Honda Beefs Up Pickup, SUVs to Bolster Light-Truck Market Shares

First Up 10/09/20

#DealersDoGood Friday

Each Friday, AIADA continues to highlight dealers who are making a difference in their communities in 2020. Special thanks to the dealers who have let us know of the ways they’re helping out. If your dealership is doing something great, please let us know! Click here to let us know, or join us on Twitter by tagging @AIADA_News and using the #DealersDoGood hashtag.

Crews Chevrolet & Crews Subaru in Charleston, South Carolina, have reached the number 1 spot in the Nation for Red Cross Blood Donations from March 15 to September 15th, and number 7 in the retail/sales/service industry sector nationwide. To date, Crews has helped collect nearly 525 units of blood, impacting over 1,500 lives through the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association & American Red Cross of South Carolina's Summer Drive to Save Lives. Read more here (Source: 

The “Rick Case Bikes for Kids” program, celebrating its 38th anniversary this year, has provided more than 125,000 bikes to children during the holidays since 1982, and is now collecting bikes from the community for the 2020 holiday season through December 21, 2020. This year’s collection goal is set at 6,500 bikes, which will be distributed through area Boys & Girls Clubs and other charities, churches and schools. Rick Case, who along with his wife Rita Case, was known for his philanthropic efforts in the communities he operated, recently passed away. Read more about this year’s “Rick Case Bikes for Kids” program here (Source: The Published Reporter). 

Honda Beefs Up Pickup, SUVs to Bolster Light-Truck Market Shares

Honda Motor Co. is saying no more Mr. Nice Guy when it comes to selling its SUVs and trucks in an increasingly competitive market, reports Bloomberg. The company plans to revamp three key mid-sized vehicles – two sport utilities and a pickup – by giving them beefier looks. It also will play up their off-road capabilities in marketing to appeal to more-traditional truck buyers. The first to showcase a rough-and-tumble demeanor is the Ridgeline: A mid-cycle facelift gives it a larger grille, bulging hood, and twin exhaust pipes. Buyers have shifted toward light trucks, which Honda expects will account for only 53% of its deliveries this year compared with 76% for the industry. Makeovers of the Passport and Pilot SUVs, along with the refreshed Ridgeline, are designed to win Honda a larger share of the expanding light-truck pie, even as demand for passenger cars continues to shrink. Read more here (Source: Bloomberg). 

Waymo Brings Driverless Rides to Larger Group of Riders

Since December 2018, Waymo has provided fully driverless rides to a small group of hand-picked users in metro Phoenix. Starting Thursday, the company will offer those rides to a greater swath of riders, reports Automotive News. All of the rides in Waymo's test bed will be fully driverless — that is, with no human safety driver aboard — for at least several weeks, the company said Thursday. Those rides will be open to anyone who is a member of the company's Waymo One ride-hailing program, which has more than 1,500 members and is open to the general public. Previously, fully driverless rides were available only to members of the company's Early Rider Program, a smaller group of users who signed nondisclosure agreements and provided unvarnished feedback to help shape future operations. "We were learning with them," Waymo CEO John Krafcik said. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).

Former VW, Porsche, and Tesla Execs Join Forces at New EV Startup

While it may not be quite as well-known as that of the Porsche family, the Piech name is equally storied among automotive insiders and enthusiasts, reports The Detroit Bureau. Together, these frequently squabbling relatives can lay claim to having helped create two of the European industry’s most important brand names: Porsche and Volkswagen. And now, the Piech name will be applied to a new sports car being launched as part of a new, all-electric marque based in Switzerland. Piech Automotive plans to have its first model, the GT2, in showrooms late in 2022, with at least two other models to follow. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Nikola Highlights Its Hydrogen Efforts as Tech Questions Linger

An executive at electric-truck company Nikola Corp. gave the hydrogen industry a closer look at the company’s prototypes and plans Thursday amid questions over its technology, reports The Wall Street Journal. Jesse Schneider, Nikola’s head of hydrogen and fuel cells, highlighted the company’s involvement in developing future fuel cell and fueling station technology. “Nikola owns a lot of the [intellectual property] related to vehicle integration, storage, and fueling,” Mr. Schneider said in a presentation to an online hydrogen-technology conference. He provided an overview of eight patent applications on which Nikola is a party and two Energy Department-affiliated research projects with academic and corporate partners that the company expects to contribute to its technology later this decade. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 

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