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.
Gas prices continued their slide through the weekend, getting down to an average of $4.50 a gallon, reports Editor-in-Chief Paul A. Eisenstein. However, the weekslong decline hasn’t prevented 25% of Americans from looking at buying an EV as their next vehicle, according to AAA, citing gas prices.
Some of the other stories you need to know about include:
- The newest all-electric model from Hyundai, the Ioniq 6, made its debut last week. Set to arrive in the U.S. early in 2023. Additionally, Hyundai also showed off two electric-powered sports concepts as well as the Ioniq 5 N, which will also hit the U.S. next year, although midyear is a more likely timeframe;
- Mini showed off its SE Convertible concept, although there are no current plans to build the limited range — less than 150 miles — ragtop, the company is accepting feedback on the new model, and if things go well, it could become a production vehicle by mid-decade, officials said;
- Additionally, Cadillac provided an extensive look at 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. Not to be left out, Ford gave more evidence that electric versions of either or both the Maverick and Ranger pickups are coming as it protected Lightning and Thunder names in the automotive space in the U.S. and Europe; and,
- General Motors autonomous driving subsidiary Cruise is now being examined by transportation authorities in California as receiving an anonymous letter claiming the technology being used isn’t ready for the roads. No moves have been made yet to shut down Cruise, but an investigation is underway.
Automakers believe consumers are willing to pay to have special services or features delivered to their vehicles — as much as $20 billion annually, according to some executives. In fact, some companies are putting that to the test. BMW is experimenting with requiring a monthly payment subscription to use the seat heaters and steering wheel heater in its vehicles. As automakers continue to look for new revenue streams, expect to see more of these types of “microtransactions,” reports Executive Editor Joe Szczesny.
Few brand carry the grandeur and gravitas of Rolls-Royce, notes EIC Eisenstein. However, there were plenty of skeptics when it added the Cullinan SUV to its line-up a decade ago. Now, more than 10 years later, the doubters have been proven wrong many times over. Sharing the same architecture as the eighth-generation Phantom, it retains that magic carpet-like ride on the road while offering plenty of luxury inside and enough off-road capability to call it an SUV. Find more at TheDetroitBureau.com.
Managing Editor Michael Strong says this week we’ll be getting updates about the industry from the executives themselves. Starting with Larry Dominque, the head of Alfa North America, and Vince Galante, the company’s global head of user experience, will talk with International Motor Press Association. That’ll be followed by Tesla releasing its Q2 earnings, and the investor and analyst call that follows led by CEO Elon Musk Wednesday.
Executive Editor Larry Printz takes us through this week in automotive history, starting with the arrival in Fiat in the U.S., but not in 2009 buying Chrysler Corp. out of bankruptcy, but instead 100 years earlier in 1909 when it builds its first plant outside of Italy in Poughkeepsie, New York.
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!