U.S. electric vehicle sales are reaching new highs as “legacy” brands power Tesla’s market share, Polestar knows it can’t do it alone and a former Audi boss has pleaded guilty this eighth year since Dieselgate. All that and more in this edition of morning shift For Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
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Gear One: Winners and Losers
It’s reasonable to expect EV sales to continue to increase year-over-year, if not quarter-over-quarter. Battery electric vehicle sales in the United States rose to seven percent of all new cars sold in the first three months of 2023, per Experian via Auto News. That’s a good deal better than the 4.6 percent rate in the first quarter of 2022.
The most interesting development is that while just over seven out of every 10 EVs sold this time last year were Teslas, that’s now down to six out of 10. General Motors, Ford, Rivian and even Volkswagen swooped in to split that sliver of market among themselves:
new [Chevrolet] The pilot data showed that bolt registrations rose to 19,947 in the first quarter, compared to 477 last year. The small hatchback twins are the only Chevrolet electric models for sale.
Quarterly data showed that the Ford brand ranked third in electric vehicle registrations with 13,362, up 82 percent. Its share of electric vehicles rose in the first quarter to 5.2 percent from 4.6 percent a year earlier.
Mustang Mach-E registrations fell 12 percent to 6,110 in the quarter. Ford said that some production of the Mustang Mach-E was lost due to factory upgrades. Experian data showed that F-150 Lightning registrations rose to 5,652 from just 53 in the previous year, and e-Transit van registrations rose to 1,600 from 348.
Volkswagen registrations for its ID4 knowledge rose 244 percent to 10,053 to rank fourth on the EV brand chart. Volkswagen’s market share more than doubled to 3.9 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Pour one in for the Bolt, a really sensible electric car that Americans are waking up to Just in time for GM to give it up.
The story is meLess encouraging for Hyundai and Kia, which have already slipped into electric vehicle market ownership, perhaps in part because there are no federal tax incentives for Ionic 5 And Kia EV6. In fact, Rivian has moved 7,134 of its expensive trucks and SUVs — just under Hyundai’s 8,064 and significantly better than Kia’s 6,064. It was Toyota that showed up in the back of the car, which could muster only 1,570 registrations for BZ4X. Who wants to take some bets on how far the rest of the industry will spend Tesla’s big slice of the pie this time next year?
Second gear: Polestar needs a helping hand
I’m going to hand it over to Polestar, one of the few EV manufacturers that seems to take everything seriously. The thing is, Polestar is a (sort of) little fish in a big pond, and even with Jelly’s support, it can’t bring about change on its own. The costs are very high. You know what could help, though? Partnerships, and therefore, economies of scale. A Polestar executive reflected on this when Reuters’ This week’s auto conference:
Speaking at the Reuters Auto Conference in Munich, Dennis Nobelius said: “If we ally with partners and say this is how we decarbonize the supply chain…we can make an impact…we would love to work together.”
Polestar, which makes Volvo cars, lowered production guidance for 2023 last week and said it would cut staff by 10% amid a challenging environment for the industry.
The automaker and rival electric car maker Rivian were supportive of a study that said in February that the auto industry is set to cross the 1.5°C path by at least 75% by 2050, calling for cooperation to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs).
Nobilius said Tuesday that automakers, partners and suppliers need to pool efforts on everything from traceability in the supply chain to grid greening and battery health tracking to create standards across the industry.
The ability to quickly transform in line with new technologies has also been key to success in the electric vehicle market, Nobelius said, taking battery cell technology as an example.
“We need to be able to change the cell chemistry every two years based on competition,” he said.
Pretty much from the first day Polestar was fleshed out as its own brand, it seemed as if Geely was letting it exist as the kind of whimsical, egotistical experiment that was free to lose as much money as it wanted, so long as it served as an aspirational guide for Volvo. But it turns out Polestar like everyone elseunder the same internal pressures.
Third gear: Today at Dieselgate
we learned a few weeks ago That former head of Audi Robert Stadler He pleaded guilty-ish For his role in Dieselgate. On a Tuesday morning in Munich, he did just that. via Reuters:
The former CEO has been on trial for fraud since 2020 over his role in the scandal after parent group Volkswagen and Audi admitted in 2015 to using illegal software to cheat emissions tests. Stadler had previously rejected these allegations.
Stadler’s defense attorney Ulrike Thole-Grolle read a statement to the court, which said that the defendant did not know that the vehicles had been tampered with and that the buyers had been damaged, but recognized that was a possibility and accepted it.
“I understand that, on my part, more care was required,” said the attorney on Stadler’s behalf.
When asked by the judge if the words were his own, Stadler replied, “Yes.”
The statement was widely expected after a judge said earlier this month that Stadler would face a suspended prison sentence of between 1.5 and 2 years and a fine of 1.1 million euros if he pleaded guilty to negligent fraud. A ruling is expected in June.
in March , Watchman It reported that an estimated 13 million diesel cars that exceeded legal emissions limits – not all of them represented by the Volkswagen Group – remained on roads across Europe. Until they fade away from traffic, neither will Dieselgate.
4 gear: Volkswagen Out
A passage has been opened for the German automaker to exit Russia. Volkswagen’s sale of its assets in the country to Avilon, a dealership group, has reportedly been approved by Russian regulators. from financial times:
Russian authorities have agreed to sell Volkswagen’s domestic assets to Avilon, one of the country’s largest car dealers, in a cut-price deal that underscores the challenges Western companies face when trying to get out of Russia.
The official Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday that the value of the sale to Avilon, which is the main supplier of cars to the country’s security services, will not exceed 125 million euros.
Volkswagen’s fixed assets in Russia, including buildings and equipment, were valued at 111.3 billion rupees (€1.5 billion) in 2022, according to company disclosures.
Last year, Russia introduced strict criteria for Western companies withdrawing from the country following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to go to war with Ukraine. The measures include selling at a discount of at least 50 percent and making a “voluntary donation” to Russia’s war fund.
Attorneys involved in recent corporate exits say meeting those criteria is necessary but not sufficient as the government’s Committee on Foreign Investment decides on each deal on a case-by-case basis, sometimes adding additional requirements. But in the West, more than a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, political pressure is growing on Western consumer groups to stop doing business in or with Russia.
If you’re an automaker doing business in Russia hoping to make a clean break after invading Ukraine, there’s really no way out without giving something away. Renault had to sell its stake in AvtoVAZ for a ruble, after all. However, it is not clear if the French manufacturer should make a donation to the government – then, you know, give them the entire infrastructure for the production of cars for free. Volkswagen could not move as quickly Assets are frozen Because of an ongoing lawsuit with its local partner GAZ until very recently.
Fifth gear: Sergio, Patriot
Stellantis president John Elkann sent some love to his old colleague, Sergio Marchionne, in the latest biopic of the deceased automaker, bloomberg:
“Sergio was a patriot in every sense of the word,” Elkann, 47, said in an interview with the latest edition of a biography of Marchionne, who ran the Italian automaker from 2004 until his death in 2018. CEOs Marchionne and Elkann rescued Fiat from near bankruptcy and merged with US manufacturer Chrysler, turning two struggling regional players into one of the world’s largest automakers.
“Our fights have always been for Italy, never fights against Italy,” Elkann said at the Agnelli Foundation headquarters in Turin, which includes the villa of his great-grandfather Giovanni Agnelli, who founded Fiat with a group of investors in 1899.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Elkann’s thinking is that today Stellantis has realized Marchionne’s vision, which essentially amounts to aggressive, rapid, and unprecedented unification:
Elkann insists that without the current strategy — which dates back to Marchionne and envisions building a global leader strong enough to survive the blackout — the company’s domestic plants would be in existential danger.
“Stelantis is the evolution of Sergio’s vision: the need for mergers in the auto industry to avoid repeating the costly investments required for new technologies,” Elkann said in a late February interview for the book. “Without the creation of Stellantis, all the investments we are making in Italy – from the Mirafiori electrical center to the battery factory in Termoli – would not have been possible.”
It’s hard to argue with the suggestion that Marchionne would be unhappy with the progress of the company he left behind. He wanted to buy Opel and Vauxhall before They had come under Peugeot’s control, after all. How big will Stellantis be five or 10 years from now? What wouldn’t you have?
The successor: decades out of the “danger zone”
On this day in 1986 – 37 years ago – The best released in theatres. I still haven’t seen him, or Maverick. I’m not proud of this, it’s just because the movies are so long. Our friend Andy He wouldn’t be proud of me.
Neutral: Rad Summer
Surprisingly, I’ve never been to a Radwood, despite the fact that it’s perfect car event For me, someone who embodies the ’90s in almost everything they do and love. I’ll be in Philadelphia next month, and I’m looking forward to it. If you see a car Sega RallyMy year will be made.
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