Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Market Insanity

Volkswagen plans to build 50 Million Electric Cars

Volkswagen AG (VWAPY) plans to build 50 million electric vehicles (EVs) within the next few years. In particular, VW claims to have enough batteries to power 50 million EVs.

“We have bought batteries for 50 million vehicles,” Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess supposedly claims.The German language publication Automobilwoche reported the claim. Unfortunately, I have not located an English language translation of that interview.

Unfortunately, news reports did not say where Volkswagen is getting the batteries. However, Electrek reports that Volkswagen’s battery factory in Braunschweig or Brunswick, can produce 500,000 battery packs for electric vehicles a year. Thus, Volkswagen is already beating Tesla at its own game.

Volkswagen plans $23,000 Electric Sedan

Moreover, claims his company can sell an electric car for less than €20,000 ($23,000), Quartz reports. Thus Volkswagen’s electrics will be competitive in developing countries like China and in Europe.

“We have huge economies of scale, and we will bring those cars here” to the U.S.,” Diess claims. VW scheduled the first of those vehicles; the ID an electric version of the Volkswagen Golf, for release in 2020, Electrek claims.

Diess claims the ID will be size of a Volkswagen Golf but have the interior space of a Volkswagen Passat, Automotive News reports. The I.D. will have a 400 to 600 kilometer (249 to 373 mile) range on a charge of electricity, Diess reveals.

Is Volkswagen going to build electrics in North America?

On the other hand, a $23,000 electric sedan will not be very competitive in North America. To explain, Americans and Canadians prefer larger high end vehicles such as luxury sedans, SUVs, and pickups trucks to economy cars.

For instance, America’s best-selling “car” is the large Ford F-150 pickup truck. Notably Volkswagen is in negotiations for an alliance or partnership with Ford (NYSE: F), Diess tells Automotive News. VW is also considering building an electric car factory in Europe.

Moreover, VW has not decided whether to build an electric pickup truck for the North American market, Diess admits. Instead, Volkswagen could leave the pickup market to Ford and Tesla. Notably, Elon Musk plans a Tesla pickup truck.

Tesla outsells Mercedes for the first time sort of

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) outsold a major auto brand; Mercedes-Benz, in cars in the US market for the first time in September.

Tesla sold 68,925 vehicles in the United States in 3rd Quarter 2018, analyst Jean Baptiste Su estimates. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz sold 66,542 cars in the United States market.

To clarify, Su’s figures do not include Mercedes’ commercial vehicles such as vans. Therefore, Mercedes-Benz is still outselling Tesla in the American market.

Thus Tesla sold more cars in the United States than the world’s oldest automaker Daimler AG (OTCMTKS: DDAIF). Uniquely, Daimler’s subsidiaries include Benz the world’s oldest car manufacturer.  Karl Benz who built the first practical automobile back in 1885 founded Benz.

However, BMW is still outselling Tesla in the United States; it sold 71,679 vehicles in 3rd Quarter 2018. On the other hand, Su thinks Tesla will outsell BMW in the American market in 4th Quarter 2018.

Mercedes Unveils Electric Crossover

Not surprisingly, Mercedes is making an aggressive electric-car push in the United States. Daimler unveiled its answer to the Tesla Model X; the Mercedes-Benz EQC crossover in September.

The EQC will have a range of 450 kilometers (280 miles) on a charge of electricity, Bloomberg claims. The EQC can accelerate to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 5.1 seconds. Conversely, the Tesla Model X has a range of 237 miles (381.4 kilometers) on a charge of electricity.

Bloomberg did when or where the EQC will go on sale or what it will cost. Instead, the only siting of the EQC has been at the Me Convention trade show in Sweden.

However, Daimler is not planning to build an electric vehicle factory. Instead, the company will build electrics and fossil-fuel burning vehicles in the same factories.

Hence, Tesla is a serious automaker and electric vehicles are a major component in the auto market. Expect to see massive disruptions as more electric vehicles hit the roads and the showrooms.