BYD Dethroned?, Ford Rides the Discount Train, Big Brand April Fools

April 2, 2024
The week is in full swing and Q1 results are starting to hit the news cycle. We take a look at BYD’s possible slide in Q1, Ford’s journey back to the discount aisle, and how big brands have leveraged the April Fools moment over the years.
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Show Notes with links:

China's BYD reports a significant first-quarter sales dip in 2024, indicating a possible shift in the global EV market leadership back to Tesla, amidst intensifying price wars and changing market dynamics.

  • BYD's first-quarter sales plummeted by 43% QoQ, while Tesla’s sales are expected to only fall by 5%, potentially relinquishing its status as the world's leading EV seller to Tesla.
  • Despite a year-on-year increase, the dramatic quarterly drop hints at Tesla's enduring dominance and the impact of competitive pricing in China.
  • Tesla's consistent performance, coupled with a strategic price war in the Chinese market, underscores the intense rivalry between the two EV giants.

Ford’s strategic price reductions on the 2023 Mustang Mach-E have ignited sales and slashed inventory, spotlighting the critical balance between EV affordability and manufacturer profitability.

  • Ford's discounts of up to $8,100 on 2023 Mustang Mach-E models have spurred sales, addressing the challenge of EV affordability. Despite these efforts, each sale still incurs a loss for Ford
  • In February, almost 3K Mach-E’s had sold, up 64% YoY
  • Since the introduction of discounts, the Mach-E's inventory movement has nearly tripled, though its turn rate of 33% still lags behind the industry average of 45%.
  • "We are getting a lot of customers who were always interested in an electric product but saw it as unaffordable," said Doug North, owner of North Brothers Ford.

From left-handed Whoppers to Velveeta night cream, history has seen its fair share of big brands taking part in the every popular April Fools games.

  • "In nationwide surveys, coffee drinkers told researchers the No. 1 complaint they have about their beloved drink is the way it stains," — Caribou Coffee, revealing the spoof behind Caribou Clear coffee (2014).
  • Some fun ones:
    • The Taco Liberty Bell (1996): Taco Bell fooled many by claiming to buy and rename the Liberty Bell, sparking a national stir.
    • Left-handed Whopper (1998): Burger King's prank aimed to cater to left-handers by rotating all condiments 180 degrees for easier handling.
    • Warby Barker (2012): Warby Parker's spoof claimed to launch a line of eyewear for dogs, complete with an Instagram account for adorable, bespectacled canines.
    • Caribou Clear coffee (2014)
    • Saucony changes name to Sock-a-knee (2023)

Paul J Daly: 0:00

Hey what's up? It is Tuesday. I feel like I don't know. I feel like it's like Thursday so much. This week already. It's April 2, talking about BYD being dethroned for driving the discount train and the big April Fool's joke that may have been on you. Probably that.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:31

Who knows less my kids even got an April fool's game last night. I was proud of them. You know, they Well, you

Paul J Daly: 0:38

gotta tell now. Yeah, they

Kyle Mountsier: 0:40

do. Well, so it was really my daughter. See? I don't know if she meant to. I still haven't figured this out yet. Oh, maybe

Paul J Daly: 0:49

that's because the best April Fool's joke ever. Right.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:52

So she and it wasn't on me. It was on her brother. She planted because we like the mailbox is like in a centralized location, the way all the new neighborhoods are doing it. Right. And so you go, she planted a coin, like two days prior on Saturday in the mailbox. Now, I don't know if this is April Fool's or just she was trying to get her brother. But she like opens up the mailbox. She's like that man, man put a coin in here. And he's like,

Paul J Daly: 1:20

I could just see his face.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:23

It was great. You guys April Fool's. It was amazing. I was so crushed.

Paul J Daly: 1:26

Okay. I don't think one single April Fool's joke has cracked in my house or not like I don't know. It's ever been a big thing. Practical Jokes.

Kyle Mountsier: 1:34

I appreciated your LinkedIn April Fool's.

Paul J Daly: 1:37

You know Michael Cirillo is what inspired that. I read his post and I was like, I gotta do one of the you gotta go for it. Yeah. And then I had Did you see Robin? This is picture dude

Kyle Mountsier: 1:50

sublime. I'm like, how do we find that screen? So

Paul J Daly: 1:54

who would have thought I would have got selected to be a next contestant. So you think you could say a believable than me? For

Kyle Mountsier: 2:00

sure. Yeah, you're gonna be doing head spins before you know it. You know?

Paul J Daly: 2:04

Do they do head spins on So You Think You Can Dance? What's that? Oh, yeah, I guess that is you know what? It's funny because

Kyle Mountsier: 2:11

there's so you watch. Dancing with the Stars. Son of God. I got Yeah, you are this close.

Paul J Daly: 2:19

For? What's that show called dancing show on TV. I was like, yeah. Okay. Yeah, that's that's a good match. Because we'll be more by speed this year.

Kyle Mountsier: 2:27

Things that are this close. It's not really a segue. But Paul, this this close is I think it's 42 days out from ASOTU CON right now, which is nuts. I can't wait for it. Everybody's come in ticket sales are pacing way up. The energy around it. The sponsors come in. The speakers are all pumped. We got Ben stock riding high for his day, we

Paul J Daly: 2:50

gotta check out the speaker list. It's ridiculous. It is so ridiculous when you have people from like, the very frontline of the dealership, all the way to Chairman of NADA people from automotive news, Steve Greenfield, when you have that whole mix. We have three m&a firms being represented. So we're talking about like, the height, the air game, and the ground game all at the same time in between.

Kyle Mountsier: 3:13

Gotta go check out the sessions and the speakers and get it all in Paul and I basically are trying to moderate as little as possible so we can pop into every single room this year. That's alright, that like we're just like, Can

Paul J Daly: 3:23

we get some popcorn too and hang out. It's always the saddest part of a soda con for me is knowing all the sessions that I missed. I can only be in one place at one time. But we also have I can't we're all going to be in one place at one time when it comes to keynote time. Brian buttstock closing out day one keynote, Danelle Delgado opening day one with a keynote. That name is probably one that sounds familiar to you. And then of course, we'll get Dara New York Times best seller author of unreasonable hospitality. We were with him in person last week. He's not going to disappoint. He's our closing keynote at all. He owned and ran the best restaurant in the entire world. That is not an exaggeration, literally. Literally. So gotta come bring some of the hospitality into the auto industry. What a special thanks to our partners Reynolds and Google goo for being the presenting sponsor making it all happen. Well, can our friends that will count having a breakfast on Tuesday more? I'm sorry? Yeah. Tuesday morning, once in Wednesday morning, the 15th Maryland auto dealer Association having their annual meeting in the morning of Thursday, May 16. By getting these days, right. Yeah, you got it. Yeah. So our friends that effective have a whole podcast stage going on with us. It's just gonna be so much fun. Oh, much practical, tactical things you can bring back to your store to make a real improvement. Speaking of making a real improvement. Hey, wait. This one surprised me. China's BYD is reporting a significant first quarter sales dip in 2024 indicating a possible shift in the global Evie market. And the leadership might be going back to Tesla amidst the intense Buying price wars. So their first quarter sales dropped by get this 43% quarter over quarter by Tesla sales are expected to only fall by 5%. So the overall markets dipping BYD down 43 Tesla went down five, potentially putting Tesla back in the number one spot, despite the year over year increase the dramatic quarterly drop hints at Tesla's like kind of endurance and dominance. They have been in the game for a long time, they do have a big customer base. And you know,

Kyle Mountsier: 5:29

and they got they got straight to pricing. I mean, I think they right away in China dropped the price like equivalent five or six grand US dollar, right? That's, that's an insane ability to go from like low 30s to mid 20s. Yeah, to get competitive in a market where you were losing the price war. This is again, this is like playing with house money is what Tesla is doing right now with the economy and with vehicle sales and price points. It's wild to me. Yeah,

Paul J Daly: 5:59

it's very wild. But I mean, I guess that's what happens when you are profitable out of the gate, or when you build a heavy profit structure in your business. Guess what? You have the flexibility to react fast react first. And I literally, I this one, it just surprised me. I didn't expect to see a potential shift, especially a

Kyle Mountsier: 6:16

40 40% drop. I wonder if there was some sort of incentive change or something like that in Asian countries where they're leading? I would have to look like that.

Paul J Daly: 6:24

I mean, it definitely does beg the question like is there like, you know, people talk about like currency manipulation and all these things going on. Like, is there just something going on with the way the vehicles are being sales are being reported the vehicles being pushed into the market? Right, like, I mean,

Kyle Mountsier: 6:37

well, and they've had like quality issues, you know, that a lot of people have called out Friday so you wonder if maybe this just like the market is realizing what the vehicle actually is. And moving back to Tesla, I don't know. It's just a we just report wild and question them, you know,

Paul J Daly: 6:51

right. What Uh, why would a wild ride? Give a wild ride?

Unknown: 6:54

Oh, yeah. Mustang wild

Paul J Daly: 6:57

ride, it's gotta go together. Must Asterix Asterix like a Barry Bonds homerun ball for strategic price reductions on 2023 Mustang Mach II may have ignited sales and slashed inventory. So basically, back to an affordability conversation. They've discounted their Maki, up to $8,100. We've been talking about this as they've been doing it on 2023 Mk II models, and guess what sales have been moving forward. As a result of February almost 3000 Maki's sold, which would be a 64% increase year over year. Since the introduction of the discounts, the inventory movement on the maki has nearly tripled. And its turn rate of 33% is still lagging behind the industry average of 45%. Here's a quote from a dealer Doug north of North brothers ford says we're getting a lot of customers who were always interested in an electric product. But see that solid is unaffordable. So man what a great, what a great again, awareness shift and Maki's hey,

Kyle Mountsier: 8:02

look if you can close some affordability gap and get that next layer of customer and that's what everybody's looking for with the Evie right now is what's the next layer of customer that we can assume that we can bring into the Evie market and removed from the ice market. And my guess is it is that next layer of affordability, it's not you know the longtail of apartment dwellers or multifamily homes, dwellers, it is people that have been excited or interested that haven't been able to afford it in that mid market price point. And with a Maki dropping at 100 bucks gets him a lot closer into that. You know, they still, you know, I don't think Chicago Mustang but that's just you in my opinion. We don't you know,

Paul J Daly: 8:42

we don't know. It's not just you, in my opinion. Every time I've posted about that or mentioned it, I've gotten a resounding like I know, right. Right. Yeah, it's not just our opinion.

Kyle Mountsier: 8:53

I think I think also the turn rate obviously increased and I think they I saw the stat was something like from the low one hundreds as far as day supply into the seven days of day supply. Yeah, so So definitely, you know, it's it's not just the turn rate, but also the availability in the market is getting a lot closer to where supply and demand typically sits in that 70 to 90 day supply on new cars. So that bodes well for for dealers that are looking to both offload these and not have the holding costs that they would expect from a nice

Paul J Daly: 9:25

car. It's a nice car. I read it one when I met you and loved it a little review. I really enjoyed driving the vehicle. Again, price point thing. Yeah, this if there's a lot of people that wanted one and now we're in one that's just gonna help. It's good to see congratulations for it. I'm excited for it. All right,

Unknown: 9:45

it's you know, segue to the speaking back

Paul J Daly: 9:47

to the beginning of the show talking about April Fool's

Kyle Mountsier: 9:51

hay from a left handed Whopper to Velveeta Night Cream history is seen as brands taking part in the ever popular April was games, we thought. So there was a great, great article just chronicling a whole bunch of different April Fool's jokes from big, big brands, some of which were, you know, quite clearly April fuzzy and some of which had maybe a little bit more believability to him. And so we wanted to look into him. One of my favorites in there was the 2014 caribou clear coffee where the PR stunt included a quote saying, in nationwide surveys, coffee drinkers told researchers and the number one complaint they have about their beloved drink is the way it stains and it with every good joke, there is some truth and reality. So kudos to them a couple more. In 1996. This one was actually like somewhat believable, and a lot of people kind of had a little uprising around it. Taco Bell, claimed to buy and rename the Liberty Bell, which was ridiculous. So then we had for all of our left handed friends out there, the left handed Whopper, which was very, very Burger King, in noting that they were going to rotate all of their condiments 180 degrees, for easy, easier left handed, handling. Warby Parker in 2012 spoof claim to launch a line of eyewear for dogs complete. This is what I love. This is the brand play. This is where we're gonna pull it down, right? Complete with an Instagram account for adorable dogs. With glasses on. Look,

Paul J Daly: 11:33

I think that's the worst thing you could turn into a real product. People are nuts about buying stuff for their dogs. I mean, when I was in San Francisco for NADA, like a few years ago, I was like, What is the deal with all these dogs with like, shoes on? Or socks or whatever? That's No, no, but I can see dogs walking around the glass that could actually turn into a product. There was an old I saw an old there was like a Chrysler ad, when they talked about the first convertible, you could leave open in the rain. And they had like this mechanical diagram or a blue air over the top to keep the rain out. I don't know. It's so much fun. Again, I just love brand stuff and the brands that get it right. Got it. Right. Well,

Kyle Mountsier: 12:08

and then I love the one so the one from last year that I absolutely loved. And I remember this one coming out was Saucony. The runner shoe brand.

Unknown: 12:18

Is that how you say it? Yeah, so. Exactly, exactly. I

Paul J Daly: 12:23

would say socity. Because I don't know.

Kyle Mountsier: 12:25

So they they said that they were going to change their name to SOC s. Okay, Ni, SOC, ni and it actually enabled them to get their name out and get their pronunciation right. So it was like a proposed brand play pronunciation. I think. Maybe we need to do one where we rename a soda to a soda.

Paul J Daly: 12:50

Yeah, that everybody could say or everybody could finally say it right or spell it right or I don't know. I don't know. We'll figure that is a great way to start Tuesday. It's a great way to start Tuesday. Hey, whatever you do it out there. We hope you care about some people, improve your business and go to ASOTU and just check out the speaker this video. We'll see you tomorrow.

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