CBT automotive newscast: September 9, 2020

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Today’s Featured Interview:

Jeff CowanCapitalizing on the rise in consumer demand for service – Jeff Cowan
If dealers are not having record-breaking months in their service departments at this moment in time, then they are doing something wrong. While industry endures the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are easier to sell to now than ever before. To explain his theory on why this is, we welcome back Jeff Cowan, President of Pro Talk, fixed-ops expert, and acclaimed speaker. Watch the full segment here.

Top Headlines:

Nikola has finally found a partner to manufacture its electric heavy-duty pickup truck. General Motors will take a $2 billion dollar stake in Nikola to manufacture the Nikola Badger. The deal will deliver $4 billion in benefits to GM as it continues to commercialize its EV capabilities. The partnership will launch the Badger into production by the end of 2022.

GM also made decisions concerning salary employees returning to the office. In a memo sent out on Friday, GM announced that white-collar workers won’t return to their workplaces until June of next year. The decision comes shortly after Ford informed their employees that they wouldn’t be expected to return to the office until Jan. of 2021. If GM’s employees proceed with working remotely into next summer, it would mark nearly 15 months since office workers stepped foot in their workplaces.

Volkswagen believes it may be in a position to overtake Tesla in the near future. VW Works council chairman Bernd Osterloh believes the automaker is in a position to pass Tesla in both e-car manufacturing numbers and software development. Osterloh recently told a German newspaper that as Tesla sets up three factories to produce between 300,000 to 500,000 units, Volkswagen is preparing to produce 900,000 to 1.5 million units by 2023 or sooner. Osterloh also boasted that VW’s modular electric-drive matrix platform gives the automaker, “a huge advantage.”

Ram is trying to grab the attention of consumers with new versions of the 1500 and heavy-duty pickup trucks. For the 2021 model year, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram brand is introducing new limited night editions for the Ram 1500 as well as the Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty models. These new extensions provide a luxury offering to Ram’s lineup of trucks with a starting MSRP of $60,045. Heavy-duty limited black editions are expected to reach dealerships by the end of the third quarter and night editions are on sale now.

News Stories & Opinion:

electric vehicles

New wave of electric vehicles set to hit market in coming months
New model announcements aren’t anything new for the automotive industry as carmakers continuously attempt to keep their livery fresh. In recent weeks, the announcements are increasingly geared toward a tiny segment of the industry with the intent to take it mainstream; electric vehicles. Ford has partnered with Nikola to build their pickup truck, estimated to arrive on the market by the end of 2022. Read More

Nikola partners with GM to produce electric pickup
Since the unveiling of the concept in February, The Nikola Badger has been hyped to be the direct rival to Tesla’s Cybertruck. The one question slowing the Arizona startup was who would produce the electric pickup. That question was answered Tuesday when the company announced a partnership with General Motors. GM announced that it would take an 11% stake in the electric truck maker and produce the Badger by the end of 2022. Read More


Did you enjoy today’s automotive newscast? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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