EVs Leading the Charge in 2023 NACTOY Semifinals

First Up 09/15/22

EVs Leading the Charge in 2023 NACTOY Semifinals

EVs continue to grow in popularity and nowhere was that more evident in the naming of the semifinalists for the 2023 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Twenty of the 26 vehicles advancing were battery electrics. “That’s right,” said NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg during the announcement at the Detroit Auto Show. “Twenty of them are battery electrics, indicative of the rapidly growing number of (battery electrics) coming to market these days.” The 50 jurors whittled the list down from 47 vehicles, including 31 SUVs or crossovers. It was the highest number of eligible vehicles, according to NACTOY officials, in the 29-year history of the awards. The 26 semifinalists include 10 cars, three trucks and 13 crossovers and SUVs. The Detroit Bureau reports many of the journalists who voted noted that the overwhelming number of battery-electric models advancing suggest that the current crop of EVs aren’t gaining in popularity because of mandates or government programs, but because they’re simply better vehicles. Click here to view the finalists.

Biden Declares ‘Detroit Is Back' as he Touts EVs, Clean Energy Future

President Joe Biden, a self-titled "car guy," pushed his vision for an electric vehicle future that positions the U.S. as a leader, creates American jobs and transitions the country to a clean energy economy in remarks delivered Wednesday at the Detroit auto show. "I believe we can own the future of the automobile market. I believe we can own the future of manufacturing," Biden said. "American manufacturing is back. Detroit is back." Automotive News reports Biden touted his administration's efforts to boost domestic EV manufacturing, investment, and jobs to position the U.S. as a leader and reduce reliance on foreign supply chains. The president also said his administration has approved funding for 33 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to build their own EV charging infrastructure through a funding program in the infrastructure law. "All told, my administration is investing more than $135 billion to advance America's electric vehicle future," Biden said. "Our infrastructure law is also helping to make it in America and win the economic race of the 21st century." Click here for the full story.

U.S. Trade Chief Tai, EU's Dombrovskis to Keep Talking on EV Tax Credits

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with her European Union counterpart in Germany on Wednesday, and the two agreed to continue discussions about U.S. electric vehicle tax credits that have drawn the ire of EU officials. Reuters reports Tai met with European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis on the sidelines of a Group of Seven (G7) trade ministers meeting to discuss various issues, including ongoing U.S.-EU negotiations on steel and aluminum. "Both ministers agreed to continue discussions on the electric vehicle tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act," USTR said, referring to the $430 billion climate, health and tax bill signed into law by President Joe Biden last month. The EU and South Korea last month raised concerns about tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles included in the legislation, which they said may discriminate against foreign-made vehicles and breach World Trade Organization rules. Click here for the full story.

Cybersecurity Stressed as Dealerships Bought, Sold

With dealerships changing hands at a record pace, a cybersecurity risk assessment and cybersecurity insurance have become important boxes to check in potential buy-sell agreements, experts say. “Dealers need to understand there’s a major risk here,” says Elliot Schor, vice president-sales for JM&A Group. “If I were buying a dealership, I would certainly be looking into what policies and procedures the store has.” Some OEMs now routinely require dealerships to carry cybersecurity insurance, similar to requirements for other forms of specialty insurance dealerships commonly carry, like garage liability, reports Wards. George Karolis, president of the Presidio Group, says sizable dealer groups making acquisitions already have their own fully developed cybersecurity training, practices, and insurance in place, which they install at new acquisitions. However, Karolis says it’s standard practice before an acquisition to take a close look at the existing corporate culture and business practices in all business areas, not just cybersecurity. “In buy-sells, you want to understand that, and make sure controls are in place, to try to understand as a buyer what the existing situation is,” he says. “I haven’t really seen it as something that gets in the way of deals.” Click here for the full story.

Subaru Retools Crosstrek Aimed at Pure Driving Enthusiasts

Subaru's next-generation Crosstrek will benefit not only from rugged styling, better driving dynamics and a host of new creature comforts, but a tail wind from rising production. The third-generation subcompact crossover, the brand's second-bestselling nameplate worldwide, was unveiled Thursday in Japan during an online briefing by Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura. The Japanese company is banking on the redesigned Crosstrek to ride the momentum of rapidly recovering output after months of stymied production and supply chain interruptions. But it will still be awhile before the popular nameplate lands stateside. Subaru said Japan deliveries of the latest Crosstrek will start in the spring of 2023 and that shipments to other markets would be rolled out after that, reports Automotive News. The Crosstrek is manufactured only at Subaru Corp.'s Gunma production complex in Japan. Subaru's output in the country rose 26 percent in July, for a fourth-straight month of increases — even as its overseas production slumped 14 percent during the month. For the year through July, however, domestic production was up only 3.5 percent after production slowed early in the year. Click here for the full story.

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