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Top 5 Stories
Auto Dealers, EPA Clash on Calif. Emissions Rules
Fuel Economy Standards Could Raise Concerns About Job Impacts
Obama Orders All Fed Agencies to Review Regulations
Ford Dealers to Hold Lessons on New MyFord Touch Technology
Opinion: Auto Industry Off to a Fast Start in the Motor City
Top 5 Stories
Auto Dealers, EPA Clash on Calif. Emissions Rules

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration improperly created a state-by-state patchwork of auto emissions standards by allowing California to impose its own greenhouse gas rules, a lawyer for business groups told a U.S. appeals court (Tuesday). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association (Tuesday) asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to revoke a waiver issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that lets California opt for stricter emissions rules than federal standards require. Auto dealers, in court papers, said the standards will limit their ability to keep popular vehicles in stock, especially those with the most powerful engines.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's Note: NADA is urging the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn EPA’s decision to grant California’s request to set fuel economy standards. Unless the Court overturns EPA’s grant of the waiver, California will be empowered to put in place a patchwork of potentially conflicting state fuel economy standards, creating conditions for economic uncertainty without commensurate environmental benefits. The federal government should control the process of setting national fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards, not individual states. "No one state should dictate the outcome of federal regulatory policy," says Andrew Koblenz, NADA vice president and general counsel. NADA remains committed to fuel economy increases under the federal CAFE program.

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Fuel Economy Standards Could Raise Concerns About Job Impacts

WASHINGTON -- If President Barack Obama wants to make sure new government regulations don't run afoul of job creation, future fuel economy standards for automobiles could be a place to start. A spokeswoman for the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group representing Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and others, said she hopes government regulators take into account the effect increases in fuel economy standards will have on manufacturers and consumers. "Our view has always been that fuel-economy standards should be data-driven, not politically driven," said Gloria Bergquist, the alliance's vice president. Bergquist said concerns remain that California could demand its own fuel standards, a prospect automakers say puts them at a disadvantage. Any move to increase standards should consider that hybrid sales haven't taken off and that requiring more fuel-efficient vehicles could hurt sales and, in turn, employment.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Obama Orders All Fed Agencies to Review Regulations

President Obama on Tuesday ordered every federal agency to conduct a systematic review of existing regulations, a concerted effort to banish red tape at a time when the administration is eager to promote economic growth and to repair its fractured relations with the business community. ... the formal order puts agencies across the government on notice that, when making new rules, they must avoid "unreasonable burdens on business," as Obama put it in an op-ed in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. "Over the past two years, the goal of my administration has been to strike the right balance. And today, I am signing an executive order that makes clear that this is the operating principle of our government," Obama wrote. He also cited collaboration between the EPA and the Department of Transportation last year to "turn a tangle of rules" on fuel efficiency "into one aggressive new standard."
Source: The Washington Post

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Ford Dealers to Hold Lessons on New MyFord Touch Technology

Consumer Reports called new system too complicated and distracting

Ford dealers are inviting customers who buy a vehicle with MyFord Touch back to the dealership a week later for free tutorial sessions to learn more about the new touch-screen system. Ford has touted MyFord Touch as an intuitive control system that allows customers to control navigation, radio, communication, heating and cooling in one of three ways: A touch-screen, a five-way controller on the steering wheel or with voice commands. “The younger people, and the people who are more sophisticated love it,” said Jim Seavitt, owner of Village Ford in Dearborn. “The less tech-savvy customers need to come back in again.” Still, some dealers want the company to consider compensating them for the additional time and staffing expenses. “I think that there’s a discussion that needs to happen,” said Brian Godfrey, general sales manager Pat Milliken Ford in Redford and also a member of Ford’s National Dealer Council.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Opinion: Auto Industry Off to a Fast Start in the Motor City
By Michelle Morris

After years of challenges, the news out of Detroit this week has automobile industry experts hopeful for a strong 2011. Google’s North American Auto Team, headquartered out of Detroit with teams in NYC and California, works with auto makers, parts suppliers and agencies across the country to help market their latest and greatest. Like everyone else, we’re hopeful for a continued recovery across the industry and continue to be impressed by our clients’ creativity and innovation. NADA’s (National Automobile Dealers Association) chief economist Paul Taylor put it best when he recently said, “A revitalized auto industry benefits everyone—every consumer, every dealer and every manufacturer." 2011 is shaping up to be comeback year for not just Detroit, but for the entire auto industry. As a third generation Detroit-based automotive industry worker, I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Auto.
Source: Google

Editor's Note: Michelle Morris is director of Google’s Automotive Industry division in Detroit, Mich. She will be a featured speaker at NADA's upcoming Convention & Expo in San Francisco, Feb. 5-7, leading the workshop “Insights into Consumer Behavior." Google and Compete, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in online consumer research, will also unveil key findings from a study of the online behaviors of car shoppers six months to one week prior to their vehicle purchase and dealers and their managers will have the opportunity to look at some online tools designed to reach potential car buyers on the Web.

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Quotable
 
"No one state should dictate the outcome of federal regulatory policy."

    -- Andrew Koblenz, NADA vice president and general counsel, on allowing California to impose its own greenhouse gas rules, Jan. 18

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