CBT automotive newscast: April 19, 2021

Featured Interview:

car dealersWhy car dealers need a versatile staff to meet the demands of modern retailing – David Kain
Many car dealers are doing more with fewer people in today’s market. This is leading to day-to-day roles in the dealership combining like never before. Today on CBT News, guest David Kain discusses new efficiencies for car dealers and the importance of versatility. Kain is the President of Kain Automotive and host of the CBT original show Kain & Co.  Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its all-electric EQS model, a new vehicle expected to compete with the Tesla Model S. The EV has an impressive range of 480 miles per charge and a drag coefficient of 0.20, the lowest of any automobile. The EQS is one of many EV models the German-automaker plans to have in production over the next decade. Mercedes recently said that it envisions 50% of its passenger car unit sales will be plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles by 2030.

As Mercedes prepares to go head to head with Tesla, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius expects the EV market to get even more crowded if large tech companies begin selling their own vehicles. Kallenius recently told CNBC that he expects, “intense competition” if companies like Apple move forward with plans to build and sell vehicles. While the tech giants have yet to start selling their own cars, recent reports suggest they could soon launch products that combine hardware with electric vehicle technology.

Larry Dominique, North American Head of Alfa Romeo, wants dealers to lean into digital retailing. Dominique spoke on digital retailing at automotive retail 2021, an online conference hosted by Reuters. He encouraged dealers to not only give customers access to digital tools, but to also go above and beyond to make customers feel like they are in control of the process. Dominique says that the 141 Alfa Romeo dealers in North America have a unique opportunity to utilize digital retailing to empower consumers.

On Friday, General Motors and LG Energy Solutions announced plans to invest $2.3 billion in an Ultium battery facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The new facility will be constructed near the assembly plant that will build the Cadillac Lyriq EV. Construction for the battery plant will begin immediately, and is scheduled to open in 2023. GM CEO Mary Barra called the facility, “another major step in our transition to an all-electric future.”

News & Opinion:

GMGM and LG Chem choose Tennessee to enhance battery production leadership
GM and LG Chem announced Friday plans to build a $2.3 billion battery production facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. This facility, the second in the US, will significantly increase GM’s ability to lead in the production of batteries at scale. GM will need the batteries for the planned 30 electric vehicle models launching by mid-decade. In a press conference, CEO and Chairman Mary Barra said construction on the plant, next to GM’s existing Spring Hill factory, will begin immediately and is planned to be complete by the end of 2023 and create an estimated 1,300 jobs. Read more

auto loan fraudAttempted auto loan fraud skyrockets through 2020
Insecurity and joblessness during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic are being blamed for a drastic increase in auto loan fraud activity. According to data from AI and data science company Point Predictive, falsified income and employment on car loan applications increased by 100% as the lockdowns were enforced. That same level of auto loan fraud activity continued throughout the remainder of 2020, and Point Predictive considers the trend could continue through the current calendar year as well. Read more

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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