CBT automotive newscast: August 16, 2021

Featured Interview:

KershawNissan exec. David Kershaw on boosting minority-owned car dealerships with development program
At the close of 2020, the number of minority-owned dealerships rose to 1,257, resulting in a net gain of 17 for Nissan. Although the overall numbers are still disproportionately low, Nissan is committed to improving the situation. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome David Kershaw, Division Vice President of Dealer Network Development and Customer Quality for Nissan US and Canada. Watch the complete segment here.

Top Headlines:

EV registrations in the U.S. more than doubled in the first half of 2021, from the year prior, to account for 2.5% of total new vehicle registrations. According to Experian, 214,111 new EVs were registered nationwide through June, up from 98,351 in the first half of 2020. EVs account for 1.5% of all-new vehicle registration in the U.S. at the same time in 2020. Automakers plan to introduce more than 100 EVs in the U.S. market in the near future.

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates has pledged $1.5 billion over three years for climate change projects in partnership with the U.S. government if Congress enacts a program aimed at developing technologies that lower carbon emissions. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which still needs to be passed by the House, would give the Energy Department $25 billion for demonstration projects via public-private partnerships, which include breakthrough energy catalysts. The breakthrough projects, hope to accumulate up to $15 billion to fund “climate-smart technologies”. Gates’ ultimate goal is to reach a net-zero carbon emission economy by 2050.

General Motors will resume production as its full-size pickup plants after they sat idle this week due to the worldwide chip shortage. Additionally, GM plans to maintain production of high-demand pickups working, opting to pause crossover production as an alternative. In late July, the automaker paused productions at its three pickup plants in Flint, Michigan, Silao, Mexico, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. In a statement, GM said, “although the situation remains complex, they will continue to find creative solutions to minimize the impact.”

As reported by Automotive News, the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (SCADA) terminated the employment of one of its officials for allegedly using a racial slur, twice. Fitness studio owner Tim Goodwin posted to Facebook a text message thread with former SCADA official Meridith Little containing the n-word, which Goodwin said Little directed against his wife. According to Goodwin, Little used the slur again in person, “when she came to pick her daughter up”. It’s not clear what prompted the slur. Goodwin tagged the dealer association in his Facebook post, and Little state that the dealer association would not care about her using offensive language because they don’t “hire black people anyway.” Little is no longer employed by SCADA or affiliated in any way to the association according to SCADA reps.

News & Opinion:

Hurricane HarveyA new model coming for vehicle supply, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson predicts
The COVID-19 pandemic could be a watershed for carmakers who have typically kept hundreds of thousands of new vehicles at any given time. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson surmises that this inventory-heavy practice could be coming to an end, giving way for a new method for vehicle supply to retailers. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Jackson said, “The industry has understood that overproduction and excessive inventories as the old model is not where they want to be. I really think there’s a new strategy going forward.” Read more

customer3 ways to market your parts department
If you’re CVS, Walmart or Costco, people stop by for random things anytime you’re open. And the traffic is high. But, as a dealership parts department, no one is stopping to walk through your parts to browse the shelves – even if you let them past the counter. Customers don’t need you until they need you. And even if they need you, they may only get one thing because they don’t see everything you have to offer. So other than opening up your shelves so customers can cruise through your inventory while waiting for their service appointment, what else can you do to increase parts sales? Read more

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