Foley Automotive Update

21 March 2023 Dashboard Insights Blog
Author(s): Ann Marie Uetz Vanessa L. Miller Nicholas J. Ellis

Foley Automotive Report

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.

Key Developments

  • The third installment of Foley & Lardner LLP’s Auto Trends 2023 Series provides a snapshot of M&A activity in 2022 for both electric vehicles and the global automotive market, as well as projections for the remainder of 2023.  Click HERE to subscribe to the series. 

  • Foley & Lardner Partner Ann Marie Uetz is quoted in the Sustainable Views article, “US charges up its highways for an electric future,” discussing the challenges electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment manufacturers are facing as they seek compliance with the requirements of the Build America, Buy America Act, the standards of which mandate that the majority of EV charging equipment be manufactured domestically by 2024.

  • Foley & Lardner’s automotive thought leaders will share highlights on the Dashboard Insights blog from the 2023 Automotive EV Outlook event the firm held with the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA).

  • A new whitepaper from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) provides an assessment of key issues regarding the development and deployment of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous vehicles (AV), and vehicle connectivity.

  • Massachusetts’ attorney general intends to enforce an updated version of the state’s “right to repair” law in June, amid numerous delays to a ruling for an ongoing lawsuit concerning the implementation of the law.

  • Foley & Lardner attorneys recently presented an update on EV developments in the U.S. to members of Mexico´s National Auto Parts Industry Association (Industria Nacional de Autopartes, INA).

  • Bloomberg analysis predicts global sales of gas-powered vehicles will not return to peak sales volumes achieved prior to 2020, due to the expectation for increased market penetration of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation opened the first round of funding applications for the $2.5 billion Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant program. The CFI program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and it awards competitive grants “to fill gaps in the national charging and alternative-fueling network and build out charging in communities.” This complements the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, which provides funding to states to establish EV charging infrastructure along designated Interstates, U.S. routes, and state highways.


  • Automotive News (subscription) reports profitability for certain suppliers continues to experience constraints following the industry’s return to pre-pandemic revenue, due to factors including high material and labor costs, parts shortages and volatile production schedules.

  • GM offered buyouts to U.S. salaried employees with at least five years of service, and global executives with at least two years of service, in support of efforts to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next two years.

  • China’s BYD plans to invest over $20 billion in its commercial vehicle unit through 2025, in support of goals to expand in markets including China, Europe and Japan.

  • GM will temporarily stop production the week of March 20 at its Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, due to an unspecified parts shortage. This plant also had downtime in February due to a parts shortage. The automaker plans to resume production on March 21 at its light-duty truck plant in Silao, Mexico, following a shutdown which began March 4 due to shortages of an unspecified part.

Electric Vehicles and Low Emissions Technology

  • Bloomberg estimates fully electric vehicles represented 7% of North American light-vehicle production in December 2022, up from 4% in the first half of 2022.The article notes Tesla produced the most EVs in December, followed by Ford.

  • Cummins announced the launch of a new brand, Accelera, to support the acceleration of zero-emissions and sustainable energy solutions for commercial applications.

  • A number of global automakers will experience difficulty matching Tesla’s cost structure and margins as they ramp up EV production in the near-term, according to industry analysts quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

  • GM plans to ramp up electric vehicle production in the second half of 2023.However, some of its EV models have experienced a slower-than-anticipated rollout due to factors that include challenges securing enough battery cells.

  • Volkswagen will build its first North American battery cell plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, and production is expected to start in 2027.The automaker intends to allocate over two-thirds of its 180 billion euro spending plan to electrification and digitalization over the next five years.

  • J.D. Power’s third annual U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience Home Charging Study found EV owners’ satisfaction with home charging declined in 2022 due to factors that include higher electricity costs, slow charging speeds and limited familiarity with utility company programs for vehicle charging.

  • Battery maker Our Next Energy (ONE) will supply specialty vehicle manufacturer The Shyft Group with lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) batteries for use in Class 3-5 trucks over the next five years.

  • Mitsubishi plans to invest $10 billion this decade toward vehicle electrification, including the launch of nine new electrified vehicles globally by 2028.The automaker intends for EVs to represent 50% of its global sales by 2030.

Automated, Autonomous or Connected Vehicles Technologies

  • Autonomous technology developer Gatik will use its medium-duty refrigerated box trucks to deliver customer orders within Kroger’s Dallas distribution network.

  • Chinese autonomous driving technology startup Guangzhou WeRide Technology Co. filed confidentially for an initial public offering in the U.S., according to unnamed sources in Bloomberg. WeRide has partnered with OEMs to develop autonomous driving solutions for vehicles including robotaxis, vans and minibuses.

Market Trends and Regulatory

  • A number of global automakers recently reduced prices for both gas-powered and electric vehicles in China, amid declining demand and uncertainty whether recently phased-out nationwide new energy vehicle (NEV) subsidies will be reinstated.
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