Ford’s expansion comes to an end; Hyundai’s continued quest for a hydrogen future; and premium CFOs promise to behave themselves. Please enjoy our auto industry and mobility briefing for 6th September to 12th September 2021. A PDF version can be found here.

News is arranged by company and topic. Stories that apply to more than one company or topic are duplicated.

Find our archive here.


News about the major automakers

BMW (history)

  • BMW’s new development centre will have 14 driving simulators, although it seems as though only one will be a near-realistic dynamic simulator. (BMW)
  • Plans to increase the amount of recycled and reusable materials in each vehicle (a measure which includes some brand new material) from 30% in the current generation to 50% in future. BMW unveiled a concept called the I Vision Circular, which the brand claims shows how to get the figure to 100%. In design terms, the car appears to be the spiritual successor to the i3. (BMW)
  • BMW’s CFO says that even when the chip shortage is finished, his company will produce at nearly the same levels, hoping to keep prices high. (FT)
  • Invested in networking company GenXComm. (FINSMES)
  • BMW’s CEO said the company’s future is as an independent. (Handelsblatt)

Daimler (history)

  • Daimler’s CEO says chip shortages may extend into 2023. (Reuters)
  • Daimler’s CFO says that even when the chip shortage is finished, his company will produce at nearly the same levels, hoping to keep prices high. (FT)
  • Unveiled the all-electric EQE. (Mercedes) and a concept version of an electric G-Class. (Mercedes)
  • Showed off an all-electric concept called the Maybach EQS. Despite sharing a name with the recently revealed Mercedes EQS, this Maybach is an SUV, rather than a sedan. (Mercedes)

Ford (history)

  • Announced a restructuring in India that will see manufacturing in the country end and Ford scaling back its marketing and sales activities to concentrate on only very high end customers. Engines will still be built in India for export and Ford will retain its 11,000-strong office workforce. Ford’s pull-out comes only a little while after the collapse of a planned joint venture with Mahindra. Ford says it will cost about $(2) billion to close its operations in India. (Ford)
  • Has started serious efforts to incentivise customers to join the FordPass program by offering US participants the option to book pickup and delivery for servicing – and if they are sufficiently “loyal”, they can even do it for free (once per year). (Ford)
  • Headhunted Doug Field, the chief of Apple’s constantly-under-development car project to head up the team looking after advanced technologies and embedded hardware and software. (Ford)

Geely (includes Volvo) (history)

  • Investing $50 million into ECARX, founded by Geely’s founder. (Geely)
  • Has a new design director as the previous incumbent stepped down to concentrate on Lotus. (Geely)
  • Lotus plans to open 70 dealerships in China next year, up from four today. Nio has invested in Lotus’s Chinese unit, which is apparently worth over $2 billion. (Reuters)
  • Geely’s ride hailing subsidiary Caocao Chuxing raised $600 million. (Nikkei)

General Motors (history)

  • GM reckons that the facelift for the Silverado will put the pickup truck at the top of the sales charts. (Reuters)

Honda (history)

  • Honda intends to launch a new sub-brand of rugged pick-up trucks called Trailsport. (Honda)

Hyundai / Kia (history)

  • Hyundai sell only electric or hydrogen powered vehicles in Europe from 2035 onwards and says that by 2040 all major markets will have phased out fossil fuels. (Hyundai)
  • Hyundai says every commercial vehicle will have a fuel cell offering by 2028 and hopes that fuel cells will reach price parity with battery electric models by 2030. Hyundai says that durability is improving and in the next generation the fuel cells will last for 500,000 km. (Hyundai)
  • Hyundai says it will be carbon neutral by 2045 and will reduce emissions 75% between 2019 and 2040. (Hyundai)
  • Kia will be in charge of making military hydrogen powered vehicles. (ET News)

Renault (history)

  • Dacia unveiled the seven seat Jogger minivan. (Dacia)
  • Unveiled the all-electric version of the Megane. (Renault)
  • Reportedly close to ending its Chinese joint venture for vans with Brilliance. (Reuters)
  • Renault executives hope to be able to push back plans to ban internal combustion engines in Europe by 2035, preferring a target of 2040. The logic is that it will still be too expensive for some customers to have fully electric cars in 2035. (Auto Express)
  • Renault’s design chief reckons that door handles and touchscreens are on their way out because they are unhygienic. Whilst automatic door handles have been demonstrated, touchscreen replacement may require greater use of voice control, or better gesture recognition. (Autocar)

Stellantis (formed via the merger of PSA and FCA)


  • Unveiled the next generation Subaru WRX. (Subaru)

Toyota (history)

  • Gave a presentation on battery strategy re-confirming a plan to sell 6 million electrified, but not all-electric vehicles in 2030, plus 2 million all-electric models. Toyota is still pushing hybrids, declaring that the 18 million vehicles it has sold are equivalent to 5.5 million battery electric models on the streets, for the equivalent battery capacity of 260,000 models. Toyota also says that experience with hybrids has helped the company to develop battery technologies that will be highly relevant for all models. Toyota says that battery costs will fall by 50% towards the end of the decade through a combination of new low cost technologies and improved power density (which means a smaller battery can go the same distance). (Toyota)
  • Toyota says that currently solid state batteries suffer from deterioration in their structure that mean their useful life is too short. If the challenges can be solved, Toyota intends to apply them to hybrids in addition to all-electric vehicles. By 2030, Toyota says it will consume more than 200 GWh of batteries. (Toyota)
  • Expects to produce 300,000 fewer vehicles in this financial year. Toyota said that although chip shortages were part of the problem, coronavirus was mostly to blame. (Reuters)
  • Acquiring Chinese vehicle leasing firm SK Auto Service for about $45 million. (Nikkei)

VW Group (history)

  • Unveiled the ID.LIFE a concept version of a Polo-sized all-electric car, likely to be badged the ID.2 when it launches in 2025. VW says the car will cost €20,000. (VW)
  • Porsche unveiled the Mission R, an all-electric track concept car. Porsche says the vehicle’s battery is sufficient for “sprint racing”, Porsche’s shorthand for not very many laps. The company hinted that the vehicle could participate in a future one-make championship, saying that it is as fast as a 911 GT3. (Porsche)
  • Building work has begun on the synthetic fuels factory Porsche and Siemens hope will eventually produce 550 million litres of petrol equivalent annually. (Porsche)
  • VW is setting up an in-house VC fund to invest €300 million in decarbonization. (Reuters)
  • CEO Diess says there is enough money available to invest in all the new battery plants the automotive industry needs, saying that Northvolt has proven investor appetite. (Reuters) He also told journalists that electric cars were “kind of easy” compared to autonomous cars, which will be the industry’s real “gamechanger”. He thinks that by 2030, mobility services could buy around 15% of vehicles, which although seemingly relatively small, is a big increase on the share of sales today. (Reuters)
  • Sold a 75% share in its in-car payments business to JP Morgan. (Reuters)
  • CEO Diess had his house vandalised by climate change protesters. He said that oil executives should be targeted instead. (Handelsblatt)
  • Porsche’s CEO said that he supported a European ban on internal combustion engines by 2035, saying that competitors should play their part in emissions reduction. (Bloomberg)


  • Nio is seeking to raise an additional $2 billion. (Nio) Nio’s venture capital arm invested in Lotus’s Chinese technology unit. (Reuters)
  • Koenigsegg announced that it has bought back the 65% share NEVS took in a joint venture company to make the Gemera hypercar. (Koenigsegg)
  • Great Wall unveiled two new cars in Munich, the Wey Coffee 01 PHEV and the all-electric ORA 01CAT. (GWM)

News about other companies and trends

Economic / Political News

  • UK passenger car registrations in August of 68,033 units fell (22)% versus prior year. (SMMT)
  • The Italian government is seeking an exemption from stringent EU emissions legislation for small volume manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. (Electrive)
  • US politicians are proposing to extend incentives for all-electric vehicles with a series of escalating rebates for vehicles built by unionised workers, and with US-sourced batteries. (Reuters)


  • Intel plans to turn production capacity at a plant in Ireland over to automotive use. (Reuters)
  • Magna will contract manufacture trucks for Volta. (Autocar)


  • Singaporean multipurpose car ownership app Motorist raised $800,000. (Tech In Asia)

Driverless / Autonomy (history)

  • WeRide showed off the Robovan, basically an off-the-shelf van with autonomous driving kit. (TechCrunch)
  • The head of Apple’s car project defected to Ford. The move suggests that Apple is still not close to signing off on a full program. (Ford)

Electrification (history)

  • Four motorbike manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha, Piaggio and KTM officially formed a consortium for battery swapping, after originally announcing the move in March 2021. (KTM)


  • BP invested €10 million in in-car payments firm Ryd. (TechCrunch)


Find our archive here.