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CBT automotive newscast: January 31, 2022

Inside Automotive:

Twitter’s Guy Schueller shares advice for auto marketers as EVs gain momentum and chip shortages linger
Trends come and trends go, so what should your team be focused on for continued success in this new year? On today’s edition of Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Guy Schueller, Industry Director of Automotive for Twitter, to lend us his insight into what car dealers should concentrate on today. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

Toyota is still the biggest automaker in the world, announcing last week it had sold almost 10.5 million vehicles in 2021. This is an increase of over 10% from the year before, and Toyota outdid rival Volkswagen by an even larger margin this year, with Volkswagen reporting it sold slightly under nine million vehicles. Analysts say Toyota was likely able to gain an even larger edge on rivals because most of its facilities are in Asia, which has been less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to automakers with more facilities throughout Europe. Toyota plans on releasing its fiscal Q3 earnings on February 9.

In the ongoing shortage of consumer incentives and discounts, Ford is beginning its ‘Ford Blue Advantage’ program, which will provide used car customers with a 14-day/1,000 mile money-back guarantee. After piloting the program in different states last year, it will be available in-person at over half of Ford’s dealerships throughout the country and for all online shoppers. Ford is hoping the program will eventually cover 90% of its available used vehicles, and interested car buyers are able to visit FordBlueAdvantage.com to search for eligible cars in their areas.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently took a ride in a Chevy Bolt fitted with driverless technology, later calling the experience “surreal” and “incredible.” The technology was created by GM subsidiary cruise, which was purchased by GM in March of 2016 and has named the driverless vehicle “Tostada.” The self-driving car has been in testing in San Francisco, and GM hopes to commercialize the robotaxi later in the year. GM has previously said it is expecting autonomous vehicles to bring in annual revenue of $50 billion by 2030.

Last week, the Federal Reserve confirmed analysts’ suspicions that an interest rate increase may be implemented very soon. Citing high inflation and the current state of the labor market, Chairman Jerome Powell said the committee will likely opt to raise rates in March, but shot down questions about specific percentages or exactly what plans the Fed has for its bond holdings. The Fed is hoping an interest rate increase will alleviate inflation and reduce the balance sheet. Any interest rate increase would be the first in three years.

News & Opinion:

electric carsHow electric cars are changing the way consumers buy cars
The auto industry, for both new and used cars, is one of the most rigid hold outs in the transition to digital sales. While you can book travel or open a bank account with a few clicks, you generally need to go to a dealership to purchase your next car. Some iconoclast brands are now breaking this trend, and the effects could be permanent. Carvana and Tesla offer a digital-first experience, and GM and Ford are updating their models to include online buying experiences for used cars, but the franchised car dealership model that has been around for 120 years is still finding its place amid new sales models and consumer expectations. Read More

StellantisStellantis suspends vaccine mandate for U.S. workers
Non-union salaried workers for Stellantis N.V. in the United States will not be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to keep their jobs after all. The carmaker said on Thursday that a vaccine mandate has been suspended. The mandate was issued by Stellantis after the Biden administration issued a federal emergency temporary standard under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s authority. A Supreme Court ruling earlier this month struck down the mandate that would require employers with more than 100 staff to enforce mandatory vaccinations. Employees for Stellantis represented by UAW were not under the mandate. Read more


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