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Hot C A R Topics With Alan Amici


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From Alan Amici
President and CEO
Center for Automotive Research

EV tax credits were a significant item in the news this week as the Affordable Electric Vehicles for America Act was introduced in US Congress. There were also interesting developments in the robotaxi space as major players continued to deploy robotaxi services in US cities. Finally, we discuss the latest downward price trends in the used car market. 

If you missed the previous Hot Topics email, you can read it here.

We would love to hear from you and welcome your questions at any time. If you're interested in sharing your thoughts with us on hot topics, or if you would like to ask us a research question, please reach out to Sara Bozer.
 

Hot Topics of 11/14/2022

EV Tax Credits

My thoughts:

Should EV tax credits be extended to buyers of imports that have committed future investment in US-based EV assembly plants? If the goal of the IRA is to spur investment while accelerating the uptake of EVs, then the proposed Affordable Electric Vehicles for America Act makes sense. Consumers would benefit from a broad offering of EVs beginning in January 2023 that qualify for the tax credit while further US-based manufacturing is incentivized. EV sales will no doubt accelerate when tax credits are more broadly applied. And what about union jobs? The UAW is well informed of investment in the Southeastern US and is working to bring wage equity to a broader workforce.
 

Robotaxis

My thoughts:

The seductive pull of AV continues even as big players such as Ford and VW exit. AVs offer great promise – enhanced mobility, reduced crashes, fewer injuries, and less demand on first responders – but the technology has been challenging to harness. The question remains: "How safe is safe enough"? 

For the optimists among us, big players like Waymo and Cruise continue robotaxi development and are cautiously expanding deployment in certain cities. AV technology seems to have found a sweet spot in construction/agriculture applications. Other OEMs are tapping the brakes on robotaxi development and instead are focusing on enhancing ADAS systems – approaching Level 3 autonomy. Will AVs be limited to con/ag and delivery rather than passengers? Stay tuned.

 

Used Car Prices and Online Retailers

My thoughts:

Used car prices are falling…finally. Falling prices are great news for buyers but headwinds for online car retailers. It seems the risk associated with retailers purchasing a car sight unseen is higher than expected as profit margins have slimmed. Does this mean the end of easily accessible online retailers? I don't think so. The convenience of buying or selling a used car – transportation, documentation, cash transfer – has never been easier. Even traditional dealerships have added online components. I expect this channel to continue through with more scrutiny in pre-trade inspections.
 

Best Regards,

Alan Amici
President and CEO
Center for Automotive Research
 
 

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