News Roundup: Maxima is out, Low privacy in cars, Honda on NACS, More

Analysts say sales are up, customer service spending is down, and automakers are failing privacy tests. Plus Honda will use NACS and the Nissan Maxima is no more.

By Evan Williams Wheels.ca

Sep 11, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated 22 days ago

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Maxima meets its end

Nissan has announced the death of the Four Door Sports Car. That's how Nissan described the first Maxima, introduced here in the early 1980s wearing a 4DSC badge proudly, and the model's run has now ended. The very last Nissan Maxima rolled off of the company's production line in Smyrna, Tennessee, last week. Nissan had built more than one million Maximas at the plant since 2003, but with plans for more electric vehicles in the works and sales of sedans all but eliminated in the move to crossovers, the Max's time was up.

No privacy in your car

Privacy and tech experts at the Mozilla Foundation have just taken a look at the auto industry and called it "the Worst Product Category We Have Ever Reviewed for Privacy." The privacy watchdog looked at 25 different car brands, handing out "dings" for how the companies collect, process, and use your data and personal information. The group found that every brand "collects more personal data than necessary and uses that information for a reason other than to operate your vehicle and manage their relationship with you." These uses include selling your data, sharing with law enforcement without a court order, and failing to meet the group's minimum security standards. The group gives you tips to minimize the risk, including limiting your use of vehicle apps but warns that "compared to all the data collection you can’t control, these steps feel like tiny drops in a massive bucket." We'll note that this study is based on U.S. and European privacy policies, and the policies of Canadian-sold cars may differ slightly.

High Auto Sales in August

Automotive industry analysts DesRosiers have reported that new vehicle sales in Canada were up 18.3 percent in August over the same month last year, which could show that the ongoing supply chain issues have finally been solved. The increase comes at a price, though, and the average new vehicle price hit a shocking high of about $66,000. Despite high prices and economic uncertainty, the Canadian car market has now seen 10 consecutive months of year-over-year growth. Andrew King, DesRosiers managing partner, said "It will be interesting to see if market momentum can be sustained in the coming months in light of high interest rates, weakening economic performance, and record high new vehicle prices."

Service spending low

service spending

Vehicle owners in Canada are spending nearly $2 billion less on service overall this year compared with 2022, but the average cost per visit is up, according to the J.D. Power 2023 Canada Customer Service Index—Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study. Last year, Canadians spent $10.9 B on maintenance and repair, which has declined to $9.1 B. The study found that the average cost of a trip to a dealer service bay is $432, up from $394, and the average independent will run $262, $15 more than last year. Despite (or perhaps because of) the cost differences, the study found that dealers added 3 percentage points of market share, but have also added a slight increase in the average number of visits per customer. According to the study, independent shops fix the problem correctly the first time 95 percent of the time, while dealers are down one point to 93 percent. Lexus and Volkswagen dealers had the highest satisfaction scores, with Toyota dealers in third.

Honda will use Tesla plug

Honda NACS

Honda is the latest to announce its vehicles will begin using the North American Charging System fast-charge system. Honda, along with Acura, will join Ford, GM, and others in using the Tesla-created charge standard beginning in 2025. This will allow Honda EVs from 2025 to use Tesla Supercharger stations, which is currently the largest single-brand fast charging network. Honda will continue to work with its partners including BMW, GM, and Stellantis to build their own network which will use both NACS and CCS charge plugs.


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