Stronger Together: Join AIADA's 51st Annual Meeting Next Week

First Up 02/11/21

Stronger Together: Join AIADA's 51st Annual Meeting Next Week

Join AIADA virtually on February 16-18 for our 51st Annual Meeting, where we’ll take stock of where our industry stands today, and how we can become Stronger Together as we take on the challenges of 2021.

Keep an eye on your email inbox and FirstUp on Tuesday through Thursday of next week for daily installments of video messages from AIADA’s leadership, capped by an in-depth Q&A with Toyota's Bob Carter. Or, check out to find the entire lineup each day. Click here for a special message from AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk about what to expect. See you next week!


VW, Microsoft Partner to Develop Self-Driving Software

Volkswagen Group and Microsoft are expanding their cooperation involving the U.S. software giant's cloud technology to include speeding up development of automated driving, reports Automotive News. VW's new software division will build a cloud-based platform with Microsoft that will help simplify development processes and allow faster integration into its vehicle fleet, the automaker said Thursday in a statement. The partnership will make it much easier to deploy software updates to add new features to cars, a practice that helped to set Tesla apart from many rivals. The deal means that cars that are sold with a few driver-assistance features today could add new capabilities over time that bring them closer to autonomous driving, said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of cloud and artificial intelligence at Microsoft. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Toyota Adding Two All-Electric Vehicles in 2022 – But Says Hybrids, Plug-Ins Remain Part of the Solution

Toyota will introduce its first two long-range battery-electric vehicles for the U.S. market next year, the automaker announced today, as well as another plug-in hybrid model. According to The Detroit Bureau, with these and other models now in the pipeline, the Japanese automaker expects to see electrified vehicles – which also include conventional hybrids like the Prius – account for 40% of its U.S. sales volume by 2025, up from 16% last year. Unlike some key rivals, such as General Motors, Toyota believes the best solution to address climate change and reduce fossil fuel use comes with offering a mix of alternative powertrain technologies, including hybrids, plug-ins, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, and BEVs. “We want to be the Macy’s department store of powertrains,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America, said during a media web conference on Wednesday. Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau).

How COVID Led to a $60 Billion Chip Shortage for the Auto Industry

Automakers across the globe are expected to lose billions of dollars in earnings this year due to a shortage of semiconductor chips, a situation that’s expected to worsen as companies battle for supplies of the critical parts, reports CNBC. Consulting firm AlixPartners expects the shortage will cut $60.6 billion in revenue from the global automotive industry this year. That conservative estimate includes the entire supply chain — from dealers and automakers to large tier-1 suppliers and their smaller counterparts, according to Dan Hearsch, a managing director in the New York-based firm’s automotive and industrial practice. “All the way up and down the supply chain, everybody is out some portion of money,” he said. “This could be 10% of global demand this year, its impact, which craters the recovery. We don’t think we’re overstating this.” Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

Most Customers Prefer to Stay Home Until Pandemic Subsides

Dealerships adjusting to a digital environment expect the changes to last, even though consumers still want to come into dealerships. Eventually. For now, reports Automotive News, many customers remain wary of the coronavirus, and a study conducted by Lightico indicates that they'll be staying at home until a vaccine is widely available. Lightico is a software-as-a-service company that connects auto finance customers to lenders through a mobile portal. A January survey of 1,129 American consumers found 86 percent of respondents were concerned about entering a dealership or going to a bank during the pandemic. Vaccine access would make 39 percent of respondents likely to return to physical visits to a dealership, though nearly one-third said they would prefer completing as much of a vehicle purchase remotely as possible even after the pandemic abates. Click here to listen to AIADA’s recent Beltway Talk podcast with Podium’s Ross Tinkham on how dealers can connect with customers in a contactless world. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 


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