On a bi-weekly basis, the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) welcomes our audience to decompress with our President and CEO, Alan Amici, as he covers and shares his thoughts on the latest Hot Topics happening in the automotive industry. If you would like to receive this bi-weekly insight into critical industry issues you and your organization are facing, sign up for our mailing list here to get Hot Topics sent directly to your inbox.  



Alan’s thoughts:

We’re approaching the next union organizing vote at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the UAW is riding a wave of momentum. Just last month, the UAW secured 73% of the votes to organize. The UAW is hoping to continue the winning streak beginning in Detroit and Chattanooga and onto Tuscaloosa. 

Read a fascinating briefing of Shawn Fain’s rise and gain insight into what may occur after the vote and the potential impacts on labor relations in the South. The briefing is co-authored by Dr Marick Masters of Wayne State University and CAR’s own principal economist, Yen Chen.  


U.S. Loosens EV Battery Rules:

Alan’s thoughts:

The newly imposed 2year exemption on graphite as a critical mineral will enable more EVs to qualify for a tax credit. This exemption will provide more time for the battery critical minerals supply chain to bring local sources of graphite to market while incentivizing consumers to purchase an EV. Supply chains are complex, especially when considering raw materials that are mined or processed outside of North America. Changing suppliers or switching processing facilities increases risk for automakers. As learned during the semiconductor shortage during the pandemic, alternative sources are not always readily available, which can lead to long-term ramifications for production. Automakers will make good use of the additional time to establish domestic sources of graphite. 


New U.S. Vehicle Safety Requirements:

Alan’s thoughts:

The US will require passenger cars to be equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) by 2029. This technology is found today on many high-line and premium luxury vehicles so consumers may have some experience with the technology. The DOT has provided 5 years to further refine the technology prior to full deployment.

There are many demands competing for driver’s attention and the situation can become critical if distraction occurs during high cognitive loading – lane changes, merging, exit ramps, etc. AEB aims to assist the driver to automatically act should a critical situation arise. For example, if a pedestrian is detected in the vehicle’s path, the brakes will automatically be applied at a rate intended to safely stop the car short of the pedestrian. To increase public awareness and acceptance of such a feature, the industry should work to standardize the indication, method of activation, and performance of the systems to educate consumers about the operation and benefits of such an important safety system.





Carla Bailo

Alan Amici

President & CEO

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The post Automotive Industry Hot Topics with CAR President and CEO, Alan Amici (05/10/2024) appeared first on Center for Automotive Research.