Each week TheDetroitBureau.com reports on the biggest news and events about new vehicles, mobility, technology, trends as well as offering our years of experience and insights in our car reviews. Then we put it all into our weekly the Headlight News podcast.
Despite being past the holiday weekend, gas prices in the U.S. keep rising as unrest around the world whether is the ongoing Ukraine conflict, global inflation, continuing shortages of semiconductors and other materials, ensure the oil markets remain volatile, reports Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Automakers are struggling to keep up with demand for new vehicles as the aforementioned semiconductor shortage continues and COVID outbreaks continue to flare up. Toyota’s U.S. sales chief Bob Carter told reporters the company’s dealers have about a two-day supply of new vehicles;
- May auto sales fell by double digits for most automakers, Ford being the most notable exception as is monthly sales fell just 4.5%. In addition to a good month for its pickups and SUVs, its electric vehicle sales were up 222% compared to the year ago period;
- Perhaps hoping to secure some of that same buzz about it’s best-selling EV, the Chevrolet Bolt, GM announced plans to cut the price by more than $5K on the Bolt EV and $6,300 for the EUV. The move makes the Bolt EV the most affordable all-electric model at just under $27K; and,
- Another GM brand, Buick, make waves showing off an all-electric concept, the Buick Wildcat — a sedan — by way of announcing the division was to be battery-electric only by the start of the next decade.
With a few notable exceptions, sales of new vehicles tumbled in May. Toyota, Honda, Subaru and others blamed the steep, double-digit decline in sales last month on a lack of inventory. Executives insist the thin inventories have hobbled carmakers since the chip shortages first appeared nearly two years ago — although consumer resistance to the big increase in prices for new vehicles is also starting to be a concern, notes Executive Editor Joseph Szczesny.
EIC Eisenstein returns to tell us about his time behind the wheel of the new Nissan Z driving through Hell … Hell, Michigan. The long wait was worth it. With a distinct styling that takes from the past and introduces the future, the Z was a hit wherever he drove it. Speaking of its history, Eisenstein quickly found out it retained its performance chops during his ride. Find out more about the hybrid at TheDetroitBureau.com.
Looking ahead to this week, Managing Editor Michael Strong notes Tesla CEO Elon Musk demanded all the company’s employees return to office instead of working from home, then said he’d need to get rid of 10% of the company’s workforce. We’ll see how that works out. Ford CEO Jim Farley teased the seventh generation Ford Mustang saying it will still be built in Michigan — and it’ll still be gas-powered.
Executive Editor Larry Printz walks us through this week in automotive history, starting in 1911, Ray Haroun wins the first Indy 500 averaging 74.6 mph in a Marmon Wasp — the first car fitted with a rearview mirror. In 1915, Packard introduces the twin-six Series 125, its first V-12-powered vehicle. In 1981 Corvette production begins at a new plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky — just the third plant every to build the longest-running nameplate in U.S. history.
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!