Weekly roundup: First look at the 2024 Acura ZDX, study claims EVs could save 90K lives, used car prices drop

Earlier this week: General Motors announced plans to invest more than $1 billion into two Michigan plants to produce its next-generation EV pickups. The U.S. Senate approved a bill suspending the debt ceiling. Honda unveiled the first electric Acura model, used car prices fell in May, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Acura ZDX Google
Image Source: Car and Driver

1. Honda reveals first Acura EV, equipped with built-in Google apps

Honda’s next Acura model, the 2024 ZDX, is set to be the brand’s first electric vehicle. The EV will feature Google’s built-in integrations while also enabling native Android apps and over-the-air (OTA) software updates. The next SUV from the performance brand will include Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other apps found on Google Play. Every ZDX trim level will consist of Google’s native integration as a standard feature. Read More

Used car prices and retail sales declined over May as consumers and dealers grappled with economic headwinds2. Used car prices, sales fall in May as auto industry looks to spur demand

Used car prices and retail sales declined over May as consumers and dealers grappled with economic headwinds, according to data from Cox Automotive and the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. Used car prices dropped 2.7% month-over-month and 7.6% year-over-year to hit their lowest number in 2023. Retail sales held steady from April but declined 11% from May 2022. Similarly, days’ supply of preowned vehicles remained unchanged from the previous month, resting at 45 days but falling short of last year’s 49. In contrast to the used market, new-light-vehicle and fleet sales increased 22.9% and 45%, respectively, from the prior-year period. Read More

car sales3. Report claims EV transition could save nearly 90K lives by 2050

According to a new analysis from the American Lung Association, if gas-guzzlers vanished from U.S. car lots by 2035 and were replaced by zero-emissions vehicles, like electric cars, trucks, and SUVs, the U.S. would see 89,300 fewer premature deaths by 2050. To reap the full health benefits, however, the nation must shift toward clean non-combustion electricity, such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear. Read More

GM heavy-duty4. GM plans to invest over $1 billion to produce the next generation electric pickups

On June 5, General Motors announced its plans to invest more than $1 billion in two Michigan plants to produce its next-generation heavy-duty trucks. The investment includes $788 million to prepare its Flint Assembly plant to build the heavy-duty and diesel trucks. Another $233 million is anticipated to be invested in the automakers’ Flint Metal Center to support the production of the vehicles in mid-Michigan. Despite the automakers’ commitment to exclusively offer all-electric vehicles by 2035, GM continues to invest in traditional cars, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups. Read More

In a last-minute vote to prevent a devastating national default, the Senate approved a bill suspending the debt ceiling on Thursday evening.5. Debt ceiling vote: default avoided but uncertainty remains

In a last-minute vote to prevent a devastating national default, the Senate approved a bill suspending the debt ceiling on Thursday evening. Having now cleared the House and Senate, the bill authorizes the U.S. Treasury to borrow unlimited sums of money until 2025, allowing the department to fund interest payments to the country’s bondholders without pulling from other government programs. Failure to do so would have almost certainly resulted in a credit downgrade, completely nullifying the nation’s efforts to recover from the COVID pandemic. The legislative approval follows a particularly tense round of negotiations between Republican lawmakers and the Biden Administration, and while the law rallied enough bipartisan votes to pass through Congress, this support was far from universal. Read More

Gary Barbera, owner of Barbera Autoland6. Dealer Gary Barbera takes a gamble on providing ‘casino-like’ buying experiences

While dealers have experienced incredible growth, consumer demand is primarily driving those figures. On this edition of Inside Automotive, Gary Barbera, founder of Barbera’s Autoland, discusses his company’s market and operational updates. As one of Stellantis’ highest-volume stores in the Philadelphia auto market has shifted its focus to customer satisfaction, Google reviews, and pre-owned vehicles. Nonetheless, Barbera believes that due to the car group’s extensive moving components and the ongoing evolution of both the auto market and its consumers, its inventory is currently “working itself through.” Read More

Ted Rubins joins Inside Automotive to discuss digital retailing in the dealership and how retailers can effectively communicate with customers7. AI chatbots and digital retailing: how do customers want to communicate? — Ted Rubin | ActivEngage (Sponsored Content)

Digital retailing has created hundreds of new opportunities for auto dealers to interact with consumers. But in the age of texting, search engines and artificial intelligence, what do car buyers actually prioritize when communicating with retailers? On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Ted Rubin, CEO of ActivEngage, a people-powered, web-based live chat and communications solutions provider, to discuss the latest insights and trends in the dealer-to-consumer conversation. Read More

8. How car dealers can beat stereotypes in automotive sales — Matt Easton | Easton University

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s data, sales is the largest profession in the country, with a massive concentration in automotive sales. Yet only 18% of consumers have a positive view of salespeople. On this episode of Inside Automotive, CBT News anchor Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Matt Easton, sales consultant and founder of Easton University, an online education platform for sales professionals, to discuss the counter-productive habits responsible for this statistic and the principles needed to overcome the public’s negative perception of the career. Read More

Maclnnis, digital retail9. How to secure lender-qualified payments upfront with digital retailing — Pete Maclnnis | eLEND Solutions (Sponsored Content)

Today’s economic headwinds have forced dealerships nationwide to alter how they achieve customer satisfaction. On this episode of Inside Automotive, we’re joined in studio by Pete Maclnnis, CEO of eLEND Solutions, to discuss how affordability impacts the digital retail process. Read More

Dave Ydstei and Mike Battaglia join the show to discuss how a Blink Charging partnership can prepare dealers for the electric vehicle shift10. Energy solutions: How Blink Charging is preparing for the electric vehicle shift (Sponsored Content)

The electric vehicle market has boomed over the last few years, with more drivers and models hitting the roadways than ever before. But while battery-powered cars are becoming ever-more popular, the availability and accessibility of charging stations remain far behind the needs of most buyers. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Dave Ydstei, fixed operations director of Audi Minneapolis and Audi St. Paul, and Mike Battaglia, chief revenue officer for Blink Charging, to discuss a possible solution for alleviating this consumer paint point. Read More

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