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Top 5 Stories
Toyota Halts Plants as Quake Damages Japanese Factories
Detroit 3 Face New Challenges in Recovery
FICO 8 Auto Score Becoming the New Standard for the Auto Industry
House Panel Backs Bill Blocking EPA Action on Emissions
Stephen Smith Elected Chairman of the Automotive Trade Association Executives
For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com
Top 5 Stories
Toyota Halts Plants as Quake Damages Japanese Factories

Companies including Sony Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. halted output at plants after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, damaging production facilities and causing power outages. The quake, Japan’s strongest in at least a century, struck at 2:46 p.m. local time (81 miles) off the coast of Sendai, north of Tokyo, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The tremor caused a tsunami as high as (33 feet) that inundated northern towns and caused buildings to shake violently as far away as Tokyo. At least 26 people were killed by the wave and many were missing... Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, and its affiliates closed three factories... The Toyota City-based carmaker began production at a new plant in Miyagi this year that makes Yaris compact cars and has capacity to make 120,000 vehicles a year. Honda Motor Co. closed two factories... Nissan Motor Co. closed four factories including car plants in Tochigi and Kanagawa and engine factories in Kanagawa and Fukushima... Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars, closed five factories...
Source: Bloomberg

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Detroit 3 Face New Challenges in Recovery

Giddy optimism greeted the Detroit Three earlier this year. The economic recovery was gaining steam. GM and Ford posted combined 2010 profits of $11 billion. Chrysler was approaching break-even. And the Chevy Volt and Ford Explorer won car and truck of the year awards. But now, the industry faces major head winds as prices for steel and gas rise. Though auto sales are expected to hit 13 million this year, selling more smaller vehicles will likely mean smaller profits. At GM, there's more cause for concern. Big increases in incentives have some asking whether GM is slipping back into old habits. Management turnover at the top -- in marketing, product development and, as of Thursday, finance -- also is raising issues of stability. A prolonged auto stock slump could complicate Chrysler's plan to complete its IPO by year's end.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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FICO 8 Auto Score Becoming the New Standard for the Auto Industry

Majority of auto lenders and dealers migrating by May
MINNEAPOLIS — FICO, the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, (Thursday) announced that the auto industry is synchronously migrating to the FICO 8 Auto Score, with most lenders completing the adoption process by May. A number of auto lenders have already migrated to the FICO 8 Auto Score, and a majority of the top 35 lenders plan to migrate through April and May. In addition, the nearly 18,000 franchised dealers are also expected to migrate to remain in synchronization with their lender partners. FICO Scores are used by lenders and dealers as part of auto loan and lease originations, and servicing and loss management activities. The industry-wide migration to the new FICO 8 Auto Score will allow lenders and dealers to jointly share more consistent information as they finance vehicle sales and, because of the score’s ability to better assess risk, extend credit to their customers with greater confidence.
Source: FICO

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House Panel Backs Bill Blocking EPA Action on Emissions

WASHINGTON — A Republican-led U.S. House subcommittee voted Thursday to block the Obama administration from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions, advancing a measure that symbolizes a broader partisan battle over energy and environmental policy. The bill approved by a subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee is one of at least two measures in Congress aimed at preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to climate change. The House proposal to block EPA action on greenhouse gases, and a similar Senate bill, face uncertain futures in the Democratic Senate, although some Democratic senators from industrial and coal states have expressed opposition to the EPA rules. President Barack Obama has supported the EPA rules, and could use a veto to block an effort to deny the agency funding. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) criticized the bill for blocking the EPA from developing greenhouse-gas standards for model-year 2017-2025 cars and light trucks, as well as boats, trains and airplanes. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), meanwhile, criticized the bill for blocking the EPA from approving tighter tailpipe standards adopted by California, which has been a leader in developing auto emissions standards.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's note: NADA supports regulating fuel economy standards under the CAFE program. NADA opposes EPA’s redundant fuel economy program and California’s “patchwork” fuel economy regime, which both do not properly consider consumer choice when setting a fuel economy standard. Enactment of a bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), would return regulation of fuel economy to a single, national standard under CAFE, which is best for consumers, dealers and the economy. The bill will see full committee action early next week. It is likely to be considered by the entire House later this month.

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Stephen Smith Elected Chairman of the Automotive Trade Association Executives

SAN FRANCISCO – The Automotive Trade Association Executives (ATAE) has elected Stephen C. Smith as 2011 chairman. The announcement was made at the organization’s annual meeting, held last month in San Francisco, during NADA's annual convention. Smith, president of the Silicon Valley Auto Dealers Association in San Jose, Calif., has led the trade group’s legislative and philanthropic efforts for the past 11 years. The association also produces the Silicon Valley International Auto Show. ATAE, which represents the executives of 115 state and metropolitan auto dealer associations in the United States and Canada, responds to the challenges that new car and truck dealers face on state and local legislative, regulatory, business and consumer issues.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com

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Video Highlights
 

David Hyatt Discusses Impact of Fuel Prices with NADA Analysts (AutoFocus)


NADA's McConnell Calls for Single, National Fuel Economy Standard (NADA-TV)


Ciccolo: Life's Good Fortune Instills 'Driving Desire to Give Back' (NADA-TV)

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