Reinventing the Dealership in the Coming EV Era

First Up 09/16/22

Through our Dealers Do Good campaign, AIADA is recognizing dealers for the positive impact they have in the communities they serve. If you’re a dealer doing good, let us know here, tag us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, or join the conversation with the #DealersDoGood hashtag. 

After a two-year hiatus, the 2022 Bluefin Blowout presented a $505,000 check to the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire – bringing the total amount raised in its history to $1.3 million. A total of 67 boats competed in the 3-day Atlantic bluefin tuna tournament at Cape Ann’s Marina in Gloucester. The tournament was organized by presenting sponsor Lyon-Waugh Auto Group (LWAG). Owner and Managing Partner of LWAG, Warren Waugh, was a caregiver for his wife Liz for 11 years.  “It is amazing what a community can do with such a fun idea,” said Waugh. “You get some enthusiastic and competitive captains and crews together and create excitement. Everyone wants to be part of the Bluefin Blowout to raise lots of money for the Alzheimer's Association. Gloucester, our fishing crews, sponsors, and volunteers, together will help find a cure.” Click here to view photos.

Reinventing the Dealership in the Coming EV Era

A comprehensive study, EV Readiness Index 2022, reaffirms what dealers and vehicle manufacturers are facing: a significant shortfall in the U.S. between the need for electric vehicle charging availability and the number of states making any headway at all in public charging. The study by LeasePlan also notes there are promising initiatives to add to public charging stations, but they will take years to fully implement. Dealers, faced with reinventing themselves in the transition to an EV market, can take this as an opportunity to become the educational and supply source for charging options and for everything that supports a complete, top-notch EV customer experience. Another way to think about this: While dealers are reinventing themselves, their customers are doing the same. They need to be comfortable about moving to EVs and will like the convenience of their dealer helping them make accessory choices. Wards reports making a full line of accessories available gives dealers a valuable start in building their EV customer base. Portable chargers, for example, will help fill the gap in the public-charging shortfall and give customers more confidence in switching to EVs. Click here for the full story.

Lithium Prices Hit Record Highs as Global EV Sales Surge

The surge in prices of lithium, the key battery material used to power electric vehicles, is seemingly unstoppable. Lithium carbonate hit a fresh record of $71,315 a ton in China on Friday, reports Automotive News. Prices more than tripled in the past year, inflating the cost of batteries used in EVs, with recent gains driven by strong demand and disruptions at a domestic producing hub. Consumer support for new-energy vehicles has been gathering pace amid a global transition away from fossil fuels. The China Passenger Car Association has raised its forecast for sales of EVs to a record 6 million this year, double the total in 2021, while battery usage in the nation is also expected to almost double, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. “EV production and sales have held steady in recent months,” according to Rystad Energy, “This could lead to new power shortages and hit lithium operations,” it wrote, expecting prices to stay firm around this level through to the end of the year. Click here for the full story.

Major Automakers Drive into the Metaverse to Engage with Digital Car Buyers

The combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), known as the metaverse, has historically been just a figment of our imagination. However, the development of the metaverse is now advancing quickly and many industries – not just software/technology – are working to dive into it. This includes the automotive industry, which is looking to utilize the metaverse to engage with customers and collaborate with suppliers in a more immersive and efficient manner. MarketsandMarkets has released a new report indicating that the automotive metaverse market is “projected to grow from USD 1.9 billion in 2022 to USD 16.5 billion by 2030.” The growth could reportedly be due to various factors including the widening use of VR in showrooms, VR and AR technology being built into vehicles, and the increasing usage of NFTs and cryptocurrencies, reports CBT News. VR is already heavily used for existing digital showrooms, whereas AR is often utilized in vehicle advertising, manufacturing, inspection, and maintenance. Companies that are providing their metaverse expertise to the auto industry include gaming platform Roblox Corporation, software giant NVIDIA, and Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly known as Facebook). Click here to learn how automakers are tapping into this new technology.

BMW’s Boss Says Car Industry Needs to Focus More on Hydrogen Power

BMW chief executive Oliver Zipse doesn’t support calls to completely kill of the internal combustion engine and believes more should be done to further the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. While speaking at the recent Innovation Day conference in Erlangen, Germany, Zipse said that politicians should remain open to all new technologies and shouldn’t only focus on electric vehicles, reports Carscoops, “We think it’s wrong to switch off the combustion engine in Europe,” Zipse said. “The industry will look different in terms of scale and structure than it does today if it goes to just one technology.” He added that there will be “massive positive climate effects” if the industry had to improve its CO2 emissions by five per cent every year, noting that hydrogen technology is one way to do this. Whereas many of its rivals are going all-in on electric vehicles, BMW is remaining committed to developing internal combustion engines, hybrids, electric vehicles, and production cars powered by hydrogen. Zipse explained that one reason behind BMW’s multi-pronged approach is that in many countries, the expansion of electric charging networks will take too long to adequately meet climate protection targets. Click here for the full story.

Around the Web

Harman’s Ready Care Technology Can Tell When You’re Distracted or Stressed and React Accordingly [Carscoops]

Oregon to Spend $100 Million on Charging Stations in Hopes of Attracting EV Drivers [Washington Examiner]

2023 Lexus IS Unveiled with New Special Appearance Package [Carbuzz]

Queen Elizabeth II's Long Love Affair with Cars [Automotive News]