April 20, 2021
National Auto Auction Association SmartBrief
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News & Trends
SES is the latest company pursuing better batteries for electric vehicles to get a major boost from an automaker. General Motors is leading a $139 million investment in the company's bid to develop lithium-metal batteries, following the path of Ford Motor and Volkswagen with their bets on separate EV battery pioneers.
Full Story: TechCrunch (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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BMW announced plans to build electric vehicles with solid-state batteries, joining other automakers such as Volkswagen and Toyota in backing the technology. "By the end of the decade we will have an automotive-grade solid state battery for use in our car series," said BMW's Frank Weber.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (4/19) 
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Maserati rolls out hybrid SUV
(Maserati Spa)
Stellantis' prestige unit Maserati has opted for a "mild hybrid" setup with a partly electric version of its Levante SUV. The Levante is said to be capable of speeds approaching 150 mph with its four-cylinder, 2-liter engine and 48 volts of electric assistance.
Full Story: Reuters (4/19) 
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Second-quarter auto sales are likely to double from Q2 2020 and that's one factor contributing to a semiconductor shortage expected to last for another year, according to AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. Jackson also attributes the crunch to the pandemic, which continues to afflict a "fragile and disrupted" supply chain with no resolution for microchips in sight for at least six months.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (4/20) 
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Business & Sales Operations
Salespeople must use their listening skills to better understand each prospect's point of view and avoid potentially costly misunderstandings, writes David Brock. "Listening cannot be driven by an agenda, but by learning from and understanding what others are trying to communicate," Brock writes.
Full Story: Partners in Excellence Blog (4/16) 
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The Small Business Administration has said it hopes to reopen the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal by the end of the week. The application website crashed immediately after it opened April 8.
Full Story: Variety (4/19) 
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Off the Block
Bidding starts at $100,000 for Eddie Van Halen's highly customized 1934 Ford sedan hot rod, which is selling complete with a signed Fender guitar. Under its hood, the Ford features braided stainless steel hoses and a Chevy 350 cubic inch V8 with B&M mini-blower, while the interior is all suede and leather designed by Ron Mangus.
Full Story: The Drive (4/18) 
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NAAA News
Kathy Hopkins has risen through the ranks from Account Coordinator at ADESA auction to sales leadership positions at KAR Global and TradeRev and then coming full circle to run the auction where she started her career at 20 years old. In this brief Q&A, learn more about Kathy's remarkable career.
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Auction Academy has found tremendous success in its virtual classroom training through COVID-19 and will continue offering virtual training and hybrid options, but looks forward to incorporating in-person sessions later this year. Auction Academy also announced registration for Class Group 7 is now open.
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Watch the recorded webinar, "The best Arb Is NO Arb," presented by Matt Arias, Assistant Vice President of Operations at America's Auto Auction.
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If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.
Walter Mondale,
politician, lawyer, 42nd vice president of the United States
1928-2021
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