3rd Gear: Hyundai Made A Nice Profit In The First Three Months Of 2021

Hyundai has been slightly less hurt by the global chip shortage than its rivals, though the more interesting story for me here is that Hyundai’s decision to run with Genesis has really paid off. Reuters reports that its profit almost tripled in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year.

In the quarter ended March 31, however, Hyundai was unscathed as people at home and the United States snapped up its high-margin sports-utility vehicles and premium Genesis cars as the coronavirus pandemic dragged on, fuelling car ownership.

Net profit surged 187% to 1.3 trillion won ($1.16 billion) from 463 billion a year earlier, when business slumped as countries shut down to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

This was in line with an average Refinitiv SmartEstimate. Revenue rose 8.2% to 27.4 trillion won.


The second quarter will likely be even better for Hyundai.

Hyundai is expected to report net profit of 1.4 trillion won for the April-June period, up 536% from the corresponding period a year earlier, Refinitiv SmartEstimate showed.


The second-quarter of last year, of course, is when lots of automakers shut down factories as the pandemic surged, so every automaker will probably show gains then there this year. Still, 536 percent.

4th Gear: The Mustang Mach-E Missed Out On A Top Safety Award

This is because of their headlights, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The newly launched 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge, a small SUV, qualifies for the TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation, the higher of the Institute’s two awards, while the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, a midsize SUV, earns the lower-tier TOP SAFETY PICK award.


The curve-adaptive LED reflector headlights installed on every XC40 Recharge earn a good rating. The SUV’s standard front crash prevention system also earns superior and advanced scores in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, respectively.

The Mach-E is available with good-rated LED projector headlights on the Premium, GT and First Edition trims, which qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK. However, the LED reflectors installed on the Select and California Route 1 trims are rated marginal, preventing the new Mustang from earning the “plus.” These headlights provided inadequate illumination on some curves.

The Mach-E also comes with a standard front crash prevention system that earns superior ratings in both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations.


To be fair, IIHS’s headlight ratings have tripped up many an automaker in recent years though that situation seems to be improving.

From USA Today in December:

IIHS testers have said that automakers were often guilty of installing headlights that were aimed at oncoming drivers or not aimed at the right place on the road, while others created too much glare or didn’t light up the road enough. In some cases, designers compromised on headlight performance for the sake of a slick look, IIHS has said.

When the IIHS first began assessing headlight performance in 2016, only two of the 95 models it tested received a “good” rating. In 2020, 85 of 185 models the organization tested were sold with “good” headlights on at least one trim level.


5th Gear: Jaguar Land Rover Temporarily Halting Production Because Of A Shortage Of, Well, Nevermind, You Know

From Reuters:

Output at two of Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR)(TAMO.NS) British car factories will be temporarily halted from Monday, due to COVID-19 supply chain disruption, including a lack of semi-conductors, the firm said on Thursday.

“We have adjusted production schedules for certain vehicles which means that our Castle Bromwich and Halewood manufacturing plants will be operating a limited period of non-production from Monday 26th April,” the Tata Motors-owned company said.


Do you have any spare semiconductors lying around? If so I have a business opportunity for you.

Reverse: Earth Day


When I was a kid it was all about saving the rainforests. We’ve been trying to save the Earth for way too long.

Neutral: How Are You?

One of the many pleasures the pandemic has robbed us of is the freedom to do a Michael Clayton and get in a yellow cab and hand over $20 and say, “Just drive.” Not that you can’t do that now, but, you know, it’s a little different.