Automotive News Underground 3/3/2023

Estimated read time 4 min read

As we move into March and the weather around the United States has been unsettled so goes the auto industry these days. It seems the electrification push isn’t quite as solid as it was a few months ago as the economic future appears uncertain and automakers button things down for the coming storm. That and more play into the car news stories you might have missed this week.

Maybe the vending machines are broken?

Carvana took a big nosedive last year, going through layoffs as its financials spiraled out of control. Now the company has released the results of its 2022 financial year and it’s bad, especially a $1.6 billion net loss. Sales only dropped 3% overall versus 2021’s total, but pre-vehicle profits dropped about 33% as used car values plummeted. The once shining star of the supposed future of the used vehicle market is now in serious trouble, casting doubt that it or Vroom can transform the industry.

Get more details here.

See how much Harley-Davidson blew out profit predictions for Q4 2022 here.

More people are scared of self-driving cars.

A survey conducted by AAA found more people are scared of self-driving vehicles than they were a year ago, which is exactly the opposite of what advocates want. Many fans of autonomous tech have argued as it becomes more common the public will realize it’s safe and reliable. AAA believes education is an issue, citing the fact 10% of those surveyed believe there are autonomous vehicles on the market that allow a driver to sleep while traveling down the road, even though no such consumer car exists.

See the AAA survey results for yourself here.

GM and Honda lean into fuel cell tech.

Most people don’t seem to be aware that Honda and General Motors have been strategic partners for a long time. One of their big collaborations has been working toward making fuel cell technology marketable and the two took a step toward that goal recently. Both automakers announced this week a fuel cell operation will be launched in Brownstown Township in Michigan, marking the first fuel cell manufacturing facility in the state. They view the tech as a way to transform vehicles that currently use diesel into “green” transportation, but will it be viable?

Read more about the planned project here.

The UK aims to do one better.

Meanwhile the UK is supposed to have a hydrogen fueling infrastructure nationwide by the end of this year. You can read about that plan here.

Ford wants to be the repo man.

News broke this week that Ford filed a patent for a repossession system which would take control of a vehicle once the owner was in delinquency. The technology would even allow the vehicle to drive itself to a repossession lot. As you might imagine people are making all kinds of jokes, but the reality is this kind of thing could be used for nefarious purposes, like punishing people who don’t have enough social credits, hackers stealing cars, etc.

Read more here.

Good luck charging your car.

We’re constantly told EVs are the future of the automotive industry, yet green energy policies are casting plenty of doubt on that. The latest example is PJM Interconnection, which recently dropped a phase three report with details about coal and gas plants shutting down so resources are poured into green energy solutions. Servicing customers in 13 states and Washington, D.C. the result could be power outages, meaning you might not be able to recharge your electric car at home or even at public stations when necessary.

Read more about this growing problem here.

Catch and release of criminals.

A man in Chicago was arrested twice in the same day for breaking into cars. The incidents happened merely two hours apart from each other, showing how quickly criminals in the city are being released. However, the real kicker is the guy was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet for two other pending car burglary cases. Being soft on criminals isn’t working, but prosecutors don’t seem to want to understand this plain fact.

Read more about this case here.

Image via Carvana

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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