Toyoda Says His Successor Must Have 'Unshakable Conviction'

First Up 06/16/22

Toyoda Says His Successor Must Have 'Unshakable Conviction'

Toyota Motor Corp. is working to foster candidates capable of eventually taking the top job, President Akio Toyoda told shareholders at an annual meeting. The world’s No. 1 automaker is taking steps to find and develop potential successors, Toyoda, 6 said in response to a shareholder’s question. Anyone following in his footsteps must have “unshakable conviction on why Toyota exists” and a firm understanding of the company’s philosophy, Toyoda said, adding that his goal will be to “rejuvenate” management with the move. Automotive News reports Toyoda has sought to reform Toyota's corporate culture, spending more time with younger executives, and cutting back some senior positions. The brief question-and-answer moment shines light on a topic that’s been top of mind for some Toyota investors and analysts over the past few years: Who is in line to replace the automaker’s current president who, over the past 13 years, has captained its rise to record profit and pole position as Japan’s most valuable company. Toyoda, grandson of the founder, is the second-longest tenured head of a major automotive company. Click here for the full story.

Dealer Paul Sansone Jr. Puts a New Spin on Subprime Leasing for Added Revenue

Dealers continue to face limited inventory conditions and are looking for additional revenue channels within their stores. Today on CBT News’ Inside Automotive is Paul Sansone Jr., owner of Sansone Jr’s Auto Group, who has a new program for dealers called Dealer Controlled Leasing, a turnkey solution for subprime leasing. For many years Sansone Jr. has been trying to marry the concept of consumers improving their credit, needing a car, and then getting a car. He initially started with a rent-to-own program and has since developed Dealer Controlled Leasing, which installs dealer-owned subprime leasing companies into dealerships and allows them to be in control of their own subprime market. The subprime market represents anywhere from 20-25 percent of all consumers depending on the market. Dealers who are enjoying record profits might be hesitant to try something new with subprime leasing. However, these profits won’t last forever, so dealers need to explore other income opportunities now. Click here for the full story.

Polestar Teases Two New Models: Polestar 4 and 5

Aiming to become more than just a niche player in the emerging EV market, startup Polestar is rolling out an assortment of new products and is teasing two new models, the Polestar 4 and Polestar 5. Polestar shed a little more light on its future product plans, including offering a tease of the Polestar 4. That’s all the more impressive considering we got a first undisguised look at the next model in the brand’s cadence of rollouts, the Polestar 3, just last week. The Detroit Bureau reports with all the new models the automaker is rolling out, the Volvo spinoff is looking for a tenfold increase in sales. Buyers around the world purchased 29,000 Polestar products in 2021. It wants to boost that to 290,000 by 2025. As reported last week, the next model set to roll into showrooms will be the Polestar 3. The automaker describes that model as an “aerodynamic performance electric SUV,” and says it will begin production late this year as a 2023 model. Click here for the full story.

Georgia Wants to Be U.S. Hub for EVs — Batteries Included

One big advantage in assembling battery-electric vehicles near the factories where their battery packs are made is that the packs can be charged and checked — no duds —before loading them onto a truck or freight train and avoid having to recharge them at the assembly plant. This reduces the need for battery pack storage space in auto assembly plants that rely on just-in-time delivery. Autoweek reports much of North America’s nascent BEV production is in assembly plants converted, or partially converted, from traditional internal-combustion-powered vehicle production. New factories are a big prize for state governments willing to exchange free land and tax incentives for thousands of blue-collar jobs. It’s a bi-partisan win, with Republicans stereotypically applauding the new business and Democrats stereotypically applauding the green technology built in their home state. Last December Rivian (and last May Hyundai) announced plans to build brand-new electric-vehicle assembly plants in Georgia, which until now has just one auto assembly plant, manufacturing gas-powered Kias. Hyundai will spend $7 billion on an 8,500-employee assembly plant, and Rivian has just snagged $1.5 billion in incentives and land to build its $5 billion, 7,500-employee assembly plant in the state. Click here for the full story.

Ex-Salesman is Back at Dealership Smoking Ribs

Earnest Morgan now smokes Texas-style barbecue ribs in the Infiniti showroom where he used to sell Q50s. Morgan was the top salesman at Crest Infiniti and among the top 6 percent for the brand nationwide, before quitting to focus on the church he had founded and, eventually, a barbecue food truck. Automotive News reports Crest, in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, persuaded Morgan to come back — not as a salesman, but as its pitmaster. He and his wife, Cicely, turned the cafe by the service department into Earnest B's BBQ, a busy lunch spot. Even Texas Monthly, the state's unofficial barbecue bible, has taken notice of Morgan, a Mississippi native the Frisco Chamber of Commerce named Citizen of the Year in March. The magazine's barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, said he had been skeptical. But Morgan's ribs "would have been impressive even if I hadn't ordered them inside a car dealership," he wrote in a story published last week. "I went in expecting a gimmick but instead found ribs worth recommending, and more important, an incredible story of a barbecue evangelist trying to improve his new home," Vaughn wrote.  Click here for the full story.


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