Listen to “AD #3531 – Only 33 Percent of Americans Want EVs; Ferrari Hit with Cyber Attack; Italy Wants Biofuels, Not ICE Ban” on Spreaker.
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0:00 Only 33% of Americans Want EVs
1:11 China Luxury Car Imports Plummet
1:43 Chinese OEMs Taking More Market Share
2:19 Ferrari Hit with Cyber Attack
3:35 Copycat F-150 in China Uses Ford Engine
4:46 BMW Designs Factories Virtually
5:45 Japan OEMs Face EV Risk
6:52 UAW Election Still in Doubt
8:06 Italy Wants Biofuels, Not ICE Ban
8:59 Tesla Goes Back to Radar
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
ONLY 33% OF AMERICANS WANT EVs
President Biden wants half of all new cars sold in 2030 to be an EV or plug-in hybrid. But a poll from Reuters found that only one-third of Americans would consider an EV as their next vehicle, while 31% said they would not. Not surprisingly, the responses are divided among party lines. 50% of Democrats said they would consider buying an EV, while just 26% of Republicans and 27% of independents said they would. 56% of respondents said they won’t buy an EV that costs more than $50,000, 35% said they wanted an EV with at least 500 miles of range and 37% said the minimum range should be 300 miles. There are now more than 80 EV models on sale in the U.S. and last year they made up 6% of overall sales.
CHINA LUXURY CAR IMPORTS PLUMMET
Sales of imported cars are plummeting in China as local brands take more of the market. And the ones that are making it to its shores are mostly luxury cars. Even so, Mercedes-Benz imports were down 31% in January, BMW and Audi fell 47%, Lexus was down 49% while Mini was down 72%. Even the exotics, like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce saw their sales fall as well.
CHINESE OEMs TAKING MORE MARKET SHARE
Combine that with new car sales in China falling 20% through the first two months of the year, and imports are falling faster than the rest of the market. And Chinese automakers continue to get more market share. They now have more than 50% of the market, up from about 39% before the pandemic hit. We can expect that to grow even more because Chinese automakers have far higher market share with electric cars, and EVs are the fastest growing segment in the country.
FERRARI HIT WITH CYBER ATTACK
Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the auto industry and Ferrari is the latest to get hacked. It was hit with a ransomware attack that exposed customers’ personal information, including names, phone numbers, street addresses and email addresses. Ferrari did not say how many customers were affected but it did notify them about the breach. It says it hasn’t paid the ransom demands and won’t because that could encourage more attacks in the future. Instead, Ferrari hired a cybersecurity company to help investigate.
COPYCAT F-150 IN CHINA USES FORD ENGINE
There’s another F-150 copycat in China, but unlike the others that came before it, there’s no fear that Ford will sue. That’s because Ford actually helped its joint venture partner, Jiangling Motors, develop the truck. It’s called Dadao, which stands for discover, active, diverse, acme and optimistic. There will be several versions of the truck, from commercial to off-road, that can accommodate wheelbases from 2700-3500 mm. That spans a range both above and below the current Ford Ranger. Also like the Ranger, the Dadao trucks have Ford power. They’ll first feature either gas or diesel 2.3L engines mated to manual or automatic transmissions. But the platform can also support range extenders, hydrogen powertrains, ICE and electric or pure BEV. The first deliveries will start in May. And if it seems like there will be more Chinese pickups coming. CarNewsChina reports that previous bans on trucks are being lifted in many big cities.
BMW DESIGNS FACTORIES VIRTUALLY
BMW is expanding on the concept of manufacturing in the virtual world, an idea that first started gaining traction about 15 years ago. It recently 3D scanned all of its plants around the world so it could recreate them virtually. By combining this data with technology from NVIDIA it can make exact digital twins of its physical production plants and then test changes or upgrades in the virtual world before ever turning a nut or bolt in the real world. This process is being applied to all of its current plants, but also for the first time a future plant. Its all-new facility in Hungary, which won’t be open until 2025 and will build its Neue Klasse of EVs, is its very first plant to be completely planned and validated in the virtual world. BMW says it can now build a car virtually 2 years before actual production starts.
JAPAN OEMs FACE EV RISK
When it comes to the transition to EVs, Japanese automakers are in trouble. That’s according to Fitch Ratings. It looked at 15 global automakers and their readiness to transition to EVs. It found that Japanese automakers, specifically Toyota, Honda and Nissan, face the highest risk because they offer very few pure electrics. The Hyundai Group was rated as an EV leader, as was General Motors and the 6 major European OEMs.
UAW ELECTION STILL IN DOUBT
What a mess the UAW is in. Two of the former presidents of the union and several top officers were convicted of embezzlement and corruption. And an election to choose a new president has dragged on for weeks after the voting ended. That’s because the incumbent president, Ray Curry, is questioning the validity of some of the ballots. Right now the vote is extremely close, with 49.8% for Ray Curry and 50.2% for his challenger Shawn Fain. Next week the union will hold a convention to plan its negotiating strategy with GM, Ford and Stellantis when their labor contracts expire this fall. It’s entirely possible the convention will start before a new president is announced. And turnout for the election was extremely low. The UAW sent out over a million ballots to members and retirees, but only a little over 141,000 were returned, or about 14%. That means 86% of UAW members and retirees didn’t even bother to vote.
ITALY WANTS BIOFUELS, NOT ICE BAN
Italy made it official. It will oppose the EU’s full ban on ICE vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel unless regulators agree to allow the sale of IC engines that run on biofuels. Germany also protested the ban and wants to allow for carbon-neutral e-fuels, which are made from CO2 and hydrogen that are synthesized using renewable energy like solar power. But Italy thinks that allowing only e-fuels is too restrictive and it wants biofuels that are made from biomass to be included. E-fuels and biofuels do emit CO2 when they’re used in an IC engine. But that CO2 is supposed to be the equivalent of the CO2 that’s taken out of the atmosphere when those fuels are made.
TESLA GOES BACK TO RADAR
Elon Musk believes autonomous systems should rely mostly on vision and in 2021 Tesla removed and disabled radar on its vehicles, but according to a report from SF Gate, not everyone was on board with that decision. It claims it spoke to several former employees who say a group of engineers tried to convince Musk that Tesla’s system would be more likely to have problems without radar. The CEO admitted that high-res radar and vision together would be best, but he didn’t think that such a radar existed at the time. Maybe he feels like that time has come? High-res radar is now being included in Tesla’s sensor suite for Autopilot and FSD. But we don’t expect much more to be added to the system. Last year it started removing ultrasonic sensors from its cars.
And that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for making Autoline a part of your day.
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