Beltway Talk: Meet 2023 AIADA Chairman Mike DeSilva

First Up 03/28/23

Beltway Talk: Meet 2023 AIADA Chairman Mike DeSilva

New Jersey dealer and AIADA Chairman Mike DeSilva recently visited the Beltway Talk Podcast Studio to discuss some of the legislative challenges facing auto retailers, what drew him to get involved in AIADA, and how international nameplate dealers everywhere can make their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Click here to listen to the Beltway Talk Podcast.

U.S., Japan Strike Trade Deal on Electric Vehicle Battery Minerals

The United States and Japan on Tuesday announced a trade deal on electric vehicle battery minerals that is key to strengthening their battery supply chains and granting Japanese automakers wider access to a new $7,500 U.S. EV tax credit. The swiftly negotiated agreement prohibits the two countries from enacting bilateral export restrictions on the minerals most critical for EV batteries, reports Reuters. The minerals include lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese. The deal also aims to reduce U.S.-Japanese dependence on China for such materials by requiring collaboration to combat "non-market policies and practices" of other countries in the sector and on conducting investment reviews of foreign investments in their critical minerals supply chains. Minerals-focused trade deals are one way that the Biden administration hopes to open up access for trusted allies to the $7,500 per vehicle EV tax credits in last year's climate-focused Inflation Reduction Act.  Japan was working with the United States to sign the agreement in Washington on Tuesday, trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters in Tokyo. "As the demand for electric vehicle batteries is expected to grow significantly, securing important minerals essential for their production is an urgent issue," Nishimura said. Click here for the full story.

Toyota Expects Average New Car Prices to Top $50,000 this Year

Toyota expects the average transaction price of new vehicles to exceed $50,000 in the U.S. for the first time in history but still believes that demand will outpace supply. While recently speaking with reporters, head of sales for Toyota North America, Jack Hollis, said that average transaction prices “will continue to grow” beyond $50,000 throughout the year. This comes despite the average transaction price slipping 0.6 percent in January to $49,388. Carscoops reports that there could be as many as 6 million potential new-vehicle buyers in the United States who have been sidelined by inventory and pricing issues. Despite this, Hollis still expects a strong year for Toyota in North America, stating that it and Lexus could sell 100,000 more vehicles than the 2.1 million units they sold in the U.S. last year. “We’re going to see that it’s a year of really two halves — whether it’s Toyota or Lexus,” Hollis said. “This first quarter, we knew it would be slower for us. The second quarter will still be a little slow — not quite as slow as the first quarter — but the first half will be behind last year, and the second half will be ahead of last year.” Click here for the full story.

Fifty Million Apartment Dwellers Need a Way to Plug In

More than 80 percent of EV charging is today done at home, according to industry data. And that’s fine when battery-electric vehicles make up a small niche of the overall U.S. vehicle market. But what happens when vehicles with internal combustion engines begin to phase out over the next two decades? About 44 million Americans live in apartments and condominiums, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, millions more having no way to install home chargers, even though they live in standalone dwellings such as the narrow row houses of Philadelphia. What have come to be known in EV circles as “garage orphans” will need to gain access to chargers, too, reports The Detroit Bureau. “If the infrastructure was available, I’d buy (an EV) tomorrow,” said Pat Rizzo, a researcher for an environmental organization in New York. “But it’s not there, yet, for urban dwellers,” added Rizzo, noting that he’s likely to go with a hybrid “until the infrastructure catches up.” Click here for the full story.

Polestar to Drop $20 Million in Q2 to Market Its First Crossover


Polestar plans to launch a $20 million marketing campaign in the second quarter as the Swedish EV maker primes the pump for its first crossover in the truck-dominated U.S. The investment will surpass Polestar's marketing spend in the first quarter of 2022 when the fledgling EV brand splurged on a Super Bowl commercial. The Volvo Cars affiliate will spend more on marketing the Polestar 3, a Porsche Cayenne-sized crossover, to Americans in the second quarter than in the past nine months combined, Polestar's North American boss Gregor Hembrough told Automotive News. That indicates how much is riding on the Polestar 3 crossover, which will arrive in the U.S. in late 2023, nearly a year behind schedule. North America, consisting of the U.S. and Canada, will be Polestar 3's largest market, accounting for about 25 percent of the global sales, Hembrough said. With the new model, Polestar is aiming for the core of the U.S. luxury market. While the U.S. luxury sedan segment targeted by the Polestar 2 will hit 379,000 in sales, Hembrough said, premium midsize crossover sales should reach about 625,000 units this year. Click here for the full story.


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