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CBT automotive newscast: December 20, 2021

Featured Show:

TynanBloomberg’s Kevin Tynan shares his auto industry predictions for 2022
Much has taken place throughout the past year in retail automotive; from record acquisitions to the continued ‘chip-demic’. Throughout it all, dealers have remained profitable. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Kevin Tynan, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Senior Automotive Analyst, who stays up to date on all things automotive. He gives us his perspective on the past year. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

Volkswagen has pledged $20 million to ongoing efforts to prepare its U.S. retail network to sell battery-EVs, including upgrades at franchised dealerships for charging infrastructure and fixed-ops. The carmaker will begin local production in early 2022 at its assembly complex in Chattanooga. Dealers added 23,490 kilowatts of charging capacity and trained over 1,260 service technicians. Over 99% of Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. signed up for improvements needed to sell EVs.

As we reported early last week, EV startup Rivian will begin construction on a $5 billion plant in Georgia, in 2022. It will be capable of producing up to 400,000 vehicles a year and employ over 7,500 people. Production is expected to begin in 2024. Rivian said it expects to fall “a few hundred vehicles short” of its production target of 1,200 vehicles. Aside from production issues, Rivian said total reservations for its electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV increased to 71,000 as of December 15, up 28% percent compared with the most recent tally of 55,400 vehicles in November. A higher rate than what the company expected.

Four dealership groups grew in Q4 with single-store acquisitions. West Herr Automotive Group purchased East Syracuse Chevrolet in New York. Fowler Holding Company of Norman, Oklahoma bought I25 Kia in Longmont, Colorado. Castle Automotive Group acquired Fox Valley Volkswagen Schaumburg and was renamed Castle Volkswagen of Schaumburg. The new purchase will increase its group’s annual sales revenue by $60 million and provide over 100 new jobs. Bayway Auto Group purchased Sterling McCall Cadillac in Houston and renamed it Bayway Cadillac Southwest.

General Motors Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV production at the Orion assembly plant will remain idle through February. GM has prioritized the output of new battery modules for the recalled EVs instead of producing new vehicles. The Orion assembly plant has been down since the announcement of more than 141,00 recalls of the Bolts.

News & Opinion:

StellantisStellantis rumored to drop all HEMI engines by 2024
An era of high-displacement engines could soon be over for brands under the Stellantis umbrella. It’s rumored that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM Trucks will drop the naturally aspirated HEMI V8 from their vehicles. In its place, the performance versions of certain Stellantis models could receive the new GME T6 twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The current 5.7-liter HEMI V8 has improved its efficiency and emissions since being resurrected in 2003. However, the recent news of supercharged Hellcat V8 models being discontinued was likely a sign the end is near for other V8 models the carmaker produces. Read more

autoAutomotive industry trends and headlines from the past year
Tesla may not be afraid since its following and market is different than the one singing the Mach E’s praises but good on GM for producing a good SUV. Mary Barra said, “GM’s vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion has placed us ahead of much of the competition in electrification, software-enabled services, and autonomy. Our early investments in these growth trends have transformed GM from automaker to platform innovator, with customers at the center. GM will use its hardware and software platforms to innovate and improve their daily experience, leading everybody on the journey to an all-electric future.” Read more


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