Follow us on social media:
0:00 Transplants Raise Wages to Block UAW
0:52 Small Supplier Goes Bankrupt, Impacts Stellantis
1:41 Big Supplier Hit by Cyberattack
2:07 Fisker Slashes Production Forecast
2:38 Telsa Cozies Up with India
3:45 Mercedes Launches Mobile Car Repair
4:14 Renault & Peugeot Offer New E-Vans
5:16 Toyota Testing Bidirectional Charging
5:50 1962 Ferrari GTO Sells for Record Price
6:48 Polestar 6 Won’t Be Production Limited
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TRANSPLANTS RAISE WAGES TO BLOCK UAW
Toyota was the first foreign automaker in the US to raise wages for its hourly workers after the UAW strike. Then Honda did it, and now Hyundai will too. Non-union workers at Hyundai’s assembly plant in Alabama will get a 14% raise now and by 2028 their wages will have increased by 25%. We think the other transplant operations at Nissan, Kia, Subaru, Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo will likely follow suit, as well as Rivian, Lucid and maybe even Tesla. It’s a familiar pattern. After every UAW contract gets settled, non-union automakers raise their wages just enough to keep the union out.
SUPPLIER BANKRUPTCY CAUSES HAVOC AT STELLANTIS
One of the big worries about that UAW strike was the financial pressure it was putting on smaller suppliers and we may have just seen the first casualty. A company called Unique Fabricating, which makes plastic, rubber and foam components, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is where a company closes down and liquidates all its assets. It has plants in Michigan, Georgia, Kentucky, Mexico and Canada. The bankruptcy filing threatened to shut down assembly plants at Stellantis and General Motors. So Stellantis and its seat supplier Yanfeng got a court order to seize all the equipment from Unique Fabricating so they could continue making the parts. But even with that equipment, it’s going to disrupt operations until everything is back up and running again.
YANFENG HIT BY CYBER ATTACK
And here’s where the story takes a darker turn. Right in the middle of all this going on, Yanfeng was hit with a cyber attack yesterday. Not only did that shut down part of its operations, it caused production disruptions at Stellantis. Yanfeng is not divulging many details, but whoever launched the cyber attack probably knew it was hitting the company at a very challenging moment.
FISKER SLASHES SALES OUTLOOK
EV startup Fisker is struggling. The automaker reported it lost $91 million in the third quarter and it slashed its production forecast for the year. Fisker now expects to build between 13,000 and 17,000 vehicles this year down from the 20,000 to 23,000 it previously projected. The company is cutting production so it doesn’t build up too much inventory. But Wall Street wasn’t happy with the news and its shares tumbled 14% yesterday.
TESLA COZIES UP TO INDIA
It’s no secret that Tesla wants to expand its operations in India and it’s making moves to do so. The Financial Times reports that Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to reduce tariffs for electric vehicles. Currently, any EV costing under $40,000 is slapped with a 70% tariff and EVs more than $40,000 are hit with a 100% tariff. The new proposal would slash the tariff to 15% for five years but Tesla would have to commit to building an assembly plant in the country. And in other Tesla, India news, during a visit to the automaker’s plant in Fremont, California, India’s trade minister said Tesla is about to double the number of components it imports from the country.
MERCEDES LAUNCHES MOBILE CAR SERVICE
Have a problem with your car? Mercedes will now send a mechanic right to you. It’s launching a Mobile Service in Germany where a tech shows up pretty much anywhere you want and can perform maintenance, small repairs and other checks of the vehicle. The service is available for most electrified Mercedes and Smart models and costs nearly 70 euros just for them to show up, plus repairs. If successful, Mercedes plans to expand to other markets as well.
RENAULT & PEUGEOT OFFER NEW E-VANS
More all-electric people movers are hitting the European market. Renault is launching the Traffic e-Tech, which comes with a 52 kWh battery pack that provides nearly 300 kilometers or about 180 miles of range and will have a starting price of 33,500 euros. Peugeot also has a couple of new models, the E-RIFTER and E-TRAVELLER. Both feature updated styling and come in either a standard or long wheelbase configuration. The smaller E-RIFTER is also available in 5 or 7 seat variants and comes with a 50 kWh battery that provides 320 kilometers or almost 200 miles of range. The E-TRAVELLER can seat up to 9 and has two battery sizes; either 50 kWh, which provides 224 kilometers or roughly 140 miles of range, or 75 kWh, which provides 350 kilometers 217 miles of range.
TOYOTA RESEARCHES BI-DIRECTIONAL CHARGING
Toyota is partnering with the San Diego Gas & Electric Company to study bidirectional charging. Using a Toyota bZ4X, the two companies will research how vehicle-to-grid or V2G technology can improve services for customers and help out the electrical grid. Their research will focus on both charging and discharging vehicles to and from the grid. But bidirectional charging can also be used to take electricity from one EV and put it into another, power a home or charge a stationary storage battery.
1962 FERRARI GTO SELLS FOR $51.7 MILLION
The title for “Most Expensive Ferrari Ever Sold” is changing hands. A 1962 330 LM / 250 GTO by Scaglietti just sold for a total of $51.7 million at auction, which beat the previous record set in 2018 of $48.4 million. Its pedigree includes an entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, a win at the Nurburgring and the only factory GTO raced by Scuderia Ferrari. As much money as that is, it doesn’t even come close to the most expensive car ever sold. That title belongs to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe, which sold for $142 million. But that car was also purchased by Mercedes and I believe it wanted to have and keep that title.
POLESTAR 6 WON’T BE PRODUCTION LIMITED
Polestar is giving its customers what they want and that’s more of its upcoming electric sports car that’s coming out in 2026. The Polestar 6, which takes inspiration from its Precept Concept, was supposed to be limited to 500 examples. But once those 500 examples, which it already has reservations for, are built, the Polestar 6 will enter regular production and the company will build as many as customers want. Highlights of the model include a folding hard top, dual motors that provide 650 kW or over 880 horsepower and it will do 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds.
But that brings us to the end of today’s show. Thanks for making Autoline a part of your day.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com