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Ford throws shade at Tesla over quality, calls its electric vehicles a ‘compromise’ – Electrek.co

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The head of Ford’s electrification effort has thrown some serious shade at Tesla over quality issues and promises that you won’t have to make that compromise with Ford’s electric vehicles.

Darren Palmer, one of the original members of Ford’s Edison team tasked to design the brand’s first all-electric vehicle and now the head of development for Ford and Lincoln’s battery-electric vehicle, had some interesting comments in a new interview.

In an interview with Autoblog in the margins of the launch of the Mustang Mach-E, Palmer said that electric vehicle buyers until now had to compromise and accept some “flaws”.

He said:

“The doors fit properly, the plastics and other materials color-match, the bumpers don’t fall off, the roof doesn’t come off when you wash it, the door handles don’t get stuck in cold weather. …”

While the executive didn’t mention Tesla by name, several of those quality issues have often been associated with the brand.

He says that buyers will not have to make these “compromises” with Ford’s electric vehicles.

Electrek’s Take

It would be easy to just respond with a “yeah but” and list all the things that Tesla does better than Ford when it comes to electric vehicles because there are plenty.

Tesla vehicles have longer range, can charge faster, and are more efficient than Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E.

But Palmer also has a point here. If we can know that he is talking about Tesla without even mentioning it by name and just listing a bunch of quality issues that we associate with the brand, it tells us that Tesla has some quality issues.

Tesla’s fast pace has resulted in some quality problems and we have especially seen those in early new vehicle launches, like with the Model Y in 2020, and during Tesla’s end-of-quarter pushes when the automaker tries to deliver massive numbers of cars in very short periods of time.

The automaker should definitely work on that, but at the same time, this fast pace is also what pushes innovation and results in Tesla achieving industry-leading specs with its EVs, especially when it comes to efficiency and range.

Some people will always prefer that while others will prefer to go with Ford and potentially avoid those quality issues.

I think both companies should look at each others to improve here and I’m excited for the potential of the new EV competition to push the overall quality of new electric vehicles higher.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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