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CBT automotive newscast: September 29, 2021

Featured Interview:

KramerWhy this GM is modeling his dealership after the likes of Carvana & CarMax
After spending more than 27 years in retail automotive, General Manager of Germain Toyota of Naples, Brian Kramer, has been featured in F&I Magazine and has also been a past recipient (2012) of Automotive News’ 40 under 40 Awards. Today, he joins our show to discuss what business looks like for him in the current climate. Watch the complete segment here.


After a three months absence due to a personal matter, Genesis Motor North America CEO Mark del Rosso is leaving the company. The automaker has named Hyundai Motor Mexico CEO Claudia Marquez to the new position. Marquez will lead the strategy and execution of sales, after-sales, marketing, and growth strategies for Genesis. Marquez will report to CEO Jose Munoz, who currently serves as Genesis’ interim CEO. The changes are effective October 1.

In what is considered the largest single manufacturing investment in its 118-year history, Ford plans to spend $7 billion and create 11,000 jobs to build EVs and batteries in Tennessee and Kentucky. The investment will include a 3,600-acre “mega campus”, with Ford’s first new vehicle assembly plant in more than 50 years. The automaker also plans to hire 6,000 people to assemble next-generation electric F-series pickups and include battery cell production and a supplier park. It’s expected to open in 2025.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle environmental claims with the states of New Hampshire and Montana over a post-vehicle update of software emissions stemming from the 2015 diesel fraud scandal. Volkswagen has pledged to build another high-speed charging station in New Hampshire by 2024. The automaker will pay New Hampshire $1.15 million and Montana $357,280. The settlements with the two states total about $280 per vehicle and cover almost 5,500 vehicles.

Japanese automaker Toyota, has added Renovo Motors, a software company to its Woven Planet team. Woven Planet’s upcoming automotive operating system, called Arene, will produce “programmable cars”. The software tools will allow developers to test, deploy and update the software systems in the vehicle and in the cloud. The company has not disclosed the value of the deal and expects to bring the software platform to the market by 2025.

Just 20 months after giving Brightdrop, the new all-electric delivery truck brand a green light, General Motors has completed the first batch production of 500 units of the EV600 delivery van for launch customer, FedEx. Brightdrop is also adding a second model to the lineup, the midsize EV410. Ford plans to open a new factory to build all-electric F-series pickups that are also expected to target the commercial vehicle market. The EV410 won’t enter production until 2023. Brightdrop has not revealed pricing for either model.

News & Opinion:

FordFord commits $11.4 billion for shift to electric vehicles
A monumental announcement by Ford CEO Jim Farley sees the carmaker investing $11.4 billion into electrified mobility. The investment will create roughly 11,000 new jobs and is by far the largest commitment to EV tech development and manufacturing by any automaker in the US. The release details plans for several new initiatives by Ford. A 6-square-mile campus in Tennessee will be built as a facility to manufacture the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and batteries to be used in EV assembly. This complex is called Blue Oval City. Another facility in Kentucky will also be created as BlueOvalSK Battery Park, housing two battery plants that will power Ford and Lincoln EVs. Read more

Image by: Cox Automotive

A mixed bag in the latest Cox Automotive Weekly Summary
Cox Automotive released its weekly summary Monday, which included updates on sales and prices across the auto market, the Fed’s potential plans, home sales and construction statistics, consumer sentiment, and jobless claims. While some metrics are positive, others are continuing to struggle as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. Auto sales for September are expected to have stymied due to the inventory shortage, with the SAAR projected to round out at 12.1 million. Cox Auto noted this is the lowest SAAR we have seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is 1 million less than last month. The projected numbers are also reportedly “among the worst in the last decade.” Read more

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