Hyundai Says in Early Talks with Apple After Electric Vehicle Tie-Up Report

First Up 01/08/21

Dealers Do Good Friday

As we head into 2021, AIADA continues to highlight dealers and their impact in their local communities. Throughout the holiday season, dealers spared no opportunity to reach out and help those who needed it. We’re highlighting a few in this week’s FirstUp. If you know of a dealer who is doing great things, let us know here or tag us on Twitter with the #DealersDoGood hashtag and tag @AIADA_News

A caring car salesman and his kind-hearted boss, Mickey Seelye of the Seelye Auto Group in Kalamazoo, Michigan, banded together to bring holiday joy to a financially struggling God’s Kitchen of Michigan to keep their doors open for the needy residents of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo area. On Friday, December 18th, Rustenholtz along with Seelye met with Pastor William Stein, chairman of God’s Kitchen of Michigan, to discuss the situation and present a check to aid the local charity in feeding the homeless and other hungry individuals that depend on the local soup kitchen for a warm meal. Read more here (Source: WBCK). 

Gerald Jones Auto of Augusta, Georgia, donated $48,500 to the Salvation Army of Augusta. It was all part of their Christmas Car Challenge. The dealership donated $100 to the Center of Hope for every car sold from December 1st through the 24th. “It’s really heartwarming. Unfortunately, a lot of people today — especially with the pandemic — need the help and Augusta is famous for helping people. There’s a lot of charities in this area. They’re all good causes. This just happens to be one that strikes in my heart and — again — when you got hungry children, hungry people…this is something that we need to do,” said Andy Jones of Gerald Jones Auto. Read more here (Source: WJBF). 

Global Microchip Shortage Hits Honda, Nissan, German Automakers

Honda plans to reduce domestic output by 4,000 units in January, a slowdown mainly affecting the Fit small hatchback at Honda's Suzuka plant. According to Automotive News, the bottleneck might result in the loss of tens of thousands of units through March for Honda. The cause is a tight supplies of computer chips for cars. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler joined its German peer Volkswagen Group in announcing it’s affected by the industrywide supply bottleneck, without quantifying the impact. Nissan Motor Co. said it is adjusting production of Note hatchbacks. VW, the world’s biggest carmaker, announced last month that it would need to adjust first-quarter manufacturing plans around the globe because of the shortage. The amount of VW car output lost could be in the low six-digit range, according to people familiar with the matter. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).

AutoNation Continues Momentum in Pre-Owned Stores, Vehicle Acquisition Program

When it comes to its AutoNation USA standalone used-car stores, the nation’s largest auto retailer has “paid our tuition” and is embarking on a decade-long doctoral in pre-owned cars, so to speak, reports Auto Remarketing. As detailed in quarterly earnings released in October, AutoNation plans on building five more AutoNation USA stores in 2021, adding to its existing five stores. AutoNation aims to have 30 of these pre-owned stores by the end of 2023, 55 by the end of 2025 and more than100 by 2030. The five existing pilot locations for AutoNation USA have given the retailer a chance to strive to “have them perfected before we committed to a big rollout,” AutoNation chairman and chief executive officer Mike Jackson said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call in October. Read more here (Source: Auto Remarketing).  

Hyundai Says in Early Talks with Apple After Electric Vehicle Tie-Up Report

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Friday it was in early talks with Apple, after local media reported the firms were discussing an electric car and battery tie-up, sending Hyundai shares surging 25%. The report comes weeks after Reuters reported that Apple was moving forward with self-driving car technology and was aiming to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its own breakthrough battery technology as early as 2024. Earlier on Friday, Korea Economic Daily TV said the iPhone maker and Hyundai were in discussions to develop self-driving electric vehicles by 2027 and develop batteries at U.S. factories operated by either Hyundai or its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. An Apple-branded car could be a big challenge to electric vehicle (EV) market leader Tesla Inc. It remains unclear who would assemble such a car, but analysts have said they expect the company to rely on a manufacturing partner. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Businesses Brace for a Democratic Congress

Businesses are scrambling to assess the impact of Democrats winning control of the Senate, a development that took some by surprise and is expected to accelerate Biden administration policy changes and increased regulatory scrutiny of industries such as finance and oil. According to The Wall Street Journal, companies and trade groups are bracing for further government oversight after Democrats won both seats in Tuesday’s Georgia runoff election. While narrow control of the Senate makes it difficult for Democrats to pursue ambitious legislation, it puts the party in control of key committees and clears the way for President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees to head agencies that regulate a wide array of industries. The victories by Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff mean that each party will have 50 Senate seats at the start of Mr. Biden’s presidency, allowing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to break any tie. That will give Democrats control of both the Senate and the House, and elevate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) to Senate majority leader. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 

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