CBT automotive newscast: October 18, 2021

Inside Automotive:

MichelliWhat is ‘proactive service’ and why it is important for your car dealership?
Don’t miss the opportunity for your organization to offer a service that is proactive as opposed to reactive. What’s the difference you may ask? Well on today’s show Joseph Michelli, CEO of The Michelli Experience and New York Times best-selling author of his latest book, Stronger through Adversity, joins us to discuss this and the importance of having proactive service. Watch the complete segment here.


Stellantis has hired Detroit-based agency, Ignition Media Group to help step up its multicultural marketing efforts. The shop will act as a “soundboard and multicultural thinking partner” on the media and marketing strategies of the automakers’ brands, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram. Founded in 1998 by Dennis Archer, Jr., the African American-owned agency describes itself as a boutique marketing and consulting firm. It has done work for clients including Bacardi and the Detroit regional chamber.

Hi Tech Motorcars of Austin, Texas, is accused of firing a former employee in December 2020 who warned others there was a COVID-19 outbreak. According to a lawsuit filed by the D.O.L., management told him, “That his only job was to fix cars.” When management didn’t take action, the employee sent a company-wide email about the potential hazards. Less than an hour later, the employee was fired. The department says the whistleblower is due back pay and punitive damages, arguing that his only offense was warning others about a threat to their health at the dealership, which is no crime at all. Hi Tech Motors did not respond to a request for comment.

Trailer maker, Colorado Teardrop, says it has “tons” of preorders for a camper that will house EV-charging batteries in its frame. For now, the camper, called the Boulder, exists only as a 3D computer rendering. Built-in batteries will allow EV drivers to travel with the teardrop-shaped camper and will double as a charging station. It will have a 75-KW-hour battery pack and will be able to hold a full charge while being towed to a destination. The first trailers are forecasted to ship next summer.

Toyota will cut global production for a third time next month. Procurement manager, Kazunari Kumakura said, “I think we are over the worst period.” Toyota will produce between 850,000 to 900,000 vehicles globally in November. The total represents a 15% cutback from the automaker’s revised November production plan to produce one million vehicles in the next month. Kumakura predicts that Toyota will do all it can to make up for the lost volume in the fiscal year ending in March 2022.

Consumers spent at a much faster rate than expected in September. Retail sales grew by 0.7% this month. Compared to last year, sales were up 13.9% on the headline number and 15.6% excluding autos. Auto sales rose 0.5%, despite inventory shortages and the ongoing chip crisis. Gas prices pushed higher, and spending at fuel stations hiked up 1.8%, for a 38.2% surge over the past year.

News & Opinion:

sick employeesDealership HR practices for employees who need sick leave
What happens your employee or employees are sick for the long term? There are many situations today where employees are experiencing lasting illness. Do you let them go or stick with them as they’ve stuck with you? Let’s look at some best practices for how to work with sick employees. Regardless of the position in your dealership, you’ll be able to attract and keep talent when you have a sick time policy. Read more

vaccinesDetroit’s Big Three carmakers have mandated vaccines in Canada
On Thursday, the Big Three carmakers out of Detroit each issued statements that COVID-19 vaccines would become mandatory for any employees, contractors, or visitors to their facilities in Canada. The decision is supported by Unifor president Jerry Dias, and while there are details remaining to be disclosed, the vaccine mandate is to be imposed during the 2021 calendar year. In their statement, GM Canada said, “We are joining many other companies, from multiple sectors, supporting public-health initiatives to increase vaccination rates and further reduce the impact of COVID-19 across Canada. Read more

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