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Volvo wants to sell its technology; Toyota buys into Isuzu (again); and no substitution at Porsche. Please enjoy our auto industry and mobility briefing for 22nd March to 28th March 2021. A PDF version can be found here.

Before you read the detail, what were my favourite stories of the past week…?

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

Daimler (history)

  • The Mercedes-Benz EQS will be able to arrange all billing for charging via communication links in the charging cable, removing the need for the customer to press any new buttons. However, Mercedes didn’t put a timeframe on when the service will become widespread, saying only that it will start with the Ionity network in Europe. (Daimler)
  • Daimler revealed the interior of the EQS. The instrument panel is dominated by the (three-in-one) hyperscreen – at least for many of the cars. Mercedes also showed images of the interior with a cheaper set up (the very last image). It will be interesting to see the hyperscreen’s take rate. (Daimler)
  • CEO Källenius says there will be a “fundamental change” in the powertrain footprint. (Automotive News)

Ford (history)

  • Ford has started using plastic clips made from surplus 3D printer materials. Using its own scrap and that of a company that custom makes braces, Ford has enough to make clips for F-250 pickup trucks, and says that there is a 10% overall cost saving. (Ford)
  • After earlier binning a proposed joint venture with Mahindra, Ford decided not to share any engines or vehicle technologies either. (Autocar)

Geely (includes Volvo) (history)

  • Volvo is teaming up with fellow Geely subsidiary Ecarx to develop infotainment systems, with a plan to sell them to third parties. (Volvo)
  • Geely confirmed that it will launch an all-electric brand called Zeekr (Ji Ke in Chinese). There is a planned five car line-up, with one to be launched each year until mid-decade. (Geely)
  • Geely reported full year 2020 revenue of 92.1 billion RMB (about $14 billion) and net profit of 5.6 billion RMB (about $850 million) on sales of 1.3 million units (including Lynk&Co). (Geely)

Honda (history)

  • Announced the sale of the Swindon, UK, site to a warehouse developer. (Honda)

Hyundai / Kia (history)

  • Will build a charging network in South Korea called “E-pit”. (Yonhap)

Renault (history)

  • Avtovaz is opening a CKD factory in Kazakhstan to make Ladas. (Avtovaz)

Stellantis (formed via the merger of PSA and FCA)

  • Jeep is creating its own charging network at popular off-roading destinations in the USA, in a direct challenge to Rivian. The plan seems somewhat reactive since there are only firm details on a handful of sites – which will be an extension of Electrify America’s network. (Jeep)
  • Signed an agreement for the Lucky Motor Corporation to make vehicles in Pakistan. (Dawn)

Tata (includes JLR) (history)

  • The Indian supreme court ruled in favour of Tata in its court case with former chairman Mistry, who was suing for his reinstatement. (Economic Times of India)

Tesla (history)

  • Elon Musk said that the company will now be accepting bitcoin as payment and won’t be converting the cyber currency to fiat currency. (Business Insider)
  • A Pepsi announcement about forthcoming new electric trucks led to rumours that the Tesla Semi will finally be launched this year. (Clean Technica)
  • The US labour regulator ruled that CEO Musk needed to delete old tweets that threatened workers who wanted to join a union. (Reuters)

Toyota (history)

  • Toyota will share its CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, electric) technology set with Hino and Isuzu. As part of the deal, Toyota and Isuzu will re-establish a capital alliance dissolved in 2018. (Toyota)
  • Toyota’s Woven VC fund invested in autonomous robotics firm Woven. (Toyota)

VW Group (history)

  • Signed a 50/50 joint venture with Brose for the Sitech seating subsidiary. Critically, Brose will consolidate the joint venture. (VW)
  • Will pursue former executives Martin Winterkorn (ex-group CEO) and Rupert Stadler (ex-Audi CEO) for damages resulting from the diesel scandal. The company accuses them of foot dragging and concealing the truth. (VW)
  • CEO Diess said that an IPO for Porsche was not a high priority. (Handelsblatt)
  • Porsche continued the expansion of its US all-inclusive leasing program. (TechCrunch)
  • Porsche’s CEO suggested that there could be a place for a next generation Panamera against the Taycan because the Panamera is “one step higher”. (Autocar)


  • Fisker made a big announcement about a non-exclusive fleet deal it has signed with an arm of Crédit Agricole that might see the finance company lease cars for its customers. It is unclear how the deal is different to the hundreds of fleet deals major manufacturers agree each year. (Fisker)
  • Humble unveiled the Humble One, a battery electric SUV powered by solar panels. (Humble)
  • Nio’s CEO said he sold a stamping line to Tesla in 2019 at the height of his company’s cash troubles, a move he reckons saved Tesla six or so months. (CNEVPost)
  • Chinese phone maker Xiaomi is reportedly set to make electric cars. (Economic Times of India)

News about other companies and trends


  • BorgWarner held an investor day to talk about its plans for electrification. (BorgWarner)
  • Cognizant acquired software engineering consultancy ESG Mobility. (Congnizant)
  • Eaton acquired charging supplier Green Motion. (Eaton)
  • Eaton and Tenneco will collaborate to develop exhaust systems. (Eaton)
  • Lear acquired M&N Plastics. (Lear)

Ride-Hailing, Car Sharing & Rental (history)

  • Posh ride hailing firm Blacklane raised $26 million. (TechCrunch)

Driverless / Autonomy (history)

  • Lidar maker Baraja raised £31 million. (TechCrunch)
  • Autonomous trucking company TuSimple filed for an IPO. (TechCrunch)
  • Autonomous robot company Nuro raised $500 million from Toyota and others. (FINSMES)

Electrification (history)

  • Samsung is investing to expand capacity in Hungary to a reported 50 GWh. (ET News)


  • Arity says it will sell companies data on whether people are good or bad drivers so that they can be sent appropriate advertisements. (Arity)


  • Ex-JLR CEO Ralph Speth will become chairman of motorbike maker TVS Motor. (Autocar)


Find our archive here.