The truth about BEV sales: Legacy and Chinese automakers outrank Tesla

Who is selling the most battery electric vehicles in the world? If we think Tesla, then we have been misled by the huge noise surrounding the Californian carmaker. In the first two months of the year, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance still was number one in total worldwide BEV registrations. This according to data JATO Dynamics shared with Dailykanban. The Alliance might soon lose the title, but it is not Tesla that is on an exponential trajectory. It is the Chinese. [Continue Reading]

Toyota prepares for the worst

Akio Toyoda, and some samurai – (c) Bertel Schmitt

If you read the press reports of Toyota’s annual results conference today, you will think all is peachy. After all, “Toyota Motor Corp. reported Wednesday that its quarterly profit rose 21 percent,” wrote the Detroit News. On top of that, Toyota submitted an “upbeat profit forecast,” said Bloomberg. The Toyota share was up strong at the news. I, however, walked out of the Tokyo meeting room given the impression that Toyota fears the sky might fall.

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BILD: Volkswagen’s Diess snitches on Winterkorn

Better times: Winterkorn and Diess – picture courtesy Manager Magazin

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported on what it calls an “unusual deal:” Volkswagen’s new CEO Herbert Diess has received assurances of safe passage from U.S. authorities. Today, Germany’s BILD tabloid says it knows the price Diess had to pay for being able to travel the globe without worries about being arrested at the next border:  In an interview with the FBI and U.S. DOJ, Diess threw former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn under the bus, BILD says. [Continue Reading]

Trading places: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance leads World’s Largest Automakers in Q1/18

Did I mention that World’s Largest Automakers 2018 will be a tight race? The first quarter ended with the  Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in the lead, followed by Volkswagen, and Toyota. Last month had Toyota in the top spot, now it is in place 3. Expect the trading of places to continue throughout the year – the distances between the world’s top 3 automakers are extremely tight.

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Your car will eat shit. And that’s a good thing

This is where shit happens: Part of the sewage-to-hydrogen plant (c) Bertel Schmitt

Want to turn a staunch supporter of electric vehicles into a fire and invective belching monster? Easy. All you have to do is mention a certain kind of EV, namely the one powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. You’ll be immediately subjected to long tirades of how “wildly impractical, horrendously wasteful, and ridiculously expensive” the thing is.  Rest assured that in the course of the discussion, the diety of electric cars, who called the technology “fool cells,” will be invoked at least three times. Meanwhile in Japan, the biggest proponent of said fuel cells, Toyota, is unperturbed, and it works towards a “hydrogen society” with the same tenacity Toyota showed way back when it was pushing its hybrid technology against all odds. Now, the industry switches to hybrid in wholesale fashion.

Today, Toyota played its trump card: Fuel cell vehicles can be powered with something that is absolutely renewable, and available in endless quantities all around the world: Human excrement. [Continue Reading]

Tesla too late as Volkswagen and Toyota join their truck forces

Shimo and Renschler – (c) Bertel Schmitt

Should you be among the people highly excited about Tesla’s prospects with heavy trucks, count yourself lucky that you weren’t in the ballroom of Tokyo’s Grand Prince Hotel this afternoon. Would you have been, you went home with all hopes abandoned.  In said ballroom, two global players in the heavy truck business announced that they would join hands, because doing it alone is fraught with dangers.  Unsaid, but quickly evident: Newcomers, don’t even try.  Also, the allied bus and truck makers, will not bet on either battery electric or fuel cell. They will do both. [Continue Reading]

Tesla’s Model 3 screen signals steep production increase – or not

Picture: Tesla

Sure, you can wait for Tesla’s, official production releases, but wouldn’t you be a better investor if armed with the knowledge of how many Model 3 Tesla really intends to build within the next few months? The tracking of VIN numbers has turned out to be a bit inexact. You want something where Tesla has a little more skin in the game. Clients of JL Warren Capital have that information. The company tracks a surefire leading indicator, and that is the central display screen of the Model 3. According to JL Warren’s chief analyst Jungheng Li, Tesla seems to be gearing up for a weekly production rate of 3,400 Model 3 for this quarter. If everything goes well.

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In a search for untapped car markets, Nissan is back in Pakistan.

1976 Datsun 120y, for sale near Islamabad, $1,500 ask

Nissan is entering Pakistan’s car market – again.  The company assembled cars in the country until the middle of the past decade. Nissan withdrew when carmageddon sent Pakistan’s auto business into a tailspin. Now, Nissan is back.

Nissan reactivated its old Pakistan partner Ghandhara Nissan Ltd, and it will start assembling Datsun-branded cars within the 2019 fiscal, Nissan said today. [Continue Reading]