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Auto Roundup: GM's EV Push in China & F's Massive Recall Hog the Limelight

Last week, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association released data for commercial car registrations for October and the first 10 months of 2022. The European Union (EU) commercial vehicle market contracted 8.9% last month, representing the 16th straight month of decline. While sales of trucks and buses improved from the year-ago month, van sales suffered a huge blow. Registrations in France, Italy and Germany dwindled 5.3%, 3.9% and 12.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, Spain recorded a 1.2% increase in registrations. For the first 10 months of 2022, commercial vehicle registrations in the EU declined 16.8% to 1.3 million units. Registrations in all the major EU markets fell, with Spain witnessing the sharpest decline of 21%. Sales in France, Germany and Italy fell 19.1%, 15.4% and 10.4%, respectively, year over year.

On the news front, electric vehicle (EV) king Tesla TSLA and Ford F grabbed attention as they issued massive recalls. While Fordwill recall 634,000 SUVs over malfunctioning fuel injectors, Tesla is recalling more than 80,000 cars in China over software and seatbelt issues.

Meanwhile, as legacy automakers are ramping up their electrification strides, General Motors GM and Mazda Motor Corporation MZDAY made headlines. Last week, General Motors outlined its plans and shared its progress toward the global vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion at the GM China Tech Day 2022 in Shanghai. With stringent environmental regulations and changing customer preferences creating a demand wave for battery-powered cars, Mazda pledged close to $11 billion to electrify its portfolio.

BYD Co. BYDDY also features in last week’s top stories as the company struck a deal with Finland-based Nobina to supply e-buses. BYDDY is enthusiastic about the new deal as it will cement its existing cooperation with Nobina. The China-based automaker is committed to driving sustainability and steering toward a green journey. BYDDY currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.

Last Week’s Top Stories

Ford issued a recall of more than 634,000 SUVs worldwide on the grounds of a cracked fuel injector that can cause fuel spillage or vapor leakage onto a hot engine leading to fires. The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs from 2020 through 2023 model years equipped with three 1.5-liter cylinder engines.


Ford received 20 incidents of fires, including three that ignited nearby structures. The company also stated that it has four reports of fires that were caused less than five minutes after the engines were turned off. Apart from these, the automaker has four injury claims not concerning burns and 43 legal claims attributed to the problem.Ford is yet to come up with repairs, and once they are made available, owners will need to schedule service with a preferred dealer. Owners will be notified by letters starting Dec 19.

General Motors announced the plan to roll out more than 15 Ultium-based models in China by 2025. It also emphasized its focus on developing more connected and intelligent electric vehicles. The company is expediting the introduction of Ultium-empowered EVs in China to move toward an all-electric future.

The all-electric Cadillac Lyriq SUV started customer deliveries in September. Following that, a wide range of Ultium-based models across brands, segments and body styles was prepared for rollout in China. The Cadillac Celestiq showcased will be the first product brought in by the Durant Guild, GM’s new lifestyle platform. Also, the first Ultium-based Buick model will be launched in China later this year.The Chevrolet FNR-XE concept made its debut on Tech Day 2022. It harps on GM’s vision of a more sustainable and greener future.GM has also been putting in efforts to deploy automated driving technologies in China and aims to bolster it by introducing an enhanced version of the Super Cruise driver assistance system.

Mazda announced an investment of $10.6 billion to electrify its lineup of vehicles by 2030. It forecasts EVs to account for 25-40% of its total sales by the beginning of the next decade. Its previous EV sales estimate was roughly 25% of sales by 2030.

As part of a three-phase plan, MZDAY would introduce battery-EV models in the second half of phase 2, which is sometime between 2025 and 2027. It intends to do a full-scale launch of all-electric vehicles between 2028 and 2030. The company has targeted about 4.5 trillion yen in net sales for the business year ending March 2026. This marks a significant jump of about 45% from the financial year ending March 2022. Mazda’s collaboration with its main suppliers, such as Hiroshima Aluminum Industry, Imasen Electric, Ondo Corporation and HIROTEC Corporation, augurs well for the long-term growth of the company as well as the industry. Mazda’s efforts in procuring and securing batteries to expedite its electrification initiatives are noteworthy.

BYD announced that it has inked another deal with public transport operator Nobina to supply 64 of its electric buses. The vehicles are scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2023 and will be put into operation in southwestern Norway. The operator has been relying on e-buses from the China-based manufacturer for some time and is growing the fleet. The recent order includes 40 units of 12-meter electric buses 24 units of 15-meter e-buses.

Both vehicle models are equipped with electric heating management systems. The infrastructure, known as the Battery Thermal Management System, ensures reliability in extreme weather conditions and makes the vehicles suited for the varying Norwegian weather. Moreover, the buses are equipped with the new generation of lithium iron phosphate batteries and integrated controller assembly systems that enhance safety and endurance. Notably, BYD currently has more than 650 electric buses that are in operation, or on order, across the Nordics, together covering 55 million kilometers.

Tesla is recalling more than 80,000 EVs in China. The automaker has decided to recall a total of 67,698 imported Model S and Model X vehicles produced between Sep 25, 2013 and Nov 21, 2020, according to China’s State Administration for Market Regulation. The recall is due to a software issue that hinders the battery management system of the cars. The software on these vehicles will be upgraded free of cost.

In the second such development, Tesla is recalling 2,736 imported Model 3 vehicles produced between Jan 12, 2019 and Nov 22, 2019 as well as 10,127 of the China-produced version of the car. The decision was arrived at due to malfunctioning seatbelts. Even though Tesla is still the undisputed leader in the EV space, recalls have been quite frequent.

Price Performance

The following table shows the price movement of some of the major auto players over the last week and six-month period.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

What’s Next in the Auto Space?

Industry watchers will keep a tab on U.S. vehicle sales data for November. Also, stay tuned for the usual news updates in the space.

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