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- U.S. new light vehicles sales in
May exceeded projections to reach a SAAR of 17 million units, compared to 12.1
million units in May 2020 and 17.3 million units in May 2019.
- New vehicle inventories fell to a 23 days' supply industrywide at the
end of May, down from a 33 days' supply at the end of
- Due to the semiconductor
shortage, Stellantis will stop production the week of June 7 at its
Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere, Illinois,
and its minivan plant in Windsor,
- GM plans to
increase vehicle deliveries to dealerships in
July as a result of its improved chip supplies as
well as production efficiencies implemented to mitigate the chip
- Robert Bosch opened a 1 billion
euro semiconductor plant in Germany, a record
investment for the supplier, with production of automotive chips to
begin in September.
- Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced legislation last week to
revive the SELF DRIVE Act, an effort to
"create a much-needed federal framework to help the deployment
of autonomous vehicles in the U.S."
- Unless there is a major breakthrough in artificial
intelligence, fully self-driving vehicles may require
decades of development, according to academics with
expertise in artificial intelligence, systems engineering and
autonomous technologies, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal.
- Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology:
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the semiconductor
shortage, Nissan will delay the release of its flagship Ariya
all-electric crossover from "mid-2021" to sometime
"this winter" in Japan, with a wider rollout to
- The Hongguang Mini EV is currently the best-selling EV in China; this microcar is
made by Chinese-American joint venture SAIC-GM-Wuling
- As established automakers race to expand EV
portfolios, commercial electric van
startups are expected to soon face increased competition to win orders from
companies such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon.
- A Connecticut dealership group filed suit to stop Tesla from opening a showroom on the grounds that state law prohibits the direct sale of vehicles to consumers.
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the semiconductor shortage, Nissan will delay the release of its flagship Ariya all-electric crossover from "mid-2021" to sometime "this winter" in Japan, with a wider rollout to follow.
Market Trends and Regulatory
- U.S. new light vehicle sales in May reached a seasonally adjusted, annualized
rate of sales of 17 million units,
exceeding projections, but dropping approximately 9%
compared to April's upwardly revised SAAR that surpassed 18
million units. The decline from April is attributed to constrained
inventory levels, which averaged a 23 days' supply
industrywide, according to Bloomberg.
- President Biden and Senate
Republicans continue to negotiate in an effort to
create a bipartisan infrastructure package,
with the president most recently indicating he would consider
dropping a previous plan to increase the corporate tax rate to 28%,
in addition to reducing the size of the proposal to $1
trillion, from a previous counteroffer of $1.7
trillion. House Democrats revealed a proposal for
spending $547 billion over the next five
years on road, mass transit and rail projects, which
incorporates some portions of the president's broader
- The Alliance for Automotive
Innovation released a statement of support for Rep. Bob
Latta's reintroduction of a bill related to the
Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle
Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act. The text of the new bill has not yet posted. The SELF
DRIVE Act (H.R. 3388) was first introduced during the
115th Congress, where it passed the House, but a
similar bill filed to pass in the Senate (AV START Act S.1885).Rep. Latta had also
reintroduced the SELF DRIVE Act (H.R. 8350) last September, but it failed to
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, U.S. traffic fatalities reached an
estimated 38,860 in 2020, representing an increase of
7.2% from 2019, and the highest yearly total
since 2007.There was a 13% decrease in miles driven in
2020 as a result of the pandemic. NHTSA said the main behaviors
behind the traffic fatalities were speeding, impaired driving, and
failure to wear seatbelts.
- In a recent hearing, the chair of the California Air Resources Board and the state's attorney general asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore a waiver that allowed the state to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles. The Clean Air Act waiver was rescinded during the Trump presidency, and the EPA is in the process of reconsidering this withdrawal, with the intent to propose a new rule in July.
- Production impact of the semiconductor
shortage – Stellantis
has resumed full production at
North and Warren
Truck plants in Michigan. Jefferson North produces
the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, and had reduced
production since the end of April. Warren Truck produces vehicles
including the Ram 1500 Classic pickup, and had reduced output since
March. The automaker's Jeep Cherokee plant
Illinois, resumed production May 31, and will have
downtime the week of June 7.The Windsor,
Ontario, minivan plant resumed partial production the
week of May 31, and will also have downtime the week of June
- GM intends to increase vehicle
deliveries to dealerships in July due to production
efficiencies it has implemented to mitigate the chip shortage as
well as "the pull-ahead of some projected semiconductor
deliveries into the second quarter." By early July, the
automaker will complete, test and
ship 30,000 Chevrolet
Colorado and GMC
Canyon midsize pickups that had been held for
microchips at its plant in Wentzville,
Missouri. The Wentzville plant has lost an estimated
47,000 units of planned vehicle production this year,
according to AutoForecast Solutions. Beginning in mid-July,
shipments from its heavy-duty truck plant in Flint,
Michigan, will increase by roughly 1,000 trucks per month.
GM also stated its first-half results are now expected
to be "significantly
better than the first-half guidance
previously provided," with more details on guidance
to be released during the Q2 earnings call on August 4.
- Chip-maker Renesas estimates it will return to full
production in mid-June as it completes the replacement of equipment
damaged during a fire in March. Ranked by revenue, Renesas is the
third largest manufacturer of automotive chips.
- GM intends to increase vehicle deliveries to dealerships in July due to production efficiencies it has implemented to mitigate the chip shortage as well as "the pull-ahead of some projected semiconductor deliveries into the second quarter." By early July, the automaker will complete, test and ship 30,000 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups that had been held for microchips at its plant in Wentzville, Missouri. The Wentzville plant has lost an estimated 47,000 units of planned vehicle production this year, according to AutoForecast Solutions. Beginning in mid-July, shipments from its heavy-duty truck plant in Flint, Michigan, will increase by roughly 1,000 trucks per month. GM also stated its first-half results are now expected to be "significantly better than the first-half guidance previously provided," with more details on guidance to be released during the Q2 earnings call on August 4.
- Ford could potentially
pay penalties of $652 million to $1.3
billion as part of a lengthy dispute with U.S. Customs and
Border Protection over imports of Transit Connect vans that were
initially categorized as passenger vans, only to later be converted
to cargo vans. According to a recent regulatory filing from Ford, "U.S.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ruled in 2013 that Transit
Connects imported as passenger wagons and later converted into
cargo vans are subject to the 25% duty applicable to cargo
vehicles, rather than the 2.5% duty applicable to passenger
Daimler and Nokia have resolved all pending litigation related
to their patent dispute over cellular technology in vehicles.
Daimler will pay Nokia patent fees; however, the terms of the
patent licensing agreement were not disclosed.
- The Tokyo Motor Show will next be held in 2023 with the theme of "green and digital," referring to a "medium- to long-term message (for Japan) to realize the carbon neutrality target in 2050." The biennial auto show for 2021 was canceled due to the difficulty of providing a safe and secure environment amid the pandemic.
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services
- Cruise LLC is the first company to
receive authorization to participate in the
California Public Utilities
Commission's Driverless Pilot program.
This program allows Cruise to operate prototype autonomous vehicles
that could transport the public; passengers will not be charged for
any rides in test AVs. Cruise is majority-owned by GM.
- Toyota will implement Toyota Data
Privacy Portal for vehicles with connected services
capabilities built in model year 2013 and later. The portal will be
in the account settings sections of Toyota and Lexus apps, and is
intended to "increase data transparency, accessibility and
control" for vehicle owners.
- GM will offer the OnStar Guardian mobile app to anyone in the U.S. that has a compatible Apple or Android cell phone, regardless of the vehicle they drive. The app provides 24/7 access to emergency advisors and other services for $15 a month.GM estimates OnStar Guardian has a total addressable market of $100 billion globally.
Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology
- A Connecticut dealership
group filed suit to
stop Tesla from opening a showroom and
service center. Hoffman Auto Group alleges that a decision by the
municipality of East Hartford in favor of building the service
center and showroom is a violation of a state law that prohibits
the direct sale of vehicles to consumers. Several EV makers have
signaled an intent to disrupt the sales and distribution system of
new vehicles, which presents legal issues in states that prohibit manufacturers from
selling cars and trucks directly to consumers.
- 7-Eleven plans to install 500 EV fast
charging stations at 250 stores in North America by
the end of 2022.The convenience store retailer will own and operate
the charging stations; it currently has approximately 22 charging
stations at 14 stores in four states.
- BorgWarner will supply its integrated drive module
to Hyundai's upcoming A-segment electric
vehicle. The announcement represents the first electrification
project between the two companies. Production is scheduled to begin
in mid-2023.Separately, BorgWarner announced the completion of its tender
offer for lithium ion battery systems company Akasol
AG; this deal was previously announced in February.
Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Akasol will operate independently as a
majority-owned subsidiary of BorgWarner.
- The Hongguang Mini EV is currently
the best-selling EV in China, selling 270,000
units in the last nine months. The microcar starts at $4,500 and is
the product of a joint venture between GM and state-backed SAIC
Motor Corp. and Guangxi Automobile Group Co. The vehicle has an
ambitious sales target to reach annual sales of 1.2 million units
next year. Other than cost, customer engagement is a differentiator
for the Hongguang Mini, which offers trendy base colors and the ability to customize
the exterior with aftermarket "stickers."
- HYVIA, a new joint venture between Renault and hydrogen and fuel cell solutions company Plug Power, will operate across four sites in France. The joint venture's first three fuel cell vehicles will be based on the Renault Master platform and are scheduled to be available in Europe by the end of the year.
Prepared by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst
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