COVID-19 Impact Could Hit Japanese Automakers' Output in Oct.

First Up 09/09/21

Mercedes Names New U.S. Sales Head Amid Inventory Shortage

Senol Bayrak, a 17-year Daimler veteran who has done tours of duty in China and Germany, will now lead sales and product management in the U.S., reports Automotive News. Bayrak, 43, takes over as vice president of sales and product management at Mercedes-Benz USA, effective Nov. 1. He replaces Adam Chamberlain, who will leave the company after 12 years to pursue opportunities outside parent Daimler, the company said in a statement. In his most recent role, Bayrak served in Stuttgart as the director of product management for SUV and electric models, as well as market intelligence and competitor analysis. He will have overall responsibility for Mercedes' U.S. sales, volume planning, distribution operations and product management. He arrives as the automaker faces tight inventories and product disruptions due to industrywide supply chain challenges. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).

COVID-19 Impact Could Hit Japanese Automakers' Output in Oct.

Disruptions to parts and components suppliers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could force fresh production cuts at Japanese automakers in October, Akio Toyoda, the head of the auto industry lobby group, said on Thursday. Reuters reports that Japanese car companies have already had to cut production this month because of difficulties finding semiconductors and other components as the pandemic disrupts manufacturing around the world and drives up demand for chips from consumer electronic device makers. "Depending on the manufacturer, we could see production cut to a lower level in October," said Toyoda, who leads the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and is President of Toyota Motor Corp, the country's biggest carmaker. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Flood-Damaged Cars Could Reach the Market. Here's How to Avoid Buying One

Anyone who considers buying a used car in the upcoming months may want to be extra-cautious. As storm-ravaged areas take stock of the destruction left by Hurricane Ida, thousands of flooded cars are expected to be among the personal property that was ruined, reports CNBC. While cars with flood damage may have titles that indicate that, the system is not foolproof — which means some of these autos are likely to be purchased by unknowing buyers. Compounding the potential for fraud this time around is the high demand for used cars as the global shortage of microchips continues slowing production of new vehicles. That demand could create an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of buyers’ eagerness to seal a deal, experts said. Roughly 378,000 flood-damaged cars already were on the roads before Ida hit, according to Carfax spokesman Chris Basso. “If history holds true, we’re looking at several thousand more [flooded] vehicles, and a decent percentage of them will make it back into the market,” Basso said. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

Toyota Prices Corolla Cross from $23,410

Toyota is pricing the Corolla Cross from $23,410 for a base front-wheel-drive model and up to $28,840 for a top-of-the-line all-wheel-drive model, reports Automotive News. The subcompact crossover will go on sale in October, Toyota said Thursday. It is being built at a new plant in Huntsville, Ala., and gives Toyota a traditional crossover in one of the industry's hottest segments. It will be offered in three trim lines — L, LE and XLE — in standard fwd or optional awd. One powertrain will be available: a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine paired with a continuously variable transmission that delivers 169 hp. All grades come standard with nine airbags and Toyota's suite of advanced active safety gear: precollision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection; lane-departure alert with steering assist; lane tracing assist; road sign assist; full-speed range radar cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on LE and XLE, while front and rear parking assist with automatic braking is standard on the XLE. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Building a More Sustainable Car, From Headlamp to Tailpipe

As companies around the world turn their attention to reducing the effect their products have on the environment, carmakers are turning away from traditional materials that are hard to recycle, such as leather and plastics, and looking to alternatives that continue to convey quality. In manufacturing as well, they have moved to recycled components in an effort to use fewer resources and cut down on emissions, reports The New York Times. Recycled materials make up 29 percent of a BMW vehicle, said Patrick Hudde, BMW’s vice president for sustainability supply chain. The company obtains 20 percent of its plastics from recycled materials, as well as 50 percent of its aluminum and 25 percent of its steel. At Audi, the Mission: Zero program hopes to achieve a 30 percent reduction of vehicle-specific carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 compared with 2015, and to achieve carbon neutrality across its entire network by 2050; that includes suppliers, manufacturing, logistics and dealer operations. Read more here (Source: The New York Times). 

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