The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) held its 19th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme: “The Industry’s New Landscape.” And while much of the day was devoted to autonomous vehicle developments and the potential negative impacts on the industry’s North American competitiveness that would result from substantial changes to NAFTA, the afternoon session included a robust discussion of today’s strong market in North America and the more guarded outlook for 2018 and beyond.
This is the sixth in an ongoing series of blog posts by Foley & Lardner LLP on the implications of the June 23, 2016 voter referendum in the United Kingdom (“UK”) to exit the European Union (“EU”) (“Brexit”). This current article recounts recent developments, the current status of Brexit and the very difficult days, months, and years that appear to lie ahead as the implications of the UK’s decision play out.
Last week, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives released their first attempt at tax reform legislation. Buried in the proposed legislation is a repeal of the current tax credit of up to $7500 to purchasers of electrified vehicles that has subsidized early adopters of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The repeal would affect new electric car sales beginning almost immediately, in January 2018. Currently only 10 manufacturers offer vehicles that qualify for the full tax credit, although new offerings are coming out each year.
Slowly, in the background of our day-to-day lives, cities and their suburban counterparts have been gaining intelligence. Stoplights are timed and monitored by a suite of cameras and sensors; traffic patterns are tracked and analyzed by Watson-like computer systems; GPS-navigation systems communicate to the grid and identify the most efficient route to a destination when taking into account traffic patterns and other transit options; and even parking usage and patterns are analyzed, allowing for rates to be adjusted based on demand. Up to this point, this transition has been independent of cars and trucks, it’s been about improving traffic patterns and attempting to reduce congestion. But cities face transit issues and are looking for connected, autonomous cars to provide the solution.
One of the more bedeviling problems for the automotive industry (and for manufacturers in general) is how to alert consumers to pending recalls, and getting consumers to comply with those recalls. According to NHTSA, only 70% of recalled vehicles are repaired, even though such recalls are frequently safety-sensitive and repairs are free to consumers.