25% of Cars in the U.S. Are at Least 16 Years Old as Vehicle Age Hits Record High

First Up 07/28/20

25% of Cars in the U.S. Are at Least 16 Years Old as Vehicle Age Hits Record High

Next time you’re driving down the road, look around. On average, 1 in 4 cars and trucks you pass are at least 16 years old, according to new analysis of what Americans are driving, reports CNBC. IHS Markit, which tracks vehicle registrations in every state, says the large number pre-2005 cars and trucks on the road is one reason the average age of vehicles in the U.S. has climbed to an all-time high of 11.9 years. “A lot of it has to do with quality of the vehicles on the road,” said Todd Campau, after-market specialist with IHS Markit. “They are comfortable keeping that vehicle longer than they would in the past.” 2020 is the fourth straight year the average vehicle age in the U.S. increased, extending a trend over the last two decades during which Americans hang on to their cars and trucks longer. A decade ago, the average age of a vehicle in the U.S. was 10.6 years according to IHS Markit. In 2002, the average age was 9.6 years. Read more here.

Toyota Launches New Software Company in Bid to Build Better Cars

Toyota Motor Corp., aiming to transform itself into a software company as much as it is a hardware one, is creating a new holding company that will spearhead development of self-driving cars, new automotive computer operating systems and advanced mapping. According to Automotive News, the entity, called Woven Planet Holdings, will oversee two other companies, Woven Core Inc. and Woven Alpha Inc. Woven Core will focus on automated driving. Woven Alpha will pioneer news businesses in such fields as connectivity, onboard software and high-definition mapping. Woven Core will subsume the company that currently handles Toyota’s automated driving development, Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development, or TRI-AD. Toyota announced the initiative on Tuesday, saying the new companies will begin operations in January.  James Kuffner, the American computer whiz who is currently the CEO of TRI-AD, will lead all three companies, which will be based in TRI-AD’s current office space in downtown Tokyo. Read more here. 

Auto Industry Can Expect Digital Sales Trends to Carry On

Shopping online is on the rise during the pandemic, and is likely here to say, says Cars.com. The Detroit Bureau reports that without question, the global pandemic has hampered the auto industry in innumerable ways, but it’s also acted as a catalyst to move dealers and automakers further into the digital age of retailing out of necessity. Things such as online buying and working from home on a mass scale have the industry rethinking its business model. Many automakers have already said they are taking a hard look at just how many employees they need to show up in person on a regular basis on their various campuses. The buying experience has changed too, likely forever, but for certain the near future. Cars.com analysts sat down created a list of changes they see driving the industry in the second half of 2020, and maybe longer. Read more here. 

Jaguar Land Rover Names Ousted Renault Boss as CEO 

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has picked ousted Renault boss Thierry Bollore as its next chief executive, with a mission to return Britain’s biggest carmaker to profit after a big hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Reuters. Bollore took over at Renault in January 2019 after the fall of Carlos Ghosn, but was always viewed close to the French carmaker’s long-time boss and was pushed out in October when it looked for a fresh start. Bollore will take over at JLR on Sept. 10, replacing Ralf Speth, whose tenure ends after more than 10 years. “It will be my privilege to lead this fantastic company through what continues to be the most testing time of our generation,” Bollore said in a statement on Tuesday. JLR was hit this year first by disruption to sales in China and then by lockdowns across Europe and North America as the COVID-19 outbreak spread around the globe. Read more here. 

5 Things Investors Are Watching as GM and Ford Report Coronavirus-Ravaged Earnings

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the U.S. automotive industry to a standstill unlike any event has since World War II, reports CNBC. Factories were shuttered, hundreds of thousands of employees were laid off, and no new vehicles rolled off U.S. assembly lines for roughly two months starting in late March. BofA Securities analyst John Murphy described the second quarter as “likely to be the toughest in modern history” for the automotive industry, as companies “grappled with close to a zero revenue environment for a few months.” Other investors and executives with the automakers have called the second quarter “unprecedented,” and likely the worst three months of the year. The Detroit automakers this week are all expected to report losses. General Motors, which is the first major U.S. automaker reporting earnings for the quarter, is forecast to lose $2.9 billion when it releases its results Wednesday morning, according to a consensus of analysts surveyed by FactSet. Ford Motor, which reports its second-quarter earnings after the markets close Thursday, is expected to say it lost $4.9 billion. Read more here. 

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