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Weekly roundup: dealers confront Biden on EV policy, UAW expands unionization, Rivian introduces leases

Earlier this week: Thousands of U.S. dealerships, operating as “EV Voice of the Customer,” expressed concerns to President Biden about proposed emissions standards in an open letter. Nov. U.S. new-vehicle sales are forecasted to rise 10.2% YoY, boosting the seasonally adjusted annualized rate to 15.5 million units. The United Auto Workers (UAW) launched an ambitious campaign to unionize 13 non-Detroit automakers in the U.S., aiming to bring around 150,000 autoworkers into the union. Additionally, Rivian now offers leasing for its R1T electric pickup truck in select states. Lastly, Sheehy Auto Stores raised $341,476 for the American Heart Association, continuing its fight against heart disease. Here’s a closer look at these top stories and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Dealers across the U.S. pen open letter to Biden, voicing concerns over the adoption of EVs and proposed emissions standards.
President Joe Biden at his desk in the Oval Office // Image source: REUTERS // Evelyn Hockstein

1. 3,882 dealers nationwide challenge Biden on EV regulations in open letter

Nearly 4,000 dealers across the United States have collectively penned an open letter to President Biden, expressing their concern over the proposed emissions standards that aim to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs). Operating under the name “EV Voice of the Customer,” these 3,882 dealers, representing all 50 states, argue that consumer readiness for electric vehicles (EVs) is not at the level the policy assumes. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new regulations that could result in EVs making up to two-thirds of the market share by 2032. Read More

J.D. Power has projected an increase to the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales, to 15.5 million units.2. Nov. U.S. auto sales expected to soar: new-vehicle sales up 10.2% year-over-year

According to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and GlobalData, the automotive retail industry is witnessing a significant upswing in November, with total new-vehicle sales projected to hit 1,236,000 units, a 10.2% increase from the previous year. This rise includes a notable 13% boost in retail sales to 1,041,000 units. These results are projected to increase the seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales to 15.5 million units, up 1.4 million units from November 2022. Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, highlights a robust market driven by improved vehicle availability and record consumer spending, which offsets a slight decline in transaction prices to $45,332. Read More

Notably, the UAW is not guaranteeing the successful organization of every plant or automaker participating in this campaign.
UAW President Shawn Fain // Image source: Rebecca Cook // Reuters

3. UAW launches ambitious campaign to unionize non-Detroit automakers

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has announced a bold initiative to organize 13 non-union automakers operating in the United States. This announcement comes in the wake of the UAW’s six-week strike and subsequent successful negotiations of record contracts with the Detroit-Three automakers. The campaign, unveiled on Wednesday, Nov. 29, casts a wide net, encompassing automakers such as BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Rivian, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. This determined effort from the UAW aims to bring approximately 150,000 autoworkers into the union fold. Read More

Consumers in some U.S. states can now lease the R1T electric pickup truck from Rivian, which debuted the option on November 27. 4. Rivian offers leasing for R1T electric pickup trucks in select U.S. states

Consumers in some U.S. states can now lease the R1T electric pickup truck from California-based electric carmaker Rivian, which debuted the option on November 27. The announcement follows the company’s plan to expand sales and its consumer base beyond early adopters of EVs. The company said in a statement, “Residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Pennslyvania, Texas, and Washington can now lease a Rivian R1T under the brand new leasing program.” Read More

Sheehy Auto Stores has raised more than $340,000 for the American Heart Association in 2023, continuing its 11-year partnership.
Vince Sheehy, President of Sheehy Auto Stores, presents a donation to Soula Antoniou, Executive Director of the American Heart Association.

5. Sheehy Auto Stores raises $340,000+ for American Heart Association

Virginia-based Sheehy Auto Stores has raised $341,476 in 2023 to support the American Heart Association (AHA), continuing its long-term commitment to fight heart disease and improve health. The dealership group began its partnership with the AHA in 2014, launching the “Sheehy Has Heart” campaign to raise money and awareness. Since then, the company has donated $2,649,150 to the organization and supported its efforts to engage with American citizens. In addition to fundraising, Sheehy Auto Stores sponsored the AHA’s #MoveMoreDC initiative, encouraging communities to participate in National Walking Day. Read More

Expert insights on the dynamics of EV sales: comparing direct-to-consumer and traditional dealership models in the electric vehicle market.6. Future of EV sales: direct-to-consumer vs franchise dealers — Matt VanDyke | Shift Digital

In recent years, the retail automotive industry has seen dramatic changes in the ways consumers shop for and purchase electric vehicles (EVs), challenging the traditional franchised model with direct-to-consumer sales. Today on Inside Automotive, Matt VanDyke, President of Shift Digital and former CEO of FordDirect, elaborates on the future of EV sales for consumers, dealers, and OEMs alike. As President of Shift Digital, VanDyke works with the leadership team on business strategy, product portfolio expansion, and client support and development. Watch Here

Ian Hunter and Jonathan Jordan join Driving Solutions to discuss the key strategies dealers have used to fight inflation and achieve success.7. How to combat inflation, boost sales and enhance F&I performance

Obstacles such as rapid inflation, high interest rates and constrained supply continue to challenge both dealers and car buyers, even as the car business rebounds from the COVID pandemic. To navigate these headwinds, the retail automotive sector has employed a variety of strategies that have allowed it to achieve remarkable success in spite of the complicated industry landscape. On this episode of Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Ian Hunter, assistant vice president of sales at JM&A Group, and his colleague Jonathan Jordan, director of retail strategy. (Sponsored Content) Watch Here

The auto industry has experienced several ongoing changes in the five years since host Jim Fitzpatrick last spoke with Mike Maroone8. Mike Maroone’s insights on EVs, affordability, expansion, attracting and retaining talent, succession, and much more

The auto industry has experienced several ongoing changes in the five years since CBT News host Jim Fitzpatrick last spoke with industry legend and former AutoNation Executive Mike Maroone in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the industry to survive in a post-pandemic market, dealers continue implementing new strategies and technologies. Initially, Maroones’ Chevy dealership was a Roger Dean store. Roger Dean was one of those mega dealers that put numerous people in business, including some of the most prominent dealerships in America. In addition, Maroone recently opened a brand-new Chevrolet dealership in West Palm Beach, Florida. On the latest episode of the Executive Profile, Maroone further elaborates on how dealers have managed to stay ahead of EVs, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and much more. Watch Here

Aaron Bickart joins Driving Solutions to discuss the crucial role leasing will play in boosting dealership revenues in the months to come.9. The role of leasing in a normalizing car market — Aaron Bickart | OfferLogix

With signs of pre-pandemic norms returning to the market, car dealers are beginning to consider alternative strategies, such as leasing, to maintain their profit margins. Understanding the industry’s current trajectory will ensure your storefront is prepared for the future. On this episode of Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Aaron Bickart, general manager and executive vice president at OfferLogix. (Sponsored Content) Watch Here

Discover the Florida Automobile Dealers Association's (FADA) first Hall of Fame event, celebrating 15 dealers for their business excellence.10. FADA Pres. Ted Smith on the association’s inaugural Hall of Fame ceremony

The Florida Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) marked a significant milestone on November 2 by inaugurating its first class of Hall of Fame inductees, which included 15 esteemed automotive retailers. These individuals were celebrated for their unwavering dedication to excellence in business and service and their remarkable journeys toward success were highlighted to a room of 300 auto industry professionals. CBT News proudly participated in this event, with news anchor and co-founder Jim Fitzpatrick emceeing the event and introducing the honorees. On today’s episode of Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Ted Smith, President of the FADA, who reflects on the ceremony and discusses its wider impact on the industry overall. Watch Here

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Anna Delvillar
Anna Delvillar
Anna is the editorial and programming coordinator at CBT News. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University. She is an enthusiastic and skilled media professional with high-caliber communication skills, and has five years of experience performing multimedia writing, editing, and publishing for automotive, tech, and small business media.

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