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Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Auto Demand Seen Rising for Those With Good Credit
Ford Poised to Regain No. 2 Sales Ranking
U.S. Carmakers, Engine Makers Challenge Rule Allowing 15% Ethanol in Gas
Domestics Likely to End Year on High Note
Toyota Agrees to Pay $32.4 Million U.S. Fine Over Timing of Recalls
Top 5 Stories
Auto Demand Seen Rising for Those With Good Credit

NEW YORK -- Demand for new cars will likely spike in 2011 among consumers who lenders will be happy to do business with: those with very high credit scores. More than 60 percent of the leases expiring next year are held by borrowers in the "super prime" category, meaning they have credit scores of 720 or better, reflecting excellent on-time payment histories, according to TransUnion, a Chicago-based credit reporting agency. "These folks are either going to have to buy the car they've been leasing or get something new in 2011," said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in TransUnion's financial services group. "That's a good sign for lenders."
Source: The Associated Press

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Ford Poised to Regain No. 2 Sales Ranking

Ford Motor Co. is on track to recover its No. 2 sales ranking in the United States, supplanting Toyota Motor Corp. after achieving its biggest one-year gain in market share since the 1980s. Ford has increased its U.S. auto sales at nearly double the market's growth rate, boosting its share to 16.4 percent, from 15.3 percent last year and 14.2 percent in 2008, said George Pipas, the company's market analyst. "The last time Ford gained one or more points of market share was in the '80s," Pipas said.
Source: The Detroit News

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U.S. Carmakers, Engine Makers Challenge Rule Allowing 15% Ethanol in Gas

U.S. carmakers and engine manufacturers asked an appeals court to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its October decision allowing the sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. Organizations including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers today asked the federal appeals court in Washington to review whether the EPA’s “partial waiver” allowing so-called E-15 fuels violates the Clean Air Act. “We want to be sure that any new fuel will not increase air pollution, harm engines or endanger consumer safety,” Michael J. Stanton, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, said in the statement.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's Note: Allowing the sale of gasohol with up to 15 percent ethanol poses a risk of reduced engine and fuel system performance, or worse yet, permanent damage. NADA consistently has raised concerns about the negative impact that unreasonable fuel mandates and poor fuel quality can have on vehicle performance and customer satisfaction. NADA opposes rules which may result in the use of fuels in engines for which they were not designed. For several years, most light- and medium-duty, gasoline-engine motor vehicles sold and serviced by dealerships have been designed to accommodate gasohol blends containing a maximum of 10 percent ethanol, with some duel- and flexible-fueled vehicles designed to use E-85, a gasohol blend containing 85 percent ethanol.

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Domestics Likely to End Year on High Note

While the Big 3 enjoyed some resurgence this year after a rather trying 2009, NADAguides.com revealed some more good news for these automakers Thursday. The company announced that the three most-researched models on its site for the first 11 months of the year are all Big 3 models. Specifically, the 2010 Ford F-150 generated the most interest as far as consumers conducting research on the site, while the 2011 Ford Mustang came in second, NADAguides reported. The third most-researched model was the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Toyota Agrees to Pay $32.4 Million U.S. Fine Over Timing of Recalls

WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor Corp. agreed today to pay two more safety fines for a total of $32.4 million, the maximum allowable under U.S. law, to settle federal investigations of whether the company notified regulators of safety defects in timely fashion. One investigation settled today involved 2004-2005 recalls of light trucks for alleged loss of steering control. The other involved a 2007 floor-mat recall to address unintended acceleration caused by pedal entrapment. "Toyota is pleased to have resolved these legacy issues related to the timeliness of prior recalls dating back to 2005," Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's Chief Quality Officer for North America, said in a statement.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
"The last time Ford gained one or more points of market share was in the '80s."

    -- George Pipas, Ford's market analyst, on the automaker achieving its biggest one-year gain in market share since the 1980s, The Detroit News, Dec. 20

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