records for revenue and profits. It sold 1.3 million vehicles in 2022, up 31% from the year before. It posted revenues of $81.4 billion, up 51%. Nearly $1.8 billion of that came from selling regulatory credits, which were up 21%. And it posted an impressive net profit of $12.5 billion, up a whopping 128%. While Wall Street thought Tesla would do a little bit better, these are really good numbers and the stock rose on the news. It’s now up about 33% since the beginning of the year.
AKIO TOYODA STEPPING DOWN
Akio Toyoda, who is 66 years old, is going to step down as CEO of Toyota and become the chairman of the board. He will be replaced on April 1 by Koji Sato who currently holds several positions at the company including Chief Branding Officer, President of Lexus International and President of GAZOO Racing. Even though Akio is stepping down as CEO at a normal retirement age, we think this represents an opportunity for the company to change directions when it comes to electric cars. So, in another 6 to 8 months when Koji Sato has had a chance to settle in, and when Akio has been out of the picture long enough, don’t be surprised if the company announces it’s adopting a more aggressive strategy to transition to EVs.
MANCHIN ADAMANT EV SUBSIDIES ONLY FOR “MADE IN USA”
Senator Joe Manchin really doesn’t like the way the U.S. Treasury is interpreting who gets EV subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act. The IRA says electric cars have to be made in North America with batteries made in the United States to get tax deductions. But the U.S. Treasury hasn’t issued its rules yet, meaning most EVs pretty much qualify for subsidies right now, but only until March. That’s when the Treasury will issue its ruling. But there’s a catch. The Treasury wants to allow anyone who leases an electric car to get the subsidy, even if those EVs don’t meet domestic requirement rules. It says leasing is a commercial transaction, not a retail sale, and it interprets that as a reason why those cars qualify for subsidies. But Senator Manchin isn’t buying any of that and he’s introducing legislation that will only allow EVs made in North America with batteries made in the USA to qualify.
RENAULT EV RETROFIT KITS FOR OLD CARS
Renault is going to start offering EV retrofit kits for some of its classic models. Driving a classic is great, but they’re nowhere near as efficient as today’s cars and that can restrict them from areas, like low emissions zones. Renault didn’t want that for its classic car owners, so it’s going to start selling the kits for the Renault 4, Renault 5 and the original Twingo. The kit includes a 10.7 kWh lithium iron phosphate battery pack that provides up to 80 kilometers or about 50 miles of range and a 48 kW or 64 horsepower brushless motor, which bolts right up to the original transmission. They’ll first be made available in France starting in February with a price just under 12,000 euros, including installation and it comes with a 2-year warranty.
FORD PICK UP & DELIVERY SERVICE
According to JD Power, people who use remote services, like when a dealer sends a tech right to you, are more likely to recommend that brand to someone else. So, Ford is expanding a Pickup & Delivery service nationwide. For free a dealer will send someone to pick up your vehicle and return it when the repair is done. Or for light work, like an oil change, a service tech will come right to you. The services are available to all Ford customers, but the program is voluntary for dealers to opt into and they get to set their own service and mileage limits. However, to help entice dealers, Ford says it will provide additional support to the ones that offer remote services.
PORSCHE’S RETRO EV CONCEPT
Porsche revealed a new concept, called the Vision 357, that pays homage to its past but features details of the future. If you see a little bit of the original 356 in there, then the designers are patting themselves on the back. That’s exactly what they were going for. And in order to achieve the right proportions, a Cayman GT4 RS was used as the base for the Vision 357. That helped serve as a canvas to apply some of the racing heritage you see in the car, like the low stance, front spoiler and 20-inch magnesium wheels with carbon fiber hubcaps. The Vision 357 retains the donor car’s 490+ horsepower naturally aspirated 4.0L 6-cylinder engine, which might have you asking yourself, ‘how is that a look into the future?’ Porsche says it would be designed to run on e-fuels.
CONSUMER REPORTS: FORD BLUECRUISE BETTER THAN AUTOPILOT
Consumer Reports is a lot less impressed with Tesla’s Autopilot system. It just rated advanced driver assistance systems from 12 automaker’s and Autopilot ranked 7th on the list, down from second place in 2020. Ford’s BlueCruise system took the top spot followed by GM’s Super Cruise and then Mercedes-Benz’s Driver Assistance system. Tesla tumbled down the list because Consumer Reports says it hasn’t changed Autopilot’s basic functionality since it first came out and because it doesn’t allow collaborative steering or have effective driver monitoring. While at the same time, it says other automakers have improved their systems. Consumer Reports conducted the tests at its own track and on a 50-mile loop of public roads and each system went through 40 different tests.
PEUGEOT GOING 100% EV BY 2030
French automaker Peugeot revealed its EV goals. By this year, all of the models in its lineup will be electrified. It’s also rolling out new 48V mild-hybrid technology for six of its models this year. The setup consists of either a 100 horsepower or 136 horsepower gasoline engine, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 21-kW electric motor. Peugeot says it reduces gas consumption by 15% and a C-segment SUV can operate 50% of the time in all-electric mode in urban driving. Over the next two years, Peugeot will launch 5 new EVs and by 2025 all of its models will be offered as a BEV. And then by 2030, all of its sales in Europe will be 100% electric.
NIO HITS 60,000 BATTERY SWAPS/DAY
And over in China, more and more Nio owners are getting battery swaps. The company announced it surpassed 60,000 swaps in a single day for the first time. It has more than 1,300 stations in China, which means each one is averaging about 45 swaps a day. Nio is aiming to have 1,700 stations by the end of the year. And in March it will launch its 3rd-generation swapping station, which can swap a battery in 2.5 minutes and perform 408 swaps a day if it’s open 24 hours. Nio is also slowly building up its swapping network in Europe, it has 10 currently and is aiming to have 120 by the end of the year. By 2025, the company plans to have 4,000 swapping stations, with 1,000 of those outside of China.
CORVETTE E-RAY DETAILS ON AAH
We’ve got a great Autoline After Hours coming up later today. Want to learn a lot more technical details about the Corvette E-Ray? We’ve got Don Sherman coming on the show. He probably knows more about the Corvette program than anyone outside of the Corvette program. We’ll also be talking about how automakers are trying to eliminate prototypes when they develop new cars and trucks. We’ve got Michael Hoffmann from VI-grade joining us from Germany to talk about that. They make driving simulators that are so life-like, it’s like driving a car in the real world. So join John and Gary when the show goes live at 3 pm eastern time today.
But that wraps up our time today. Thanks for joining us.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.