Foley Automotive Report

23 August 2022 Dashboard Insights Blog
Author(s): John R. Trentacosta Ann Marie Uetz

Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst

This report helps automotive suppliers inform their legal and operational decisions to help address challenges and opportunities. Contact your Foley relationship partner, or John R. Trentacosta or Ann Marie Uetz, to follow up.

Key Developments

  • Foley & Lardner will host a half-day Automotive Forum on Wednesday, September 14, at the Detroit Athletic Club to coincide with the 2022 North American International Auto Show. Register HERE to attend the morning forum and hear more about key business trends and legal issues impacting the automotive industry. Please secure your seat to this event by September 1, 2022.

  • Ford will cut approximately 2,000 salaried positions and 1,000 contract jobs in the U.S., Canada and India, amid a broader effort to restructure resources and costs.

  • Foley & Lardner provided an overview of a number of the key factors which impact fuel prices.

  • Steven Cliff is resigning as head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just months after assuming the role, and he will return to the California Air Resources Board to become its executive officer.

  • A U.S. appeals court rejected a legal challenge to a 2020 Federal Communications Commission decision to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz band which was previously designated for the automotive industry.

  • Electric vehicles and low emissions technology:
  • The U.S. Department of Energy revealed a list of model year 2022 and early model year 2023 electric vehicles which may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 following the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act. It is not yet clear how many upcoming models will qualify under the Clean Vehicle Credit’s sourcing and price cap requirements.

  • The Alliance for Automotive Innovation released a statement pertaining to the Inflation Reduction Act which includes automotive manufacturing provisions in the new law, as well as a map of EV and battery production locations in the U.S.

  • Over $4.8 billion has been invested in the electric-vehicle charging industry so far this year, according to estimates in Bloomberg Law which include global acquisitions, debt financing and roll-out announcements.

  • Ford announced a clean energy agreement with DTE Energy Co. which supports the automaker’s progress toward carbon neutrality. As a result of the deal, the utility will expand its solar infrastructure in Michigan by 70% to 650 megawatts by 2025.

  • S&P Global estimates zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market share in Canada increased to 7.9% in the first half of 2022, compared to 5.2% in the same period in 2021.

Market Trends and Regulatory

  • Preliminary estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate there were over 9,500 fatalities on U.S. roads between January and March of this year, representing the highest levels since 2002.

  • NHTSA will extend the public input period for petitions by GM and Ford to obtain temporary exemptions for the inclusion of certain types of controls in automated driving system-equipped vehicles intended for limited uses such as ride-sharing and delivery services.

OEMs/Suppliers

  • A number of major manufacturers and automakers recently had to reduce or suspend production in China’s Sichuan province due to power rationing resulting from a drought and heatwave.

  • Show organizers announced the cancelation of the February 2023 Geneva International Motor Show, and the event will instead be held in Qatar in November 2023.

Connected/Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Services

  • U.S. House Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) launched the Congressional Autonomous Vehicle Caucus to pursue federal policies which facilitate the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology

  • The second annual J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Public Charging Study found customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging infrastructure declined due to issues that included unavailable or inoperable charging stations.

  • The China Passenger Car Association predicts six million EVs will be sold in the nation this year, representing a record high.

  • Ford will increase prices for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup by $6,000 to $8,500 due to factors that include rising material costs.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it is awarding $1.66 billion in grants to cities and states to purchase zero-emission transit buses.

  • A report in Utility Dive indicates there is growing demand for battery and fuel-cell electric buses, but manufacturers are impeded by production challenges including parts shortages of microprocessors, wiring harnesses and electrical components.

  • California-based EV subscription provider Autonomy placed an order valued at $1.2 billion for 23,000 EVs with 17 global automakers.

  • An area bordering parts of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina may contain half the world’s known deposits of lithium. However, challenges that include government negotiations, as well as the concerns of environmentalists and activists, are presenting impediments with accessing the deposits.

  • Charging infrastructure limitations and high vehicle prices may inhibit adoption of battery-electric EVs, according to a Toyota executive quoted in The Wall Street Journal who also stated “I don’t think the market is ready for what the rhetoric is saying.”

  • Ford will sell $1.75 billion in bonds to fund Clean Transportation projects, “specifically the design, development, and manufacture of its battery electric vehicle portfolio.” The automaker expects to allocate the proceeds from the offering by the end of 2023, and indicated it has allocated approximately 75% of the previous green bond offering completed in November 2021.
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