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Pivotal time as Hawaiʻi's car industry faces supply chain issues, climate change pressure

Affordable Electric Cars
Paul Sancya/AP
/
AP
A 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 3LT is shown in Warren, Mich., Aug. 30, 2022. General Motors is preparing to roll out a $30,000 Chevy Equinox electric vehicle in the most popular part of the U.S. auto market. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Hawaiʻi’s auto dealers met for their annual convention on Hawaiʻi Island this past weekend — the first time since the pandemic shutdown.

We spoke with Dave Rolf of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association this morning, who described the gathering as sobering. He said supply issues will continue to challenge the industry going through 2023. That will likely push the spring Auto Show into the fall of next year because inventory to our shores will not begin to normalize until then.

Rolf said the industry is on the verge of great change with electric cars and automated vehicles. The conversation around climate change is what’s driving this in these pivotal times — what he calls the "wow" effect. And while there are high hopes for the Inflation Reduction Act and the EV transition, he cautions it may take some time. But he underscored we are at a pivotal time.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 20, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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