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The pandemic ‘has made people more passionate’ about their cars: Jack Roush Jr.

Jack Roush Jr., Roush Performance Marketing VP and ‘You Don’t Know Jack’ Podcast Host, joins Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro, Seana Smith, and Pras Subramanian to discuss supply chain issues in the automotive industry, the business of performance auto parts, and the development in electric vehicles.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: The auto market, we have been talking about the fact that supply shortages and also surging demand has left not only dealers, but also potential buyers just on the hook. They cannot find, simply, the vehicles that they need. So let's talk about that. Let's also talk about the dynamics at play when it comes to racing. And we want to bring in Jack Roush Jr. He's the Roush Performance marketing VP, also host of the podcast "You Don't Know Jack." And we also have Pras Subramanian joining the conversation as well.

Jack, I guess your focus, clearly, is on the manufacturing and also the development of racing components. I guess, how has the supply shortage and some of the dynamics at play in the auto market-- how is that affecting your business?

JACK ROUSH JR: You know, multiple ways. It's interesting what it's doing to use car prices, obviously. But for-- we don't just make parts. We also have fully pre-title upgraded packages that we put on top of Ford vehicles. And that's-- it really hasn't hurt us too hard so far, but it's definitely a wild card. You know, we don't know exactly how this year is going to finish out.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, Jack, Pras here. So I know one of those vehicles is that new 2021 F-150 Roush Performance Edition. Tell us about that. And you know, the F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in America. Is it also the top-selling vehicle for Roush Performance, as well?

JACK ROUSH JR: Yeah, actually, you know, it's funny. If you look back over time, we've really been known for Mustang. You know, we've raced Mustangs. I've personally raced Mustangs myself. But the truck market over the past five years has just exploded, and it's not stopping.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I'm curious, because I'm stuck in the era of Andy Granatelli, you know, setting the speed record in an Avanti with an R3 engine supercharged, what's going to happen with the shift to everything going electric? Are we going to-- is a whole generation going to forever be lost on, you know, powerful, internal combustion engines, or will it just shift?

JACK ROUSH JR: That's a great question. I don't think anyone knows exactly how this is going to play out. You know, what we're talking about with that is really a cultural question. You know, what will be the appetite for the enthusiast to really enjoy electric engines? You know, I-- just like you guys, I grew up with gas engines. And to feel that-- you know, the explosions that literally shoot you forward, you know, that's a hard thing to give up. I think, though, we are seeing a trend towards acceptance for electric vehicles in performance, but it's I think going to take a little bit of time.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, Jack. I got a two-part part question here. First, are we going to see an electric F-150 Lightning Roush Performance version? And then also, I want to ask you about the car customization scene. You know, people working on their cars was a big trend here during the pandemic. And as we slowly-- and I don't know if we're going to be able to get out of it sooner or later-- but are we going to see that trend stick around, in your mind?

JACK ROUSH JR: We're looking at options with new vehicles. I can't really say anything right now, but definitely stay tuned. For the trend that we're seeing with demand right now, you know, it's really interesting. You know, we went into the pandemic, and we were really, quite honestly, concerned, you know? Are sales going to go away? What's going to happen to the economy? And as you guys know, demand has just skyrocketed. I've never seen, you know, a surge in demand like this before.

The lockdowns have slowed. You know, the future is so uncertain with COVID. But you know, even coming out of, you know, the first waves-- [INAUDIBLE] We have not seen a slowdown in demand. I mean, people want to get out there and enjoy, you know, their lives. I think the lockdowns have really, if anything, made people more passionate about building their cars and getting out there and using them.

SEANA SMITH: All right, Jack Roush Jr, marketing vice president at Roush Performance, thanks so much for taking the time to join us.