TESLA CUTS PRICES ON THE S AND THE X
In what is its 5th price adjustment so far this year, Tesla dropped the prices on its two most expensive models, the Model S sedan and the Model X utility vehicle. The change affects U.S. market vehicles, with Model S prices cut by $5,000, and Model X prices by $10,000. The two vehicles comprise a very small percentage of Tesla’s sales in the States, with the less expensive Model 3 sedan and Model Y utility vehicle accounting for the bulk.
VW GROUP REPORTS PROFITABLE 2022
The VW Group, which includes Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and other makes, reported its 2022 global financial results. The combined marques sold just under 8.5 million vehicles, which included almost 600,000 EVs. Boosted by sales of higher-priced models, VW reported a net income of €16 billion ($17 billion), up 2.6% from the previous year.
6-12-48, WHICH DOES TESLA APPRECIATE?
During its Investor Day presentations earlier this month, Tesla announced that future vehicles, perhaps starting with the soon-to-be-released CyberTruck, will abandon 12V systems, which have been the industry standard since the 1950s (unless you drove a Beetle). The announcement included a plea to the rest of the industry to join Tesla in this switch, which may not be so far-fetched. A number of hybrids, including my 2023 Volvo V60, run on a combined 12V / 48V system.
NHTSA OPENS INVESTIGATION OVER TESLA STEERING WHEELS
Based on two reports it has received claiming that the steering wheels in Tesla Model Y vehicles became detached while driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the first step in launching a probe into the cause. According to NHTSA, both vehicles were missing the bolt which secures the wheel to the steering column.
FORD SURVEY COMPARES F-150 ICE AND F-150 LIGHTNING OWNERS
Ford recently surveyed F-150 pickup owners, asking how the trucks were used, and what type of vehicle was replaced by their new pickups. Lightning EV owners reported a higher percentage of usage for home improvement projects and for camping compared to F150 ICE owners. Over 50% of Lightning purchasers replaced a non-pickup, while that was true for only 1/3 of ICE F-150 buyers. In my opinion, these results squash any naysayers who may claim that the Lightning “isn’t as good as a real pickup truck” (not sure what’s not real about it). To Ford’s credit, the Lightning is capturing a large number of buyers who up until now may not have had a pickup on their shopping list.
REPORT: 3 EVs BECAME INOPERABLE DURING RECHARGING
Car & Driver magazine reported a discovery that in three separate cases, with three different EVs, the cars became inoperable during routine recharging. In all the incidents, the vehicles were being recharged at an Electrify America public charging station. It happened to an F-150 Lightning, a Chevrolet Bolt, and a Rivian R1T. Owners reported hearing a large boom (according to the story, possibly the sound of a circuit breaker tripping) after which the vehicles would not power up and needed to be towed. The details are too lengthy to get into here, but you can read the C&D story at this link.
AFTER CONTROVERSY, VW TO MAKE CARNET EMERGENCY SERVICE FREE
VW got some negative publicity recently, when a VW Atlas was carjacked with a child inside the vehicle. Law enforcement wanted to use the car’s vehicle tracking software, but the vendor was slow to respond to the request, replying that the owner’s subscription to the service wasn’t paid for. (The story ended happily with the child rescued unharmed.) In response to the pushback, VW will offer its Carnet service free for 5 years for 2020-2022 vehicles which are equipped with the software.
IRA IS INFLUENCING EUROPEAN CAR MAKERS’ DECISIONS
VW, which had previously announced plans for EV battery factories throughout Europe, is backpedaling. Executives with the German auto maker have realized that the IRA makes the idea of battery plants in the U.S. a much more attractive proposition, and VW is looking to the EU to possibly come out with its own version of the IRA. Expect similar stands from other European automobile manufacturers.
BMW REPORTS STRONG 2022 SALES AND PROFIT FIGURES
BMW released its 2022 financial results: while vehicle sales at 2.4 million units were down 4.8% compared to the previous year, other results were positive, with the company posting a profit of €18.5 billion ($19.8 billion) on revenue of €142 billion ($151.8 billion), respective increases of 49% and 28%.