Car Inventories Run Short After Shifts in Output

First Up 07/15/19

Chairman's Blog: Numbers Talk
Anyone who’s ever sold a car can tell you – the sale comes down to numbers. Sure, writes AIADA Chairman Howard Hakes, mileage, paint, sunroofs all matter. But no one signs on the dotted line until the numbers work for them. Numbers matter, and that’s why AIADA invests annually in a joint study with the Association of Global Automakers that clearly and unequivocally breaks down the tremendous financial investment of international automakers and dealers in the United States. You can see the 2019 report here. These numbers aren’t just good, they’re fantastic. They tell the story of an industry that has invested deeply in our country at all levels and contributes enormously to our national employment rates and tax revenue. When I travel to Sacramento or D.C. to meet with my legislators, I always have a copy of this report in hand.  It lays out in black and white just how American our stores and products are and, vitally, what is at risk when lawmakers meddle in our business. Click here to read the rest of Hakes’ latest blog post and find out why this year’s economic impact report is full of good numbers for our industry. 

Car Inventories Run Short After Shifts in Output
The industry's rush to build more crossovers and SUVs has produced an abundance of light trucks and not enough of the cars that consumers continue to buy, reports Automotive News. While the number of light trucks in inventory rose slightly last month, the number of unsold cars fell to its lowest point since November 2011. The inventory mix now is several percentage points away from the overall sales mix between cars and light trucks, according to figures compiled by the Automotive News Data Center. Overall, automakers and dealers had an estimated 4,004,700 unsold vehicles to start July, a 69-day supply that was up slightly from the 3,992,100 vehicles on hand at the start of June and roughly flat from a year earlier. Read more here.

Bentley's Car of the Future is So Luxurious, It's Self-Chauffered
For Bentley Motors Ltd., the future of luxury driving combines electric motors, artificial intelligence, and the scent of moss and sandalwood, reports The Detroit News. In honor of its 100th anniversary, the maker of the official car of Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the EXP 100 GT concept, sketching a vision that fuses self-driving technology with interior comforts featuring special scents, wood from naturally fallen trees and seats made from wine-making leftovers. The car skips past the looming Brexit struggles for the British brand — a unit of Germany’s Volkswagen AG — to offer a glimpse of luxury driving sometime around 2035. Featuring an electric drivetrain that can go as far as 435 miles on a single charge, the fully-autonomous car can switch into driving mode on-demand. Read more here. 

Lexus Confirms LC Convertible
Lexus is returning to the droptop, reports Automotive News. The Japanese premium brand confirmed this month that a convertible version of its flagship LC sports coupe will go into production "in the near future." Lexus showed a prototype of the car, in a silver-and-black digital camouflage motif, at Britain's Goodwood Festival of Speed July 4-7. "Long, low and lean, the LC convertible will share the coupe's athletic proportions but project its own, distinct identity," Lexus said in a release, adding that the convertible LC will give "a sense of completeness to the brand's flagship models." The convertible expands the Lexus model lineup with some new eye candy. It will be the first droptop offered by Lexus since the IS C ended production in mid-2015. Before that, Lexus sold the now-discontinued SC convertible. Read more here. 

Auto Workers Union, Detroit 3 at Odds as Contract Talks Open
In recent years, Detroit automakers have been at relative peace with the United Auto Workers union because times have been good and profit-sharing checks have been fat. According to The Washington Post, that could change this week as talks open on new four-year contracts with the union representing 142,000 workers across the nation. Auto sales are starting to slow as well as profits, health care costs are rising and a labor cost gap has widened with workers at foreign-owned assembly plants in the South. But Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler are still making good money, and the union will want a bigger piece. Plus, General Motors wants to close four U.S. factories, which the union has promised to fight. Click here for some key things to know as bargaining begins Monday with a ceremonial handshake at Ford.

Around the Web

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2020 Land Rover Defender Spy Shots and Video [MotorAuthority]

Volkswagen Accidentally Shows ID.3 Dash and Instrument Panel [Autoblog