Cox Automotive’s Flying Doctor Program Leads the Charge in EV Integration and Safety – Brandon Carter

First Up 05/10/24

Cox Automotive’s Flying Doctor Program Leads the Charge in EV Integration and Safety – Brandon Carter

It is critical that EV batteries are safe and well-managed, especially as EV adoption ramps up. Cox Automotive has created a new ‘Flying Doctor Program’ designed to address emergency battery-related incidents at dealerships and on the road. In the latest episode of CBT News’ Inside Automotive, host Shyann Malone is joined by Brandon Carter, Cox Automotive’s engineering manager, to further elaborate on the program. During the interview, Brandon Carter emphasized the importance of safety and preparedness in managing EV batteries due to the increasing adoption rate of EVs. One of the solutions discussed was Cox Automotive’s Flying Doctor program, which responds to emergency battery incidents. The program highlights the critical need for safe handling, repair, and disposal of damaged batteries, both at dealerships and on the road. The Flying Doctor program is a comprehensive solution that addresses various aspects of battery pack management, including recovery, repair, packaging, and return to the original vehicle or recycling facility. Carter explains that the program ensures high-quality repairs and safety for all involved by diagnosing, repairing, and validating battery packs. Click here for the full interview.

Biden Set to Impose Tariffs on China Electric Vehicles

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to announce new China tariffs as soon as next week targeting strategic sectors including electric vehicles, according to two people familiar with the matter. The full announcement, which could take place as soon as Tuesday, is expected to largely maintain existing levies, according to one of the people. An announcement could also be pushed back, the person said. Specific sectors were also set to include semiconductors and solar equipment, reports Reuters. Details on the precise value or categories of tariffs that would be imposed were sketchy, but the administration was said to have zeroed in on areas of interest within strategic competitive and national security areas, one of the people said. The U.S. Trade Representative's office made their recommendations to the White House weeks ago, but a final announcement was delayed as the package was debated internally, according to one of the sources and an additional person familiar with the matter. Biden, a Democrat seeking re-election in November, is looking to contrast his approach with that of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has proposed across-the-board tariffs that White House officials see as too blunt and prone to spark inflation. Click here for the full story.

Extra Effort Wins Dealerships Service Customers

In January, Diamond Hyundai in Palmdale, Calif. participated in a national event hosted by the manufacturer to upgrade anti-theft software in some Hyundai models. The dealership offered more to Hyundai owners than just the software upgrade at the event, held at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. It also offered a free multipoint inspection. Though the dealership didn’t try to sell the Hyundai owners on any repairs, service manager Ashley Miller tells WardsAuto that second visits increased 12 percent after the event. “We got a big response because we weren’t looking for (attendees) to do anything,” she says. That kind of extra effort is what dealerships need to do more of to compete against aftermarket service providers, says Leonard Martin, director of automotive retail at J.D. Power. Otherwise, they risk losing customers to the aftermarket. “Dealers do a great job of selling the car but not selling the service department,” he says. As we previously reported, the recent J.D. Power 2024 Aftermarket Index Study showed franchised dealerships only came out ahead of aftermarket services in one area: respondents found them more trustworthy, especially in repair areas that require more technology or are complex. Click here for the full story.

Mazda Profits Zoom to Records on CX-90, Hybrid Uptake, Foreign Exchange Rates

Mazda zoomed to record profits in its just finished fiscal year, as U.S. customers snapped up crossovers such as the CX-90 and increasingly turned to higher-margin hybrids. The Japanese yen's dramatic weakening against the dollar was also a big factor, reports Automotive News. Cashing in on higher sales and the foreign exchange tail wind, export-dependent Mazda Motor Corp. booked all-time high operating profit and net income for the fiscal year ended March 31. Mazda deliveries in the U.S., the company's biggest and most important sales pool, reached a record 375,000 vehicles in the 12-month period, CEO Masahiro Moro said Friday while announcing the company's financial results in an online briefing. Operating profit at Mazda shot up 76 percent to $1.66 billion in the 12-month period, while net income jumped 45 percent to $1.37 billion. Revenue advanced 24 percent to $31.9 billion, as sales increased 12 percent to 1.24 million vehicles, though they missed Mazda's earlier guidance of 1.29 million. Robust sales of more profitable large platform products, such as the CX-90, chipped in $804.6 million to operating profit. The Japan-built CX-90 saw its U.S. sales mushroom to 9,984 in the January-March period from just 287 the year before. Click here for the full story.

Honda Shifts Strategy, Seeks to Bring EV Value Chain In-House as Earnings Climb

Honda is revising its approach to next-generation electric vehicles and will pursue a vertically integrated approach that brings everything from batteries and software to vehicle production in-house, as the company races to rein in costs as it wrestles with new technologies. The shift to a more vertical supply chain is driving Honda’s R&D spending to record levels, reports Automotive News. Honda, Japan’s second-largest automaker, needs to adopt this approach to better compete, CEO Toshihiro Mibe said Friday while announcing financial results. Honda’s push was on full display last month, when it announced it would invest $11 billion in battery and EV production in Canada. “We changed our strategy a little bit in terms of electrification, especially batteries,” Mibe said. “We are shifting to a vertical-type system to sustain a total electrification business. To do that, we must internalize these technologies. The software too must also be supported by Honda itself.” Mibe said Honda would give more details of the strategy on Thursday in an annual business update. Click here for the full story.


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