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EVs and AI: Driving the future of automotive innovation – Jessica Stafford & Stephen Smith

Two trends that will shape the auto industry in the decades ahead are electric vehicles (EVs) and artificial intelligence (AI). These powerful forces are transforming both wholesale and retail experiences across the country. On today’s episode of CBT Now, we delve into the future of EVs and AI with insights from Jessica Stafford, SVP of Consumer Solutions at Cox Automotive, and Stephen Smith, VP of Product & Engineering at Cox Automotive. 

Key Takeaways 

1. The automotive industry is focused on EVs, with Cox Automotive investing in and preparing for an electrified future. Despite a slowdown in consumer EV adoption, there is consistent growth in new and used EV sales. The industry reached a milestone in 2023 with over a million new EV sales in the US. The number of EV models is projected to increase significantly, with 37 new models in 2024 and 130 new models in the coming years.

2. Consumers have misconceptions regarding EVs, particularly about battery life and range. Many consumers are unaware that the U.S. federally mandates an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty that protects EV drivers. Keep in mind that external factors such as driving behavior and weather affect reduced range, which people often mistake for battery health issues. Cox Automotive’s research emphasizes that a significant portion of consumers are waiting for further advancements in EV technology and infrastructure before they commit to EV purchases.

3. AI is revolutionizing the automotive industry by enhancing various processes and improving communication between buyers and sellers. Cox Automotive uses AI extensively, with over 100 applications currently in use. AI helps predict consumer shopping behaviors, price sensitivity, and financing ability, thereby personalizing experiences. The Mannheim marketplace uses AI to improve imaging and process millions of vehicles, increasing confidence in the wholesale market.

4. Managing the lifecycle of EV batteries presents specific challenges, including consumer misconceptions about battery health and the high cost of battery replacement. Dealers and OEMs must understand how battery health affects vehicle condition and value. Different use cases, such as consumer purchases, lender asset risk pricing, and dealer decisions on battery repairs or replacements, require varying levels of insight into battery health.

5. The long-term prospects for both EVs and AI in the automotive industry are promising. By 2033, nearly 90% of vehicle shoppers are expected to consider electric vehicles. The integration of AI will continue to modernize the sector, driving automation, personalization, and improved efficiency. Cox Automotive is actively leveraging AI to enhance the overall automotive experience while approaching new technologies like Generative AI with caution and thoughtfulness.

"Investing and preparing for a more electrified future is a challenge and an opportunity that's facing all of us." – Steven Smith.

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CBT News
CBT News
For over 11 years, CBT News has been informing and helping automotive retail professionals grow their businesses and thrive in their careers through an awarding-winning, on-demand streaming platform. With exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest trends, CBT News is your #1 source for auto industry news and content.

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