Toyota's Bob Carter Talks About the Road Ahead on Day 3 of AIADA's 51st Virtual Annual Meeting

First Up 02/18/21

Toyota's Bob Carter Talks About the Road Ahead on Day 3 of AIADA's 51st Virtual Annual Meeting

Join AIADA for the third and final installment in a three-part series of videos celebrating AIADA’s leadership and looking ahead to challenges and opportunities AIADA dealers can expect in the year ahead.

The program wraps up today with Bob Carter, Vice President of Sales at Toyota Motor North America, who joins AIADA President and CEO Cody Lusk to discuss supply, technology, and how Toyota is continuing to prioritize products and growth in even the most tumultuous times. Click here to watch. 


Don’t forget to check out to watch the other installments in AIADA’s 51st Virtual Annual Meeting, featuring 2021 Chairman Steve Gates and 2020 Chairman Jason Courter. 

AIADA Names Ky. Auto Dealer Steve Gates as 2021 Chairman

The American International Automobile Dealers Association has named Richmond, Ky.-based auto dealer Steve Gates as its 2021 chairman. Gates, 69, was appointed to the position during the association's annual meeting Wednesday — held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. He succeeds Jason Courter, who is CEO of Honda Auto Center of Bellevue and Honda of Kirkland in Washington. AIADA’s board of directors also elected Mike Darrow as its vice chairman. Darrow is COO of the Russ Darrow Group, which sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Kia, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota across 15 locations in Wisconsin. "Becoming chairman of AIADA is by far the biggest honor I've ever received," Gates said in a statement. "I can promise you that day in and day out I will do everything I can for this industry and AIADA. I'm excited and ready to go." Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Texas Dealerships Close Doors Amid Days of Snow, Power Outages

Dealerships in Texas and other Southern states are grappling with closures and reduced operations amid rounds of hazardous winter weather that have crippled the region over the last three days, reports Automotive News. Sonic Automotive Inc., the nation's sixth-largest new-vehicle dealership group, has been forced to close all of its franchised dealerships and used-only EchoPark stores in Texas. Sonic President Jeff Dyke said the dealerships have been "basically closed" all week amid the weather, lack of power and water issues. Pete DeLongchamps, senior vice president at Houston-based Group 1 Automotive Inc., said most of the company's 54 stores in Texas are closed and will remain so until power comes back on. April Ancira, vice president of Ancira Automotive Group, which has several stores in and around San Antonio, said reopening keeps getting pushed back. "Unfortunately, as most of Texas has seen, it's not just snow or powder," Ancira said. "It's been freezing rain . . . making it dangerous for any employees to get to work." Read more here (Source: Automotive News).

Germany's Daimler Sees 2021 Pandemic Recovery Driving Sales, Profits

Daimler AG expects significant improvements in sales and operating profit in 2021 and will make up for lost production caused by a semiconductor chip shortage by the end of the year, the German carmaker said on Thursday. According to Reuters, the outlook sent shares in the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars up 2.5% in early trading. Bottlenecks causing a shortage of semiconductor chips will reduce its sales mostly in the first quarter, Daimler said. Much of the auto industry has struggled to maintain production levels because of the chip shortage. Chief Executive Ola Källenius said during a video conference that Daimler expects chip supply to improve in the second quarter. He said Daimler had made its sales expectations clear to its suppliers, but did not find out until Dec. 31 that it would face a shortage in the first quarter. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Hyundai's New Chairman Charts High-Tech Future – Without Apple, For Now

The Wall Street Journal reports that when Hyundai Motor Group’s new chairman Chung Eui-sun took over last fall, he outlined a bold road map for a future where flying vehicles and robots make up as much business as typical gas-guzzling cars. Mr. Chung’s quest to transform Hyundai, the world’s fourth-largest auto maker by sales, is both professional and personal. His father, who led Hyundai for two decades, became the first South Korean named to the Automotive Hall of Fame in Michigan. But to carve out his own legacy, the younger Mr. Chung aims to turn Hyundai into more than just a car maker—a challenge the whole auto industry faces. Even without a deal, the Hyundai-Apple discussions planted the flag for Mr. Chung’s future ambitions. Hyundai has earmarked at least $30 billion for future technology. The company has recently forged a joint venture with Aptiv PLC on autonomous vehicles, and gained controlling interest of U.S. robotics company Boston Dynamics. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 


Around the Web

Toyota Introduces Tacoma TRD Lift Kit [Autoblog]

AutoNation CEO: Range Anxiety No Longer much of a Problem for Most Electric Car Owners [CNBC

Automakers, Medical Device Firms Ask Biden for U.S. Chip Factory Subsidies [Reuters]

Maserati's 2021 Updates Calm Before New Model Storm [The Detroit Bureau]