Tesla, Citroen and the Future of the Auto Industry
The Tesla Model 3 Performance. (Image: Tesla)
Joe McCabe of AutoForecast Solutions refers to Tesla as a “unicorn.” As in something exceedingly rare. His firm sees but small growth, globally, for full electric vehicles. And while he acknowledges that Tesla has notable sales, has technology that is remarkable, but still faces the issue of profitability.
On this edition of “Autoline After Hours” McCabe talks to “Autoline’s” John McElroy, Jack Keebler of Keebler Auto and me on a wide range of topics, including the risks and opportunities that OEMs are facing not only as there is a drive toward increasing electrification, but autonomous driving technology.
AVs Before EVs? McCabe has an interesting perspective on how autonomous vehicles will actually gain acceptability in the market: as OEMs deploy more ADAS systems and sensors, people will become familiar and comfortable with it. Consequently there can be an ever-increasing deployment—with concomitant consumer pull. While it may take a while to get to Level 4 or Level 5, there is a growing number of people who are interested in things like adaptive cruise control and Cadillac’s Super Cruise.
The Cadillac Super Cruise, a step on the way toward more autonomous driving. (Image: Cadillac)
What Will Greta Thunberg Drive? Another subject that we pursue is the question of whether those millions of young people who protested around the world on September 20 about the lack of attention and action regarding the environment: How interested are these people going to be in buying vehicles going forward? This could mark a shift in consumer acceptance.
Also on the show we’re joined by Ken Nelson, who drove to the studio his 1967 Citroen DS Chapron Convertible—one of approximately 1,300 ever built.
A Seriously Custom Car. Henri Chapron was a French car customizer who had done a variety of bodies for vehicles including Delage and Delahaye, and then turned to the DS sedan, which he’d cut the top off of to create the convertible.
Nelson points out that Citroen included a number of innovations in the vehicle, which he says has one of the largest aluminum stampings in the auto industry, the hood. There is a hydraulic suspension system that uses nitrogen gas-filled forged steel spheres in place of springs on each corner.
It is a fascinating vehicle and Nelson provides insights regarding the technology behind the vehicle.
All that, and much, much more.
And you can see it all here.
The shift is on to using lighter materials for the vehicles at Ford, with aluminum being an important aspect of this shift. Here's what's happening.
If there’s one thing (and it may be the only thing) that the aluminum and steel industries agree upon, it’s this: We’re leaving the steel era and entering an age of automotive material options, where there are combinations of different materials, not just one dominant material.
With a specialized vehicle like the Porsche Cayenne there’s a need for specialization in aspects of its production. Like the use of a specialist casting supplier to not only produce the aluminum-silicon alloy block, but to completely machine it as well. seat.