CBT Automotive Newscast: August 31, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

market update

CBT News Market Update: Bob Lanham, Facebook & Lance Schafer, LotLinx
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to now, digital marketing in auto retail has undergone a tremendous amount of change. We spoke with Lance Schaefer, General Manager of Product and Technology at LotLinx, and Bob Lanham, Head of Automotive Retail for Facebook, about the state of digital marketing in our latest market update powered by LotLinx. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Electric truck startup Rivian Automotive has hired a former Tesla executive as their top engineer. Nick Kalayjian, who spent over a decade with Tesla, will join Rivian as its executive vice president of engineering. While Kalayjian is not a direct hire from Tesla, the move could increase tensions between the two automakers with legal proceedings underway concerning Rivian’s hiring practices.

Hyundai’s U.S. SUV plant is running at max capacity. Bloomberg reported that the automaker’s U.S. plant for sports utility vehicles is running flat out to keep up with demand. Hyundai’s top North American executive says that the company will need to consider expanding production if this trend continues. SUVs made up 67% of Hyundai’s retail sales in July, surpassing the company’s 2023 goal of 63%.

Studies have shown that drivers aren’t quite ready to rely completely on autonomous commuting, but what about autonomous parking? Ford and Bosch are ready to find out. Ford and Bosch are partnering up to put autonomous mobility technology to the test. The project paired a Ford Escape with Bosch’s automated valet parking. According to Ford, this is the first U.S. infrastructure-based solution for automated valet parking where the vehicle will park itself inside a parking garage.

General Motors is doubling down on its Chevy Bolt hatchback with a new crossover model. The new Bolt will be called a EUV, short for electric utility vehicle. The model was originally teased in March before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back production. The longer, taller Bolt is expected to hit showrooms in the first half of 2021.

News Stories & Opinion:

Six Steps to Build a High-Converting Referral Program at Your Store
Social media, video marketing, and email newsletters may be all the rage. Nevertheless, there is a form of marketing that seems to fit the profile of being low-cost and effective in generating leads: referrals. People are four times more likely to buy an item when referred by a friend. Additionally, referral marketing generates three to five times higher conversion rates than any other channel. For your dealership, referral programs should be as high a priority as any other marketing strategy. Read More

How Dealers Can Streamline Pickup and Drop-off for Service
The effect of the novel coronavirus has yet to recede in the United States, and the overall consumer sentiment among Americans is split between anxious and confident. In addition to fear over job security, anxiety regarding personal and family health stay steady. For car owners whose vehicles require maintenance or repairs, this week’s Deloitte State of the Consumer Tracker survey shows an increasing trend in postponing a visit to the dealership. Read More


Did you enjoy today’s automotive newscast? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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