When purchasing a vehicle, your bill of sale may include a number of charges on top of the MSRP. The big one is the destination freight fee; the price varies wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model.
The destination freight fee for a small EV is $895 for 2020 models and an additional $100 for 2021 models. For a truck, the price increased from $1595 to $1695 for the newest model.
A study by Consumer Reports discovered that automakers raised destination fees by thirty percent between 2011 and 2020, which is two and a half times the average inflation rate. CR is advocating for new rules requiring automakers to include destination charges in advertised prices in print and online.
Read the article at The Drive.
Perhaps the most obvious impact of COVID-19 on the labor force is the dramatic increase in employees working remotely. Roughly three-quarters of people using digital channels for the first time during the pandemic say they will continue using them when things return to “normal."
Other kinds of virtual transactions such as telemedicine, online banking, and streaming entertainment have also taken off. These virtual practices may decline somewhat as economies reopen but are likely to continue well above levels seen before the pandemic. This shift to digital transactions has propelled growth in delivery, transportation, and warehouse jobs.
The largest negative impact of the pandemic is expected to fall on workers in food service and customer sales and service roles, as well as less-skilled office support roles. Jobs in warehousing and transportation may increase as a result of the growth in e-commerce and the delivery economy, but those increases are unlikely to offset the disruption of many low-wage jobs.
Read the article at McKinsey & Company.
Plenty of automakers have jumped on the EV bandwagon with their own EVs or a plug-ins, and self-recharging hybrids. So far, no major legacy automaker has put all its eggs in the EV basket. Whether because of looming regulatory targets or the increased public interest in electric cars, that seems to be changing.
This year, GM released the all-new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV and revised Bolt EV. GMC Hummer EV production starts this fall. BMW will show the first all-electric M badge car and Stellantis plans to launch 10 hybrid or electric models across its brands (including a plug-in Wrangler) by the end of 2021.
Jaguar Land Rover says it will begin testing a hydrogen fuel-cell prototype sometime in 2021 or early 2022. Mercedes plans to introduce 10 new EVs through its EQ brand by the end of the year, including the 2022 EQS. Ford intends to start production of an EV F-150 by the middle of 2022.
Read the article at Car and Driver.
By Art Liggio, CEO and President, Driving Dynamics
For anyone who has even spent a modest amount of time on the roadways this past year, it is quite evident that the frequency of drivers engaging in aggressive driving has increased substantially.
Hard facts clearly support this observation. New York City’s speed cameras, for instance, have been issuing about the same number of tickets since the COVID crisis began despite a 51 percent plunge in vehicles on the road. NHTSA recently released its preliminary 2020 crash report covering the first 9 months of the year.
While miles driven in 2020 went down dramatically, the number of traffic fatalities for this period was up 4.6 percent. Another way of looking at this is that the rate of fatalities per miles driven has jumped 18 percent. Sad, disheartening news for sure.
Mazda just topped Consumer Reports’ annual ranking of the most reliable automotive brands for the first time. Mazda’s North America sales grew last year despite the Covid pandemic, thanks to the popularity of its CX-9 seven-seat sport utility vehicle and CX-30 crossover.
To determine the rankings, Consumer Reports buys vehicles anonymously from dealerships for road testing. It conducts tests for braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety and fuel economy, and includes survey responses from Consumer Reports subscribers in its analysis.
BMW, Subaru, Porsche and Honda rounded out the top five spots on the Consumer Reports 2021 Brand Report Card. Alfa Romeo fell to the bottom of the list of 32 brands, behind Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Lincoln.
Read the article at CNBC.