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Inside this issue
GM Chief Says 'Sun at Our Backs'
Union and Chrysler Spar Over Auto Maker's IPO
Mercedes 'On a Roll' in U.S., Cannon Says
Nissan Launching Production of Leaf in U.S.
Carmakers Hit Refresh Button More Frequently
New Laws Mean Nothing, Until Distracted Driving is Seen as Uncool
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Chief Says 'Sun at Our Backs'

General Motors Co. chief Dan Akerson said he expects the auto maker to return to investment grade this year and move to a single-A credit rating by mid-decade. GM lost its investment grade rating eight years ago and has been working to regain its financial footing following its bankruptcy in 2009. Standard & Poor's Rating Services rates the company's debt at a below-investment grade BB.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Union and Chrysler Spar Over Auto Maker's IPO

Chrysler Group LLC could be forced to stage an initial public offering as a means of resolving a dispute over its value with a United Auto Workers' retiree trust that holds a 41.5% stake in the auto maker. The trust on Wednesday presented Chrysler with a "registration demand" asking it register a portion of its holdings.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Mercedes 'On a Roll' in U.S., Cannon Says

Mercedes-Benz brand car sales to exceed 274,000 this year

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz expects to sell a record number of vehicles this year in the United States, a crucial growth market now that demand for the brand in China has tailed off sharply. A rejuvenated model range led by the next-generation S-class flagship sedan and the new CLA compact four-door coupe, both of which debut around September, should lift volumes to an all time high in 2013, according to a Mercedes executive.
Source: Reuters

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Nissan Launching Production of Leaf in U.S.

Nissan Motor Co. said it will begin U.S. production of its all-electric Leaf on Thursday in Tennessee as part of a $1.4 billion government loan. The Japanese automaker won an Energy Department loan in 2010 to build a battery plant in Smyrna, Tenn., and to retool to build the Leaf at its assembly plant next door. The Leaf will be built alongside the company's gasoline-powered products. Nissan says it is the only automaker that manufactures its own electric vehicle batteries, at the biggest lithium-ion automotive battery plant in the United States.
Source: The Detroit News

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Carmakers Hit Refresh Button More Frequently

Updating products just as key as new launches to stay competitive

For many years, auto shows were all about the latest new vehicles and eye-catching concepts. Not anymore. Today, what the industry calls "midcycle refreshes" — extreme makeovers of existing cars and trucks — have become just as important for some automakers, particularly those trying to avoid the mistakes of the past.
Source: The Detroit News

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New Laws Mean Nothing, Until Distracted Driving is Seen as Uncool

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. That's the intention behind a new law in Michigan targeting novice teenage drivers. It's an honorable intention. It might even give in-vehicle voice-operated systems such as MyFord Touch a boost among young buyers. But it's only a first step in what needs to be an aggressive consistent campaign against distracted driving. Otherwise this law simply misses the mark. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a statute that prohibits novice teenage drivers from talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"The sun is at our backs and 2013 should be a good year."

    -- General Motors Co. chief, Dan Akerson, predicting the automaker will return to investment grade in 2013, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9

 


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