Peter Leto’s guide for car dealers as the auto industry looks to the future
Today on Kain & Co., host David Kain, President of Kain Automotive, sits down with Peter Leto, CEO of Foundation Direct and formerly, Google’s Head of Automotive Retail for eleven years. The pair discuss the guidance that car dealers need, in order to thrive during these challenging times and beyond. Watch the complete segment here.
According to industry experts, prices at the gas pump have dropped once again and they are likely to dip even more. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the average price for regular gasoline will drop to $3.01 a gallon in January. According to a GasBuddy analysis, the current average price of a gallon of regular gas is $3.34.
BMW has signed a long-term contract to secure semiconductors for in-car lighting techniques after a world scarcity of the parts led to shutdowns at some of its factories. The carmaker has signed an agreement with Inova Semiconductors and GlobalFoundries, guaranteeing the supply of “several million” chips a year. The parts will present controls for ambient lighting techniques that will first be used in the BMW iX Electric Crossover.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s against President Biden’s social and climate spending bill, stating his concerns about the “insane” federal deficit. The Build Back Better Act, which was signed into law last month, provides subsidies for EVs built by union workers along with funding for vehicle-charging stations. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended the Biden Administration’s support for EVs, and fired back at Musk stating the administration is committed to making sure the transition to electric happens quickly, because “these are things that don’t happen on their own.”
In more Tesla news, according to a report from the New York Times, you can now play video games while a Tesla vehicle is in motion. The games are only meant for the passengers, but that doesn’t stop drivers from booting up games themselves. According to the Times, that particular feature was made available over the summer as part of an over-the-air update. An NHTSA spokesperson said the agency is aware of the issue and is discussing the feature with Tesla.
News & Opinion:
North Carolina selected for new Toyota EV battery plant
On December 7, Toyota announced a major investment into electric vehicle manufacturing with a new battery plant coming in the state of North Carolina. The news was revealed jointly with state Governor Roy Cooper and Liberty, N.C. Mayor, Filmore York. A massive $1.29 billion-dollar investment to be called Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina, or TBMNC, will be built at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. It will be approximately four years until the battery plant begins production, estimated to be 2025. The facility is expected to house four production lines capable of producing up to 200,000 lithium-ion batteries each with the intention of expanding to add another two lines down the road. Read more
Most consumers still unconvinced about self-driving cars and EVs
Deloitte recently ran a survey related to consumer thoughts about self-driving vehicles. The results of this study might surprise you, especially with the big push to go electric in the future. Here are a few of the key takeaways from the consumer survey on self-driving cars and EVs. It appears Americans have a deep concern about the safety of self-driving cars and EVs. Only 25% of people believe these future vehicles will be safe. On the other hand, 28% are undecided and a whopping 47% think they are unsafe. Automakers have a lot of work to prove that these vehicles will be safe. It’s going to take some serious PR work to change perceptions. Read more
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