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Inside this issue
Automakers Ask EPA to Pull Back on Calif. ZEV Mandate
NADA: Used-Vehicle Prices Up Slightly in February
Wells Fargo Looks to Expand Tie with GM Dealers
FTC Staff Revises Online Advertising Disclosure Guidelines
Buick Pitch Doubles Leases, Boosts Image as Luxury Brand
AAA Says Smartphones May Soon Replace Traditional Car Keys
Fastest Ferrari Ever Unveiled, and it's a Hybrid
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Automakers Ask EPA to Pull Back on Calif. ZEV Mandate

Three months after the Obama administration gave California permission to start mandating the sale of zero-emission vehicles, automakers are again seeking to block the state's ZEV program. The two largest lobbying groups for automakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, filed a petition Monday asking the EPA to rethink the ZEV requirements, most of which would take effect beginning in the 2018 model year. The filing shows that despite most automakers' support for the new corporate average fuel economy standard that rises to 54.5 mpg in the 2025 model year, the industry will continue battling with California over the state's push for the sale of ZEVs. Under the ZEV program, automakers would need to sell an estimated 1.4 million plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles in California by 2025, according to California regulators. Because nine other states are expected to follow California's lead, automakers would need to sell about 600,000 of those vehicles nationwide in 2025, assuming a 14.5 million unit U.S. light-vehicle market.
Source: Automotive News

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NADA: Used-Vehicle Prices Up Slightly in February

Wholesale prices for used cars and light trucks up to 8-years-old rose a modest 0.8% in February, well below the 3% increase for the month over the past two years, says the NADA Used Car Guide in its March edition of Guidelines. “Price growth for used vehicles through early spring will be weaker than what is typically seen for the period,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide. Overall, used-vehicle prices have increased by 0.4% over the first two months of the year, significantly less than the 4.4% and 2.4% increases recorded over the same two-month period in 2011 and 2012, respectively.  
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Wells Fargo Looks to Expand Tie with GM Dealers

Wells Fargo, already the perennial No. 1 in used-vehicle lending, is gradually growing its new-vehicle business, says Dawn Martin Harp, president of Wells Fargo Dealer Services. And that's bringing more dealers into the company's fold. Last year Wells Fargo signed deals with General Motors -- which began offering some new-car loan incentives through the lender as it phases out its preferred lender relationship with Ally Financial -- and with Tesla. Wells Fargo was the No. 2 auto lender overall in the fourth quarter last year, behind Ally, according to Experian Automotive. For the quarter, Wells Fargo ranked first in used-vehicle loans and ninth in new-car loans.
Source: Automotive News

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FTC Staff Revises Online Advertising Disclosure Guidelines

"Dot Com Disclosures" Guidance Updated to Address Current Online and Mobile Advertising Environment

The Federal Trade Commission has released new guidance for mobile and other online advertisers that explains how to make disclosures clear and conspicuous to avoid deception. Updating guidance known as Dot Com Disclosures, which was released in 2000, the new FTC staff guidance, .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, takes into account the expanding use of smartphones with small screens and the rise of social media marketing. It also contains mock ads that illustrate the updated principles. Like the original, the updated guidance emphasizes that consumer protection laws apply equally to marketers across all mediums, whether delivered on a desktop computer, a mobile device, or more traditional media such as television, radio or print.
Source: FTC

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Buick Pitch Doubles Leases, Boosts Image as Luxury Brand

General Motors Co.'s Buick brand has seen its lease rate more than double in the past year, thanks to its Experience Buick program. That's helping Buick to position itself as a luxury brand. The company last March debuted Experience Buick, a 24-month lease program. It includes routine maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations, Sirius XM radio and OnStar Directions and Connections bundled into one payment. The offering is available on all models, including the new 2013 Buick Encore. Buick has seen success: Its leasing rate is the highest since at least 1999, and has grown from 14 percent in March 2012 to 36 percent at the end of February.
Source: The Detroit News

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AAA Says Smartphones May Soon Replace Traditional Car Keys

Get ready to start your car with your phone. The metal car key is fast disappearing, replaced by “smart” electronic car keys and fobs. Now AAA says it expects smart keys to be transitional technology, soon to be replaced by people's phones. The auto club said Chevrolet and Nissan already have special mobile apps that can be used to monitor and control car functions.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

Related Story:

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Fastest Ferrari Ever Unveiled, and it's a Hybrid

Ferrari unveiled [Monday] at the Geneva Motor Show the replacement for the Enzo, a nearly 1000 hp. gas-electric hybrid dubbed LaFerrari. The 499 buyers of the limited-edition supercar will get what Ferrari says is its fastest car ever: 0-62 mph in less than 3 seconds, 0-124 in less than 7 seconds, 0-186 mph in 15 seconds. Ferrari did not disclose the price, expected well north of $1 million, but Sergio Marchionne, CEO of parent Fiat, has said it already is sold out.
Source: USA Today

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Quotable
"It gives us more of an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with the customer."

   
-- Bob Milner, general manager of LaFontaine Buick GMC in Highland Township, Mich., commenting on the Experience Buick leasing program, The Detroit News, March 13
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