Private sector employment increased by 117,000 jobs from January to February, according to the February ADP National Employment Report.

 

Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.

 

The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

 

The report also showed private sector small business employment increased by 32,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP Small Business Report. Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, employment data that are specific to businesses with 49 or fewer employees is reported each month and broadly distributed to the public, free of charge.

NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has received 11 complaints and additional Early Warning Report data alleging a non-crash thermal event in the left side of the engine compartment of the fourth generation (XA40 platform, Model Year 2013-2018) Toyota RAV4 vehicles.

A majority of thermal events occurred during driving conditions, with four taking place with the ignition off. Drivers experienced stalling prior to the thermal event in half of the instances where the vehicle was in motion. The 12-volt battery was identified as the area of origin in a majority of the incidents reviewed.

Improper battery installation or prior front end collision repair was a factor in the early warning reports. Despite these external influences on the battery retaining method, the overall number of vehicle fire allegations with the battery as the area of origin is larger than its peer population.

XLerate Group, a nationwide auction and remarketing facilitation company, announced its dealer expectations for the coming year. A recent survey of XLerate’s dealer base suggests a return to in-person automotive auctions in 2021, following a COVID-19 year in which digital-only auctions experienced a surge in volume.

Dealers told XLerate during the survey that:

  • They can make a much better assessment of the vehicle’s condition when they are on-site.
  • They can spot unexpected deals when walking the lot that they could not have known to look for in an online environment.
  • Inaccurate condition reports invariably lead to a heightened risk of time-consuming and costly arbitration over the vehicle price.

Online auto auctions perform an important role in this industry. In 2020, online auction sales increased by 30 percent, or more, at some of XLerate’s locations, as the company and its customers navigated the pandemic.

XLerate Group CEO Cam Hitchcock

At the same time, customers have expressed an eagerness for the industry to resume selling cars live. When XLerate reached out to the dealers and commercial consignors for feedback on online vs. in-person auctions, an overwhelming majority of customers expressed a strong preference for transacting in-person over the alternative digital-only auctions.

While the safety of employees and customers remains XLerate’s top concern, and as the nation slowly begins to emerge from the one-year shutdown, the company predicts the industry will largely return to its traditional business model by the end of 2021, with much of the industry returning to buying used vehicles at in-person auto auctions.

“Last year, many within our industry predicted that 2020 would be the year that put an end to physical auto auctions. Last year put the effectiveness of in-person automotive auctions through a stress test that was far more difficult than anything we could have imagined,” said XLerate Group CEO Cam Hitchcock. “But as the year came to a close, it remained clearer than ever that the dealers who preferred to buy vehicles online before COVID-19 hit still prefer to buy vehicles online, while dealers who preferred to buy vehicles in person at our auction sites still prefer to buy vehicles in person.

“Digital, used car auto auctions have been an important tool in our industry for many years, and we expect the demand for this service to continue because of the convenience it provides for many of our customers. That said, we believe that early predictions that in-person auto auctions would fade away were premature. In-person auto auctions continue to offer advantages for buyers that cannot be fully replaced with software and video – no matter how good that technology purports to be.”

Barrett-Jackson’s 2021 Las Vegas Auction will be held inside the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 17-19, in Las Vegas. 

“Moving our Las Vegas Auction to the newly expanded LVCC is an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and the collector car hobby,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “The extraordinary new West Hall is the perfect venue for our three-day collector car auction. It offers the perfect blend of ample indoor and outdoor space with the latest technology that complements our commitment to the health and safety of our guests.”

The 1.4 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art West Hall was a vital investment by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

“As the recognized leader in collector car auctions and automotive lifestyle events, Barrett-Jackson is a noteworthy addition to Las Vegas’ 2021 calendar of events,” said Las Vegas Events President Pat Christenson. “After the inability to host the event in 2020, we are especially excited for the relaunch of the event in Las Vegas that features a new date and a new location at the state-of-the-art West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The full Barrett-Jackson experience combined with these new elements will make this a must-see event, now and in the future.”

On the heels of Hyundai’s October 2020 recall to upgrade battery management software, the company has announced a new battery recall after more than a dozen reported fires related to the Kona and Ioniq's EV battery packs. 

The Korean car company is recalling approximately 82,000 electric vehicles globally to replace the faulty battery pack. The recall includes 75,680 Hyundai Kona EVs and 5,715 Hyundai Ioniq EV models built between 2017 and 2020. 

This is the most expensive EV recall to date with an expected price tag of $900 million. Hyundai is reportedly in talks to split the cost of the recall with the battery manufacturer LG Chem's parent company LG Energy Solution. GM recently recalled nearly 70,000 Chevy Bolts that also use LG Chem batteries after reports of fires.

The Hyundai recall is starting in South Korea, but will reach the U.S. and Canada later in the year.

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