Interesting Car/Truck Manufacturer News

CobraBob

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Toyota Trademarks BZ Name for EVs, Report Says

Two Toyota EVs are headed stateside later in 2021, ahead of electric Lexus models.

BY JAY RAMEY
APR 7, 2021

toyota-bz-1617804842.jpg?crop=0.656xw:0.660xh;0.182xw,0.jpg

TOYOTA
  • Toyota trademarks BZ name and logo in Europe, likely previewing a sub-brand for its electric models.
  • The Japanese automaker plans to bring two battery-electric models to the U.S. later this year, expected to be a RAV4-sized crossover and a Camry-sized sedan.
  • Toyota has stayed out of the EV game until very recently, mindful of the demand for gas-engined cars in many overseas markets.
Toyota has trademarked the BZ name expected to be used for its battery-electric models, according to BZ Forums. The filings for the name and logo were recently discovered in the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), with the BZ initials intended to stand for Beyond Zero. Toyota has two electric models slated for release later this year, neither of which has had much information revealed yet.

Toyota Will Bring Two EVs to the U.S. This Year
2021-lexus-lfz-0002-1617199973.jpg?crop=0.773xw:0.687xh;0.0979xw,0.jpg
Lexus LF-Z Concept Previews Brand’s Electric Plans

BZ Forums suggests that the name and logo will be applied to Toyotas models in a manner that will see EVs badged as the BZ1 and BZ1X, all the way through BZ5 and BZ5X. This could mean there will eventually be five BZ models in the near future, with X perhaps denoting a dual-motor all-wheel-drive layout. It remains to be seen whether the numbers will denote size or simply the order of appearance.

In a way, BZ could mirror Volkswagen's ID sub-brand, acting as a model name prefix while also serving in a branding role for the automaker's electric car efforts, but without going the standalone route like Scion. We've already seen this trend among several other automakers including Mercedes-Benz with its EQ lineup, BMW with its i division, and Audi with e-tron. Volvo has done both, carving out Polestar as an EV brand using the name of its once-outside tuner and racing arm, while also offering EVs under the Volvo brand, as in the case of the Volvo XC40 Recharge.

Just what models could we see with this name?

Toyota has indicated on several occasions that one of the first battery-electric models would be a RAV4-sized vehicle, while the other is likely to be a Camry-sized sedan. The automaker has shared images of a future EV lineup could look like, and has also firmly said that it will offer two EVs in the U.S. in 2021.

Lexus won't be without EVs for long, having laid out its electrification strategy for the next decade just a few days ago along with the LF-Z concept. Toyota's luxury division plans to introduce 10 electric and electrified models by 2025, including an electric version of each model it offers.
 

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Volvo Group collaborated with SSAB to develop world's first vehicles of fossil-free steel
  • Volvo Group (OTCPK:VLVLY) and SSAB have signed a collaboration agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world's first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel.
  • Volvo will start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen this year..
  • Smaller-scale serial production to start during 2022, followed by mass production.
  • "We are determined to be a climate-neutral company by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement. This means that our vehicles and machines will be emission-free when in operation but also that we will review the materials, like steel, used in our products and will gradually switch to fossil-free alternatives here as well. This is an important step on the road to completely climate-neutral transports," says Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO at Volvo Group.
  • SSAB aims to start supplying the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale in 2026.
 

Weather Man

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Ford sales in China soar 73% in Q1
  • Ford (NYSE:F) sales in Greater China rose 73.3% Y/Y to 153,822 vehicles in Greater China in Q1 to mark the automaker's fourth consecutive quarter of growth in the region.
  • Even though the comparison is against the soft pandemic period from a year ago, the company notes that sales of Ford and Lincoln brand vehicles outpaced the industry during the quarter.
  • The strong performance was driven by sales of Ford brand SUVs, up 103% to more than 34K units. The locally-produced Lincoln Corsair saw sales increase more than elevenfold to over 11.5K units. Ford Transit commercial vehicles sales were up 74% to approximately 12K units.
  • "We intend to fully build on these four consecutive quarters of sales growth to meet rising Chinese consumer demand with our Best of Ford, Best of China strategy," says Ford China CEO Anning Chen.
  • Boox Research has a breakdown on the potential for a dividend payout from Ford.
 

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Dana upgraded by Barclays on commercial vehicle electrification traction
  • Barclays is taking its rating on Dana (NYSE:DAN) back to Overweight and raised its price target to $32 per share from $22.
  • Barclays cut the stock to Equal Weight in December on worries that about internal combustion engine bans, but it's now incrementally positive on opportunities in commercial vehicle and off-highway electrification.
  • "DAN is benefitting from its relatively higher exposure to full-frame light trucks (which automakers are prioritizing during the semiconductor chip shortage) along with tailwinds in commercial truck and off-highway," analyst Brian A. Johnson writes in a note.
  • He lists three factors that make him comfortable with Dana's light vehicle business:
  1. The Biden administration tilt more to EV subsidies than ICE bans.
  2. Dana's "key LV driveline platforms will be slow to go full electric – and may still have e-axle content."
  3. Thermal business poised to gain content in electrification.
 

Weather Man

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Hyundai doesn't want you to call the Santa Cruz a pickup "truck."

The automaker has released a preview video of its first pickup for the U.S. ahead of its full reveal on April 15.

d249c09f-santa-cruz-1.jpg

(Hyundai)

In it, Design Manager Brad Arnold said the premise behind the crossover-based vehicle was that it is "not a traditional truck."

"Everything, from its proportions to its lighting conveys that it's not a truck, it's a Santa Cruz," he said.

santa-cruz-2-1.jpg

(Hyundai)

The compact, four-door model is expected to share much of its underpinnings with the Tucson SUV, similar to how the larger Honda Ridgeline is built on the same platform as the Pilot.

cruz.jpg

The Santa Cruz was previewed by a concept revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (Hyundai)

Details on the drivetrain have not yet been released, but Hyundai is pitching it as a daily driver for urban dwellers who also like to engage in a little adventure now and then.

FOX NEWS CAR REVIEWS: 2021 HUYNDAI ELANTRA

Arnold also said that it provides open and closed storage, suggesting it may have a truck under the bed floor like the Ridgeline does.

121a8534-santa-cruz-3.jpg

(Hyundai)

The Santa Cruz is set to be built at Hyundai's Alabama manufacturing facility, and while there's nothing quite like it on the road today, there will be soon.

Ford is expected to reveal an Escape-based Maverick pickup in the coming months that slots in under the Ranger in the lineup and should closely compete with the Santa Cruz.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor covering the car industry and racing. Follow @foxnewsautos
 

GNBRETT

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Well, look on the bight side u have till 2035......:p
Am I the only one who barfs a little any time they read crap about EV's? I don't care how fast your Tesla is or how efficient your Nissan Leaf is; I'm not interested. I like my vehicles to have a soul.
 

Weather Man

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Ford, VW battery supplier reach deal to avoid import ban
  • Korean battery makers SK Innovation and LG Chem agree to settle their dispute over trade secrets that had threatened a $2.6B factory SKI is building in Georgia to supply Ford (NYSE:F) and Volkswagen (OTCPK:VWAGY) with electric vehicle batteries, according to multiple reports.
  • The plant's future had been in doubt after the U.S. International Trade Commission in February sanctioned SK with a 10-year ban on importing batteries and the materials to make them after finding the company destroyed evidence relating to the dispute.
  • The Biden administration faced a Sunday night deadline on whether to take the rare step of reversing an ITC decision unless the companies had reached a deal; an announcement of the settlement is expected tomorrow.
  • The fate of the Georgia factory has major implications for Ford and VW, which are counting on the new assembly complex to build batteries for electric models such as Ford's F-150 pickup and VW's ID.4 crossover.
  • President Biden has made electric vehicles and the batteries that power them a key part of his proposed $2.2T infrastructure plan, which includes investing $174B to support the EV market.
 

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Li-Cycle to build new lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Arizona
  • Li-Cycle (LICY) to build its third commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility, to be located in Gilbert, Arizona, within the Phoenix metropolitan area.
  • When complete, Li-Cycle’s “Spoke 3” facility will be capable of processing up to 10,000 tonnes of end-of-life batteries and battery manufacturing scrap per year, bringing Li-Cycle’s total recycling capacity to 20,000 tonnes per year.
  • "Once completed, our newest Spoke facility will add significant recycling capacity to Li-Cycle, strategically expanding the geographic footprint of our closed-loop solution for recycling lithium-ion battery materials,” said Tim Johnston, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Li-Cycle. “Our Arizona Spoke will have two 5,000 tonne processing lines, effectively doubling our total recycling capacity in North America. It will also be engineered to directly process full electric vehicle packs without any dismantling. Spoke 3 will mark another important milestone as we continue to execute on our global growth plans and scale our sustainable, safe and innovative Spoke & Hub Technologies™.”
  • On February 16, Li-Cycle announced to go public via business combination with Peridot Acquisition (NYSE:PDAC). Transaction is expected to complete in second quarter of 2021.
 

Weather Man

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Nikola inks hydrogen infrastructure deal for Germany
  • Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) signs a letter of intent with IVECO and OGE to establish a business structure for transporting hydrogen via pipeline network from production sources to hydrogen fueling stations in support of fuel-cell electric vehicles.
  • IVECO is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V. and is called a pioneer in the commercialization and manufacture of vehicles powered by alternative fuels. OGE is an owner and operator of a 12K km natural gas pipeline infrastructure network in Germany.
  • The company says the collaboration is being launched with the intent to further define and formalize the roles and responsibilities of the parties and the required collaboration governance to enable execution of objectives to be stated in definitive agreements.
  • The primary focus of the collaboration is to further develop hydrogen fueling solutions in Germany in support of the European commercial transportation system and to work with industry partners to install safe, reliable and cost-effective storage and fueling locations for FCEVs.
  • "We believe this collaboration, in particular, presents a very compelling long-term fueling distribution solution that we expect to advance industry and overall market adoption of FCEV technologies," says Nikola President of Energy and Commercial Pablo Koziner.
  • Source: Press Release
  • Shares of Nikola are up 3.49% premarket to $12.47.
  • Nikola still has plenty of detractors. Seeking Alpha author Winds Research, for one, warns on a hydrogen bubble.
 

Weather Man

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I just do not get the self driving car appeal. I think their will end being major league litigation on this subject and saying your car ran over 4 kids, not you isn't gonna fly.

XPeng unveils new lidar-equipped model for the masses
  • XPeng Motors (XPEV -1.6%) announces that its XPeng P5 model will be the the world’s first production smart EV equipped with automotive-grade LiDAR technology.
  • The company says the P5 will bring Navigation Guided Pilot capabilities to city roads for the first time in a production vehicle, powered by XPeng’s full-stack in-house developed autonomous driving system XPILOT 3.5.
  • The P5’s double-prism LiDAR units are said to be capable to distinguish pedestrians, cyclists and scooters, static obstacles, and road works, in challenging scenarios such as night and low-light conditions, backlighting, and alternating light and dark illumination in tunnels.
  • The XPeng P5 is being positioned as a family-friendly model to popularize EVs. The company says it will feature cutting edge technology and compelling value.
  • Read more details on the model that XPeng hopes is a game changer.
 

jvandy50

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I just do not get the self driving car appeal. I think their will end being major league litigation on this subject and saying your car ran over 4 kids, not you isn't gonna fly.

XPeng unveils new lidar-equipped model for the masses
  • XPeng Motors (XPEV -1.6%) announces that its XPeng P5 model will be the the world’s first production smart EV equipped with automotive-grade LiDAR technology.
  • The company says the P5 will bring Navigation Guided Pilot capabilities to city roads for the first time in a production vehicle, powered by XPeng’s full-stack in-house developed autonomous driving system XPILOT 3.5.
  • The P5’s double-prism LiDAR units are said to be capable to distinguish pedestrians, cyclists and scooters, static obstacles, and road works, in challenging scenarios such as night and low-light conditions, backlighting, and alternating light and dark illumination in tunnels.
  • The XPeng P5 is being positioned as a family-friendly model to popularize EVs. The company says it will feature cutting edge technology and compelling value.
  • Read more details on the model that XPeng hopes is a game changer.
they'll just make it like the vaccine, sorry can't sue...we make the rules round heya

and didn't the tesla self driving system already kill a motorcyclist?
 

Weather Man

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Lucid Motors says its new electric vehicle is ready for the cold stuff
  • Lucid Motor (LUCIDM) updates on a cold weather test run on the Lucid Air at -40 degrees Celsius.
  • "Lucid Air hit all its cold weather testing targets from quickly warming up, to starting, charging, and more. And despite cold temperatures, the quietness of the cabin was notable. Typically, interior components of a vehicle get noisier as its temperature drops. Not Lucid Air. Its NVH aspect — or Noise, Vibration, and Harshness rating — tested exceptionally well. And for luxury vehicle owners, that's a crucial outcome."
  • The company says it is optimizing every single detail of the vehicle for extreme environments.
  • There was no new information on the production timeline from Lucid.
  • SPAC partner Churchill Capital IV (NYSE:CCIV) is down 1.33% on the day and is off 17.48% over the last month amid some ups and down recently in the EV sector.
 

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What is everyone's thought on all of these small electric car companies that no one has ever heard of? My thought is that they will all eventually be bought by one of the big players for their intellectual property.

I'm sure they all think they're the next Tesla (or maybe they are just hoping to be bought and cash out), but I just don't see any of them sustaining once the GM, Ford, Toyota, VW, etc. of the world start pumping out multiple EVs.

When we're all forced to buy an EV someday, I just don't see someone who has bought Ford or Toyota for the last 3 decades going "you know what, I'm going to buy that Lucid Motors or XPeng."
 

Weather Man

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What is everyone's thought on all of these small electric car companies that no one has ever heard of? My thought is that they will all eventually be bought by one of the big players for their intellectual property.

I'm sure they all think they're the next Tesla (or maybe they are just hoping to be bought and cash out), but I just don't see any of them sustaining once the GM, Ford, Toyota, VW, etc. of the world start pumping out multiple EVs.

When we're all forced to buy an EV someday, I just don't see someone who has bought Ford or Toyota for the last 3 decades going "you know what, I'm going to buy that Lucid Motors or XPeng."

Their valuations mean it will be unlikely that they merge. More likely forced mergers in the case of the many Chinese companies. The state will decide who wins. When the Chinese decide their EV infrastructure is mature, I suspect Tesla will not enjoy what's coming down the road at them.
 

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Self-driving truck startup TuSimple is said to raise $1.35B in IPO
  • Self-driving truck startup TuSimple (TSP) is said to have raised $1.35B in an IPO, pricing the shares at $40, above an earlier range.
  • TuSimple and a selling shareholder sold 34M shares at $40 each, above an estimated price of $35-$39, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • The company is backed strategic investors, including Volkswagen AG’s (OTCPK:VLKAF) heavy-truck business The Traton Group, Navistar (NYSE:NAV) Goodyear (NASDAQ:GT), U.S. Xpress (NYSE:USX), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS).
  • Last week, TuSimple detailed the plans for its IPO.
 

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General Motors expected to see big benefits from Ultium platform
  • Morgan Stanley thinks the formation by General Motors (NYSE:GM) of Ultium/Ultium Cells LLC will prove to be a critical point of strategic differentiation that will ultimately drive value creation for shareholders.
  • Analyst Adam Jonas and team highlight a number of benefits including superior economics at scale through vertical integration, a knowledge basis to help GM make more informed make-or-buy decisions, the mitigation of battery shortage risk, cost control and the ability of the platform to create space and autonomy from core GM to act more as an independent supplier.
  • The high-tech Ultium business is also seen helping to attract and retain talent, as well as make it easier to strike agreements and collaboration with key partner.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating on GM and price target of $80.00.
  • Shares of General Motors are up 0.75% premarket to $58.92.
  • Earlier this month: GM testing technology aimed at cutting EV battery costs.
 

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Lightning eMotors and REV Group to make electric ambulances
  • Lightning eMotors (ZEV, GIK) and REV Group (REVG -3.5%) announce that they are co-developing zero-emission, all-electric ambulances under a new partnership.
  • The all-electric ambulances will be available to government agencies, municipalities, commercial operators, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.
  • The first deliveries to customers are expected to be at the end of the calendar year.
  • “Electrification is reaching all different types of fleet vehicles, and ambulances are a logical next step," says Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser.
  • Details on the electric ambulances: "The new Leader ambulances will be based on the fourth-generation Lightning Electric Transit Van from Lightning eMotors. Leader’s High Roof Transit van offers up to 105 kWh of battery capacity that can be charged via Level 2 AC charging or DC fast charging. This model is equipped with dual rear wheels providing a 10,360 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating."
  • Source: Press Release
  • REVG was listed on Seeking Alpha's Catalyst Watch this week for some potential action.
 

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Hyundai launches new sport adventure vehicle
  • Hyundai (OTCPK:HYMTF +1.3%) unveils highly anticipated Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle.
  • The Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle begins production in Montgomery, Alabama in June and will be available for sale in summer.
  • The addition of Santa Cruz to HMMA production will add an estimated 1,200 jobs to the U.S. economy.
  • The vehicle offers two powerful, flexible and efficient powertrains and has eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • "Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one," said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.
 

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