Newsflash: BMW M5 CS wordt 650 pk sterk

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+++ APPLE has used its Worldwide Developers Conference to unveil iOS 14 which features a new digital key function. Designed to give iPhone and Watch owners an easy and secure way to access their vehicle, the digital key can be used to unlock and start compatible models. When the digital key launches later this year, first on BMW vehicles, it will use near-field communication (NFC) technology to enable users to ‘tap’ their phone near the door handles to unlock the car. Users can then place their iPhone in the smartphone tray and start the engine. Since drivers are no longer required to have a physical key, it allows owners to easily share their car with friends and family. BMW says up to five people can be granted access and the owner will be able to restrict their car’s horsepower, top speed and maximum radio volume setting, among other things. The digital key promises to be secure and function up to 5 hours after an iPhone shuts off due to a low battery. BMW will also offer a wide range of support as “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4” models manufactured after July 1st will support the digital key in 45 countries. Of course, you’ll also need a relatively new Apple device including an iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer. The digital key can also be used on the Apple Watch Series 5 or newer. Apple also confirmed they’re working on the next-generation digital key which uses Ultra Wideband technology for “spatial awareness delivered through the U1 chip”. That doesn’t sound too interesting, but it will allow people to unlock their car without first removing their iPhone from their pocket or purse. It will be available next year and we’ll likely hear more about it closer to launch. In other news, BMW and Apple announced “smart routes” for electric vehicles using Apple Maps. Drivers can use Apple CarPlay to select a destination and Apple Maps will then “pick the optimal route based on electric range and the locations of charging stations along the way”. The new feature will be launched on the upcoming BMW i4 which arrives next year. +++ 

+++ Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is hitting the accelerator for its AUTONOMOUS DRIVING BUSINESS by inking a strategic partnership deal with major Chinese carmaker BAIC Group. The move came as China is ramping up the development of smart connected vehicles. Under the agreement, Didi and BAIC said they will jointly develop highlevel customized selfdriving models through in-depth cooperation in automobile technologies, artificial intelligence and ride-sharing areas. The move is designed to promote the industrialization of autonomous driving technologies in China and spur innovation in the vehicle and transportation industries. The 2 companies said they will focus on the research, development and commercialization of level-four autonomous-driving cars. Level 4 autonomy means the car can drive itself in most conditions without a human driver. The move marks the deepening of long-term cooperation between Didi and BAIC. The 2 companies established a joint venture last January to promote development of new energy vehicles. Jia Xinguang, former chief analyst of China Automobile Industry Consulting, said Didi has an edge in commercializing autonomous vehicles, given the giant transportation database it has accumulated in the ride-hailing business. BAIC’s know-how in manufacturing cars can accelerate the industrialization process of self-driving vehicles, Jia said. But it remains to be seen how the advantages of the two firms can be fully utilized. The deal came after Didi announced in late May that its autonomous driving business has raised $500 million from an investment group led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The investment is expected to help advance the development and deployment of automated vehicles in Didi’s ride-hailing fleet. This was the largest single overseas financing obtained by Didi Chuxing’s autonomous vehicle business since it was upgraded from a department to a registered firm in August 2019. The company has been operating test vehicles in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou and in the state of California in the United States. Didi has research and development staff in both China and the US. Didi’s intensified push into self-driving also came as China is stepping up efforts in developing smart connected vehicles. The nation unveiled a blueprint in February to develop its own standards for autonomous vehicles by 2025. It covered technological innovation, infrastructure, legislation, supervision and network safety. The country set a target to realize “scale production of vehicles capable of conditional autonomous driving and commercialization of highly autonomous vehicles in certain circumstances” by the end of 2025. The blueprint said China is expected to build a complete set of standards for autonomous vehicles between 2035 and 2050. Autopilot taxis are already being put into trial operation on roads in Changsha, Shanghai and other places in China. Autopilot distributing vehicles, sanitation vehicles and police cars are being frequently spotted as well. In April, Baidu opened its Level-4 self-driving taxi service Apollo Robotaxi in Changsha, Hunan province. Robo-taxis provide free rides to passengers across an area of 130 square kilometers. The services cover residential and commercial leisure areas as well as industrial parks. Consulting firm McKinsey said China has the potential to become the world’s largest market for autonomous vehicles. “In China, we believe fully autonomous vehicles will see mass deployment in 9 or 10 years”, analysts at the company wrote in a research note last year. It expected such vehicles could account for as much as 66 % of the passenger kilometers traveled in 2040, generating market revenue of $1.1 trillion from mobility services and $900 billion from sales of autonomous vehicles by that year. In unit terms, that means autonomous vehicles will make up just over 40 % of new vehicle sales in 2040 and 12 % of the vehicle installed base, McKinsey said. +++ 

+++ The British government’s touted timeframe of 2035 to BAN SALES of new ICE-only cars is unrealistic unless significant support comes into play, Ford UK chairman Graham Hoare has predicted. “I don’t see a future at 2035 without some application of plug-in hybrids, but many vehicles types could comfortably move towards full electrification by then”, Hoare said. He called for a “clear and consistent path to bring change about”. “There’s no silver bullet. There’s no single solution that caters for the bandwidth of vehicles that are on Britain’s roads today, both cars and commercial vehicles. We need to think as an industry in partnership with government. We need to unite together to create that consistency of purpose between industry, government, energy providers and consumers to embrace the challenge”. Hoare referenced Norway’s approach to building confidence with consumers through infrastructure and economic support, noting that it has taken consistency more than 3 decades to achieve the 70% market share for EVs seen there today. Hoare added that the UK isn’t yet ready for net-zero emissions in 2035. “The embryonics of those components required are in our grasp, but it takes that unity to synchronise our activities”, he said. “It will take a broad range of incentives, both at the point of sale but also during the usage of vehicle, so they become attractive and to support the government’s ambition of the 2035 timeframe. We’ve got to think carefully about a long-range programme of incentivisation. We need short-term goals to allow for long-term achievements”. Hoare said that hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles would need to be in play to address the full range of vehicles, stating that hydrogen has a clear role in heavy-duty transport and the largest car models. “The hydrogen pathway is one to watch, driven by the heavy-goods vehicle industry”, he said. “Hydrogen could be an opportunity but very cost-sensitive. Therefore it will require a huge amount of innovation to make it affordable, but I do see great progress from energy providers and technologists”. Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley has previously told that talk of engine bans was “not helpful” and that best progress would be made if participants in negotiations were “positive and not adversarial”. +++ 

+++ The need to prioritise spending following the Covid-19 pandemic will drive car makers more quickly into electrification, according to BENTLEY boss Adrian Hallmark. He said: “We have had to ruthlessly prioritise our spending. We’ve had to pull levers to control costs. Whatever we’ve done has been on the combustion engine. We have delayed or deleted certain derivatives. All of our plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are full steam ahead. We and the industry may see this as a natural accelerator to green technologies. If you have to prioritise, where do you place your bets? More horsepower or more cell technology? The obvious answer is the latter”. Christain Dahlheim, Volkswagen Group head of sales, agreed that the pandemic will hasten the move to EVs. “The perception of cleaner air has raised awareness for sustainability. And many governments in Europe are moving to transform the industry and invest in greener technologies. Half of our consumers in Germany are willing to drive EVs. The biggest hurdle has been infrastructure. If that can be solved, we think EV share can be accelerated”. Bentley has recently announced that it will cut almost a quarter of its workforce as it looks to restructure its entire business under an initiative called Beyond 100. The plan is intended to make Bentley “a sector-defining, financially independent and recession-proof business”. Hallmark said that there have been 3 crises since he joined Bentley at the beginning of 2018: “The first was internally driven, because we weren’t sufficiently prepared for WLTP regulations. The second was preparation for a hard Brexit and the third is now Covid-19. The first message is that the crises can be expected, although hopefully not this frequently. The key to success is both flexibility: we have to be innovative and face up to new realities. Secondly, cash. In closing down for Covid-19, we predicted three months without any revenue and prepared for that, and we won’t be far off that. We closed down early and restarted early. Within 3 to 4 weeks, we should be up to 100 % production. Today it’s just 50 % of normal capacity”. Hallmark revealed that Bentley’s monthly costs are £88 million. He described the government’s furlough scheme as “inspired” but said that people costs aren’t the biggest cost-driver for Bentley. Talking about the future after Covid-19, Hallmark said: “We see it as a turning point, not as an end point. We can see a bold future beyond this crisis. We believe electrification and making business and drivetrain sustainable is both desirable and possible. We’ve fully committed to electrifying our business as fast as we can. We’ve made our factory sustainable, next will be our product range and then our supply chain”. +++ 

+++ BMW ’s M Division is allegedly working on a more track-focused version of the facelifted M5, which will be dubbed the M5 CS and will sit at the top of the range above the M5 Competition. Prototypes have been seen testing at the Nurburgring and on the streets of Germany ever since last year, and if I was to take an educated guess, I’d say that it will premiere before the end of 2020. The output and torque numbers should be in the region of 650 hp and 800 Nm. That would make it 25 hp and 50 Nm more powerful than the M5 Competition, which does the 0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds and maxes out at 305 km/h with the optional M Driver’s Package. To enhance the tail-happy nature of the car, which will still pack the rear-biased xDrive all-wheel drive system tuned by the M Division, a tweaked limited-slip differential is expected to be offered. High-performance ceramic brakes with drilled discs should be optional extras, and the M5 CS is also understood to feature a CFRP roof and several aerodynamic upgrades, such as the deeper front apron, bigger boot lid spoiler and redesigned bumpers. Exclusive colors and wheels, as well as ‘M5 CS’ badges inside and out, will also be part of the offering. The German car maker is thought to limit the production number of the model, although it’s unknown yet how many will be made. As far as the pricing is concerned, expect to pay more than €185,000 in The Netherlands. +++ 

+++ As many as 1.3 million diesel Renault and Nissan vehicles and 100.000 petrol Nissan Qashqais could be fitted with illegal emissions DEFEAT DEVICES , a specialist UK law firm has claimed. London-based Harcus Parker, which is preparing a class action lawsuit against the 2 makers, claims a freedom of information request lodged with the Department for Transport (DfT) gave it “previously unseen documents” showing up to 100.000 1.2-litre petrol Nissan Qashqais breach emissions limits by “up to 15 times” in the UK. The firm cites independent test data indicating that as many as 700.000 Renault diesel vehicles and 600.000 Nissan vehicles in the UK could be fitted with the unlawful emissions defeat devices. Models affected alongside the Qashqai include the Note, Juke and X-Trail, while on the Renault side, the Clio, Espace, Captur, Megane and Scenic are all named. Cars made between 2009 and 2018 are affected. The freedom of information request reveals, it is claimed, that the UK Government attempted to persuade Nissan to recall and fix affected vehicles, but the maker refused to do so. In September 2017, the DfT allegedly wrote to Nissan and said: “A petrol Nissan Qashqai was selected for testing this year. We have now completed this testing, and we found that when conducting NEDC tests on a test track and conducting a Real Driving Emissions test, NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions results were very high for this vehicle”. In 2018, the DfT again said the Qashqai was “not sufficiently well designed to control the NOx in real-world conditions”. Harcus Parker also claims that Renault and Nissan vehicles running the 1.5 and 1.6-litre diesel engines are among the worst real-world emitters of NOx; worse than both Volkswagen and Mercedes models. Both Nissan UK and Renault UK provided a statement strongly refuting all allegations by Harcus Parker. Nissan said: “Nissan has not and does not employ defeat devices in any of the cars that we make, and all Nissan vehicles fully comply with applicable emissions legislation. The initial report from 2017, which looked at the variation between lab and ‘real world’ conditions, showed variances for most brands involved. It also stated that the Nissan tested complied with all required regulatory limits”. A Renault spokesman added: “All Renault vehicles are, and always have been, type-approved in accordance with the laws and regulations for all the countries in which they are sold and are not fitted with ‘defeat devices’ “. Harcus Parker senior partner Damon Parker said: “For the first time, we have seen evidence that car manufacturers may be cheating emissions tests of petrol as well as diesel vehicles. We have written to Renault and Nissan to seek an explanation for these extraordinary results, but the data suggests that these vehicles, much like some VW and Mercedes cars, know when they are being testing and are on their best behaviour then and only then”. The law firm states that customers overpaid for their vehicles, due to the defeat devices being fitted, and are entitled to compensation “in the region of £5000 each”.  It is urging owners of affected vehicles to come forward and join the action. It was also involved in class action litigation against Volkswagen in April. In that case, the High Court ruled that the emissions cheating software was in breach of European law. Harcus Parker intends to launch a similar class action case against Mercedes. +++ 

+++ Manufacturers must collaborate on EV development to achieve large-scale introduction, according to Graham Hoare, FORD of Britain chairman. Speaking to SMMT boss Mike Hawes, Hoare explained that joint venture projects (such as Ford and Volkswagen’s shared EV and autonomous technology development scheme) are crucial to introducing new technology to the marketplace quickly and at large-scale in the coming years. He said: “We’re trying to do in 10 years what the industry has done in 100 years, so the quantum of investment is phenomenal. Ford will spend about $11.5 billion dollars over a 3,5 year period to introduce electrification technologies to the whole cross-section of our fleet, and really, we need to partner, and I think many other companies are in the same place. We need to partner to introduce that technology at scale fast enough, and to do it across the portfolio of our products. It’s no good us having a single solution (a single vehicle type) that’s electrified, we need to find solutions across the whole portfolio of our vehicles if we’re going to have an impact on the majority of lives. Through collaboration, we can do that”. Ford is gearing up to launch its first mass-market EV, the Mustang Mach E, in various markets by the end of the year, and has previewed an all-electric version of the Transit van set to be revealed in 2022. Alongside Volkswagen, the firm will develop a range of electric commercial vehicles, as well as autonomous technology through joint investment in Pittsburgh-based technology start-up Argo AI. Ford will also use Volkswagen’s MEB platform for a European-market EV launching by 2023, with the 2 manufacturers estimating that 600.000 MEB-based Ford EVs could be sold. Hoare continued: “We’re enjoying a great collaboration with our partners at VW at the moment, both on commercial vehicles and now with announcements on our car business and on autonomy, as well. “It’s through relationships like that that we can see 1 plus 1 equalling 3, and therefore we can provide greater product offerings in the marketplace earlier, we can get scale on those commodities that are, at the moment, a niche but will be high-volume, and together we will be stronger as 2 companies. “And I see that happening in many walks of life across the industry, many areas where collaboration is successful, and it’s a strength of the UK, so we should capitalise on that opportunity as we embark on that zero-emission roadmap”. Several mainstream car makers have entered into shared development projects as part of electrification strategies. Toyota and Suzuki, for example, have invested in each other’s operations to achieve joint growth “in new fields”, while Chinese auto giant Geely has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Mercedes to build electric cars in China under the Smart brand. +++ 

+++ An Indian state has put on hold 3 initial investment proposals from Chinese companies worth 50 billion rupees ($658 million), a state minister said, after a deadly border clash between the 2 nuclear-armed nations last week. The decision by the state government of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital of Mumbai, was made days after it signed the investment agreements with the 3 Chinese companies, including GREAT WALL MOTOR . “In the current environment we will wait for the federal government to announce a clear policy regarding these projects”, Maharashtra’s industries minister, Subhash Desai said in a statement, adding that the agreements, however, are not being cancelled. India said last Tuesday 20 of its soldiers had been killed in clashes with Chinese troops at a disputed border site, in a major escalation of a weeks-long standoff between the 2 Asian giants in the western Himalayas. +++ 

+++ HYUNDAI Motor Group executive vice chairman Chung Euisun and LG Group chairman Koo Kwang-mo met and discussed further partnerships over future battery business, the firms said. Chung visited LG Chem’s EV battery production site located in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. It was the first official meeting between the 2 tycoons. Chung was accompanied by Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D president Albert Biermann, president Seo Bo-shin, who is in charge of the product division, and Hyundai Mobis president Park Jung-kook. They were welcomed by LG Group chairman Koo Kwang-mo, vice Chairman Kwon Young-soo, LG Chem vice chairman Shin Hak-cheol, president Kim Jong-hyun, who oversees the battery business division, and battery R&D president Kim Myung-hwan. Chung’s visit to LG Chem factory was to “look around the site for high-performing battery development for electric vehicles and also to share the development direction of future batteries”, said a Hyundai Motor official. Following a tour of the facility, the 2 chiefs reportedly had lunch together. They exchanged views on LG Chem’s technology and development direction of future battery products including long-life batteries, lithium-sulfur batteries and solid state batteries, according to Hyundai Motor Group. Solid state batteries are regarded as the next-generation battery to replace lithium-ion batteries for both safety and performance. Both long-life batteries and lithium-sulfur batteries are known for increased performance and can increase driving distance when applied to EVs. This comes around a month after the heir of South Korea’s largest automaker met Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong to discuss next-generation EV batteries in Cheonan on May 13. They shared views on the current situation and the directions for the development of all solid batteries at the Samsung SDI plant, according to the company. Currently, LG Chem is responsible for manufacturing EV batteries for Hyundai Motor Group’s hybrid and EV cars such as Kona Electric and Ioniq Electric. The company has been also designated as a battery provider for the pure EV platform called Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) slated for a 2022 launch, which will use LG Chem’s next-generation lithium-ion battery. Industry insiders said that as Chung has been meeting with the executives of Korean conglomerates to seek partnerships for EV development, it is highly likely that he will visit another EV battery partner, SK Innovation, and meet SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won in the near future. +++ 

+++ The Hyundai Motor Group and LG Chem are considering establishing an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing joint venture in INDONESIA , a person familiar with the matter told. The investment size and production capacity have not been decided, the person said, declining to be identified as discussions are private. Global automakers are moving to secure batteries in anticipation of a rise in EV sales due to government subsidies and quotas designed to cut carbon emissions. In recent years, LG Chem has set up ventures with General Motors and Geely. LG Chem also supplies batteries to automakers including Hyundai and Tesla. LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo met Hyundai Motor Group executive vice chairman Euisun Chung to discuss cooperation in EV batteries, including future technology. LG Chem and Hyundai Motor Group confirmed the meeting but said nothing had been decided concerning a potential venture. “Hyundai Motor Group is collaborating with LG Chem on various projects. However, no concrete discussion has been made on a battery joint venture in Indonesia”, Hyundai said in a statement. A battery cell joint venture would be the first for Hyundai, viewed as a relative latecomer to the EV market. It is mounting a challenge to the dominance of Toyota in Southeast Asia, with a new factory in Indonesia which may produce electric vehicles. “Indonesia is committed to promoting the EV industry, but, consumer-wise, the country’s not yet ready with charging infrastructure or consumer purchasing power”, said Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Lee Jae-il. “A battery joint venture is likely a mid- or longer- term plan”. Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs has heard of discussions between Hyundai Motor Group and LG Chem, said spokesman Jodi Mahardi, adding the companies have met with the government but have not shared further details. “Hyundai has taken LG to meet a number of domestic companies to explore a potential partnership for EV battery production”, he said.+++ 

+++ MCLAREN has taken legal action against a group of creditors to allow it to go ahead with an “urgent” round of refinancing. The British company, which includes the sports car maker and the Formula 1 team, is seeking to raise cash to avoid what it says in the filing is a potential “liquidity shortfall”. It said this was caused by it having “fallen into severe and unexpected financial difficulty” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. McLaren Holdings Limited is seeking to secure capital by issuing a bond for more than £650 million against its factory in Woking, Surrey and its collection of historic racing cars. But a group of investors claim that the McLaren Technology Centre and car collection are already employed as security in a bond dating from 2017. Last week, Judge Anthony Mann agreed to expedite the trial, given McLaren’s claim that it risks insolvency if the dispute isn’t settled quickly. The 2 sides have proposed a 2- or 3-day trial that will begin in July. The investors are understood to perceive the new bond issue as undermining their existing investment so have proposed an alternative refinancing arrangement. The court documents filed by McLaren Group said that an earlier credit agreement of £130 million is “fully drawn”. They also said that McLaren’s shareholders had invested a further £291 million in the business in March, part of a £500 million total investment in the past 18 months. The McLaren Group recently announced plans to shed 1.200 jobs across its Automotive, Racing and Applied divisions as part of a major cost-saving programme. +++ 

+++ After a lengthy period of no sightings, the MERCEDES-AMG One hypercar has been seen undergoing testing at a secret facility ahead of customer deliveries now tipped for 2021. The F1-engined halo model was originally revealed in Project One concept form way back in the autumn of 2017. At the time, then-AMG boss Tobias Moers claimed 18 months of development was required to take it to production. However, around a year later, it emerged that engineers were having trouble getting its circa-1.000 hp hybridised 1.6-litre V6 engine (in many ways identical to the powertrain used in Mercedes-AMG’s championship-winning 2017 Formula 1 car) to comply with WLTP emissions standards. Issues centred around ensuring the fitment of a petrol particulate filter didn’t significantly impact performance. There were also problems with the F1 engine’s high idle; it sits at around 5000rpm in race specification. Engineers were tasked with making the engine run properly at an idle speed of around 1.200 rpm; a feat that has seemingly taken quite some time. Even once that’s fixed, the highly strung engine will reportedly require a full rebuild at around 50.000 kilometres. Moers told at the 2019 Geneva motor show that “great progress” had been made ironing out these issues and that a customer delivery date would be worked out in a matter of weeks. Customers have now been told to expect their cars to arrive throughout 2021. The One is still testing in disguise, because the final production car is yet to be officially unveiled. It appears that developers are tweaking the car’s aerodynamics, with what looks to be larger front intakes and a chunkier roof-mounted air scoop. The carbonfibre-bodied, four-wheel drive hypercar was claimed to be capable of 350 kph and a 0-200 kph time of 6.0 seconds, plus an electric-only range of up to 25 kilometres, when it was revealed as a concept. It’s unclear whether these targets will be met with the production version. Just 275 examples will be produced, and all have now been sold for a price of €2.27 million. +++ 

+++ A PSA Group shareholder is calling for the automaker to change the terms of its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to reflect the downturn in the global auto industry and declining prospects of FCA. 6 months after striking a deal to combine, the 2 companies’ fortunes have diverged, Paris-based Phitrust said in a statement ahead of PSA’s annual meeting June 25. “Even back in December 2019, the respective situations of each group didn’t justify a 50-50 merger”, it said. The auto sector has undergone a seismic shift since the 2 carmaking dynasties unveiled their plan to combine into the world’s 4th-biggest producer. The coronavirus pandemic shut factories and dealerships across the globe, leading to a collapse in sales. While FCA is poised to get a state-backed €6.3 billion credit facility in Italy, PSA chief financial officer Philippe de Rovira has said the French company wants to be “as free as possible of public dependence”. PSA’s strong balance sheet and cost-cutting have helped it weather the slump, while FCA’s finances appear increasingly fragile, Phitrust said. “PSA didn’t burn through cash since the start of the year the way FCA did”. Olivier de Guerre, head of Phitrust, said. He added the combined company also faces complications from an expected post-merger restructuring in Europe. A spokeswoman for PSA declined to comment on the critique, but pointed to the groups’ joint statement last week in which they said preparations for the merger are advancing as planned. PSA and FCA already have revised one aspect of the merger. They scrapped €1.1 billion in dividends each agreed to pay as part of their agreement, citing the negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis. The deal also included a plan for Fiat Chrysler to distribute a €5.5 billion special dividend. The companies have not provided details on that payment since the outbreak started. +++ 

+++ The TESLA China user data and certification service will be moved to China from the United States. Moving the server to China, Tesla can better serve local customers with improved service response speed and reliability by solving practical problems such as unstable connections in the Tesla app. It is also appropriate to move the data to China as Chinese customer data is relatively sensitive in a sense, said Mei Songlin, a senior analyst for the automobile industry. To meet the changing landscape of China’s new energy vehicle production and sales, Tesla is recruiting data center engineers, storage engineers, database engineers and other information technology operation and maintenance personnel. Data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) revealed sales of the domestically manufactured Tesla Model 3 reached 11.095 in May, taking the crown on the list of single-month sales of new energy vehicles in China. However, impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the performance of Tesla in its US headquarters is not optimistic. Statistics indicate Tesla delivered 6.260 vehicles in California in April and 1.447 in May with a sharp decline due to the novel coronavirus. With over 10.000 sales in a single month, the Chinese market has been increasingly important for Tesla, and the key for the rise or fall of Tesla stocks is the rebounding performance of Tesla’s sales in China, according to Dan Ives, an analyst for WedBush Securities. +++ 

+++ TOYOTA said it would make 10 % fewer vehicles next month than originally planned, as it gradually resumes output following factory closures earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Japanese automaker said it planned to make 71.000 fewer vehicles globally in July than its original goal of about 700.000. While production has yet to return to normal, the July reduction is smaller than the 20 % output cut for June. “We expect the recovery trend to continue in August”, a spokesman said. Global automakers are trying to get their plants back up and running after many were closed earlier this year to curb the spread of the virus. For the April-July period, Toyota anticipates a global production drop of 30 % from its initial plans, made before the virus outbreak and a plunge in demand for vehicles. The automaker produced nearly 3.7 million vehicles during the same period last year. At home, Toyota plans to make 39.000 fewer vehicles in July, or 10 % less than initially planned. It will stop making its Coaster minibus model for 6 days, while lines producing the Land Cruiser and Prado SUV models, and the Porte subcompact, will stop for 2 days. These adjustments will affect 6 production lines at 3 of the automaker’s plants. Second shifts at some of these plants will remain cancelled, potentially until September. In total, Toyota operates 28 production lines at 15 vehicle factories in Japan. Toyota will also cancel some Saturday shifts next month on 4 lines that produce models including its popular RAV4 model and the Prius, many of which are exported overseas. +++ 

+++ In the UNITED KINGDOM , the automotive industry needs government support. 1 in 6 jobs in the UK automotive industry are at risk, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which is calling on a restart package to aid recovery. More than 6.000 UK job cuts have been announced in June, a result of the lockdown, closed markets and factories, while a third of automotive workers remain on furlough. The 1-in-6 figure is based on an average of declared numbers of permanent jobs at risk from all respondents of an SMMT survey carried out this month. The SMMT is calling on the government to address this with a support package intended help drive demand and ease cashflow. It suggested measures including “unfettered access to emergency funding, permanent short-time working, business rate holidays, VAT cuts and policies that boost consumer confidence”. Such measures “would accelerate a sustainable restart for the market and manufacturing; a pre-requisite to the recovery phase”, said the SMMT, adding that it would also unlock investment needed to drive a green future for the UK. Notably, the calls don’t specifically mention the much-talked-about scrappage scheme, although such a scheme would fall under “policies that boost consumer confidence”. It was previously reported that the government was planning a scheme to offer new car buyers incentives of up to £6.000 to switch from older petrol and diesel cars to new electric or hybrid vehicles, but this was later described to the Financial Times as “unlikely” by a government source. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “UK automotive is fundamentally strong. However, the prolonged shutdown has squeezed liquidity and the pressures are becoming more acute as expenditure resumes before invoices are paid. A third of our workforce remains furloughed, and we want those staff coming back to work, not into redundancy. Government’s intervention has been unprecedented. But the job isn’t done yet. Just as we have seen in other countries, we need a package of support to restart: to build demand, volumes and growth and keep the UK at the forefront of the global automotive industry to drive long-term investment, innovation and economic growth. Support delivered now is an investment in the future of one of Britain’s most valuable assets. Investment that we will repay many times over”. The SMMT also reiterated its insistence for a no-deal Brexit, asking for certainty that a full, zero-tariff deal will be in place by the end of the transition period. Hawes said: “Covid has consumed every inch of capability and capacity and the industry has not the resource, the time nor the clarity to prepare for a further shock of a hard Brexit. That’s why we do need to ‘turbocharge’ the negotiations to secure a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU that maintains tariff and quota free trade. With such a deal, a strong recovery is possible, we can safeguard the industry and our reputation as an attractive destination for foreign investment and a major trade player”. The SMMT’s second annual trade report for 2020, published today, said that annual car and light commercial vehicle production volumes are expected to fall by a third to 920.000 units this year as a result of the pandemic. It claims that if a tariff-free deal is in place, full recovery is predicted to take up to 5 years, with output reaching pre-crisis levels of 1.35 million units by 2025. However, it said, a no-deal scenario could result in volumes falling below 850.000 by 2025; the lowest level since 1953. This would mean a £40 billion cut in revenues, on top of the £33.5 billion cost of pandemic-caused production losses over the period. +++ 

+++ VOLKSWAGEN is launching one last test phase of the ID.3 EV by giving a total of 150 vehicles to its employees in order to gather data on the usage and driving behavior of its electric hatchback under real conditions. The German carmaker has reserved the 150-strong fleet of ID.3s for company employees at the Zwickau, Chemnitz and Dresden factories. The workers/voluntary test drivers were selected by lucky draw, with the particular examples of the ID.3 not yet equipped with the final software. VW says that these late test models will be receiving regular updates during this phase before deliveries to customers start in early September. “The comprehensive driving profiles in the run-up to the European market launch of the ID.3 are extremely valuable to us and open up further potential for optimization”, said Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for E-mobility. “Added to this is the very personal feedback from our employees. That means our team in Zwickau is not only building the ID.3 to the highest quality standards, it is also actively assisting in the further development of the technology and electric cars”. Volkswagen has already announced that the order books for the ID.3 will open in mid-July for the general public; customers who have already placed a pre-order for the limited First Edition model will be given 2 options: either get delivery of their car in early September with some features disabled or opt for a later delivery date in the fourth quarter of the year with all the features online. VW has been tormented with various software issues during the development of the ID.3, but the company promises that everything will be sorted out by the end of the year. Customers opting to become the first owners of the ID.3 this September will also become members of the ID.3 1st Mover Club, giving them a direct line of contact to VW. Furthermore, they will not pay any leasing rates for the first 3 months if they lease their new vehicle. The Volkswagen ID.3 will be eventually offered with 3 battery pack sizes; a base 45 kWh unit with a driving range of 330 km, a 58 kWh pack with 420 km of driving range and a range-topping 77 kWh variant with 550 km of range. As for the First Edition variant, VW will offer 30.000 examples with the 58 kWh pack and 3 trim levels to choose from. +++

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