Mercedes-Benz tests out ChatGPT, Stellantis announces major investments, consumer demand trends

Inside Automotive

A closer look at current leasing trends and their long-term effects — Kevin Tynan | Bloomberg Intelligence
Bloomberg Intelligence recently released its 2023 North American Auto Manufacturing Midyear Outlook. On today’s Inside Automotive, we’re joined by Kevin Tynan, Senior Automotive Analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, to walk us through the outlook. Watch the full segment here.

Top Stories

General Motors CFO Paul Jacobson (left) and Ford CFO John Lawler (right)

General Motors CFO Paul Jacobson and Ford CFO John Lawler made comments at a recent investor conference indicating that U.S. demand for new vehicles is surpassing expectations. The positive news aligns with the latest report from the U.S. Commerce Department which revealed that retail sales grew in May, driven largely by autos and parts. Jacobson expressed optimism about GM’s full-year performance targets and Lawler highlighted the resilience of the consumer market—signaling a shift from recession concerns earlier this year. Read More

Image Source: Microsoft News Center

On June 15, Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft announced a partnership to conduct testing of in-car artificial intelligence. ChatGPT’s cutting-edge technology will be made available to over 900,000 U.S. vehicles. Mercedes will use the tech to enhance the capabilities of its “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, making it the first-ever implementation of ChatGPT in a vehicle, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. To kick off this partnership, Mercedes will launch an optional beta program that customers can sign up for. Read More

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares

Stellantis Ventures has made significant investments in 10 startups and a mobility venture capital fund. These investments amount to roughly one-third of the company’s committed funding, totaling around $325 million. The purpose of these investments is to support promising companies that align with Stellantis’ vision of advancing clean, safe, and affordable mobility. Adam Bazih, the head of Stellantis Ventures, mentioned that this level of investment is in line with their annual plans, which are contingent on market conditions. Read More

Image by Gabe Hernandez for SABJ

San Antonio-based Cavender Auto Group is making generous contributions to active-duty military members in the local community. Through a new dealership program, Cavender will donate a new car every quarter to an active-duty member, starting with a Ford Escape that will be donated at the end of June. Additionally, Cavender will provide military personnel and veterans who purchase a new or used vehicle with free lifetime oil changes. Read More

For Dealers

How to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for female and minority car shoppers
The automotive­ industry is predominantly controlled by a particular de­mographic: white and male. Unfortunately, this has cre­ated an intimidating or even unwe­lcoming environment for minority and female­ car shoppers. Car dealerships can broaden the­ir horizons by addressing the issues that fe­male and minority car shoppers encounte­r. It is a wise business decision to de­velop an inclusive environme­nt while promoting diversity in the industry as it not only e­xpands their clientele­ but enhances their re­putation as well. Even though achieving inclusivity is a journe­y, the benefits are­ worth striving for. Read More

Tips to help spot identity and income verification fraud
With the gloomy economic forecasts that are flooding every media outlet daily, criminals are finding an easier environment to be able to pull off different types of fraud in dealerships nationwide. Fake identification, fake income. And it costs dealers and lenders alike. This year’s Point Predictive Survey of auto lenders revealed that not only are 70% of respondents expecting a recession later this year but that fake IDs and falsified income are their biggest worries. Read More