Not-so-VinFast, Decentralized Power, $40M Pay Cut

January 16, 2023
Welcome to a beautiful week in Retail Auto. This morning we’re talking about some less than flattering reviews of the new VF8, a partnership to leverage EV tech to put power back into the grid, as well as a pay cut for the CEO of one of the world's biggest companies.
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Welcome to a beautiful week in Retail Auto. This morning we’re talking about some less than flattering reviews of the new VF8, a partnership to leverage EV tech to put power back into the grid, as well as a pay cut for the CEO of one of the world's biggest companies.

  • As Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast gears up to begin US  Deliveries, the pricing and specs of their first crossover, the VF8, is already being met with a variety of consumer resistance
  • FIrst is the price coming in at $56,700 for a vehicle that has a battery range of only 179 miles from a sizable 82 kw battery
  • To compare Hyundai Ioniq 5 has 266 miles of range and starts just over $42k
  • Other EVs, such as the Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID4, and Ford Mustang Mach-E also have higher range at lower prices
  • Customers also seem to be confused about the battery leasing model which is separate from the vehicle lease and based on miles driven
  • Reviews from CES test drives have been less than flattering with one YouTuber titling their video "I Drive the VinFast VF 8 for the First Time! And I Really Wish I Didn't," as they talk about looks, missing items, the UI, and a bit of a rattle with a 3 out of 10 “livable, driveable”
  • In comparison, the Chevy Bolt costs about half as much and has over 200 miles of range
  • Ford, GM, and…Google are teaming up promote the advancement and adoption of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) to help take strain off power grids during peak demands and emergencies
  • With permission from customers, the tech pools together 1000s of decentralized energy resources like electric vehicles or electric heaters controlled by smart thermostats.
  • Switch thousands of households' batteries, like those in EVs, from charge to discharge mode or prompting electricity-using devices, such as water heaters, to back off their consumption
  • RMI estimates that by 2030, VPPs could reduce U.S. peak demand by 60 gigawatts, the avg consumption of 50 million households, and by more than 200 GW by 2050
  • VPPs have already improved grid reliability in such countries as Germany and Australia and in some U.S. states
  • We’ve been hearing a lot about scaling back in these recent days and not to be left out, Apple CEO Tim Cook requested a 40% ish pay cut from th $98M he made in 2022
  • According to an investor statement, Cook’s target salary will be about $49M as the company has seen a YoY sales decline
  • $3M base, $6M cash incentive and the rest in stock awards
  • Other costs: in 2017 the company made it mandatory that Cook travels by private jet for security and efficiency reasons
  • Over $500k on security and over $730k in private jet fees (146 hrs a

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vehicle, people, range, private jet, power, battery, power plants, power grid, week, calls, gigawatts, brand, drive, big, reviewed, ceo, pay, day, problem, cut


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:27

Hey, it's Monday. Welcome to Monday. Monday retail auto industry. Today we're talking about vinfast actually getting reviewed real for real decentralized power and a $40 million pay cut the people who is and who Id they stopped for it. It

Kyle Mountsier  00:44

made me feel queasy inside the way you said it the way you said it

Paul Daly  00:52

for one person to one dude, not we're not talking like corporate earnings cuts. I'm talking the personal economy of one man's cuts. We'll see. I don't think we're gonna get too much sympathy, though, even when we talk about it a little bit. Not a big, it's the must be nice factor. Oh, it was really nice to lose 40 million, right? Yeah, you start to complain about paying taxes, right? Well, it must be nice to have a lot of taxes to pay right. away to start it started out with some changes. First of all, are so to con Instagram account, if you're not following it. Or if you aren't following it, you notice some changes, we started, we transitioned it to asoto events. So whenever we're doing an event, it's going to be landing on this Instagram account, which is cool. It doesn't jam up our standard asoto feed where we'd like to have news and commentary and insights. Instead, we're going to focus on events have all the little story features. So you can go back and see like day one, day two day three of us total count if you want. And obviously we're gonna test this sucker out in just 10 days. And

Kyle Mountsier  01:54

Hey, speaking of rebranding,

Paul Daly  01:55

oh shoot to segue in

Kyle Mountsier  01:59

an intro, so, so interesting. We started a Saturday email on if you knew this, Paul, two weeks ago, I and And originally, we're like our daily push back and then we're like, no, no, this thing needs a whole brand of its own because it's a little bit of a refresh. It's a little bit of a recharge, we've read it, it recharges it's got a whole new different look a little bit than feels if you're waking up on a Saturday, and you're looking in your email and you see one from us. Don't be surprised Don't be alarmed. And what we're going to try and do is feature a lot of people around the automotive industry so you see 52 features this year of people in our industry that are doing really cool things are just great. Yeah, they're just great. Great. So a little bit of a fresh longer read less news recap of the week and

Paul Daly  02:47

no acronyms you know acronyms we promise on Saturdays. Oh, acronyms, no math problems. The bottom of the bottom there. How do we even talk to each other? If you don't use it activate? I don't know what to say.

Kyle Mountsier  03:03

I would say I miss every fourth word. Well,

Paul Daly  03:07

at this time tomorrow, ye you owl Nathan we will all be on the ground production team rollin heavy, or pre production team rollin heavy at the sight of 2023 a soda con in Baltimore. In and out we're gonna be in and out and flash, checking out the venue follow on with the social because we're going to try to post some content gets gets you a little inside scoop again, circa the last week on your calendar in September, put a hold on it say no, I'm not doing anything else. Because I'm going to a soda con. I was a little upset that I missed it last year. I'm not going to do that again. All right. Let's talk about the news. Okay, okay. So here we go. We've covered the company vinfast before and their big launch announcement when they brought everybody over and wined and dined them and $11,000 bottles of whiskey. So the talk nice about the vehicle all that aside, as vinfast gears up to begin us deliveries, pricing and specs of their first crossover, the VF eight are already being met with a variety of consumer resistance. So they didn't really release a full spec sheet. But now that they're about to go on sale, they're releasing the specs. Remember, they all got on that big boat was really awesome.

Kyle Mountsier  04:12

They shipped them over here 999 of those jokers. Bam. So

Paul Daly  04:16

first, is the price. So they're the first vehicle the VFA a crossover SUV, it's pretty small, coming in a $56,700 and a battery range of get this you're not going to believe this. Now it's the other side of not going to be able to believe it. 179 mile battery range oh no out of an 82 kit. So my first question is what is the range in Syracuse, New York on Monday, January 16 at 10 00 on a full charge, if you don't want to slow Oh, so to compare this, the Hyundai ionic five has 266 mile range and starts a lot cheaper right just over 42,000 So there's a massive price difference and of the massive range difference. Other Evie such as the Kia Evie six Volkswagen 94 Ford Mustang Mach II also have a higher range at lower prices. And, you know, customers seem to be a feedback a little confused with the leasing model. If you remember, vinfast is the one that says we're gonna let you lease the car, and also at least the batteries separately.

Kyle Mountsier  05:20

And then Alright, so question there's either one or two things happening, either they didn't spend enough time on the battery technology. And we're kind of like, alright, we got to get this across the line, we'll lease them separately. And we know that we're doing continued r&d. And this leasing has some sort of model in it, I don't know, I don't know this, or if they've announced it some sort of model for like upgrading your leased battery, keeping the vehicle and all of a sudden out, boom, all of a sudden, you have a larger battery range or something like that. Do software updates. So that's one stupid, or, or, and this isn't like a market research whether or not I think there are a lot of countries where you just don't see the volume of driving that you see in the US. So if there's not been a lot of market research on the necessity for a longer battery rate. That's an issue. I don't know if that's I don't know if that's an issue. But

Paul Daly  06:13

I think that just general, the general thought of like, do I want to spend more money for less range? Right? Like, I mean, the anxiety, I'm just so interested to see but like I agree with you like on the software thing, like maybe they will roll out a software update. And it's just a tough like thinking about it from a brand play. Launch me it's got it? Is that the lowest is there one that's lower than 170? Whatever miles? Yeah, over 56,000?

Kyle Mountsier  06:38

Not over 56k? No. Yeah. I mean, there's, there's been a few that have been launched at like that 100 110 mark, but they're like 30, if it was

Paul Daly  06:45

a value, it's like a value based vehicle, though, right? Exact. So we linked up a review in the show notes from YouTube. Oh, what's the name of the YouTuber? I'm sorry, I don't have your name up here. We'll get it in a second. But somebody's already typing in it. So reviews at CES vinfast seem to be really open handed with their, you know, they're demoing, they would just literally this YouTubers in a backlog. There's a bunch of vinfast vehicles. He's like, we didn't really tell who that who we were. They just said, yeah, you can test drive the vehicle here around the parking lot. They took him for a road test drive. And the title of the YouTube video is I drove now this is someone who actually got invited to go out and do the big demo overseas, and

Kyle Mountsier  07:24

no one decided not to do it yet. Right? Because he didn't want us yep,

Paul Daly  07:27

yep. And so he has the title, the video is this. I drive the vinfast via fate for the first time exclamation point. And I really wish I didn't.

Kyle Mountsier  07:35

Now, so this is a man after my own heart for one of two reasons. Cause like that can be worn for two reasons. Two reasons. One, because the man is is just sublime with titles and calls it like he sees it and I get why I get why Paul, I don't know if you notice this, but the man's name is Kyle calls it like season. That's fantastic.

Paul Daly  07:58

So he goes around the vehicle and he highlights you know, he gives compliments on the styling and some of the lighting and he also calls out things like you know, the little, there's like a little plug connected. When you open the charging port, there's like this insert thing that's danglies like, well, that's gonna mess up your paint. There's no lighting in here, right? Like he obviously he's reviewed a vehicle or two. And then he goes on a drive around in it. And you know, he's it there's a lot of weird rattles the road noise like, he just you know, cause like, sees a he goes, it's drivable. It's livable, but I wouldn't pick it and he gives it a three out of 10 in comparison to Chevy Bolt costs like half as much and has over 200 miles of range and actually is pretty similar to the size. So vinfast, you know, take take him a couple on the chin on the way and it'll be interesting, every great company, right? How do they respond to it? Are they going to respond? Were they going to do they have a bunch of products in the pipeline? Larger VF nine,

Kyle Mountsier  08:48

I mean, they got a lot of vehicles, a lot of different opportunities to get into the market. And I wouldn't count them out. Because overseas, they're crushing it. And I think they'll probably make the adjustments necessary to rock and roll in this market. And the parent company Vingroup

Paul Daly  09:03

you know, they own like a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of stuff. So they got they got some money to pour in. And I am a fan of the way their CEO can't remember her name, but the way she kind of handles herself and like she seems pretty cool. So maybe we'll meet her one day, but we'll see what happens. Yeah, see what happens.

Kyle Mountsier  09:19

Speed of handling a lot of stuff.

Paul Daly  09:22

Good Times wondering how that was gonna go. That's a really good,

Kyle Mountsier  09:26

really good for GM and Google, none other are teaming up to promote the advancement and adoption of what they're calling virtual power plants to help take strain off power grids during peak demands and emergencies. So basically what happens is with permission from customers to to connect it to their source, the tech pulls together. 1000s of decentralized energy resources, like electric vehicles are electric heaters, controlled by the smart, smart thermostats. Basically what it does is it lowers their impact on the power grid, turns them from charge to discharge demoed and brings the energy back on the grid. So so essentially like creating a power plant out of consumer electronics and electric goods, so pretty wild because basically what these VPPs the virtual power plants could do is reduce us peak demand overall by 60 gigawatts that's 50 million households powered by that much. And that's, that just blows my mind.

Paul Daly  10:30

Thinking like 50 million households, 100 gigawatts

Kyle Mountsier  10:33

by 2050. Yet 200 gigawatts by 2050. So it's, you know, this is the first time that I've heard like, a, a valiant effort into like, Okay, we recognize the power grid, as it sits.

Paul Daly  10:48

Right, we were all over that last week. And

Kyle Mountsier  10:51

here's a potential solution to how that works to, like, reclaim some of the power that's outgoing from our physical power plants. Pretty wild technology.

Paul Daly  11:00

It really is, you know, my first response to it, because like my first response, why is it that I always see the whole I'm such an optimist, and most of what I'm sorry, if there's a power outages are telling me there's gonna be rolling blackouts. Yeah. And I appreciate a lot of people trying to solve a problem, and we need to do this. But the first thing I'm doing is unplugging my car, so it doesn't suck power out of my car, right? Oh, there might be a disaster. Let me be real citizen and said, all the power from my Eevee that I can't charge, I can't like bring gas through. Let me just send it all back. Somebody needs to run their air conditioner. Right? Like, that's, I'm just I mean, but I get it, right.

Kyle Mountsier  11:43

I don't need hot showers. I'll take the cold shower, you run your AC, don't worry about me.

Paul Daly  11:49

But I understand like the greater good of it. But I'm sorry. And like the thought of Google adjusting my thermostat for me. I'm passing on that. I'm passing on that too. But like, like, it is an important thing. I think that a lot of it's working some places in countries like Germany and Australia. And it does make sense right as a rational solution. But you know, you really got to trust who's controlling that switch. Like,

Kyle Mountsier  12:13

and this is gonna be like a logs into Google VPP app, disclaimers, terms and conditions

Paul Daly  12:20

agree. Oh, yeah. You go get your car. And you're like, No, I mean, I'm sure there's like a financial compensation when you're sending power back to the grid. Yeah, it's gotta be causing you but but man, if it if there's an emergency or things are rough, I think nobody wants their car, donating energy or giving energy or selling energy out? I mean, I don't know. But maybe it uses the power your own house? I don't know. But look, it's a creative solution to a very real problem. We're encouraged that people are talking about that problem, because it's hard to ignore that problem when like grids are going down because it's cold. You know, it just exactly. It doesn't Well, speaking of being in the cold, kind of segue. We've been hearing a lot about scaling back these days. But not to be left out. Apple CEO Tim Cook has personally requested a 40% pay cut. In 2022. He was like, You know what things are tough. I'm going to request the pay cut. And basically 40% off of his $98 million salary and 2022 will land him somewhere right around 49 million. But this is according to an investor statement, his target salary anyways 49 million as year over year sales have declined actually, it's not here in the shownotes. But about 60% of shareholders said that he should make less this year so they're listening to shareholders which is always a good thing as compensation is $3 million base $6 million cash incentive I don't know how those two wash out and then everything else is usually in terms of like stock rewards and and options and things like that. It's complicated. Big time CEO stuff if you don't know. And also it's these are two interesting facts about his compensation, right? Because you just don't get the money or the stocks or you get a couple of perks couple of his perks of the company Listen, over $500,000 in security, right got to keep the man safe. Things are happening and $730,000 in private jet fees, because back in 2017, they mandated that all his travel, the CEOs travel it was him at the time still is must

Kyle Mountsier  14:18

be via private jet. So you know, that's for me. Like that. 1.2 million is like a drop in the bucket for something really? Company. Yeah. Double Your people around right? Why would you not move your CEO around with a high level of security and in a private jet so that he's not messing with? Like, the time value of money on that person is so smart. So if you're making 100 million a year, right, divide that by your working hours and like hey, well, somebody's got to wait for the for the flight delay because like the little latch on the thing is broken. Yep. Yeah, no, it's that I'm not worried about personally. There's a lot of people that are getting upset about it. What more blows my mind is that a man can make can take a 40% pay cut and still be in the the almost $50 million range for total incentives so but here's the thing what and I don't know how this how the spawn whether it was a board decision or anything like that but Apple always looking at brand is going Tim Cook requested a 40 ish percent pay

Paul Daly  15:26

cut, right?

Kyle Mountsier  15:28

Yeah yo, brands be like y'all we fired a bunch of people. They got an apple was like whoa what if? What if we did this? What if we said that you instead of us being like we elected? Got your pay down? What if we were like, Yo you said everyone's gonna be like see this guy. This guy we love him. He's saying that.

Paul Daly  15:47

We'll take that we'll take that. Well look, it's a Monday we got a full week of stuff to do you have a full week of stuff to do. But look, have a little fun with what you do for a living. Serve a lot of people with what you do for a living and get out there and show a retail Automotive is all about

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