Take A Look: VW+Rivian, SK Fire, and Delorian EV

VW, Rivian, South Korea, DeLorean, Cox Auto, Cupholders and CarMax.
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Take A Look: VW+Rivian, SK Fire, and Delorian EV

There was a time when Rivian was like NASCAR; most people were only watching for the eventual crash. (Not us, no way. We watch for all those expertly executed left turns)

However, a few strong investments and strategic partnerships can really make (or break) a company.

Do you think Rivian will rise to the level of BYD and Tesla with this massive VW investment?


Volkswagen and Rivian: A $5 Billion EV Affair

Volkswagen is making a substantial investment in Rivian, with an initial $1 billion and an additional $4 billion to follow. This joint venture aims to integrate Rivian's cutting-edge EV technology into VW's extensive lineup, promising exciting developments for both companies.

  • Investment Breakdown: Initial $1 billion investment with an additional $4 billion over time.
  • Joint Venture: Co-owned by Rivian and VW Group.
  • Rivian R2 Launch: Targeted for 2026, priced at $45,000.
  • Technology Integration: Rivian's zonal architecture and software to be utilized across VW's brands.
  • Market Expansion: VW's global reach to help Rivian's technology reach a broader audience.

As electrification ramps up, partnerships like this highlight the importance of collaboration. Rivian’s innovative technology and VW’s extensive market reach could become an untamable force in the EV market.

However, with the cooling demand for EVs and ongoing software challenges, both will need all their talent and maybe some luck to make it count.

Battery Blaze: South Korea's Industrial Tragedy

A fire at Aricell's lithium battery factory in Hwaseong, South Korea, killed 23 people. The plant has been shut down for inspection as authorities investigate safety violations.

The fire quickly spread due to stored lithium batteries. This draws a circle around the need for updated safety practices as batteries become more common in the industry.

Aricell faces scrutiny over its safety measures and employing foreign workers without adequate training.

It’s never easy to talk about the loss of life; we only hope this tragedy is a wake-up call to those sleeping on the danger of not respecting these materials properly.

Back to the Future: DeLorean's EV Revival

Electrogenic has introduced a "plug and play" EV conversion kit for the classic DeLorean DMC-12. So if you have an extra DeLorean lying around, you can use the kit to transition it from the standard flux capacitor to a battery.

  • Battery Power: 43 kWh
  • Performance: 160 kW, 229 lb-ft torque, 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds
  • Tech Upgrades: Regenerative braking, virtual dashboard
  • Range: 150+ miles per full charge.

Enough for a trip to the past, but you’ll have to take the long way back to the future.

Extra: Cox Data, Cup holders, and CarMax


Cox’s Mid-Year Market Musings: Slowing but Steady

Cox Automotive's mid-year review says we’re sitting in a slowing economy and new vehicle supply is stabilizing. Check out this detailed forecast for the remainder of 2024.

Gimme the deets:

  • GDP Growth: Expected to be 2.1% for Q2 2024.
  • Employment: Unemployment at 4.0% in May 2024.
  • Consumer Sentiment: Dipped to 65.6 in June 2024.
  • Auto Finance: Average new auto loan rate increased to 10.01%.
  • New Vehicle Sales: Forecasted at 15.7 million for 2024, with a 2.9% rise in H1 2024.
  • Dealer Sentiment: Mixed feelings about the economy and vehicle market, with rising uncertainty due to upcoming elections.

Election Jitters: Auto Industry on Hold

Cox Automotive's report suggests the uncertainty in the US auto industry due to the upcoming presidential election. While new vehicle sales in H1 2024 rose by 2.9%, consumers are hesitant to make large purchases amid economic unpredictability. Inflation remains a top concern for both consumers and dealers.

Why the worry?

  • Economic Uncertainty: Upcoming presidential election affecting consumer confidence.
  • Inflation Worries: Top concern for 74% of consumers and 81% of dealers.
  • Consumer Hesitation: Many are waiting for potential post-election changes in interest rates and economic conditions.

Broader Implications

The automotive industry faces a complex landscape with mixed economic signals and significant political uncertainty. As the market adapts to these challenges, dealers and consumers must navigate this evolving environment cautiously.

King of Cups: Mercedes eSprinter

Thirsty? The new Mercedes eSprinter cargo van has a staggering ten cupholders for two seats, breaking records with five cupholders per passenger. This electric van, designed for practicality and convenience, showcases the automaker's attention to detail in enhancing user experience.

CarMax: Sales Dip, but Margins are Strong

CarMax's data is sometimes a microcosm of the industry so when they drop their reports, we give em' a look.

  • Retail Used Unit Sales: Down 3.1%
  • Comparable Store Sales: Down 3.8%
  • Wholesale Units: Down 8.3%
  • Gross Profit per Retail Used Unit: $2,347
  • Gross Profit per Wholesale Unit: $1,064 (a record high)
  • Vehicles Sourced from Dealers: 35,000 (again, a record high)
  • CarMax Auto Finance Income: Up 7%

What does it mean for the rest of us?

  • Strong Margins: Despite sales declines, profit margins per unit remain robust.
  • Operational Resilience: Increased sourcing and finance income demonstrate effective management.
  • Market Position: CarMax maintains strong profitability and strategic sourcing amid challenging market conditions.


You can tell a lot about a person by what they have in their car. Trunk, floorboard, cup holder. Time to confess:

What's in your cup holder?

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