Auto Industry Executives, Groups React to Storming of U.S. Capitol

First Up 01/07/21

Auto Industry Executives, Groups React to Storming of U.S. Capitol

Industry executives and groups representing the nation's manufacturers and union workers spoke out against the violent actions of a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, temporarily halting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. General Motors CEO Mary Barra urged the nation to "come together as a country and reinforce the values and ideals that unite us." Ford CEO Jim Farley and Executive Chairman Bill Ford in a message to employees said they watched the images coming from the Capitol "in complete disbelief." The National Association of Manufacturers — one of the first trade groups to speak out against the invasion — urged Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. The group's members include the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, among others representing a broad spectrum of industrial sectors in the U.S. "This is not law and order. This is chaos. It is mob rule. It is dangerous. This is sedition and should be treated as such," National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

New Lexus IS Ad Campaign Shows Commitment to Passenger Cars 

For the last two years, multiple Toyota Motor North America executives said they still believe there is still a market for passenger cars, and they are backing up their faith with a new marketing campaign for the new 2021 Lexus IS, reports The Detroit Bureau. “We’ve seen other manufacturers just walk away from the passenger car market,” noted Jack Hollis, TMNA executive vice president of automotive operations. Toyota, though, plans to remain in the passenger car business and is eager to pick up the business being abandoned by other manufacturers,” Hollis said during a conference call with reporters to discuss 2020 sales totals. TMNA, which spent heavily on advertising on promotions throughout the holiday season, is planning a major campaign to promote one of new sedans, the sport 2021 Lexus IS. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau).

U.S. Vehicle Fleet Fuel Efficiency Fell in 2019 to 24.9 MPG, EPA Says

The U.S. vehicle fleet's fuel efficiency in the 2019 model year fell to 24.9 mpg as more Americans bought larger SUVs and crossovers instead of cars, reports Automotive News. The EPA said Wednesday that the fuel economy of the U.S. fleet fell by 0.2 mpg and most manufacturers are using banked credits to meet current compliance requirements. The EPA said since the 2004 model year, when the vehicle fleet averaged 19.3 mpg, fuel economy and emissions have improved in 12 out of 15 years. Automakers with better performance than the requirements can sell excess credits to other automakers. The shift to larger vehicles was the biggest factor hurting fuel economy. In 2019, 44 percent of the fleet were cars and 56 percent were light-duty trucks, a category that includes SUVs, the highest percentage of trucks on record. SUVs alone account for almost 50 percent of U.S. vehicle production. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

GM Passes Ford in Closely Watched Truck Race

General Motors Co. in 2020 dethroned rival Ford Motor Co. in Detroit’s closely watched “truck wars,” securing the top slot in the lucrative market for large pickup trucks. For the first time since 2015, GM outsold Ford in large pickup trucks, a category that generates the bulk of global profits for each automaker, reports The Wall Street Journal. U.S. sales of GM’s two pickup models—the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra—rose 3.9% last year, to 839,691 trucks, even as industrywide sales sank nearly 15% amid disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic. Ford’s F Series line, which includes its F-150 truck as well as the larger Super Duty, fell 12%, to 787,422, the company said Wednesday. The rivalry among GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Ram brand—which combined dominate the U.S. market for large pickups—has become more intense as that category has grown as a share of the overall vehicle market. Large pickups accounted for 16.7% of overall sales last year, up from 12.5% in 2015. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 

Want a New Car? Get Ready to Pay More Than $40,000 as Prices Continue to Rise

The average price of a new vehicle has topped $40,000 for the first time ever as Americans switch from passenger cars to more-expensive SUVs and pickups, reports USA Today. With prices rising, the average downpayment on new cars, trucks and SUVs reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter, according to analysts at car-research site Edmunds. At the same time, the average amount borrowed to finance a new vehicle was close to an all-time high. The bottom line is that Americans with the financial wherewithal to buy a new ride are still enthusiastic about it despite the ongoing pandemic. In the fourth quarter, the average price of a new vehicle was $40,179, according to Edmunds. In December, it was $40,179. Both are records. Read more here (Source: USA Today).  

Webinar Today: Tax Planning for an Uncertain Year End

Join the next AutoTalk webinar today, Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EST to understand the best tax planning strategies for your business. 

Topics will include: 

  • Explore tax opportunities under CARES act

  • Updates on PPP loan taxability

  • How inventory levels could impact your taxable income

Click here to register. 

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