U.S. Could Ban Chinese Connected Vehicles or Impose Restrictions

First Up 05/09/24

U.S. Could Ban Chinese Connected Vehicles or Impose Restrictions

The U.S. could take "extreme action" and ban Chinese connected vehicles or impose restrictions on them, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday, in the first indication a ban could be on the table after a national security investigation. The Commerce Department is reviewing public comments that were due by April 30, Raimondo told Reuters, on a probe the Biden administration launched in February into whether Chinese vehicle imports pose national security risks. "We have to digest all the data and then figure out what action that we want to take," Raimondo said without detailing a timeline. "We could take extreme action, which is to say no Chinese connected vehicles in the United States or look for mitigation" including safeguards, guardrails, or other requirements. The White House said in February the Commerce probe was being opened because vehicles "collect large amounts of sensitive data on their drivers and passengers (and) regularly use their cameras and sensors to record detailed information on U.S. infrastructure." White House officials told reporters in February it was too early to say what action might be taken on connected Chinese vehicles. Click here for the full story.

Wholesale Used Vehicle Prices Dip in April as Retail Sales Cool

Wholesale used vehicle prices in April continued declines observed throughout the first quarter, with retail sales taking a hit as tax season drew to a close. Cox Automotive’s Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index (MUVVI) dropped to 198.4 last month, marking a 14 percent decrease from the previous year. Prices were 2.3 percent lower on a month-over-month basis, reports CBT News. Price declines were more visible in some segments than others. Luxury used vehicles showed the most resilience during the period, with only a 12.9 percent average price decrease. On the other hand, compact cars and electric models faced the heaviest declines, both losing around 18 percent of their prior-year values. Traditional used vehicles continued to depreciate at a slower pace than electric models. Excluding battery-powered cars, the average price decline was only 13.3 percent. On the retail front, vAuto data revealed a 4 percent decrease in retail used-vehicle sales compared to March, marking the end of tax season, although sales remained 9 percent higher on a year-over-year basis. The average retail listing price for used vehicles saw a 2 percent increase over the last four weeks, indicating resilience in dealership pricing strategies amidst market fluctuations. Click here for the full story.

Affordability to Affect New-Vehicle Purchases, Study Says

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Consumers say financial worries likely will affect their plans for buying or leasing a new vehicle in the near future, according to the Urban Science 2024 Dealer Transformation Index released Tuesday. The study, conducted by Detroit consultancy and technology provider Urban Science and Chicago market research firm the Harris Poll, is in its third year. The research was based off responses the firms collected in January and February, from 250 dealers and top-level executives at U.S. franchised dealerships and 3,005 U.S. consumers, reports Automotive News. Of car buyers surveyed, 55 percent said they are likely to change their vehicle purchase or lease plans due to economic concerns in the near future. Of dealers who responded, 86 percent said they expected that would happen. The top three changes consumers indicated they would make were: Looking at more budget-friendly vehicle options, changes in vehicle payment and selection strategy, and exploring alternative vehicle technologies such as hybrids or electric vehicles. Click here to learn more key findings from the survey.

Plug-In EVs, Traditional Hybrids Share Similar Slice of Retail Market in Different Areas, Urban Science Says

Plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles have about the same combined share of U.S. light-vehicle retail sales as conventional hybrids, but their distribution across the country varies dramatically, according to research firm Urban Science. Plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, with a combined 10.1 percent of the light-vehicle retail market, are most popular on the coasts and in major metro areas, according to Urban Science data. Large swaths of the country have almost no EV and plug-in hybrid share. But conventional hybrids, with 9.8 percent of the market, are sold more evenly nationwide. Hybrids have taken the limelight this year amid tepid EV interest. Some automakers have shifted their strategies to include more conventional and plug-in hybrid options or doubled down on existing hybrid plans. Hybrid sales cover the country, while most EV sales are limited to major cities and California. "It's largely a geographic story. It's a consumer convenience story," Tom Kondrat, global lead for advanced analytics at Urban Science, told Automotive News. Both conventional hybrids and plug-ins posted double-digit retail sales increases through April compared with a year earlier, according to Urban Science, while battery-electric retail sales rose by less than 3 percent. Click here for the full story.

2025 Toyota Camry Review: All-Hybrid Family Sedan Still a Winner

It may be tough to tell, but the 2025 Toyota Camry represents a new generation for the tried-and-true family sedan. It sure looks similar than the outgoing Camry and even rides on the same mechanical underpinnings, but rest assured, it has been worked over thoroughly from stem to stern. According to Autoblog, key updates include a new, next-generation hybrid powertrain that’s quieter and smoother in its operation. It’s also more powerful, compatible with all-wheel drive and the only way to get a 2025 Camry now. Oh, and it gets between 44 and 51 miles per gallon combined depending on trim level. As before, there are SE and LE trim level lines (and their more luxurious “X” variants) that provide customers with a choice of sporty and cushy driving manners. If “sporty” sounds good, know that the Camry SE is particularly better to drive, with a composed suspension, good steering, and great brake pedal feel. The interior gets the latest Toyota infotainment system along with clever storage up front and improved materials, including upholstered dash and door trim that differ by trim level. It all looks and feels premium. Not surprisingly, space remains excellent up front, in back and for your luggage. Click here for the full story.

 

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