Apple Slow Growth Avoids Big Layoffs; Google Freaking Over ChatGPT; GM Eyes Compact EV Pickup; Zero Emission Vehicle Sales-Way Up in CA

While other tech firms went on a virtual hiring spree between 2019 and 2022, Apple was a bit more cautious…and that seems to be helping them to avoid the large layoffs a lot of tech firms are going through now. According to cnbc.com, Apple only grew by 20%…while Amazon grew 100%, Alphabet was up 57% in staffing, and Microsoft expanded by 53%. Now, Spotify joins the layoff march, but the cuts there are more modest…about 600 people are getting the chop. The good news for all? According to a study by Zip Recruiter, nearly 80% of laid-off tech workers land new jobs within 90 days of starting their job search! 

Some info of late seems to indicate that OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT is being hyped like crazy…and isn’t the threat it has been made out to be. That said, Google is freaking out about it. Theverge.com reports that Google now has plans to “demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features this year” and unveil more than 20 projects powered by artificial intelligence. Before ChatGPT started grabbing headlines, Google had feared they might be moving too fast into AI, but that has all changed. The company apparently has been nervous enough (if a company can be nervous…but hey, corporations are people, too according to Senator Mitt Romney) to consult with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The pair are still controlling shareholders of Google parent Alphabet. The founders have been out of day to day operations since 2019, but did meet with CEO Sundar Pichai.

Pickup trucks are a major part of the US vehicle market, along with SUVs. With Ford selling more EV pickups than expected, and GM working on a Silverado EV, now the General is eyeing a compact pickup. Electrek.co says a smaller pickup from GM would be priced under $30,000…like the hot-selling Chevy Bolt EV. $30 grand is really a sweet spot in new vehicle sales, so this would be a big move. According to a new report from Automotive News, which saw GM’s small electric pickup at its EV design studio in Warren, Michigan, the truck is “futuristic and sporty” looking. 

Speaking of EVs and other low or no emission vehicles, new data for 2022 shows that electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles accounted for 18.8% of all new car sales in California this past year! The data is from the state CEC, the energy commission. The total number sold was 345,818. About 2/3 of those vehicles were made by Tesla. This is really driving…pun intended…the US push to zero emission vehicles. 40% of zero emission vehicle sales in the US were sold in California. California, and the US for that matter, have a long ways to go, however. In Norway, EVs made up 65% of new cars sales in 2021, and a whopping 79.3% in 2022!

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

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