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Inside this issue
Roaring Back Toward Sweet 16
Zero-Emission Mandate: Coming to Your State?
Study: Cars More Costly Under New Gas-Mileage Rules
Mark Phelan: Little 2.0-Liter Engines Pack Plenty of Power to Transform Auto Industry
Old Mustang Is Put Out to Pasture
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Top Stories
Roaring Back Toward Sweet 16

Surging sales send forecasts soaring
Sales of 16 million light vehicles? Suddenly it's not a mirage. In recent days, several key analysts, some big dealership groups and a handful of automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler, have upped their forecasts for 2012 and the next two years. And they all see 16 million on the horizon -- not this year, of course, but within two years. And they say single-month selling rates of 16 million are likely in 2013. Paul Taylor, the National Automobile Dealers Association's chief economist, says optimism "is well-placed" but adds that "characterizing 2000-07 as normalcy is misplaced" because they were "years of very easy credit and a lot of incentives for both customers and new-car dealers."
Source: Automotive News

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Zero-Emission Mandate: Coming to Your State?

California regulators expected to finalize rule this summer
California isn't the only state that soon could force carmakers to deliver a specified number of electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Ten other states typically follow California's rules on so-called zero-emission vehicles -- some automatically, some by inclination -- and many of them could adopt the mandate once it's made final by California regulators. That's expected to happen this summer. The rule, approved by the California Air Resources Board in January, requires 15.4 percent of all new cars sold in the state -- about 270,000 annually -- to be plug-in hybrids, electric cars or fuel cell vehicles by the 2025 model year. In some of the 10 states that have followed California's lead, rulemakers have the option to remain in lockstep. In a few others, including New Jersey and Maryland, the California rules would be adopted automatically. Bailey Wood, director of legislative affairs at the National Automobile Dealers Association, said the rule could force dealerships in those states to stock cars that buyers don't want. "Already, dealers have to accept less popular vehicles to get the ones they want," he added. "With the [zero-emission vehicle] mandate, it will be even worse."
Source: Automotive News

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Study: Cars More Costly Under New Gas-Mileage Rules

Auto dealers are worried that the nation's higher fuel-economy standards are going to cost them lots of new and used vehicle sales by raising prices. The Obama administration has ordered the new gas-mileage rules as a way of dealing with higher fuel prices and environmental concerns. The National Automobile Dealers Association commissioned a study that found government fuel-economy standards being imposed from 2017 to 2025 will boost car prices by $2,937, and that the cheapest new car will now cost about $15,700. That will make a new car unaffordable to up to 4.2 million households, the study says.
Source: USA Today

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Mark Phelan: Little 2.0-Liter Engines Pack Plenty of Power to Transform Auto Industry

There's a new class of super-engine on the road, and it's not what you expect. The most exciting, technically intriguing engines I've tested in the last six months weren't throbbing V8s, exotic V12s, trendy electric-gasoline hybrids or post-modernist hip European diesels. My heart -- and my eager right foot -- belongs to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Engines that size were long dismissed as weaklings fit only for little economy cars. Americans weren't inclined to take an engine seriously if the total displacement of its cylinders was the same size as a 99-cent bottle of Coke. That was then. Today, 2.0-liter engines propel high-powered sport sedans, elegant roadsters and roomy crossover SUVs.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Old Mustang Is Put Out to Pasture

As Baby Boomers reminisce, Ford aims to save brand with European look to draw younger buyers
For the last decade, auto makers have connected with baby boomers by recreating storied cars from their youth like the VW Beetle, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Now, Ford Motor Co. is betting it is time to hit the brakes on the retro trend, and shift its focus to a younger generation.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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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. For more information, visit www.nada.org.

 
Quotable
"Americans are willing to accept smaller engines as long as there's power. This is where the industry is headed."

   
-- IHS analyst Aaron Bragman, referring to new four-cylinder gasoline engines that produce as much power as six- or even eight-cylinder engines, Detroit Free Press, April 15


 

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