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Inside this issue
Suzuki Reaches Settlement Pacts With 97% of Its Dealers
FTC Proposes Additions to Used-Car Window Stickers
Car Loan Access, Payoff Times Grow
Nissan Hits Back at Fiat for Criticism of Leaf Styling
Subaru Mulls Expansion of Indiana Assembly Plant
Lincoln's 'Warm, Personal' Makeover Includes Super Bowl Ads
10 Reasons GM's Profit Is About to Explode
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Suzuki Reaches Settlement Pacts With 97% of Its Dealers

The American Suzuki Motor Corporation has reached settlement agreements with 213 of its 219 automotive dealers, Suzuki said Tuesday, nearly a month after the unit filed for bankruptcy. The agreements are intended to compensate dealers and smooth their transition from automobile sales to warranty-and-repair providers for hundreds of thousands of Suzuki owners.
Source: The New York Times

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FTC Proposes Additions to Used-Car Window Stickers

Used-car dealers would need to give customers more information on warranties under changes to window sticker rules that the Federal Trade Commission proposed [yesterday]. The proposal, which the five FTC commissioners unanimously approved, makes changes to the Buyers Guide that dealers must affix to windows of all used cars offered for sale. The FTC said it will take public comment through Feb. 11 before deciding whether to finalize the proposed changes. The proposal would not require dealers to provide a copy of the warranty. While some consumer groups wanted dealers to provide copies of all warranties to customers, industry trade groups argued that the warranties are often difficult to obtain. Regulators agreed with the dealers' argument. Bailey Wood, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said ... "We've showed them that the rule that's in place is effective at policing the market, and it is doing so," he told Automotive News.
Source: Automotive News

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Car Loan Access, Payoff Times Grow

Scoring a car loan continues to get easier. But they are taking longer to pay off. New-vehicle loans to customers with subprime loans grew by nearly 3 percent during the third quarter and now comprise nearly 25 percent of all new car loans, according to an Experian Automotive report. And the total subprime financing market for used vehicles grew even more — by about 5.5 percent — and now comprise more than 54 percent of all used-car loans. All the while, the average loan term for new vehicles has climbed to 64 months, while the average used-vehicle loan term is now 60 months. Both are one month longer than at the same time a year ago.
Source: The Detroit News

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Nissan Hits Back at Fiat for Criticism of Leaf Styling

The gloves are off in a war of words over electric vehicle styling, with Nissan blasting Fiat for its recent dig at the Nissan Leaf's looks and saying if any car is guilty of "visual pollution" it is some of the Italian brand's own designs.
Source: Automotive News

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Subaru Mulls Expansion of Indiana Assembly Plant

Growing U.S. sales, strong yen prompts study

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Subaru unit is studying expanding its Indiana assembly plant as the Toyota Motor Corp. affiliate seeks to boost U.S. output to curb currency losses and meet growing demand for its models. The U.S. unit and its parent are in discussions to expand the Lafayette, Indiana, factory, Tom Doll, Subaru's U.S. executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio.
Source: Bloomberg

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Lincoln's 'Warm, Personal' Makeover Includes Super Bowl Ads

Lincoln Motor Co., the luxury unit of Ford Motor Co., officially launched a broad image makeover that has been in the works for some time. The brand, whose average customers are in their mid 60s, is trying to woo younger, independent-minded buyers it calls “progressive luxury consumers.” Ford chief executive Alan Mulally said Lincoln's goal in part is to give buyers “warm, personal and surprising experiences,” which means in part that Lincoln seeks to match the reputations of other luxury brands, including Toyota Motor Co.'s Lexus unit, for top-notch dealer service. Lincoln will also step into the modern age by advertising during the National Football League's Super Bowl, which in recent years has become a must for car makers from Kia and Volkswagen to Audi and BMW.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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10 Reasons GM's Profit Is About to Explode

GM has started to get its act together in many ways. Here are 10 reasons GM's profits should start to kick into high gear in 2013 and beyond.
Source: Forbes

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Quotable
"The new Lincoln brand will be defined by great new luxury vehicles, such as the new MKZ, that feature quality, unique style with substance and innovative technology." 

   
-- Alan Mulally, Ford’s chief executive, commenting on the redesigned luxury brand, The New York Times, Dec. 4 



 


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