Motor Trend Tags EV “Muscle Car” as 2022 Car of the Year 

The 1968 Pontiac GTO was my dream car growing up. Motor Trend voted it in as “Car of the Year” when I was two years old, and they started popping up in the neighborhood in my formative years. I never owned one, settling instead for the 1973 Monte Carlo as my first ride, another MT Golden Caliper winner. My teen years were all about muscle cars.

As I’ve gotten older, speed hasn’t lost its appeal for me, but kids and then grandkids have made it necessary to focus on practicality and safety. I still read MT reviews and I’ve even bought a few of their recommendations. The 1986 Ford Taurus and 2007 Toyota Camry are examples of this. The Chevy Corvette, which won in 1984, 1998, and 2020, is on the wish list.

And then there’s the Lucid Air. The 2002 Motor Trend COTY winner is sleek, powerful, and can hit 130mph in the quarter mile. It’s everything I dreamed of as a child, and it’s electric. Of course, it also comes with a $77k price tag, but money isn’t everything, right? Reading the specs on this machine reveal that it’s a modern day, electric muscle car. I want one.

Maneuvering for EV Battery Control in the US

The Lucid Air and Rivian R1T, which is MT’s “Truck of the Year,” both utilize cylindrical EV batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI. Lucid has plans to use LG batteries in the next model. Both companies are South Korean battery manufacturers who plan to open EV battery plants in the United States. I’m not recommending either as a long-term investment right now.

Stellantis NV (STLA), owner of the Peugeot automotive line, is the driving force behind the Samsung and LG North American expansion. They’re my pick for today. Shares are up a modest 6% this year, but their potential control of the EV battery market could make them a big long-term winner. Could the lion acquire Lucid (LCID) at some point? Anything is possible.

Read your history books. Lee Iacocca was fired from Ford Motor Company in 1978 and went on to launch the K-Car line, winners of the 1981 MT COTY. Chrysler is now under the Fiat umbrella. Ford is the #1 American car manufacturer. Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid, left Tesla (TSLA) in 2013. He’s committed to slaying the giant (Elon Musk). The odds are not in his favor.

Rivian IPO Spike has Leveled Off

Buying into an IPO is a trading move, not a long-term investment. Smart investors buy at the opening price, wait for the inevitable spike that happens early, and sell. They can pick it up again in “the trough” when the price levels off. That’s where Rivian (RIVN) is now. They opened at $113 this morning, up 13% from their initial price. I’m buying.

There’s a lot to like about this company. They’re in a premium market, focusing on pick-ups and SUVs instead of cars. They have an agreement with Amazon to deliver 100,000 delivery vans by 2030 and they’re opening an EV factory in Georgia, where the jobs are desperately needed. Best of all, Rivian raised $12 billion since their IPO in November.

Muscle cars are for rebels, dreamers, and old guys going through a mid-life crisis. I love the Lucid Air, but I can’t realistically look at Lucid as a sustainable independent automotive company. They’ll need help. Rivian won’t. With significant funding, solid contracts in place, and multiple manufacturing plants in the US, they should easily outlast Lucid.

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About the Author

Motor Trend Tags EV “Muscle Car” as 2022 Car of the Year 

Kevin Flynn

A former financial professional and founder of AdvisorScale Financial Writing, Kevin lives in Leominster, Massachusetts with his wife Evelyn, two cats, and nine wonderful grandchildren.