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.
Responding to widespread speculation Ford CEO Jim Farley said Wednesday the automaker has no intention of splitting up its conventional and battery-electric vehicle manufacturing operations. However, General Motors CEO Mary Barra took a very different position when asked if the largest of the Detroit automakers was planning to spin off its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise, where she said “not now.”
The Detroit CEOs espoused similar perspectives on a variety of issues, but did have a few points — like the idea of a spinoff — where they took different positions.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Electric vehicles are tracking to be less expensive than their gas-powered counterparts within the next five years, GM’s battery chief Tim Grewe told analysts and investors;
- Mercedes-Benz is seeking regulatory approval to introduce its new Drive Pilot technology into the U.S. market this year, and hopes to launch the system in China as well;
- Ford Motor Co.’s long-standing commitment to sustainability is bearing fruit as it recruits new employees and lines up financing for its push into electric vehicles;
- The EV segment saw a player return to the arena: Faraday Future. The company is preparing to begin production at its plant in Hanford, California with the first pre-production model rolling off the line there; and,
- Analysts at Cox Automotive, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive are all expecting February new vehicle sales to drop as much as 11 percent. Low inventory levels continue to hamper an industry that could be cooking.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and the sanctions imposed in response – threaten to create serious problems, not only for automakers operating within those two countries, but those in other parts of Europe, Asia and the Americas. TheDetroitBureau offers the latest updates on what’s happening and how it’s impacting the industry.
Editor-in-Chief Eisenstein enjoyed a week in the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Obsidian and came to one big question: What took Jeep so long to make it? Less-than-stellar fuel economy aside, the Grand Wagoneer is a joy to drive, behaving like a much smaller vehicle, which comes in handy in emergency maneuvers. Plus the acres of leather and high-definitions screens make for an amazing place to be.
This week brings us the future, then the past, starting with Stellantis revealing its long-term strategy for the company on Tuesday. After hearing about the future of Stellantis on Tuesday, several of its competitors will tell us how many vehicles they sold in February. Analysts predict an 11 percent drop compared to February 2021 as dealers lot remain light on inventory. We’ll complete our Black History Month series with a story about former GM Design Chief Ed Welburn — the industry’s first Black design boss.
Executive Editor Printz returns to tell about the birth of Sakichi Toyoda this week in 1867 — yes, that Toyota. The profits from the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, created the automaker we know today. However, he died before he saw the first Toyota, the 1936 Model AA roll off the assembly line.
Executive Editor Larry Printz tells us this week in automotive history is a sad one. For this week in 1958, the Packard brand is terminated by the Studebaker-Packard Corp.’s board of directors without an official vote.
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!