Analysis by Julie Dautermann, Competitive Intelligence Analyst
This update helps automotive suppliers inform their legal and operational decisions to help address challenges and opportunities. Contact your Foley relationship partner, or Ann Marie Uetz, Vanessa L. Miller, or Nicholas J. Ellis, to follow up.
- U.S. new light-vehicle sales reached a SAAR of 15 million units in January and fell short of industry expectations, according to preliminary estimates from Wards Intelligence.
- A joint forecast from J.D. Power and GlobalData predicts 2024 global light-vehicle sales will reach 92.4 million units, up from 90 million units in 2023. Global battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales are projected to reach approximately 13.8 million units in 2024, representing 15% of total light-vehicle sales.
- A number of global automakers are failing to mitigate the risk of exposure to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region within their aluminum supply chains, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.
- Analysis from Bloomberg Green indicates nearly 1,100 new public, fast-charging stations were added nationwide in the second half of 2023.
- California is in the process of developing reliability and reporting standards for EV chargers that operate in the state.
- Sales of new battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in California represented 25% of the state’s 2023 new light-vehicle sales. While the pace of sales slowed in the fourth quarter, full-year 2023 sales in the state were up 29% from 2022.
- Ford resumed F-150 production at two plants in Michigan and Missouri after a supplier parts issue led to a shutdown of more than five days at the end of January.
- GM surpassed earnings expectations and reported net income of $10.1 billion on total revenue of $171.8 billion in 2023, up 1.9% and 9.6%, respectively, from 2022.
- Toyota sold a record-high 11.23 million new light vehicles in 2023, and solidified its position as the top global automaker based on sales volumes. Toyota expects to achieve a record net profit for the fiscal year ending in March due to robust sales of hybrid vehicles in its major markets.
- The UAW announced its endorsement for the reelection of President Joe Biden.
- GM will invest $1.4 billion in Brazil by 2028 in support of a plan to fund a “complete renewal” of its vehicle portfolio in Latin America.
Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology
- Bloomberg reports automakers plan to launch at least 24 all-new BEVs in the U.S. this year, and five of the models are expected to have a starting price under $50,000.
- Tesla plans to begin producing a next-generation crossover EV in mid-2025, according to a report in Reuters.
- Certain industry stakeholders suggested the U.S. should consider a program to trace the source of battery minerals in EVs in order to ensure compliance with domestic content requirements tied to consumer tax credits, according to a report in Law360.
- U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned Chinese-made EVs could present significant risks to national security, amid reports the Biden administration is considering measures to prevent foreign adversaries from accessing certain types of sensitive individual data.
- GM CEO Mary Barra indicated the automaker has plans to launch plug-in hybrid EVs for the North American market at some point in the future. Certain influential car dealers recently urged GM to introduce hybrid models for U.S. customers who are not ready to commit to all-electric vehicles.
- The U.S. Postal Service revealed its first EV charging stations at its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center, as part of a broader plan to install hundreds of new stations at delivery centers across the nation this year. The USPS will receive over 9,000 Ford E-Transit vans through 2024, and it expects to deploy up to 66,000 EVs in the years ahead.
- GM and Honda launched commercial production at the companies’ Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC joint venture plant in Brownstown, Michigan.
- Volkswagen and Renault each postponed plans to pursue public listings for their battery and EV business units. In 2023 IPOs had their worst year globally in more than a decade, due to market headwinds that included high interest rates.
Automated, Autonomous or Connected Vehicles Technologies
- Last month California State Senator Dave Cortese introduced legislation (SB915) that would prohibit autonomous driving services until authorization is received from each city, county, or city and county, where the service intends to operate. The first policy committee vote is planned for March, according to commentary in a report by ABC7 News.
- Companies with a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California drove more than 9 million miles in the 12-month period ending November 30, 2023. This is an increase of approximately 3.3 million miles from the previous reporting period.
Market Trends and Regulatory
- 2024 North American Class 8 truck orders are expected to remain comparable to the 297,000 units sold in 2023, according to projections from PACCAR and FTR featured in Trucking Dive.