SUVs work really well at Volkswagen
Volkswagen sells a lot of trucks, BMW wasn’t worried about chips, but now it is, and Audi and Porsche are interested in some brands that are not involved in Formula 1, certainly in Formula 1. All that and more in that today’s Friday edition of The morning shift for July 2, 2021.
1st gear: VW is fine, thanks for asking
The 211,000 cars that Volkswagen has sold in the USA up to the first half of 2021 are the majority for the manufacturer since 1973. This is due to all of its SUVs – especially the Tiguan and Atlas as well as the electric ID.4. Of Reuters:
The German-built ID.4 arrived at US dealerships earlier this year and sold 5,756 units in the first half of the year, with 85% of trade-ins from owners of non-electric vehicles.
“It’s the most profitable car for our dealers,” said Keogh.
The ID.4 will go into production in the second half of 2022 at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and will eventually be supplemented by a large number of companion models in the USA, including a fully electric people mover that is inspired by the classic VW microbus.
Keogh said nearly three-quarters of VW’s U.S. sales were SUVs, which increased average prices by around $ 4,000 year over year.
NoVolkswagen not only sells more cars than it has for a long time, but also makes significantly more money with each one. Sometimes I wonder if consumers will ever wake up and see how much more they are spending when they choose a small SUV like the Taos versus a Golf, for example, but then I guess people don’t care.
Volkswagen’s roster in the USA currently includes nine vehicles. For reference, the automaker had the 1973 Beetle, Type 2, Type 3, Type 4 and Ding, but it was also about to introduce next-generation nameplates that would wear it for the rest of the century, like the Passat (aka Dasher) and golf (aka Rabbit). Maybe history repeats itself with the Taos and ID lineages?
2nd gear: BMW is not ok (they promise)
It was almost exactly two months ago when BMW announced in a request for a prize that it was so deal well with semiconductor shortages, thanks to strong supplier relationships and careful planning. Apparently that is no longer the case Reuters reported – and the dark clouds are not coming up as quickly as BMW had hoped.
At various locations, production was shut down either in day or single shift operations, said Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW board member responsible, and added that the production losses so far this year have amounted to around 30,000 “units”.
He added that further deficits are possible.
“The semiconductor supply is really crucial,” Nedeljkovic told reporters at an event to mark the start of series production of BMW’s iX electric sports utility vehicle.
“The outlook for the second half of the year also remains critical. The … initial assumption that it will be brought under control quite soon and more or less covered in the first half of the year is difficult. “
The comment “initial assumption” is particularly relevant here. Chipmakers put their production lines on hold for three to six months in the early days of the pandemic, and that backlog really came into focus in early 2021. A research analyst even predicted we could still feel the effects of the pinch in 2023. How a few months of downtime turns into two years of bottleneck I can’t explain what I can learn in the supply chain, but it seems pretty nice lazy if you ask me.
AHowever, we have seen Some automakers are still having record sales and people are not adjusting their spending habits. (Of course, if you have to buy a new car, I won’t give you it, but anecdotally, I’m amazed at how many of my friends have chosen now is the time to put cash on a new car they don’t need.)
3rd gear: PSA – NHTSA’s new recall tool is really cute
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall checker tool just got a useful update in the form of a tool This allows users to break down all of a automaker’s recalls instead of just entering a VIN number or make and model year. There’s a robust set of filters too, and you now have the option to export multiple notifications to a variety of file types with one click.
This is extremely nerdy stuff, and for the vast majority of people, just checking the warnings for the few cars they own is definitely enough. But if you’re really curious, the new site is powerful and certainly makes the manufacturers’ recall history and overall reliability more visible to the public. And not just for new cars – the database goes back more than 50 years, which is not obvious at first until you grapple with the filter “Report receipt date”. I look forward to all of the weird shit people are uncovering with it – data lovers look forward to it!
4th gear: At GM, everything revolves around local, ethically sourced lithium from the farm to the table
The element of the day, and probably of all days for a very long time, is and remains lithium. General Motors announced a multi-million dollar investment in California in Controlled Thermal Resources lithium extraction company. Automotive news Reported on Friday. Hello, all of these Ultium batteries aren’t just mining raw materials for themselves, you know.
This will mean a change for GM as it has previously sourced its lithium from Asia and South America. Per AN:
The lithium recovered by Controlled Thermal Resources is made through a closed-loop, direct extraction process that results in a lower physical footprint and carbon dioxide emissions than the traditional mining or evaporation basin processes, GM said in a statement.
The automaker expects its work with Controlled Thermal Resources to result in more lithium extraction methods that are less damaging to the environment. A significant amount of GM’s future lithium hydroxide and carbonate could be derived from controlled thermal development called Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power at the Salton Sea Geothermal Field in Imperial, California. The closed direct extraction process will extract lithium from geothermal brine.
As GM scales Ultium-powered vehicles, local, high-quality, ethical supply becomes critical, said Tim Grewe, director of electrification strategy Automotive news.
“If it really goes where we think it can go, and if we work with them and develop innovations with them, it could be one of the best things we have ever invested in,” said Grewe.
5th gear: Audi and Porsche like to talk about F1 engines
On Saturday there will be another meeting between Formula 1 teams and the FIA on upcoming engines and the use of sustainable fuels, here too representatives from Audi and Porsche will be present. Autosport reported.
The hope is that the rules for 2025 will encourage new OEMs, and VW in particular, to enter the series, with one source calling the meeting a “last chance” to convince the German giant to finally commit.
The participating CEOs / chairmen of the manufacturer include John Elkann (Ferrari), Luca de Meo (Alpine / Renault) and Ola Kallenius (Mercedes), while the VW Group is supported by the Audi chairman and group R&D boss Markus Duesmann and by Porsche will be represented by Managing Director Oliver Blume.
Journalists are optimistic that one or both Volkswagen brands will be launched in 2025 when the new engine regulations come into force. A report in March by British magazine Car and Tom Clarkson – The Tom Clarkson, who runs the official F1 Beyond The Grid podcast and every pre- and post-session interview session on a race weekend – said there is “every chance” the brands get into the sport.
As always, the question is: “In what role?” If Audi or Porsche are only supposed to deliver engines, there aren’t many teams with whom they would likely enter into a partnership. McLaren could be an option, as Autosport rightly points out, though it’s hard to imagine Porsche playing second fiddle to its British road-car rivals in a combined F1 effort. Set aside the precedent.
Personally, I’m looking forward to a full team effort – even if probably not from both brands at the same time. Volkswagen has a few different options on how it could play this scenario and brands that it can be played with. I long for the day when we can stop prophesying about how it will turn out and actually see an Audi or Porsche powered or built car in an F1 race.
Back: Served a million
The The millionth Corvette rolled off the assembly line 29 years ago today, on July 2, 1992. It was a C4 convertible with a white exterior and red interior like the first Corvette, and it was made by Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov – the guy who wanted to make the Vette mid-engine long before GM was ready.
Neutral: what do you hear?
Personally, I was very interested in this new Tyler The Creator album. I think he raps Rolls-Royces on every song. He even drives a computer-generated Cullinan monster truck in a video.