Listen to “AD #3561 – Ferrari Hits 20% Net Profit Margin; BMW Tells Thousands Not to Drive Their Cars; Tesla’s Sales Slide in China” on Spreaker.
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0:00 Ferrari Hits 20% Net Profit Margin
0:50 Porsche Boosts Q1 Earnings
1:23 Ford Hints At 3-Row EV Crossover
2:03 Tesla’s Sales Slide in China
2:43 VW & Shell Install Flexible, Fast Charging Station
4:20 BMW Tells 90,000 Owners Not to Drive Their Cars
5:12 LEVC Unveils New Open Source EV Architecture
6:26 Buick Introduces New Lacrosse in China
7:11 Bridgestone Reveals New Semi-Slick Race Tire
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
FERRARI HITS 20% NET PROFIT MARGIN
Sports car companies have never had it better. Ferrari just put in a whopping good quarter. It sold 3,567 cars, up 9.7% compared to the first quarter of last year. Revenue came in at €1.4 billion, up 21%. Its EBIT earnings hit €385 million, up 25% and its net profit came to €297 million, up 24%. That means it hit a 20% net profit margin. Business is so good at Ferrari that its order book is completely full until 2025.
PORSCHE BOOSTS Q1 EARNINGS
Porsche also reported its first quarter earnings today and it grew even faster. It sold 80,767 vehicles, up a solid 18%. It brought in €10 billion in revenue, up 25%. It posted an EBIT of €1.9 billion, up 31%, and a net profit of €1.4 billion up an impressive 39%. That gave it a net profit margin of almost 14%.
FORD HINTS AT 3-ROW EV CROSSOVER
Ford CEO Jim Farley said the market for electric two-row crossovers is getting completely saturated, so it’s got its sights set on the 3-row market. Specifically, he said that Ford wants to get into markets that it knows really well, like 3-row utilities and he thinks a vehicle like this could attract new customers. We wouldn’t be surprised if the new 3-row SUV is based on the new platform that Ford is developing for the next-generation F-150 Lightning. According to AutoForecast Solutions, production of that truck is supposed to start late in 2025.
TESLA’S SALES SLIDE IN CHINA
Despite all its efforts to boost sales by cutting prices, Tesla saw its sales in China fall nearly 15% last month compared to March. It delivered 75,842 Made in China Model 3s and Ys in April, compared to nearly 89,000 in March. That might prompt the company to cut prices of those models again, or try to export more. For example, last week Tesla announced it will start exporting Chinese-made Model Ys to Canada. Meanwhile it did raise prices of the Model S and X in China by another $2,700.
VW & SHELL INSTALL FLEXIBLE, FAST CHARGING STATION
Building up the fast charging network is critical to help the growth of electric vehicles, especially in urban areas. But automakers are developing solutions to put them there. Last month, Hyundai partnered with a startup called itselectric to test curbside charging in New York City. And now Volkswagen and Shell have installed a new flexible EV charging spot at a Shell station in Germany. It was developed by VW’s charging brand Elli and it features a unique battery storage system that allows it to connect to a low voltage grid, without the need of a special transformer. This allows for faster, easier installation and it means you can put it just about anywhere. The stations are capable of putting out 150-kW, which can provide up to 160 kilometers or about 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. VW and Shell plan to install more of these chargers throughout Germany and Europe in the future.
BMW TELLS 90,000 OWNERS NOT TO DRIVE THEIR CARS
Automakers are still dealing with the effects of defective Takata airbags. And now BMW is telling nearly 90,000 owners in North America to not drive their vehicles. It involves 3 Series built from 2000 to 2006, 5 Series from 2000 to 2003 and X5s from 2000 to 2004. BMW says because of their age, those vehicles are at greater risk to cause injuries and owners should not consider them safe to drive. It has been reaching out to customers since 2016 to get their vehicles fixed and it will send notices to affected owners this month with a follow up in June. Customers can have airbags fixed at the dealer or remotely at no cost and the repair takes less than an hour.
LEVC UNVEILS NEW OPEN SOURCE EV ARCHITECTURE
In March the electric version of the London Black Cab overtook the diesel version as the most common in operation. And now the London Electric Vehicle Company or LEVC, which makes the electric Black Cab, called the TX, has revealed an all-new, open-source dedicated EV architecture. Called the Space Oriented Architecture, it was co-developed with parent company Geely, and will not only support Black Cabs, but other types of people movers and commercial vehicles as well, including trucks, vans and buses. They’ll come in front-, rear- and all-wheel drive. Battery sizes will range from 73-120 kWh and provide up to 695 kilometers or 431 miles of range. The connected electronic architecture will support Level 2 to Level 4 autonomous driving, over-the-air updates and a ton of infotainment possibilities for passengers. The press release says the platform will be available to others outside LEVC and the Geely Group, but it gives no indication of where or when it’ll be built.
BUICK INTRODUCES NEW LACROSSE IN CHINA
Buick might have killed off its sedan lineup in the U.S. but it just introduced a new LaCrosse for China. Front and rear end styling is clearly inspired by the Wildcat and Electra-X concepts, but to us the side body surfacing looks similar to the old LaCrosse. Buick didn’t give any indication of powertrain, but we’d be shocked if it was anything but ICE-based. The interior is a nice evolution and looks inviting. And its large screen is something you’ll see in all new Buicks. It’s a 30-inch 6K curved screen that runs off Qualcomm technology. The new LaCrosse should go on sale in China soon.
BRIDGESTONE REVEALS NEW SEMI-SLICK RACE TIRE
Bridgestone, which is one of our sponsors, launched a new semi-slick race tire that’s homologated for public roads and optimized for the race track. According to tests done by independent company TUV SUD, the Potenza Race tire delivers the fastest lap time and shortest braking distance on dry pavement compared to its competitors. It’s available in 13 sizes between 17- and 20-inch tires. But what’s most intriguing to us is Bridgestone was able to cut the development time with virtual tests, while being more sustainable. It reduced real-world testing by nearly 6,000 miles, while reducing raw material use by 33%.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.