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.
President Joe Biden is pushing for a gas-tax holiday, which would cut the price at the pump by 18 cents, but it’s uncertain if Congress will go along. The bill passed the house without a single Republican voting in favor, and now moves to the Senate, reports Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- It could take the auto industry as long as two years to recover from the parts shortages it’s currently experiencing, claims AlixPartners, which added the industry will lose production of millions of vehicles and billions in revenue due to the problem. It’s bad news for consumers as well who will continue to see prices remain high as inventories remain low;
- GM announced plans to shut down its Factory Zero plant in Detroit to make updates to expand the number of electric vehicles the new plant produces. Currently, it builds the GMC Hummer EV pickup, but it will expand to include the SUV as well as the coming Chevy Silverado EV and more vehicles;
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk expects to produce more than 1 million vehicles globally this year, now that new plants in the U.S. and Europe are online. Musk notes, however, these facilities demand a lot of capital, calling them “gigantic money furnaces making a giant roaring sound like money on fire”;
- Toyota’s new all-electric vehicle, the bZ4X, has been on the market for less than a few months, but the company’s already recalling all of them to resolve a problem with their wheels potentially falling off. In all, about 2,700 vehicles are affected. Subaru, which developed the EV jointly with Toyota, issued a similar recall for its Solterra EV last week; and,
- Polestar became the latest EV startup to begin trading publicly through a SPAC. It’s opening bell price didn’t last long as it the company’s stock quickly went south as some think there is some fatigue with these types of deals.
The semiconductor shortage could continue for two more years, keeping prices high and inventory low. AlixPartners annual Global Market Outlook says the U.S. market’s pent-up demand for new vehicles has yet to be satisfied. This is due to population and household growth, high home values, and pandemic-induced shutdowns despite rising interest rates, higher gas prices and inflation, notes Executive Editor Joseph Szczesny.
Eisenstein returns to tell us about his off-road experience of the Bronco Raptor. He took the “most badass Bronco ever,” according to one Ford executive, out for the most difficult off-road experience ever. After a day in the Raptor, Eisenstein agreed. Find out more about the crossover at TheDetroitBureau.com.
This week is a busy one, says Managing Editor Michael Strong, with Hyundai’s top North American executive, Jose Munoz leading the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $50 million Safety Test and Investigation Laboratory just outside of Detroit. Tuesday allows Strong and Eisenstein to offer their driving impressions of the Cadillac Lyric and Ford Bronco Everglades edition. The week ends with automakers reporting sales result for June, which are likely to mimic every other month this year.
Executive Editor Larry Printz walks us through this week in automotive history, starting in 1934 the Reich Association of the German Automobile Industry commissions Ferdinand Porsche to design a Volkswagen subsidized by the state. Eventually, that effort produces perhaps the most famous car ever: the Beetle. In 1969, the 24 Hour of Le Mans comes to an end with the Ford GT-40 taking the top three spots, giving Henry Ford II the revenge he desired after Enzo Ferrari snubbed his offer to buy the company just a few years earlier.
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!