Automotive News Underground 11/18/2022

Estimated read time 4 min read

Here are the car news stories you might have missed this week.

With Thanksgiving coming up here in the United States, it seems like some things industry-wise are winding down. However, the Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off today and wraps up on the 27th and there will of course be a number of interesting unveilings and other news to come out of it. We also have some shocking news about the future of EVs this week.

1. Lamborghini unleashes its new bull.

After many rumors and spy photos/videos (some “leaked” by Lamborghini) we finally get to see the new Huracan Sterrato in its full glory. Unlike its predecessors, this supercar is made for driving on dirt roads, thanks to a higher ride height and beefier suspension. We don’t know specs for now, but the full unveiling will happen on November 30 so we should have the details then.

Learn why Democratic senators are mad about automotive safety regulations here.

2. Genesis tries to go sexy.

A lot of people still view the Genesis brand as peddling dressed-up Hyundais with somewhat bland styling, which might be why the X Convertible has been created. The avant-garde concept vehicle revealed for the Los Angeles Auto Show tries pushing the design envelope with swooping lines and smooth surfaces. While the garish grille is absent since this concept is an EV, there’s a hint of it with those LED light strips. The automotive media is going ape over the design, but my guess is it’ll be polarizing with the masses. Expect at least elements of this car to make it into the next generation of Genesis designs, for better or worse.

3. EV interest stagnates.

New research released by Kelley Blue Book found during Q3 27% of car shoppers considered getting an electrified vehicle, which includes hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell models. That’s not a huge percentage, to be honest. What’s more, it was the same figure in Q2 and 28% in Q4 of last year. Funny enough, hybrids dominate pure-electric vehicles with 20% of shoppers last quarter considering them. Still, EV sales jumped by almost 12% in Q3 but it isn’t clear if that was a blip or part of a growing trend.

Check out the full analysis of data here.

4. Renault CEO casts doubts on the electric future

Luca de Meo, CEO of French automaker Renault, rattled plenty of cages when he posted an article titled “Confessions of an Innovation Junkie” on LinkedIn. The man who’s at the head of what has been historically one of the most eager battery-electric innovators in the market didn’t sing praises for EVs while talking about transitioning into a “Next-Gen automotive company.” Instead, he said “the global shift to” all-electric cars “will be a long way.” He went on to call for a “plan B and plan C.” This isn’t what the diehard EV advocates like to hear, not in the least. This means Renault will keep refining gas-burning engines and hybrid tech instead of pouring everything into battery-electric innovation.

Read everything he had to say here.

5. Lithium stocks take a plunge.

Battery-electric cars are the future – that’s the mantra we in the industry hear constantly. If that were the case, why the need to keep repeating it? Market forces would speak much louder, only they haven’t clearly indicated that is the future of personal mobility. A big blow to that narrative came this week as Goldman Sachs said the bull market for lithium mining is “over for now.” The investment firm went on to criticize the industry as supplying too much of the material that’s critical for battery construction, saying it’s outstripped demand. This triggered a sell-off of lithium stocks with many taking huge losses. We definitely live in turbulent times.

Read more about this here.

Images via Lamborghini, Genesis

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