2018 will be remembered as a profitable year for the auto industry. Healthy December sales, as forecast by Cox Automotive, will drive U.S. auto sales above 17 million for the year. But car companies weren’t resting on their laurels. Many players in the auto space were positioning themselves for the future. What follows are five moves by auto industry companies that the editors of AFN found particularly interesting.
The car-shopping-and-finance-app company, which helps consumers apply for loans, continued to make a mark on the auto lending world. This year, AutoGravity doubled the number of its lender partners, which now include BMO Harris Bank, Infiniti Financial Services and TD Auto now. It also expanded into the U.K. and Canadian markets.
In April, the OEM announced that by 2020 it would stop selling most sedans and compact cars, including household names like the Focus, Fusion, and Fiesta.
This summer, the car maker named Dhivya Suryadevara its CFO, making GM the only automaker with a female CEO-CFO team. Suryadevara reports to CEO Mary Barra, who has led the company since 2014. GM is also only one of two Fortune 500 companies with women in both posts.
Vehicle subscription startup Mobiliti gained momentum this year as it began offering its service in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas as it looked to complete a coast to coast expansion. Mobiliti allows dealers to offer consumers vehicles on a monthly payment basis.
Google’s self-driving-car technology subsidiary earlier this year enlisted Fiat Chrysler Auto to supply and finance a fleet of autonomous vehicles for a taxi service. Waymo is looking for FCA to provide it with 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.