Today’s car buyers are different than before – and consequently auto dealers should handle them in new ways, says automotive consultant Merlin Stevenson. “Fifty-five percent of modern customers have done their online homework and arrive at the dealership fully informed about their vehicle of interest, he says. With such people, salespeople “need to do deep listening.” The main reason 70% of car shoppers visit a dealership is for a test drive, Stevenson says. “Don’t just make the test drive a spin around the block. Let them experience the vehicle.”
Rimac and Porsche announced a deal today that results in Bugatti now being under the control of a new “Rimac Group” led by Mate Rimac, the young engineer behind the famous electric hypercar.
The move hints at the electrification of the legendary Bugatti brand. As we previously reported, Rimac is best known for its all-electric hypercars, especially the Concept_One, arguably the first all-electric hypercar, and more recently, the new Concept_Two (C_Two) now Nevera.But in recent years, the company has also been emerging as a supplier for electric vehicle components. They’ve already got a thriving business supplying some OEMs, like Koenigsegg and Aston Martin.
Since Porsche has started investing in the electric automaker, it looked like Rimac was preparing to take a bigger role as an electric leader. It was even rumored to be buying Bugatti, and now the deal has finally been confirmed. Rimac Automobili is splitting off into two companies: Rimac Automobili and Rimac Technology. They are both going to be under the Rimac group, which is now also going to control Bugatti.
Here’s the new structure of ownership:
Rimac Automobili will keep developing and selling its electric hypercars while Rimac technology will focus on supplying other companies with its EV technology. Porsche retains ownership control over Bugatti since it holds a 45% stake in the new Bugatti/Rimac company and it owns 24% of the Rimac Group’s 55% stake in the new automaker. The announcement hints at Bugatti finally getting into electrification with this move, but it doesn’t include any details.
This is great news. While he has certainly approached the market from the higher end, Mate is an interesting young leader in electrification, and now he has a lot more resources and a powerful brand behind him to help achieve his vision. It’s also impressive that even with large investments from Porsche and now the Bugatti brand coming on board, the young engineer still manages to retain a 37% ownership in his company.
That’s reminiscent of Elon Musk with Tesla.
Just a few years ago, obituaries were being written for the motor car — Millennials and Gen-Zers, so the argument went, were going to swerve away from car ownership as more of them moved to cities with myriad public transport options and ride hailing services like Uber. Besides, concern about the adverse impact on the environment would deter young people from making purchases. Then the pandemic hit. Now, as the world recovers, used car prices are going through the roof. Waiting times for driving tests have blown out. And online requests for driving directions are soaring, while public transit route inquiries have plunged. An EY survey of 3,300 consumers in nine countries found that 32% of non-car owners said they intended to get a car in the next six months. About half of those prospective buyers were millennials.
Toyota Motor outsold General Motors in the U.S. for the first time ever during a quarter and is expected to be America’s best-selling automaker. The Japanese automaker on Thursday reported sales of 688,813 vehicles in the U.S. from April through June. That compares to GM at 688,236 vehicles during the second quarter. Toyota beat analyst expectations, while GM slightly missed forecasts. The shake-up was caused by a global chip shortage that has significantly hampered vehicle production. Japanese automakers, specifically Toyota, have been able to manage the crisis better than their American competitors.
Ford Sales Drop
Ford Motor Co. reported a 26.9% drop in its June U.S. sales compared with the same month a year ago, reflecting the impact the auto maker has experienced during a global shortage of semiconductor chips. Ford’s results Friday come a day after most major auto makers reported their U.S. sales, with results indicating a slowing in the blistering pace the industry had experienced earlier in the year.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
BMW and Lost Production
BMW warned a chip shortage that has plagued the car industry may lead to further lost production, saying on Friday it showed no signs of abating and supply would remain tight in the second half of the year. Production was being halted at various sites, either on a daily basis or individual shifts, Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW board member in charge of production said, adding that lost output was around 30,000 "units" so far this year.
Chip Crisis Deepens With Daimler, Jaguar Warning of Lost Sales
Daimler AG and Jaguar Land Rover became the latest carmakers to warn of crimped sales as a result of the global semiconductor shortage, with the latter flagging deliveries in the second quarter will be 50% worse than initially thought. Shares in the British luxury carmaker’s Indian parent Tata Motors Ltd. slumped as much as 10% in Mumbai, the biggest intraday drop in almost three months, while stock in Daimler, owner of Mercedes-Benz, fell 1.8% in Frankfurt.
German Car Production Forecast Slashed as Supply-Chain Woes Persist
Germany's car industry on Monday slashed its forecast for production growth this year, indicating that the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be bumpy as manufacturers battle supply-chain disruptions. The Association of German Automobile Manufacturers (VDA) cut its forecast for production growth to 3% from 13% previously, saying that production in recent months had been "significantly below expectations". It now expects 3.6 million cars to be made in Germany this year, down by 400,000 units from its last forecast, the VDA said in its mid-year market update.
Volkswagen AG and BMW AG agreed to pay 875 million ($1 billion) in fines by the European Union for collusion that regulators said curbed the rollout of AdBlue emissions-cleaning technology. VW must pay about 502 million euros and BMW will pay nearly 373 million euros, the European Commission said in an emailed statement on Thursday. The penalty for BMW is far below its initial provision of 1.4 billion euros. BMW did a U-turn in May in agreeing to settle the probe, after previously indicating it would fight the EU.
AN ELECTRIC RAM 1500 IS COMING
Get ready for an electric Ram 1500. Stellantis announced Thursday that it would begin production on a battery-electric version of its popular pickup, one of its most profitable and important vehicles, in 2024. Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO, pledged that the "class-shattering" pickup would surpass the offerings of the brand's competitors, namely the electric versions of the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado.
Source: Detroit Free Press
BMW rolled out the next steps in its evolution to electric vehicles at a presentation in Detroit on Wednesday evening, unveiling a pair of new EVs scheduled for sale in the United States in March. The iX SUV and i4 sport sedan go into production in Germany this fall. The iX is about the size of BMW’s popular X5 midsize SUV. It’s based on a new platform that will underpin a range of EVs. The i4 is essentially BMW’s current 4-series Gran Coupe, modified for electric power.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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