The Best New Cars and SUVs for Young Drivers

First Up 10/08/20

Group 1 Expects Q3 Earnings Per Share to Triple

Group 1 Automotive Inc. expects its earnings per share to more than triple to between $6.25 and $6.65 in the third quarter, reports Automotive News. The company said in releasing preliminary results that the jump in earnings "represents a continuation of the solid profit performance" it experienced in May and June. The Houston-based dealership group said that new- and used-vehicle gross margins in the U.S. have more than offset lower sales volumes amid inventory constraints. The preliminary results are subject to change. Group 1 is scheduled to report full third-quarter earnings Oct. 29. Meanwhile, the company announced a $200 million share repurchase authorization. Group 1 said it also expects to reinstate a quarterly cash dividend after its board meeting in November, with the dividends payable in mid-December. Shares of Group 1 closed Wednesday's trading up 4.7 percent to $124.21. Group 1 ranks No. 4 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., with retail sales of 169,136 new vehicles in 2019. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Hyundai Green-Lights Development of a 'Walking Car' with 4 Dog-Like Legs

Rugged Jeeps and pickups can explore the great outdoors. But for those who want vehicles to travel further into unnavigable terrain, Hyundai is working on what it calls a “Transformer-class vehicle” right out of a science-fiction film. According to The Detroit News, the Korean automaker has formed an Ultimate Mobility Vehicles Studio in Silicon Valley to develop its so-called “walking car,” It's based on the Elevate concept vehicle that wowed visitors to the 2019 CES technology show in Las Vegas. Envisioned initially as a vehicle to assist first-responders to reach remote disaster zones, the walking car will also be explored by Hyundai’s team for its potential in consumer and industrial uses. The Elevate looks like a giant robotic dog featuring leg joints for articulation over extreme terrain. Wheel are attached to the feet so it can roll as well. Read more here (Source: The Detroit News). 

One of Ford's Biggest Design Challenges of the Future Has Nothing to Do with Cars

The era of massive highways and major commutes was a boon to car companies like Ford, but now the automakers find themselves in the unexpected position of designing a future of work that could work against that 20th century American approach to employment. CNBC reports that over the past few months, Ford surveyed over 30,000 of its workers about working remotely and their comfort level with it longer term. And the results suggest that if car commutes are not entirely out, they are going to see a substantial reduction. Seventy percent of Ford employees indicated they did not want to return to the office full-time, and preferred a hybrid approach. It falls to Jennifer Kolstad, global design director at Ford, to figure out how the new way of working is created for the 117-year-old company. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

The Best New Cars and SUVs for Young Drivers

Handing over the car keys to a son or daughter for the first time is certainly a life changing experience. To a parent, however, it’s a milestone that’s often fraught with fear and paranoia. Forbes reports that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has teamed up with Consumer Reports (CR) to compile a short list of 18 new cars and SUVs that are best for young motorists based on several criteria. Prices run in the $20,000-$30,000 range, but it could well be money well spent to help someone starting out in life pilot a ride that’s deemed safe and sound. “It can be tempting to buy a tiny, bare-bones model for a teenager,” says IIHS President David Harkey. “But we know that teenagers are among the riskiest drivers, so it’s important not to skimp on safety. Spending a bit more for state-of-the-art crash protection and crash avoidance features is a worthy investment in your child’s future.” Read more here (Source: Forbes). 

Volvo Small EV Will Be Key Part of Electric Push

Volvo Cars confirmed it will build a small electric car, which will be a crucial part of its effort to get half of its global sales from battery-powered vehicles by 2025, reports Automotive News. The model will use the recently revealed Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) that the Swedish automaker helped parent Zhejiang Geely Holding develop. Volvo is launching one electric car each year starting in 2020 with the XC40 Recharge. The automaker has not revealed the full cadence of those debuts, although CEO Hakan Samuelsson said last year the full-electric version of the new XC90 flagship crossover is slated to arrived in 2022. That leaves 2021 as a possibility for Volvo’s version of the small EV because Lynk & CO, a joint venture between Volvo and Geely Automotive, has said its SEA-based car, the production version of Zero Concept, will be launched next year. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Webinar Today: October Update on COVID-19's Impact on U.S. Auto Sales

Cox Automotive Senior Economist Charlie Chesbrough returns to AutoTalk for an update today, Thursday, October 8, at 2 p.m. EDT. 

Topics to be reviewed include:

  • Economic forecast and impact going into the fourth quarter

  • Consumer sentiment and buying behaviors

  • Stock market, interest rates, and employment

  • An outlook for vehicle sales

  • Current view of new and used retail sales and prices

Click here to register

Around the Web

2021 Honda Ridgeline Debuts, and It Finally Looks Like a Truck [Autoblog]

New Safety Features in Cars [NY Times]

Ocean Spray Gifts a Truck to Viral TikTok Star [USA Today]

Taycan Now Outselling 911, Boxster, and the Rest of Porsche's Sedan Lineup [The Detroit Bureau]