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CBT automotive newscast: August 29, 2022

Inside Automotive:

Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke breaks down findings from Cox Automotive’s Q2 Dealer Sentiment Index
Cox Automotive released its Q2 Dealer Sentiment Index, which provides a current view of dealer sentiment and looks ahead to the next 90 days. The study reveals that COVID concerns are mostly in the past, but inflation, high costs, and low inventory continue to challenge dealers. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at Cox Automotive, to further discuss the Q2 Dealer Sentiment Index.
Watch the complete segment
here.

Headlines:

Porsche may be gearing up for a stock market debut, according to sources who requested to remain anonymous. The boards of Volkswagen and its biggest shareholder, Porsche SE, are expected to make a recommendation on the matter, after which the companies’ supervisory boards would need to approve the decision. That would initiate an initial public offering as early as the first week of September, followed by a roughly four-week period for buyers to prepare to invest. Many investors are hesitant because only 12.5% of all stock will be sold on the open matter if approved. The proposal is not a guarantee and the ongoing war in Ukraine and an escalating energy crisis could delay or cancel the decision. Read More

Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. assembly plants could be switching to all-electric vehicle production as early as 2025. The company’s first electric model – the battery-powered version of Mercedes’ flagship GLS crossover, officially entered production on Thursday at the company’s factory in Vance, Alabama. It is the first of two EVs planned for the factory and will be ready for sale in U.S. stores starting this fall. Additional electric models will join production over the next several years, and Mercedes says it expects EVs to account for half of its U.S. sales by 2030. Read More

Ford Motor Co. has announced plans to increase the price of the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover due to rising material costs and supply chain constraints. The increase will be roughly between $3,000 and $8,000 depending on the trim package. The company also increased its shipping charge from $200 to $1,300 on all models. The adjusted prices will go into effect for new orders placed starting Tuesday. Earlier this year, the automaker announced similar price increases for its F-150 Lighting. The company also announced improvements to the battery range and all wheel drive configuration on premium models, and said it will offer its suite of driver assist technology standard across all models. Read More

Pilot Company, which operates Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers agreed on Tuesday to take a stake in Kodiak Robotics, a driverless truck startup. Pilot Co. is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. Pilot will get one of Kodiak’s five board seats, becoming the largest strategic investor in the startup. Kodiak is already operating trucks on certain routes with a safety driver on board and plans to operate completely autonomous large freight trucks in only a few years. Other companies are also testing autonomous truck technology, including Embark Technology, Aurora Innovation, and Tu-Simple Holdings. The driverless truck companies all contend that the technology will make big rigs safer for U.S. highways and may help solve current problems related to driver shortages. Read More


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