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CBT automotive newscast: March 29, 2022

Diversity in Automotive:

Building a Culture of Diversity at Stellantis with Lottie Holland
Stellantis has built a brand that celebrates continued diversity and inclusion beyond the news headlines. On today’s show, we’re tapping into Stellantis’ corporate culture of diversity. We’re pleased to welcome Lottie Holland, the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, Engagement, and EEO Compliance for Stellantis North America to talk to us about some of their initiatives and we’ll also get into recruitment. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

General Motors announced last week it will be pausing production at one of its Indiana-based factories due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage. The automaker said the Fort Wayne assembly plant that produces GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado trucks will be shut down from April 4th to April 15th. GM cited a recent improvement in production and delivery, but said there is “uncertainty” and “unpredictability” regarding the strained supply of semiconductor chips. This is the first schedule disruption GM has faced in almost five months.

Tesla has recalled almost 950 vehicles in the United States due to a potentially dangerous issue with the rearview image cameras in their cars. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the rear cameras in Model S, Model X, and Model Y vehicles from various years violate federal guidelines because they are failing to display immediately when the car is put in reverse. Tesla said testing did not find any compliance issues, but that it would perform over-the-air updates to affected vehicles.

LG Energy Solution announced last week it has chosen Queen Creek, Arizona for its new cylindrical lithium-ion battery factory. The company did not provide a specific reason for choosing Queen Creek for the $1.4 billion investment, but stated that new electric vehicle manufacturers who use cylindrical batteries are prominent in the area. This includes EV startups Lucid and Nikola, which have both previously partnered with LG Energy Solution or its existing partners for battery production. Construction is set to begin later this year and mass production is expected to start in 2024.

Fedex is reportedly planning on testing electric delivery carts in major cities through the U.S. And Canada this year. The carts will be developed by BrightDrop, which is an electric vehicle and cloud-based software company created by General Motors in 2021. The goal of the carts will be to reduce parking challenges in high-activity areas such as Toronto and New York City, and Fedex says initial testing showed a 15% increase in deliveries with the electric carts compared to the traditional delivery method. Other delivery services like UPS And DHL have also committed to investments in EV delivery technologies.

News & Opinion:

What Do Car Sales Look Like in the Metaverse?
While the metaverse is intriguing and brands will likely start testing out new virtual spaces, what the technology will look like in just a few years is largely unknown. Similar to other concepts like smartphones, the internet, and virtual reality headsets, the evolution and expansion of the metaverse will likely go through the same process of gradually transitioning from a hard-to-imagine concept to a real-life, tangible one. Read More

Penalties reinstated for tight CAFE efficiency standards
On Sunday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation reinstated the strict Obama-era penalties for falling short on corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards that the Trump administration had paused at the end of his term. The reinstated standards are an incentive to make the American fleet more fuel efficient on average, but it comes at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties, not to mention R&D costs to accelerate compliance to the rule. Read more


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