Exclusive: New Lordstown Motors CEO Edward T. Hightower shares major plans for EV fleet buyers
Lordstown Motors has a new CEO and the announcement is making history. The electric vehicle startup appointed Edward T. Hightower into this role, making him the first black CEO of a US automaker. Mr. Hightower has also held senior executive positions with Ford, BMW, General Motors, and Alix Partners. He joins us on Inside Automotive to discuss his new role and perspective on the EV future. Watch the complete segment here.
In a quarterly regulatory filing released on Monday, Tesla stated that the company has been served with a fresh subpoena by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on June 13 regarding quote “our governance processes around compliance with the SEC settlement.” The settlement resulted from Musk’s 2018 tweet claiming to have financing secured to take Tesla private. The SEC claimed that Musk lacked the capital necessary to take Tesla private despite conversations with Saudi investors. Musk agreed to pay the fine and to submit all tweets containing information that would be important to investors for approval before he sent them out as part of the settlement. Read More
Volkswagen confirmed on Friday that current CEO Herbert Diess would be leaving his post at the end of August. Taking over for Diess on September 1 will be Oliver Blume, the current CEO of Porsche. Volkswagen has not given a statement about the departure; however, Chair Hans Dieter Potsch congratulated Diess for helping to further the company’s development. “Not only did he steer the company through extremely turbulent waters, but he also implemented a fundamentally new strategy,” Potsch said. Read More
According to a signed agreement made public late last week, the state of Georgia and local governments will provide Hyundai Motor Group with $1.8 billion in tax breaks and other incentives in exchange for the automaker constructing its first U.S. plant specifically for electric vehicles, close to the port city of Savannah. Hyundai is required by the agreement to hire 8,100 people and invest $5.5 billion in its Georgia plant. This has been the most significant economic investment in the state. A few months ago, Georgia closed another lucrative deal with electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian to establish a factory. Read More
Ford is considering significant staff reductions as the automotive industry transitions to electric vehicles. Ford is preparing to lay off 8,000 salaried employees, or almost a quarter of its us workforce, in order to cut $3 billion in operational costs by 2026, according to a recent Bloomberg report. Ford Blue, the company’s internal combustion engine division, will be making the layoffs. Ford has previously stated that Ford Blue would bring in the revenue necessary to power its upcoming Ford Model e and other future products. No plans have been finalized yet, but CEO Jim Farley acknowledged the reports in an email to staff members and did not deny them. Read More
News & Opinion:
Should your service department consider using automated vehicle inspections
The automotive industry is evolving rapidly, and with that comes changes in how dealerships operate. In particular, automated vehicle inspections are changing the game regarding service lane efficiency, customer trust, and customer experience. Several OEMs like Toyota, GM, and Hyundai are currently implementing automated vehicle inspection systems at their dealerships. Israel-based UVeye is working alongside Volvo Car USA to introduce a new program for US dealers. The UVeye automated vehicle inspection system uses a high-speed camera system, AI, and machine learning to check for missing parts, underbody, tires, and many other safety-related areas. Read More
Can introverts make great car salespeople?
The idea of an outgoing individual willing to be bold, energetic, and almost a little pushy is what most consumers expect when interacting with a car salesperson. Extroverted personalities tend to recharge when they’re around people, and they converse easily and can navigate social situations easily. But in general society, roughly half are extroverts while the others tend to lean more toward introversion. But the thought that sales positions are suited for outgoing personalities primarily has been challenged. In reality, introverts possess characteristics that could significantly benefit the dealership, especially when more leads come in online than from traditional walk-in traffic. Read More
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