Each week TheDetroitBureau.com reports on the biggest news and events happening in the auto industry and relays those stories in its weekly the Headlight News podcast. The roundup includes news, features, reviews and more.
China is hitting its target for New Energy Vehicles, or NEVs, early — three years early, reveals Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein. Demand is growing so fast that battery-car sales are expected to hit 20% this year, three years ahead of the Beijing government’s target.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Intel Corp. is preparing to announce plans to invest $20 billion a new chip fabrication plant near Columbus, Ohio. The location is ideal for automakers, which have scores of production sites in nearby states;
- Ford may be getting ready to jump into the “great tailgate debate,” as patent drawings reveal the automaker has a multifunction tailgate on par with competitors like Chevrolet/GMC, Ram and Honda in the works;
- The exclusive club of automakers producing V-12-powered vehicles is about to lose another member: BMW. The Bavarian automaker announced it’s making The Final V12 vehicles based on the M760i xDrive;
- The not-so-exclusive club of automakers producing EVs just got another member: Automobili Pininfarina. The company just added two new U.S. dealers, bringing the total to nine. The company plans to begin selling its Battista hyper-GT this spring; and,
- Cadillac is expanding its V-Series line-up with the Escalade-V. The 2023 model will be revealed in a few months and gives GM’s luxury unit a competitor for similar performance utes from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and others.
While stocks of upstarts like Tesla have lit up Wall Street for much of the last two years, Ford shares lagged far behind, notes Executive Editor Joseph Szczesny. However, since Jim Farley’s ascension to CEO in October 2020, that’s changed. In the last 12 months alone, Ford stock is up more than 150 percent. The company’s market cap passed $100 billion for the first time ever last week, and most industry analysts are looking for further gains.
Fans of Mercedes-Benz iconic SL may be in for a bit of a surprise with the 2022 edition of the open-air coupe. We drove a Mercedes-AMG SL 55 through some California canyons as well as on some scenic highways and found it equally adept at handling both. Check out the review the TheDetroitBureau.com.
There are two things that make the auto industry go ‘round: products and money and TheDetroitBureau.com’s going to be writing plenty about both this week, says Managing Editor Michael Strong. Stories about the new Ford Bronco Raptor, Toyota Sequoia SUV come as we also get time with the new Kia EV6, Land Rover Defender and Toyota Tundra Max. Later in the week, Tesla reveals its Q4 and full-year earnings results.
Executive Editor Printz notes this week in 1934 the Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The Airflow models are the industry’s first unit-body, aerodynamic cars. But their streamlined styling and recessed headlights are too radical for the time, and sales prove meager. Also, in 1979, “The Dukes of Hazzard” debuted on CBS. While John Schneider and Tom Wopat held the lead roles, but it was the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger that was bright orange with the Confederate flag on the roof, is the star.