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Inside this issue
Ford's Spending Budget to Top $100B
Tariff Talks Lead to Auto Trade Fight
Consumer Reports Says Infiniti, Lexus Sedans Fall Short in Performance, Luxury
What Makes Dealership Employees Want to Go Above and Beyond?
If Chinese Automaker Saves Peugeot-Citroen, Who's Next In Line To Falter In Europe?
Self-Driving Car Demand Seen Boosted By Aging Population
Ambassador Spotlight: Richard Kull Ardent Supporter of NADA Charitable Foundation
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Ford's Spending Budget to Top $100B

Ford Motor Co.'s annual spending budget will top $100 billion this year, the automaker's head of purchasing said Monday. An anticipated rise in global vehicle production, costs of new technology and rigorous fuel economy standards will likely up Ford's spending by 10 percent this year, said Hau Thai-Tang, who took over as Ford's group vice president of global purchasing. About two-thirds of that is dedicated to manufacturing expenses and the increased spending comes as Ford plans to trim its number of suppliers from about 1,300 to 750. About 80 percent of Ford's supplier business comes from the automaker's top 100 suppliers. Ford wants to increase volume from about 5.7 million vehicles annually to about 8 million by the middle of this decade.
Source: The Detroit News

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Tariff Talks Lead to Auto Trade Fight

Detroit 3, Japanese enlist allies as negotiations near end

With the White House seeking to finalize a trade treaty deal by year-end, Japanese automakers and the Detroit 3 are embroiled in a good old-fashioned trade war. President Obama has thrown his weight behind negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an attempt to create a 12-country free-trade zone around the Pacific Rim. Such a deal likely would start the clock on a slow phase-out of U.S. tariffs on imported cars, a vestige of the days when Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans rolled off freighters rather than U.S. assembly lines. Japanese manufacturers see a trade agreement as a chance to get rid of the "chicken tax," a 25 percent U.S. tariff that makes it uneconomical to import pickup trucks from Japan. But U.S. automakers are resisting, arguing that Japan should not be rewarded when its car market is virtually closed to U.S. imports. As the negotiations head into their final rounds, both sides are making their final pitches.
Source: Automotive News
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Consumer Reports Says Infiniti, Lexus Sedans Fall Short in Performance, Luxury

Consumer Reports says two new Japanese luxury sedans scored low marks and are not among its recommended models. The magazine says the redesigned Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS 250 fell short in its tests and wound up near the bottom of its rankings — below the Lincoln MKZ 2.0 EcoBoost, BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250 and Volvo S60 T5. The Q50 is intended to replace the G37 in Infiniti's lineup, but it has fallen behind its predecessor, the magazine says. “The Infiniti G has been one of Consumer Reports' highest-rated sedans for many years, but after its 2014 redesign and transition to the new Q designation, this car seems to have lost its way,” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports found the Lexus IS 250 “neither sporty nor luxurious.” In the trim with the small 2.5-liter V6 with all-wheel-drive, the “vehicle's acceleration lacks punch. Fuel economy is disappointing at 21 mpg overall” in Consumer Reports tests.
Source: The Detroit News
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What Makes Dealership Employees Want to Go Above and Beyond?

At the Best Dealerships To Work For, employees are engaged. Engaged employees go the extra mile. They feel a personal stake in their company's success. They don't just put in the hours, earn and collect their pay and go home. Click here to see the 10 statements that were part of the survey sent to employees at dealerships that entered the running for this year's Best Dealerships To Work For ranking. Experts say the responses to the statements indicate employee engagement.
Source: Automotive News
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If Chinese Automaker Saves Peugeot-Citroen, Who's Next In Line To Falter In Europe?

Peugeot-Citroen-Dongfeng does sound a bit awkward, but we might have to get used to it if the Chinese automaker decides to buy a stake in the financially stricken French company, Europe's second biggest car manufacturer by market share. The trouble is -- because of Europe's chronic overcapacity -- if Peugeot-Citroen survives, the next-weakest manufacturer will come under pressure. Reports re-emerged last week that Dongfeng Motor Corp might buy into PSA Peugeot Citroen. This time the rumor expanded to include the French government. Dongfeng and France would subscribe to a $4.1 billion share issue, which would give both roughly 20 percent stakes. This would slash General Motors 7 percent interest to about 4 percent and end Peugeot family control by reducing its stake to 14 percent. The Peugeots have controlled the company since 1882. The family currently has 25 percent of the shares and 38 percent of the voting rights. Earlier this year, [it was speculated that GM might] take control of Peugeot-Citroen, but the U.S. company has been careful so far to say it is not interested in anything other than working on joint projects with the French [automaker], which includes a new minivan in 2016.
Source: Forbes
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Self-Driving Car Demand Seen Boosted By Aging Population

Self-driving cars being planned by Google Inc. and global automakers may help counter slumping demand from younger customers by tapping the fastest-growing demographic in the world's largest vehicle markets: the elderly. As baby boomers age in markets including the U.S. and Japan, rising numbers of older drivers being killed or injured in accidents may spur demand for autonomous vehicles. With as many as 90 percent of traffic accidents caused by human error, a key benefit of the technology is boosting safety, executives from automakers including General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. said at an industry conference in Tokyo last week.
Source: Bloomberg
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Ambassador Spotlight: Richard Kull Ardent Supporter of NADA Charitable Foundation

The late Richard Kull Jr. was an ardent supporter of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation, naming 11 family members as Ambassadors since 1994. “My dad felt the gift of an ambassadorship was a good way to get more people involved in charitable giving,” said Larry Kull, president of the Burns Kull Automotive Group, which operates dealerships in New Jersey and Florida. “He knew once they began to designate their charities, they would enjoy the personal satisfaction of helping others.” To become an Ambassador, a dealer, company, association or an individual makes a tax-deductible contribution of $10,000 in the Ambassador's name or in recognition of someone living or deceased. Ambassadors are then eligible to provide $1,500 in grants to organizations of their choice every three years in perpetuity. “As one of the largest local businesses in our community, we feel the need to give back and encourage others to do the same,” Kull said. “You cannot find a better opportunity to do this than the Ambassador program. It's the gift that keeps on giving.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com
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Quotable
"We want a long-term strategic partnership with key suppliers, and by doing that, we’ll get better business results for the two of us." 

--- Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of global purchasing for Ford, commenting on the automaker's plan to reduce the number of suppliers by 40 percent, Bloomberg, Oct. 21

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