Chevy Bolt Hits Reset

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Photo: Chevy

Chevy says bolts are good now, Hummer EV buyers seem insufferable and VinFast. All this and more in The morning shift for April 7, 2022.

1st Gear: Bolt

The Chevy Bolt, like you will remember, was subject to a massive recall last year due to a potential fire related to its batteries. This was very inconvenient for GM, which then and now tries to convince everyone that electricity is the future.

Well, Chevy now says it has fixed the issues with the Bolt batteries. Chevy thinks you should buy a Bolt now, in fact, and runs a few mom-oriented ads to hype the car.

From Automotive News:

The ads are designed to “get the broader Chevrolet EV message across,” Steve Majoros, chief marketing officer for Chevrolet, told reporters on Wednesday.

They will debut on opening day of the Major League Baseball season. One ad, titled “Mom”, shows a driver talking with his mother on the phone for almost an hour with enough battery life in his Bolt. The other, titled “Life Changes”, shows a Bolt technician explaining the ease of owning an electric vehicle to an expectant mother.

The two spots will “ease the angst of electric vehicle owners,” Majoros said.

Chevy restarted Bolt production and began shipping the vehicles to dealers this week after resolving the recall, which was linked to a fault in batteries supplied by LG Energy Solution. About 800 units from dealer stock are salable this month, Majoros said.

The new advertisements will not address the recall, Majoros said.

“We are not minimizing or making light of the situation. We will always be humble. We are going to be sensitive,” he said. “But we’re not going to exaggerate that. We worked a lot with… our owners.

Although the Bolt was a disaster for Chevy, I’m surprised how little the situation has dampened the momentum of electric vehicles, because all automakers and most governments still seem to be moving forward at all steam. GM too, apparently convinced that this is an isolated problem. Either way, we’re now at the point where we can all pretend it never happened.

2nd gear: Hummer EV

The GMC Hummer EV comes in two versions, a pickup, which some customers already own, and an SUV version, which is coming next year. The Edition 1 pickup, for which reservations are full, starts at $110,295, but according to Automotive Newsbuyers charge it with accessories on top of that, which perhaps isn’t surprising since when you spend $110,295 on something, that’s about $5,000 more between friends.

“Every Hummer is loaded. Every one,” said Howard Drake, master dealer at Buick-GMC Sherman Oaks in Southern California.

Almost every Drake 17 Hummer Edition 1 customer spent $4,000 on an exterior light package and the retractable bed cover. That’s on top of the price of $112,595 including shipping.

Many customers have also purchased the tailgate audio system and a kit to store the Hummer’s roof panels in the front eTrunk.

Drake’s dealership is located near Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California. Most of his early Hummer buyers are household names, including celebrity chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck.

More than 66,000 lesser-known consumers have reserved a place in the queue for the Hummer EV pickup or SUV, which will go on sale in 2023. GMC says there is enough demand to cover production through 2024.

From December to March, General Motors delivered 100 Hummer pickup trucks, and the vehicle “runs a lot richer than we thought it would,” Duncan Aldred, global vice president of Buick and GMC, told Automotive News during a campaign media last month in Scottsdale, Arizona. “It went well for everyone.”

I also appreciated this bit of historical context:

The accessory frenzy is reminiscent of how buyers of the former gas-guzzling Hummer brand jumped at opportunities to customize their trucks, said Will Churchill, co-owner of Frank Kent Motor Co. in Arlington, Texas.

“We were a Hummer dealership back when the Hummer was originally, and it was an accessory monster,” he said.

Those of us old enough to remember the original Hummer remember that its buyers were aliens, basically, because who wants a big gas guzzler in an age of skyrocketing gas prices. Buyers of the new Hummer seem similar in that they’re not really aliens, just stupidly rich.

3rd Gear: The Biden administration had a new Confab with automakers

This time it included Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla, who has already been seen feel very left out that the Biden administration did not count him or his company among the cool kids. Those days appear to be over, after Musk was included in a meeting with White House officials on Wednesday.

From Reuters:

The Biden administration said senior officials held a meeting on Wednesday with top auto executives, including Tesla (TSLA.O) chief executive Elon Musk and General Motors (GM.N) chief executive. ), Mary Barra, to discuss electric vehicles and charging.

The administration said in a statement “there is broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles should be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you’re driving or where. where you charge your electric vehicle”.

Well, looks like everyone was there.

Ford Motor CEO Jim Farley, Chrysler CEO Stellantis Carlos Tavares, Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson and Nissan Americas President Jeremie Papin were among other auto executives who took part at Wednesday’s meeting, which discussed US funding to “create a national network of 500,000 chargers.” .”

Also in attendance were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.

Executives from Hyundai Motor America, Subaru of America, Mazda North America, Toyota Motor North America Mercedes-Benz USA and Kia Motors America also participated.

I guess what was said was something along the lines of “We need more amirite magazines?!” and lots of grunts in agreement.

4th gear: Tesla is hosting what’s called a “cyber rodeo” in Texas today

It looks like heaven or hell, depending on your persuasion.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Tesla Inc. is set to open the doors of its new Austin-area auto assembly plant on Thursday, less than a month after opening a similar plant in Germany.

The event, dubbed the “Cyber ​​Rodeo,” is a homecoming for Tesla, which last year moved its headquarters to the Austin area from Palo Alto, Calif. The event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. local time, and chief executive Elon Musk said he plans to speak around 9 p.m. The rally’s title borrows from the name of Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck electric pickup, which the company has announced plans to manufacture in Texas.

The will also be a live stream of the eventif you like that.

5th gear: VinFast goes public

VinFast is a Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer that has been making a lot of noise lately, with the announcement last month that it would build a factory in North Carolina. He said on Thursday he was filing for a U.S. initial public offering, apparently the latest to try to capitalize on market fervor for electric vehicles, originally powered by Tesla.

From Reuters:

A source familiar with the matter said VinFast would likely seek to raise around $2 billion from the offering.

“VinFast is moving forward with its plans but the IPO timeline is very open,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “There must be a window to do the IPO and it could easily take a few months.”

A unit of Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup JSC (VIC.HM), Vinfast said it had not determined the size and price range of the IPO.

“There are options to look at. We are still considering many options,” chief executive Le Thi Thu Thuy told reporters on the sidelines of an event to showcase the company’s new VF8 battery-powered SUV.

She said the IPO was planned for the second half of this year as an option to fund a planned plant in North Carolina and expansion into the United States.

Someone from VinFast emailed me twice to meet me at the New York Auto Show next week and, you know what, I could do it.

Reverse: Walt Hansgen

Hansgen died on this day in 1966, five days after crashing during testing at Le Mans. He also drove in Formula 1 and finished twice in the Indianapolis 500. IPU:

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Screenshot: The New York Times

Neutral: How are you?

It’s finally, truly springtime in New York City, which means temperatures are in the high 50s and rain is forecast for most of the day.