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CBT automotive newscast: October 14, 2021

Inside Automotive:

SmokeJonathan Smoke discusses Q3 auto sales and market outlook for the remainder of 2021
We continue to hear news of record pricing across the industry, so on today’s show, we’re learning where things stand today. We’re pleased to welcome Cox Automotive’s Chief Economist, Jonathan Smoke, to discuss third quarter auto sales and he’ll also give us a market outlook as we wrap up 2021. Watch the complete segment here.

Headlines:

According to a memo obtained by Automotive News, General Motors plans to launch a Cadillac badge financing brand for luxury customers and dealers. Cadillac Financial will include a concierge service, a new website, and a Cadillac-certified customer experience team. GM financial plans to launch a service with a Cadillac badge in mid-2022. Kyle Birch, President of North American Business said, “Our first focus is on the luxury experience and marketing channels of Cadillac’s customers, but we will talk with Cadillac’s leadership and dealers to determine what other opportunities and values exist.”

Hyundai is ordered to pay $16 million in damages to Orlando, Florida dealer, William Nero. The 2018 case focused on whether the automaker had reneged on a previous agreement to offer Nero two open points for the genesis brand in addition to any rights as owner of Universal Hyundai in Orlando. The jury found that Hyundai had reached a settlement with Nero in 2009 on a separate matter, and that guaranteed him the right of first refusal if Hyundai established a luxury brand within a decade. Hyundai said in a statement that it disagreed with the verdict and it will appeal.

According to a report, in order for Michigan to continue as the leader in the future of mobility and electrification, the state must initiate automated vehicle policies, become more EV friendly, and support government initiatives encouraging EV adoption. The report outlines some of the progress the state’s mobility sector has made, which includes that Michigan now has 26 automotive OEMs and the presence of 96 of the top 100 automotive suppliers. The state’s chief, Trevor Pawl said, “The mobility industry is constantly evolving, and Michigan fully intends to evolve with it to retain its position as a leader in the field.”

The cost of energy was reasonably affordable in the spring of 2020, during the rise of the pandemic. Now, that energy demand is back and the economy has opened up, supply hasn’t kept up. U.S. oil prices have escalated to $120 since going to a negative $40 a barrel in April 2020. U.S. Oil prices finished above $80 a barrel for the first time in nearly seven years. The last time oil closed above $80 was in October 2014. Prices at the pump may increase even higher with the global energy crisis. Matt Smith, Kepler’s lead oil analyst said, “It’s a case of just trying to keep the lights on.” Bank of America has warned that a cold winter could boost oil demand by half a million barrels per day, lifting crude to $100 a barrel.

CarMax plans to hire for 3,700 positions companywide by the end of the year. The retailer is looking to fill about 1,400 auto technicians and service operations associate positions, including detailers and painters. The company wants to hire about 700 customer service consultants, assistants, and managers. They’re also seeking another 900 store sales and business office associates who would work directly with vehicle buyers.

News & Opinion:

GM’s Bolt EV production extended by two weeks, LG paying the recall costs
On Wednesday, General Motors confirmed that production for the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV will be extended for an additional two weeks. The vehicle, manufactured at Orion Assembly in Lake Orion, continues to be delayed after more than 141,000 units were recalled for potential battery fires. After around a dozen fires related to the recall, GM and LG Electronics discovered two defects that, when present together, can cause a fire when the battery is fully charged. It does not have to be plugged in for the fault to occur and a fire to ignite. Read more

How to bring more high-value work to your body shop
For most autobody and collision repair shops, the main income source is from insurance claims. Although it’s steady work for body shops, especially for those associated with franchised dealerships, the insurance claim process is tedious and resource-consuming, often with tens of hours of communication and many more hours of delays awaiting approvals. Profit margins are much thinner than in other departments due to lower labor rates and administrative costs. Read more


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CBT News
CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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