TOYOTA WILL LOSE PRODUCTION
RAV4, Land Cruiser, Lexus Output on Quake Shutdowns; Chip Maker Renesas Resumes Partial Production
Toyota Motor Corp. will suspend operations at more than half its operations across Japan and is studying potential disruption to overseas production because of supply chain interruptions triggered by a large earthquake that rattled the country this week. Toyota will halt production for three days starting next week on 18 lines at 11 factories in Japan, out of a total of 28 lines in 14 factories operated nationwide, the automaker said on Friday. Toyota said it will lose about 20,000 vehicles of output from the quake-related shutdowns.
Source: Automotive News
PORSCHE INCREASES EV TARGETS, CONFIRMS 911 HYBRID SPORTS CAR
As the all-electric Porsche Taycan sedan outsells the German carmaker’s iconic 911 sports car, the company is increasing its EV sales targets. It also plans to roll out a hybrid version of the 911. Porsche on Friday announced it expects 80% of its global sales to be all-electric vehicles by 2030. That compares with previous plans for that amount of sales to be a mix of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which include internal combustion engines with battery technologies.
RUSSIAN INVASION IS ADDING COST TO EVS
The supply chain fallout from the war in Ukraine could make electric vehicles more expensive to build as raw material prices jump higher. That could hamper consumer EV adoption just as automakers plan to roll out many new battery-powered models, warns a report out this month by S&P Global Mobility. The new logistics problem could affect the batteries used in several popular EV models, potentially eating into their manufacturers' profits.
Source: Automotive News
GM BUYS SOFTBANK’S STAKE IN ITS DRIVERLESS CAR UNIT CRUISE
General Motors Co. said it is buying out SoftBank Vision Fund L.P.’s stake in its Cruise division for $2.1 billion, roughly four years after the Japanese investment firm joined the car maker in betting on driverless-car technology. GM also said Friday it will make an additional $1.35 billion investment in GM Cruise Holdings LLC replacing a previous commitment from SoftBank. GM’s ownership in Cruise will be about 80% and SoftBank will no longer have an ownership interest in or have any rights with respect to Cruise after the transaction is completed.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
FORD SAYS EUROPEAN PRODUCTION HIT BY CHIP SHORTAGE, UKRAINE CONFLICT
Ford Motor Co said on Monday vehicle production and orders in Europe have been hit by the global semiconductor shortage as well as the conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. automaker said it will idle its German plants in Saarlouis and Cologne, mostly due to the global chip shortage. That also led it to stop taking new orders for the S-Max and Galaxy vehicles built in Valencia, Spain. Ford said it has orders for both products that take it beyond September and that existing orders will be fulfilled.
FORD F-150 LIGHTNING’S 320-MILE RANGE
Beats Available Rivian Electric Pickups, But Lags GMC
Ford Motor’s 2022 F-150 Lightning pickup will have an electric range of up to 320 miles, according to final Environmental Protection Agency estimates released Monday by the automaker. The top range of the all-electric pickup is 20 miles higher than Ford initially estimated, which places it just above the range of the 2022 Rivian R1T, but still shy of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV.
GM LOOKS TO LYRIQ EV TO SPARK RENEWED INTEREST IN CADILLAC BRAND
General Motors Co. started production of its Cadillac Lyriq all-electric SUV in a bid to rekindle interest in a luxury brand from upscale car buyers who have embraced vehicles from foreign rivals and EVs from Tesla Inc. GM’s plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which also is building the gasoline-powered Cadillac XT5, XT6 and Acadia SUVs, can make as many as 200,000 vehicles a year. Potential customers have indicated strong interest in the Lyriq and GM could dedicate all the factory’s production to the plug-in if demand justifies it, GM President Mark Reuss said.
TESLA RAISES PRICES ON ALL MODELS
This week the Austin-based EV maker quietly raised prices across its entire lineup in the US, in an unannounced move that followed a number of similar price hikes in months past. The good news, if any, is that the two most affordable models were given the smallest price bumps, growing by about $2000 and $3000, depending on model and trim level, so they shouldn't deter EV buyers on more modest budgets who may have been thinking about ordering a Tesla.
The bad news, on the other hand, is that the two more expensive models received some pretty significant price hikes, in addition to already seeing delivery times quoted in several months to a year. And this month's price hikes are by no means guaranteed to be the last ones this year, even as Tesla gets ready to launch the Berlin-Brandenburg gigafactory to increase capacity.
What's behind the latest price hikes?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted on Twitter days ago that the automaker is facing headwinds from the rising costs of raw materials and inflationary pressure. Even though Tesla has largely managed to avoid the significant downtimes experienced by other automakers over the past two years, including those prompted by chip shortages, it isn't immune from the pressures of pricing in commodity markets, including metals which have seen plenty of pricing volatility as a result of disruptions prompted by the war in Ukraine.
The bad news, once again, is that other automakers aren't immune from these pressures either, which could spell even greater problems in 2022 than we saw the past two years, as prices for some raw materials could rise even further or see longer-term disruptions in availability. Tesla's price hikes are perhaps just the tip of the iceberg for all automakers.
Source: State of Charge
TOYOTA PLANS $826 MILLION BUYBACK WITH SHARES TRENDING DOWN
Toyota Motor Corp. announced a 100 billion yen ($826 million) stock buyback Wednesday, delivering on a promise to flexibly repurchase shares and pay out stable dividends to shareholders. With Toyota shares trading more than 10% off recent highs, the Japanese automaker said it was taking the current stock price into account and being “more flexible” than ever in its implementation of buybacks, according to a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
STELLANTIS TO SET UP VENTURE WITH LG ENERGY SOLUTION IN CANADA
South Korean battery giant LG Energy Solution Ltd. said on Wednesday it plans to invest $1.5 billion to set up a joint venture with Stellantis in Canada. LGES owns 51 percent of the joint venture, tentatively named "LGES-STLA JV" and Stellantis owns 49 percent, LGES said in a regulatory filing. In October, LGES and Stellantis struck an EV battery production joint venture, targeting to start production by the first quarter of 2024 and aiming to have an annual production capacity of 40 gigawatt hours of batteries. LG hasn't said where in Canada the joint venture will be located.
Source: Automotive News
FORD NEEDS 'TOTALLY DIFFERENT TALENT' TO MEET GOALS. HERE'S WHY
Finding balance at Ford Motor Co. right now is, well, delicate. Wall Street has applauded recent restructuring changes while some workers cringe. The “disruption at the human level” will be “very difficult” as the legacy automaker continues making dramatic staff changes designed to help the company compete in an increasingly dynamic environment, Ford CEO Jim Farley said this month. Pivoting from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric, and dividing the company into gasoline- and electric-focused teams, carries uncertainty and fear.
Source: Detroit Free Press
VW WILL START PRODUCTION AGAIN AT ITS GERMAN EV FACTORIES
Volkswagen said on Wednesday it would resume car production at its German EV factories in Dresden and Zwickau from next week, sooner than it had planned. VW said last month after Russia invaded Ukraine that it would halt production at the factories because of difficulties in getting parts made in Ukraine, especially wire harnesses. Zwickau is Volkswagen's most important European EV production location. It builds the VW ID3, VW ID4, VW ID5, Audi Q4 etron and Cupra Born full-electric cars.
Source: Automotive News
MAZDA TO HALT OPERATIONS AT TWO JAPAN PLANTS FOR 2 DAYS
Japanese automaker Mazda Motor Corp said on Thursday it would suspend production at its two domestic factories for two days in April due to auto parts supply disruptions. It said in a statement that a rise in COVID-19 cases in China were among factors expected to cause supply disruptions. It did not say how much of vehicle output would be affected by the suspension at its factories in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures on April 4 and 5.
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