October 21, 2021
11 11 11 AM
Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
Latest Post
Rekor Systems Announces Selection of Waycare Technologies by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for Pilot Program to Reduce State Traffic Congestion and Crashes California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
Sep
2021
14

German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992

The German car market continued to stall in August as registrations fell 23 percent to 193,307, according to figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority.

The figure is the lowest August sales since 1992, the VDIK importers association said.

New-car sales to private customers are weak with the private market remaining about 16 percent below the 10-year average, VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel said in a statement.

Registrations to private customers fell 25 percent for a 36.9 market share. Sales to business customers dropped 22 percent for a 63 percent share.

The auto industry continues to be buffeted by a global chip shortage, which is forcing automakers to cut back production, squeezing the supply of new cars to dealerships.

The boom in electrified and hybrid vehicle sales gathered speed in August as buyers continue their migration to EVs from diesel and gasoline vehicles.

Sales of full-electric cars jumped 80 percent to 28,860 to account for a 14.9 percent market share. Registrations of plug-in hybrids rose 43 percent to 24,497 for a 12.7 percent share.

Sales of gasoline cars fell 42 percent for a 35.5 percent market share. Diesel registrations were down 51 percent for a 17.7 percent share.

Winners and losers

Among brand that had sales gains in August were Suzuki, up 37 percent, Tesla, up 34 percent, Mazda, up 19 percent and Opel, up 8 percent.

Most brands posted big sales declines,

Jeep’s volume plunged 59 percent, Dacia fell 57 percent and Mercedes-Benz was down 50 percent. Registrations at Ford and Nissan each dropped 46 percent.

  • Click here for German sales for August, 8 months

Volkswagen remained Germany’s top-selling brand despite a 17 percent drop in its monthly registrations.

In the first eight months registrations are up 2.5 percent to 1.8 million, which is 2 percent higher than in the same period last year but 25 percent below the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

Sep
2021
12

Tesla Finds Loophole Around New Mexico’s Ban On Direct Car Sales

Tesla has cleverly gotten around a New Mexico law that prevented them from selling and servicing their cars in the state. Up until now, New Mexico Tesla owners have had to drive out-of-state to get their cars serviced. There were also no Tesla stores in the state. Why? Because, like a number of other US states, New Mexico has a ban on direct car sales.

The ban stems from an old law used to protect car dealers in case automakers decided to start supplying vehicles directly to consumers. However, Tesla’s core business model revolves around selling directly to the consumer, with no middle-man car dealer involved. Up until now, Tesla has had no presence in New Mexico. They tried to enter the state in 2019 with the aid of a number of favorable legislators but were blocked from doing so when local car dealer associations campaigned against them.

However, it now appears Tesla has found a loophole. By partnering with a Native American tribe, Nambé Pueblo,  Tesla was able to build on their land – which is not subject to state law. Hence Tesla could open a new 7,000-square-foot service center and store inside the remains of a former casino north of Santa Fe.

Interestingly, Tesla could potentially use this loophole in a number of other states that have a ban on direct car sales. It just seems it’s a matter of finding the right tribal location, and then reaching a separate agreement with the tribe in question.

Aug
2021
7

U.S. auto sales pace to weaken further in July – J.D. Power, LMC Automotive

Vehicles for sale are seen at Serramonte Ford in Colma, California, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

July 28 (Reuters) – Growth in U.S. new vehicle retail sales is expected to slow down further in July because of a limited supply of automobiles caused by a global semiconductor shortage, consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said on Wednesday.

Retail sales are expected to reach 1.2 million units in the month, a 3.7% increase from the same period last year when adjusted for selling days, but a slump in expectations when compared to the preceding months.

The consultants had forecast sales growth of 110% for April, while the outlook fell to 34% and 12.4% for May and June, respectively.

A shortage of semiconductors has hampered automobile production and slowed down sales growth despite strong demand for personal transportation during the COVID-19 crisis. This has, in turn, pushed up prices.

“Consumers will spend more money buying new vehicles than ever before in the month of July, and dealer profits from selling new vehicles will reach an all-time high,” said Thomas King, president of data and analytics division at J.D. Power.

Average transaction prices are expected to rise 17% to $41,044, the highest on record, while the average incentive spending per unit is expected to fall to $2,065 from $4,235 last year.

The average number of days a new vehicle sits on a dealer lot before being sold is on pace to fall to a record low of 31 days, down from 75 days a year ago, said the statement.

The total seasonally adjusted annualized rate for new vehicle sales will be 15 million vehicles, up 0.4 million units from 2020 but 1.9 million units less than 2019.

Reporting by Shreyasee Raj in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Jul
2021
26

Electric-Vehicle Sales Growth Outpaces Broader Auto Industry

The auto industry’s push into electric vehicles has gained traction this year with sales of these models growing at a faster clip than the broader U.S. car business.

While still a sliver of the overall market, sales of plug-in vehicles more than doubled in the first half of 2021 compared with last year, when the pandemic sapped sales. That far outpaced the 29% rise for total vehicle sales, according to research firm Wards Intelligence.

The biggest factor driving the gains was

Tesla Inc.’s

TSLA 2.45%

continued dominance in electrics. Tesla’s U.S. sales rose 78% through June this year, according to an estimate from research firm Motor Intelligence. The increase was helped by Tesla’s Model Y crossover SUV, which has quickly become the company’s top seller since being introduced last year. Tesla is scheduled to report second-quarter financial results Monday.

Other new offerings from traditional auto makers, such as

Ford Motor Co.

F 1.27%

’s Mustang Mach-E SUV and

Volkswagen AG’s

VOW -0.64%

ID.4, also helped push sales of plug-in electric vehicles to over 3% of the total U.S. market in May and June, the highest ever recorded, according to industry data.

Auto companies collectively are spending $330 billion over the next five years to bring more plug-in models to showrooms, according to consulting firm AlixPartners LLP.

Now, the big question looming over the car business is whether consumers are ready to buy them.

Longer driving ranges and a wider variety of body styles and price points are helping garner interest in plug-in cars from more car shoppers, dealers and analysts say. But hurdles remain, including higher sticker prices and a deficit of places to charge them.

A shortage of places to charge electric vehicles remains a hurdle to drawing interest from more buyers.



Photo:

kena betancur/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Auto executives in recent months have said they believe consumer interest in the technology is rising and should help speed the transition.

In the U.S. market—which lags behind Europe and China in electric-vehicle adoption—executives also are encouraged by the Biden administration’s plans to support plug-in cars through charging-station investment and consumer incentives.

Carlos Tavares,

chief executive of global auto maker

Stellantis

STLA 1.35%

NV, said the pace at which drivers make the switch to electrics will depend on regulations and consumer awareness.

“The more the public opinion becomes sensitive to the global-warming issue and how to fix it, the more we can expect a very strong acceleration,” Mr. Tavares said to journalists this week.

Stellantis, which owns Jeep, Ram and other auto brands, recently joined other global auto makers in outlining big investment plans for electric cars and battery plants.

General Motors Co.

GM 1.43%

, Ford and

BMW AG

BMW -0.04%

each have said they are earmarking tens of billions of dollars on the transition during this decade.

On Thursday,

Mercedes-Benz

DMLRY 0.73%

said it is preparing to sell only electrics by 2030 but would respond to market demands.

“The EV shift is picking up speed, especially in the luxury segment,”

Jul
2021
20

Automotive Transformation Group Created to Revolutionise Vehicle Sales Enabling Billions in Online Sales as Industry Rapidly Digitises

In an industry first, by integrating the data, products, services and technology across its portfolio, the Group will connect car maker, financiers, dealer and consumer in the most efficient way possible. An essential component is connecting finance data, the core thread of new and used vehicle sales. Seamlessly integrating this will unlock the barriers to offering a complete ‘omnichannel’ customer experience – blending physical showrooms and the virtual world – from first sale, through aftersales and re-sale.

The commercial gains on offer are vast. Based on the 77 million new cars sold globally in 2020, with a value of $2.5 trillion**, a 1% shift in ecommerce sales would equate to $25 billion in revenue. And that’s without factoring in the potential of global used car sales – the forecast for Europe in 2025 alone is €357 billion*.

The Automotive Transformation Group is also looking to help its customers to improve their profitability. By leveraging its products and services to cut transaction times and reduce sales process costs, the industry could generate an additional £2.2 billion per year in global profitability based on an extra £142 per new vehicle sale.***

The new Group already handles one transaction every 3.5 minutes ($4.25 billion annually) and has an unrivalled experience and operational scale in the industry. The company serves more than 20 car manufacturers in over 10,000 locations across 96 countries.

Commenting on the launch of the Automotive Transformation Group, Chairman David Riemenschneider said: “The digitalisation of the sales process is advancing at an unrelenting pace. The Automotive market, which is one of the largest in the world, has lagged other sectors in terms of the speed of transition to online sales, but that is changing rapidly. Until now, the cost and complexity of integrating each element of an online and offline experience into a brand consistent omnichannel one, has prevented it being delivered at scale. The Automotive Transformation Group aims to change that. By joining up the dots we will enable car manufacturers, financiers and retailers to unlock the huge potential and efficiencies in today’s sales process and overall value chain. And now is the time to act.”

CEO Christian Erlandson added, “Since we announced the merger between Autofutura and GForces, we have been engaged in strategic discussions with some of the biggest players in the industry. This demonstrates just how dynamic the automotive industry is and how fast it is shifting towards digitalisation. We offer something truly unique. By connecting vehicles and consumers, serving the right offer, at the right time, to the right customer and then facilitating the seamless transition from one vehicle to another, we are streamlining the customer journey, right from the first transaction. We believe the companies which we support will not just have happier, longer standing customers, they will also be even more successful as a result of the substantial efficiencies they have achieved.”

*, **Car sales and forecast data (Frost & Sullivan, May 2021)

***Calculations based on Automotive Transformation Group proprietary UK

Jul
2021
11

Temp tags: New Missouri vehicle sales tax law takes effect in August | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV

ST. LOUIS — During summer travel in Missouri, playing the license plate game is always a favorite past time for many families. But counting the number of Missouri temporary tags, well that’s thousands across the state.

“Temp tags and expired temp tags in Missouri if you drive the roads — I see them everywhere,” said Doug Smith, head of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association. “It’s not just a St. Louis problem. It’s the entire state.”

Currently, if you purchase a vehicle from a car dealer in Missouri, you get temporary paper tags and have 30 days to pay the sales tax at a DMV office.

For instance, a car that costs $10,000 in the city would be $1,000 in sales tax, which can be a lot for many.

But now, Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a plan to update the state’s vehicle sales tax process.

It means when you purchase a new car, instead of just letting you drive it home and assuming you’ll go to the DMV to pay taxes later, Missouri will now ask you to pay your taxes at the point of sale. Many other states, like Illinois, already combine the two payments, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Smith said it will make things easier on Missourians who might not have another $1,000 or more to pay later at the DMV.

“If you’re financing your vehicle for 48, 60 or 72 months, you’re talking just a few dollars per month that would be included in that retail installment contract,” Smith said. 

“It’s really a way to make it easier to solve a lot of problems with the revenue collection and also make it easier on the taxpayer. Keep the taxpayer from not breaking the law by titling their vehicle.”  

Smith welcomes the new law that begins Aug. 28. The plan will allow the Missouri Department of Revenue to get upgrades to their old computer system, and customers will also be able to pay the sales tax at the dealership, cutting out an extra step.

“By doing it at the point of sale with these, it upgrades those systems (and) can talk to the highway patrol,” Smith said. “Those systems can talk to motor vehicle registration, and you have a seamless way to communicate all that information.”

Smith estimates the state will generate $26-40 million that will fund improvements to roads, bridges and safety.

Those temp tags you see everywhere won’t go away overnight. Expect that to be a slow process over the next four years.

Jul
2021
8

Plug-In Car Sales Surge To Over 17% Market Share In June 2021

New passenger car registrations in the UK amounted to 186,128, although the growth rate of  28% year-over-year is considered “artificially lifted” as the 2020 year was affected by lockdowns.

The plug-in electric market on the other hand continues to expand at a rapid rate. In June, the number of registrations increased 131% year-over-year to almost 32,000. That’s 17.2% of the market!

It’s one of the best months ever and let’s take a note that all-electric cars took more than a tenth of the market.

  • BEVs: 19,842 (up 123% year-over-year) at market share of 10.7%
  • PHEVs: 12,139 (up 146% year-over-year) at market share of 6.5%
  • Total: 31,981 (up 131% year-over-year) at market share of 17.2%

So far this year, more than 132,000 new passenger plug-in cars were registered in the UK at an average market share of 14.5%.

Sales YTD:

  • BEVs: 73,893 (up 139% year-over-year) – market share of 8.1%
  • PHEVs: 52,207 (up 197% year-over-year)- market share of 6.4%
  • Total: 132,100 (up 161% year-over-year) – market share of 14.5%
external_image

More details, including also other types:

external_image

In June, the volume deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 (as usual in the last month of a quarter) resulted in a very strong result of 5,468 registrations, which is the best result overall.

The Model 3 is not yet in the top 10 year-to-date, which means it must be below 15,124. What we know is that with 6,585 units in March, the Model 3 is at no less than 12,053.

Vauxhall (part of Opel) reports that the Vauxhall Corsa-e (in the rest of Europe known as Opel Corsa-e) noted 2,795 sales so far this year and remains the best-selling all-electric supermini (the Corsa is also #1 overall with 24,399 ICEs/BEVs).

external_image

Vauxhall Vivaro-e is the top-selling electric delivery van in the UK, with a record of 613 units in June, and 1,487 YTD. Sales of the Vivaro-e clearly accelerate thanks to a huge order backlog.

“Vauxhall enjoyed a successful first half of 2021 in the LCV sector, with e-LCV sales topping 1,487. Vauxhall is now one of the few manufacturers able to offer fleets and business customers an electric van across its entire LCV line-up, following the announcements of its All-New Movano-e large van and the All-New Combo-e compact van.

Sales success in the first half of the year was underpinned by the multi-award winning all-electric Vivaro-e, which has seen record sales of 613 in June, making it the best-selling model not only this month, but for the year-to-date in the a e-LCV sector.”

Jul
2021
2

Automakers report 2Q vehicle sales today. Here’s what investors should expect

A Totota dealership is seen in Annapolis, Maryland on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running low on new vehicles as a computer chip shortage has caused production at many vehicle manufactures to nearly stop.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. remain healthy but are showing signs of a slowdown amid concerns about inflation and a global shortage of semiconductor chips that continues to depress auto production and dealer inventory levels.

Analysts estimate automakers sold about 4.5 million vehicles in the U.S. in the second quarter — a 52% to 53% increase compared with a year ago when the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to shelter in place and temporarily closed auto dealerships. Most major automakers report June and second-quarter sales data on Thursday, except for Ford, which is expected to release its results Friday.

While the sales recovery from the depths of the pandemic is impressive, the pace of sales this year is slowing. Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner expects June’s sales pace to be 15.7 million vehicles, down from 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.

The sales pace for any given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount every month. It’s a main barometer of the industry’s health and consumer demand.

“The sales slow-down likely reflects a lack of availability on dealer lots rather than a decline in consumer demand as automakers struggle to replenish dealer inventories with top models, particularly SUVs and pickup trucks,” Rosner wrote in an investor note.

Sales for every major automaker are expected to be up double digits during the second quarter compared with the same time a year ago, according auto research firms Cox Automotive and Edmunds. But they’re only slightly above the second quarter of 2019.

Something not showing signs of slowing down is sales prices of new vehicles due to tight supplies from the global chip shortage and stronger-than-expected consumer demand throughout the Covid pandemic.

The average transaction price for a new vehicle in June is expected to reach a record $40,206, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The previous high for any month, $38,539, was set in May, according to the companies.

The higher pricing has led to higher profits for automakers and retailers but has stoked broader concerns about inflation. Consumer spending on new vehicles is expected to reach a second-quarter record of $149.7 billion, up 60.7% from 2020 and up 27.9% from 2019.

“Despite inventory shortages constraining the volume of vehicles sold to consumers, the underlying strength of consumer demand is clear. Consumers are buying more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, which is dramatically increasing the profitability of those sales for both manufacturers and retailers,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, in a statement.

CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

Jun
2021
25

Jerome Guillen, ex-Tesla exec, stock sales after June 3 departure

US electric car maker Tesla Vice President Jerome Guillen poses at the Paris Auto Show on the last press day on October 3, 2014. The Paris Auto show opens to the public on Saturday.

Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images

Former Tesla executive Jerome Guillen sold more than $270 million worth of shares by exercising stock options after his departure on June 3, according to recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Guillen became president of automotive in the third quarter of 2018, overseeing all of Tesla’s automotive business. During his tenure, the company opened its first plant overseas in Shanghai, expanded its battery cell supply partnerships and started mass-producing the Model Y.

But Tesla also struggled with quality issues, recalls and parts shortages under Guillen that significantly constrained production — the company produced zero Model S and X vehicles in the first quarter of the year before he was moved out of the role.

Tesla moved him into the role of president of heavy trucking in March this year, and in June Guillen left the company. The exact circumstances of his departure have not been disclosed.

According to Ben Silverman, director of research at InsiderScore, the filings indicate that Guillen exercised options for 451,118 shares of Tesla and likely sold the underlying shares for gross proceeds of $274.1 million.

After that, Guillen had 75,780 exercisable options left, Silverman estimates.

Tesla executives don’t get any special treatment when they leave. In more formal terms, they are at-will employees with no guaranteed severance or accelerated vesting of equity if they resign or are fired, Silverman noted.

Guillen had approximately $442 million in unvested options and unvested restricted stock when he left, according to InsiderScore’s analysis. Filings indicate that he also had 1,212 restricted shares that would have vested just two days after his last day at Tesla and would have been worth nearly $700,000.

How options work

Stock options give employees or executives at a company the right to purchase that company’s stock at a certain price for a limited window of time.

Execs at fast-growing tech companies often earn more through vesting and exercising options than they do from their salary. Some compensation plans allow them to vest shares only after hitting certain milestones at the business, not just based on time spent employed there.

When share prices rise above their exercise price, an employee or exec who has vested their shares can buy and then immediately sell them to pocket the difference as cash, or they can exercise the options but hold on for the long term if they believe the value of the shares will continue to rise.

Typically, exercising stock options will incur taxes and sometimes other fees whether the shareholder decides to hang on or sell them right away.

Unclear why he sold

Guillen did not respond to a request for comment and has not spoken publicly about his departure from Tesla or his personal investment strategy.

Silverman said of the former exec,

May
2020
8

Sales of Automotive Lead Acid Batteries to Soar, as Global Vehicle Production Ramps Up, Says Fact.MR

Automotive lead acid battery market is set to surpass a valuation of US$ 41.8 Bn and is poised to grow at a value CAGR of 5% during the forecast period (2019-2029). The surge in production of automobiles globally has supplemented the growth of lead acid battery market. Lead acid batteries are soaring on popularity as they provide an additional source of power to the vehicle. However, in the current scenario, the global automobile market has been stagnant in terms of profitable growth. This is anticipated to change in the coming years as the automotive sector is set to capture growth opportunities owing to the increasing vehicle production, thus aiding the demand for automotive lead acid batteries. Moreover, the heightened uptake of passenger cars globally, is expected to accelerate the growth of automotive lead acid battery market. Further, a steady rise in the use of pure electric and hybrid vehicles is fueling demand for enhanced flooded batteries which function as auxiliary batteries for starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI). The newest report by Fact.MR estimates that the enhanced flooded batteries will account for ~34% of the total global value share by the end of forecast period.

Key Takeaways of Automotive Lead Acid Battery Market

  • Flooded batteries are estimated to create an absolute $ opportunity of US$ ~4.9 Bn accounting for nearly 39% of the total share during the forecast period. Owing to the extensive use of cost-effective energy storage batteries in emerging countries, flooded battery segment is projected to expand 1.4X as compared to 2019
  • Asia-Pacific will remain the prominent region across the forecast period, accounting for more than 45% share in the automotive lead acid battery market.
  • The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) technology segment is expected to create an absolute $ opportunity of US$ ~15.1 Bn during the forecast period owing to the continuous adoption of conventional vehicles over electric vehicles due to lack of charging infrastructure in developing economies.
  • In terms of value, the enhanced flooded battery type segment is expected to grow 2.2X over the forecast period

“Research and development initiatives for sustainable technologies and high performance at low costs is expected to provide new growth prospects in the automotive lead acid battery market” says the Fact.MR analyst

Partnerships to Remain Key Forte of Competitors

The report reveals some of the key players, including EnerSys Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., GS Yuasa Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Leoch International Technology Limited, Exide Industries Ltd., East Penn Manufacturing Company, Exide Technologies Inc., CSB Battery Company Limited, NorthStar, FIAMM S.p.A., and others. Prominent manufacturers are focusing on building partnerships to strengthen their global presence. For instance,       

  • In 2019, Exide Industry partnered with JCB’s Electric Teletrucks. With this partnership Exide will provide nuanced battery solutions to JCB
  • In 2018, NorthStar teamed up with Daimler to create the world’s first ultra-high performance pure lead AGM battery

Find More Valuable Insights on Automotive Lead Acid Battery Market

Fact.MR, in its new offering, brings to fore an unbiased analysis of the global automotive lead acid battery market, presenting