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0:00 Tesla Model Y Could Lose Full Federal Tax Credit
1:03 How to Identify a Chinese Tesla
1:23 Cybertruck Windshield Costs $1,900
1:59 GM Fires 9 Cruise Execs
2:48 BMW Gets Level 3 Permit in China
3:12 BYD to Sell Cars in Mexican Department Stores
4:25 VW Uigher Audit in China Creates Controversy
5:32 ACEA Bemoans Lack of EU Policy for EVs
6:17 GM Makes Top Management Changes
7:13 Ferrari Back with Philip Morris
8:11 Kia to Announce New PBV Strategy at CES
8:56 Nissan Ariya in Production Hell
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA MODEL Y COULD LOSE FULL U.S. TAX CREDIT
Tesla is losing the full federal tax credit on some versions of the Model 3 at the beginning of the year and the Model Y is likely following. Tesla says reductions are likely for the electric SUV, but at this moment in time we don’t know what versions will lose the credit and whether it will just be half or the full credit. However, it’s very likely that the Y uses the same battery/battery supplier that disqualifies some versions of the 3 from the full credit, so we expect to see the same with the Y. At the beginning of the year battery mineral and component requirements for EVs to qualify for the credit goes up 10%. The requirement for critical minerals goes from 40% to 50%, which represents one half of the federal credit, while the other half is battery components, which goes from 50% to 60%.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A CHINESE TESLA
By the way, a lot of people are wondering if Tesla is importing Chinese-made 3s and Ys to the US. We don’t think so, but if you ever want to find out for yourself, just check the VIN. All vehicles that are made in China have a VIN that starts with the letter L.
$1,900 TO BUY CYBERTRUCK WINDSHIELD
Speaking of Tesla, the online parts catalog for the Cybertruck went live and the price of its huge windshield and wiper blade might surprise you. The company charges $1,900 for the windshield, not including installation charges, and $75 for the wiper blade. While those are certainly on the higher end, they’re really not that far off from similarly priced models. For example, it’s not uncommon to pay over $1,000 for a windshield these days with all the cameras and sensors that are mounted behind them.
GM CRUISE AXES 9 EXECS
General Motors is cleaning house at Cruise. It just fired nine executives at its autonomous vehicle unit. That’s in addition to CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt and its Chief Product Officer both resigning last month. GM said in an internal message that “new leadership is necessary” for Cruise to regain trust. Cruise is currently under investigation by NHTSA and the California DMV because one of its vehicles dragged a pedestrian after that person was struck by another vehicle and knocked under the AV. Cruise faces fines for possibly misleading investigators about the incident. And that’s why Cruise suspended all of its operations in the U.S. until this gets resolved.
BMW GETS LEVEL 3 PERMIT IN CHINA
And speaking of autonomous vehicles, BMW was just approved to start testing Level 3 autonomous vehicles on highways in Shanghai. The license will allow the company to test the technology on designated roads in the city. The automaker already announced it will offer Level 3 driving in Germany next year, starting with the 7 Series.
BYD TO SELL CARS IN MEXICAN DEPARTMENT STORES
BYD sees great opportunity in Mexico, so it’s going to sell cars in all kinds of outlets. The Chinese EV maker partnered with a company called Liverpool to sell cars at stand-alone dealerships, separate dealerships in shopping center parking lots and inside malls that are operated by Liverpool. BYD hoped to sell 5,000 cars in Mexico this year but, they’re coming in at less than half that. So BYD wants to sell 50,000 vehicles next year by selling them in more outlets. It’s also adding a new model to the market, the Song Plus PHEV. Even though BYD offers five BEV models in Mexico, it only expects pure electrics to make up 20% of its sales in 2024, with the Song Plus plug-in accounting for the rest.
VW UIGHER AUDIT IN CHINA CREATES CONTROVERSY
Volkswagen is caught in an uncomfortable situation in China that it wishes would just go away. It runs a plant in China’s Xinjiang province that is home to ethnic Uighers. And Uighers accuse the Chinese government of trying to wipe out their culture, as well as forcing them to work in labor camps that are almost like prisons. The Chinese government denies all this, of course, but human rights groups have pressured Volkswagen to prove its not using forced labor in its plant. So VW hired a German audit firm called Loening Gmbh, which said it found no evidence of forced labor. But Reuters reports that 6 executives at Loening posted a statement on LinkedIn saying they neither support the report, nor had anything to do with it. That strongly suggests they think it’s just a whitewashing that is covering up human rights abuses. Volkswagen isn’t saying a thing because it doesn’t want to upset Beijing, but we’re pretty sure this issue isn’t going away.
ACEA BEMOANS LACK OF EU POLICY FOR EVs
European automakers sure wish they had an industrial policy for electric vehicles that matches what China and the United States are doing. The ACEA, or European Automobile Manufacturers Association, says the European auto industry is falling behind when it comes to establishing an EV supply chain. Even though there have been lots of announcements to make battery cells in Europe, the ACEA says most of the raw materials are coming from China. Worse, it says that Europe has a patchwork of regulations that are growing by 8 or 9 new regulations a year. All that does, it says, is raise costs and slow things down.
GM MAKES TOP MANAGEMENT CHANGES
GM announced several important management changes. Doug Parks, who was running product development and purchasing is retiring after a nearly 40 year career. Ken Morris is getting promoted from vice president to senior vice president, and will take over product development, safety and motorsports. Josh Tavel goes from vice president of aftermarket to senior vice president of energy storage and propulsion, R&D and manufacturing engineering. Rory Harvey, currently president of North America will now run a newly created position called Global Markets. And Marissa West, who currently runs GM Canada, will now be the president of GM North America. Keep an eye on these execs. When Mary Barra and Mark Reuss eventually retire, this is where the next generation of leadership will likely come from.
FERRARI BACK WITH PHILIP MORRIS
Here’s an unexpected evolution of a long partnership. Ferrari first kicked off its partnership with tobacco company Philip Morris in 1973, made most famous by Marlboro’s sponsorship of the Ferrari Formula 1 team. But now the two are collaborating on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their factories in Italy. I joked that maybe they could put some of those cigarette filters to better use, but really they’re turning to electrification. Specifically, they’re looking at using more renewable energy as well as energy generation and storage. While Ferrari and Philip Morris aren’t revealing exact details of the types of systems they will integrate into their plants, we could see more projects like a plant that Ferrari built last year that produces electricity with fuel cells, which provides 5% of the energy required for producing cars in Maranello.
KIA TO ANNOUNCE NEW STRATEGY AT CES
Kia is going back to CES for the first time in 5 years and it’s going to show off its strategy for PBVs, which it’s now calling Platform Beyond Vehicles instead of Purpose Built Vehicles. We expect this to include vehicles both big and small that will move people and things and make deliveries. Kia will also show its strategy for dedicated hardware solutions, digital technology and fleet integration. Additional EVs, including the concept EV3 & 4, the EV9 and EV6 GT will be on display as well. By the way, Autoline will be covering CES with daily posts about the newest technology at the show.
NISSAN ARIYA EV IN PRODUCTION HELL
You don’t see many Nissan Ariya EVs, do you? That’s because it’s gone through production hell trying to make them. The Ariya was supposed to debut in mid-2021 but it didn’t go on sale in Japan until May 2022. And in the U.S. Nissan told dealers to stop taking orders. But now the company says it’s worked out production bugs at the plant in Japan where it’s built and things are running smoother. But even though production is rising, it’s not nearly where it needs to be. The plant is only running at two-thirds capacity, so Nissan wants to add another model, and it’s even looking at using gigacastings to boost efficiency.
And that brings us to the end of today’s show. But don’t forget to tune into Autoline After Hours, which goes live on our website and YouTube channel at 3PM EST.
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