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.
The downward slide of gas prices runs abated, tumbling below $4 a gallon on average in some parts of the country. Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein noted an increase in supply as well as concerns about a recession suppressing demand are the primary drivers for the ongoing decline.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- Ford moved from rumblings about cutting as many as 8,000 jobs to laying out plans to accelerate its electric vehicle production run rate to 600,000 units by the end of next year and increasing that to 2 million units annually by the end of 2026. The company revealed several new signed agreements to ensure its supply chain was in order, including making certain it had 100% of the raw materials needed to meet the 2023 target and 70% of the 2026 target;
- The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker isn’t alone in its optimism. GM CEO Mary Barra once again said she expects her company will be outselling current market leader Tesla by the middle of this decade. Barra’s outlook is driven by the slew of new EVs, perhaps most importantly, affordable EVs the company will be introducing, such as the new Blazer EV that came last week and the Equinox EV expected later this summer;
- Additionally, Cadillac took the cover off its Celestiq sports car. The all-electric coupe features unique styling, plenty of range and the price tag to match — above $300K, according to officials; and,
- Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess lost his seemingly always tenuous grip on the job last week. He’ll be replaced Sept. 1 by current Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. Diess, who assumed the top job as the company’s diesel scandal took off, used the issue to pivot to a massive push in to EVs. It’s drive to make all-electric models, which require fewer workers, that may have finally cost him his job as the powerful German workers union pressed for Diess to slow or revise the strategy.
The Volkswagen Group’s move to name Scott Keogh, head of Volkswagen of America, the CEO of its new, all-electric Scout brand surprised many. More importantly, it was just the latest move showing the importance of electric vehicle sales success in the U.S., reports Executive Editor Joe Szczesny. VW’s not alone as Ford CEO Jim Farley restructured the automaker to ensure success of its EVs and GM Chief Mary Barra remains focused on its EV success, including pairing with Honda to help gain economies of scale to keep prices down.
With all the options in the pickup truck segment, Managing Editor Michael Strong feels like one model gets lost in the shuffle: the Honda Ridgeline. Before his weeks in Ridgeline Black Edition he’d never driven one before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After a week in the Ridgeline, his eagerness to drive it was rewarded with excellent performance, a great ride for a pickup and all the utility one should expect. Get more details about this “sinister” offering at TheDetroitBureau.com.
Strong continues by looking at the events we’ll be covering in the week ahead, including the UAW’s 38thConstitutional Convention in Detroit. The event will help union members nominate individuals for the organization’s top offices, including president and others. Additionally, General Motors and Ford will report their second quarter earnings results midweek.
Executive Editor Larry Printz takes us through this week in automotive history, starting with Cord Corp. Vice President Harold Ames in 1934 filing for a patent for the first retractable headlight. The light made its debut on the 1936 Cord 810, which offered plenty of other innovations as well, including being the first front-wheel drive car with an independent front suspension.
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!