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Inside this issue
Banks Boost Auto Lending
GAP Prices Should Stay Steady Despite Sandy
Toyota, BMW Working On New Battery Technology
Volkswagen Powers Up 33-Acre Solar Park in Tenn.
Super Bowl Ads Will Be Heavy on Colas, Beers and Cars
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Top Stories
Banks Boost Auto Lending

Wells Fargo and Chase, two of the biggest auto lenders, continued to expand in the fourth quarter, while regional player Huntington Bank posted record volume. For dealers that means no letup in sight in the competition for their business among banks, captive finance companies and credit unions. "It's incredibly competitive, and that's very good for the dealer and the consumer," said Rich Porrello, segment director of auto finance at Huntington Bank of Columbus, Ohio.
Source: Automotive News

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GAP Prices Should Stay Steady Despite Sandy

GAP claims likely are spiking because of October's Hurricane Sandy, but some experts say that probably won't lead to any immediate increase in pricing for GAP for dealers or customers. In the long run, insurers may feel some upward pressure on pricing, but any effect on wholesale pricing to dealers should be small and gradual -- and maybe not even noticeable, said Tony Wanderon, an expert on Guaranteed Asset Protection and CEO of F&I administrator Family First Dealer Services.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota, BMW Working On New Battery Technology

Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields. But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles. The Japanese and German automakers aim to complete a fuel-cell vehicle system by 2020, and a concept for a mid-size sports vehicle by the end of this year. They will also work together on developing lightweight technologies such as composites, which will help make cars greener.
Source: Associated Press

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Volkswagen Powers Up 33-Acre Solar Park in Tenn.

German automaker Volkswagen on Wednesday flipped the on switch for a new solar park at its Tennessee assembly plant. The 33-acre installation next to the Chattanooga plant can produce more than 13 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. That's the equivalent of the amount of energy used by 1,200 area homes, according to Volkswagen. "We are proud to power up the biggest solar park of any car manufacturer in North America today," said Frank Fischer, chairman and CEO of VW's Chattanooga operations. The solar park will meet about 12.5% of the plant's electricity needs during full production, and will power all its operations during off-peak periods. Volkswagen will consume all the electricity produced by the park, unlike a more common arrangement where excess electricity is sold back to utilities.
Source: Associated Press

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Super Bowl Ads Will Be Heavy on Colas, Beers and Cars

Each year within the Super Bowl, Madison Avenue plays an Ad Bowl, as marketers spend large amounts of time and treasure to create commercials that will, they hope, win plaudits and move merchandise. And within each Ad Bowl, two categories of consumer products usually account for a supersize amount of spots: automobiles and beverages. Super Bowl XLVII, to be broadcast on Feb. 3 on CBS, is no exception. At this point, as sponsors continue to share their plans for the game, it looks as if six automakers — the Chrysler Group, Ford Motor, the Hyundai Motor Group, Mercedes-Benz USA, Toyota Motor and Volkswagen of America — will advertise eight brands in the game, including Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Lincoln and Volkswagen.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
"We can get the year off to a good start. In the automotive business, you don't want to dig yourself a hole early in the year and have to dig out."

   
-- Steve Shannon, vice president for marketing at the Hyundai Motor America unit of the Hyundai Motor Group, commenting on the benefit of Super Bowl advertising for automakers, The New York Times, Jan. 22

 

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