GM Explains Sales Of 200,000 Electric Vehicles In 2018

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…As Ford Recalls 953,000 Vehicles Worldwide***

General Motors Company  hit 200,000 total electric vehicles sold in the United States by the end of 2018, reaching a threshold that triggers a phase-out of a $7,500 federal tax credit over the next 15 months, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

The largest U.S. automaker reached the figure in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means the credit will fall to $3,750 in April, and then drop to $1,875 in October for six months. The credit will completely disappear by April 2020. The 200,000 figure covers GM’s cumulative EV sales since 2010.

The tax credit is aimed at defraying the cost of electric vehicles that are more expensive than similarly sized internal combustion engine vehicles. In 2009, Congress set the phase-out threshold at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

GM, which said previously it expected to reach the 200,000 sales figure before the end of 2018, declined to comment ahead of the release of its quarterly sales results on Thursday.

GM and Tesla Inc, which hit the 200,000 figure in July 2018, have both lobbied Congress to lift the cap or extend the existing tax credit. Tesla’s EV tax credit fell to $3,750 on Tuesday and Tesla said it was cutting prices on its EVs by $2,000 to partially offset the lower tax credit.

In March, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra called on Congress to expand the consumer tax credit for electric vehicles as the company boosted production of the EV Bolt in response to consumer demand. She repeated the request last month during a visit to Capitol Hill.

GM said in November it was doubling resources allocated to developing electric and self-driving vehicles as part of a significant restructuring that includes ending production at five North American plants. GM also announced it would halt production of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by March.

In November, a congressional report said 57,066 taxpayers claimed $375 million in EV tax credits in 2016. Congress estimates the cost of the EV tax credit at $7.5 billion between the 2018 and 2022 fiscal years.

Meanwhile, auto making giant, Ford is recalling more than 953,000 vehicles worldwide to replace Takata passenger air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel.

The move includes 782,000 vehicles in the U.S. and is part of the largest series of recalls in U.S. history.

Included are the 2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX, the 2010 and 2011 Ford Ranger, the 2010 to 2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, the 2010 and 2011 Mercury Milan, and the 2010 to 2014 Ford Mustang.

Some of the recalls may be limited to specific geographic areas of the U.S.

At least 23 people have been killed worldwide by the inflators.

Ford says it doesn’t know of any injuries in vehicles included in this recall. Dealers will replace the inflators.

 According to agency reports, Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create an explosion to inflate air bags. But it can deteriorate over time due to heat and humidity and explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.

Ford is recalling more than 953,000 vehicles worldwide to replace Takata passenger air bag inflators that can explode and hurl shrapnel.

-autobusinessreport