Inside Electric Vehicles - February 3rd, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Feb 3rd, 2020)

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1. Automakers showed up for the big game through a series of Super Bowl commercials, many advertising electric vehicles. Porsche, Audi and GMC took the opportunity to advertise their electrified offerings in the spotlight of the big game. At the same time, Genesis, Jeep, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia promoted their latest offerings in ads, some of which featured prominent celebrities.

Porsche: The luxury automaker ran an ad called “The Heist,” which showed a Porsche Taycan EV being stolen out of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. — Watch

Audi: The company ran an ad featuring “Frozen” star Maisie Williams driving an Audi e-Tron through the streets of Los Angeles. — Watch

GMC: GMC ran an ad for the upcoming Hummer electric vehicle, which featured a cameo from NBA superstar LeBron James. — Watch

Genesis: Hyundai’s luxury unit showed off the brand’s first luxury SUV, the GV80, in an ad featuring John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. — Watch

Jeep: In a commercial featuring Bill Murray, who was starring in his first-ever national television commercial, the automaker advertised its 2020 Jeep Gladiator. — Watch

Toyota: Toyota’s ad featured actress Cobie Smulders and advertised the automaker’s Toyota Highlander SUV. — Watch

Hyundai: In a star-studded ad promoting its “Smart Park” technology, the automaker’s commercial featured actors Chris Evans, John Krasinski and Rachel Dratch, along with Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. — Watch

Kia: Kia’s Super Bowl commercial featured Las Vegas Raiders’ running back, Josh Jacobs, and advertised its Kia Seltos SUV. — Watch

2. Nissan may exit the mainland European market if Brexit leads to tariffs on car exports. The Financial Times reports that the automaker’s contingency plan would see Nissan ending the production of vehicles in France and closing its van facility in Barcelona. However, if this is the case, the automaker may double down on the U.K. market, where it believes it could sell one in five cars if foreign automakers are exposed to tariffs. Nissan has a vehicle production facility in the U.K., which could give it a competitive edge. — FINANCIAL TIMES

3. Tesla is now covering battery degradation and capacity loss in Model S and X vehicle warranties. The automaker will guarantee that the vehicles’ batteries will remain at 70 percent capacity through the warranty period, which is now capped at 150,000 miles. Tesla also added language within its warranty contract that said changes in battery performance due to software updates are not covered under warranty. This is a likely nod to complaints from vehicle owners last year who experienced battery range drops after a software update. — ELECTREK

4. Aston Martin confirms it has delayed plans for its Rapide E electric vehicles. This comes after the ultra-luxury automaker received a new investment from Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. Last month, the automaker could not say whether it had indeed paused development of the Rapide E, after a report from publication Autocar. The vehicle has been indefinitely suspended, but the automaker still plans to launch an all-electric sub-brand, Lagonda, after 2025. — THE VERGE

5. In an attempt to boost sales, Hyundai will now offer three years (or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first) of complimentary maintenance. The maintenance will include oil and filter changes and tire rotations over the period. The program will be available for Hyundai vehicles purchased or leased on or after February 1. Hyundai already offers five years of roadside assistance and three years of Blue Link connectivity with their vehicles. — AUTO NEWS

6. Battery-electric vehicles made up 8.2 percent of all car sales in France for the month of January. Among all vehicles sold in France, the Renault Zoe supermini electric vehicle was the third best-selling model. Battery-electric plus plug-in hybrid vehicles collectively made up about 11 percent of all vehicle sales in the country. — /R/ELECTRICVEHICLES - REDDIT

China Beat

Here are some stories about the growing automotive market in China - including some you may have missed from last week. Be sure to tell me what you think by hitting reply to this email!

7. Over concerns about the coronavirus, automakers have delayed plans to restart vehicle production in China. Many local governments in China have required companies to resume production no earlier than February 10, about a week later than previously expected. While many automakers do not have production facilities in the city of origin, Wuhan, they have continued to halt operations until further notice. — GASGOO AUTO

8. Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner warned that global automotive supply chains would be affected by the coronavirus. At a meeting with journalists, Denner said if the current situation continues, supply chains will be disrupted, as some forecasts predict the peak of infections will continue into March. Bosch has more than 23 production facilities in over 60 locations in China, but none are located at the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan. — REUTERS

9. Disruptions in component supply chains have already affected Korean automakers, including Hyundai Motor Group and SsangYong Motors. SsangYong said it would be suspending production at its facility in Pyeongtaek for seven days, from February 4 to 12, to deal with supply shortages. Hyundai Motor Group (which includes Kia) also decided to cut extra weekend working hours as the companies struggle to source components. — THE KOREA TIMES

10. Didi’s expansion to Brazil has resulted in one billion trips. The Chinese ride-hailing company owns a controlling stake of the 99 Taxis app throughout the country, where it has 600,000 drivers serving about 18 million users. Didi purchased the stake of 99 Taxis in 2018. Besides its dominating presence in China, Didi also operates in Australia, Chile, Columbia, and Mexico. — ASIA TIMES

This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of San Antonio, Texas and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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