NEW CAR BUYERS AVOID ELECTRIC CARS BECAUSE OF COST, RANGE
More than 1,500 car shoppers said they avoid electric cars because they're too expensive, don't offer a usable range, or because they don't have access to a charger, a new report found.
The survey, conducted by Autolist.com, collected responses from 1,567 car shoppers and asked shoppers the reasons why they would or would not consider an electric vehicle. Shoppers said their top reasons for not considering an electric vehicle were range, price relative to gas-powered vehicles, and lack of infrastructure. Respondents said they would accept a range of between 250 and 300 miles for a $35,000 EV, which is what many EVs on sale currently offer. The Chevy Bolt EV, Kia Soul Electric, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, and Nissan Leaf Plus all offer roughly 250 to 300 miles of range with a starting price near $35,000.
Nearly 70 percent of shoppers said they supported tax rebates to spur electric car sales and more than half of those surveyed (55 percent) said they would use an electric vehicle as their primary car if they bought an EV immediately.
Only about one in 10 shoppers said they felt that there were no EVs made and sold by a brand they trusted.
About 40 percent of respondents said they wouldn't consider an EV because of range and relative price compared to a gas-powered version, while about 37 percent of respondents said they wouldn't consider and EV because of their access.
When asked, shoppers said they expected an EV that cost $70,000 or more to have a range of more than 500 miles, and 61 percent said they would consider the EV if it had a range of 400 miles or more. Currently, no EV offers a range of 400 miles or more, and Tesla's longest-range Model S is rated for 370 miles, according to the EPA. The Audi E-tron luxury crossover is rated for about 200 miles of range and costs well north of $70,000.
Autolist Editor David Undercoffler said age and range anxiety were directly related; older respondents had a higher priority for a longer range than younger buyers.
Nearly three in four respondents said they were unsure if all-electric vehicles could charge on Tesla's proprietary Supercharger network. Only 14 percent were correct in knowing that only Tesla's can charge at Supercharger stations.
Source: The Car Connection
UBER AND CHEAP FARES
Cheap fares helped Uber Technologies grow into a global giant. They also look to be a lasting brake on its share price. Achieving growth and profits at the same time always seemed a tall order, and the company’s financial results show little evidence that it is possible. Uber’s ride-hailing revenue shrank in the second quarter, compared with the first, as it shifted capital into food delivery.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
DRIVERS SICK OF NEW CARS' OVERBEARING 'NANNYING' TECHNOLOGY: STUDY
All those fancy features that come with your new car might be a little more annoying than useful.
A new study from J.D. Power found that many drivers disable features like Advanced Driver Assistance Systems because the alerts are so bothersome. For example, 61 percent of drivers who said they were annoyed by lane-keeping and centering systems sometimes disabled the feature. Some drivers said they wouldn’t want the “nannying” technology on their future vehicles, according to the study.
“Automakers are spending lots of money on advanced technology development, but the constant alerts can confuse and frustrate drivers,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and human-machine interface research at J.D. Power. “The technology can’t come across as a nagging parent; no one wants to be constantly told they aren’t driving correctly.”
J.D. Power surveyed more than 16,000 car owners with 2019 model-year vehicles at 90 days of ownership, looking at categories including entertainment and connectivity, collision protection, comfort and convenience, driving assistance, smartphone mirroring and navigation. The study found some built-in apps were not as easy to use as drivers would like, and 29 percent of owners said they discontinued the use of those apps.
Most drivers who reported high overall satisfaction with their in-vehicle technology — 900 or more on a 1,000-point scale — said they would recommend the vehicle to others. So getting technology right could pay off for automakers. “Consumers are still very concerned about cars being able to drive themselves, and they want more information about these complex systems, as well as more channels to learn how to use them or how and why they kick in,” Kolodge said. “If they can’t be sold on lane-keeping — a core technology of self-driving — how are they going to accept fully automated vehicles?”
New technology in cars can also be distracting. Last month, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released research showing how long drivers can be distracted by in-car gadgets while driving, greatly increasing their risk of crashing.
Here are the highest-rated models in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. tech experience index study:
Hyundai and Toyota C-HR (tie)
Source: Fox Business News
PENSKE LAUNCHES 15TH USED-CAR STANDALONE STORE
With the launch of CarSense Glen Mills in Pennsylvania, Penske Automotive Group welcomed a sixth used-vehicle supercenter in the U.S. and its 15th overall. Penske’s six CarSense stores are all in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Penske also has nine used-vehicle supercenters in the United Kingdom. “We are delighted to open the new CarSense location in Glen Mills, Pa., delivering on our growth plan,” company chair and chief executive officer Roger Penske said in a news release.
Source: Auto Remarketing
TOYOTA PULLS SUZUKI FIRMLY INTO ITS ORBIT THROUGH STAKE DEAL
Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. will take small equity stakes in each other, the Japanese automakers said on Wednesday, as they seek to develop newer technologies and meet sweeping changes upending the global auto industry. The tie-up is the latest example of automakers chasing scale to manage costs and boost development. Auto companies—especially smaller ones like Suzuki—are struggling to meet the breakneck growth of an industry transformed by the rise of electric vehicles, ride-hailing, and autonomous driving.
CADILLAC’S LAST STAND? STORIED BRAND AIMS (AGAIN) FOR REVIVAL
Few American brand names have ever achieved the stature of Cadillac, which was once so closely identified with excellence and status that it became shorthand for anything that was top of the line. And few brands have fallen as far. Cadillac rose to prominence a century ago as the pinnacle in General Motors’ “ladder of brands” — the ultimate destination as car owners prospered and moved up from Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, and Buick to demonstrate their success in life. But by the 1970's it struggled with quality and failed to keep up as the definition of automotive luxury shifted from big, spacious cars with tail fins to German-engineered performance sedans. Cadillac became known as a “grandpa” car brand. It now trails far behind Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi on a global basis, and ranks just sixth in luxury vehicle sales in the United States.
Source: The New York Times
GM IS NOW DETROIT’S SMALLEST AUTO-MAKING EMPLOYER
General Motors Co. now employs fewer union-represented American workers than its domestic rivals for the first time since the United Auto Workers started organizing Detroit’s carmakers eight decades ago. GM’s 46,000 UAW workers trail Ford Motor Co. by about 9,000 and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV by roughly 1,200, according to headcounts provided by the companies. Ford surpassed GM in 2014, and Fiat Chrysler overtook the No. 2 spot this year. “GM was historically the largest by far,” said Ron Harbour, senior vice president overseeing global automotive manufacturing for consultant Oliver Wyman. “But they cut a lot of plants in the U.S. during bankruptcy. They have a quarter of the plants they had in the 1970s.”
RAIDS RAISE POSSIBILITY OF FEDERAL RACKETEERING CASE AGAINST UAW
Raids at the homes of some of the United Auto Workers' top leadership Wednesday amplify the possibility the federal government could assume oversight of the union under anti-racketeering statutes. The case for federal oversight of a union typically involves criminal implications of current leadership, experts say. And a move to file a civil racketeering lawsuit would reflect the government’s belief that the UAW is corrupt and the situation has not improved despite a four-year investigation that has led to eight convictions, including former union officials and executives from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Source: The Detroit News
NISSAN IS THE LEADER IN SELF-DRIVING TECHNOLOGY–FOR GOLF BALLS
Getting self-driving cars and robotaxis on the road for the general public is progressing at a poky pace, but Nissan has found a near-term marketing application for the technology that will also please duffers who struggle on the putting green: autonomous golf balls. The automaker said it’s adapted elements of its ProPilot 2.0 driver-assist system for cars that are being released in Japan in September for a golf ball that, like its semi-automated drive offering, “supports golfers by following a predefined route to its goal.”