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
ALYI Launches Next Generation Electric Motorcycle Design
Dallas, TX – November 20, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – Alternet Systems, Inc. (OTC PINK: ALYI) today announced launching a new design program for what will now be its third electric motorcycle.
Earlier this week, ALYI announced plans to start taking orders for its Retro ReVolt BMW R71 Clone Electric Motorcycle starting in December.
ALYI also plans to start delivering its Rideshare ReVolt Electric Motorcycle in Africa next year for the growing rideshare market gradually replacing existing combustion engine motorcycles in use within the existing taxi (boda-boda) market.
Now ALYI has initiated a new design program for its next generation electric motorcycle for the rideshare market in Africa. The next generation electric motorcycle is intended to phase out the electric first Rideshare Revolt Electric Motorcycle that will begin being delivered next year.
The next generation electric motorcycle is intended to be a revolutionary design that introduces new technology innovations including longer range batteries, increased power for maximizing passenger and cargo potential and IoT solutions for fleet management and optimized customer services. The design will also facilitate customization with ability to integrate a variety of components on a uniquely designed core frame. For instance, the frame will be designed to integrate with different forks, seats, handlebars and motors. In addition to permitting customization for personal preference, the interchangeability will facilitate future component upgrades as well as facilitating a lower entry price by combining a core frame purchase with component lease total acquisition options.
For more information and to stay up to date on ALYI’s latest developments, please visit www.alternetsystemsinc.com.
Disclaimer/Safe Harbor: This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act. The statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Among others, these risks include the expectation that any of the companies mentioned herein will achieve significant sales, the failure to meet schedule or performance requirements of the companies’ contracts, the companies’ liquidity position, the companies’ ability to obtain new contracts, the emergence of competitors with greater financial resources and the impact of competitive pricing. In the light of these uncertainties, the forward-looking events referred to in this release might not occur.
Alternet Systems, Inc. Contact:
Why Some States Have Mandated Emissions Testing
If having to schedule an emissions test has ever struck you as an inconvenience, you’ve probably wondered why some states have mandated emissions testing. 33 out of the 50 states require some form of emissions testing for civilians’ vehicles. The frequency may vary, but the reasons for doing so remain roughly the same. There are a few ways your vehicle could fail an emissions test, which may result in expensive repairs or even a ticket—quite the incentives to prepare your vehicle to pass.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Laws
The Clean Air Act was established in 1970, permitting the EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These standards encourage the protection of public health and the environment, and they specify the limit of pollutants allowed in the air. Pollutants such as carbon monoxide, lead, and sulfur dioxide is consistently measured to make sure they don’t breach the maximum levels laid out by the Clean Air Act. Though the Act is enforced at a federal level, state governments get to determine how those levels are monitored—one being through emissions testing.
How States Differ
Emissions testing requirements and frequency are up to each state government’s discretion. Some states have mandated emissions testing for the same reason other states impose restrictions on local vehicle manufacturers: pollutant level control. For states that use testing as a means of pollutant control, their approaches to it may differ. For example:
- Some states demand emissions testing statewide. These states, including Massachusetts, call for every vehicle to pass the emissions test as part of an out-of-pocket safety inspection.
- Many states have mandated emissions testing that’s only required every two years in densely populated areas.
- Certain states, such as Florida and Nebraska, don’t require any testing.
How Areas Differ
If you live in an area with a significant population, your chances of having to get an emissions test are higher (if testing is not a statewide demand). The more heavily trafficked and urbanized an area, the greater need to enforce emissions tests for pollutant control.
Source: Christina Duron is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things digital. She has focused her career around digital marketing and writes to explore topics that spark her interest.
Tesla Giga Texas raises its 1st pillar, shows immediate progress after shifting to 24/7 operations
Tesla Giga Texas’ 24/7 construction shifts have already showed immediate progress, with crews recently erecting the first concrete pillar on the site. The sight of Gigafactory Texas’ first column rising marks a special milestone for the buildout of the facility’s Phase 1 area, highlighting the project’s impressive construction speed.
Drone operator Jeff Roberts (@peterdog15) took photos of the first pillar at Giga Texas. He arrived on site just in time to see the huge pillar being delivered on site and witnessed it rising from the ground, much like the rest of Gigafactory Texas will be in the coming months. Roberts happened to also break the news that Tesla would be switching to three shifts for Giga Texas’ construction, effectively speeding up its schedule.
According to fellow drone operator Joe Tegtmeyer, the concrete column was located in the “Great Big Pit” area. Tegtmeyer speculated that more pillars will be installed “to support gantry cranes for the stamping machine dyes” in the massive Gigafactory. His video also includes all the visible changes to the construction site, including the ongoing work being done to a clearing across State Highway 130, which may be the location of Tesla’s ecological paradise.
Based on all the work going on at Giga Texas daily, Tesla doesn’t seem to be wasting any time. Simultaneous construction projects are happening in different areas of the 2,000-acre piece of land. And more work will be done in the outskirts of Giga Texas, too. Recently, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to develop East Austin, an area near Giga Texas.
“(This resolution) brings some much needed focus to a long-neglected part of East Austin that’s basically on the precipice of really experiencing considerable growth,” said Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison. “This is our opportunity to really get it right and get ahead of unfettered growth with more proactive action in this area.”
The resolution seems, at least in part, to be in anticipation to the economic growth and development Giga Texas might bring to the East Austin area. Prior to the resolution’s approval, panelists at the second Annual East Austin Growth Summit projected that Tesla Gigafactory Texas could create 15,000 new jobs.
“(Tesla has) a reputation of wanting their suppliers close to them, and they’re going to make that request for critical suppliers. So, I wouldn’t be shocked if we had 50-plus companies move here to support this facility. My hope is that those 50 come but that they also find another 50 that are already here,” said Ed Latson, the executive director of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association.
Watch the most recent flyovers of Gigafactory Texas.
SpaceX Crew Dragon aces third autonomous space station docking
Update: A SpaceX Crew Dragon has successfully performed an autonomous rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station (ISS) for the third time in a row and the first time with four astronauts aboard.
Near-flawless space station arrival now behind it, Crew Dragon has effectively kicked off what could be the longest continuous spaceflight of a crewed US spacecraft in the history of American space exploration. Barring surprises, Crew Dragon capsule C207 (deemed “Resilience” by its first crew) and its expendable trunk section will spend roughly 180 days in orbit, crushing the previous US record of 84 days set by an Apollo Command and Service Module spacecraft in 1973.
Crew Dragon’s first successful operational space station arrival also marks the beginning of a small but significant new era for the ISS, enabling a crew of seven astronauts – up from six – to continuously live and work aboard the 20-year-old orbital outpost. Thanks to the station’s well-quantified needs for regular maintenance and operational expertise, that new seventh crew member will ultimately be able to dedicate almost every working moment to doing science in orbit.
Meanwhile, ISS NASA astronaut Kate Rubins hinted to SpaceX and NASA ground control that a range of photos she took of Crew Dragon’s third ISS arrival were likely to be spectacular. A ground controller took no time to respond with the quip that “[Crew Dragon] is known objectively to be a very good-looking vehicle.” Stay tuned for another update when those approach photos go live.
Approximately two hours after Crew Dragon’s third successful docking, Rubins successfully completed an array of tasks and opened the spacecraft’s hatch, allowing NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi to officially depart Dragon and join the International Space Station’s existing crew of three.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon is set to rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station for the third time later tonight and its four-astronaut crew took some time during their 27-hour flight to give live viewers a tour of the brand new spacecraft.
Emphasizing just how much space Crew Dragon offers its astronaut passengers once in orbit, the tour also included a minor tradition for NASA astronaut Victor Glover’s first orbital spaceflight. Astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Mike Hopkins, and Shannon Walker – all spaceflight veterans – commemorated Glover’s milestone with the gift of a small, golden pin, continuing a decades-old tradition.
If Crew Dragon remains in good health, the four astronauts will officially kick off the first ISS docking attempt with a 90-second thruster burn shortly after 9 pm EST (02:00 UTC).
Quite similar to Crew Dragon’s flawless Demo-2 astronaut launch debut, the Crew-1 spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at what is known as the ISS keep-out sphere around half an hour after its final major course-change thruster burn. Dragon will pause approximately 400m (~1300 ft) from the space station and wait for ground and station teams to give it the go-ahead to continue to another stopped point 20m (65 ft) out.
Altogether, the Crew-1 Dragon docking process will take about 55 minutes after the spacecraft enters the keep-out sphere and will culminate with a ‘soft’ capture around 11pm EST (04:00 UTC) and a ‘hard’ capture – signified by the docking port firmly bolting Dragon to the ISS – a bit less than 15 minutes later.
Orbital sunset is expected roughly 10 minutes before docking, meaning that Crew Dragon’s Crew-1 docking should be sunlit from a distance of ~1000 to 20 meters (3300 to 65 ft) from the ISS. Tune in below to watch the historic docking live.
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