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VW JV keeps Anhui Jianghuai Automobile going – the week

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VW spent the equivalent of a EUR1bn to buy 50% of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holdings which had controlled Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors)

VW spent the equivalent of a EUR1bn to buy 50% of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holdings which had controlled Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors)

A shake-out which began a year ago is seeing many brands disappear from China’s monthly sales charts. For a while, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile also looked vulnerable. Instead, this medium-sized car maker has found a niche by contract manufacturing EVs and continuing a steady roll-out of of its own JAC-brand models. Thus continued our analysis of automakers and future models. A JV with VW is the key – the group spent the equivalent of a EUR1bn to buy 50% of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Holdings which had controlled Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors). This gave the German company full control and, at the same time, VW lifted its stake in JAC-Volkswagen, the electric vehicles JV, to 75% (from 50%). Further, the VW Group told the media of new intentions to launch five additional electric models by 2025 and also erect a plant for such vehicles. Production of MEB architecture models is due to commence at this factory by 2023.

Motor shows might be on hiatus in most countries but in China, they are back. This week, we published a list of world premieres for this year’s event in Chengdu.

Mitsubishi Motors shocked its UK and European distributors when it announced a three year, mid term business plan (from fiscal 2020 to 2022), ‘Small but Beautiful’, to concentrate its management resources on its core regions and technologies. It is ending new model launches in Europe but will continue to offer parts and service. Under this initiative, MMC will concentrate its management resources on the ASEAN region, where it is competitive. Also, MMC will expand its profitability by further enhancement of its unique, competitive edge technologies such as PHEV, HEV and 4WD, also by introduction of cutting edge models leveraging the Alliance partners’ technologies. MMC said it was ‘freezing’ new model launches for Europe though sales of existing models would continue. After sales and services would continue “for customers who prefer to use Mitsubishi products”.

Could Mitsubishi’s withdrawal from the UK and Europe open the door to new entries from Chinese EV makers? That is one possible outcome of MMC’s shock announcement. Long-time, independent UK importer, the Cirencester-based Colt Car Company (CCC), appeared to have been caught on the hop by the announcement in Japan which coincided with MMC’s latest dire financial results and gloomy outlook. CCC reportedly said in a letter to dealers it “did not, at any point, anticipate receiving this news”. It said it would attempt to “accelerate its plan to bring other emerging brands into the UK”. Surely, a well established importer, with a big import centre at Portbury Docks near Bristol, plenty of parts and service aftermarket expertise, and a dealer network well seasoned in selling into niches and keeping local customers happy, would have some appeal to other brands? We’ll watch with interest. CCC will continue to sell the cars currently offered until such a time that they no longer comply with European regulations and as many retailers as possible would aim to be retained as part of a parts and aftersales network. The planned introduction of the new Eclipse Cross plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and the next generation Outlander PHEV would not happen. CCC reportedly said in its letter to retailers: “In terms of the future for The Colt Car Group of Companies, we have already been looking at opportunities to bring additional new vehicle brands into the UK as a distributor and have already been in early dialogue with some alternative emerging market brands with an EV product strategy. Whilst the discussions are at an early stage, in light of today’s announcement we are focused on accelerating these opportunities with the goal of introducing additional brands to our business as quickly as possible. Clearly, if we are able to progress some of these initial contacts into a viable business proposition it will represent future options and opportunities for us all.”

Britishvolt said it is collaborating with Pininfarina to build the UK’s first large-scale battery gigaplant at the former Royal Air Force base of Bro Tathan in Wales. It aims to establish the UK as the leading force in battery technology with a target product launch date of 2023. The gigaplant will be situated in 80+ hectares of green industrial park, with a production capacity of up to 35 GWH.

Data compiled by just-auto parent GlobalData shows that light vehicle sales fell by 19.1% in June year-on-year to 6.2m, for a SAAR of 73.1m in the month. While these results are some way behind industry norms they do demonstrate that the global market has recovered from its April nadir when a SAAR of 48.2m was registered. Without exception all major regions marked June with sales recovering from their earlier low points. The best performing region was Asia-Pacific, with sales there falling 11.7% year on year, pushed along by a 40.7% hike in South Korea’s market and China’s market returning near to year ago levels. COVID-19 continues to impact demand negatively in India, but even there the 49% fall is an improvement on May when sales fell by 85% and the notorious result of April when zero new vehicle sales were made in the country. Elsewhere, Europe’s sales declined by 20.2% (May -54% and April -75.6%) helped along by the easing of lockdowns and the introduction of industry support in France and other West European countries. Additionally, Turkey’s continued to surprise with sales there 66% ahead year-on-year which contributed to East Europe’s marginal 1.6% slump in June. After a strong recovery in May, North America’s performance in June was a bit watered down with sales there falling 26.5% just over 6% better than May’s results. With Brazil in the midst of its fight against the pandemic, sales in South America where the country’s the largest single market slumped 40.8%. However, this still represented a better result than the plus 70% falls seen in both April and May.

PSA Group posted a positive profit result for the first half of the year despite the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and much reduced revenue.
It announced a 3.7% automotive division adjusted operating margin of EUR731m on EUR25.1bn revenue. The group booked EUR595m net profit and also reported EUR153m automotive positive free cash flow, excluding working capital, and “strong financial security” with EUR23.2bn in reserve.

Between this year and 2025, PSA Group will move gradually from two multi-energy platforms to two 100% electrified platforms to support e-mobility development. Its new eVMP platform will serve as the basis for a wide range of electric vehicles for the C- and D- segments. It will offer high-performance with an autonomy of up to 406 miles/650km (WLTP cycle) and a benchmark storage capacity with 50 kW.h per metre available within the wheelbase. From 2023, new vehicles in the C- and D-segments, from sedans to SUV will be launched in various markets worldwide.

A new GBP70 million research and development centre is to be established in the UK with the ambition of becoming ‘one of the leading independent facilities of its type in the world’. Led by The University of Bath, the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) is designed to both accelerate the pace of innovation across companies of all sizes and to increase the supply of engineers with the skills needed to develop the next generation of clean vehicle powertrains.

General Motors has named Alan Wexler to the newly created position of senior vice president, innovation and growth, effective 17 August, 2020.
Wexler is the former chairman and CEO of digital business transformation firm Publicis Sapient. He will be responsible for creating, executing and sustaining overall corporate strategy including identifying future growth opportunities and driving innovation throughout the company.

Have a good weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor, just-auto.com

Source: https://www.just-auto.com/comment/vw-jv-keeps-anhui-jianghuai-automobile-going-the-week_id196992.aspx?utm_source=article-feed&utm_medium=rss-feed&utm_campaign=rss-feed

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Tesla announces a 5-for-1 stock split

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Tesla on Tuesday announced a five-for-one stock split, sending the electric carmaker’s recently high-flying shares up 7% in extended trade.

Tesla’s stock, which traded at $1,475 after the announcement, is among the highest priced on Wall Street, and the Palo Alto, California-based company said in a press release it was looking to make its shares more accessible to employees and investors.

Tesla’s stock has surged over 200% this year, while shares of General Motors and Ford declined on fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Stock splits are a way for companies to make shares more accessible to retail investors, potentially attracting individual investors who make small trades. However, brokerages increasingly let customers buy parts of shares, making the benefit of share splits less clear than in the past.

Tesla said stock holders of record on Aug. 21 would receive four additional shares after the close of trading on Aug. 28, with the stock trading on a split-adjusted basis beginning Aug. 31.

Tesla’s stock split follows a four-for-one split announced by Apple in late July, the iPhone maker’s first stock split since 2014.

Stock splits have become rare on Wall Street in recent years, with just three S&P 500 components announcing splits in 2020, compared with an average of 10 a year over the past decade, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Tesla in July posted a second-quarter profit as cost cuts and strong deliveries helped offset coronavirus-related factory shutdowns, clearing a hurdle that could lead to the carmaker’s inclusion in the S&P 500 index.

While many institutional investors have avoided Tesla’s stock in recent years due to a lack of consistent profitability, the company has a strong following among individual investors.

Over the past 30 days, Tesla was second only to Apple as the most popular stock on the Robinhood trading app, according to Robintrack, a website that tracks Robinhood holdings.

Tesla’s stock split should not affect S&P Dow Jones Indices’ potential decision to add the company to the S&P 500, which is weighted by companies’ overall stock market values.

The share split will not make Tesla any less expensive in terms of actual earnings it delivers to investors. The stock currently trades at 112 times expected earnings over the next 12 months, according to Refinitiv. By comparison, GM is valued at eight times expected earnings, and Ford at 45 times expected earnings.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/11/tesla-stock-split-5-for-1/

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2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed adopts new look, still fastest SUV in the world

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The updated 2021 Bentley Bentayga didn’t have to wait long to gain its Speed variant back. We’re less than a month removed from the standard 2021 Bentayga’s big reveal, and the Speed has returned sporting all the same styling elements as its less powerful sibling.

If you paid much attention to the Speed model when it was revealed in February last year, you already know most of the pertinent information on the new one. It has a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 under hood that produces 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That’s good enough for a 3.9-second 0-62 mph sprint. Top speed hasn’t changed from before at 190 mph, so it still slots in right next to the Lamborghini Urus as the fastest SUV in the world. Not as though efficiency will matter all that much, but the W12 does feature cylinder deactivation technology that can deactivate up to six cylinders.

You’ll be able to tell the Speed apart from the standard Bentayga on the road if you look closely enough. It has unique bumpers in front and back, a dark grille, oval-shaped quad exhaust, elongated roof spoiler, body-color side skirts, unique 22-inch wheels, and of course, Speed badging. The seat backrests are also embroidered with “Speed” unless the customer prefers the Bentley logo. Contrast stitching and diamond quilting unique to the Speed is used to further differentiate the interior. Plus, Bentley adds “Speed” badging to the illuminated sill plates.

Lastly, Bentayga Speed buyers will have the choice of optioning the “Black Specification.” This replaces any brightwork on the exterior with blacked-out or carbon fiber trim. For example, the front splitter, side sills and roof spoiler are finished in carbon fiber. Bentley then uses gloss black paint on the rear bumper diffuser, roof rails, exhaust tips and wheels.

Pricing isn’t out for the new Bentayga Speed yet, but it’ll be available soon after the standard V8 Bentayga begins arriving at Bentley retailers.

Related video:

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/11/2021-bentley-bentayga-speed-revealed/

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2021 Ford F-150 price and options lists hit the web

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A couple weeks back, CarsDirect reported on pricing at the bottom and top ends for the 2021 Ford F-150, based on very early order guides. At the bottom, and according to that paperwork, the entry-level F-150 XL Regular Cab 4×2 starts at $30,635, while the top-tier Limited starts at $72,520. The F150 Gen14 forum got hold of a new price list for every trim, bed length, engine, and drivetain on the way in 2021, plus options lists with pricing. We’re still a ways out from the new pickup’s on-sale date, so any of these prices could change. The base XL Regular Cab 4×4 with the 6.5-foot box starts at $28,940 before the $1,695 destination and delivery charge, totaling the aforementioned $30,635. Adding an eight-foot box costs $300. Adding four-wheel drive costs $4,645, taking matters up to a starting price of $35,280.

Prices for the base model of the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims, in regular, Super Cab, and Super Crew configurations, in 4×2 and 4×4 guises are (box length in parentheses):

  • Regular XL 4×2 (6.5) – $30,635
  • Regular XL 4×4 (6.5) – $35,280
  • Regular XLT 4×2 (6.5) – $36,745
  • Regular XLT 4×4 (6.5) – $40,170
  • SuperCab Lariat 4×2 (6.5) – $46,890
  • SuperCab Lariat 4×4 (6.5) – $50,315
  • SuperCrew King Ranch 4×2 (5.5) – $58,025
  • SuperCrew King Ranch 4×4 (5.5) – $61,450
  • SuperCrew Platinum 4×2 (5.5) – $60,805
  • SuperCrew Platinum 4×4 (5.5) – $64,230
  • SuperCrew Limited 4×2 (5.5) – $72,520
  • SuperCrew Limited 4×4 (5.5) – $75,945
 

The price of optional bed sizes and four-wheel drive changes depending on trim. 

The options lists put numbers to everything from the $45 SecuriCode keypad to the $6,920 Equipment Group 502A (High). The current 502A Luxury package costs $6,795 on the Lariat trim to get a chrome appearance package, B&O Play audio, a reverse sensing system, and a blind-spot warning system with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow monitoring. There are other minor changes across the extra features list; for instance, putting a 5.0-liter V8 into the XL to replace the 3.3-liter V6 will cost $1,995, same as now, but swapping into the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 will cost $1,195, which is $200 more than in 2020.   

Head over to the F150 Gen14 forum with a calculator app open to pore over all the details and plan for your new truck.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/11/ford-f150-pricing/

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