These are the car news stories from the week you might have missed.
Now that we’re about halfway through the month of March it seems like there’s less interesting news about EVs, which absolutely dominated the news cycle during the holidays and into January, although Volkswagen’s ID.2all concept reveal is causing some waves. Instead, it seems change and disruption not entailing electrification are becoming more the order of the day.
Bowling Green shuts down, yet again.
Bowling Green Assembly, home of the C8 Corvette, will be shutting down production the week of March 20, with GM saying operations will return to normal on March 27. This comes after a week-long shutdown the week of February 20 and of October 17 last year. It also happened in March 2022 and May 2021. All GM will say is a parts shortage has necessitated this shutdown.
Learn more about the shutdown here.
Another GM truck plant idles.
GM caused waves when it announced that starting on March 27 its Fort Wayne truck plant would idle for two weeks. Considering trucks are the automaker’s bread and butter, that was concerning, especially since the move was to control inventory levels as rumors of swelling numbers of trucks sitting in storage lots and some dealers circulated. Now it’s come out GM’s Silao truck plant in Mexico has also been idling, but the company is blaming that one on supply chain shortages. Think what you want about this, but it seems trouble might be on the horizon.
Read more about this story here.
Porsche CEO smacks down e-fuel critics.
One of the biggest advocates of e-fuels has been Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, but that support has angered many EV advocates who often go after any technology they think takes away from their propulsion system of choice. During a press call this week, Blume said the debate about e-fuels is “emotional” and denied that advocating for them constitutes a conflict with electrification. Not everyone is going to be happy about that.
Check out more details here.
Fewer cars are selling for over MSRP.
According to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, only 31% of new cars sold last month exceeded MSRP, down from the peak 48% in July 2022. Probably not a shocker for anyone who’s been paying attention, but it’s still great to hear car prices are coming down. Also not shocking: most vehicles selling for over MSRP are luxury models.
Get more details here.
IIHS focuses on the backseat.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has begun testing backseat passenger protection in its overlap front crash test. So far, most midsize crossovers didn’t do so well, with dummies’ heads hitting hard surfaces, dummies submarining, or excessive pressure detected on the dummies’ chests. Expect to see automakers respond with more backseat safety designs, which might further increase vehicle prices. Check out the video IIHS put out.