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Discussion Starter #1
Ford is throwing $11 billion at its electric car problem

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/15/16892386/ford-electric-car-11-billion-2022-detroit-auto-show-2018

Interesting read! Now let just see if the crappiest manufacturer FCA joins in.
And for all those that have read my previous opinions about China, noooo I did not write this article. :)

And reuters has an interesting read;

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-detroit-breakingviews/breakingviews-shareholders-leave-autos-2-0-on-the-hard-shoulder-idUSKBN1F4281

I think the takaway from this article to me is, seeing the Detroit auto show is, ICE cars are boring, same old same old. EV's and Autonomy are new and exiting and potential for revenue growth. I think all the manufacturers are fearing missing the Boat.
 

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Ford is throwing $11 billion at its electric car problem
Ford is behind the eight-ball. Two years ago they were preparing an aluminum pickup truck; meanwhile GM was preparing the Bolt to launch. Now Ford is hitting the airwaves with big EV plans but nothing to sell at present. They've taken a page out of Tesla's playbook.

And a lot of Ford's "electric" vehicles will still have spark plugs in them. Nice try but too late to the party.
 

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Talk is cheap, nearly every major manufacturer is promising to deliver x EVs by 20xx.

Only one has delivered an affordable EV with a 200+ mile range. In 2016. On time. Priced as promised.

Tesla has promised an affordable EV with a 200+ mile range. And promised. And promised.

Any day now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
If you read the reuters article, and look and the valuations all is not well, sales are flat, the chinese are the biggest market, and they are nipping at the US heels soon ready to pass crash (safety) tests and sell cars, buses and trucks here. Ther is a tsunami coming in the worlds auto industry and its not Tesla. I think all the corporate brain trusts are working on that answer and making bold moves / visions to hedge their bets right or wrong. Do nothing and whither away like tech companies of the past. "Fortune favours the bold"

Here's an article, listen to Stella Li talk about the Dates.... 2011. Many things that we do not see not being in the Auto industry. Many think GM is not Serious about their EV program because of the past like the EV-1, maybe the EV-1 back in the 90's was just too early.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/18/tesla-faces-rival-as-chinas-warren-buffett-backed-byd-plans-us-expansion.html
 

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Some say that Tesla doesn't influence the auto business very much and really isn't the reason that traditional carmakers are turning to electric. That it's really just China and it's restrictive policies. While China certainly is driving the business world these days, these articles paint a different picture I believe.

Ford is suddenly going to build an electric sports car just weeks after Tesla debuted their new sports car concept and they have set up "Team Edison" to develop new electric cars. Edison vs. Tesla again... hmmmm... In addition, it sure appears that investors are more favorable to Tesla than they are to any other car company. Basically, building same ol' same ol' gas powered cars isn't very interesting and has little prospect at this time for any huge windfalls investor returns and the non Tesla car companies have taken notice.

I'm glad Tesla has kicked the electric car into high gear and has gotten people moving. I welcome the news that Ford is finally getting onboard and that GM is increasing it's commitment. I really don't hold out a lot of hope for FCA, I don't know where they are heading, but I do really want more options when I trade my Bolt in and I would really like my next BEV to be American made, so this is good news to me.
 

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Ford is throwing $11 billion at its electric car problem
Ford leadership suffers from an inbred 1930's Cultural Logic of Late Crony Capitalism. The NIH (Not Invented Here) management syndrome of an industrial era 100 years long past.



  • When alphabet wants to enter a market or acquire technology , they don't re-invent the wheel by opening a new office with old employees, they acquire companies that already have what they want: YouTube, Double Click, Nest, Motorola, etc.


  • When Apple wants to enter a market or acquire technology , they don't re-invent the wheel by opening a new office with old employees, they acquire companies that already have what they want: Siri, Beats, , etc.


  • When Amazon wants to enter a market or acquire technology , they don't re-invent the wheel by opening a new office with old employees, they acquire companies that already have what they want: Whole Foods, Zappos, Kiva Logistics, etc.
And modern companies like these spare no expense when buying the technology they want so they can leap frog immediatly into today's marketplace. Alphabet has spent almost $40 Billion buying companies...and what they are really buying is intellectual property and TALENTED, DRIVEN PEOPLE.

Ford could have acquired Lucid Motors last year for a bargain basement price. (about $1B)



Lucid has everything needed to put some of the most sophisticated EV's on the streets within Months ...except... production facilities, distribution and capital. Ford could have easily spun up one of it's shuttered factories and begun delivering 400-mile range EV's within 12 Months. But noooooo... Ford's going to establish an "office" with some pathetic moniker they think is oh-so-clever.

Yeah, that'll do the trick.

On the other hand, GM's CEO Mary Barra is not a member of that useless old boys club. On her watch, GM acquired Cruise Automation less than 2 years ago...a startup that didn't have product the first...for over $1 Billion. GM also bought bought 11-person lidar sensor startup Strobe this past fall. This is why GM can come to market with AV's...like now.

While Ford may never catch up...but to their credit, they will take the F-150/250/350/450 truck line as far as they can...then play their bailout card.
 

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Interesting read! Now let just see if the crappiest manufacturer FCA joins in.

I think the takaway from this article to me is, seeing the Detroit auto show is, ICE cars are boring, same old same old.


My recent vehicle purchase came down to the fun to drive Bolt and the fun to drive Jeep (wrangler). Electric won. Maybe next time FCA. :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
My recent vehicle purchase came down to the fun to drive Bolt and the fun to drive Jeep (wrangler). Electric won. Maybe next time FCA. :nerd:
Your lucky you picked a bolt! :)

We are a true jeeping family and currently own 5 Jeeps! Yes 5, 2 1990 YJ's and 3 TJ's My wife bought a 2007 JK Rubicon unlimited when it came out in 2006, biggest pile of hooey on wheels. The sheer amount of money we sank into this crapbox is staggering, and all of it out of warranty. Let me count, 3 computers, 2 cat systems, leaking soft top, leaking roof..... The only positive thing is they have the highest resale value of any american car! Yes go figure. My daughter got hit december 2016 and with 360,000kms. The insurance company gave us street value which was about 45% of purchase price, yes you heard me 45%! I hear the grand cherokee is the worst pile of junk they make. I love the old Jeeps as they are simple to work on and cheap to repair.


I read another article just after the ones posted where FCA announced a wait and see attitude over EV's , I smell another buyout coming maybe BYD will buy them, but they only want the Jeep brand for china! Apparantly they love Jeeps too!
 

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Surprisingly the article doesn't mention GM. The Buick brand name is extraordinarily powerful in China. Being the emperor's automobile decades ago and being the brand of choice for gov't officials and businessmen. It tugs at Chinese heartstrings.

For sure GM can clean up with EV's in China. Just have to figure out how not to have intellectual property pillaged there.
 

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Private auto companies have a very big problem....more than one actually. They have customers who have very conflicting desires. They want vehicles that can haul a soccer team or a sheet of plywood, and pull a horse trailer, but use very little energy (if gas prices are high), and don't pollute (or at least don't cause other people to think they are bad people). People send one signal with their wallets when they purchase a vehicle, and another when they vote, or talk on social media.
 

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they have set up "Team Edison" to develop new electric cars.
Well they could have called team Steinmetz - the EE genius who worked for General Electric.

So Tesla and GM used up there tax credits blazing the path for everyone else, who now benefit from the economy of scale set up by those two. Considering EV's have a tiny sliver of market share it's not too late for Ford. Sometimes it pays to be in the 2nd wave.
 

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For sure GM can clean up with EV's in China. Just have to figure out how not to have intellectual property pillaged there.
That's impossible. There is no fair trade and China holds all the cards at this point. If you want to sell cars in China, you can either import them and pay a 25% tariff that makes them not at all competitive in the market, or you can build them there by setting up a 50/50 partnership with a Chinese car company and all of the Chinese car companies are either 100%, or partially state run. This means you are basically showing the Chinese not only how you make your cars, but also how you design them, market them, advertise them and sell them. There are no secrets in this arrangement and still to this day, the Chinese don't really care so much about intellectual property rights.

The Chinese have played us well for the fools that we are and now we find ourselves sinking faster and the only way to keep the appetite of Wall Street satisfied is to do more and more business in China. Even Tesla who originally resisted China's house rules is now planning to buddy up with the government over there. Yes, the Chinese will be coming soon to take all that we have left that is of any value to them and that is our brands and our advertising and marketing skills. Yes, I expect to see a play soon for Ford, FCA and even GM. They're just waiting for the eventual down turn in the market that will put these companies in financial troubles again so they can buy cheap.
 

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Well they could have called team Steinmetz - the EE genius who worked for General Electric.

So Tesla and GM used up there tax credits blazing the path for everyone else, who now benefit from the economy of scale set up by those two. Considering EV's have a tiny sliver of market share it's not too late for Ford. Sometimes it pays to be in the 2nd wave.
Heavens no it's not too late for Ford. Lots of people like to believe there is some sort of magical technology in battery electric cars and there really isn't. All the magic is in the batteries and that you purchase from an outside party, like Panasonic, or LG, or Samsung. There is genuine automotive tech in hybrids and plug in hybrids, but BEVs are simple and all the necessary components are readily available from outside vendors.

All it takes is the will and desire to design, build, market and support such a car. The actual R&D can be done pretty rapidly for a company like Ford that has loads of experience in prototyping and manufacturing. The problem is, gauging the car buying public. There are now all kinds of players saying they are now committing to electric cars which if comes true, it could be a very crowded market place where still there are very few actual buyers. It remains to be seen if anyone can actually make a profit on battery electric cars.
 

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It remains to be seen if anyone can actually make a profit on battery electric cars.
Just what I was trying to say. You said it much more clearly. The trade show exhibits, and press releases are to send a signal to shareholders that they are on top of this. Every automaker, except Tesla, will be wise to spend as little money as they can on EVs until they get more info on whether buyers, and governments are serious about EVs. My impression from actually showing EVs to people, and talking to folks on the left and right of the political spectrum, is that EVs won't sell in any significant numbers until the environment gets much worse, by which time it will be far too late to matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I get the feeling that manufacturers are being pulled into this by china, GM made profit last year because of their partnership with china, that they dont really want to be here but also dont want to miss the tide. If battery tech changes in the next five years, it could open the floodgates. If it does not. were going to see a slow march, but remember, china will be bringing their ev cars to america. To stop this Trump is going to do what he does, act like trump.
 
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