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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Here’s How Detroit’s Carmakers Are Shifting for Tomorrow

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Detroit’s carmakers have a balance to strike: Keeping cars and trucks moving off of dealership lots while pouring money into future technology. It won’t be easy.

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Here in Detroit the Motor City no one knows about or thinks about cars quite like us. But, in recent years, auto manufacturers have begun shifting from calling themselves car companies to “mobility companies.”

Every carmaker has “got a different approach” to the future. - Michelle Krebs, Autotrader

Ford has been leading the way among domestic automakers, and the company’s massive investment in the long vacant Michigan Central station as a new nerve center for its mobility efforts is a sign of how dedicated and serious the automaker is about change. Other automakers are also moving into an uncertain future, defined by principles of autonomy, powered by technology. Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson takes a deeper look at the state of the auto industry.

Click on the player above to hear the full conversation on the future of mobility and cars.

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Michelle Krebs is a senior analyst with Autotrader. Krebs says the industry as a whole is looking to the future of mobility and for many manufacturers that means putting a lot of financial investment in what that future could hold.

Every carmaker has “got a different approach,” Krebs says. General Motors, she says, is skipping over hybrid vehicles to go straight to electric, while Ford Motor Co. is investing in hybrids. As for Fiat Chrysler, while the company has lagged behind in alternative powertrains, “that may not be a bad place for them.”

Last year, FCA announced it’s intent to merge with French carmaker Peugeot. Krebs says this is a trend that is likely to continue. She tells Henderson that this may be due to a smaller amount of financial resources today as everyone is gearing up to provide consumers with the mobility of tomorrow. 

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


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