Keeping Up

Tesla, Ford, VW, Nissan, and GM.
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Keeping Up

Tesla's Austin Gigafactory Concerns

  • Safety Issues: 1 in every 21 workers injured in 2022.
  • Incidents: Robot injures engineer; an explosion in casting machine.
  • Work Culture: Described as "ultra hardcore" by employees.

If the lottery had a 1:21 chance of winning, wouldn't you buy a ticket?

Ford's Battery Plant Scale-Back

  • Budget Reduction: From $3.5 billion to lower capacity.
  • Production Cut: 43% decrease to 20 gigawatt hours.
  • Jobs Impact: Reduced from 2,500 to 1,700.
  • Reasons: Slower EV adoption, high labor costs, supply chain and technology challenges.

20 GwH is about 200K EV battery packs. Unless 175K of those are some new affordable model they haven't told us about yet, we aren't sure what they will do to entice hesitant buyers.

Volkswagen's New EV Launch in China

  • Affordable EV Series: Starting at ~$20,000.
  • Market Competition: Tesla and BYD.
  • Strategy: Based on a locally developed platform.
  • Goal: Regain market position in China.

VW's presence in China comes to us in bits and pieces through news and announcements, and we never hear China's side of the conversation. Is this a "girlfriend in another school" situation or a "sold-out show in a different town" that we aren't getting the full effect of?

Nissan's UK Investment

  • Amount: $1.4 billion in UK plant.
  • Focus: Electric Qashqai and Juke models.
  • Job Creation: Supports 7,000 jobs in Sunderland and 30,000 in the supply chain.
  • Government Support: Aligns with the UK's foreign investment efforts.

Trying to keep track of who is investing in what where would require a Risk Board (known to normal people as a map) and a few days to sort things out (known to Risk fans as the time needed to play half a game of Risk)

GM's Cruise Relaunch Plans

  • Service Relaunch: In an undisclosed US city.
  • Focus: Bolt EV-based autonomous vehicles.
  • Origin Driverless Pod: Development on hold.
  • Financials: Over $8 billion in losses since 2016, some job cuts.
  • Aim: Improve safety and rebuild trust in technology.

Cruise: "Good news, everyone! The random car crash generator is back online, and we're not telling you where... so you won't be afraid..."

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