Giving Customers an Offer in Hours. Paying them in a day. Leaving Them Free To Move On.
By Bill Bishop, Senior Vice President, FLD
Earlier this year, many of us who follow the wholesale used truck market were cautiously optimistic that 2020 would finally be the breakout year the industry has been looking for. In fact, I said as much – with a caveat for Covid – in FLD’s first quarter White Metal Market Report, a comprehensive market update we send to clients.
My how quickly things have changed.
In a few short months, the world has turned upside down, and companies everywhere are scrambling to survive in a challenging new world.
BMW has detailed an overhaul to the digital systems that power its luxury vehicles, including a new map and navigation system, a revamped digital assistant, a “digital key” and wireless Android Auto.
All cars equipped with its newest “Operating System 7” software will soon receive an update that makes it possible for the company to tinker with all sorts of functions in the car, like access to heated seats and driving assist features like automatic high beams or adaptive cruise control.
The most interesting thing BMW shared about the changes is that the company is going all-in on in-car microtransactions. The company unsurprisingly plans to use this ability to make money. An owner can, at some point, pay to access certain features that they didn’t initially buy with the car.
Read the article at The Verge.
TuSimple, a self-driving startup with operations in the U.S. and China, is opening what it calls the world’s first “Autonomous Freight Network,” a highway corridor stretching over 1,100 miles from Phoenix to Houston for its robot trucks to haul loads in a technology partnership with UPS, U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing and Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B-backed McLane.
The project involves the San Diego-based company’s fleet of 40 self-driving semis (with human safety drivers in the cab), new proprietary software for TuSimple and its customers to monitor their on-road performance and location data, high-definition digital route maps and freight terminals at strategic locations.
If all goes as planned, TuSimple will expand the network from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, along U.S. Interstate-10 by 2022 and then start operating Level-4 self-driving truck services across the U.S. by 2023.
Read the article at Forbes.
The Detroit Bureau
The auto industry has taken a hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic, sales plunging to recession levels, production disrupted and as many as a third of the products originally scheduled to debut this year pushed back, some into 2021.
Despite the disruption, General Motors intends to stay on track with an aggressive program scheduled to bring 20 battery-electric vehicles to market by 2023, including not only the Cadillac Lyriq but also the GMC Hummer pickup and a broad range of SUVs.
“The company has made this program a key priority,” said GM’s battery chief Tim Grewe. “We have put safety procedures in place so we don’t experience delays” in the actual launch of upcoming BEVs. “I don’t see any reason why they should” fall behind schedule.
Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.
An Indiana Police Chief sees big savings fast
By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
Last week, I reported that a California consulting company claims that some 38 percent of the fleet vehicles across the U.S. that it has studied would be cheaper to own and operate if they were fully electric or, to use the right nomenclature, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
More specifically, Yann Kulp, one of the founders of eiQ Mobility, said that if a fleet had a BEV in operation instead of a fossil-fueled sedan, it could enjoy a savings of a little more than $12,000 in total cost of ownership (TCO) over 10 years. He made that claim only days after a study by the U.S. Department of Energy said that consumers could save around $14,500 in fuel costs by driving a BEV for 15 years.
The problem as I see it is that fleets generally don’t hold vehicles that long, and that the cost of fuel is only one variable in TCO calculations. To eiQ Mobility’s credit, however, the figures Kulp cited did include every TCO factor, from eligible subsidies to acquisition, fuel and maintenance costs and residual value. But that still left the matter of the extra-long vehicle holding period unaddressed.
I learned more in the first few days than most leaders learn in the first few weeks or months. Specifically, I saw the high quality and dedication of CEI leaders, managers and employees while under tremendously intense circumstances.
By Janice Sutton, Editor in Chief
Editor’s Note: Terry Winslow was installed as president of CEI, which provides fleet collision management and safety services, just in time to be faced with the deepest health and economic crises to grip the U.S. and the world in many decades.
In this edited recent interview, the long-term veteran of the automotive industry and former president of store operations and customer experience for the Icahn Automotive Group, talks about how he and his new company have adapted and managed to keep customer service levels high.
As people assess how COVID-19 has impacted their career, community, and local economy, they should ask “What are the things I always wanted to do and am good at? What opportunities are there for someone with my background?”
Changes in the nature of work and the working world that are accelerated by technology and demographics will affect four specific groups of people at different stages in their careers: the young – just leaving college, midcareer workers, those who are close to retirement age and those who were always struggling to get by and whose job prospects now are slimmer than ever will be facing
People in all four groups can create better outcomes for themselves by making the most of the help that government may provide to encourage and enable reskilling and upskilling.
Read the article at strategy+business.