Jaguar’s coming electrics are going to cost a lot of money, the used car market might finally (really) have peaked, and GM. All that and more in The Morning Shift for June 24, 2021.
1st Gear: Jaguar Will Take On Bentley And Porsche Instead Of Mercedes And BMW
Jaguar currently competes in the crowded luxury tier that is Merc, BMW, Audi, Acura, Volvo, Genesis, Lexus. Because I’m feeling charitable this morning, I’ll say Infiniti, Cadillac, and Lincoln as well. You know, cars that start at around $40,000 and go up in price as you add bells and whistles and size.
Well, according to Automotive News, Jaguar plans to leave all of those fools behind when it goes electric, pricing its cars in the six-figures and making a big move upmarket.
Jaguar’s new electric-only range of cars will start at about 100,000 pounds ($140,000), Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore told a British publication.
The cars will embody “modern luxury,” Jaguar says.
“Luxury starts not far from 100,000 pounds,” Bollore told Auto Express magazine in an interview.
JLR confirmed Bollore’s comments to Automotive News Europe.
In this new luxury tier is Porsche, Bentley, maybe even Aston Martin, though $140,000 is not quite in the top-tier of automakers like Rolls-Royce and Ferrari.
Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill & Driver Kit
Comes equipped with an LED which goes on when the trigger is pulled. You’ll a clear view of whatever you are drilling or screwing with minimal shadows.
To me, this move makes a lot of sense for Jaguar in that it is trying something completely different. The brand needed a shake-up. The XF is nice and all, but, like with Cadillac (which is also going electric but at a different price point), Jag’s current lineup never seemed capable of changing the company’s narrative. This most assuredly will.
2nd Gear: The Bonkers Used Market Might Have Finally, Actually Peaked
The used market has been overheated for months, because of new-car inventory being down and because as the pandemic eased lots of people that held off on buying a car during the pandemic are now in the market. We have seen some signs in recent weeks that the situation might be close to easing; on Thursday, Bloomberg also reckons that it will begin to ease.
The bellwether of the industry — the wholesale market where dealers buy and sell in bulk — has already topped out and prices of individual secondhand cars should follow in a matter of weeks, said Zo Rahim, industry analyst at Cox Automotive. Cox owns Manheim, the biggest U.S. auction house selling millions of vehicles every year.
“Wholesale prices as of right now are at their peak and should start to come down,” Rahim said. “We are seeing a decelerating pace of price increases in the first two weeks of June, compared to what has been just an absolute surge.”
Prices for individual vehicles typically track the wholesale market, but with a lag, he said. That likely means “a few more weeks of retail prices increasing, before they start to follow suit.”
Manheim’s wholesale index of used-vehicle value was 36 percent higher than a year earlier as of mid-June –- down from an annual rate above 50 percent in April. One effect of higher prices has been to push the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads up to a record 12.1 years in January.
Consider waiting if you want to buy a used car. Or, don’t, as, if we’ve learned anything over the past year and a half, life is short.
3rd Gear: GM Is Working With Shell On EV Charging
The two companies announced their plan Wednesday, which sounds pretty humble, at least at first.
The automaker and a Shell-owned power company, MP2 Energy LLC, are starting their joint project in Texas, where owners of GM electric cars can get free overnight charging this summer, the companies said Wednesday. The plan is to provide comprehensive energy programs to GM’s customers and supply chain partners, including fixed-rate home energy plans backed by 100 percent renewable energy.
The partnership follows a flurry of low-carbon ventures between energy producers and manufacturers across the globe, with their climate ambitions — including emissions by their customers — being scrutinized by investors and activists. Shell is under more immediate pressure than any of its Big Oil peers after a Dutch court last month ruled it must slash its emissions 45 percent by 2030.
The oil companies know that their business on the longest timeline will inevitably begin a terminal decline, if it hasn’t already. Time to lay some seeds for the next thing.
4th Gear: Volkswagen Wants A Stake In Europcar
The European car rental company — which Volkswagen used to own but sold 15 years ago — would be part of VW’s “long-term mobility vision.” I take that to mean VW wants to be able to get customers in cars in as many ways as possible.
Company sources told Reuters a year ago that VW wanted to buy back Europcar, which it sold to French financial investor Eurazeo (EURA.PA) in 2006 for 3.3 billion euros ($3.94 billion), including debt.
Europcar said on Wednesday it had rejected a takeover bid, without specifying the bidder, saying the 0.44 euro per share price offered was too low.
Company sources have suggested that Volkswagen could use Europcar’s network of rental stations to help it become a broader provider of different mobility options.
I’m not sure when I’ll ever buy into one of these new mobility things, since my default mode for 20 years has been “just buy a car.” From a business perspective, this makes plenty of sense. Diversify, the sage said.
5th Gear: Man Gets Job
Southwest Airlines will have a new CEO next February, after its current CEO, Gary Kelly, said he would step down. A Southwest executive named Bob Jordan will replace him. Two other executives, Tom Nealon and Mike Van de Ven, were also contenders for the job, according to The Wall Street Journal. Included among Southwest’s other senior leadership are guys named Mark, Alan, and Andrew.
“Bob inherits a solid strategy and great momentum to continue the airline’s recovery as the COVID pandemic wanes,” William Cunningham, Southwest’s lead director, said in a statement.
Incoming CEO Mr. Jordan has been with the company since 1988. Across a range of roles, he oversaw the AirTran Holdings Inc. acquisition, the development of a new e-commerce platform for Southwest’s website and the company’s Rapid Rewards loyalty program, the airline said.
Mr. Jordan said he plans to continue pursuing Southwest’s growth course, with new cities in its network and new planes on order.
“A lot of this is about executing the plans that we already have in place,” Mr. Jordan said in an interview.
It must be nice to get a high-paying job and then be like, “I’m going to keep doing what the other guy did.”
Reverse: We’re Not Alone
Neutral: How Are You?
I am going to drive a 1997 Volvo 850 T-5R this weekend that is part of Volvo’s heritage collection and it should be ace.