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Automotive weekly roundup: Ford pledges $2 million for technician scholarships, GM

Earlier this week: Ford addressed the ongoing technician shortage by partnering with dealers to provide $2 million in scholarships through the Ford Auto Tech Scholarship program. Meanwhile, General Motors launched ‘SDVerse,’ a digital marketplace aimed at enhancing the efficiency and transparency of automotive software transactions. In the competitive EV market, BMW enticed customers of rival brands with a $1,000 discount on select models through its “2024 BEV Conquest Program.” Additionally, a national survey revealed a significant preference among American drivers for self-charging hybrids over plug-in electric vehicles, with 83% favoring the former. Here’s a closer look at these top stories and more headlines to stay on top of this week in automotive industry news.

Ford is partnering with dealers and a non-profit to award scholarships to 400 students attending technician training programs.1. Ford partners with dealers to award $2 million in grants to student technicians

Ford and its dealers are committing $2 million in scholarships to combat the automotive industry’s ongoing technician shortage in partnership with the TechForce Foundation. The Ford Auto Tech Scholarship will distribute 400 grants worth $5,000 each to students representing 292 education programs across 20 states. This year’s funds are expected to have twice the impact they had last year, during which an investment of $1 million was used to assist 200 students. Read More

General Motors, Magna, and Wipro are partnering to launch an automotive software marketplace called SDVerse.2. General Motors prepares to launch ‘SDVerse’ automotive software marketplace

General Motors is partnering with auto supplier Magna and consultancy firm Wipro Limited to launch a virtual marketplace called SDVerse for buyers and sellers of automotive software. The new B2B platform will effectively serve as an automotive app store for automotive software developers to hock their wares to car manufacturers and other potential customers. General Motors claims SDVerse will overcome current inefficiencies in the shopping and implementation of embedded vehicle software while providing a transparent storefront that buyers and sellers can trust. Read More

Lawmakers, agencies, and the Biden Administration are looking to block a flood of Chinese electric vehicles from flowing into the U.S.
From left to right: Florida Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

3. U.S. tightens guard on auto industry as China’s EV surge

Federal officials are sounding the alarm on China’s rapidly growing electric vehicle market, sharing doubts that the domestic automotive industry is prepared for overseas competition and even expressing concerns over consumer privacy. Last week, the Biden Administration launched an investigation into the Chinese car industry focused on internet-connected and electric vehicles. According to the President, the purpose of the probe is to identify whether such cars could pose a threat to American drivers’ data and whether the U.S. automaker sector could handle a surge in overseas supply. “China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices,” stated Biden. “China’s policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security.” Read More

BMW is offering electric vehicle owners from other brands, including Tesla, a $1,000 discount on select models until April 1.
BMW i5 M60, Image Source: BMW

4. BMW courts competitors’ electric vehicle customers with $1,000 discount

BMW is offering electric vehicle customers from other brands a $1,000 discount if they purchase select models until April 1, 2024. For the next three weeks, the automaker’s new “2024 BEV Conquest Program,” available in Western states, will award buyers or lease-holders of any Tesla, Rivian, Polestar, Lucid, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi models who purchase an eligible BMW product with a $1,000 cash-back offer. The discount is also open to drivers of the Ford Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4, according to Cars Direct, who broke the story Monday, March 4. Only the BMW i4, i5, i7, and iX are available for regional promotion. Read More

Jerry's 2024 State of the American Driver Report presents key car ownership findings from a national survey of over 1,200 drivers.5. 83% of American drivers prefer self-charging hybrids over plug-in EVs, survey shows

Jerry’s 2024 State of the American Driver Report presents key findings from a national survey of over 1,200 drivers, offering insights on insurance trends, road safety, and auto loan patterns. Despite growing interest in environmental sustainability, EV appeal has slightly weakened. Only 41% expressed interest in purchasing or leasing an EV, down from 49% the previous year. Moreover, the preference for hybrids over plug-in EVs is evident, with 83% favoring hybrids that do not require plug-in charging. Read More

Toyota North America's executive vice president of sales, Jack Hollis, shares his views on electric vehicles and the hybrid market.6. Toyota EVP Jack Hollis on EVs, vehicle affordability, and inventory

On this special episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Jack Hollis, executive vice president of sales at Toyota North America and president of Toyota Motor Sales. Hollis has played an integral role within the automaker since 1992, helping steer the brand through the many headwinds experienced by the automotive industry over the last 32 years. Now, he shares his perspective on hybrids and electrification to give dealers a detailed, realistic view of the car market’s true future. Watch Here

Dave Foy joins Inside Automotive to discuss the latest trends in the fixed-ops sector, including the technician shortage and the impact of AI.7. Navigate technician shortages by deploying new fixed-ops technologies — Dave Foy | OEM Interactive

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Dave Foy, vice president of Fixed Operations Training at OEM Interactive. Foy brings nearly 40 years of auto-technician experience to the fixed-ops conversation and, through his position with OEM Interactive, has helped countless dealers run and scale successful service departments. Now, he shares his insights into the latest problems facing the repair and maintenance sector and the solutions to overcome them. Watch Here

Discover how AI and innovative strategies are transforming the fight against automotive fraud, ensuring secure transactions.8. How dealers can combat auto fraud with AI – Kanchana Sundaram | Experian

For years, the retail automotive sector has battled persistent fraud, impacting dealers and buyers alike. On the latest episode of CBT Now, Kanchana Sundaram, Experian’s Senior Director of Product and Innovation for Automotive, shares her extensive experience and introduces cutting-edge AI solutions to address and prevent these issues. Watch Here 

In the latest episode of Inside Automotive, Mark Cannon shares his insights on the current trends in the retail automotive industry.9. Marc Cannon explores the key drivers of change in the automotive industry

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Marc Cannon, former chief customer experience officer at AutoNation. Leveraging his experiences as a leading executive, Cannon shares his insights into the near-term future of the automotive industry and the challenges dealers and automakers are likely to see in the coming months. Watch Here

Andy Wright joins Inside Automotive to share the latest news on the Amazon-Hyundai partnership and what it means for dealers.10. Hyundai-Amazon update puts dealers at the heart of online sales — Andy Wright | Vinart Dealerships

Last year, Amazon and Hyundai announced a new partnership that would see the automaker’s vehicles sold on the e-commerce giant’s platform. The reveal left many dealers with questions about how the agreement would affect their businesses and the broader implications for the future of automotive retail. On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Andy Wright, managing partner at Vinart Dealerships and the incoming Chair of the Hyundai Dealer Advisory. Wright discusses the latest updates on the Amazon-Hyundai partnership and how the deal has evolved since its announcement in 2023. Watch Here

This article was originally published by a www.cbtnews.com . Read the Original article here. .

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