Drinking the Electrolyte? Audi Plans to Sell 800K EVs in 2025

Audi General Meeting May 2018 - AutoInformed.com

This overall plan is also called roadmap E. Following this route will considerably increase investment, making the expense side of the spreadsheet the corporate equivalent of gas guzzlers.

Audi claims it aims to sell ~800,000 fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the year 2025. Last week at the Annual General Meeting of AUDI AG, the Board of Management updated “Audi.Vorsprung.2025.Vorsprung – roughly translated – means lead or advantage. We’ll see what the exact meaning is ultimately…

This regulation-prompted strategy – searching for an advantage and customers – means every third buyer or leasee would take an e-model by the middle of the next decade – customers who have thus far shunned driving “green vehicles” at this level of participation. During 2017 Audi sold 1.9 million vehicles globally. Do the math and that means a huge shift in the market. In the U.S. during 2017 Audi sold 227,000 vehicles.  During the last Japanese fiscal year ending in March of 2018, the Nissan Leaf, arguably the most affordable long-range EV with 150 miles on a full charge, sold ~55,000 units – globally.

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Daimler, Deutsche Telekom End German Government Clash

Autoinformed.com on legal issues with autonomous automotive systems

One thing’s certain – this is an easy way to tax and automatically raise taxes.

Daimler reached an agreement with Deutsche Telekom and the German Federal Government concluding arbitration proceedings over the flawed launch of Toll Collect for heavy trucks. The dispute dragged on for 14 years. However, it’s a new beginning for Fresh Start, which is an automated toll collecting system for trucks, which is easily accomplished in other countries by other companies.

Whether this bodes ill for Daimler’s other car-to-car or car-to-infrastructure/web communications programs remains to be see. It also points to an unknown legal environment facing autonomous car makers with products already on the market – automatic driver-assist systems such as automatic braking, automatic parking, or vehicle-following speed control. Continue reading

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Fire Sale – Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production

AutoInformed.com on Ford Truck  Supplier Fire

Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies at the Eaton Rapids facility.

Ford Motor Company is restarting production of its most profitable vehicle – the F-150 pickup truck – at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after about one week of downtime.

The company declined to say how many vehicles weren’t built because the lost production is still unknown until everything is back up and running. Inventories of the best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles are adequate. Customers shouldn’t have a problem “finding the model they want,” said Ford. (F-Series Supplier Fire – a Threat to Ford Motor Profitability) Continue reading

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Toyota, KDDI, OYO to Collect Data for Disaster Relief

AutoInformed.com of Toyota Big Data for Distaster Relief

How’s your Kanji? No matter, the connected car and big data are moving forward at Grand Prix speeds.

KDDI, OYO and Toyota will gather data to build an “information support system” for the government and local administrations. The project uses technologies in the IoT (internet of things) and big data analysis that will be crucial to the survival of “wanna be” mobility companies in the auto industry that lack much experience in these areas.

The Japanese companies will carry out experiments with the aim of commercializing this system by 2019. The system will bring together KDDI’s demographic movement data, OYO’s various data from disaster monitoring sensors, probe data obtained through Toyota’s connected cars, and publicized data, such as weather information, with the goal of creating “all kinds of disaster prevention information.” Continue reading

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Software Lightens Hardware

AutoInformed.com on GM and AutoData Lightweighting

The new technology provides significantly more mass reduction and parts consolidation opportunities that – it’s said – cannot be achieved through traditional design optimization methods.

General Motors is using advanced software design for the next generation of vehicle light-weighting. The technology is claimed to be key to developing efficient and lighter alternative propulsion and zero emission vehicles. GM is the first automaker in North America to use tools from Bay Area-based software company Autodesk.

It uses cloud computing and AI-based algorithms to explore multiple permutations of a part design, generating hundreds of high-performance, often organic-looking geometric design options based on goals and parameters set by the user, such as weight, strength, material choice, fabrication method, and more. The user then determines the best part design option.

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U.S. Memorial Day Travel Primed to be a Near Record


Several major U.S. metro areas could experience double the travel times compared to a normal trip. New Yorkers could see three times the delay.

Not everyone will be in front of you in heavy traffic, but Memorial Day will see Americans traveling in near-record numbers. More than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, ~5% more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years. Close to 2 million additional people will board planes, trains, automobiles and other transportation types, according to AAA.

INRIX, an analytics company, expects travel delays on major roads could be up to three times longer than normal, with the busiest days being Thursday and Friday (May 24-25) as commuters mix with holiday travelers. Continue reading

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F-Series Supplier Fire – a Threat to Ford Motor Profitability

AutoInformed.com on 2016 U.S. Auto SalesFord Motor Company finally said today that it is working to mitigate U.S. production losses after a May 2 fire at a parts supplier. Parts shortages from Meridian Magnesium Products of America’s disabled plant is  is shutting down F-150 and Super Duty production at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Truck and Kentucky Truck plants. However, Ford has a whopping 84 days of supply of trucks as gasoline prices are rising once again.

Ford says it takes less than a third of the volume of from the Meridian plant in what is a meaningless distinction because the F-Series is the foundation of the profitability of Ford in North America – a foundation that was already showing signs of cracks. (see AutoInformed.com on Failing Grade for Ford Motor Q1 Earnings, Failing Grade for Ford Motor Q1 Earnings)  Ford claims that while the shortage will hurt near-term Q2 results, the company’s guidance of  an adjusted EPS in the range of $1.45 to $1.701 for the full year is unchanged thus far. Continue reading

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FCA US April Sales Sees Trucks and Namesake Brands Decline

AutoInformed.com on FCA April 2018 US SalesFCA US had sales of 184,149 vehicles, a 5 percent increase compared with sales in April 2017 of 176,176 vehicles. Overall sales were helped by the Jeep brand which reported record sales in April of 82,641 vehicles, beating 82,537 vehicles in April 2016. Overall FCA retail sales were 143,995 vehicles, down 1 percent. Fleet accounted for a large 22 percent of total sales.

The brands* the company is named after – Fiat and Chrysler – both posted huge declines. Sales of Fiat vehicles declined 45 percent to 1,404 vehicles. Chrysler brand total sales fell 18 percent in April to 14,189 vehicles compared with the same month a year ago. The Chrysler Pacifica minivan posted a 5 percent retail sales increase to 7,864 vehicles.  Continue reading

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Ecstasy and SUVs – Rolls-Royce to Launch Cullinan Tomorrow

AutInformed.com on Rolls-Royce CullinanRolls Royce Motor cars will technically be no more when it launches the Cullinan SUV. That right Rolls is joining the ecstasy of other automakers by joining the stampede to truck-like SUVs that customers are increasingly entranced with.

Perhaps Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, should consider a brand name change to RR Vehicles – hardly engrossing but accurate.  RRMC currently sells super-expensive automobiles, including the Phantom, Ghost, Wraith and Dawn range of models. Continue reading

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TMC Posts Revenues of $265 Billion for Fiscal Year

AutoInformed.com on Toyota FY 2017 FinancialResults

Technology companies, who are our new rivals, with speed many times greater than our own and backed by abundant funding, are continuing to aggressively invest in new technologies,” said Toyoda.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 with consolidated vehicle sales of 8,964,394 units, a decrease of 6,466 units year-over-year.  Region by region Toyota is experiencing the effects of a slowdown in the global automotive economy along with an ongoing increase in competition. As a result, volume is down slightly, but operating income is up.

Akio Toyoda called his management team “the seven samurai,” after the Akira Kurosawa film. Toyota said he hopes to turn the major changes happening in the auto industry into big opportunities. “Being a “mobility company” means more than pushing ahead with more of the same, but pursuing “a future that we forge ourselves,” he added. Continue reading

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Ford Smart Mobility, Zotye Ink MOU on Chinese Ride Hailing

AutoInformed.com on Zoyte and Chinese EV Market

FMC previously said 70% of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025. Ford has not been successful with selling EVs in North America.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC and Zotye Auto have signed an MOU to establish a new 50:50 JV in Zhejiang province that will focus on providing pure EVs to fleet operators and drivers in China’s ride-hailing market. Each company will provide 50 % of the JV’s registered capital of $20 million. The Zotye-Ford mobility JV will provide ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers with all-electric vehicle leasing services, data-driven fleet management solutions, in-vehicle digital services, connectivity and vehicle customization. Ford Smart Mobility is a Ford Motor Company subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. Continue reading

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Ford US April Sales Off -5%

AutoInformed.com on Ford Escape Air Bag Recall

Incentives of $3000 on the Ford Escape?

Ford Motor Company U.S. sales for April totaled 204,651 vehicles – a -4.7% decline. Only truck sales grew at +1%. Fleet sales declined as well – down 8.6% with sales of 67,602 vehicles.

In the face of disappointing or mixed results, Ford is pointing to its overall transaction prices that are almost $4,000 higher than the industry average, at $36,300 per vehicle. This of course is largely as the result of the F-Series with 12 straight months of year-over-year sales gains. (Monthly Sales Reports Die as GM Shifts to Quarterly Updates). However, a supplier fire will shut down F-150 production on Thursday.

Nonetheless retail sales declined -2.6%, and Ford has regional incentives on trucks of up to $3000 –  the Escape (the fasting growing global segment the compact crossover SUV), Edge, Expedition, Explorer. As has been the trend for years, Ford is in trouble in the car segment with sales off -15% compared to April of 2017, and -14% year-over-year. Focus has up to $4000 cash on the hood right now in some markets. Continue reading

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California Details Latest CO2 Reduction Programs

AutoInformed.com on Global Warming and CO2California Climate Investments will fund about 150 cleaner school buses across the state. These include zero-emission battery electric models and conventional models using renewable diesel.

The year-old Rural School Bus Pilot Project, which has received $25 million in cap-and-trade funding, will buy as many as 60 of those new school buses in rural areas, reducing 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. About 40 of those school buses in rural areas will be zero-emission battery electric. Continue reading

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Ford Enlarges Transit Fire Recall in North America

AutoInformed.com on Expanding Ford Transit Safety Defect Recalls

Ford has two confirmed reports of vehicle fires on Canadian fleet vehicles “related to” this safety defect.

Ford Motor Company is expanding a safety recall in North America by including an additional 26,000 vehicles to an existing safety defect recall for 2015-17 Ford Transit vehicles equipped with a trailer tow module.  Water intrusion into the module and connector causes wiring corrosion,  damage to the module, and a potential fire hazard.

These vehicles were not included in Ford’s prior defect correct program due to an “identification error of certain configurations of the vehicle population.” Dealers will add a drainage hole to the driver’s door stepwell and incorporate a fuse into the vehicle wiring harness at no cost to the customer as is required by U.S. law. Parts are available to complete repairs. There now are 14 safety defect recalls on the Transit. Continue reading

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CARB Pushes CO2 Reductions with EV School Buses

AutoInformed.com on Electric Buses

The death of the diesel continues.

The California Air Resources Board is set to announce an investment milestone for the state’s zero-emission transportation future and highlight one of many projects funded by cap-and-trade through California Climate Investments today.

Officials will provide details of a new project delivering ultra-clean electric school buses to rural districts that have the oldest and dirtiest-running school bus fleets with diesel engines. Continue reading

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