Thursday with Friends

Carvana, Daimler Truck, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, and China.
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5 Minutes of Fresh Perspective

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Thursday with Friends

Some things are hard to communicate, like the gratitude you feel for somebody who has treated you like a true friend. I personally find it hard to communicate that things are best communicated by talking simpler, not smarter. Just say, “You’re a good friend, and my life is better because you are in it.”

Is it more awkward? Sure. But is the important thing said? Absolutely!


Carvana Q1 Data

Carvana's Q1 2024 report indicates a promising surge in used EV sales as prices align closer with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

  • Price Trends: The average sale price for used EVs dropped from $37,000 in Q1 2023 to $31,000 in Q1 2024.
  • Price Comparison: The difference between used EVs and traditional vehicles decreased from $13,000 to $7,000.
  • Sales Growth: Used EVs accounted for 4.3% of Carvana's total sales, marking an all-time high.
  • Federal Incentives: Up to $4,000 in federal tax credits for used EVs have enhanced affordability, boosting sales.
  • Popular Models: The Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3, and Chevy Volt are the top sellers, with significant contributions from the BMW i3 and Volkswagen e-Golf.

Automaker Updates: Self-Driving Trucks, Paywalls, and Investments

  • Daimler Truck plans to launch driverless semi-trucks by 2027, utilizing technology from Waymo and Torc. The fully autonomous, electric Freightliner eCascadia could revolutionize freight hauling across the Southwest US.

Of course, it COULD revolutionize the agony of sharing the highway with semis.

  • Hyundai is talking in-car subscriptions in Europe, and we are tired of listening. Their "Features-on-Demand" will allow users to pay for vehicle capabilities, such as software improvements for older models.

With companies like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes trying the subscription model, Kia will be the first brand whose locked features make drivers say, "Yeah, that makes sense, actually."

  • BMW anticipates a slight decline in its pre-tax profit in 2024, attributed to increased expenses in research, development, and personnel, alongside lower used car prices.  

Trying to outspend China is easy; trying to return on those investments is... eh?

  • Toyota is channeling its record $34.5 billion profit into the future, investing heavily in electric vehicles and AI technology to stay competitive.

Toyota is going to somehow single-handedly make hydrogen and self-driving AI a real thing while everybody else panics about selling EVs in China.

Chinese Competition Gets More Complicated

The EV market is shifting as Chinese companies, led by BYD, challenge Western automakers in the global market. As the world's top EV maker, BYD's affordable and innovative models are reshaping industry dynamics, aided by robust government support and advanced technology.

Meanwhile, Western companies, including Mercedes-Benz, caution against restrictive trade policies with China, emphasizing the importance of this vast market.

The debate over trade policies, including potential tariffs by the EU and the U.S., underscores the complex interplay between national security, market competition, and technological leadership in the EV sector. As competition intensifies, Chinese and Western automakers navigate a landscape marked by regulatory challenges and shifting consumer preferences.

It seems that the shadow of the US attempt to prioritize American automakers is that Chinese automakers could still make a dramatic impact in the US market by dominating their local market and its resources. Benefits US automakers do not have as much of with current manufacturing, sourcing, and importing rules in place.


We gotta ask; How do you feel about sharing the road with driverless cargo trucks?

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