Home » Ford Caves, Saves The AM Radio

Ford Caves, Saves The AM Radio

Am Radio
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Victory for America! Victory for safety! Victory for amplitude modulation! Ford has relented on its plan to abandon the great AM radio. Plus, GM is getting those juicy tax credits, Biden’s planning a veto, and Tesla’s bringing Chinese-made cars to North America. Let’s go through some car news, shall we?

I’m at Martine’s Fine Bake Shoppe in Tuckahoe, New York with David and Jason on a secret mission. So this is going to be brief. They’re eating a salmon baguette, by the way.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Breaakfast

 

Hell Yeah AM Radio

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Sports. Weather alerts. Farm reports. Political thought too dangerous for FM. You don’t know how much you need AM radio until you don’t have it. [Editor’s Note: Let’s be honest: fuzzy sport game comentary and religious sermons. -DT]. Automakers have begun to bounce AM radio from their cars, which has called a bipartisan group of legislators to get real mad. We need it for safety! Also, there are lots of somber-toned radio (FM) ads about this.

Alas, Ford has heard the cry for justice and has restored the AM radio.

Here’s the text if you don’t want to read CEO Jim Farley’s tweet:

After speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system, we’ve decided to include it on all 2024
@Ford & @LincolnMotorCo vehicles. For any owners of Ford EVs without AM broadcast capability, we’ll offer a software update.

Customers can currently listen to AM radio content in a variety of ways in our vehicles – including via streaming – and we will continue to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future.

Thanks to our product development and manufacturing teams for their quick response to make this change for our customers.

It’s nice to know they could have apparently just flipped on the AM for their EVs with a software update.

Chinese Teslas Are Coming To Canada

Model 3 Range Hero Desktop Lhd

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While the United States makes it less appealing to bring a Chinese-made EV over here, Canada is a bit different. Still, there’s manufacturing in the United States so why would Tesla do this?

Here’s Reuters with an explanation:

Tesla’s move to export to Canada from Shanghai could help it keep vehicles made at its plants in California and Texas for sale in the United States, where they qualify for potential tax incentives of up to $7,500 under the Biden administration’s subsidy program.

It also opens a new market for Tesla Shanghai, which last year accounted for more than half of the company’s production.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory manufactures EVs for sale in China and exports to overseas markets, including Europe. But Tesla faces growing competition on price and features from EV makers in China, and its Berlin factory has been ramping up output of the Model Y for customers in Europe.

It just goes to show how global the car market still is and how valuable those Inflation Reduction Act tax credits are.

Mercedes Shows Eight New Models To Dealers, Including An EV CLA And GLC

Mbcla

The Mercedes CLA and GLC are, respectively, a completely average quasi-luxury compact sedan and mostly fine compact crossover. Literally no one will make a stink if they go electric and, frankly, it’s probably the most obvious way for Mercedes to make a Model 3 and Model Y competitor.

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On cue, here’s Automotive News with a report from the latest Mercedes dealer meeting:

The compact CLA should get 400 miles of driving range and arrive in U.S. stores next year.

Sources described the sedan as larger than the combustion engine CLA but with a sleeker profile. The interior carries over the digital-first cockpit design of Mercedes’ current electric models.

The battery-powered CLA will be Mercedes’ conquest vehicle for the EV age, aiming to poach Tesla’s young, tech-focused consumers. “There’s a recognition that CLA brings 60 percent new buyers to the brand,” a dealer said.

The electric GLC is a successor to the EQC electric crossover, which was to be Mercedes’ first mass-volume EV in the U.S. But that launch was scuttled due to the crossover’s limited range, which was deemed inadequate for the market.

The GLC EV will arrive next year with about 300 miles of range and an all-new design.

RIP EQ branding.

GM Could Reap Some Fat Credits For Its New Battery Plant

Passenger Front 3/4 View Of The Cadillac Celestiq Driving.

Battery, battery, battery, battery. Money, money, money, money.

From the Detroit News:

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An Indiana county council on Tuesday evening approved tax incentives for a $3.5 billion battery plant investment by General Motors Co. and battery partner Samsung SDI.

The St. Joseph County Council unanimously approved a development agreement and tax abatements for the project that would be the largest seen in the area if the companies decide to select the northern Indiana site for GM’s fourth battery cell plant.

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

Council approved 100% tax abatements for real-estate property for 10 years and for tangible personal property for 15 years, up from the percentages offered to Ultium Cells. In exchange, GM would pay a $4.5 million infrastructure fee per year for 10 years to cover costs for sewer extensions, road improvements and new fiber optic cables.

It’s important to note that available land for large industrial facilities near transport hubs and major roads is becoming hard to find. With Amazon and Walmart distribution centers going up everywhere, there’s a landgrab.

Big Question

What would you get for breakfast if you were with us. Here’s the menu.

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Scott Wangler
Scott Wangler
1 year ago

I am curious as to what problem is solved by abandoning AM radio??

06dak
06dak
1 year ago

“Customers can currently listen to AM radio content in a variety of ways in our vehicles – including via streaming – and we will continue to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future.”

This doesn’t say they are turning on AM radio and that the AM hardware is there. This says “we have ways to get AM radio to you”, which probably means giving you access to apps and using your paid cell service to provide you something that’s already available for free.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago

These baguettes look like ass and are an insult to every baker. Off with their heads!

Sorry, sometimes I need to let loose the French in me. When you guys do a corporate retreat or whatever in Grenoble I’ll show you the good stuff.

Masterbuilder
Masterbuilder
1 year ago

You guys all claiming on AM radio have obviously never spent any time in the rural mountains. There are many locations where AM is the only radio available. These areas have NO internet or cell. The stations broadcast music, local news and local sports. Small time operations with a small profit margin, but much loved by the locals.

Also, how about the Merguez Sausage Shakshukah with black coffee. Looks tasty as hell.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 year ago

Unless there’s a sweetheart deal somewhere else, GM would be fools not to build their battery facility in St. Joe county (basically, South Bend, IN.). There’s a major fiber line running right through for datacomms. (Data centers have been quietly expanding in the disused Union Station building, and in at least one of the few remaining parts of the Studebaker plant.) The Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90) is just on the north side of the county. Two major railroads have lines running through the area. Amazon is already building a giant warehouse in neighboring Elkhart county right beside a Toll Road exit.

And just on principle, getting major auto industry manufacturing back would be healthy for the area. We still mourn Studebaker and the loss of the Bendix plant. And the AM General facility in neighboring Mishawaka is a shadow of its former self, and probably will continue to be, unless it can get a US Government contract again. As it stands, there are still small machine shops which do contract work for the automotive industry. There’s plenty of industry knowledge to tap.

Bruno Hache
Bruno Hache
1 year ago

Happy to see some are keeping it. There’s something I love about listening to a hockey or baseball game on AM radio. To me any other format just doesn’t make sense.

Israel Moore
Israel Moore
1 year ago

I enjoy AM radio. It’s what I grew up with. I enjoy listening to long-distance stations, day and night. from my hilltop in Appalachian foothills of Alabama, I can pull in stations from eastern and central thirds of the nation, with a few stray signals from Wyoming, Colorado, and from lower Manitoba and Ontario. Mostly music, news and sports, especially during college football season. I get to listen to Iowa-Iowa State on WOI Des Moines, Notre Dame/Illinois on WGN Chicago, and anything Texas on WAOI San Antonio, plus a lot of the smaller schools. And of course, any station that carries the World Series.

It’s great to pick up the stations in the car. But I also have a lot of powerful portable radios that can pull in more distant stations than a fisherman on the lake.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
1 year ago

For any owners of Ford EVs without AM broadcast capability, we’ll offer a software update.” So the hardware is already there? They WHY is it TURNED OFF? WTF? How does it help Ford to have it off?

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Because in a modern radio it’s all software, rather than strictly analog systems like the old days – so the equipment isn’t specialized for each band, but it is up to the software to interpret the various signals. Someone with a software background can probably do a more thorough explanation.

It helps Ford because it reduces the software development budget – one less thing to implement, one less thing to test, one less thing to update as you change software versions of the car.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago

Why do car radios not carry weather radio bands? That seems like that would not be that hard to have a weather radio button on a car stereo.

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

I had a subaru that did (’98 if I remember right). It was handy.

Israel Moore
Israel Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

Mercedes once offered car radios with shortwave band access until 15 years ago. I don’t see why you can’t get weatherband-equipped car radios, unless you’re a truck driver, because some truckmakers do offer AM/FM/Weather radios as an option.

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  Israel Moore

There are some out there. They seem to be oriented towards truck drivers and boaters, but that seems like a good thing, as they’re made more heavy-duty because of it.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 year ago

How else will old white rural men be radicalized into domestic terrorists without AM radio.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

Facebook’s going to have to pick up the slack, I guess.

Droid
Droid
1 year ago

egg sammich on plain toasted bagel with a black coffee please.

so ford will OTA turn on the AM receiver, but unlikely to have added shielding so it’s likely to be terrible sound quality. then they can collect customer data that noone uses the AM radio (because it is so painful to listen to without proper shielding) so they’ll be enabled to kill it again.
kinda like noone builds small pick-ups, so noone buys them, therefore there is no market for them…as I explained to my old boss, one of the benefits of my cynical pessimism is that i’m not disappointed much.

Toobs-N-Stuff
Toobs-N-Stuff
1 year ago

the congressional AM radio fetish has nothing to do with the emergency alert system and everything to do with extremist right wing radio.

First Last
First Last
1 year ago
Reply to  Toobs-N-Stuff

Nailed it.

Ben Novak
Ben Novak
1 year ago

I remember driving in Germany many years ago, and a couple of times an emergency broadcast was sent to my car’s speakers. I’ve always wondered what frequency they used for that – AM? FM? Something else?

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 year ago

shakshukah. delicious and fun to order.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 year ago

“I’ll have what she’s having” 🙂

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
1 year ago

Kind of an odd and regionally specific reason to keep AM radio. AM radio works WAY better in mountainous areas compared to FM, which is good in case of emergencies.

I actually think that it makes more sense to keep AM, ditch FM, people can use their smartphone or satelite radio for entertainment and keep AM for emergencies.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 year ago

Can’t people just keep an Am radio in the closet for emergencies? this makes not sense.

Timohb
Timohb
1 year ago

I need AM radio’s constant traffic reports here in Orange County CA!

ElmerTheAmish
ElmerTheAmish
1 year ago

Your Turn: Give me a breakfast sandwich on a bagel. Eggs over easy; sausage and bacon; gouda cheese.

“Side” of french toast.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
1 year ago

I don’t see a Bloody Mary on the menu.
Guess I’ll go hungry.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
1 year ago

Bloody Mary is a terrible name for a waitress.

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