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Nov. auto sales forecast, political divide over EVs, tensions between Tesla, Swedish unions heat up

Inside Automotive 

On this episode of Inside Automotive,  we’re checking in with 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year, President of Gary Rome Hyundai/ Kia, Gary RomeHow this dealer is fostering community engagement with his dealerships – Gary Rome
As we close out the year, it’s more important than ever for dealers to understand how to drive profits and consumer satisfaction. Therefore, on the latest episode of Inside Automotive,  we’re checking back in with someone who knows a thing or two about going above and beyond. The 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year, President of Gary Rome Hyundai, and Gary Rome Kia, Gary Rome, joins us. Watch the full segment here.

Top stories

J.D. Power has projected an increase to the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales, to 15.5 million units.According to a joint forecast from J. D. Power and GlobalData, November U.S. new-vehicle sales are expected to hit 1.24 million units, a 10.2% increase from the previous year, with retail sales contributing 1.04 million units, up 13%. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) is expected to rise to 15.5 million units. Despite a 1.9% decrease in average transaction prices to $45,332, consumer spending is set to reach a record $44.5 billion. Vehicle availability is improving, yet retail inventory remains 40% below pre-pandemic levels. Read More

President Joe Biden (left) and former President Donald Trump (right) Image source: Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA / Bloomberg; Al Drago / Bloomberg

Next up, reporting by Reuters reveals a political divide over electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Republican presidential contenders, including former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, have criticized EVs as detrimental to American jobs and beneficial to China. However, EVs are becoming a significant source of tax revenue and employment in key swing states. President Joe Biden and some Democrats are leveraging this to gain support, capitalizing on the roughly $128 billion invested in domestic EV and battery manufacturing since the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. Notably, $48 billion of this investment is concentrated in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan, pivotal states in the upcoming election. Read More

Elon Musk // Image source: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

The dispute between Swedish unions and Tesla has escalated, with around 50 workers at Hydro Extrusions in Vetlanda, Sweden, joining a sympathy strike in support of IF Metall union. This affects the supply of aluminum profiles for Tesla’s Model Y to the Berlin factory and marks the first Swedish Tesla supplier to join the strike. The union’s aim is to pressure Tesla into collective bargaining, with growing concerns about the long-term impact on suppliers like Hydro Extrusions. The strike, initially involving Tesla mechanics in Sweden, has expanded across various sectors, highlighting a clash with Tesla’s anti-union stance in a country where unionization is deeply ingrained in the labor model.

For Dealers 

One of the more important actions to take while being agile is the ability to make quick decisions under pressureAgile mindset: automotive leadership during disruptive times
The car dealership business demands flexibility of thought and action. We’ll use agility to describe the ability to see a potential problem as an opportunity instead of a threat. Let’s discuss some of the ways that agility can help automotive managers and owners overcome how they see potential changes instead of panicking, and see problems as a moment to build and grow their dealership. Agility requires the ability to think your way through a scenario and know that many of the facts you thought you know might change in a hurry. The recent pandemic poses one of the most recent major threads to the auto business in recent memory. I do definitely remember as an online marketing manager wondering how impending lockdowns in my home state were going to affect business with people traveling significantly less. Read More

The PR toolkit boasts various strategies, encompassing media relations, press releases, social media engagement, and event sponsorships.Public relations for dealerships: when silence isn’t golden
Public relations (PR) is a crucial yet often underestimated and unused tool for automotive dealerships. PR is an integral element of any dealership’s strategy, far from being something reserved for OEMs and large dealership groups.  5W PR correctly states  that “PR …can transform the future and profitability of a business.” It provides the roadmap to navigate complex challenges, manage crises effectively, and curate a positive brand image in an intensely competitive industry.  And best of all, if you need any ROI justification, all of that PR work will also get you more leads. Read More

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Anna Delvillar
Anna Delvillar
Anna is the editorial and programming coordinator at CBT News. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University. She is an enthusiastic and skilled media professional with high-caliber communication skills, and has five years of experience performing multimedia writing, editing, and publishing for automotive, tech, and small business media.

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