A selection of the biggest industry news of the last 24 hours.
Wakey wakey, it's time to get back to work! Welcome to Cold Start, your daily roundup of the most important developments in the world of automotive news over the last 24 hours. While the barbecues were cooking and fireworks were exploding, much happened.
For a start, Toyota has run out of EV tax credits. In lighter news, BMW M made a big mistake by asking its fans what they think of the XM, Stellantis has begun work on a new V6, and a Plymouth Superbird has helped set a new Las Vegas auction record. Finally, we take a quick look at some Q2 sales reports.
Although the Toyota bZ4X is only among the earliest of the Japanese automaker's electric offerings, the automaker has already hit the ceiling for EV tax credits in the US. As you may know, EV tax credits and their associated benefits stop once an automaker has sold 200,000 units. Toyota has now reached that mark, which means that hybrids and EVs sold by the manufacturing giant will no longer qualify for a $7,500 incentive. Tesla ran out of credits in 2018, and General Motors followed not long after. Toyota seems to have used most of those credits on hybrids, so it will be challenging to remain competitive with new EV pricing unless the automaker can find a way to slash costs.
The BMW Concept XM is a controversial thing. Some might even call it sacrilegious. But are these opinions shared by the general public, or is it just rhetoric spewed by journalists who don't understand what buyers want? Well, BMW M recently asked its fans on social media what they thought of the new halo M car, and the answers did not disappoint. Although there were occasional positive remarks, the vast majority of responses were scathing. Some commentators even said they'd rather drive it into a tree for the insurance money than live with it. We've collected some of our favorite quips in the article linked below.
As the age of electrification draws near, it's very unusual to hear of a manufacturer working on a new internal combustion engine, but that's just what Stellantis is doing. In fact, the conglomerate has just invested almost $25 million in Michigan to help it develop a new Pentastar V6 engine. Naturally, it makes sense to assume that this new engine will be compatible with hybrid or plug-in hybrid setups and is likely being developed to maximize the efficiency of such a system. But while one plant is being upgraded, another is being shut down and repurposed as a storage facility.
This past weekend, auction house Barrett-Jackson arrived in Las Vegas for another of its spectacular events. Among the classics to cross the auction block was a manual 1971 Hemi 'Cuda that fetched over half a million bucks. This got third place at the auction, while a highly sought-after split-window Corvette from 1963 was the second most expensive car to sell at the auction, fetching $566,500. But the star of the show by a long way was a 1970 Plymouth Superbird fitted from the factory with a Hemi engine. This rare masterpiece fetched a record-breaking $1.65 million, helping BJ achieve a record total in Las Vegas of $48.2 million.
Following a disappointing 2020 thanks to the widespread impact of the pandemic, most automakers saw record numbers in 2021 as saved money was spent and people treated themselves with new cars to get over the lockdown blues. As plenty of new cars have been released over the last year, there has been a lot of excitement in the new car market, but international conflict in Ukraine and continued COVID-19 lockdowns have exacerbated the issues caused by a shortage of semiconductor chips. The supply issues have been the cause of reduced deliveries, but most automakers are singing the same tune: Demand is strong, and as soon as supply burdens are eased, growth is forecast.