Coronavirus COVID-19 Automotive News

Kia Telluriders Ride into to Help with PPE

In response to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers called “Telluriders” from Kia Motors’ U.S. headquarters delivered the first of the 95,000 face shields the company is donating to hospitals and medical facilities throughout Southern California to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. The shields were assembled at Kia’s manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia, and represent the latest element of “Kia’s Accelerate The Good” program. Previously, Kia donated $1 million to non-profit partners to help assist America’s homeless youth population, and also delivered N-95 face masks and gloves medical facilities throughout Orange County, California.

AutoNation Partners to Raise Funds & Awareness

AutoNation, Inc. AutoNation, America’s largest and most recognized automotive retailer, today announced that it will partner with the American Cancer Society to help raise funds and awareness for its COVID-19 Response Fund. Beginning May 5, AutoNation will offer its customers the opportunity to donate to the American Cancer Society via the credit card terminals in all 325 AutoNation locations from coast to coast, with 100% of all donations going directly to the fund.

According to Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer at AutoNation, “AutoNation’s DRV PNK Initiative has resonated profoundly with our Customers, our Associates and our communities alike. We have donated nearly $24 million to cancer research and treatment, and during these uncertain times, we are accelerating our efforts!” Mr. Cannon went on to say, “We recognize that cancer patients are now more vulnerable than ever, and we are turning our cancer-fighting efforts to supporting these patients.”

Under the best of circumstances, a cancer diagnosis can be frightening and devastating. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the American Cancer Society (ACS), with the help of partners like AutoNation, is committed to ensuring that critically important programs that support cancer patients will continue through the pandemic and beyond.

“The American Cancer Society is grateful for AutoNation and their work on behalf of cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and volunteers,” said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “As we navigate this time of COVID-19 and beyond, we look forward to a partnership that advances our shared vision of a world without cancer.”

COTA Opens for Test Drivers for Food Banking

On Sunday, May 10, for the first time ever, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) will open the track to support those in need on behalf of Central Texas Food Bank. COTA will collect donations and allow guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a drive on the world-famous 3.4-mile track. This will be a parade of unity, hope and fun for the Central Texas community. The event will be from noon to 5 p.m. CT and is open to the public.

Falling Vendors

-The Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics released its Q2 2020 Infotainment and Telematics update which includes commentary on the market implications of the COVID-19 crisis. On the back of a weak 2019, 2020 will see the opportunity for system vendors fall by 14%, before a strong rebound in 2021 (+12%).

“We expect some parts of the supply-chain to experience a slower return, due to over-supply in Q1 2020” said Richard Robinson – Director of the Automotive Infotainment & Telematics Service. “However we should not forget that suppliers were tooling up and shipping products well into Q1 based on pre-COVID-19 2020 vehicle production forecasts of 90 Million units,” continued Robinson.

Korea and China in particular have a head start in sorting out the supply-side of the equation, however the demand-side is much less certain.

“The reality is production closer to 77 Million units in 2020” said Roger Lanctot – Director of the Connected Mobility service at Strategy Analytics, “This new reality has required suppliers to put their feet firmly on the brakes as OEMs and their suppliers wind down inventory and navigate a path back to growth, which will clearly include aggressive incentives and government support in the form of cash-for-clunkers programs.

Guidehouse Guidance

A new report from Guidehouse Insights examines the potential impact of COVID-19 on the global automotive market, providing forecast analysis on overall vehicle sales, electric vehicle (EV) sales, and automated vehicle deployments.

COVID-19 has afflicted the global economy unlike anything in recent times. For the automotive sector, the impacts are expected to be far-reaching—and possibly greater than those of the 2007-2009 recession—as unemployment skyrockets and travel is restricted. According to a new report from Guidehouse Insights, COVID-19 is likely to not only lead to poor economic conditions for vehicle sales and innovation, but it will also create sustained impacts on trends in telecommuting and online retail that may increase consumer trends to abandon individual vehicle ownership.

“With cash tight, oil prices low, and governments looking to recover productive capacity, manufacturers and consumers will likely turn back to familiar vehicle options initially,” says Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “However, as the economy recovers, governments are likely to increase pressure on tailpipe regulations, improving conditions for EVs in the long-term.”

To position for long-term success, Guidehouse Insights recommends automakers increase investment in low and zero emissions technologies and plan for expanded regulations on emissions. Automakers will need to reconsider the investment balance between electrification and automated driving, while stakeholders should expect an increase in the need for commercial vehicles that support deliveries. Additionally, transit stakeholders must attempt to recover public trust.

The report, Assessing the Coronavirus Impact on Automotive Electrification and Drive Automation, discusses the potential impact of COVID-19 on the global automotive market, providing forecast analysis on overall vehicle sales, EV sales, and Level 4+ automated vehicle deployments. This report also updates Guidehouse Insights’ latest forecast model for vehicle sales with an eye toward factoring in the potential economic and social impacts of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. It also provides recommendations for automotive sector stakeholders.

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