Toyota makes a Crown SUV and I hate it

A high quality crown

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter, Toyota wants to make a Crown SUV and Volkswagen. All this and more in The morning shift for April 14, 2022.

1st gear: Crown

The Toyota Crown is in its fifteenth generation, having been manufactured since 1955 in one form or anotherthe car of Japanese government officials, a bright diamond in the Toyota stable, a sedan of which even Mercedes and BMW could be jealous. So why not take advantage of all this history and create an SUV crown? Looks like that’s exactly what Toyota is planning.

Since Reuters:

The SUV – which will come in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric models – marks a bid to bring the 67-year-old Crown more in line with market trends as consumers shift away from sedans, the people said, declining to be identified because the information has not been made public.

Sales of the hybrid are expected from summer 2023 and will include exports to China and North America, while the plug-in hybrid is for the domestic market, they said.

The electric model is expected to launch in early 2024 and the automaker has yet to finalize export plans, two of the people said.

As part of the redesign, Toyota will also launch a completely redesigned sedan version of the Crown starting this summer, the people said.

Both the SUV and sedan will be manufactured at factories in Toyota City, Japan.

The Crown was sold in the United States until the mid-1970s, then we had the Corona Mark II, then we had the Cressida, and then Lexus got it all mixed up and we ended up with the Avalon. It seems perfectly fitting that when we get the Crown again, it’s going to be a dumb big SUV. I hate that.

2nd Gear: Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter

Tesla CEO and Twitter user Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter on Wednesday, the news of which fell on Thursday, in a deal worth around $43 billion. Just last week, news emerged that Elon had bought a substantial stake in Twitter.

Filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission is slightly unusual, though fun in its casualness. For example, in these messages apparently sent to Bret Taylor, the chairman of the board of directors of Twitter:

[SEND VIA TEXT]

As I stated this weekend, I believe the company should be private to go through the changes that need to be made.

After several days of reflection, I decided to buy the company and privatize it.

I’m going to send you an offer letter tonight, it will be public tomorrow morning.

Are you available to chat?

[VOICE SCRIPT]

1.Best and final:

aI don’t play back and forth.

bI went straight to the end.

c.It’s a high price and your shareholders will love it.

d. If the deal doesn’t work out, since I don’t trust management and don’t believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I will have to reconsider my position as a shareholder.

i.It’s not a threat, it’s just not a good investment without the changes that need to be made.

ii. And these changes will not happen without taking the company private.

2. My advisers and my team are available after receipt of the letter to answer all your questions

has. There will be more details in our public documents. After receiving the letter and reviewing the public documents, your team can call my family office with any questions.

“Ask your people to call my people” is a classic for sure. I hope the sale goes through and eventually kills Twitter for good. Some used – what else, Twitter – suggest that it’s some sort of pump and dump system, but I don’t think Elon thinks that far. He’s a purely rich guy who goes to a playground, enjoys it, decides he wants to buy it too.

3rd gear: Volkswagen made another big profit despite saying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine complicates matters

Volkswagen reported its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, and it performed quite well, as expected. The earnings announcement didn’t come without worrying about what the conflict in Ukraine would mean for VW’s business, of course.

Since Reuters:

Volkswagen warned on Thursday that it began to feel the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains and raw material prices in the first quarter, with longer-term effects on its business difficult to predict.

The company reported operating profit of 8.5 billion euros ($9.27 billion) for the first three months of the year, but noted that 3.5 billion euros was attributable to hedging raw materials in a context of soaring raw material prices.

Volkswagen shares were down 2.1% at 147.9 euros at 10:54 GMT.

Its operating return on sales jumped to 13.5% in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures, from 7.7% in the same period of 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages weighed heavily on the results.

Volkswagen will continue to do well until further notice.

4th gear: A self-driving car startup has very modest plans for South Carolina

AI Argowhich is primarily owned by Ford and Volkswagen, plans to spend all of the $2.6 million to develop some kind of testing facility in South Carolina, according to the Associated Press. The investment could create 40 new jobs.

A closed-course track will be built at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center for the development and testing of autonomous vehicle technology. Argo AI has additional closed circuit facilities in western Pennsylvania and Munich, Germany.

This will focus on highway speed testing as the company works towards self-driving business operations in multiple cities, according to the release.

“Argo AI’s new operation in Greenville County once again proves what so many already know: South Carolina is a premier destination for automotive companies,” Governor Henry said. McMaster.

Congratulation to all participants.

5th gear: Panasonic could try to wean itself off Tesla

Battery maker wants to build more batteries and diversify, according to the Financial Timesprobably also because Tesla has plans to manufacture its own batteries and maybe wean yourself off Panasonic. Yet the two seem inextricably linked.

Yuki Kusumi, a company veteran named chief executive last year, told the Financial Times in an interview that the company will invest 600 billion yen ($4.8 billion) in new growth areas over the next three months. coming years. Two-thirds of the spending will focus on EV batteries, supply chain software and air conditioners and the rest has been earmarked for the development of other new technologies, including hydrogen power.

Kusumi said Panasonic would prioritize the development of the 4680 lithium-ion battery, which has five times the energy capacity of current devices, at its plant in Wakayama, western Japan.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said the 4680, which isn’t expected to go into mass production until next year, will help bring the price of a Tesla car down to around $25,000. Tesla’s Model 3 starts at around $41,000.

For Panasonic, the battery represents an opportunity to diversify its customer base from Tesla. “If the 4680 is unmatched in performance and cost, manufacturers other than Tesla will eventually adopt it,” Kusumi said.

He added that the investment commitment in batteries for electric vehicles and other growth areas would “probably not be enough” to meet global demand.

I would argue that battery supply is the next real battleground for automakers, except that battle has been going on for quite some time.

Reverse: dogfight

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