Mercedes isn’t having trouble selling electric cars, Tesla has a new recall, and Lucid is going to Europe. All that and more in The Morning Shift for May 10, 2022.
1st Gear: Mercedes’ EV Business Is Strong
I’m not really sure what to make of this, other than virtually any new car today is a hot commodity, given inventory shortages because of supply chain shortages, because, over a year after all of this started, we still have shortages. Still, if you were wondering if Mercedes’ EQ line of EVs would land, wonder no longer, via Reuters:
Asked about comments by rivals, including Volkswagen, that demand for EVs was outstripping supply, [Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius] told the Financial Times Future of the Car 2022 conference on Monday: “That’s largely true for us as well.”
Kallenius said the customer response to the company’s EQ family of electrified cars had been “so tremendous that we are doing everything we can to get the cars to the customers as fast as we can.”
Kallenius also teased details of a fully electrified platform for its high-performance AMG brand, which he said would be unveiled at a strategy update the company has scheduled for May 19.
Kallenius also said that the electric AMG platform would be here by the end of 2025, which is far enough away that it almost feels accurate.
2nd Gear: More Semiconductor Shortages, Yada Yada Yada
Both Stellantis and Ford have plants that are down this week because they can’t source enough semiconductors, according to The Detroit News.
Ford Motor Co. said Monday that its Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, which builds the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair, as well as its Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, which builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, are down this week.
Meanwhile, Stellantis said its Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois — which assembles the Jeep Cherokee — is down this week as well.
“The global semiconductor shortage continues to affect Ford’s North American plants — along with automakers and other industries around the world,” Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement. “Behind the scenes, we have teams working on how to maximize production, with a continued commitment to building every high-demand vehicle for our customers with the quality they expect.”
Oh, no. What will we do without the Lincoln Corsair?
3rd Gear: Lucid Is Going To Europe
The EV maker, which is a rival to Tesla on paper, said Tuesday that it would be going to Europe, where people actually buy and value EVs.
The company will launch its Lucid Air Dream Edition P and R sedans in limited numbers for customers in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway in late 2022, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
Lucid added it would price its Air Dream Edition P/R at about 218,000 euros ($230,208.00) in Germany.
Lucid said on Tuesday it also plans to open its first European retail location in Munich on May 13, adding it aims to open additional studio and service center locations in Europe this year.
Next, probably, Lucid will discover that EVs are also very popular in China. I only kid, Lucid’s main problem right now is not that it can’t sell its EVs but that it can’t make them fast enough, just like Mercedes.
4th Gear: Another Tesla Recall
Yes, this is one of those that will be fixed by an over-the-air firmware update, which Tesla people insist isn’t a real recall, because you don’t have to take the car into a dealer. Anyway, they should take their case to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which uses the term “recall.” This latest one is about a possibly overheating infotainment processor.
Reports Automotive News:
Tesla Inc. is recalling nearly 130,000 electric vehicles in the U.S. because the infotainment central processing unit may overheat during fast-charging, causing the center display to lag or appear blank.
The recall covers 2021-22 Model S and X vehicles and 2022 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles operating with certain firmware releases, according to a safety recall report submitted May 3 to NHTSA.
During fast-charging, or in preparation of fast-charging, the infotainment processor “may not cool sufficiently to prevent higher than expected temperatures,” affecting the center display, according to the report.
If the center display lags or appears blank, it may also cause the rearview camera display, windshield visibility control settings, drive modes (i.e., Drive, Neutral or Reverse) and other warning lights to be unavailable, potentially increasing the risk of a crash, the report said.
To fix the issue, Tesla is deploying an over-the-air firmware update to improve the management of the processor’s temperature and “associated communications with elevated temperature operation.”
There are no crashes or injuries related to the issue, according to AN, so you are free to joke about how well-made Teslas are.
5th Gear: Meanwhile, In China, Tesla Is Having Bigger Issues
Reuters says that Tesla has stopped most production in Shanghai because it is having trouble sourcing parts. Reuters also says that Tesla sales in April in China dropped a whopping 98 percent compared to March. There are also pandemic lockdowns there to deal with.
Shanghai is in its sixth week of an intensifying lockdown that has tested the ability of manufacturers to operate amid hard restrictions on the movement of people and materials.
Tesla planned to manufacture fewer than 200 vehicles at its factory in the city on Tuesday, according to the memo, far below the roughly 1,200 units per day it had ramped up to shortly after reopening on April 19 following a 22-day closure.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
After reopening, the factory produced 10,757 vehicles by the end of April, selling 1,512 of them, the CPCA said.
That compared to 65,814 cars sold in March and marked the lowest sales tally since April 2020, four months after the factory started delivering China-made cars.
Tesla did not export any China-made Model 3s and Model Ys from the Shanghai plant in April, the data showed.
This is temporary, for sure, but really says that we are still very much not out of the woods.
The terms of the $1.5 billion in loans required Chrysler to raise another $2 billion on its own, which Iacocca did by streamlining operations and persuading union leaders to accept some layoffs and wage cuts, among other measures. His high-profile personal leadership, combined with a focus on more fuel-efficient vehicles, steered Chrysler to one of the most famous corporate comebacks in recent history: In 1984, a year after paying off its government loans ahead of schedule, the company posted record profits of some $2.4 billion. Twenty-five years later, however, plummeting sales and a deepening global financial crisis landed Chrysler in trouble again, and in early 2009 the company received another $4 billion in federal funds. Soon after, under pressure from President Barack Obama’s administration, Chrysler filed for federal bankruptcy protection and entered into a partnership with the Italian automaker Fiat.
Neutral: How Are You?
I got the Fit’s oil changed on Saturday and for once Jiffy Lube did not try to upsell me on anything, perhaps because there was a very long line of cars waiting to be serviced. They didn’t bother to try to sell me on the benefits of synthetic, or even offer to needlessly change my air filter. I was both impressed and confused.