Ford Motor and Volkswagen announced Friday that they will work together to develop autonomous and electrified vehicles, although both will remain "independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace," says Ford CEO Jim Hackett. The collaboration will be via the Pittsburgh-based startup Argo AI, which is testing autonomous cars in five US cities.
For a dealership to connect with customers, it needs to develop and focus on its "brand," writes Bill Wittenmeyer, who suggests telling stories in marketing pieces. "The focus of your message should not be on the deal; it should be on customer emotions," he writes.
Automotive News' Jackie Charniga looks at how making dealership employees licensed insurance agents could boost F&I sales while providing an improved customer experience. "Selling auto insurance at the dealership reduces the lag between purchasing a car and insuring it, improving customer satisfaction," she writes.
While a 3D-printed car was an "engineering marvel" at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Dustin Walsh writes that 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is becoming more accepted in automotive manufacturing. "The industry is expected to disrupt several manufacturing mainstays -- polymers, casting and traditional machining," he writes.
Artificial intelligence and the industrial internet of things can work in tandem to benefit manufacturers, Jorge Garcia writes. AI-based data analytics can make the IIoT more effective and better at making decisions.
During the past decade, the reality of millennials steering away from being car-buyers has reversed, due to low unemployment and a strong economy, according to J.D. Power's Maya Ivanova. Noting that SUVs have been popular with millennials, she writes that "millennials are the driving force behind the used-car market. Gen Y consumers are buying 1.5 times more used vehicles today than consumers of the same age did six years ago."
While Tesla is still the dominant name among electric vehicle manufacturers, Zachary Stutler looks at potential rival Vancouver-based Electra Meccanica. The fledgling company, co-founded in 2015 by Henry Reisner, has three vehicles listed on its website and the first, a three-wheeled, single passenger car called SOLO, is scheduled for mass production later this year.
Despite billions of dollars in investment, the markets for electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles have not grown according to the optimistic forecasts of a few years ago. In response, some automakers are looking to control costs by forming partnerships.