Automakers Call Maine Vehicle Right-To-Repair Approval ‘Disappointing'

First Up 11/09/23

Automakers Call Maine Vehicle Right-To-Repair Approval ‘Disappointing'

Maine voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a proposal on vehicle right to repair, joining Massachusetts as the second state to approve such a law and potentially triggering another legal battle amid opposition from major automakers. According to Automotive News, the measure, which received about 84 percent of the "yes" vote, requires automakers to standardize vehicle onboard diagnostic systems and make them remotely accessible to owners and independent repair shops. It also requires the state's attorney general to establish an independent entity to manage access to vehicle-generated mechanical data and ensure the data is secure. Automakers also must equip vehicles that use telematics systems with an owner-authorized access platform, which communicates all vehicle mechanical data and is available via a mobile app. Supporters — such as the Coalition for Automotive Repair Equality, Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone — argued the initiative was needed because more vehicles are transmitting real-time diagnostic and repair information wirelessly to automakers and their dealerships, which could make it harder for independent repair shops to fix vehicles. Click here for the full story.

Honda Lifts Full-Year Earnings Forecast on Good Foreign Exchange, Higher U.S. Sales, Better Pricing

Honda Motor Co.’s profit climbed by almost a third in the latest quarter on higher vehicle sales and better pricing, prompting the Japanese automaker to lift its earnings forecast. Booming demand in the U.S. as well as rebooted production because of a free-flowing semiconductor supply helped drive the company’s earnings growth, Executive Vice President Shinji Aoyama said. “We have no such problems today at all,” Aoyama said of the chip supply chain. Speaking at the company’s financial results announcement Thursday, Aoyama warned, however, that U.S. demand is softening slightly, reports Automotive News. And Honda trimmed its full-year forecast for North America. Japan’s No. 2 automaker expects to sell 25,000 fewer vehicles than previously targeted in the fiscal year to March 31, 2024. It now predicts 1.62 million vehicles, up from 1.2 million the year before. Regarding Honda’s partnership with General Motors-backed Cruise automated driving unit, Aoyama said Honda has not altered its plans to commercialize driverless taxis in Tokyo. Click here for the full story.

Where Dealership Groups Stand Heading into Q4 — Jeff Dyke | Sonic Automotive

At the end of October, Sonic Automotive held its third-quarter earnings call with shareholders, sharing details of its performance over the period and setting expectations for the months to come. As one of the largest dealership groups in the U.S., their numbers can give helpful insights into the industry’s overall strength and the challenges lying ahead. On this episode of CBT News’ Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Sonic Automotive President Jeff Dyke. Dyke has spent more than two decades in the retail automotive sector, with a proven track record of leading businesses to success. Since becoming the dealership group’s president in 2018, he has helped the company navigate monumental challenges such as the COVID -19 pandemic and an industry-wide shift to electric vehicles. Now, he discusses the business’s third-quarter report and what it means for retailers across the U.S. Click here for the full interview.

Nine Ways Dealerships Can Use AI to Optimize Business

Incorporating technological changes into a business can be overwhelming, especially considering executives and their teams must work hard to keep operations running smoothly as updates are made. At automotive dealerships, it can be easy to overlook the advantages of artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions as dealers busily acquire new inventory, maintain sales levels, keep in touch with current and prospective customers and operate service departments. However, AI can help dealers streamline operations, improve customer experience and boost overall efficiency. According to Automotive News, AI can be thought of as a machine that supports business goals by helping dealerships increase sales and guide strategy. However, like any machine, it can only offer effective solutions with quality input. By using AI that pulls from top-quality data, dealers can focus on strategies to make AI work as effectively as possible. Click here for nine AI applications dealers can take advantage of to optimize their operations.

U.S. Senate Votes to Reject 'Buy America' EV Charging Waiver

The U.S. Senate voted 50-48 to overturn President Joe Biden's decision to waive some "Buy America" requirements for government-funded electric vehicle charging stations but the White House said he would veto the measure. The White House argued the Republican bill would eliminate entirely the domestic manufacturing requirement for government-funded electric vehicle (EV) chargers "thereby harming domestic manufacturing and American jobs." According to Reuters, Senate Democrats Sherrod Brown, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, and independent Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans in voting to reject the regulation. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in February agreed to waive some requirements until July 2024, saying it would enable "EV charger acquisition and installation to immediately proceed." Congress has set aside $7.5 billion to fund electric vehicle charging stations. The funding is crucial to the Biden administration's plans to ramp up electric vehicle sales. The White House said the bill to rescind the waiver would also overturn the FHWA decision to extend Buy America rules to EV chargers. Click here for the full story.

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