There’s A Chance European-Made EVs Will Get U.S. Tax Credits After All

Static Photo, Colour: Geyser Blue, Metallic

There’s a chance European-made EVs might soon qualify for U.S. tax credits, Dodge will sell you a Challenger in every color at the same time, Jaguar gets a bit vintage. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

European EVs Might Get Tax Credits

BMW i4 eDrive35 tax credits
Photo credit: BMW

While the Inflation Reduction Act contains some fairly strict rules regarding which EVs can qualify for tax credits, there’s a chance that amendments may be made. Reuters expects European Union and U.S. officials to find a way to grant tax credits to EU-produced electric vehicles.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for trade, is holding talks on Thursday and Friday with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the issue.

“Last month Tesla model Y was the most sold car in Germany,” Dombrovskis told a news briefing.

“That would not have been possible without the un-discriminatory EU subsidy, while EU electric cars do not get a similar subsidy in the U.S., which is discrimination that we want to address,” Dombrovskis said.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, asked if the issue could be resolved, told reporters she expected the EU and U.S. would reach agreement.

“On the strength of the EU-U.S. relationship, I have every confidence we will work through this,” she said after a meeting with Dombrovskis.

Currently, new electric vehicles are only eligible for a federal tax credit if they’re made in North America, with a requirement to source batteries from so-called friendly countries kicking in soon. Should the act be amended so that EVs built in the EU qualify, consumers would likely see more tax credit-eligible options in the marketplace.

Dodge’s Amazing Technicolor Challenger

Dodge Challenger Wrap
Screenshot: Dodge

Fancy grabbing a new Dodge Challenger while you still can but can’t decide on a color? How about all of them, all at once? Yes, Dodge has partnered with graphics and wrap company CG Detroit to create a wrap that includes all 14 current Challenger colors. It’s printed on 3M material, has a retail price of $3,700 before installation, and is offered for both standard and widebody Challenger models.

Instead of going panel-by-panel Harlequin style, this wrap features 14 vertically-oriented circumferential stripes that make the Challenger look a bit like a fancy popsicle. While it’s not a cheap proposition, and professional installation could send all-in cost beyond $5,000, it’s brilliantly unique.

The wrap can now be ordered on Dodge’s Dodge Garage website. While this very distinctive wrap won’t be offered for the Charger sedan, dedicated color-crazy Challenger fans are likely to get a kick out of this special offering.

Stellantis Cuts Third Shift At Warren Truck Assembly Plant

Jeep Grand Wagoneer L front three-quarter view
Photo credit: Stellantis

As the new car shortage drags on, employment reduction continues. Automotive News reports that Stellantis is cutting a third shift at its Warren Truck Assembly plant that builds the Jeep Wagoneer and Ram 1500 Classic.

The automaker said no permanent employees would be laid off as a result of the cutback, which it called an effort to “improve production efficiency” amid the ongoing industrywide microchip shortage.

Supplemental workers will see their hours cut, but “there are no layoffs associated with this action,” a company spokesperson said.

“All full-time third-shift seniority employees will be redeployed to the other shifts,” the company said in a statement. Stellantis said it notified the Michigan Department of Labor and the UAW about the cutback on Wednesday.

It’s interesting to hear that third-shift employees with seniority will be redeployed, but what about third-shift employees without seniority? Cutting hours of supplemental employees will likely make it harder for these employees to put food on the table, especially given the high inflation of the moment.

Jaguar’s Reborn C-Type Gets A Special Edition

C Type 7&9 Rev 8
Photo credit: Jaguar

Jaguar’s been in the business of continuation cars for a few years now, brand new versions of expensive old sports cars meant for collecting and FIA historic racing. The British brand just unveiled a new version of its C-Type Continuation and it’s one pretty car.

Called the 70-Edition, these continuation cars mark 70 years since the C-Type’s prime on the racing circuit. In fact, the second one pays tribute to the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning C-Type driven by Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton, with a brilliant British Racing Green on green leather color scheme. The first one is a little bit more boring, finished in a one-off combination of silver over cranberry leather in honor of the C-Type’s platinum anniversary.

Most intriguingly, the key housings and dashboard plaques on the C-Type Continuation 70-Edition are made from bits of an original Jaguar C-Type, namely its fuel tank. Jeweler Deakin & Francis is in charge of turning this old car part into, um, new car parts for brand new old cars, and if that isn’t a head-spinning sentence, I don’t know what is.

Jaguar says these new 70-Edition C-Types will cost 1.5 million pounds each, or about $1.69 (nice) million dollars at the time of writing. That’s a lot for a car that’s really only meant for racing and collecting, although it’s not surprising given the 3,000 hours of labor that go into making every C-Type Continuation car.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Friday, everyone! The weekend is upon us, which means it’s almost time to do fun car stuff. Since it’s been a while since I’ve asked, what are your automotive plans this weekend? I’ll likely just be giving my 325i a wash and doing a bit of carspotting. I saw someone driving an old second-generation Mercury Sable wagon the other week, a total blast from the past as those have almost all dissolved into iron oxide or been turned into Frigidaires by now. There’s a certain joy in seeing something completely mundane yet immaculately preserved out doing the weekly shopping.

Lead photo credit: Audi

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48 Responses

  1. There’s some sort of motorcycle gathering in Daytona this weekend. I don’t ride, but my Mom’s husband, sister’s husband, and my best friend do, so they’re all going to Mom’s house for the weekend. I’m gonna drive up and hang out with Mom and my sisters while they do whatever it is that you do at a motorcycle gathering. Buy leather goods? Think of inappropriate sayings to go on patches to go on your leather goods? Rev your motor a lot?

  2. It will kind of defeat the purpose of encouraging US manufacturing of EVs if they start giving exceptions. If they give it to the Europeans they’ll have to do it for S. Korea and Japan as well.

    For car stuff I’ll be replacing the exterior door handles on the 350Z. That is if I can get the 10mm screw I dropped inside the door last night… *facepalm*

    1. It defeats the purpose, but promoting US manufacturing kind of defeats the purpose of free trade agreements. And, yeah, Korea and Japan have already been trying to get included in the tax credits, and I don’t think there is really much chance that they grant the exception to any free trade partner without extending it to all.

      1. If “insourcing” turns into a combination of insourcing and “friendsourcing”, that’s not too bad. What’s important is that China isn’t allowed to swamp the rest of the world’s auto markets and becoming a single-source like they had been for so many other things. They’ve been really focused on EVs for a while and getting seriously good.

    2. Well, that was one of the worst parts of the bill anyway. I’ve always said that I’m happy to buy stuff from any country with decent worker and environmental protections. Other developed countries are as likely to buy stuff from us as they are to sell stuff to us, so what goes around comes around. Cost of labor is comparable as well, reducing the offshoring problem. And anyway, the protectionist measures have already done their job—several new battery plants have been announced since the IRA passed.

      It’s a good bill overall and I do think it’s wise to support American industry especially in emerging and strategically critical technologies, but I could take or leave that bit of it.

    3. No it doesnt defeat the purpose, or put more exact- it depends.
      It’s fair to block those countries that don’t allow free trade, while other more co-operative countries get a break

  3. Possibly a bit of car shopping this weekend. We’ve had our Mini convertible for a few years now, and the wife is sending me listings of other kinds of convertibles for sale. We both love the thrill of the hunt, and it’s apparently on!

  4. “Dodge’s Amazing Technicolor Challenger”

    I understood that reference. On a break from rehearsals for an upcoming production of that exact play as I type this.

    That being said, I’m not sure I would dig that design.

    1. To clarify my thoughts on the colors, I think Stellantis could tell customers “pick any 2 (or 3?) colors. One is the main color, one is secondary, and one for the interior.” (Maybe a 4th for things like stitching and other small details.)

      But 14 stripes gets into Harlequin Golf territory: weird AND unattractive.

    2. I often dream of a world populated by more colorful cars. Some nights my fantasy roads are filled with red cars, others yellow, sometimes green or brown…

      I like them all; the specific color doesn’t matter all that much to me. You might say: “Any dream will do.”

  5. It always surprises me when someone mentions layoffs in a manner that suggests it’s the business responsibility to retain unneeded employees. If you keep unneeded personal you have to pay them. If you pay them the money needs to come from somewhere. That means you need to charge even more for your product.

    1. If Covid should have taught a lot of these companies anything is that re-staffing isn’t as easy as it used to be. Holding onto employees now should be a priority not a necessary evil.

      1. Well, in this case nobody is getting fired. Some people are having their hours cut and others are having their schedules rearranged, which sucks for them to be sure, but Stellantis is indeed holding onto their employees. Some will probably leave for greener pastures, of course.

        Auto manufacturing, at the level of specific assembly plants, seems kinda inherently boom-and-bust. They tool up to make a car without knowing how well it’s going to sell or how long it will be produced. Sales figures can change dramatically over the course of the model’s run, with big swings that are often hard to predict. Eventually, they stop making that car and have to either re-tool the factory or, if the company is doing really badly for whatever reason, shut it down.

        It’s hard to see how they can employ the same number of people at the plant through all that. Sometimes they need tons of workers, sometimes there’s not enough work to bother turning the lights on. I genuinely don’t know what manufacturers are supposed to do about that. It sucks, but it feels like a consequence of how our economy is structured at a more fundamental level, rather than something the automakers are doing because they want to.

        1. If we had a stronger social safety net, it would be less shitty for a company to lose a shift. Granted, losing trained talent and then having to train new people after a brief interval also really sucks, so it’s really probably in the company’s long term interest to try and keep people on during leaner times

          1. Agreed on both counts. The way things stand now, I doubt I would suggest anyone go into auto manufacturing as a career. There are so many other well-paying trades that don’t involve a risk of getting randomly laid off with no warning.

            Personally I am currently working toward my electrician’s license, which is trade that pays well, and which will remain in extremely high demand for the foreseeable future. Even if the construction industry goes into a bust cycle (which it inevitably will, sooner or later) the shortage of licensed electricians is so bad that there will still be more work than there are electricians to do it. It’s a trade with a lot of options—you can start your own business, you can join a union, you can specialize in wiring up hospitals or houses or carnivals or solar farms or skyscrapers or factories or whatever suits your fancy—and it involves a good balance of physical and mental labor.

            Electrician isn’t the only trade that pays well and where there’s a massive shortage of workers that will persist for the foreseeable future. There are lots. I’d suggest any bright, mechanically-inclined kid who likes to work with his or her hands go into one of them. Skilled trades are a good deal—you don’t have to go into massive debt, you get paid to learn, and it’s good, solid, honorable work that pays well—potentially extremely well, if you start your own company and are successful at it.

            I wouldn’t suggest they go build cars, unless that’s something they had a true, deep passion for.

  6. About that tax credit, won’t the price and income provisions eliminate almost all EU produced vehicles even if the nation of construction requirements are removed? What (relatively) cheap EU BEV am I forgetting?

    1. I’d guess the VW ID.4, but production is now shifting to Tennessee. Maybe US market Nissan Leafs are built in the UK? I know they’re built there for the European market, and I don’t know if they’d extend it to the UK anyway given Brexit.

    2. My first thought as well, and I guess there are a few Euro models that could be somewhat affordable.

      The EQB starts around $50k, the i4 around $56k, the Q4 E-Tron under $50k. Although in German car speak, that is probably closer to $60-65k after a few options everyone will want. The 330e PHEV is around $50k I believe as well. After those, it seems like you leap up towards the $100k area, with the exception of the X5 PHEV around $70-80k.

      Eventually I’d imagine VW will have something cheaper than the ID4. Maybe Mini will have an EV that isn’t a joke.

      Personally I’d rather see it extended to Japan, but that is because I am far more likely to buy one. With that said, I also don’t have a problem when incentivizing manufacturers to build cars in the US.

  7. My weekend will consist of getting a 3-month old tire looked at because it has a bubble from hitting a giant fucking pothole in a construction zone. Thankfully it has road damage coverage but it’s still a hassle to take it to the dealership and deal with the whole process. Fuck ODOT and their unending bullshit road construction.

      1. I just had to pay a stupid amount of money today to get a tire fixed after I picked up a nail. It’s annoying enough on its own, but given we’re only a few weeks out from the standard winter tire swap and oil change, extra annoying to be in the shop

  8. I like the Challenger wrap, but think it would have been cooler and more on-brand if Dodge had slanted the stripes backward at the same angle as the racing stripes in the Dodge logo.

  9. European EV Subsidies: Fine! More choices = better!
    Dodge’s Colors: Great! More choices = better!
    Stellantis: Sucks! Can get better though. I was laid off years ago, but was then hired back six months later with a substantial pay raise, so can’t really complain.
    Jaguar C-Type: Awesome! I’ll never be able to afford one, but I’m glad they exist. I wish more companies built these types of heritage vehicles.
    El Flusheroo: I recently found a great-condition, low-mile 2006 red Beetle convertible with a turbo that I thought my wife would love. Had the cash at the ready. She said she’d rather I fix up her old hail-dented ’95 Ford Escort that she’s grown weirdly attached to. And, she asked me to start fixing it this weekend as an anniversary present. Okay! Its current needs are a heater core, blower motor, and a head gasket (and the head needs to be sent to the machine shop). Those are not particularly quick or easy jobs on that car. Saying that my wife asked me to spend our anniversary in the garage with an Escort is kind of fun though.

    1. About that tax credit, won’t the price and income provisions eliminate almost all EU produced vehicles even if the nation of construction requirements are removed? What (relatively) cheap EU BEV am I forgetting?

  10. After work today I’m replacing the license plate bulb housings on my Prius with some Prius-specific aftermarket housings that integrate the bulbs with the housing.

    Sunday, if my friend is available to help, I’m hoping to finish the project of adding factory-appearance (and operation) fog lights.

  11. Car stuff for the weekend? My girlfriend might let me help her shop for a car. She’s had a Nissan Maxima for 18 years and she’s finally going to replace it. Her father works at a Toyota dealership for a couple more weeks, so she is leaning toward a RAV4 or Venza from that dealership while she can still get a deal.
    Her priorities are color and how her water bottle fits, so my opinion isn’t of much use to her. She may not let me tag along.

    1. For dead nuts reliable ICE or hybrid cars Toyota is where it’s at. Either one should be fine. The RAV4 has a lot more capabilities soft-road or in snow than it lets on. She’s suffered a 2004ish Maxima for 18 years, let her get what she wants.

      1. Oh, I don’t want to tag along to sway her. I just want to tag along. And I think she’s on the right track. I just mean she may not want me along because there’s not much I can do to help her other than perhaps be a tall person in seats to see how people will fit.

  12. “The automaker said no permanent employees would be laid off as a result of the cutback, which it called an effort to “improve production efficiency” amid the ongoing industrywide microchip shortage.”

    The part-time analyst and full-time survivor of Entirely Too Fucking Many ‘Unprecedented Economic Events’ RootWyrm is quoted as saying “cough cough BULLSHIT cough cough” in response.
    Microchip shortage my ass. FCAtlantis just launched a $90k-150k Conspicuous Consumption SUV that is the very picture of excess, into Yet Another Unprecedented Economic Event while also trying to play the “it’s inflation, ignore our 300% increase in profits” lie. Warren builds two things: the 1500 Classic (which is largely commercial sales) and the Wagoneers.
    You know, two groups that are having to severely and abruptly curtail spending.

    But yeah. It’s the mostly resolved microchip shortage. Sure.

    “Since it’s been a while since I’ve asked, what are your automotive plans this weekend?”

    Not too terribly much. We had our last nice days earlier this week, and you do not run a GTS 9A1 in ambient temps below ~60F unless your objective is to score the hell out of the bores or spin a bearing. (Oil just will not get up to temperature.)
    My new favorite mechanic brought me some good news this morning. Expensive news, but where 3 other mechanics over 8 years failed, he found the A/C leak. Compressor seal at the clutch (the expensive part) and an O-ring on the drier. Neither ever showed ANY dye, but he was able to catch it with a sniffer. Which means aside from the transmission (we’re certain it’s a failed thrust bearing at this point,) the Saab doesn’t just have a clean bill of health – it has a PERFECT bill of health. Oil analysis is perfect. Bores are perfect. New power steering line (aged out.) No PCV issues. Not a goddamn thing.
    Might try to vacuum out the blower area and do the cabin air filter on the WK this weekend but definitely going to depend on how I feel. We went from 80 degrees midday to 44 degrees in the span of 2 days, so, yeah.

        1. Maybe they wouldn’t have had to save on labor if they’d spent less on their frigging direct mail campaign. I got a massive envelope in the mail a little while back breathlessly announcing the Wagoneer. Don’t know why they thought I’d be a good person to direct mail, but it was about the fanciest print job I’ve ever seen.

    1. “you do not run a GTS 9A1 in ambient temps below ~60F unless your objective is to score the hell out of the bores or spin a bearing. (Oil just will not get up to temperature.)”

      Yeech! German engineering excellence indeed!

    1. A loss to mourn, but Chrysler/Stellantis/Whatever is way, way ahead of everyone else in offering non-grayscale colors for their vehicles. And that is reason enough to be grateful.

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