New models, upfit packages, and more announced in August. - Photo: Fleet Forward/Nissan/Toyota

New models, upfit packages, and more announced in August.

Photo: Fleet Forward/Nissan/Toyota

August brought a slew of noteworthy updates from automakers that promise to shape the future of mobility.

From the push to electrification to new 2024 models, we’ve got the most significant happenings in the fleet industry as we dive into the latest news and insights.

Stellantis Transitions to Electric

Stellantis has partnered with AGI to expedite its EV sales and service transition.

AGI will provide expertise in electrical engineering, project management, fabrication, and maintenance to support Stellantis dealers in enhancing their EV readiness.

This collaboration is part of Stellantis' broader effort to prepare its dealership network for the electrification era, adding AGI to its EV infrastructure and training partners roster.

Hyundai Unveils Updated 2024 Elantra

During an online news conference, Hyundai unveiled the 2024 Elantra compact sedan designed for the North American market, highlighting its commitment to sedan offerings despite market trends.

Simon Loasby, head of Hyundai's style group, discussed the design enhancements and customer-friendly features, emphasizing the sedan's bold and dynamic exterior design.

The updated Elantra is set to hit the market in the fall, showcasing Hyundai's dedication to design-forward vehicles and innovative technology.

Honda’s Accord Wins Safety Standout in Rear-Seat Protection

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that only one out of seven midsize cars performed well in a new crash test focused on rear-seat protection, with the Honda Accord receiving a good rating.

The test, updated in 2022, adds a dummy in the back seat behind the driver to assess rear-seat safety.

The Subaru Outback scored an acceptable rating, while the Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, and Volkswagen Jetta all received marginal or poor ratings, highlighting the need for improved rear-seat safety measures in vehicles.

Kia Releases 2024 EV9 Model Info

Kia America unveiled more details about the 2024 EV9, a three-row electric SUV, which includes an advance reservation program.

The EV9 will be available in various trim levels, battery sizes, and drivetrain configurations, providing options for many customers.

Kia plans to start sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will provide reservation program details and pricing at a later date.

Additionally, the EV9 will be assembled in West Point, Georgia, marking Kia's first locally assembled electric vehicle in the United States, with production starting in 2024.

Nissan Announces 2024 Pathfinder

The 2024 Nissan Pathfinder is now available for purchase, and it comes standard with safety features like Nissan Safety Shield 360 and NissanConnect with an eight-inch touchscreen (with a nine-inch option) that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The SUV offers advanced technology options such as a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a 10.8-inch head-up display.

With five available grades, including features like a panoramic moonroof, a premium audio system, and climate-controlled front seats, the Pathfinder provides a comfortable and tech-savvy driving experience.

Additionally, it offers up to 6,000 pounds of towing capacity on select models when properly equipped.

Honda Pilot Wins Top Safety Pick+ Award

The 2023 Honda Pilot has earned the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), marking the seventh Honda model to receive this recognition.

The Pilot excelled in four rigorous crashworthiness tests, earning good scores.

Additionally, its Collision Mitigation Braking System with Pedestrian Detection received superior ratings in both daytime and nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations, and the SUV features good-rated headlights on all trims, meeting the criteria for the Top Safety Pick+ status.

Toyota Launches 2024 Grand Highlander Production

Toyota Indiana has commenced production of the first-ever Grand Highlander, a new three-row SUV, following an $803 million investment in 2021 to produce two new SUV models.

The 2024 Grand Highlander, with a starting price of $43,070, boasts various high-end features, including a 2.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the gas model, delivering over 250 horsepower and a combined MPG rating of 24.

The hybrid variant features the MAX engine, achieving a combined 36 mpg and delivering performance of over 350 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, with multiple driving modes to suit different conditions.

Nissan Introduces Kicks Delivery Package Upfit

With the van market facing shortages and discontinuations of small van models, Nissan has introduced the Nissan Kicks upfit delivery package as a solution for delivery fleets.

The package includes a metal partition between the front and back seats and a cargo floor mat to protect the vehicle's floor.

Installation is quick and doesn't require drilling, and it can be done as part of Nissan's ship-thru program or by a SafeFleet distributor.

This package focuses on applications like auto parts delivery. Nissan will showcase the Kicks delivery upfit package at the DeliveryCon conference and expo in Las Vegas.

Volvo Car Joined NETS as a Platinum Sponsor

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) is a public-private partnership focused on enhancing road safety for employees, their families, and communities by preventing traffic accidents on and off the job.

Volvo Car USA, a Platinum Sponsor of NETS since 2022, sees this partnership as a natural extension of its commitment to vehicle safety. As a Platinum Sponsor, Volvo Car collaborates with NETS to advance road safety for all drivers, employees, their families, and the communities they serve.

About the author
Staff Writer

Staff Writer


Our team of enterprising editors brings years of experience covering the fleet industry. We offer a deep understanding of trends and the ever-evolving landscapes we cover in fleet, trucking, and transportation.  

View Bio