Toyota Executive Says Higher EV Demand Could Prompt U.S. Output

First Up 06/03/21

Toyota Executive Says Higher EV Demand Could Prompt U.S. Output

Toyota Motor Corp. may shift electric-vehicle production to the U.S. if demand continues to grow, a top executive said, the latest sign that the Japanese carmaker is joining peers in embracing the technology. Toyota would consider production at an existing or new factory in the U.S. in response to a sustained increase in American consumers’ appetite for battery-powered vehicles, Bob Carter, the company’s executive vice president for sales in the U.S., said in an interview with Bloomberg Wednesday. Some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for increased government subsidies to make it more affordable to buy battery-powered vehicles. They’re also seeking financial incentives for EVs that are made in the U.S. with unionized labor. Buyers of vehicles made by companies such as Toyota that operate nonunion plants and which import all-electric EVs would be excluded from accessing the full subsidies. Policies favoring certain automakers are misguided, Carter said, because they distort the market and become a distraction from the longer-term aim of eliminating carbon emissions. “When you start adding location of manufacturing or even who manufactures, you’re straying way off what the end game is,” he said. “The one that should pick the winners and losers is the consumer.” Read more here (Source: Bloomberg). 

Honda Hits Record; Toyota Rebounds, Warns of Low Supplies

Automakers that reported monthly results on Wednesday chalked up increases in the 40, 50, 60, and 70 percent range from pandemic-strapped totals a year earlier. And in another sign of the market's broad strength, among companies releasing sales Wednesday, only Subaru posted weaker results last month compared to May 2019. Among the big winners in May was Toyota Motor Corp. Its U.S. sales soared 47 percent last month as car sales nearly doubled. The advances came despite severe supply-chain disruptions that have sharply depleted the company's inventory heading into June. The company's volume last month was also 9 percent higher than May 2019. Honda Motor Co. set an all-time monthly record with May sales of 176,815, a rise of 46 percent. Deliveries rose 76 percent at Acura, and 43 percent at the Honda brand, which set a May volume record on record light-truck deliveries – 93,362 units – for any month. Some U.S. Honda dealers say they are selling key vehicles faster than the company's factories can replace them, and that some models, such as the Ridgeline pickup, are out of stock. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Connecticut Dealership Group Sues to Prevent Tesla From Opening Showroom and Service Center

A Connecticut dealership group is suing to stop a Tesla service center and showroom from going up in the region, reports Automotive News. Hoffman Auto Group — which is listed in two lawsuits as Jetobra Inc. — wants a Hartford Superior Court judge to overrule a decision by the municipality of East Hartford that would let the service center and showroom be built, according to a report from the Hartford Courant. The matter of Tesla operating in the state is contentious. The electric vehicle maker is pushing for changes to state laws that would allow it to sell vehicles directly to consumers. Hoffman says in two complaints that allowing a Tesla brick-and-mortar site goes against Connecticut state laws that prevent automakers from skipping franchised dealerships to sell directly to buyers. Hoffman said in a statement to the Hartford Courant that it was committed to defending "Connecticut's pro-consumer franchise system." Tesla's proposed part-showroom, part-service center would strip consumer protections from vehicle buyers, the dealership group said. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

BMW Says China Car Factories to Reach Carbon Neutrality This Year

German luxury automaker BMW said on Thursday its factories in China plan to reach carbon emissions neutrality by the end of this year, while its total carbon emissions in its Chinese production chain will fall 80% by 2030, reports Reuters. In China, the world's biggest car market, BMW is making vehicles with Brilliance China Automotive in the northeastern city of Shenyang. It is aiming for a quarter of its sales in China to be battery electric vehicles by 2025. BMW has previously said that by 2030 the average life cycle emissions of its vehicles will be cut by more than a third compared to cars made in 2019. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Tesla Recalls Hundreds of Model 3 Cars That Were Shipped to China 

Tesla is recalling more than 700 units of its Model 3 electric car that were imported into China, the central government’s market regulator said Thursday. According to CNBC, the announcement follows recalls of tens of thousands of Tesla vehicles in China and the U.S. in the last several months. Elon Musk’s automaker has also come under increased regulatory scrutiny in China in the last several months after a slew of negative consumer and media reports on brake failures and collisions. Thursday’s recall affects a total of 734 vehicles produced in 2019, the State Administration for Market Regulation said on its website, citing a recall plan that Tesla filed. The cars either have a seat belt issue that could increase the risk of passenger injury in the event of a collision, or a tire-related problem that could increase the risk of collision, the regulator said. Tesla will notify affected car owners, and conduct free inspections and repairs, the statement said. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

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