Sony-Honda Vehicles Might End Up with Competing Dealers

First Up 02/03/23

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. 

The Gettel Automotive Group donated $25,000 to the Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair program at Parrish Community High to develop and employ young, skilled, local students for jobs in the automotive service field. “We are extremely grateful for the large contribution Gettel Automotive has made to our automotive program,” said PCHS Principal Craig Little. “Their generosity and partnership will contribute to our program's goal of becoming one of the best in the state.” Specific Courses and Certifications offered through the program include Automotive Service Safety and Service Pollution Prevention; Engine Repair; Brakes; Electrical; Heating; A/C; Engine Performance; Suspension; and Steering, according to PCHS Automotive Teacher Sherman Ballard. “What I hope to achieve is to give students the confidence to safely use the tools and diagnostic equipment with a proper approach to repair,” Mr. Ballard said. Click here to view photos.


Sony-Honda Vehicles Might End Up with Competing Dealers

When Afeela, the new electric vehicle brand created by Honda Motor Co. and Sony Corp., starts delivering cars in 2026, it won't just consider Honda and Acura dealers to service them. In the U.S., the new EV venture may also look to brands outside the Honda and Acura dealer networks — including retailers from rival automakers, reports Automotive News. "Not only Honda dealers. There may be several opportunities," Yasuhide Mizuno, CEO of Sony Honda Mobility Inc., said about plans for Afeela's critical after-sales network. "It might be that is the best way for the customer," he said. Rethinking retail, even if it means disrupting relations with franchised dealers, exemplifies the nothing-is-sacred mindset of Sony Honda Mobility in its quest to reinvent the auto business. Super-powerful computer chips, extra-long leases, exporting from the U.S. to Japan, video game tie-ups — not to mention, the temerity to team two of Japan's most iconic brands from vastly different industries — all underscore the bold, experimental nature of the 50-50 joint venture. Even the oddly avant-garde brand name Afeela seems to test new sensibilities. Click here for the full story.

Auto Loan Amounts Grow for New, Used Vehicles Alike

Average monthly payments and the average amount financed were higher for both new and used vehicle loans in the fourth quarter of 2022 vs. a year ago. But the increase was at a slower pace than prior quarters, possibly an indication of better availability – that’s the relatively good news in the just-published Quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report from TransUnion. “The average amount barely moved,” says Satyan Merchant, senior vice president and head of TransUnion’s auto finance business. “That’s a good sign, coming from the inventory challenges we were facing.” The bad news is interest rates rose so much in 2022, a total of 4 percentage points in the Federal Funds rate, that the rise in monthly auto-loan payments in Q4 2022 vs. a year ago was out of proportion percentage-wise, considering the narrow rise in the amount financed. “It’s a function of the interest rate,” Merchant tells Wards. A high mix of models with high trim and equipment levels, especially light trucks, also contributes to increases in loan size and monthly payments, he says. In the continuing short-supply environment, dealer and manufacturer incentives also are low. Click here for the full story.

The Nation's EV Charging Network Is Due to Get a Significant Upgrade

In late 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed, creating the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) to support the creation of a nationwide fast-charging network. There’s much work to do, as a new study from the Great Plains Institute shows a need for more than 1,000 DC fast-charging (DCFC) stations to meet the program’s goals. Autoblog reports, the study looked at non-Tesla DCFC stations, of which there are 4,943 in the contiguous 48 states. Among them, only 509 stations meet the requirements laid out under the NEVI program. Though the study identifies a need for more charging stations, it notes the possibility that the 4,434 non-compliant chargers could be upgraded to meet requirements. It also identifies 42,212 Level 2 public chargers in the country but did not include them in the data because of their long charging times. The program set aside $5 billion and puts the buildout of the charging network in the states’ hands. States are expected to use NEVI money to build chargers along the designated corridors before moving on to other highways. Click here for the full story.

Driven: 2023 Genesis GV60 Performance AWD Will Silence the Naysayers

Sure, the Genesis GV60 may share its underpinnings with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 but it feels like a completely different car. In fact, it is one of the very best electric vehicles currently on sale. Most would agree that the Genesis brand has been on quite a roll in recent years. Just a couple of years after the company’s formation in late 2015, the Korean brand put the sports sedan establishment on notice with the superb G70 and has since followed it up with a raft of other impressive vehicles, including the current generation G80 and G90, as well as the GV70 SUV and GV80 SUV. Every current Genesis model is impressive but as Carscoops recently discovered, it is the GV60 that might just be the company’s very best. Underpinning the GV60 is Hyundai’s Electric-Global Module Platform which brings with it a flat floor and supports two powertrain configurations. Sitting at the base of the range is the GV60 AWD which features a 99 hp electric motor at the front axle and a 214 hp motor at the rear axle, resulting in a combined 314 hp and 446 lb-ft of torque. Click here for the full review.


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