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.
Automakers are still struggling with the semiconductor shortage as well as a dearth of other materials too, Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein reports, but it didn’t prevent Toyota from reporting a quarterly profit — but it did have the automaker cut 300,000 vehicles from its production run for fiscal year 2021.
- In addition, Stellantis is offering buyouts to thousands of older workers as it looks to thin out its ranks in advance of battery-electric vehicle production, which involves fewer parts and requires few people;
- Volkswagen recently warned the same issue could be mean the culling of 30,000 jobs as the company shifts from gas-powered vehicles to EVs. The announcement raised the ire of powerful German labor unions and had the company’s big shareholding Porsche and Piech families offer public support for VW CEO Herbert Diess;
- Toyota also offered details on its new bZ4X EV, including a 300-mile range;
- Rivian lost a bit of its shine when the company’s top sales and marketing executive, Laura Schwab, accused the company of tolerating gender discrimination. She wrote about her experience on Medium.com and filed a lawsuit. While her experience isn’t new, several automakers are seeking to make change in this arena;
- Audi gave us a look at the next generation of its flagship the A8, while VW provided shots of its new battery-electric crossover, the ID.5. They were joined by Hyundai’s tease of the Seven SUV and Acura offering a glimpse of the new Integra and showing off its high-performance MDX Type S; and
- The SEMA show gave automakers like Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Dodge and more a chance hype their aftermarket accessories to make their vehicles go faster or climb higher than when they’re picked up at the dealer.
Despite the continuing impact of the semi-conductor shortage, Ford Motor Co. demonstrated the potential of its rebuilt vehicle line last month, notes Executive Editor Joe Szczesny in this week’s top story.
Ford sales dropped 4% in October, which was a stronger performance than the vast majority of automakers. The company clearly appears to be on the other side of its big issues with the chip shortage. However, there are few other brands bucking the negative sales trend too.
While crossovers and sport-utilities are the biggest sellers these days, Managing Editor Michael Strong reminds that few things are as enjoyable as slipping behind the wheel of a well-tuned sports car. This week’s review is of the 2021 Lexus LC 500 coupe.
While Lexus may not be the first brand that comes to mind when talking about sports cars, that’s a mistake. The LC 500 check all the right sports car boxes: power, handling and style. It’s a Lexus so there’s plenty of technology to elevate the experience.
For the most part this week, it’s likely to be fairly quiet as the SEMA show is over, but the LA Auto Show hasn’t yet started. We’ll also bring you our driving impressions of the newest iteration of BMW’s 4 Series Grand Coupe, and perhaps some insights about Volkswagen’s U.S. line-up for the 2022 model year.
Executive Editor Larry Printz takes us back in time — to 1939 in fact, when Packard introduces the first air conditioner for a car in the new Packard 180 — it filled more than half the trunk and couldn’t be operated from inside the vehicle. Thanks goodness for progress! In 1966, Maserati introduces the Ghibli. Sleek, fast and powerful, it elevates the brand’s profile. The name is still in use today.
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!