Hyundai Plans U.S. EV Plant, in Talks with Georgia

First Up 05/09/22

Hyundai Plans U.S. EV Plant, in Talks with Georgia

Hyundai Motor Co plans to build a new electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States and has held discussions with officials in Georgia, near existing plants for the Hyundai and Kia brands. Reuters reports Hyundai Motor confirmed an imminent plan for a new EV plant but declined to comment on any details, including site negotiations. "We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage," Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters when asked about its investment plans. Hyundai has been in advanced discussions with state officials to build a dedicated EV facility in Georgia, three people with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters. Details of the investment, including its projected cost and the number of jobs it would be expected to create, were not immediately known. The new Georgia EV facility, if it is finalized, would serve both Hyundai and Kia as the brands move to roll out a pair of fully electric SUVs — the Ioniq 7 and EV9 — aimed at the U.S. market. Click here to learn more about Hyundai’s plans.

Mercedes-Benz Says Self-Driving Option Ready to Roll

Mercedes-Benz Cars says it plans to release “Drive Pilot,” a conditionally automated Level 3 system for automated driving in Germany for S-Class and EQS, for sale May 17, making Mercedes the first car manufacturer in the world with self-driving system with internationally valid certification. The Detroit Bureau reports Mercedes-Benz was the world’s first car manufacturer to receive internationally valid system approval for conditionally automated driving in December 2021. When activated Drive Pilot controls the speed and distance and guides the vehicle within its lane while analyzing the route and traffic signs. The German automaker said when activated Drive Pilot controls the speed and distance and guides the vehicle within its lane while analyzing the route and traffic signs. It also reacts to unexpected traffic situations and handles them with evasive maneuvers or braking.  The system builds on the vehicle sensing technology of the Driving Assistance Package and includes additional sensors the manufacturer considers indispensable for safe operation. These mainly include radar, lidar and cameras, but ultrasound and moisture sensors also provide valuable data. Click here for the full story.

A Guide to U.S. Electric Car Tax Credits and Rebates

As the average price of gas continues to surge, more U.S. consumers might be considering buying an electric car. According to auto club AAA, last week the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline increased by five cents to $4.24. The conventional wisdom has been that plugging in and charging up a battery-powered car will cost an owner less than filling up a gas tank. But EVs are more expensive — many models on the market in the U.S. are beyond the means of the average consumer. Anecdotally, dealers report an increase in prospective buyers entering showrooms specifically to explore electric or hybrid models. Federal tax deductions for qualifying purchases can meaningfully change a buyer’s math. Add to that any applicable state rebates or credits from a power utility and before you know it, you’ve reduced your cost, potentially by several to many thousands of dollars. Dealers have become more practiced in explaining the options available to help lower the cost. Prospective shoppers are catching on — they’re coming in having done their research. What should you know about credits and rebates before you buy? Bloomberg’s guide below lays out the key points. Click here to read the guide.

Why Dealers Are Selling Used Cars With 150,000 Miles and Beyond

The used-car inventory at Longo Toyota in El Monte, Calif., has included a number of vehicles whose odometers have climbed deep into six figures. They included a 2008 Toyota Corolla with 195,793 miles, a 2004 Infiniti G35 with 196,497 miles and a 2016 Toyota Prius with 360,117 miles — equivalent to more than 14 trips around the world at the equator reports Automotive News. A scan of used vehicles for sale at franchised new-car dealerships around the country showed there's a change afoot. High-mileage vehicles taken in trade used to be automatically disqualified for retail sale at such dealerships. Vehicles with 150,000 miles or more usually were shipped to auctions, where they were snapped up by the independent dealers who operate buy-here, pay-here lots. Not anymore. Data from a Cox Automotive analysis of used-car listings on Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book shows the number of super-high-mileage vehicles for sale — from all sources: private sellers, used-car lots and new-car dealerships — has been growing, up 7 percent in March from December. Although it was down year over year in March. Click here for the full story.

Does Your Car Dealership Need a Mobile App?

A dealership-branded mobile app serves as an excellent retention tool and has been adopted by many stores, large, and small. Although it creates value for customers, it’s only beneficial if people download and use its features. And almost half of the time, users aren’t happy with their experience in a mobile app. An initial J.D. Power OEM EV App Benchmark Study examined a small segment of tech-savvy consumers who own electric vehicles and asked about their experience with the OEM’s app. Nearly one in three people don’t use the mobile app because they don’t know how it works. Of the 20 most common features found in-app, more than two-thirds would want 15 options, but the survey found that “only eight features are widely available.” While this covers only a small segment of car owners, the involved demographic should be quite able to navigate a mobile app efficiently reports CBT News. Like an OEM app, there are plenty of reasons to develop and distribute a standalone dealership app. Notifications can retain service customers and provide service reminders, and it’s a simple platform for owners to schedule vehicle service. Click here to learn more about dealership apps.

Around the Web

These 10 Used Cars and SUVs Jumped the Most in Price Since 2021 [Motertrend]

Hyundai to Open Walking Car Research Center in Bozeman, Montana [CNET]

Rolls-Royce Tells the Fascinating Story of the Phantom [Carbuzz]

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5’s Futuristic Appeal [WSJ]