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0:00 UAW Leader Wants to Keep D3 “Wounded for Months”
1:23 EU Wants 100% Carbon Neutral E-Fuels
2:11 Used Car Buyers Forced to Buy Older Cars
3:57 Toyota Going Full Steam Ahead on Electrics
5:06 Honda Strengthens Performance Capabilities
5:52 Audi Updates Q4 E-Tron EV
7:16 BMW Motorrad Stops All ICE Motorcycle Sales in U.S.
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
UAW LEADER WANTS TO KEEP D3 “WOUNDED FOR MONTHS”
The UAW and the Detroit Three automakers still haven’t reached a deal on a new contract, so it’s likely that the union will expand the strike starting at noon today. (UAW President Sean Fain livestreamed another video at 10AM before we recorded the show.) But new leaked messages obtained by the Detroit News have auto executives concerned. The UAW’s communications director wrote in a private group chat on X, formally Twitter, that the union is aiming to inflict reputational damage on the automakers and that it wants to “keep them wounded for months.” The messages also indicate that the UAW is ditching its pattern bargaining strategy it has used in the past, where it makes a deal with one automaker to set the tone with the other two. Instead the UAW wants to turn the automakers against one another to get the best deal for its members. Ford, GM and Stellantis released statements saying they’re disappointed about what was said in the messages and questioned whether the union is bargaining in good faith. The negotiations have already been contentious and this is creating even more bad blood.
EU WANTS 100% CARBON NEUTRAL E-FUELS
Earlier this year, the EU carved out an exemption of its ICE ban to allow vehicles to run on e-fuel after 2035. But Reuters reports that the EU will set strict rules for cars running on e-fuels. It’s proposing to require them to run on 100% carbon neutral e-fuels, meaning they can’t have any climate impact. It would also require automakers to prevent vehicles from starting if it’s filled with a non-carbon neutral fuel. But there’s already pushback for the proposal, the eFuel Alliance says it’s nearly impossible for a 100% reduction in emissions and that the proposal would still effectively ban IC engines from 2035.
USED CAR BUYERS FORCED TO BUY OLDER CARS
Used car prices have soared in the U.S. the past several years due to shortages of new vehicles caused by pandemic shutdowns, which pushed consumers into the used market and drove up prices. And a new study from ISeeCars.com, found that it’s forcing used car buyers to purchase even older models. In 2019, you could buy a 3-year old car for $23,000 but that same amount is not enough for an average 6-year old car today. The study analyzed 21 million used cars from 2019-2023 and found that the average age of a used car rose from 4.8 to 6.1 years and that the average price increased from $20,400 to just over $27,000, an increase of a third. There’s 28% fewer 1 to 3-year-old used cars today than there were in 2019 because of the production disruptions from a few years ago.
A correction here. Yesterday we reported that a UAW strike at a ZF plant that makes axles for Mercedes could shut down the Mercedes plant in Alabama. We’ve since learned that the ZF plant is still making axles and so that could prevent any disruption in production for Mercedes. Only some of the workers in that plant belong to the union, and the rest of them are still at work.
TOYOTA GOING FULL STEAM AHEAD ON ELECTRICS
Toyota thinks it can sell a lot more electric cars than it currently does. Last year Toyota and Lexus sold less than 25,000 EVs globally, but the Nikkei newspaper reports that Toyota wants to ramp up production to nearly 200,000 electrics by next year and more than 600,000 by 2025. And it doesn’t stop. In 2026, it plans to make 1.5 million EVs and 3.5 million or ⅓ of its sales by 2030. That’s a massive jump in a short amount of time, so we should expect to see a lot of investments into plants over the next couple of years. It will also require more than the three models it has now and Toyota teased it will expand its Beyond Zero or bZ naming structure with the bZ Compact SUV. The concept was revealed last November and will slot below the bZ4X. It strongly suggests this will be the next electric Toyota coming out and we suspect the exterior styling won’t be that far off from the concept.
HONDA STRENGTHENS PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES
Honda is strengthening its performance capabilities. Honda Performance Development, which is located in the U.S. is now going to be known as Honda Racing Corporation USA. Honda Racing Corporation is the same name for its performance arm in Japan and the two will combine their expertise and resources to expand Honda’s motorsports capabilities. That includes Formula 1. The new HRC US will be involved in engine development and race support starting in 2026, which is when Honda will become the official engine supplier to the Aston Martin racing team. Honda currently supplies engines to the championship leading Red Bull F1 team.
AUDI UPDATES Q4 E-TRON EV
Volkswagen’s improvements to its electric MEB platform are starting to trickle down through its brands. Audi is launching the updated Q4 e-tron SUV, which used to just be known as the e-tron. It receives the same in-house developed electric motor that was first shown for the VW ID.7 sedan. It makes 210 kW or 286 horsepower and when bolted to the rear axle, provides acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds. Another big improvement is in the charging. It goes from a base of 135 kW up to 175 kW for AWD models, which allows it to charge from 10%-80% in 28 minutes. Audi also updated the suspension and steering, made its digital displays standard and even added the option for a unique “character sound.” All EVs have to make a noise up to 25 km/h or just over 15 MPH for safety reasons and Audi says the sound for the Q4 e-tron will be different from any other electric, even its own. The updated model starts going on sale next week in Europe with a starting price of roughly 53,000 euros or about $56,500.
BMW MOTORRAD STOPS ALL ICE MOTORCYCLE SALES
BMW Motorrad, the company’s motorcycle division, has stopped all sales of its motorcycles in the U.S., including used models, with the exception of one, its all electric CE 04. The company released a statement saying there’s an issue with the fuel system, which affects both new and older models. BMW says the problem isn’t safety related and owners can continue riding their bikes, which suggests it’s an emissions problem. The company says the stop sale is temporary but it did not give a timetable to when it will start selling ICE motorcycles again. The CE 04 is the only electric motorcycle BMW sells in North America and it features a 31-kW or 42 horsepower motor and it has a top speed of 75 MPH.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and I hope you have a great weekend.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.