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What I Discovered At The LA Auto Present Media Day!

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What I Discovered At The LA Auto Present Media Day!

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Beneath are 2023 LA Auto Present highlights from the businesses which have the potential to make a distinction, together with Lucid, Hyundai/Kia, Chevrolet, and Toyota. A shock was a roundtable on Chinese language automobiles in Mexico.

The most important information and the one important new automobile unveiling from my perspective was the revealing of the Lucid Gravity SUV! It bought by far probably the most consideration, and even 4 hours after the announcement, the world was swarming with folks taking photos and asking questions of the representatives. Kyle Discipline of our staff wrote an glorious piece explaining the announcement right here. I’ll submit his conclusion under and add a couple of feedback.

Lucid is pushing boldly into the SUV area with the Gravity and has delivered what seems to be to be a particularly useful luxurious SUV. Most luxurious SUVs as of late are 5-seater builds, and that’s doubly true for the extremely premium phase the place homeowners purchase the automotive with plans to have a driver up entrance taking them from place to put. On this configuration, the third row of seats can simply be folded down out of sight and out of thoughts.

The world is in want of extra 7-seater absolutely electrical choices, and it’s nice to see the Gravity filling on this hole. With its gross sales of the Air already dipping, the corporate is likely to be pinning its future viability on the success of the Gravity itself. Whether or not or not there’s ample demand for an extremely premium 7-seater SUV just like the Gravity stays to be seen, but it surely looks like a stretch at value tags that may vary from the low $80k vary for a rear-wheel drive construct as much as north of $250k for a totally loaded Lucid Gravity Sapphire.

I agree we’d like extra 3-row SUVs that may seat adults within the third row, and assume it’s key to have a mannequin underneath $80,000 to benefit from the US tax credit score for electrical SUVs. The know-how is actually spectacular and I feel the automobile will probably be extra profitable than the Lucid Air sedan — as a result of everyone knows sedans are much less well-liked right this moment than SUVs, and 3-row fuel SUVs are highly regarded. Even the Tesla Mannequin X (which is now out there underneath $80,000) has the problem that its third row isn’t very huge.

I’ve to say that this firm is shedding some huge cash on each automotive. This implies Lucid must do some mixture of 4 issues:

  1. Cut back prices.
  2. Scale manufacturing to unfold mounted prices over extra models.
  3. Get additional cash from their buyers.
  4. Possibly merge with a competitor that has deep pockets however wants Lucid’s know-how.

The subsequent largest information of the present is the Kia EV9, additionally a big 3-row SUV. I might argue it would have a much bigger affect because it begins at $25,000 lower than the Gravity ($54,900) and ships a yr earlier (anticipated within the subsequent month). I bought to sit down within the automotive, and though I’m 6 foot 2 inches tall on a superb day, I might sit comfortably in all 3 rows. I adjusted the seats to be comfy for 7 giant adults. Jennifer Sensiba wrote a nice article masking all of the essential bits right here.

I noticed it in each the 7-seat configuration and a extra luxurious 6-seat configuration with two captain’s seats within the second row as a substitute of a 3-person bench seat. I bought the possibility to debate the tax credit score with a Kia govt and he defined that they had been capable of rapidly shift most of their electrical automobile gross sales to leases this yr, since that enables them to get the $7,500 credit score despite the fact that their EVs are made in South Korea. He additionally talked about the EV9 will probably be made in Georgia beginning in simply 6 months (second quarter of 2024).

Hyundai is predicted to quickly launch an identical automobile primarily based on the identical platform referred to as the Ioniq 7. Sadly (and it appeared unusual to me), they didn’t deliver this automobile to the auto present.

The LA auto present additionally has a couple of enjoyable autos on show. Who doesn’t like Scooby-Doo and the van that transported these meddling children?

I bought an opportunity to see the ID Buzz in particular person. It wasn’t as roomy, comfy, or refined because the Kia EV9. It appeared slightly spartan. We’ve written a complete article on the automobile right here. My impression is it would promote properly as a distinct segment automobile so long as it isn’t overpriced. (We don’t know the value but.) As I repeat, we love our 3-row autos! Even should you solely have two children, everybody likes their very own row.

I bought to see the Equinox on the present, however I wasn’t allowed to the touch it. The salesperson didn’t appear too excited, and as everyone knows, GM has a historical past of overpromising and under-delivering. It actually seems to be prefer it might be a pleasant compact crossover if GM delivers it in quantity beginning on the promised $35,000, however I’m not holding my breath. Steve Hanley has written extra on this automobile right here.

Toyota just lately introduced it was popping out with the brand new 2025 Toyota Camry. Often, this doesn’t actually imply something. Toyota restyles it and it will get 2% extra energy and a couple of% higher mileage. However this time, they made a major change to the very best promoting sedan. They determined to drop the V6 and the traditional 4-cylinder engines and energy all Camry autos with a barely enhanced hybrid engine. Toyota hasn’t but introduced the brand new gas economic system, however right here is the information from the earlier mannequin:

Picture Credit score: fueleconomy.gov

As you’ll be able to see, the hybrid has double the mileage of the V6 and 62.5% higher mileage than the bottom 4-cylinder engine. I’ve learn that final yr solely 18% of the Camrys bought had been hybrids, so this a a giant deal. Toyota bought 295,201 automobiles final yr based on this text. I’m engaged on a brand new article on Toyota, however I wrote this text concerning the firm 2 years in the past. Principally, a hybrid is a gateway automobile to a plug-in automobile that introduces the fun of electrification to a lot of customers who’re afraid to purchase an EV or perhaps a plug-in hybrid.

Lastly, I attended a roundtable by Motor Tread on Chinese language automobile producers getting into Mexico and hoping to make use of that as a base to enter different North and South American markets. Beneath I’ve pasted a hyperlink to Motor Pattern‘s documentary. I plan to put in writing extra on this topic sooner or later.

All pictures by Paul Fosse until acknowledged in any other case.


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