Tesla Is the Rock Fiat Will Lean On to Skate by EU Regulation: Report

Photo: Fiat
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Fiat and Tesla are helping each other out in the name of emissions regulations, Toyota’s trucks will soon be on one platform, and Ram has outsold Silverado, for now. All this and more in The Morning Shift for Monday, April 8, 2019.

1st Gear: Fiat Needs Help From Tesla Because It Can’t hang In The European Union Alone

Fiat is planning to pay Tesla a bunch of money to pool its cars with Teslas to comply with EU emissions regulations, reports Bloomberg:

Tightening EU regulations that kick in next year could cost Fiat 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in potential fines in each of 2020 and 2021, according to Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois. In a statement, Fiat said cooperating with Tesla will give it flexibility to find “the lowest-cost approach.”

The Italian-American carmaker is behind on meeting the new standard, and the so-called open pool option available at the EU allows automakers to group their fleets together to meet the targets. Payments to Tesla, whose electric cars don’t produce CO2 emissions, may amount to over 500 million euros, according to Jefferies. Compliance has gotten harder for automakers with a move by consumers toward gasoline cars, which emit comparatively more CO2, since Volkswagen’s 2015 diesel-cheating scandal.

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If you’re curious, this isn’t just Fiat being sad. Even Toyota and Mazda are pooling together on emissions.

This feels very 2019.

2nd Gear: Rams Outsold Silverados

Ram has been third for forever, mostly because if you’re a Ford guy you tend to always buy F-150s, likewise with Silverados and Rams.

Per Automotive News:

As FCA launched its redesigned Ram 1500 last year, it continued to build the previous-generation model, dubbed the “Classic,” to avoid any potential dips in production during launch — and to eat into Chevy’s lead. The gamble appears to have paid off.

Ram sold 120,026 pickups in the first quarter, while Chevrolet dealers moved 114,313 Silverados. Wind the clock back one year, and Chevy’s lead looked almost unassailable: 135,545 Silverados were sold in the first three months of 2018 compared with Ram’s 103,964. Ford’s F series, gunning for its 43rd consecutive yearly sales crown, barely changed, going from 214,191 in the same period in 2018 to 214,611 this year.

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But! These little quarterly wins are hard to see too much into. If you pool in GMC sales with the Silverado, you end up ahead of Ram, and these oscillations can also be short lived. Remember it was only a few months ago that the Ram pipped the Silverado once before, via the Detroit Free Press last October:

Like a vehicle in your sideview mirror, though, the Ram 1500 may appear larger than it actually is, thanks to a fluke that has allowed FCA to keep building the old ’18 model at full speed while adding production of the new 2019.

Despite the two-month blip, Silverado leads Ram by 48,820 sales for the year. Chevy’s No. 2 spot in the industry behind the Ford F-150 should be safe for the foreseeable future.

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3rd Gear: Toyota’s Pickups Will Be on the Same Platform Soon

A lot of automakers are doing this these days, a way to consolidate costs, and also an admission that styling isn’t most consumers’ priority. People want fuel mileage (sort of), and size (definitely), and lift (definitely), and historical reliability (which the Japanese manufacturers have in spades). And hence, via Automotive News:

Toyota’s next-generation full-size Tundra and midsize Tacoma pickups will share a common platform — internally called F1 — that the Japanese automaker plans to spread to all of its pickups globally, Automotive News has learned.

The strategy closely mimics that used by Toyota in recent years with its unibody Toyota New Global Architecture, which allows it to build a range of models including the Corolla compact sedan, Avalon large car and RAV4 compact crossover using common parts on a single platform for greater efficiency.

[...]

Sources within Toyota say development of the shared-platform pickups is near completion and could be introduced as early as next year for 2021 models. Details of what the shared platform will mean, in terms of design or potential features, remains unknown.

A spokesman for Toyota Motor North America declined to comment on the shared-platform pickup strategy, saying Toyota does not discuss future product.

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The AN report claims that this will be a global move, but doesn’t mention the Hilux by name, leaving a little bit of uncertainty about the Other Toyota with a bed in the back.

This is all kind of boring in the end. You buy a Toyota truck and then you have a Toyota truck, which you drive to your white-collar 9-to-5. It’s the ‘80s all over again.

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4th Gear: Brexit Is Hurting Jaguar

The economic suicide that is Brexit has already had an effect on a bunch of British companies, including Jaguar, which shut its factories for five days today partially in response.

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Per Reuters:

The move by Britain’s biggest carmaker, to prepare for any disruption resulting from Brexit, was taken a few months ago at a time when the departure date - since extended to April 12 - was March 29.

Automotive firms face a number of possible risks under a disorderly Brexit, including delays to the supply of ports and finished models, new customs bureaucracy, the need to recertify models and an up to 10 percent tariff on finished vehicles.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to obtain a longer extension have also ruined contingency plans for some of them.

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5th Gear: It’s Going to Cost You to Bring Your Old Car Into London

The percentage of Jalopnik readers this item will affect is vanishingly small, but I am here to note it anyway, in part because New York City is doing something similar. Congestion pricing is here to stay, in other words. In London, that means now that bad old polluting cars will have to pay more to drive into the city.

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How much? Twelve and a half pounds, or about $16, per Reuters:

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge generally affects petrol cars which were first registered prior to 2006 and diesel models from roughly September 2015 and beforehand.

During the daytime from Monday to Friday, most motorists must also foot an 11.50-pound congestion charge to enter the same area, which spans King’s Cross in the north, the City in the east, the Imperial War Museum in the south and Buckingham Palace in the west.

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Driving in European cities is a total nightmare anyway, I highly do not recommend.

Reverse: Darrell Waltrip

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Neutral: What Is Tesla?

It’s a car company, I guess, but it’s also an emissions compliance company for the rest of the auto industry. Or maybe it’s a battery tech developer? A font for bad tweets?

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About the author

Erik Shilling

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.