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Top 5 Stories
New Tax Bill Has a Few More Gifts for Dealers
Tax Break May Spur Business Spending, Hiring
Mileage Measurements Sure to Puzzle Electric-Car Shoppers
AutoTrader.com to Present New Online Marketing Trends at NADA Convention
Editorial: Intense Demand for GM's Electric Vehicle Proves Free Market Can Sustain New Automotive Era
Top 5 Stories
New Tax Bill Has a Few More Gifts for Dealers

Dealers scored a few wins when President Obama signed the new tax bill into law Friday. In addition to a lower estate tax and higher exemption to that tax than had once been expected, two other parts of the new law are expected to help the auto industry. First, businesses will now be allowed to immediately depreciate 100 percent of new equipment purchased between Sept. 8, 2010, and the end of 2011. (Bailey Wood of the National Automobile Dealers Association) also touted the extension of higher thresholds for investment deductions. For 2010 and 2011, companies can deduct up to $500,000 of capital investments, including machinery. For 2012, they can deduct up to $125,000.
Source: Automotive News

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Tax Break May Spur Business Spending, Hiring

One small provision in the new tax law could spur big-ticket business spending — and if a government analysis proves correct, bolster hiring. The "100% expensing" policy allows businesses in 2011 to fully write off "productive capital investments" such as delivery trucks, machines and aircraft rather than depreciate the cost over a period of years. With the immediate write-off, firms will have lower taxable income and more money to spend. A Treasury Department analysis estimates 2 million companies will take advantage of it.
Source: USA Today

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Mileage Measurements Sure to Puzzle Electric-Car Shoppers

LOS ANGELES — According to the government, the car with the highest mileage per gallon on the market doesn't use a single drop of gasoline. The 2011 Nissan Leaf, which was delivered to its first owners this month, runs entirely on battery. But the Environmental Protection Agency says it can travel 99 miles on the equivalent of a single gallon of fuel. Confused? You're not alone. The mileage-equivalent ratings, meant to help potential buyers compare electric cars with others in their class, are befuddling some consumers who see them as an automotive example of comparing apples and oranges.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor's Note: Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle recently wrote to the Administration questioning its fuel economy labeling proposal. NADA believes fuel economy labels must be easy to read and understand and must provide information suitable for making real-life comparisons among vehicles, whether fueled by gasoline or diesel, biofuels or electricity. In comments to the Administration, NADA expressed its support for an approach that retains the current label's focus on miles per gallon and annual fuel costs. For plug-in labels, NADA supports displaying information on all-electric and total-vehicle range and battery charge time, but opposes a kilowatt-per-hour consumption metric. Click here to read NADA's comments. To view the proposed labels, click here.

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AutoTrader.com to Present New Online Marketing Trends at NADA Convention

McLEAN, Va. – Because of today’s tough economy, car shoppers are increasingly spending more time conducting online research and scrutinizing potential purchases so that they feel confident about their buying decisions, says Howard Polirer, director of Industry Relations for AutoTrader.com in Atlanta, Ga. “Even though the economy is rising from the ashes of the fallout over the past couple of years and has rebounded to some extent, it has permanently changed shopping behavior, not just car shopping behavior,” says Polirer, who will be presenting “Influencing Car Shoppers Beyond the Click” at the 2011 NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco on Feb. 4, 6 and 7.
Source: NADA Public Affairs

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Editorial: Intense Demand for GM's Electric Vehicle Proves Free Market Can Sustain New Automotive Era

General Motors has a smoking red-hot winner on its hands with the Chevy Volt. Already, 250,000 potential buyers have expressed interest in the first 10,000 Volts GM plans to build in the next year. Some dealers have so many customers beating on the doors they plan to add a premium on to the sticker price. It's the law of supply and demand at its finest. The government can and should step away now and let the market establish the sticker price. With demand outpacing supply by 25 to 1, that's likely to be a price point very satisfying to GM's profit prospects.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
 
"We do see real evidence that the pace of new-car sales is picking up."

    -- Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist, adding that dealers are starting to see the return of "need" buyers who are finally replacing aging high-mileage vehicles, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 19

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