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Weekly Roundup: February U.S. auto sales forecast, Tesla FSD recall

Weekly Roundup:

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated Tesla to recall 362,000 vehicles over Full Self-Driving beta software, Lithia Motors outsold AutoNation in 2022, used electric vehicles values declined, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

1. Tesla is set to recall over 362,000 vehicles equipped with the company’s Full Self-Driving beta software

self-driving software
Image source: Mike Blake/Reuters/Electrek
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the company’s self-driving software could cause vehicles to “exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner…” The recall extends to the entirety of Teslas SUV and sedan lineup between the years of 2016 and 2023, excluding its Cybertruck, Semi and Roadster. The issue will be fixed through a software update. Read Here

2. Lithia Motors sold 271,596 new vehicles in 2022, beating longtime frontrunner AutoNation by 40,000 units

Lithia Motors CEOLithia Motors revealed it had sold 271,596 new vehicles in 2022, beating the nation’s longtime frontrunner AutoNation by 40,000 units. In Q4 alone, Lithia made 68,159 new vehicle sales, a 5.2% year-over-year increase. This performance allowed it to surpass its 2021 annual sales by 4.2%. AutoNation also experienced a successful holiday season, improving its quarterly new vehicle performance by 4.3%, but falling 8,085 units short of its competitor. This is the first time since 1997 that AutoNation has failed to earn the No. 1 spot in U.S. vehicle sales. Read Here

3. Used electric vehicle values continued to decline in January

used EV pricesTo accommodate tax credit eligibility requirements set in the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, sellers have lowered their prices for used electric vehicles. In comparison to the standard $7,500 incentive for new EVs, used electric cars earn $4,000 at most. This lower amount also comes with its own set of rules, removing the sourcing stipulations placed on newer models but adding income requirements that prohibit individuals making over $75,000 a year from qualifying. Read Here

4. Stellantis revealed a record-breaking year (2022) for net profit

net-profitThe brand, a result of a 2021 merger between Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA Group, posted $17.9 billion in net profit, a 26% year-over-year increase and the highest in its short history. In its report, Stellantis attributed its growth to “strong net pricing, favorable vehicle mix and positive FX translation effects.” The performance will allow the company to offer a $14,760 profit-share payout to its U.S. employees who are represented by the United Auto Workers union. However, this represents a less than 1% increase from 2021, when employees received $14,670, and will differ between staff members based on hours worked. Read Here

5. Cox Auto expects new light vehicle sales to grow 4% in February

new light vehicle salesIn its February forecast, Cox Automotive revealed expectations for new light vehicle sales to grow 3.9% from January and 4% from the same time last year. Despite the positive forecast for light vehicle sales, the report notes that limitations to consumer demand and vehicle values are still preventing a full-scale recovery. Record-high new vehicle prices, high monthly auto loan payments, and other financial headwinds have prevented buyers from returning to the market. Read Here

6. Facing diversity, sales and electrification challenges in the dealership

Vaughn perspectives

Dealers are anxious to know what challenges await the automotive industry in 2023, which is why they are paying close attention to experienced perspectives. Lawrence Vaughn is the Dealer Principal for Wise Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ohio and has years of success in the car business. As a Black man, he also brings intimate knowledge of the challenges minority professionals face in their auto career paths. On this episode of Inside Automotive, Vaughn joins host Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss current market issues and how the industry is seeking to challenge its diversity problems. Watch Now

7. MSRP price changes: Why they could be a ‘win-win’ for dealers and OEMs 


Many industry analysts speculate that Tesla’s recent price reductions on their vehicle lineup, signals the beginning of a price war with rival automakers. On this episode of Inside Automotive, we discuss the controversy that is making rounds in the industry. We’re happy to have Kevin Tynan, Senior Automotive Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, back. Watch Now

8. Dealer Gary Barbera takes a gamble on providing ‘casino-like’ buying experiences

Gary Barbera, owner of Barbera Autoland

While dealers have experienced incredible growth, consumer demand is primarily driving those figures. Today on 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.” Watch Now

9. Why education creates opportunities for female dealers to succeed

female dealer, Ross

As February progresses, we will continue to recognize Black automotive dealers and their accomplishments in the business. Jenell Ross, President of Bob Ross Automotive Group, is the first African-American woman to run a Mercedes-Benz and Buick GMC dealership. In this episode of Inside Automotive, we’ll hear Jenell’s thoughts on where the industry sits today and where it’s headed. Watch Now

10. Why Jim Ziegler is urging dealers to re-enter the used car market

Ziegler controversial remarks

When we last met with Jim Ziegler, the ‘Alpha Dawg,’ a veteran of the automotive retail industry and president of Ziegler SuperSystems, he shared his opinions and predictions regarding the agency model and Jim Farley’s controversial remarks. In order to find out if Jim’s outlook has altered in the new year and what he is currently projecting, we had the chance to catch up with him on today’s episode of Inside Automotive. Watch Now

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