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Consumers shift to used cars amid frustration with tech-heavy new models

Welcome back to the latest episode of the Future of Automotive on CBT News, where we put recent automotive and mobility news into the context of the broader themes impacting the industry. 

I’m Steve Greenfield from Automotive Ventures, and I’m glad that you could join us.

An article in the Wall Street Journal last week identified a recent curious trend of consumers that are starting to forego the latest wave of technology-laden new vehicles, and instead turning to more analog versions of slightly used vehicles.

There seems to be a belief among some consumers that automakers’ latest and greatest offerings—whether powered by gasoline, batteries or a hybrid system—are inferior to the products they are replacing. 

We are starting to see more used-car intenders reserve special loathing for the big touch screen displays that are now ubiquitous in new cars, regardless of vehicle price. The elimination of analog switches and dials, and virtualization of once simple, reachable controls into phone-like menus has left many frustrated and craving for the simplicity of earlier generations of cars.  

For some used car shoppers they worry about the potential for eyes-off-the-road distraction.

For others it’s a harder to define romanticism of a simpler, analog user experience.

It will be interesting to see if some of the previous generation of vehicles actually hold their values better than some new vehicles, simply because a large segment of consumers prefer the more analog in-cabin experience.

Speaking recently to a number of collectors of high-end vehicles, many are foregoing the latest tech-laden vehicles with kinetic assist, turbochargers and automatic transmissions. There seems to be a growing interest to collect the last generation of naturally aspirated, large displacement vehicles with manual transmissions.

Which is just fine by me.

So, with that, let’s transition to Our Companies to Watch.

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my weekly Intel Report, we showcase a company to watch, and take the opportunity here to share that company with you. 

Today, our new company to watch is South 8 Technologies.

South 8 Technologies develops, manufactures and licenses a liquefied gas electrolyte for advanced lithium-ion batteries that solves lithium-ion’s “fire and ice™” problems. It will allow battery manufacturers to replace liquid EV battery electrolyte with their gas electrolyte. 

South 8’s patented LiGas electrolyte reduces fire risk and operates across a wide temperature range, from -60 to +60 °C. 

LiGas cells enable clean battery power to benefit more applications, environments, and people. LiGas is also compatible with common battery materials, increases energy, supports fast charging, and is cost effective for battery manufacturers. 

The evolutionary LiGas® product enables Li-ion battery operation in extreme climates with reduced fire risk. All with improved cost. Operate in new environments: bitter cold, scorching heat, underwater and space. 

LiGas offers compelling advantages over standard liquid electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries, including:

Reduced Fire Risk

Wide Temperature Range

Increased energy

Fast Charging

And being far more Cost Effective

If you’d like to learn more about South 8 Technologies you can check them out at

So that’s it for this week’s Future of Automotive segment. 

If you’re an AutoTech entrepreneur working on a solution that helps car dealerships, we want to hear from you. We are actively investing out of our DealerFund.

If you’re interested in joining our Investment Club to make direct investments into AutoTech and Mobility startups, please join. There is no obligation to start seeing our deal flow, and we continue to have attractive investment deals available to our members.

Don’t forget to check out my book, “The Future of Automotive Retail,” which is available on And keep an eye out for my new book, “The Future of Mobility”, which is almost done, and will be out soon.

Thanks (as always) for your ongoing support and for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Future of Automotive segment. We’ll see you next week!

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Steve Greenfield
Steve Greenfield
Steve is the Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an automotive technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies. They also assist PE firms to conduct due diligence on automotive technology acquisitions, advise technology CEOs on strategy, and help represent sellers at the time of sale.

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