Readers with long memories will recall General Motors and Honda shacked up back in the ‘90s for product sharing when the Big H found itself sans SUV and The General wanted a minivan for its Isuzu showrooms. Toss in an engine program which saw Honda V6 power under the hood of a Saturn Vue (of all things) and there’s no shortage of history between these two major marques.
That relationship now continues into the EV age. The companies have announced they will co-develop “affordable EVs” aimed at popular segments of our market. What’s the timeline? Don’t hold your breath – unless you can do so for about five years.
Taking a quick look around parking lots on this side of the pond, one would be forgiven for thinking the station wagon – longroof, avant, variant, shooting brake – is dead and buried. Pockets of (rabid) enthusiasts remain and are likely a large part of the reason Audi decided to sell the tremendous RS6 Avant.
The future is murky for a North American launch of this new all-electric concept, given our propensity for SUVs and crossovers. Nevertheless, we’ll take any opportunity to run photos of a slinky wagon – especially one that could slingshot from 0 – 60 mph in under four seconds.
GM is set to introduce more EVs to its fleet, announcing this morning that it will be stuffing a Blazer full of electrons and putting it on sale next year. Touted as the “first Chevy EV to feature a performance SS model”, GM says the all-electric Blazer SS will make its debut later this year and will be available in spring 2023.
With this news, we’ll sit back and wait for the B&B to discuss GM’s continued propensity to apply the SS badge in weird and wonderful ways.
No one reading this should be surprised by the news it’s more expensive than ever to find one’s way into a new car. All kinds of external forces have driven average purchase prices through the roof, and strife halfway around the world is currently playing a role in driving up the cost of fuel.
CEOs of the world’s automotive companies have taken note, of course. Late last week, during a virtual roundtable discussion with industry wonks, Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares expressed his opinions on the matter – and spoke of his concerns.
Remember just a few days ago when Ford CEO Jim Farley said they had “no plans to spin off our electric business or our ICE business,” during a finance call with investors?
Yeah. Forget all that. The company announced this morning they are creating distinct electric vehicle and internal combustion businesses, one which is poised to “compete and win” against both new EV competitors and established automakers.
Speculators on Wall Street (where else?) have been yammering about the possibility of Ford Motor Company creating a second company for its moving-at-light-speed EV business. To that end, CEO Jim Farley had one thing to say on Wednesday:
“We have no plans to spin off our electric business or our ICE business,” he told people assembled on a finance call.
If there’s one thing on which car manufacturers can be relied upon to do, it’s to release information about hotly anticipated vehicles in dribs and drabs. Rare is the occasion when all hands are totally surprised – though it does happen. Witness when the then-new Ford GT rolled out on a frigid Detroit stage in 2015.
Lexus is doing no such thing with its bevy of upcoming BEVs, a range that could include an all-electric spiritual replacement for the LFA.
The wave of all-electric pickups is well upon the market, with options on the table from non-traditional players like Rivian and Tesla plus legacy automakers like Ford and GM. The latter has trotted out a variety of rigs all based on their Ultium technology, while Dearborn has apparently been busy filling every order they care to take. Rivian trucks have also been spotted in the wild, which is more than what we can say for Tesla.
One brand notably absent from the EV table? Ram. While they’ve shown shadowy sketches and vague underpinnings of promised pickups, we’ve yet to see a fully-built take on what’s traditionally been the truck segment’s most in-yer-face competitor.
They’re apparently working on something, however – and are inviting potential customers along for the ride.
The all-electric Chevy Bolt has had a rough go over the last year, falling victim to battery troubles which led General Motors to halt production and recall every single copy they’ve ever built so they could stuff the things full of new electrons because of a fire risk.
Alert readers will know those recalled battery packs are different than GM’s own Ultium product, tech that’s finding its way into all forward-looking EVs from The General. This makes the Bolt something of an outlier and, after hearing remarks from Mary Barra in this week’s GM earnings call, probably a dead car walking.
And in other news, the sky is blue and water is wet. America is a vast landscape, after all. Eggheads at the professional firm Deloitte have released their 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study, one which polls respondents from countries around the globe about forward-looking topics in automotive.
One key takeaway? It seems Americans want more EV range than anyone else in the world. A lot more.
Viewed in a vacuum, especially through the filtered lens of an online picture, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 might appear to be a hatchback roughly the size of a VW Golf. In reality, it’s a lot more crossover-like inside and out, with the added bonus of seating flexibility that eliminates a space-hogging center console which creates a spiritual successor to the old-school bench seat.
There is a quartet of trims offered in our market, starting with the $39,700 SE Standard Range with its single motor and rear-wheel drive.
Around these parts, and in most locations across the country, some fuel stations are busying themselves with squeezing a couple of EV charging stations along the perimeter of their property to supplement the gas and diesel pumps already in existence. Across the pond, one conglomerate is taking things a step further in some areas, planning wholesale changes in which they swap pumps for plugs.
The truck arm of Chevrolet has been teasing its all-electric pickup for some time now, promising a rig that will do fisticuffs with the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T, among others. While no one from GM’s keynote was on the ground at CES in Vegas (thanks, Covid), a packaged presentation spelled out all the details – including one surprising and exciting new trim level.
Electric vehicles are here, like it or not, and car companies have turned their attention (and vast resources) to making sure range anxiety is a thing of the past. Since that concern is a major hurdle for most Americans, the appearance of a Mercedes-Benz machine with a four-figure range is A Big Deal.
Well, four figures in metric measures, anyway.
To say that large events are spitting and sputtering their way back into action would be massively underselling the challenges facing promoters and showrunners in the age of Covid variants and travel-related headaches. While some car-related sporting events have been carried out – witness the various and sundry major auto races this year – indoor events like trade shows continue to have challenges.
The latest? CES in Vegas. After becoming the defacto replacement for the Detroit Auto Show at this time of year, more than a few carmakers have decided to pull out of the event after promising big reveals this year at one of the world’s largest tech shows.
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- Namesakeone If you want a Thunderbird like your neighbor's 1990s model, this is not the car. This is a Fox-body car, which was produced as a Thunderbird from MY 1980 through 1988 (with styling revisions). The 1989-1997 car, like your neighbor's, was based on the much heavier (but with independent rear suspension) MN-15 chassis.
- Inside Looking Out I watched only his Youtube channel. Had no idea that there is TV show too. But it is 8 years or more that I cut the cable and do not watch TV except of local Fox News. There is too much politics and brainwashing including ads on TV. But I am subscribed to CNBC Youtube channel.
- Jeff S Just to think we are now down to basically 3 minivans the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. I wonder how much longer those will last. Today's minivan has grown in size over the original minivans and isn't so mini anymore considering it is bigger than a lot of short wheel based full size vans from the 70s and 80s. Back in the 70s and 80s everything smaller was mini--mini skirt, mini fridge, mini car, and mini truck. Mini cars were actually subcompact cars and mini trucks were compact trucks. Funny how some words are so prevalent in a specific era and how they go away and are unheard of in the following decades.
- Jeff S Isn't this the same van Mercury used for the Villager? I believe it was the 1s and 2nd generations of this Quest.
- VoGhost I don't understand the author's point. Two of the top five selling vehicles globally are Teslas. We have great data on the Model 3 for the past 5 years. What specifically is mysterious about used car values?