Home » You’re Not Crazy, More Than Half Of All New Vehicle Launches Were Delayed This Year

You’re Not Crazy, More Than Half Of All New Vehicle Launches Were Delayed This Year

Tmd Launch Fail Ts
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I’ve been following the automotive market since I was old enough to read, and I’ve been watching it professionally for about the last 15 years. Never in all that time have I seen so many cars intended for production end up delayed. Some of this is obviously due to the pandemic, but the trend in delays actually precedes COVID-19. What’s going on here?

Today’s installment of The Morning Dump is all about the complex world we live in and what 2024 might hold. It’s a complicated world and we’re all just trying to survive living in it another year. One thing that might make living in 2024 a little better is the promise of prices returning closer to normal next year, so let’s talk about that.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Toyota will likely end the year as the biggest automaker in the world, again, but problems with Daihatsu could risk that in 2024. And, finally, a couple of U.S. Senators want Tesla to issue a real, physical recall for its cars next year. Let’s begin.

PWC: Only 45% Of Cars Launched On Time Last Year

There’s a big report out from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is one of the big four accounting firms, and it provides data for something we’re all feeling deep in our souls. Specifically, it shows that since 2019 the ability of automakers to launch vehicles when promised has been seriously compromised.

Image of automotive launch failures
Image: PwC

That’s a rough chart, showing that in 2023 there were delays on 34% of all promised product launches due to production delays and 21% due to “other.” The methodology here is pretty simple, with PwC looking at all advertised launches (including refreshes) and then following up to see if those vehicles were produced when promised.

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The timing of this is important. If you look to the left on this chart you’ll see that in 2017 the market attempted the same number of vehicle launches (38) in North America as they did this year and wound up with only 13% being delayed, and none of those were due to production issues. In 2018, production delays started to creep in and, by 2019, they were way up.

Obviously, the pandemic whacked everyone and delays climbed as high as 69% in 2022, even though the market only attempted 23 new launches. We’ve all lived through delays to the Nissan 400Z and the Ford Maverick, both of which were related to supply shortages caused by the pandemic.

But the fact that this started in 2019 shows that you can’t just blame the pandemic for what’s occurred. GM is delaying its electric trucks over demand concerns and, in general, the company has had issues getting its Ultium-based vehicles produced. As cars continue to get more complex it gets harder and harder to build them, with companies relying more on outside suppliers for motors, batteries, and other key components. These delays, according to PwC, can cost upwards of $200 million a year for an automaker.

What’s next? More launches. Way more launches. From the company’s analysis:

Looking forward, our analysis forecasts that the number of EV models will nearly double through 2026, as part of aggressive societal, governmental and industrial push to mainstream EVs. Due to this additional launch activity, we expect delays to persist — with delayed launches averaging between 20 and 40 per year through 2026. Our model forecasting such persistent delays over the next several years assumes that currently entrenched issues persist.

Suppliers and automakers will get better at this because they have to, it’s just the speed at which that’ll happen that’s up for debate here.

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U.S. Senators To Tesla: Recall Your Cars

Senators Recall Tesla
Senators Edward J. Markey (left) and Richard Blumenthal. Tesla Model S image: Tesla

Speaking of suppliers, I haven’t written a lot about the big Reuters investigation into Tesla’s suspension woes, but it’s really good reporting and here’s the topline:

Wheels falling off cars at speed. Suspensions collapsing on brand-new vehicles. Axles breaking under acceleration. Tens of thousands of customers told Tesla about a host of part failures on low-mileage cars. The automaker sought to blame drivers for vehicle ‘abuse,’ but Tesla documents show it had tracked the chronic ‘flaws’ and ‘failures’ for years.

The parts seem to come from suppliers, though the blame also seems to have been pointed at drivers here in the United States (in China, it appears that Tesla recalled cars for a similar issue).

Two Senators have taken notice and asked the company and CEO Elon Musk to recall those vehicles.

Per Reuters:

“We write with extreme concern following recent reporting about Tesla’s knowledge of safety flaws in its vehicles and concealment of the causes of these flaws from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” states the letter, which is signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and Edward J. Markey, of Massachusetts.

The senators call on Musk to correct “apparent false and misleading representations” made to the safety agency.

The Reuters report found that Tesla told NHTSA and customers that the frequent failures of defective parts in its electric vehicles were caused by driver “abuse,” such as hitting a curb. In 2020, Tesla gave that explanation in a letter to the safety agency explaining why it would not recall a suspension part called the aft link in the United States, despite having just recalled it in China.

It’s not clear that anything will come of this, as Senators complain about things all the time.

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Toyota Will Beat VW Yet Again

Toyota Beats Vw
Images: Volkswagen, Toyota

Toyota is going to once again maintain its crown as the biggest automaker in the world, in large part due to the success of its many smaller brands around the world. Volkswagen Group is likely to come in second.

From Bloomberg via The Detroit News:

Global sales — including that of subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. — rose 12% from a year earlier to 986,262 units, the most ever for the month of November, the company said Wednesday. Worldwide production reached an all-time high at 1,067,446 units.

The world’s biggest carmaker has been making and selling an unprecedented number of automobiles throughout the year, further securing its dominance with hybrid cars as it pushes forward with ambitious plans to mass produce electric vehicles and catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. and China’s BYD Co.

That bit about Daihatsu is interesting because the company is going to largely stop making new products for a while due to the ongoing Daihatsu Safety Charade. Will that cause Toyota to slip in 2024?

2024 Should Be A Good Year To Buy A Car

Sales Manager Helping Young Couple To Choose A New Car
HBS/stock.adobe.com

As we look with hopeful eyes towards 2024 I do worry about a terrible election cycle and its ability to further cause strife here in the United States. I can’t help but think about accelerating climate change and its impacts on our weather. I have concerns about an LA Dodgers Team that’s somehow getting away with paying probably the greatest living baseball player like $50 a game.

At least it’ll probably be a decent time to buy a car, according to this report in the Detroit Free Press:

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Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke says 2024 will be the best year for consumers to buy a new car since before the pandemic, as new vehicle supply increases, transaction prices come down, automakers are expected to offer more deals and interest rates should ease.

Happy New Year!

“With supply normalizing and the economy stabilizing to hit a soft landing and not turn into a recession, it leads to an environment that is the most normal we’ve encountered since 2019,” Smoke told the Detroit Free Press recently. “For consumers looking to buy a vehicle, it’s the best year by far since 2019.”

Yipee!

What I’m Listening To As I Write This

The original cast recording of the surprisingly great Broadway adaptation of “Some Like It Hot”

The Big Question

What are your predictions for 2024? Will it be a great year? A terrible year?

Top image graphic star: Apollo flight director Glynn Lunney / NASA

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Jon FoRS
Jon FoRS
3 months ago

For an enthusiast who might currently be in the market things are weird right now. Interested in a GR Corolla or a VW GTI or R there are none in my area at dealers available for me to at least sit in- god forbid take a test drive. How are people expected to pay $40-50K on a vehicle without checking it out in the flesh first?

JDE
JDE
3 months ago

A weird Boomer Show down for the white house, a market already sort of shaky with jobs starting to fade and very real concerns about China continuing to line US corporate pockets with barely disguised Slave labor parts give me a particularly pessimistic view of 2024 potential, but I hope I am wrong.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

Wait,why are senators asking tesla? Why isnt the safety agency TELLING tesla what to do?

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

I’ve been wondering wtf NHTSA has been doing for the past few years, between Tesla mechanical issues, all the self-driving tech everywhere, and Musk’s naming scheme and exaggerations about FSD and autopilot.

Is NHTSA not empowered to do anything? Are are they terrible at their jobs? Or in the OEMs’ pocket?

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

It’s bizarre right? All this new tech happening and they seem to be taking the passive approach (also known as the ‘lets see how many people die’ method).

JDE
JDE
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

They did just finally get the Auto Pilot recall done, but Elon is a particularly large Turd Sandwich and as such hard to digest.

TXJeepGuy
TXJeepGuy
3 months ago

I thought a Daihatsu Safety Charade was a pace car for Kei races.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago

“What are your predictions for 2024? Will it be a great year? A terrible year?”

I predict that the Tesla Cybertruck will slowly ramp up as will the Semi. We will also see what the restyled Model Y will look like… but it won’t arrive in 2024. But the restyled Model 3 should make it to North America at some point in the year.

Rivian will continue to grow and get closer to breaking even. Lucid will carry on with some minor changes, but they’ll carry on. Same with VinFast… with their changes focusing on quality improvements.

And we will continue to see little or no product from the questionable BEV startups like Workhorse, Canoo, Nikola, Mullen automotive, Fisker, Faraday Future, EdisonFuture or Aptera.

Though I’m hoping Canoo and Aptera somehow pull through and get something in production as both of those have interesting looking products.

For legacy car makers, we will see an increase in BEV options and increased BEV production and some ICE options disappear.

And we will probably see a ‘Final FINAL Extra Uber Special Last Last Call’ editions of the Dodge/Chrysler Charger/Challenger/300.

BEV sales will continue to grow overall.

And there will be fewer and fewer cases of excessive dealer markups on vehicles as supply continues to improve overall.

It will be a better year for consumers than in recent years.

But for dealers still clinging to their excessive markups, it will be a “terrible” year and they will cry crocodile tears.

Last edited 3 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Space
Space
3 months ago

Bold predictions.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Space

Which ones?

I don’t think all of them are bold. I think the ‘2024 being a better year for consumers and dealers crying crocodile tears’ prediction is a pretty mild prediction and almost guaranteed.

Space
Space
3 months ago

Truthfully they all seem reasonable, for any consumer that can afford it 2024 will be better than this year.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago

Final,FINAL,etc editions.
Extra hilarious because it’s true (and awesome)

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

Yeah and I’m not saying it’s bad in any way. Just easily predictable…

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

I think as the price of new cars approachs what I paid for my house buying a new car will be easier except for affordability. Then we will be forced to lease and the whole subscription model comes into play because sorry chump you didn’t buy the car and it’s features you leased it with these features and if resold can make the buyer pagy new price for features with a subscription. It is approaching the time Noone will own their own car and everyone will always have a car payment forever. So let’s celebrate the new year.

Ron888
Ron888
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Haha.You make it sound like the USA has a debt problem or somethin.
Oh,wait

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron888

Nah not until you can’t borrow anymore

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

The safer we make this world to live in the more idiots we have living longer than the survival of the fittest rule of the jungle would have it.
Oh Lord won’t someone please think of the gene pool?

TheFanciestCat
TheFanciestCat
3 months ago

This actually adds to my much crazier theory that we’re approaching an incompetence tipping point that will leave civilization wallowing in our own filth for decades as we have to re-learn what competence and expertise even look like.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
3 months ago

I appreciate your attempts at validation, but I’m pretty sure I am still crazy.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
3 months ago

As I enter my 77th year this coming February, I would say that 2024 is a good year to die. Not ready to leave, but packed my bags just in case.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Opa Carriker

Are you hoping for a Viking death or a Klingon death?

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

What’s the difference?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Well one happens on water and the other is on a starship.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

The funerals perhaps. Ideally both die in battle.

IIRC Klingons don’t normally do funerals. Understandable given disruptors, phasers and lowest bidder transporter malfunctions don’t leave much to dispose of.

Parsko
Parsko
3 months ago

I’m betting that the yearly automotive cycle will be disrupted to become “when the car is done and ready”, instead of release and repair. It makes sense since you are now developing and building 3 types of power supply, sometimes in the same vehicle (right?). There is no rational reason to continue the yearly schedule when Tesla has shown (once again) that it’s not necessary.

2024: shitshow

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
3 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

Ah yes, the “Duke Nukem Forever”-style release schedule.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago

Stellantis figured out a loophole – you can’t launch new products behind schedule if you never launch them at all

Last edited 3 months ago by Ranwhenparked
Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
3 months ago

2024 maybe be when the EV industry starts to get serious for reals.

Most big makes are switching to NACS, going a big ways towards fixing the main issue so far, which is charging infrastructure(sorry Teslars, you gonna have LOTS of company at the old Supercharger troughs.)

GM may actually launch the Equinox EV and get their Ultium manufacturing going.

VW may actually start selling the Buzz, Tesla getting the Cybertruck, so it’s not just bland bean shaped crossovers now(Excluding Ioniq 5), we’re actually starting to get some variety that was promised with the flexibility of EV platforms. Maybe Canoo will even stick around.

Also an election year so gas prices will probably fall, and interest rates maybe so that could help people financing, and I will long for the Lawyer/Ozempic commercials to return instead of every other ad is “This guy sucks, he lied about this.”
and then the next is that guy like he was waiting in the studio to record “I didn’t lie, here’s the facts, that guys a racist!”,
and then the other guys waiting in the same studio to put out “I’m not a racist, just ask me, also that guy likes pineapple on his pizza!”, and so forth,
and I’m like please Morgan and Morgan, buy more air time talking about how much money you make!

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago

Having not bought a new car since 2020, or a car of any kind since early 2021, I’m really getting the itch to change that in 2024.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Really I haven’t bought a new car since 2002, still DD it. The last car I bought in 2020 was a 1978 Fiat with its original tires.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Well you can probably buy yourself the newly restyled Tesla Model 3 which should be coming to North America soon.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago

2024 is going to be a fantastic year to buy a CCS EV, particularly used. Reviewers are telling people not to buy CCS EVs because NACS is coming, and I’ve seen a lot of prospective buyers following that advice. So as soon as NACS drops in 2024, the prices on used EVs will fall as dealers try to dump “obsolete” CCS inventory.

Those “obsolete” CCS EVs will still work fine on NACS chargers with a $200 adapter. They’re fundamentally cross-compatible systems. So if you’re waiting for a road-trip-worthy EV for under $30k, this might be your year.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
3 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

There are 2 $200 devices on the market currently, and neither of them are useful at the moment, because Tesla has not opened the network yet. In most cases people will need to buy an adapter from the manufacturer of their vehicle, so that it can properly communicate with the superchargers to be allowed to charge the car.

The Tesla charging network is supposed to start opening up to more manufacturers in 2024, but companies like VW aren’t planning on having an approved adapter available until 25. I suspect manufacturer prices will be closer to $400-500.

The Lectron Vortex, and A2Z Typhoon look useful, but actually improve nothing, due to programming of the Tesla charging stations. This is Should improve in the future, but we are dealing with the whims of Elon also.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago

I go into the details in this comment, but the short version is that NACS is just CCS with a new contact arrangement. Like a USB-A to USB-Micro-B cable, a NACS-CCS1 adapter doesn’t need to do any “translating” between the two ends. If an adapter works for one car, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for all of them. (Except hardware DRM, which I wouldn’t put past some automakers.)

As far as I’m aware, you’re right that Tesla themselves haven’t fully migrated to NACS. No idea how long that rollout will take, but there are a lot of federal dollars riding on Tesla opening their chargers.

Last edited 3 months ago by Thevenin
Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
3 months ago

I WAS looking forward to getting a Volvo EX30 next year, but between Volvo delaying when the deposit holders could configure their car, the lease loophole tax credit being gone and the fact it’s a Chinese car meaning it will be tariffed into the ground by the time they can deliver…I don’t think it’s happening for me.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

I think the tariffs are already included in the preliminary pricing, unless tariffs get raised further. Or, there’s no tariff applied because Volvo exports US built vehicles (XC90?) and that number of vehicles are allowed to be imported without tariff.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
3 months ago

My understanding is that there is already a 25% tariff built into the price of the car and Volvo is keeping the price low by banking on getting credits for exporting the more expensive cars built in the US.

I’m just assuming the tariffs will get ratcheted higher; especially with my luck.

Root
Root
3 months ago

I’m glad to hear it might be a good year to get a new car, but I’m really hoping to get at least another year out of my current ride…

My prediction for 2024 is a risky one: Aptera will finally get into production.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago
Reply to  Root

My prediction for 2024 is a risky one: Aptera will finally get into production.

If they deliver at their targeted price point, they will sell more than most people expect them to.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago
Reply to  Root

Fingers crossed for Aptera. I like their dedication to repairability.

A. Barth
A. Barth
3 months ago

I don’t have any particular predictions for 2024, but did notice something interesting (?) this week.

For the past N years I’ve been attending a big vintage motorcycle event each July. Last year at this time I booked a hotel for 2023: there were plenty of options and I was able to get a nice room close to the location for a good rate.

When I tried to book a hotel this week for 2024, everything [that was reasonably priced] within 15 miles of the venue was sold out and the remaining places appeared to have noticeably inflated rates. It was quite a surprise.

For most people who attend, old bikes are a hobby. (There are vendors, suppliers, etc. as well.) It’s a bad idea to extrapolate from a single data point, but I’m wondering if the hotel situation is an indicator that there is increased interest in old two-wheelers at the enthusiast level. The event was canceled one year during the pandemic and the following couple of years had middling attendance; last year showed a marked increase in attendance and the swap meet was the largest it’s ever been IME.

tl;dr – people who like old motorcycles may be feeling bullish about 2024

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

“tl;dr – people who like old motorcycles may be feeling bullish about 2024”

God I hope that doesn’t spread to old bicycles!

Abraham Smith
Abraham Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

what city?

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago

Matt, are you Rorschach Testing us today with The Big (CBT 101) Question? lol

Alexk98
Alexk98
3 months ago

2024 should be a good year for the car industry, at least compared to the past 4 or 5. Toyota is releasing some awesome stuff in the new LC, GX, and Taco, and hopefully announcing a new 4Runner. More and more companies are releasing actually compelling and interesting Hybrids, and even enthusiast cars are doing shockingly well compared to even 5 years ago.

EVs are continuing to get more compelling and interesting (not you GM and Mercedes, y’all got work to do, see Blazer EV stop sale and every EQ product) and prices on EVs are continuing to go down, while charging infrastructure gets better. Lets not forget the numerous cars switching to NACS plugs in North America within the next 18-24 months.

2024 will finally (hopefully) be the year I finally buying a nice quirky JDM car for funsies which has been on my automotive bucket list for an unhealthy amount of time. Oh and I’m finally an Autopian member, so how could it NOT be a good year?

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