Stronger Together: Meet AIADA's 2021 Chairman, Steve Gates, on Day Two of AIADA's 51st Virtual Annual Meeting

First Up 02/17/21

Stronger Together: Meet AIADA's 2021 Chairman, Steve Gates, on Day Two of AIADA's 51st Virtual Annual Meeting

Today, join AIADA for the second in a three-part series of videos celebrating AIADA’s leadership and looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities AIADA dealers can expect in 2021.

On day two, AIADA President & CEO Cody Lusk sits down with 2021 Chairman Steve Gates from Kentucky to discuss what lies ahead for our industry and our association as he takes the gavel as chairman this year. Gates lays out his goals for AIADA and gives dealers concrete suggestions on how they can get involved in making Washington, D.C., work for them. Click here to watch.


Winter Weather Forces Temporary Idling of U.S. Auto Plants

Widespread and severe winter weather in the U.S. has caused several automakers to press pause on production this week, reports Automotive News. First shifts at Toyota Motor Corp. manufacturing plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, and West Virginia were not running on Tuesday, according to Toyota spokeswoman Kelly Stefanich. First shifts at the company's Alabama plant were on a four-hour delayed start. Nissan had halted production at its three factories since Sunday night. Production is expected to resume Tuesday night, a Nissan spokeswoman said, adding that the situation is being monitored. Subaru canceled first-shift production at its plant in Lafayette, Ind. -- Subaru of Indiana Automotive. That's where the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback, Legacy midsize sedan, Outback midsize crossover and Ascent large crossover are manufactured. Read more here (Source: Automotive News).  

Google's New Dealer Guidebook to Help Dealerships Navigate Today's Digital Landscape

With the rise of ride-sharing, urbanization, and electric vehicles, few market sectors have seen more disruption in the past decade than the automotive industry. Add in the economic impact of COVID-19, and the entire industry is facing a steep learning curve. For instance, in 2018, just 1% of cars were sold online. In 2020, that figure rose to 10%. 

To help dealers navigate the current crisis, Google updated the Auto Dealer Guidebook, providing four key steps to help position your dealership for future success. These best practices and examples from a variety of dealerships will help you:

  1. Catch up on the latest trends impacting the automotive industry.

  2. Maintain your momentum by aligning your ad spend strategy to the audiences most likely to convert to a car sale.

  3. Grow your business by delivering the right message to the right auto shoppers.

  4. Prepare for the future by leaning into automation and online retailing.

Find the Auto Dealer Guidebook here. 

Nissan to Adjust Production Due to Limited Parts Supply After Quake

Nissan Motor Co Ltd will adjust production in Fukuoka prefecture this week due to disruptions in parts supplies after an earthquake hit northeastern Japan, reports Reuters. Hitachi Astemo, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd and Honda Motor Co Ltd, produces parts for car suspension systems at its plant in Fukushima prefecture which are used by automakers including Nissan and Toyota Motor Corp. Nissan shortened the operating time of two lines at its Fukuoka plant, which produces Serena minivans, from Tuesday night, and will halt production on Saturday, sources said. But a Nissan spokeswoman said the automaker was seeing no impact on production so far. Elsewhere, Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it will temporarily suspend production on 14 lines at nine group factories in Japan as some of its suppliers were affected by the quake. Toyota has halted production due to the shutdown of the Hitachi Astemo suspension plant, the Nikkei daily reported Wednesday. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

AutoNation Sees Stronger U.S. Car Sales Despite Chip Paucity 

AutoNation Inc., the country’s largest auto-dealer chain, expects U.S. sales of new cars and trucks to hit 16 million vehicles this year, rebounding on a pandemic-fueled increase in demand for personal transportation, reports Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer Mike Jackson is predicting growth despite disruptions to vehicle production caused by a global semidconductor shortage and lingering inventory issues from pandemic-related shutdowns last year. He expects the seasonally-adjusted rate of U.S. new-car sales to grow 7% this year, up from 14.5 million vehicles in 2020, which was the lowest since 2012. “The demand is higher than that, but I think it’ll be constrained by production,” Jackson said in a phone interview. “The situation is very opaque, no one knows exactly how this is going to unfold, production is definitely unpredictable.” Read more here (Source: Bloomberg). 

Mitsubishi Retools Core Outlander for 2022

The fourth generation of Mitsubishi's Outlander crossover features a major redesign inside and out, keeping some of the striking exterior styling cues from the Engelberg Tourer concept shown in 2019. According to Automotive News, the latest Outlander, which goes on sale in April, is built on a new platform with a more powerful standard engine and new interior technology, Mitsubishi said Tuesday during the vehicle's virtual launch. Pricing will start at $26,990 including shipping. That's only slightly higher than the 2020 version of the Outlander, which starts at $26,235, with shipping. Mitsubishi skipped the 2021 model year for the Outlander. "Based on the product concept 'I-Fu-Do-Do,' which means authentic and majestic in Japanese, the all-new Outlander has been crafted into a reliable SUV with significantly upgraded styling, road performance and a high-quality feel to satisfy the needs of customers," said Takao Kato, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. "With the launch of the all-new Outlander, we will first expand our sales in the North American market and then aim for global growth." Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

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Hyundai Reveals Ioniq 5 Interior Ahead of February 23 Reveal [Car and Driver]

First Details on Ferrari's V6 Hybrid Supercar [MotorAuthority

Best Car Covers in 2021 [RoadShow]

McLaren Artura is a Thoroughly New Hybrid Supercar with Familiar Looking Bodywork [Autoblog