As we are all aware, COVID-19 (aka the novel coronavirus) is having a tremendous impact on our nation’s people, their well-being, their lifestyles, their workplaces, and more. EMKAY leadership is here to reassure you that much like the rest of the country, we, too, are taking precautions to keep our employees and clients safe, while also ensuring we deliver on our promise to be your provider of fleet management solutions. This means continuing to be accessible, responsive, and expeditious for all of your daily fleet management needs, even in this time of nation-wide chaos and uncertainty.
January 15, 2021
Michigan Supplier Showcases Disinfectant System
GHSP, a century-old supplier based in Holland, Michigan used the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase their new technologies, including a disinfectant System named Grenlite.
According to GHSP, Grenlite kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria using UV-C light, helping to ensure that vehicles are safe from unseen threats such as the coronavirus. The UV-C light units connect to a cloud-based monitoring system recognizes when a surface or environment, such as a vehicle, has been used and automatically emits a dose of UV-C light to eliminate viruses. Grenlite is already in use in emergency service, mass-transit and commercial vehicles, and the company says it is bringing the technology to personal vehicles. As the pandemic continues, vehicle manufacturers may look to similar technologies in future products.
January 5, 2021
Driver Taxable Benefit Calculation update
The Canadian Federal Government recently announced temporary adjustments to Driver Taxable Benefit Calculations for 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
The portion of personal mileage driven during the pandemic may have risen in proportion to business travel, therefore drivers may lose eligibility of the 50% reduction of the standby component and paying more for the operating expense benefit. The temporary change permits the use of the 2019 personal and business mileage ratios to determine if drivers are entitled to the reduction in the Taxable Benefit calculation.
This is only applicable for employee's with an automobile provided by the same employer as in 2019.
For additional information, please refer to the official government announcement posted in the link below.
December 17, 2020
Auto Sales in 2021
Estimated auto sales for 2021 are anticipated to increase with a successful and effective vaccine rollout. Currently, estimates are expected to be approximately 15% higher than they were in 2020. A 1-2% lift can be expected as the vaccine begins making its way beyond the first-wave of essential health workers. As confidence in the vaccine builds, auto workers will return to work at staffing levels higher than currently being adhered to and production levels will continue to increase assisting with fleet customer orders.
The auto sector was greatly impacted by the pandemic. It is yet to be seen the resiliency of other industry's circling the auto industry such as hospitality, tourism, airlines, and rental which will in-turn affect the auto industry's recovery.
December 16, 2020
COVID's Impact on the Plowing of State Roads
The possibility of COVID-19 sidelining drivers looms large, particularly because there aren't as many drivers as there once were. Each and every year it's getting tougher to get contractors to drive trucks, some fear it may be a dying industry. It's not just snow-plow truck drivers, either. The American Trucking Association estimates the U.S. has at least 50,000 fewer drivers for commercial trucks than are needed. Many states also allow recreational use of cannabis. However, the CDL is a federal license and cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug whose consumption is forbidden under federal law.
If COVID gets into a shed, which are spread throughout the states with trucks/drivers for designated areas, and wipes out a shed, then the state has to figure out some way of getting the designated roads taken care of. The state then has to sanitize the shed and find new operators to go into those trucks. This is a major concern for the upcoming winter season and one that states are closely monitoring and adjusting for.
December 11, 2020
Brown University Cabin Airflow Study
A new study of airflow patterns inside a car's passenger cabin offers some suggestions for potentially reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission while sharing rides with others.
The study, by a team of Brown University researchers, used computer models to simulate the airflow inside a compact car with various combinations of windows open or closed. The simulations showed that opening windows, the more windows the better, created airflow patterns that dramatically reduced the concentration of airborne particles exchanged between a driver and a single passenger. Blasting the car's ventilation system didn't circulate air nearly as well as a few open windows, the researchers found.
"Driving around with the windows up and the air conditioning or heat on is definitely the worst scenario, according to our computer simulations," said Asimanshu Das, a graduate student in Brown's School of Engineering and co-lead author of the research. "The best scenario we found was having all four windows open, but even having one or two open was far better than having them all closed." Part of the reason that opening windows is better in terms of aerosol transmission is because it increases the number of air changes per hour (ACH) inside the car, which helps to reduce the overall concentration of aerosols. But ACH was only part of the story, the researchers say. The study showed that different combinations of open windows created different air currents inside the car that could either increase or decrease exposure to remaining aerosols.
December 9, 2020
Largest U.S. Auto Lender States There Are Not Enough New Cars
New-car inventory is lacking in the U.S. as factories continue to be hindered in productivity due to the pandemic states Ally Financial Inc., the largest U.S. auto lender. Issues due to absenteeism, distancing protocols, early-pandemic plant shutdowns, and supply chain constraints are the main contributors. U.S. supply is approximately one million lower in October than the same time last year. The lack of reliable inventory is assisting with the secondary market pricing.
December 8, 2020
Chief Economist, Tom Kontos Insight to the Pandemic
Initially, many forecasters described a V-shaped rebound if the pandemic remained limited in duration and severity. Unfortunately, the pandemic surged.
Wholesale used vehicle prices, which dropped dramatically in March and April, rebounded in May and saw significant growth between June and September. That would have been difficult to predict at the outset of the pandemic when uncertainty abounded, and the remarketing industry braced itself for a glut of supply as conversion rates fell and sales were severely restricted or suspended.
Remarkably, retail auto sales were another area that rebounded quickly - especially used vehicle sales.
November 18, 2020
Wholesale Prices Show Seasonal Strength Through October
Wholesale used vehicle prices increased 0.47% month-over-month in October, bringing the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 161.9, a 15.4% increase from October 2019, according to Manheim's Used Vehicle Value Index.
However, non-seasonally adjusted monthly change was down 1.9%, which is in line with what the Index has seen in weekly price trends. Manheim Market Report (MMR) prices declined at a decelerating pace over the four full weeks of October, resulting in a 2.8% cumulative decline on the Three-Year-Old Index. In the last full week of October, the Three-Year-Old Index declined 0.5%, which was the smallest weekly decline in nine weeks, and the decline was less than the average decline for that week over the last seven years.
On a year-over-year basis, all major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in October. Pickup trucks and luxury cars outperformed the overall market, while most other major segments underperformed the overall market.
Total used vehicle sales volume was down 5% year-over-year in October, according to Cox Automotive estimates. The report estimates the October used seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) to be 37.5 million, down from 39.6 million last October and down compared to September's 39 million rate. Meanwhile, the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in October was up 5.3% year-over-year. Rental risk prices were down 5% compared to September. Average mileage for rental risk units in October (at 54,400 miles) was up 13% compared to a year ago and up 28% month-over-month.
October 28, 2020
FCA to Idle Minivan Plant to Align Production with Demand
The Ontario plant will idle the week of Nov. 2nd. Total Canadian sales were down 31.4% for the first three quarters of 2020. The Grand Caravan slipped 17.3% while the Pacifica fell 41.2%.
Total U.S. minivan sales declined 35.8% during the same time period. Pacifica dropped 8.5% while the Grand Caravan plummeted 63.6%.
October 5, 2020
Supplier Landscape Altered
The industry's outlook may be brightening, but for many parts makers, it's still a dark time of perilous finance and strategic rethinking.
Even as car dealers scramble to meet new demand, several global suppliers are struggling with deflated profit margins resulting from a disastrous 2020 and the pandemic-caused crash in vehicle production. Dire earnings reports this summer have prompted some suppliers to sell off operations, rethink strategies and even seek bankruptcy protection. The global industry likely will see 50 to 100 additional supplier bankruptcies in the next six to nine months, forecasts Dietmar Ostermann, U.S. automotive advisory leader for PwC.
The part shortages make the fourth quarter somewhat precarious. Sales depend largely on automakers keeping their inventory pipelines filled with popular vehicles and consumers being confident enough to make a large purchase. Supplier shortages make this difficult to do so.
September 10, 2020
Wholesale Prices Continue Record Highs in August
Wholesale used vehicle prices increased 3.64% month over month in August, bringing the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 163.7 a 15.8% increase from a year ago and another record-high for the Index, which also occurred in June and July of 2020, according to Cox Automotive. Improvements in the Manheim Market Report (MMR) were seen over the four full weeks of August, resulting in a 1.6% cumulative increase on the three-year-old Index, according to Cox. On a year-over-year basis, most major market segments saw seasonally adjusted price increases in August, with luxury cars and pickup trucks outperforming the overall market.
MMR Retention, which is the average difference in price relative to current MMR, averaged 100.5% for the month, Cox announced. Total used-vehicle sales volume was down 4% year-over-year in August, according to the report. The August used seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) is estimated at 38 million, down from 39.7 million last August and flat with July.
Used vehicle prices have recovered as the supply of used vehicles has continued to come down. Using a rolling seven-day estimate of used retail days' supply, used retail supply peaked at 115 days on April 8, 2020, according to Cox. Normal used retail supply is about 44 days' supply. Meanwhile, the average price for rental risk units sold at auction in August was up 8.4% year over year. Rental risk prices were up 2% compared to July. Average mileage for rental risk units in August, at 39,500 miles, was down 17% compared to a year ago and down 15% month over month.
Consumer Confidence in August declined 7.5% and left confidence down 37% year-over-year. Plans to purchase a vehicle in the next six months declined in August to a 10-year low.
September 5, 2020
Used Vehicle Market Conditions
The rate of increase in average wholesale prices slowed a bit in July but still represented substantial gains over pre-COVID and year-ago levels. Part of this increase is due to selling a more limited quantity and higher average quality (age, mileage, condition, size, etc.) of vehicles; but dealer demand, which reflects consumer demand, for used vehicles is also a key driver to higher prices. These relatively strong market conditions continued into August.
According to KAR Global Analytical Services' monthly analysis of wholesale used vehicle prices by vehicle model class, wholesale prices in July averaged $13,375 - up 2.6% compared to June, up 18.0% compared to pre-COVID/February and up 16.8% relative to July 2019.
Prices were up across all model class segments. When holding constant for sale type, model-year-age, mileage, and model class segment - using criteria that characterize off-lease units - prices were up on a year-over-year basis for midsize cars and midsize SUV/CUVs in July. Average prices across all vehicle segments have generally gone from year-on-year losses in March and April to gains in June, July and August, after rebounding in May.
Based on NADA data, retail used vehicle sales by franchised and independent dealers were down 1.3% month-over-month but up 2.1% year-over-year in July. July CPO sales were down 2.5% from the prior month but up 7.8% year-over-year, according to figures from Autodata. (Tom Kontos - KAR Global)
August 26, 2020
GM, Ford Ventilator Projects Close in on the Their Finish Lines
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday they are close to completing production of ventilators ordered by the Trump Administration in response to the surge in coronavirus cases, and are ramping down or exiting the operations.
Many of the ventilators assembled by the automakers and other manufacturers have gone into a U.S. government stockpile as doctors shifted away from using invasive ventilators with COVID-19 patients. The government currently has 108,000 ventilators in its medical equipment stockpile, and 12,000 deployed at U.S. hospitals, the U.S. Health and Human Services department said Tuesday.
GM Brings Salaried Workers to Pickup Plant Line; UAW Opposes
General Motors has temporarily enlisted salaried volunteers to build midsize pickups at its plant in Wentzville, Mo., until absenteeism improves or enough temporary workers and transfers arrive.
But the UAW strongly objects to GM's move, claiming that appointing salaried employees, rather than hourly UAW members, breaches the GM-UAW labor contract. "We have strenuously objected to this violation of the contract," said UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg. "The local union has started the grievance process."
August 24, 2020
The End of the Nissan Titan in Canada
Nissan's decision to kill off its Titan full-size pickup in Canada came as a surprise to its retailers, including the brand's Canadian dealer advisory board. The Titan was not a "core product" for Nissan in Canada, said market President Steve Milette. "The Titan represented incremental business for us," he said. "This decision was about what we need to do to focus and prioritize our resources to move the Nissan brand forward in Canada, versus Titan as a product itself."
Nissan's focus in Canada now is on directing investment into a wave of updated and higher-volume vehicles, including the Rogue, Kicks, Qashqai, Sentra and Frontier.
"We are going deep on the core car lines for us in Canada," Milette said. "We will invest massively in the nameplates that will move this brand forward."
August 20, 2020
AutoNation To Shutter Aftermarket Collision Parts Business
AutoNation Inc. is closing its aftermarket collision parts business by the end of the year in a continued cost-cutting effort by the auto retail giant. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson indicated last month on the company's second-quarter earnings call that the AutoNation Collision Parts business was struggling and called it "an area of concern."
"The whole collision business was very challenged during the second quarter with the dramatic reductions in the amount of miles driven," he said. "And that business wasn't profitable even before the marketplace got much more difficult." AutoNation has cut approximately 3,500 positions this year amid cost-cutting moves stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
August 5, 2020
Hertz Seeks Bankruptcy Loan as Rental Volume Slowly Recovers
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is seeking debtor-in-possession financing more than two months after filing for Chapter 11 protection, reflecting the reality that it still faces trouble ahead if travel doesn't bounce back. The bankrupt rental-car giant said in a regulatory filing Monday it is looking for new sources of cash with the travel business in a deep slump and proceeds from the sale of its cars going to pay off creditors.
Hertz had sought to avoid raising funds while it negotiates a debt restructuring with asset-backed securities holders, but the deterioration in its core rental business and uncertainty ahead leaves it with few options. The company's revenue fell 67% in the second quarter, pushing it $847 million into the red on a net-income basis. With $1.4 billion in cash on hand, Hertz said its continued ability to finance operations depends on a recovery in demand in key markets and an extension from creditors of waivers on payments for its cars in continental Europe and the U.K., the filing said.
The company said it saw demand rise every month in the most recent quarter, but it remains below pre-pandemic levels. Without an extension beyond Sept. 30, Hertz must start making payments on its European fleet, which is owned by investors who hold its asset-backed securities. Hertz already has reached an agreement allowing it to use much of its U.S. fleet with a commitment to pay securities holders $108 million a month from July until the end of the year. To do that, Hertz plans to shrink its U.S. fleet by at least another 182,000 vehicles after selling off 100,000 cars in June and July.
In the second quarter, Hertz lost $587 million in earnings before interest and taxes and its per-share loss of $3.51 far exceeded a consensus estimate for a loss of $2.33 a share. Its revenue fell to $832 million (Bloomberg).
August 5, 2020
2020 RAM 1500 Classic Truck - Cut OFF
Due to overwhelming demand for the RAM 1500 Classic (DS) truck, FCA Fleet has announced the immediate cutoff and closing of the 2020 Model Year. FCA will be opening the 2021 Model Year RAM 1500 truck in the near future.
Continental Swings to $980 Million Loss in Q2
Continental reported a 2nd quarter operating loss of $980 million as global vehicle production fell by 45%. Continental said Wednesday that revenue, adjusted operating profit and free cash flow are expected to significantly decline this year. "There are still big economic uncertainties," the company said in a statement. Global vehicle production is likely to fall by 10-20% in the 3rd quarter compared with 2019, it said. CEO Elmar Degenhart said in a statement that cost-cutting measures to offset the crisis were having a "quick and noticeable effect." Continental has set a target of cutting fixed cash costs by more than 5% and reducing capital expenditure by more than 25% this year.
Continental ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $35.3 billion in 2019.
BMW Posts First Quarterly Loss Since 2009
Losses at BMW Group's automotive division dragged the company into the red for the first time in more than a decade, rounding out a dismal quarter for European automakers hit by the coronavirus pandemic. BMW lost $787 million before interest and taxes between April and June, its first quarterly deficit since the financial crisis in 2009. Despite the difficult quarter, BMW said it expected to post an operating profit for the full year.
August 4, 2020
Overall, the car and truck segments have experienced an increase for the tenth week in a row. The market rebounding has increased in almost all vehicle segments fueled by shortages of new and used inventory in recent weeks.
The secondary market anticipates an influx of used inventory the remainder of the year due to prolonged lease returns (manufacturer shutdowns unable to produce new inventory), fleet downsizing, and delinquencies due to unemployment (11.1% in June, down from 14.7% in April). Despite auctions continuing to operate under digital-platforms, sales volumes have rebounded to a level consistent with the same time last year. However, with weaker retail demand and projected oversupply of used inventory, forecasts suggest a drop in wholesale prices this fall, relative to the heights seen in recent weeks.
Consumer confidence continues to falter as COVID cases increase in the southern states. Business and leisure travel collapsed in March and significant reductions are expected for the remainder of 2020. Future forecasts predict air travel will not return to pre-COVID levels until after 2023. These financial pressures contributed to Hertz filing for bankruptcy in May. De-fleeting measures by Hertz and other rental companies will lead to an excessive amount of rental units hitting the market the remainder of the year' in turn, contributing to the oversupply of inventory leading resale prices lower.
August 3, 2020
Is the Worst Behind for Detroit 3?
The Detroit 3 emerged from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic with better-than-expected financial results. Ford Motor Co. posted a surprise $1.1 billion 2nd quarter profit. General Motors reported a better than expected $758 million 2nd quarter loss and nearly broke even in North America. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost $1.24 billion in the quarter, but its North American operations eked out a small profit despite lengthy plant closures. All three companies credited strong operational execution and cost-saving measures taken in the spring.
Ford anticipates a 3rd quarter gain with a forecasted loss in the year's final months as the redesigned F-150, Bronco, and Mach-E rollout. GM believes it can recover by the end of the year and is on track with its 2018 restructuring plan.
July 30, 2020
GM posts $758M Q2 Loss; Shows 'Resiliency' in N.A.
General Motors reported a $758 million second-quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic sharply cut production and revenue by more than half. GM said cost cutting and strong pricing allowed the automaker to nearly break even in North America despite its plants being closed for eight weeks. GM lost $101 million in North America, compared with a gain of $3 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
"These results illustrate the resiliency and earnings power of the business as we make the critical investments necessary for our future," CFO Dhivya Suryadevara said in a statement Wednesday.
Global revenue fell 53 percent to $16.8 billion, and its adjusted loss before interest and taxes was $536 million, compared with $3 billion a year earlier. The company burned through $8 billion in automotive operating cash but said it still had "strong" liquidity of $30.6 billion after borrowing $16 billion in March to help weather the crisis.
GM's international regions lost $270 million in the quarter, compared with a $48 million loss a year earlier, and China equity income fell by $66 million to $169 million.
Earnings from GM Financial decreased 58 percent to $226 million.
GM's loss of $464 million so far this year compares with net income of $4.6 billion in the first half of 2019.
July 16, 2020
Nissan Plans 30% Cut in Global Output Through December
Nissan Motor Co. is planning a 30% year-on-year cut in global vehicle production through December as falling demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic complicates its turnaround efforts. Japan's No. 2 automaker plans to produce around 2.6 million vehicles between April and December, down from 3.7 million during the same period last year sources told Reuters.
Newly Merged FCA-PSA Entity Will be Called Stellantis
The merged unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group will be known as Stellantis, the two automakers said Wednesday. The automakers said the name "will be used exclusively at the group level, as a corporate brand" and that the names and the logos of the group's constituent brands will remain unchanged.
The group will create the world's fourth-largest automaker. PSA's considerable footprint in Europe could complement FCA's strength in North America. The completion of the merger is expected in the first quarter of 2021.
July 14, 2020
GM Cuts Shift at Pickup Plant for Absenteeism Due to COVID-19
General Motors is temporarily cutting the third shift at its midsize pickup plant in Wentzville, Mo., because of worker absenteeism as cases of COVID-19 in the area increase. The production cutback, which likely will result in about 1,250 layoffs for an undetermined length of time, is not related to low demand for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon that are built at the plant northwest of St. Louis, GM said Saturday. There is enough demand for three shifts, and GM is working on a staffing plan to resume a three-shift schedule as soon as possible, spokesman David Barnas said.
It's the first known instance of a U.S. automaker reducing its production schedule because of absenteeism since plants reopened in mid-May. The Detroit Free Press, which reported the layoff plans Saturday morning, said 23 workers at the Wentzville plant have been diagnosed with COVID-19, citing a note to members from officials at UAW Local 2250. Missouri set daily records for confirmed cases of the virus twice in the past week, bringing the state's total number to more than 28,000 as of Friday.
Daimler's Labor Talks Heat Up, with 15K Jobs at Risk
Labor representatives at Daimler said Monday that discussions with management over cost cuts had become "rougher" after a board member said over the weekend that more than 15,000 jobs were at risk. The auto industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which shut factories and showrooms forcing traditional automakers to seek deeper cuts.
Daimler had already said in November, before the pandemic started, that it would cut at least 10,000 jobs worldwide over the following three years, following peers as they cut costs to invest in electric vehicles while grappling with weakening sales. The owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand had stuck with a pledge at the time to avoid forced redundancies at its German workforce until 2029.
June 30, 2020
UAW Local Asks GM to Shut Texas Plant Amid Virus Spike in State
"Due to the most recent data on the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bargaining Committee has asked General Motors to shut down Arlington Assembly until the curve is flattened for the benefit and well-being of our members," UAW Local 276 said on its website. "Every day we are setting new records in the number of people who are testing positive in the Dallas-Fort Worth area."
There could be a standoff over closing the GM plant. The union is worried about worker safety, but shutting down Arlington would be a hit for GM. The plant is running on three shifts building the company's very profitable Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade large SUVs.
"We're aware of the request and haven't made changes to our production plans because we have protocols designed to keep the virus out of the facility and have multiple layers of protection in the plant to prevent a spread of the virus," said company spokesman Jim Cain. "There's no need to interrupt production." GM restarted operations at its U.S. plants the week of May 18th as cases in the upper Midwest subsided. Arlington resumed production on May 25th and is getting ready to make all-new versions of its SUVs later this year.
June 25, 2020
GM Halts 3rd Shift at Spring Hill
General Motors has eliminated the third shift at its Spring Hill, Tenn., assembly plant due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the company and UAW local said Wednesday. "We believe the best way to react to this unforeseen change in our market is to reduce output and operate on two shifts effective immediately," said GM spokesman David Barnas.
"This adjustment allows the plant to maintain stable production, protect the value of our brands in any sales environment, and to provide the smallest impact to plant employment going forward." About 680 full-time and temporary employees will be permanently laid off.
June 23, 2020
Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee Order Cut Off
Due to the overwhelming demand for the Dodge Durango Pursuit, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee in the marketplace, FCA Fleet announced a 2020MY cutoff of 6/25/20. To ensure consideration for production, orders must be placed in the FCA Order System by the above mentioned date. There is no guarantee production of orders received by FCA after the order cutoff date. Rental orders should be submitted 75 days in advance of the PSP date.
June 19, 2020
Ford Accelerates Return to Pre-Crisis Production Levels
Ford Motor Co. will return to pre-coronavirus levels of U.S. vehicle production two weeks ahead of schedule, the company said Friday. The automaker is expected to run normal shift patterns at all of its U.S. assembly plants starting Monday, June 22nd, ahead of the original target of July 6th.
June 16, 2020
Toyota Says Retail Demand is Bouncing Back, Fleet Demand Struggling
While retail demand is still down about 15% from the same point a year ago, the industry is likely to go through several "lumpy" months this summer as automakers continue to ramp up plants after extended shutdowns and reconfigure output in the face of anemic fleet demand, said Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America.
"We're seeing the retail consumer be very, very resilient. We're running about 82-85% of the same retail level that we did last year. What is not recovering that we're seeing is the commercial and fleet buyers." A large portion of industry weakness remains in fleet demand from rental-car companies. For Toyota, which has traditionally maintained a fleet percentage under 10%, the lack of demand has largely meant reconfiguring upcoming Corolla and Camry production for retail customers instead of fleet buyers, which usually buy vehicles with fewer options. So far dealers have filled the slack in demand.
June 11, 2020
Remarketing Update - USA & Canada
The past month trends have continues to show improvement. Wholesale and retail sales have mostly recovered since hitting record lows in early April. A major contributor to this upward trend is a strong retail demand. The daily supply of retail inventory on dealers' lots is lower now than it was this time last year. Dealers are looking to purchase used vehicles at auction as a result. There is also a shortage of new vehicles attributed to manufacturers and their supply chains not fully operational as a result of the shutdown. This in turn has driven used vehicle prices up.
Uncertainty continues to plague the marketplace with fears of a second wave or COVID-19. Additionally, delays in repo and off lease returns hitting the market at the same time, high unemployment, de-fleeting, supply chain delays, pick up delays due to transport hauler shortages and social unrest can adversely affect the values and sale ratios. Transport carrier capacity remains low due to furloughs, safety/PPE protocol developments, pick up / drop off rules of engagement changes, and rising demand. Commercial and dealer request for transport is up 40% as well.
EMKAY's auction partners continue to safely bring back their employees and dealers and cars in the lanes as more areas of the country continue to open. Auctions are currently all open and holding weekly sales either digitally, via simulcast or in person. Where approved to do so, the auctions are presale inspecting units, allowing dealer previews, and holding normal in lane sales.
June 03, 2020
GM Expects to Emerge From Pandemic with Lower Costs
General Motors should emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a permanently reduced cost base after it scrambled to reduce its cash burn to withstand a two-month shutdown in North American production as part of efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19, CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday. "We were quickly able to take out significant costs and we are being very conservative about what costs we turn back on," Barra said during an investor event with Credit Suisse. "I believe we will come out of this with a lower cost structure that is permanent."
The U.S. automotive industry has been ramping up after the coronavirus shutdown, and major automakers have been keeping a close eye on suppliers in Mexico to see the pandemic disrupts the flow of parts.
June 02, 2020
GM & Ford Using Usual Summer Break to Make Up Lost U.S. Production
General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are canceling some or all of the usual summer break for many assembly plants to make up production lost during the industry's two-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic. Most GM plants will stay open the weeks of June 29th and July 6th, a period when they normally would be closed.
A handful of Ford's assembly plants will have a one-week summer shutdown, rather than the typical two-week stoppage. Chicago Assembly, Louisville Assembly and Kentucky Truck will be down only the week of June 29th, while Flat Rock Assembly will be down for only the week of Aug. 3rd. The rest of Ford's assembly plants are scheduled for a two-week shutdown sometime between late June and mid-October.
FCA did not provide any information about its summer production schedule.
June 01, 2020
Mexico Struggles to Meet U.S. Need
Mexico's auto industry is scrambling to meet U.S. demand for supplier parts and high-demand vehicles after falling weeks behind in battling the coronavirus pandemic and restarting its manufacturing base. Mexican parts suppliers face liquidity issues that could get worse as orders stack up. Local auto sales have collapsed. Health experts don't agree on Mexico's new phase of reopening the economy. And with coronavirus infections spiking, Mexico's restart may be vulnerable to another shock that could ripple through U.S. and Canadian auto factories.
The good news last week was that Mexican parts suppliers - who shipped about $70 billion worth of components to the U.S. last year - have mostly restarted production. And automakers such as General Motors, which makes popular pickups and crossovers at Mexican plants, are gradually increasing their output to replenish U.S. inventories. Likewise, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, BMW, Nissan and others said they had returned to auto production there, or will this week.
May 29, 2020
GM Plans to Ramp Up Plants as Inventory of Pickup Run Low
General Motors' North American assembly plants have overcome initial parts-supply challenges and will boost production next week.Three U.S. factories building mid- and full-size pickups will operate on three shifts starting June 1, the automaker said in a statement Thursday. GM has been running just one shift at the facilities and was unable to increase output this week because supply of parts from Mexico was constrained. Chevrolet and GMC dealers have been running low on inventory of GM's redesigned Silverado and Sierra models, which are among the most lucrative in the company's lineup.
May 28, 2020
Automakers Skip Summer Breaks?
Honda, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are canceling their traditional summer factory downtime at U.S. and Canadian plants to boost vehicle inventory as sales improve thanks to easing stay-at-home guidelines. The automakers are eager to replenish inventory after their factories were idled for several weeks in accordance with government coronavirus rules.
Detroit 3 automakers have until next week to notify the UAW of planned changes in their own production calendar. Full-size pickups, in particular, have seen falling inventories as sales remained surprisingly brisk during lockdowns.
Nissan N.A. Manufacturing Set to Resume in Early June
Canton, MS will begin operations on June 1st. The facility manufacturers the Altima, Murano, Frontier, NV Cargo/Passenger Vans, as well as the Titan.
Smyrna, TN will begin operations on June 8th. The facility manufacturers the Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Infiniti QX60.
May 27, 2020
Ford Halts Van Output at Kansas City Plant
Ford Motor Co. halted Transit Van and F-150 production at its Kansas City Assembly Plant after a worker there tested positive for the coronavirus. It's the third time in a week Ford has been forced to temporarily idle production at a plant for deep cleaning after a worker was found to have the virus.
Ford Testing Heating Software to Kill Coronavirus
Ford Motor Co. is testing new software in police vehicles that can heat the interior to 133 degrees - enough to destroy the novel coronavirus. The software, available on 2013-19 model year Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in the U.S., Canada and other countries, uses the vehicle's powertrain and climate control systems to heat the cabin for 15 minutes and bake potential viruses. Ford partnered with researchers at Ohio State University to come up with the system and tested it on police vehicles in New York, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio and Florida.
The new software feature is among the first examples of automakers experimenting with ways to keep vehicle interiors sanitized in the age of COVID-19. Ford CEO Jim Hackett has suggested in recent interviews the automaker is exploring ways to add antimicrobial materials in future models.
Manheim Recalls Some Furloughed Workers
Auction giant Manheim said Wednesday it is bringing back more than 300 of the 9,000 workers it furloughed earlier this month in the U.S. The move comes as the Cox Automotive company has seen an uptick in reconditioning requests, as well as other early signs of economic recovery, such as increasing sales and eased restrictions in all 50 states, Manheim President Grace Huang said in an emailed business update.
The 9,000 Manheim employees were among 12,500 Cox Automotive personnel furloughed earlier this month after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of physical auctions and wholesale activity dropped significantly. Manheim has been running digital-only auctions since mid-March, and clients had been barred from visiting physical auction sites. Huang said Wednesday the company has begun to allow clients to preview inventory on a limited basis at two-thirds of its auction locations. The company continues to waive fees related to digital buying and selling.
May 26, 2020
Delays in Mexico to Impact Automakers Resuming U.S. Production
Mexico's auto industry stirred to life last week after the long coronavirus shutdown. But frustrating delays resulting from the government's shifting policy over a definitive restart date mean U.S. automakers will see parts shortages affecting their own production, and dealers will see falling inventories for popular Mexican-made pickups and crossovers.
Mexico makes about 20% of all vehicles produced in North America, according to IHS Markit, including Ram and Toyota pickups, plus popular crossovers from GM, Volkswagen, Mazda, Nissan and Audi. Mexico's National Auto Parts Industry group estimates U.S.-built vehicles have an average of about $5,000 worth of Mexican parts from 1,500 supplier plants.
Fiat Chrysler Begins Restart of Mexico Plants
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday began reopening its operations in Mexico.
The company said two plants in the central Mexican city of Toluca are ramping up after a gradual restart of its operations in the northern city of Saltillo a day earlier.
The spokesman for FCA Mexico said the company's operations in Saltillo had restarted on Monday with 40% of personnel.
May 22, 2020
Ford Assists Suppliers Facing Cash Crunch
Ford Motor Co. is helping some of its suppliers survive a cash crunch by paying its bills early to ensure that critically needed parts keep flowing to its auto factories. The Detroit 3 are restarting production after shutting down for two months to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That has caused a cash-flow crisis at many suppliers that don't have deep capital reserves. Ford burned through $8 billion in the first three months of the year, but it has built up a substantial cash pile by suspending its dividend, drawing down its credit lines and selling junk bonds. Now it is helping keep key component suppliers afloat by paying invoices early.
"In light of current market conditions, Ford is creating an early-payment program for our supply base," Jennifer Flake, a company spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. "This new voluntary program creates access to cash flow and working capital to Ford suppliers."
GM Delays Resumption of 2nd Shift at 3 North American Truck Plants
General Motors is delaying the resumption of second shifts at truck assembly plants in Michigan, Indiana and Mexico because of a lack of parts from Mexico. Mexican auto parts production is only this week beginning to slowly resume. GM's decision to delay resuming some production shifts shows the challenges of resuming production with thousands of suppliers.
May 21, 2020
Canada Suppliers Warn of 'Stop-and-Go' Restart to North American Production
Auto production is resuming in North America this month, about two months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced automakers and suppliers to shut down their factories. Output was expected to be considerably lower than pre-pandemic levels as companies ramp up production, implement new health procedures and adjust to weakened new-vehicle demand. Flavio Volpe, the president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA), said the "vast majority" of Canadian supplier facilities have gone back online "in whole or in part." The challenges some companies see in sourcing materials, equipment and parts in the coming weeks underscore just how delicate the automotive supply chain is and how the pandemic figures to remain a risk to it in the coming weeks and months.
May 20, 2020
Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant Briefly Halted
Production at Ford Motor Co.'s Chicago Assembly Plant was briefly halted Tuesday afternoon and again overnight after two workers at the site's SHO Center tested positive for COVID-19. The incident is the first known issue at Ford since the automaker restarted production at most of its North American assembly plants Monday. The two employees had made it through Ford's temperature scanner and daily health survey screening process. It was not immediately clear how Ford became aware they were sick or where they were tested for the virus. "The safety of our work force is our top priority," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said in a statement. "When two employees who returned to work this week tested positive for COVID-19, we immediately notified people known to have been in close contact with the infected individuals and asked them to self-quarantine for 14 days. "We also deep cleaned and disinfected the work area, equipment, team area and the path that the team member took. Chicago Assembly is now running."
May 19, 2020
Remarketing - Values Improving
The auctions in the US and Canada are holding weekly sales via multiple platforms of virtual simulcast sales. As restrictions are being lifted, auctions are allowing limited access for dealers to preview inventory and attend sales. Auction staffs are slowly coming back and the backlog of inventory is being worked through for sale day preparations. Canada is lagging behind the states by about two weeks in the recovery process. Inventory is beginning to sell on the retail side creating a need for purchases from the auction wholesale side. Vehicle prices are about 10% lower than the Pre Covid 19 market. Up from minus 25% 4 weeks ago. There has been a 40-50% increase in sale conversion week over week, meaning sales are increasing along with the prices paid for vehicles. Everyone is cautiously optimistic. To quote Tom Kontos of Adesa, "the rate of worsening is lessening".
May 18, 2020
U.S. Auto Industry Returns to Life After Lockdown
The Detroit 3 automakers and their suppliers began restarting assembly lines on Monday after a two-month coronavirus lockdown in a slow revival of a sector that employs nearly 1 million people in the United States. The reopening of car plants will be a closely watched test of whether workers across a range of U.S. industries can return to factories in large numbers without a resurgence of infections. General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and FCA have all been preparing for weeks to reopen their North American factories in a push to restart work in an industry that accounts for about 6 percent of U.S. economic activity. Another issue automakers will have to watch closely is the financial health of suppliers. As most suppliers get paid on average 45 days after they deliver parts, some will struggle to stay afloat as the industry slowly reopens, analysts say.
Automotive Suppliers Struggle with Liquidity Issues
Restart delays among parts plants in Mexico, compounded by liquidity issues for lower-tier manufacturers, are roiling the supply chain as General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles prepare to reopen most of their North American vehicle plants today, Monday May 18th. "The financial liquidity of the industry is severely hampered right now," Julie Fream, CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association trade group, said during an Automotive News "Congress Conversations" webcast. Some suppliers, particularly the Tier 2s and Tier 3s we're hearing from, are really starting to have some difficulty." "We see just over 20 percent [of suppliers] having less than eight weeks of liquidity - meaning if the industry were not to run at all for eight weeks, they would be in dire straits," Fream added. "It is a difficult time, and it's all the more reason why we as an industry have to get started again."
May 15, 2020
Ford Programs Delayed About 2 Months
Plant shutdowns due to the coronavirus will result in roughly two-month delays for several of Ford Motor Co.'s highly anticipated vehicle programs, including the redesigned F-150 pickup and new Bronco SUV. Given the inability to work in our assembly plants during the shelter-in-place restrictions, it will have an impact to program timing, in terms of the launches, but Ford expects the launch delays to be commensurate with the duration of the shutdown period.
Ford F-150 2020MY Orders
All 2020MY F-150 orders currently in the Unscheduled Order Bank (USOB) will be produced. Additional allocations have been made to build 100% of Fleet Orders received by the Final Order Due Date of 5/29. Customers requiring F-150 deliveries mid-summer through mid-December should place 2020MY orders immediately.
May 14, 2020
GM to Reopen Mexican Pickup Plant as Soon as Next Week
General Motors is preparing to resume building vehicles in Mexico as soon as next week following the government's approval for factories to restart. Reopening manufacturing facilities throughout North America is important for the Detroit 3 automakers and foreign brands that produce vehicles in the U.S. Carmakers rely on Mexico for critical parts and GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles manufacture trucks there that generate a big chunk of their profits. GM's three vehicle-assembly plants in Mexico, including a full-size truck factory in Silao, could start up as early as next week in compliance with conditions set by the government, sources say. Mexico's general health council on Wednesday added auto manufacturing, construction and mining to its list of essential activities, enabling those three sectors to resume operations starting May 18th if they meet certain safety protocols. GM believes its plants meet those standards and has shared its practices with local suppliers, one of the people said. Many automakers will benefit from the country's lifting of production suspensions, as about 80% of the wiring harnesses used in U.S.-made vehicles cross the border with Mexico, according to the Center for Automotive Research.
Operation Safe Drive Week Focuses on Speeding
During the pandemic, less traffic may be encouraging some drivers to ignore traffic safety laws, including speed limits. So, through July 12-18, law enforcement throughout North America will be looking for drivers who are engaging in unsafe driving. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, less traffic may be encouraging some drivers to ignore traffic safety laws, including speed limits. Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many jurisdictions are seeing a severe spike in speeding.
Historically, drivers' actions have contributed to 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts report. And although NHTSA's 2018 highway crash fatality data showed a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 0.9%.
Data shows that traffic enforcement interactions between drivers and law enforcement reduces targeted problematic behaviors. CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week aims to reduce high-risk driving behaviors through traffic enforcement strategies. In addition to a focus on speeding, examples of other dangerous driver behaviors that law enforcement will track during Operation Safe Driver Week include distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, improper lane change, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.
May 13, 2020
Tesla May Get to Reopen California Plant Next Week
Tesla Inc. may be allowed to scale up activities at its only U.S. car plant as soon as next week, according to the California county Elon Musk has been feuding with over his desire to reopen. Health officers for Alameda County said late Tuesday that the factory can reopen if Tesla adopts safety recommendations in addition to a new plan the company submitted on Monday. While the county will let Tesla start to augment its operations this week, city police will be called upon to verify that the automaker is adhering to the agreed measures aimed at protecting workers.
Nissan Plans $2.8B in Cuts
Nissan is planning to cut about 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in annual fixed costs and book restructuring charges as the coronavirus pandemic further depresses the automaker's sales. Those initiatives are likely part of a three-year plan that will be unveiled along with financial results on May 28, calling for Nissan to take more drastic measures to turn the manufacturer around. The automaker warned last month it expects to post a loss for the latest fiscal year through March, as the pandemic shuttered showrooms in major markets and the economic fallout dented consumer demand for new cars. Although Nissan is forecasting a 12 percent decline in sales to 10.2 trillion yen ($95.3 billion) for the just-ended fiscal year, the new mid-term plan calls for a return to revenue of 11.5 trillion yen ($107.4 billion) within three years, with fixed costs kept at reduced levels.
Mexico's President Revs Up Car Industry, Wider Economy
Mexico could begin opening some automotive factories from May 18th under a government plan unveiled on Wednesday that loosens coronavirus restrictions and paves the way for U.S. car giants to ramp up output dependent on parts made south of the border. The plan presented some apparent ambiguities and it was not clear whether automotive plants would definitely begin opening next week or if they might wait until the start of June. The U.S. government and automotive companies have called on Mexico to reopen factories serving the U.S. market, even though the Latin American nation is still dealing with a rising number of infections from the coronavirus pandemic. The reopening of the North American automotive industry is likely to be gradual, said Phil Annese, a senior director at Pilot Freight Services, which moves car parts for Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from Mexico to U.S. factories.
May 11, 2020
General Motors North American Assembly Plant Re-Start Plan
GM is currently planning a May 18th restart at a majority of plants and will be extending the 2020 model year by 1-7 weeks (varies based upon plant and will be published as soon as plans are finalized). Current plans are subject change, however, the plan is as follows:
- Flint (HD Pickups)
- Ft. Wayne (LD Crew and Double)
- Silao - (LD Crew and Reg)
- Wentzville (MST and FS Van)
- Springfield (MD - 5/11)
- CAMI (Equinox)
- Lansing Delta (Travers and Enclave)
- Orion (Bolt EV, Sonic)
- Ramos (Blazer)
- SLP (Terrain, Trax)
- Spring Hill (XT5, XT6, Acadia)
- Arlington (FS Utilities)
- Bowling Green (Corvette)
- Landsing GR (CT4, CT5, Camaro)
Week 3 or Later
- Springfield (Cutway - 6/1)
- Fairfax (XT4, Malibu)
Ford North American Return to Work Schedule
On May 18th, Ford's North American assembly plants previously operating on three-shift patterns will return with two-shifts, most two-shift plants will return on one-shift and most one-shift plants will operate on one shift. Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. and Oakville Assembly Complex in Oakville, Ont., are expected to resume production the week of May 25 on one shift. The ramp-up process will be gradual as workers adjust to the new health and safety protocols and the entire supply chain comes up to speed.
- Chicago Assembly (Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, Aviator)
- Dearborn Truck (F-150, Raptor)
- Kansas City Assembly (F-150, Transit)
- Kansas City Truck (F-250, F-550, Expedition, Navigator)
- Louisville Assembly (Escape, Corsair)
- Michigan Assembly (Ranger)
- Ohio Assembly (F-650/750, F-350/450/550 SD Chassis Cab, E-Series Cutaway and Stripped Chassis)
- Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly (Mustang Mach-E)
- Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly (Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan, MKZ)
- Flat Rock Assembly (Mustang, GT350 & 350R, Continental
- Oakville Assembly (Edge, Nautilus)
May 08, 2020
Vehicle Remarketing Update
The auctions in the US and Canada are holding weekly sales via multiple platforms of virtual simulcast sales. As restrictions are being lifted, auctions are allowing limited access for dealers to preview inventory and attend sales. Auction staffs are slowly coming back and the backlog of inventory is being worked through for sale day preparations. Canada is lagging behind the states by about two weeks in the recovery process. Inventory is beginning to sell on the retail side creating a need for purchases from the auction wholesale side. Buyers and sellers are being conservative in the values and they remain about 50% lower than last year's market. There has been a 40-50% increase in sale conversion week over week. Everyone is cautiously optimistic as "the rate of worsening is lessening." (Tom Kontos, ADESA)
Ford to Restart Most U.S. Factories May 18th
Ford Motor Co. will join the rest of the Detroit 3 in resuming most North American vehicle production on May 18th, hours after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted restrictions on manufacturing in the state. Ford's North American assembly plants previously operating on three-shift patterns will return with two-shifts, most two-shift plants will return on one shift and most one-shift plants will operate on one shift. Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. and Oakville Assembly Complex in Oakville, Ont., are expected to resume production the week of May 25 on one shift. Components plants will restart production as needed to support this plan. The automaker said it planned to resume full operations at parts depots on May 11th.
May 07, 2020
2021 Nissan Fleet Commercial Guide
Nissan has announced current incentives on their 2021 model lineup. All new and unused 2021 Nissan vehicle factory orders, sold and delivered to certified fleet account(s) and placed in commercial fleet usage are eligible. Incentives are paid via an invoice credit when ordered as fleet; otherwise payment is transmitted via the dealer non-vehicle account (NVA) or electronic funds transmission (EFT).
Versa Sedan $1,500
Titan KC & CC $6,150
Titan XD CC $6,150
Altima Sedan $2,250
Armada $4,250 Q50 $4,500
Rogue Sport $2,000
Nissan Commercial Sales Manager
(CSM) Contact Information
WA, OR, N-CA, ID, MY, WY, ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, AK, HI
FL, AL, MS, LA
CA, NV, UT, AZ, CO, NM
NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, VT, ME
TN, KY, OH, IN, MI, IL, WI
PA, WV, VA, MD, DE, DC
TX, OK, KS, MO, AR
GA, SC, NC
Nissan Business Development Managers (BDM) Contact Information
WA, OR, CO, UT, HI
NY, CT, VT, RI, MA, ME, NH
CA, NV, AZ, TX
NJ, MD, DE, PA, OH, VA, WV, DC
FCA Announces Plant Restart Schedule Update
Over the last few weeks, FCA has been involved in comprehensive conversations with top government officials, as well as their union partners to ensure a successful and safe operational restart. Based upon these discussions, plant restart schedules are as follows:
- RAM 1500 Regular Cab
- RAM 2500/3500/4500/5500
- RAM ProMaster
- Chrysler 300
- Dodge Challenger
- Dodge Charger
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Dodge Durango
- RAM 1500 Quad & Crew Cab
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Gladiator
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Chrysler Voyager
- RAM 1500 Classic (Quad & Crew Cab)
- Dodge Journey
- Jeep Compass
- Jeep Cherokee
May 06, 2020
Chrysler :: Dodge :: Fiat :: Jeep :: Ram
2020 model year order cutoff dates are fast approaching
To ensure consideration for production, orders must be placed in the FCA Order System by the dates depicted below. FCA cannot guarantee orders received after the cutoff date.
- Compass (MP) - 5/7/20
- Wrangler (JL) - 6/4/20
- Gladiator (JT) - 6/4/20
- Cherokee (KL) - 6/4/20
- 1500 (DT) - 6/4/20
- ProMaster City (VM) - 6/4/20
- Grand Cherokee (WK) - 7/9/20
- Durango (WD) - 7/9/20
- 2500 (DJ) /3500 (D2/DD/DF) / 4500/5500 (DP) - 8/6/20 (Low Volume Paint - 6/11/20)
- Pacifica/Voyager (RU) - 9/3/20
- 300(LX)/Challenger (LA) / Charger (LD) - 9/3/20
- 1500 (DS) Quad & Crew Cab - 10/8/20 (Low Volume Paint - 6/11/20)
- 1500 (DS) Regular Cab - 10/8/20 (Low Volume Paint - 6/11/20)
- Journey (JC) - 10/8/20
- Renegade (BV) / 500X (FD) - TBD
- Grand Caravan/ProMaster - Closed
GM Remains Profitable
GM Remains Profitable in Q1 Despite Virus Shutdowns; May 18th is Target for Reopening. GM is the only one of the Detroit 3 that reported profits in Q1 after the companies closed all of their U.S. plants in mid-March. GM said it aims to reopen most plants in the U.S. and Canada on May 18th, mirroring a plan announced Tuesday by FCA. Despite plants being closed for the last two weeks of the quarter, strong sales of pickups and SUVs pushed North American profits for GM.
May 05, 2020
UAW Not Opposed to New Target Dates
The UAW said Tuesday that it continues to be contact with the Detroit 3 automakers regarding the safety of its employees. The Union opposed an early May return to work, but a UAW statement did not renew its previous opposition. The Detroit 3 have been developing extensive return-to-work standards that emphasize strict safety measures, including mandatory personal protective equipment and the closure of common areas to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
FCA plans to resume production at most U.S. plants the week of May 18th.
Ford Motor Co had not yet determined when it will resume production at its North American plants, although some local union leaders have told workers that Ford is also targeting May 18.
General Motors, sticking with its previous statements, would not confirm a new start date.
The Michigan stay-at-home order can be extending beyond the 15th which could affect the targeted date of the 18th. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Monday that the state's positive cases every day are plateauing and even decreasing but further commented that the state is not ready to fully reopen, yet.
Commercial Fleet Sales Experience April Downturn
Driven heavily by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Commercial Fleet Sales from nine manufacturers experienced a 66.5% decline in April compared to the same time last year. Total Fleet Sales for the month experienced a significant drop of approximately 70%. Rental Fleet Sales decreased 76.7% year-over-year through April while the Government Fleet Sector declined 43.5% .
Year-to-date, as of the end of April 2020, overall fleet sales from nine manufacturers experienced a 25% less on a year-over-year basis. Major drops in segments across the board helped contribute to this. So far car sales are down 36.9% year-to-date and truck and SUV segment sales are down 20.1% year-to-date; strong fleet sales in the first few months of 2020 are helping keep these declines less significant than what happened in April alone.
EMKAY UPDATE – Itasca, IL HQ
Per the press release link below, Governor Pritzker of Illinois announced a statewide ‘stay at home’ order beginning Saturday, March 21st.
Chicago Tribune – Pritzker Stay at Home order
All of EMKAY’s HQ staff is prepared to work remotely next week. We knew it was a matter of time before this order would be issued, so EMKAY executed the plan described previously. Phones, network, website, and internal programs will all be accessible by remote employees.
Although 3rd party vendor shut-downs may impact what can be accomplished, EMKAY’s staff will be working and ready to assist our clients and their drivers.
During this time of Shelter in Place it is important to remember if your vehicle sits for extended periods of time your battery could slowly discharge as a result of all the electronics in the vehicle that require current even when the ignition is off. It is a good rule of thumb to run your vehicle outside for at least 15 minutes every 2 weeks to allow the battery to recharge. If you have the opportunity to drive your vehicle this would not be required.
by Automotive Fleet Staff
While there are many offices that are closing down their physical locations and directing their employees to work remotely, there are still many fleet drivers that are out on the road. Whether you’re a delivery fleet driver, a roadside technician, or any other type of driver that interacts with other people, there are steps you can take to reduce the potential exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus.
It all starts at the beginning of your shift, according to AAA. Before you leave your home, wash your hands thoroughly at the sink for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Throughout your day, whenever you receive any sort of equipment, spray the equipment with disinfectant spray or wipe it down using disinfectant wipes. A good item to have while on the road is a pack of nitrile gloves. Wear gloves for every job you start through the day, to reduce the chance that you contract something from any given location you visit throughout the day.
Following the completion of a job, disinfect your hands and wipe down your vehicle. Wipe down the inside of the vehicle, such as the door, dashboard, seat, door hand, and any exposed surfaces with spray disinfectant or disinfectant wipes after anyone enters your vehicle.
Have a small trash bag to dispose of soiled gloves, towels and wipes; make sure that you dispose of that small trash bag at the end of each shift, according to AAA. A few items that you probably handle every day that might not be getting the attention it should is your credit card, corporate fuel card, or cash. These items can hold the virus so it’s a good idea to wear gloves whenever you handle these items.
At the end of your shift, wash your hands again thoroughly at a sink for 20 seconds with soap and water.
To make sure that you’re using products that will properly disinfect your vehicle, the Environmental Protection Agency has a site that lists all the products that currently meet its criteria for use against COVID-19.
Along with the rest of the fleet management industry, we are experiencing significant constraints when it comes to our vehicle licensing services. Each state has enacted separate regulations with regards to their DMV operations, therefore making initial registration, registration renewal, license plate distribution, title corrections or transfers, and the like more difficult to obtain and issue to our customers. These could be due in part to DMV on-site employee reductions or the extent of individual DMVs’ own capacities to enable employees to work remotely; either way, we are doing our absolute best to ensure these functions operate as normal as possible.
The American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA) and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) have issued official resources on the impacts each state’s DMV locations are experiencing due to COVID-19. They have been updated through the morning of Tuesday, March 24th, and have been provided to all of our CSS teams; if you have a question or concern about a particular one of your vehicles in a given state, please contact your CSS team for the latest DMV updates we have on that state. AAMVA has also stated that updates can be found by accessing their website.
Audi – As of 3/17/2020
All Audi production facilities in Europe have begun to suspend operations; the extent of the impact this stoppage will have has yet to be specifically outlined, but will likely affect all models produced in Europe; expect delays.
FCA – As of 4/9/2020
FCA continues to make the health and well-being of its employees, supplier partners and customers a top priority. With that in mind, FCA intends to progressively restart its U.S. and Canadian manufacturing facilities beginning May 4. Prebuilt Ram Promaster City units are available for immediate shipment for customers needing solutions now. The status of production at FCA's Mexico operations will be the subject of a separate announcement.
During this current production pause, we are working with government officials and our unions to implement new procedures to certify the daily wellness of our workforce while also redesigning workstations to maintain proper social distancing and expanding the already extensive cleaning protocols at all locations. As a result of these actions, we will only restart operations with safe, secure and santized workplaces to protect all of our employees.
Ford – As of 4/8/2020
All manufacturing facilities seized automotive production effective 3/19/2020; production was scheduled to resume 3/30/2020, though this date has now been DELAYED further in order for Ford to aid 3M, GE, and UAW in producing critical healthcare equipment needed around the country such as respirators, ventilators, face shields, and other PPE (personal protective equipment). For any Ford orders currently awaiting production, Ford anticipates adding an additional 6 weeks to that scheduled production date currently showing in our system. We can also expect delays on future Ford orders.
GM – As of 3/18/2020
All manufacturing facilities set to close 3/19/2020 through at least 3/30/2020; expect delays.
Lexus – As of 3/19/2020
The majority of Lexus dealerships remain open (22/242 closed), though this is subject to change. Only 3 service departments have so far closed operations.
Subaru – As of 3/20/2020
Subaru of Indiana Automotive has suspended production beginning Monday, March 23rd, through Sunday, March 29th, which will impact the following Subaru model orders: Outback, Legacy, Ascent, Impreza. Subaru expects minimal delays.
Toyota – As of 3/19/2020
All manufacturing facilities seized automotive production effective 3/23/2020; production was scheduled to resume 4/6/2020, though this date has now been DELAYED further through 4/17/2020. Production is now scheduled to resume 4/20/2020. This shut down will affect all North American regions including the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. Toyota will release any additional updates they have on or before 4/10/2020. Continue to expect delays.
Volkswagen – As of 4/9/2020
Key updates on business operations in regards to COVID:
Emden, Germany factory closed through week of 4/13, then will reevaluate (Carlines: Arteon)
Chattanooga, TN factory closed through week of 4/13, then will reevaluate (Carlines: Passat, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport)
Puebla, Mexico factory closed through week of 4/27, then will reevaluate (Carlines: Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Tiguan)
Port operations in Chattanooga are suspended this week. Will evaluate week of 4/13. All other ports are operational
All fleet Courtesy Delivery shipments remain on hold. Will reevaluate week of 4/20.
As previously communicated, our team has taken steps to find units that are already in port status to fulfill any fleet orders currently in the pipeline, and any new orders being placed. This is to minimize the overall order to delivery time once shipments resume.
Update 4/2/2020 - US & Canada
Market values have decreased steadily since the COVID-19 outbreak due to lower demand from consumers at the retail dealers. Dealers are reducing their used vehicle inventory due to the uncertainty. At the end of March, vehicles were selling at 70-80% of the values prior to the crisis. Auction attendance is down 50-75% depending on location. Nearly all sales are virtual, on-line sales now. The traditional laws of supply and demand are weighing heavily on the market. Used vehicle sales are taking multiple auction ‘runs’ to sell, which leads to longer days-to-sell. Also worth noting, vehicles with lower values (<$10K) are showing more activity than higher priced vehicles.
EMKAY Remarketing continues to be committed to our clients, selling their vehicles, and attempting to maximize the return. EMKAY’s auction partners are securing vehicles as quickly as possible and getting them ready for sale; however, transactions and response times from auctions are slower than normal, so your patience is appreciated.
Rental vehicles will only be available from select neighborhood locations and all major airport locations. Due to the reduced number of locations, not all vehicle types may be available. Contact EMKAY if you need a rental vehicles for your fleet program and we will work with each driver to locate the best option for them.
For the protection of your customers, effective Wednesday April 15, 2020, we will be implementing a $25 fee to conduct a thorough pre- and post-service disinfection to every surface a technician comes in contact with or near. This includes, but is not limited to:
Our plan is to include this fee for the next six months and then reevaluate the need moving forward. This fee is not subject to a discount or rebate. In addition, we have already implemented several other precautionary measures with technicians. They have been directed to:
Smile and provide a thumbs-up rather than offer a handshake
Waive the electronic signature for pre-inspection and service completion
Minimize the vehicle touchpoints during their service and provide the option for a customer contact-free experience
Per recommendation of the CDC, we have encouraged all customer-facing associates to wear a face covering, as well as provided them proper cleaning instructions following wear
Given the down turn in business, Belron Canada have been forced to lay off close to 80% of their workforce. Today they are operating stores with one employee to manage customer repairs and windshield replacements.
For reference Belron was updated their shop locator on their website that displays the status of each shop location: https://shoplocator.belroncanada.com/
In addition they are taking the following steps and precautions to ensure the environment and the vehicles they are working on are properly disinfected during the Pre and Post repair or windshield replacement:
Vehicle keys, fob/transmitter, steering wheel, outer and inner door handle/panels, centre console, shift knobs, all levers attached to the steering column, seatbelt buckles and shoulder straps, and all other major touch points in a vehicle. Combined Pre and Post disinfect: 40 Minutes.
Glass shields have also been installed at their customer desk offering additional protection while respecting the 2M distance.
Note: This is a temporary measure to ensure every franchise follows this process.
Repair facilities are also taking extra precautions when working on your vehicle for your safety as well as theirs. We are asking all shops to disinfect all common contact surfaces upon completing repairs so your vehicle is returned in a safe condition. You may also start seeing delays in obtaining certain parts that may create extra downtime.
These services will continue but there may be extended wait times before a tow truck can respond for service in many parts of the country, especially in hard hit areas.
The state of Pennsylvania has suspended all MVR reports until April 1. We anticipate other states, along with Provinces in Canada , may begin suspending this service if they do not offer a fully electronic solution. We are continuing to process your requests and will provide the results as soon as they are available.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to reach out to your designated CSS team or Strategic Account Manager. We are here to continue to support your daily fleet management needs and inquiries through this national crisis.