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Inside this issue
Toyota Worries More About Bad Winter Than Fiscal Cliff
Auto Sales Generate Most Sales Tax Revenue
Auto Industry Worries About More Inflated MPG Claims
Car Engines Downsized, Without Sacrificing Power
Ford Aims for Record 11 Percent Share of U.S. Electric, Hybrid Market
Ford Fusion Named Green Car of the Year
Mazda to Offer Diesel with its 2014 Midsize Flagship
Chrysler to Buy Auto Museum Collection
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Toyota Worries More About Bad Winter Than Fiscal Cliff

Toyota Motor Sales is bullish on U.S. industry sales for 2013, despite the fiscal cliff prospect of tax hikes and deep government spending cuts. Toyota predicts November sales will end with a 14.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, with the calendar year ending slightly above 14.3 million units.
Source: Automotive News

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Auto Sales Generate Most Sales Tax Revenue

Florida's October sales tax revenues show additional evidence that consumers are buying cars.

The state's collection of automobile sales tax in October was "significantly over" estimates, reflecting the sector's robust sales, according to a state revenue report released this week.

Without the boost from auto sales, Florida's sales tax revenue would have fallen below previous estimates, said Amy Baker, Florida's chief economist.

The report follows Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation's report that its new vehicle sales increased by 13 percent in October, compared to a year ago. The nation's largest car and truck retailer sold 20,958 new cars and trucks during the month.

Florida's automobile sales tax collection was over the August estimated numbers by $12.9 million, or 5.4 percent, according to the Office of Economic & Demographic Research. Sales tax collection for consumer nondurables, tourism and building also were over the estimates, though by smaller amounts.

In Fort Lauderdale, taxable sales were up 5.7 percent, with automobiles up 16.3 percent. West Palm Beach's taxable sales rose 4.2 percent, with automobiles up 11.4 percent.

A new Economic Estimating Conference report also was released by the state. The unemployment rate is forecast to hold steady through the first quarter of 2013, but then begin a slow decline, not falling below 8 percent until the fourth quarter of 2014. The jobless rate was 8.5 percent in October.

The November forecast, by a group of state economists, didn't change much from the summer, Baker said.

Personal income reached its peak in early-2012 and is now on a steady rise, she said.

In South Florida, personal income jumped 4.6 percent in the last year to $43,072 per person, but the rate of increase fell below the U.S. average, according to federal statistics.

Statewide, personal income is forecast to increase by 4 percent in 2013 and go as high as 5.4 percent by 2016.

"The recovery is well underway, but it's just slow. Unless there's another financial shock, it's just getting the timing right," she said.

The forecast doesn't factor in Congress' handling of federal fiscal cliff issues, including the potential impact on the state's defense contractors from military budget cuts. Democrats and Republicans are in negotiations to avert the Jan. 1 fiscal cliff, the start of about $600 billion worth of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts.

"At the end of the day there will be some kind of agreement, a mixture of tax changes and budget cuts," Baker said. She said state economists did take into consideration that there will be some "slowing and concerns until an agreement is reached."

"We've built in a little cautiousness," she said.
Source: Sun Sentinel

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Auto Industry Worries About More Inflated MPG Claims

Experts: Hyundai, Kia may not be last to dial back

Hyundai Motor Co.'s admission that it overstated fuel economy claims on several of its top-selling cars has the industry worried, with speculation rife among executives and analysts at the Los Angeles Auto Show that more automakers may have to do the same.
Source: Reuters

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Car Engines Downsized, Without Sacrificing Power

With gasoline prices surging to near-record levels and many experts forecasting a steady climb over the next few years, consumers are looking for ways to cut their fuel bills. There's a clear trend towards downsizing, with compact and subcompact automobiles increasing their market share substantially.
Source: MSNBC

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Ford Aims for Record 11 Percent Share of U.S. Electric, Hybrid Market

Ford Motor Co., vying to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.'s stronghold on the U.S. hybrid market, said it expects to wind up with 11 percent of the U.S. market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles this year. The target would be a record for Ford and is more than double its current share of 5.2 percent in the U.S. electrified vehicle market.
Source: Reuters

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Ford Fusion Named Green Car of the Year

The 2013 Ford Fusion, in all its various iterations, was named Green Car Journal's 2013 Green Car of the Year on Thursday, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles auto show. The Fusion comes in five flavors, with three different gasoline engine choices including two with EcoBoost turbocharging technology, a hybrid version and a range-extended plug-in hybrid. The Fusion beat finalists that included the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero, Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv, the Toyota Prius C and Ford's other fuel-sipper, the C-Max.
Source: The New York Times

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Mazda to Offer Diesel with its 2014 Midsize Flagship

Mazda will be the first Japanese automaker to offer a car with a diesel engine for sale in North America when the 2014 Mazda6 goes on sale next year. When Mazda's all-new flagship car goes on sale in January, it will initially be offered only with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine generating 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The V6 engine is gone with this generation. In the second half of the year, the car will also be available with a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged diesel engine "with bags of torque," said spokesman Jeremy Barnes.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Related Story:

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Chrysler to Buy Auto Museum Collection

Classic vehicles display will only open for special events

Chrysler Group LLC is purchasing the holdings of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum to protect the company's patrimony, but says the classic car collection will no longer be open to the public — except for special occasions. The museum, which has run out of money, will merge with the Chrysler Foundation at the end of the year. After that, the company will purchase the 67 vehicles and displays housed in the museum, which is located next to Chrysler's world headquarters in Auburn Hills.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
"I am more concerned with a major snowstorm shutting down the Midwest or Northeast than anything happening in Washington having an effect on the market." 

   
-- Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations, commenting on the effect of the fiscal cliff on the automotive industry, Automotive News, Nov. 29

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