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CBT automotive newscast: November 26, 2021

Inside Automotive:

TynanBloomberg Senior Analyst Kevin Tynan on the current state of retail automotive
From pivoting to digital retail to inventory and chip shortages, the pandemic played a key role in what retail automotive looks like today. On this edition of Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Bloomberg Intelligence’s Senior Automotive Analyst, Kevin Tynan, to get his take on where the auto industry stands. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

President Joe Biden paid a visit to a General Motors plant that produces the new GMC Hummer electric pickup last week and the automaker says, his gestures caused a great rise in bookings for the truck. Global head of GMC, Duncan Aldred said vehicle reservations increased sevenfold, compared to an average day, as traffic to the brand’s website increased almost 230%. Aldred did not disclose the specific number of reservations but says the automaker has over 125,000 “hand-raisers” that have requested information about the roughly $113 thousand special “Edition 1” vehicle. GM plans to begin shipping by mid-December.

Elon Musk is at the halfway mark of his plan to unload 10% of his stake in Tesla. The CEO disposed of another 934,041 shares for $1.05 billion. Musk also exercised 2.1 million of equity options and part of the share sales was to help pay taxes. Musk has now sold 9.2 million shares, worth almost $9.9 billion. In order to reach the threshold of selling 10% of his stake, Musk would need to sell some 17 million shares, which equals to about 1.7% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Detroit Big 3 automakers, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis say they are not yet mandating vaccines for their roughly 153,000d plant employees. UAW issued a joint statement with the big 3, saying they would require workers to wear masks on worksites, and unionized workers will be asked to voluntarily submit their vaccination status. The UAW encourages its members to get vaccinated but has not been supportive of making vaccines mandatory for workers.

New weekly jobless claims reach the lowest level since November 1969. New filings totaled 199,000 versus the 260,000 expected. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits fell by 60,000 to 2.05 million. The Labor Department did not indicate any special factors that cause the decline.

News & Opinion:

salesSupply constraints and record profits color the November sales forecast
Automakers appear to be on the cusp of an inventory surge that would replenish dealer lots and offer more choice to customers. However, November’s sales forecast won’t reflect those effects yet. J.D. Power and LMC Automotive are forecasting that November 2021 will experience a double-digit decrease compared to one year ago when adjusted for selling days. Retail sales are expected to report in at well under one million units for the month – 933,700 units – representing 12.6% fewer deliveries than Nov 2020. Even accounting for an extra selling day this year, the decrease is still 8.8%. Read more

onlineHow to sell better than your online-only competition
As transaction prices on new and used vehicles soar, competition for today’s auto buyers is fierce. But it’s not just local competitors dealers need to contend with. Rapid digitalization due to the pandemic led to the growth of online-only retailers. In the first six months of 2020, Carvana, Shift, and Vroom collectively experienced a 36% increase in sales year-over-year. Amid another challenging year in the auto industry, this trend has accelerated, coinciding with an uptick in app downloads and record-setting sales as online retailers work to increase acquisitions and expand their inventories. Read more


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