Follow us on social media:
0:00 Nio To Launch Low-Cost EVs in EU
1:01 France Removes Incentives for China EVs
1:49 As GM Cruise Pauses, Competitors Race Ahead
3:21 VW ID.7 Is Way Cheaper in China Than EU
4:17 Nippon Steel to Buy U.S. Steel
5:02 Sneak Peek of Nissan’s Upcoming Concept Cars
5:53 BAIC BJ60 Sure Looks Like a Jeep
7:35 AAH With Sandy Munro
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
NIO TO LAUNCH LOW-COST EVs IN EU
Remember when nearly everyone was buying stock in EV startups at the beginning of 2022? Those days are long gone. Stock prices have crashed as investors worry about how those companies are burning through cash while generating very little income. But Chinese automaker NIO was just thrown a lifeline from an investment firm in Abu Dhabi. CYVN Holdings is buying $2.2 billion of the company’s stock. NIO, which is a pioneer in battery swapping, has gone after the higher end of the EV segment. In fact, it’s even developing an executive sedan to take on the BMW 7-series, Mercedes S-Class and Audi A7. But it’s also going to launch two other brands, called Firefly and Alps, that will sell low-cost family EVs in Europe starting next year.
FRANCE REMOVES INCENTIVES FOR CHINA EVs
And talk of more Chinese EVs coming to the EU is goading France into action. It isn’t waiting around for the bureaucrats at the European Union, instead France changed rules for which electric vehicles qualify for incentives to favor models produced in France and Europe over ones made in China. The subsidies now take into account CO2 emissions from producing vehicles and since China relies more heavily on coal to generate electricity, they no longer qualify. But it’s not just Chinese brands, Tesla Model 3s and Dacia Springs made in China, no longer qualify for the incentive, either, which is between 5 and 7 thousand euros.
AS GM CRUISE PAUSES, COMPETITORS RACE AHEAD
General Motors slammed on the brakes of its AV business unit, Cruise. It’s going through an internal review of the entire business after backlash from regulators, first responders and unions in California. But GM better get through that review pretty quickly, because its competition isn’t sitting still. Waymo added 45 miles of robotaxi service in Phoenix, Arizona last summer, bringing its total service area to 180 square miles. And last week it added curbside service to the Sky Harbour airport in Phoenix. This morning, May Mobility announced its offering robotaxi rides in Sun City, a giant retirement area in Arizona. In Beijing, Mercedes is testing Level 3 autonomous cars on highways, and IM Motors, which is part of SAIC, is seeking government permission to start selling Level 3 cars in China. Whoever cracks the code on selling robotaxi services profitably is probably going to become a cash machine. And right now, it looks like it’s coming down to a technological race between the US and China.
VW ID.7 IS WAY CHEAPER IN CHINA THAN EU
The Volkswagen ID.7 is nearly half the price in China than it is in Europe. In August, VW announced the all-electric sedan would start at just under 57,000 euros, which is about $62,000. But the version for China, called the ID.7 VIZZION, just went on sale for about $32,000 or a little over 29,000 euros. There are a few differences between the two models. The ID.7 VIZZION is built in China, both come standard with RWD, however the Chinese version has a less powerful motor (150kW vs. 210kW), but a slightly bigger battery (nearly 85 kWh vs 77 kWh), which provides about 20 kilometers or 12 miles more of range. So, I’m having a hard time seeing why there’s such a big price difference between the two.
NIPPON STEEL TO BUY U.S. STEEL
Japan’s biggest steel producer Nippon Steel is acquiring U.S. Steel. The deal is worth $14.9 billion, the largest ever purchase for Nippon Steel. This is really something of a historical milestone. In 1901 US Steel became the first company in the world to be valued at over $1 billion. But steel’s dominant role in today’s information economy is long gone. With Nippon Steel buying U.S. Steel, it looks like Cleveland-Cliffs may be the last remaining integrated steel maker that is American owned. Nippon wants to grow its business in the U.S. because demand is falling in Japan.
SNEAK PEEK OF NISSAN’S UPCOMING CONCEPT CARS
Nissan revealed its lineup for the Tokyo auto show, which kicks off in January right as CES is ending. One of the concepts that caught our eye is a disaster support vehicle based on the Nissan Caravan. We’ve seen these disaster support vehicles before, but what makes this one a little unique is that it uses portable generators that use old LEAF batteries, which is an actual product Nissan now sells on the market for a little under $1,200. The other concept that grabbed our attention is the March Customized Concept. This model is actually a 4th generation, which first came out in 2010, and Nissan wants to show how customers could upgrade their used cars. That’s something it also did at last year’s show with the Nissan Cube.
BAIC BJ60 SURE LOOKS LIKE A JEEP
We thought the days of Chinese copycats were over. But BAIC just introduced its BJ60 SUV in Dubai, and the front end looks like it was rolled right out of the Jeep design studios. While it doesn’t have a seven-slot grille, it looks like a Jeep. The BJ60 is an off-roader with features like on-demand four-wheel drive, diff locks and a crawl mode. BAIC has been significantly expanding overseas. It plans to enter several more markets in the Middle East and it’s selling vehicles in Mexico, South America and Europe, which are other regions where it will compete directly with Jeep.
AAH WITH SANDY MUNRO
Has there ever been a new product launch as controversial as the Tesla Cybertruck? Depending on the reviews, it’s either the most glorious thing that’s ever happened in the history of the universe, or it’s the ugliest, stupidest, most moronic product that’s ever been launched. So that sets the stage for Autoline After Hours on Thursday. We’ll have none other than Sandy Munro himself preaching the Cybertruck gospel, while Joe White from Reuters and Tu Le from Sino Auto Insights will weigh in with steely-eyed realism. You’re not going to miss this one.
And a programming note here. Thursday will be the last day of the year for Autoline. The crew is going to take a well-earned break and be back on January 3, when we have to hit the ground running to get ready for CES.
But that’s it for this show. Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks to our partner for embedding Autoline Daily on its website: WardsAuto.com