The Intersection 9-10-23
|Buckle up for a big week|
We're heading into a big week for the auto industry — and a really big week for Automotive News.
We start the week off with a couple of exciting releases: One is entirely new and the other is a perennial favorite.
First the familiar: Automotive News readers will get to meet the 2023 class of Rising Stars. These are two dozen leaders and high achievers, age 45 or younger, working at automakers, suppliers and other non-retail entities in the automotive industry. (Young dealership folks are honored with the 40 Under 40 program.)
Also dropping is Driving to Zero, a limited-series podcast about the auto industry's efforts to reduce and even eliminate carbon emissions throughout the value chain and vehicle lifecycle. The first four episodes come out this week with four more to come. Jake Neher, our terrific coordinating producer for audio, led this project as reporter and host on top of his work on Daily Drive, the weekday news and interview podcast. It was my pleasure to help him. (I also wrote a column about why we did the series.)
On Tuesday, the industry's best and brightest will converge at Crain Communications headquarters for the Automotive News Congress. Speakers include General Motors President Mark Reuss, Ford Blue President Kumar Galhotra and Hyundai Motor Co. COO Jose Munoz. Plus several PACE Award finalists will be demonstrating their innovations, and we'll celebrate the 2023 Rising Stars. It should be a very cool reinvention of a longstanding industry tradition.
Then comes the Detroit auto show. Ford is going to show a freshened F-150 on Tuesday night — similar to how it revealed the Mustang last year, which was probably the highlight of the 2022 show. (Even better than the giant ducky!) The rest of the show is on Wednesday: Jeep, Cadillac and GMC have press conferences scheduled. The show will also include the Mobility Global Forum, with author Malcolm Gladwell headlining.
But the bigger draw may be half an hour to the northwest at The Battery Show in Novi with 800-some exhibits on EVs, hybrids, batteries and supporting technology.
Keep an eye on our live blog that covers all of the happenings at both shows and the Automotive News Congress.
You might think that would be enough, but no. The week wraps up with the expiration of UAW contracts with the Detroit 3, and the risk of an unprecented strike against all three automakers at once. Michael Martinez breaks down potential UAW strategies.
The companies and union leaders have been exchanging proposals, and while they're still far apart, the gap is less than it was a week ago. Maybe it won't come to a strike, or maybe it will be a short one. Or perhaps we'll see a protracted dispute that sends shockwaves throughout the industry, rocking a fragile supply base and skewing market shares in a retail environment still defined by historically tight supply.
— Jamie Butters, executive editor
“There are no good choices for consumers because pretty much all car companies are a privacy nightmare. People are not talking about this enough.”
— JEN CALTRIDER, PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR MOZILLA’S “*PRIVACY NOT INCLUDED” SURVEY THAT FOUND ALL 25 CAR BRANDS REVIEWED COLLECT MORE PERSONAL DATA THAN NECESSARY
Automotive News Editors' Picks:
“Anything is possible” as UAW-Detroit 3 talks enter critical phase: The UAW’s contract expires this week — Sept. 14 — and union President Shawn Fain’s combative rhetoric makes clear the union is ready to play hardball. What isn’t clear is where and how the battle will begin if a deal isn’t reached by then. Fain has declined to discuss strategy or even name a traditional target company. A simultaneous strike against the Detroit 3 — a move never attempted by the UAW in its 88-year history — is still a possibility. While that option could be financially disastrous for the automakers, it also would rapidly burn through the union’s $825 million strike fund. There are other options, including a legally risky bottleneck strike at specific production facilities, an also legally questionable supplier strike and an unfair labor practices strike. Automotive News looks at those scenarios as well as what a massive walkout of 150,000 workers could mean for the industry.
Mobileye takes spotlight on autonomous driving stage: Until recently, Mobileye was anything but a household name in the autonomous driving sector, which is dominated by giants such as Waymo and Cruise. But since its spinoff last October from chip giant Intel, the now-public Mobileye has been catapulted to the upper echelons of likely survivors in the complex landscape of autonomous and automated technology suppliers. Consulting firm Guidehouse Insights ranks Mobileye atop its 2023 list of automated driving technology developers, above Cruise, Waymo and Chinese developer Baidu. According to one analyst, the company has “a good business strategy, a big footprint and cost advantages” that position it to become the super-supplier for autonomous equipment. Automotive News looks at how Mobileye has navigated a road littered with failed companies in this highly competitive and costly technology race.
NHTSA says 52 million ARC Automotive airbag inflators are defective: The nation’s top auto safety regulator says it has determined 52 million airbag inflators made by ARC Automotive and Delphi are defective and should be recalled. ARC disputes the claim, and NHSTA will hold a public hearing Oct. 5 to allow ARC and other parties to present arguments.
VW will power into EV era with GTI small electric hatchback: Volkswagen brand will launch a performance version of its upcoming small battery-electric car using its GTI badge. The ID GTI concept harks back to the original Golf GTI that was revealed 48 years ago.
Finding a technician to fix an EV may take awhile: A global shortage of technicians and independent repair shops qualified to fix electric vehicles threatens to increase repair and warranty costs for drivers, potentially undermining upcoming deadlines to cut vehicle carbon emissions.
Sept. 11, 2018: Designer and racing pioneer Don Panoz died at 83. Had Panoz not responded to a dare, there would not have been the American Le Mans Series or the DeltaWing race car, which were among his many accomplishments. With roots in the pharmaceutical industry, Panoz did not particularly love racing or even cars. He was told that a front-engine car with an American V-8 motor would never again be competitive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and he took that as a dare, overseeing development of the GTR-1 in 1997, powered by a NASCAR-style Ford V-8.
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