Plant Openings and Closings, The ‘TikTok’ Car, Airlines and Car Dealers

February 24, 2023
We’ve got that Friday feeling as we cover what’s going on in some current and future plants across the US. We also talk about the new model from Mercedes that let’s users engage…TikTok. We’ll also cover some airline results that sound all too familiar.
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  • There is increased attention on manufacturing plants these days as Dealers are searching for the ‘new normal’ regarding getting the inventory they need, getting too much inventory,  and being able to offer their customers tax incentive dollars toward a new EV
  • Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said the company is considering building a factory in North America in order to take advantage of the generous Inflation Reduction Act incentives.
  • Audi has committed to building only EV’s by the year 2026 and does not currently produce any in the US meaning it’s customers are not eligible for the $7500 tax credit
  • Parent company Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, began producing the ID.4 last year and is shooting for 90,000 EVs in 2023
  • Duesmann said it is possible that Audi and VW have some sort of joint effort
  • Ford announced it will be extending the downtime of its Louisville plant making the refreshed Escape and Corsair to March 6th as they battle a software issue in the center cluster. Next week will be the 4th week the plant has been down
  • The plant's building chairman, Brandon Reisinger, told employees they believe they have solved the software problem and will begin installing the fix broadscale
  • This comes on the heels of a story we covered earlier this week about GM idling their Indiana truck plant to manage inventory

  • Mercedes Benz announced that their new E Class will be loaded with sophisticated new features only to be enjoyed by the upper crust of society. Namely, enhanced voice control, smart lighting, a Superscreen, a selfie cam, TikTok, and Zoom.
  • The new “Superscreen”, combines the large central touchscreen with a second display in front of the passenger where the passenger can stream video content
  • According to the Verge article “Depending on the car’s equipment, a selfie and video camera is mounted either in the gauge display or on top of the dashboard, and the E-Class will offer both Zoom and Webex by Cisco video conferencing, the Vivaldi web browser, and even TikTok. “

  • Airlines seem to be taking a page out of the Auto Industry’s playbook as they are posting record profits in decreased sales numbers. Just a year ago, they were losing billions
  • A combination of factors including

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Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:36

Get that Friday feeling everybody. I don't care what you did yesterday how late you got in, we're here. It's Friday we're talking about plants opening and closing a tick tock car. And airlines feel a little more like car dealers. That's a good thing. A great thing for the best thing for us for now. That way, Yo, man, you're in upstate New York.

Kyle Mountsier  00:59

So it's not winter in Nashville.

Paul Daly  01:02

It's not winter in Orlando yesterday. It's not winter in Atlanta. You and I yesterday got to in a rare move. You and I were in the dirt in dealerships, but in two separate places that's ever happened before. I was in Orlando. You were in Atlanta. It was 90 degrees where I was I don't know how hot it was for you.

Kyle Mountsier  01:22

Yeah, it was actually cooler than like, I think it was like mid 70s Because it was cloudy. Nashville. My wife texted me she goes, it's literally at nine here. And the house is at 75 and I had to turn the AC

Paul Daly  01:35

AC on right? Because we're not up here. My flights were delayed last night I got back to my car at one o'clock to a lovely icy snowy car snowy drive this morning. It's like I got in so late. I got my I was an automotive news mug and I'm gonna put my you know, this is airport water. Oh, that's


airport water air.

Paul Daly  01:55

Super ghetto and put some of this airport water in my coffee. Because that's how we're roll. It is Friday morning. News rack there. All day, all day. Oh, got a lot of fun stuff going on. We have a big day today. This This afternoon we're going to be kind of pitching a show to Steve greenfields Automotive News, automotive news, automotive ventures Investment Club. I don't know if there's an easy way to get there. I know there's gonna be a ton of people there. But if you want to join the party, you're more than welcome to do it the way I found the link. We should I don't know there's no real good way to post it in the show. But the way I found that I just went to Steve greenfields LinkedIn page, his profile went to posts and there's a post a few posts down where he talks about it. But if you'd love to be there, we'd love to have you there. Because even if you don't want to invest, it's going to be a really good time. Whenever the asoto crew gets together.

Kyle Mountsier  02:41

We're just gonna bring the whole family together and it'll be a ruckus. It'll be the Zoom call on a Friday afternoon.

Paul Daly  02:47

People people's Jonas Sandy's and you know, it was nice here in Florida yesterday. Yes, it was. Le Le says it's 24 in Chicago. We are not okay.

Kyle Mountsier  02:55

I'm so sorry. i This is not a laughable offense,

Paul Daly  03:00

but I'm still laughing Hey, lucky if you can see outside my window and what the driving was like Ellie, this this one's for you.

Kyle Mountsier  03:08

There it is. Alright, let's get into it. Get into it, Paul. Yeah. So

Paul Daly  03:12

all right. So we've never covered a variety of stories about carpets. Oh, can't go back for a second right after this livestream. We're going into the all things use cars, clubhouse room. So go to clubhouse search, all things use cars in 10 minutes from now, if you're on the live stream, so get ready to go from here to there. Let's get into some news. So there is increased intention attention on manufacturing plants these days as dealers are searching for the new normal regarding getting the inventory they need or getting too much inventory, believe it or not, or maybe even just being able to offer their customers the tax incentive dollars toward a new Eevee. So we're going to cover a few few points here. Audi CEO, Marcus doucement, said the company is considering building their first factory in North America in order to take advantage of the generous inflation Reduction Act incentives. They're committed to building EVs by the year 20 No, not 2030 outtie committed already committed to all EVs by the year 2026, which is only like less than three years from now.

Kyle Mountsier  04:14

Although I mean, you look at the commercials over the last three years. They're like here's a full Audi and here's our full lineup. Welcome to it, right. Yeah.

Paul Daly  04:20

Electric electric electric electric meaning Yeah, so they want to get a plant going on so that they can offer their customers 7500 Our tax incentive credit, which puts them you know, back in their competitive game, all their parent company, Volkswagen already has a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They began producing it for last year, and they're shooting for 90,000 of those EVs in 2023. So Volkswagen Audi, kind of moving this pace back and forth. He said that Audi and VW may it's possible they may do some sort of joint effort. The next one we're going to is Ford. Ford announces extending the downtime of his Louisville plant making the refreshed escape and the new Lincoln Corsair. They're going to keep the plant idle in until March 6, as they battle a software issue in the center cluster. That's gotta be so frustrating for the people that put things together. Come on nerds figure this thing out.

Kyle Mountsier  05:13

You had to get after the nerds.

Paul Daly  05:15

I love my nerds, man. I just, I'm jealous. I'm jealous.

Kyle Mountsier  05:20

I'm actually wondering if it's because they've got too many cars on dealers lots these days. You know what I'm saying?

Paul Daly  05:26

Oh, I don't think that's why I don't think that's why No, it's definitely a sob in the automotive news article. They, you know, he gives kind of like this technical definition and they put it in there. I had to read it twice. And I'm like, oh, that's what he saved. But I was like, that's what you say when you want everyone to think like, oh, you know what, it sounds very complicated. I'll let you handle it. So the plan is building Chairman Brandon designer sentence from name designer,

Kyle Mountsier  05:49

rising or rising, rising or rising or I'm going rising her?

Paul Daly  05:53

Yeah, it's not designer. He told him please civilly that they fixed the problem. And they've actually what they've done is avoided a problem if they ship the vehicles where everyone would have to return to the dealer for a recall. So like you kind of understand a little bit of this again, yeah, and the third little point is something we covered earlier you know, GM idle their truck plant for an inventory issue, meaning they have too much inventory on the ground, so they're not going to be producing trucks until that levels out. Hey, do you think I was thinking about this? Do you think in the past GM would have kept the plant open and just started like filling a holding lot

Kyle Mountsier  06:31

you know, good chance and then they at the end of the quarter at the end of March they would have just flooded dealers lots with available inventory to try and wholesale that stuff. But yeah, they've recognized that there is some value in a balanced supply and demand matrix out there in the in in the economy so I'm proud of him. i That's not a story that I would have been would have expected coming out of this inventory shortage. So yeah, yeah, at

Paul Daly  06:59

first I thought I was like all they pushed to my Carson and then I was like, You know what, maybe this is them being measured. Idling the plant. Maybe they're learning we're just gonna we're gonna see the optimist. Let it will let him we'll let him turn into the chauffeur. I'll let them happen. And sarcasm I was speaking of sarcastic things. Segway alright, we'll get to the sarcastic part. But Mercedes Benz announced that their new E Class will be loaded with all the sophisticated new features all these sophisticated new features to be enjoyed only by the upper crust of society, namely enhanced voice control smart lighting throughout the vehicle, something they're calling a super screen, which we'll get into which is like this big. Yeah, this but this is the thing is only for high society. Two things. A selfie cam, in my car it

Kyle Mountsier  07:45

tick tock, super high society

Paul Daly  07:48

and zoom, which is a little more high size and Tiktok highest of societies. So

Kyle Mountsier  07:54

I've heard that the highest of society prefers Microsoft Teams. It's Friday, Paul,

Paul Daly  08:00

no, man, Microsoft. We understand if you have to use teams because you have an IT director and get it. Yeah, we're sure there's a reason but we just don't know if we're ever going to understand it.

Kyle Mountsier  08:12

Yeah, we're just praying for you. Awesome prayers, thoughts and prayers, prayers.

Paul Daly  08:20

Oh, gosh, you can tell his fire back to this Mercedes this super screen. So get this is a large central touchscreen, and also the instrument cluster and this instrument gauges are another screen but the super screen does this gigantic screen in the middle. But it's also got a second display, which is in front of the passenger only where the passenger can stream video content, which is not distracting at all. Not

Kyle Mountsier  08:43

at all. Because only the passenger is going to be watching that you know,

Paul Daly  08:47

according to The Verge article of depending on the car's equipment. A selfie video camera is mounted either on the gauge display or on top of the dashboard and the class will open offer both zoom and WebEx by Cisco video conferencing. The Vivaldi web browser and even

Kyle Mountsier  09:03

tic tac. So yeah, I mean, okay, here's the thing.

Paul Daly  09:07

Content, or do you just watch tic tac Khan, right you like because that commendation definitely alludes to the fact that you're going to be making tick tock.

Kyle Mountsier  09:14

You know, they said that they that they're putting in a lot of safety, safety stuff in the software to make sure that you're not using it in key elements or driving or anything like that. I will tell you the number of zoom calls that I've either had to take or someone has taken with me on

Paul Daly  09:30

phone, like, on a phone in the mountain in the car. Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier  09:34

So I see the, like, the reason for that in a non driving situation. But you know, the minute this thing hits the streets 30,000 hackers, like bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, it's

Paul Daly  09:48

party. Hey, Mercedes, somebody had to do it first.

Kyle Mountsier  09:55

Yep. Yep. And it is it is cool looking. I will say that thing just like it's amazing. You see that it's It's just across the whole dash like It looks like a tech forward future type thing.

Paul Daly  10:05

It looks amazing. All right, speaking of that, oh no, I'm not gonna say tech forward. We got three minutes left of the show, but we need to talk to you about something close to our hearts. Because we travel a lot airlines seem to be taking a page out of the auto industry's playbook as they're posting get this record profits on decreased sales numbers sound familiar? Just a year ago, they were losing billions. And but they're saying now they're super profitable combination of factors include pent up demand for the efficiencies that they had to fix how to make better processes over COVID employment issues force them to be more efficient, and the willingness of customers to pay these exorbitant Lehigh air fares.

Kyle Mountsier  10:43

I feel that I feel that in my heart every time I go to the old Google machine, yeah, it's every

Paul Daly  10:48

time every time Kevin McDonald, Head of Research and transportation analysts and investment for EPA, Australia said there hasn't been enough capacity to fill demand. And the only way that demand has even been able to be controlled is through high pricing. You see very high airfares. So get this CEO of American Airlines Robert Isom told investors last month we achieved record revenue while flying 6% less capacity. Fourth quarter. So lots of profits. Not a lot of revenue. Finally Air France CEO, okay. I gotta say no, we'll have a minute left. But the CEO of Air France his name? Let me see if I can pronounce this right. Ben Smith.

Kyle Mountsier  11:27

Come on. Don't don't do.

Paul Daly  11:31

Smith at first and business class seats are fuller than they were prior to COVID. And he's just saying people are willing to splurge on kind of their first trips back from COVID. So good. It's not just an expense. Once again, automotive is a leading indicator that other people are watching to see what's going on. So you know, we got that going for us. There you go. Bring us home. Bring us home. Hey,

Kyle Mountsier  11:52

I love that story. Oh, stop.

Paul Daly  11:55

I don't have anything. My buttons are all messed up. Again, everybody begin ending of the show.

Kyle Mountsier  12:02

Hey, here's the thing. Today, you got to set yourself apart. You got to set yourself apart from the competition from the other people in your store from the other people in your company. The way that you do that is do something that nobody else can. Let's get that out and go

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