CBT automotive newscast: April 21, 2022

Inside Automotive:

The key to managing customer expectations in times of uncertainty
At a time of steep pricing hikes and supply chain issues, how are consumers managing? Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Jeff Shore, sales trainer, keynote speaker, author, and founder of Shore Consulting, to discuss consumer behavior and customer satisfaction. Watch the complete segment here.


Toyota said this week it will be investing $383 million towards increasing the production of hybrid vehicles at four of its U.S.-based plants. The funding will be allocated to Toyota’s facilities in Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, as well as its Huntsville, Alabama facility, which will receive $222 million of the funding. Each facility will be renovated or expanded upon to allow more production of four-cylinder engines that will be used in Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles.

BMW revealed yesterday that it will be releasing a new electric sedan that may be available at U.S. dealerships later this year. BMW will now have three fully-electric vehicles in its 7-series lineup, which also includes a crossover and a midsize sedan. The i7 electric sedan is expected to get around 300 miles of range per charge and will feature the new 31-inch “theater screen” in the back seat. Pre-orders began this week, and the price of the new i7 vehicle will reportedly start slightly over $119,000.

The state of Alabama will be playing a larger role in the transition to electrification of the auto industry, as exploration and mining company Westwater Resources has broken ground on the 37-mile piece of land on which the mineral graphite was discovered. The plant is located in Kellyton in Coosa County and will be mining graphite and refining it to make it usable in batteries for electric vehicles. The plant cost the company over $200 million and will be the first facility in the U.S. that processes graphite, as the majority of the mineral is currently obtained from China.

Cox Automotive released a report this week indicating that wholesale used vehicle prices dropped more in the first half of April than the entire month of March. Prices dropped 1%, bringing the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to slightly over 221. Aside from pickup trucks, seasonally adjusted prices increased across all market segments year-over-year, with vans making up the largest increase at almost 30%. Cox Auto said it is expecting used vehicle values to increase throughout the rest of April.

News & Opinion:

U.S. mortgage market signals a cooldown in purchasing, but what about automotive?
Affordability in the housing market is taking such as massive hit as the Federal Reserve has boosted benchmark interest rates, attempting to quell runaway inflation that’s currently at the highest rate in more than 40 years – 8.5% in the 12-month period engine March 2022. The direct impact on automotive sales due to rising interest costs is minimal, if at all. For new vehicles, manufacturers offer subvented rates for qualified buyers. And with low vehicle inventory levels, demand continues to be extremely high. On a 1% increase in auto loans, it equates to around $12 more per month for a standard $25,000 auto loan. Read More

3 ways to illuminate your blind spots and improve first impressions
Would you like to increase sales, service, referrals, new hires’ sense of belonging, and retention? One of the first steps is to understand how hidden blind spots and unconscious bias can affect crucial first impressions that either promote trust and success or derail the sale or belonging, motivation, and productivity. Even the most forward-thinking companies are still figuring out how to eliminate discrimination in recruiting, promote diversity, and cultivate a sense of inclusion among employees of various backgrounds. Read More

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