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Top Stories
Calif. Returns Automakers' Fire Over 2017-25 MPG Rules
Fed's Beige Book Summary Finds Economy Slowly Gaining Momentum
Automakers to Rev Up Ad Spending in 2011
Taxpayer Investment in GM, Chrysler has 'Starkly Improved,' U.S. Says
From War to Volleyball, Then the Lexus Lot
Top Stories
Calif. Returns Automakers' Fire Over 2017-25 MPG Rules

WASHINGTON -- California regulators fired back at automakers (Thursday) on proposed federal fuel economy standards for 2017-25, exposing conflicts that the Obama administration will have to resolve if it is to negotiate an agreement by the fall. A California Air Resources Board spokesman said (Thursday) that a letter from the auto industry's main trade group suggests “its intent to back away from its commitment to build the clean cars the nation needs.” In a letter to key House Republicans this week, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also tries to slow California efforts to develop fuel efficiency and tailpipe emission standards, another CARB spokesman said. “We are concerned about the sincerity of the Alliance's commitment to a national program,” CARB spokesman Stanley Young said in an e-mail. The Alliance struck a conciliatory note (Thursday). "We hope California decides to remain at the table with us," said the group's spokeswoman, Gloria Bergquist.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's NoteNADA is committed to fuel economy increases under the federal CAFE program, which accounts for consumer demand, jobs and the impact on the nation’s economy. Allowing California and more than a dozen states to regulate fuel economy creates a patchwork of standards that could increase vehicle costs and decrease vehicle availability with no commensurate environmental benefit. An appeal brought by NADA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to determine whether the Environmental Protection Agency improperly granted a waiver permitting California to set fuel economy standards will be argued before the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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Fed's Beige Book Summary Finds Economy Slowly Gaining Momentum

The economy "continued to expand moderately" at the end of last year, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve that shows a recovery that, although not rapid, is on track. The beige book, a compilation of anecdotal reports from businesses across the country, offered further confirmation of trends that have emerged from a range of economic data in recent weeks: The manufacturing, retail and service industries outside of finance appear relatively strong. The job market is gradually improving. And the housing sector remains a significant drag on the economy. One of the encouraging areas was the manufacturing sector, which "continued to recover" across all Fed districts, according to the beige book. The auto industry was a particular source of strength. Industrial contacts in the states served by the Chicago Fed "pointed to pent-up demand for both light and heavy motor vehicles, attributed to an aging fleet, as a key driver of activity in the manufacturing sector."
Source: The Washington Post

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Automakers to Rev Up Ad Spending in 2011

DETROIT - Automakers stepped on the gas when it came to advertising during the U.S. industry's comeback last year and the spending will only accelerate in 2011 as sales rise and companies tout their newest vehicles. With U.S. auto sales up more than 11 percent to about 11.6 million cars and light trucks last year, and optimism running high that sales could grow another 12 percent in 2011, consumers can expect more car ads -- especially on TV and the Internet -- trying to lure them to dealer showrooms, top auto and media executives said. "The consumers are out there, the public is starting to be receptive to the showroom floors in a pretty significant way," (said Chuck Eddy, owner of a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealer outside Youngstown, Ohio.) Eddy's ad spending jumped 30 percent last year, and while the growth rate will be lower in 2011, the amount spent will top 2009. "I'm doing more advertising than I ever have."
Source: Reuters

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Taxpayer Investment in GM, Chrysler has 'Starkly Improved,' U.S. Says

U.S. taxpayers’ investment in General Motors, Chrysler and their two primary financing companies has “starkly improved,” but the U.S. Treasury’s conflicting goals may have hurt taxpayers’ ability to recoup money, the Congressional Oversight Panel said (Thursday). Still ... the Congressional Oversight Panel stopped short of labeling the government’s intervention a success. In fact, a final verdict is difficult because the Treasury has several conflicting goals, the panel said — saving American jobs, recouping taxpayer funds, getting out of ownership quickly and staying out of the companies’ management decisions.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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From War to Volleyball, Then the Lexus Lot

As a girl growing up in the Bosnian war zone, Ivana Bosika, 27, spent more time hiding with her mother in the basement of their home in bomb-battered Brcko than strategizing about her dream career. But Ms. Bosika was always determined to study business. Eventually, her volleyball skills earned her a scholarship to Long Island University, where she received an M.B.A. in 2007. A sales associate at Lexus of Queens since August 2009, she lives in Ridgewood, Queens, with her husband, George, who installs and refinishes wood floors.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
 
"The consumers are out there, the public is starting to be receptive to the showroom floors in a pretty significant way."

    -- Chuck Eddy, owner of a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealer outside Youngstown, Ohio, who says his ad spending jumped 30 percent last year and will grow again in 2011, Reuters, Jan. 12

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