Each week TheDetroitBureau.com reports on the biggest news and events happening in the auto industry and relays those stories in its weekly the Headlight News podcast. The roundup includes news, features, reviews and more.
The Russian invasion into Ukraine is helping drive gas prices past $4 a gallon on average across the U.S. while also driving up costs on a variety of raw materials. All of these increases has Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares warning that new vehicles are going to be out of price range for middle-class buyers very soon.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Sony announced plans to get into the auto business earlier this year. Now the electronic giant is teaming up with Honda to make it happen;
- Hyundai and Kia revealed plans introduce a slew of new electric models by 2030, including two battery electric pickups;
- With COVID cases starting to drop across the country, automakers have begun lifting mask mandates at plants across the U.S.; and,
- The saga of the Felicity Ace and the nearly 4,000 vehicles on board came to an unexpected end.
The industry’s shift to electric vehicles got supercharged last week as Ford and Stellantis outlined plans aimed at accelerating EV development — though they’re taking decidedly different directions, says Executive Editor Joe Szczesny. In this week’s Top Story, Ford CEO Jim Farley and the aforementioned Stellantis chief Tavares tip their hands on their near-term futures: sell more EVs and bolster their commercial vehicle divisions — using very different methods.
Managing Editor Michael Strong noted that Honda’s covered its bases with the new-gen Civic. There’s a fast one, a hatchback, one with a big spoiler and the Honda Sport he drove for a week. Bigger isn’t always better and few vehicles embody that notion better than the Civic. Check out the review.
Turning to this week, Strong notes the big stories TheDetroitBureau will be covering, starting with the return of Spanish luxury performance car maker, Hispano Suiza. It’s back with an all-electric model, the Carmen, and we spoke with top executives to get details. GM’s likely to offer an update similar to those given last week by Ford and Stellantis and if they do, we’ll have the story — and plenty more.
Executive Editor Larry Printz walks us back to 1958 for this week in automotive history where Fuji Heavy Industries launches a new car in Japan: the Subaru 360. Underpowered, but cheap, it aims to take on the VW Beetle in the U.S. — and fails. However, it eventually leads to more popular cars like the Outback and WRX. Find out more in this week’s podcast.
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!