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First, I would like to thank you for your programming. It is very informative. Based on your programming, automotive companies and news organizations have both commented on the lack of demand for electric vehicles recently. As you are aware, there are several key items that most likely are causing this to occur. Here are a few of the key comments/concerns I’ve heard from your shows:
1. High interest rates and concern about the future economic situation.
2. Lack of charging locations or range concerns, excluding the Tesla system.
3. Electric vehicles are priced higher than ICE vehicles.
4. Legacy automakers transition to Tesla’s NACS receptacle for their vehicles. Not until 2025
5. Car dealerships are claiming that they have a surplus of inventory.
There is a key item that I never hear about. This item is that the dealerships have no incentive to sell electric vehicles. The majority of the profits of dealerships come from services, as is understood. As they are aware there is less service involve with these vehicles. To keep their profit margin intact, they must either raise the price of the electric vehicles or discourage customers from buying it. It is clear that both of these actions will reduce the demand for these vehicles. Given your extensive experience in the automotive industry, I was hoping that you or your organization could investigate this matter. I feel that this is an item that is under reported.
One additional statement that I would like to make:
It has been mentioned on your show that dealerships have a significant political influence, and legacy auto companies will likely not be able to bypass them. It is crucial for legacy automotive companies to create a win-win situation for themselves and their dealerships for them to survive, in my opinion. Myself and others in the Ohio and Michigan area have a strong desire for the Detroit auto companies to survive!
Thanks for your great feedback. We have been tracking the problem of EV sales and franchised dealers. And it is a problem! We’ll report more on this as we get more information.
Doron’s (?) quote that current oceanic carrier vessels pollute as much as 55 million cars is startling but appears to be fetched from a frequently corrected piece written for shock value rather than accuracy. A quick Google search found several corrections, updates, or reinterpretations of the alarming data.
Since it was written MANY other articles correct the inaccuracy and bring us up to date on new fuel mixes, the huge pollution savings derived by shippers simply slowing their vessels, wind assisted ships, new fuel mixes, and electrical and hydrogen inroads to the transportation of the cleaner cars they are delivering.
Also:To the presumed (?) common question posited regarding young people asking why the U.S. doesn’t produce ‘muscle cars” any longer: As, if personally aggrieved, Doron leaned forward aggressively (so what? but unusual for your commentators) and responded loudly: “Because the Government won’t allow it!!” Wow. Hit a very touchy spot there uh?
What accounts for a supposed auto industry expert’s unconcerned and out-of-touch comment?
In the DUH department…For years (!) now Tesla (and recently others) have offered electric models which can leave just about any beloved vroom-vroom monster muscle car from his day in the rear-view mirror. Or, maybe it’s not the performance he misses, just the noise and smoke?
I am 68 years old….and for the most part…during my life in business…and pleasure…owned many work trucks and cars..etc…but people think the 70s was worst quality…they are wrong…it todays.vehicles..have the worst quality ever…and I really mean that…up unit mid 2000s…they did seemly improve..now it Recall after Recall….Turbo, Direct Injection…Cylinder Deaviatiion….on and on…last work van I bought new in 2015 and suv in2017…has 5 recalls…Suv 4 .just look at all the sites showing up on utube..explaining whats going on…engine sludge…valve problems and chain tensioner problems…and these are on low mileage car and trucks…..I got my license in muscle car era….but now Horsepower race has moved to Trucks and Suvs….i mean does anyone really need a 400 hp pleasure pickup?…today I realy mean this….I pay extra for a simple lower powered non turbo…non direct injection..no cam phasers simple more reliable engine…in closing…I never forget what my daddy told me…back in first energy crisis of 1973/and 74…I got a popular science book..he was a electrician….and the trick I put in pickup to get better gas mileage…went bad….he told me in business and life…reliality is more important than efficiency…and I never forget his wisdom….
Thanks for a great Autoline After Hours yesterday! Great, informative discussion! I’m looking forward to the end of this strike, if for no other reason than to get AAH back to other topics like EVs and new manufacturing techniques and technologies. Thanks again!
As always John your analysis of the situation is spot on
This is all very familiar, be careful USA the Detroit 3 is at risk of ending up like British Leyland which was our biggest car maker. Today there are no cars made in Britain owned by any UK owners.
Ford started assembling cars in 1915 here in UK in Manchester, at the peak had 30 UK plants – today just 2 one Dagenham only makes diesel engines so there is little future in that, It is on the edge of London a vast area of prime valuable house building land and is certain to go that way – opened in 1929 Iron ore came down the Thames and finished cars out of the other end . the other Dunton is just design offices in Essex.
No Ford vehicles are made or assembled at all in UK now , and for decades Cortina, Escorts , Capri, Mondeos , Fiesta and Focus etc were both the top selling and majority of cars sold in Britain – not any more . Be careful you might in time end up with just imports or transplants in United States .
The highest labour rates in the world ultimately will leave you uncompetitive and on the slippery slope to extinction. We had a union leader here known as ‘Red Robbo’ he got his wish . The agenda of our unions in the 70s and 80s had nothing to do with workers; they wanted to bring down democracy and replace it with a Marxist dictatorship with them at the top table . That has not happened yet – but they did destroy the UK car industry.
Hi Sean and John
We are long time viewers who binge all your episodes on Friday night. A couple of questions occurred to us:
1. Will PHEV plug in hybrids also use the NACS tesla plug?
2. Battery swapping cars like Nio – are you stuck with one battery size? For example if you are just running around Wayne County you just may need a 30Kw but if John wants to go to a Trump rally in Iowa, you would like to have a 60kw+ for the long trip.
Keep up the good work. The show keeps getting better.
Titusville FL and Phila PA
Tesla X and Y
I really enjoy your commentary on Autoline Detroit WWJ. I believe the UAW should have a fair contract with the Big 3, but it would be nice to see the union promise in return something like this to the Auto Companies.
1. All our members will have at a minimum an Associates Degree.
2. Our absenteeism will be less than 2%
3. We will pay for any mistakes we make in mis-building vehicles with our own union fund.
4. Each member will buy or lease at a minimum 1 vehicle /5 years. (From the company they work for)
5. Members who in engage in violence, Sexual harassment, etc. will be fired and not return to work with back pay.
The union leadership is very dis-respectful and abrasive! Once the contract is reached, we all need to work together to build the best US vehicles we can !
Signed, Concerned 40+ year Automotive Retiree .
PS. please unionize the other OEMs Assembling vehicles in the US ( Honda, Toyota, BMW, Subaru, Hyundai, etc…) This type of drama won’t help the unions PR campaign! They are killing the goose who lays golden eggs !
Thanks for your great feedback. I think your #2 and #5 points are spot on!
Hi John and Sandy,
I enjoyed your retrospective on GM. I started at Chevrolet Engineering in 1970 just as GMAD was being formed. Lloyd Reuss was my College Graduate In Training advisor when he was Vega Chief Engineer (after Jim Musser suddenly resigned). I lived the toils of meeting the Clean Air Act of 1970 regulations and the migration to digital engine controls in 1980/1. I worked on the Cavalier and the Cadillac Cimarron WAS the heaviest Cavalier ever certified. I was in Chevrolet Product Planning just prior to CPC and BOC when Bob Berger really was the General Manager of all Chevrolet. I stood by as stupid capital planning decisions stifled product innovation that required tooling investment in favor of the sameness dictated by the GM10 platform. Dealers preferred RWD Monte Carlo, Caprice, Grand Prix and Bonneville to the new FWD models. Holding over the RWD Caprice meant that the Chevy GM10 had to be renamed ‘Lumina’, a name proposed by Campbell-Ewald. You might recall those closed white semi’s driving up and down I-75 with G bodies going from Flint Fisher 1 to Pontiac Assembly so that Monte Carlo and Grand Prix could continue past their scheduled demise. Since neither they nor the Bonneville and Caprice were planned beyond 1984 there was no version of a TBI 350 V8 that would fit a passenger car hood. Quadra Jets would have to suffice until PFI could be allocated to the rebodied Caprice in about 1991. I got to participate in the integration of Chevy and Pontiac lab operations in 1985/6 into CPC. As you correctly observed, that was the beginning of the end. Later, I worked for Herb Fishel in Chevrolet Racing when we became specifically part of Profit Improvement Initiative #14 (of 26) in 1991 to merge the racing departments still in the four divisions. That was a cat fight. Herb won the first round with the support of Lloyd Reuss, but later on would work for John Middlebrook, formerly of Pontiac, when he would meet his match after Stempel and Reuss were axed.
I ran design on the EV1 after Sandy had worked on the Impact version. I think those big IGBT’s you mentioned that were the size of Moon Pies were taken from an elevator control application. They were cooled by the same fluid that ran through the battery pack, drive unit and HVAC. One of the EV1 innovations was the adaptation of a small Panasonic apartment size heat pump as the heating and cooling source (before Tesla). It actually had its own 110v AC power source within the Hughes PEB. I am frustrated that GM did not build on the experience of that car. If you have read the various Tesla histories you can connect the dots between Aerovironment, Santana concept EV, Impact, EV1, AC Propulsion, tZero, Alan Cocconi, Alex Brooks (EV1 lessee and later Tesla employee), Martin Eberhard (EV1 lessee and Tesla Founder) and ultimately the founding of Tesla. It took Eberhard and Tarpenning to see that the Lithium Ion cells they had used in a pioneering eReader could adapt to an EV and provide a useful range. For GM to have carried on would have demonstrated EV feasibility that would have validated government mandates. That was bad for business. Tesla went on to take risk GM would never take and reimagine auto production to the detriment of legacy auto we can all see today.
Rick Wagoner replaced Lopez as the head of Global Purchasing while maintaining his role as CFO. He regrets killing the EV1 as CEO and now holds positions with ChargePoint and a number of new energy ventures.
You forgot to mention that outside director John Smale, P&G CEO, took over from Stemple, and did further damage by applying brand management to car models and ignoring the equity in divisional brands which were essential to dealers. The stage was set for 2008.
I tell people my GM career was like watching a 30 year slow motion train wreck. I think the last bridge is about to be washed out, possibly by the UAW, or more certainly by the Chinese.
I recently bought my third Tesla and love it as much as the other two. At $34K, what’s not to like?
Obviously Tesla has advantages over the Traditional Car Makers but the UAW Strike has me wondering about the details along with the announcement of a new third GigaCast piece coming from Tesla
Tesla has the ability to make changes quickly in manufacturing and I am wondering if that is due in large part to a lack of contractual obligations on parts purchases and job tasks?
Do The Big Three get themselves obligated to parts purchases or Job Tasks Agreements with the Union that keep them from streamlining the manufacturing process?
Can they even move to GigaCasts in half a decade without having to renegotiate obligations that have in the current manufacturing processes be it with buying the multitude of parts or the obligation to the unions to the people who put all those parts together?
Whereas Tesla is just positioned to reduce parts and job stations with no or little negative complications?
Would love to have a segment on Autoline After Hours discuss these current constraints that will limit their ability to navigate at even half the speed of Tesla
And at what point does Tesla get a HUGE Target on them for having that advantage … even bigger than what they have now, and social and governmental pressures begin to get manipulated against them to “even the playing field”
And Tesla and the Big Three are the two extremes, but where do the TransPlants fit between them?
Personally I am a fan of advancing car technology, and I am rooting for ALL Car Manufacturers and Workers alike, especially for factories in North America. I grew up a Ford guy, and still love Mustangs, but I also appreciated GM and whatever Dodge/Ram/Jeep is. Lately my family has been all in on Hyundai/Kia (Accent, and now Kona, Veloster, & Telluride) and Jeep (Patriot and now Renegade) and I am not opposed to EVs with a hope of one day having a Tesla Compact for Commuting … but also a Mazda Miata RF ND2 for enjoying the drive 🙂 .
Thanks for the excellent coverage you and your whole team provide every single day!
Traditional automakers can use gigacastings whenever they decide to do so. GM is using them in the Cadillac Celestiq, though in very low volume. Toyota is going to use them on its next-gen EV platform. The legacy automakers not held back by the UAW when it comes to gigacasting. They’re only held back by their own imagination and decision process to move ahead.
As I understand it, transmissions provide more flexibility for econo-cruising, and perhaps some acceleration flexibility too. And I t-h-i-n-k they are actually manual tranmissionss, since nobody wants to add the weight of an automatic. Wonder how they do/would work in front/rear/4wheel-drive.
I have heard that at least one EV vehicle of some variety (BEV/PHEV/hybrid/hydrogen-conversion) currently for-sale in USA already has.