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Concept Cars Pretend They Can Fight Covid Now

Illustration for article titled Concept Cars Pretend They Can Fight Covid Now
Illustration: Yanfeng
The Morning ShiftAll your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn't your time more important?

It used to be that concept cars pretended that they could drive themselves, or run off nuclear power. Now they pretend they can cleanse themselves of germs, because that’s the world we live in. All that and more in The Morning Shift for October 9, 2020.

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1st Gear: What A Dream, Right?

Because we have been unable to put the brakes on national economies, I guess this is where we’re at: individual cars are somehow supposed to keep you safe, as opposed to universal healthcare, contact tracing, government-supported paid leave, and highly-encouraged mask usage. Nope! Cars with UV lights is what we’re supposed to look forward to, as Automotive News reports:

Interior supplier Yanfeng has revealed its next step in its effort to attack germs including COVID-19 inside cars.

The China-based company’s Experience in Motion 2021 Shared (XiM21S) concept, which is due early next year, will include two ways to battle bugs, Yanfeng Technology Chief Technology Officer Han Hendriks told Automotive News Europe.

The first solution is applying anti-bacterial coatings to kill germs on high-touch areas such as handles.

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The most depressing thing about this is it’s not even new. The company first showed off this UV cleaning idea last autumn.

2nd Gear: This Is What Happens When We Don’t Support The Economy Going On Pause

Southwest has declared that it’s a “mandate” that it expand service to new markets and get more people flying into more distant and remote parts of the country. I would kindly suggest: do not.

Via Bloomberg:

Expanding into new markets “is really a mandate” as the carrier seeks new customers amid the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said Thursday. He announced new seasonal service to Montrose, Colorado, which is near ski resorts in Telluride, and set Nov. 15 as the starting date for Southwest’s previously disclosed debut in Miami and Palm Springs, California.

[...]

“It’s exciting to take the fight to the competition and put idle aircraft and overstaffed employees to work,” Kelly said in a video message to employees. “Fortunately, our route map still has dozens of airports for growth with 737s. We’ll pursue these opportunities aggressively but not recklessly, and in every case they must meet our cash-flow threshold and contribute to our recovery.”

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I get Southwest’s position. It has all these employees it has to pay and it has to get that business someway, somehow. What would be a nice alternative would be the government paying those employees not to ferry potentially sick people to new places in little flying tubes.

3rd Gear: Ford Working From Home Into Next Summer

I don’t know when I’m going to see an office next, but for tens of thousands of Ford employees, it’s going to be a good long while, as The Detroit News reports:

Ford Motor Co.’s tens of thousand of white-collar workers in North America will continue working from home through at least next June.

The announcement Thursday is an extension of a remote-work policy the Dearborn automaker put in place near the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March. It follows General Motors Co.’s decision in early September to extend its work-from-home policy for most office workers until the end of June.

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4th Gear: BMW Would Like To Remind You Brexit Will Trash Their Business

I don’t exactly know why BMW is pressing this issue. Are we meant to feel bad for BMW? Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound great, as Automotive News reports:

BMW CFO Nicolas Peter on Thursday said Britain’s separation from the European Union could cost carmakers and suppliers up to $13 billion unless cross-border trade remains tariff-free and unbureaucratic.

BMW has spent a low double-digit million dollar amount this year to prepare for Brexit, Peter told journalists during a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday.

“The auto industry association ACEA has estimated that it could cost carmakers and suppliers 10 to 11 billion euros ($11.7 billion to $12.9 billion),” Peter said.

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5th Gear: I’m Very Amped At This Car Startup’s Name

I am just very happy that there’s a car company out there called “Human Horizons,” which really stretches the genre. Its first car is the HiPhil X, which must be nice if you’re named Phil. Via AutoNews China:

Human Horizons, the electric vehicle startup created by two former executives at General Motors’ joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., used the Beijing auto show to formally introduce its first model.

The HiPhil X is being positioned as a sporty electric SUV under the premium brand for connected EVs.

[...]

Human Horizons was established in Shanghai in 2017 by Ding Lei and Phil Murtaugh, two former senior executives at SAIC-GM.

The company plans to start production of the HiPhi X in the east China city of Yancheng at the end of the year. The vehicle is slated to go on sale in the first half of next year.

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Reverse: My Favorite Lamborghini

Via Lamborghini:

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Lamborghini Urraco, unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in late October 1970. This model immediately stood out for having introduced technical solutions that were very innovative for the time, thanks to the contribution of engineer Paolo Stanzani, the technical father of the Urraco and Lamborghini’s Chief Technical Officer at the time. The styling of the project was entrusted to renowned designer Marcello Gandini, who in that period was principal designer for Carrozzeria Bertone.

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Neutral: How Has Your Week Been With Covid?

Brooklyn is once more flaring up, so that is nice.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

Neutral:

I gotta fly to Florida in 10 days for a few unavoidable reasons. I payed almost triple to fly direct w/Delta versus Spirit (or having a layover in ATL) because of the the cleaning protocols and the no-middle seat policy. Still, I have to admit I’m pretty fucking nervous. That’s not even taking into account that I’ll be in Florida for 3 weeks. Eeesh.