Nutson’s Auto News Weekly Wrap-up


AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO – January 9, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with able assistance from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel’s “take” on this past week’s automotive news, condensed into easy to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Full versions of today’s news nuggets along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a bold headline and then inserting into any Site Search Box.

Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending January 8, 2022; Below are the past week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as
expertly crafted easy-to-digest news nuggets.

* General Motors has been the top-selling automaker in the United States since 1931. Toyota now holds the No. 1 spot in the U.S. market for 2021, selling 2.3 million vehicles to GM’s 2.2 million. This is largely due to the supply chain issues that crippled GM production for much of the year. But it’s more than that, as Reuters points out. GM has been diminishing itself by choice. The company largely abandoned the compact car segment, and cut production of midsize Malibu sedans to favor trucks during the worst of the chip shortage. Result: Toyota sold more than 729,000 passenger cars in the United States during 2021. GM sold about 162,000 cars. Toyota’s lead in cars overcame its deficit to GM in U.S. truck sales.

* Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia all had sales declines in December. GM slid 43% in Q4. 2021 closed on a down note with total sales just over 15 million vehicles, up 3.4% from 2020, the year the pandemic took hold in the U.S.

* Tesla global sales is evidence of the rapidly rising acceptance of electric cars, especially in China. Tesla Inc. delivered 308,600 vehicles worldwide in the fourth quarter, smashing the previous record for the electric-car maker and setting a capstone on a year in which the company joined the exclusive $1 trillion market valuation club. The better-than-expected results pushed Tesla’s total sales for the year to more than 936,000, up about 87% over 2020’s deliveries of just under half a million vehicles.

* More than 2200 exhibitors were planning to be at CES 2022 this week. However, overall, the show got scaled down due to concerns over the Covid Omnicon variant. In the automotive space, General Motors, BMW, Stellantis and Mercedes all canceled their physical presence. Fisker, BrightDrop, and Blink Charging still were at the show. The Chevrolet Silverado EV, Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept and the 2023 BMW iX M60 were unveiled through online events during CES.

* At CES 2022, the Chrysler brand revealed the Chrysler Airflow Concept, giving a glimpse at the leading-edge drive-system technology, fully connected customer experiences and advanced mobility features, wrapped in inspiring, dynamic design, which will

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Are Automotive Part Retailers Recession-Proof?

Without a doubt, 2021 has been an interesting year in the market’s history, from supply chain and inflation issues to increased volatility and the coronavirus. However, one industry—automotive parts—has thrived. These three stocks of interest—AutoZone, Genuine Parts and O’Reilly Automotive—dominate the industry’s market share, consistently gaining more from the small players thanks to the economies of scale they enjoy. Another major reason these stocks have had healthy returns lies with the state of the automotive industry. With new and used car prices increasing, consumers are keeping their vehicles on the road for much longer than before, creating an optimal environment for car part stocks.

According to the Auto Care Association, the U.S. automotive aftermarket was estimated to be a $297 billion industry in 2019 (latest available). The industry breakdown was $207 billion do-it-for-me (DIFM) customers, $58 billion do-it-yourself (DIY) customers and $32 billion tire sales. The industry is highly fragmented and driven by the following factors: the number and age of automotive vehicles in use; the number of miles driven per vehicle annually; the number of licensed drivers; the percentage of total light vehicle fleets represented by light duty vehicles, which generate higher average aftermarket product purchases versus purchases generated by cars; and the existence of $69 billion per year of unperformed and underperformed maintenance by U.S. vehicle owners, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

The coronavirus pandemic negatively impacted sales and perpetuated shortages, making 2021 a year for recovery across the industry. Sales volumes sharply recovered in China, Europe and the U.S. (which account for over 70% of global vehicle sales). While it is estimated U.S. light vehicle sales will rebound significantly, it is expected to fall below pre-pandemic levels. Sales would be stronger if not for the record low inventory levels and parts shortages that have plagued the market throughout 2021. In 2020, U.S. light vehicles posted a total of 14.45 million units, which is the weakest total seen since 2012. Semiconductor shortages as well as rising labor and raw materials costs are major concerns.

One major secular trend over the last several years has been the increasing popularity of light duty vehicles, a category encompassing pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers. As previously mentioned, these vehicles generate higher average aftermarket product purchases versus passenger cars (such as sedans and compact vehicles), which have waned in popularity. Light duty vehicles accounted for 76.4% of total new vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2020, a percentage that was up from only 51.2% in 2010, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.

On a positive note, rebounding gross domestic product (GDP), consumer stimulus, recovering unemployment and low interest rates should support sales volumes. Margins should benefit from record high price realizations and the significant cost cuts implemented in 2020.

Due to these factors, the automotive part retailers have benefited from strong repair and maintenance demand. The average U.S. vehicle age, easily one of the most important drivers, has reached a record high of 12.1 years, and trends are

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Fugitive Carlos Ghosn predicts key shakeup in auto industry electrical power heart

Previous Nissan boss and intercontinental fugitive Carlos Ghosn predicts a main reordering of the power centre in the auto sector, he advised Axios in an unique interview.

Why it matters: Ghosn was when 1 of the automotive industry’s most effective leaders — among the the first important execs to make investments in electrical motor vehicles. His reviews now arrive for the duration of a key inflection stage in the sector’s changeover to EVs as providers struggle for positioning.

Driving the news: “I’m staying solicited a great deal by predominantly tiny and startup organizations which are attempting to create for by themselves a highway into this new industry,” he states.

  • The when-world-trotting citizen of Lebanon, Brazil and France spoke on Zoom from his residence in Beirut, holding his phone vertically and reclining on a sofa with a sprawling bookcase in the qualifications.

Ghosn tells Axios he’s not intrigued in top a big automotive enterprise anymore, even if his expenses vanish, expressing he no extended has the motivation to do so. But he’s happy to seek advice from with organizations that make contact with him about how to tackle electric vehicles and self-driving automobiles.

  • “I’m trying to assistance firms get rid of the past,” he says.
  • Ghosn had large praise for Tesla and Elon Musk, marveling at the corporation surpassing $1 trillion in current market capitalization. He states businesses like Tesla and Rivian are most effective positioned to win the EV race.

The significant image: Ghosn predicts common automakers like Nissan, GM and Ford will not be equipped to retain up with startups, which “don’t have the rigidity of head.”

  • He acknowledges that GM and Ford, in specific, have made progress with the introduction of electric powered pickups like the Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 Lightning. But he claims they are going to proceed to shrink.
  • “A large amount of companies are heading to be still left powering,” he says. “If you do not go 100% electrical, you are not likely to be component of this field any longer.”

Catch up fast: Japanese authorities and Nissan in late 2018 alleged that Ghosn underreported his compensation, a criminal offense in Japan. He’s denied any wrongdoing.

  • A yr later, Ghosn escaped residence arrest in an elaborate plot. He tucked himself within a musical products box to elude the law enforcement and airport safety, and flew by way of Turkey on his way to his boyhood Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan and hasn’t taken action against him. More than 50 % a dozen alleged accomplices have been later on arrested.

What’s subsequent: If he simply cannot get Japan to fall fees or if Interpol doesn’t withdraw its “red notice” trying to get his detainment, Ghosn may well commit the rest of his lifetime in Lebanon.

  • Ghosn tells Axios he’s nonetheless irate at what he termed Japan’s “hostage justice program,” presented its 99.3% conviction price. He maintains his innocence and the innocence of fellow former Nissan govt Greg Kelly, who is
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