TheDetroitBureau.com covers the top stories occurring in the auto industry in the latest edition of the Headlight News podcast. The weekly roundup includes news, features, reviews and more.
Despite the heading into a long holiday weekend, Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein noted it was a busy week for automotive industry news. Here are some additional stories from last week, including:
- J.D. Power Analyst Tyson Jominy notes while the semiconductor shortage is easing, it doesn’t mean things are going to snap back to normal quickly. He suggests it will take all of 2022 for inventory levels to be replenished;
- EV sales continue to rise and the rate of new or updated electric vehicles is almost keeping pace. The latest debut was the Kia Niro’s EV at the South Korea Mobility Show. The new model can be purchased with a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric powertrain;
- Dodge plans to make big news in 2024, although it’s first electrified model will make its debut by the end of next year. It will be followed by its first all-electric muscle car in 2024 — a year that will mark the end of the vaunted and revered Hellcat engine;
- GMC announced the final EPA numbers for the new Hummer. It comes in with 329 miles of range on a full charge — down slightly from expectations — and production is slated to begin in a few weeks; and
- Gas prices appear to be waning a bit, after consecutive weeks where the U.S. average dropped. President Joe Biden hopes to keep the wave rolling by releasing 50 million barrels from the U.S. national strategic reserves.
The top story of the week, as reported by Executive Editor Joseph Szczesny, economists from the University of Michigan offered up an optimistic outlook for the industry for 2022. They predict the pace of light vehicle sales will rise to 13.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021 and climb all the way to 16.2 million units in the second quarter of 2022. The industry is expected to hit 17.3 million units in 2023.
What’s old is new again, sort of. Publisher Paul Eisenstein says the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee remains true to the original model that made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show two decades ago driving up the exterior steps of Cobo Hall and through a plate glass window ultimately “parking” on stage. The new model retains the rough-and-tumble Jeeps are known for, but it also features the high-tech and opulence found in utes produced by luxury makers — including its own Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
Managing Editor Strong notes the big stories we’ll see this week includes the reports of November auto sales by several automakers. They’re expected to be down compared to the year-ago results as dealers struggle to have popular vehicles in stock for would-be buyers. Additionally, the UAW’s vote to either keep its current system for selecting its top leaders in place or replace it with a one-person, one-vote model is expected to be tallied and the results revealed this week. A shift in voting procedures likely represents a shift in the power base in the union.
This week in 1919, Fox Motor Co. is established by Ansley Fox, creator of the Fox shotgun, in Philadelphia. However, the recession spooks investors and it folds in 1923 after building just 50 cars. The patent for the firsts snowmobile followed shortly after in 1927. The first design features a 2.5-horsepower Johnson outboard engine.
Find out more the industry’s history and more by listening to TheDetroitBureau’s latest edition of the Headlight News podcast by clicking here. And look for a new episode every Monday!