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Weekly roundup: UAW talks intensify, U.S. auto sales hold steady, Ford unveils F-150 Lightning Flash

Earlier this week: The Detroit-Three and the United Auto Workers union have ramped up their contract negotiations, as reported by sources and further confirmed by Reuters. This development unfolds amid a backdrop of consistent car sales in the U.S., with Japanese automakers, especially Honda and Toyota, showing notable figures. Meanwhile, emerging electric giants, Tesla and Rivian, provide a glimpse into the EV market’s trajectory. Adding to the mix, Ford announces its advanced F-150 Lightning Flash, signaling further innovation in their vehicle lineup, and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Talks between Detroit-Three automakers and the United Auto Workers union have accelerated since the launch of additional strikes last week.1. United Auto Workers talks accelerate, GM prepares for prolonged fight

Talks between Detroit-Three automakers and the United Auto Workers union have accelerated since last week, according to sources familiar with the matter. Reuters on Thursday reported that contract negotiations with Stellantis had recently become more “active” from the preceding weeks. Remarks from United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain corroborate this claim. Last Friday, the union escalated its strike efforts against Ford and General Motors, criticizing the two brands for delaying progress towards a deal, but declined to further target Stellantis. Read More

Car sales held steady in September, allowing third-quarter volumes to improve across import and domestic automotive brands.2. GM keeps lead over Ford, Honda accelerates car sales, Toyota scores EV win

Car sales held steady in September, boosting third-quarter volumes at major domestic and import automakers in the U.S. Japanese automakers saw solid year-over-year improvements in the U.S., especially at Honda. The brand sold 115,00 vehicles in September, driving a total Q3 volume of 339,143. Honda’s primary competitor, Toyota, sold 203,904 units in September, finishing the quarter with 590,296 vehicle sales. General Motors reported third-quarter car sales of 674,336 units, an increase of 21% year-over-year. To date, the company has sold 1,969,522 vehicles in 2023 and is currently 19.3% ahead compared to the same point in 2022. Ford‘s Blue Oval brand sold 500,504 units from July through September, a positive change of 7.7%. Read More

Kia and Hyundai both saw impressive sales in September, but trended in opposite directions over the third quarter.3. Kia and Hyundai post monthly, quarterly sales, trend in opposite directions

Kia and Hyundai sales rose in September throughout the U.S. but trended in opposite directions over the course of the third quarter. Hyundai reported sales of 68,961 for the month, an increase of 16% from September 2022 and 6% from August 2023. This set a new sales record for the period, which the company notes was primarily driven by its Tucson and Sante Fe lineups. Kia also broke its sales record for September, selling 67,264 vehicles. However, the automaker’s numbers trended in opposite directions from its parent company. Although it represents a year-over-year increase of 19%, the total is a decline of 6.8% from the previous month. Read More

Tesla and Rivian have reported their third-quarter delivery and production numbers, revealing unexpected trends at the two automakers.
Pictured (from left to right): Rivian CEO R. J. Scaringe, Tesla CEO Elon Musk

4. Tesla and Rivian trend in opposite directions on deliveries and production

Tesla and Rivian have shared their quarterly delivery and production numbers, giving insight into the emerging electric vehicle segment’s progress as the industry prepares for the final three months of 2023. Tesla saw both sales and manufacturing decline from the April-June period, placing the company’s performance slightly behind expectations for the third quarter. In total, the EV brand delivered 435,059 units and produced 430,488, a quarter-over-quarter decline of 6.7% and 10.2%, respectively. On the other hand, Rivian saw its numbers improve over the third quarter, allowing it to beat analyst forecasts for the period. The EV startup reported deliveries of 15,564 units and a production total of 16,304, representing increases of 23.1% and 16.5%. Read More

Ford is launching a new F-150 Lightning model called the F-150 Lightning Flash, a technologically advanced vehicle that includes most of the features that current customers love and costs less than $70,000.
Image Source: Edmunds

5. Ford unveils the new F-150 Lightning Flash with extended battery range

Ford is launching a new F-150 Lightning model called the F-150 Lightning Flash, a technologically advanced vehicle that includes most of the features that current customers love and costs less than $70,000. With the addition of in-demand tech features like an extended-range battery with a targeted EPA-estimated range of 320 miles, available Ford BlueCruise hands-free highway driving, and a standard 15.5-inch touchscreen for easy interactions and navigation, the F-150 Lightning Flash builds on the XLT model lineRead More

Matt VanDyke joins Inside Automotive to discuss emerging trends in online car shopping and the digital retail strategies dealers should adopt.6. Emerging trends in online car shopping behaviors — Matt VanDyke | Shift Digital

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Matt VanDyke, president of Shift Digital and former CEO of FordDirect. During his time as an OEM executive, VanDyke used his deep understanding of the needs dealers have in today’s technological landscape to direct the automaker’s programs in a way that benefited both retail and manufacturing. After transitioning to his current leadership role at Shift Digital, he has overseen the development of crucial digital tools and research. Now, he discusses the latest online car shopping trends affecting store owners across the country and the strategies needed to navigate the evolving automotive e-commerce market. Watch now

Explore the evolving car buying process: blending digital strategies with tradition, emphasizing customer experience and human touch.7. Modernizing the car buying process in a tech-driven world

As technology continues to push boundaries and redefine norms, it’s essential to understand where the industry stands and where it’s headed. According to a recent Cox Automotive study, 8% of today’s car buyers say that the next car they buy will be shopped for completely in-store. That means 92% of customers are going to be doing a lot of the process elsewhere. So, how can dealerships find a balance between online and offline interactions in the car buying process? On this episode of Dealer Forward, Mark Vickery, Associate Vice President of Performance Management at Cox Automotive, is joined by Dennis Gingrich, Variable Ops Director at The Niello Company, for a candid conversation on the modern challenges faced in car sales. (Sponsored Content) Watch now

Fernando Varela joins Inside Automotive to discuss strategies for improving diversity in the retail automotive workforce.8. Actionable steps to improve diversity within the dealership — Fernando Varela | Varela Group

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Shyann Malone is joined by Fernando Varela, CEO and president of Varela Group and past chairman of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD). Not only is Varela an experienced dealer in one of the busiest car markets in the U.S., but he also has rare insights into the corporate manufacturing sector and the needs of other Hispanic retailers. During his time at NAMAD, he worked closely with OEM executives to develop solutions that support minority store owners. Now, he sits down to discuss strategies for improving diversity within the retail automotive workforce. Watch now

David O'Brien joins Driving Solutions to discuss the role effective automotive retailing education plays in improving the customer experience.9. Improving car buyer journeys with automotive retailing training — David O’Brien | Quantum5

On this episode of Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by David O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of Quantum5. Quantum5 is a training and education platform for automotive retailing professionals designed to drive sales, improve service quality, simplify interactions with BDCs and build strong management teams. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all solution, the company developed its courses to meet the specific needs of individual dealerships. Now, O’Brien explains the secret behind Quantum5’s success and the powerful advantages of a tailored training program. (Sponsored Content) Watch now

Kevin Frye joins Inside Automotive to discuss the latest digital retail trends and emerging behaviors among modern car buyers.10. Why form submissions deter today’s car buyers — Kevin Frye

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Shyann Malone is joined by Kevin Frye, marketing director for the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family. Frye has spent decades studying consumers and tailoring his marketing campaigns to suit their specific needs. He has also helped the retail automotive sector integrate new technologies into its business models, successfully using digital retail to boost sales and increase engagement. Now, he discusses the emerging behaviors of car buyers and the current innovations driving dealership excellence. 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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