American EV-maker Tesla posted smaller than expected sales for the third quarter of 2022, Toyota things America’s EV targets will be hard to meet and Stellantis says the chip shortage is here to stay, for now. All this and more in The Morning Shift for Monday October 3, 2022.
1st Gear: Delivery Delays Hit Tesla Sales
When you’ve been consistently posting impressive sales rises for years, people come to expect that from you at the end of every quarter. Well now, Tesla is starting to feel the squeeze after years of growth.
According to Reuters, the American carmaker sold fewer EVs than expected in its third quarter after “deliveries lagged way behind production due to logistic hurdles.”
“It produced a record 365,923 vehicles in the quarter and delivered a new high of 343,830 vehicles, compared to market expectation of 359,162
“Also, an unusual gap of more than 22,000 units between production and deliveries spooked investors even though Chief Executive Elon Musk vouched “steadier deliveries” in the current quarter to reduce last-minute rush.
“Tesla, which sees a delivery spurt toward the end of each quarter, said more of its new vehicles were in transit by the end of the third quarter.”
Tesla boss Elon Musk previously called for the firm to increase its deliveries by 50 percent every year. In order for the automaker to hit that goal in 2022, Tesla would have to ship more than 450,000 cars before the end of the year.
Maybe that’s why Musk says Tesla will build “almost 495,000 Model Y and Model 3” EVs in the final three months of 2022.
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2nd Gear: U.S. EV Targets ‘Hard to Achieve’ says Toyota
While Tesla has its now larger targets for EV sales, so too does the U.S. government. It hopes that by 2030, 50 percent of car sales will be zero-emissions vehicles, and California will go one further in 2035 with a ban on the sale of gas-powered cars altogether.
But these ambitious plans are already being thrown into doubt by Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda. According to Automotive News, the Toyota boss believes that the “ambitious targets” for electric vehicle sales set out in California and across the U.S. “will be hard to achieve by 2030 or 2035.” From Automotive News:
“Toyoda, in Las Vegas for the automaker’s annual dealer meeting, met with a handful of journalists to discuss carbon neutrality and the auto industry’s role in slowing global warming. He also addressed the impression that Toyota is behind in the race to bring EVs to market.
“EVs ‘are just going to take longer than the media would like us to believe,’ Toyoda told the dealers during their meeting. He pledged to offer the ‘widest possible’ array of powertrains to propel cars cleanly. ‘That’s our strategy, and we’re sticking to it,’ he said.”
Despite being hesitant about EV targets here in America, Toyota has committed to electrifying its range over the coming decade. The automaker recently pledged ¥8 trillion (about $70 billion) to electrify its lineup by 2030, half of that will be used to develop a BEV lineup.
3rd Gear: Chip Shortage is Here to Stay
Are you bored of hearing about the chip shortage? It feels like it’s been dragging on forever, with no end in sight — all while taking away car features and amping up waiting lists for new models in the process. But, if Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares is to be believed, we may be stuck with the shortfall for a little while longer.
Tavares believes the shortage of computer chips will continue to impact the auto industry well into 2023. In fact, he believes that the semiconductor supply chain will “remain tight until the end of next year.” Reuters reports:
“The head of carmaker Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, expects the semiconductor supply chain to remain tight until the end of next year, he said in an interview published on Sunday in French newspaper Le Parisien.
“‘The situation will remain very complicated until the end of 2023, then will ease a little,’ said Tavares, adding that ‘semiconductor manufacturers have an interest in making business with us again, especially as they’re raising prices’.”
In France, Stellantis was forced to close two factories that produce its Peugeot and Citroen models due to chip shortages, and those same supply chain constraints continue to impact sales. But on the brighter side of things, new car registrations in the country increased by 5 percent last month, but overall remain down nearly 12 percent in 2022.
4th Gear: Hyundai Posts ‘Record’ September Sales
Despite challenges across the supply chain continuing to affect automakers, Hyundai seems to have had a very good month this past September. The Korean car company saw its volume sales rise 11 percent last month, which it said reached “record retail volume.”
Automotive News reports that sales across Hyundai’s brands, which includes Kia and Genesis as well, rose in September. This came despite a new wave of “economic challenges” that threaten the recovery of the automotive sector.
“Hyundai volume rose 11 percent to 59,465 last month on what it said was record retail volume. The company has prioritized retail deliveries to maximize profits and leverage tight new car and light-truck stockpiles, forgoing fleet business nine consecutive months now.
“Hyundai said U.S. inventory stood at 24,919 units late last month, up from 19,209 as August closed but down slightly from 26,717 at the end of Sept. 2021.”
Across its businesses, Genesis saw sales grow 0.8 percent in September and Kia posted an increase 6.4 percent to 56,270 vehicles.
5th Gear: Self-Driving Car Company Mobileye to Go Public
If you want to get a slice of the self-driving pie, then now is your chance. Autonomous driving firm Mobileye has announced plans to go public with an initial public offering (IPO).
The Intel-backed self-driving startup was initially valued at $50 billion, before that figure was lowered “to around $30 billion,” according to The Verge. The company, which is based in Israel and was acquired by Intel in 2017, is known for developing the chips and software essential for autonomous vehicles.
“Mobileye’s SEC filing indicates steady revenue growth over the past few years, jumping from $879 million in 2019 to $967 million in 2020, and topping out at $1.4 billion in 2021. The filing doesn’t provide any information on how much a share could cost.
“Intel first announced its plans to take Mobileye public last year, with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger saying an IPO ‘provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders’.”
Funds earned through Mobileye’s IPO would be used to build more chip plants, according to Gelsinger. This would support the firm’s ambition to develop its own fleet of autonomous taxis.
Reverse: Atlantis Takes Flight
Neutral: What Would it Take to buy an EV?
I’m curious about Toyota’s claims that the EV targets here in America are too ambitious. What do you think? 2035 is quite a long way off, and it feels like the support and infrastructure needed to support EV adoption is gaining some momentum. In fact, there’s now 10 times as many EV charges as gas stations here in NYC, so change could be on the horizon.