Sales Chutes and Ladders, Gender Gap in EV Purchasing, GenZ Getting Their Hands Dirty

April 3, 2024
Q1 numbers are rolling in and the reports are mixed…go figure. This Wednesday we are also looking at some cultural broad strokes, including the stark gender gap in EV purchase behavior and GenZ returning to college-less skilled trades.
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Show Notes with links:

General Motors' sales dipped in Q1, contrasting with Toyota and Honda's robust gains, signaling shifting market dynamics.

  • General Motors' sales in the U.S. faced a downturn in Q1, with only the Buick brand showing an upward trend. GM cited lower fleet shipments as a reason for the decline, though retail volumes saw a 6% rise.
  • Toyota and Honda experienced significant sales growth, driven by strong demand for hybrids and an increasing inventory.
    • Toyota's sales leapt 22% in March, with substantial increases across car and light-truck categories.
    • Honda reported a 15% increase in volume at the Honda division, with car sales outpacing light-truck sales.
    • Both Toyota and Honda's first-quarter sales jumped by over 17%, marking a robust start to the year.
  • Inventory sits at 1.7M new vehicles, up 39% from 2023, while avg incentives per vehicle increased 67% YoY to $2800, according to JD Power.
  • New car avg prices are down to $44,186, with only 16% of vehicles in March selling over MSRP, down from 31% in March 2023.

Despite the growing appeal of electric vehicles (EVs), a noticeable gap exists in their adoption among women, driven by design and safety related concerns including range anxiety and designs for taller people. Kate Harrison, co-founder of MoveEV, is working to highlight the need for the industry to address these disparities and create more inclusive experiences.

  • Range anxiety, safety concerns at remote charging stations, and the high initial cost of EVs deter women, alongside a lack of awareness about EV benefits.
  • Initial designs like the 2017 Tesla Model S seemed tailored for taller individuals, posing comfort issues for women, unlike the more accommodating 2024 Model Y.
  • Men comprise 67% of EV buyers, with only 34% of women considering an EV for their next vehicle, pointing towards a significant gender gap in EV adoption.
  • Harrison emphasizes the cost-saving and environmental benefits of EVs, urging for greater female participation to not miss out on these advantages.
  • Automakers and dealers have a chance to attract female buyers by addressing their unique considerations and enhancing the visibility of EVs' practical and environmental advantages.
  • "It’s a collective effort to get more women driving them, more women charging them, more women feeling comfortable with them." said Harrison

The allure of the skilled trades is capturing the interest of Gen Z, marking a pivotal shift from traditional college pathways as competitive salaries and the incorporation of technology are making trades like construction, welding, HVAC, and automotive increasingly attractive.

  • As college enrollments decline, vocational training programs see a 16% increase, with construction trades and HVAC programs gaining popularity.
  • The median pay for new hires in construction trades rose to $48,089 last year, outpacing the $39,520 earnings of professional services roles, showcasing the competitive earning potential in skilled trades.
  • Tanner Burgess, a 20-year-old welding program graduate, enjoys the physicality and sense of completion his job offers, anticipating a six-figure income within five years.
  • Initially hesitant, Tanner’s mom now celebrates his career choice in trades, highlighting his ambition and financial security: "He's already thinking, ‘I want to buy my first house by the time I’m 24. I don’t have any debt, I’m off to the races.’"
  • While nearly 80% of young respondents in a survey faced parental pressure to pursue college, the same group sees greater job security in the skilled trades amidst AI advancements.

Paul J Daly: 0:18

Good morning Wednesday, April 3, we're you know far away from April Fool's jokes. They kept trickling in yesterday but today we are talking about the ups and downs of last quarter sales, gender gap and Evie purchasing and Gen Z getting their hands dirty.

Kyle Mountsier: 0:32

I like to hear. Okay, real quick. Before we get into it. I know I found my favorite April Fool's joke this year is the best one. Okay. Mr. Beasts on Twitter, announces he will no longer be streaming or uploading videos on YouTube, to which Elon Musk replies, You shouldn't. It was great. The comments threads were just sublime. So that's a good one.

Paul J Daly: 1:01

It's a really good one. Everyone had their little thing. It's funny because you were trying to this moment, right. Yeah. Trying to figure out like what to do, what not to do, what to believe what not to believe. And you know, some of the people that did it great. Did it real great. Michael Cirillo

Unknown: 1:15

did it real great.

Paul J Daly: 1:17

So what what announcement do we have today? What are we talking about?

Kyle Mountsier: 1:20

But I look, all we got to talk about is the fact that the podcasts that we recorded with will get dere is live right now on every podcast platform, you can find it in our Auto Collabs podcast. So if you just search any podcast platform for Auto Collabs should come up be the most recent podcast, if you want to catch the video version of it, because there's a little bit more dynamics in the way that we engage with him in the room at 1pm. Eastern that's 12 Central. That's 10 Pacific on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and ex Twitter will be streaming that podcast. So check it out. You're not gonna want to miss it. So

Paul J Daly: 1:59

good. So good. I can't wait to go back and listen to it again. Because when you're in the conversation, sometimes you miss some of it. Yep. And it was great. He did not he did not fail to deliver. He will be with us live at asoto Con this year. And just you know 40 Some days from now we'll be in Baltimore may 15 through 16th Check out the whole speaker list, go to a soda You got you should really be there and come meet Will in person. After you watch the podcast you'll want to meet him even more. Alright, let's talk about some news today. Do it. Clear the throat General Motors sales dipped in q1 which is a contrast with what happened with Toyota and Honda who had robust gains, singling some shifting market dynamics, GM sales in the US faced the downturn with only Buick showing an upward

Kyle Mountsier: 2:43

trend. It's almost like

Paul J Daly: 2:47

having a little bit of a brand identity crisis but I love their new product. GM cited lower fleet shipments as a primary reason for the decline. Though retail volumes also saw 6% rise so fleet down and retail. Toyota and Honda had significant sales growth driven by strong demand for get this big surprise here hybrids know they're increasing inventory. Toyota sales were up 22% In March, with substantial increases across both car and light truck categories Honda at a 15% increase in volume at the Honda division with car sales, outpacing like Truck Sales inventory currently sitting at 1.7 million new vehicles up 39% from same time last year, incentives are up 67% year over year kind of funny how that were injured. I know isn't it just like just couple little buddy buddy trends it just go wherever the other one goes. According to JD Power average new car prices are down to 100 our other 45,044 186 With only 16% of vehicles in March selling over MSRP that's

Kyle Mountsier: 3:57

good news to me. I just think that's good for the industry because I think we're you know, we're

Unknown: 4:03

we're it's a tricky wicket as they say, super.

Kyle Mountsier: 4:08

You know, not much to comment on this except for the fact that Toyota and Honda leaning into hybrid seeing significant growth. And just the fact that watch out as new car inventories continue to increase, I bet you were going to watch that incentive matrix jump a little bit over 3000 back where it wasn't pretty super endemic times. So you're going to be looking at those things, changing maybe where people shop, right the prices of a new car, the incentives available, all of a sudden you start to see used car buyers come back into the market, potentially as new car buyers, especially as you're trying to cover up negative equity. So just something like hey, if you've had trouble getting people in inequity situations into new vehicles, might be worth a call around to them again, maybe there's an opportunity to get them in that car.

Paul J Daly: 4:59

They go They go well, here's one from emerging tech Bruce is a source of don't use a ton but great article talks about the gender gap and Evie purchasing despite the growth, the growing appeal of EVs and notice a big gap is existing in their adoption among women. This is driven primarily by safety and design related concern. It concerns including things like range anxiety, and initial design for EVs being, you know, really catering towards taller people. Kate Harrison, co founder of mu mu v, is working to highlight the need for the industry to address the disparities and create kind of a more inclusive experiences so that like, there is no gender gap. It's just a car everybody, range anxiety and safety concerns at remote charging stations are some of the highest concerns, which makes sense, right? People and in the article they talked about, like showing up at an Evie charger late at night to have it broken, and the feeling of like tons of anxiety there. What do I do next? Yep. Initial high costs are deterring women alongside a lack of awareness about the benefits of EVs, there's a lot of lack of awareness benefits more in women than among men. So also initial designs, like the original model S was designed for a taller person. However, the model Y is kind of making up for that and kind of catching up men comprise currently 67% of Evie buyers, only 34% Women at this point. So Harrison is emphasizing cost savings and environmental benefits of EVs saying like this is how we can get greater female participation by emphasizing these benefits, as well as continued education about the charging and the way in evey works generally. And so she says it's a collective effort to get more women driving them, more women, charging them, more women feeling comfortable with them.

Kyle Mountsier: 6:42

This is what I find interesting. We know a good amount of people, women communicating in the Eevee space, you know, this facility, Elena, you've got Kate here, talking through like, what this actual what the what the education needed to get more women comfortable with this purchase bath. I would also say that, you know, when you look at executives across the board in, in these EV manufacturers, you just don't see, you know, the gender gap closed, at least from what I've seen in comparison to a lot of the legacy manufacturers, at least at the executive level. So, I wonder if that, you know, I You always you always say like the whoever the whatever the leadership is, you know, the to the employee culture follows, right. And so you start to look at that as just like a simple way to for some of these even manufacturers to bring more executive, women into the executive channel, so that the communication is like, Where would that participation come from? Right. Make

Paul J Daly: 7:43

sense? When you look at Tesla, right? Obviously, when you think of Tesla, it just Tesla, SpaceX, right, it all is kind of like a very male dominated feel to it. I know, they've highlighted some women executives and women designers, engineers, you know, in the past, but for sure, like, there's there's got to be a softer side of Tesla. Right. And you feel like they did the great marketers, right, like they'd be able to pull it off really well. But yeah, that's a great point. The traditional Right, yeah, that is,

Kyle Mountsier: 8:11

the one that kind of shocked me was the like, Hey, this is just made for taller individuals. It's more comfortable for you.

Paul J Daly: 8:17

And I don't think that when I think of EVs, and they started the model last right, that is that is a sedan, but when you think of like a model three, or model Y out there, it shocked me a little bit, too. I mean, I don't know. Yeah, we'll see. I've you know, it's perception though, right. It could be perception about it. I think it's more of a safety. Well, obviously, with our federal labor ticket Telly feels about. I'm sure she's got some thoughts and feelings speaking about people with thoughts and feelings. Oh, good way. I love this story. So

Kyle Mountsier: 8:46

yeah, to peg them like that. Hey, so the allure of skilled trades is capturing the interest of the rising Gen Z marking a pivotal shift from traditional college pathways as competitive salaries and the incorporation of technology are making trades like construction welding, H fac and automotive increasingly more attractive as college and enrollments are actually declining in their their like growth trajectory. Vocational training programs are seeing a 16% increase with construction trades and a track programs gaining popularity. The other part of that is that the actual median pay for these hires Rose 48 to $48,000 last year, outpacing the $39,000 of professional services roles so people that most likely have graduated colleges are in office settings, showcasing the earning potential. You know, the article actually chronicled a 20 year old gentleman, Tanner Burgess who has recently graduated and nine month welding program and said, Hey, look over over a few years in this trajectory, like I can see a clear path to six figures. Yep, It's a clear growth trajectory. I know what the next steps are. And, you know, familiar automotive and makes a ton of sense. And Automotive is all in this, you know, like just the trade schools and the opportunity. You know, I was thinking about this, as I'm reading this article, I'm thinking, man, we've got a panel about hiring technicians at ASOTU CON Yep. Where the people on that panel are specifically targeting and engaging high schoolers, before they get into the decision on whether to go college or technical school. And perfect, like, obviously, these people are open to it. So that's a great opportunity to kind of learn what others are doing, to make to make sure that people are moving into the vocation of automotive technician. And the other pieces that we didn't mention here is there's a lot of fear around AI's impact on professional services, and less of an impact on trade services as job roles. So yeah, I mean

Paul J Daly: 11:07

that kids are smart man. This generation coming in, I have three Gen Z kids, right? One is 17. One is 15. One is 12. And they think a different way. This this young man that they featured in the article Tanner, his mom says he's already thinking I want to buy my first house by the time I'm 24 I don't have any debt. I'm off to the races, like talk about a dream scenario to start out, like at 24 and be making six figures. And it's good to hear homeownership being a goal of a young man. It just makes me so much about this. It feels so good to be a part of the auto industry, who I think is really embracing Gen Z across the board, not just in the trades, but on the sales floor, their love of technology, their their like intuitiveness their ability to talk with people and leverage technology. I'm, I'm optimistic pungency.

Kyle Mountsier: 11:58

Yeah me too. I'm on. I'm up on Gen Z. Let's go. All right.

Paul J Daly: 12:01

So whatever you're doing today, go find some Gen Z ers, invest in them, bring them into your organization, adopt them well, and of course, come meet some at ASOTU CON

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