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Small, Well-Built Chinese EV Called The Seagull Poses A Big Threat To The US Auto Industry

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Livonia, Michigan —The Seagull, a small, low-cost electric automobile, has American automakers and politicians concerned.

The vehicle, which Chinese automaker BYD unveiled last year, costs about $12,000 in China, but it drives smoothly and has a level of craftsmanship that is comparable to three times more expensive electric vehicles made in the United States. A shorter-range version costs less than $10,000.

Tariffs on imported Chinese vehicles are expected to keep the Seagull away from American shores for the time being, and if imported, it will most certainly cost more than $12,000.

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PixBay – VOR News Image

Small, Well-Built Chinese EV Called The Seagull Poses A Big Threat To The US Auto Industry

However, the quick introduction of low-cost EVs from China has the potential to shake up the global auto industry in ways not seen since Japanese manufacturers erupted onto the scene during the 1970s oil crisis. BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” could be disastrous for the US auto industry.

“Any car company that isn’t paying attention to them as a competitor will be lost when they enter their market,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions near Philadelphia. “BYD’s entry into the US market is not a question. “It’s a when.”

Politicians and businesses in the United States already perceive Chinese EVs as a potential threat. On Tuesday, the Biden administration will likely impose 100% tariffs on imported electric vehicles from China, citing a threat to American jobs and security.

According to a study by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, government subsidies for Chinese electric vehicles “could end up being an extinction-level event for the U.S. auto sector.”

Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned industry analysts that Chinese EVs are so good that, without trade obstacles, “they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world.”

Outside China, EVs are often expensive, catering to a higher-income niche market. However, Chinese businesses that still need to be worldwide household names are providing affordable solutions that appeal to the masses, just as the United States, Europe, and many other nations are pushing a shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles to combat climate change.

“The Western markets have not democratized EVs. “They gentrified EVs,” said Bill Russo, founder of Shanghai-based consultancy Automobility Ltd. “And gentrification limits the market size. China is all about democratizing electric vehicles, ultimately leading Chinese companies to success as they expand globally.”Inside a massive garage in an industrial location west of Detroit, Caresoft Global disassembled and reassembled a bright green Seagull purchased in China and delivered to the United States.

Company President Terry Woychowski, a former chief engineer on General Motors’ large pickup trucks, described the car as a “clarion call” for the United States auto industry, years behind China in developing low-cost EVs.

Following the breakdown, Woychowski, who has been in the car industry for 45 years, expressed concern about whether American automakers can adapt. “Things will have to change in some radical ways in order to be able to compete,” he stated.

There is no single miracle that explains how BYD can produce the Seagull so cheaply. Instead, Woychowski described the complete vehicle, which can travel 252 miles (405 kilometers) on each charge, as “an exercise in efficiency.”

Higher labor costs in the United States are one factor to consider. BYD can keep costs down due to its competence in manufacturing lithium iron phosphate batteries, which are primarily used in consumer products. They are less expensive but have a shorter range than most modern lithium-ion batteries.

Woychowski explained that Americans are still discovering how to build cheaper batteries. Ford is constructing a lithium iron phosphate battery facility using technology from China’s CATL.

BYD manufactures several parts, such as electric motors, dashboards, bodywork, and headlights. It also has the advantage of massive size, with 3 million vehicles sold worldwide last year.

“By having that all in-house and vertically integrated, there’s an incredible advantage that they have,” Woychowski stated.

BYD designs all of its cars with cost and efficiency in mind. For example, the Seagull has only one windshield wiper, eliminating one motor and one arm, saving weight, money, and labor during installation.

According to Woychowski, automakers in the United States rarely design automobiles in this manner, resulting in higher engineering expenses. Hoses, for example, must meet long-standing combustion engine standards for strength and the capacity to convey fluid under high pressure, many of which are unnecessary in electric vehicles.

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PixaBay – VOR News Image

Small, Well-Built Chinese EV Called The Seagull Poses A Big Threat To The US Auto Industry

The weight reductions accumulate, allowing the Seagull to travel further per charge with a smaller battery. For example, the Seagull that Caresoft tested weighs 2,734 pounds (1,240 kilograms), around 900 pounds less than a Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s slightly larger electric vehicle.

To stay up, Detroit must swiftly re-learn a lot of design and engineering while discarding traditions developed over a century of vehicle production. He said the problem will be deciding which procedures to preserve for safety and quality and which to eliminate because they are unnecessary.

“You’re going to have to come and be extremely serious about this, and you better park your paradigms at the door,” Woychowski stated. “Because you’re going to have to do things differently.”

Despite its simple form, the Seagull exudes quality. The doors close solidly. The gray synthetic leather seats include stitching that matches the body color, a characteristic often found in more costly vehicles. The Seagull “Flying Edition” reviewed by Caresoft includes six airbags, rear disc brakes, and electronic stability control.

A reporter’s brief drive around connected parking lots revealed that it runs quietly and can manage bends and bumps like more expensive electric vehicles.

While the acceleration isn’t as impressive as other EVs, the Seagull is quick and would easily enter a freeway in heavy traffic. Woychowski claims the top speed is limited to 81 mph (130 km/h).

BYD would have to adapt its vehicles to meet US safety regulations, which are more strict than those in China. Woychowski says Caresoft still needs to do crash tests, but he estimates that doing so would cost $2,000 more for the Seagull.

BYD sells the Seagull, renamed the Dolphin Mini in some overseas markets, for almost $21,000 in four Latin American nations, more than twice the price here. The greater price includes transportation costs but also reflects the potential for bigger profits in less competitive markets than China.

In Europe, BYD sells larger models like the Seal, which starts at 46,990 euros ($50,000) in France. According to the China Passenger Car Association, the Chinese manufacturer’s top two overseas markets in the first two months of this year were Thailand and Brazil.

BYD manufactures electric buses in California and told the Associated Press last year that it is “still in the process” of determining whether to sell automobiles in the United States. Two firm executives stated in media interviews earlier this year that it is considering sites for production in Mexico, but only for the Mexican market.

seagull

Pixabay – VOR News Image

Small, Well-Built Chinese EV Called The Seagull Poses A Big Threat To The US Auto Industry

The company does not sell cars in the United States, owing mostly to 27.5% tariffs on Chinese vehicle sales when they arrive at ports. When Donald Trump was president, he imposed the majority of the tariff, 25%, which remained in place under Joe Biden. Trump claims that Biden’s push for electric vehicles will kill American manufacturing jobs, transferring the work to China.

The Biden administration has supported legislation and policies to establish a US EV manufacturing base, and it has not ruled out additional tariffs to keep the Chinese out. The administration is also looking into cars built in China that could collect sensitive information.

Some members of Congress are asking Biden to prohibit imports of Chinese vehicles, while others have proposed even higher duties. This includes vehicles manufactured in Mexico by Chinese businesses, which would now be imported essentially tariff-free.

Ford CEO Jim Farley has seen Caresoft’s work on the Seagull and seen BYD’s quick growth worldwide, particularly in Europe, where he previously ran Ford’s business. He’s planning to change his company. He told analysts earlier this year that a small “skunkworks” team is developing a new, small EV from the bottom up to keep prices low and quality high.

According to Farley, Chinese manufacturers sold essentially no EVs in Europe two years ago but now account for 10% of the electric vehicle industry. They may export around the world and possibly sell in the United States.

Ford is preparing to counteract that. “Don’t take anything for granted,” Farley said. “This CEO doesn’t.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Their Nissan SUV Was Parked In The Driveway. Then It Caught Fire And Exploded

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Nissan | CNN Image

Vicki Hill was awakened early on May 14 by explosions outside her Bethesda, Maryland, house. Later, she discovered that the 2015 Nissan Murano family SUV’s airbags were to blame for the loud bangs. It was on fire.

“I thought someone was trying to get into our house with a sledgehammer and I woke my husband up and I said something’s wrong,” she stated on CNN. “And he ran downstairs and shouted up, ‘Call 911, the car’s on fire!'”

The family gave CNN a video from their home’s doorbell camera, which shows smoke before the fire bursts and engulfs the automobile.

nissan

Nissan | Houston Press Image

Their Nissan SUV Was Parked In The Driveway. Then It Caught Fire And Exploded

The cause of the fire in the Murano is unknown. Nissan is investigating the fire, and the National Highway Traffic Administration is also gathering information.

“The safety and security of our customers is our primary concern,” a Nissan spokeswoman stated in response to an email inquiry about the fire. “We have opened an investigation into this incident.”

Nissan recalled the Hills’ Murano in 2016 and 2019 to address a fault that may cause brake fluid to leak and create a fire even when the vehicle was parked. Owners were instructed to park their vehicles outside and away from buildings until the problem was resolved due to fire hazards.

A search on the NHTSA’s website revealed an outstanding unrepaired recall on the Hills’ Murano. According to the couple, a local fire investigator concluded that the unrepaired recall may have caused the fire. But the Hills recall having the service done and provided CNN with a snapshot of a receipt from a nearby Nissan dealership proving the repair was completed. CNN has not validated the receipt’s authenticity.

The Hills stated that because the recall work had been completed, they did not consider the potential of a fire.

Philip Hill had been working on the garage, so the couple’s two automobiles were parked in the driveway. Otherwise, the Murano would have been parked in the garage beside the home.

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Nissan | DLJ Image

Their Nissan SUV Was Parked In The Driveway. Then It Caught Fire And Exploded

“As you can see from the video, that vehicle is so close to the house,” Philip Hill explained to CNN. “Minutes later, the house could have gone up.”

According to reports, the garage door melted due to the fire. The Hills credit a neighbor’s dog for saving them and their three children. After being alerted by her dog, the neighbor called 911 before the Hills arrived

The powerful flames from the burning Nissan also destroyed the side of the family’s other vehicle, a 2012 Mercedes C-class, rendering it useless.

Initially, the Hills were frightened that they had been victims of vandalism. However, they stated that the video evidence from their Nest doorbell camera clearly showed the truck suddenly combusting.

nissan

Nissan | Houston

Their Nissan SUV Was Parked In The Driveway. Then It Caught Fire And Exploded

According to Hills, Nissan seized possession of the Murano on Wednesday to conduct a more thorough inspection.

Vehicle fires are not uncommon, as shocking as the Hills’ circumstance appears to be. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there will be approximately 188,500 automobile and truck fires in the United States in 2022, an average of more than 500 daily. According to the National Fire Protection Association, vehicle fires killed 610 civilians that year.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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U.S. Stock Markets Closed for Memorial Day on May 27

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U.S. Stock Markets Closed for Memorial Day on May 27

(CTN News) – The U.S. stock market will be closed on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.

The Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange will be closed on Monday and reopened on Tuesday, May 28. According to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the U.S. bond market will close at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, May 24.

Memorial Day is one of numerous holidays in the United States commemorates and honors the military. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” it was established in the 1860s to honor those who died while serving in the military.

After Memorial Day, Wall Street will resume regular operations until mid-June. The next scheduled stock market closure is on Wednesday, June 19th, in honor of Juneteenth.

United States stock market 2024 holiday schedule

Markets will be closed for the following holidays:

  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 27
  • Juneteenth: Wednesday, June 19
  • Independence Day: Thursday, July 4 (markets also close at 1 p.m. ET on July 3)
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 2
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 28 (markets also close at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 29)
  • Christmas: Wednesday, Dec. 25

Memorial Day Traditions

Historically, Memorial Day has served as the unofficial start of summer. Thousands of students have the day off from school, and office workers enjoy a long weekend. As well as honoring fallen military heroes, it is a time for gatherings, barbecues, and outdoor activities.

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Boeing’s 1st Astronaut Flight Now Set For June After A Review Of Small Leak On New Capsule

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Boeing | AP News Image

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Boeing is now aiming for its first human launch in early June, having spent the previous two weeks dealing with further issues with the space capsule.

Despite a propulsion system leak, officials from Boeing and NASA have assured that the Starliner spacecraft is equipped to safely transport two test pilots to the International Space Station. The minor helium leak, identified following the initial launch attempt on May 6, was promptly addressed and resolved, demonstrating the commitment to safety.

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Boeing | Medium Image

Boeing’s 1st Astronaut Flight Now Set For June After A Review Of Small Leak On New Capsule

Engineers suspect a faulty rubber seal the size of a shirt button and claim that even if the leak grows, it can be fixed in flight. According to NASA’s commercial crew program manager, Steve Stich, all of the capsule’s other seals checked out, prompting officials to set the launch date for June 1.

This will be Starliner’s third test flight. Demos in 2019 and 2022 had no one on board. Boeing was forced to repeat the empty trip the first time due to software and other issues.

If not for the Atlas V rocket’s faulty valve, which halted the first countdown, Starliner would have launched from Cape Canaveral earlier this month, with the leak discovered in orbit, according to Stich. Officials said that flight controllers would have handled the leak, and the astronauts would have been safe. Helium is utilized to pressurize the fuel lines of the propulsion system, which moves the capsule in flight.

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Boeing | Washington Times Image

Boeing’s 1st Astronaut Flight Now Set For June After A Review Of Small Leak On New Capsule

Engineers now know where the leak is, which, according to Boeing program manager Mark Nappi, will help them improve the system in the future.

“Remember that this is a test flight. “We are still learning,” Nappi told reporters.

According to Stich, the discovery of the Starliner leak revealed yet another issue — “a design vulnerability” in the propulsion system in the improbable scenario of a series of failures. He said that the crew had devised workaround measures to safely remove the capsule from orbit at the end of the trip if such issues emerged.

“We’re not going to fly until we’re sure we’re safe,” NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free stated.

boeing

Boeing | CTV News Image

Boeing’s first astronaut flight is now scheduled for June following a review of a minor leak in the new capsule.

Boeing’s Starliner capsule has already been years late carrying passengers to the International Space Station for NASA. SpaceX has launched crews since 2020. NASA wants both companies to provide taxi service to support each other.

SOURCE – (AP)

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