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Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
 
Inside this issue
Surprising Nov. Sales: A 13.4 Million SAAR?
Honda Tells U.S. Dealers 'Full Speed Ahead' on December Sales
Opinion: The United States of EPA
U.S. Opens Formal Probe Into Chevrolet Volt for Battery Fires
Daimler to Drop Maybach, Focus on S-Class
Sales of Midsize Cars Shrink as Buyers Go Smaller
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Surprising Nov. Sales: A 13.4 Million SAAR?

U.S. auto sales for November have risen sharply as consumers replace aging vehicles despite the economic turmoil in Europe and political gridlock in Washington, analysts say. November sales, to be released Thursday, Dec. 1, are expected to approach a million units and reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13.4 million, up 8 percent from November 2010. Paul Taylor, chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association, says dealers are using high trade-in values to lure consumers back into their showrooms. "One of the important things we're seeing is the restoration of inventory for many of the brands based in Asia," he says. "We see a strong supply of trucks that suggests an increase in incentives on those vehicles through the end of the year."
Source: Automotive News

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Honda Tells U.S. Dealers 'Full Speed Ahead' on December Sales

Honda will continue to push special lease and loan rates that vary by region through year end. John Mendel, American Honda's sales boss, told Honda's U.S. dealers in a memo on Tuesday that he wants them to move "full speed ahead" to sell vehicles, despite cuts to vehicle production stemming from flooding in Thailand. "Our product availability is good, our arrivals are good and we will continue to have media presence throughout the month of December," Mendel said in the memo. Another memo was sent to dealers on Nov. 21 ... telling dealers that Honda expects vehicle production in December to exceed output in December 2010.
Source: Automotive News

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Opinion: The United States of EPA

The EPA heaved its weight against another industry this month, issuing a regulation to sharply increase fuel economy. Under this new rule, America's fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today's average of about 27 mpg. By the EPA's estimate the rule will cost $157 billion, meaning the real number is vastly greater. The fuel-economy rule is classic Obama EPA. Until this Administration, fuel standards were the remit of Congress, via its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. In 2007, the legislative branch raised those standards with a bill requiring the U.S. fleet to hit 35 miles per gallon by 2020, a 40% increase. The industry is struggling to keep pace with those steep requirements. The National Automobile Dealers Association, which has opposed the EPA rule, has compiled Obama Administration documents showing the average price of a new vehicle will increase by $3,100 by 2025, thanks to the cumulative fuel-efficiency rules. Vehicles that currently cost $15,000 or less will effectively be regulated out of existence. The rule will reduce the mass of a car by 15% to 25%, decreasing safety. The EPA is seeking to impose, by fiat, greenhouse gas reductions that even a Democratic Congress rejected with the Waxman-Markey bill in 2009, and that would drive policy at least 13 years past this Administration. It's all more than a tad authoritarian.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Editor's note: NADA supports the continuous improvement in fuel economy of the nation's vehicle fleet. To this end, NADA is concerned that adding about $3,000 to the average cost of a car will price millions of Americans out of the market, which could reduce fleet turnover and delay environmental gains. This regulation gambles that millions of consumers will be able to afford thousands more for generally smaller, more expensive vehicles that may not meet their needs. This policy is contrary to what most consumers are actually buying today, despite the wide availability of more fuel-efficient models. Click here for NADA’s full statement on the Model Year 2017-2025 fuel economy proposal.

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U.S. Opens Formal Probe Into Chevrolet Volt for Battery Fires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is opening a formal safety investigation into General Motors Co.'s extended-range electric Chevrolet Volt after additional tests sparked a second fire and raised more questions about the safety of the vehicle's lithium-ion battery packs. Concerns were initially raised about fire after a May 12 crash test of the Volt by NHTSA. The agency performed a side pole impact test, followed by a post-impact rollover test on a Volt at a testing facility. Three weeks later, the unattended parked Volt caught fire. No fires among consumer-owned Volts have been reported, and no complaints of fires have been made.
Source: The Detroit News

Related article

GM's Volt Woes Cast Shadow on E-Cars (The Wall Street Journal)

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Daimler to Drop Maybach, Focus on S-Class

Daimler AG will shut down the super-luxury Maybach brand to end almost a decade of losses and focus on developing vehicles under its Mercedes flagship marque. Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler intends to stop producing the $350,000 Maybach when a new version of the Mercedes S-Class comes to market in 2013, Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Mercedes is now also mounting the attack in the high-end segment,” Zetsche said in comments to the FAZ newspaper ... “We have always dominated this segment and that should continue to be the case. We don’t want to wait until the others pull ahead.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Sales of Midsize Cars Shrink as Buyers Go Smaller

Midsize sedans have been America's favorite cars for decades. That's changing. More people are choosing small cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and even smaller ones like the Honda Fit because they're worried about gas prices and car payments. Compact cars will outsell midsize ones as early as this year, forecasts J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing information firm. That hasn't happened in at least two decades.
Source: The Associated Press

Related article

U.S. Consumers Take Note of Diesel (The Detroit News)

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The NADA Story

The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience was born the National Automobile Dealers Association. Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.

 
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"I think we're starting to see the automotive sector recover beyond what's happening in the economy."

    -- Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Automotive News, Nov. 28

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Convention news
Highest-Rated Convention Speaker Returns in 2012

Jeffrey Hargett of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center—the highest-rated workshop speaker from the past convention—was invited back to the 2012 convention in Las Vegas to speak on a different topic, “How to Fulfill Your Customers’ Unexpressed Wishes.” The workshop will be held only once—on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the convention center. A workshop video will not be produced. Click here to register for the convention today.

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Marketplace
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