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Inside this issue
Baucus Puts Tax Breaks on Chopping Block
Another Democratic Senator Questions Bureau’s ‘Guidance’ on Indirect Auto Lending
Hazcom Training Deadline Looms
U.S. Plans to Sell Remaining 31.1 Million GM Shares By Year End
Fiat Seen Gaining Upper Hand with Chrysler Valued at $10 Billion
Mitsubishi Boss Says U.S. Losses May End This Year
Honda Accord Named 2014 Green Car of the Year
Shelby Brings Back GT to Hop Up Ford Mustang
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Baucus Puts Tax Breaks on Chopping Block

The debate over tax reform entered a more contentious phase on Thursday, as the Senate's top tax writer put forward a plan to repeal several major provisions used by corporations. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), in the third tax reform draft released in as many days, proposed rolling back an incentive that allows businesses to write off property more quickly than it depreciates — currently the most expensive corporate break in the tax code. The plan would also repeal the “last in, first out” accounting method, which is fiercely defended by many companies that use it to reduce their tax bill.
Source: The Hill

Editor's note: NADA has expected a LIFO repeal proposal, such as the Baucus draft, but doesn't expect action on this or a larger tax reform package until early next year. During the recent NADA Washington Conference, preserving this legitimate business practice was a top legislative priority. Since then, the legislative staff has directly engaged Congress to fight LIFO repeal. The Baucus proposal includes an eight-year spread on LIFO reserves and ends some like-kind exchange rules, limits deprecation of personal-use autos and reduces advertising expensing. NADA is closely reviewing the language to determine its impact on dealers. Dealers are urged to contact their Representatives and Senators during the Thanksgiving week recess to inform them of the importance of LIFO for family dealerships and to let them know that its repeal would be a tax hike on many small businesses. For more information on the need to preserve LIFO, click here.
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Another Democratic Senator Questions Bureau’s ‘Guidance’ on Indirect Auto Lending

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., is the latest member of the Senate Banking Committee to raise concerns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) effort to end a consumer's ability to negotiate competitive auto loan rates at new-car dealerships. Last March, the CFPB—without public comment or a hearing—issued “fair lending guidance” to pressure lenders to eliminate a dealer's discretion to “meet or beat” competitive financing for their customers in favor of a “flat fee” system. Merkley, in a Nov. 19 letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, asked the Bureau for a study of discrimination in the auto marketplace to identify the real problem. Until “such study can shed light on policy options, please ensure that the CFPB is not in practice mandating flat fees that could potentially hurt both dealers and customers,” he wrote. Click here for the letter.
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs
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Hazcom Training Deadline Looms

Reminder: By December 1, 2013, all current service, parts and body shop employees must be retrained on OSHA's new hazard communication (hazcom) rule. Among other things, hazcom training must cover new hazard chemical classifications, labels and safety data sheets. Employees hired after December 1 must be trained within 90 days.

Note: hazcom compliance is the area most-cited by OSHA when conducting dealership inspections. Good hazcom training is widely available from state and metro dealership associations and from private contractors. To access an NADA webinar that provides a good overview of the new rule, log into NADA University, click on Training Center, select Legal & Regulatory, Environmental, and then OSHA's New HazCom Rule: What You Need to Know. Please direct questions to NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org or 703.821.7040.
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs
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U.S. Plans to Sell Remaining 31.1 Million GM Shares By Year End

The U.S. Treasury Department said it expected to sell its remaining shares of General Motors Co. by the end of the year, a plan that may leave taxpayers with a shortfall of about $10 billion on the automaker's 2009 bailout. Treasury said it had completed the sale of 70.2 million shares of GM stock and to date had recouped $38.4 billion from the $49.5 billion taxpayer-funded rescue of the Detroit company. At current prices, Treasury would recoup another $1.2 billion from its remaining stake of 31.1 million shares, bringing its total recovery to $39.6 billion. Treasury said its initial cost basis for the GM shares was $43.52 per share. If it completes the sale by year's end, the Treasury would unload the GM stake on the earliest end of its projections announced last December. At the time, it anticipated selling the stake within 12 to 15 months.
Source: Reuters

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Fiat Seen Gaining Upper Hand with Chrysler Valued at $10 Billion

Fiat is set to gain the upper hand in negotiations to buy a health-care trust's holding in Chrysler Group if the final value for the U.S. carmaker remains around the level currently being discussed. Bank advisers are considering a valuation of about $10 billion for Chrysler, people with knowledge of the matter said. That would make the 41.5 percent of Chrysler owned by the United Auto Workers trust worth $4.15 billion, less than what analysts have expected Fiat to pay. The trust and Fiat -- Chrysler's majority shareholder -- are disputing the company's value as Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both carmakers, seeks to buy the UAW's stake. The trust is working to determine whether to sell its holding to Fiat directly or press forward with an initial public offering as soon as next month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. "It's going in Marchionne's direction," said Sascha Gommel, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Commerzbank. "It's in the interest of both parties to avoid an IPO. In the end, the most likely scenario is that Fiat takes the remaining stake."
Source: Bloomberg
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Mitsubishi Boss Says U.S. Losses May End This Year

Export-focused Illinois plant aids comeback

Mitsubishi's money-losing North American operations may reach breakeven this year for the first time since 2007, President Osamu Masuko said. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. hasn't booked operating income in North America since the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007, when it logged a tiny profit of ¥600 million ($6.37 million). North America has been a drain on Mitsubishi, partly because of its high-cost, low-output assembly plant in Normal, Ill., its only factory in North America. But stepped-up local production and favorable exchange rates are rapidly erasing the red ink. "We've said we are going to break even in the next fiscal year," Masuko said in an interview at this week's Tokyo Motor Show. "But right now, if things keep going well, it might be the case that we break even this year."
Source: Automotive News
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Honda Accord Named 2014 Green Car of the Year

The Honda Accord was named 2014 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal on Thursday at the LA Auto Show. The Accord was one of five finalists. The vehicle's lineup includes a four-cylinder, V-6, hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The Accord's biggest engine, the V-6, is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 34 miles per gallon highway. Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal, said the Accord excelled with a “versatile approach to environmental leadership." No domestic vehicles made the Green Car of the Year short list this year after the new Ford Fusion won last year. Other finalists included the 2014 Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328d, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. Green Car finalists were selected for raising the bar in environmental performance. Jurors included Green Car Journal editors, members of several national environmental organizations and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno.
Source: The Detroit News
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Shelby Brings Back GT to Hop Up Ford Mustang

The conversion can turn a Mustang GT into a 'boulevard bruiser'

The Shelby GT is back -- and it's hotter than ever. For Ford Mustang fanciers who want more power and to have their car stand out from the crowd, the aftermarket firm founded by the late automotive entreprenuer Carroll Shelby has put the Shelby GT back in its lineup. It was unveiled Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. How powerful? The stock 2014 Mustang GT is boosted to 430 horsepower or by adding a supercharger and calling it a GT/SC, to 624 horsepower. At a demonstration of the car for USA TODAY last week, the car was easily capable of burning rubber and tearing through corners with ease. "You can go from a boulevard cruiser to a boulevard bruiser all in one," says Gary Patterson, a vice president of Shelby. The modifications "really substantially change the performance characteristics of the car."
Source: USA Today
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More Articles
 
Quotable
"Our goal was never to make a profit. It was to save the U.S. auto industry."

   
-- A U.S. Treasury official, commenting on its expectation to sell the remaining shares of GM stock by the end of 2013, Reuters, Nov. 21
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October Sales Up From Last Year
Chairman's Column
A Season of Thanks
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  NADA Chairman Speaks to Detroit Auto Press (NADA-TV)
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Ambassador Spotlight: Richard Kull Promoted Charitable Giving through the NADA Foundation
 
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