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April U.S. auto sales, more inflation, Stellantis CEO on EV price war

Inside Automotive

Kevin TynanCould low sales push automakers to abandon the EV market? – Kevin Tynan | Bloomberg Intelligence
All eyes are on the electric vehicle market as automakers, politicians and consumers push for clean energy. But what do the numbers actually show in terms of demand? On this episode of Inside Automotive, we welcome back Kevin Tynan, senior automotive analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, to discuss the latest production and delivery data from EV companies. Watch full segment here.

Top Stories

Despite robust auto sales, new-vehicle supply closed March at its highest level in two years, but not be enough to bring prices down.J.D. Power estimates that April’s new-vehicle sales will improve 9.8% over the year prior, even as prices reach record levels. According to the firm’s forecast, the total number of new car sales will reach 1.32 million units, aided by a 45% increase in retail inventory. While average transaction prices are also expected to rise 2%, Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, noted that consumer spending on new cars is nevertheless on track to hit $47.5 billion by the end of the month. Read More

Mercedes-BenzOnly two days after exiting Russia, Mercedes-Benz posted strong results for the first quarter. According to the car maker’s report, revenue grew 8% year-over-year, driven by more than 600,000 vehicle sales across its divisions. The brand’s top-end car and premium van segments saw moderate year-over-year growth, while its electric vehicle deliveries nearly doubled from the previous year. The auto group saw healthy demand in the U.S. And China, but noted its European activities had been “sluggish.” Read More

StellantisDuring an April 27 visit to a Stellantis facility in France, CEO Carlos Tavares again dismissed the notion of starting a price war with Tesla. He noted that such a move would be unfeasible as it would hurt the company’s goal of doubling revenues over the next seven years. Since January, Tesla has cut prices seven times, a strategy which Tavares said was “…more concerned with growth than profitability.” The Stellantis head noted that if prices across the market did fall, the automaker would adapt by cutting costs to keep margins above 10%. Read More

inflationNew reports indicate that inflation continued to rise over March, slightly ahead of economic forecasts. According to price indexes, annual inflation climbed 4.6%, driven by rising costs of goods and services. Consumers saw some relief in food and energy prices, but continued to show cautionary spending habits despite slight income growth. Although interest rates remained stable through March, the Federal Reserve has said that additional hikes were likely, especially if inflation continued to rise. Read More

For Dealers

Training for competition in car salesCompetition for sales is back — but is your sales staff ready to sell again?
U.S. new-vehicle inventory levels rose sharply in December and crested to 1.8 million for the first time since May 2021.¹ That bit of good news has been tempered by an affordability crisis, where high vehicle prices — combined with high interest rates — are driving shoppers of new vehicles to consider used, shoppers of used to entertain lower price points and are motivating all shoppers to consider more dealerships while searching for the best price. Read More

Many automakers now require their EV-selling dealerships to install EV charging equipment in preparation for their newest models.

Choosing the right EV charging equipment for auto dealerships
Electric vehicles are making their way to dealer showrooms, and chances are that your customers are already requesting test drives and reservations. Many automakers now require their EV-selling dealerships to install charging equipment in preparation for their newest models. With a little planning and some help from a knowledgeable partner like Blink Charging, you can quickly and easily choose the correct charging equipment that will future-proof your dealership for years to come. Read More

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