On a bi-weekly basis, CAR welcomes our audience to decompress with our President and CEO, Carla Bailo, as she covers and shares her thoughts on the latest Hot Topics happening in the automotive industry. While the biweekly newsletter primarily covers four topics, this feature story previews two of the topics covered on November 5, 2021. If you would like access to the full newsletter for better insights into critical industry issues you and your organization are facing, sign up for our mailing list here.

 

HOT TOPICS 11/1/2021 – 11/5/2021

 

Q3 Earnings

Carla’s thoughts:

Although we saw a profit reduction, this wasn’t unexpected, considering the issues facing the automotive world, including parts shortages, supply chain difficulties, and workforce concerns. However, full-year guidance is critical as it indicates that some of the short supplies are expected to begin to recover rather rapidly. Recovery rates will vary automaker by automaker, and you can rest assured that high-profit models will be the first to receive the missing parts and get shipped out to dealers.

Recovery is also good on the customer side…MAYBE. If companies stick to their word regarding keeping inventory in check, typical incentives will remain a thing of the past. However, it is easy to slip back into old habits when the crisis is over. It remains to be seen which companies will hold true to what they are saying about keeping inventory in check. Those companies that do remain true are on the path to sustainability and resilience, in my view. It might be a good time to re-evaluate which models should switch to a build-to-order model and which should be shipped to the dealer lots. Clear customer understanding is needed to think about this in a new way – perhaps car purchasing isn’t one size fits all?? A shift in the purchasing process could lead to the highest profit levels seen by a hybrid approach.

 

Cybersecurity

Carla’s thoughts:

Cyber-attacks are the new “cold war” weapons. You may think I’m being extreme, but this is something every company and every individual must take very seriously. You may feel that your company is small potatoes, and nobody will want to attack you. Well, this isn’t true – companies of all sizes are being attacked, as well as government institutions.

Cyber training for your company is critical and must be continuously updated and continuously checked/tested. Just one person with one click can start a catastrophe. You need vigilant systems and human capital to be always on guard and notify when and if attacked.  The sooner an attack is found, the sooner it can be remedied. 

The question isn’t whether my company will be attacked, but when/how will my company be attacked, and do I have systems in place to discover the attack and isolate it fast?

This threat also means that we need human capital in the world of cyber –  more white hat folks, as we have enough black hat folks out there. I recommend you get some of the black hat folks on board to test your systems and find the holes. Training is continuous and vital to the health of your company – large or small.

 

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Carla Bailo

Carla Bailo

President & CEO

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