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Thursday, June 30, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Top 5 Stories
Governors Urge Feds to Consider Jobs, Costs in Fuel Standards
June Auto Sales Seen Up Slightly
Toyota to Give U.S. Managers More Autonomy
Once a Global Also-Ran, Hyundai Zooms Forward
Buyers Quick to Embrace Revamped Ford Explorer
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Top 5 Stories
Governors Urge Feds to Consider Jobs, Costs in Fuel Standards

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and 14 other governors warned Wednesday that auto jobs could be at risk if the Obama administration adopts fuel efficiency regulations for 2025 that are too stringent. "If fuel economy standards are increased too quickly, resulting in more expensive vehicles, many consumers can be expected to hold onto their older vehicles longer and defer buying a new car, which could put auto jobs across the country at risk," the governors said in a letter to the heads of the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. The White House told U.S. automakers in private meetings last week that it was considering requiring a fleetwide average of 56.2 mpg by 2025 — a move that could add at least $2,100 to the price of a vehicle. "It is very risky for the Obama administration to set fuel economy policy 14 years in advance. In 14 years, my 3-year-old will be able to drive," said Bailey Wood, spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association. "Who knows what she or anyone else will want to buy and drive in 14 years?"
Source: The Detroit News

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June Auto Sales Seen Up Slightly

Fewer cars on dealer lots and higher prices -- factors that led to disappointing U.S. auto sales in May -- look to hold June results in check. New vehicle sales in the second half of the year will rise as consumers begin to replace old cars and trucks, said Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. Also helping boost sales will be the lower gasoline prices and a wider availability of consumer credit, Taylor said. "The drop in gasoline prices will help avoid a summer run on small cars and hybrids, both in short supply in the current market, as well as lead to increased sales of larger cars and light trucks," Taylor said.
Source: Reuters

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Toyota to Give U.S. Managers More Autonomy

Japanese automaker wants to regionalize decision-making

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda told U.S. dealers Wednesday that the automaker was transferring more power to make decisions to the company's U.S.-based managers. Speaking at the annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Toyoda said his "most important goal" was to increase regional autonomy. Toyota's highly centralized management had been cited as one of the reasons for the company's slow response to U.S. customer complaints of unintended acceleration that led to recalls of millions of vehicles in 2009 and 2010, most of them in the United States. 
Source: The Detroit News 

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Once a Global Also-Ran, Hyundai Zooms Forward

About a decade ago, Hyundai was a global also-ran—a maker of small, cheap, no-frills cars with a reputation for breaking down. But in the past decade, the company worked hard to root out defects, improve quality and design, expand production into low-cost locations and offer cars with more features than its competitors, like a 10-year warranty. And it has pulled off some feats that many of its rivals haven't been able to accomplish, or dared to try. "It must be a little bit like when the old domestics saw the Japanese coming up in the rearview mirror," said Jim Press, a former board member of Toyota Motor Corp. and president of Chrysler LLC, who consults for Nissan Motor Co. "It looks like Hyundai is doing a lot of things that the other companies are saying they can't do."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Buyers Quick to Embrace Revamped Ford Explorer

Waiting period for new SUV is 6-8 weeks as strong demand continues

Ford Motor Co. has already sold more Ford Explorers this year than all of 2010, as consumers continue to buy the revised utility vehicle as fast as the automaker can build them. The Explorer is one of the fastest-selling vehicles in Ford's lineup — averaging just 11 days on dealer lots before they are snapped up. Some dealers have reported selling them right off the truck, said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager for North America cars and utilities. "I'm surprised by how quickly it became No.1 in its segment," Marentic said. "Fuel economy used to be a rejection reason and is now showing up as a purchase reason."
Source: The Detroit News

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More articles

June 29, 2011 - Sen. Levin Wants Answers on White House 56.2 mpg Proposal

June 28, 2011 - GM Calls Fuel Regime 'Tough'

June 27, 2011 - Obama Targets $72 Billion Business Tax Break

June 24, 2011 - Vehicle Quality Trips Over Efforts to Add Fuel Economy, Multi-Media

June 23, 2011 - NADA Disagrees with Recommendations by Former EPA Administrators on Fuel Economy

 
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Quotable
"If fuel economy standards are increased too quickly, resulting in more expensive vehicles, many consumers can be expected to hold onto their older vehicles longer and defer buying a new car, which could put auto jobs across the country at risk."

    -- Fifteen governors, in a letter to the Obama administration urging it not to set fuel economy standards for the 2017-2025 model years that are too aggressive, The Detroit News, June 30

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