Ford’s huge EV play, drama on the United Auto Employees negotiations, and a few extra executive-level intrigue at Renault-Nissan. All this and extra in The Morning Shift for Tuesday, September three, 2019.
1st Gear: Ford’s Electrical Plan
Thus far, Ford’s electric strategy has felt incredibly unclear. Whereas it’s had its share of hybrids, it has but to do a really aggressive absolutely electrical automobile and a few critics have stated the big tie-up with Volkswagen is a greater deal for the Germans.
However Ford has been quietly ramping up within the electrification division, and, earlier than you recognize it, a bunch of electrical Fords will likely be right here. That features an electrical F-150 and a “Mustang-inspired” EV crossover. They’re going after the stuff they know their prospects wish to purchase, it appears.
Per Automotive News:
After years of heavy funding and one forgettable try, Ford Motor Co. has but to ship a critical battery-electric automobile.
That can change in 2020 with the introduction of Ford’s first long-range EV, a Mustang-inspired crossover anticipated to be referred to as Mach E. That will likely be adopted as quickly as a yr later by a full-electric F-150, with two midsize EV crossovers on faucet for late 2022.
And nonetheless two extra are anticipated in the identical interval.Ford could have ceded the early days of the EV craze to the likes of Tesla, Nissan and Normal Motors, however executives say Ford didn’t miss a lot, contemplating the low demand and even decrease margins at present’s EVs command. And having that point to see what works and what doesn’t, Ford now believes it has solved the issue that has vexed producers for a decade: methods to make EVs which can be widespread and worthwhile.
“Mach E” is a silly identify, however I do like Ford’s technique of leveraging current nameplates for different EVs:
“We’re coming in on the proper time,” Ted Cannis, Ford’s world director of electrification, advised Automotive Information. “We may do all kinds of various issues, however we’re going to play to what we’re good at: industrial automobiles, vans, pickups, efficiency automobiles and SUVs. We have now loyal prospects, we all know our base and the margins are higher. It’s simply the proper enterprise.”
The important thing to Ford’s technique is to first electrify a few of its most well-known nameplates, in order that cautious prospects aren’t scared off by new expertise in a automobile with no historical past.
Ford below CEO Jim Hackett has had some daring strokes, first killing off their cars, now moving into on electrical vans.
“There are individuals on the market on the lookout for electrical automobiles,” he stated. “Let’s say of the 800,000 F sequence that we promote a yr, simply 10 p.c have an interest. That’s nonetheless 80,000 automobiles. These are enormous numbers.”
I do not know if any of this may work, however within the interim Ford is weak to any rise in gasoline costs, as all-in on SUVs and vans as it’s.
2nd Gear: American Autoworkers Deserve Higher Than The UAW
We’ve said it before and can say it once more: The United Auto Employees union principally sucks, particularly up prime, the place it’s been dogged with corruption instances for years now.
When it emerged that federal brokers raided the home of its president final week, it wasn’t very stunning. However the timing of it was awkward, lower than a month earlier than the union’s contracts expire at GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.
Now, in response to Automotive News, the raid is complicating contract negotiations:
Contract negotiations historically ramp up after Labor Day, and union leaders are anticipated to announce, as early as this week, which of the three automakers they are going to look to succeed in a cope with first earlier than turning to the others. As extra particulars trickle out about kickbacks allegedly paid and coaching cash misused, and with the present president reportedly now below investigation, belief among the many rank and file may erode.
“Even when the relationships between the automotive corporations and the union haven’t been broken by this, there’s an enormous query on the membership’s thoughts,” Kristin Dziczek, vice chairman of business, labor and economics on the Middle for Automotive Analysis in Ann Arbor, Mich., advised Automotive Information. “An investigation doesn’t imply anybody’s responsible of something, however they must be questioning whether or not their management is corrupt and in the event that they’re working for them.”
The UAW will negotiate a contract with Normal Motors first, after which leverage that to get the identical phrases from the opposite two.
These negotiations are anticipated to be contentious for many causes, together with American factories closing down, an enormous shift to electrification and autonomy and a doable financial downturn looming.
third: The Renault-Nissan Alliance Is Functioning Properly
Simply kidding. Let’s examine in on it via Reuters:
Former alliance director Arnaud Deboeuf will change into PSA’s industrial technique director below Chief Government Carlos Tavares, himself a former Renault (RENA.PA) second-in-command, the rival French carmaker confirmed on Tuesday.
Deboeuf’s exit underscores deep tensions threatening to subsume the Renault-Nissan alliance within the wake of the November 2018 arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, now awaiting trial in Japan on monetary misconduct fees he denies.
Deboeuf’s send-off included a pleasant bit attacking his boss, Renault chief Thierry Bollore.
Deboeuf was properly regarded at Nissan and even provided a senior govt function on the Japanese carmaker, as his relations with Bollore soured following Ghosn’s ouster, three sources advised Reuters. However Bollore, a former Ghosn protégé who succeeded his absent boss as CEO in January, blocked the transfer.
“Thierry Bollore advised me nobody wished to work with me … and that I couldn’t go to work at Nissan both,” Deboeuf stated in a farewell e mail to colleagues seen by Reuters.
4th: Volkswagen Is Again
Gross sales within the U.S. have recovered to pre-Dieselgate ranges, reports Automotive News. Internally, that has been a milestone for Volkswagen, however their subsequent purpose is a little more bold. The corporate desires to get to a 5 p.c share within the U.S. market, or greater than double what it’s now:
Volkswagen’s U.S. gross sales have been up 6.1 p.c by July, to 215,796, whereas the business as an entire is down an estimated 1.6 p.c, in response to reported outcomes and estimates compiled by the Automotive Information Information Middle.
If its gross sales pattern continues, together with August outcomes due this week, Volkswagen will likely be on monitor to prime its U.S. gross sales for 2014 — the yr earlier than its expensive diesel emissions scandal, when it offered 366,970 automobiles within the U.S. In 2018, Volkswagen’s U.S. gross sales totaled 354,064 automobiles.
Additionally serving to sellers is the expansion of Volkswagen’s Licensed Pre-Owned program, up 16 p.c by July to 64,000 automobiles, after experiencing a 26 p.c improve in 2018. The automaker’s program was rebranded in April 2018 after years as Volkswagen WorldAuto Licensed.
The Atlas, Tiguan, and (one way or the other) new Jetta have been huge hits for VW right here.
Volkswagen has grown its gross sales this yr largely thanks to a few nameplates: the Tiguan and Atlas crossovers and the redesigned Jetta sedan. Via July, Atlas gross sales had risen 31 p.c from the identical interval a yr earlier to 45,414, the Tiguan was up four.7 p.c to 66,299, whereas the Jetta has climbed 43 p.c to 57,059.
fifth: Hyundai’s Unionized South Korean Employees Received’t Strike
They struck a deal on Tuesday to keep away from their first strike in eight years. Which isn’t any small deal, since this explicit bargaining unit has an extended historical past of putting.
Per Reuters, emphasis mine:
Hyundai’s South Korean employees, who’ve staged strikes in all however 4 years because the union was created in 1987, had drawn media and public criticism for threatening to stroll out regardless of their comparatively excessive annual wage of 92 million gained ($75,866) on common as of 2018, plus advantages and job safety.
The deal got here with tightened export curbs by Japan threatening to break Asia’s fourth-biggest financial system, weighing on an auto business already battling manufacturing cuts and job losses within the face of a slowdown in exports to the USA, Europe and different nations.
The phrases of the deal aren’t supreme, however the union has Trump’s commerce battle to thank.
In an announcement issued after the vote outcomes got here out, union leaders thanked members for supporting their resolution to carry off from staging a strike “contemplating a U.S.-China commerce battle, a Korea-Japan financial battle and the auto business’s downturn”.
Fifty-six p.c of Hyundai employees who forged ballots authorised the deal, which features a bonus equal to at least one and a half months’ wage plus three million gained – totaling the bottom bonus fee since 2000, union officers stated.
Better of luck to all concerned.
Reverse: When Sweden Switched From Driving On The Left To Driving On The Proper
From the BBC:
“Thrilling” is the phrase repeatedly utilized by Jan Ramqvist to explain how he felt about taking part in a nationwide mission to get all Swedish motorists and cyclists to vary the habits of a lifetime and start driving on the right-hand facet of the street for the primary time.
“Everybody was speaking about it, however we actually didn’t know the way it might work out,” explains the 77-year-old, who was simply 26 and a newly certified site visitors engineer working within the metropolis of Malmö when the possibly catastrophic changeover befell on three September 1967.
The day was formally often known as Högertrafikomläggningen (right-hand site visitors diversion) or just Dagen H (H-Day). Its mission was to place Sweden on the identical path as the remainder of its continental European neighbours, most of which had lengthy adopted the worldwide pattern to drive vehicles on the proper.
Impartial: Can Ford Pull This Electrical Factor Off?
We have now felt this technique is a little more patchwork than what you see at different automakers. However you might argue so long as Ford retains the truck market and secures a future there, it’ll be nice.