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Inside this issue
Auto Industry Doesn't Fear Federal Budget Cuts
Japanese Brands Dominate Consumer Report Rankings; Domestics Fall From Top 10
Japanese Revival Seen in Honda's First Plant in 49 Years
Hyundai Agrees to Settle U.S. Lawsuits Over Fuel Efficiency
GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Increase For Akerson
Ford to Cut Waste Per Vehicle Built 41% By 2016
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Industry Doesn't Fear Federal Budget Cuts

Despite warnings from President Obama about its impact on the economy, the looming budget cuts known as sequester starting Friday aren't scaring the auto industry. So far, both automakers and dealers aren't budging in their predictions of a healthy year for sales. They say any impact from the deep cuts will be limited. "This isn't even that dramatic of a cutback in spending compared to the rise in spending in the last several years," says Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. "For 85% of the car dealers out there, there will be little or no concern." He stands by his prediction that the industry will sell 15.4 million vehicles in 2013, closing in the 16-million mark of the better years of the auto industry a decade ago.
Source: USA Today

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Japanese Brands Dominate Consumer Report Rankings; Domestics Fall From Top 10

Seven Japanese automakers led by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. topped Consumer Reports' annual auto rankings of 26 brands. Fourteenth place was the best that any Detroit automaker fared. The magazine unveiled its influential 2013 annual auto ratings issue Tuesday in Washington, saying Toyota's Lexus unit was the top overall brand, with all of its vehicles recommended. It was followed by Subaru and Mazda, which tied for second; and Toyota and Acura, which tied for fourth. All U.S. brands were in the bottom half of the rankings. Fewer than half were recommended by the magazine, and most were from General Motors Co.'s GMC and Chevrolet brands.
Source: The Detroit News

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Japanese Revival Seen in Honda's First Plant in 49 Years

In July, Honda Motor Co. is planning to do something it hasn't done for almost 50 years: open a car factory in Japan. In 1964, just as the country was preparing to host the Olympic Games, Honda inaugurated a plant in Sayama, near Tokyo. That factory, along with two older ones, met surging Japanese domestic demand as the country prospered. And since the early 1990s, when asset prices collapsed, ushering in Japan's “lost decade,” there has been little need for expansion. The new factory, with an annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles, is opening just as a weaker yen is making Japanese manufacturers such as Honda more profitable. In recent months, investors have flocked back to Japan, pushing the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average to levels unseen since 2008. Evidence of a broader recovery is growing as economists predict the economy will emerge from recession this quarter. The factory, in Yorii, a downtrodden city of about 36,000 two hours northwest of Tokyo, illustrates how that optimism is spreading from Tokyo's trading floors to smaller towns.
Source: Bloomberg

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Hyundai Agrees to Settle U.S. Lawsuits Over Fuel Efficiency

Hyundai has agreed to settle consumer lawsuits stemming from overstated fuel economy ratings for some 600,000 Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. market. Financial terms of the tentative deal were not disclosed in a filing made by consumer attorneys in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday. It's unclear how much Hyundai will have to pay under the proposed settlement. Under the deal, consumers who purchased vehicles with overstated fuel economy ratings will be given the option of taking a lump sum settlement payout, or continue with the automaker's debit card reimbursement plan announced in November.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Increase For Akerson

General Motors denied reports that it had asked for a $2 million pay increase for CEO Dan Akerson, accusing someone of leaking inaccurate information to "score political points" in Washington. The automaker refuted documents provided to a U.S. House of Representatives committee that surfaced Monday and listed the company's proposed 2013 compensation for its 25 highest-paid executives. GM said the reports that it wanted Akerson's total compensation to increase from $9 million in 2012 to $11.1 million in 2013 were "false." "In fact, Dan specifically asked to keep his compensation at the same level for 2013 as it was in 2012 and 2011," GM said in a statement.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Ford to Cut Waste Per Vehicle Built 41% By 2016

Ford Motor Co. said that it plans to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills for each vehicle that it builds by 41 percent as part of a five-year plan through 2016. Ford plans to reduce waste generated per vehicle globally to 13.4 pounds (6.1 kilograms) per vehicle, from 22.7 pounds in 2011, the company said in a statement. Ford pledged separately in June that it would reduce energy use in its factories by 25 percent in the same period. Environmental sustainability is a key initiative for CEO Alan Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford.
Source: Bloomberg

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Quotable
"For 85% of the car dealers out there, there will be little or no concern."

    -- Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist, commenting on the potential impact of upcoming budget cuts on auto sales, USA Today, Feb. 27


  

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