Leasing Shows Signs of Life
A comeback in leasing isn’t thriving yet, but leasing did show a stronger heartbeat in recent earnings reports. New lease originations, and lease returns from older leases, both grew in the second quarter, according to some major auto retailers and auto lenders. That’s good news for new- and used-vehicle sales, especially for luxury brands, which typically are leased new at a much higher rate, and re-sold used, as certified pre-owned. Leasing appears to be enjoying an uptick overall.
Used-Car Leasing ‘Gaining Traction’
Today’s high vehicle prices are juicing up an idea that hadn’t previously garnered much serious attention: used-car leasing. For years, used-car leasing seemed like a concept of the future – and always would be. It had some auto industry advocates, such as Dave Ruggles, a former dealership general manager. But he scratched his head, wondering why others didn’t feel the way he did about the subject.
CHIP SHORTAGE IN GERMANY'S CAR INDUSTRY WILL LAST YEARS
Semiconductor shortages that have created bottlenecks for Germany’s car industry will take years to resolve despite chipmakers’ plans to build factories in the country, a senior Audi manager was quoted as saying on Friday. German automakers and electronics producers have been hit hard by manufacturing delays, caused by a global shortfall of chips.
TOYOTA PLUG-IN, FUEL CELL, EVEN AN ELECTRIC LAND CRUISER FOR THE FUTURE?
Toyota Motor Corp. faces a quandary with its venerated Land Cruiser. The long-running nameplate is big, boxy, brawny and popular. The question is how to keep the hulking SUV mean and green through the end of the decade in the age of carbon reduction.
Source: Automotive News
HOW USED-CAR SALES ARE FARING IN DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
Despite headwinds, used-car sales are “gaining momentum” in what appears to be a bit of a summer “surprise,” according to a Cox Automotive analysis. Based on vehicle registration data, the company estimates there were 3.02 million total used vehicles sold in July, up from 2.96 million in June. While that’s down from July 2022, sales have now climbed sequentially for two straight months. The used retail SAAR was 18.8 million, compared to the revised June figure of 19.0 million and the July 2022 figure of 20.2 million.
Source: Auto Remarketing
FUTURE FORD VEHICLES COULD GET DOWNWARDLY DEPLOYABLE BUMPERS
Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for downwardly deployable bumpers that could be used on future Ford vehicles, Ford Authority has learned. The patent was filed on February 7th, 2022, published on August 10th, 2023, and assigned serial number 0249636.
The Ford Authority Take
In recent months, Ford has filed a few patents that aim to make vehicles safer for pedestrians in the event of an accident, including a bumper assembly with an integrated airbag and an external airbag system, to name just a couple. Now, this newly filed patent keeps that trend going somewhat by introducing an idea for downwardly deployable bumpers that could be used on future Ford vehicles.
The idea of bumpers and other structures that are capable of absorbing energy during impacts is nothing new, having been around for decades at this point in various forms, such as crushable bumpers, crush or deformation zones, and even frames designed to do the same thing in the event of a vehicle-on-vehicle accident. However, as this patent points out, vehicles tend to have very different ride heights, particularly as trucks and SUVs have become more popular in recent years.
This creates a bit of a problem when something like a high-riding truck or SUV collides with a passenger car head-on, and in many cases, we’ve seen smaller cars actually go underneath taller vehicles – which isn’t a good thing for the occupants of those types of vehicles. Thus, this patent filing aims to solve that problem by incorporating a downwardly deploying bumper for high-riding vehicles that lowers itself automatically.
With automotive deaths on the rise in the U.S., such an idea makes quite a bit of sense, given the fact that many of those fatal accidents involve larger vehicles colliding with smaller ones. It’s a simple yet potentially effective way to ensure that those small rides don’t wind up underneath larger ones, and as such, could prove useful in the real world.
EV MARKET NEWS
EV Market Share Flat
EV share of the new-vehicle market flattened out at 7.1 percent across the first half of the year after growing steadily in 2021 and 2022, according to U.S. new-vehicle registration data from Experian. In the fast-growing U.S. market of the moment, as microchip supplies improve and the production of popular gasoline-engine autos returns in force this summer, EVs are no longer outpacing the rest of the car business — at least for now.
The EV Plateau Is Coming. It's Bad News for Companies Like Ford and Tesla.
After years of rapid growth, the electric vehicle market is heading for a plateau. For years, plug-ins only accounted for a bit more than 1% of the market as options were limited and adoption was slow. But since 2020, that growth has accelerated with help from a flood of new electric models, improvements to charging infrastructure, and a bigger push by the industry to educate customers on EV purchases.
Source: Business Insider
Ford's CEO Had a Charging 'Reality Check' on His Electric F-150 Lightning Road Trip
Ford CEO Jim Farley experienced the headache of electric-vehicle charging firsthand and acknowledged there was much to do to improve the experience for his customers. Farley hit the road in an F-150 Lightning last week, traversing Route 66 and the American West to put the electric truck through its paces. He documented his trip on LinkedIn and X, the social-media website formerly known as Twitter. At the end of the trip on Sunday, Farley shared his experience with charging the massive electric pickup truck. There were challenges.
Source: Business Insider
EV Charging Satisfaction Continues to Drop, J.D. Power Says
Satisfaction with public charging during the first half of the year fell to its lowest level recorded in J.D. Power studies and as electric vehicle adoption increases, industry leaders should be concerned, the research firm said. Most consumers who are reluctant to buy an EV worry that public chargers are not available. Poor charger performance could be another hindrance, said Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power.
Source: Automotive News
Public Dealership Groups Grapple with EV Pricing, Inventory
Electric vehicle pricing and days' supply of high-priced EV nameplates appear to be top of mind for some of the nation's largest auto retailers, especially amid price-slashing by U.S. EV market sales leader Tesla Inc. Sonic Automotive Inc. President Jeff Dyke, on the company's July 27 second-quarter earnings call, said Tesla's pricing strategy has been felt not only by its franchised dealerships selling used Teslas, but by its new-vehicle business overall.
UAW CALLS OUT SLOW PROGRESS ON TALKS WITH DETROIT AUTOMAKERS
The United Auto Workers said Tuesday labor negotiations with the Detroit automakers have been sluggish and the union would hold a strike authorization vote next week, a procedural step needed for its leadership to call a work stoppage. A strike authorization vote is an action that typically takes place before the labor agreements expire and gives the union the option of calling a strike if leaders see fit. UAW officials say this doesn’t guarantee a strike will happen and it will depend on how negotiations unfold in the coming weeks.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
NEW YORK CITY TO REQUIRE MORE ZERO-EMISSION CARS FOR RIDESHARING
Uber Inc., Lyft Inc. and other rideshare operators would be required to include only zero-emission or wheelchair-accessible vehicles in their New York City fleets by 2030, under a proposal by Mayor Eric Adams and the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The “Green Rides” plan would be phased in starting next year, when 5% of all high-volume for-hire rides would have to be handled by such vehicles. The benchmark would rise to 15% in 2025 and 25% in 2026, according to a statement.
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