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Inside this issue
Confidence Survey Suggests a Brighter M&A Outlook for Auto Industry
State of Auto Lending Seen as Stable; Delinquencies at Near-Record Lows
Contest for Lighter-Weight Metals Helps Auto Makers
And A Free Set of Steak Knives? It's Discount Season For Electric Cars
China's Goal of Becoming Car Export Powerhouse Stalls
Hillary Clinton to Deliver Keynote at 2014 NADA Convention
Rapper Pitbull to Pitch Dodge Darts to Millennials
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Confidence Survey Suggests a Brighter M&A Outlook for Auto Industry

As the U.S. economy has improved, so has the business confidence of auto industry execs, according to a recent study. Ernst & Young's seventh Capital Confidence Barometer for the automotive industry shows that executives are the most optimistic about growth, earnings and credit availability they have been in the past two years. For many companies, that means mergers and acquisitions are likely to happen in the near future. "We're pretty enthusiastic about our respondents' view of the global marketplace," Jim Carter, Ernst & Young's Americas Automotive Industry Leader for Transaction Advisory Services, says. "We think they're pretty poised for growth … they're looking ahead and not behind."
Source: Automotive News
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State of Auto Lending Seen as Stable; Delinquencies at Near-Record Lows

A survey of risk managers in the financial services industry sees stability in the auto finance sector. While that suggests a slowdown in the rate of improvement for the sector, stability is still good news overall since auto loans are performing well, according to the survey results. That encourages auto lenders to maintain easy access to credit, analysts said. Fair, Isaac Co., better known as FICO, and the Professional Risk Managers' International Association sponsored the quarterly survey, and the Columbia School of Business in New York analyzed the responses. Results for the second quarter were announced Tuesday, July 9.
Source: Automotive News
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Contest for Lighter-Weight Metals Helps Auto Makers

Car makers turning to aluminum, at the expense of steel, to make lighter vehicles have steelmakers fighting back with major new investments to preserve market share in one of their most valuable markets. The metals-contest comes as auto makers look to build lighter cars, which tend to be more fuel efficient, in order to meet new fuel-economy regulations. Languishing aluminum prices also are encouraging the automotive industry to switch metals. For steelmakers, struggling with weak demand and over supply, a switch to aluminum poses a big threat because the automotive sector is the industry's second biggest customer—after construction—accounting for about 12% of total production, according to the World Steel Association.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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And A Free Set of Steak Knives? It's Discount Season For Electric Cars

Electric cars just keep getting cheaper. Ford Motor Co. said [Wednesday] it's dropping the price of its all-electric 2014 Focus compact by $4,000 to $35,200, joining other marketers of battery-powered vehicles that have cut sticker prices to jump start sputtering demand. Since the Focus electric went on sale last year, Ford has sold fewer than 1,600 of the cars. Ford sold roughly 700,000 F-series trucks in the same period. “The new starting MSRP of $35,200 keeps us competitive in the marketplace and is an important part of our commitment to provide customers with a range of electrified vehicles to choose from,” the company said in a statement. The Focus electric went on sale with a price tag that was $4,000 above the competing Nissan Leaf. Nissan has since dropped the Leaf's price by $6,400 to $28,800 for the 2013 model. That put more than $10,000 between Nissan and Ford models that have roughly the same driving range, though Ford's Focus electric came standard with more equipment.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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China's Goal of Becoming Car Export Powerhouse Stalls

Shipments of Chinese-brand cars to markets abroad falls for two months in a row

China's ambition to export Chinese-made cars around the world has hit a speed bump with shipments falling for the last two months in a row. The country exported 84,400 cars last month, around one-fifth fewer than the same period last year, an auto industry group said on Wednesday. That follows a 16% slump in May—the first year-over-year drop in five years. Still modest exports to markets including Iraq, Vietnam and Turkey are declining as global economic growth remains sluggish and several of the countries Chinese manufacturers have targeted face economic and political difficulties. June's export drop was disclosed on the same day that statistics showed a 11% rise in total vehicles sold in China last year, indicating the local market remains solid despite slowing domestic economic growth. China is the world's largest auto market by sales. Data from the semiofficial China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed Chinese car makers captured 38% of the country's passenger-vehicle sales in June, down from 47% at the end of last year. The figures suggest foreign-branded cars continue to dominate the market, pointing to problems for Chinese brands facing a market flush with auto factories.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Hillary Clinton to Deliver Keynote at 2014 NADA Convention

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a potential candidate for president in 2016, will address dealers from around the country at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention & Expo in New Orleans in January, the trade group announced [Wednesday]. The former first lady and U.S. senator from New York will give the keynote speech on the last day of the event, which is scheduled to run from January 24 to 27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. "NADA has a long history of inviting high profile speakers who have provided diverse perspectives on a wide range of issues," Desmond Roberts, chairman of NADA's convention committee and a Chevrolet dealer in Hodgkins, Ill., said in a statement today. "We've hosted U.S. presidents from both parties as well as prime ministers and other dignitaries who have offered interesting insights and opinions."
Source: Automotive News

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Rapper Pitbull to Pitch Dodge Darts to Millennials

Chrysler Group LLC is targeting “multicultural Millennials” with a new advertising campaign for the 2013 Dodge Dart featuring Cuban-American rapper Pitbull. Two new television spots feature the rapper uttering his signature phrase, “¡Dale!” — Spanish for “Let's do this!” One is a new riff on the “How to Change Cars Forever” spots the company has been airing since the Dart launched last year. A 60-second version will air July 18 during the “Premios Juventud” youth awards show on the Spanish-language Univision Network, an annual award show that reached more than 9 million viewers last year. second 30-second spot, titled “How to Break Through and Succeed,” is already airing in Spanish and will begin airing in English later this week. Chrysler said its new multicultural focus is driven by recent Census Bureau data, which shows that some 90 percent of the 18- to 34-year-old population growth will come from multicultural segments from 2011 to 2015. Much of that growth will come from Hispanics, 71 percent of whom are under the age of 40.
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable
"NADA has a long history of inviting high profile speakers who have provided diverse perspectives on a wide range of issues. We've hosted U.S. presidents from both parties as well as prime ministers and other dignitaries who have offered interesting insights and opinions."

    --  Desmond Roberts, chairman of NADA's convention committee and a Chevrolet dealer in Hodgkins, Ill., commenting on Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivering keynote remarks at the 2014 NADA convention, Automotive News, July 10



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