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July 2, 2012 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Inside this issue
White Castle to Gadget Maker See Risks in Health Law
Health Care: It's Time for Hard Choices
Highway Bill OK'd; Safety Rules Lacking
Toyota Recalls 154,000 Lexus Models to Fix Floor Mat Problem
Cars to Celebrate Americana
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Top Stories
White Castle to Gadget Maker See Risks in Health Law

William Underriner, president of Underriner Motors in Billings, Montana, knows what he spent [on health care coverage] for his 65 employees in 2011 at his group of Buick, Volvo, Honda and Hyundai franchises: more than $300,000. Notwithstanding the Obama administration’s pledges of cost containment, bills will keep rising, said Underriner, who watched news coverage of the court ruling from his glass-walled office in the showroom, surrounded by Honda Crosstour and Pilot sport-utility vehicles, an Accord sedan and an Odyssey minivan. “Each year, it’s getting harder and harder” to continue paying 100 percent of employees’ premiums, he said. Underriner wears a second hat as well, as chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, the trade group for about 16,000 new-vehicle retailers in the U.S. NADA said in a statement that the Obama measure “remains a flawed law.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Health Care: It's Time for Hard Choices

Small dealers weigh costs, coverage, fines

Now that President Obama's health care reform is going forward, automotive businesses of varied sizes are assessing their options. Judith Krupnick, president of Cherry Hill Volvo of Cherry Hill, N.J., said her executive team is looking at options. She provides insurance for 23 of her 60 employees. But the law requires her to insure all full-time employees or pay a $2,000 tax annually for every full-time employee.... Krupnick said the fines would be "substantially less expensive" than providing the coverage, she said. She said she now pays about $6,000 per employee for their coverage. But dealerships that drop coverage for employees and pay the fines risk losing valuable employees who expect health insurance. The vast majority of dealerships now provide health coverage, says the National Automobile Dealers Association. NADA, which opposed the law from the start, restated its opposition after the ruling. In a statement last week, NADA said: "The resources that dealers must put toward meeting these new health care mandates prevent them from growing their businesses and, in many cases, hinder their ability to offer quality health care plans to their employees. "Congress should revisit this law to ensure that dealership employees are not forced out of employer-based health care plans."
Source: Automotive News

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Highway Bill OK'd; Safety Rules Lacking

The two-year highway bill, approved by both houses of Congress on Friday, doubles fines on automakers that fail to recall vehicles in a timely fashion to $35 million from the current $17 million but left out many new safety requirements sought by the Senate. In the wake of Toyota Motor Corp.'s recall of nearly 10 million vehicles, stemming from reports of sudden acceleration, many in Congress and safety advocates pushed for sweeping auto safety legislation. Friday's vote largely ends that effort in the short term.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor’s note: NADA supported this comprehensive legislation. Included in the bill is a provision that directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule allowing paper odometer disclosure statements to be provided electronically. This modernization will facilitate electronic titling and electronic lien release, producing savings for states, consumers and dealers alike.

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Toyota Recalls 154,000 Lexus Models to Fix Floor Mat Problem

Toyota, facing customer complaints and gentle prodding from federal regulators, is recalling 154,000 2010 model-year Lexus vehicles, saying Friday there is the potential for pedals to be trapped by floor mats -- a serious safety issue harkening back to the millions of vehicles the company recalled in recent years.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Cars to Celebrate Americana
By Larry Printz

This July 4 pre-weekend, let's step back in time and let our feelings of patriotism well up inside us like overheated radiators. Put on that Dacron polyester outfit. Pour yourself a martini. Put an Antonio Carlos Jobim album on the record player. That's it. Relax and enjoy a bit of '60s American automotive swagger in the best Don Draper fashion.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot

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More Articles
"Congress should revisit this law to ensure that dealership employees are not forced out of employer-based health care plans."

-- NADA in a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Automotive News, July 2

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