Volkswagen has a real ambition for the ID Buzz EV bus

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Elon Musk goes to Germany, the Volkswagen ID Buzz looks good, and Avtovaz. All this and more in The morning shift for March 21, 2022.

1st Gear: VW thinks it will sell a lot of ID buzz

I’m not so sure that the Identification Buzz will be a great success, many because it seems to be a good car. Iyou too looks quirky, or at least presents itself that way, reminiscent of, of course, the Type 2, and quirky by definition isn’t mass market stuff, otherwise it wouldn’t be quirky, but, all that said, VW has always high hopes. This thing also happens in America.

He could to be the best EV we get in the US when it gets here in 2024, unless there’s a cheap EV on the market then, it’s not a high probability.

From Automotive News.

“We want to sell around 120,000 units a year,” Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Ralf Brandstaetter said during a live stream of the company’s fiscal and product outlook for 2022 and beyond.

The ID Buzz is the “most emotional” member of VW’s ID battery-electric car family, and has what it takes to become a bestseller, Brandstaetter said.

The Buzz ID has styling cues reminiscent of the Microbuswhich became an icon of the 1960s hippie era. Much attention was paid to the van’s two-tone paint scheme, retro-futuristic design and eco-friendly material selection in the interior.

“ID Buzz has been incredibly well received in the United States where it’s even a bit of a cult figure,” Brandstaetter said.

Advance orders for the ID Buzz are expected to begin in May, with deliveries expected to begin in Europe in September where it will be sold as a passenger vehicle and as a van version. the US will only get the long wheelbase version of the van, with deliveries starting in 2024.

The United States will only get the worst version of a good electric vehicle, that said. Ssounds about right.

2nd gear: dealers have problems with electric vehicles

Automotive news too has a delicious report after going to the National Automobile Dealers Association show in Las Vegas this month. Dealerships there were in a bad mood, reports Auto News, as they worry about their profit margins after the switch to electric vehicles.

Dealerships shouldn’t have to accept lower profits or a change in business model just because the powertrain is different, said Mike Sullivan, president of LAcarGuy dealerships in the Los Angeles area. Margins on electric vehicles at its stores aren’t significantly lower, he said.

“I’m not going to settle for smaller margins on the pretext that they’ll pay for my flooring or increase my co-op advertising,” Sullivan said during a panel discussion on electric vehicles at the Automotive News Retail Forum: NADA. “I think it leads to a very dangerous place if we go from 13 to 6%. I suspect the next call would be, ‘I bet we could get him off for 5.75 or 5 [percent].’ “

The concern is not theoretical, as brands such as Mercedes-Benz and Mini have asked dealers to accept lower margins on electric vehicles.

AAlso, someone said dealerships are best for EV consumers.

While many consumers have a good impression of the Tesla brand, they don’t necessarily prefer its consumer experience, said Mike Dovorany, vice president of automotive and mobility at Escalent, a market research firm. . He conducted an extensive survey of potential future buyers of electric vehicles on their ideal approach to buying and servicing vehicles.

“We actually took the elements of the Tesla approach and kind of stripped them out,” Dovorany said during a NADA Live session.

A big takeaway? The dealership model is good for mainstream consumers buying their first electric vehicle.

According to Escalent’s research, consumers said they love going to a dealership, having a human to interact with, and not having to schedule service solely through their phone.

It “really made us raise our hands and say, ‘Hey, I know there’s a lot of talk about moving to this kind of more Tesla-like approach, but when we talk to consumers…they tell us this is not their ideal experience,” Dovorany said.

And also the dealers are just worried in general.

Randy Hoffman, COO at Ed Morse Automotive Group, of Delray Beach, Fla., said the group has signed up for electric vehicles at each of its dealerships. Ed Morse has approximately 30 franchised dealerships in Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and Iowa.

“It’s an expensive business,” Hoffman said. “My concern with EVs is that technology is improving so quickly that what we invest in today could become obsolete within a few years.”

Resellers are just the grumpiest bunch, probably because they know deep down that they’re not essential.

3rd gear: Avtovaz

Avtovaz.

Russia’s main automaker Avtovaz said on Monday it was partially halting production at its Togliatti and Izhevsk plants from March 21-25 due to shortages of electronic parts.

Avtovaz, controlled by French automaker Renault (RENA.PA), has periodically halted production this month due to such shortages.

Renault produces two models – Logan and Sandero – for the Russian market in Izhevsk, as well as LADA models. Avtovaz said LADA’s Izhevsk plant will continue production of its Vesta model and vehicles from Renault’s B0 platform on March 21-22.

Avtovaz.

4th gear: Elon Musk goes to Berlin

from Tesla long, tortured, nightmare of a new factory in Germany is now, it seems, good to goand so there’s an opening ceremony and stuff on Tuesday, according to Automotive News. Tesla CEO Elon Musk will be in Germany for this, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will also be there.

Musk was heading to Berlin from Austin, Texas, Twitter user @ElonJet, who tracks the movements of Musk’s private jet, said Monday.

Musk plans to personally hand over the first factory-built Model Y cars to customers, according to German press.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is also due to attend the opening of the Gruenheide plant, 35 km southeast of Berlin.

Scholz will deliver a welcome speech at the opening ceremony, but there may be short-term changes due to the war in Ukraine, a government spokeswoman said.

The fact that the Chancellor shows up for the overture suggests that the overture itself was never really in doubt.

5th Gear: Trucking Automation

It’s been said that trucking in America is ripe for automation, that driving a truck is a dying blue-collar job, and that we should all freak out. I’m not sure that’s true, because I don’t think self-driving cars or trucks are a short-term thing. Always, a new study says 500,000 driver jobs could be at risk if this happens. The interesting thing here is that the study indicates that drivers will still be needed, but not for the tedious stretches on the highways.

From Bloomberg:

The biggest hurdle may be infrastructure. The short trip from a factory or distribution center to a highway is usually much more complicated than the next few hundred miles. The same is true once the machine leaves the highway. One solution is for trucking companies to set up transfer stations at each end, where human drivers handle the tricky first leg of the journey, then hitch their cargo to robotic platforms for the tedious middle part. Another station at the exit would divert freight to an analog truck for delivery.

Such a system, according to a new study from the University of Michigan, could replace about 90% of human driving in long-haul trucking in the United States, the equivalent of about 500,000 jobs.

“When we talked to truckers, literally everyone said, ‘Yeah, that part of the job can be automated,'” explained Aniruddh Mohan, a doctoral student in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and co-author of the study. . “We thought they would be a little more dubious.”

Backhand: Ayrton Senna Born

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