Toyota Makes a Crown for SUVs and I Hate It

high quality crown

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter, Toyota wants to make the Crown SUV, and Volkswagen. All that and more in morning shift On April 14, 2022.

First gear: the crown

Toyota Crown is in its fifteenth generation, and it has been manufactured since 1955 in one way or anotherJapanese government officials’ car, a shining Diamonds in the Toyota stable, a sedan that even Mercedes and BMW would be jealous of. So why not invest all that history and make a crown for your SUV? It seems that this is exactly what Toyota is planning.

from Reuters:

People said the SUV — which will come in hybrid, hybrid and all-electric models — represented an attempt to bring the 67-year-old Crown more in line with market trends where consumers shy away from sedans, and rejected it. They are determined because the information has not been made public.

They said sales of the hybrid car are expected from the summer of 2023 and will include exports to China and North America, while the plug-in hybrid is for the domestic market.

Two people said the electric model is due for launch in early 2024 and that the automaker has not yet finalized its export plans.

As part of the overhaul, Toyota will also be rolling out a completely restyled sedan version of the Crown starting this summer, people said.

The SUV and sedans will be manufactured at plants in Toyota, Japan.

The crown was sold in the US until the mid-1970s, then we got the Corona Mark II, then we got the Cressida, and then Lexus messed it all up and we ended up Avalon. It seems entirely appropriate that when we get the crown again, it’s going to be a stupid big SUV. I hate that.

Second gear: Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter

Tesla CEO and Twitter user Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter on Wednesday, The news that broke Thursdayin a deal valued at approximately $43 billion. Just last week, news of that came out Elon bought a large stake in Twitter.

Registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission is somewhat unusual, although it is amusing in its informality. For example, in these messages apparently sent to Twitter CEO Brett Taylor:

[SEND VIA TEXT]

As I pointed out this weekend, I think the company has to be private to make the changes that need to be made.

After the past several days of thinking about this, I decided I wanted to acquire the company and take it private.

I will send you a letter of offer tonight, and it will be publicly available in the morning.

Are you available to chat?

[VOICE SCRIPT]

1- The best and the last:

I don’t play a back and forth game.

You have moved straight to the end.

A – It is a high price and the shareholders will love it.

D- If the deal does not work out, since I do not trust management and do not believe I can lead the necessary change in the public market, I will need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.

i This is not a threat, it is simply not a good investment without the changes that need to be made.

Second: These changes will not happen without taking into account the privacy of the company.

2- My advisors and team are available after you receive the message to answer any questions

A- There will be more details in our public filings. After receiving the letter and reviewing the public filings, your team can call my family’s office with any questions.

“Make Your People Call My People” is definitely a classic. I hope it sells out and then kills Twitter for good. Some used – and what else, Twitter – to suggest That this is kind of a pump and dump scheme, but I don’t think Elon thinks that far. This purely rich man goes to the playground, thoroughly enjoys it, and also decides to buy it.

Third gear: Volkswagen makes another fat profit even though it says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine complicates matters

Volkswagen reported its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, and it has done well for itself, as expected. The earnings announcement didn’t come without worrying about what the conflict in Ukraine would mean for Volkswagen’s business, of course.

from Reuters:

Volkswagen warned Thursday that it was beginning to feel the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains and raw material prices in the first quarter, with long-term effects on its business difficult to predict.

The company cited operating profit of 8.5 billion euros ($9.27 billion) for the first three months of the year, but noted that 3.5 billion euros of that was attributable to commodity hedging amid higher raw material prices.

Volkswagen shares fell 2.1 percent to 147.9 euros by 1054 GMT.

Operating return on sales jumped to 13.5% in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures, from 7.7% in the same period in 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages were significantly impacting results.

Volkswagen will continue to operate well until further notice.

4th Gear: A self-driving car startup has very modest plans for South Carolina

Argo AIwhich is mostly owned by Ford and Volkswagen, plans to spend $2.6 million developing some kind of testing facility in South Carolina, According to the Associated Press,. The investment may create 40 new jobs.

A closed track will be built at the South Carolina Aviation and Technology Center to develop and test autonomous vehicle technology. Argo AI has other closed-cycle facilities in Western Pennsylvania and Munich, Germany.

This will focus on highway speed testing as the company works toward independent business operations across multiple cities, according to the release.

“The new Argo AI operation in Greenville County proves what many already know — South Carolina is the number one destination for companies in the auto industry,” said Governor Henry McMaster.

Congratulations to all involved.

Fifth gear: Panasonic may try to get rid of Tesla

The battery maker wants to build more batteries and diversify, According to the Financial Timesperhaps also because Tesla has She plans to make her own batteries And may wean itself off Panasonic. However, the two seem to be inextricably intertwined.

Yuki Kusumi, a veteran the company hired as CEO last year, told the Financial Times in an interview that the company will invest 600 billion yen ($4.8 billion) in new growth areas over the next three years. Two-thirds of the spending will focus on electric vehicle batteries, supply chain programs and air conditioners, and the rest will be devoted to developing other new technologies, including hydrogen power.

Kosumi said Panasonic will prioritize the development of the 4680 lithium-ion battery, which has a power capacity five times greater than current devices, at its Wakayama plant in western Japan.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the Model 4680, which wasn’t slated for mass production until next year, would help bring the price of a Tesla car down to about $25,000. The Tesla Model 3 starts at around $41,000.

For Panasonic, the battery represents an opportunity to diversify its customer base from Tesla. “If the 4680 is second to none in terms of performance and cost, manufacturers other than Tesla will eventually adopt it,” Kosumi said.

He added that the pledge to invest in electric car batteries and other areas of growth “may not be enough” to meet global demand.

I would say battery supply is the next real battleground for automakers, except that that battle has already been going on for a while.

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