By on January 13, 2020

Ford has struggled to improve market share in China for years now, as decades of economic growth made the region’s overwhelmingly large population too tempting for global manufacturers to pass up. But it hasn’t been an easy road for foreign automakers. Many entered the region saddled with a lack of brand awareness and were required to enter into joint ventures with Chinese firms to gain access (Ford has three). U.S. products have since faced additional scrutiny as American-Sino relations soured; at the same time, the whole of the market appears to be heading in the wrong direction.

While this hurt plenty of automakers that aren’t Ford, the Blue Oval has really taken it on the chin. The company reported a 26.1 percent sales decline for 2019, marking its third straight year of negative growth in China. At first blush, that may not appear relevant to what’s happening in the West. But Ford hasn’t seen its market share in the People’s Republic rise above 5 percent since 2008 (it’s about half that now), despite putting plenty of resources behind the project.  (Read More…)

By on January 11, 2018

2020 Porsche Mission E Concept - Image: Porsche

Porsche is apparently working on a new supercar platform for itself. However, both Audi and Lamborghini are said to be able to get in on the action, too. The platform is an entirely electric one, dubbed SPE, and it’s to be part of Volkswagen Group’s “third-wave” shift towards a fully electrified fleet.

However, the platform’s existence was only officially mentioned in VW’s capital markets presentation from November. The report shows SPE coming into play after the solidification of the initial MEB platform and the establishment of VW’s PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture — intended for luxury segment models after 2021. As the third phase of the group’s electrification strategy, SPE-based vehicles likely won’t enter production until 2025.  (Read More…)

By on May 2, 2017

elio orange snow

Remember Elio Motors? If you’ve ever expressed any public interest in its economical three-wheeler, the company’s aggressive social media campaign has ensured Elio is a household name in your life. You may also recall the company pushing back the vehicle’s release date every single year since 2014. With a revised launch of 2018, surely Elio Motors is on track to deliver the affordable and eco-friendly little trike this time — right?

Don’t bet on it.

After an assessment showing the company had $123 million in debt with only $101,000 in the bank as of September 2016, the future is now even more dire. Elio Motors’ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows the company needs $376 million — $64 million more than the original previous $312 million estimate — to begin production, reports Jalopnik.

Worse still, it only has 76 weeks to find the money if it has any hope of maintaining its self-imposed deadline.  (Read More…)

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