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Weekly roundup: Toyota commits to EVs, aftermarket service disappoints, Fisker’s EV battery swapping

Earlier this week: EV maker Fisker announced its Ocean SUV will come equipped with swappable batteries in 2024, April U.S. auto sales improved year-over-year, customer satisfaction with aftermarket service providers declined, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Image Source: Car and Driver

1. Fisker Ocean reimagines fleet operations with swappable EV batteries

A variant of the Ocean all-electric SUV compatible with battery-swapping technology will be available on the market thanks to a collaboration between California-based EV firm Fisker and Ample. By Q1 2024, the two businesses want to have EVs with swappable battery packs thanks to their combined development efforts. The first users of the Ample-powered Ocean EVs will be “fleet operators who are looking to transition to electric mobility without economic or operational compromises.” In other words, at least initially, private consumers won’t have access to this version of the car. Read More

aftermarket, ASI, J.D. Power, study

2. Car owners less satisfied with aftermarket service providers

The J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Aftermarket Service Index (ASI) Study revealed that overall satisfaction declined year over year in the study’s three segments: quick oil changes, full-service maintenance and repair, and tire replacement. With a numerical index ranking of the top-performing facilities in the American aftermarket, the study, now in its fourth year, assesses customer satisfaction. The cumulative ratings for the seven variables that make up the vehicle owner service experience are used to determine performance in three segments: full-service maintenance and repair, rapid oil changes, and tire

Toyota3. Toyota meets with U.S. officials, is ‘fully committed’ to electrification

Toyota announced last month that it would release ten new battery-powered vehicles by the year 2026 and that it would aim to produce 1.5 million BEVs annually worldwide. Following this plan, the carmaker will continue to make BEVs in addition to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cells, and other alternative fuel cars. When Toyota reaffirmed its commitment to a multifaceted strategy, some of its harshest skeptics argued that this was too little, too late. Read More

April's U.S. auto sales are projected to have a 2.3% rise compared to last year, likely due to increased inventory supply.4. April U.S. auto sales see solid year-over-year gains

April 2023 is a tale of two stories. One indicates that buyers are continuing to benefit from increased inventory offerings, while the other shows there might be a slowdown approaching the latter half of Q2. Nevertheless, April is a strong start for Q2. According to Cox Automotive’s projections, April is expected to finish with a seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 15.1 million, a notable jump from last year’s 14.3 million (likely due to the industry’s then lack of available inventory). But, the month-over-month (MOM) numbers indicate that economic concerns could cause turbulence. Read More

Image source: Toyota USA Newsroom

5. Toyota owners most-likely to trade in their vehicle for a used EV — CarMax report

According to a recent report by used car dealer CarMax, Toyota was the most traded-in brand for used EVs in the U.S. between September 2022 and February 2023, with 12% of vehicles traded in being Toyota. This marks the second year in a row that Toyota has held this position. Ford and BMW (8%) were the second-most traded-in brands, followed by Honda (7%). Furthermore, the study found that the Honda Civic and Toyota Tacoma were the two most popular trade-ins for the Tesla Model 3, which is the most popular EV at CarMax. Read More

Kevin Tynan6. Could low sales push automakers to abandon the EV market? – Kevin Tynan | Bloomberg Intelligence

All eyes are on the electric vehicle market as automakers, politicians and consumers push for clean energy. But what do the numbers actually show in terms of demand? On this episode of Inside Automotive, we welcome back Kevin Tynan, senior automotive analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, to discuss the latest production and delivery data from EV companies. Read More

Don Hall, president of VADA7. Do manufacturers actually want to replace the franchise system? – Don Hall | VADA

Dealers are increasingly worried that the franchise system is under attack from major OEM brands, who may stand to gain more from a direct-sales model instead. On this episode of Inside Automotive, Don Hall, president and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA), and one of the most recognized leaders in auto retail, joins host Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss the latest on the conflict between franchisees and franchisors. Read More

Ryan Osten joins Inside Automotive to discuss digital retail8. Digital retailing: What makes a good eCommerce platform? – Ryan Osten | Gubagoo

Digital retailing has become particularly popular among car dealers and consumers over the last three years. But to remain competitive, dealers must not only have the right tools but also the right strategies. On this episode of Inside Automotive, we find out how dealers can bridge the gap between the online and in-store shopping experiences with Ryan Osten, Executive Vice President at Gubagoo, an eCommerce platform offering solutions for the modern auto industry. Read More

M&A trends: will the economy change the way buyers act? - Erin Kerrigan | Kerrigan Advisors9. The elements influencing dealership valuations – Erin Kerrigan

On this edition of Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back Erin Kerrigan, Founder and Managing Director of Kerrigan Advisors, to update us on today’s market. The buy/sell dealership market is dynamic but can be affected by several factors, including economic conditions, consumer preferences, manufacturer requirements, and regulatory changes. Understanding the valuation process and the factors that influence dealership valuations is crucial for buyers and sellers in the dealership market to make informed decisions Read More

economic timeframe , Brauer10. How the economic timeframe is shifting the used car market – Karl Brauer

The used car market has seen significant shifts and changes in recent times. With evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and changing economic conditions, the used car market is a dynamic and competitive landscape. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Executive Analyst for, Karl Brauer, to provide his in-depth knowledge of current trends and insights. Read More

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