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Inside this issue
Foreign Carmakers Ship More Made-In-USA Cars Overseas
Hopes High for Bill Banning Rental of Recalled Vehicles
Subaru, Nissan Look to Avoid 84-Month Loans
Smart on Track to Double Sales in 2012; New EV Coming
Ford's Rivals Catching Up in Technology Race
Which Cars Park Themselves Best? Challenge Results
Chrysler Sets Up Charitable Foundation Honoring Marchionne
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Foreign Carmakers Ship More Made-In-USA Cars Overseas

For both foreign and domestic carmakers, the U.S. has become a more attractive place to assemble vehicles for sale in other countries for multiple reasons: currency exchange rates that effectively lowered U.S. labor costs, new free-trade pacts, high quality and available plant capacity. Automakers exported more than 1.56 million U.S.-built vehicles to more than 200 countries in 2011, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing 12 major auto companies. That number could rise to more than two million vehicles as early as 2015, experts say. Top export markets include Canada, Mexico, Germany, China, and Saudi Arabia.
Source: Forbes

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Hopes High for Bill Banning Rental of Recalled Vehicles

Cally Houck got the phone call that every parent dreads one October day in 2004 - and it was a double blow. Both her daughters had been killed when a car they had rented caught fire and crashed at high speed on a California freeway. After learning that the PT Cruiser was under active recall, Houck says she and her husband discovered Enterprise never heeded the notice to make critical repairs and, in fact, had rented the same vehicle to three other customers during the three weeks after the recall. "We just couldn't believe there wasn't a law about this already," Houck says. Eight years later, there is still no such law, but there has been considerable progress. And supporters are optimistic that legislation by Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Charles E. Schumer of New York to ban rental companies from renting or selling recalled vehicles could pass before the end of the year.
Source: CQ

Editor's note: NADA is seeking information on the pool of dealers that may be impacted by this legislation. If you have a rental car fleet of more than 100 vehicles, please email NADA Legislative Affairs at legislative@nada.org with the number of vehicles available for rent, your dealership name, your state, your phone number and a contact person so we can reach out to you.

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Subaru, Nissan Look to Avoid 84-Month Loans

Executives for a couple of brands say they are reluctantly going along with consumer demand for longer-term loans, but they're still trying to draw a line and avoid going to 84-month paper. "It just takes too long for the customer to get in an equity position," says Tom Doll, COO of Subaru of America Inc. From the dealer and factory points of view, longer-term loans take the customer off the market too long. Customers also are more likely to be upside down when they are ready to trade, owing more on the trade-in than the car is worth. That makes it more difficult to finance the next car, and it can hurt customer loyalty.
Source: Automotive News

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Smart on Track to Double Sales in 2012; New EV Coming

Smart's U.S. deliveries are running 100.4% ahead of year-ago, and the Mercedes-Benz brand has achieved 13 consecutive months of sales increases, General Manager Tracey Mutura says. Through Nov. 30, Smart global deliveries increased 2.2%, compared with year-ago, to 96,383 units. Mercedes says it's on target to break the 100,000 mark this year. Smart has been leasing a fleet of 250 EVs but plans to introduce an all-new model next spring. Mutura predicts the EV eventually will account for one-third of all Smart sales.
Source: WardsAuto

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Ford's Rivals Catching Up in Technology Race

Systems like GM's MyLink hookup with Apple make headway

Ford Motor Co. was among the first out of the starting blocks with its innovative Sync voice-recognition system and MyFord Touch infotainment console. But some automakers, including General Motors Co., have taken the tech race at a more measured pace and are now true competitors with Ford when it comes to in-car information and entertainment.
Source: The Detroit News

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Which Cars Park Themselves Best? Challenge Results

We invited seven automakers to take part in our parking challenge. Four accepted. Here's how they did

The simple act of parking your car is the focus of extraordinary technology. Backup cameras and warning beepers are old hat. Surround-view cameras are slowly arriving, and the big step is in cars that parallel-park themselves. Lexus introduced auto-parking in the U.S. on its 2007 LS big sedan, but it was cumbersome to use and discontinued after the 2012 model. Now auto-parking, mainly found on luxury vehicles, is moving mainstream. USA TODAY and Cars.com wanted to see if today's systems work better and are easier to use than the original Lexus setup.
Source: USA Today & Cars.com

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Chrysler Sets Up Charitable Foundation Honoring Marchionne

Contributions to the fund could total about $38.15 million

Chrysler Group's board of directors has established a charitable foundation in honor of CEO Sergio Marchionne to help pay for education of employees' children. Company contributions to the foundation over the next five years could total $38.15 million, the company said. That value is based on what the company called 5 million "units" that were valued at $7.63 each in December 2011. Contributions could begin in December 2013, while educational support begins in 2014 after specific guidelines are released next year.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"Quality for the world, made in America, has been an important Honda commitment for the past 25 years."  

   
-- Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda, commenting on the automaker's plan for North American exports to exceed imports within the next two years, The Detroit News, Dec. 6 



 


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