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.
The signs that the semiconductor chip shortage is waning was enough to help a lack of new vehicle inventory in November and sales fell as a result, notes Publisher Paul A. Eisenstein. Here are some additional stories from last week, including:
- Ford bucked the trend of declining sales in November with a 5.9% increase. Helping to lead the surge: electrified vehicles;
- Nissan revealed is Ambition 2030 plan, which includes an $18-billion investment in 23 new electrified vehicles, including 15 BEVs by end of the decade. The automaker also plans to launch production of solid-state batteries by 2024;
- Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis joined Nissan on the solid-state battery bandwagon, announcing plans to begin production mid-decade, looking to take advantage of faster charging and longer range;
- Lexus showed off two new vehicles this week, the RZ and ROV. Expect the former to show up as the brand’s first fully electric vehicle and the latter, which resembles and off-road racer and runs on hydrogen, to be little more than a design exercise; and
- Nissan joined in the fun with its Ariya-inspired one-seat racer and BMW followed suit with the xM hybrid concept that will actually go into production late next year.
Executive Editor Joseph Szczesny took note of Ford Motor Co.’s ability to swim against the sales tide in November with its growing line-up of electrified vehicles leading the charge with a 153.6% increase compared with year-ago results. It marked the third month in a row the company was the best seller in the U.S., which hasn’t happened since 1974.
Executive Editor Larry Printz says the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid is a mixed bag. The hybrid powertrain offers excellent fuel economy but can leave you wanting at certain times. Ultimately, if you’re going to buy a Sorento, the hybrid is the best choice when it comes to driving fun. On the inside, it offers plenty of room — as long as you’re sitting up front. Find out more on the podcast.
It’s best to call this “Executive Week,” says Managing Editor Strong. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares shed some light on the company’s software strategy for fully connected, clean, safe, personalized and affordable mobility. Mobility aimed at effortlessly integrating into everyday life — and making the company’s 14 brands look good in the process. GM CEO Mary Barra will follow on Thursday with a “fireside chat” with the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. She’ll likely talk about the company’s revised earnings forecast, the coming Silverado electric truck among many topics.
Printz returns to chronicle the week that was, starting with 1913 when Ford launches the first moving assembly line at its Highland Park assembly plant, revolutionizing the industry in the process. In 1965, one of the most influential books ever written about the industry, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” is published. It kills meager demand for the Chevrolet Corvair and makes Ralph Nader’s name synonymous with consumer safety.
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!