Home » The Las Vegas F1 Race Could Be Absolute Chaos If Hotel Workers Strike

The Las Vegas F1 Race Could Be Absolute Chaos If Hotel Workers Strike

Las Vegas F1
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Happy Friday, y’all. The weekend is nigh and so is Formula One’s first race in Las Vegas in decades. There’s just one problem. Ok, there are actually many problems, but the biggest potential one is a strike by the hotel worker’s union looming over race weekend.

What’s some other fun news I can squeeze out here during this cold November Morning Dump? Let’s see. BMW’s EVs are selling well enough that the company isn’t considering engaging in the same price war as other companies, which seems wise. Volvo EVs, too, have been selling well. Stellantis is considering bringing an extremely cheap super-mini EV to Europe to bolster its offerings there.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

And let’s end this dump on the conflicting news over Gotion Inc’s proposed battery plant in Michigan, which continues to be a political football.

Viva Lost Wages! Union Summer Becomes Union Fall And Threatens F1 Weekend

A rendering of Formula 1 cars tearing up the Las Vegas strip.
Photo credit: Liberty Media / Formula 1

In some ways, it’s a bit of a bummer that ex-F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is out of the sport (and out about $800 million over tax fraud charges), because the collision of the cantankerous mogul and the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 would make for quite the showdown.

Alas, you can’t have it all.

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Also, if you’re going to Las Vegas for Formula One’s race in a couple of weekends, you might not have anyone to serve you a drink.

The union, which represents guest room attendants, servers, porters, cooks, laundry, and kitchen staff, says workers are ready to walk from 18 major casinos/hotels if conditions aren’t met by November 10th, which is just a few days before the F1 race opening ceremonies.

F1 weekends have increasingly become glitzy affairs where, seemingly, the competitive action on track is often outdone by the race between wealthy individuals and celebrities trying to outspend one another. If the strike holds, both F1 and businesses in the area stand to lose a big chunk of change.

Are they serious? Here’s a bit from the AP and you can tell me if you think they’re serious:

At a news conference, Ted Pappageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer and chief contract negotiator, urged tourists and Formula 1 ticket-holders to support the workers if they go on strike by not coming to Las Vegas or crossing the picket lines.

“We will be communicating to ask customers that they should take their business elsewhere,” he said.

Formula 1 did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Given the success of various unions this summer (UAW, UPS, WGA) it’ll be interesting to see how far the casino operators are willing to bend.

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BMW And Volvo Doing Nah Bad

Bmw Ix

BMW released its Q3 results, and you can read it all here, but signs mostly point to the Bavarian automaker doing well with revenue above expectations (up about 3.4% year-over-year to about $41 billion) and its automotive margins at about 10.3% so far this year.

Retail sales of its electric cars are also up, climbing to 94,000 units in Q3, which means the company is on track to almost double what it did in 2022.

Does this mean BMW might try to compete with Tesla on price? Nope.

Per Reuters:

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Pressed on whether BMW felt the need to cut prices to boost electric vehicle demand, particularly in China where a battle for market share has raged this year, Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said this approach was not in BMW’s playbook.

“We have no interest in sinking prices to gain market share. That’s not our strategy. And as you can see, we are managing to grow substantially even with very acceptable prices,” he said.

And what about Volvo, which is about to launch the EX30 (our review is coming on Monday)? Also not bad. The company reported a 22% increase in year-over-year sales for Q3, with BEVs making up about 18% of the company’s sales. Profits are also up. Here’s a key bit from Volvo:

At the same time, the gross margin continued to improve and came in at 19.6 per cent, helped by improving margins on electric cars, which came in at 9 per cent and was significantly up compared to the last quarter. This underscores that lower lithium prices are starting to have an effect, as well as the company is realising the effects of increased pricing on model year 2024 fully electric cars – as indicated during the previous quarter. Once the EX30 starts to be shipped to customers, it will further boost Volvo Cars’ profitable growth in fully electric cars, which the company believes will position it well versus many of its competitors.

Scale. Cheaper materials. Stubbornly high prices. It seems to be working for smaller automakers, at least.

I Want To See Stellantis Sell The Leapmotor T03

Leapmotor T03
Photo: Leapmotor

The Leapmotor T03 is a Chinese “supermini” electric car that sells in China for under $10k and has a range of about 170 miles. It is a city car, but it’s a remarkably compelling one. Now that Stellantis-owned Vauxhall has a stake in China’s Leapmotor, it is reportedly thinking about importing the tiny T03 to the European market to compete with the also Chinese-built Dacia Spring. Here’s Autocar explaining the logic:

Introducing cut-price Leapmotor EVs to the UK would help Stellantis reach the ZEV mandate targets starting next year, which forces car makers to sell a minimum of 22% zero-emission models in their overall sales mix, with tougher targets for subsequent years.

The T03 will obviously be a lot more expensive when it comes to the UK, but it only has to beat the $27,000 Citroën ë-C3 and $32,000 BYD Dolphin.

Leapmotor T03 2
Photo: Leapmotor

Gotion Plant Gets Closer To Reality, Then Doesn’t

Gotion Vw
Photo: VW

I’ve already written about the troubles for partially VW-owned electric battery company Gotion’s proposed plant in Green Charter Township Michigan, but the Tl;DR version is that the local government sees a lot of jobs and money and some national politicians see the threat of Chinese influence (the company is based in the U.S., but it’s the subsidiary of a Chinese company).

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According to local outlet The Pioneer, the locals think they’ve basically got a deal:

The Gotion Inc.-North American Manufacturing electric vehicle component manufacturing facility planned for Green Charter Township in Mecosta County is a “done deal,” a recent letter from Gotion Vice President Chuck Thelen to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation said.

In the letter, Thelen said Gotion Inc. is fully committed to establishing a manufacturing facility in Green Charter Township as discussed, and “we consider the project a done deal.”

Gotion has recently made a deal in Illinois for a $2 billion plant.

Oh, wait, here’s a headline from The Detroit News: “Bill would block Gotion from federal tax credits for EV battery parts plant in Big Rapids”

Who could be behind this?

The lawmakers, U.S. Reps. John Moolenaar of Caledonia and Darin LaHood of Illinois, said their legislation is in response to Gotion Inc., an American subsidiary of a Chinese-based company, planning to build EV battery materials factories near Big Rapids and in Manteno, Illinois, that would potentially qualify for the tax credits under the IRA.

The bill is notable in part because the Inflation Reduction Act’s pot of nearly $200 billion in advanced manufacturing credits is considered a major reason why foreign-owned companies such as Gotion are investing in U.S.-based factories.

The best part of this is the name of the bill is the  No Official Giveaways Of Taxpayers’ Income to Oppressive Nations Act. That’s an acronym for NO GOTION. Subtle!

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Technically, Gotion says it isn’t attempting to get federal IRA funds (it’s getting plenty in state/local tax abatements), though it’s possible the company will in the future.

Given that the whole point of the Inflation Reduction Act was to bring more manufacturing here and given the name of the act, this seems a bit like political grandstanding, though there are plenty of reasons why the United States government wouldn’t want to enrich Chinese companies more than it already has.

The Big Question

It’s Friday, so let’s have a little fun. Which car not sold in the United States should be imported here? Leapmotor T03? Zeekr Van? Ford Puma ST? What do you want?

Lead Photo: Mercedes F1

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Lightning
Lightning
8 months ago

Subaru Levorg, VW Up, Suzuki Jimny, Daihatsu Mira & Move Canvas, Alpine A110.

Last edited 8 months ago by Lightning
Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
8 months ago

the Leapmotor, the Twingo, the Micra, and other cars that aren’t fucking expensive

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
8 months ago

VW Buzz. They’ve teased it for so long and it’s nowhere to be found.

Myk El
Myk El
8 months ago

It’s Friday, so let’s have a little fun. Which car not sold in the United States should be imported here?

Alpine A110

FleetwoodBro
FleetwoodBro
8 months ago

I would like a DS 9 “Esprite de Voyage” because it has Active Scan Suspension which, according to the brochure, does this: “The kilometers pass by and nothing hinders your sensations or your pleasure of escape.”

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

Used to live in Vegas. The employees are useless the hotel requires using monkeys to transport luggage from front desk to room. Not allowed to transport your own luggage. I have had these idiots lose my luggage inside of 10 minutes and take 2 days to find it. I bet a strike improves service.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
8 months ago

Some Gotion exec should pick up the phone and call the UAW and ask for a meeting. That will put the xenophobes in a fun box.

Mike F.
Mike F.
8 months ago

I can’t believe the casino/hotel owners will call the union’s bluff and let them strike. It would be far too entertaining to actually happen.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mike F.
Ben
Ben
8 months ago

Americans: Bring back manufacturing jobs!
Gotion: Okay.
Americans: Not like that!

I get that anything with China is complicated, but that money set aside in the IRA is explicitly intended to encourage foreign companies to invest in US manufacturing. The only way this makes sense is if you think the money we’re giving all of the foreign automakers to build plants in the US is less valuable than the jobs it’s bringing, but if that’s the case you should be arguing about VW, Hyundai/Kia, etc. too. Otherwise we’re coming out ahead, regardless of where the parent company is headquartered.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Americans: Bring back manufacturing jobs!
Also Americans: NIMBY!

William Sheppard
William Sheppard
8 months ago

I worked for the Culinary Union for a couple years and a) they don’t bluff about strikes b) they know how to leverage large events in negotiations. Unless the casinos give, they’ll walk out.

Scruffinater
Scruffinater
8 months ago

An EV minivan. The Zeekr (soon to be rebadged volvo also) is the the only one I have heard of that could compete with a sienna/odyssey/pacifica. Are there others I should be wishing for?

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
8 months ago

Bring up the Chevy Montana from Brazil! Or, that’s what I would’ve said if they had kept the 2-door version from the first couple of generations. The latest iteration has suffered from bloat and the addition of 2 extra doors.

Last edited 8 months ago by Boulevard_Yachtsman
Pupmeow
Pupmeow
8 months ago

I grew up in the-middle-of-nowhere central Michigan and … it’s bad. There was always poverty, but it’s so much worse now.
The point is, places like Big Rapids/Reed City need decent paying, stable jobs or the economy, infrastructure, and residents’ dental health are just going to continue to decline. And fuck the stupid ass name of that bill.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Spent enough time there for the last few decades, yes that’s one of the most economically depressed areas of the state.

Keep going north and that would be interesting to see a hotel strike. It’s already bad enough how the tourists and transplants with their deep pockets have driven up prices so much, that the very places they visit can’t get workers who can afford or even find housing. More and more places closing up due to lack of workers.

Viking Longcar
Viking Longcar
8 months ago

I guess all the F1 tourists will have to eat from LV food trucks (excellent in my experience).

Which leads me to: FOOD TRUCK RACING – competitors must cook while in motion. That, unlike F1, I would actually watch.

/Go Union!

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