Cutting to the Chase
Hyundai x Amazon, Waymo x California, Stellantis x Renault, and Krause x Sutherlin.
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Hyundai x Amazon
Hyundai dealers selling cars on Amazon's massive shopping platform are reporting some impressive early results from their pilot program.
- Tech Meets Auto — The pilot ropes in eighteen Hyundai dealers from big cities like LA, NYC, and Atlanta to offer a “smoother, faster, and transparent buying process” to Amazon's in-market employees. The goal of the pilot is to ultimately turn it into a broader program for consumers nationwide.
- First Impressions — Just a month in, Hyundai has already delivered its first car to an employee in Seattle who was, “extremely pleased with the way the process went.” Though we’re gonna have to treat that with a healthy dose of skepticism since, ya know, they work for Amazon.
- Strategic Oversight — Hyundai Motor North America CEO Jose Muñoz said he’s working with NADA and a subcommittee of the Hyundai dealer advisory board to identify potential obstacles and ensure future agreements are thoughtful and fair.
Waymo x California
As Waymo seeks to expand its robo-taxi service across California, it’s facing both labor and legislative headwinds that could throw some major kinks into its plans. Here's a snapshot of the obstacles ahead:
- Navigating New Rules — Proposed legislation by State Sen. Dave Cortese demands city-by-city approval for autonomous vehicle operations, potentially derailing Waymo's seamless statewide expansion plans.
- City Control Tightens — Incidents in San Francisco fuel a demand for direct city regulation of robotaxis, pushing Waymo to tailor its service to varying local safety standards.
- Labor's Response — Unions like the Teamsters have called for human-inclusive regulations, stressing the importance of balancing these types of technological advancements with job preservation, and likely adding more red tape to Waymo’s operations.
Stellantis x Renault
Stellantis has officially put the kibosh on merger rumors with Renault.
- Gossip Control — In response to swirling rumors, Stellantis Chairman John Elkann finally denied any merger plans with Renault.
- M&A Radar — Since Renault exited its second-biggest market in Russia and scaled back its global collaboration with Nissan, it's begun to look more and more like a prime target for a merge.
- The Scoreboard — Renault's shares have taken a nosedive, losing 40% of their value over five years. Meanwhile, Stellantis shares have rocketed by 75% in the same period.
Krause x Sutherlin
Krause Auto Group in Alpharetta, Georgia is making waves in the Sunshine State after scooping up three Florida dealerships from Sutherlin Automotive for a hefty sum north of $110M.
- Acquisition and Expenses — The acquisition includes Sutherlin Nissan of Cape Coral, Sutherlin Nissan of Fort Myers, and Sutherlin Genesis in Fort Myers. The Fort Myers Nissan dealership is believed to have commanded the highest price ever paid for a Nissan dealership.
- Home Sweet Home — Vernon Krause, the CEO and a Fort Myers native, adds a sentimental layer to the acquisition. He has big plans to revamp the Nissan dealership and relocate the Genesis store.
- That's All, Folks — In a LinkedIn post, Sutherlin Automotive CEO Brett Sutherlin said the group had finished selling dealerships and was "looking forward to growing in 2024 and beyond."