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CBT automotive newscast: February 25, 2022

Inside Automotive:

GM Shawn Hays on sourcing inventory, dealership culture, and training
Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Your Car Guy Shawn Hays, General Manager of Carter Myers Colonial Chevrolet and Co-Founder of Sales Hustler. Shawn joins us to discuss the state of automotive from his perspective and his recommendation for car dealers today. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

Toyota customers who buy the electric 2023 BZ4X SUV which hits dealer lots this year will be given one year of free access to EVgo’s public vehicle charging stations. EVgo has active charging stations in 35 U.S. states, most of which are located in busy shopping centers and other high-traffic areas. Toyota executive Christopher Yang said the collaboration will allow customers to have a less stressful EV experience, and EVgo executive Jonathan Levy said the partnership will make the transition to electric vehicles easier for consumers. The electric SUV is set to be released this spring, and analysts expect it will cost around $37,000.

Honda is under investigation after the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration received almost 300 complaints alleging faulty emergency braking in certain CRV and Accord models made between 2017 and 2019. Consumer complaints to the regulator indicated their Honda vehicles will suddenly engage the emergency braking system without any warnings, and at least six complaints said the issue caused minor collisions. The NHTSA Is reportedly also investigating potential issues with the system in Tesla vehicles, and consumer reports indicated the so-called “autopilot” technology is installed in almost all of the newest vehicles produced by major automakers.

Experian said this month that more customers are taking out longer auto loans due to high prices caused by low inventory. According to the credit agency, over a third of consumers who purchased new vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021 chose to finance them with six-and-a-half or seven-year loans. Consumers financed an average of almost $40,000 in the last quarter, which was over $4,000 more compared to Q4 of 2020. Borrowing for used car purchases increased 20% year-over-year, ending up at over $27,000. Experian director Melinda Zabritski said the longer loan terms are also due to customers purchasing larger cars.

On Wednesday, the United States Postal Service said it would be denying President Biden’s request for it to increase its order of fully-electric mail delivery trucks. The Postal Service said last year that only 10% of the 165,000 new trucks it had ordered from defense contractor Oshkosh would be completely battery-operated, and the remaining 90% will run on gas but have the ability to be converted to all-electric at a later date. Postmaster Louis Dejoy said this week that the postal service does not have “$3 or $4 extra billion” that would be required to purchase more all-electric trucks. The agency has continuously said it would purchase more battery-operated vehicles if it receives the required funding.

Celebrating Black History Month:

This February, in honor of Black History Month, we want to celebrate and recognize the achievements of black retail automotive professionals past, present, and future. Today, we’d like to highlight Olabisi Boyle, Vice President of Product Planning and Mobility strategy at Hyundai Motor North America.

Boyle has over 20 years of automotive experience including engineering and product leadership roles at Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor Company. She joined Hyundai after holding the role of Vice President of Connected Commerce at Visa. Today, in addition to product planning, she leads Hyundai’s U.S. mobility strategy, connected car technology, and future innovations.

News & Opinion:

Carvana
Image by Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Carvana expansion shows the importance of growing online car sales
Carvana announced this week it had opened its brand new campus in Georgia, which is one of its largest campuses and will add 1,500 jobs in the state. This marks yet another expansion for the used car retailer, which has grown exponentially since its incorporation in 2013 and now reportedly has over 10,000 employees. Carvana’s CEO Ernie Garcia said the retailer is hoping to continue its growth, saying that Carvana “remain[s] committed to [its] continued expansion within the region.” Carvana has said it hopes to employ at least 3,500 more people in the Atlanta area in the coming years. Read More

RussiaOil prices cross $100 mark as Russia invades Ukraine
For the first time since 2014, oil prices exceeded $100 per barrel on Thursday. The benchmark Brent Crude ripped 8% higher in early morning trading as Russian forces began an assault on Ukraine in what Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation”. As missiles struck near Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, the nation’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Putin has “launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine”. The U.S. has sanctioned the company behind Nord Stream 2, the pipeline under construction running a span of 1,200 km (around 746 miles) under the Baltic Sea to transport natural gas from Russia to the European Union. Read more

auto insuranceHow does auto insurance fit into the modern car buying journey?
As we near NADA and the close of the first quarter of 2022, plenty of unknowns still remain. While lower inventories and high consumer demand fueled by COVID have driven dealer profits to record levels, I’m sure you recognize that today’s high margins aren’t likely to last forever. Now is the time to consider new revenue streams and opportunities that will bring additional margins to your business. Read more


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