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CBT automotive newscast: April 27, 2022

Inside Automotive:

AIADA continues fight against union-only EV tax credits
Welcome to another edition of Inside Automotive with Jim Fitzpatrick. Today’s guests are John Connelly, the 2022 Chairman of AIADA and President of Acura of Columbus, alongside Cody Lusk, President and CEO of AIADA. In this segment, the panel discusses John’s new role as Chairman and the status of AIADA’s fight against EV tax credits. Watch the complete segment here.


On Monday, Twitter announced that it had accepted Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s offer of $44 billion to take the company private. That means the world’s wealthiest individual will soon have the power to affect conversation on the social network, which more than 200 million people utilize every day. “Free expression is the backbone of a functional democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where things crucial to the future of humanity are debated,” he said in a statement announcing the purchase. Currently, advertising accounts for about 90% of twitter’s revenue, but the firm has struggled to lure advertisers to the platform. The corporation will no longer be under the same pressure from shareholders to increase advertising income now that it is private. Musk has even suggested that it switch to a subscription model.

Ford began manufacturing its much-anticipated electric F-150 pickup truck this week, which will likely end up as one of the most important events in the auto industry’s transition to electric vehicles. Ford initially expected to manufacture around 40,000 Lightning F-150s each year but has increased that number to 150,000 in the last eight months due to high demand. The trucks will be built at Ford’s Michigan-based Rogue electric vehicle center while the automaker develops a $5.6 billion EV facility in Stanton, Tennessee.

According to a press release this week, Hertz has chosen to partner with Amazon Web Services to advance its mobility tools, utilize more cloud technologies, and improve the overall driving experience for its customers. Hertz said Amazon’s technology will also help the rental fleet company in its quest to become the most prominent electric vehicle fleet in the world, which includes the development of a global EV charging infrastructure. Hertz also cited other advantages of the partnership, such as an improvement of its vehicle telematics systems and mobile-app capabilities that will boost overall customer satisfaction.

South Korea’s Lotte Chemical and North Carolina-based electric vehicle battery maker soelect announced yesterday that they signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on a $200 million joint venture to create next-generation EV batteries in the United States. Soelect’s lix batteries are made with lithium metal anodes, which reportedly charge faster and offer longer ranges than other batteries when used in electric vehicles. The company says it already has over 20 customers, which includes General Motors, after the automaker invested in the firm earlier this year.

On Tuesday, India’s road transport minister Nitin Gadkari renewed the country’s push to convince Tesla CEO Elon Musk to begin making Tesla vehicles in India. He condemned the importation of Chinese-made vehicles and said other automakers have already begun conducting some level of operations in India, including Toyota, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz. While Musk and Tesla have previously had discussions with officials from India, they have been unable to come to an agreement regarding the manufacturing of a facility as well as tax rates.

News & Opinion:

Image by Ford Motor Company via YouTube

Ford takes on Tesla in race for electrified vehicle supremacy
In what’s arguably the most anticipated EV release, Ford’s production for the electric F-150 Lightning is now underway. As the first units rolled off the assembly line, a celebration for both employees and customers allowed them to share in the momentous occasion. The “Job 1” event – referring to the first unit of a new model to roll off the line – was held at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, MI. Shared live on YouTube, the model’s entry into production is a critical step in Ford’s future. While boasting of the F-150 Lightning’s benefits, Ford CEO Jim Farley poked fun at Tesla, saying that the F-150 could “charge other EVs, for your friends, that own Tesla’s.” Read More

brandLeveraging the power of your dealer brand with white label F&I
Even though dealers have to manage multiple competing issues of low inventory, rising lending rates, and a pandemic that is not quite 100% gone, they must still focus on activities designed to get people online and in the showroom. Marketing staff must make sure their name is top-of-mind with local shoppers, starting with proper branding. Brand building may be nothing new, but dealerships now have more options than ever that can make it easy to gain exposure: social media posts, digital ads, banner ads, and traditional media (print, direct mail). One of the most potent ways to make an immediate impact when building and strengthening the dealership brand that you may not be doing now? White label your F&I products. Read More

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