Today’s New: A Summary
Auto Trader, Italy & Saudi Arabia, VW, Rivian, and Tesla.
5 Minutes of Fresh Perspective
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Auto Trader's Mystery Shopper Insights
- Key Findings: Friendly service and ease of transaction stand out among top dealerships.
- Email Leads: 20% of dealers failed to respond to initial emails, a missed opportunity considering their quality.
- Phone Calls: There is a slight improvement in phone interactions, but larger dealers struggle due to volume.
- Digital Presence: Smaller dealers excel in online engagement; however, 60% of top retailers had spelling errors in ads.
- Customer Reviews: Recent, authentic reviews are crucial; a mix of positive and negative responses can enhance credibility.
Takeaway: Treat everybody like a mystery shopper. It will improve ratings AND give your workplace a real Agatha Christie vibe.
Italy-Saudi Arabia Automotive Collaboration
- Joint Ventures: Italy and Saudi Arabia are discussing partnerships in the automotive, mining, and oil sectors.
- Strategic Ties: Under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy is bolstering relations with Gulf countries, impacting geopolitical and economic strategies.
- Industry Impact: These talks could lead to new opportunities in the global automotive industry, including technology sharing, market expansion, and diversified supply chains.
When we think about Italian cars, we think of Ferrari; when we think about Saudi cars, we think "Ferrari is the 'cheap' option." Chances are, whatever comes of these talks will never filter down to folks driving on average budgets.
Volkswagen's Cost-Cutting Measures
- Savings Program: Volkswagen is implementing a €10 billion savings plan, including staff reductions, to increase competitiveness.
- Challenges: High costs and low productivity are impacting the VW brand's competitiveness, especially in the electric car transition.
- Workforce Reduction Strategy: Reductions will focus on partial/early retirements, avoiding layoffs until 2029.
- Beyond Staff Cuts: The majority of savings will come from other efficiency measures; details are pending.
Remember when the Scout became a stand-alone brand, and many VW dealers found out with everybody else? That was weird and surely no indication of how VW will roll out future industry-impacting changes. Right?
Rivian Automotive Update
- Stock Performance: Rivian Automotive's stock underperformed last month, contrasting with gains in the broader automotive sector.
- Earnings Outlook: There are expectations of a reduced loss per share this year, but the stock remains rated as a 'Hold.'
- Revenue Growth: Significant year-over-year revenue growth is projected, indicating potential in the electric vehicle market.
- Market Valuation: Currently trading at a premium, suggesting high investor expectations.
Since Tesla is essentially an established brand now, Rivian is like the new poster child for America's relationship with EV startups. In this case, the poster "child" is actually a cat holding on to a branch, if you know what we mean.
Tesla's Union Dispute in Sweden
- Strikes Affecting Supply: Swedish union strikes, including a key Tesla supplier, disrupt Model Y component supply.
- Union Solidarity: Widespread union action across sectors, impacting Tesla's operations in Sweden.
- Lawsuits Filed: Tesla sues Swedish state and postal service to circumvent strike-related delays. The carmaker won an interim decision in court.
- Global Impact: Disruptions could affect Tesla's European operations, particularly its Berlin factory.
- Musk's Stance: CEO Elon Musk is critical of union actions, reflecting Tesla's anti-union stance.
Based on Elon's anti-union history, this may be the first time an automaker fires a whole country.