Auto Industry Rethinks Cost-Cutting Playbook as COVID-19, Chip Shortages Disrupt Supply Chains

First Up 04/01/21

Dell Technologies Partners with AIADA

Dell Technologies has joined with AIADA as an Affinity Partner, offering the membership an exclusive new benefit to help upgrade and improve their technology. The user-friendly program gives AIADA members discounts of 5-10 percent on purchases of Dell products – and those discounts are stackable with additional Dell promotions, which could allow AIADA dealers to save even more on their technology upgrades. “Dell Technologies offers a wide range of business tools that can help dealers increase efficiency and productivity,” AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk said. “Having access to those tools at a significant savings is a big win for our members.” AIADA members can access the new member benefit by visiting to receive a coupon by email. Read the full press release about the new partnership here

Auto Industry Rethinks Cost-Cutting Playbook as COVID-19, Chip Shortages Disrupt Supply Chains

After a year of getting hammered by the pandemic, a semiconductor shortage, and storms that snarled Dana Inc’s global supply chain, the auto parts maker is reaching for a new playbook, reports Reuters. Dana’s Craig Price, senior vice president of purchasing and supplier development, is pushing companies in his supply network to change the way they do business, stepping away at times from the just-in-time, lean production practices that have guided automotive manufacturers for nearly 40 years. That cuts against the just-in-time inventory and production approach manufacturers have adopted from Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp since the 1980s. The new catchword in manufacturing is “resiliency,” underscored by Toyota’s February revelation it had built a four-month chip stockpile. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Volkswagen Apologizes for 'Voltswagen' April Fools' Marketing Stunt

Volkswagen AG on Wednesday apologized for its announcement that it was renaming its U.S. operations "Voltswagen" — a marketing stunt that fooled some investors, analysts and journalists and sent shares up almost 9% on Tuesday. The Detroit News reports that the German automaker's stock closed down Wednesday, declining more than 3.6%. VW's securities had been the hottest auto stock this month after its March 15 Tesla Inc.-like "Power Day," during which it emphasized its commitment to an electric future with investments in its battery production, gigafactories and a charging network in Europe. Volkswagen AG's announcement on Tuesday that it was changing the name of its U.S. operations to "Voltswagen" was an April Fools' marketing stunt. Read more here (Source: The Detroit News). 

Biden's $2T Infrastructure and Jobs Package Proposes Billions for Electrification

President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal would include $174 billion to "win" the global electric vehicle race against China and Europe, reflecting a growing symbiosis between Democratic policy goals and the bottom lines of Detroit automakers. The plan, detailed Wednesday, dovetails with the administration's hopes to make the U.S. economy carbon neutral by 2050 — in part by cutting pollution from the transportation sector, which still makes up the lion's share of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Biden proposes subsidizing domestic supply chains for electric vehicles, providing grant programs to state and local governments to install 500,000 charging stations nationwide by 2030, increasing tax incentives and point-of-sale rebates for people who buy electric vehicles, and replacing tens of thousands of federal vehicles and school buses with electric ones. Read more here (Source: The Detroit News). 

Consumers Enjoy Car 'Shopping' Part of Process; Buying, Not So Much

Many participants in a recent consumer sentiment study show a keen interest in car shopping, and they enjoy the process. But when price negotiations begin, their feelings turn decidedly negative. “What should be a fun and exciting experience for consumers, continues to be a source of angst and stress,” automotive research and vehicle listings marketplace company CarEdge wrote in a news release. According to Auto Remarketing, CarEdge released the study, saying the study's main message is the following: Consumers love vehicle “shopping” but hate vehicle “buying.” Those consumers wished to avoid interactions and negotiations with the salesperson and finance manager. More than half of the respondents would prefer that someone would negotiate for them, or actually choose the vehicle for them. Read more here (Source: Auto Remarketing). 

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