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CBT automotive newscast: April 1, 2022

Inside Automotive:

EV adoption and record M&A activity present unique opportunities for Colorado
Despite the unpredictability of today’s retail automotive market, 17% of Colorado’s new-vehicle dealerships changed hands last year, according to Automotive News. The buy-sell market continues to heat up in the state and on today’s show, we talk to Tim Jackson, President and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, to find out why. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

Car buyers looking to purchase a Genesis vehicle in southern Louisiana will no longer have to visit a Hyundai dealership. The luxury brand has opened its first store in Lafayette. The dealership features a wide-open floorplan, an indoor section for deliveries, and so-called “brand cubes” where customers can look at specifications and customizations without pressure from salespeople. The first location is part of the automaker’s goal of opening at least twenty-one more stores, with the next one planned for Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Meanwhile, Genesis hopes to release its electric GV60 crossover sometime this year.

The Securities Exchange Commission subpoenaed high-ranking employees of Faraday Future Intelligent Electric on Thursday as part of an investigation into allegations that the EV startup made false statements to investors. Last month, the automaker said it had identified inaccurate claims in communications with investors and cut the salaries of its CEO And Founder by 25%. Faraday is not the first EV startup to be probed by regulators. Nikola and Lordstown Motors have also faced scrutiny regarding their claims to investors.

This week, Magna International said it would take over an existing manufacturing facility in Canada and transform it into a factory that will build battery enclosures for electric vehicles. The factory is located in the Chatham-Kent municipality of Ontario and expects to employ 150 people. The company will produce the battery enclosures for Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning truck and says its product weighs less than any other battery enclosure. Analysts estimate that Magna International has invested between $50 million and $100 million in the project.

According to an internal memo received by Reuters, Tesla will be extending its shutdown in Shanghai longer than initially expected. Lockdowns across the region were set to lift this morning, but Tesla said it would shut down at least through Sunday. A specific reason for the extended production pause was not given. Still, inside sources say it may be due to a shortage of employees or that Tesla has not received specific delivery permits from the Shanghai government.

News & Opinion:

Honda brings focus back to reliability with 10-year-old CPO vehicle program
On Thursday, Honda unveiled a new program for pre-owned car shoppers they hope will provide a competitive advantage in sales. The program is called HondaTrue Used and offers coverage for vehicles up to 10 years old. For non-luxury carmakers, it’s the only program to date that offers CPO benefits for vehicles of that age. In the new program, vehicles up to 10 years old regardless of mileage qualify for coverage. They receive 100 days – or up to 5,000 miles – of coverage on non-powertrain and powertrain components alike, as well as Honda Care Motor Club benefits, which is their comprehensive roadside assistance and concierge package. Read More

4 ways to master increased call volume to capture more opportunities
Over the past two years, the phone has secured its place as the most reliable and common form of communication. While texting and online chatting are becoming more common, most people have become accustomed to making a phone call before coming to a dealership. Because of the phone’s pervasiveness, dealerships are continuing to get more and more phone calls. In 2020, an average of 70,028 calls were made to a given dealership. However, in 2021, this number increased to 80,694. That’s a 15.23% increase in the past year. While high call volume can be overwhelming if understaffed or unprepared, the 15% increase gives dealerships a lot of opportunity. Read more


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