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Weekly roundup: UAW strikes Ford’s biggest factory, auto loan trends, Shift Technologies goes bankrupt

Earlier this week: Ford faced an unexpected UAW strike, sending ripples through its Detroit counterparts, GM and Stellantis. Meanwhile, auto loan accessibility witnessed its third consecutive month of improvement. Tesla, not to be outdone, slashed its prices, challenging conventional gasoline vehicles on cost. Online used-car giant, Shift Technologies, announces its exit with a bankruptcy plan. Lastly, the U.S. Treasury Department rolled out its proposed guidelines for lucrative EV tax credits, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Pressure is mounting on Stellantis and GM following the UAW strike at Ford's biggest and most profitable factory in Louisville, Kentucky. 
Image Source: Car and Driver

1. Ford’s unexpected UAW strike raises stakes for GM, Stellantis

As contract negotiations continue, pressure is mounting on Stellantis and General Motors following the United Auto Workers strike at Ford’s biggest and most profitable factory in Louisville, Kentucky. According to summaries issued by the UAW and automakers, the Kentucky walkout serves as a warning to Stellantis and GM, whose wage and benefits offers fall short of Ford’s. Several analysts interpreted Fain’s move to close Ford’s Kentucky Truck plant, which produces Lincoln Navigator SUVs and Super Duty pickup trucks, as an indication that the nearly month-long series of coordinated walkouts at the Detroit Three may be the beginning of the endgame. Read More

Auto loan accessibility rose in September for the third straight month, although car buyers still face an uphill battle to secure credit.2. Auto loan accessibility improves for third consecutive month in September

Auto loan and credit accessibility improved for the third consecutive month in September, according to Cox Automotive’s Dealertrack Credit Availability Index. After a slight decline in May, auto loan accessibility began to make marginal month-over-month headways. After recording a 1.8% improvement in August, Cox Automotive reports that credit access increased by 0.2% in September. Availability continued to grow across most loan types as financing companies continued to loosen restrictive lending policies instigated by economic headwinds earlier this year. Despite the overall improvements, several factors prevented a greater increase in auto loan accessibility. Read More

After the Austin-based EV maker's most recent price cuts, Tesla's best-selling EVs now directly compete with gasoline cars on price.
Image Source: David Zalubowsk | New York Times

3. Tesla’s price cuts take the lead against average U.S. cars prices

After Tesla’s most recent price cuts, the EV maker’s best-selling EVs now directly compete with gasoline cars on price. At $38,990, the base Model 3 is $8,700 less expensive than the U.S. average for buying a vehicle. According to Bloomberg Green research, the starting price of a Model Y SUV is $3,700 less than the approximate $48,000 national average for new cars. Moreover, Tesla began lowering its prices at the start of the year, putting pressure on established automakers who were already finding it challenging to turn EVs into a profitable venture. Read More

Used-car retailer Shift Technologies announces plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following multiple years of losses.4. Shift Technologies stops used-car sales, announces bankruptcy plan

Online used-car dealer Shift Technologies is closing operations and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a company press release. Shift Technologies CEO Ayman Moussa noted the decision to file for bankruptcy “follows months of trying to raise capital and restructure the balance sheet to allow the Company to operate unencumbered in this challenging environment.” To support its eventual shutdown, the retailer will raise funds by auctioning off its inventory and other assets. Its two facilities, both located in California, have already closed, as has its website. Read More

The U.S. Treasury Department revealed its proposed guidance for EV tax credits that consumers will be able to obtain starting January 1, 2024
Image Source: Power Integrations

5. U.S. Treasury Department releases new proposed guidance for EV tax credits

The U.S. Treasury Department revealed its proposed guidance for point-of-sale discounts on electric vehicles that many consumers will be able to obtain beginning January 1, 2024. According to the new proposal, new vehicle buyers who earn less than $150,000, or $225,00 for heads of households and $300,000 for married couples, may receive up to $7,500 in discounts on some plug-in EVs or fuel cell vehicles. Additionally, consumers make less than $75,000 as an individual, $112,500 as household heads, or $150,000 as a married couple; they can receive $4,000 off a used EV or fuel cell vehicle valued under $25,000. Read More

Sean Gardner joins Inside Automotive to discuss the four phases every successful sales strategy should have.6. The four phases of every good sales strategy — Sean Gardner | Joe Verde Group

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Shyann Malone is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer at the Joe Verde Group. Gardner is a seasoned retail automotive salesperson who has dedicated his career to helping his colleagues in the industry excel in their roles. As part of the Joe Verde Group, he has taught hundreds of fellow professionals the right way to serve the needs of car buyers, earn more for their dealership and generate handsome incomes for themselves. Now, he discusses the latest principles in sales strategy and the skillsets driving excellence in the car business. Watch now

On this edition of The Executive Profile, host Jim Fitzpatrick spent the day with John Bergstrom, Chairman of Bergstrom Automotive,7. John Bergstrom on EVs, OEM relations, building an outstanding company culture, and more

What do you get when you combine world-class company culture with 39 new car dealerships? Well, you end up with a remarkable dealer group that drives exceptional experiences for their customers and prioritizes philanthropic initiatives that extend far and wide. We’re, of course, talking about Bergstrom Automotive. On this edition of The Executive Profile, host Jim Fitzpatrick recently had the opportunity to spend the day with John Bergstrom, Chairman of Bergstrom Automotive, at their headquarters in Neenah, Wisconsin. Watch now

Dennis Gingrich, the Niello Company, joins us to provide an update on the current state of F&I.8. A closer look at the digital revolution happening in the F&I office – Dennis Gingrich | The Niello Company

The era of cumbersome approval procedures and conventional paperwork is over. The F&I office of today operates in a time of digitization, personalization, and efficiency. On today’s episode of Inside Automotive, Dennis Gingrich, Variable Operations Director at the Niello Company, joins us to update us on the current state of F&I. The Niello Company, with stores in Elk Grove, Roseville, Rocklin, and Sacramento, Califonia, is pleased to be customers’ first choice for brand-new luxury vehicles and high-quality auto repair, parts, and financing. Watch now

Jessica Stafford joins Driving Solutions to discuss some surprising developments in the electric vehicle segment.9. Predicting shifts in the electric vehicle segment — Jessica Stafford | Cox Automotive

On this episode of Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Jessica Stafford, senior vice president of consumer solutions at Cox Automotive. Stafford is a seasoned business leader in the retail automotive space, launching successful marketing campaigns and conducting extensive research into the needs of car buyers. Throughout her career, she has offered indispensable support to dealers by developing data-driven solutions and strategies that drive sales and improve customer retention. Now, she discusses the electric vehicle segment and what dealers should expect to see in the coming years. Watch now

Roberts leadership10. How to go from being a busy leader, to a productive one — Ed Roberts | Bozard Ford Lincoln

Ed Roberts, the Chief Operations Officer at Bozard Ford Lincoln, has released his new book, Mile One: A Leadership Journey. Throughout his career, Roberts has gained extensive experience in various leadership positions and has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals. So on today’s Inside Automotive, Roberts will walk us through what readers can expect to take away from the new book. Watch now

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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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