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Inside this issue
General Motors Stock Highest Since 2010 IPO
NADA Report: Impact of New-Vehicle Cash Incentives on Used-Car Prices
Mercedes Set to Grab U.S. Luxury-Car Sales Crown
U.S. Seeks Detailed Tesla Records on Battery Fires
Saab is Back: First Cars Produced Under New Owners
Fiat, Partner Agree on Chinese Jeep Plant Location, Sources Say
Auto Industry Unleashes High-Tech Innovation
Ford, UAW Team to Expand Nationwide Child ID Program
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
General Motors Stock Highest Since 2010 IPO

General Motors Co. stock closed at an all-time high Monday of $39.11, the highest closing since its initial public offering three years ago. GM's stock was up 38 cents or nearly 1 percentage point. Late last month, U.S. Treasury announced it plans to sell off the rest of its stake in GM by Dec. 31, three months earlier than its previously announced deadline to sell its shares of GM by the end of the first-quarter 2014. The end of U.S. government ownership is significant for the company, which wants to be free of the “Government Motors” label as soon as possible.
Source: The Detroit News
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NADA Report: Impact of New-Vehicle Cash Incentives on Used-Car Prices

New-vehicle cash incentives reduce the price of used vehicles significantly more than finance and lease incentives

A new-vehicle cash incentive of $1,000 reduces the price of a one-year-old used vehicle by nearly $600, according to the NADA Used Car Guide in its latest report, NADA Used Vehicle Price Report: Incentive Analysis and Impact. Comparatively, $1,000 spent on finance and lease incentives reduces the price of a one-year-old used vehicle by $165 and $89, respectively. If market conditions, such as the economy, time of year, level of supply and manufacturer suggested retail prices remain constant, an incentive of $1,000 on a model with no previous discounts would result in the price of a one-year-old version of the same model to fall by $563. For a three-year-old version and a nine-year-old version of the same model, the price would drop by $381 and $133, respectively. “This pass-through effect means cash incentives continue to exert a sizable negative influence on prices far removed from more recent model years,” said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst of the NADA Used Car Guide.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Mercedes Set to Grab U.S. Luxury-Car Sales Crown

Contest between German auto makers benefits consumers with earlier deals

For the past two years, BMW AG has reigned as the top-selling luxury-car maker in the U.S., with Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz a close second. This year, Mercedes has the inside track to grab the U.S. crown for 2013. The German auto makers' battle for supremacy in the global luxury car market is paying off for customers with earlier holiday promotions that are lifting demand at U.S. retailers like Steve Shaheen. "We feel the competitiveness of both manufacturers," said Mr. Shaheen, whose Michigan dealership sells Porsche, BMW and Mercedes vehicles. His November sales of the two brands were "neck and neck," he said. For the first 10 months, Mercedes sold 245,145 cars in the U.S., 5,000 more than BMW. Mercedes' momentum has continued since then, helped by its new CLA small car that just arrived in showrooms. Meanwhile, BMW's U.S. arm has had to fight with other markets for allocations of a new X5 sport-utility vehicle, limiting its ability to drive sales in a key segment.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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U.S. Seeks Detailed Tesla Records on Battery Fires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Tesla Motors to turn over detailed records of all consumer complaints, field reports, warranty claims and property damage claims as part of the government's investigation into two battery fires in electric vehicles. The nine-page letter, dated Nov. 27 and posted early Tuesday on a government website, is a standard practice for NHTSA after it opens a preliminary investigation into a safety defect — but it offers some additional insight into NHTSA's line of investigation. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla's response is due Jan. 14.
Source: The Detroit News
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Saab is Back: First Cars Produced Under New Owners

Two and a half years after Saab shut down production due to financial trouble, the Swedish car rolled a new sedan off its assembly lines in Trollhattan, in south-west Sweden, on Monday. National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the Hong Kong-based company that bought the brand out of bankruptcy in September last year, presented its new 9-3 Aero Sedan as the first in a series of new cars it will produce. The company, also called NEVS, said the first 200 cars will be delivered in the spring and will cost 279,000 kronor ($42,500) each. Next year, it will also launch a 9-3 wagon, followed by convertible and electric models. Saab shut down production in April 2011 after six decades of building cars as its earlier Dutch owner, Spyker Cars, struggled with financing.
Source: Associated Press
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Fiat, Partner Agree on Chinese Jeep Plant Location, Sources Say

Fiat and its Chinese partner are near a deal to begin producing Jeeps in China for the first time since 2006 after they compromised on the plant's location, two people familiar with the talks said. Fiat, which had sought to make Jeep SUVs near its own facilities, recently agreed to locate the factory near Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.'s home base in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks were private. The accord is still subject to final approval, one of the people said. The agreement paves the way for Jeep, which in 1983 was the first foreign-branded vehicle to be produced in China, to make a return to what's now the world's biggest auto market. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is turning to Jeep as a means to tap the Chinese market after a stalled effort with the Fiat brand.
Source: Bloomberg
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Auto Industry Unleashes High-Tech Innovation

Whether it's electrics, hybrids or fuel cells, the auto industry is leading the way

When it comes to cutting-edge technology, the auto industry considers itself as high-tech as any startup in Silicon Valley. Whether it's breakthroughs in battery-powered vehicles or new advances in hydrogen fueling, automakers are vying to get a technological edge that is pushing innovation. The Los Angeles Auto Show, which ended Sunday, showed that the pace is not slowing. Several automakers introduced three-cylinder engines, or in one case, a two-cylinder engine, that are turbocharged or combined with electric powerplants to make them as powerful as larger, conventional powertrains. The benefit? Much greater fuel savings.
Source: USA Today
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Ford, UAW Team to Expand Nationwide Child ID Program

Ford Motor Co., the United Auto Workers and the American Football Coaches Association said Monday they are teaming up to donate more than 200,000 inkless fingerprint identification kits to families throughout the country. The kits create a record of a child's fingerprints and other identifying information in the event of an emergency, such as a kidnapping. In an emergency, the fingerprint can be put into national crime databases to help find kidnapped or runaway children. More than 450,000 children run away annually and about 50,000 more are abducted. The kits will be offered for free to all UAW-Ford employees, and the AFCA's National Child Identification Program will donate kits to community programs. About 60,000 kits will go to Detroit Public Schools. The AFCA started the National Child Identification Program in 1997 and has distributed more than 32 million kits. Brady Hoke, the University of Michigan head coach, and Paul Winters, the Wayne State University head coach, attended a Monday afternoon press event in support of the Ford-UAW program.
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable
"We love to be No. 1. We are still going for it. But in the end, for us, sustainable profitability is most important." 

   
-- Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW North America, commenting on the luxury-car sales race between BMW and Mercedes-Benz, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2
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