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Kia And Hyundai Are Very Good At This Carmaking Thing


Good morning! Today we’re talking about Kia and Hyundai sales, fiery Chrysler batteries, Geely buying everything, and stunt drivers. 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.

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Kia/Hyundai Kicking Ass And Chewing Bubble Gum And Reportedly Bereft Of Chewing Material

ElantranIt’s hard to look at anyone’s sales and assume much right now. There’s such a dearth of product and such an abundance of supply chain issues that the most meaningful statistic one can draw is that, hey, maybe this company knows how to make cars and is geographically/logistically well equipped to do so?

Even so, Hyundai and Kia are strongly on the upswing in way that’s probably more meaningful than that. Their cars are, for lack of a better term: Good. Some are even better than good, like the Hyundai Tucson Plug-In. Countless keystrokes have documented the reasons why, going all the way back to the strategic devaluation of South Korea’s currency all the way through hiring only the best Europeans.

In September, Hyundai jumped 11% year-over-year to nearly 60,000 deliveries while Kia saw an increase of 6.5% to hair over 56,000, which is a September record for the automaker. Even Genesis was up 0.8%. In addition to having cars and having cars that people want, the company is also probably making money.


Why? Here’s a little tidbit from Automotive News:

The company has prioritized retail deliveries to maximize profits and leverage tight new car and light-truck stockpiles, forgoing fleet business nine consecutive months now.

This maybe goes some way to explaining why every car you rent seems like it’s about to explode. It also shows a company that’s quite smart and seemingly flexible enough to respond to the market. At every level, Hyundai and Kia seem to be excelling.

Geely Buys Part Of Aston Martin

Aston Martin LogoGeely would like to own Aston Martin. All of Aston Martin. In fact, Geely seems hell bent on owning just about everything. But if you can’t own all of a car company, 7.6% ain’t half bad, which is what Geely’s ended up with.

If you feel like Geely has its hands in everything it’s because Geely seems to have its hands in everything. Curiously, Geely does not get a board seat but Kristen Korosec over at TechCrunch does a good job of breaking down the moving pieces and explaining why it probably doesn’t matter:

Geely, which owns Lotus and is the largest shareholder of Polestar and Volvo Cars, took a 10% stake valued at $9 billion in Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler in 2018. Geely didn’t have a board seat either, but managed to exert its influence over the company, including a joint venture with the German automaker that gave it partial control of the Smart car brand.

To make things even more exciting, Aston managed to grab another $732 million from Mercedes-Benz and the Saudi Public Investment Fund.


Not A Good Look LG

PacifcahybridGood news for owners of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids built in 2017 and 2018, Stellantis doesn’t yet know why more than 12 of these cars have caught on fire, but they know how to stop that from happening again. Per The Detroit News:

Stellantis is directing its dealers to update the software of the high-voltage battery pack control module to monitor the status of the battery pack for conditions that could lead to a fire. Dealers also will inspect and replace, if necessary, the battery pack. The estimated repair time is 1½ to two days and there is no cost to vehicle owners, who will receive alternative transportation while the vehicle is serviced.

And who made that battery pack? LG Energy Solutions, of course. You may remember those batteries from the time that Chevy had to recall every single Bolt and Bolt EUV.

Go Read About Sera Trimble

SerasraYou may not know who Sera Trimble is, but you’ve definitely seen here work. From Kia Hamster to Subaru dog to that awesome backward driving in “Licorice Pizza” she is everywhere. She’s also a delightful person singled out by our old pal Hannah Elliott for this profile. Here’s a highlight where she explains why she drives her Fiesta ST to set and not one of her Porsches:

What you drive to set in Hollywood is kind of a flex.

That was why I didn’t feel comfortable in the Cayman. If you show up and the producer is driving an Audi S4, which they were 10 years ago, and I’m pulling up in a sports car, it’s just like, “Uh-oh, maybe we pay the drivers too much.”

I’m just not that person. Granted there is the exact opposite of me in the industry. Mr. Drives His Ferrari to Work Every Day.

Friends writing about friends! What a great way to start the week.

The Flush

Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Let’s talk about friendship: Who is your best car friend? Who do you call when you’ve got a weird/bad idea? It’s important to have car buddies. I have too many car buddies, which is why I make so many weird/bad choices.


Photos: Hyundai, Kia, Newspress, Stellantis, and Instagram

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