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- The latest "Car Wars" report from
BofA predicts automakers will launch 240 new models
over the next four model years, averaging 60 per
- IHS Markit estimates that
lengthy delivery times for semiconductors
caused global output losses of $182 million between
January and April 2021 for automobiles and
- U.S. fleet sales totaled 830,950
units between January and May, representing a .9% decrease from
January –May 2020, and a 39% decrease from the same period in
- The average age of light vehicles in
operation reached 12.1 years,
which IHS Markit expects to be a
temporary elevation resulting from the pandemic.
- A task force consisting of the UAW, Ford,
GM and Stellantis announced
mask requirements will continue
at U.S. auto plants "out of an abundance of
- Bosch North
America is evaluating
options to potentially consolidate office space as it
plans a two-phased return to the office that will involve a hybrid
model for on-site work.
- The Senate passed bipartisan
legislation that includes a $52 billion
investment to bolster the semiconductor industry in the
U.S. as part of a $250 billion package to strengthen the
nation's competitive position in science and technology.
- Volkswagen disclosed that a third-party
vendor data breach impacted over 3
million customers in North America, after sales and marketing
information was left in an unsecured electronic file.
- The U.S. Department of
Transportation's Spring Regulatory
Agenda includes potential rules for new transportation
technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, as well as strengthened
vehicle and highway safety standards.
- Electric vehicles and low emissions
- The Biden administration announced
a National Blueprint for
Lithium Batteries as part of an initiative to
"secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for
advanced batteries," following a 100-day
review of the nation's critical supply chains.
- GM announced its
support for a "federal path to achieve the same CO2
reductions endorsed by California through the
acceleration of electric vehicle adoption."
- Lordstown Motors announced the resignation
of its CEO and CFO, effective
immediately, and a board committee indicated that
some of the company's previous statements related to truck
preorders were inaccurate.
- According to LMC Automotive, the U.S. battery electric vehicle market has approximately 20 unique models, at price points ranging from below $25K to over $100K.
- The Biden administration announced a National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries as part of an initiative to "secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries," following a 100-day review of the nation's critical supply chains.
Market Trends and Regulatory
- The new edition of the annual "Cars
Wars" report by BofA analyst John Murphy predicts Toyota and
Honda will lead in replacement rates during the
2022 to 2025 model-year period,
while GM's replacement rate will be just
above the industry average due to its focus on lower-volume EV
launches. [Full report is not publicly available]
- According to IHS Markit, there
were 279 million vehicles in operation
(VIO) in the U.S. as of January 2021,
down from nearly 281 million in 2020 and the first decrease in VIO
since 2012.Electric vehicles in operation reached nearly 1
million units, at an average age of 3.9 years, compared to
an average age of 12.1 years for light vehicles overall in the
- The White House released a report and fact
sheet following a 100-day review of
vulnerabilities in critical U.S. supply chains.
Actions include the creation of a Supply Chain
Disruptions Task Force "to provide a
whole-of-government response to address near-term supply chain
challenges," as well as a "trade strike
force" led by the U.S. Trade Representative to
pursue enforcement actions against unfair foreign-trade practices.
President Biden ordered the
review in February for the purpose of reducing the country's
reliance on foreign suppliers and strengthening the nation's
competitive position in sectors that
include semiconductors, large-scale batteries for
EVs, rare earth minerals, and pharmaceuticals.
- President Biden and Senate
Republicans failed to reach an
agreement to create a bipartisan
infrastructure package, resulting in the House and
Senate continuing work on their own proposals. A bipartisan group
of senators announced they have reached a
deal for a $974
proposal that will not include corporate tax
increases, one of the points of contention in the president's
proposal, with further details forthcoming. House Democrats
continue to negotiate over a proposal to
spend $547 billion over the next five years on surface
- U.S. Trade Representative Katherine
Tai asked the Mexican government to review
allegations that workers' rights were being denied at
an auto parts facility operated
by Tridonex in Matamoros. Utilizing
USMCA's rapid response enforcement mechanism, the AFL-CIO and
other unions alleged that workers' rights to collective
bargaining and free association were denied. This marks the second
labor compliant brought by the Biden administration against this
facility under the trade deal.
- Highlights of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Spring Regulatory Agenda include potential rulemaking requiring heavy and light vehicles to include automatic emergency braking, and establishing and requiring rigorous testing standards for autonomous vehicles, along with a national incident database for crashes involving automated vehicles.
- Production impact of the semiconductor
shortage – GM will
build certain 2021 full-size pickups and
SUVs without the fuel-saving start-stop
feature that automatically idles a vehicle's
engine during stops in traffic. Affected models are the Chevrolet
Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade and
Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500; the
automaker did not indicate the volume of impacted vehicles.
- Stellantis confirmed its
minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, will
be down the entire month of June, extending previously announced
downtime by an additional week. Windsor Assembly resumed limited
output the week of May 31 after being shut down since the end of
- Volkswagen predicts the
chip shortage will begin to ease in the third quarter, but supply
constraints will persist since it may take up to two
years to reach adequate production capacity.
- A COVID-19 outbreak at one of Taiwan's largest chip-testing
companies, King Yuan Electronics, could
lead to supply chain disruptions. The facility has nearly 200
confirmed cases and an additional 2,000 workers in
quarantine. The Wall Street
Journal reported that slow rollouts of vaccine
campaigns in Asia have led to outbreaks in various
parts of Asia that have the potential to disrupt shipping and chip
- Stellantis confirmed its minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, will be down the entire month of June, extending previously announced downtime by an additional week. Windsor Assembly resumed limited output the week of May 31 after being shut down since the end of March.
The UAW and Detroit's
Big Three automakers jointly
announced the continuation of mask
requirements for workers at U.S. auto plants, with the
plan to phase out temperature screening. Volkswagen
AG will discontinue the requirement for masks at U.S.
auto plants after June 21.Toyota, Honda and Nissan have thus far
not announced changes to their U.S. employee COVID-19
- Toyota moved up its goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions among its factories to 2035, from a previous target of 2050.The automaker intends to use new technologies in coating and casting, increase its use of renewable energy, and purchase carbon credits from other companies.
Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services
- Waymo and J.B.
Hunt will partner in a limited pilot
program involving Class 8 trucks driving autonomously on
the interstate between facilities in Houston and Fort Worth. The
trucks will have a commercially licensed driver and a software
technician on board.
- Hyundai will increase its development
efforts related to urban air mobility
vehicles, and now intends to offer services as well as
selling the vehicles. Air taxis or "flying cars"
are intended to be a new category of aircraft, with an electric
motor that can take off and land without a runway, along with being
safer and less expensive than helicopters.
- Apple hired the
former co-founder and CEO of EV
startup Canoo, Ulrich Kranz, to assist with
its initiatives related to autonomous EVs.
Apple had recently lost several
managers from its vehicle team, and speculation
continues in regards to whether the company intends to
develop a vehicle, or will instead focus on
aspects of the hardware, software and services related to
autonomous and electric vehicles.
- Beijing-headquartered ride-hailing company Didi
Chuxing Technology filed IPO papers to begin
publicly trading in the U.S. Didi operates in 15
countries and has 493 million annual active users; its largest
shareholders include Softbank, Uber and Tencent.
- Self-driving startup Argo AI intends to pursue an IPO "within the next year," according to founder and CEO Bryan Salesky. Ford and Volkswagen are key investors in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI.
Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology
- GM indicated it will support an
agreement between the state
of California and five automakers
that commits to annual
reductions of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions through the 2026
model year as a potential framework for a national
standard, if part of the program includes a commitment to EV
sales.GM had previously sided with the Trump administration in
efforts to end the state's ability to set stricter emissions
standards than the federal government; the shift in position was
communicated in a letter from CEO Mary Barra to EPA head Michael
- Novi, Michigan-based Shyft
Group plans to begin production of its first all-electric
chassis platform in mid-2023; the decision to develop the
platform was motivated by growing demand from major
parcel delivery customers.
- Tesla launched the Model
S Plaid, a high-performance version of its Model S sedan
to be produced in limited volumes that features faster charging,
approximately 390 miles of range, and an improved entertainment
system. CEO Elon Musk recently canceled a
previously announced Model S Plaid+ that was intended to have 520
miles of range on a single charge.
- Ford has received 100,000 refundable preorders for its upcoming all-electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck. A Ford spokesperson said the official order bank opens later this year.
Prepared by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst
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